The 15 Best Bus Tours in New Zealand šŸš [2024]© Backyard Roadies
The 15 Best Bus Tours in New Zealand šŸš [2024]

The 15 Best Bus Tours in New Zealand šŸš [2024]

© Backyard Roadies
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
NZ Pocket Guide is 10 years old. Thank you for trusting us with your trip for over a decade!

A Comparison of the National New Zealand Bus Tours

New Zealand is a land of so many breathtaking and diverse landscapes. With roads being the main way to get around, one of the best ways to see as much of the country as possible is by taking one of the unforgettable bus tours in New Zealand. Whatever your age, style of travel or budget, there’s a New Zealand bus tour to suit and we’ve compared some of the best bus tours below!

In this New Zealand bus tour comparison, we’ve compared each bus company’s longest national bus tour to give you an idea of where the bus tour visits and how much it will cost. However, some companies offer shorter national tours or even tours just visiting the North Island or South Island.

For more information on the type of bus trips available in New Zealand, take a look at the Bus Networks in New Zealand. Plus, don’t forget to bookmark Travel by Bus in New Zealand: The Ultimate Guide for even more tips.

5 Things to Compare Between New Zealand Bus Tours

We believe that there is no best bus company, as we are all looking for different travel experiences. However, it’s almost impossible to not have a blast on every single one of the New Zealand bus tours we list. Regardless, to help you make the best decision for yourself, here are a few tips!

1. Compare the Type of Tour

Are you a fully independent traveller that wants a cheap way to travel? Choose a coach network. Do you want some flexibility to leave the tour to make the most of an extended trip in New Zealand or a working holiday? Choose a hop-on hop-off bus. Or do you want an experience with the least organising to do as possible and just want to make the most of your limited time in New Zealand? Choose an all-inclusive bus tour!

2. Compare the Activities and Accommodation

You’ll get the best value for money if the tour includes activities that you want to do or at least gives you the option. If accommodation is important to you, then compare accommodation, as some will be in tents, hostels, 3-star hotels, 4-star hotels, cabins or something else. Is there a chance to upgrade to a private room if you want to and at what price?

3. Compare What the Passengers are Like

Taking a New Zealand bus tour is a social experience and you’re bound to meet some amazing people! People often make (or break) the experience. Some bus tours are catered to 18-35-year-olds, while others are more suitable for the 50+, others cater to families and mature couples… Take a look at the comparison below where we compare bus passengers as much as possible.

4. Compare the Destinations Visited

Does the bus company visit the New Zealand locations on your bucket list? Remember, even if they don’t stay the night in every destination around New Zealand, it’s likely that they will pass through giving you enough time to at least quickly visit the place. All the destinations in the comparison below are where the buses stay overnight.

5. Compare Prices

Budgeting is an important part of the holiday process! With all the inclusions taken into consideration, is the price worth it? A trick we like to do is to divide the price by the number of minimum travel days on a bus pass the result will give you a better idea of how much you are paying for the bus pass and its inclusions per day.

Before we begin, make sure that you understand the different types of bus tours in New Zealand by checking out our guide, What is the Difference Between the Buses in New Zealand?

The 15 Best Bus Tours in New Zealand šŸš [2024]© Backyard Roadies

Backyard Roadies

Backyard Roadies runs bus tours following a set route around the country. Accommodations and all breakfasts are included, as well as a few dinners. Some activities are included in the pass with options to add on paid experiences. The ferry crossing between islands on the national pass is also included. For more information, head straight to backyardroadies.com.

Inclusions with Backyard Roadies

Paid activities are on an optional pay-as-you-go scheme which you book with your driver. There are some paid activities included in the pass, such as a Maori cultural show and hangi dinner at Te Puia, a private sailing cruise on Lake Taupo, a Milford Sound cruise, a greenstone carving workshop in Franz Josef and more. There’s also the opportunity to do free activities like hikes and stop by free attractions along the way.

Accommodations are also included in the form of locally-run hostels and lodges where you will share a room with fellow passengers. What’s more, breakfast is included each day, as well as approximately four lunches/dinners throughout their full national tour.

