Bus & Backpacking around New Zealand

By | September 5, 2021

Discover New Zealand with a bus pass in hand. Hop on and off the bus as you please and see the best of New Zealand as you meet new travel buddies for life. See hotels in New Zealand on ehotelat.

This trip shows you the best of New Zealand – both the North Island and the South Island. With a bus pass in hand, there is no pressure – you can hop off the bus anywhere. You only contact the bus company again when you are ready to see something new and hop back on board the green bus. Whether you are looking for adventure, a beautiful hike, cultural experiences, a weekend of skiing, meeting people or maybe just need a lazy week on the beach, a bus pass is a perfect way to experience New Zealand.

Day 1-2: Scandinavia-AucklandDay 3: Arrival in Auckland

You land in Auckland and head to your hostel. You have an overnight stay in Auckland.

The route of the bus pass is determined, but how long you spend in the different places is entirely up to you. The route looks like this:

Auckland-Hot Water Beach (Coromandel)

From Auckland, the journey goes towards Coromandel and the beautiful rock formations at Cathedral Cove. The area can only be reached on foot or by boat. Afterwards, you can relax on Hot Water Beach. Here you can dig your own spa pool in the sand. The warm water from the subsoil is at low tide just a small sod down in the sand.


Waitomo is known for its many cave systems. A guided tour of the caves is the only option if you want to watch the famous firefly larvae, “Glow Worms”, which light up the darkness.


Rotorua is known for its rich Maori culture and intense thermal activity underground. Here are geysers that spray and clay that bubbles. The city offers an abundance of activities: rafting, zorbing or maybe a moment at a Polynesian spa. One of the highlights of Rotorua is to go and experience a traditional Maori show, with a “Hangi” dinner, as well as the thermal areas.


Te Puia is New Zealand’s largest geyser and is on the program this morning. Continue towards Taupo, with a stop at the spectacular Huka waterfall. The water here is almost completely turquoise blue and even though the waterfall is not that high, the water pressure is huge, and very impressive. Taupo is known as the North Island’s activity capital, so here you can try skydiving, bungee jumping, and of course New Zealand’s most beautiful one-day hike, Tongariro Crossing.

River Valley

If you did not reach the Tongariro National Park from Taupo, you will have the opportunity now: there is time for a hike – bring a packed lunch and enjoy the insanely beautiful landscape. Today’s destination is River Valley – an ultimate “Adventure Lodge” with opportunities for rafting, horseback riding, hiking, etc.


Continue towards Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. Spend the afternoon taking a closer look at the city. There are many cozy restaurants and cafes and fascinating museums. For example, you can visit Te Papa, New Zealand’s interesting national museum. It is also possible to go on a guided tour of the Parliament buildings.


You can choose to take a boat from Wellington on the North Island to Picton on the South Island, or fly. You continue towards Abel Tasman, which is New Zealand’s smallest – but perhaps most beautiful – national park. Hiking or kayaking. The national park is actually best experienced from the water. The beautiful beaches, the dense vegetation, the turquoise sea with seal colonies – everything is best seen from a kayak.


From Abel Tasman, the journey goes to New Zealand’s west coast. Stop at Buller Gorge where it is possible to ride a jetboat, ride a quad bike or take a ride in the beautiful nature.

Westport Franz Josef

The west coast of New Zealand is barren but incredibly beautiful and you usually have a view of the foaming sea on one side and the fern-clad cliffs on the other side. The west coast of New Zealand is the wettest area in New Zealand. In some places it rains up to eight meters of rain per year. The Fox and Franzen Josef glaciers are quite unusual, as some of the ice masses are actually in the rainforest. Go on a hike and get close to the glacier. It is also possible to take a helicopter ride and land on the glacier.

Franz Josef-Wanaka

Lake Matheson is possibly New Zealand’s most photographed lake. The mountains in the background are reflected in the calm water and provide fantastic opportunities to take the perfect photo. Continue over the Haast Pass towards Mount Aspiring National Park and then Wanaka.


Queenstown is beautifully situated between the mountain range “The Remarkables” and Lake Wakatipu. It is a city for all ages and souls. It has a cozy promenade and a plethora of different restaurants, cafes, casinos and a lot of shops, within a relatively small area. As I said, this community is also perfect for anyone who loves an adrenaline rush. Here you can try bungee jumping, kite and paragliding, rafting and jet boating. Just outside the town at Glenorchy, you will find some of the places where The Lord of the Rings was filmed.

Queenstown-Lake Tekapo

From Queenstown you cross Lindis Pass – a hilly and very green landscape with fantastic mountains in the background, and on to Twizel and Lake Tekapo. The soft hills are gradually being replaced by a flatter terrain that offers a view of the “Southern Alps” on the horizon. The nature around Lake Tekapo is absolutely outstanding, and there are many hiking trails of varying lengths and levels of difficulty to choose from. In addition, the community also has some attractions in the form of “The Church of the Good Shepherd” and “The Sheep Dog Statue”, both built by some of the earliest immigrants.

Lake Tekapo-Christchurch

You travel the last bit from Lake Tekapo to Christchurch, where you have an overnight stay before your return trip – or your continued trip.

Day?: Departure Christchurch

Departure from Christchurch to Scandinavia or on to new adventures.

Overnight stays

Two nights in a hostel

Bus & Backpacking around New Zealand