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First solo travel to NZ

London, United...
4 posts
First solo travel to NZ

Hi all,

I'm planning on heading to New Zealand for a few months from October. I was wondering if anyone had ideas of the best way to travel and see as much of the country as possible as well as meeting people along the way - I'd like to avoid hiring a car if possible. Budget isn't too much of an issue (as long as it's not ridiculously expensive).

As well as seeing the sights I'd like to get involved in kayaking, canoeing and sailing as much as possible.

Any ideas would be great,


Level Contributor
42 posts
33 reviews
1. Re: First solo travel to NZ

If you are in NZ for a few months purchasing a car or small camper and reselling when you leave will be cheaper than renting a car. Look at www.trademe.co.nz or there are some car companies that guarantee buy back for travelers

There are a number of tour companies and bus routes, the down side being you wont always be able to get to where you want to go. There is limited rail .

If you want to meet fellow travelers then backpackers are the place to stay. They are everywhere and you will be able to find single or dorm rooms depending on your preference.

To meet locals head to the local pub or community events

England, United...
Destination Expert
for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
Level Contributor
34,492 posts
111 reviews
2. Re: First solo travel to NZ

I can't beat Toroas knowledge as I haven't got there yet.

I did meet a lady who had just booked the first 2 nights on arrival and went straight to the Information Centre where she was able to book onward travel, accommodation and worked her way around like that.

It all depends on what you want to see and how you like to travel.

Love Toroas link on the buy back scheme. I was hoping to do that in Oz but the global meltdown happened just a year before I was due to go and it all went pear shaped.

I would suggest a tourist map like the LandRanger OS ones here which gives you contours, roads and sights. By driving yourself you are more likely to come across things that the usual 'spot the major sight' tourists won't get to experience.

Simon, for the sports side post on the NZ forum for info. I do know there is tons to do in that way and it's an amazing place to do it.

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
Level Contributor
72,930 posts
476 reviews
3. Re: First solo travel to NZ

I used the coach to get around, and I stayed in motels that had some kitchen facilities to save on eating out all the time. Mostly I made my own sandwiches, snacks and light meals rather than full meals.

I went to the Bay of Islands, where there were plenty of hostels and loads of friendly people, Auckland, ditto, Rotorua (I found lots of cheap grub there and some great local beer), Lake Taupo, Wellington, Picton, Kaikoura, Christchurch, the train to Greymouth, then Fox Glacier, Haast, Queenstown, Te Anau, then back to Christchurch to fly home.

I found the coach to be really easy and good value to book in advance. Some of my trips were quite long, but there were several refreshment stops en route.

In all these places I found planet of other travellers, many of whom were travelling solo. I also found that there were loads of excellent outdoor activities just about everywhere.

London, United...
4 posts
4. Re: First solo travel to NZ

Thanks for all the ideas. Someone on the NZ forum mentioned Stray buses so might give them a go. This gives me lots of things to look up and find out about.

Limerick, Ireland
Level Contributor
5 posts
52 reviews
5. Re: First solo travel to NZ

All I'm saying is I'm well jealous u lucky thing heading off. I travelled the north and South Island in The Stray Bus. Brilliant service, they organise accomm, bring u to all the attractions and its full of like minded travellers. The craic is unreal on the bus.

1 post
2 reviews
6. Re: First solo travel to NZ

Hi Simon. I'm doing the same thing, arrive mid October and torn between planning or just winging it. I guess until you get there your not gonna really know. I did Oz last year, met a group of people and camper vanned it up the coast. Hoping a similar thing happens,. You will definitely meet people in hostels and any travellers bus you go on though :-)

7. Re: First solo travel to NZ

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