This is a hostel style travel and accommodation pass.
Accommodation is on a shared basis with linen, duvets and pillows provided. All hostels have modern, fully equipped kitchens and comfortable lounges to relax after a busy and exciting day. You have total flexibility. You decide how long you stay in each place . Coaches travel to each destination DAILY throughout the year.
You choose 14, 21 or 28 Nights Accommodation, Starts anywhere, finish where you started
Your Freedom of New Zealand Pass includes:
Magic Travellers Network Pass
Airport shuttle to YHA hostel on arrival
YHA Accommodation vouchers
Information and Discount Pack
Travellers Guide to all things Magic
- To purchase this pass and stay at YHA you must have a current YHA membership card. If you do not have one you will need to purchase this from us when making the booking for NZ$40. If you do have a YHA membership card please enter the details into the appropriate box.
- YHA has an Advanced Reservation System so it is always advisable to book your next nights in advance
- Freedom of New Zealand Passes are NOT available for purchase in New Zealand
- 72 Hours notice is required to confirm Freedom of New Zealand Passes
- When booking a Freedom of New Zealand pass we will automatically book your first nights accommodation at the YHA on the date that your flight arrives into New Zealand. Unless otherwise advised.
Sector 1 & 2: AUCKLAND-WAITOMO-ROTORUA
MAORI CULTURE, BUBBLING MUD, HOT POOLS For many Magic travellers, this is the start of your New Zealand adventure, and what a great day we have in store for you. First up we take you to Mt Eden for the best view of Auckland, locally known as the City of Sails. After taking in this stunning panorama, we travel directly south over the Bombay Hills and into the Waikato region. We cross the impressive Waikato River and head on to Waitomo to visit the famous Glow-worm Caves which are over 30 million years old. Here you can take a walk and slow boat through the caves to view the amazing caverns and glow worms. Alternatively, you can be daring and have a go at one of the different activities Magic has on offer, such as black water rafting or abseiling into the caverns. By mid-afternoon, we head on to Rotorua where Maori culture and thermal activity combine to make a very unique destination. We recommend you spend more than one night as there is so much to do in this exceptional place. This evening, make sure you take the opportunity to try a Maori Hangi and Concert or relax in a hot pool. Neither should be missed!
Approximate arrival into Rotorua is 5.30pm.
Sector 3: ROTORUA - TAUPO
HUKA FALLS, TONGARIRO CROSSING, SKYDIVING
Full steam ahead this morning, with a brief sightseeing tour which takes in Rotorua’s picturesque lakefront and Government Gardens. We then continue south visiting the spectacular Wai-O-Tapu geothermal area, famous for vivid mud pools and Lady Knox Geyser. Next up is Rock ‘n’ Ropes where you’ll have the opportunity to try the exhilarating high ropes course including the big swing or trapeze. Just before Taupo another incredible stop is the mighty Huka Falls, throwing over 200,000 litres of water each second. If you feel like an adrenaline rush, you will have the chance to try out the jet boat on the Huka River or bungy jump above it. Taupo is a town situated on the edge of a lake bigger than Singapore which, in true Kiwi fashion means there are heaps of adventure activities available here, such as tandem skydiving, horse riding, kayaking or fishing on the lake. Taupo is also the departure point to attempt the Tongariro Crossing. Described as NZ’s best one day trek, you will need at least two nights in Taupo to undertake the walk that takes you into the heart of volcano country. The nightlife in Taupo is outstanding, with many decent bars, cafes and restaurants to choose from.
Approximate arrival time in Taupo is 3.15pm.
Sector 4: TAUPO - WELLINGTON
TE PAPA, GREAT CAFES, LORD OF THE RINGS
Today we head south out of Taupo following the lake before travelling along the aptly named Desert Road. This unique barren landscape forms part of New Zealand’s only official desert, the Rangipo Desert. For film buffs this scenery is also a welcome to Lord of the Rings country, with amazing photo opportunities of the Tongariro National Park, live volcanoes and the Tolkien inspired ‘Mt. Doom’. Later in the day we pass through the imaginatively named town of Bulls. Make sure you pay attention and try and spot a few of the unique shop names – it’s unforgettabull! In the afternoon, we arrive into Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, were we stop to view Parliament Buildings and ‘The Beehive’ before heading to the summit of Mt Victoria for some fantastic views across the city and Cook Strait. There’s plenty to keep you busy here including lively cafes and don’t miss a visit to Te Papa, the national museum. Approximate arrival time in Wellington is 4.00pm.
