Oz Experience and Kiwi Experience - hot or not??

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Oz Experience and Kiwi Experience - hot or not??

Postby tasha!! » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:35 pm

Hi all,

I'm going to be embarking on a round the world trip as a solo first time traveller at the end of this year. I have been considering booking onto the hop on, hop off bus passes in Oz and NZ for ease, convenience and a bit of a safety net. Although I reckon I am fairly down to earth and easy going, I have heard that these passes tend to attract masses of hormone overloaded, drunken teens and, at 24 years of age, I'm not sure if this does appeal to me as I would be on these buses for around three months!

Can anyone give me an idea of their experience of these passes? Is this an accurate description? Do I or don't I??

Thanks!

Tasha x :mrgreen:
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Re: Oz Experience and Kiwi Experience - hot or not??

Postby Zuleika » Thu Mar 25, 2010 3:19 pm

tasha!! wrote:Hi all,

Although I reckon I am fairly down to earth and easy going, I have heard that these passes tend to attract masses of hormone overloaded, drunken teens



not necessarily teens, but drunken party animals and the rest you mentions - YES +++++
Fine if thats what you want, but if you want to SEE anything of the country I would look else where - there are plenty of other companies running the exact same type of thing, but less partying - maybe one of these would suit better.
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Re: Oz Experience and Kiwi Experience - hot or not??

Postby tasha!! » Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:39 pm

Thanks for your post Zuleika,

Yeah, that was what I was afraid of, lol! Of course, I do want to have a laugh and hopefully have a few messy nights out but that isn't really the main reason I'm going travelling, I had four years of that at university! I do actually want to see the countries I am travelling through and experience more than just the clubbing/pubbing side of things.

Can you recommend any that might be more suited?

Tasha x
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Re: Oz Experience and Kiwi Experience - hot or not??

Postby jimshu » Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:01 pm

Best thing to do Tasha is stay flexible.Don't tie yourself up with a bus pass that means you have to use one company.Kiwi Experience you should still give it a go for 1 or 2 legs of your journey and see what it's like.And if you don't like it, use other options such as-
http://www.intercity.co.nz/
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Re: Oz Experience and Kiwi Experience - hot or not??

Postby Zuleika » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:53 am

Its a while since I went now and I dont think the company in NZ that I used exists anymore!!
But I have heard good things about The Magic bus and there is also a company called The Flying Kiwi which gets you involved in all sorts of activity side trips which could be good, and there is one called Stray travel - but that may be a little too like KiwiExp.
In Oz, especially up the East coast its very easy to meet backpackers in the hostels, some of whom will have purchased cars/campervans - hitch a lift for a share of the petrol costs - this gives you maximum flexibilty and is great fun. Failing that I got Greyhound bus. If you phone ahead a lot of the hostels will pick you up from the Greyhound station when you arrive, and sometimes the Greyhound will drop you off. Then I met people for partying at the hostels rather than on the buses.

PS - if you get a YHA card you can get a concession rate on Greyhound
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Re: Oz Experience and Kiwi Experience - hot or not??

Postby ballu » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:16 pm

I imagine there would be a party environment but...it's not so bad considering it's hop on/hop off. You use it to get to your destination, then you can do your own thing.
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Re: Oz Experience and Kiwi Experience - hot or not??

Postby nikimarcotte » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:03 pm

i did oz experience in 2000..i was 23 at the time and was not ever the oldest person on the buses, i thought it took a lot of stress out of travelling. it was also my first major solo trip and i met tonnes of great people, there are always some partiers, but there are plenty of others up for all activities along the way. have to say the east coast from sydney to cairns had the most 18-25 yr olds, the rest of the country routes had a pretty good mix, at one point we even had a couple of hard core travellers who were in thier 70's. they also take you places that greyhound does not go and stay in come interesting accommodations along the way when you are off the beaten track..i did greyhound a couple of times and they were my worst "travel in oz" experiences. also, unless you really research every stretch of road, hitchhiking can skip you past lots of neat places. i really liked the option of stopping off anywhere along the way if you saw a place you like or activities you want to do, then just calling up to book back on the bus when you were ready to move on. often, planned on stopping somewhere for a few days, hated it, and hopped back on the bus, then stopped somewhere i hadn't even heard of and had an awesome time. also nice to randomly meet up with others you have met before as you leapfrog along the same route. i also really liked that the bus drivers would stop ANYWHERE if you wanted a pic....like on the side of the road by a fun sign :D

i also did a short stint on kiwi experience, that was good too. if you have lots of time to see whatever you want along the way, then these passes can give you a general outline of you travels...up to you to make the details whatever you want.
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Re: Oz Experience and Kiwi Experience - hot or not??

