If you’re an independent traveller, the decision to travel New Zealand by bus is an easy one. (If you’re not convinced yet, read our article on 10 great reasons to go by bus!). Bus passes provide hands down the best value way to travel around New Zealand. This is because the cost of a bus pass works out to be significantly cheaper than booking each individual trip as you go. They’re also a stress-free way to travel, providing flexibility and security all in one. But how do you know which of all the New Zealand bus passes out there is the right one for you? Here’s our guide to choosing a bus pass and getting your travel plans underway.
How do I choose New Zealand bus passes?
InterCity operates New Zealand’s most popular national bus network. Over a million Kiwis take InterCity buses each year, as well as other travellers just like you.
There are two types of InterCity New Zealand bus pass to choose from. For total flexibility, InterCity’s FlexiPass provides an hours-based pass that gives you access to its entire national network. Alternatively, TravelPass offers a range of national and regional fixed itineraries, with bonus inclusions like the Interislander ferry and a Milford Sound cruise. You can read more about them below.
When choosing between these bus passes, you’ll need to think about where you want to travel, and what kind of traveller you are. If you’re a fiercely independent traveller and want to get right off the beaten track, or if you’re not quite sure where you want to go yet, a FlexiPass might be your best option. If the thought of planning an entire itinerary for yourself has you breaking out in a cold sweat and you’d like a little guidance, the TravelPass range has got your back.
What are the benefits of InterCity bus passes?
You could join a tour group and get herded around like sheep – or you could plan your own adventure! With a bus pass, where and when you travel is completely up to you. There are daily departures nationwide, so it’s easy to find a bus to suit your plans. And if your plans change, with a bus pass you can change or cancel your booking with no penalties.
InterCity is the biggest bus network in NZ, with over 100 daily services to more than 600 towns, cities and communities nationwide, so there’s always a bus to suit your travel plans.
Manage your travel online
You can manage all your New Zealand bus pass travel online. Plus, InterCity has a national contact centre who can give you a hand. If you need itinerary advice or have questions while you’re booking your travel, they’re ready to help! (There are also InterCity retail agents across the country, including the i-SITE network, all good hostels and information centres. )
Travel in comfort
InterCity has a modern fleet of low emission vehicles, specifically designed for New Zealand conditions. Buses have air-conditioning and free WiFi so you can stay connected while you travel.
Meet the locals
Chat to Kiwis on the bus and find out all the best spots to visit. We’re a friendly bunch, so don’t be shy! You’ve come all this way, see New Zealand with locals.
What New Zealand bus passes are there?
There are two types of InterCity bus pass that both provide easy, flexible travel options for getting around New Zealand by bus. It’s worth spending some time looking at the differences between these bus pass options to figure out which one is best suited to your travel plans.
FlexiPass: NZ’s most flexible bus pass
FlexiPass is an hours-based bus pass that gives you the flexibility to hop on and hop off anywhere within the InterCity bus network. It’s easy to change or cancel your upcoming trips if your plans change. As long as you change or cancel at least 2 hours before departure, there are no penalties or extra fees. And you can manage all your bookings online!
TravelPass: Fixed itinerary bus passes
InterCity’s New Zealand TravelPass brings together an extensive range of “hop on and off” fixed itinerary passes. These are based on the most popular touring routes throughout New Zealand, so you know they’re ‘tried and tested’. These passes give you the security of a travel plan, but the flexibility to complete the itinerary in your own time. Most TravelPasses also include one or more bonus day tours.
Compare New Zealand bus passes
Can’t decide which New Zealand bus pass to buy? Compare them here with our handy comparison chart for New Zealand bus passes. Weigh the benefits of FlexiPass versus TravelPass, and work out which one’s going to work best for your unique adventure.