For our trip around New Zealand we decided that we would book with Kiwi Experience which had been recommended to us by STA Travel back in the UK when we booked our initial flights. We liked what we saw so we booked on to one of their most popular but also most expensive trips the Super Funky pass. We chose this pass as it gave you access to nearly every area of New Zealand, minus the Deep South.
Our trip cost around $1200 with a discount because there was a sale on when we booked. This worked out around 600 GBP in the UK, which wasn’t too bad considering it was all transport around the country for up to five weeks!
We travelled with Kiwi Experience in September and October 2014, and because of the seasonal changes, the bus was quiet on the way north and then became considerably busier as we headed south from Auckland.
The bus company sounded great, had a cheeky personality and was well known for being the social (party) bus in New Zealand, against its competitors Stray and others.
We had open minds, however the one thing we did find slightly irritating was the fact they make you stop everywhere along their route, and don’t give you the option to carry on and miss a location out. The majority of the stops we wanted to stop at anyway, but there were a few that could have been seen in a half day or even in an hour. These for us were Waitomo, River Valley, Taupo (for the three nights you stop) and Westport.
However, what we did find was that this was the only negative we could find to this company and their ethics and values! Apart from that personal negative the company was amazing, the drivers were awesome and the whole aspect of what they do and provide is amazing. Luckily, we went with Kiwi Experience as they provided us with one of the best bus routes around the country and made it easy and accessible for us to see what we wanted to see and do what we wanted to do. I am super glad now we booked with Kiwi Experience!
For the majority of our trip we had a bus driver named Jojo who took us all the way from Queenstown to Auckland and then back down to Rotorua, before we jumped off for a few days in Rotorua. It did end up meaning we were on the Kiwi Experience bus for 11 days straight with no break and more importantly no lie in… but Jojo was such an amazing driver. She was always friendly, funny, chatty, informative and was always there when you needed help with organising your trip, your itinerary, activities and much much more. We were extremely sad to see her carry on her journey down south when she left us in Rotorua. So thank you Jojo, you were great!
We then went on to have two other drivers for our trip, but they were only for a one day duration before we jumped off in Nelson, and for 7 days when we jumped off again in Queenstown.
Other things we liked about Kiwi Experience included the running commentary the driver give you as you are driving around. This was great so the trip was broken up and you also had more of an idea what you were looking at as you drove past in the bus!
They also offered supermarket stops on some days when they knew in advance the place you would be staying wouldn’t be near a supermarket within walking distance or was that secluded you must buy your food before hand. This was a really nice touch and made you feel like your mum was dropping you off to buy your dinner!
They also offer activity booking sheets, which you can organise for whilst you are on the bus, meaning you save time searching the internet. And they also pride themselves on being able to guarantee you at least one nights accommodation when you stop at an overnight location.
Overall, we had a superb time and we want to thank Kiwi Experience for supporting such a great trip. New Zealand has become one of my favourite countries in the world now and I will be sure to return, and when I do I will be jumping back on that bus again!
Thank you to Jojo and the rest of the team for making our trip so enjoyable!
If you would like to book a bus tour with Kiwi Experience head on over to their website at www.kiwiexexperience.co.nz
They have a variety of routes which can cater for any budget from $300 to $1700!
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