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New Zealand / All of New Zealand / Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Passes

New Zealand - North to South (formerly Short Moe) Freestyle Pass

Auckland

Details

Our mission is to get you off the beaten track amongst authentic local culture and our experienced crew has chosen some incredible destinations so you can see more and do more! 'Strademark' Places are the places you're less likely to find in the guide book but the ones you'll be talking about long after the adventure has ended. 

  • Stay at Hahei beach, an idyllic spot in the Coromandel, within walking distance to Cathedral Cove.
  • Spend two nights at Blue Duck Station, an award-winning conservation farm and get hands-on with some wilderness activities!
  • Relax in a historic former nursing home in Raetihi after a long day hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
  • Discover history and culture not yet touched by the hand of commercialism at Lake Aniwhenua - it's also your chance to try a traditionally cooked hangi dinner.
  • Stay beachfront on the golden sands at the edge of Abel Tasman National Park.
  • Stay at the base of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mount Cook/Aoraki.
  • Enter Middle Earth territory! Be surrounded by the breathtaking mountains and dense native bush, and have the chance to go white water rafting in Rangitata.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Auckland to Hahei
Haere mai (welcome)! Your Stray adventure kicks off in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. We depart 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 has plenty to offer the active traveller but is also a great place to kick back and relax. When the tides are right, we'll head over to Hot Water Beach, where you can dig your own natural spa pool! Tonight, you have the option to join a group dinner for a classic Kiwi BBQ. Accommodation: 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
Meals :None

Day 2 : Hahei
Today you have a full free day to embrace the laid-back lifestyle that makes this such a popular NZ holiday destination. Make the most of this special place by taking a scenic walk or kayak trip to a hidden paradise at nearby Cathedral Cove or opt to relax on the white sands of Hahei Beach. The coast off Hahei is also part of the protected Te-Whanganui-a-Hei Marine Reserve, which makes it a prime place for a guided coastal boat tour. Accommodation: Exclusive Stray accommodation by the waterfront Optional paid activities: Kayaking, guided boat tour Free activities: Walk to Cathedral Cove, watch the sunrise on the beach, explore old cultural sites or simply relax on the beach
Meals :None

Day 3 : Hahei to Rotorua
We leave Hahei early, travelling through to Paeroa, home of New Zealand’s oldest and largest soft drink company L&P, where we’ll stop for a fun photo op at a local landmark. Carrying on, we’ll arrive in Rotorua, known for its lively geothermal activity, rich Maori history and adventure tourism. Get the adrenalin pumping this afternoon and sign up for a white water rafting adventure, head to the adventure park, or take a walk around town. Accommodation: Comfortable central city hostel Optional paid activities: White water rafting, zorbing, adrenaline-fuelled adventure park (big swings, bungys and more) Free activities: Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest walk, see the bubbling mud pools at Kuirau Park
Meals :None

Day 4 : Rotorua
Often labelled the adventure capital of the North Island, you have a full free day in Rotorua to discover a wealth of adventure activities and geothermal wonders. Go ziplining through native bush, zorbing or take a truly unique guided jet boat adventure to bathe in a hot waterfall. Looking to relax instead? Visit the hots pools and bubbling mud baths at one of Rotorua's geothermal parks or take in a Maori cultural performance. Film buffs may want to sign up for a guided tour through the world-famous Hobbiton Movie Set. The choice is yours! Accommodation: Comfortable central city hostel Optional paid activities: River jet tour, white water rafting, ziplining, zorbing, geothermal attractions, Maori village & performance experience, Hobbiton Movie Set tour Free activities: Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest walk
Meals :None

