Transport and infrastructure in New Zealand

Our listing of the primary types of transport compares the infrastructure of New Zealand with the average of all countries in the Australian continent. Overall, the traffic routes are above average and in good condition.

In terms of the length of its rail network, New Zealand ranks 16th in the world with 0.81 meters per inhabitant. In total, the rail network is 4,128 kilometers long. Freight traffic on the rails most recently totaled 4.44 billion tons and kilometers traveled. Passenger traffic reached 802.03 million passenger-kilometers in 2020.

Airports in New Zealand

Back to overview: New Zealand

Road traffic

The network of roads and highways has a total length of 94,000 km. For each of the country's 5.12 million inhabitants, this corresponds to 18.35 meters. This puts New Zealand in 28th place in the global ranking. However, it is also important to note that the country's population density is very low at around 19 inhabitants per km². In this case, disproportionately long distances generally have to be covered to reach the more remote parts of the country.

With an average of 387 traffic fatalities per year (2013 - 2019), road traffic in New Zealand is considered relatively safe. This corresponds to 8.1 accident fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year. By comparison, this figure is 12.3 in the USA and 17.0 worldwide.

In New Zealand, left-hand traffic is the rule on the roads, i.e. you drive in the left lane and overtake on the right. Oncoming traffic comes to meet you on the right side. Here you can also find an overview of all countries with left-hand traffic.


New Zealand

 totalper 1 mio
per km²
Roadways94,000 km18,350.06 km351.13 m
Railroads4,100 km805.84 km15.42 m
Waterways0 km0.00 km0.00 m
Commercial harbors11522.450.000


 total per 1 mio
per km²
Roadways967,800 km31,407.04 km120.84 m
Railroads37,500 km1,216.57 km4.68 m
Waterways2,000 km64.90 km0.25 m
Commercial harbors69622.590.000

Data sources used

Global Health Observatory Data Repository (World Health Organization)
Internation Union of Railways (UIC)
CIA Factbook
OECD Statistics
Wikipedia (german)
New Zealand: AirportsLargest airports and airlines in New ZealandThe 28 biggest airports and 8 airlines in New Zealand with further information and data with further information on airlines and destinations
New Zealand: ClimateClimate and temperature development in New ZealandA climate analysis for New Zealand incl. temperatures, humidity, rain days per month, hours of sunshine, rainfalls
Ranking: MegacitiesMega cities - the biggest cities all over the worldRanking of the biggest cities worldwide. On top: Shanghai, Chongqing and Beijing