Everywhere NZ Pass

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Everywhere NZ Pass

from £985
Duration: from 28 days
Countries: New Zealand
Go everywhere! This is our biggest pass, and includes our entire New Zealand travel network. Grab your ticket to experience all of what our beautiful country has to offer!
Summary

Everywhere NZ Pass

ITINERARY

The itinerary below is for the current season.

Given the spontaneous nature of our trips and lack of control over New Zealand's weather(!), what we do each day might occasionally vary.

NB. The cost of accommodation is not included in your travel pass but under each day we have described our recommended accommodation, along with some free and paid activity suggestions.

AUCKLAND TO PAIHIA

bay of islands view
Nau mai, haere mai (welcome)!  Your Stray adventure kicks off in New Zealand’s largest city Auckland, known by those who live here as the ‘city of sails’ because of its location between the Waitemata and Manukau harbours, making it a boaters and yachters paradise.

We depart for the beautiful Bay of Islands from 7.00am, bound for the relaxed seaside town of Paihia often called the ‘gateway to the Bay’. We stop en-route at Parry Kauri Forest Park to hug some of the world’s mightiest trees, the native Kauri; before cruising up to Paihia for a relaxing afternoon in the stunning Bay.


Hostel along from the beach.


Catch the ferry across to historic Russell (New Zealand’s ex-capital), skydiving, hole in the rock boat trip, diving.


Tree hugging huge kauri trees at Parry Kauri Forest.

PAIHIA TO CAPE REINGA AND BACK

cape reinga
It’s an early start as we head for the very top of New Zealand along a long stretch of sand known as 90 mile beach. We’ll stop at Te Paki Stream for a chance to try dune surfing on some of the biggest sand dunes in New Zealand, then head for Cape Reinga the pointy bit at the top of New Zealand. This is the spot that overlooks the meeting place where the Tasman and Pacific Oceans clash and as legend has it, is the departure point for Maori souls leaving New Zealand to go back to their spiritual homeland of Hawaiki.

NB. You cannot hop off the bus this day.


Hostel along from the beach in Paihia.


Traditional Kiwi fish and chips option for dinner!


Dune surfing.

PAIHIA TO AUCKLAND

Auckland Sunset
Enjoy a sleep in and morning at leisure. Sail or cruise around the Bay, walk to nearby Haruru Falls or just kick back and relax on the beach. We leave mid-afternoon on the mighty orange bus destined for the bright lights of Auckland.


Central Auckland hostel.


Sailing, swimming with dolphins, kayaking, fishing.


Walk around Paihia or Haruru Falls, go for a swim or relax on the beach.

AUCKLAND TO RAGLAN

Nau mai, haere mai (welcome)!  Your Stray adventure kicks off in New Zealand’s largest city Auckland, known by those who live here as the ‘city of sails’ because of its location between the Waitemata and Manukau harbours, making it a boaters and yachters paradise.

We depart Auckland from 7.30am and head south, travelling towards the mighty Waikato. We’ll take a walk to the majestic Bridal Veil Falls on the way to our destination, the world-renowned surf beach Raglan. Enjoy a free afternoon to relax, take a walk on the beach or a mountain walk.  Chill out or go hard in this funky surf and arts town.


An eco-lodge surrounded by native bush near the beach.


Learn to surf $79 (save $10)


Walk to the waterfall, bush walk around Mt Karioi, relax on the beach, glow-worms in the bush, West Coast sunset, Inspiration Point.

RAGLAN (VIA WAITOMO) TO MOUREA

mourea hongi
Departing Raglan we head for Mourea in the Bay of Plenty, home to our unique cultural overnight stay. We stop in the rural town of Waitomo to explore the spectacular glow-worm caves, before continuing on to Mourea for a very special experience where you’ll get the opportunity to immerse yourself in New Zealand indigenous Maori culture. This is much more than just a show; you’ll learn about Maori traditions and history, spend time with real locals and become fully interactive with Kapa Haka (Maori song and dance). An unforgettable, genuine and educational night!

* Cultural night is an all-inclusive price of $80 including afternoon tea, dinner, interactive performance, storytelling, bed and breakfast. If there are less than 12 people we will stay in Rotorua with an alternative cultural option.


Unique Stray stay in the Wharenui (Maori meeting house).


Waitomo must-do caving options: Haggas Honking Holes, Lost World, Tumu Tumu TOObing, or a glow-worm tour.


Walk around Ruakuri Reserve, Waitomo Valley Caves walk.

MOUREA TO GISBORNE

gisborne surf group
Depart the Marae at 8.00am and head to Rotorua to discover its distinctive smell. We start pickups from Rotorua around 12.30pm and head to Gisborne making our way through the rugged Waioka Gorge, stopping for a walk or a swim. Our journey takes in some stunning lake views, beautiful coastlines and rugged bush scenery, before arriving in Gisborne where we visit some historical and scenic sights. Our accommodation for the night is situated right on the coastline, abundant with marine-life; and the perfect place to watch the sunrise in the morning. For dinner, get to know your tour buddies and enjoy a group meal.


