• New Zealand Regions
      • Hawke's Bay
      • Bay of Plenty
      • Waikato
      • Whanganui
      • Manawatu
      • Northland
      • Auckland
      • Gisborne
      • Taranaki
      • Wellington
      • West Coast
      • Nelson
      • Canterbury
      • Otago
      • Marlborough
      • Southland
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      Hawke's Bay

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      Beaches, wineries and Art Deco. The Hawke's Bay has a diverse economy, including business services that support its sectors to be the second largest contributor to regional GDP in the country. A popular tourist destination, the region has some of the countries best restaurants as well as stunning scenery, markets and festivals.

      Districts

      HastingsNapier

      Bay of Plenty

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      The Bay of Plenty is officially New Zealand's sunniest destination, enjoying short-lived winters and long summer days. The Region offers some of the country's most spectacular views and many ways to enjoy the pristine scenery and natural wonders. Visitors also enjoy exploring the Bay's Māori heritage and pre-European roots.

      Districts

      OpotikiOpotiki iSiteKawerauWhakatane

      Waikato

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      The Waikato is known for its rolling plains, fertile land and the mighty Waikato River. The region is the fourth largest regional economy in New Zealand, with a strong focus on primary production and associated manufacturing.

      Districts

      South WaikatoWaikato District

      Whanganui

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      Welcome to Whanganui. This is our place; where history is full of stories, legends and rich legacy. Where a thriving arts scene, creativity and evolving culture inspire our modern lives. Where breath-taking natural landscapes capture imaginations at every turn.

      Manawatu

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      Located in the lower North Island, Manawatu is heartland New Zealand, offering an authentic Kiwi experience.

      The main in the region are Palmerston North, most notable for Massey University. Palmerston has a vibrant, arts and culture scene.

      The region's economy is based on food production and processing, research and education. The region is also home for the New Zealand defence force.

      Northland

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      Northland was originally home to some of our country's first human inhabitants. Today, it is one of the fastest growing regions in New Zealand and home to nearly 189,000 people. Rich in culture and history, the region boasts a stunning natural environment.

      Auckland

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      Auckland Region stretches from the the beaches of the Pacific Ocean in the east to the expansive beaches of the rugged west coast of the Tasman Sea. Auckland City, the largest urban area in New Zealand is considered the main economic center of New Zealand and a popular destination for international students and travellers.

      Gisborne

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      Gisborne is a Region on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island. It's known for wineries and surf beaches such as Makorori. The region has maintained a strong Maori heritage. The region's economy is made up mainly of agriculture, horticulture and forestry.

      Taranaki

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      Taranaki is a coastal and mountainous region on the western side of New Zealand's North Island. Its landscape is dominated by Mount Taranaki, its namesake volcano, which lies within the rainforested Egmont National Park.

      The port city of New Plymouth is the area's cultural and commercial hub. Taranaki's economy is diverse and includes dairy, oil and gas. The region is the highest contributor or national GDP per capita. 

      Wellington

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      The Wellington Region covers Wellington city in the south, Upper and Lower Hutt valleys to the north-east, and Porirua to the north-west. The region takes its name from Wellington, New Zealand's capital city.

      Wellington is famous for its arts and culture scene and is also the centre of New Zealand's film industry.

      West Coast

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      The West Coast, or as some locals call it, the "Wild West", is a long thin region that runs down the South Island's west coast.

      The region has the lowest population in all of New Zealand. It is famous for its rugged natural scenery such as the Pancake Rocks, the Blue Pools of Haast, and the glaciers.

      The main industries in the region are dairy farming and mining. Tourism also plays an important role.

      Nelson – Tasman

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      Nelson Tasman is an extraordinary, vibrant region where art and businesses thrive together among a stunning natural landscape. With one in five people internationally born, Nelson Tasman has 48 different cultures living in its environs.

      The region prides its self on being New Zealand’s leading Research and Development areas, with the highest proportion of people working in the research, science and tech sectors out of anywhere in New Zealand.

      Canterbury

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      Canterbury is a region on New Zealand’s South Island marked by grassy plains, clear lakes and snow-capped mountains. Its largest city, Christchurch, is famed for its art scene and green spaces.

      Otago

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      There are few places in the world which will leave you with a lasting sense of difference. Central Otago is undoubtedly one of them from its landscapes, its seasons, its people, its products and experiences.

      Marlborough

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      Marlborough Region is on the north-eastern corner of the South Island. The region is well known for its winemaking industry, and the Marlborough Sounds, an extensive network of coastal waterways, peninsulas and islands.

