Yeti Travel Tips: Naked Bus

New Zealand is an amazing place. Amazing scenery, amazing people, amazing(ly high) prices. F’real, this place is expensive. Anyway, what with the $10 beers and $30 hostels, we had to do something to keep the costs down.

Here’s the first in a series of tips on how we managed to keep our New Zealand costs down. (A little.)

Naked Bus

Naked Bus! is a pretty fantastic website– they allocate one $1 fare to the first person to book each bus trip, so if you’re one of those fantastic plan-everything-a-month-in-advance types, you can get around the country on the cheap.

We wanted a little more flexibility, so went for the a bus pass, specifically the 17 Trip Pass. As the name suggests, the pass gave us 17 trips, anywhere in New Zealand* for $225.  This works out, for those not mathematically inclined, to  $13ish per trip.

The pass also meant we were free to be pretty much as last minute as we wanted. We booked, changed, and canceled trips to our hearts’ content.  (Within a 24 hour period.)

We added up what we would have spent, doing the same trips using nakedbus’ usual booking:

‘Regular’ price: $567
Bus pass: $225

…Not too shabby, eh?


– On its website, nakedbus promises wifi on every bus. We very rarely saw any sign of it, and never figured out how to use it.

– Nakedbuses, in our experience, are not so hot on the whole punctuality thing.

– Particularly on the South Island and around the Coromandel, the routes and timetables are a bit wacky. Be prepared for a 5hr car ride to turn into an 8hr bus trip.


The nakedbus pass is cheap as chups! And a pretty great way to go for couples or small groups.

*There are some weird, but for most travelers irrelevant, restrictions on repeating bus trips.

2 responses to “Yeti Travel Tips: Naked Bus

  1. Hi! I saw your blog posts about backpacking around NZ. I’m really interested to go backpacking in NZ (both North and South Island) this September. I’m planning to get the Naked Bus 17 Trip Pass as well but I can’t figure out how to use it. Do I just book as I go? Where does the bus stop? How difficult is it to get accommodation? Thanks a lot for your help!

    • Hi Yu,

      Sounds like an exciting trip. Yup, you buy the ticket online and then, signing into your nakedbus account, you buy as you go (at least 24 hours in advance though). The buses stop in the city center most times; there is no shortage of places to stay (you can also look into nakedsleep for discounted hostels.)
      Let me know if you have any more questions. Have a good trip.

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