How to Survive Using Public Transportation in Dunedin, New Zealand

Kelly Yanagihara is a student at the University of Colorado – Boulder. She is an ISA Featured Blogger and is currently studying abroad with ISA in Dunedin, New Zealand

Dunedin is a relatively small town; you can walk just about anywhere but knowing how the public transit works can turn your 40 minute walk into a 10 minute bus ride. It’s worth figuring out.

Right on campus where the Leith River runs in front of the clock tower.

First things first:

Figure out which side of the street to stand on! Cars drive on the left here, so make sure you’re at the correct bus stop to get picked up.


Have money or a GoCard. Fares run around $3 NZD one-way, so if you’re planning on using the buses often invest in a GoCard. It gives you a discount, and you can load it up with money right there on the bus.


Know which stop you’re getting off at. The buses don’t announce each stop like most do in the U.S. Have a good idea of where you’re getting off and pay attention so you can hit the stop button in time.


Get a transportation app and use your phone to plan your trip. I use the app Moovit which lets you know where your stop is at, how long the ride is, where to get off, and how to reach your final destination. It’s extremely helpful. I would also recommend charging your phone before you go out in case you don’t know how to take the bus back into town and you need to route it out.

Moovit app route from The University of Otago to St Kilda beach.


You have to wave the bus down as it’s approaching, or else it won’t stop for you! I’ve definitely had to sprint a few blocks to make it to the next stop because I forgot to wave…

One last tip:

Use the buses! It might be uncomfortable at first, but after you do it once you’ll have it down. And don’t be afraid to ask the bus drivers where to go/how to pay/how to get off; New Zealanders are the friendliest people ever!

This was our final destination: St Kilda beach.

Good luck!


The world awaits…discover it.

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