- New Zealand bus pass valid for 12 months
- Flexible, guided travel around New Zealand
- Hop on hop off where you like
- Start and finish anywhere you like
- Comfortable private buses
- Stray Driver Guide - source of local knowledge, can help with booking activities & accommodation
- Off the beaten track - authentic, local culture
Stray Hop On-Hop Off Maximus Bus Pass - 28 Days
This Stray pass covers almost ALL of New Zealand from Cape Reinga all the way down to Invercargill! (Excludes Eastern Cape in winter)
- Accommodation cost - you have the flexibility to choose and pay-as-you-go at exclusive Stray prices!
- Activities - you have the flexibility to choose and pay-as-you-go!
Why do we love this
"We love Stray because they take you further off the beaten track than anyone else, to remote destinations known as their Strademark Places!"
WHAT TO EXPECT
DAY 1: 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.
Stay:Base Bay of Islands, Pipi Patch - a hostel just along from the beach.
Free: Tree hugging Kauri trees at Parry Kauri Forest
Paid extras: Catch the ferry across to historic Russell (NZ’s former capital), join the 'Hole in the Rock' cruise, go kayaking and enjoy a classic Kiwi BBQ dinner at the hostel.
DAY 2: 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.
Stay: Hostel along the beach from Paihia.
Free: Sand dune surfing.
Paid extras: Enjoy a classic Kiwi fish 'n' chip dinner.
DAY 3: PAIHIA TO AUCKLAND
Enjoy a sleep in and spend the morning at your leisure. There’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.
Stay: Nomads Auckland - a centrally located hostel.
Free: Walk around Paihia and chill on the beach or visit Haruru Falls.
Paid extras: Paihia: Join the 'Hole in the Rock' cruise.
Auckland: Bungy off Auckland bridge, do the Sky Tower walk, go on a whale and dolphin safari.
DAY 4: 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.
Stay: Hahei Holiday Resort - with exclusive to Stray waterfront accommodation.
Free: 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.
DAY 5: 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.
Stay: Hahei Holiday Resort - with exclusive to Stray waterfront accommodation.
Free: 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.
Paid extras: Kayaking, bike hire, guided boat tour, seafood cooking class.
DAY 6: 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). This afternoon you’ll have free time to explore the sights and smells of Rotorua.
Stay: Comfortable central city hostel
Free: Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest walk
Paid extras: White-water rafting, zorbing, adrenaline-fuelled adventure park (big swings, bungees and more)
DAY 7: 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!
Stay: Comfortable central city hostel
Paid extras: Hobbiton movie set tour, White Island tour, Waitomo cave tour, river jet tour, white water rafting, zip lining, zorbing, geothermal parks, luging, Maori village & performance experience
DAY 8: ROTORUA TO LAKE ANIWHENUA
You can make this a real 10 out of 10 morning 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, enjoy a sleep in or squeeze in one last activity on your list. 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.
This ‘Strademark’ experience is $89pp and includes:
- 1 night’s accommodation at the comfortable Kohutapu Lodge
- 1 x Hangi dinner, 1x dessert and 1x continental breakfast
- Guided tour to sacred Maori rock carvings
- Introduction to the Murupara area, its people, history and challenges
- Learn traditional Maori stick games
- Participation in a local community program (school term only)
- This ‘Strademark’ overnight experience is optional, but in our opinion, it's an absolute must do!
Stay: Kohutapu Lodge - Scenic lakefront lodge
Paid extras: Rotorua: rafting, Zorbing, ziplining, Agroventures, Hobbiton movie set tour
Lake Aniwhenua: night eeling experience, flax weaving, Haka lesson
DAY 9: 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.
Stay: Blue Duck Station - Country station lodge.
Free: Huka Falls, Spa Road walk, swim in naturally heated pools.
Paid extras: Skydiving, bungy.
DAY 10: 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!
Stay: Blue Duck Station - Country station lodge.
Free: 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.
Paid extras: An eco-warrior 4WD tour, a half day horse trek, clay bird shooting, kayaking, jet boating, pest control.
DAY 11: 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 daypack 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.
Stay: Snowy Waters Lodge - Restored historic lodge with mountain views
Free: Taranaki Falls walk, visit the Volcanic Centre, Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s pool), pet the local farm animals, volunteer tree planting.
