Stray achieves Qualmark Gold for best business practice

Stray has gone for gold again and been awarded the prestigious Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award by Qualmark for the fifth year running!

Supported by Tourism New Zealand, Qualmark is New Zealand tourism’s official quality assurance organisation and they offer independent accreditation for tourism businesses.

A Qualmark Gold Award is their highest accolade, recognising the best sustainably operated tourism businesses in New Zealand. To be awarded Gold, a business must be delivering exceptional customer experiences and leading the way to make New Zealand a world-class and sustainable destination.

How did Stray achieve this award?

While not an all-inclusive list of the criteria, the Qualmark assessment looks at a company’s commitment to:

  • Protecting what makes New Zealand unique and special,
  • Protecting the beautiful natural environment in which they operate,
  • Enhancing local communities,
  • Delivering a high quality and safe experience for customers.

If any of that sounds familiar, it’s because Stray’s been incorporating these values into the route and customer experience for years!

Here are just a few of the ways Stray has committed to making a difference as a tourism operator and led their customers to make a positive impact while travelling:

Lake Aniwhenua Community Programme

Since Stray started staying overnight at Lake Aniwhenua’s Kohutapu Lodge and travellers from around the world began interacting with the local school kids in an outreach programme, the positive impact on this struggling community has been incredible. Aside from expanding the minds of the school kids to think outside the confines of their tiny Murupara township, Stray passengers have also nourished their bodies by delivering more than 16,000 hangi meals to the community.

Stray NZ - Lake Aniwhenua - MicahNZ17_2340wright_WEB

Blue Duck Conservation Programme

Visitors to Blue Duck Station know that a huge part of their mission is to protect the endangered native bird life. Not only does Stray sponsor a line of 10 pest traps to catch the predators that threaten the namesake blue ducks and other birds, but Stray passengers are encouraged to get involved with pest hunting and trapping, restoration of the native environment and the station’s other numerous conservation efforts.

Stray NZ - Blue Duck Station - MicahNZ17_2583wright_WEB

Native Tree Planting

When it comes to New Zealand’s native trees, Stray is known to attract some real tree huggers! Over the years, Stray passengers have planted nearly 2000 trees in Abel Tasman National Park and a recently launched tree planting programme at the newest overnight stop Raetihi promises to carry on that tradition.

A member of the Stray team getting her hands dirty.

Staff Enviro & Community Programmes

The staff at Stray HQ don’t let the passengers have all the fun – they like to get out and do their part too! The most recent initiatives by the Auckland-based office team include volunteering at the Eat My Lunch charity to make lunches for Kiwi kids in need, raising money for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer NZ through the Auckland Sky Tower Stair Challenge, and participating in the Sustainable Coastlines Manakau Harbour beach clean-up in Auckland.

Stray staff volunteering at Eat My Lunch

If you want to learn more, check out the ‘Our Story’ section on the Stray website for even more insights into how Stray passionately strives to make a difference and promote sustainable tourism.

LisaT profile picture

Lisa T

Originally from Delaware, USA. Favourite Stray stop: Blue Duck Station (New Zealand). Fun fact: her knowledge of sci-fi, Disney and British literature make her the Queen of Trivia.

Recently we launched heaps new Stray New Zealand Tours. Our new Adventure Tours are the best thing since Hop-On/Hop-Off, we've cranked up the excitement dial to max. And our new Select Tours are perfect for travellers that want to explore without compromising on comfort.

Experience New Zealand's stunning diversity, from white beaches to snowy mountains and lush rainforests, with Stray.

Adventure Tours in New Zealand

Attention, adrenaline junkies and fun-chasers!

Our Adventure Tours are here to supercharge your wanderlust and quench your thirst for the extraordinary. It'll be a journey that's cranked up to eleven - the launchpad for your epic adventure and lifelong friendships.

Select Tours in New Zealand

The road less travelled - without compromising on comfort

Buckle up for our Select Tours, the trip of a lifetime. Picture this: kicking back in 3-4 star twin/double accommodation after a day of unique, must-do activities. This isn't your average tourist experience; it's an amazing experience to the heart and soul of New Zealand.

Or check out these articles for more travel inspiration

Epic New Zealand Bus Tours

Picture this: stunning landscapes, adrenaline-fueled activities, and heaps of great memories just waiting to be made. That’s the #StrayWay, where we’re all about living life to the fullest, getting off the beaten track, and embracing the thrill of the unknown. […]

Read More

Ditch the hop, embrace the top: why our new fixed tours are your ultimate Aussie & Kiwi adventure!

Remember when hunting for hop-on/hop-off tours was the vibe, like stumbling upon a viral TikTok track from the pre-pandemic archives? It was a jam for the ages! But let’s be real, after the wild rollercoaster of the past few years, […]

Read More

What is the best way to travel around New Zealand: bus, car or campervan? You’ll find the answer here!

Ever dreamt of unraveling the wonders of New Zealand? Whether you’re cruising in a campervan, zipping around in your own car, hopping on public transport, embarking on a group adventure, or catching the next bus — we’ve dissected each option […]

Read More
Scroll to Top