About the South Island-New Zealand

The South Island, also officially named Te Waipounamu is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand in surface area, but not in population.

The South Island covers 150,437km2 and consists of six states: Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast, Canterbury, Otago and Southland. There are ten National Parks on the South Island, mostly alpine, and around 3000 glaciers located along the Southern Alps that run North to South. There are also four extinct volcanoes and fifteen fiords including the World-renowned Milford and Doubtful Sounds, all located in the southwest of the island in a mountainous area known as Fiordland.

South Island Must do Activites:

  • Glacier heli-hiking
  • Swim with dolphins in Kaikoura
  • Bungee jumping
  • Sea kayaking at Doubtful Sound
  • Flying over the Southern Alps
  • Cruising around Milford Sound
  • Visit the waterfalls in the Catlins
  • Take the scenic drive to Glenorchy
  • Relax and regenerate in the rejuvenating Hot Pools
  • Hike to the top of Roy’s Peak
  • Stargazing at Mount Cook
  • Race down world-class mountain biking tracks
  • Experience the world’s first commercial jet boat

New Zealand South Island Tours 

When it comes to travelling around New Zealand, taking a hop-on hop-off bus is a very popular option thanks to the flexibility, guidance, ease and sociability they offer. A Hop-on Hop-off bus visits a large section of New Zealand and is great for those who want a little more flexibility for their New Zealand adventure!

With the bus passes, you get a driver who is also your guide; instead of just taking you from A to B, your driver will inform, enthral and entertain you with facts, stories and give you important insight into the local culture. The drivers of both bus companies are consistently highly-rated, they will become a good friend and recommend top notch things to do every step of the way.

New Zealand or South Island Hop-on Hop-off Tours offer the flexibility of a bus pass, but also the advantages of a guided tour – the majority do not include accommodation for you and you can either organise this yourself as you go or you can take advantage of the “reserved spots” the Hop-on hop-off bus has made at various accommodations. You get this accommodation at a slightly cheaper rate and you stay with the group then! It is also possible to add in activities while you are travelling around.

The two main bus operators that offer the Hop-on Hop-off bus services are Stray and Kiwi Experience. They differ in they route the take, where they stop overnight, price and your fellow passengers.

South Island Hop-on Hop off passes can be tailored according to your needs


Do you want a New Zealand Highlight Hopper? Or maybe a 11 Day Minimum South Island & Sound Flexible Bus Pass- Kiwi Experience with a scenic boat cruise on the beautiful Milford Explorer included? With so many beautiful places to choose from, we know that exploring New Zealand or North Island can be confusing for some, which is why we offer various buss pass options for travelling convenience. For example, one of our most popular passes is the Super Funky New Zealand Flexible Bus Pass-Kiwi Experience; start anywhere you like and finish where you began. The journey includes a visit to New Zealand’s most historical location Waitangi- the “birthplace of the Nation”, a day-trip to the very top of the island, the sacred Cape Reigna. Dunk in New Zealand’s biggest lake and visit the Country’s biggest geyser at Taupo and be dazzled by the stunning free walks through the native bush and dramatic waterfalls of Tongariro National Park. Contact us now to plan your perfect Hop-on Hop-off experience.


Frequently Asked Questions About Hop-on Hop-off Tours

Is a Hop-on Hop-off Buss Pass expensive?
Both Stray and Kiwi Experience offer fantastic bundle prices on their trips ensuring they remain competitive options with regards to price.

Should I choose Kiwi Experience of Stray?

I’m a solo traveller, is this the right option for me?

This is the best option for you! The Hop-on Hop-off bus passes are geared towards the backpacker community, so if you’re looking to find other like-minded individuals, you will find a bus load here!

I’m travelling within a group; will we be able to stay within the same accommodation and do our activities together?
No problem at all!

I’ve decided I want to stay somewhere longer than originally planned, is that OK?
Provided you have given the bus company notice that they no longer need to hold your seat there is not fee.

Aren’t convinced yet? See our North Island Tours!

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