Skip Navigation

Magic or Kiwi experience???

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Magic or Kiwi experience???

Page
  • 1
  • 2

Last Post

1. Posted by williamcas (Budding Member 5 posts) 10y

Hi there...is there anyone here try the magic or kiwi experience in travelling around new zealand? how do you like it? which one is more enjoyable if for solo traveller? thanks.

2. Posted by Taffski (Travel Guru 182 posts) 10y

Hi William...

here's a little synopsis... You can make your own mind up which would best suit you :

Kiwi Experience : Under 25's (primarily) getting very drunk every night, sleeping most of the day in the bus when doing sight seeing trips. Getting dolled up in the hostels and going clubbing most of the time. people in NZ call it the F*** bus and it's more of a party experience.

Stray bus : goes of the beaten track (stray's a bit more) older average age, more couples and people more interested in seeing more of new zealand than the inside of a bar (however this is also indulged in). Locals in NZ call it the G** bus and it's more of a sight seeing experience.

Magic : inbetween both of the above with a bit of partying and a bit of sight seeing.

depends on what you want out of the trip, however, if you're young and single... Kiwi's for you!
I was old(er) and have a Girlf, so we did Stray and Magic.

hope this helps

Taffski.

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4809 posts) 10y

Taffski's summed it up pretty well. One note about Stray is that a lot of their busses are getting very old and are prone to breaking down. (As I found out firsthand when I came across a broken down bus along the west coast, and helped carry some of the stranded backpackers (who told us this was the fifth bus that had broken down on them in the last two weeks - 'course, that's just bad luck) to Barrytown. (Ah yes, Barrytown, shining beacon of civilization along the west coast - which we drove through twice without actually recognizing it as a town. I've heard from friends who took Stray that it's a match for Gore for most boring place in New Zealand. It is off the beaten track, I guess, but I really don't know if that's something to recommend...))

Anyway, as an alternative, not going with any organized tour bus is also quite eminently doable. Get yourself a flexipass or travelpass (flexipass for many short distances, travelpass for fewer longer distances) and travel with Intercity or Newmans coaches whenever and wherever you want. Much cheaper, and these busses have about a 50/50 mix of backpackers and locals (depending on where exactly you are). Or rent a car for the ultimate in freedom.

4. Posted by jax_07 (Full Member 76 posts) 10y

Hey Williamcas

My friend and I went with Magic and it was fab! The drivers were really good fun and new sooo much about everything! Originally we were thinking of the F**k Truck (Kiwi) but went on a few forums and found the gnereal concensus was that it was pretty much an 18-30's type thing. We like to have a few drinks (like any normal person) but ultimately we were there to see New Zealand and that's exactly what we did.

I totally recommend Magic. If you're anything like me you've saved your little butt off to get to NZ and the last thing you'll want to do is spend all your time there hung over. It's an absoutely amazing place so you won't want to miss a thing!!!

Hope that helps.

Enjoy!

Jax

5. Posted by tatts82 (Budding Member 14 posts) 10y

Hi!
I did the Kiwi Experience with my best mate. Contrary to popular belief it isn't as 18-30's as people seem to make out - or maybe we just had a decent bunch of fun-loving and non-sleazy people on our bus! Even my mates in NZ told us that we would get given condoms as part of a 'welcome pack' on the bus, which turned out to be a complete urban myth. We had a great laugh, saw and learned loads about the country and our 30-strong bus crew are all still in touch with each other two years on ... One thing I will say though is that you are constantly on the go and it is exhausting. And don't stay at the Black Sheep hostel in Queenstown, its horrible!
S x

6. Posted by masterblaster19 (Full Member 119 posts) 9y

I dont really understand these hop on hop off services.
Can you stay in whatever hostel you choose or must you stay where they drop you off? because we want to camp.
can you stay in each destination as long as you like? and how easy is it to use the service, say you have booked to stay in Dunedin for 2 days, but then decided you want to stay 4.

I am considering doing the magic bus for one month in new zealand, i will be travelling with my boyfriend. We are both young 21 and 22 but dont fancy hanging out with a group of lairy gap year students, which is why we've opted for magic bus rather than the kiwi experience.

At just over 200 euro for the month it seems like good value.

7. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4809 posts) 9y

Quoting jennygro

Can you stay in whatever hostel you choose or must you stay where they drop you off?

You can stay wherever you want in most destinations (there's a few overnight destinations with only a single option, exclusive to the company you're travelling with). However, there's quite some pressure to stay with the group, all in the same hostel (and do the same expensive activities (kickbacks from which are the main thing these tour companies make their money from)). It depends on yourself how susceptible you are to this.

can you stay in each destination as long as you like?

Yes.

and how easy is it to use the service, say you have booked to stay in Dunedin for 2 days, but then decided you want to stay 4.

I think they all have a policy that they require a notification 24-hour in advance that you intend to take (or not take, if you'd booked it before) a specific bus. If you'd booked but then don't take the bus, that section of your route is void, and you need to take regular public transport for it.

I am considering doing the magic bus for one month in new zealand, i will be travelling with my boyfriend. We are both young 21 and 22 but dont fancy hanging out with a group of lairy gap year students, which is why we've opted for magic bus rather than the kiwi experience.

As I see I said somewhere above as well, I would also seriously consider taking regular public transport in the form of Intercity/Newmans buses, or regional companies (which're often cheaper). These buses have about a 50-50 mix of backpackers and locals (depending on route), and you'll save yourself the sales talks of activities, while the drivers are often still putting the bus by the side of the road for some must see stops.

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 25, 2006, at 1:16 PM by Sander ]

8. Posted by masterblaster19 (Full Member 119 posts) 9y

thanks for that,
I will take that into consideration. although i think on such a short trip it might just be easier to go along with the tour. i dont mind them pressuring me to stay at their hostels, because im going to camp as much as i can outside of the major cities.
As for the activities, well that might be a little more difficult. but being on a very tight budget should help with that!
Thanks again.
Jenn xx

9. Posted by gemstar (Budding Member 5 posts) 9y

My boyfriend and I are 29 and 30 and we are including a month in NZ as part of our RTW trip. We are thinking of hiring a car to drive ourselves around but dont' want to miss anything and want to make the most of our time there and have a good laugh so now I am thinking that maybe we should use of these bus companies - What can anyone advise? To drive or not to drive that is the question??? x

10. Posted by togifoot (Budding Member 4 posts) 9y

Hi,
I actually talked to a girl who was on the Magic Bus, you can see her video -snip- I think you'll find it very helpful. If I had to pick between the two, it would be Magic Bus because most of them are in my age group (27) :)

Cheers.

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]