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Short Jill

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Short Jill

Begint in:

Auckland

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Wellington

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Wat is inbegrepen?
Travel one-way from Auckland to Wellington whilst seeing everything worthwhile in between! You'll immerse yourself in local Maori culture at our exclusive overnight stops, get well off the beaten track at an award-winning conservation country station and hike the volcanic Tongariro Alpine Crossing (New Zealand's best one-day walk).
Prijs per persoon 327 EUR
Dit is zonder vliegtickets. Wij helpen je graag om de goedkoopste tickets te vinden. De prijs hierboven is per persoon, maar gebaseerd op 2 volwassenen die samen reizen.
Wat is inbegrepen?
Reisroute

Short Jill

Auckland to Hahei

Haere mai (welcome)! We depart Auckland and head south, travelling to the Coromandel Peninsula via the old colonial town of Thames. Renowned for its natural beauty and pristine swimming beaches, the Coromandel Peninsula has plenty to offer the active traveller, but is also a great place to kick back and relax in a pretty coastal setting. On arrival into Hahei, a small beachside village, we’ll get settled into our accommodation before heading over to Hot Water Beach (tidal dependent). This is an absolute ‘must do’ experience where you can dig your own natural spa bath in the sand and soak up the Coromandel surrounds. Tonight you have the option to join a group dinner for a classic Kiwi BBQ.

Accommodation option: Exclusive Stray accommodation by the waterfront
Free activities: Visit Hot Water Beach for a natural beach spa (tide & weather dependent), walk to Cathedral Cove, explore old cultural sites or simply relax on the beach

Hahei

Today you have a full free day to embrace the laid-back lifestyle that makes this area such a popular NZ holiday destination. Make the most of this special place by taking a scenic walk or kayak to the nearby Cathedral Cove, a paradise-like beach that you might recognize from one of the Narnia films. If you prefer water sports, the coast off Hahei is part of the protected Te-Whanganui-a-Hei Marine Reserve, which is a prime place to take a guided coastal boat tour or fully immerse yourself with a snorkelling excursion.

Accommodation option: Exclusive Stray accommodation by the waterfront
Optional paid activities: Kayaking, bike hire, guided boat tour, seafood cooking class
Free activities: Walk to Cathedral Cove, watch the sunrise on the beach, go snorkelling in the marine reserve, explore old cultural sites or simply relax on the beach

Hahei to Rotorua

We leave Hahei early travelling through to Paeroa, home of New Zealand’s oldest and largest soft drinks company - L&P, where we’ll stop for breakfast. Our drive today will take us through the Waikato region, known for its many dairy farms, rolling hills and the mighty Waikato River (the largest river in New Zealand). You can make this a real 10 out of 10 day by signing up to a guided tour through the world famous Hobbiton Movie Set. Even if you’re not a fan, this truly unique experience which explores a whimsical garden village, home to Frodo and Bilbo in Peter Jackson’s epic trilogies is loved by all. If this is not for you, then you can continue on to Rotorua where there are plenty of other activities on offer. The Hobbiton goers will return early evening.

Accommodation option: Comfortable central city hostel
Optional paid activities: Hobbiton Movie Set tour, white-water rafting, zorbing, adrenaline fuelled adventure park (big swings, bungees and more)
Free activities: Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest walk

Rotorua

Often labelled the adventure capital of the North Island, you have a full free day in Rotorua to discover an area rich in Maori heritage, adventure activities and bubbling geothermal wonders. There are plenty of exciting local activities to get the adrenaline pumping, such as whitewater rafting, ziplining through native bush, zorbing or a truly unique guided jet boat adventure up to bath in a hot waterfall. You can opt to visit the incredible Waitomo Caves, where you will wade, climb, abseil and tube through Waitomo’s magnificent limestone cave network lit up by millions of resident glowworms. Alternatively, you can head out on the highly regarded White Island tour - a boat trip to New Zealand’s only active marine volcano where you can get up close to the hot volcanic streams and bubbling pits of mud. The choice is yours!

Accommodation option: Comfortable central city hostel
Optional paid activities: Waitomo caving trip, White Island tour, river jet tour, white water rafting, zip lining, zorbing, geothermal parks, luging, Maori village & performance experience

Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua

We’ll depart in the morning to explore the iconic crater-lake walk at Rainbow Mountain, followed by a soak at Kerosene Creek, a steaming geothermal stream and waterfall. From here our journey ventures right off the beaten track into the remote area of Lake Aniwhenua - voted one of Stray’s top overnight stops! As we drive into the Kaingaroa Forest we will meet up with a respected Maori guide who will lead the group to a sacred archaeological site to view NZ’s oldest Maori rock carvings. Tonight, you will have the opportunity to learn more about Maori traditions, including the entertaining stick games traditionally used to teach hand-eye coordination, as well as how to prepare a ‘Hangi’, a sumptuous feast cooked underground. Sign up for one of the cultural activities on offer or simply enjoy a sunset drink at the Taniwha Bar overlooking the lake. For those visiting during school term, you will be both touched and inspired as you learn about a local community program in which Stray passengers are actively participating.

