- Flexible travel around New Zealand
- Hop on hop off where you like
- Start in Christchurch, finish Auckland
- Pass valid for one year
- Best price guarantee on activities
- Accommodation guaranteed
- Knowledgeable local guide & driver
WHERE WE VISIT
- Abel Tasman
- Lake Mahinapua
- Franz Josef
- Lake Tekapo
Kiwi Experience 'Kea' Bus Pass - 15 DaysEnjoy flexible travel across New Zealand from Christchurch to Auckland with stops at Franz Josef and Queenstown in between!
Why do we love this
We love how flexible this bus pass is. Being able to choose exactly where and when you want to hop off means you can tailor your NZ adventure to your travel style!
What to Expect
Travel from South to North and soak up all New Zealand has to offer. Because the Kea pass heads up the coastline from Christchurch instead of cutting straight over to the West Coast, you get to see Nelson, the Abel Tasman National Park and its famous golden beaches! You'll also travel from Christchurch to Kaikoura twice, so you'll get to properly explore the area.
Passes are valid for one year. 15 days is the minimum time needed to complete this tour, however, you can travel for as long as you like.
Christchurch to Kaikoura
Kaikoura is known as one of the best coastal wildlife regions in the world - whales, dolphins and seals! You'll see them all today.
Departing Christchurch bright and early, you'll arrive in Kaikoura in time for you to check out the whale watching. You can also swim with the dolphins.
Spend the evening chilling on the beach or sampling some of the best seafood New Zealand has to offer for dinner. The name Kaikoura actually means to eat crayfish - “kai” meaning to eat, “koura” meaning crayfish.
Kaikoura to Kaiteriteri
This morning head north and take in the last of the dramatic Kaikoura coastline. It’s a spectacular drive, and there might even be the opportunity to stop for a closer look at the resident seals!
Make your way to Picton and then to Kaiteriteri at the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park. You can spend the evening on the golden sand beach just metres from your accommodation! Kaiteriteri is a great spot to begin an adventure (on foot, by kayak or by water taxi) into Abel Tasman National Park.
Kaiteriteri to Westport
Travel through snow-capped mountains and fantastic lakes on your journey towards the wild West Coast. Spend the morning kayaking out to Split Apple Rock and along the golden bays near Kaiteriteri, looking out for the local marine wildlife; or catch a water taxi to one of the bays in the Abel Tasman National Park. Take a morning stroll in the native New Zealand forest and soak in New Zealand's smallest and most stunning national park.
This afternoon you'll stop at the iconic Nelson Lakes on the way to Westport so you can snap your legendary wharf jumping shot.
Westport to Lake Mahinapua
Explore the rugged West Coast of NZ this morning. Start the journey down spectacular State Highway 6, a road that stretches 435 kilometres along the rugged Tasman shoreline. The road winds through a range of landscapes which are bound to amaze you.
Highlights today include the Cape Foulwind seal colony walk, rugged beaches, and the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks. Tonight you'll enjoy a delicious group meal and bond with your bus mates.
Lake Mahinapua to Franz Josef
After breakfast at Lake Mahinapua hit the road on your way to Franz Josef. Franz Josef is the northern gateway to Te Wahipounamu, the Southwest New Zealand World Heritage area. The region includes Aoraki/Mount Cook, Westland Tai Poutini, Mount Aspiring, the Fiordland National Parks, and surrounding conservation lands.
Spending an extra day in Franz Josef is a good idea as there's so much to explore!
We recommend staying an extra night in Franz Josef because there’s so much to do there. If you’re short on time, you can always skip this extra day, timetable allowing, and get to the next stop sooner.
Today is your chance to hike on Franz Josef Glacier, rated as one of the top three activities in New Zealand by Kiwi Experience passengers. You could also enjoy a scenic heli-flight over the glacier, go horseback riding, kayaking or explore the various walks in the area.
Franz Josef - Wanaka
Journey to the magical Southern Lakes region to take the time to chill by beautiful Lake Wanaka.
You'll start out early today in order to catch the perfect mirror reflection of Mt Cook and the Southern Alps on Lake Matheson. Then, cruise down the last stretch of Highway 6, stopping at popular scenic spots along the way.
Later, it’s into Mount Aspiring National Park, arriving in the awe-inspiring destination of Wanaka in the afternoon.
Wanaka - Queenstown
Before we leave Wanaka get your brain working at Puzzling World. Then it's on to the world’s first commercial bungy site - the Kawarau Bridge. Only the brave will sign themselves up for this iconic NZ activity. It's just a taste of what's to come...
Later, say hello to Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand…and the world! Head down to the spectacular waterfront before it’s out on the town exploring Queenstown’s infamous nightlife with all the crew.
We recommend staying an extra night in Queenstown because there’s so much to do there. If you’re short on time, you can always skip this extra day, timetable allowing, and get to the next stop sooner.
Queenstown is one of the most amazing places on Earth. No matter what time of the year there's tons to see and do. Take the time to spend a few days here as it is one of the most picturesque places in the world.
Make the most of the beautiful lake and surrounding walks, or get into a whole range of adrenalin pumping activities. And you can't miss day trip to Milford Sound, commonly referred to as The Eighth Wonder of the World.