Surf shack right on the beach.


Surfing, boogie boarding, wine tasting.


Walks, swimming, chill on the beach.

GISBORNE TO TE ARAROA

first sun rise east cape
Watch the “first sunrise in the world” right in our front-yard, before setting off to do your chosen activity. Go surfing, wine-tasting, feed stingrays; or just chill at our accommodation - there is no checkout time. We depart from our hostel at 1.00pm to head for Te Araroa. We have plenty more historical and scenic sights to visit before arriving at our next accommodation. Tonight we stay in an old nunnery, and are hosted by a friendly local woman, in a small Maori coastal community. Make a greenstone or bone necklace, or make a handbag from flax. You also have the option to go surfing.


Historical convent.


Surfing


Pier jumping, visit to traditionally carved Maori church, take in the local arts and beautiful beaches.

TE ARAROA TO TE KAHA

ice cream east cape
We depart Te Araroa at 9.00am to head for the East Cape lighthouse, regarded as the furthest eastern lighthouse in New Zealand. We do an easy hike to the lighthouse and we get some great views. Continuing onwards we stop to visit the Manuka factory to taste native honey and check-out their products, then the Macadamia nut farm to taste some homemade ice cream. Our hostel for the night is located directly on the coastline. Here you can go kayaking, fish off the rocks or snorkel. For dinner you have the option to have a fresh seafood meal – our hosts really know how to lay-down the hospitality.


Waterfront hostel.


Cray fishing or boat fishing.


Swimming, kayaking or snorkelling.

TE KAHA TO ROTORUA

We depart early morning, for more glimpses of the beautiful coastlines and remote beaches, before meeting up with our bike guides to complete the last leg of the East Cape by biking along the coastal beach dunes and head into Opotiki. For those planning to do the White Island tour your driver will have your accommodation and activity sorted for you. Our arrival into Rotorua will be around 12pm.

 


Central Rotorua hostel.


Coffee and ice cream tasting.


Amazing coastal and lake views.

ROTORUA TO LAKE ANIWHENUA

aniwhenua
At 12.30pm we do hostel pickups in Rotorua, moving onto Rainbow Mountain to meet our local Maori guide, we then head deep into the Kaingaroa Forest to the foothills of the Te Urewera National Park to experience stories, history and culture not yet touched by commercialism, dating back to the first known person to discover NZ (Kupe).


Lakefront lodge.


Our Lake Aniwhenua night is $75 including accommodation, bed and linen, dinner and breakfast. Optional activities include: traditional fishing, eeling, weaving lessons, cooking classes and kayaking. 1 activity costs $10, 2 activities $15 and 3 activities $20.


Guided Tour with a local Maori, Karakia (maori blessing), relax by the lake, walks.

LAKE ANIWHENUA (VIA TAUPO) TO WHAKAHORO

After breakfast we’ll depart for a local school to drop lunch off to some needy school kids, before heading to Taupo to visit Huka Falls and experience skydiving for the brave!  Our destination today is one of the most remote parts of the North Island. Located in Whakahoro, Blue Duck Station is a 5,200 acre high country farm that is both a working station and an environmental conservation leader. Once you arrive, settle in, relax and chill out around an evening fire.


Country station lodge.


Skydiving, bungy, river jet (Taupo).


Huka Falls, Spa Road walk.

NON-TRAVEL DAY: WHAKAHORO

Blue Duck Station
Today is yours to explore and discover this remote destination! Jump on a 4WD and travel up farm roads, over hilly peaks and through New Zealand native bush to learn about the stations history and conservation efforts. Don your cowboy hat and explore the farm by horseback or kayak through bush clad valleys and lush green hills. Visit the ‘bridge to nowhere’ and Kaiwhakauka waterfall or learn about the farms pest control and bring back tonight’s dinner.


Country station lodge.


An eco-warrior 4WD tour, a one day horse trek (like a real cowboy), clay bird shooting, kayaking, jet boating, pest control.


Walk around the truly amazing property at Whakahoro and just take in the lush scenery, walk to the Kaiwhakauka waterfall, enjoy your host Dan’s fantastic hospitality and stories on the local wildlife and history.

WHAKAHORO TO NATIONAL PARK

We’ll be up at the crack of dawn for an early departure to make our way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, ‘Tongariro National Park’. Today you get the chance to do what is rated one of the world’s best one day walks: the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Trek through dramatic natural scenery, past volcanic peaks, vast craters and stunning turquoise lakes on one of the most spectacular treks in New Zealand. In winter (June 1 to 15 October) the Alpine Crossing has something that summer doesn’t, SNOW! Beautiful white, often shimmering snow sometimes stretched as far as the eye can see. Wander the snow laden craters and imagine you are walking an expedition to the South Pole. Other options include carving it up at NZ’s largest ski area, Mt Ruapehu.


