- Flexible travel around New Zealand
- Hop on hop off where you like
- Free Milford Sound Cruise
- Unlimited travel - you can keep going with no additional cost
- Start anywhere, finish where you started
- Pass valid for one year
- Best price guarantee on activities
- Accommodation guaranteed
- Knowledgeable local guide and driver
- Accommodation cost
Why do we love this
"We love Kiwi Experience because they have over 25 years of experience in the industry - these guys know what they're doing! They're also the country’s largest, leading, most legendary bus experience and probably the best way to see New Zealand!"
WHAT TO EXPECT
This is a flexible travel pass around New Zealand. The Whole Kit and Caboodle is perfect for those that want to see everything New Zealand has to offer, from top to bottom! You'll travel all thy way up to Cape Reinga and right down to Bluff, and there's even a free Milford Sound Cruise thrown in!
You can start this bus pass anywhere you like on the route and finish where you began.
Please note, these stops are as a guide only. You can start this tour where you like. There is no set-in-stone itinerary and you can simply spend as long as you like at each stop en route.
DAY 1: Auckland to Paihia
Head out early from Auckland making our way north towards Paihia. On the way, stop at Whangarei Falls, before eventually reaching Paihia at around 12.00 pm.
You'll visit many historical locations in the area including Waitangi, where the treaty of Waitangi was signed also known as 'the Birthplace of New Zealand'. Northland is rich in Maori culture, home to crystal clear water, huge kauri forests and over 144 islands - you can see why it's worth making the journey north! Take the opportunity to go swimming with dolphins, ride out to the famous hole in the rock, go kayaking, sailing, diving, snorkelling, or just relax on the beach.
Day 2 and 3: Paihia to Cape Reinga to Paihia
Get ready to head to New Zealand's most northern tip, Cape Reinga for an action-packed day of fun! Take a drive along 90 Mile Beach, body board down giant sand dunes and see where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean.
You'll also get to check out the giant Kauri Trees and visit one of New Zealand's best fish 'n' chip shops for a tasty dinner by the sea. Yum!
DAY 4: Paihia to Auckland
Leave Paihia around midday so you have a chance to experience a few more of the activities on offer in the Bay. Maybe you'll go for a skydive or try parasailing, or simply spend the morning relaxing on the beach.
Later, cruise back to the "big smoke", grab a bite to eat and then hit the town to sample the delights of Auckland's nightlife.
DAY 5: Auckland to Hot Water Beach
Departing Auckland in the morning, head to the Coromandel Peninsula for a day at the beautiful Cathedral Cove. Here you can go for a swim, try kayaking or just chill out on the beach (keep a look out for dolphins!). You'll fall in love with the natural beauty of this area.
Next up is Hot Water Beach, one of the top ten beaches in the world (according to Lonely Planet)! Grab a spade here and dig your own natural hot tub.
DAY 6: Hot Water Beach to Waitomo
Hit the road bright and early, towards your first stop of the day, Karanga Hake Scenic Reserve. Explore abandoned gold mines and learn about New Zealand's gold mining history.
After, which it's on to Waitomo ("wai" meaning water and "tomo" meaning hole) home of the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Feeling brave? Then head underground with the adrenaline-fuelled Black Water Rafting company! Leap off waterfalls, swim through caves and discover what makes these little glowworms so special.
DAY 7: Waitomo to Rotorua
Start the day with a scenic walk through Ruakuri Reserve (one of the top 10 short walks in New Zealand) before heading onto Rotorua. Along the way make a pit stop at the Shire so you can explore the magical Hobbiton Movie Set!
This evening, visit Tamaki Marae for a unique Maori cultural experience. Feast on a delicious hangi (food cooked underground) and enjoy a traditional performance from the locals at Tamaki Maori Village. Alternatively, you can visit Hells Gate and soak in the geothermal hot pools.
DAY 8: Rotorua to Taupo
Today, explore the geothermal reserve of Te Puia home to New Zealand's largest geyser and native Kiwi bird.
Later, hit the road again, with a pit stop at Taupo's mighty Huka Falls. Once in Taupo, you'll discover why this stop is such a hit with backpackers. Known as the adrenaline capital of the North Island, take the opportunity to go skydiving, sailing on Lake Taupo (New Zealand's largest lake) or tackle the infamous 19km Tongariro Crossing!
DAY 9: Free day in Taupo
Today is the perfect day to take on the Tongariro Crossing if you haven't already. On this 8 hour hike, you will be blown away by the spectacular scenery, passing the Emerald Lakes and Mount Ngauruhoe aka Mount Doom. This really is a hike not to be missed!
Fancy taking things a little easier? Then spend the day at Spa Park soaking in natural hot springs.
(We add this extra day as there is just so much to do in Taupo! Short on time? You can skip this extra day, timetable allowing.)