Typical Passengers on Backyard Roadies

Backyard Roadies passengers are 18-40+ years old. In other words, they welcome just about anyone looking for a fun small-group adventure. There is a range of nationalities, usually from Europe, Australia, the Americas, Asia and even New Zealanders. Group sizes are kept small with up to a maximum of 16 passengers.

Destinations Visited with Backyard Roadies

There are multiple passes to suit travellers’ different travel times. Backyard Roadies’ full national bus pass has a minimum travel time of 21 days hitting the following locations:

Typical Prices

The full price for a national pass (21 days) with Backyard Roadies is NZ$5,632 per person.

The 15 Best Bus Tours in New Zealand šŸš [2023]© Wild Kiwi

Wild Kiwi

Wild Kiwi runs bus tours following set routes around the country. Accommodations and all breakfasts are included, as is one group dinner per week of travel. Some activities are also included in the pass with options to add on an exciting array of paid activities. Flights between islands on the national pass are also part of the package. For more information, see our guide to Wild Kiwi or head straight to wildkiwi.com.

As Wild Kiwi have a great range of shorter tours, we also list them in The 10 Best 7-Day Tours of New Zealand.

Inclusions with Wild Kiwi

Paid activities are on an optional pay-as-you-go scheme which you book with your driver. There are some paid activities included in the pass, such as the breathtaking geothermal park of Wai-O-Tapu and wine tasting in Marlborough. There’s also the opportunity to do free activities like hikes and stop by natural attractions along the way. Accommodations are also included in the form of hostels and cabins where you will share a room with fellow passengers. Private room upgrades are available at an additional cost. What’s more, breakfast is also included each day, as well as one group dinner per week of travel (so if you travel for the full three weeks you get three group dinners).

Typical Passengers on Wild Kiwi

Wild Kiwi passengers are 18-30-somethings. In other words, they welcome anyone up until their late 30s. There is a range of nationalities, usually from Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. Group sizes are kept small with up to 18 passengers.

Destinations Visited

There are multiple passes to suit travellers’ different travel times. Wild Kiwi’s full national bus pass has a minimum travel time of 21 days hitting the following locations:

Typical Wild Kiwi Tour Prices

The full price for a national pass (21 days) with Wild Kiwi is NZ$5,887 per person.

Haka Tours© Haka Tours

Haka Tours

Haka Tours runs bus tours following set routes around the country with specialised tours in snowsports, mountain biking and adventure. They also offer private tours and premium tours with extra comforts. Accommodations and breakfasts are included. Some activities are included in the passes with options to add on paid activities.

Inclusions with Haka Tours

Paid activities are optional for either pre-booking before the tour or on a pay-as-you-go scheme during the tour. There are a few paid activities included in the tours (depending on which tour you choose), such as mountain bike rentals, ski field lift passes, Maori hangi experience, Maori cultural night, pounamu/greenstone carving and more. There are always free activities such as hikes and stopping at free attractions along the way.

Accommodation and breakfasts are already arranged, with the accommodation being twin-share rooms in 3-4-star hotels on their Haka Plus Tours and in 4-6-bed dorms on all other tours. Accommodation upgrades are available. Other meals are at your own expense.

Typical Passengers on Haka Tours

Haka Tours does a good job and making sure passengers are either with a younger or older crowd, depending on what you prefer. Their “Adventure Tours” are set for 18-49 years old, while their “Haka Plus Tours” are for 30-70 years old. Passengers are usually from the UK, the US and Australia. Group sizes are an average of 12 people with a maximum of 16 – see The 6 Best Small Group Tours in New Zealand. Around 70% of passengers on Haka Tours are travelling solo.

Destinations Visited with Haka Tours

There are multiple passes to suit travellers’ different travel times and interests, particularly snowsports and mountain biking. Haka Tours’ full national bus pass has a minimum travel time of 23 days hitting the following locations:

Typical Haka Tour Prices

The price for a full national pass with Haka Tours is approximately NZ$5,700 for Adventure Tours (23 days) and NZ$9,700 for Haka Plus Tours (20 days).

Flying Kiwi© Flying Kiwi

Flying Kiwi

Flying Kiwi is an all-inclusive hop-on-hop-off bus tour, mainly travelled as a set bus tour taking one set route around the country. Food (mainly breakfast and dinner) is included as well as camping accommodation. However, there is the option to hop off the bus anywhere along the route and then hop on another bus at an arranged time and date. For more information on how Flying Kiwi works, see this guide to Flying Kiwi.

