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Getting from Christchurch to Dunedin (and return)

Christchurch is not only the largest city in the South Island but also second largest city in New Zealand. It is particularly known for its English heritage which shows in the old buildings. Dunedin is the second largest city in the South Island and is known as the Edinburgh of the South.

Quick summary

For whatever reasons, flying between Christchurch and Dunedin is not very cheap. So if you are in a hurry and plan to fly, you’ll pay from US$176 per person, one way. But if your budget is tight and don’t mind spending 6 hours on the road, the bus is the best choice (from NZ$ 25 per person, one way).

Flights from Christchurch (airport code: CHC) to Dunedin

Christchurch International Airport (CHC) is a major transit point for both domestic and international flights, while Dunedin International Airport (DUD) serves both local and international traffic, as well. Air New Zealand flies between the two cities. One way flights start at US$176 per person and the flight time is about 1 hour. Return flights start at US$353 per person.

>>read more about Cheap flights to Christchurch

Trains from Christchurch to Dunedin

Unfortunately there is no longer a regular long distance passenger train service connecting the two cities.

>>read more about Train Travel in New Zealand

Buses from Christchurch to Dunedin

There are several operators serving the route between the two cities, including Intercity Coachlines and Atomic Shuttles.

InterCity Coachlines has 4 departures from Christchurch to Dunedin, daily, the first being at 7:45 a.m. The travel time between the two cities is 6 hours. A one way adult nonrefundable ticket costs from NZ$ 25.

Atomic Shuttles has 2 departures a day from Christchurch to Dunedin, one at 8 a.m and one at 3 p.m. A one way adult ticket costs NZ$ 35.

>>read more about Bus Travel in New Zealand

Driving from Christchurch to Dunedin

If you plan to rent a car and drive from Christchurch to Dunedin you’ll be rewarded with spectacular scenery as the road follows the coastline. The distance between the two cities is 359 km and the total drive time is about 5 hours.

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