I would like to thank the Kiwi Experience team for a great Funky Chicken holiday my wife and I had during February /March this year. A special thanks to our driver Dillon who was very helpful and made our trip enjoyable and interesting with his knowledge of the country.
As a couple in our sixties we probably stood out from the crowd being slightly older than the majority of our fellow travellers but we didn’t feel out of place as there were a number of other people of varying ages with us. Kiwi Experience caters mostly for younger travellers but we thought we would like to experience some of the out of the way places without having to drive ourselves. The coach travel was comfortable with a reasonable distance each day and frequent stops.
We had carefully planned our schedule of the North and South island including our accommodation at each place. We normally stayed in motels or hotels close to the pickup/dropoff, or, when there was no alternative, we had a double room in the allocated hostel.
The daily supermarket stop was really useful to buy supplies for the evening meal as the majority of places have kitchens to prepare your own food. The drivers fequently give advice on where to eat and what specials are on offer.
There was no pressure to participate in the organised activities as people had to adjust their budget accordingly.
You do need a certain level of fitness for walking and handling your baggage. The majority of places have laundry facilities which we found useful.
It was a great way to see New Zealand and thank you once again Kiwi Experience.
Graham & Frieda Williams
Dear Customer Relations Team & Dylan,
I am sending you this email as I would like to thank Dylan, our Kiwi Experience bus driver on the Gumboot route when we were on the west coast of the south island during Feb 2010, for all of the help he gave me and my mates when I injured myself whilst out quad-biking at the Buller River in Westport.
It was unfortunate that I got injured early on my trip, however, Dylan went out of his way to help me get to Greymouth hospital, and advised us on the alternatives I have when it came to travelling back to Christchurch and then alternatives of how my mates could get back en-route onto the Kiwi Bus again for the short time they were there.
Whilst maintaining a serious yet humorous person throughout the little time I and my friends had with him, Dylan is a great representative of the Kiwi spirit and a brilliant asset that Kiwi Experience have.
I didn’t want his efforts and help to go un-noticed and wanted you to pass on our thanks to Dylan and the rest of the Kiwi Experience team for leaving brilliant memories of New Zealand and for their hospitality.
Jiten Patel & Mates
Things don't get much better! Kiwi Experience was by far the greatest adventure we have undertaken. So many amazing things to see, to do, people to meet. We had a ball!!
Simone Weidner, Australia
A quick note to say thanks for the quality time I had in New Zealand. The trip was amazing, well organised and i went everywhere and did everything I could have hoped for. The people i travelled with all agreed enjoying a trip is three things…
1) the place you go (new zealand is unbelievable)
2) the people you go with (went on my own but had a really good bus load of people
3) how you get around - now for this the kiwi bus takes complete credit but also note the driver taking us around to the afforementioned locations. In this case - Cam. As well as being a quality lad, and seemingly knowing the country like the back of his hand, he really put himself out for the group. Nice touch we felt, and it didn't go un-noticed. Also the trips that were organised and the way Cam sorted them out made it all the better.
Cheers you all - best time of my life.
James Turnbull - England
Had the best trip ever on Kiwi Experience, thanks so much!!
NZ was even more beautiful than I ever expected. And we did all kinds of fun stuff! (seakayaking, skydive, blackwater rafting, horse riding, etc....)
Our driver (stayed on the same bus the whole time) Jerry/"Panda" definetly deserves praise!
He was so much fun, full of knowledge, always up and running, even when having a flu. He really went out of his way to organize our accomodations and activities.
And also your reservations people were all really helpful! Thanks so much to all of you guys!
We will be back! :)
Nina – Helsinki, Finland
I just want to say thank you for the tour I've just enjoyed on the kiwi bus! I am a relatively inexperienced traveller and to be honest was a little nervy about the prospect of spending 3 weeks on the other side of the world. I've had an excellent time: there was information on cultural sites as well as on activities and socials.
