You are here: TOURS & BUS PASSES / National Express Bus Pass: 20+ Days

National Express Bus Pass: 20+ Days

This New Zealand nationwide bus pass will get you to the best of New Zealand’s North and South Islands. It’s similar to our National NZ Pass (24+ days), except it doesn’t include the very south of the South Island or the very north of the North Island.  

From Auckland all the way to beautiful Queenstown, this pass is full of value getting you to New Zealand’s best spots. You can do this pass in a minimum of 20 days, but if you have a bit longer you can choose to stay longer in any of the destinations you like (and you’ll like them all!).

Choose to start/finish anywhere on the itinerary below. 

Highlights

  • See glow-worms and do some amazing caving or black water rafting at Waitomo Caves
  • Stay at award-winning conservation stop Whakahoro for wilderness activities
  • Spend the night in a Wilderness Lodge in New Zealand’s surf town of Raglan
  • Enjoy a free day to hike on the Franz Josef Glacier (not included)
  • Check out the adventure capital of the world – Queenstown
  • Travel to Mt Cook Village at the base of New Zealand’s highest peak
  • Visit NZ’s Largest Lake (Taupo) – great for skydiving, good place to hop off for a day or two if you have the time 

What's Included

  • Knowledgable driver-guide who will help get you around the country and tell you everything you need to know about New Zealand.
  • All transport, except the Cook Strait Ferry.
  • Guaranteed accommodation along the way, no need to book in advance (extra cost). More details here
  • Questions? Check out our FAQ or Contact Us

Important Notes

Alternative Itinerary:

We are returning to an overnight stop in Kaikoura from 2nd January 2018. However, on the dates listed below, we will overnight in Picton instead of Kaikoura.

  • January: 7, 28, 29, 30
  • February: 5, 6, 7
  • March: 2, 4, 5

On these dates, we will travel via Kaikoura, stopping for lunch, and then continue up the coast to Picton. Passengers who are able to secure their own accommodation in Kaikoura on these dates are welcome to hop off and join the next available bus.

MAIN ROUTE: Mt Cook > Christchurch > Kaikoura > Picton/Wellington

ALTERNATIVE: Mt Cook > Christchurch > Picton (via Kaikoura) > Wellington

Book Now

PRICE: $1,145 NZD

Number of Days 21

Starts: Auckland Finishes: Auckland

Tour Type: Hop on Hop Off Bus Pass

DEPARTS FROM Auckland ON

March 01, 2018 - April 30, 2018: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
May 01, 2018 - September 30, 2018: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday
Tour Itinerary EXPAND ALL

We depart Auckland and head south, travelling to the Coromandel Peninsula via the old colonial town of Thames.  The Coromandel Peninsula, which is renowned for its natural beauty and pristine swimming beaches, is the perfect place to kick back and relax for a couple days. We’ll get settled into our beachside accommodation in Hahei before heading over to Hot Water Beach (tidal dependent). This is an absolute ‘must do’ experience where you can dig your own natural spa bath in the sand and soak up the Coromandel surrounds.  Tonight you have the option to join a group dinner for a classic Kiwi BBQ.

ACCOMODATION

Accommodation on the waterfront. 

SIGHTS

Optional Paid: Canyoning in Sleeping God Canyon* (hop-off in Thames).

Free: Visit Hot Water Beach for a natural beach spa (tide & weather dependent), walk to Cathedral Cove, explore old cultural sites or simply relax on the beach.

Today you have a full free day to embrace the laid back lifestyle that makes this area such a popular NZ holiday destination. Make the most of this special place by taking a scenic walk or kayak to the nearby Cathedral Cove, a paradise-like beach that you might recognize from one of the Narnia films. If you prefer water sports, the coast off Hahei is part of the protected Te-Whanganui-a-Hei Marine Reserve, which is a prime place to go scuba diving, snorkelling or take a glass bottom boat tour.

ACCOMODATION

Accommodation by the waterfront.

SIGHTS

Optional Paid Activities: Kayaking, scuba diving, bike hire, glass bottom boat tour.