Inclusions with Flying Kiwi

Paid activities are on an optional pay-as-you-go scheme where the bus driver will book activities and transport you to those activities. There is the odd paid activity included in the tour, such as Marlborough wine tasting. There are always free options such as hikes and stopping at free attractions along the way. Hiring a bike is a popular option with Flying Kiwi, where the team will have your hired bike on board and stop at plenty of bike trails along the way. Accommodation and food are already arranged, with the accommodation being in two-man tents, with upgrades available in some campsites.

Typical Passengers on Flying Kiwi

Although Flying Kiwi claims to have passengers of 16-60 years old, they mostly have passengers aged between 20 years old to 40 years old with an average being the mid-20s. The trips are popular with UK and European travellers, however, you will still find the odd mix of travellers from the Americas. Group sizes are around 10-20 people per bus.

Destinations Visited with Flying Kiwi

There are multiple passes to suit travellers’ different travel times. Flying Kiwi’s full national bus pass has a minimum travel time of 23 days hitting the following locations:

For more tours from Auckland, check out The 5 Best New Zealand Tours Starting from Auckland.

Typical Flying Kiwi Tour Prices

The full price for a national pass (23 days) with Flying Kiwi is approximately NZ$6,705.

InterCity© InterCity

InterCity

InterCity is a coach network used by locals and travellers alike in New Zealand mostly for an affordable way to get between towns and cities across the country. InterCity offers a couple of different bus passes to travellers: the FlexiPass and the TravelPass. FlexiPass gives travellers a set amount of hours to travel anywhere in the country, while the TravelPass is a set route around the country typical of other bus tours in New Zealand. Find out more about how they work in What’s the Difference Between InterCity Backpacker Bus Passes?

Inclusions with InterCity

Travelling with InterCity is a much more independent travel option in comparison to other bus tours, so accommodation and activities are not typically included in your bus ticket. However, some TravelPass bus passes have activities included, such as a Milford Sound day trip and cruise, Hobbiton Movie Set and a Cape Reinga day tour. The ferry between the North Island and the South Island is also included in the national TravelPass. You will need to book other activities and accommodations and buy food independently.

Typical Passengers on InterCity

InterCity has the broadest range of passengers out of all the New Zealand bus tours on this list due to the fact that it is the largest (and only) national coach network in New Zealand. There will be a mix of travellers from all over the world and New Zealanders.

Destinations Visited with InterCity

With InterCity, you can travel almost anywhere in New Zealand with more than 140 daily departures. With the FlexiPass, you decide the destinations. With the TravelPass, you choose one of the set routes on offer. It’s best to browse the InterCity website to see the vastness of their network.

Typical InterCity Prices

A full national TravelPass with activities included is NZ$530, while a 60-hour FlexiPass costs around NZ$520 (which will get you to around 13 destinations from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South Island and back again).

AAT Kings© AAT Kings

AAT Kings

This all-inclusive coach tour caters to a wide range of travellers, from family holidaymakers to retired couples from all over the world. There’s a good mix of activities included in AAT Kings national New Zealand bus tour, as well as giving passengers the opportunity to enjoy some free time along the set national route. Because AAT Kings also appeals to the older crowd, we also list them in The 5 Best New Zealand Tours for Seniors.

Inclusions with AAT Kings

In this all-inclusive bus tour, accommodation is provided in a wide range of hotel brands, such as Ibis and Copthorne. 20 breakfasts, one lunch and eight dinners are included in the 21-day national tour, as an example. Airport transfers are available. Selected paid activities are included such as a Milford Sound cruise, a Maori cultural experience with Te Puia, Waitomo Glowworm Caves and short walks to free attractions. There are options to add activities to your itinerary at an added cost. The North Island-South Island ferry is also included.

Typical Passengers on AAT Kings

AAT Kings has a diverse range of passengers from North America, the UK, Europe and Asia. You’ll find a mix of families with young children (minimum 5 years old), as well as older couples and solo travellers typically around the 40-60 age range. Group sizes tend to be 20-50 passengers per bus.

