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Australia/NZ/S Pac. Backpack´n Kangaroo jack´n down-under...What is Vegemite?

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Old 04-23-2007, 09:37 PM   #1
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Default NZ..Bus..North&South

I know we've got a lot of good advice here for NZ so I'm going to call some of it out. It's going to be my first stop on a RTW later this year and I have a fairly good idea on where I'm headed but needed some ideas on getting around.

Basically I'm going to be around about a month and am planning on hitting up both islands. I've heard better things about the south but either way I figure I'll land in Christchurch and Leave via Auckland or vise versa.

My main question is rather than taking a strait line from one to the other, whats the best route via bus or train that will allow me to see the most and also save me some money. It seems like any of the cheaper bus routes dont allow any flexibility and the only other option is some kind of tour bus line which Im not interested in at all. Since I'm a 24yr old male I dont really need to be stuck with retiree's with their fanny packs.

Any help or ideas would be great.
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Old 04-24-2007, 12:08 AM   #2
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What are u interested in and what is important to u that u see or do while here??
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Old 04-24-2007, 01:21 AM   #3
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Yeah, this will sorta help me too. I will be in nz for june, july, aug hopefully workin somewhere that i can get some boarding in (chch or qtown). I was planning on being there longer so was just gonna buy a cheaper car, but now that i'm only gonna be there a few months I dont' know if it'll be worth it.
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Old 04-24-2007, 03:35 AM   #4
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if you dont mind driving and got enough cash i would say get a cheap car and drive yourself then you can see everything you want to see.

Otherwise perhaps try nakedbus.com which i have never used but have heard they are pretty good and they definately are cheap...

or if your bringing a friend or even if your by yourself, depending on the month your here you could try doing the hire a campervan trick, since they double as accomodation as well they don't neccessarily have to be that expensive, although each to their own on this idea, alot of people don't seem to like them.

if you have any more specific queries give me or kiwichick a yell and at least one of us should be able to help...

YAY a TPunk coming to NZ!
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Old 04-24-2007, 08:46 AM   #5
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Yeah I've looked at naked bus and it seemed like one of the cheaper routes. I've also seen some buses that allow you to jump on and off and have really good routes...the only problem is there 650-1200 for a fairly short timeline. I think renting or buying is out of the question...just too much organizing / work for what I'm looking for.

For sites to see I'm pretty easy, since I've never been I dont have any idea on what I'll be missing out on. I wouldn't mind going through a few nat. parks and maybe some rafting etc, but my main thing for the whole trip is to just experience the people / food / drinks. I grew up in a small town so it doesn't bother me to end up in slower area. Main thing is I just want to experience a wide range of things while I'm there...so any ideas are helpful. Thats why I worry that if I catch certain bus/coach lines that dont stop very often that I'll miss out on some of the small gems.
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Old 04-24-2007, 10:45 AM   #6
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So I think I found something that might work. Bus / ferry Line called flexi-pass which deals with their route in hours. So basically you buy a bus card and put anywhere from 5-60 hours of travel on it and then can jump on and off any of their buses prior to booking. The price for the 60 hour pass is $600nz, and about $410nx for 40 hours. So not bad.

Of course I'm still interested on how they calculate the hours of travel....is it a pre-set from one place to another or is it actual time spent on the bus. If its the later you might get screwed if theres complications.
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Old 04-24-2007, 06:44 PM   #7
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i think they work there hours through this chart: http://www.flexipass.co.nz/image.asp...if&w=753&h=762 so say if you were going from palmerston north to wellington they would take 2.15hours off your card. Although i think it would pay to e-mail them and check cas yea you could waste a lot of time if there were unforeseen stops.

I have personally never used these buses, but value for money seems pretty good, and you can use it over a year so $600 for travelling to see everything there is to see in NZ doesn't seem to bad at all.

For the north island i definately reccomend going to the very top, bay of islands etc, auckland is worth a stop but i wouldnt want to spend too long here, although im a small town girl so each to there own... coming down the island i would reccomend white water rafting or bungy jumping or similar at taupo (unless you want to wait till queenstown, someone here should be able to tell you which is better, as i dont think i could ever bungy due to my love of heights!) ohhh the whole glow worm caves stuff at waitomo is pretty interesting if you can get into some of the caves.

then def drive through national park if theres snow on the mountain its so gorgeous,

then napier/hawkes bay is very pretty although unless you like your wine, theres not all that much to see so i think a few days here woud be plenty.

i've never been gisbourne way but i've heard its pretty awesome, actually so is the corromandel peninsula, although once again prob wouldnt take too long.

Then you have to stop in wanganui for a drink and nothing else, because there really isn't a lot here! then keep going till you get to wellington! there are some quite pretty places on the way but nothing that would keep you there for days i doubt... although i could be wrong.

