Catching a bus is one of the simplest ways to travel around New Zealand. You buy your ticket, turn up on time, board your bus and then get off at your destination. The good news is there are things you can do before your journey to make sure it runs smoothly.

1. Know where you’ll stop
Most places on the InterCity bus network have one stop and therefore most travellers think this applies everywhere. But there are certain exceptions where a destination has two bus stops in different locations. A good example is the Johnsonville bus stop in Wellington. Buses going north stop at 120 Johnsonville Road, whereas buses going south stop at 57 Johnsonville Road. So if you’ve come from the north of the country and get off at number 57, it’s easy to think you’ll get on at that stop to go back home. Sometimes a stop might move temporarily due to roadworks or an event. The key is to double check your bus stop through your e-ticket, or on the company website or a phone call.

2. Know how long you have at each stop
When you reach a stop along your journey, the driver will tell you how long you have before you set off again. If you’re unsure, it’s a great idea to clarify the duration of the stop with the driver. Try to be a few minutes earlier than you need to be back, just to be extra certain.

3. It’s all in the contact detail
We mentioned earlier it’s easy to travel by bus, and it’s especially easy to book your ticket online at It’s important to have your contact details correct in case the bus company needs to contact you in case of things like delays. You can also check for service delays at

4. How many bags?
Before your bus trip, check how much luggage you can bring with you. If you’re taking a lot of luggage, make contact with the company beforehand about luggage rules, especially for things like bikes. And if you lose luggage or any items on the bus, it’s easier for it to be found and returned to you if it’s well labelled. When you get off the bus, why not have a checklist of what you brought on board, and run through it before you get off?

We hope these tips help get you on the way to a smooth trip the next time you travel somewhere in New Zealand by bus.