Paid extras: The Tongariro Alpine Crossing, shuttle to Ohakune township, mountain bike Old Coach Road or Fishers Track, skiing/snowboarding (winter only).
DAY 12: 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.
Stay: Nomads Capital - Central city hostel.
Free: Walk Oriental Parade, head up Mt Victoria for fantastic views, visit Te Papa National Museum, gumboot (welly) throwing.
Paid extras: Wellington Movie Tours, check out some of the great cafes and bars.
DAY 13: 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’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 speciality 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.
Stay: The Barn - Unique Stray accommodation on the edge of the national park.
Free: Walk, mussel tasting around the fire, stargazing.
Paid extras: Wine tasting, skydiving.
DAY 14: 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 use this free day to hike, kayak, sail or take a water taxi to get a taste of the park’s natural golden sand beaches and brilliant blue waters.
Stay: The Barn - Unique Stray accommodation on the edge of the national park.
Free: Walk in the national park, relax on one of the golden sand beaches, go for a swim.
Paid extras: Full day sailin trip, kayaking, skydiving, water taxi, hang gliding, stand-up paddle boarding, canyoning, hang gliding, scenic microlight flight.
DAY 15: MARAHAU (ABEL TASMAN) TO FRANZ JOSEF
Buckle up for an 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.
Stay: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest
Free: Buller Gorge, Cape Foulwind Seal Colony, Pancake Rocks and Blow holes, Hokitika greenstone store
DAY 16: FRANZ JOSEF
Enjoy a free day to get out and experience the Franz JOsef Glacier, an iconic 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 consistently ranks as a favourite activity amongst Stray travellers. The most popular trip features a short heli-hop onto the glacier with a guided educational tour on the ice and includes entry to the hot pools afterwards. Other options include visiting the glacial terminal face for some spectacular photos or doing one of the many excellent bush hikes in the region.
Stay: Rainforest Retreat - Lodge in the middle of the rainforest.
Free: Many excellent bush hikes (but we recommend a guided one for safety). Relax in one of NZ’s largest spa pools at your accommodation.
Paid extras: Glacier heli-hike (entry to hot pools included), kayaking, skydiving.
DAY 17: FRANZ JOSEF TO WANAKA
It’s time to leave the West Coast behind. Stop in the morning for pick-ups at Fox Glacier before heading to the amazing mirror-like Lake Matheson to stretch our legs with a short walk. Then, 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 along the way as we drive from rainforests to mountains, through beech forest and past great lakes. Pass by the beautiful Lake Hawea and arrive in Wanaka late-afternoon in time to enjoy this picturesque lakeside town.
Stay: Base Wanaka - Central Wanaka hostel.
Free: Lake Matheson walk, Ship Creek walk, Blue Pools walk, Thunder Creek Falls walk, explore Wanaka.
DAY 18: 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 our 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 in the world, for your chance to take the big leap of faith. Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge!) night out with plenty of excellent restaurants, pubs and live music to check out.
Stay: Central hostel close to all the action.
Free: Walk Mt Iron, watch people jumping off a bridge!
Paid extras: Puzzling World, skydiving, mountainbiking, pilot your own stunt plane or learn to fly and take a friend for free, bungy jumping.
DAY 19: QUEENSTOWN
You need at least one free day in Queenstown to make the most of the wide range of activities on offer. With a buzzy night life, beautiful mountain scenery and an exciting outdoor lifestyle, it’s easy to understand why Stray passengers often hop off here to spend extra time exploring. Options include bungy or swing, zipline tours, canyoning, jet boating, skiing, skydiving, local bush walks, or just enjoy the stunning scenery and do nothing.
Stay: Central hostel close to all the action.
Free: Sleep in, fabulous walks, take in beautiful views from this cool resort town.
Paid extras: Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jet boating, skydiving, mountain biking, ziplining, horse riding).
DAY 20: QUEENSTOWN TO GUNN'S CAMP
Today you are in for a treat. It’s an early start as make our way to MilfordSound, 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.
Stay: Gunn's Camp - Historic camp in the heart of Fiordland National Park.