I had no prior experience of NZ but I think we were taken to some pretty remote areas off the beaten track (definately on East As), which makes a change; but most of all I felt at home on the bus - not pressured or made to feel bad for not joining in with stuff I didn't want to (eg being made to get blind drunk all night, which I've felt pressured to do on other tours). Our guide - K9 was refreshingly unsleezy, responsible and encouraging, and I thought he always went the extra mile. The few guys I have spoken to at the kiwi offices have been cool too.
So for what its worth from an inexperienced traveller, I am glad I used Kiwi Ex and will use it again.
Kia ora and thanks
I would like to thank Aemon for the nice holidays that I had on his bus. I really enjoyed the kiwi experience. Sweet as!
Alberto, the Spaniard
I have just come back from a 10 week travelling trip and spent three weeks in New Zealand on one of your Kiwi buses. I had the most amazing time, and I just wanted to let you know and say thank you!
I was on GPs bus from 10th October until 27th October and went from Auckland to Christchurch on the Sheep Dog tour. GP was fantastic. (maybe a little grumpy but that just added to his charm!!) He made the trip so easy, we didnt have to think about a think except enjoying ourslves with all the fantastic new friends we had made (I was travelling with 2 other girls). I am still in contact with most of the people we met on our bus, and
even met my boyfriend on the bus!! I fell in love with New Zealand it is such a stunningly beautiful country and cannot wait to come back and explore it further.
Please pass on my thanks to GP and tell him his Essex Girls and Petal miss him!!!
Thanks once again and I will not hesitate to recommend you to others. We did 3 other tours in OZ and nothing compared to our 3 weeks with you guys!
All the best for the future - hope to see you all again soon!
Just wanted to say how much of an awesome time I had on the Kiwi Experience.
In particular, I wanted to say a massive thank you for the services of Nancy who was just fantastic on our ride all the way down the west coast from Nelson to Queenstown... not only did he keep everyone laughing with his banter, but his wealth of knowledge on just about everything from Maori legends to the more factual up-to-date history was incredible... a first class driver and an absolutely top bloke, it was a privilege to be a passenger on the bus and was a trip i will never forget as long as I live... he definitely helped break the ice too which made making friends with the other guys and girls on the bus a whole lot easier!
Also I would like to give a thank-you shout to Manji, Pam, Dan and Fly... although I didn't spend as much time with them behind the wheel, they were all great to be on board with and added to the overall enjoyment of the experience!
Thanks again, and i hope in the future I can again be a passenger on a kiwi bus, even if for just a few days!
All the best and thanks for helping me with the booking!
I would like to commend and thank Spud for all his help between Rotorua and Taupo. I have issues with mobility and he helped with lifting my bag etc. I also did the Tongariro Crossing (lots of painkillers!) but the final section was extremely difficult for me. If it had not been for Spud I would not have got down off that mountain. I would like to highlight his consideration and help for an older Kiwi-Ex'er (aged 41.5) and say that he deserves a special mention.
Nina Bunton - UK
My trip that was way better than I ever expected!
I am still amazed at how much your country has to offer...and how many things I did that I had only imagined doing before.
I couldn't have asked for better driver guides than Azze and Damo - they made the long drives fun and informative and did a great job of making everyone feel comfortable on the trip.
The Poo Pub was AWESOME...it was great to meet Les, enjoy his unique property, and let our hair down in a relaxed atmosphere...that night really brought the group together and made the rest of the trip that much more fun.
Kelly, New York
I had an AMAZING 5 weeks on the Kiwi bus. Made some incredible friends who I still see a lot.
My friend and I completed the Sheep Dog route of the Kiwi Experience between the 28th November and the 16th December and we thought it would be good to let you know how much we enjoyed not only New Zealand but the Kiwi Experience in general.
I would like to thank our bus driver, Eamon, in particular. Although we had other bus drivers he was by far the best as not only was he helpful, he did that little bit extra for all of us as well as making an effort to speak to/get along with everyone on the bus at that time. Also his taste in music was excellent compared to some of the others!! If you have a prize for Kiwi driver of the year then myself and I reckon everyone else on the bus would 100% say that he deserves it.
Just to say a big thank you for making New Zealand the best country we visited on our trip!! I know I shall definitely be coming back!
