NZ - Stray - Moe

55596343a57a1_131_mtcook.jpg
55596343a57a1_131_mtcook.jpg

NZ - Stray - Moe

982.00

Discover the real New Zealand and get off the beaten track in both the North and South Island, travelling from Auckland to Christchurch.

Quantity:
Add To Cart

Description Moe

We recommend at least 3 weeks to get the most out of your trip and to allow some time to hop-off and explore your favourite destinations for longer. 

Looking to do this pass in a loop, or start somewhere other than Auckland? Check out the Max Pass.

DESTINATION HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Stay at a wilderness lodge in the bush at Raglan – overlooking New Zealand’s premier surf beach.
  2. See glow-worms and do some amazing caving at Waitomo Caves.
  3. Overnight stay at Rotorua to experience (smell) the geothermal activity and do extreme white water rafting.
  4. Discover history and culture not yet touched by the hand of commercialism at our exclusive stop at Lake Aniwhenua. (includes accommodation, hangi (dinner), breakfast and unique cultural experience all for only $89)
  5. Stay at award-winning conservation stop Whakahoro for wild, wilderness activities!
  6. Tongariro National Park (home to the 'Lord of the Rings' volcanoes and NZ’s best one day walk the ‘Tongariro Alpine Crossing’).
  7. Wellington – NZ’s capital city, home to our national museum Te Papa.
  8. Unique overnight and a free day in Abel Tasman National Park (walks, sailing and kayaking options in this stunning area).
  9. Experience the remote and rugged West Coast.
  10. Majestic Franz Josef glacier with a free day to hike and explore it.
  11. Spend a few days in Queenstown - the adventure and party capital of NZ!
  12. The stunning fiord of Milford Sound and historic Gunn’s Camp.
  13. Stewart Island's natural untouched beauty and wildlife or the Catlins wilderness area for sealions and remote scenery.
  14. Stay at base of NZ's highest mountain Aoraki/Mt Cook.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Auckland to Hahei

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

Meal(s) included : None

Day 2 : Hahei

Today you have a full free day to embrace the laid back lifestyle that makes this area such a popular NZ holiday destination. Make the most of this special place by taking a scenic walk or kayak to the nearby Cathedral Cove, a paradise-like beach that you might recognize from one of the Narnia films. If you prefer water sports, the coast off Hahei is part of the protected Te-Whanganui-a-Hei Marine Reserve, which is a prime place to take a guided coastal boat tour or fully immerse yourself with a snorkelling excursion. Accommodation: Exclusive Stray accommodation by the waterfront. Optional paid activities: Kayaking, bike hire, guided boat tour, seafood cooking class. Free activities: Walk to Cathedral Cove, watch the sunrise on the beach, go snorkelling in the marine reserve, explore old cultural sites or simply relax on the beach.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 3 : Hahei to Raglan

We leave Hahei early to travel through the rural Waikato region, known for its many dairy farms and the mighty Waikato River. We’ll start with a little adventure to Bridal Veil Falls, where a short walk through beautiful native bush leads to the impressive 55m cascading waterfall. Our destination today is the world-renowned surf town of Raglan. There’s no better place to learn to surf than Raglan’s legendary left-hand surf break. If you don’t fancy a splash in the waves, the afternoon is free to watch the surfers from the beach, enjoy a bush walk or watch the sunset from the aptly named Inspiration Point. Chill out or go hard in this arty surf town – it’s up to you! Accommodation: An eco-lodge, near the beach set in native bush. Optional paid activities: Learn to surf, sunset cruise (summer only), dine on fresh fish and chips for dinner Free activities: Walk to the waterfall, bush walk around Mt Karioi, beach walk, glow-worm spotting in the bush, West Coast sunset, Inspiration Point.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 4 : Raglan (via Waitomo) to Rotorua

Departing early, our first stop of the day is Waitomo, a small rural town where its main attraction is in fact underground. Don’t miss out on the opportunity for a seriously cool caving adventure that will have you wading, climbing, abseiling and tubing through Waitomo’s magnificent cave network. From here we continue on to Rotorua where you can make this a real 10 out of 10 day with a visit to the world famous Hobbiton Movie Set. Explore the hills, gardens and houses that were home to Frodo and Bilbo in Peter Jackson’s epic trilogies. Those not interested in Hobbiton will continue on to Rotorua and be joined by the Hobbiton goers in the early evening. Accommodation: Comfortable central city hostel. Optional paid activities: Waitomo ‘must-do’ caving options or a glow-worm tour, Hobbiton Movie Set tour, Tamaki Maori Village. Free activities: Walk around Ruakuri Reserve, Waitomo Valley Caves walk.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 5 : Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua

We depart at midday, leaving the morning free to get involved in one of the many amazing adventure activities on offer in Rotorua. This afternoon our trip takes us further off the beaten track into the remote area of Lake Aniwhenua, voted as one of Stray’s top overnight stops. As we drive into the Kaingaroa Forest we will meet up with a respected Maori 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. ‘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) Optional paid activities: Rotorua: rafting, Zorbing, ziplining, Agroventures; Lake Aniwhenua: night eeling experience, flax weaving, Haka lesson This ‘Strademark’ overnight experience at Lake Aniwhenua is optional, but in our opinion, it’s an absolute must do!  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 6 : Lake Aniwhenua to Blue Duck Station

