New Zealand Travel Pass
12 months from $1,021
- Travel the length and breadth of both the North Island and South Island
- Meet loads of other travellers and make new friends to share the experience with
- Enjoy a whole range of different inclusions, from national park hikes and dune surfing to wildlife spotting and waterfall visits
- Travel on modern buses with air conditioning, on-board Wi-fi, and a helpful tour guide
- Take advantage of our recommended accommodation and reservation service for hassle-free travel planning
- Full flexibility to tour New Zealand your way with a hop-on, hop-off bus pass
Discover the magic of New Zealand on a totally flexible travel pass that'll take you all over the country on a hop-on, hop-off style bus route. You'll get to travel around both the North Island and South Island on comfortable modern buses with drivers and tour guides that'll make sure you're getting the most out of your travels by stopping off on route to different locations to see the country's highlights and take part in some awesome included activities. You'll get to travel from the northern-most point on the North Island to the southern-most point on the South Island and stop off at the most incredible destinations on the way. Your pass is valid for up to twelve months and includes unlimited travel so you can go round again once you have completed the full loop! You'll get to decide where you stop off and for how long, or you can complete the tour in a minimum of 30 days – your travel, your way!
Interested and want to find out more? Download more trip information and detailed itinerary HERE!
The travel pass route runs as follows:
Auckland to Paihia
Departing Auckland this morning, heading for the Bay of Islands, we’ll make our way to beautiful Paihia otherwise known as the ‘gateway to the bay’, stopping off at Parry Kauri Forest Park on route to see the mighty Kauri trees.
Paihia to Cape Reinga
Travel along 90-mile Beach and stop off at Te Paki Stream to try sand surfing on some of the biggest sand dunes in the country! Arriving at Cape Reinga, you'll get to discover the beauty of the local countryside with a walk through a kauri forest. We'll return to Paihia this evening.
Paihia to Auckland
Enjoy some free time this morning and relax or explore more of the city before we making tracks later on. Spend your time on the beach or take a trip to close by Haruru Falls. We'll board the bus in the afternoon and make our way back to Auckland.
Auckland to Hahei
We'll make our way to the Coromandel Peninsula today, to the picturesque coastal town of Hahei. On arrival, make your way to Hot Water Beach and bathe in the warm waters. If beaching isn't your thing, why not take a walk around the old cultural sites around Cathedral Cove?
Enjoy some free time in your beautiful Hahei surroundings today. Take a walk along the gorgeous coastline, go on a boat tour of Te-Whanganui-a-Hei Marine Reserve, hire a kayak and explore the coastline for yourself, or take a seafood cooking class.
Hahei to Rotorua
Travelling through rural Waikato today, we’ll journey to Rotorua, famous for its geothermic activity and pungent sulphuric smells! Get your bearings this afternoon and see the vast Lake Rotorua. Tonight, hit some of Rotorua’s lively backpacker bars.
Enjoy a free day in Rotorua. Relax and unwind in one of the city’s many spas or head further afield to the Hobbiton Movie Set, and tread in the footsteps of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins. Other optional activities include visiting a Maori Village or trying a range of adrenaline-pumping experiences such as zip-lining or zorbing.
Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua
You'll have a free morning in Rotorua today before making the journey to the beautiful Lake Aniwhenua. Stopping off at Kaingaroa Forest, you can opt to visit a sacred archaeological site to see some of New Zealand's oldest Maori rock carvings. This evening, enjoy sunset drinks at the Taniwha Bar overlooking the lake.
Lake Aniwhenua to Blue Duck Station
Visit a local school to help hand out packed lunches to children and learn about the project that provides a cross-culture education programme in the region. Afterwards, we'll stop off at Taupo to see the mighty Huka Falls. Arriving at Blue Duck Station, a huge country farm based in remote Whakahoro, we'll find out more about daily life here before chilling out for the night around the fire.
Blue Duck Station
You'll have an entire day free to explore and discover your gorgeous surroundings today. Walk to Kaiwhakauka Waterfall and listen to your hosts' stories about the local wildlife and history, go horse riding, kayaking, or try your hand at clay bird shooting.
Blue Duck Station to Raetihi
Today, we'll make our way to Tongariro National Park, a UNESCO Dual World Heritage Site. Opt to hike the incredible Tongariro Alpine Crossing to the real-life Mt Doom, or take a shorter walk to Taranaki Falls or Tawhai Falls and visit the Volcanic Centre to learn more about the region.
