Public transport and travel to and from Christchurch airport

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Public transport

Christchurch's public transport system is operated by Metro (Environment Canterbury). Buses operate every day between approx. 6am and 11pm (Monday to Friday) and 7am to 10pm on weekends.

Bus fares can be paid with cash or Metrocard.

A normal cash bus fare inside the city (Zone 1) costs $4.00 per trip for adults, including one transfer to another line within a 2-hour window. Cash fares to stops in the airport have a surcharge (see below).

Metrocard is Christchurch's pre-paid public transport card. It gives:

  • discounted fares: Zone 1 fare is $2.65 (vs. $4.00 for cash fares)
  • unlimited transfers within 2 hours (vs. 1 transfer for cash fares)
  • pay maximum 2 fares per day, subsequent travel is free
  • pay maximum 10 fares per week, subsequent travel until Monday is free

There is a $10 deposit plus $10 minimum top-up amount, and registration is mandatory. If you plan to travel into Zone 2 or the ferry, you need to ask the driver to adjust your fare at the start of your journey.

It is available for purchase at several locations in Christchurch including the University of Canterbury bookshop, but not the airport.

Travel to and from Christchurch Airport

There are several options available to you to travel into town from the airport. Find further information on the different options below.

An overview map of the Christchurch airport parking options (incl. taxi stands, bus stops etc.) is available here. As an international traveller, you will most likely leave the airport in the bottom left of the map, directly in front of the taxi stands and next to the bus/coach stands.


The airport is serviced by Metro, on the Purple Line, line 29 and line 125:

  • Purple Line takes you directly to the University (the conference venue).
    Buses leave the airport approximately every 30 minutes.
    The trip from the airport to the University takes 15 minutes, and the airport to the city centre (Bus Interchange) takes 30 minutes.
    Some services do not go to the Airport, instead operating to Sheffield Cres (3.6 km away) -- take care when you are leaving Christchurch!
  • Line 29 is a direct connection between the airport and the city.
    Buses leave the airport approximately every 30 minutes.
    The trip from the airport to the city centre takes 30 - 40 minutes.
  • Line 125 is connecting the western and northern suburbs of Christchurch, and runs from Halswell to Hornby to the airport and on to Papanui and Redwood (and back).
    Buses leave (in each direction) every 15 - 30 minutes. This service does not terminate at the airport.

A cash fare (single trip) to or from the airport (bus stop) to anywhere in Christchurch costs $8.50. A return ticket is $15.00. You can buy your ticket on the bus (cash only!).

The airport surcharge fare only applies when:

  • paying a cash fare (Metrocard is treated as Zone 1 fare of $2.65), and
  • boarding or departing the bus at a stop on airport land (specifically, between Orchard Rd and the Airport Terminal).
    For example, catching the 29 City to Airport to and from stops not on airport land is a regular Zone 1 fare.
    • All buses can also be caught from Memorial Ave near Spitfire Square (#17102) (700m from airport)
    • Line 125 can also be caught from International Antarctic Centre (600m from airport; note that this service does not terminate at the airport, and there are stops on both sides of the road)

There is no Metrocard vendor in the airport.

Super Shuttle - shared rides

Super Shuttle operates in all major cities in New Zealand, including Christchurch. They are a door-to-door service, leaving the airport approx. 10 minutes after the first passenger arrives at the shuttle stand.

You can pre-book a shuttle trip (online or through the phone app) or rock up at the front of the taxi stand and talk to the Super Shuttle staff there.

A shared ride to the City Centre costs approx. $20 and approx. $24 to the university (Ilam Road) as well as the Uni Halls (Waimairi Road).

An 'Exclusive' ride on the 11-seater van is about three times the normal price. A good option if you can and want to meet with other LCA delegates at the airport and heading to the same destination.

Pay cash or eftpos or by Credit Card.


You all know the deal with Uber. If you request a ride, their drop-off and pick-up point is on the far side of the airport's Express Park car park building. Look for the signs to the "Ride Share Pick-up Zone".


Similar to Uber. But cannot pick up from the airport directly. Walk down Memorial Ave and catch a ride after you have crossed Russley Road (about 1200m walking distance).


Waiting for you to conveniently take you right from the International Terminal to anywhere in Christchurch.

Several taxi companies are operating in Christchurch. Prices are extremely similar between companies.

Expect to pay approx. $25 plus an airport surcharge ($5.50?) to get from the airport to the university or uni halls.

If you have pre-booked a ride, please be aware that many are waiting for you at the Domestic Terminal taxi stand.

Car rental

Many well-known international as well as local car rental companies that operate desks directly at the airport or have their offices close to the airport. Please contact them directly for rates, insurance etc.

Driving from the airport to the conference venue (university) should take about 10 minutes.

Lime Scooters

For short (or even slightly longer) trips around the city, Lime scooters can be hired using a downloadable phone app. They're a fun way to see the centre of Christchurch!