Joined: 08 May 2006
Location: Wanganui City, New Zealand
|Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 9:13 pm Post subject: Best way to travel in New Zealand
|There are many ways for tourists to travel within New Zealand and these are as follows.
Cycle tour. If you plan to travel on the remote roads that give access to the national parks then a mountain bike is the best option. These roads are often gravel and normal road tires don't provide enough traction would soon wear out. Bikes can be brought quite cheaply and can be sold on at the end of your journey. In addition to the bike it is advisable to have side mounted luggage bags and a secure lock and chain. NZ law states that everyone riding a cycle on a public road must wear a cycle helmet. The bus and train services can carry cycles as luggage howvere you do need to book in advance as normal luggage takes first preference.
Bus touring. The main bus companies for independent travellers are Intercity Coach Lines, Newmans, Kiwi Experience, The Magic bus. Intercity have the best schedules and cover more of New Zealand than any other companies. There are smaller companies that specialise in taking tourists to locations off the tourist trail. They usually operate in specific regions. Holders of backpacker cards such as VIP, Budget and YHA can obtain discounts from the major bus companies and many offer discounts for students with suitable ID.
In recent years the use of passanger trains has become less, consequently many of the routes have been withdrawn. In the North Island there is a train service down the centre of the island and in the South island they only run down the east coast and also across the island from Christchurch to Greymouth. This is an exceptional route travelling through the mountain region.
Rental cars can be quite economical for long term hires and this gives you the opportuity to have independence and travel to unusual places. Most rental companies have off season discounts (March - July) Some companies also hire backpacker camper vans which contain a bed and basic camping equipment.
Purchase a car
Many travellers choose to purchase a cheap secondhand car or van and then sell it at the end of the trip. For a stay of 6 months or longer this can be a cheap option. A reliable cheap car can be purchased for between NZ$1500 - 2500. Before purchasing it is worthwhile to obtain a vehicle check from the Automobile Association. All cars used on the road must have a current warrent of fitness which must be renewed every 6 months and also a vehicle registration. Car insurance is not compulsory in New Zealand but it is recommended that you obtain a vehicle 3rd party insurance cover in case you cause damage to someone elses car or property. This does not cover any damage to your own vehicle.
Every step you take is the start of a new adventure!
Manager Gecko Tours