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Getting about New Zealand

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Getting about New Zealand

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1. Posted by leedslad82 (Budding Member 48 posts) 8y

Okay I'm starting in Christchurch & finishing up in Auckland, & I've got ample time to get around & see everything (10 weeks)

But there seems to be so many options.....

Stray,Magic,Intercity,Kiwi Experience,Campervan........ can anyone recommend the method they chose to go with?

Without boring you with my life story here are the facts > I'm travelling alone, I'll be on a budget, I don't drive (which makes the campervan idea a little more than difficult) I'm not after a constant party but I'm not adverse to a few heavy nights oh & I want to see everything NZ has to offer!

hope someone out there can point me in the right direction, as it will be muchas appreciated ;)

2. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3713 posts) 8y

I have used both Stray and Magic, and there isn't much to choose between them although Stray get slightly more off the beaten track. If i had to choose one I would go with Magic as the Stray buses were a little bit delapidated at times.

Kiwi experience tends to be more of a party bus so unless that's what you want, I would avoid them.

Intercity is a good option but the main drawback is that you don't get dropped off at your door like with the backpacker buses, which was a consideration for me as I was a female travelling alone.

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4810 posts) 8y

With ten weeks you can really range about far and wide, backtracking when you feel like it and perhaps going off the beaten track to see some places that don't really get many backpackers coming through. I'd usually recommend going independently with Intercity busses anyway, but with the above in mind, that would really be my recommendation (especially the backtracking bit; that's just not possible with stray/magic/kiwi). You'll still meet plenty of people both on the bus (most of the time it's a 50-50 mix of locals and travellers) and in the hostels, so that shouldn't be a reason to pick any of the tour busses.
With 10 weeks, it's also worth getting both a travelpass and a flexipass. The travelpass makes for cheap travel when you cover long distances (> 4 hours), while the flexipass makes for cheap travel when you just hop to the next town (< 3 hours).

4. Posted by hey_monkee (Respected Member 430 posts) 8y

You have plenty of time, why not explore all your options?! Also I'm sure in some of the bigger or more touristy cities you'll have the chance to meet fellow travellers with their own transport - they can always take you on a leg of their trip. 10 weeks is an amazing amount of time to explore NZ, I love it when people give my country so much time :);) So make sure you take the chance to spend a few days in places other travellers simply pass through, or forget about all together. Hop over to Stewart Island and go kiwi spotting at night, explore the Catlins for beautiful rugged scenery....the list goes on and on!! If you want any ideas feel free to PM me :)

5. Posted by NewbieRus (Budding Member 20 posts) 7y

Could anyone tell me please how KiwiExperinece works? i m planning a trip to NZ in january, thinkingof buying a KiwiE pass but i cant quite understand if i will have to get off the bus and stay ina hostel only for a certain time (until the bus leaves) or i can stay for 2-3 days and then catch another bus of theirs that goes the same route??
im thinking of booking hostels, but cant do it without this info:)

6. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4810 posts) 7y

Quoting NewbieRus

Could anyone tell me please how KiwiExperinece works? i m planning a trip to NZ in january, thinkingof buying a KiwiE pass but i cant quite understand if i will have to get off the bus and stay ina hostel only for a certain time (until the bus leaves) or i can stay for 2-3 days and then catch another bus of theirs that goes the same route??
im thinking of booking hostels, but cant do it without this info:)

You can do the latter. Just need to let the Kiwi Experience people know more than 24 hours in advance when you want to catch the next bus. (Also: great idea booking accommodation in advance; that way it'll be easier not to give into the pressure of staying with the group in the same hostel (that kiwi experience gets a kickback on).)
Do note that kiwi experience usually works out quite a bit more expensive than just travelling by regular bus.

7. Posted by NewbieRus (Budding Member 20 posts) 7y

thanks for the reply. waiting for any answer i have decided to go with intercity:) looks better.
as to booking in advance- its one of the requirments of the embassy:) one has to prove booking when applying for a visa.

8. Posted by cheap az (Budding Member 91 posts) 7y

kiwi experience are doing 30 % off at the moment until end of october:)

9. Posted by nzkatenz (Budding Member 51 posts) 7y

www.nakedbus.co.nz has really cheap bus trips, from $1...
I am a kiwi, and I use them to get all over the place

10. Posted by NewbieRus (Budding Member 20 posts) 7y

thank you all for your answers, i have some time to think of what will be better for me:)