Beautiful alpine lodge.


The Tongariro Alpine Crossing (there is a $125 transport, guiding and concession fee to do this hike in winter), skiing a real volcano!


Taranaki Falls walk, visit the Volcanic Centre, Tawhai Falls (Gollum's pool).

NATIONAL PARK TO WELLINGTON

After breakfast we head around the mountains via the rural towns of Ohakune, Taihape and Bulls to New Zealand’s capital city Wellington. Today is mostly an express day to get to Wellington, and the afternoon is yours to cruise and explore the sites of the capital. We recommend wandering down Oriental Parade or visiting Te Papa national museum. Wellington is a cool place to just hang out and check out the arts, shopping and café culture scene and is home to NZ’s parliament.


Central city hostel.


Check out some of the great cafes and bars.


Walk ‘Oriental Parade’, head up Mt Victoria for fantastic views, and visit ‘Te Papa’ - our national museum, gumboot (welly) throwing.

WELLINGTON TO MARAHAU (ABEL TASMAN)

We catch the 8.00am Bluebridge Ferry (check in 7.00am/$51-$75) across the Cook Strait to the South Island where we meet the Stray bus. On arrival we cruise through the famous Marlborough vineyard area and depending on the group will stop for a bit of wine tasting, before heading to the coastal town of Nelson. We make a supermarket stop in Motueka and then make our way to our amazing and remote overnight stop Marahau, right on the edge of the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park.


Unique Stray accommodation on the edge of the national park.


Wine tasting, skydiving.


Walk, mussel tasting around the fire, star gazing.

NON TRAVEL DAY: MARAHAU (ABEL TASMAN)

You have the day at leisure to explore this stunning, coastal national park. This park is famous for being one of the sunniest spots in New Zealand and for its natural golden sand beaches. It’s a great place to hop off and explore via kayak, water taxi or go for a walk.


Unique Stray accommodation on the edge of the national park.


Full day sailing trip, kayaking, skydiving, water taxi, hang gliding, stand up paddle boarding.


Walk in the national park or just relax on one of the golden sand beaches!

MARAHAU (ABEL TASMAN) TO WESTPORT

This morning you get the chance to get involved and give something back by participating in our Tree Planting Project. Become an eco-warrior, get soil under your finger nails and plant a tree with the Otuwhero Wetland Trust. This is a fantastic opportunity to create life-long memories of your time in New Zealand, and you can come back and visit your tree in years to come!

Today we head south towards the ‘wild’ West Coast passing through Buller Gorge and down a stretch of road that was recently rated one of the top ten drives in the world by Lonely Planet. We stop at Cape Foulwind to visit the seal colony and then head for the historic coal mining town, Westport. The sunset from our accommodation tonight is a must if the weather is clear!


Charming character villa in the centre of town


Surfing, horse riding, jet boating, caving


Westport seal colony, West Coast sunset, Truman Track walk

WESTPORT TO FRANZ JOSEF

An early start takes us down the rugged West Coast to the spectacular Punakaiki limestone pancake rocks and blowholes. We’ll stop to take a short walk and grab refreshments at the café before we head for the historic gold mining town, Greymouth. We do pick-ups in Greymouth and make stops in Hokitika, before heading to the quaint little town of Franz Josef – home to the mighty Franz Josef Glacier.


Lodge in the middle of the rainforest


Save some coin today


Punakaiki pancake rocks and the mighty blowholes; walk along the beach

NON TRAVEL DAY: FRANZ JOSEF

Enjoy a free day and get out and explore the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. Navigate the maze of ice and explore the incredible landscape on a Franz Josef Glacier guided tour, or visit the glacial terminal face for some spectacular photos. There are also many excellent bush hikes available in the region.


Lodge in the middle of the rainforest.


The ‘Ice Explorer’ Trip – a short heli-hop onto the glacier followed by an educational tour (entry to hot pools included), kayaking, skydiving.


Many excellent bush hikes (but we recommend a guided one for safety). Warm up and relax in one of NZ’s largest spa pools at your accommodation.

FRANZ JOSEF TO WANAKA

We depart in the morning stopping for hostel pick-ups at Fox Glacier before heading for the amazing mirror Lake Matheson. We’ll travel through the mountainous Haast Pass and Makarora towards Wanaka. This is one of the most scenic drives you’ll ever do – 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.


Central hostel.


Save some coin today!


Mirror Lake walk; Ship Creek walk, Blue Pools walk, Thundercreek Falls walk, explore Wanaka.

WANAKA TO QUEENSTOWN

We depart around mid-morning, giving you time to check out amazing views of the lake either by skydiving or taking a walk up Mt Iron!  We cruise to Queenstown known as the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’ and the spiritual home of commercial bungy! Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge) night out with excellent restaurants, pubs and live music.


Central hostel.