Postby ellen22 » Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:14 am

Hi Tasha,

I'm looking at getting a coach pass to go round NZ in July this year and trying to decide which company to go for. I was originally going to go for Kiwi Experience but not so sure anymore. Anyways, I've found this review website: www.rankers.co.nz which has reviews for various companies (as well as accomodation, activities etc).

Take care,
Ellen :)
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Re: Oz Experience and Kiwi Experience - hot or not??

Postby tasha!! » Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:10 pm

Thanks for your responses guys!

I have had a look at The Magic Bus and that looks pretty good, but I want to do some more research into Stray and the Flying Kiwi too. Thanks for your help Zuleika, I probably wouldn't have even looked at these otherwise!

Also, although there seems to be a couple of options for NZ, I haven't really come across an alternative to OzEx for OZ apart from Greyhound. I'm a bit reluctant to use Greyhound as I think it may be too much for me as a first timer! Oz Ex sounds ideal to, as highlighted here, take some of the stress out of the experience. Has anyone come across a good alternative in Oz at all?

If there is no alternative I think I might just brave Oz Ex and then go with a different company to the Kiwi Ex in NZ. As Ballu says, it is a means to an end, and for all I know the Oz Ex might just be the best part of my travels, who knows?? I must admit though, some of the reviews have put me off!

Ellen, I'm going to check out that review page now. Have you managed to reach a decision yet? I'd be interested to know what you ended up doing and what you thought of it afterwards. I think I'm going to do as Jimshu suggests and leave it as last minute as possible really so I'm not tied into anything.

xx
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Re: Oz Experience and Kiwi Experience - hot or not??

Postby ellen22 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:16 pm

Hi Tasha,

At the moment I'm still deciding. I had pretty much decided on Stray, but they only run 3-4 buses a week in July whereas Kiwi Ex runs 5 days a week so could be easier. I think I might wait until I'm in Auckland and go and speak to companies in person (although that could waste my time a bit). I haven't tried Magic Bus yet though.
I'll definitely let you know how I get on though :) xx
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Re: Oz Experience and Kiwi Experience - hot or not??

Postby tasha!! » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:51 pm

Hi Ellen,

Yes, please do. I'm not leaving the UK until November and won't hit NZ until around Feb/March so I'm really at the very rough planning stage, whereas you seem a lot more clued up, lol!

I think that Kiwi Ex seems a bit too 'teenage party on wheels', but I'm worried that the Magic Bus might be a bit boring - not that I'm asking a lot....! I checked out the review site you mentioned and Stray seems to hit all the right spots.

I know I have ages yet, but I think I might also wait until closer to the time and just ask anyone I meet who has just been to Nz what they did and what they thought of it and then make a decision when I get there. I just want to try and be a bit prepared before I head off!

xx
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Re: Oz Experience and Kiwi Experience - hot or not??

Postby tasha!! » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:04 pm

Oooh, one thing I forgot to mention that is currently placing Stray above the Magic Bus for me is that Stray guarantees your first nights accommodation whereas I don't think the Magic Bus does. Might be something worth considering...

xx
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Re: Oz Experience and Kiwi Experience - hot or not??

Postby onyx007 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:03 am

Hi there, I've been there 2003 and I travelled with the Magic Bus, I thought it was just great travelling on my own. I had a really tight timetable as I wanted to see as much of New Zealand as I could in only four weeks.

With Magic Bus I managed to see almost everything you have to see in New Zealand in this short time;
North (Cape Reigna), Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Coromandel Peninsula, Nelson and the Abel Tasman N.P., Franz Josef Glacier, Queenstown and Milford Sound.

In Australia I went not with Bus Passes but with "Adventure Tours" which was also great, but not like the others an "Hop on-Hop off"-Option. The tour guides there are really great.
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Re: Oz Experience and Kiwi Experience - hot or not??

Postby ellen22 » Tue Jul 20, 2010 5:52 am

Hi Tasha

I said I'd let you know how I got on, so here goes...

I'm still in NZ but on the Magic Bus and it's brilliant. Most of the people I've met are in their mid-20's and although its not a 'going out every night' culture there are plenty of good times. I'd really recommend it to you!

Take care,
Ellen xx
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Re: Oz Experience and Kiwi Experience - hot or not??

Postby ardelia » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:13 pm

Thanks for the info! I plan to make the trip very soon, and this will be very helpful in my preparation. I still have lots to do before my trip, I need to gather some supplies, and secure some short term medical insurance. I would not go on a trip like this without it! I fear that I would find myself in serious need of medical care, and if I am not insured, I would take the risk of being turned down for medical care. This could be a very compromising situation being in a foreign country, so I will play it safe.
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