Top-rated ‘Strademark’ experience includes (additional cost $89):
- 1 night’s accommodation at the serene lakeside Kohutapu Lodge
- 1 x traditional hangi dinner, dessert and a continental breakfast
- Guided tour to sacred Maori rock carvings
- Introduction to the Murupara area, its people, history and challenges
- Participation in a local school program designed to inspire the next generation (participation available on school days only)

The ‘Strademark’ overnight experience at Lake Aniwhenua is optional, but in our opinion, it’s an absolute must-do! To skip this experience, you need to catch an Intercity bus from Rotorua to Taupo and then hop back on the Stray bus the next day in Taupo. Please confirm your pick-up with our reservations team.

Accommodation option: Scenic lakefront lodge
Free activities: Crater-lake walk at Rainbow Mountain, Kerosene creek

Lake Aniwhenua (via Taupo) to Blue Duck Station

After breakfast we’ll make a special visit to the local school to deliver packed lunches for kids that often go without and participate in a beneficial program aimed at driving cross-cultural education in an otherwise isolated part of NZ (dependent on school timetable). Then it’s on to Taupo to visit the mighty Huka Falls. The brave hearted can opt to plunge from a plane on an adrenaline fuelled skydive over NZ’s largest lake! Our destination this evening is often rated by passengers as one of Stray’s #1 overnight stops and you’ll soon see why. Located in Whakahoro, one of the most remote parts of the North Island, Blue Duck Station is a sprawling 7,200 acre high country farm that is both a working station and an environmental conservation leader. On arrival, we will settle in to learn a little about daily life at Blue Duck, then relax and chill out around an evening fire.

Accommodation option: Country station lodge
Optional paid activities: Skydiving, bungy
Free activities: Huka Falls, Spa Park walk, swim in naturally heated pools

Blue Duck Station

Today is yours to fully explore this truly incredible location. Jump on a 4WD and travel up farm roads, over hilly peaks and through native bush to learn about the station’s interesting settlement history and their current conservation efforts. Don your cowboy hat and explore the farm by horseback or kayak on the river through bush clad valleys and lush green hills. Visit the Kaiwhakauka waterfall or assist with the farm’s pest control efforts and bring back tonight’s dinner. It doesn’t matter which option you choose, just get outdoors and enjoy all that Blue Duck has to offer!

Accommodation option: Country station lodge
Optional paid activities: An eco-warrior 4WD tour, a half day horse trek, clay bird shooting, kayaking, jet boating, pest control
Free activities: Walk around the amazing Blue Duck property and take in the lush scenery, walk to the Kaiwhakauka waterfall, enjoy your hosts’ fantastic hospitality and stories of the local wildlife and history

Blue Duck Station (via Tongariro) to Raetihi

We’ll be up at the crack of dawn for an early departure to make our way to the UNESCO Dual World Heritage Site, Tongariro National Park. Today you get the chance to tick off one of the most popular hikes in New Zealand - the epic Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Considered one of the top one-day walks in the world, this 19km walk will take you across a rocky plateau with dramatic volcanic peaks (including the real ‘Mt Doom’), craters and turquoise lakes that you’ll remember for a lifetime. The Crossing is open to walk year-round (alpine gear and guide are required in winter), but subject to the weather conditions. Ensure you pack a day pack with plenty of supplies and clothing for all conditions. If the weather prevents you from doing the Crossing, there are a couple of shorter walks in the area, as well as bike tracks that are well worth doing. Tonight, we will stay in a homely historic Nurses Home in Raetihi, with friendly farm animals, a pamper room and spa bath with mountain views to enjoy at the end of an active day.

Accommodation option: Historic restored lodge with mountain views
Optional paid activities: The Tongariro Alpine Crossing, shuttle to Ohakune township, mountain bike Old Coach Road or Fishers Track, hop-off to go skiing/snowboarding (winter only)
Free activities: Taranaki Falls walk, visit the Volcanic Centre, Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s pool), pet the local farm animals, volunteer tree planting

Raetihi to Wellington

This morning we travel towards the bottom of the North Island via the rural towns of Ohakune, Taihape and Bulls. Today is mostly an express day to get to Wellington, our capital city and home to New Zealand’s parliament and the iconic Beehive government building. Also known as the ‘coolest little capital in the world’, thanks to Lonely Planet, Wellington is a great place to check out the lively arts, craft beer and café culture scenes or do some shopping. The afternoon is yours to explore the sights - we recommend wandering down Oriental Parade or viewing the excellent exhibits on display at Te Papa National Museum. We hope you had a blast on your Stray adventure!

Accommodation option: Central city hostel
Optional paid activities: Wellington Movie Tours, check out some of the great cafes and bars
Free activities: Walk Oriental Parade, head up Mt Victoria for fantastic views, visit Te Papa National Museum, gumboot (welly) throwing
Overzicht

Wat is inbegrepen?

Extra kosten tijdens tour
Please check the itinerary for optional paid activities.

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).

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!