Naked bus and intercity bus passes can save you a lot of money when travelling in New ZealandBoth Intercity, Mana Bus and Naked Bus will connect you with major towns and cities throughout the country. They offer regular services. By that we do not mean a bus departing every hour, but at least once a day a bus should be able to take you to where you are trying to go.

Check out their websites and you will see the bus routes available. You will also find pricing information. Intercity offers a Flexipass which works by purchasing a certain number of hours worth of bus travel. Over the 12 months that the pass is valid for, you simply book bus trips and the hours are deducted from your pass. Their website has example itineraries that show your how far around the country a certain number of hours will take you.

Intercity also have low priced one way or return bus fares. Fares start as low as $1 if you book far enough in advance. Naked Bus offers the handy Naked Passports for travellers. We believe that this is the cheapest way to get around the country. Naked Bus also offers very low cost one way bus fares, again starting from just $1 (plus the booking fee). So you might find that booking one way sectors could be even cheaper than a Naked Passport depending on how far in advance you book.

For around NZD$440 you can buy a twenty trip bus pass which you can use around the county town and city that a Naked Bus goes to and it is valid for 12 months.

 What to consider

  • New Zealand does not have an extensive train network, so if you are used to train travel as your means of getting about, get used to the bus here.
  • The difference between the two bus companies…Intercity is likely to have nicer buses and be cleaner and more reliable. Naked and Mana Bus offer more of your cheap and cheerful option.
  • Buses are not going to stop off at scenic spots along the way. Occasionally the bus driver might comment on points of interest but otherwise you need to be keeping an eye on your guidebook to learn about things on the way.
  • It is not likely to be a very social way to travel. You will be on the bus with all walks of life from university students to retirees. You may be fortunate enough to meet some great people along that way, but it may be a case of sitting next to someone with their headphones on and their ipod going.
  • You get flexibility to choose where you travel and when you travel. So if you get to a town and love it then you can stay there as long as you like.
  • You will need to think about how you will get around once you arrive at a town or city. Do your research and find out if any local public transport exists. New Zealand is very different from Europe in that we do not have extensive public transport…our population doesn’t make this affordable.
  • You could always take the bus a few times and see how you find it. If it is not your cup of tea then you could consider another option.
  • There are likely to be many convenience stops at local ‘tearoom’ type cafes which usually means the coffee is barely drinkable…all part of the delights of bus travel.

In Summary:

Cheap, easy, not always on time..