Puzzle World, skydiving, bungy jumping, pilot your own microlight plane.


Walk Mt Iron, watch people jumping off a bridge!

QUEENSTOWN TO GUNN'S CAMP

It’s an early start as we head for the breathtaking Milford Sound. Sit back, relax and enjoy one of the most scenic drives on the South Island Stray circuit, as we cruise past Lake Wakatipu and watch the landscape change from farmland to mountains, glacial carved valleys and fiords. This morning there is time to do the Milford Sound cruise, before we head for our unique Stray overnight stop, Gunn’s Camp. Located in the solitude of Hollyford Valley (and one of our top rated overnight stops), enjoy an evening under the stars, spot glow-worms and listen out for Kiwi bird calls. Keep your eyes peeled for Morris the Moose who the locals say has roamed the bush for the last 50 years.


Historic camp on the edge of the Hollyford Track in the heart of Fiordland National Park.


Milford Sound Cruise (Special Stray 2 for 1 deal - $46.50 per person). There is a great Stray combo deal for this and the Stewart Island ferry for only $168 – save $83 off retail.


Stunning views, Humbolt Falls walk, visit the historic museum or take in the incredible surroundings of a World Heritage National Park 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 rightly so as the landscape is spectacular and very photogenic. This afternoon we travel further South to Invercargill, next stop Stewart Island! Stewart Island has an abundance of activities such as fishing, kayaking, diving, bird watching and tramping tracks. There are also options for those not going to Stewart Island to stay in Invercargill.


Central hostel.


Ata Whenua – Shadowland, incredible movie of Fiordland National Park (see the awesome Stewart Island ferry and Milford Sound Cruise combo deal above), Te Anau Wildlife Centre.


Humbolt 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 onto 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 always 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.


Central hostel.


Stewart Island: fishing, hire a scooter, go to Ulva Island.


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 100 year old Tuatara (Invercargill).

NON TRAVEL DAY: QUEENSTOWN (RECOMMENDED)

Today is yours to explore. Queenstown is a great place to spend some extra time no matter what your past-time of choice is. Options include: zipline tours, canyoning, Shotover river jet boating, skiing, sky diving and local walks, or just enjoy the stunning scenery and do nothing. Obviously you can break your journey in Queenstown for as long as you want. Speak to your driver or hostel travel desk for Dunedin connection options.


Central hostel.


Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jet boating, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding…).


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 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 Mt. Cook 4WD and 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 mountaineers though).


Stunning alpine lodge.


Argo tour of Alpine Region, visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre.


Take photos of awe-inspiring scenery, do one of the many great short walks to the Hooker glacial lake (weather dependent).

MT COOK TO RANGITATA

Leaving Mt Cook we make our way to the ‘Lord of the Rings’ landscape of Rangitata. We make a stop at the turquoise Lake Tekapo for ice-skating, snow tubing or a swim in the hot springs, before heading onto Geraldine for an afternoon arrival and our overnight stop in Rangitata. Tonight spend the night in one of Canterbury’s original sheep stations, a great place to get outdoors, go horse trekking or wander through native bush in Peel Forest. 


One of Canterbury's original sheep stations.


Ice-skating, snow tubing, swim at alpine hot springs; walk through Peel Forest.


Take photos of stunning scenery, go for a walk.

RANGITATA (VIA CHRISTCHURCH) TO KAIKOURA

It’s an early departure for an express haul across the Canterbury plains to Christchurch. Hop off in Christchurch to explore this ever changing city.  We do pick-ups in Christchurch, then head up the coast for a beautiful drive to Kaikoura. Enjoy a free afternoon for activities. Get out on the water and experience one of Kaikoura’s famous dolphins and whale spotting tours, see seals sitting right beside the road at Goose Bay or wander around the peninsula and check out the breath-taking views from the lookout.


Warm modern hostel.


Whale watching, piloting your own plane or 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!


Walk around the peninsula and up to the lookout.

KAIKOURA TO PICTON OR WELLINGTON

Leaving Kaikoura in the morning we wind our way up the rugged coastal roads, with stops for photos and a seal colony en-route. Those heading to Wellington will catch the 2.00pm Bluebridge ferry ($51-$75) across the Cook Strait (from Picton to Wellington). Otherwise we stay in the port town of Picton for the night – where you can do the Queen Charlotte Sound walk, and enjoy the free fishing gear and mountain bikes at our Picton accommodation. On arrival in Wellington you will stay in a central city based hostel.


Central hostel (Wellington), Cosy villa (Picton).


Save some coin today!


Seal colony; Queen Charlotte Sound View walk, mountain biking, fishing or relax in the spa where we stay (Picton); explore the city (Wellington).

WELLINGTON (VIA NATIONAL PARK) TO AUCKLAND

We depart at 6:40am. This is an express day via National Park heading back to New Zealand’s largest city Auckland.  You can hop off anywhere along the way. With a late-afternoon arrival there’s still time to wander the streets of Auckland, visit the waterfront, do some souvenir shopping and hang out in some of Auckland’s lively cafes and bars.

