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Ron

From {{totalPrice}} EUR Extra kosten tijdens tour Please allow 60-80 NZD for ferries between South Island and Stewart Island.
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Wat is inbegrepen?
Duur
17 dagen
Begint in
Christchurch
Eindigt in
Christchurch
Group size
The Stray buses range from 14 seaters to 45 seaters with an average group of about 20 travellers in winter (May-Oct) and 30 in summer (Nov-Apr). The group size is kept smaller so you can see and do more, and because groups of this size simply work better.
Want to concentrate on the South Island? In that case the Ron pass, covering our full South Island travel network, is for you. We recommend at least 2-3 weeks to get the most out of your trip and to allow some time to hop off and explore your favourite destinations for longer.
Reisroute

Ron

Christchurch to Kaikoura

Haere mai (welcome)! Your Stray adventure kicks off in the South Island’s largest city, Christchurch. We stop briefly to do pick-ups and drop-offs at the Christchurch International Airport as we depart early this morning for a beautiful drive up the coast to Kaikoura. Arriving in Kaikoura around midday, you will have the afternoon free for activities to experience the incredible marine world just off shore. Get out on the water and experience one of Kaikoura’s famous dolphin and whale spotting tours, see seals sitting right beside the road at Goose Bay or wander around the peninsula and check out the breathtaking views from the lookout.

Accommodation option: Dusky Lodge (warm modern hostel)
Optional paid activities: Whale watching by boat or by plane, swimming with dolphins, guided fishing trip
Free activities:Walk around the peninsula and up to the lookout

Kaikoura to Picton

Leaving Kaikoura in the morning we wind our way up the rugged coastal roads towards the top of the South Island. Your overnight stop tonight is the port town of Picton, where you have the afternoon free to check out the Queen Charlotte Sound walk or take advantage of the free fishing gear and mountain bikes at the accommodation. The spa pool at the accommodation is the perfect place to unwind at the end of the day.

Accommodation option: Cosy villa
Free activities: Queen Charlotte Sound view walk, go fishing, bicycle around town, relax in the accommodation’s spa pool.

Picton to Marahau (Abel Tasman)

Enjoy a leisurely morning getting to know charming Picton. You’ll meet your Stray group at the accommodation at midday. Once on the bus, we’ll cruise through the world famous Marlborough vineyard area and, depending on the group, we may stop for a wine tasting to sample the region’s specialty Sauvignon Blanc before heading to the coastal town of Nelson. We make a supermarket stop in Motueka to stock up on supplies for the next couple days and then make our way to our amazing overnight destination Marahau, right on the edge of the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park.

Accommodation option: Unique Stray accommodation on the edge of the national park
Optional paid activities: Wine tasting, skydiving
Free activities: Walks, mussel tasting around the fire, stargazing

Marahau (Abel Tasman)

With a full day at your leisure, don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore this stunning, coastal national park on foot, by sea or from the air. Abel Tasman is famous for being one of the sunniest spots in New Zealand and, as home to one of NZ’s Great Walks, is a popular place to hop off for hiking enthusiasts. Even those short on time can still kayak, sail or take a water taxi to get a taste of the park’s natural golden sand beaches and brilliant blue waters.

Accommodation option: Unique Stray accommodation on the edge of the national park
Optional paid activities: Full day sailing trip, kayaking, skydiving, water taxi, stand-up paddle boarding, canyoning, hang gliding, scenic microlight flight
Free activities: Walk in the national park, relax on one of the golden sand beaches, go for a swim.

Marahau (Abel Tasman) to Franz Josef

Buckle up for a awesome day driving down the incredibly scenic ‘wild’ West Coast, an area known for its untamed beaches and spectacular rainforest. We’ll pass through Buller Gorge and down a stretch of road that was labelled one of the top ten drives in the world by Lonely Planet. We’ll take a walk along the craggy cliffs at Cape Foulwind to view the seal colony before continuing further down the coast to the geographic wonder of Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks and blowholes. Here we’ll take a walk around these unique limestone rock formations and stop for a bite of lunch. Our next stop is the historic gold mining town of Greymouth to collect passengers connecting from Christchurch. From here we’ll make one last stop via Hokitika (the best place to buy ‘Pounami’, a native greenstone) before continuing onto the quaint township of Franz Josef, home of the mighty Franz Josef Glacier where we’ll spend the next two nights.

Accommodation option: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest
Free activities: Buller Gorge, Cape Foulwind Seal Colony, Pancake Rocks and Blow holes, Hokitika greenstone store

Franz Josef

Enjoy a free day to get out and experience the Franz Josef Glacier, a true highlight of the West Coast. The best way to navigate the maze of ice and explore the incredible landscape on the Franz Josef Glacier is with a guided tour, which always ranks as a favourite activity amongst Stray travellers. Other options include visiting the glacial terminal face for some spectacular photos or one of the many excellent bush hikes in the region.