Destinations Visited with AAT Kings

There are multiple passes to suit travellers’ different travel times. AAT Kings’ full national bus tour has a travel time of 21 days taking you to the following locations:

For more tours from Christchurch, check out The 5 Best New Zealand Tours Starting from Christchurch.

Typical AAT Kings Tours Prices

A full national tour with AAT Kings is around NZ$11,150 if staying in a twin/double room, but the pass is very often on sale. Note that staying in a private single room adds around NZ$3,000 to the prices stated. Child prices are also available, usually around NZ$1,000 cheaper than the adult price. You can compare AAT Kings tours on Tour Radar to get the best deal.

Exodus Travel© Exodus Travel

Exodus Travels

Exodus Travels in an all-inclusive adventure holiday, travelling New Zealand by mini-bus on a set route around the country. The main focus of this national bus tour is the hiking trails meaning that much of the accommodation and experiences are in the outdoors through mountain huts and cabins. The tours are generally only available during the summer season. See how Exodus Travel compares to similar tours in 5 Best Hiking Tours of New Zealand.

Inclusions with Exodus Travels

In this all-inclusive bus tour, accommodation is provided in the form of hotels, lodges, cabins, mountain huts and camping accommodations. 14 breakfasts, 16 lunches, and three dinners are included in the 19-day national tour. Some paid activities are included, such as heli-hiking, but the main focus of the Exodus Travels New Zealand tours are hiking trails (which are free to walk). There are options to add activities to your itinerary at an added cost. Other transport included is the flight from Wellington to Nelson (North Island to South Island).

Typical Passengers with Exodus Travels

Exodus Travels‘ attracts a wide range of passengers in terms of age, usually averaging around the late-20s and early-30s, travelling either solo, as couples or as a couple of friends. Group sizes tend to be 5-12 passengers per bus up to a maximum of 16.

Destinations Visited with Exodus Travels

There are a couple of different passes to suit travellers’ different travel times. Exodus Travels full national bus tour has a travel time of 19 days taking you to the following locations:

Typical Exodus Travels Tour Prices

A full national tour with Exodus Travels is approximately NZ$14,300 in the peak season staying in shared accommodation (it’s around a NZ$2,300 supplement if you want to stay in private accommodation).

TravelMarvel© TravelMarvel

Travelmarvel

Travelmarvel‘s national tour packs plenty of fun yet easy-going activities in a 15-day national tour, perfect for those aged 50+ years old. Passengers get to enjoy all the major highlights that most travellers have on their New Zealand bucket list. Plus, the price is not too hard on the wallet.

Inclusions with Travelmarvel

In this all-inclusive bus tour, accommodation is provided in the form of hotels with brands such as Sudima and Copthorne. 14 breakfasts, one lunch and seven dinners are included in the 15-day national tour. Airport transfers are available on your first and last day of the tour, as is the North Island-South Island ferry. There is a great deal of paid activities included in the price of the tour, such as a Milford Sound cruise, a Maori hangi feast and show in Rotorua and a ride on the TranzAlpine train. There are options to add activities to your itinerary at an added cost.

Typical Passengers on Travelmarvel

Travelmarvel passengers are typically 55+ years old, travelling either solo, as couples or a couple of friends. Group sizes tend to be 20-48 passengers per bus. Again, more tours for mature crowds can be found in The 5 Best New Zealand Tours for Seniors (Over 40s, 50s & 60s).

Destinations Visited with Travelmarvel

There are multiple passes to suit travellers’ different travel times. Travelmarvels full national bus tour has a travel time of 15 days taking you to the following locations:

Typical Travelmarvel Tour Prices

A full national tour with Travelmarvel is around NZ$6,900 if staying in a twin/double room, but the pass is very often on sale. You can usually pick up a national pass for around NZ$6,500. Note that staying in a private single room adds around NZ$2,000 to the prices stated.

Kiwi Experience© Kiwi Experience

Kiwi Experience

The hop-on hop-off bus company, Kiwi Experience, follows a set route in one direction around the country. Passengers have the opportunity to “hop off” the bus anywhere along the route and “hop on” another bus at a prearranged time and date. Certain passes allow “unlimited travel” meaning you can do the route multiple times while your pass is valid (usually 12 months from your start date) as long as you travel in order and when there is availability. For a complete review of Kiwi Experience’s hop-on hop-off bus tour, head to What is it Really Like to Travel with Kiwi Experience?