Raetihi to Wellington
Today, we'll make our way to New Zealand's capital, Wellington. Go and check out Oriental Parade for some of the chicest cafes and eateries and the best shops, visit Te Papa National Museum, go welly throwing, or head up to Mt Victoria for spectacular views over the city.
Wellington to Abel Tasman National Park
We'll make the crossing from the North Island over to the South Island via ferry on the Cook Strait today. Boarding our bus at Picton, we'll make the journey through the Marlborough Vineyard, where we might stop off for a wine-tasting session before making our way to the coast to Abel Tasman National Park. Enjoy some local seafood around an open fire tonight.
Abel Tasman National Park
You'll have another full day at your disposal today, so take the opportunity to explore the national park by foot or by air or choose from a variety of boat excursions. The park is also home to a lot of wildlife, so see if you can spot the resident fur seals, blue penguins, and bottlenose dolphins while you're here.
Abel Tasman National Park to Franz Josef
Drive down the west coast of New Zealand, which is known for its rugged shoreline and coal mining history. We'll walk along the craggy cliff edge at Cape Foulwind to see the seal colony at Tauranga Bay before making our way to the Punakaiki's Pancake Rocks and blowholes. Finally, we’ll stop off in Hokitika to take a scenic walk along the beach before arriving at Franz Josef.
You'll have a free day to explore Franz Josef today, and you can't visit this place without taking a trip to the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. Book an excursion to hike the glacier with an expert tour guide and for access to the natural hot pools.
Franz Josef to Wanaka
Leaving the west coast today, we'll start making our way inland to Lake Matheson for a gentle walk beside the lake. We'll then travel through the mountains of Haast Pass and Makarora to Wanaka. Explore your surroundings with walks to Ship Creek, Blue Pools, or Thunder Creek Falls.
Wanaka to Queenstown
Try out a couple of optional activities in Wanaka before departing mid-morning to make the journey to Queenstown. On our way, we'll stop at Kawarau Bridge for the opportunity to bungee from the first commercial jump site in the world. Enjoy a night out in Queenstown this evening.
Try as many different activities as you can today – you're in the adventure capital of New Zealand, so there's plenty to do. Queenstown is also really beautiful, so take the time to walk through the bush and surrounding mountain terrain, or just spend a bit of downtime relaxing in the city centre.
Queenstown to Gunns Camp
We'll make our way across Milford Sound today, where we'll pass beautiful lakeside scenery from farmland to mountain landscape, glaciers, and fiordland. Moving on to Hollyford Valley, we'll pitch up in peaceful Gunns Camp to enjoy the calm and quiet for the evening.
Gunns Camp to Invercargill/Stewart Island
Start the day with a gentle stroll along the river and through the beech forest to Viewing Gantry for some absolutely spectacular views. This afternoon, we'll make the journey to Invercargill via Te Anau. At this point, you can catch a ferry over to Stewart Island and go fishing, kayaking, bird watching, or diving.
Invercargill/Stewart Island to Queenstown
For those staying in Invercargill rather than on Stewart Island, you'll get to go on an excursion to Waipapa Point, Curio Bay, and Porpoise Bay to spot the sea lions, penguins, and dolphins in the Catlins or visit the ancient fossilised forest. Afterwards, we'll head back to collect the group staying on Stewart Island and all head back to Queenstown.
Queenstown to Aoraki/Mt Cook
Making our way over the Lindis Pass, through Mackenzie Country, and past Lake Pukaki today, we'll travel to the base of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt Cook. Arriving in the afternoon, you'll have the opportunity to go on a 4WD Argo tour and visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre.
Mt Cook to Rangitata
Visit the serene setting of Lake Tekapo and see the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd. Spend the night on one of Canterbury’s beautiful sheep stations this evening.
Rangitata to Christchurch
Opt to go on an exciting grade 5 white water rafting adventure on the Rangitata River this morning. Then, journey to Christchurch, an exciting city that has made an incredible recovery after the 2011 earthquake. Sample the city’s lively nightlife this evening.
Christchurch to Kaikoura
We'll head up the coast to beautiful Kaikoura, arriving around midday. You'll have the afternoon to yourself to take a walk around the peninsula and up to the lookout, head out on the water for a whale and dolphin watching experience, or go on a guided fishing trip.