Free: Stunning views, visit the historic museum or take in the incredible surroundings at Gunn’s Camp, Chasm walk.
Paid extras: Milford Sound Cruise
DAY 21: GUNNS CAMP TO INVERCARGILL
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 marvel at the spectacular surrounding landscape.
This afternoon, travel further south via Te Anau to Invercargill and on to Bluff, where you can catch a ferry to Stewart Island. NZ’s third largest island, there's an abundance of activities for the outdoor enthusiast here, such as fishing, kayaking, diving, bird watching and tramping tracks. Those not going to Stewart Island will spend the night in Invercargill.
Stay: Stewart Island backpackers on Stewart Island or Tuatara Lodge - central hostel in Invercargill.
Free: Humbolt Falls walk, Viewing Gantry walk.
Paid extras: Te Anau Wildlife Centre, catch the ferry to Stewart Island (ask the driver about the special Milford Sound + Stewart Island combo).
DAY 22: INVERCARGILL/STEWART ISLAND TO QUEENSTOWN
For those who stayed overnight on Stewart Island, this morning is free for you to explore, meet the locals, go fishing or enjoy some of the walks before catching an afternoon ferry back to the mainland. Those in Invercargill will have the option to visit Demolition World (a world entirely constructed from demolished buildings and recycled items), race your bus mates around a go-karting track or walk up to the Bluff Hill lookout before reuniting with the island-goers for an express journey back to Queenstown.
Stay: Central hostel close to all the action
Free: Stewart Island: explore the island and amazing birdlife
Invercargill: Bluff Hill walk
Paid extras: Stewart Island: fishing, Village & Bays tour, a visit to Ulva Island.
Invercargill: Go-karting, Demolition World
DAY 23: QUEENSTOWN TO AORAKI/MOUNT 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).
Stay: Mt Cook Backpacker Lodge - Stunning alpine lodge.
Free: Take photos of awe-inspiring scenery, do one of the many great short walks to the Hooker glacial lake (weather dependent), stargazing.
Paid extras: Argo tour of the alpine region, visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre.
DAY 24: MOUNT COOK TO RANGITATA
Leaving Mt Cook, make your way through a landscape made famous in the Lord of the Rings films. Make a stop at turquoise Lake Tekapo for a photo op before heading through Geraldine to get to our overnight stop in Rangitata Peel Forest. Arriving in the afternoon, there is plenty of time for thrill seekers to raft the top-notch whitewater on the Rangitata River. Tonight spend the night in one of Canterbury’s original sheep stations, a great place to get outdoors, go horse trekking or wander through the native bush of Peel Forest.
*Winter only: stay longer in Tekapo for ice skating, snow tubing and visiting the relaxing hot springs.
Stay: One of Canterbury's original sheep stations.
Free: Take photos of stunning scenery, go for a walk.
Paid extras: Walk through Peel Forest, Rangitata River Rafting (late September – late March only).
DAY 25: RANGITATA TO CHRISTCHURCH
This morning, you'll 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, you'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.
Stay: Comfortable, modern backpackers near the city centre
Free: Explore Christchurch by foot, check out the Re-Start Mall, Cardboard Cathedral and inner-city street ar
Paid extras: White water rafting, horse trekking
DAY 26: CHRISTCHURCH TO KAIKOURA
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 offshore. 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.
Stay: Dusky Lodge - Warm modern hostel.
Free: Walk around the peninsula and up to the lookout.
Paid extras: Whale watching by boat or by plane, swimming with dolphins, guided fishing trip.
DAY 27: KAIKOURA (VIA PICTON) TO WELLINGTON
Leaving Kaikoura in the morning, wind your way up the rugged coastal roads towards the top of the South Island. For those that 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 funky town’s nightlife at any of the bars and restaurants along Cuba Street.
Stay: Base Wellington - central Wellington hostel, or The Villa - cosy villa in Picton.
Free: Explore Wellington city’s nightlife, or go fishing or biking in Picton.
DAY 28: WELLINGTON (VIA RAETIHI) TO AUCKLAND
Depart in the early 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 the 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!
Paid extras: Skydiving, bungy off the bridge, walk around or jump off the top of the Sky Tower, whale and dolphin safari.
Can I hop off anywhere?