Sally Haslewood, March 2007
I just wanted to write to you and thank you for all your help with organising my Kiwi Experience trip in June.
My friend Jess & I had the most amazing time and we are still talking about it. I really cant put into to words without writing a novel how much we loved it. I also wanted to say a huge thanks to our driver k9. He was awesome. From day one he was really helpful and loads of fun. I cant thank him enough.
Thanks again for your help and I will recommend Kiwi Ex to everyone I know!
Helen & Jess – Vancouver
thank you so much to Kiwi Experience for a great trip. Eamon was fantastic and so was LJ, Fly, Philipa and Burkus. You're doing a great job, keep it up :)
I just wanted to say a big thanks for the recent holiday I had around the South Island - I had a brilliant time. I travelled from Nelson, down the West Coast and up to Christchurch.
Checking out the Nelson markets, Going to the gorgeous Nelson Lakes, Jet boating on the Buller River with Buller Adventure Tours - this was so so great - Awesome value for money and really friendly staff; Stopping at Cape Foulwind... I loved the seal colony there; Checking out the Bushmans Centre - This was one of the highlights of my trip...I loved the movie of the old deer hunting days; The drive through the Haast Pass; Puzzling World in Wanaka was surprisingly cool; A canyon swing in Queenstown....so so awesome!!
The accommodation was great the whole way down, especially at the Wanaka Hotel and I loved the TV lounge in at Basil's hostel in Westport had everyone cosying up and watching the Lord of the Rings.
Eamon our driver was fantastic and kept the bus well entertained.
Cheers and you guys rock - Go the big green bus!
Abby – Nottingham, UK
This is mail for all the Kiwi Experience staff to say thank you for making my stay in New Zealand a memorable one and one that I'll never forget, from day one it has been fantastic. I would especially like to thank Royal and Poncey. Cheers lads keep up the good work. Its my last day in New Zealand and I am sad to be leaving but I will take away alot of great memories. Kiwi Experience "it definatly has been, a Kiwi Experience” and one I'll recommend to all I meet.
Thank you once again for the experience!
Stephen (Irish Steve)
I've just completed a 2 month trip around your fantastic country with you guys and wanted to say a big thanks....maybe not in the conventional way! - my creative juices (or maybe not!), have been running so i wrote a poem summing up my time here.......hope you like it!!
My trip around New Zealand has come to an end,
but there's one final email I wanted to send…
To Kiwi Experience, the big green bus,
You helped me around without any fuss.
Some early pick ups - but that's okay,
We got to make the most out of every day.
From sand dunes in Pahia to surf on the East,
Bungy in Rotorua followed by a Hangi feast.
A skydive in Taupo - friends think I'm insane;
Why would I throw myself out of a plane?
Quad biking, horse riding, 4 wheel drive too,
The black abyss in Waitomo, what didn't I do?
Through the capital city and over Cook Strait,
The South to explore, I could hardly wait.
Sea kayaking near Nelson on Valentines Day,
A wicked experience, what more can I say!
Franz Josef, wow, the fun carries on...
A heli-hike and skydive - yep second one!
Queenstown - what an amazing place,
Activities galore and the nightlife is ace!
Hangglide and gondola - what a great view,
Teapots and hangovers - survived it all..Phew!
Seals, penguins and Milford Sound cruise,
The bottom bus adventure, a great one to choose.
Galleries and gardens, Christchurch can boast,
Then on to Kaikoura back along the coast.
Swimming with seals and seeing sperm whales,
Leaping dolphins and magnificent tails.
Back up to Auckland to fly on home,
No more confirming over the phone!
Great recommendations for places to stay -
A good comfy bed after an exhilerating day.
Advice on activities - driver/guides know it all,
It's with thanks to them that i've had a ball.
Pick-ups and drop-offs, right at the door,
A girl with bags - couldn't ask for more!
Friendly, funny and some great nicknames,
The scenery and culture the driver explains.
Getting to know them whilst on route...
Al and Puddles, my favourites, so cute!!
The music's been good and then there's your lingo,
Awesome, Sweet As, How's it goin' bro?