Kiwi Experience also operates a number of all-inclusive bus tours called “Small Group Tours“. They follow a set route around the country in a predetermined number of days. Accommodations and some meals are included (mostly breakfast). Some activities are included in the pass with options to add on paid activities.

Inclusions with Kiwi Experience

Paid activities are on an optional pay-as-you-go scheme where the bus driver will book activities and accommodation (mainly hostels) for you as you travel, but note that accommodation is not included in the price of the bus pass. However, you can choose to arrange your own activities and accommodation as you wish. There are opportunities to do free activities as you go, as your driver will stop at free walks and attractions along the route. Discover more about what it’s like to travel with Kiwi Experience in A Day in the Life of a Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Passenger.

On Kiwi Experience’s Small Group Tours, accommodation is included in hostels, usually on a shared basis but there are opportunities to upgrade to a private room at an extra cost. Activities included are a guided tour of Te Puia geothermal park, a stargazing tour with Dark Sky Project, the Ruakuri Cave tour in Waitomo, wine tasting in Marlborough, greenstone carving and more. The tour also stops for plenty of free walks and hikes. Most breakfasts are also included, as well as a couple of dinners.

Typical Passengers on Kiwi Experience

Kiwi Experience boasts a bus tour experience for 20-something adventurous backpackers. 18-25-year-old passengers from the UK and Europe are often the majority with a larger ratio of females to males. Nevertheless, you will still find a diverse range of people outside of the “typical” age range and nationality. Expect group sizes to fill two large coach buses in the peak season and almost fill one large coach bus in the low season.

On the Small Group tours, the maximum group size is 16. While the age limit is between 18 and 49 years old, the tours attract those in their early 20s to early 30s.

For more tours appealing to 18 to 30-somethings, check out The 10 Best Backpacker Bus Tours in New Zealand.

Destinations Visited with Kiwi Experience

There are multiple passes to suit travellers’ different travel times. Kiwi Experience’s full national bus pass has a minimum travel time of 25 days hitting the following locations:

Typical Kiwi Experience Tour Prices

The full price for a national pass (25+ days) is around NZ$1,900 but you will never pay the full retail price for a Kiwi Experience bus pass. Sales on bus passes happen year-round, usually bringing you around NZ$1,500 for a full national bus pass. Small Group Tours cost approximately NZ$4,600 for their most complete tour (19 days).

For budget tips for hop-on hop-off bus travel, check out How to Budget for a Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Trip Around New Zealand.

Contiki© Contiki

Contiki

Contiki is an all-inclusive bus tour for travellers aged 18-35 following a set route around the country. At least one meal a day is included, as well as accommodation and some activities. For more information on how Contiki works, see Contiki Vs. G Adventures: Comparison for New Zealand.

Inclusions on Contiki

Accommodation is included in Contiki bus tours in the form of hotels and lodges. You may share a room with 1-4 other passengers or upgrade to get a private room. Some activities are included in your bus pass, such as a Maori hangi meal, a visit to a wildlife rescue centre and more. For other paid activities you can either add them to your tour when booking your pass or book with the driver as you travel. Food is also included in Contiki tours, usually breakfast and occasionally lunch or dinner.

Typical Passengers on Contiki

Contiki tours are aimed at 18-35-year-olds with the majority of passengers usually being 18-25 years old. There is usually a ratio of more females to males. There can be a mix of nationalities, however, most passengers are from the Americas and Australia. Group sizes are usually a full large coach in the peak season and about half a large coach in the shoulder seasons. For more tours for younger travellers, check out The 10 Best Backpacker Bus Tours in New Zealand.

Destinations Visited with Contiki

There are multiple passes to suit travellers’ different travel times. Contiki’s full national bus pass has a minimum travel time of 21 days hitting the following locations:

Typical Contiki Tour Prices

A full national pass with Contiki is around NZ$6,140 but the pass is very often on sale. You can usually pick up a national pass for around NZ$5,300.

Explore!© Explore!

Explore!

