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Travel Transportation Airs, Trains, Buses, and Boats, what should I do ? What´s a Eurail Pass? How to rent a car abroad ? Is it safe to take the bus?

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Old 03-01-2006, 12:18 PM   #1
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Me again, with another question!

When we get to the New Zealand leg of our RTW trip, we originally planned on getting a bus pass from www.backpackerbus.co.nz, costing NZ$539, and taking us from Auckland to Christchurch on a hop-on/hop-off basis.

Then I looked into the Kiwi Experience. Seems to me like these are quite a good idea, because even though an almost identical route is more expensive at NZ$675, you get a load of activites included in the price. And I figure that to get all the activities separately, plus a regular bus ticket would cost a lot more.

Anyway! My boyfriend went to NZ a few years back, and he met some people along the way who had been on the Kiwi Experience. He said that a lot of them said the Experience was a lot like an 18-30s holiday. Not entirely sure what they meant by that, but one can only assume it was kind of rowdy, lots of drinking in the evenings, and basically a bit pervy.

I'm not entirely sure I can believe this, because from what I've seen from the website it all looks pretty classy - really nice buses, not a huge amount of evening entertainment planned (thus no real time to get wasted!) and lots of really nice daytime activities.

I was wondering if anyone has experience of Kiwi Experience? I'm not big on drinking and all that, so I don't want to feel way out of place!

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 03-01-2006, 12:33 PM   #2
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I met a lot of people in Oz and NZ who did the "Experience" thing, and yes, it can sometimes be quite the 18-30 party crowd, especially on Oz Experience. The NZ version is supposed to be a little nicer, and I heard nothing but good stuff from other travelers who'd done it.

Kiwi Experience and Backpackerbus are the ones you'll see advertised the most, but staying at the hostels there, you find out that there are a lot of other companies with similar offerings. The one that piqued my interest the most in the "Next time I go..." category was magic bus:

http://www.magicbus.co.nz/

Keep in mind that with all of these hop-on/hop-off companies, there are a lot of activity expenses that aren't included in the package prices...
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Old 03-01-2006, 01:09 PM   #3
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Thanks for that. Magicbus was another one I have looked into, from what I could see it was very similar to Backpackerbus, there wasn't really anything that stood out as particularly different.

May I ask what it was that attracted you to Magicbus?
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Old 03-01-2006, 03:52 PM   #4
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Sure... most of the hostel owners/managers I talked to recommended Magic Bus and looking at their posters/flyers over there, it looked like they had the smallest groups for their activities and, while they go to all the same places as the others, seemed to take a less beaten track. That's usually a bonus in my book.
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Old 03-01-2006, 04:44 PM   #5
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I've just realised that I am a little bit dense. Turns out I don't do too well at reading all the details on websites, and I managed to overlook the fact that Magic Bus has a load of activities included in it, and Backpacker Bus doesn't! So when I said I couldn't see any major differences between the two, I was kind of wrong. This is a little odd to me, because they're almost identical in price.

Backpacker Bus is now off the list, and it's between Kiwi Experience and Magic Bus then!

I'm the sort of person who as soon as they know they're going away, wants to start making plans straight away, but my boyfriend keeps saying "wait til we finish uni, then we can start making the plans", it's driving me nuts!! I keep looking stuff up (such as this) and want to get his opinion on things, but he's so bloody laid back, he's practically horizontal!

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Old 03-01-2006, 10:17 PM   #6
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Hello,

Well I took Magic Bus last year. I only used it on the North Island (auckland to wellington), though I also did a milford sound day trip with them. Well I had a good time. It is definately an older crowd than the kiwi experience though. A lot more 'mature' (whatever that means)..Yeah kiwi experience is a lot younger ppl, gap year types. There is also another company called Stray. I've taken loads of backpacker hop-on, off thingy's and I think that they're great. you meet so many amazing ppl. Two of my best friends I met on the easyrider bus in western australia. But beware after a long day on the bus copious amounts of drinking is still bound to happen....

ask if ya have any other questions
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