New Zealand travel information Tourleader New Zealand

Travel New Zealand by backpacker bus!
Backpacker bus tours are similar to other group tours, but offer much more flexibility with regard to travel dates (hop on hop off), accommodation, activities and itineraries. Originally they transported backpackers from one hostel to another - with spontaneous stops on the way, so that they were able to see something of New Zealand. That niche market has expanded and is tailored to an independent and younger clientele, with all sorts of exciting activities and additional programmes on the way.

New Zealand Backpacker buses are an ideal alternative for ...


  • New Zealand enthusiasts who want to see a lot in a short time, without  driving thousands of kilometres themselves.
  • Backpackers who cannot afford their own rental car and who do not want to hitchhike.
  • Younger travellers on their first big trip who appreciate the safety of bus travel and who are happy with some support and added activity suggestions.
  • Visitors without much time to plan their own travel itinerary and organise everything themselves, inclusive of transport.
  • Travellers who appreciate contact with other international people and who want to meet and share their experiences with others.
  • Party fans, who are sure to always find people who are ready for a party in the evening.
  • Singles or people travelling alone who would like to build friendships with interesting people.
There is a range of backpacker buses in New Zealand to compare - from own experience we can especially recommend the smaller Stray bus which travels to surprisingly remote places and is aiming to attract the more adventurous travellers.

Backpacker buses have conquered a wide niche between group travel and fixed route national bus networks, they have become extremely popular.

Compared to group travel ...

  • Due to the hop on hop off character, the group usually changes on each leg of the journey, travellers are not necessarily together with the same people for a whole trip.
  • They help you to choose and book accommodation and you will be dropped off  and picked up there.
  • Backpacker bus New ZealandThe ticket is usually valid over a long period of time, so you can spend several slow months in New Zealand on your chosen route.
  • You can travel spontaneously, booking with short notice when to depart, as long as the ticket is valid and there are seats, you decide when to take the bus and how far you will go.
  • The routes tend to be aimed at younger travellers who are not afraid of some adventurous activities or overnight stays in remote or interesting campsites.
  • The groups are usually made up of internationals rather than one single country of origin.
  • Bus drivers and travel guides - like the passengers - are very relaxed and often very funny.

National bus route networks now offer more flexible plans (such as the Intercity Flexipass), but there are many significant differences:
  • Travel begins and ends at official bus stops, often far away from attractive or cheap accommodation.
  • On the way there are only toilet stops, you’ll drive past even the most spectacular viewpoints.
  • There are no other options such as activity or accommodation bookings, additional programmes or evening entertainment.
  • Simply hop on hop off a backpacker bus, spend as long as you like to complete the chosen route.
  • Public buses are of course more anonymous than group buses where you share activities and lots of breaks on the way.

Tips and important things to look out for before booking a backpacker bus:

  • Backpacker bus New ZealandTicket validity, flexibility with date changes.
  • Seat guarantee conditions, what if you want to make short term changes.
  • Size of the buses or groups.
  • What is included: food, drinks, entertainment, overnight stays, activities, etc. Are there any package deals including accommodation? Are there any discounts on other activities or accommodation?
  • Comparison of travel itineraries, interesting stops on the way, is the focus on tourist highlights or remote destinations? How long are the stops at interesting places, are local guides used?
  • Is there a good network of possible hostels to stay in.
  • Party potential ... :) Is the programme aimed at your own profile?

More travel tips:

  • During high season you should reserve your seats a few days in advance.
  • Read reviews or blogs from former travellers to see if you like the style of the tours.
  • Backpacker buses are not necessarily cheaper or more expensive than other transport alternatives, they are also not necessarily all about parties and young people: you’ll find a great variety among the backpacker bus providers!

 
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