When in welly find kiwichick for a drink and spend a few days there, i love wellington so spend a few days there then go south and spend as long as you can down there, i can only vouch for a tiny part of nelson (pretty) blenheim (pretty but from what i saw not a lot to do) marlborough sounds (absolutely gorgeous!) christchurch (my fav of our big cities, very pretty and old school). from what ive heard and from pics ive seen the bottom half of the south island is the best so plan to spend a lot of your time here.

lunch calls so thats it from me... let me know how you get on with the flexi pass as it is pretty cheap
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Old 04-24-2007, 08:08 PM   #8
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Well what I did is book as I went. the travel desks at the hostels are immensly helpful and they can find the cheapest one. they call around to all the shuttle companies and find it for u. I ended up on atomic shuttles a lot but sometimes had to use intercity because of time constraints or a weird route choice. Lonely Planet also does a good job of telling you all the routes as well.

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Old 04-25-2007, 03:32 AM   #9
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I was actually just told by a german mate of mine that u can get campervans as cheap as $40 a day over here (bottom of range) so if thats ur thing it might be worth it. May be less social tho.
I second pretty much all that amanda said, would definately put in a vote for the gisbourne area in general and right down to Napier which i luuvvv as place to visit for a few days.
wouldn't spend long in auckland personally, its kinda a sprawling city that isnt that amazing or easy to navigate.
In the south queenstown is amazing but if u can thy head out a bit further to sumwhere like glenorchy which i think is by the dart(?) river tiny tiny place but if ya wanna really experience beauty and get off the beaten track a bit i totally reccomend it.
I thought chch was ok but luv welly over it (bit biased tho huh) and also luv queencharlotte sounds.
i've rafted in rotorua and done the zorb,luge, big swing and all that sorta thing there and they were all alot of fun, also did taupo bungy which was great, the one in queenstown is bigger tho and if ya want to go jet boating do it down south cos its supposed to be heaps better.
Lol sorry this is all kinda rambled i went out last nite and err havent gone to sleep yet lol...we had ANZAC day so no uni will keep an eye on this thread
oh one more idea is the transenic railway route down south is supposed to be a very beautiful way to travel
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Old 04-26-2007, 03:56 AM   #10
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ahhh i would love to do the tranz scenic train thingie down south some of the pics i have seen from there are so amazing, when i think of trains i always think of older ppl using them... but considering i have never been on a train before what do i know?

take a look here for some of the sights you can see on the tranz scenic trains, quite a lot of these you will actually see without being on a train as well so ehh...

http://www.tranzscenic.co.nz/imagega...gegallery.aspx
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:30 AM   #11
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I've done welly to turangi but that the furtherest i've done by train in nz, and that was a cool trip
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Old 04-27-2007, 03:45 PM   #12
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turangi? odd place to stop! is palmy > welly any good its only like $20 i think which is reasonable, although i think i'd prefer to do one from like palmy > somewhere past national park, or a south island one.
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Old 04-28-2007, 12:46 AM   #13
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Aw we went up to the mountain (mightve been a national park stop actially) lol back when i was all coupled up and in luv.. but yeh real pretty journey and nice way to do it. I've neva bothered with palmy to welly but freq. did paraparaumu to welly and i guess if u werent used to seeing the coast and kapiti island etc it would be nice
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Old 05-03-2007, 02:28 PM   #14
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Default Options for travel in NZ

If you are starting in Christchurch you can get an awesome deal! Since most backpackers start in AKL and finish in CHCH, there are some competitive offers. I had a buddy who got in touch with Space Ships RV rentals, and they gave him the RV free if he would take it back to AKL in 3 weeks. They usually get an overloaded proportion of their RVs in CHCH.

If bus travel is your thing, as it is my first choice - go Kiwi. I have gone with both Stray and Kiwi - hands down Kiwi Experience was the best. Their buses are nicer, and there is a better vibe on the Kiwi Bus. I know it has a rep for being a party bus, but why is that a bad thing? It is a fun group of people, no fannie packs here - that would be the "Tragic Bus"- I mean Magic Bus, and I found that they had better negotiations worked out on most of the activities. Anyway, no matter who you go with - you'll meet some awesome people in NZ, and let me say - it wall undoubtedly be the highlight of your RTW!
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Old 05-03-2007, 02:53 PM   #15
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No no no, Magicbus is NOT Tragic Bus!!! I went on the magic bus last year and had a month for both islands, same as you. I thought it was just fine. The drivers are a good laugh, they give a little bit of commentary, but don't bog you down. There's a real mixed crowd, and only once in the month were we on a bus with "old" people. The bus drivers book your accommodation for you if you so wish, and will drop you off and pick you up from your hostel. They also arrange activities with discounts, if you want to do that, but if not, it's cool, no pressure.

When I booked my bus ticket, it worked out cheaper to go with Magic than Kiwi, and it was for pretty much an identical route. I think the one I did was the "New Zealand Encounter". They have departures almost every day, it depends what time of year you're going. I was there in October/November, and never had trouble getting a seat on the bus or changing my plans. I know that's a little out of season, but still.

Anyway, I had a wicked time, loads of fun, and I met some great people.
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Old 05-03-2007, 03:07 PM   #16
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You are right Lauren! I was just poking fun... I met some real cool grandmas from the Magic Bus in Queenstown (J/K) . I did meet loads of great people from every company.
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