Free Activities: Walk to Cathedral Cove, watch the sunrise on the beach, go snorkelling in the marine reserve, explore old cultural sites or simply relax on the beach.

We leave Hahei early to travel to the mighty Waikato region. First up is a little adventure into Bridal Veil Falls, where a short walk through beautiful native bush leads to an impressive cascading waterfall. Our destination today is at the world-renowned surf town of Raglan. There’s no better place to learn to surf; but if you don’t fancy a splash in the waves, the afternoon is free to watch the surfers from the beach or enjoy a bush walk. Chill out or go hard in this arty surf town.

ACCOMODATION

An eco-lodge, near the beach set in native bush.

SIGHTS

Optional Paid Activities: Learn to surf, sunset cruise, dine on fresh fish and chips for dinner.

Free Activities: Walk to the waterfall, bush walk around Mt Karioi, beach walk, glow-worm spotting in the bush, West Coast sunset, Inspiration Point.

Departing early, our first stop on route to Rotorua is at Waitomo, a small rural town where it’s main attraction is in fact underground. Don’t miss out on the opportunity for a seriously cool caving adventure that will have you wading, climbing, abseiling and tubing through Waitomo’s magnificent cave network. From here we continue on to Rotorua where you have the opportunity to make this a 10/10 day with a visit the world famous Hobbiton Movie Set. Explore the hills, gardens and houses that were home to Frodo and Bilbo in Peter Jackson’s epic trilogies. Those not interested in Hobbiton, will continue on to Rotorua and will be joined by the Hobbiton goers early evening.

ACCOMODATION

Comfortable central city hostel.

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Walk around Ruakuri Reserve, Waitomo Valley Caves walk

Paid Activities: Waitomo ‘must-do’ caving options or a glow-worm tour, Hobbiton, Tamaki Village

 

We depart at midday, leaving the morning free to get involved in one of the many adventure activities on offer in Rotorua. This afternoon our trip takes us further off the beaten track into the remote area of Lake Aniwhenua, voted as one of the top overnight stops. As we drive into the Kaingaroa Forest we will meet up with a respected Maori elder who will guide the group to a sacred archaeological site to view some of NZ’s oldest Maori rock carvings. As we approach the small township we will visit the local Marae (a Maori meeting house), where we will receive a traditional welcome and spend time learning about the Maori’s cultural beliefs, song and dance while sharing some ‘kai’ (afternoon tea). Tonight while staying in the tranquil oasis of Kohutapu Lodge, you will learn how to cook a traditional ‘Hangi’ (a feast cooked underground). Opt into one of the many activities on offer or simply enjoy a sunset drink at the Taniwha Bar overlooking the lake. You will be both touched and inspired as you learn about the beneficial community program to which Stray travellers are contributing.

Unique Experience: The Lake Aniwhenua overnight experience is $95, which includes comfortable lodge accommodation, a guided tour to sacred Maori rock carvings, a Marae experience, afternoon tea, delicious ‘Hangi’ dinner and buffet breakfast, participation in an altruistic community program.

ACCOMODATION

Scenic lakefront lodge, including afternoon tea, a Hangi dinner and breakfast

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Guided tour with a local Maori, Karakia (Maori blessing), relax by the lake, walks.

Paid Activities: Night eeling, flax weaving.

We depart at 7.00am and head to Taupo, see Huka Falls and have time to experience skydiving if you’re brave! Our destination is Blue Duck Station, a 7,200 acre high country station that is both a working farm and an environmental conservation leader.  

ACCOMODATION

Country station lodge.

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Huka Falls, walk around the stunning Whakahoro Station.

Paid Activities: Bungy Jump in Taupo, Skydive, jet boat ride. 

Today is yours to explore and discover this remote unique NZ destination! 

ACCOMODATION

Country station lodge. 

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Explore the amazing farm, go for a hike, relax. This place is EPIC!

Paid Activities: Horse riding, jet boating, 4WD touring.

Up early today to head to Tongariro National Park. You have a chance to walk the Tongariro Alpine Crossing – one of the world’s best day walks. 