Sector 5: WELLINGTON - PICTON - NELSON
GOLDEN BEACHES, NATIONAL PARKS, WEARABLE ARTS
This morning make your own way to the ferry terminal where you can catch the ferry across the Cook Strait to the South Island (N.B. price of ferry not included in some passes). Alternatively you can undertake this journey by air (your driver will help you book this) - whichever way, it is a fantastic journey with more fantastic uniquely New Zealand scenery. The Magic coach will meet you on the other side and you will quickly begin the next part of the journey through the beautiful countryside and famous wine regions toward Nelson, arriving late afternoon. Nelson ‘the sunshine capital of NZ’ is an arty city, has a relaxed atmosphere and is the gateway to Abel Tasman National Park. If you have time in your itinerary, NZ’s smallest National Park is a beautiful region with golden beaches, sparkling water and plenty of activities on offer.
Approximate arrival time in Nelson is 3.30pm.
Sector 6: NELSON-GREYMOUTH
BREWERY TOURS, WHITEBAIT FRITTERS, WEST COAST HOSPITALITY
After leaving Nelson, we journey through the Hope Saddle and cross the picturesque Buller Gorge to New Zealand’s ‘Wild West Coast’ one of the more remote, rugged and most sparsely populated areas of the country. Today you will become aware of the amazing scenery and warm welcome that the West Coast is famous for. First stop on the coast is Cape Foulwind, named so by Captain Cook after his ship was blown off course. The cape is home to a fur seal breeding colony which you will have the chance to view. After driving through one of the many National Parks in the region – the Paparoa National Park, we take a stop to visit the famous Punakaiki Pancake Rocks which are a pretty amazing sight, especially when the sea is in full swing, before we head onto our overnight stop. Tonight in Greymouth we recommend you take part in a tour of the (very kiwi) Monteiths Brewery including an all you can eat BBQ. It’s a great chance to meet some of the interesting locals.
Approximate arrival time in Greymouth is 5.00pm.
Sector 7: GREYMOUTH-FRANZ JOSEF
GLACIER HIKING, MIRROR LAKES, UNTOUCHED WILDERNESS
This morning we travel further down the West Coast before stopping in the township of Hokitika, famous for its local cuisine and Pounamu (Greenstone). The traces of gold rush that brought thousands to the area in the mid 1800s are still evident in the historic town of Ross, where we take time to do a spot of gold panning later in the morning. Heading further south we enter Westland National Park, an area containing numerous scenic lakes, dense forests, many of the Southern Alps highest peaks and two amazingly accessible glaciers. Time for more adventure! We arrive into the alpine village of Franz Josef in time for those who want to partake in a half day glacier hike. If you wish to aim higher, take a heli-hike that will deliver you to the top of the glacier within the midst of the Southern Alps. If you want a bit more of a challenge, allow an extra day and go for the full day glacier hike. There are not too many opportunities in the world to do something like this. If glaciers aren’t your thing, another option here is to go kayaking on the scenic Lake Mapourika, surrounded by stunning mountain peaks.
Approximate arrival time into Franz Josef in winter is 12.00pm and summer is 1.00pm.
Sector 8: FRANZ JOSEF - QUEENSTOWN
UNLIMITED ADVENTURE, GREAT NIGHTLIFE, PANORAMIC VIEWS
We have an early start for an action packed day. First up we pass through Fox, another village nestled next to a glacier before stopping off at Lake Matheson. Often called the ‘Mirror Lake’, it is famous for its reflections of the Southern Alps which dominate the skyline - perfect for those picture postcard photos. As we head inland away from the west coast via Haast and Makarora, the scenery changes from dense forest to vast plateaus as we enter the Central Otago region. Make sure you have your cameras ready as we pass Lake Hawea and shortly after, Lake Wanaka – a popular and recommended overnight stop. Next up, is a stop at the home of the bungy, the Kawarau Bridge, 42m over the Kawarau River and the world’s first commercial bungy site. We head into Queenstown late afternoon where there are endless activity options, from mild to wild. We have allowed two days in Queenstown (but many people prefer to stay longer) to soak it all up.