ITINERARY
The itinerary below is for the current season.

Given the spontaneous nature of our trips and lack of control over New Zealand's weather(!), what we do each day might occasionally vary.

NB. The cost of accommodation is not included in your travel pass but under each day we have described our recommended accommodation, along with some free and paid activity suggestions.

AUCKLAND TO PAIHIA

bay of islands view
Nau mai, haere mai (welcome)!  Your Stray adventure kicks off in New Zealand’s largest city Auckland, known by those who live here as the ‘city of sails’ because of its location between the Waitemata and Manukau harbours, making it a boaters and yachters paradise.

We depart for the beautiful Bay of Islands from 7.00am, bound for the relaxed seaside town of Paihia often called the ‘gateway to the Bay’. We stop en-route at Parry Kauri Forest Park to hug some of the world’s mightiest trees, the native Kauri; before cruising up to Paihia for a relaxing afternoon in the stunning Bay.


Hostel along from the beach.


Catch the ferry across to historic Russell (New Zealand’s ex-capital), skydiving, hole in the rock boat trip, diving.


Tree hugging huge kauri trees at Parry Kauri Forest.

PAIHIA TO CAPE REINGA AND BACK

cape reinga
It’s an early start as we head for the very top of New Zealand along a long stretch of sand known as 90 mile beach. We’ll stop at Te Paki Stream for a chance to try dune surfing on some of the biggest sand dunes in New Zealand, then head for Cape Reinga the pointy bit at the top of New Zealand. This is the spot that overlooks the meeting place where the Tasman and Pacific Oceans clash and as legend has it, is the departure point for Maori souls leaving New Zealand to go back to their spiritual homeland of Hawaiki.

NB. You cannot hop off the bus this day.


Hostel along from the beach in Paihia.


Traditional Kiwi fish and chips option for dinner!


Dune surfing.

PAIHIA TO AUCKLAND

Auckland Sunset
Enjoy a sleep in and morning at leisure. Sail or cruise around the Bay, walk to nearby Haruru Falls or just kick back and relax on the beach. We leave mid-afternoon on the mighty orange bus destined for the bright lights of Auckland.


Central Auckland hostel.


Sailing, swimming with dolphins, kayaking, fishing.


Walk around Paihia or Haruru Falls, go for a swim or relax on the beach.

AUCKLAND TO RAGLAN

Nau mai, haere mai (welcome)!  Your Stray adventure kicks off in New Zealand’s largest city Auckland, known by those who live here as the ‘city of sails’ because of its location between the Waitemata and Manukau harbours, making it a boaters and yachters paradise.

We depart Auckland from 7.30am and head south, travelling towards the mighty Waikato. We’ll take a walk to the majestic Bridal Veil Falls on the way to our destination, the world-renowned surf beach Raglan. Enjoy a free afternoon to relax, take a walk on the beach or a mountain walk.  Chill out or go hard in this funky surf and arts town.


An eco-lodge surrounded by native bush near the beach.


Learn to surf $79 (save $10)


Walk to the waterfall, bush walk around Mt Karioi, relax on the beach, glow-worms in the bush, West Coast sunset, Inspiration Point.

RAGLAN (VIA WAITOMO) TO MOUREA

mourea hongi
Departing Raglan we head for Mourea in the Bay of Plenty, home to our unique cultural overnight stay. We stop in the rural town of Waitomo to explore the spectacular glow-worm caves, before continuing on to Mourea for a very special experience where you’ll get the opportunity to immerse yourself in New Zealand indigenous Maori culture. This is much more than just a show; you’ll learn about Maori traditions and history, spend time with real locals and become fully interactive with Kapa Haka (Maori song and dance). An unforgettable, genuine and educational night!

* Cultural night is an all-inclusive price of $80 including afternoon tea, dinner, interactive performance, storytelling, bed and breakfast. If there are less than 12 people we will stay in Rotorua with an alternative cultural option.


Unique Stray stay in the Wharenui (Maori meeting house).


Waitomo must-do caving options: Haggas Honking Holes, Lost World, Tumu Tumu TOObing, or a glow-worm tour.


Walk around Ruakuri Reserve, Waitomo Valley Caves walk.

MOUREA TO GISBORNE

gisborne surf group
Depart the Marae at 8.00am and head to Rotorua to discover its distinctive smell. We start pickups from Rotorua around 12.30pm and head to Gisborne making our way through the rugged Waioka Gorge, stopping for a walk or a swim. Our journey takes in some stunning lake views, beautiful coastlines and rugged bush scenery, before arriving in Gisborne where we visit some historical and scenic sights. Our accommodation for the night is situated right on the coastline, abundant with marine-life; and the perfect place to watch the sunrise in the morning. For dinner, get to know your tour buddies and enjoy a group meal.


