Skip Navigation

Magic Bus Or Kiwi Experience

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Magic Bus Or Kiwi Experience

1. Posted by Terrycosmo (Budding Member 7 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Heading to New Zealand on Friday and dont know weather to book the magic bus or the Kiwi Experience. Which is better the magic bus has a all inclusive accomodation option which might be better.We are two 25 year old males travelling together.

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5235 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Neither. Hire a car and drive yourself, or use intercity/newmans coaches (or atomic shuttles and other local bus companies, but I personally liked the convenience of just getting a travelpass and using this network that went all over the country).
These backpacker tour companies offer nothing you couldn't get from reading a lonely planet - that is, they're not worth the premium cost, especially since they'll go on to push countless 'activities' on you that they get commission for.
I'd really go for renting a car personally - there are way too many beautiful places along the road where you just have to stop and take a longer look around, and having the freedom to do this is a great goodness. :)

That said, on average (individual groups differ of course) the Kiwi Experience is even more party oriented than the Magic Bus, with a higher percentage of drunken teenagers, so unless one or the other goes to a place you absolutely do not want to miss, that's probably what you should decide on if you want to do a tour anyway.

3. Posted by majito (Respected Member 442 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Sander, not everyone wants to drive. Some people just want to sit back and enjoy and let a professional guide take them on a ride. What's good for one is not good for another. Terrycosmo and his mate might want to get drunk and meet lots of girls and travellers and still see the scenery. And if not, then so be it.

So to answer your question of Magic Bus or Kiwi Experience: As far as getting drunk goes you don't have to. No ome will pour it down your throat. And no matter what the driver says you can choose your own accommodation on Kiwi. If you go all-inclusive you can be sure that you will be staying in a good place. They won't put you in a dump. They do take you to the best places, and sure, Sander is right, there ARE countless places to stop and gaze, but what you see will not dissapoint you.

Both Kiwi and Magic cover much the same tracks - always have done - as NZ is a small country. I personally would go for Kiwi Experience. Travelpass is also a good option, but less convenient and does less for you.

And what's wrong with making commission? This website makes commission, the travel agent who books your flight and sells you insurance makes commission, all businesses make a commission. Call it a service fee if it makes you feel better. People don't do things for nothing in our part of the world. And the lonely planet won't deliver you to the activity, and book it for you.

Any more questions on NZ Terrycosmo? Please, just ask.

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5235 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

majito: sure, not everyone wants to drive. But I remember very well from when I just arrived in New Zealand that the kiwi / magic / stray busses are pushed in such a way (with overwhelming presence in hostels and the like) that they seem almost the only choice. Telling about alternatives seems worthwhile.
Having myself traveled with the kiwi experience, travelled in a campervan, travelled with intercity coaches and rented a car, I can give a pretty accurate recommendation for people like me. (Like, I don't mind the tours getting commission, but I do mind the way they push the activities, again and again.) I'm fully aware that not everyone is "like me", but threads like this work because multiple people will give their opinion, and then Terrycosmo can decide which of those people seem to have a similar mindset and based on that how much attention to pay to each recommendation.

My answer isn't the only answer, but it is my answer. :)

5. Posted by majito (Respected Member 442 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Good answer Sander. I do agree.

I guess the bottom line is that you could travel through New Zealand on a skateboard or even walk and still have a great time.