Accommodation option: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest
Optional paid activities: Glacier heli-hike (entry to hot pools included), kayaking, skydiving
Free activities: Many excellent bush hikes (but we recommend a guided one for safety). Relax in one of NZ’s largest spa pools at your accommodation.

Franz Josef to Wanaka

It’s time to leave the West Coast behind. We stop in the morning for pick-ups at Fox Glacier before heading to the amazing mirror-like Lake Matheson. We’ll travel inland through the mountainous Haast Pass and Makarora towards Wanaka. This is one of the most scenic drives you’ll ever do and we’ll stop for plenty of photo ops as we drive from rainforests to mountains, through beech forest and past great lakes. We’ll pass by the beautiful Lake Hawea and arrive in Wanaka late-afternoon in time to enjoy this picturesque lakeside town.

Accommodation option: Central Wanaka hostel
Free activities: Lake Matheson walk, Ship Creek walk, Blue Pools walk, Thundercreek Falls walk, explore Wanaka

Wanaka to Queenstown

Kick start your day with a brisk walk up Mt Iron, an early morning skydive or learn to fly a stunt plane over Wanaka. At mid-morning we'll pack up and make out way to Queenstown, known in New Zealand as the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’ and the spiritual home of bungy jumping. We stop on our way into town at Kawarau Bridge, the first commercial bungy jumping site, for your chance to take the big leap of faith. Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge!) night out with lots of excellent restaurants, pubs and live music to check out.

Accommodation option: Central hostel close to all the action
Optional paid activities: Puzzling World, skydiving, mountain biking, pilot your own stunt plane or learn to fly and take a friend for free, bungy jumping
Free activities: Walk Mt Iron, watch people jumping off a bridge!

Queenstown

You need at least one free day in Queenstown to make the most of the range of activities on offer, but it’s also a great place to hop off and spend extra time no matter what you choose to do. Options include: bungy or swing, zipline tours, canyoning, jet boating, skiing, skydiving and local bush walks, or just enjoy the stunning scenery and do nothing.

Accommodation option: Central hostel close to all the action
Optional paid activities: Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jetboating, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding...)
Free activities: Sleep in, great walks, take in beautiful views from this cool resort town.

Queenstown to Gunn’s Camp

Today you are in for a treat. It’s an early start as make our way to Milford Sound, one of NZ’s most famous destinations, sometimes referred to as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’. You won’t want to nap on this leg of the journey as we drive past Lake Wakatipu and watch the landscape change from farmland to mountains, glacier carved valleys and fiords. There is time to do an afternoon boat cruise around Milford Sound to soak up this untouched world. Known for its rich marine ecology, it’s likely you’ll spot a few wild dolphins, seals and penguins. Next, we head for our unique Stray overnight stop, Gunn’s Camp, located in the solitude of Hollyford Valley. There’s no better place to enjoy an evening under the stars, spot glow-worms in the bush and listen out for kiwi bird calls in the night.

Accommodation option: Historic camp in the heart of Fiordland National Park
Optional paid activities: Milford Sound cruise (ask the driver about the special Milford Sound + Stewart Island combo)
Free activities: Stunning views, visit the historic museum or take in the incredible surroundings at Gunn’s Camp, Chasm walk

Gunn’s Camp to Invercargill/Stewart Island

We start the morning with a short riverside stroll through beech forest on the Viewing Gantry walk. Fiordland is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site Te Wahipounamu (which incorporates four national parks including Mt Cook, Mt Aspiring, Westland and Fiordland) and you’ll understand why as you soak up the spectacular landscape around you. This afternoon we travel further south via Te Anau to Invercargill, next stop Stewart Island! NZ’s third-largest island, Stewart Island has an abundance of activities such as fishing, kayaking, diving, bird watching and tramping tracks. Those not going to Stewart Island will spend the night in Invercargill.

Accommodation option: Stewart Island backpackers or central hostel in Invercargill
Optional paid activities: Te Anau Wildlife Centre, catch the ferry to Stewart Island (ask the driver about the special Milford Sound + Stewart Island combo)
Free activities: Humboldt Falls walk, Viewing Gantry walk

Invercargill/Stewart Island to Queenstown

The morning is yours to explore the island, meet the locals, go fishing or enjoy some of the walks. We catch an afternoon ferry back to the mainland. For those who chose not to venture on to Stewart Island your bus departs mid-morning to head out to Waipapa Point, Curio Bay and Porpoise Bay for some sea lion, penguin and dolphin spotting. On the chance we can’t find any wildlife, we can visit the 180 million-year-old fossilized forest and grab a milkshake. Afterwards we return to Bluff Hill to meet up with the island-goers before we express back to Queenstown.

