Through employing New Zealand’s top Driver Guides and talking to a few hundred thousand travellers we reckon we’ve got a pretty good idea of the best way to see New Zealand. Adventure travel seekers are spoilt for choice when they come here but unless you’ve got a lifetime you won’t be able to see it all. This is where we can help, ensuring you get to see and do as much as possible, whether you’re here for 2 days or 2 years.
Our comprehensive New Zealand travel routes can take you all around the country, from top to bottom, east to west, and river deep to mountain high. As well as 22 awesome places where we stop overnight, there are heaps of other places to get off at along the way and explore more if you have the time. In fact we encourage you to take your time and have come up with a number of initiatives to make your New Zealand travel even more flexible.
Over 25 travel routes to choose from
We have pass options to suit all budgets and timeframes starting at just 1 day and NZD$100. Whatever your needs there’ll be travel passes to get you where you want to go and ensure you get to do all those must-do New Zealand activities. Use the interactive map to see exactly where we go and to help you make your decision, or go to our book online page if you already know what you’re after. As always we’re here to help you plan your New Zealand adventure travel so feel free to contact us or visit us in our Auckland office.
Get off the bus more often
Some buses have you on the bus more time than off it – more “New Zealand travel” than “New Zealand travel adventure!” Kiwi Experience is all about showing you an off-the-bus experience and between our overnight stops we have great day stops all along the way. A mixture of stunning locations, historical sites, adrenalin activities, a place to relax, take a walk or swim, or perhaps just a great place to get a feed. If there is accommodation available feel free to stay the night and explore the place even more. We can pick you up again when we drive back through – usually the next day.
Unique experiences off the beaten track
The best places aren’t always on a map or in a guide book, and sticking to the main travel routes alone is never the best way to discover a country and find adventure. Every Kiwi Experience pass offers a mixture of the big highlights you’ve heard all about, and amazing hidden places you never thought could exist. We pride ourselves on the fact that you’ll do and see things that will make your trip totally unique.
We offer a real and raw Maori cultural experience – not a seat in a “cultural show”. Our Driver Guides will help you understand and experience our heritage right throughout New Zealand. What’s more, only Kiwi Experience takes you to the East Coast all year round for a truly unique and genuine Maori cultural experience.
See Great backpackers accommodation
By travelling with Kiwi Experience you’ll get instant access to our 19 years of travel experience, and the knowledge that goes with it. We’ll show you the best places, and drive straight on past the disappointing ones. As travellers ourselves we know what you’re after and plan our trips around the places truly worth your time and hard earned money.
Culture, adventure, socialising and scenery
All travellers seek different things but at the same time almost always want a balance between New Zealand culture, history, adventure, adrenalin, partying, nature and scenery. All of these things are jam-packed into each and every Kiwi Experience travel pass and it’s totally up to you what you want to do. That said, even if you think you hate scenic walks, when we stop the bus for one, you’ll definitely want to see what’s waiting at the other end! Kiwi Experience gives you the chance to try new things, challenge yourself and truly throw yourself into our culture and country.
Flexible adventure travel
Back in 1989 Kiwi Experience invented the “hop-on, hop-off” bus concept which changed New Zealand adventure travel forever! Passengers were no longer restricted to the same bus, same places and a set itinerary. Instead they could jump on and off the bus wherever they liked, for as long as they liked, and immerse themselves in locations that interested them (not the bus company). Since then many imitators have adopted the same concept proving that it’s a fantastic way to travel New Zealand.
With Kiwi Experience there’s no pressure - you can jump off the bus anywhere along the way and contact us when you’re ready to jump back on and see something new. In fact we encourage you to get off along the way for a bit of adventure, a beautiful hike, a weekend skiing, to meet the locals, earn some cash, or perhaps for a lazy week at the beach. It could be one of our overnight stops, one of the more remote day stops, or perhaps you’re keen to get even further off the beaten track and go bush.
Our Driver Guides can help you work out where the best spots are plus we provide a number of tools, online and offline, to help you plan your own travel route. With the hop-on, hop-off system, no pressure, a wicked bunch of people, and options everywhere you’ll be able to tailor your trip exactly how you want it!
More buses, more stops, more pick-ups – more often!
For the hop-on, hop-off system to work you need to support it with a large travel network right across the country. With a huge fleet, our buses drive through most places every day so you can give us a call in advance and jump back on again when you’re ready. Even in winter, when traveller numbers are lower, we’ll still pass through every stop at least every second day. The bus driver and passengers may have changed but it’s still Kiwi Experience and that’s all part of what makes travelling with us unique.
To help you make the most of the hop-on, hop-off system all of our passes are valid for 12 months. Once you’ve purchased your pass you have 12 months to start your trip, and then once you’ve started you have 12 months to complete it. This gives you even more freedom, flexibility and independence especially if you’ve got plenty of time to travel New Zealand.
Shorter routes for shorter stays
Not everyone has flexible travel dates and unlimited time which is why we’ve also catered to travellers who are here for a shorter stay.
- Short on time passes - we have a number of short on time passes departing around New Zealand every day. See the Short on time passes page for the detailed travel routes.
- Just 1 night at each place – our recommended travel times include 2 nights in Taupo, Franz Josef and Queenstown since they’re such amazing places. However, you can easily cut this back to 1 night’s stay in these locations and get to your destination even faster. Check out the minimum travel times on the passes page, and also our bus timetable.
On our four New Zealand "start anywhere" passes you can repeat your trip as often as you like within 12 months for free! Unlimited travel means that you repeat your journey again to see something you missed the first time (uncommon on Kiwi Experience) or to do something again that you loved so much. See our terms and conditions for full details.
Some passes obviously have to start in certain locations but a number of other Kiwi Experience passes allow you to start anywhere around the country (see passes page). Even if you’ve started off in a remote place you can still buy a Kiwi Experience pass and begin travel from that location and finish there too. To add even more travel flexibility you could also purchase an unlimited travel pass and finish anywhere you like as well!