You’ve been looking at pictures of New Zealand, picturing yourself on golden beaches, hiking through native bush, or bungee jumping off a bridge, but the problem is – it’s so far away and everyone you’ve asked to go with you has a range of lame excuses.
The solution? Go on your own! For a solo traveller New Zealand is a safe and friendly haven with breathtaking beauty around every corner. While it’s easy enough to move between the city centres, it gets a bit harder to reach the really special and unique places further off the beaten track. The cheapest and easiest way to get around to the "hard-to-reach" places but to still retain your freedom, is by travelling on a Hop-on Hop-off bus network.
Here are 10 reasons to travel New Zealand solo…
1. New Zealand is safe!
New Zealand consistently rates as one of the safest countries in the world to travel in. The high standards of health and safety regulations for tourism operators, safe and reliable transport methods and lack of corruption make it the perfect travel choice for someone travelling alone.
2. The people are ‘tu meke’
That’s slang for too much / too good. We’re a friendly bunch here. Kiwis are laid back and always have time for chat, some directions or some genuine local advice. So take the time to have a chin wag with the locals, Kiwi’s love their country and are eager for you to love it too. If you travel on a hop-on hop-off bus, driver guides are friendly and outgoing and always willing to impart their knowledge, a few good stories and show you what travelling in NZ is all about.
3. The sense of freedom!
No one determines your itinerary but you. You can also change your plans on a whim without having to compromise or disappoint anyone. On a hop-on hop-off bus pass you can take your own time, travelling at your own pace and if you like somewhere – go ahead and stay longer! Go where you want, when you want!
4. You can stick to your own budget
Whether you want a medium rare fillet in a nice restaurant or baked beans on toast, you can do the things you can afford without the constant negotiation of ‘money’. You don’t have to worry about being coerced to spend money on activities you’re simply not interested in. Be selfish and put every penny towards your dream trip. Best of all with a hop-on hop-off travel pass accommodation and activities are pay-as-you-go, giving you even more choice with how you spend your money!
5. Meet more people and make friends for life!
It’s amazing how much you open up as a solo traveler. You will naturally feel more inclined to having a good ole chat with the receptionist about the meaning of life or talk philosophy with the person sitting next to you on the bus. Likewise, its far more likely other people will approach you. Hop-on hop-off buses are by nature pretty sociable, creating the perfect environment to meet other likeminded travellers on the same journey. Best of all, if they aren’t your ‘cup of tea’ you can simply hop-off and part ways at the next stop.
6. It’s a fresh start, to just be you!
Leave the baggage at home. Travelling solo is like being born again. No one knows you, holds any pre-conceived ideas or harbors embarrassing stories from your high school days. It’s a fresh start to just be you; the brave bad-ass who just skydived/bungee jumped/rafted down a 7 meter waterfall.
7. Feel free to fall in love
You may laugh, as there is a lot to be said about “relationships” formed while travelling, however there are also many incredibly romantic stories floating around about people who discovered love while on tour in New Zealand. Sharing experiences like plummeting from a plane on your first sky dive, or summiting a peak at sunset may be the formative moment that bonds you for life with that special someone.
8. Although you’re alone, you don’t have to worry about being lonely!
You’ll meet other people, most of whom are also on their solo adventure, who are all here for the same reason – to have the trip of a lifetime! With all that positive energy in one bus you can’t help but have an awesome time! Each bus you get on you’ll have your choice of readymade travel companions.
9. You'll have time to “find yourself”
A bit of a cliché here but you will have a lot of time to get to know yourself a little better, without any of the distractions of work, family and general home life. On the road you’ll learn to face your fears, step outside your comfort zone and challenge the accepted norms by learning about other cultures. You’ll be surprised quickly you adapt and grow from these experiences.
10. Impress your friends – and yourself!
People's reactions when they find out you’ve adventured solo all the way to New Zealand will be priceless. They’ll envy your courage and “get up and go” and they are guaranteed to envy your facebook & instagram photos. When you finally get back home you'll be incredible proud of what you’ve achieved. Likewise you’ll inspire others to do the same.
So what are you waiting for? No need to wait for Brad to save enough money or Hannah to be able to get time off work, start planning your trip today!
Stray Travel’s Bus Network Route covers the entire country from the very far North right down to Stewart Island (the little island at the very bottom of New Zealand) and everywhere inbetween.