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Woman traveling alone

Pittsburgh...
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Woman traveling alone

I am a 61 year old woman traveling alone to both the north and south islands of New Zealand. I prefer independent travel but do not want to rent a car. I am planning on bus travel with some day tours. Are there any areas to avoid for safety reasons? Can anyone recommend some great day tours? Is the InterCity bus safe and reliable ? Thanks for any input!

Whangarei, Northland
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1. Re: Woman traveling alone

Intercity bus is definitely safe and reliable, so some form of Intercity bus pass would definitely be your best travel option if you don't want to drive.

There is no specific areas to avoid for safety reasons - you just need to employ normal common sense in towns and cities, and you will find pretty much everywhere safe and welcoming.

If you can give us a bit more of an idea as to your specific interests then we can give some good pointers for day tours and activities.....

Pittsburgh...
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2. Re: Woman traveling alone

I am glad to hear the bus should work out. How far ahead should I reserve the bus and day tours? I won't be traveling until March so I have time. I would like to see penguins, kiwi and gloworms. I would like to take day trips to see some of New Zealand's awesome scenery - including by a 4X4 off the main road . I would like to see Maori culture, colorful thermal areas and some LOTR sights. I am thinking of Auckland, Rotorua, Christ Church, Dunedin, Te Anua and Queenstown. I am still in the early planning stages and just purchased my airfare . Thanks for any ideas and recommendations!

New Zealand
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for South Island
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3. Re: Woman traveling alone

I doubt many tours will book up more than two months in advance so you have some time yet before having to finalise everything. Plus some tours are weather dependant and so with some I wouldn't book until you are here and know the forecast. You can visit any i-SITE in the country and they can book just about any tours you will be wanting to go on. They do not charge a booking fee.

If time allows I would also plan a day in Wellington, a couple of days to explore Abel Tasman National park, a day each in Wanaka and at our tallest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook.

This traveller's report might help with your planning and any lingering worries you might have tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g255104-i125-k3154…

Keep asking questions, we are here to help :)

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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4. Re: Woman traveling alone

How long do you have? NZ is not just about cities but small towns in between. To visit Waitomo Caves & Rotorua only in the NI; fly to CHC and tour the southern part of the SI would require a minimum of 2 weeks:

1. Arrive AKL, explore

2. Coach tour (Great Sights) to Waitomo Caves & Rotorua;

3. Rotorua

4. Fly to CHC

5. Coach to Mt Cook;

6. Coach to Wanaka or Queenstown

7-9 In QTN - LOTR tour, Milford Sound day trip etc;

10. Coach to Dunedin

11. Otago Peninsula Tour ( Elm Wildlife - penguins, albatross, seals & sea lions);

12. Coach to Oamaru ( more penguins)

13. Coach to CHCH

14. Home.

Clearly this is a minimum time frame & you'd have a more leisurely trip if you stayed longer in some places & perhaps continue overland from Rotorua to Wellington; take the ferry to Picton & train to Chch. You'd need an extra 2 days for this; or you could shorten the time by flying Rotorua to Queenstown or Dunedin to AKL.

Check the Travelpasses on offer from Intercity:

…intercity.co.nz/itineraries/National/3

Dunedin, New Zealand
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5. Re: Woman traveling alone

Just a slight correction. i-SITEs do charge a fee on bookings. It is just that they charge the supplier not the customer. 'Clipping the Ticket' as it is called.

Most of the time this doesn't make any difference to the customer. Occasionally a supplier will build this extra cost to the business into their prices. In these cases sometimes you can get a better or more negotiable price by contacting the supplier directly.

This usually applies to the smaller operators such as B & Bs rather than the mainstream businesses. i-SITEs do provide a very easy one-stop-shop for bookings and are a great source of local knowledge. (Especially in the smaller towns)

Edited: 03 June 2012, 05:42
Pittsburgh...
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17 posts
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6. Re: Woman traveling alone

I am glad to hear the bus should work out. How far ahead should I reserve the bus and day tours? I won't be traveling until March so I have time. I would like to see penguins, kiwi and gloworms. I would like to take day trips to see some of New Zealand's awesome scenery - including by a 4X4 off the main road . I would like to see Maori culture, colorful thermal areas and some LOTR sights. I am thinking of Auckland, Rotorua, Christ Church, Dunedin, Te Anua and Queenstown. I am still in the early planning stages and just purchased my airfare . Thanks for any ideas and recommendations!

Dunedin, New Zealand
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for Dunedin
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7. Re: Woman traveling alone

With buses, the earlier in advance you book, the cheaper they are. Intercity has one seat on every bus for $1, then scales up from there. March is not noticeably busy time, so the travelpass will prove to be extremely poor value: much cheaper to do point to point bookings. You might also find that timetables from competing bus operators (nakedbus.com and atomictravel.co.nz) work better: these are both reputable but perhaps not quite so reputable as intercity.

As for the daytrips you're planning, I'd suggest you work out which ones you're interested in then look to see if they offer any sort of advance booking discount or have last minute discounts. By Maori culture, I take it you mean a staged show, the likes of which you get in Rotorua? You will see signs of Maori culture all round New Zealand.

Pittsburgh...
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8. Re: Woman traveling alone

Thanks for all of the great suggestions. I will have 2 weeks. I wish I had more time but my boss only allows 2 weeks at a time. Maybe I will get back some day. It sounds like there is so much to see. I booked airfare starting in Auckland and leaving from Queenstown. I just purchased my travel books. I will use the books, the web and Trip Advisor and will put together a plan. I will post any questions as they come up. Thanks again. I am so excited to explore this beautiful country!

Hexham, England...
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9. Re: Woman traveling alone

Happy to find this, I am a planning a solo visit to NZ, in my 50's and wondering where to begin! These replies are a good starting point, thank you!

Edited: 01 January 2013, 09:19
Knoxville, Tennessee
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10. Re: Woman traveling alone

I too am glad to find this. I am planning a trip to South Pacific in Feb, Mar, or Apr 2014. NZ is on my must visit list