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By bus

Catching a bus is an environmentally-friendly way to travel to campus.

See our sustainable campus maps for our City campus (PDF 0.1MB) and our Woolston campus (PDF 0.1MB) that show the nearest bus stops to our campuses.

Tertiary Student Metrocard

Student fares are now cheaper. Collect your new card from Student Finance in the Rakaia Centre on the Madras Street Campus for savings of at least 40% for Ara students compared to the standard adult fares!

For more information visit

Christchurch city, Woolston and Manawa campuses

Christchurch's Metro bus system has one of the newest bus fleets, cash and card ticketing, plus a network of high frequency services at peak times - including several that pass our campuses.

You can purchase and top up a Metrocard to use these bus services at your campus enrollments counter or you can pay cash per bus journey.

Find out the best bus route for you at

Timaru campus

For information on Timaru's suburban bus service visit Metro Timaru.

Ara operates a free daily bus service for students travelling from Ashburton and Oamaru to our Timaru campus. You must register with student services to book your place.

Ashburton to Timaru:
  • 6.30am - Departs Ashburton campus, Alford Forest Road
  • 6.35am - Tinwald Z Service station
  • 6.45am - Hinds, bus shelter
  • 7.00am - Rangitata, tearooms
  • 7.15am - Geraldine, adjacent to Mundells
  • 7.30am - Temuka, bus shelter opposite New World
  • 7.35am - Seadown, Acacia Drive
  • 8.00am - arrive Timaru
  • 5.00pm - Bus returns to Ashburton via Temuka and Geraldine - * Departs 4.30pm on Fridays
Oamaru to Timaru
  • 6.45am - Departs Oamaru campus, Humber Street turnoff
  • 6.50am - Galleon
  • 7.00am - Seven Mile Road, near concrete works
  • 7.05am - Glenavy, hall opposite shop
  • 7.25am - Waimate, Intercity bus stop
  • 7.35am - Waimate, stops at Nosh Café
  • 7.40am - Makikihi, outside the service station
  • 7.50am - St Andrews, outside Masonic Hotel
  • 7.55am - Pareora, opposite dairy
  • 8.00am - arrive Timaru
  • 5.00pm - Bus returns to Oamaru via Waimate turn-off - * Departs 4.30pm on Fridays