There's everyone else on the bus like me,
A solo traveller with so much to see.
So many great people I’ve met along the way,
Some friends for life I can confidently say.
My Full Monty pass has now run it's time,
Back home to England, I’ll miss the sunshine!
I'll definitely be back though, much more to do,
But for this trip Kiwi - I say a massive THANK YOU. :)
I WILL NEVER FORGET ALL MY EXPERIENCES. I HAVE MET SO MANY COOL, CRAZY,FUNNY, FRIENDLY PEOPLE. THE DRIVERS HAVE BEEN AMAZING! VERY SUPPORTIVE, HELPFUL, FUN TO BE WITH! I HAD 16 DRIVERS, MOST OF THEM WERE EXCELLENT!
Stefan Stiewe, UK
Just an email to say a 'big thank you' to all the Kiwi Experience road crew and staff that helped us have a great adventure in New Zealand.
We came over to NZ last November/December and used the Kea pass, which we booked with STA travel, Southampton, UK to travel around New Zealand, flying into Christchurch and exiting via Auckland, we spent just over a month in NZ.
I was very impressed with the professionalism and the quality of service offered by Kiwi Experience; the website and travel books provided were excellent, and I felt that the whole package was excellent value for money. On our travels we came across many drivers, so please pass my big thanks onto Gail, Bods, Hoki, Jarrod and Gibbo, all were excellent. The drivers got on really well with everyone and struck up an excellent rapour.
I was also very pleased with the routes that Kiwi Experience used, we got to see some fantastic scenery and even though the drive from Queenstown to Christchurch was just driving, the scenery of the Lindis Pass, McKenzie Country, Lake Tekapo/Pukaki and the Canterbury Plains was just breathtaking - something I will remember for a very long time.
Overall I would definitely recommend Kiwi Ex to anybody travelling to NZ, we got to do all of the activities we wanted, yet had the added reassurance that drivers would help us book accommodation and onward travel - the clipboard coming round the bus for accommodation was really helpful and lessened the 'headache' of having to find a place.
Finally, thanks to your support staff; ringing up and arranging onward travel and extra passes, such as the Auckland to Paihia one which we book was straightforward and your staff were always pleasant and helpful on the phone.
New Zealand was fantastic, one of the best months of my life, and I will be back in the not to distant future - you can be on that.
Well done guys!
>Richard J Lidstone, Southhampton, UK
I just wanted to say a huge thank you for such a great trip on the Bottom Bus recently.
The Catlins was a real adventure for me, as was the flight to Stewart Island. Highlights were definately Natures Wonders on the Otago Peninsula, yellow eyed penguins at Curio Bay, the trip to Stewart Island, & getting to go to a rugby game in Dunedin was fantastic! Wade did an awesome job as driver/guide extrodinaire & provided some interesting entertainment throughout. Thanks very much Kiwi Experience and Bottom Bus.
Penny – Brighton, UK
I’m writing this nearly a week shy of when we got home with the great memories of our 2 week trip to New Zealand to tell you about. I’m not sure if I can get close to being able to express what a great time we all had along the way; it’s certainly hard to imagine a more amazing two weeks…
Our first encounter with dolphins and a bit of a trek to check out the views over the islands, were highlights of the first day.
My personal highlight was travelling for 3 days on the Bottom Bus. Travelling around the southern tip of the South Island & taking in such spectacular coastline you wouldn’t believe along with the day trip into Milford Sound. Our guide for these days was Bloke (his name fitted his character perfectly, as he was an absolute diamond). The reason this sticks out for me amongst so many great memories was because of all the incredible wildlife. Most notable was to watch a handful of the rarest penguins in the world (yellow eyed) struggling out of the sea to try and make it to there burrows.
One of those moments that put you in your place and make you stand back and wonder and to think long and hard.
The adrenalin stuff we did, really stood out aswell. We tried everything from Skydiving to Zorbing to Bungy jumping, jet boating, luging & horse riding.
All in all, an amazing trip. Thanks so much Kiwi Experience!
Steve Plummer, Birmingham, UK