Day 5 : Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua
There’s time to squeeze in one last Rotorua activity this morning - many people choose to visit Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland. From here our journey ventures right off the beaten track into the remote area of Lake Aniwhenua for an immersive cultural experience like no other. Your Maori host family will share with you their story and traditions, as well as their vision for making a difference in their remote community. You'll see sacred Maori rock art, play traditional stick games for hand-eye coordination and watch the preparation of a ground cooked 'hangi', before tasting it for yourself! Exclusive ‘Strademark’ experience includes: (Additional cost $89) • 1 night’s accommodation at the serene lakeside Kohutapu Lodge • Full hangi buffet dinner & dessert and a continental breakfast • Guided tour to sacred Maori rock carvings • Introduction to the Murupara area, its people, history and challenges • Participation in a local school program designed to inspire the next generation (participation available on school days only) NB. A minimum of 9 people is required to stay at Lake Aniwhenua. This ‘Strademark’ overnight experience is optional, but in our opinion, it’s an absolute must do! To skip this experience, you need to catch a public bus from Rotorua to Taupo and then hop back on the Stray bus the next day in Taupo. Please confirm your pickup with our Reservations team. Accommodation: Scenic lakefront lodge Optional paid activities: Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland, learn the Haka, Maori flax weaving
Meals :None

Day 6 : Lake Aniwhenua (via Taupo) to Blue Duck Station
After breakfast we’ll make a special visit to the local school to deliver packed lunches to kids that often go without (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 to skydive over Australasia’s largest lake! Our next destination is about as far off the beaten track as you can get in 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: Country station lodge Optional paid activities: Skydiving, bungy Free activities: Huka Falls, Spa Park walk
Meals :None

Day 7 : 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 for a guided horse trek or kayak on the river through bush clad valleys and lush green hills. It doesn’t matter which option you choose, just get outdoors and enjoy all that Blue Duck has to offer! Accommodation: Country station lodge Optional paid activities: 4WD farm tour, half-day horse trek, clay bird shooting, pest control, kayaking (summer only), jet boating (summer only) Free activities: Walk around the amazing property to take in the lush scenery, walk to Kaiwhakauka waterfall, enjoy your hosts’ fantastic hospitality and stories of the local wildlife and history
Meals :None

Day 8 : Blue Duck Station (via Tongariro) to Raetihi
We’ll be up at the crack of dawn for an early departure to make our way to the UNESCO Dual World Heritage Site, Tongariro National Park. Today you get the chance to tick off one of the most popular hikes in New Zealand, the epic Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Considered one of the world’s top one-day walks, this 19km hike takes you across a rocky plateau with dramatic volcanic peaks, 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 alternative shorter walks in the area. Tonight, unwind after a big day in a cosy historic lodge in Raetihi, with friendly farm animals, a pamper room and spa bath with mountain views. Accommodation: Historic restored lodge with mountain views Optional paid activities: The Tongariro Alpine Crossing, hop off to go skiing/snowboarding (winter only) Free activities: Taranaki Falls walk, visit the Volcanic Centre, Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s pool), pet the local farm animals, volunteer tree planting
Meals :None

Day 9 : Raetihi to Wellington
This morning we travel to the bottom of the North Island via the rural towns of Ohakune, Taihape and Bulls. Today is mostly an express day to get to Wellington, our capital city and home to New Zealand’s parliament and the iconic Beehive government building. Also known as the ‘coolest little capital in the world’, thanks to Lonely Planet, Wellington is a great place to check out the lively arts, craft beer and café culture scenes or do some shopping. The afternoon is yours to explore the sights - we recommend wandering down Oriental Parade or viewing the excellent exhibits on display at Te Papa National Museum. Accommodation: Central city hostel Optional paid activities: Wellington Movie Tours, check out 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
Meals :None

Day 10 : Wellington to Marahau (Abel Tasman)
We catch an early Bluebridge Ferry across the Cook Strait and through the magnificent Marlborough Sounds to the South Island where you meet the Stray group in Picton. Once on the bus, we’ll cruise through the world-famous Marlborough vineyard area. Depending on the group’s interest, we may stop for a wine tasting to sample the region’s specialty Sauvignon Blanc before heading to the coastal town of Nelson. We will stock up on supplies for the next couple days in Motueka and then make our way to our amazing overnight destination Marahau, right on the edge of the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park. NB. The Bluebridge Ferry price is not included in your Stray pass. Please book in your Stray Mate app. Accommodation: 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
Meals :None

