BUS 101 - Everything you need to know to get around town on the bus.

The bus system is called Orbus and it services most of Dunedin (including Mosgiel and Palmerston) and Queenstown (including Arrowtown).

You can get discounted travel on Orbus with a Bee Card, plus a free transfer (within 45 minutes).

​Services are frequent throughout the day.

In Dunedin they are connected via the Bus Hub located on Great King Street, near the tertiary precinct, where as in Queenstown they connect via Frankton and downtown.

How does it work?

Start by purchasing a Bee Card online at www.BeeCard.co.nz or with CASH on the bus. 


  • University Bookshop, 361 Great King St
  • Your bus driver – CASH ONLY (no eftpos or credit)
  • Dunedin City Council, Customer Service Centres and libraries as shown below:
    - DCC Civic Customer Service Centre
    - Mosgiel Library and Service Centre
    - Port Chalmers Library and Service Centre
    - Blueskin Bay Library and Service Centre
    - Waikouaiti Library and Service Centre
  • Otago Regional Council office: 144 Rattray street, corner of Princes, level 2. 


  • ORC office at Terrace Junction, 1092 Frankton Road
  • i-SITE info Centre on the corner of Shotover and Camp streets. 

The Bee Card is a one-off cost of $5 (the cost does not include any credit for fares - you must add credit to the Bee Card).

After that, every time you top up you must put a minimum of $5 on the card.


Click here to see routes or tap in your location to get the best results.

You can also use Transit, Google maps or Apple Maps to see which buses suit your journey.

Orbus routes can be tracked in real time through Transit, the free-to-download travel app. You can also plan your journey and get general alerts. 

For up to the minute alerts on bus disruptions on specific routes, go to the ORC public transport webpage, notifications and alerts. Once you search for alerts selecting location and route, your browser will remember. 

Click here for Queenstown fares and here for Dunedin fares. 


Head to your nearest stop and be ready five minutes before the scheduled time.

You can track your bus with Transit, which shows Orbus buses travelling in real time. We still recommend getting to your stop early by at least 5-10 minutes. Download transit free of charge here

When you see the bus driving toward the stop with the correct number, hail the driver (wave or raise your hand).

Hail the driver

Don’t worry if the bus doesn’t have an Orbus logo. If your bus number and destination is on the bus, that’s the one you want.

Don’t forget, conditions such as traffic, accidents and weather (even other passengers) can all affect the bus service, so at times they may be late. Check alerts on the ORC website for changes to specific routes. 

Wear a mask and follow other COVID measures. Click here for details. 

Get on the bus, and hold your Bee Card against the ticketing machine scanner and wait for the beep.

If you don't have a Bee Card, you can get one from the driver, or pay for the fare with cash. 

You can also talk to the driver about where to get off.

When your stop is coming up, press one of the red buttons near your seat to signal the driver you want to get off. Try to press it after the last stop, instead of just before your stop so the driver has time to slow down and indicate.

Tag your Bee Card off as you depart (at the front or back off the bus). 

Don't forget to thank the driver!!

tag off

Register your Bee Card

There are benefits to registering a Bee Card such as being able to top up credit online.

If you’re 5-18 years old or a SuperGold card holder, register your Bee Card to get a discounted concessionary fare.

To get a concession you need to register your Bee Card at www.beecard.co.nz.

Find out more here.


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