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New Zealand
by Bus

  One of the weakest points in New Zealand is the lack of public transport outside the biggest cities such as Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. Smaller cities and towns do have urban buses but the routes are far from covering the entire town or even a small part of it. That is the reason for 9.9 in 10 Kiwis able to drive have their own car do so in small towns. So, if you are planning to travel New Zealand by bus, don't worry about the Intercity buses. They cover quite well the big the medium and some small towns as well, but once you stepped out the coach, be prepaired to walk (or call a cab). Anyway, all buses including intercity and municipal buses work in a very regular and precise timetable which can easily be obtained for free in any tourist information, with the driver, or it is affixed at the bus stop. Auckland for sure has the best suburban bus coverage in New Zealand.

Travel by bus is one of the options for those travelling alone or those who don't feel like driving. The costs of travelling by bus is not much cheaper than renting a car in one of the budget rental car companies available in New Zealand. By the other side, travel bus bus take you straight to the places and towns where tourist attractions are, even dropping you of in some cases just at the door of your accommodation. In reality, as far as we know until now, there is only a single public bus company that does Intercity routes, and this company is called of course" Intercity". This company serves both tourists and Kiwis, but you must remember to book in advance or you may incur in the risk to get no seats available for you if you pop up straight away. In their website you may be able to check all routes and book direct on the Internet. Intercity sells many different passes. There are passes by Kilometres  travelled, passes by day travelled and so on. Just check it out.

Besides Intercity, one who want to see New Zealand by bus will find many other options such as tour companies that operates the entire country by bus. For example, you can buy a bus tour with or without accommodation (packages) that allow you to drop off in a certain city and spend a couple of days there to resume your Itinerary when you fell like. The only point to pay attention in this modality, is that you must book the sequence at leat one day before or the coach may be full by the time it arrives. Other companies in this same modality go even further, including visits to tourist places and attractions along the route. These companies differs not only regarding the prices but also due to the age group of the traveller. Companies such as Kiwi Experience, Magic Bus, and Stray, prime for the young (or young at heart) tourist. Each one of these have different vibration aboard which produced nicknames such as party bus and others. There are also companies that target the medium age traveller and other for senior style travelling or old farts if you prefer. As you see, your options are many and all will depend about the style of travelling you wish to or is up to.

We had the Experience travelling parts of New Zealand by coach and all we can say is that it was much better than expected. What we recommend is a mix n' match, meaning doing parts by coach, parts by train, parts by plane and even renting a car in some areas. Of course public transports have restrictions comparing to travel by rental car, such as, if you want to take a photo of stretch you legs the bus won't stop for that (despite the fact some drives if you ask them to stop and if they have a safe place to pull over, they may do it for you). Buy the other side, you'll travel more relaxed not having to concentrate on the road and have more time to contemplate New Zealand's fantastic landscape. Yes, travel New Zealand by bus is a very good choice. Go for it without fear.

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