DAY 10: Taupo to River Valley
This morning, head around Lake Taupo to the World Heritage Tongariro National Park for a picnic lunch and walk through native bush and waterfalls. In the afternoon drive off the beaten track to the picturesque location of River Valley. Situated deep in a valley, surrounded by towering cliffs, the River Valley Lodge offers access to heaps of outdoor activities. Enjoy grade 5 rafting on the Rangitikei River, scenic horse riding and many exhilarating hikes. After a jam-packed day outdoors, spend the evening relaxing by the fire and enjoy a delicious roast dinner.
DAY 11: River Valley to Wellington
Head out a little later after a morning of outdoor activities. Arrive in New Zealand's capital in the early evening. Here you can get a flavour for Wellington's buzzing bar scene by indulging in a few drinks.
It's a good idea to jump off the bus here and spend a couple of extra days exploring because there is simply so much to do! Check out the Te Papa Musem, visit the Beehive (New Zealand's parliament building), climb Mt Victoria and discover the filming secrets behind the LOTR at Sir Peter Jackson's Weta Workshop.
DAY 12: Wellington to Abel Tasman
Leave Wellington early that morning for a ferry crossing to the South Island across the Cook Strait and through the spectacular Marlborough Sounds. Keep a look out for dolphins along the way!
Later, take a scenic drive through vineyards towards New Zealand's sunniest capital, Nelson. After a pit stop for snacks and supplies, head to the beautiful beach town of Kaiteriteri on the edge of Abel Tasman National Park.
Definitely stay an extra day here if you can there are so many stunning bays to explore and water activities to do like, swimming, kayaking and sailing.
DAY 13: Abel Tasman to Westport
Spend the morning enjoying more of Abel Tasman's golden beaches with a later departure today.
Take a kayaking trip out to 'Split Apple Rock', spotting marine life along the way or catch a water taxi to one of the national park's secluded bays and take a stroll around New Zealand's native bush.
That afternoon, stop at legendary Nelson Lakes so you can get your 'insta' pic, jumping off the famous wharf!
You'll then head through snow-capped mountains and past the Buller Gorge before reaching the West Coast. Spend the night at the surf town of Westport where you can learn to ride the waves or have a go at stand up paddleboarding.
DAY 14: Westport to Lake Mahinapua
Journey along the picturesque State Highway 6 which winds the rugged Tasman coastline.
This evening you will stay the night in a traditional West Coast pub, where everyone will get their costumes ready for the infamous "Pu Party". Feast on a delicious dinner and party the night away!
DAY 15: Lake Mahinapua to Franz Josef
Start the day with a hearty breakfast at Lake Mahinapua before continuing south past the Southern Alps to glacier country.Franz Josef is the northern gateway to Te Wahipounamu, the Southwest New Zealand World Heritage area. This region includes Aoraki/ Mount Cook, Mount Aspiring, the Fiordland National Parks and many more. It's truly spectacular.
DAY 16: Free day in Franz Josef
Today is your chance to hike the impressive Franz Josef Glacier, rated as one of the top three activities to do in New Zealand by Kiwi passengers. If you don't fancy hiking the glacier, you have the opportunity to take a scenic helicopter flight, go horseback riding, quad biking or enjoy one of the many walks in the area.
An extra day in Franz Josef is a great idea, as it really is an awesome spot. Whatever you do, get out there and make the most of it!
DAY 17: Franz Josef to Wanaka
Another early start, but it's well worth it. Head out in the morning to catch the reflections of Mount Cook and the Southern Alps on Lake Matheson.
Then, head to the breathtaking Southern Lakes region, where you'll have time to relax and take in the beautiful surroundings. Afterwards, it's on to Mount Aspiring National Park arriving in the glorious town of Wanaka for the afternoon.
DAY 18: Wanaka to Queenstown
Before leaving Wanaka, it's time to wake up those hungover heads at Puzzling World! After all those brain teasers, feel free to snooze on the coach before you reach the adrenaline pumping Queenstown.
Your first stop here is the World Home of Bungy - the 43 metre Kawarau Bridge jump! Are you brave enough to jump?
Next, head into town and down to the beautiful lakefront.
Later, venture to some of Queenstown's infamous bars and sample the town's buzzing nightlife. It really is the adventure capital of the world.
DAY 19: Free day or more in Queenstown
Queenstown is one of the coolest places in New Zealand and has been voted as one of Kiwi Experience passengers' favourite spots, so take your time here!
Explore the lake, take scenic walks, ride the gondola to the top of Bob's Peak and just soak it all in. Be sure to get involved with many of the adrenaline activities on offer such as jet boating, bungy jumping, white water rafting and skydiving - you won't regret it!