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

Meal(s) included : 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 and explore the farm by horseback or kayak on the river through bush clad valleys and lush green hills. Visit the Kaiwhakauka waterfall or assist with the farm’s pest control efforts and bring back tonight’s dinner. It doesn’t matter which option you choose, just get outdoors and enjoy all that Blue Duck has to offer! Accommodation: Country station lodge. Optional paid activities: An eco-warrior 4WD tour, a half day horse trek, clay bird shooting, kayaking, jet boating, pest control. Free activities: Walk around the amazing Blue Duck property and take in the lush scenery, walk to the Kaiwhakauka waterfall, enjoy your hosts’ fantastic hospitality and stories of the local wildlife and history.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 8 : 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 dramatic volcanic peaks (including the real ‘Mt Doom’), craters and turquoise lakes that you’ll remember for a lifetime. The Crossing is open to walk year round (alpine gear and guide are required in winter), but subject to the weather conditions. Ensure you pack a day pack with plenty of supplies and clothing for all conditions. If the weather prevents you from doing the Crossing, there are a couple shorter walks in the area, as well as bike tracks that are well worth doing. Tonight we will stay in a homely historic Nurses Home in Raetihi, with friendly farm animals, a pamper room and spa bath with mountain views to enjoy at the end of an active day. Accommodation: Historic restored lodge with mountain views. Optional paid activities: The Tongariro Alpine Crossing, shuttle to Ohakune township, mountain bike Old Coach Road or Fishers Track, skiing/snowboarding (winter only). Free activities: Taranaki Falls walk, visit the Volcanic Centre, Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s pool), pet the local farm animals, volunteer tree planting.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 9 : Raetihi to Wellington

This morning we travel towards the bottom of the North Island via the rural towns of Ohakune, Taihape and Bulls. Today is mostly an express day to get to Wellington, our capital city and home to New Zealand’s parliament and the iconic Beehive government building. Also known as the ‘coolest little capital in the world’ thanks to Lonely Planet, Wellington is a great place to check out the lively arts, craft beer and café culture scenes or do some shopping. The afternoon is yours to explore the sights, and we recommend wandering down Oriental Parade or viewing the excellent exhibits on display at Te Papa National Museum. Accommodation: Central city hostel. Optional paid activities: Wellington Movie Tours, check out some of the great cafes and bars. Free activities: Walk Oriental Parade, head up Mt Victoria for fantastic views, visit Te Papa National Museum, gumboot (welly) throwing.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 10 : 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 specialty 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. 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.  

Meal(s) included : 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, stand-up paddle boarding, canyoning, hang gliding, scenic microlight flight. Free activities: Walk in the national park, relax on one of the golden sand beaches, go for a swim.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 12 : Marahau (Abel Tasman) to Westport

Today we head south towards the ‘wild’ West Coast, an area known for its beautiful untamed beaches and stunning sunsets. We pass through Buller Gorge and down a stretch of road that was once labelled one of the top ten drives in the world by Lonely Planet. We stop for a walk along the craggy cliffs at Cape Foulwind to view the seal colony at Tauranga Bay and then head for the historic coal mining town of Westport. This is the best place on the South Island to hit the waves with a surf lesson, and the sunset from our accommodation tonight is a ‘must see’ if the weather is clear. Accommodation: Charming character villa in the centre of town. Optional paid activities: Surfing, caving, craft brewery tour. Free activities: Westport seal colony, West Coast sunset.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 13 : Westport to Franz Josef

An early start takes us further down the rugged West Coast to the geographic wonder of Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks and blowholes. We’ll stop to take a short walk around these unique limestone rock formations before we head for the historic gold mining town, Greymouth. We do pick-ups in Greymouth and make a stop in Hokitika, one of the best places to pick up a piece of NZ greenstone. Then, we’re on our way to our next overnight stop in the quaint little town of Franz Josef, home to the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest. Free activities: Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and the mighty blowholes, Truman Track walk, walk along the beach in Hokitika.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 14 : 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. 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 (we recommend a guided one for safety), relax in one of NZ’s largest spa pools at your accommodation.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 15 : Franz Josef to Wanaka

It’s time to leave the West Coast behind. We stop in the morning for pick-ups at Fox Glacier before heading to the amazing mirror-like Lake Matheson 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. 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, explore Wanaka.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 16 : 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. 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!  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 17 : 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. 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: Sleep in, fabulous walks, take in beautiful views from this cool resort town.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 18 : Queenstown to Gunn’s Camp