Surf shack right on the beach.


Surfing, boogie boarding, wine tasting.


Walks, swimming, chill on the beach.

GISBORNE TO TE ARAROA

first sun rise east cape
Watch the “first sunrise in the world” right in our front-yard, before setting off to do your chosen activity. Go surfing, wine-tasting, feed stingrays; or just chill at our accommodation - there is no checkout time. We depart from our hostel at 1.00pm to head for Te Araroa. We have plenty more historical and scenic sights to visit before arriving at our next accommodation. Tonight we stay in an old nunnery, and are hosted by a friendly local woman, in a small Maori coastal community. Make a greenstone or bone necklace, or make a handbag from flax. You also have the option to go surfing.


Historical convent.


Surfing


Pier jumping, visit to traditionally carved Maori church, take in the local arts and beautiful beaches.

TE ARAROA TO TE KAHA

ice cream east cape
We depart Te Araroa at 9.00am to head for the East Cape lighthouse, regarded as the furthest eastern lighthouse in New Zealand. We do an easy hike to the lighthouse and we get some great views. Continuing onwards we stop to visit the Manuka factory to taste native honey and check-out their products, then the Macadamia nut farm to taste some homemade ice cream. Our hostel for the night is located directly on the coastline. Here you can go kayaking, fish off the rocks or snorkel. For dinner you have the option to have a fresh seafood meal – our hosts really know how to lay-down the hospitality.


Waterfront hostel.


Cray fishing or boat fishing.


Swimming, kayaking or snorkelling.

TE KAHA TO ROTORUA

We depart early morning, for more glimpses of the beautiful coastlines and remote beaches, before meeting up with our bike guides to complete the last leg of the East Cape by biking along the coastal beach dunes and head into Opotiki. For those planning to do the White Island tour your driver will have your accommodation and activity sorted for you. Our arrival into Rotorua will be around 12pm.


Central Rotorua hostel.


Coffee and ice cream tasting.


Amazing coastal and lake views.

ROTORUA TO LAKE ANIWHENUA

aniwhenua
At 12.30pm we do hostel pickups in Rotorua, moving onto Rainbow Mountain to meet our local Maori guide, we then head deep into the Kaingaroa Forest to the foothills of the Te Urewera National Park to experience stories, history and culture not yet touched by commercialism, dating back to the first known person to discover NZ (Kupe).


Lakefront lodge.


Our Lake Aniwhenua night is $75 including accommodation, bed and linen, dinner and breakfast. Optional activities include: traditional fishing, eeling, weaving lessons, cooking classes and kayaking. 1 activity costs $10, 2 activities $15 and 3 activities $20.


Guided Tour with a local Maori, Karakia (maori blessing), relax by the lake, walks.

LAKE ANIWHENUA (VIA TAUPO) TO WHAKAHORO

After breakfast we’ll depart for a local school to drop lunch off to some needy school kids, before heading to Taupo to visit Huka Falls and experience skydiving for the brave!  Our destination today is one of the most remote parts of the North Island. Located in Whakahoro, Blue Duck Station is a 5,200 acre high country farm that is both a working station and an environmental conservation leader. Once you arrive, settle in, relax and chill out around an evening fire.


Country station lodge.


Skydiving, bungy, river jet (Taupo).


Huka Falls, Spa Road walk.

NON-TRAVEL DAY: WHAKAHORO

Blue Duck Station
Today is yours to explore and discover this remote destination! Jump on a 4WD and travel up farm roads, over hilly peaks and through New Zealand native bush to learn about the stations history and conservation efforts. Don your cowboy hat and explore the farm by horseback or kayak through bush clad valleys and lush green hills. Visit the ‘bridge to nowhere’ and Kaiwhakauka waterfall or learn about the farms pest control and bring back tonight’s dinner.


Country station lodge.


An eco-warrior 4WD tour, a one day horse trek (like a real cowboy), clay bird shooting, kayaking, jet boating, pest control.


Walk around the truly amazing property at Whakahoro and just take in the lush scenery, walk to the Kaiwhakauka waterfall, enjoy your host Dan’s fantastic hospitality and stories on the local wildlife and history.

WHAKAHORO TO NATIONAL PARK

We’ll be up at the crack of dawn for an early departure to make our way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, ‘Tongariro National Park’. Today you get the chance to do what is rated one of the world’s best one day walks: the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Trek through dramatic natural scenery, past volcanic peaks, vast craters and stunning turquoise lakes on one of the most spectacular treks in New Zealand. In winter (June 1 to 15 October) the Alpine Crossing has something that summer doesn’t, SNOW! Beautiful white, often shimmering snow sometimes stretched as far as the eye can see. Wander the snow laden craters and imagine you are walking an expedition to the South Pole. Other options include carving it up at NZ’s largest ski area, Mt Ruapehu.


Beautiful alpine lodge.


