Since we’ve come back from our backpacking trip in New Zealand one of the things I have been asked most frequently is how we travelled around. The simple answer is by bus; more specifically the Kiwi Experience bus which we discovered in the STA travel brochure. Initially we liked the idea of travelling in a camper van but a bit of research suggested it was going to be much more expensive for just two of us and whilst in some ways we would have more flexibility, in other ways we would have less. Kiwi Experience is very much what you make of it and I feel like we learned more about it on the trip than we had done in advance.

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I wrote a lot of posts about New Zealand whilst we were away, and each place that we visited contained new highlights and things that I’ll remember forever. When people ask what my favourite things to do and places to see were, I have some obvious memorable moments. However, the more I think about a certain place, the more I remember and usually end up decided that that was a highlight to. So, to make things a little easier. Here’s my New Zealand top ten that I’d recommend to anyone travelling there.

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Australia has never been somewhere I’ve had a burning desire to visit. Sure, if the opportunity came along I would go but there were lots of places much higher up on my bucket list. Most people seem to want to visit Australia, and then go to see New Zealand almost as an after thought, whereas for me it was the other way round. I wasn’t sure what I’d make of it and to be honest I’m still not sure. It’s such a big and varied country that you can’t possibly do it justice within a week, so I would be keen to go back and explore some more, but I don’t think I’d be bitterly disappointed if I didn’t get chance to.

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When you’re away, the last thing you want to think about is coming home. But slowly and surely the end of our big trip began to creep up on us and before we knew it we were facing our final night (excluding the plane flight). I was dreading it. I knew I’d had such a good time but still had so many places I wanted to see I just wasn’t ready to stop. But I also didn’t want to spoil the last night be being upset about leaving. Luckily we ended up staying the night in Brisbane for ease of access to the airport the next day, and Brisbane was somewhere we were yet to explore. Suddenly our final night was more about discovery than saying goodbye.

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After a few nights in Sydney our Australian adventure continued with a flight north to the area between Byron Bay and Gold Coast. You can’t really fly to the other side of the world and not visit a family member living in the area which was the whole reason we went to Australia. Not only was it lovely to spend some time with James’s family, it also meant that we were able to explore an area of Australia that I probably wouldn’t have paid too much attention to otherwise.

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