About Us

From humble beginnings … to one of New Zealand’s largest bus hire companies


Leopard is a family business, and one of the largest privately-owned bus hire companies in New Zealand, operating from depots in Christchurch and Auckland.

A generation ago, in 1970, we climbed into our first buses with contracts to carry school children to and from the small Canterbury town of Darfield.

Mt Hutt transport

New opportunities surfaced soon after, when the nearby Mount Hutt ski field was opened. Leopard ran a bus service the day the field opened, and we were the first bus company licensed to transport skiers up the narrow, icy road to what quickly became an iconic snow playground.

Coach tours

Then tour coaches were added to the fleet. And our reputation developed for supplying vehicles to the top end of the touring bus market; rigorously maintained and regularly replaced as part of our policy to tour with only the latest model coaches.

bus-hireCity bus services

Leopard Coachlines began running buses in Christchurch city in 1995. The fleet grew to 90 buses, including over 50 super low-floor wheel-chair-accessible buses operating on several key city routes, encompassing the popular Orbiter, Selwyn Star and Urban Cat services.

In July 2013, we sold our urban bus operation to Go Bus enabling us to refocus on our tourism and charter bus business, including school charters.

Still a family-owned business

During the past decade, we have grown to become a major player in New Zealand’s bus transport market. But we have remained a family business, now in the second generation of family owners and directors. We have a highly-experienced and loyal team of drivers and support staff, and our staff retention is well above the industry average.

bus-hireWe also take the environment seriously

In May 2007 we trialed the entire Leopard fleet of 100 buses on a blend of 5% bio-diesel (B5). We were the first bus company in New Zealand to move its entire fleet to bio-fuel, and we did it because we care about the environment and want to help make a difference.

We realise the environmental benefits of bio-fuels and decided to take a lead, ahead of the Government’s proposed regulations.

The bio-diesel for the Leopard fleet is manufactured by Bio Diesel Oils NZ Ltd in Christchurch, from waste tallow from the meat industry. It is blended with standard diesel to form the B5 mix.

Contact us to discuss your bus hire and transport needs

If you and your group need to travel by bus, and need a reliable, comfortable (and environmentally-friendly) service, call us on 03 373 8100 or use our enquiry form. We will be happy to discuss your transport requirements.