Today you are in for a treat. It’s an early start as make our way to Milford Sound, 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. Accommodation: Historic camp in the heart of Fiordland National Park. Optional paid activities: Milford Sound cruise (ask the driver about the special Milford Sound + Stewart Island combo). Free activities: Stunning views, visit the historic museum or take in the incredible surroundings at Gunn’s Camp, Chasm walk.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 19 : 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 you’ll understand why as you marvel at the spectacular surrounding landscape. This afternoon we 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, Stewart Island, has an abundance of activities for the outdoor enthusiast, such as fishing, kayaking, diving, bird watching and tramping tracks. Those not going to Stewart Island will spend the night in Invercargill. Accommodation: Stewart Island backpackers or central hostel in Invercargill. Optional paid activities: Te Anau Wildlife Centre, catch the ferry to Stewart Island (ask the driver about the special Milford Sound + Stewart Island combo). Free activities: Humboldt Falls walk, Viewing Gantry walk.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 20 : 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 in the Catlins. On the chance we can’t find any wildlife, we can 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. Accommodation: Central hostel close to all the action. Optional paid activities: Stewart Island: fishing, Village & Bays tour, go to Ulva Island. Free activities: Stewart Island: explore the island, amazing birdlife, walks through the native parkland. Invercargill: visit the start/end point for State Highway 1, sea lion, penguin, dolphin spotting, find Burt Munro’s World’s Fastest Indian, visit Henry the 118-year-old tuatara.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 21 : Queenstown to Aoraki/Mt Cook

Today we head over the Lindis Pass through the beautiful Mackenzie Country and past picturesque Lake Pukaki on the way to our amazing stop at the base of New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook. We arrive in the early afternoon with time to do a 4WD & Argo Tour, check out the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre or do one of the many great short walks in the park. If you want to hop off the bus for a few days there are some incredible longer walks you can do (we’d recommend leaving climbing Mt Cook to the experienced mountaineers though). Accommodation: Stunning alpine lodge. Optional paid activities: Argo tour of alpine region, visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre. Free activities: Take photos of awe-inspiring scenery, do one of the many great short walks to the Hooker glacial lake (weather dependent), stargazing.  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 22 : Mt Cook to Christchurch

Leaving Mt Cook we make our way through a landscape made famous in the Lord of the Rings films. We make a stop at turquoise Lake Tekapo to walk along the lake and visit the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd. Next, we head on to Geraldine, where we will drop off any thrill seekers wanting to raft the top notch Grade 5 white water on the Rangitata River. Those not rafting will continue on to Christchurch for a mid-afternoon arrival, giving you time to explore parts of the South Island’s largest city. The rafters will rejoin the group at the accommodation in Christchurch this evening. We hope you had a blast! *Winter only: We stop longer at Lake Tekapo for ice-skating, snow tubing or a swim in the hot springs.  

Meal(s) included : None

From Auckland Southbound: 

May - Sept: Tues/Thurs/Sun

Departure Day(s)

Tuesday
Thursday
Sunday

Departure Frequency : Weekly

Description  Jack

Discover the beautiful Bay of Islands on our Patch Pass. The Far North of New Zealand (aka Northland) is the name give to the land north of Auckland. Expect your own piece of paradise, with a sub-tropical climate, white sandy beaches and forests. This region is famous for world-class diving and water activities, and the New Zealand locals love to holiday up here.

This pass is therefore good for those who just have a few days in New Zealand and want to get out of Auckland.

Paihia is in the Bay of Islands. It's a great small town to spend more time in summer and get some sunshine amongst a picture perfect location.

If you have slightly more time, you can tick off the very northern tip of New Zealand from your bucket list at Cape Reinga on the Patch Pass.

 

DESTINATION HIGHLIGHTS

  • Scenic Bay of Islands
  • Tree hugging giant kauri trees at Parry Kauri Park

Itinerary

Day 1 : Auckland to Paihia

Haere mai (welcome)! Your Stray adventure kicks off in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. We depart northbound for the relaxed seaside town of Paihia, gateway to the beautiful Bay of Islands. We stop en-route for a chance to swim at scenic Waipu Cove, before cruising up to Paihia for a relaxing afternoon in the stunning Bay of Islands. If the weather is unsuitable for a stop at Waipu, we will visit the Parry Kauri Forest Park to hug some of the world’s mightiest trees, the native kauri, on our way to Paihia. *Winter only: We stop to hug the kauri trees at Parry Kauri Forest Park, then express to Paihia. Accommodation: Hostel along from the beach. Optional paid activities: Catch the ferry to historic Russell (NZ’s former capital), skydiving, Hole in the Rock cruise, kayaking. Free activities: Swim at Waipu Cove (summer only), tree hugging huge kauri trees at Parry Kauri Forest (wet weather/winter option).  

Meal(s) included : None

Day 2 : Paihia to Auckland

Enjoy a sleep in and morning at your leisure. Sail or cruise around the Bay, walk to nearby Haruru Falls or just hang out on the beach. Mid-afternoon we jump back onboard the Stray bus, destined for the bright lights of Auckland. We hope you had a blast on your Stray adventure! Optional paid activities: Sailing, swimming with dolphins, kayaking, fishing. Free activities: Walk around Paihia or Haruru Falls, go for a swim or relax on the beach.  

Meal(s) included : None

From Auckland: 

May-Sepy: Mon/Weds/Thurs/Sat

 

Departure Day(s)

Monday
Wednesday
Thursday
Saturday

Departure Frequency : Weekly