Accommodation option: Central hostel close to all the action
Optional paid activities: Stewart Island-fishing, Village & Bays tour, go to Ulva Island
Free activities: Explore the island, amazing birdlife, walks through the native parkland (Stewart Island); visit the start/end point for State Highway 1, sea lion, penguin, dolphin spotting, find Burt Munro’s World’s Fastest Indian, Bluff Hill walk, visit Henry the 118-year-old tuatara (Invercargill).

Queenstown to Aoraki/Mt Cook

Today we head over the Lindis Pass through the beautiful Mackenzie Country and past picturesque Lake Pukaki on the way to our amazing stop at the base of New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook. We arrive in the early afternoon with time to do a 4WD & Argo Tour, check out the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre or do one of the many great short walks in the park. If you want to hop off the bus for a few days there are some incredible longer walks you can do (we’d recommend leaving climbing Mt Cook to the experienced mountaineers though).

Accommodation option: Stunning alpine lodge
Optional paid activities: Argo tour of alpine region, visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre
Free activities: Take photos of awe-inspiring scenery, do one of the many great short walks to the Hooker glacial lake (weather dependent), stargazing

Mt Cook (via Tekapo) to Rangitata

Leaving Mt Cook, we make our way through a landscape made famous in the Lord of the Rings films. We’ll stop to admire the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo and the Church of the Good Shepherd - a famous photo stop. Relax in the Tekapo hot pools, go snow tubing or ice skating (winter only) or hike up to the Mt John observatory where you’ll witness stunning views of the lake from above. After lunch, we will continue to our overnight stop in Rangitata Peel Forest. Tonight, we’ll stay in one of Canterbury’s original sheep stations.

Accommodation option: One of Canterbury’s original sheep stations
Optional paid activities: Tekapo Hot Springs, Ice skating (Apr-Sep), Snow tubing (Jun-Sep)
Free activities: Visit Lake Tekapo, Mt John observatory walk, Rangitata forest walks

Rangitata to Christchurch

This morning, you will have the opportunity to sign up to a top-notch grade 5 white water rafting experience on Rangitata River under the foot of the Southern Alps or to explore the stunning Peel Forest scenery on horseback. Tonight, we’ll stay in Christchurch - a city where old meets new, as an enormous rebuild continues following the devastating 2011 Earthquake. You will find some of New Zealand’s most modern architecture nestled next to some of our oldest buildings. Wander the city streets and laneways to discover creative street art intended to bring cheer and colour to a city once buried in rubble. Spend your afternoon exploring the city or getting involved in one of the activities on offer.

Accommodation option: Comfortable, modern backpackers near the city centre
Optional paid activities: White water rafting, horse trekking
Free activities: Explore Christchurch by foot, check out the Re-Start Mall, Cardboard Cathedral and inner-city street art
Overzicht

Wat is inbegrepen?

Extra kosten tijdens tour
Please allow 60-80 NZD for ferries between South Island and Stewart Island.

Activiteiten

Please see the different activities (either free/included or requiring an extra payment) in the itinerary.

Accommodatie

Accommodation is not included in your bus pass. However, it is really easy to book through your driver on a pay-as-you-go basis. You are welcome to choose where you stay, or we will make a recommendation for you. You can find the preferred accommodation options in the itinerary that normally have a choice of dorm, double and twin share. The majority of our accommodation venues allow for self-catering with kitchen facilities (we do supermarket stops to make it easier) as well as have a TV lounge and internet.

Normal backpacker hostel rates are about 26-32 NZD per night for a dorm bed and 60-80 NZD for a double/twin room, 70-120 NZD for double/twin room with ensuite. During peak season (December - March) double/twin rooms may have limited availability.

We guarantee your first night's accommodation when you travel on the bus. This can be really useful for you, as travellers rarely appreciate how busy it can get in New Zealand and how time-consuming the search for a good hostel is. At some very special stops, we get so far off the beaten track there is only one accommodation option available. This is noted in the itinerary.

Lokaal vervoer

We use our own coaches for much of the route, which ensures safety, reliability and good service. Your driver-guides will help you book accommodation and activities en-route as well as offer guidance and commentary - they are a greatly valuable and fun source of Kiwi knowledge. You can get on and off the Stray bus at any stop on the route and as often as you like, as long as you verify your trip changes online or with our reservations team (we advise you do this at least a few days in advance).

Please note: You can't hop off the bus on non-Stray run sectors, i.e. Christchurch - Greymouth.

