Like everyone else here I need advice. I plan to go to New Zealand in February for 6 weeks to explore the delights of the country (something I've always wanted to do). This girl I know at work has just come back from OZ/NZ, where she spent 10 days in NZ. She used the kiwiexperience and highly recommends them. Now over the last 2 weeks I've been in contact with them with questions/advice and they've been super and really helpful. Now I had almost convinced myself that they were the right option UNTIL i stumbled across this website and in particular this thread. I had no idea there were other bus companies (my fault as I should've done some research). So now I am in a real dilemma.....do i go for kiwi experience, flying kiwi or magic bus??? I thought about the option of taking 2 companies (one for each island) but I'd rather stick with the one to get to know people I meet better.
Now I'm a really sociable person who easily gets along with people and always up for a laugh but at the same time I really want to experience as much of NZ as possible in the weeks I'm there. I really wanna experience the 'off the beaten track' areas and not just the tourist areas.
kiwiexperience seems like a good option but reading previous posts it seems drinking/partying play a major role and seeing how I don't drink and want to get as much travelling as possible....
Between Stray, Kiwi Exp and Magic, I dno't know if there is actually that much difference. the main one I think will be that the bus is smaller with stray, so there possibly will be less people on the stray buses, which could be a good or bad thing, depending on your point of view.
As for the drinking, that does happen, but you dno't have to drink. The Stray tour I've been on so far, the group does get together to mingle with each other and socialise, and over a few drinks is a way a lot of people do that sort of thing. But I've also had completely drink free nights. You just do what you want to do!!
As for which company, I'd take a look at their tickets and ignore all the places on them that they all go to, and look at the stops that are unique to each company, and then go with teh company that goes to the places you want to go.
i know there are so many to choose from, i think if you want to get off the beaten track then flying kiwi are the best bet. if you arent sure then i reckon try one of their shorter trips, if you like it you can just extend if its not for you then you could try another company
Thanks degeneration. It is kinda fustrating choosing one but your comments are helpful...honest.
travellerslegs, the 2 'problems' I have with flying kiwi is that they a) only use tents/camps for accomodation which doesn't really appeal to me on such a long stay and b) does not cover the eastern side of the North Island which is somewhere I really want to spend time.