Explore! offers one type of national tour of New Zealand designed for walkers and hikers. The tour is of an easy hiking level and is open to all types of active travellers. The tour starts in Auckland and ends in Christchurch, with an itinerary that includes the Tongariro Crossing from October to June. The included accommodation is in three to four-star hotels, with all breakfasts and a couple of extra meals included.

Inclusions with Explore!

All of the activities and walks are included in the Explore! itineraries come at no extra cost. Paid activities included are entry to the Hobbiton Movie Set, wine tasting in Hawke’s Bay, and a Doubtful Sound cruise. All walks and transport to/from walks are free. You will also get ample free time to organise your own activities or explore on your own. Accommodation is also included in the form of three to four-star hotel accommodation. Airport transfers are also included in the cost.

Typical Passengers on Explore!

Passengers on Explore! tours typically come from the UK, Europe, the US, Canada and Australia. Group sizes are between 10 to 15 people with a wide age range from young adults to seniors. In terms of interests, Explore! appeals to active travellers. For more such tours, check out 5 Best Hiking Tours of New Zealand: Guided Tours with Walks!

Destinations Visited with Explore!

Explore’s 19-day New Zealand tour covers the following locations:

Typical Explore! Tour Prices

The full price for the national New Zealand tour (19 days) with Explore! is around NZ$11,000.

Stray© Stray

Stray Travel

Note that Stray’s hop-on hop-off bus passes are suspended until further notice. Their all-inclusive bus tours (Journey Tours) are currently operating.

Stray Travel follows a set route around the country in a predetermined number of days. Accommodations and some meals are included (mostly breakfast). Some activities are included in the pass with options to add on paid activities.

Inclusions with Stray Travel

On “Journey Tours”, accommodation is included in a mix of hotels, boutique accommodations and lodges, usually on a shared basis but there are opportunities to upgrade to a private room at an extra cost. Activities included are a cultural and Maori hangi experience, a canoe trip on the Whanganui River and a Milford Sound cruise. All breakfasts are also included.

Typical Passengers on Stray

Stray boasts tours for 20-something-year-old backpackers wanting to get more off the beaten track. While you will find a diverse range of ages and nationalities, Stray passengers are more likely to be anywhere between 18-30 years old. There is usually a ratio of more females to males, mainly coming from the UK, Europe and the US. They typically have a smaller group size to a maximum of 24 people.

For more tours for younger travellers, check out The 10 Best Backpacker Bus Tours in New Zealand.

Destinations Visited with Stray

There are multiple passes to suit travellers’ different travel times. Stray’s full national tour lasts 24 days and stay in the following destinations:

Typical Stray Travel Tour Prices

Stray’s longest all-inclusive tour (24 days) is approximately NZ$7,000 but can usually be found on sale for around NZ$5,700.

The 10 Best Bus Tours in New Zealand šŸš [2023]© Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel (Premium)

Update: Intrepid Travel’s standard tours are now operated by Haka Tours (see above). This listing refers to Intrepid Travel’s premium offering known as Intrepid Premium. 

Explore New Zealand with the minibus tour of Intrepid Premium. Their full national tours last 17 days starting from Auckland. Accommodation is included in the tour, as well as a substantial number of meals. You’ll have the opportunity to do some free hikes with the tour, as well as some optional paid activities. Tours are for young adults up to middle-aged travellers.

Inclusions with Intrepid Travel

On the 17-day tour, around 16 breakfasts, five lunches and four dinners are included as meals. All accommodation is included, which features hotels, resorts, homesteads and an overnight cruise staying in a shared twin room. While there are some free activities and walks available on the tour, there is a substantial number of paid activities included, such as the ferry to Waiheke Island and a wine tour, the Hobbiton Movie Set, the Ruakuri Cave at Waitomo, Te Puia Geothermal Area, the West Coast Treetops Walk, overnight Milford Sound cruise, cheese and wine pairing at the Gibbston Winery and the list goes on and on.

Typical Passengers on Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Premium experiences a wide range of age ranges in their passengers, from 15 years old to 50+ years old. Group sizes are small with a maximum of 12 people per group. Nationalities on the bus include British, European, American, Canadian, Australian and more. For more small-group tours, check out The 6 Best Small Group Tours in New Zealand.