Approximate arrival time in Queenstown is 5.30pm.
Sector Free: IN QUEENSTOWN
Spend the day trying one of the many activities in the "Adventure Capital of the World" or take a journey into majestic Milford Sound.
Sector 9: QUEENSTOWN-DUNEDIN
WILDLIFE, SCOTTISH HERITAGE, CHOCOLATE FACTORY Life will slow down a little as we leave Queenstown behind us. We head off along the old gold mining trail taking in some spectacular scenery through Central Otago to the city that is known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’, Dunedin. A wonderful mixture of Victorian colonial history and contemporary cafes and bars, Dunedin also provides a great base to explore the largest variety of wildlife on the South Island. Upon arriving in Dunedin, get close to nature and join the highly recommended Elm Wildlife Tour that takes you to the Otago Peninsular to spot yellow-eyed penguins, Albatross, sea lions and fur seals up close. For something quite different, visit the Cadbury Chocolate Factory, where samples are included (yum!), or perhaps finish of a great day by joining the evening Speights Brewery Tour.
Approximate arrival time into Dunedin is 12.30pm.
Sector 10: DUNEDIN - TEKAPO
LAKES, MOUNTAINS, STAR GAZING
We start the day with a chance to run up the world’s steepest street (that’s you, not the Magic coach!). The next stop is a walk on the beach to see the Moeraki Boulders, huge great rocks just scattered across the seashore renowned for their unique spherical shape. If you are after a real New Zealand experience take the opportunity to jump off the coach after passing through the historic stone town of Oamaru, and stay at a working farm in Kurow. As we head on into the Mackenzie Country, we pass by the Benmore Dam, the largest earth dam in the Southern Hemisphere. Keep an eye on the scenery as there are some amazing views of Aoraki Mt. Cook and the many surrounding lakes. The tranquil Lake Tekapo is our overnight destination, a small town located at the end of a lake by the same name. There is a lot on offer here including an optional day trip to Mt Cook, kayaking on the lake, fantastic sightseeing flights of the Southern Alps or a sedate visit to the idyllic Church of the Good Shepherd. Tonight, don’t miss the chance to view the Southern Hemisphere stars up close.
Approximate arrival time into Lake Tekapo is 4.00pm.
Sector 11: TEKAPO - CHRISTCHURCH
ANTARCTIC CENTRE, HOT AIR BALLOONING, PUNTING
After leaving the shores of Lake Tekapo, we travel around the edges of the stunning Mackenzie Country, crossing over Burkes Pass and the foothills of the Southern Alps. We then pass through the picturesque towns of Fairlie and Geraldine, stopping here for a short time. For those considering undertaking the ‘Lord of the Rings’ tour, let your driver know as you can get picked up just before Methven, a rural Canterbury town. The coach then heads through the Canterbury Plains, the largest area of flat land in NZ – a huge contrast to our previous days travel! On arrival in Christchurch, we go first to the International Antarctic Centre where you’ll have the option to learn more about the frozen continent and even undertake a Hagglund Ride before travelling into the centre of the ‘Garden City’.
Approximate arrival time into Christchurch is 12.30pm or 3.00pm if visiting the Antarctic Centre.
Sector 12: CHRISTCHURCH-KAIKOURA
WHALE WATCHING, SEAL COLONIES, GREEN GLOBE COMMUNITY
Upon leaving the Garden City this morning, we follow the rugged coastline up to Kaikoura, stopping enroute to visit a seal colony. The coach will arrive in the Green Globe community of Kaikoura in time to experience the lifetime thrill of whale watching or dolphin swimming – don’t miss out! The name 'Kaikoura' translates to 'meal of crayfish' so back on dry land make sure you try some fresh Crayfish or indulge in a traditional New Zealand fish & chip dinner here, voted one of the best places to do so!
Approximate arrival time in Kaikoura is 12.00pm.
