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Kiwi Experience

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1. Posted by corinne244 (Budding Member 54 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

could anyone give me advise on kiwi experience and which one is best to go on- we want to see north and south island in 3-4wks

2. Posted by Fern1 (Full Member 53 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

If you want to see all that New Zealand offers, it is not possible to see it in 3-4 weeks.

3. Posted by sandbagger (Budding Member 4 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

3 or 4 weeks is definatelu not enough time... plan on seeing either the north, or south island in that time (it will still be rushed, though).

I wouldnt use kiwi experience -- too damn expensive, and you can do the same on your own, meet the same people and expereince the same places (plus ones off the beaten track), for half as much.

Travel without the tours!!!


4. Posted by snatterand (Travel Guru 454 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I agree with sandbagger, don't go with the Kiwi Experience. Unless you want to feel as if you were travelling in a mobile college dorm. Intercity Coaches takes you to all the same places for half the price.

And yes, 3-4 weeks is far too short a time to see it all. If I were you I would concentrate on one island, because trying to fit them both in would be far too stressful. Have you booked your flight ticket to/from NZ so that you know where you will start/finish?


[ Edit: Edited at Jun 21, 2006 5:31 AM by snatterand ]

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

Agreed on InterCity over Kiwi Experience (although there's a lot of people who like the Kiwi Experience; just be prepared that if you're going full out with the group there, you'll be seeing more of pubs and bars than of the country, and be paying three times as much for all the optional extra activities than you'd already do for the really expensive bus transport).

However, I disagree that 3-4 weeks isn't enough time to see a bit of both the islands. Yes, New Zealand is so large and diverse that you can spend a year there and not have seen it all (That's what happened to me), but I did a two week trip over both islands with my girlfriend once, and although in hindsight we still pushed ourselves slightly too hard, I think she got a very good overview of the country all the same. Here's a two week suggested itinerary which I drew up for someone. You'll have to modify it slightly to make it work with InterCity busses (not many stop in Matamata), but if you take that as a basis and linger for a day longer in most places, you'll see most of the must see places without any rushing about, while you can still extend it with one or two other destinations in between as well.

6. Posted by corinne244 (Budding Member 54 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Thanks guys that has really helped me.
I am flying from Cairns to Aukland in june/july after travelling oz for 9mths and i have an overland ticket flying out of Christchurch to Fiji.
To be honest i was a bit concerned about going from hot cairns that time of year to cold NZ, thats why i only put 3-4wks (also cause we are sun worshippers) but i really want to experience both islands of NZ, so i think i will stretch my time there a little longer.
thanks for the suggested itinary it gives me a good adea where to go. And as for Kiwi experience i am torn between people saying its good and people saying its not. But your right it is expensive!
Any more advise i would love to hear.
Thanks again

7. Posted by whitb (Budding Member 35 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!


Def would advise against Kiwi Ex. while it does certainly have some advantages the cost and the whole reminiscent of school tour thing has put me right off it.
I have been hitch-hiking the south island now for 3 weeks at a fraction of the cost of one of the tour buses and while I do know that hitching isn't for everyone the local bus service here is really good and you certainly get to meet a more diverse section of the community than if you were on a tour bus.
Kiwi Ex is def pushed over here by certain hostels etc. but I think if you head on your own the rewards much outweigh the hardwork involved.

my 5 cents anyway,

8. Posted by whitb (Budding Member 35 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

ps. don't worry about the cold just pack some thermal underwear tis still a stunningly beautiful country even/especially in winter and you might also get some skiing or snowboarding in.