Be careful with buying a 'car', because u can be very unlucky and the car breaks down after a few hundreds of km and u r stuck-
It happened to a friend of mine...
others were lucky though and their car worked really well...
depends whether u r a optimistic person or not
Our current preference goes to one of the buspasses. I believe there are three, right? Magic, KiwiExperience and StrayTravel. I'll search this forum and the web for experiences.
What do you think about the different companies?
I'm currently in Auckland at the moment and after speaking to so other backpapers here I wouldn't advice hitchhiking - they had a bad experience. I'm going to be flying out of Christchurch so I've decided to by one of the hop-on-hop-off bus passes. There are three good companies in New Zealand that do these passes and they included activities. Check out www.straytravel.com, www.magicbus.co.nz and www.kiwiexperience.com.
Publis buses are ok...not great outside the major cities. The train's are useless and really expensive. The cost of a one way flight is often cheaper.
I've decided that I'm going to go with Stray as they go a bit further off the beaten track than either of the other company's.
Would you tell us your experiences with Stray when you get back?