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20 Day 'Backyard' Bus Pass | Kiwi Experience

Auckland, New Zealand

Travel from Auckland to Christchurch on a hop on hop off tour, with stops at Franz Josef and Rotorua along the way!

Duration
Duration20 Days
Minimum Age
Minimum Age18+
Languages
LanguagesEnglish
Meals
MealsNot Included
Start & End Location
Start & End LocationAuckland - Christchurch

20 Day 'Backyard' Bus Pass | Kiwi Experience Highlights

  • Get up to 10% cash back per person when you book with us
  • Bus pass from Auckland to Christchurch, hopping on & off where you like along the route
  • A minimum of 20 days travel time to complete the itinerary, however, you can take longer
  • Flexible travel around New Zealand, with 12 months to finish your journey once you start
  • Unforgettable boat cruise along the Milford Sound, exploring soaring peaks & towering waterfalls 
  • Best price guarantee on activities in each compulsory stop (the price of activities is not included)
  • Accommodation guaranteed at the Operator's preferred hostel/hotel each overnight stop booked on the day with your driver (the price of accommodation is not included)
  • Knowledgeable local guide & driver, who has all the inside tips & recommendations

What's Excluded

What to Expect

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Frequently Asked Questions

How does Kiwi Experience work?

Kiwi Experience pass allows you to hop-on and off our route wherever you like for as long as you like. This means instead of purchasing a bus pass to travel from point A to point B and once getting to point B you stop; you will be purchasing a pass that you have 12 months to travel on, so make the most of this and come for longer than the 'minimum travel time' time on the passes. 

You must select a preferred start date and book the first leg of your itinerary.  All other legs legs need to be booked at least 48 hours prior to departure via the Kiwi Experience app.  During the low season services may not operate every day so please check the Kiwi Experience timetables.

In fact, it's encouraged to jump off the bus to explore more of New Zealand! Try out one of New Zealand's Great Walks, chill out on a beach for a couple of days, stop for a few months if you have a working holiday visa or try out woofing in one of the many locations around the country.

 

Just a small reminder, when you are jumping on and off the bus for longer than the 'minimum' time, you do need to get in contact with The Operator via email or phone, so they can get you booked on another bus or cancel a bus you may be booked onto. 

No, all your accommodation costs are additional to your bus pass.

 

But once you’re on the bus, you have guaranteed accommodation for the first night stay in each new location along your bus pass itinerary. In some locations the bus stays two or three nights, your accommodation will be guaranteed on these nights too. If you choose to hop off the bus and stay longer in a location, your driver can book your extra nights for you. You don’t need to book in advance, your driver-guide will take care of this for you each day on the bus so you can travel as flexibly as you like. 

Every day that you are travelling on the bus, the Operator will guarantee you a bed for your first-night stay at each overnight stop. In some locations, the bus stays 2 or 3 consecutive nights (such as Taupo, Franz Josef and Queenstown) so The Operator guarantees these nights too. In peak season when accommodation can be hard to come by, your driver-guide will take care of all bookings for you as you go. If you plan to stay somewhere longer than the minimum travel time, it's recommended you contact the hostel in advance and secure those extra nights. All accommodation costs are additional to your bus pass.

No, but you'll have access to great rates!

 

The Operator has lots of mates, so as soon as you’re onboard the bus, you will get the best price guarantee on all activities along the route. Your driver-guide will book your activities for you on the bus each day, so you can decide what tickles your fancy in each location. At the peak of summer, New Zealand activities are hugely popular, but you're promised a spot in the line!

No need to book activities in advance, it can all be done on the bus with your Driver Guide. As part of your bus pass, you'll go directly to New Zealand’s top tourism and adventure activities i.e. Skydiving, bungy jumping, kayaking, and great walks.

 

Like accommodation, this can all be booked through your driver-guide and your bus pass entitles you to some fantastic activity discounts along the way. Due to The Operator's size, they're also looked after by heaps of great activity providers, who make sure there are always spots for their passengers, even when it’s busy.

 

Download the app from the app store on your device to check out which activities you can book with your driver, how much they cost and more information about the activity. This way you can start planning how best to spend your hard-earned money now!

No, but loads of the places you stop at including hostels have excellent meal deals & cheap drinks!

In a nutshell... Minimum time stands for the shortest time you can get from your starting point to the last destination. 

 

The minimum travel times include spending an extra night (so 2 nights total) in Taupo, Franz Josef and Queenstown because they’re so awesome, one night just isn't enough. If you’re on a deadline and you need to make it to your destination faster you can sometimes miss these extra days out but this is timetable dependent. You may have trouble skipping these places in the low season (Wintertime) as not as many services run.

12 months to begin, 12 months to travel!


Once you’ve purchased your Kiwi Experience bus pass you have 12 months to begin your travel, and then once you start you have 12 months to complete it. 


You will notice that each pass has a minimum travel time. This is the fastest possible time you can complete the pass. It's highly recommended you spend longer than this, at least adding a week or two to the 'minimum' time stated on your pass. 

 

Each section of a pass can only be travelled once. There are 2 exceptions to this rule: 

  • The Kea and Tui passes travel Christchurch to Kaikoura twice
  • If you start in Christchurch and travel the South Island before going up to the North Island on your Start Anywhere, National Pass. You can do the Christchurch - Kaikoura - Picton bit twice. Please note this does add on an extra two days to your pass.

Also known as hop-on hop-off, flexible travel means there is no set-in-stone itinerary. If you want to hop off for a few days in a certain destination, simply hop off, then hop back on when you want! Basically, it allows you to personalise your trip to suit you and spend as much time as you want in each destination.

Simple...


Decide the date you want to hop back on, whether it be the following day or in a month's time and then either call or email the reservations team. They need at least 24 hours' notice to book you onto the bus, however the more notice, the better the chance you get a confirmed seat.

 

Make sure to check out the current timetable, to see if there is a bus running on the day you want to leave.

You can hop off anywhere along the route. But if there is somewhere the buses don't go let us know, and the crew can give you some advice on how to get there. 

 

When you do decide to hop off the bus- you do need to let The Operator know so they can help you book your next journey! 

If you hadn't already noticed, New Zealand is split into two Islands. So how do you get you from one island to the other?

 

Well, that's easy, you take the Interislander, across the Cook Strait, to the other side! The very scenic ferry ride takes roughly 3.5 hours to reach Picton travelling from Wellington or vice versa. 

 

Is it included?

 

This is not induced in your bus ticket, but will only cost you around NZ$75 per person, per way. However it is really simple to book, just like activities and accommodation, your Driver Guide will book this for you. Your driver will ask you either on the day you travel Taupo (on the North Island) or Christchurch to Kaikoura (on the South Island) if you would like to grab a ferry ticket. If you do great, grab cash – exact change is preferable – hand it over to your driver and he/she will stamp your Kiwi Experience ticket with a South/North Island ferry ticket.

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A Refundable Booking is available at checkout. This will provide 100% refund for one of the many reasons included via our terms - including adverse weather, sickness or delays with transport.

All customer cancellation & refund requests are also subject to our website’s own refund conditions.

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