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how to travel through New Zealand

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1. Posted by aidan (Budding Member 3 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

hello - I leave for New Zealand on FEb 4th 2006 -i'm getting close to leaving and having problems about figuring out how to get around.. i am going by myself.. I have friends in the North Island who I will be travelling with so i am more concerned about the south Island. I had everything figured out through the Kiwi Experience.. and after reading the forums about all they do is get drunk, do drugs, and hook up i am a little weary about it and there are also forums that are positive about the kiwi experience.. half say do it the other half so no way..
I will be in NEw zealand for 2 months (about 3weeks each island) and I am seeking advice about the best tour to do were I can explore a ton, get into the culture, do a lot of crazy activites...etc... I hear the magic bus is geared for older people (I'm 23) so i don't want to be with more 40 year olds.. the Stray seems a lot more expensive than the others.. Fyling Kiwi seems pretty cool.. has anyone done it? Do you just camp and grunge in out for 3weeks? are there bathroom ammedities/shower..? Really if anyone has any suggestions on how to get around and experience the best trip I would REALLY appriciate it!! The trip is getting close and i have no idea what to do!!!

2. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 615 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Aidan, I admire the fact that you're getting up and going, even though you haven't got everything planned - that's not always a bad thing.
Howeve, I appreciate that you don't want to waste any of your precious time, so it's handy to know the options.
Trouble is, it's largely dependent on your budget. Coaches may be your only option, but do you reall have to buy a special ticket with a big organisation, or could you just get on a coach when you feel the need?

In my opinion, the best way to tour is by motorhome, but this is not the cheapest. It is unbelievably popular though, and most of the traffic you will encounter on the South Island will be campers! It's perhaps a bit less social, although there are plenty of people to meet on the campsites, which are generally very good (check out
Even if you don't hire a motorhome, the campsites have cabins ranging from luxurious chalets, down to a shed-with-a-bed for a few dollars. So you could hire a car instead and maybe do things a little cheaper.

Given a purely selfish choice though, if I was going on my own I would hire a motorbike (there are plenty of rentals) as the roads are fantastic. And being a biker gives you a bit of a start in getting to know people as you travel.

Feel free to message me if you want more ideas.

3. Posted by aidan (Budding Member 3 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

thank you for responding that does help out a bit...though because I am goign on my own I was thinking more of the travelers group or tour.. i've been on the computer all day trying to figure this all out and the Flying Kiwi is looking pretty good! Do you know anything about this or anyone who has done this tour? For pay i figured I would spend total for the south island about $2000 US dollars.. which will include lodge accomodations, food, tour/travel and extras kayaking, milford sound, able tasmen kayaking, sky diving... do you think that is a resonable estimate for cost?? I would love to have a camper and drive but by going alone it might be nice to be with people and safer

4. Posted by smythy (Full Member 237 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Quoting stevieh

Given a purely selfish choice though, if I was going on my own I would hire a motorbike (there are plenty of rentals) as the roads are fantastic. And being a biker gives you a bit of a start in getting to know people as you travel.

Stevie, im thinking, sorry not thinking am definately going to either NZ or Oz for a year on WHV at the end of this year hopefully. And since ive had a motorbike here for a while, youve put me in the mood to bike it round NZ!

Only thing is, im wondering whats the situation as far as licence's etc go? I havent done my bike test here yet but id love to bike it round NZ on me 125 again, not extremely powerful but agile and easy on the juice!

Help me out! thanks in advance

Posts 5 & 6 were removed by moderators
7. Posted by Chix (Full Member 114 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Can I just say although I admit to get drunk once or twice on the kiwi ex, I certainly didn't do any drugs or hook up with anyone.

I did however, have a fantastic time seeing places I would have missed out on had I done the trip on my own, and made some great friends that I'm still in touch with nearly 5 years later.

Don't believe everything you hear. The kiwi ex is a fab way to see NZ and I'd do it again in a second.

8. Posted by ana_nz (Budding Member 6 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi Aidan,

Re: advising you on costs. If I'm reading the posts below right, you're budgeting USD2000 on 3 weeks in the South Island? If I've got that right, I'd be interested in knowing what you've planned because that's quite a lot of money. Have you packed the itinerary up with quite expensive things? I know skydiving can be a bit spendy, as can bungy jumping and all that stuff.

(Maybe other people can chip in and tell me if I'm wrong here..)

I don't know if this is an overall cost for using the bus tours (ie, they build everything in which reflects the large amount) or whether you're thinking that's what it might total up to.

If I was staying in the SI for 3 weeks and staying at youth hostels/budget accomodation I think I'd figure on spending about half that, even factoring in the odd leap off a cliff for fun.

Hope this helps. By the way full points to you for jumping in without the details sorted, I always think that sort of travel is way more exciting.