I promise to write some travel tips for those keen on going to New Zealand.
First, decide if you are going to travel by package tour or would you prefer free and easy travel. Free and easy can be semi-independent tour like those offered by Thrifty Tours where you travel on your own but accommodation and transport have all been booked for you. Or try the Magic Travellers Network or Contiki New Zealand.
Or if you prefer, go backpacking on your own, which I highly recommend. You can see and experience things you may otherwise not encounter travelling in a group or package tour. Stay at hostels and you can save a lot.
Links of Hostels network
Buses in North Island
- Intercity or Newsman
- The Naked Bus it’s just a name
- Go Kiwi
- Call a Bus (Auckland to Te Puke vice versa)
Buses in South Island
- Intercity or Newsman
- Atomic Shuttles
- Wanaka Connections
- The Cook Connections (Lake Tekapo, Twizel & Mt Cook)
- Hanmer Connections (Christchurch to Hanmer Springs vice versa)
- Methven Travel (Christchurch, Airport and Methven)
Once you arrive at the major airports, either in Auckland or Christchurch, there is an airport bus that take passengers to the city area. If you have the YHA card, there is a price discount. If you don’t have the YHA card or the BBH card, it may be a good idea to purchase one at the first hostel that you have booked (if that hostel belongs to the YHA or BBH network). The card entitles you to discount in various tourist spots and other places as well as discounted bus fares.
While in Christchurch, I normally stayed at Stonehurst. They have a range of accommodations from dormitories to motels. It is quiet enough and within walking distance to Intercity. If you have time, stay a night or two in Lake Tekapo. YHA Tekapo is near the bus station, away from the hustle bustle and has breathtaking views of the lake. While in Queenstown, I usually stayed at Thomas Hotel. It is all about location - it is right on the boardwalk and within walking distance to everything. The location of the budget double room is very quiet and the shared balcony faces Lake Wakatipu. In Wanaka, The Purple Cow has a superb location. For an upgrade, try Panorama Court. I stayed there with my family in a 2-room motel – it comes with a full kitchen, bathtub, washing machine and more.
Whatever your preference in accommodations and buses, do your research before you go. Make a list of things that you wish to do and see. Work out your itinerary base on the number of days you have and your budget.
Till then, happy holidays!