The Tongariro Alpine Crossing (there is a $125 transport, guiding and concession fee to do this hike in winter), skiing a real volcano!


Taranaki Falls walk, visit the Volcanic Centre, Tawhai Falls (Gollum's pool).

NATIONAL PARK TO WELLINGTON

After breakfast we head around the mountains via the rural towns of Ohakune, Taihape and Bulls to New Zealand’s capital city Wellington. Today is mostly an express day to get to Wellington, and the afternoon is yours to cruise and explore the sites of the capital. We recommend wandering down Oriental Parade or visiting Te Papa national museum. Wellington is a cool place to just hang out and check out the arts, shopping and café culture scene and is home to NZ’s parliament.


Central city hostel.


Check out some of the great cafes and bars.


Walk ‘Oriental Parade’, head up Mt Victoria for fantastic views, and visit ‘Te Papa’ - our national museum, gumboot (welly) throwing.

WELLINGTON TO MARAHAU (ABEL TASMAN)

We catch the 8.00am Bluebridge Ferry (check in 7.00am/$51-$75) across the Cook Strait to the South Island where we meet the Stray bus. On arrival we cruise through the famous Marlborough vineyard area and depending on the group will stop for a bit of wine tasting, before heading to the coastal town of Nelson. We make a supermarket stop in Motueka and then make our way to our amazing and remote overnight stop Marahau, right on the edge of the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park.


Unique Stray accommodation on the edge of the national park.


Wine tasting, skydiving.


Walk, mussel tasting around the fire, star gazing.

NON TRAVEL DAY: MARAHAU (ABEL TASMAN)

You have the day at leisure to explore this stunning, coastal national park. This park is famous for being one of the sunniest spots in New Zealand and for its natural golden sand beaches. It’s a great place to hop off and explore via kayak, water taxi or go for a walk.


Unique Stray accommodation on the edge of the national park.


Full day sailing trip, kayaking, skydiving, water taxi, hang gliding, stand up paddle boarding.


Walk in the national park or just relax on one of the golden sand beaches!

MARAHAU (ABEL TASMAN) TO WESTPORT

This morning you get the chance to get involved and give something back by participating in our Tree Planting Project. Become an eco-warrior, get soil under your finger nails and plant a tree with the Otuwhero Wetland Trust. This is a fantastic opportunity to create life-long memories of your time in New Zealand, and you can come back and visit your tree in years to come!

Today we head south towards the ‘wild’ West Coast passing through Buller Gorge and down a stretch of road that was recently rated one of the top ten drives in the world by Lonely Planet. We stop at Cape Foulwind to visit the seal colony and then head for the historic coal mining town, Westport. The sunset from our accommodation tonight is a must if the weather is clear!


Charming character villa in the centre of town


Surfing, horse riding, jet boating, caving


Westport seal colony, West Coast sunset, Truman Track walk

WESTPORT TO FRANZ JOSEF

An early start takes us down the rugged West Coast to the spectacular Punakaiki limestone pancake rocks and blowholes. We’ll stop to take a short walk and grab refreshments at the café before we head for the historic gold mining town, Greymouth. We do pick-ups in Greymouth and make stops in Hokitika, before heading to the quaint little town of Franz Josef – home to the mighty Franz Josef Glacier.


Lodge in the middle of the rainforest


Save some coin today


Punakaiki pancake rocks and the mighty blowholes; walk along the beach

NON TRAVEL DAY: FRANZ JOSEF

Enjoy a free day and get out and explore the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. Navigate the maze of ice and explore the incredible landscape on a Franz Josef Glacier guided tour, or visit the glacial terminal face for some spectacular photos. There are also many excellent bush hikes available in the region.


Lodge in the middle of the rainforest.


The ‘Ice Explorer’ Trip – a short heli-hop onto the glacier followed by an educational tour (entry to hot pools included), kayaking, skydiving.


Many excellent bush hikes (but we recommend a guided one for safety). Warm up and relax in one of NZ’s largest spa pools at your accommodation.

FRANZ JOSEF TO WANAKA

We depart in the morning stopping for hostel pick-ups at Fox Glacier before heading for the amazing mirror Lake Matheson. We’ll travel through the mountainous Haast Pass and Makarora towards Wanaka. This is one of the most scenic drives you’ll ever do – 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.


Central hostel.


Save some coin today!


Mirror Lake walk; Ship Creek walk, Blue Pools walk, Thundercreek Falls walk, explore Wanaka.

WANAKA TO QUEENSTOWN

We depart around mid-morning, giving you time to check out amazing views of the lake either by skydiving or taking a walk up Mt Iron!  We cruise to Queenstown known as the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’ and the spiritual home of commercial bungy! Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge) night out with excellent restaurants, pubs and live music.


Central hostel.


Puzzle World, skydiving, bungy jumping, pilot your own microlight plane.


Walk Mt Iron, watch people jumping off a bridge!

