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By car

Driving to and from campus has its advantages, but unless you're travelling with others, it's the least environmentally-friendly form of transport available and at some campus locations, parking can be hard to find due to high demand.

Parking for students is available at all campus locations. Some is free, but some parks cost. Disability car parking is available for mobility card holders; to find out where these parks are, contact us


Share a ride, save money, reduce congestion and socialise all at the same time. 


City campus

Paid parking at City campus, Christchurch. Paid car parking hours are Monday-Friday 7am to 5pm.

From 9 January 2023, Ara’s car parking rates at the City Campus will increase.

Parking option 

Rates 2019 - 2022 

New rates 2023 










Four Hours



In addition, to ensure car parking rates remain current and to enable further increases to be done gradually, reviews will now be carried out annually.

As outlined above, a new parking option, $4 for four hours, will be made available in all staff and student car parks (excluding existing hourly rate car parks). The four hours can start at any time.

Why is this happening?

Ara reviews car parking rates regularly to make sure they keep up with parking costs. In 2016, a decision was made to increase rates for the next three years until our last increase in 2019.

We recently reviewed our rates again, and an increase is required to keep up with increasing operating and inflationary costs.

Alternative transport options

Please, if you can, consider alternative transport options such as biking, bussing or ride-sharing. You could improve your fitness, save money, catch up on reading, make some new friends and help to reduce congestion in Christchurch. For more information on all of these options see the transport page on our website.

Woolston campus

At the Woolston campus there is limited free parking off Sullivan Ave and Ensors Road.

Timaru and Ashburton campuses

In Timaru, carparks are on the street or a car park on Arthur Street next to the Childcare Centre. Ashburton campus has off-street parking.

Disability car parking is available to mobility card holders.

Student Parking Authority

To be able to use these parks you need to have the correct student parking authority sticker displayed on your windscreen. You can get your student parking authority at Security in the Rakaia Centre at our City campus or in the Student Services Building at the Woolston campus.

Parking Policy City Campus

There are a few simple things to know and do to ensure everyone using this carpark has the best experience. 

  • This carpark costs $5 per day to use.
  • Your vehicle must display a current Ara parking authorisation sticker to use this carpark.
  • We use Pay by Plate machines; enter your registration number then pay by app, card, online or in cash.
  • Non-payment of parking fees will result in a fine.
  • Your vehicle may be towed for repeated non-payment or dangerous parking.
  • We cannot guarantee the security of your vehicle or its contents; please take valuables with you.
  • Park considerately and only in allocated spaces
  • Keep to the speed limit and look out for pedestrians. 
  • This is a non-smoking area.
  • If you have parking queries, contact Ara Facilities; if you have enforcement queries, contact LPR Enforcement Services Limitedon 09 801 1106

Towed vehicles

If your vehicle has been towed, you can recover it upon payment (of the towing fee and any outstanding breach notices) from Parks Towing, 60 Owaka Road, Hornby, ph 03 366 7615. The towing fee is $95 with Ara ID or $105 without.