Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I find out the departure times for my trip?
You can find up-to-date departures times and locations listed here. If you would like to be picked up from somewhere not detailed on the itineraries you will need to contact the Flying Kiwi office via email or phone to find the specific time.
2. Do I need to book my own accommodation?
No as this is a camping trip, we will pre-book all of the tent sites around the trip, all you need to do is put your tent up when you arrive. For some trips there are a maximum of 3 nights accommodation at your own expense but we will help you reserve that in advance. Unless you tell us otherwise for these nights we will book you into a dorm room. Singles and doubles are available on request and subject to availability. You are free to book your own accommodation if you wish.
3. Can I hop-on and off the bus?
Flying Kiwi does not operate a hop-on/hop off bus service. However it is possible to take 9-day breaks within the trips to allow you, to explore some more of New Zealand that isn’t covered in the Flying Kiwi itinerary, catch up with friends or just relax in one place.
4.What is the weather going to be like?
New Zealand experiences extremely changeable weather. Some days temperatures can be touching 30 degrees and later the same day freezing if a cool southerly wind comes if off the sub-Antartic. Our trips are flexible and work well whatever the weather.
5. Do I need a backpack or is a suitcase ok?
Suitcases are fine – you don’t need to walk great distances with them just between your tent and the bus. The majority of the time while you’re doing activities they will be stored away in the trailer or under the bus. Please try to limit the weight of your main bag to 20kg. A good day pack (small rucksack) or bag you can carry easily is recommended for water bottles, towels, cameras etc.
6. Is it a party bus or outdoor adventure tour?
Flying Kiwi’s main priority is the great New Zealand outdoors in all its forms whether you are a keen cyclist, walker, water fan or adrenaline junkie there is something for everyone. In the evenings you are free to do as you choose but due to the remoteness of some of our locations, we will have a bonfire on the beach, a barbeque or just sit and watch the stars. We do have a couple of optional big nights out on the circuit if you want to let your hair down.
7. What is the average age of travellers on Flying Kiwi
The average age of a Flying Kiwi passengers is about 27. The majority of people are between the age of 20 and 40 but age is just a number and if you want to come and enjoy the New Zealand outdoors then you are welcome on-board. No matter what your age we find we attract people who want to meet other travellers, and get out and enjoy the great outdoors.
8. How fit do I have to be?
You don’t have to be super-fit to travel with Flying Kiwi – all walks, bike rides and activities are optional and they range from light strolls to full day hikes in Alpine terrain. Easier options or alternatives are always available. Your driver or guide is always discuss the level of fitness required. Or if you are happy to sit on the bus and watch the world go by that is also ok.
9. What’s the average group size?
Our buses range from 20 seaters to 30 seaters with an average group of about 18 and a max of 24. We keep them smaller so you can see and do more and because we find that that groups of this size simply work better.
10. Is it ok to travel alone on Flying Kiwi?
Flying Kiwi is perfect for people travelling by themselves. New Zealand is a relatively safe country and the communal nature of our tours means that you will have plenty of chance to chat while chopping veggies for dinner or washing the dishes.
11. Is the Interisland ferry included and how much does it cost?
The Interisland ferry is included on trips that traverse both islands, the Ultimate Explorer, Grand and Reverse Traverse. The other trips it is not included but Flying Kiwi can book this for you, you just need to contact the office.
12. If we book online how do we receive our tickets?
When you book online you’ll receive email confirmation from the Flying Kiwi office. If you print off this confirmation and take it along to the driver at the start of your trip.
13. What footwear do we need?
You’ll need to bring a decent pair of comfortable footwear, that you can walk in comfortably, trainers are ideal. Hiking boots are good but not essential. It is also good to bring a pair of flip-flops, sandals or thongs (depending on whether you speak NZ English, Oz English or just English) for the camp showers.
14. It’s Summer. Do I really need thermals and a fleece?
Yes! We can experience extreme weather even in the summer.
15.What does the tour leader/assistant do?
Your tour leader/assistant are there to provide you with a wealth of knowledge about New Zealand – history, culture, and trivia as well as recommending and booking activities, doing the shopping and helping with the cooking, and getting you from A to B each day. They are walking guidebooks always there to help and entertain! Please be gentle with them – good guides are hard to find.
16. I’m a vegetarian or have other dietary requirements – is that a problem?
No problem at all, we are used to catering for all kinds of dietary requirements and as we cook for ourselves we can easily accommodate your needs. Just let us know when you book.
17.Are activities included in the price?
There are walks each day which are free. Bike rides are also free as long as you have hired a bike. All other optional activities have an associated cost. These can be found on the activities section of the website or in our activity guide on board the bus. Apart from the Routeburn walk and Dolphin Swimm in Kaikoura, these do not need to be booked in advance. Your driver/guide will give you the low-down the night before of what is coming up the next day and you just need to let them know what you would like to do, they take care of everything after that.
18. Where can I charge my camera, phone, batteries, i-pod or MP3 player?
These are regularly available at the commercial campgrounds and some of the buses are also able to charge some of the appliances.
19. Is there mobile phone coverage?
Most of our north island camps have network coverage available. For approximately ½ of the camps in the south island there is no network coverage. As this is an outdoor trip, please respect that some of our passengers have come to escape the rat-race and keep your phones on silent or give yourself a break and turn-off your phone for a few days you never know what you might hear instead.
20. What is a bush camp?
A bush camp is a campsite usually in a remote or wilderness location. They have limited facilities, usually just a long-drop toilet with a great view!!
21. How much spending money do I need?
Our trips include most meals, transport, accommodation, some free activities and use of sports equipment. You will need to budget extra spending money for any optional activities you fancy doing , meals not included in your itinerary and snacks/soft drinks. Obviously this can vary according to the individual but for most people this averages out to be around $NZ30 per day.
- Ultimate Explorer Tour - from 27 days
- Grand Traverse Tour - 15 days
- Reverse Traverse Tour - 14 or 15 days
- Hot Rocks Tour - 9 or 10 days
- Northern Wanderer Tour - 8 days
- Beach It Tour - 4 days
- Northern Light Tour - 5 days
- Northern Express Tour - Auckland
Thomas from the UK, 10/01/2013