When I first arrived in New Zealand back in January, I was only planning on being here for 5 months. I did not want to buy a car (because of the cost of the car, insurance, gas, etc… plus they drive on the left side of the road!), so I had to come up with another way to see this beautiful country. After seeing countless ads and some seasonal deals, I bought a Kiwi Experience Bus pass for both islands. This included an extension to the Northland of the North Island and then a Milford Sound cruise on the South Island.
The Kiwi Experience is a hop on, hop off bus that allows backpackers to stay as long as they want in any given city. They stop in every major town and tourist attraction across the country and offer discounts when you book activities thru them. The buses are brand new, have wifi and all the drivers are locals who love sharing their country with visitors. The total length of my trip, if I were to only stay in each town for 1 day, is 21 days! Once I got a full time job in February, and then went back home to the States on a planned 2 week vacation, I wasn’t looking at being able to use my pass until January 2018 (right before it expires). Kiwi Bus passes allow riders to travel unlimited for 1 year from the purchase date.
I quit my job last month and was able to find another job at an Au Pair agency. My new job is being flexible with my start date, since I already booked new dates to use my bus trip, and they are allowing me to start as soon as I’m finished! This means I have time to enjoy my holiday (or as I used to say: vacation) and this amazing country. It also means I won’t have to rush to use my bus trip and then use all my vacation time with my new job all at once. Since I am crunched for time, I won’t be able to stay as long as I want in each place, but since I will be here long term I can always come back and finish activities I had to skip this time around.
My pass leaves from Auckland and goes South to: Hot Water Beach, Waitomo, Rotorua, Taupo, River Valley, Wellington, Kaiteriteri, Westport, Fraz Josef, Wanaka, Queenstown, Tekapo, Christchurch, Nelson then back North to Wellington and Taupo. Each of these stops will be a separate blog, so stay tuned… cause I’m super excited to see all the best spots and meet some super cool people from all over the world!
Would you sign up for a bus trip like this if you had limited time in a country?