Top tips on bus travel in NZ

There are numerous great bus options in New Zealand and this article outlines some key considerations when choosing the right option for you.

New Zealand is well suited to bus travel. With short driving distances and comprehensive travel networks you can access the best areas of the country without worrying about driving, car insurance and rising petrol prices!

There are a variety of backpacker bus options to suit every budget and style of backpacker.

Below are some tips to help choose the best option for you:

- Ensure the company is Qualmark certified. Qualmark is a service standard which established and reputable operators adhere to. Ensure your chosen operator has a Qualmark endorsed logo and ideally a Qualmark enviro logo which ensures their trips are environmentally considerate.

- Experience counts. A bit of light research should enable you to find operator reviews and how long the companies have been around. Review sites are a great way to compare travel options.

- Choose the “style” of travel that suits you best. For many people a trip to New Zealand is a once in a lifetime experience. Therefore, it’s important to choose an option that maximises your experience and isn’t driven by price alone.

New Zealand is an outdoor paradise so consider your options carefully and make sure you will be getting what you want from the trip. If you love hiking then choose options that integrate walks etc.

- Plan carefully and factor in extra costs. When planning your trip and budget take time to factor in additional costs. The following are examples of costs incurred on a trip around both islands for 1 adult (info from http://www.fourcorners.co.nz/new-zealand/currency-costs/ ) :

Ferry crossing - $150 for 1 adult (return)
Meals - $40 per day (based on takeaway breakfast, lunch and meal out – no alcoholic drinks included!!)

Accommodation – approx $25 per night (budget accommodation)
It is important to factor in the above when comparing bus options and tours (many of which are inclusive of the above costs – though check carefully as the number of meals offered on tours can vary greatly)

Next - sit back, relax and enjoy. Once you have made your choice soak up the wonderful views and immerse yourself in some of the World’s most stunning natural landscapes.

For more information on bus tours visit the Flying Kiwi Website.

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