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STA Travel Blog

From the Kiwi’s Mouth: The Kiwi Experience Driver’s Guide to New Zealand

Have you heard of Kiwi Experience? We wouldn’t be surprised if you have, especially if a trip to New Zealand is on your travel wish list. At a basic level, it’s a hop on hop off bus that can take you all over New Zealand, to hard to reach spots and party hubs, and help you meet like minded travellers on your journey.

But Kiwi Experience is more than that. In their own words: “We know when to stop the bus and soak it in, and when to keep on driving and leave the tourist traps behind. We’ll show you New Zealand’s big highlights, and incredible places so hidden even Peter Jackson couldn’t find them.”

At the heart of Kiwi Experience are their amazing driver guides who are passionate about sharing the best of New Zealand with you. We asked one of them to spill the beans on their top tips for New Zealand travel, their favourite overnight stops and what where to find the best pies. That’s right, we ask the right questions.

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5 New Zealand Hikes You Have to Experience for Yourself

Around 4.5 million people live in New Zealand. To put that into perspective, in the UK around 8.5 million people live in London alone. Which means New Zealand has a lot of empty, open space and, even more importantly, that open space is really quite beautiful.

A simple equation tells us that not many-people + beautiful open space = perfect hiking opportunities. Throw the fact that Kiwi land is peppered with breathtaking lakes, out of this world mountains and some wonderful coastlines, and there’s really no reason why you’d want to explore any other way than on foot.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Follow the yellow brick road to New Zealand's best hikes | Image by chris.murphy

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The Most Amazing Experiences to be Found on New Zealand’s South Island

Lakes so blue you’d think they’d been photoshopped if you hadn’t seen them with your own eyes, mighty ancient glaciers, rolling green hills, snow capped mountains and rugged beaches where you can spot whales and dolphins playing between the waves.

If you like a bit of breathtaking beauty thrown in with your travel experiences then this could be your little slice of heaven. Here are our favourite ways to really get the very best from your time.

Watch the whales in the ocean off Kaikoura.

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How STA Travel ended up with a music platform and at Bestival!

Today’s blog is by Tor White, Global Creative Director STA Travel, music lover & adventurer.

Between you and I, we are all always half in the office and half way out exploring the world

Ever walked down the street and heard a vague riff that took you straight back to a road trip with your mates? Or missed your stop because a tune on your iPod had you daydreaming about your last snowboarding adventure? It’s the same with us.

Music and travel are inextricably linked – they both take you away. Music is one of the first things that helps you to travel beyond your bedroom walls. And then when you’re old enough for your first backpack, it’s those unforgettable tunes that tie you to the places you visited and the friends and strangers you met.

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Shakedown: Northern Thailand

Less rain than Scotland (probably), warmer that Norway and greener than Greenland; as “norths” go, the north of Thailand is pretty brilliant.

Getting there is pretty simple as the Bangkok – Chang Mai train is not only fast, efficient and cheap, it’s also a Southeast Asian travel rite of passage. Choose first class and a private air-conditioned sleeper compartment. Go second to sit or sleep, or go third and enjoy the fact that you’ve saved a a bit of doh and you sit up for hours on a flight anyway, right?

Travel overnight to make the most of your time, but travel by day to soak in the scenery. Bordering Laos and Myanmar, Northern Thailand is slightly cooler in temperature than the hot south and rivers and rice fields meet rolling shades of green that cover hillsides throughout this ancient and luscious land. It’s a romantic notion sitting on a train, watching the scenery go by and reading a book or contemplating life, but the time is yours, the scenery free so enjoy yourself with all you see.

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