Backpacking New Zealand By Bus

Getting around New Zealand is easy and if you're a backpacker, one of the most cost effective and flexible modes of transport is by bus.

New Zealand is perfect for backpacking. It’s small enough to travel around with vast differences in scenery between cities and towns. You will get a taste of everything with New Zealand - mountains, beaches, cities, rivers and lakes. You name it and New Zealand probably has it.

Getting around New Zealand is easy and if you are a backpacker with a limited budget, like myself, one of the most cost effective modes of transport is by bus. If you are wanting to meet the locals and see the real New Zealand, a hop-on-hop-off bus may be the best option for you. You can customise your itinerary to tick off all the places on your bucket list, to suit your travels. offers a low cost bus service that allows backpackers to customise their travel route with a hop-on-hop-off bus approach. The most cost effective way to travel is by purchasing a bus pass through There are a range of different passport options starting at a 3 trip bus pass going right through to an unlimited bus pass. All passes can be used for travel across the North and South Island and are valid for 12 months once purchasing.

They often have sales on their passports, so it’s best to check out their website and have a look for any special deals.

To keep you entertained while on board the bus, has FREE WiFi on selected routes. Travelling on board buses also means you are travelling with locals, who can give you tips on the best places to eat, sleep and see.

With flights being out of my price range and the lack of a rail network made a great choice for me to backpack the country.

Starting off at the top of the north island in the stunning bay of Islands, I made my way down to middle earth, to tour the breathtaking scenes from the movie “The Hobbit”. From middle earth I caught the interislander ferry across the cook strait and into the south Island, where I took the bus down to Queenstown. Queenstown is the place to be for adrenaline junkies like myself. Bungy Jumping and sky diving should definitely be on your bucket list to tick off.

There are various options you can choose from when selecting how to backpack across New Zealand, but choosing the most cost efficient way means more money to spend on activities, accommodation and food.