Kaikoura to Wellington
Heading back to Wellington today, we'll drive along the winding coastal roads to the top of the South Island to Picton and board the ferry back to Wellington. Enjoy a free evening to enjoy the town's nightlife.
Wellington to Auckland
Making our way back to Auckland, we'll arrive in the evening, which should be just enough time to do a little souvenir shopping before heading out for a final dinner and drinks with the rest of the group, if you like.
Your Travel Pass
Your Kiwi travel pass is as flexible as you need it to be. Valid for up to twelve months, you can use it to travel the length and breadth of both the North Island and South Island in New Zealand, hopping off along the route for as long or as little as you like. There are plenty of added activities included in your pass to make the most of your travel experience, but the rest, from food to accommodation, length of stay and optional activities, is up to you – it's a great way to travel the country and allows you to create your own perfect travel itinerary.
If you don't have a year to spend gallivanting around New Zealand, you can use your pass as a one-time tour, which can be done in 30 days, although if you have any flexibility, we'd recommend giving yourself at least 38 days.
Please note that we will book the pass as open dated, so you can decide the date that you want to start the pass- please contact us for more details
Please note activities, itineraries and routes are subject to change.
- Modern bus with guide/driver
- 12-month flexible hop-on-hop-off bus pass
- On-board Wi-fi
- Accommodation reservations
- Bay of Islands visit
- Parry Kauri Forest visit
- Hot Water Beach relaxation
- Dune surfing
- Visit to Hahei
- Huka Falls trip
- Tongariro National Park excursion
- Country farm experience
- Abel Tasman National Park visit
- Punakaiki pancake rocks
- Viewing gantry walk in Fiordland
- 24/7 Emergency Support
- Travel Insurance
- Airport transfers
- Optional activities
Accommodation and meals aren’t included on this tour, but your guide can recommend and reserve accommodation for you at each destination. Recommended accommodation generally consists of budget-friendly hostels and backpacker hotels, with the occasional lodge or hut thrown into the mix. These are used by our tour groups frequently and are known to us to be clean, safe, and comfortable places, but you're free to make your own reservations and bookings. Please let your guide know in advance if you would like to make reservations at specific destinations on route.
You’ll need to arrange your flight to arrive at Auckland Airport (AKL) the day before the first day on your itinerary, as day 1 begins with a 7am bus departure. The cost of your accommodation isn’t included for any part of this trip, but we can help you book and arrange accommodation for the night prior to your start date as well as make recommendations and reservations for you during your time in New Zealand. Ask us for more information when you call to book. The bus route also ends in Auckland, so you can arrange return flights from the same airport. You'll need to book accommodation in Auckland for at least one night following your tour end date, as we won't arrive in Auckland until the evening, so please don't book return flights for the same day.
To arrange your flights, contact our fantastic flights team on 01892 277037 or email them at [email protected] They will be able to search for the best flight offers to your chosen destinations, so you can plan and organise your trip in one place. Just make sure you give them your full name, as stated in your passport, along with your chosen departure dates, return dates, and any other details you want to include.
The minimum age for this trip is 18 years.
British passport holders can enter New Zealand without a visa, staying as a visitor for up to six months. You must have sufficient time left on your passport and a return ticket home. To ensure you meet immigration rules, please visit the New Zealand Embassy website. If you plan to take paid work during your time in New Zealand, you will need to apply for a Working Holiday Visa.
From 1st October 2019, visitors who are transitting through or entering New Zealand as tourists will need to hold an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) before travelling to New Zealand. Tourists will also need to pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) alongside the ETA. People entering New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa do not require an ETA.
Do I Have To Do All The Stops And Activities On The Route?
Not if you don’t want to! This trip is all about flexibility, so if there’s anywhere you don’t really fancy going to or an activity you’d rather skip, that’s fine – just book onto the bits you do want to do.
How Long Does It Take To Travel This Route?
You can take up to twelve months to travel the entire route, but if you’re not doing any travelling of your own between locations you can do the entire trip in a super speedy 30 days! Although we recommend you allow 38 days to get the most from your travels.
What Do I Do If I Need To Change My Travel Plans?
You might decide you want to stay in a certain location for longer than planned, and so your schedule could change at any moment, which is absolutely fine! You’ll have an online account and round the clock contact with our team to let us know of any changes as and when they occur – keep us updated and we’ll work around you.
How Do I Arrange Accommodation?
You'll have a bed in a dorm room reserved for you at every designated stop on the route, You can book accommodation with your driver along the way and simply pay as you go.