ACCOMODATION

Alpine Lodge. 

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Taranaki Falls walk, visit the Volcanic Centre, Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s pool).

Paid Activities: New Zealand's best one-day walk, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. 

Today is mostly an express day to get to Wellington, and the afternoon is yours to explore the sites of the capital. Wellington is an awesome place to just hang out and check out the arts, shopping and the cafe scene. 

ACCOMODATION

Central city hostel.

SIGHTS

Free Activities: We recommend wandering down Oriental Parade or visiting Te Papa national museum.

Today it’s across the Cook Strait to the South Island. On arrival we cruise through the famous Marlborough vineyard area and depending on the group will stop for a bit of wine tasting, before heading to the coastal town of Nelson. Tonight we stay in Marahau, right on the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park. 

ACCOMODATION

Unique accommodation on the edge of the national park. 

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Walk in the national park or just relax on one of the golden sand beaches!

Paid Activities: Skydiving, guided kayaking, canyoning. 

You have the day at leisure to explore this coastal national park. Abel Tas (as the locals call it) is famous for being one of the sunniest spots in New Zealand and for its natural golden sand beaches. It’s a great place to hop off and explore via kayak, water taxi or go for a walk. 

ACCOMODATION

Accommodation on the edge of the National Park.

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Walk in the national park or just relax on one of the golden sand beaches!

Paid Activities: Skydiving, guided kayaking, canyoning, sailing trip. 

This morning you get the chance to get involved and give something back by participating in our Tree Planting Project. Become an eco-warrior, get soil under your finger nails and plant a tree with the Otuwhero Wetland Trust. This is a fantastic opportunity to create life-long memories of your time in New Zealand, and you can come back and visit your tree in years to come!

Today we head south towards the ‘wild’ West Coast passing through Buller Gorge and down a stretch of road that was recently rated one of the top ten drives in the world by Lonely Planet. We stop at Cape Foulwind to visit the seal colony and then head for the historic coal mining town, Westport. The sunset from our accommodation tonight is a must if the weather is clear!

ACCOMODATION

Charming character villa in the centre of town

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Westport seal colony, West Coast sunset, Truman Track walk.

Paid Activities: Surfing, horse riding, jet boating, caving. 

An early start takes us down the rugged West Coast to the spectacular Punakaiki limestone pancake rocks and blowholes. We’ll stop to take a short walk and grab refreshments at the café before we head for the historic gold mining town, Greymouth. We do pick-ups in Greymouth and make stops in Hokitika, before heading to the quaint little town of Franz Josef – home to the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. 

ACCOMODATION

Lodge in the middle of the rainforest

SIGHTS

Optional Activities: Bone carving and jade carving

Free Activities: Punakaiki pancake rocks and the mighty blowholes; walk along the beach.

Today is yours to explore Franz Josef. Most choose to go on a guided trip of the EPIC Franz Josef Glacier. 

ACCOMODATION

Lodge surrounded by the rainforest. 

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Explore the village, go for a hike.

Paid Activities: Franz Josef Glacier Hike, quad biking, scenic flights. 

We depart in the morning stopping for hostel pick-ups at Fox Glacier before heading for the amazing mirror Lake Matheson. Today we cross the mountainous Haast Pass and Makarora towards Wanaka. We’ll pass by the beautiful Lake Hawea and arrive in Wanaka late-afternoon in time to enjoy this picturesque lakeside town.  

ACCOMODATION

Central hostel.

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Stunning views on the way to Wanaka, Blue Pools walk, Thundercreek Falls walk, explore Wanaka.

We depart around mid-morning, giving you time to check out amazing views of the lake either by skydiving or taking a walk up Mt Iron! Then we’re off to Queenstown – the Adventure Capital of the World. 

ACCOMODATION

Central Hostel. 

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Watch people bungy jump, go for a hike.

Paid Activities: Bungy jump, skydiving, jet boat tour. 

