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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!

Pacific Northwest
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11. Re: Woman traveling alone

This, so far, has only been the germ of a notion for me, but reading here has strengthen my resolve. Visiting New Zealand is Number 1 on my "bucket list" and has been for many years. Must see it before I'm too old to travel! Wish me luck!

New Zealand
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12. Re: Woman traveling alone

Absolutely Merrygardener, wishing you all the luck in the world !!

Welcome to the forum and looking forward to helping with any questions as you plan your visit :)

Pacific Northwest
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13. Re: Woman traveling alone

Thanks for replying so quickly! As I said, I am just in the pre-planning stage right now. I am thinking of staying for at least a month and using Elder Hostels for my primary accommodations. Also doing small groups bus tours and some exploring on my own. Which city would you recommend for a "home base? Are there lists of Elder Hostels available? I don't require anything fancy. What's your opinion of the "work for food and board" offerings?

From everything I've read, I have no fear of traveling in En Zed by myself (normal precautions observed, of course), so it's just a matter of finding out what's available. (Not many Elder Hostels here in the USA)

Thank you SO MUCH!

Christchurch, New...
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14. Re: Woman traveling alone

I have never heard of "Elder Hostels" as a physical place in NZ. I used to know people who worked with the Elderhostel tours, but they stayed in hotels and I think changed their name to Road Scholars!

Pacific Northwest
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15. Re: Woman traveling alone

Well, I've done quite a bit of internet searching, and it appears there are a lot of Hiker hostels and Seniors hostels (have to be over 50) that are quite reasonable in En Zed. Maybe I'm wrong.

Pittsburgh...
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16. Re: Woman traveling alone

Hello fellow solo female travelers! I am the person who started this post and I have been meaning to report on my fantastic NZ trip in March 2013. I will always remember it as one of my favorite trips. I never felt unsafe or threatened in any way. Of course I followed normal precautions. Unfortunately, I only had 2 weeks in NZ since I am still working. Thus, I tried to see as much as I could and get from one location to the next as quickly as possible. The following itinerary worked well for me without a glitch. I arrived in Auckland in the morning and spent the rest of the day exploring the city. The next day I boarded a Great Sights bus to Rotorua which stopped at the Waitomo glow worm caves and Hobbiton. These were both great stops. The next day I went on a private tour with Grumpy (he was really nice!) around Rotorua and the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal area. The afternoon I walked to the Rotorua Museum, gardens and walked around the town. In the evening I went to the Tamaki Maori Village dinner/cultural show. It was wonderful and fun! They sat me with 4 others who were not part of a tour group and we enjoyed each others company. The next day I flew to Wellington and chatted the whole way with a nice 76 yr old gentleman who was taking his first plane ride. I am a LOTR fan so went on the Wellington Movie tour which included Weta studios. I did wish I had had more time in this ctiy. If I ever get back, it will be a priority. I took the red tram up the mountain for a great view of the city and spent the evening at the wonderful Te Papa museum. To save on time, I flew to Dunedin the next day and met a great lady from that city on the plane. I explored the city the rest of the day on my own. The next day I took the Good Company 2 hour city tour. I was the only person on the tour and was grateful the tour still took place as usually they need at least 2 people. We went all over the place and this would have been difficult to do on my own without a car. The afternoon brought more exploring in the city. I then went on the Elm Wildlife Tour to the Albatross Center and to view the penguins. A great tour but did involve some very steep climbs. The next day I took the Intercity bus to Christ Church. Much of Christ Church remains in devastation but I enjoyed the museum and gardens which seemed untouched. Beautiful gardens. To be continued.

Pittsburgh...
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17. Re: Woman traveling alone

Continued itinerary: The next day was a favorite day as I took the Lord of the Rings Endoras day tour. It was a perfect day and the scenery was breathtaking! The following day I was back on Great Sights for transportation to Queenstown with stops at the Church of the Good Shepherd and Mount Cook. More great scenery! It was a bit nuts then the next day to get back on a Great Sights bus but at the time it was the only way to fit in Mount Cook. This bus took me to Milford Sound for a cruise and I stayed at Te Anau for 2 nights. That evening I took the Real Journeys glow worm cave tour and also the Doubtful Sound tour with them the next day. Then I took the Naked Bus back to Queenstown for several days. One day I took the Skippers Canyon tour and the next day the Glenorchy tour with Safari of the Scenes. Unreal scenery! Spent time exploring the town, gardens, Skyline ride up the mountain, and Kiwi reserve. It was exhausting but well worth it! I never thought I would to back again but it I would go I would choose to spend more time in Wellington and Queenstown. I would also book more transports on the Naked Bus - so cheap at $3! I think the best way to explore is to drive a car but since this was not an option for me, this plan worked well for me. I have posted hotel reviews but still need to post on the activities. Maybe this is more then you folks needed to know, but I hope it is helpful to someone. Happy Travels!

New Zealand
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18. Re: Woman traveling alone

What a great trip!

Thanks for your report, I'm sure it will help others nervous about solo travel. It made for interesting reading, though paragraphs would make it much easier to read :)

Pacific Northwest
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19. Re: Woman traveling alone

I am sooo jealous! (in a good way) =) But I have actually started looking at airfares and available tours, so that's a start.

Ditto on the paragraphs. My eyes are getting too old, I guess.

Auckland Region...
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20. Re: Woman traveling alone

Have you heard of an organisation called FiveW or Women Welcome Women World Wide = it's fantastic. http://www.womenwelcomewomen.org.uk/index.asp A network of women who like to travel alone, so ou can get to meet local women, in some instances just for a coffee or a meal, others open their home to you, often take you to see the sights.

I've had several come and stay with me and it's been great for me to be able to "travel" without leaving home. Also when I went to Australia I met two or three wonderful people who showed me around and made me feel right at home. You really get to meet the locals...

Just another thought!