Taking animals on public transport Taking animals on public transport

Find out about taking dogs, pets and other animals on the bus, train or ferry.

Small cat in a cage on board a bus

On the bus

Small domestic pets in approved carriers are allowed on board for a six-week trial period from 26 December 2022 to 31 March 2023. After the trial, depending on the success, we will look to allow larger dogs in approved muzzles on board buses as well.

Download the full details and conditions for the trial (PDF 524KB).

On the train

Service dogs and disability assist dogs are allowed to travel on trains at all times.

Passengers are able to bring domestic pets enclosed in suitable carriers or pet dogs that are leashed and muzzled on board.

Domestic pets must be enclosed in a suitable pet carrier. The carrier must be small enough to be held on the passenger's lap or stored securely under the seat. Pets aren't allowed in the aisles or on seats. 

Pet dogs must be leashed and wearing an approved muzzle that prevents biting. Head halters are not permitted.

Details and conditions:

  • Passengers travelling with pets will only be allowed on trains during off-peak hours (9am to 3pm, and after 6:30pm weekdays, all day weekends and public holidays).  
  • Only tame domestic pets are allowed to travel and only one per person.
  • All pet dogs must be either wearing an approved muzzle and lead, or be travelling in an approved pet carrier.
  • Pet carriers must be small enough to fit under a seat, or on the passenger's lap. Pet strollers must be enclosed, can only travel in the accessible carriage, and must not impede other passengers.
  • Passengers with pets are responsible for their pet and must keep them caged, or leashed and muzzled, and under control on trains and platforms.
  • Passengers with domestic pets are responsible for all pet mess and must ensure that any pet mess is cleaned up before they exit the train and or the platform.
  • Passengers with pets may be asked to wait for the next service if the train is too crowded. 
  • Passengers with pets may be refused entry or asked to leave if the pet is likely to, or is causing a safety risk or nuisance to other passengers.
  • Domestic pets travel free of charge.
  • Domestic pets cannot travel on rail replacement buses.
  • Children younger than 16 years cannot travel with pets alone.

If you are travelling with a pet dog and see a disability assist dog or disability assist dog in training board the train, please ensure your dog does not distract the team. It may be helpful to inform the handler you have a pet on board, to move to the rear of the train carriage, or to change carriages. 

On the ferry

Service dogs and disability assist dogs are allowed to travel on all ferry services. Other dogs and small animals in cages are allowed to travel on most ferry services. Charges may apply. Please check with your ferry operator before you travel.

Blind Low Vision NZ Guide Dogs - same vision, new look

Blind Low Vision NZ are currently in the process of phasing out the red guide dog coats and replacing them with new black coats with reflective trim and their white and orange branding. This new look will better-align the guide dogs programme with Blind Low Vision NZ. It is also important to note that some of the guide dog teams choose not to wear the coats. In this case, a branded harness will be used instead.

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