QUEENSTOWN TO GUNN'S CAMP

It’s an early start as we head for the breathtaking Milford Sound. Sit back, relax and enjoy one of the most scenic drives on the South Island Stray circuit, as we cruise past Lake Wakatipu and watch the landscape change from farmland to mountains, glacial carved valleys and fiords. This morning there is time to do the Milford Sound cruise, before we head for our unique Stray overnight stop, Gunn’s Camp. Located in the solitude of Hollyford Valley (and one of our top rated overnight stops), enjoy an evening under the stars, spot glow-worms and listen out for Kiwi bird calls. Keep your eyes peeled for Morris the Moose who the locals say has roamed the bush for the last 50 years.


Historic camp on the edge of the Hollyford Track in the heart of Fiordland National Park.


Milford Sound Cruise (Special Stray 2 for 1 deal - $46.50 per person). There is a great Stray combo deal for this and the Stewart Island ferry for only $168 – save $83 off retail.


Stunning views, Humbolt Falls walk, visit the historic museum or take in the incredible surroundings of a World Heritage National Park 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 rightly so as the landscape is spectacular and very photogenic. This afternoon we travel further South to Invercargill, next stop Stewart Island! Stewart Island has an abundance of activities such as fishing, kayaking, diving, bird watching and tramping tracks. There are also options for those not going to Stewart Island to stay in Invercargill.


Central hostel.


Ata Whenua – Shadowland, incredible movie of Fiordland National Park (see the awesome Stewart Island ferry and Milford Sound Cruise combo deal above), Te Anau Wildlife Centre.


Humbolt 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 onto 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 always 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.


Central hostel.


Stewart Island: fishing, hire a scooter, go to Ulva Island.


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 100 year old Tuatara (Invercargill).

NON TRAVEL DAY: QUEENSTOWN (RECOMMENDED)

Today is yours to explore. Queenstown is a great place to spend some extra time no matter what your past-time of choice is. Options include: zipline tours, canyoning, Shotover river jet boating, skiing, sky diving and local walks, or just enjoy the stunning scenery and do nothing. Obviously you can break your journey in Queenstown for as long as you want. Speak to your driver or hostel travel desk for Dunedin connection options.


Central hostel.


Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jet boating, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding…).


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 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 Mt. Cook 4WD and 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 mountaineers though).


Stunning alpine lodge.


Argo tour of Alpine Region, visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre.


Take photos of awe-inspiring scenery, do one of the many great short walks to the Hooker glacial lake (weather dependent).

MT COOK TO RANGITATA

Leaving Mt Cook we make our way to the ‘Lord of the Rings’ landscape of Rangitata. We make a stop at the turquoise Lake Tekapo for ice-skating, snow tubing or a swim in the hot springs, before heading onto Geraldine for an afternoon arrival and our overnight stop in Rangitata. Tonight spend the night in one of Canterbury’s original sheep stations, a great place to get outdoors, go horse trekking or wander through native bush in Peel Forest. 


One of Canterbury's original sheep stations.


Ice-skating, snow tubing, swim at alpine hot springs; walk through Peel Forest.


Take photos of stunning scenery, go for a walk.

RANGITATA (VIA CHRISTCHURCH) TO KAIKOURA

It’s an early departure for an express haul across the Canterbury plains to Christchurch. Hop off in Christchurch to explore this ever changing city.  We do pick-ups in Christchurch, then head up the coast for a beautiful drive to Kaikoura. Enjoy a free afternoon for activities. Get out on the water and experience one of Kaikoura’s famous dolphins and whale spotting tours, see seals sitting right beside the road at Goose Bay or wander around the peninsula and check out the breath-taking views from the lookout.


Warm modern hostel.


Whale watching, piloting your own plane or 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!


Walk around the peninsula and up to the lookout.

KAIKOURA TO PICTON OR WELLINGTON

Leaving Kaikoura in the morning we wind our way up the rugged coastal roads, with stops for photos and a seal colony en-route. Those heading to Wellington will catch the 2.00pm Bluebridge ferry ($51-$75) across the Cook Strait (from Picton to Wellington). Otherwise we stay in the port town of Picton for the night – where you can do the Queen Charlotte Sound walk, and enjoy the free fishing gear and mountain bikes at our Picton accommodation. On arrival in Wellington you will stay in a central city based hostel.


Central hostel (Wellington), Cosy villa (Picton).


Save some coin today!


Seal colony; Queen Charlotte Sound View walk, mountain biking, fishing or relax in the spa where we stay (Picton); explore the city (Wellington).

WELLINGTON (VIA NATIONAL PARK) TO AUCKLAND

We depart at 6:40am. This is an express day via National Park heading back to New Zealand’s largest city Auckland.  You can hop off anywhere along the way. With a late-afternoon arrival there’s still time to wander the streets of Auckland, visit the waterfront, do some souvenir shopping and hang out in some of Auckland’s lively cafes and bars.


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