See Fiji (Free!) When You Book New Zealand

March 3, 2008

I haven’t been to Fiji, but then I didn’t have a deal like this when I booked my trip to New Zealand:

“See New Zealand with Kiwi Experience and we’ll throw in a free Fiji trip with Feejee Experience. Just purchase any Kiwi pass that takes you to both islands (which you’re going to do anyway), and you’ll get a free ‘Hula Loop’ tour pass for Fiji. It’s a $300 value and well worth it.”

Big KiwiThis deal comes from our friends at Travel CUTS and is one you should take full advantage of. I was lucky enough to win a free Kiwi Experience pass in an essay contest when I was a student in Australia. It allowed me to see most of the South Island, hike Franz Josef glacier, cruise the breathtaking Milford Sound, do a Lord of the Rings day trip from Queenstown (to feed the geek in me), and take all the pictures you see here.

If you aren’t familiar with them, the “Experience” buses area  great way to travel. They are hop-on, hop-off tours, meaning that you get to decide which days you get on the bus, and which days you stay right where you are. If you want to do a whole tour in a week or so, then get on every day and head for the next town. If you have weeks, or months to spend, then you can hop off when someplace looks good to you and stay as long as you like. Just call up and let the bus know when you’re ready to get back on again.

Matt and DanI toured most of Australia on the Oz Experience bus and loved it. I met people from all over the world and still keep in touch with many of them, years later. If you start out traveling alone, you won’t be for long. For me, it was nice to get to a strange town, but have people to share a hostel room with, go to dinner with, and hit the pubs and bars with. And if you don’t like those people, you can let them get on the bus without you and wait for the next one to come through with a whole new load of backpackers to meet. (I did that once and was much happier with the second load of people I met. Fewer drunk, English rugby fans, more cheery Canadians and Swedes.)

QueenstownThe bus drivers can also help plan activities like bungee jumping, scuba, snorkelling, surfing lessons, and other experiences. You can participate in as much or as little as you like, which means your itinerary and your budget are in your hands.

If you know you’re headed to New Zealand, book the extra stop in Fiji and get the full Feejee Experience. The spelling is lousy, but the adventure is sure to be incredible.

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