Sector 13: KAIKOURA-PICTON-WELLINGTON
WINE COUNTRY, MARLBOROUGH SOUNDS, COOK STRAIT
A slightly more leisurely departure time this morning so enjoy a lie in! We follow the Pacific coast north today, before heading inland and travelling through famous hilly pastures and wine country of Marlborough via the small and friendly township of Blenheim. We continue on to Picton, the gateway to the Marlborough Sounds, in time to catch the early afternoon ferry across to Wellington (price of ferry not included in some passes). If you are travelling to Nelson, stay onboard the coach and you will arrive into Nelson late this afternoon.
Approximate arrival time in Wellington is 4.30pm.
Sector 14: WELLINGTON-NAPIER
WILDLIFE, ART DECO, WINERIES
Today we start with a hilly climb out of Wellington through the Rimutaka Ranges. Our first stop en route gives you the chance to see a real Kiwi and also the ancient Tuatara at Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre. Whilst the Kiwi is a symbol of New Zealand, the Tuatara is one of New Zealand’s rarest creatures and Magic are proud sponsors of the Tuatara Recovery Programme. Heading further north, via a number of NZ’s picturesque pioneer towns including Greytown and Carterton, we arrive in Mangatainoka which feels like the middle of nowhere but is in fact the home of the nationally famous Tui Brewery. Try a beer or two here or wait until later in the day when the wine connoisseurs might want to part with a few dollars and indulge in some tastings in Hawkes Bay wine country. We arrive into Napier by early afternoon with plenty of time to explore the unique buildings, and perhaps another local winery or two. Due to a major earthquake in the 1930s, this city had to be rebuilt and is now referred to by some as “The Art Deco capital of the World”. Enjoy your stay in another unique Magic spot.
Approximate arrival into Napier is 3.00pm.
Sector 15: NAPIER-TAUPO-ROTORUA-MT MAUNGANUI/TAURANGA
BEACHES, SURFING, CHILLING OUT
Just north of Napier today you have the opportunity to jump off and overnight at Mountain Valley wilderness stop to experience relaxation and adventure at its best – a place to really get back to nature. We continue on to the lakeside town of Taupo and then arrive in Rotorua. For those of you passing through for the first time, we advise at least one night in each town and in Rotorua in particular, you need to make time to explore some of the many attractions including Whakarewarewa Thermal area, white water rafting on the Kaitiaki or get wet and wild in a Zorb at the Agrodome. Leaving Rotorua behind, the coach will then carry on to the chilled out beach town of Mt Maunganui (world famous for surfing) arriving late afternoon. Many of our passengers like to stay a couple of days here to either relax or try some of the many beach activities including learning to surf, whilst allowing the ocean and salt air to work their Magic.
Approximate arrival into Mount Maunganui is 4.00pm. Passengers staying at Tauranga add 20 mins.
Sector 16: MT MAUNGANUI-THAMES-AUCKLAND
SKY TOWER, NIGHTLIFE, VOLCANOES
Leaving Mt Maunganui behind us, today you will see a glimpse of rural New Zealand as we pass through small pioneer towns such as Katikati, the ‘mural’ town of New Zealand, and Waihi, where the gold rush which began in the 1800s still continues today. We travel on through the incredible bush lined cutting of the Karangahake Gorge to Paeroa, where some unique landmarks pay homage to the iconic Kiwi soft drink ‘Lemon & Paeroa’ which was named after the town. Grab a photo by the large L&P bottle before you leave! In Thames, those travelling to the Coromandel Peninsula can connect directly with the Coromandel coach and head on to visit some incredible native bush, a beach where the water is boiling hot and one of the most beautiful coves in New Zealand. For those who are heading on to Auckland, we continue on to meet the southern motorway and traverse the famous Bombay Hills and then deliver you back into the city via the AJ Hackett Bungy and a free chance to sample the Bridge Climb, by early afternoon. There will still be enough time to do some of the Auckland’s other sights, such as jumping off the Skytower or catching a ferry to a nearby island.
Approximate arrival time into Auckland is 1.00pm.
For a few extra dollars, if you have not visited Waitomo, we recommend you take the following alternative route (below) from Mt Maunganui via Waitomo to Auckland which is available on selected days.
Sector 99: PLEASE NOTE
The departure and arrival times listed above are approximate and many different factors can cause these times to alter so please use them as a guide only.