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I saved $82.40 from the price of my first tour booked through Bookme New Zealand.
Bookme NZ is a daily deals website founded by two Kiwis in 2010. I’d heard of the website for the first time 2015, but never got around to using it. Having returned to New Zealand I noticed how popular it had become while staying in hostels in late 2018. So, naturally I jumped on Bookme and found myself redirected to the Queenstown deals page. Queenstown was where the website was started before they expanded to the rest of New Zealand, Australia & Fiji.
Daily deal sites like Groupon are in New Zealand, but Bookme have taken a different approach. They offer discounted experiences, but each tour operator sets the prices and can adjust them by logging into the back end of the site.
This means that tour operators aren’t facing a situation where they sell lots of their discounted tours on busy days. There have been many businesses who have failed after experiencing the downsides of being on sites like Groupon.
Looking for other way to save money in NZ? Check out New Zealand on a Budget.
First Experience using Bookme NZ
The first time I visited the website was to look at Bookme Kaikoura. When I said I’d like to go kayaking with seals, a British girl said to book through Bookme NZ. As it was low season, there were lots of discounts available for kayaking experiences. Likewise, Bookme Milford Sound kayaking tours were available also, if you happened to be in that area. Unfortunately, the weather forecast wasn’t great in Kaikoura and I have yet to go kayaking there.
So the first time I actually booked an experience was for Bookme Nelson in December 2018. The weather hadn’t been great during my 10 day housesit but my last day in town it was going to be. So at 11pm on Christmas Day I booked a tour (Abel Tasman and Golden Bay in One Day) starting at 6.55am the following morning.
That was a risk, and I’d not recommend booking a tour that late the night before with the early start. I was fortunate that the tour operator emailed me shortly after with the instructions for catching the bus from Nelson. It all worked out in this case, but
I’d recommend booking before the close of business the day before your tour is due to start.
My experience on the tour was great. Everything went as per the description, and the small group of five made for a nice day.
Interested in more information on New Zealand? Check out:
– Comparing the Best Motorhome & Campervan Hire – New Zealand
– Review of a Maui Campervan New Zealand
– Review: Kiwi Campers and Happy Campers NZ
– 12 Experiences in New Zealand
– 6 Top Skydive Locations – NZ
Tour Operators and Bookme Reviews
The tour operators are vetted before they have access to listing their experiences on Bookme NZ so I am confident that they use trusted tour operators. The Bookme review system is great too. The only people who can leave a review on the site must have booked, paid, and completed the activity before being able to leave a review.
So, how much did I save using Bookme NZ?
Bookme NZ said I was saving 40% by booking at the $123.60 price point. This number is accurate as the tour operator is Tasman Tours. When you go to book the same experience (Abel Tasman and Golden Bay in One Day) on the Tasman Tours website the price is $206.
Total saved: $82.40
How to use Bookme NZ
NOTE: the experience on a laptop and mobile is similar. All the important details are there, but the layout on mobile differs for a better user experience.
When you land on the site, you’ll see the search bar along the top where you can type in the various type of experiences you’d like. I prefer searching by location, as you never know what kind of activities are on offer. At the time of writing this, 16 cities and regions are on offer covering the majority of the country. You can choose your location by choosing the ‘change location’ option on the right-hand side of the search bar.
- Bookme Queenstown & Milford Sound
- Bookme Auckland
- Bookme Dunedin
- Bookme Christchurch
- Bookme Rotorua & Taupo
- Bookme Hamilton
- Bookme Wellington
- Plus more
From here, you have a list of all the experiences on offer in that location along with four pieces of information that help make searching a lot easier. The experiences are described in a way that you can understand what is going to and include:
- Price from: this is the lowest price available for each experience if the best deal is booked.
- Discount: this is how much you’ll save off the full retail price if you book the experience at the cheapest price.
- Spaces: the number of people they are willing to sell the experience at the biggest discounted price (this number fluctuates as the operators can adjust deal prices daily)
- Date range: from what I gather, this relates to the spaces. You can change the dates when you go onto the page of each experience.
When you click on an experience, you’ll be taken to a page that describes the activity in more detail. It includes the highlights, what to bring, and other relevant details.
Finding The Biggest Discount:
At the bottom of the page is the important section and where I scroll to first. The dates are listed in a calendar like format and it’s easy to see the days where the experience is available at the biggest discount. When choosing what experience to do in Abel Tasman, I made sure to check that the biggest discount was available on the 26th. On days that the experience isn’t offered at the biggest discount, there may be a smaller discount available or you can book the tour at the regular price if you haven’t got a lot of flexibility.
Once you’ve chosen your experience, you can click the book now button on the individual page and go through the screens as required. They vary depending on each experience. The great part is, you don’t have to create an account when booking on the site.
The payment methods accepted are Visa, Mastercard or bank transfer via ASB, BNZ, Kiwibank, & Westpac.
Once you have paid for your booking, you’ll receive an order confirmation email. This contains the information of the tour operator running your activity if you need to contact them at all.
Bookme NZ is an easy functional website that has a large variety of activities on offer in New Zealand, including dining deals. If you’re coming to New Zealand, check Bookme NZ in advance to see what kind of experiences are on offer in the destinations you’re planning to visit. The tour operators don’t change much on a daily basis so you can start to make plans in advance.
About The Author
Jub is a born and bred Kiwi who took 18 years to leave the shores on New Zealand. He never expected to be travelling the world, but has been travelling more or less full-time since 2013. One night in Kathmandu he got lost walking home in the early hours of the morning and ended up sleeping in an alleyway after his phone died – trust his advice at your own peril.