We decided to cruise through new Zealand on a party bus! You know me, I love having fun. We chose Kiwi Experience, geared towards young backpackers. Most are early to mid twenties. We were the oldest in the bus! In essence, we bought a 2 week pass, where we hop on and hop off throughout both islands. The company and bus drivers help you book accommodation and activities at all the stops with discounts available. Many times we will opt for own double room in hostels, but from time to time we may sleep in a dorm (depending on availability and pricing).
The company has a reputation for having passengers who like to party, but after much research we took a leap of faith. Kiwi experience has a reputation of a “sex bus” (one of many) because it has been known to be a platform for young singles looking to mingle. I’ll tell you that aside from heavy flirting, our first few days on the bus has not lived up to the nicknames. If it is happening, these kids are very discrete! The partying hasn’t been an issue either, it is optional to go wild at night, and those who do are too hung over the next day to annoy you!
We began our tour with Simon, our Kiwi Driver (who is also a Kiwi, A.K.A New Zealander). A scrawny, smoking, boisterous man, Simon says what he means and means what he says! I love that because his message is always clear. Every chance we get, we monopolize the front seats to be close to his commentary (plus the views are better at the front). Simon is not concerned about being politically correct and given his young crowd, the environment was very informal and light hearted. Jose and I found his comments hilarious. He told people to get off the bus if they didn’t like it…I laughed, but judging from the silent crowd, I think some kids weren’t sure of his sense of humor. It took a few days…but soon everyone got on the same page.
Having done all of the activities offered around the country, Simon is a wealth of knowledge and did not hesitate to offer his honest opinion. He portrays a tough attitude to instill some fear and discipline into the potentially rowdy crowd of youngsters. I don’t blame him because otherwise we’d all run amuck. He threatened to leave people if they were late and in turn everyone was punctual (I don’t believe there was anyone bold enough to test him).
So we set off from Auckland with Simon and 49 other passengers on our journey through the north island first. Hot water beach was our first stop and the views of the sea were majestic. In hot water beach, you could dig a pool and sit on warm water like a hot pool amongst the large crowds. I preferred the sea to be honest because it cooled your skin which was being heated by the powerful sun. The big waves were fun to swim in as well.
We went on a hike to a beautiful beach and a small cave. It was so beautiful! People were diving off a cliff right off the shore. I could get used to this scenery, if this is a glimpse to our trip, it is going to be an epic one!