Queenstown to Lake Tekapo
Head out of Queenstown through the Lindis Pass this morning. Get your cameras ready because this is ‘Lord of the Rings’ territory.
After stopping to admire Mt Cook at Lake Pukaki, travel to Lake Tekapo, an amazing place surrounded by snow-capped alps and clear starry skies. There's something for everyone here, whether you're relaxing at the lakeside and taking in the untouched view or soaking in the hot springs. You can also take a wander and discover one of the many scenic walkways or check out the mind-boggling stars in what is the world’s largest dark sky reserve.
Lake Tekapo to Christchurch
It's a straight run into Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island today. As you drive around, you'll discover a city rebuilding and flourishing in the wake of the 2011 earthquakes. Check out the funky Re:Start Mall and keep your eyes peeled for the sweet pop-up bars around the city.
Christchurch to Kaikoura
Here we go again! Start early today and head north from Christchurch across the northern Canterbury Plains. After a quick breakfast break in Cheviot, continue into Kaikoura.
Talk to your driver about some of the amazing experiences you can do in this spectacular harbour including whale watching, fishing, or swim with the dolphins or seals. Alternatively, walk down to the local seal colony and get up close and personal with some furry locals.
Kaikoura to Wellington (via Picton)
This morning, head north and take in the last of the dramatic Kaikoura coastline. It’s a spectacular drive and along the way you'll stop for a closer look at the friendly resident seals.
Make your way to the Picton ferry terminal in time to catch the afternoon sailing to the North Island. Say farewell to the South Island (Te Wai Pounamu) and you're off! The ferry ride takes a few hours so chill out and enjoy the view of the amazing Marlborough Sounds.
Wellington to Taupo
The drive today has beautiful rivers and lakes as well as Lord of the Rings landscapes!
With an early start from windy Wellington, you'll head north and pass through Taihape. Next, head to the Central Plateau, home of the Tongariro National Park.
Afterwards, it’s through to Taupo where you'll alongside NewZealand'ss biggest lake. And, if the weather suits, now is the time to skydive!
Taupo to Auckland (via Rotorua)
This morning you'll head north to Rotorua, renowned for its Maori heritage and thermal activity. You can hop off and spend a night tor two here or contjnue on to Auckalnd.
If you're travelling on, you'll stop in at Kiwi Encounter, where you can get up close and personal with national icon the Kiwi bird.
Next, make your way to Matamata (aka Hobbiton). You can jump off here if you’re a Lord of the Rings nut!
Then it’s onwards through the rolling countryside to the ‘City of Sails’. Call into the Kiwi Experience office for a chance to purchase merchandise, confirm future bookings or extend your trip even further!
Frequently Asked Questions
Every day that you are travelling on the bus, we will guarantee you a bed for your first nights stay in each overnight stop. In some locations the bus stays 2 or 3 consecutive nights (such as Taupo, Franz Josef and Queenstown) so we guarantee these nights too. In peak season when accommodation can be hard to come by, your driver guide will take care of all bookings for you as you go. If you are planning to stay somewhere longer than the minimum travel time, we recommend you contact the hostel we stay at in advance and secure those extra nights. All accommodation costs are additional to your bus pass.
Kiwi Experience pass allows you to hop-on and off our route wherever you like for as long as you like.
This means instead of purchasing a bus pass to travel from point A to point B and once getting to point B you stop; you will be purchasing a pass that you have 12 months to travel on, so make the most of this and come for longer than the 'minimum travel time' time on our passes.
In fact, we encourage you to jump off the bus to explore more of New Zealand! Try out one of New Zealand's Great Walks, chill out on a beach for a couple of days, stop for a few months if you have a working holiday visa or try out woofing in one of the many locations around the country.
Just a small reminder, when you are jumping on and off the bus for longer than the 'minimum' time, you do need to get in contact with us via email or phone so we can get you booked on another bus or cancel a bus you may be booked onto.
- Kiwi Experience travel passes (Travel Passes) are valid for travel in one direction for the route Auckland to Christchurch
- Travel using the Travel Pass must commence within 12 months of the date of purchase unless otherwise stated. Travel Passes are valid for 12 months from the first date of travel, or until you have travelled once over all sections of the Travel Pass, whichever occurs first.
Please note that the bookings are processed manually and please chat to us before making the booking or you can book with us and your booking is confirmed only once confirmed by the tour operator.
Cancellation policy for Travel Passes: In the event you have purchased a Travel Pass and subsequently wish to cancel it, Kiwi Experience may refund your Travel Pass at its sole discretion, in which event you will be required to pay a cancellation fee as follows: a. where the purchase price of the Travel Pass is less than NZD$200, the cancellation fee shall be equivalent to the price paid for the Travel Pass; b. where the purchase price of the Travel Pass is greater than NZD$200, the cancellation fee is NZD$200 ($166AUD). No Travel Pass may be cancelled following the first date of travel.
Why book with us?
- Best Price Guarantee
- Free & Easy Cancellation
- Up to 10% Cashback
- 100,000 5 Star Reviews
- Book Securely