There are international airports in Auckland and Wellington on North Island, and Christchurch on South Island. Most long-haul flights land in Auckland. National carrier Air New Zealand operates flights from Heathrow.
On the road
The best way to get around and see everything is to hire a car or a campervan and drive – or a bicycle and pedal! New Zealand is also one of the few countries in the world where hitching is a safe, viable option.
The Kiwi Experience and Magic Bus offer good value coach tours covering the whole of New Zealand. On the plus side you’ll be with like-minded backpackers and visit all the usual tourist hotspots. On the down side – ditto.
Bus and train
Crossing the Cook Strait is a necessary part of most New Zealand itineraries. Ferries operate between Wellington and Picton, though they can be disrupted by rough weather. Alternaitvely, flying between the islands offers stunning views over the Marlborough Sounds.