Stray Travel

Stray Travel

When you travel New Zealand with Stray, you have the choice of a hop-on hop-off pass, or an all-inclusive Stray Journey tour. You haven't lived unless you've Strayed.

You don’t need to waste your precious time working out where to go and what to do because we're experts on New Zealand and we've already planned a fantastic trip for you! Think of it as a road trip experience, where your guide takes you on a once-in-a-lifetime journey, with plenty of great stops, showing you the real New Zealand! Just jump onboard with a small group of like-minded travellers and focus on having the best time possible! 

Maximise your time in New Zealand!

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Stray Travel Reviews

Amazing Trip

I booked a last minute overland bus pass with Stray in Christchurch when I was travelling in New Zealand. I only had 4 weeks in NZ and the Stray itineraries were perfect to fit everything in + less formal than traditional tours. It was also a lot cheaper than similar trips with similar operators especially as I booked last minute. I have since recommend Stray to friends and they have also had a good time.

By: Paul
Nationality: United Kingdom
Age: 23

Highly Recommended for Exploring New Zealand

South Island Stay Pass: Amazing Experience!! I met some amazing people from all over the world (Canada, US, UK, Ireland etc) - a lot of which I'm still in touch with today. I liked the flexibility and the guides were helpful/relaxed. Going with Stray was also a lot more fun than going solo. as you get to travel with other likeminded travelers. New Zealand is spectacular try to do everything, I decided not to visit Milford Sound which I regret!!

By: Sarah
Nationality: Canadian
Age: 24

Stray in December 2016

It's safe to say I had an amazing time with Stray, and would definitely use them again.

I was in NZ in December and I travelled on my own, which at first I was nervous about, but as soon as I was on the bus, you sit next to someone and you get chatting. Then you arrive at the first stop and you meet other people then each time you stop, and people hop off then more people hop on and you meet new people. You're constantly meeting people, as well as those who are travelling on the same timetable as you.

I booked the Short Moe pass, as I only had 3 weeks, and wanted to see as much as I could. This pass went everywhere that Stray goes on the North and South Islands, except the 'extras' of the Bay of Islands, east coast and the deep south (one day I'll make it back to those places!).

As I only had 3 weeks, this meant I was doing the pass in its minimum time, so I was on the bus almost everyday. For me personally, this wasn't an issue, as we were going somewhere new every time and someone else was doing the driving! I can see how it might be tiring, but I knew that that was what I had signed up to. I can also say that although I was only there for a short time, it didn't feel rushed at all. As we were doing so much every day, I think I felt as though I was there a lot longer.

The bus driver I had the whole time was Dory, and he was a right laugh. He was also our tour guide; he suggested places for us to visit, which activities he would recommend and he would tell us Maori legends in his very own style. Dory was sociable and fun, and often went out of his way to help. I heard a bit about other drivers as well, and it's clear they all love NZ and are loving showing people their country.

The buses themselves were fine - I had three different buses during my 3 weeks and they were all OK! I'd like to think we just had bad luck as we had to stop to get two different ones fixed for two different problems, but the first time we had already stopped in Rotorua for the night, and the other we'd stopped in Nelson for lunch. The seats were comfy and the air con worked. We had great wifi on the first bus, it didn't connect to my phone on the second but worked for others, and the third didn't have it. From what I can remember, all the hostels had wifi (some free, some a small fee), except maybe Blue Duck which is a farm in the middle of nowhere.

Accommodation - the accommodation was good on the whole - one or two places left a little to be desired, but you are going "off the beaten track". You were guaranteed accommodation for as many nights as the bus was there - if you wanted to stay longer then you needed to speak to the hostel directly. A clipboard was handed around every day for you to put your name down at the next place to stay, and your driver books it, then you pay when you get to the accomm. You were also welcome to book your own accomm and you may be dropped off there. It wasn't always hostels, in fact it was only in the big places that they were hostels (Rotorua, Wellington, Queenstown and Christchurch). The only one more expensive than the others was the cultural stay at Kohutapu Lodge where you're given a Maori hangi dinner and you learn about what they do in their community.

We didn't leave the accomm at 8am then drive all day to the next one. We tended to stop somewhere for fuel/breakfast, then somewhere else on the way (like hot springs or waterfalls or Pancake Rocks), then usually stopped somewhere for lunch then arrived at our next place early afternoon in time for activities. Or, there were activities on the way and you met up with the bus afterwards. There were also toilet stops!

