78 reviews with the most recent first, showing page 1 of 13.
Most people start their Kiwi Experience tour in Auckland or Christchurch. It is a really good experience because you make a lot of friends and most people from all over the world. But sometimes you have to expect that the activities are expensive and they do not always tell you the costs for it.
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Ive personally given Kiwi a 4/10 because:
- Some drivers are professional and friendly, some drivers are sleazy and creepy towards girls.
- Suggested hostels are generally overpriced, and often you just feel like part of a big cash cow herd for Kiwi and its affiliated hostel.
- DO NOT BOOK 'Unique stays' vouchers - absolute waste of time. For my first 'Unique stay' in Kaiteriteri I was put in rented office space because there was no room in an actual building. 'Unique stays' are in fact just a way of prepaying for a bog standard dormitory room. Which is not clearly explained at all.
- Don't bother pre-booking through Kiwi for activities, as most of my pre-booked activities were cancelled whilst on the trip anyway.
But however, in general, whether you'll enjoy the kiwi experience bus is really dependent on what you're looking to achieve in New Zealand.
If you're looking for complete independence, and the ability to explore the areas of natural beauty of New Zealand on your own schedule, you should hire a campervan and do not do Kiwi Experience.
If you're looking for the opportunity to make friends, visit lots of bars, and with minimal effort travel your way around New Zealand (minimal effort because Kiwi Experience do all the planning/thinking) than the Kiwi bus is probably the best option for you.
In terms of cost, the Kiwi Bus - and corresponding hostel stops - may work out slightly more expensive than travelling by yourself, but you may be able to justify that due to the total lack of personal planning required for the bus option.
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With pleasant drivers who try hard to make up the difference between a very stingy (and silly) corporate philosophy of including absolutely no frills, no travel facilities, - no wifi - nothing much else, and recommending very average to poor (cramped rooms/noise), but expensive hostels, and also relatively "best deal" but VERY expensive, but under/poorly resourced activities - in which the business clearly has some sort of share/stake - and from which it must makes up income for its 'competitive price' for the bus pass.
Clearly management is squeezing this business, and the drivers have to pick up the strain. Poor buggers!
Bad business guys.
Spend a little more on your clients, and your clients will be inclined to enjoy themselves - and spend more as well!
Good for you - good for your clients.
If you want my bank details to pay for the free business advice, and the full refund from Heli-Hikes in Franz Joseph (for which I am still waiting a month later as a result of a cancelled activity) - please let me know in your response!
Kiwi experience has been, without doubt, the highlight of my 8 month trip around australia and New Zealand.
Besides undergoing trip in the New Zealand winter; the trip was highly organised, well planned and gave us access to the best hostels and tours in New Zealand!
The bus offers a great range of discounts and group deals. I managed to save $25 on my Nevis Bungee jump. (which made the jump itself more rewarding!...).
The drivers are all fun and enthusiastic- happy to help with any request. We loved Simon and Jacob.
Kiwi experience is a great option for single or small-group travellers- with the bus being the perfect way to meet people and spend more than a moment getting to know each other. I have made long-term friends on the bus and plan to see them soon!
Would recommend it to anybody and everybody.
Dear fellow travellers,
I, a female student of 20 years old, just finished travelling around New Zealand. I travelled with Kiwi Experience on the Super Funky pass, but I also took some public buses to different cities and even hitchhiked a bit. And out of all of these, Kiwi Experience was the best way of travelling the country for me. They have great deals so you can get your pass for cheap, they are easy and reliable, take you to the best places in the country and there are always lots of fun people on the buses to meet and share your experiences with!
I had a relatively long time to travel around the country, about 2 months, where the minimum time for my pass was 28 days. This gave me a lot of freedom and flexibility to stay longer in the places than the minimum time, which I also did in most of the places. Kiwi Experience is also very flexible with dropping you off or picking you up in cities along the way that they do not spend the night in!
Kiwi Experience is a very easy option to travel. They organize activities for you that you can sign up for on the bus and advise you on the best options for your preferences. They help you organize the hostels and guarantee that you have at least one night in the hostel that they book everyone in. That being said, it is always a good idea to research those hostels yourself as well, because they are not always the cheapest (but in general very nice and comfortable!).
Because I had so much time to complete my pass, I hopped off quite often and hopped onto new buses with new drivers. I had a lot of different drivers – Josh, Kea, Mangee, Toddy, Q, Kyle and Nancy. All of them have such great personalities and it is never boring with them around to guide you!
All in all I met some amazing people that made the experience so much better and did the most amazing things throughout the country! I could not have imagined travelling through New Zealand in any other way than I did and loved every single minute of it!
Myself and my friend (both female, 22 & 23 years old) have just finished our Kiwi Experience tour on the Sheepdog pass travelling from Auckland to Christchurch and would highly recommend it to anyone exploring ways of seeing the incredible country of New Zealand. We are really glad that we chose to do this as it meant we had no restrictions in terms of our time frame and the cost of the add-ons such as the Milford Explorer did not increase once on the bus. The recommended minimum time for the Sheepdog pass is 17 days and we had 28 days to complete it which meant that we could hop off the bus at several stops along the way.
In total, we had four drivers - Josh, Kea, Kyle and Mangee, all of whom were extremely informative and helpful in advising us on how to manage our time best and book onto different buses and ferries.
We had been considering hiring a campervan to travel the country when initially planning our trip as we thought this would allow us the most freedom. In hindsight, we are really glad we decided to book through Kiwi Experience as, not only would we have been ridiculously cold in the winter season, it actually meant we got to see a lot more of the country than we would have doing it ourselves as all of the drivers are natives of New Zealand and their knowledge of the country is unparalleled. This meant there were a lot of stops en-route for various photo opportunities, walks and visits to local communities that we would never have known about otherwise.
The Kiwi Experience was also a really great way of meeting other travellers and like-minded people who were all enjoying the experience with you and we continually bumped into people along the way who we had met previously.
Overall we are both really glad we chose to book through Kiwi Experience and could not imagine having travelled New Zealand any other way!