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Kiwi Experience or Stray?

London, England
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14 posts
13 reviews
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Kiwi Experience or Stray?

I'm a 33 year old single female planning a 4 week solo trip to New Zealand in September/October 2012. I have heard a lot about Kiwi Experience and know lots of people who have done it and loved it - but all were younger at the time (mid-20s). I've more recently heard of Stray which I'm told attracts a slightly older crowd. Does anyone have any feedback as to which would suit best?

11. Re: Kiwi Experience or Stray?

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Removed on: 07 February 2014, 17:05
Auckland Region...
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131 posts
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12. Re: Kiwi Experience or Stray?

Hi, I had an early 30's female staying with me who went with Stray and she loved it.

13. Re: Kiwi Experience or Stray?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum posting guidelines with prohibiting self-promotional advertising or solicitation.

We ask all of our members to keep their forum messages free of self-promoting advertisements or solicitation of any kind - members affiliated with any tourism-related business should not include commercial contact information or URLs in their forum messages.

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Removed on: 07 February 2014, 17:05
Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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14. Re: Kiwi Experience or Stray?

Ross, The OP travelled last year!!

Winchester, United...
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15. Re: Kiwi Experience or Stray?

Hi there,

I'm in the same position as you and due to travel next february (2014) to NZ for a month on my own. Can you share any wisdom about the best way to travel??

thanks,

London, England
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14 posts
13 reviews
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16. Re: Kiwi Experience or Stray?

Hi. I sent a reply on this to someone else before, so have copied the text below and hope it helps.

I did use Stray. I did the Moe pass with them in September/October 2012. I came home not sure whether I would recommend them or not to people of my age as there weren't as many people in their 30s as I had been led to believe. It is a good reliable and relatively cheap way of getting around - do shop around for a deal on the passes - almost no one had paid the full advertised price.

I was the oldest on the bus by some distance. The average age was, I'd say, about 24. The youngest was 17 which made me feel OLD! Even the driver was only 23. I found that it took a little while to get to know people, partly becuase some had already got together in groups before I joined the trip, partly because they had travelled together at the outset and partly, maybe, because of my age....but after a week or so, I did make friends and people aren't unfriendly. Many of them are on year long working visas, doing NZ on the way to Australia so have little money and take part in hardly any of the activities. I found that a bit frustrating as I was on a shorter trip and wanted to really do everything and make the most of it (guess not everyone is in that position though).

The people were generally very nice. Stray has a real mix of nationalities, much more so than Kiwi bus I think. We had lots of Germans (they were in the majority) and quite a few Dutch. There were also some Swedish and some Finns and a couple of Swiss. At one point there were about 23 on the bus and only 4 of those English, which I wasn't expecting. Generally though, everyone has excellent English.

The company itself is very well organised, the buses always turned up and were relatively comfortable. They made stops on route between the main stops, most of which are fun, though sometimes you do just want to get to where you are going. They do supermarket stops every day and a lost of people cook their own food every day (which I wasn't expecting I would do, but did end up doing some days).

South Island is great. My favourite stops were Queenstown (which has a really great feel), Milford Sound and Abel Tasman. All are really beautiful. Take lots of insect repellant for Franz Josef - I was bitten a lot there.

If I had been going with a friend, I would definitely have hired a car to get around. The roads are really quiet and they drive on the same side of the road as we do in England. That would also mean you could skip out some of the stops that are less interesting and spend more time in places that you might want to. For example, we made only a very short stop in the Marlborough wine area for around an hour. I could have hopped off the bus, but then the next one wasn't due until 3 days later so would have been too long. With a car, you aren't constrained in that way. I didn't hire a car as I thought it would be lonely travelling alone. I think it was the right decision.

Happy to answer any other questions.

London, United...
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2 posts
33 reviews
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17. Re: Kiwi Experience or Stray?

I'm going to be in New Zealand for three weeks in March 2014 and would love to do a hop-on hop-off trip to get me around as many places as possible. As I'll turn 27 just before I arrive I think Stray will definitely be the better fit based on the comments in here. Can anyone advise as to whether it is best to book through Stray direct, or whether they know of any agents who do better deals on their behalf?

Thanks

Singapore
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119 posts
15 reviews
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18. Re: Kiwi Experience or Stray?

Planning a trip in Mar/Apr 2014.

Interested to know how to get better deals for stray. I am looking specifically at Burt Pass (3 days tour).

Thanks!

Mobile, Alabama
9 posts
1 review
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19. Re: Kiwi Experience or Stray?

I've heard good reviews from several people traveling in NZ. about Stray. I used to live in New Zealand on a working holiday visa. I just started up a blog, and will be blogging every day on a different kiwi topic. Maybe you will find something interesting before you go.... travelcoordinates.wordpress.com

London, United...
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1 post
5 reviews
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20. Re: Kiwi Experience or Stray?

Hi Luchy, I am also flying out to NZ for 6months in February 2014 and debating buying the Stray Everywhere pass..... Maybe I'll see you there!!! Jenn