Food - you're taken to a supermarket every couple of days, and Dory let us know when we'd next be seeing a supermarket, so we knew how much to stock up on. There are lockers underneath the bus for food storage, so you can take it from place to place. We also did a lot of group meals and often stuck ten bucks in toward a BBQ which we would prepare as a group and clear up after as a group. We would stop around lunch time in a town/cafe, so if you wanted to get something there, you could.

Activities - there were options for activities every day, so it was a very busy trip! There's a mix of everything from bungy, to skydive, to mud bath, to rafting, to caving to Hobbiton etc etc. You're given Stray's rates on the activities if you put your name down on the clipboard and your driver books it (often $15-$20 off). There are also free activities in each place, but you were sometimes told about these after the clipboard went around. The only place you didn't really have a choice was Waitomo - you do one of the cave activities or you sit in a cafe til everyone is done. A couple of activities had minimum numbers for it to run, but this was rare. I was hiking every couple of days as well as some paid for activities.

I never felt pressure to do an activity, or to drink or stay up late, but I was with an awesome group of people, so I can't say what other groups were like! If we weren't driving the next day then these tended to be 'party nights', in the sense we sat around as a group and hung out til late - if you wanted to! You didn't have to drink and we hardly had loud music. Most places had a noise curfew and some of those places were quite strict with it.

Other travellers - most of my initial bus group was in their mid-late 20s-30s, but as time went on we met people from 18yos to 60yos (there was even a family with kids on the bus at one point). Mix of men and women, and a mix of people travelling on their own and in twos or threes. There were all sorts of nationalities, and everyone had different reasons for being there.

If anyone has any questions then I would be happy to answer them! Obviously my experience with Stray was subjective and I understand that others may have had very different experiences to me. If anyone has any questions about anything specific in the itinerary, I will try to answer but my experience is sadly fading fast from my memory. It's only been a month since I left but it feels a lot longer!

I hope this helps any future travellers!

By: Sam
Nationality: British
Age: 25

One of the BEST ways to see New Zealand

Have been in New Zealand for nearly a year now, and I've got to say travelling with Stray Travel has made my life so much easier and, to be honest, has made my time in this country the best it could have been.

I purchased the Everywhere Pass, which may have seemed a pricey choice at first but given that I haven't had to worry about how to navigate getting around even once has taken so much stress out of being in a foreign country by myself - an excellent idea for anyone also looking to travel alone.

It has also been the best way to make friends along your journey - everyone I have met has been lovely, and experiencing all the wonderful sights and activities that NZ, and Stray, have to offer certainly brings you closer in such a short amount of time. A week on the bus can make you and your new found travelling companions feel like you've known each other forever, and I know that I've made friends for life along the way.

Also, massive shoutout to my driver Papa G - if you get this fine gentleman as your driver, then you have met a legend my friends. The best man BY FAR to take you round the country, Papa G genuinely loves his job and making sure you have the best time possible visiting NZ is the top of his priorities. Funny to match, and has the most wonderful stories from both Maori culture and his own personal experiences. He made my trip one that I'll never forget.

So ultimately, I hand on heart would recommend Stray Travel to anyone looking to have fun, make friends, and have the best time possible travelling around New Zealand. You won't regret it!

By: Ellie
Nationality: English
Age: 26

The first bus missed us, the second one was unpleasant

We had a pickup by Stray scheduled in Queenstown and waited at the designated spot on Christmas day. A Stray bus slowed down and said because of the direction we were going, we should wait for the next bus. The next Stray bus that came by completely passed us and never stopped. The first bus was indeed our bus. Instead of asking our names and checking, the bus driver told us to wait and left. We had to scramble to find a room on Christmas in in Queenstown (no easy feat) and were instructed by Stray to take the bus the following day.

After moving around our itinerary because of this, the next bus was extremely dirty and smelly. I guess maybe that's expected when the bus is mostly full of backpackers, but there was trash everywhere, people's bare feet were all over seats, and it was claustrophobic and not roomy at all. Thinking the trip might be like any other tour bus we've been on in New Zealand or Australia (which have all been really nice), being on the Stray tour pretty much ruined the trip.

From not being picked up and being stuck in a foreign country on the world's biggest holiday to find a room, to traveling on a dirty and gross bus, while I loved New Zealand, I would not recommend Stray to anyone.

By: Nicki Escudero
Nationality: American
Age: 32

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