Backpackers - see the real New Zealand

New Zealand is perfect for backpacking. Similar in size to the UK, this is a compact country with vastly different scenery between the main towns and cities. Getting around is easy – whether you choose to drive, walk, cycle or use public transport, New Zealand is a great country to explore.  

Travel like a local 

If you’re seeking the true backpacker experience then traveling by public transport will give you a unique insight into the Kiwi way of life. New Zealand is a safe and friendly place to explore and travelling like a local is a great way to learn more about New Zealand from Kiwis and other travelers like you.

InterCity Coachlines is New Zealand’s largest bus operator with a comprehensive network throughout the North and South Islands. Modern, low emission buses provide multiple daily services from major town and cities nationwide. Fares start from just $1 (+ a booking fee) on all services and a network of agents throughout the country mean there’s always someone local to ask advice. InterCity isn't a backpacker "party bus" - when you travel with InterCity you will get to meet other like-minded travellers, as well as thousands of Kiwis who use the services every day to visit relatives, attend university and more.

You can book just a single journey at a time, or take advantage of a range of flexible transport passes, ideally suited to backpackers, students and locals alike.

For total flexibility, InterCity's flexipass provides an hours based pass and access to the entire national network, whereas Travelpass offers a range of national and regional fixed itineraries, with bonus inclusions like the Interislander ferry and a Milford Sound cruise. A trips based pass is also popular and lets you purchase a fixed number of journeys at a heavily discounted price. See flexitrips.co.nz for details. 

Whatever style of travel you choose, interact with those around you and remember this ancient Maori whakataukī or proverb:

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!

What is the most important thing in the world? It is people! It is people! It is people!

Cape Reinga
Photograph of Cape Reinga, New Zealand Cape Reinga, the departing place for Maori spirits
Paihia
Photograph of Paihia, Bay Of Islands Paihia, shimmering waters, superb beaches and abundant wildlife
Rotorua
Photograph of Rotorua Rotorua, Experience bubbling mud, exploding geysers and Maori culture.
Waitomo Caves
Photograph of Waitomo Caves Waitomo Caves, Limestone cave cathedrals sculpted over centuries by the forces of nature.
Hokianga
Photograph of Hokianga day tour Hokianga, the residential place of Kupe the very first voyager, and Maori, to discover New Zealand.
Taupo
Photograph of the city of Taupo, New Zealand Taupo, panoramic views over the lake and the volcanic mountains of Tongariro National Park
Christchurch
Photograph of the city of Christchruch, New Zealand Christchurch, with its beautiful public gardens, parks and the Avon River. InterCity coach stop
Wellington
Photograph of the city of Wellington, NZ Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand.
Gisborne
Photograph of the city of Gisborne, New Zealand Gisborne, The first City in the world to see the sunrise!
Auckland
Photograph of the city of Auckland, New Zealand Auckland, City Of Sails. Set between two harbours and a gulf full of islands InterCity coach stop
Milford Sound
Photograph of Milford Sound, New Zealand Milford Sound, towering peaks, cascading waterfalls and the awesome Mitre Peak rising up majestically from the ocean floor.
Mt Cook
Photograph of Mount Cook, New Zealand Mount Cook, and the beautiful towering mountain peaks of the Southern Alps.
Queenstown
Photograph of Queenstown, New Zealand Queenstown, the world capital and home of bungy jumping.
New Plymouth
Photograph of New Plymouth District, New Zealand New Plymouth, Mount Taranaki provides a dramatic backdrop to the city.
The Coromandel
Photograph of New Plymouth District, New Zealand The Coromandel, New Zealand's favourite holiday destination.
The Hawkes Bay
Photograph of The Hawkes Bay, New Zealand Hawke's Bay, New Zealand's leading food and wine region.
Dunedin
Photograph of Dunedin, New Zealand Dunedin,New Zealand's wildlife and architectural heritage capital is also home to 25,000 lively students'
Invercargill
Photograph of Invercargill, New Zealand Invercargill, dates back to the 1850's.
Franz Josef Glacier
Photograph of Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand Franz Josef Glacier, was first explored in 1865 by geologist Julius von Haast.
Fox Glacier
Photograph of Fox Glacier, New Zealand Fox Glacier, descends from the Southern Alps down into temperate rainforest
Nelson
Photograph of Nelson, New Zealand Nelson, the sunniest region in New Zealand.