DAY 20 and 21: Queenstown to Milford Sound to Invercargill
You'll leave Queenstown for Milford Sound bright and early today, stopping along the way to Te Anau for breakfast. Stop off at several scenic viewpoints including Mirror Lakes and the Chasm, before reaching the famous Homer Tunnel, connecting Milford Sound to the rest of world.
You can't visit the South Island and not see Milford Sound! This is a spectacular fiord that is often considered the Eighth Natural Wonder of the World. You can take a 2-hour boat trip across the waters marvelling at spectacular waterfalls and you may even spot Humpback whales. A Milford Sound Cruise is included in your Bus Pass!
After this stunning cruise, your driver will connect you with the 'Bottom Bus' en route back to Queenstown, continuing on to Invercargill for the night.
DAY 22 & 23: Bluff to The Catlins to Dunedin (Deep South)
Start your adventure today with a trip to the world famous Bluff signpost. You really can't get much further south, or it starts to get seriously cold!
From here you can catch the ferry to Stewart Island which is a great spot for nature lovers.
Next, head through the Catlins, home to some of New Zealand's most spectacular natural attractions; including the petrified forest, giant albatross, seals, sea lions and dolphins to name just a few!
You'll arrive into Dunedin in the early evening.
DAY 24: Dunedin to Queenstown
You have the morning to explore the City of Learning.Dunedin is home to a large student population, giving this city a vibrant, creative edge.
Take your time to explore its museum, many galleries and Speight's Brewery. Check out the world's steepest street and indulge in the Cadbury Chocolate Factory before saying goodbye to your new student mates.
This afternoon you'll head back to Queenstown along the Clutha River, admire the wineries along the way. You'll arrive by late afternoon.
DAY 25: Queenstown to Lake Tekapo
Head out of Queenstown via Lindis Pass also known as 'Lord of the Rings' territory. After stopping to admire Mount Cook at Lake Pukaki, travel on to Lake Tekapo which is surrounded by the snow-capped Alps and underneath one of the clearest skies in the world (perfect for stargazing). You have the opportunity to hop off the bus here and head up to Mount Cook with your new mates.
Arriving in Lake Tekapo, you can enjoy scenic walks, relax by the lakeside, soak in natural hot springs or go stargazing at the world's largest dark sky reserve.
DAY 26: Lake Tekapo to Christchurch
Today you're heading to the largest city on the South Island and 3rd largest in New Zealand.Christchurch is a city that is rebuilding and flourishing in the wake of the 2011 earthquake, with new shops popping up every day. There are lots of quirky street bars too!
The city is full of surprises! Spend a bit of extra time here and drive north to the marine mecca of Kaikoura for the day. Kaikoura is renowned as one of the best coastal wildlife regions in the world! Here you can spot whales, dolphins and seals, the name itself, Kaikoura means to eat crayfish ('kai' meaning to eat, 'koura' meaning crayfish).
DAY 27: Christchurch to Nelson
It's an early start this morning as you head out across the Canterbury Plains to Culverden for a morning coffee stop. Hop back on board for a scenic journey through the spectacular Lewis Pass stopping in Murchison for lunch.
Later, drive through vineyards back towards the beautiful town of Nelson.
DAY 28: Nelson to Wellington
Say goodbye to the South Island (Te Wai Pounamu) as you make our way to Picton to catch the Interislander ferry to Wellington. The ferry ride takes a few hours so chill out and enjoy the spectacular views of the Marlborough Sounds.
You'll arrive in New Zealand's capital in the early evening, so get ready to explore the city's renowned restaurant and bar scene. This city is the undisputed capital of culture, the arts, restaurants, fashion and nightlife.
It's worth spending a couple of extra days here too. Hop off the bus and check out the Te Papa Musem, visit the Beehive (New Zealand's parliament building), climb Mt Victoria and discover the filming secrets behind the LOTR at Sir Peter Jackson's Weta Workshop.
DAY 29: Wellington to Taupo
Today's drive is jam-packed with beautiful Lord of the Rings landscapes. With an early start out of Wellington, head north and pass Taihape, the gumboot capital of New Zealand.
From there, head to Central Plateau, home of the Tongariro National Park, then onto Taupo, driving alongside New Zealand's biggest lake. Taupo is known as the adventure capital of the North Island, so definitely have a go at the many activities on offer like skydiving, the Tongariro Crossing, jet boating, sailing or bungy jumping.
DAY 30: Taupo to Auckland (via Rotorua)
Set off in the morning and head north to Rotorua, known for its Maori heritage and geothermal hot springs. On the way, stop at Kiwi Encounter where you can get up close and personal with New Zealand's national bird, the Kiwi.
Afterwards, drive on through the rolling countryside before reaching Matamata for lunch. Afterwards you'll head on further to the 'City of Sails' or Auckland. Make a short stop on the way at the Kiwi Experience office for you to check out merchandise, confirm future bookings or extend your trip!