Destinations Visited with Intrepid Travel

The 17-day national tour with Intrepid Travel starts in Auckland and ends in Queenstown or you can do the trip vice versa. Destinations include:

Typical Intrepid Travel Prices

The full price of the national tours (17 days) with Intrepid Premium is around NZ$13,700 on a twin-share basis for accommodation. Note that a private room adds approximately NZ$3,350 to the original price.

Kirra Tours© Kirra Tours

Kirra Tours

This all-inclusive coach tour does all the planning and activity choices for you so you can relax and enjoy the holiday. Kirra Tours takes passengers to the main highlights of New Zealand with a jam-packed itinerary and high-quality meals and accommodation. This is a real “treat yourself” tour.

Inclusions with Kirra Tours

On their all-inclusive bus tours, accommodation is provided in the form of 3.5-4-star hotel and lodge accommodation. 15 breakfasts, four lunches, and four dinners are included in the 16-day national tour. Airport transfers are available at the beginning and end of the tour. Paid activities are included, including (but not limited to) a Maori cultural experience and hangi, Buried Village in Rotorua, a Doubtful Sound cruise, entry to Larnach Castle and short walks to free attractions. There are options to add activities to your itinerary at an added cost. Other transport options included are the North Island-South Island ferry and TranzAlpine train.

Typical Passengers on Kirra Tours

Kirra Tours passengers are typically 50+ years old, travelling either solo, as couples or as a couple of friends. Group sizes tend to be 10-24 passengers per bus. For more tours for mature travellers, check out The 5 Best New Zealand Tours for Seniors (Over 40s, 50s & 60s).

Destinations Visited with Kirra Tours

There are multiple passes to suit travellers’ different travel times. Kirra Tours’ full national bus tour has a travel time of 16 days taking you to the following locations:

Typical Kirra Tours Prices

A full national tour with Kirra Tours is around NZ$8,300 if staying in a twin/double room. Note that staying in a private single room adds around NZ$1,700 to the prices stated.

Grand Pacific Tours© Grand Pacific Tours

Grand Pacific Tours

With an impressive number of activity inclusions, 3.5-star accommodations and the amount of included meals, Grand Pacific Tours provides a great value-for-money national bus tour for older solo travellers, couples or groups of friends. Everything is organised for you in this all-inclusive coach tour, so just enjoy! The tours can be compared to The 5 Best New Zealand Tours for Seniors (Over 40s, 50s & 60s).

Inclusions with Grand Pacific Tours

In their all-inclusive bus tours, accommodation is provided in the form of 3.5-star hotels and lodges. 18 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 16 dinners are included in the 19-day national tour. Airport transfers are available at the beginning and end of the tour. Paid activities are included, including (but certainly not limited to) the Lake District Museum, Skyline Rotorua & Luge, Agrodome, Milford Sound cruise, the Christchurch Tram, Larnach Castle high tea, Bay of Islands cruise, short walks to free attractions and much more.

There are options to add activities to your itinerary at an added cost. Other transport options included are the North Island-South Island ferry and the TranzAlpine railway journey. If travelling from Australia, there is also the option for Grand Pacific Tours to organise your flight and add it to your tour price.

Typical Passengers on Grand Pacific Tours

Grand Pacific Tours passengers are typically 50+ years old, travelling either solo, as couples or as a couple of friends. Group sizes tend to be 10-48 passengers per bus. Nationalities range from New Zealander and Australian to British, European and North American. Note that they also have tours especially catered to solo travellers.

Destinations Visited with Grand Pacific Tours

There are multiple passes to suit travellers’ different travel times. Grand Pacific Tours’ full national bus tour has a travel time of 19 days taking you to the following locations:

Note that many of their tours depart from Christchurch on the South Island, along with The 5 Best New Zealand Tours Starting from Christchurch.

Typical Grand Pacific Tour Prices

A full national tour with Grand Pacific Tours is around NZ$11,100 if staying in a twin/double room. Note that staying in a private single room adds around NZ$2,000 to the prices stated.

More About Bus Tours in New Zealand

That’s it for our list of the best bus tours in New Zealand! For more advice to help plan the ultimate New Zealand bus tour adventure, check out the following guides:

Finally, make sure you don’t miss a thing about planning a trip around New Zealand with The Best Travel Guide to New Zealand.

Sources:

The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

Was this article useful?

Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter