The Kiwi Experience
Kia Ora! (‘Hello’ in Māori). Are you planning to travel New Zealand and looking for a method of transport? The country is much bigger than I actually thought it would be. There are a variety of transport methods that you could use to explore though. You can rent a car or camper van, catch a train or there are a variety of bus passes. Personally I went for the Kiwi Experience Bus and it was AMAZING. I met some truly amazing people and made friends for life on the bus and can not recommend it enough!
Where To Book
Booking the Kiwi Experience is simple. You can either do it yourself through the website or go into travel agents. Personally, I booked it on the website myself, it worked out A LOT cheaper than going through one of the travel agents back home (Saved myself nearly £170). I’m not saying ALL travel agents will rip you off, you might be able to pick up a good deal through them. The travel agents that I’ve noticed to sell bus passes are STA Travel, Peter Pans and Happy Travels but you might be able to find them elsewhere!
One of the best things about the Kiwi Experience, is the selection of passes that you can do. Its a hop-on/ hop-off bus which is brilliant, especially if you really like an area and want to stay that little bit longer. The bus pass that I done was called ‘The Mighty Moa’ which covered most of both islands. I missed out on a few things, such as ‘The Deep South’ going down to Invercargill and Dunedin and the ‘Bay Of Islands’ right up the top of the North Island. That just gives me an excuse to go back though. Anyway enough about my time. The bus passes vary in price, obviously depending on how long you are travelling for and where you want to visit. I picked mine up for around £250, which for travelling for a month, isn’t bad at all!
Going through a bus pass is a fantastic way of meeting people. For instance, if you rent a car, its only going to be you and whoever your travelling with (or random people you met in a hostel). That is where a bus pass comes in. On the Kiwi Experience you’re on a bus with the same group of people (unless you decide to stay somewhere a bit longer) for most part of your trip. Unless your a bit of a lone wolf and don’t want to socialize, you’re going to meet some amazing people.
I think the meeting people was the best part of the bus for me, within the first day, everyone on the bus was talking and becoming friends. Over the course of 2 or 3 weeks on the bus, spending every day together and having a good drink at night, we all became really close. It was actually amazing how close we got. If you’re going travelling by yourself – go for the Kiwi Experience and meet people from all round the world!
Activities, Accommodation & Stops
When travelling New Zealand on the Kiwi Experience, you can book your accommodation and activities through the driver guide. This means that you are guaranteed a dorm bed for your first night. Also through booking accommodation and activities through the Kiwi Experience, you get a slight discount which is always a bonus! At every stop there is a list of activities for you to do, sometimes its things you would never have known about. In between each stop, you usually stop for a coffee/ lunch break and dependent on the weather and driver, sometimes a nature walk and other various places you wouldn’t see or know about otherwise. The set up is extremely convenient and relieves a lot of the stress from your trip!
Throughout your journey on the Kiwi Experience, you are more than likely to have the same driver guide (again unless you change your itinerary). The driver guide is there to help you have the best time aboard the bus, book accommodations/ activities and give you information on the areas. Luckily for the most part of my journey, I had the best driver anyone could ask for. His name was Dave, nicknamed Cuddles, and he was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met! Not to mention absolutely hilarious with his tangents. He was there to ensure everyone was having the best time, sort us out for our accommodation and give advice on any of the activities that were available.
I hope this helped you if your looking to go travelling in New Zealand. Thanks for reading!