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Short Maximus

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Short Maximus

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Short Maximus

Begint in:

Auckland

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Auckland

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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?
Short Maximus is one of Stray's most popular passes that covers most of New Zealand's stunning scenery, wildlife, culture and adventure. The pass route is a loop, which means you can start and finish anywhere you would like. We recommend at least 3-4 weeks to get the most out of your trip and to allow some time to hop off and explore your favourite destinations for longer.
Prijs per persoon 768 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 Maximus

Auckland to Paihia

Nau mai, haere mai (welcome)! Your Stray adventure kicks off in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. We depart for the beautiful Bay of Islands, bound for the relaxed seaside town of Paihia often called the ‘gateway to the Bay.’ We stop en-route to visit the Parry Kauri Forest Park and hug some of the world’s mightiest trees, the native kauri, on our way to Paihia.

Please note: For those travelling up to Cape Reinga the next day, remember to book this day trip in Stray Mate by 11:00 the day before you intend to travel or speak to your Stray Driver Guide on the way to Paihia. The Cape Reinga day trip is operated by a local partner so pre-booking is essential. Any changes after 11:00 cannot be made in Stray Mate. Alternatively talk to your Driver Guide or visit the Fullers GreatSights office located on Paihia's waterfront.

Accommodation option: Hostel along the beach
Optional paid activities: Catch the ferry across to historic Russell (NZ’s former capital), skydiving, Hole in the Rock cruise, kayaking, BBQ dinner at the accommodation
Free activities: Tree hugging huge kauri trees at Parry Kauri Forest

Paihia to Cape Reinga and back

Gear up for a big day, departing early to make the trip to the top of the country. Don’t forget to pack lunch, water and some snacks to keep you going today. Travelling on a custom built coach you'll drive up 90 Mile Beach, an official public highway, to Te Paki Stream, where you'll learn the art of sand surfing on some of the biggest sand dunes in New Zealand. Our destination is Cape Reinga, where the Tasman and Pacific Oceans clash at the northernmost point of the country. Legend says it is also the departure point for Maori souls leaving New Zealand to return to their spiritual homeland of Hawaiki. The trip home includes a walk in a kauri forest and a stopover at Mangonui for a Kiwi classic dinner of fish 'n chips (pay on the day), before returning to Paihia in the evening.

Please note: This day trip is operated by a local partner, so you cannot hop off the bus today. You can book/amend your preferred date in Stray Mate up until 11:00 the day before travel. After this time, any changes to your Cape Reinga Day Trip must be made directly with Fullers GreatSights at their Paihia waterfront office.

Accommodation option: Hostel along from the beach in Paihia
Optional paid activities: Traditional Kiwi fish and chips option for dinner
Free activities: Dune surfing

Paihia to Auckland

Enjoy a sleep in and morning at your leisure. Ther's time to do the fantastic half-day Hole in the Rock dolphin cruise around the bay in the morning, or take this opportunity to walk to the nearby Haruru Falls or just hang out on the beach. Mid-afternoon we jump back on board the Stray bus, destined for the bright lights of Auckland. Where there are still plenty of exciting activities to do if you have a free day or two.

Accommodation option: Central Auckland hostel
Optional paid activities in Paihia: Hole in the Rock cruise, skydiving
Optional paid activities in Auckland: Skydiving, bungy off the bridge, walk around or junp off the top of the Sky Tower, whale and dolphin safari
Free activities: Walk around Paihia or Haruru Falls, go for a swim or relax on the beach.

Auckland to Hahei

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 go scuba diving, snorkelling or take a glass bottom boat tour.

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 is 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. There is also the option to sign up for a full day trip out of Rotorua 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!

* This is a popular tour so we recommend booking several days in advance.

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

Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua

We depart at midday, leaving the morning free to get involved in one of the many adventure activities on offer in Rotorua. This afternoon our trip takes us further off the beaten track into the remote area of Lake Aniwhenua, voted as one of Stray’s top overnight stops. As we drive into the Kaingaroa Forest we will meet up with a respected Maori elder who will guide the group to a sacred archaeological site to view some of 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 many 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 the beneficial community program to which Stray actively are participating.

‘Strademark’ Experience: The Lake Aniwhenua overnight experience is $89, which includes accommodation at the comfortable Kohutapa lodge, 1 Hangi dinner, 1 dessert and 1 continental breakfast. A guided tour to sacred Maori rock carvings, Introduction to the Murupara area, its people, history and challenges. Learn traditional Maori stick games. Participation in an altruistic community program (school term only).

Accommodation option: Scenic lakefront lodg
Optional paid activities in Rotorua: Rafting, zorbing, zipling, agroventures
Optional paid activities in Lake Aniwhenua: Night eeling experience, flax weaving, Haka lesson

Lake Aniwhenua 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 Road walk, swin 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 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 activities in New Zealand by hiking 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 Mars-like vistas, 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 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, skiing/snowboarding (winter only)
Free activities: Taranaki Falls walk, visiting the Volcanic Centre, Tawhai Fall (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, and we recommend wandering down Oriental Parade or viewing the excellent exhibits on display at Te Papa National Museum.

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

Wellington to Marahau (Abel Tasman)

We catch an early Bluebridge Ferry across the Cook Strait to the South Island where you meet the Stray bus in Picton. Once on the bus, we cruise through the world famous Marlborough vineyard area and, depending on the group, may stop for a bit of wine tasting 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 and remote overnight stop 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
Optional paid activities: Save some coin today!
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 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).

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

Christchurch to Kaikoura

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 whalee 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: Warm modern hostel
Optional paid activities: whalee watching by boat or by plane, swimming with dolphins (pre-booking is advised in summer for dolphin swimming). Go fishing and eat your spoils or try the amazing fresh fish and chips!
Free activities: Walk around the peninsula and up to the lookout.

Kaikoura (via Picton) to Wellington

Leaving Kaikoura in the morning we wind our way up the rugged coastal roads towards the top of the South Island. For those who choose to hop off in the port town of Picton, check out the Queen Charlotte Sound view walk and take advantage of the free fishing gear and pushbikes at the Picton accommodation. Those heading to Wellington will catch the afternoon Bluebridge Ferry across the Cook Strait (from Picton to Wellington). The evening in Wellington is free so why not explore this fukny town's nightlife at any of the bars and restaurants along Cuba Street.

Accommodation option: Central Wellington hostel or cosy villa in Picton
Free activities: Explore Wellington city's nightlife, or go fishing or biking in Picton.

Wellington (via Raetihi) to Auckland

We depart early in the morning. This is an express day via Raetihi heading back to the 'City of Sails', Auckland. For those who may have missed out on hiking Tongariro Crossing, you have the option to hop off in National Park and try again. With an early evening arrival, there's still time to wander the streets of Auckland, visit the Viaduct, do some souvenir shopping or hang out with new friends and share stories about your recent adventures. If you are hanging around Auckland for another day or two, don't miss your chance to jump off the Harbour Bridge or Sky Tower, skydive, or take a wildlife cruise around the Hauraki Gulf. We hope you had a blast on your Stray adventure!

Optional paid activities: Skydiving, bungy off the bridge, walk around or jump off the top of the Sky Tower, whale and dolphin safari.
Overzicht

Wat is inbegrepen?

Extra kosten tijdens tour
Please check the itinerary for optional paid activities. Please allow 60-80 NZD for ferries between North Island and South 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. For example, our cultural stay in Mourea offers shared accommodation only. The cost of your stay is higher than a normal dorm share, but includes afternoon tea, dinner, interactive performance, storytelling and breakfast.

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. Paihia - Cape Reinga, and 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!