Yes – as long as it’s along your pass route then you are welcome to hop off at any point. You can do this spontaneously, but you will then need to re-book your next leg of travel with us in order to hop back on.
Is there a limit to the number of times I can hop-on hop-off?
No, there is no limit. You can hop off at every stop if you want to.
How far in advance do I need to book my travel on the bus?
We recommend you book any travel on the bus at least 48 hours beforehand. This is necessary in order to guarantee your seat (particularly in peak season when it gets busy, i.e. November – March).
Help – the bus is full on the day I want to travel. What do I do?
Unfortunately we can get busy in the summer months and so we recommend you book your seat at least 48 hours in advance. However if you find that the bus is already full, please call the reservations team and we will put you on a waiting list. Nine times out of ten you will still be able to get on the bus you want, as we do get cancellations. Otherwise we will work with you to get you on the next departure.
Is accommodation included?
Hop-On Hop-Off Passes: No, accommodation is not included in the pass price. This can be easily booked through your driver on a pay-as-you-go basis and we guarantee your first night's stay at every location as we pre-book beds for you.
How do I book accommodation?
All dorm share accommodation can be booked through your Stray driver. We guarantee we will find you a bed for the first night when you travel on the bus, which is really helpful for during peak season.
How do I book activities?
You book and pay for any activities as you go, through your Stray driver. Feel free to ask him/her for recommendations!
What should I bring?
No matter what time of year it is you will need comfortable walking shoes, sunblock, bug repellent, swimwear and a towel.
We ask that you bring only one reasonably-sized backpack/suitcase (15kg) and a day pack. If you are going to be travelling with a lot more than 15kg, then please let us know.
In winter we also suggest packing a warm hat, rain jacket and light thermals, particularly for the South Island where it gets colder.
In summer remember your flip-flips/sandals/jandals/thongs (pick one according to where you are from!) and a sun hat.
Oh, and some clothes would be good too.
How many people will I be travelling with?
In winter our average group size is 20, in summer 30. Our buses range from 14 to 45 seaters. We try to use the appropriate bus for the group size, keeping it as small and nifty as possible! This means you can do and see more in a day.
Is it OK to travel alone?
Totally! A lot of our travellers arrive alone, others are with friends or partners. It doesn’t matter because by the end of day 1 you have already made a great group of friends on the bus! (“Meeting liked-minded travellers” frequently is rated in the top 5 reasons to travel with us.)
How fit do I need to be?
You don’t have to be an athlete to travel with us – all walks and activities are optional and there is something for everyone.
Is there wifi on the bus?
No we don’t have WIFI on our buses. We trialled it but found that using Prepaid SimCards with data plans provided faster and better coverage across New Zealand than we could provide on the bus. Free SimCards are available at the Auckland International Airport when you arrive, from the Stray Travel Shop (Auckland City) and some Driver Guides also carry these. The data packages are flexible and affordable.
When you're on the bus, share stories and make friends! It makes the experience even more memorable.
- The supplier operates on a hop-on-hop-off service where you can "hop off" the bus at an overnight stop along the Stray route. You cannot hop off along the route of identified non-Stray run sectors, i.e. Paihia-Cape Reinga and Christchurch-Greymouth.
- Stray’s passes are valid for 12 months from the first day of travel. The pass must be activated within 12 months of purchase. You can hop on and hop off the Stray bus as often as you want, within this 12 month period.
- "Unlimited Travel" is on a space available (i.e. standby) basis only. The travel days north of Auckland (Auckland - Paihia - Cape Reinga) and Christchurch - Greymouth sector is not included. Photo ID must be presented to drivers, and all unlimited travel must be booked. If anyone is deemed to be abusing unlimited travel, they will be immediately removed from the bus and charged for any additional sectors used.
For full terms & conditions please visit: www.straytravel.com/about/privacy/
Please note that the bookings are processed manually and please chat to us before making the booking or you can book with us and your booking is confirmed only once confirmed by the tour operator.
Stray will charge the following fees in the event of booking cancellations. Cancellations should be made with your original booking agent as they may charge an additional cancellation fee:
8+ days before departure (or open dated): 35% of fare
3-7 days before departure: 50% of fare
Less than 48 hours: 100% of fare
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