Day 11 : 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. Accommodation: Unique Stray accommodation on the edge of the national park Optional paid activities: Full day sailing trip, kayaking, skydiving, water taxi, canyoning Free activities: Walk in the national park, relax on one of the golden sand beaches, go for a swim
Meals :None

Day 12 : 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. Today takes us through Buller Gorge and down a stretch of road that was labelled one of the top drives in the world by Lonely Planet. We’ll stop at the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and blowholes to walk around these unique geological wonders. 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 ‘Pounamu’, a native greenstone) before continuing on to the quaint township of Franz Josef, home of the famous Franz Josef Glacier and our base for the next two nights. Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest Free activities: Buller Gorge, Pancake Rocks and blowholes, Hokitika greenstone store
Meals :None

Day 13 : 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 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 local hot pools afterwards. Other options include kayaking, visiting the glacial terminal face for spectacular photos or doing one of the many excellent bush hikes in the region. Accommodation: 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, relax in one of NZ’s largest spa pools at your accommodation
Meals :None

Day 14 : Franz Josef (via Fox Glacier) 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 to stretch our legs with a short walk. Then, we’ll travel inland through the mountainous Haast Pass and Makarora towards Wanaka. This is another superbly scenic drive 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. We’ll pass by the beautiful Lake Hawea and arrive in Wanaka late-afternoon in time to enjoy this picturesque lakeside town. Accommodation: Central Wanaka hostel Free activities: Lake Matheson walk, Ship Creek walk, Blue Pools walk, Thunder Creek Falls walk
Meals :None

Day 15 : 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 heaps of restaurants, pubs and live music to check out. Accommodation: 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!
Meals :None

Day 16 : 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 (in winter), skydiving, local bush walks, or just spend a day relaxing and enjoying the stunning scenery. Accommodation: Central hostel close to all the action Optional paid activities: Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jet boating, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding…) Free activities: Fabulous walks, take in beautiful views surrounding this cool resort town
Meals :None

Day 17 : Queenstown to Aoraki/Mt Cook
Today we head over the Lindis Pass through the beautiful Mackenzie region 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 it’s a clear night, make sure you head outside to experience one of the best stargazing spots in the country. There are some incredible longer walks to do if you want to hop off the bus for a few days (we’d recommend you leave climbing Mt Cook to the experienced mountaineers though). Accommodation: Stunning alpine lodge Optional paid activities: Alpine Argo tour, visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre Free activities: Take photos of awe-inspiring scenery, do one of the many great short walks to the Hooker glacial lake (weather dependent), stargazing
Meals :None

Day 18 : 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 a cosy lodge at one of Canterbury’s original sheep stations. Accommodation: Lodge on a Canterbury sheep station Optional paid activities: Tekapo Hot Springs, ice skating (April-Sept), snow tubing (June-Sept), stargazing (must hop off in Tekapo) Free activities: Visit Lake Tekapo, Church of the Good Shepherd, Mt John Observatory walk, Rangitata forest walks
Meals :None

Day 19 : Rangitata to Christchurch
This morning, you can sign up for top-notch grade 5 white water rafting on the Rangitata River at the foot of the Southern Alps or choose to explore the stunning Peel Forest scenery on horseback. Tonight, we’ll stay in Christchurch, a city where old meets new, as the rebuild continues following the devastating 2011 earthquake. You will find New Zealand’s most modern architecture nestled next to some of the country’s oldest buildings. Spend your afternoon wandering the city streets and laneways to discover creative street art intended to bring cheer and colour to a city once buried in rubble. We hope you had a blast on your Stray adventure! Optional paid activities: White water rafting (summer only), horse trekking Free activities: Explore Christchurch by foot, check out the Cardboard Cathedral and inner-city street art.
Meals :None


Pickups / Departures

Departs Auckland Southbound, pickups begin from 7:20am


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New Zealand - North To South (formerly Short Moe) Freestyle Pass

Call 1800 997 325 for immediate availability and information