Maaltijden

Meals are not included in the price of the pass. However, you don’t have to eat chicken noodles every day; we make supermarket stops so that you can self cater, and there are cheap meal options at each stop - often with local specialties (there is always a vegetarian option).

Houd er rekening mee

TOP REASONS TO GO WITH STRAY!

We actively seek out the best places off the beaten track so you'll get an unforgettable experience whilst in New Zealand.

- We stay CLOSER to the action
You've come all the way to New Zealand, so you'll want to get close to the action! We stay in great Kiwi locations, such as on a real sheep/cattle station, amongst Lord of the Rings scenery and beside at least eight national parks. Thus you can easily access the outstanding, unique nature as well as activities, such as a Maori cultural stop-over, a wildlife stop-over on Stewart Island, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (rated as NZ's best one day walk), sailing or kayaking in the Abel Tasman National Park... All of these and more are exclusive to Stray and some of our top-rating features.

- We have smaller group sizes
Our average group size is 30. The benefits of this size are many - you don’t feel herded around, we are able to include many more accommodation and activity options, it’s easier to meet people... Plus we can get you off the beaten track and do way more in a day.

- Top Kiwi guides
Stray is NZ-known as being a top place to work - and we should know! We give our driver-guides market-leading training to help them take you around New Zealand; as well as being your local "guidebook" they provide commentary, book beds and activities, and provide information on things from New Zealand history and culture to the best drinking spots. These are all people that you’d like to adventure with.

- Save money whilst getting off the beaten track
With Stray you don't have to buy costly side trips as we already include out-of-the-way places like Raglan, Mt Cook, and the Abel Tasman. We save you time by picking you up and dropping you off at your accommodation; and by our extensive knowledge of where and what the best things in New Zealand are. We get you deals on activities so you can afford to do more, and there are always free things for you to do (please see your Stray pass itinerary for the free options in each place).

- Orange is the new Green - with one of NZ’s most efficient bus fleets
Stray is committed to environmentally sustainable tourism. Rather than just token gestures of energy efficient light bulbs and recycling (which we do anyway), we lead the market with the newest bus fleet to reduce our emissions. By choosing Stray you are helping reduce your own carbon output - travelling on a bus is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to travel, but only if the bus is full! We reduce our departure days and bus sizes in NZ's low season to further reduce unnecessary output. We have Enviro-Gold accredition from Qualmark.

- Don't just take our word for it!
We won the Best Visitor Transport Award at the NZ Tourism Awards and the Best NZ Tour Operator Award at the Australasian Golden Backpack (traveller-voted) Awards in 2010. We have extremely high customer satisfaction and referrals (97.5%) because we offer travellers more of what they want - down-to-earth, real New Zealand with an awesome crew and a greater emphasis on your needs.

- And finally...
You can realistically do the things that we list in the itinerary. Many of the things that we identify on our trips we have to go out of our way to do. For example, going to Mt Cook and Stewart Island, and doing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing are part of our normal itinerary so Stray offers the best chance to do them on our trips. That means that you don't have to hop off the bus, leave your group, and make your own way to enjoy these iconic NZ activities. Be also aware that you simply can't access much of what we think is the best stuff in New Zealand by using public transport - it simply doesn't go there.

FAQ's

- Is it a full-on party bus or nature bus?
Stray’s main priority is walks and wildlife and we have lots of early starts so we can fit as many adventure activities in as possible. What you do in the evenings is your choice, but we do have a couple of big nights out on the circuit in particular in Wellington and Queenstown.

- Can I hop on and off the bus anywhere or just at the overnight stops?
You can hop on or off the Stray bus anywhere along the Stray route - if you like the look of a place, just yell ‘Stop’ to the driver, and they’ll drop you off and then you can just rebook online when you want to be picked up again.

- What is the average age of travellers on Stray?
The average age of Stray passengers is about 26. The majority of people are between the age of 20 and 40 (but we also have older). No matter what the age, we find we attract on-to-it people who want to meet other travellers, and get out there and further off the beaten track.

- Is it ok to travel alone on Stray?
Stray is perfect for people travelling by themselves. New Zealand is a relatively safe country and our smaller group sizes means you can meet more people, and your driver is always there for any questions you may have.

- Are the ferries between North, South and Stewart Island included and how much do they cost?
The ferry rides are not included in your pass as the prices vary frequently. Your driver will help you get the best deal when you are travelling. It usually costs between 50-65 NZD depending on the time of year.

- Should I reconfirm my trip?
If you are happy with the start date and pick up point confirmed when you booked your Stray pass then you do not need to confirm. If you booked an ‘open-dated’ pass, or want to change your start date, you need to contact Stray (either by phone or online) AT LEAST 48 hours prior to a desired departure to arrange a departure date. Remember - we need to know where to pick you up from!

Ron

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