Today is yours to explore Queenstown, or partake in one of dozens of adventure activities. Stick around Queenstown for as long as you like, there’s plenty to do. 

ACCOMODATION

Central Hostel. 

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Walk up Queenstown Hill, check out the Resort Town’s great views.

Paid Activities: Too many too list! Adventure activities galore, Lord of the Rings Tours, Wine tastings. 

Today it’s off over the Lindis Pass en route for New Zealand’s highest peak. We arrive in the early afternoon with time to do a Mt. Cook 4WD and Argo Tour, check out the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine centre or do one of the many great short walks in the park. 

ACCOMODATION

Stunning alpine lodge inside the National Park. 

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Take photos of stunning scenery.

Paid Activities: Cruise on a lake filled with iceburgs. Scenic flights. 

Leaving Mt Cook we make our way through a landscape made famous in the 'Lord of the Rings' films. We make a stop at turquoise Lake Tekapo before heading on to Geraldine, where we will drop off   the thrill seekers wanting to raft the top notch Grade 5 white water on the Rangitata River. Those not rafting will continue on to Christchurch for a mid-afternoon arrival, giving you time to explore parts of the South Island’s largest city. 

ACCOMODATION

Purpose built backpackers near the city centre

SIGHTS

Free activities: Take photos of stunning scenery, go for a walk around central Christchurch

Paid activities: Rangitata River rafting (late September – late March only).

We stop briefly to do pick-ups and drop-offs at the Christchurch International Airport as we depart early this morning for a stunning drive to Kaikoura. Leaving the Canterbury plains, you’ll soon be beside the mighty Pacific Ocean – potentially passing seals just on the rocks beside the road and with dolphins playing in the sea. You have the afternoon to explore Kaikoura or head out on a Whale Watching Tour (recommended!). 

Alternative Itinerary:

We are returning to an overnight stop in Kaikoura from 2nd January 2018. However, on the dates listed below, we will overnight in Picton instead of Kaikoura.

  • January: 7, 28, 29, 30
  • February: 5, 6, 7
  • March: 2, 4, 5

On these dates, we will travel via Kaikoura, stopping for lunch, and then continue up the coast to Picton. Passengers who are able to secure their own accommodation in Kaikoura on these dates are welcome to hop off and join the next available bus.

ACCOMODATION

Warm modern hostel. 

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Walk around the peninsula and up to the lookout.

Paid Activities: Whale watching, swim with dolphins (pre-booking is advised in summer for dolphin swimming). Go fishing and eat your spoils or try the amazing fresh fish and chips!

Leaving Kaikoura in the morning we wind our way up the rugged coastal roads, with stops for photos and a seal colony en-route. You can choose to spend the night in Picton, or head across the Cook Strait to Wellington. 

ACCOMODATION

Central hostel. 

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Seal colony.

We depart in the early morning. This is an express day via the National Park heading back to New Zealand’s largest city Auckland. You can hop off anywhere along the way. For those who may have missed out on hiking the Tongariro Crossing, you have the option to hop off in National Park and try again. With an early evening arrival, there’s still time to wander the streets of Auckland, visit the waterfront, do some souvenir shopping and hang out in some of Auckland’s lively cafes and bars. We hope you had a blast on your adventure!

ACCOMODATION

Central Auckland hostel. 

Similar New Zealand Tours

EXPLORE MORE

Hop on Hop Off Bus Pass

Ultimate New Zealand Bus Pass

Starts In: Auckland
Finishes In: Auckland
Number Of Days: 24

From: $1,325



Hop on Hop Off Bus Pass

Kiwi Experience Southern Round Up

Starts In: Queenstown
Finishes In: Queenstown
Number Of Days: 11

From: $699



Hop on Hop Off Bus Pass

Bay of Islands Bus Pass

Starts In: Auckland
Finishes In: Auckland
Number Of Days: 2

From: $105



Hop on Hop Off Bus Pass

North Island Bus Pass: 8+ Days

Starts In: Auckland
Finishes In: Auckland
Number Of Days: 10

From: $625


Reviews

0 reviews

There are no reviews posted.