      Apart from the wine industry, aquaculture, agriculture and tourism play an important role in the local economy.

      Southland

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      Southland is New Zealand’s most southerly region and includes the World Heritage ranked Fiordland National Park.

      The region's only city Invercargill offers a relaxed pace of life with wide streets, little traffic, spacious parks and gardens, striking Victorian and Edwardian architecture and impressive sporting facilities including New Zealand’s first indoor velodrome. Southland's location is such that views of Aurora Australis or the Southern Lights are common.

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Travel around New Zealand by bus

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Bus travel and coach transport is ideal if you prefer to make your way around New Zealand without the hassle of self-driving.

This is a cost-effective alternative to air travel with daily scheduled passenger services available throughout the country. There’s also a multitude of coach companies serving the main towns and cities with Local services.

There are four different ways to travel across New Zealand by bus:

National Coach Services:

The most extensive public transport network in New Zealand is the national coach buses. This is the mode of public transport which will get you to most places.

The main national coach bus company in New Zealand is InterCity , however there are a number of small companies as well.

With national coach buses, single trip tickets can be purchased taking you from A to B. Bus passes can also be purchased, which is a great option if you plan to use InterCity on a regular basis.

For example, InterCity do a FlexiPass bus pass which runs on a “travel hours” basis, and they do a TravelPass bus pass which is a bus pass for a set route around the country including a few activities.

Using the national coach buses are easy. You can book your trip online or with most travel agents and accommodations in New Zealand. The bus show up at the required bus stop 15 minutes before the departure time. The bus driver usually asks for a name and booking number (or bus pass details) then you hop on the bus.

Bus trips usually involve a couple of 10-minute toilet/coffee breaks, as well as a 30-minute lunch break. Bus drivers give commentary on the speakers along the way and announce when approaching stops (so you’ll know when you reach your stop).

Backpacker Tour Buses

Another way to see New Zealand is on a bus tour. This is a guided route around the country with a group, a bus and a couple of tour guides or driver guides. Bus tours come with a lot of inclusions, such as accommodation, meals and some activities.

The bus companies that run tours in New Zealand include Contiki, G Adventures, Sweet As Travel, Haka Tours, Wild Kiwi, Topdeck and Flying Kiwi. What makes them “backpacker” tours is that they mostly attract young travellers, aged 18 – 30 years old, that are looking for an action-packed trip in New Zealand.

With bus tours, you have a huge variety of tours to choose from ranging 3 to 24 days. You pay for the whole trip before your chosen departure date, which often includes accommodation in a hostel dorm/tent in a camp site, at least one meal a day and some activities. You also have the option to choose some activity add-ons, upgrade to a private room or cabins, and provide information on any dietary requirements.

From there, you travel to New Zealand and usually, tour groups will have an “introduction” evening giving you a chance to meet everyone the day before the tour. Otherwise, turn up at the designated bus stop of meeting place on the trip departure date and away you go!

You will have a tour guide who will look after you for the whole trip. They will help organise booking for any additional activities you might want to do. Plus, make you aware of each days’ itinerary. They usually prepare meals or organise to make meals together as a group. As all tour guides do, they also give commentary as you are travelling through the country.

Hop-on Hop-off Buses

Like bus tours, hop-on hop-off buses follow set routes across the country with the option to “hop-off” just about anywhere along the route. Unlike bus tours, accommodation, meals and activities are not included in the price but are run on a more “pay-as-you-go” basis.

Bus passes for a chosen route are booked and paid for before departure. You can even buy a pass and decide your departure date later (as long as it’s within 12 months of purchasing the pass).

When you’re ready, book your departure date and meet your bus at the given location and time. From your departure date, bus passes are valid for one year.

For national routes, you are able to complete a route multiple times with a few conditions. You will meet your driver-guide who is your driver, tour guide and travel agent, where you will give your name and/or passenger number to get on the bus. Throughout each day that you travel on the bus (as opposed to the days that you hop off and do your own thing), there will be plenty of toilet/refreshment stops, short walks, photo stops, supermarkets and more.

Clipboards will go around the bus to sign up to accommodation choices and activity choices (if any) that you want the driver to book and organise for you. Accommodation is usually hostels with communal kitchen and lounge facilities. You pay for your accommodation and activities on arrival to said accommodation or activity.

Because meals are not included, you have the choice to eat out (if available) or cook in the hostel kitchen with food you would have bought at the supermarket stops.

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