North & South Island


Start:  Any stop on this trip
Finish:  Where you started
Minimum Days: 20
Recommended Days: 23

Pass valid for 12 months


With this pass you will see everything from the North & South Island. It is the perfect pass if you want to do both islands but have slightly less time! Book this bus pas on Student Trips and get a 50 Dollars Student Trips Voucher!

 Transport included

  • High quality bus including an experienced driver/guide

Accommodation not included

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Food not included

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Optional Activities

  • All activities are optional and they are paid or unpaid. See more information for further explanation


  • Get a free 50 dollar Student Trips Voucher

We depart Auckland 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.

Accommodation: An eco-lodge surrounded by native bush near the beach.
Optional paid activities: Learn to surf $79 (save $10).
Free activities: Walk to the waterfall, bush walk around Mt Karioi, relax on the beach, glow-worms in the bush, West Coast sunset, Inspiration Point.

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.

Accommodation: Unique Stray stay in the Wharenui (Maori meeting house).
Optional paid activities: Waitomo must-do caving options: Haggas Honking Holes, Lost World, Tumu Tumu TOObing, or a glow-worm tour.
Free activities: Walk around Ruakuri Reserve, Waitomo Valley Caves walk.

We wave goodbye to Richard, Ruth and the whanau and head for Rotorua for a free morning to
discover its distinctive smell (geothermal areas), culture and adventure. Around midday we do
hostel pick-ups in Rotorua before heading onto Rainbow Mountain to meet our local Maori guide
and venture deep into the Kaingaroa Forest in the foothills of the Te Urewera National Park. Today
you will experience stories, history and a culture not yet touched by the hand of commercialism that
dates back to the first known person to discover NZ (Kupe).

* Lake Aniwhenua night is $75 including accommodation; guided tour and bush walk to see Maori rock art, dinner and breakfast.

Accommodation: Lakefront lodge.
Optional paid activities: Rotorua: rafting, zorbing, Agroventures, visit Hobbiton.
Lake Aniwhenua: traditional fishing, eeling, weaving lessons, cooking classes and kayaking.
1 activity costs $10, 2 activities $15 and 3 activities $20.
Free activities: Kuirau Park Rotorua, relax by Lake Aniwhenua, walks.

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.

Accommodation: Country station lodge.
Optional paid activities: Skydiving, bungy, river jet Taupo.
Free activities: Huka falls, Spa Road walk.

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

Accommodation: Country station lodge.
Optional paid activities: An eco-warrior 4WD tour, a one day horse trek (like a real cowboy), clay bird shooting, kayaking, jet boating, pest control.
Free activities: 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.

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.

Accommodation: Beautiful alpine lodge.
Optional paid activities: The Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
Free activities: Taranaki Falls walk, visit the Volcanic Centre, Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s pool).

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.

Accommodation: Central city hostel.
Optional paid activities: Check out some of the great cafes and bars.
Free activities: Walk ‘Oriental Parade’, head up Mt Victoria for fantastic views, and visit ‘Te Papa’ - our national museum, gumboot (welly) throwing.

We catch an early Bluebridge Ferry ($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.

Accommodation: Unique Stray accommodation on the edge of the national park.
Optional paid activities: Wine tasting, skydiving
Free activities: Walk, mussel tasting around the fire, star-gazing.

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.

Accommodation: Unique Stray accommodation on the edge of the national park.
Optional paid activities: Full day sailing trip, kayaking, skydiving, water taxi, hang gliding, stand-up paddle boarding, canyoning.
Free activities: Walk in the national park, relax on one of the golden sand beaches, go for a swim.

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!

Accommodation: Charming character villa in the centre of town.
Optional paid activities: Surfing, horse riding, jet boating, caving.
Free activities: Westport seal colony, West Coast sunset, Truman Track walk.

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

Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest.
Optional paid activities: Save some coin today.
Free activities: Punakaiki pancake rocks and the mighty blowholes; walk along the beach.

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.

Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest.
Optional paid activities: The ‘Ice Explorer’ Trip – a short heli-hop onto the glacier followed by an educational tour (entry to hot pools included), kayaking, skydiving.
Free activites: Many excellent bush hikes (but we recommend a guided one for safety). Relax in one of NZ’s largest spa pools at your accommodation.

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.

Accommodation: Central hostel.
Optional paid activites: Save some coin today.
Free activities: Mirror Lake walk; Ship Creek walk, Blue Pools walk, Thundercreek Falls walk, explore Wanaka.

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.

Accommodation: Central hostel.
Optional paid activites:Puzzle World, skydiving, bungy jumping, pilot your own stunt plane or learn to fly and take a friend for free.
Free activities: Walk Mt Iron, watch people jumping off a bridge.

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.

Accommodation: Central hostel.
Optional paid activities: Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jet boating, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding...), Milford Sound cruise.
Free activities: Sleep in, great walks; take in beautiful views from this cool resort town.

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).

Accommodation: Stunning alpine lodge.
Optional paid activites: 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).

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 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.
*Winter only: We stop longer at Lake Tekapo for ice-skating, snow tubing or a swim in the hot springs.

Accommodation: One of Canterbury’s original sheep stations.
Optional paid activities: Walk through Peel Forest, Rangitata River Rafting (late September – late March only).
Free activities: Take photos of stunning scenery, go for a walk.

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.

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

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 afternoon 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 free fishing gear and mountain bikes at our Picton accommodation. On arrival in Wellington you will stay in a central city based hostel.

Accommodation: Central Hostel.
Optional paid activities: Save some coin today.
Free activities: Seal colony, explore Wellington city, go fishing/mountain biking in Picton.

We depart in the early morning. 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. We hope you had a blast on your Stray adventure!

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