Great news…. A Stray Journey tour is the best New Zealand bus pass

If you want to discover the sheer wonder of New Zealand we’ve got some great news. Stray tours just got even better! As part of our 20th birthday celebrations, we’ve been reminiscing about the thousands of happy travellers who’ve taken our tours since 2002. Now that we can travel again, we’re determined to make up for lost time with even better, more unique and exceptional tours.

While the New Zealand border was closed, we were busy taking our bus tours to the next level. And by next level, we mean we skipped a few levels and went straight to the top floor. These new bus tours are out of this world. That’s more exciting destinations, upgraded accommodation and even more unforgettable experiences.

Some things haven’t changed though. Same great choice and value, same fantastic guides, same opportunity to make lifelong friendships and see the best New Zealand has to offer.

Are you ready to go to the next level? Experience our new tours!

In the new world of travel and tourism, we’re focusing on our Stray Journeys small group tours. These tours are a safe and friendly way to travel New Zealand, and they offer the chance to really get to know your travel buddies. So many of our travellers of the last 20 years have stayed in touch with their Stray mates. Not only did they enjoy the best way to experience New Zealand – they made a whole set of new friends for life!

Bye bye hostels, helloooo comfy hotels & country lodges

It’s time to say goodbye to cramped hostels and over-filled dorms. Your accommodation on all our tours is a mix of smart hotels combined with alpine and country lodges and cabins.

As always, a comfy seat on the brilliant Stray coaches is included, as well as a breakfast to start each action-packed day, with additional trips, activities, events and other meals in remote locations also included within your tour package.

Better than any plain old bus pass

Exploring New Zealand on a Stray tour is the easiest way to get up close to the amazing sights Aotearoa has to offer. Picture this, you spend weeks digging through dozens of travel guides and blogs to create your own trip, you then need to figure out where to stay and which activities are actually worth it (plus paying full retail on those activities).

When you’ve finally created that route, you need to figure out how to get there. Hire a car or a campervan? Pretty expensive with the rising prices of petrol in New Zealand, not to mention the sizeable carbon footprint you’d be leaving. Take public transport from A to B? You’d have to do a lot of extra planning as this won’t take you door to door from each accommodation. Plus you won’t get any commentary about all the amazing places you’re visiting. Public transport is just a bus pass to go from A to B and that’s it. Pretty boring.

Now picture this option instead: You book a seat on a Stray Journeys tour. All of your accommodation, breakfasts each day and a few activities are immediately sorted for you. You’ll have transport every day, you’ll get great recommendations on which things to do in each location and you’ll be experiencing everything with other Stray-ers on the Coach. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

A Stray bus pass really is the best New Zealand bus pass option to see heaps of New Zealand. It is so much more than taking you from A to B.

Sit back and relax on Stray Tour
The easiest and most fun way to explore New Zealand: a Stray bus tour

What to expect on our new tours

This year you’ll have a choice of tours designed to match your free time and budget. Choose to explore just North Island or South Island or take a combined Island tour to discover the whole of New Zealand.

Highlights include chic, boutique hotels, beachside and waterfront hotels, a Māori lakefront lodge and an alpine chateau. You could experience the TranzAlpine train journey, a glacier boat trip or a cruise on the Milford Sound.

  • Ruru:18-Day tour to see it all in New Zealand. Ruru starts in Auckland and ends in Christchurch. Hike some of New Zealand’s best tracks, kayak at sunrise, taste a delicious traditional hangi meal, bathe in a hot thermal stream surrounded by native bush, explore national parks, party in Queenstown and stargaze in an International Dark Sky Reserve. Check out the full itinerary of the amazing Ruru Tour.
  • Takahe: 11-Day tour of the South Island. The Takahe tour starts & ends in Christchurch. There is also the option to start from Wellington/Picton. This South Island tour takes you from the golden sands of Abel Tasman National Park to the West Coast’s glaciers and rainforests, the party and adventure capital of Queenstown, to the “Roof of Aotearoa” Mt Cook National Park. See the tour info of this amazing Takahe tour.
  • Kereru: 11-Day tour from Auckland to Christchurch. Embark on a wild ride from Auckland to Christchurch! If you’re looking to explore the sweet spots of New Zealand in a shorter time frame, this is for you. The world’s best scenic train ride – TranzAlpine is included for an epic ending of your journey! Check out the full itinerary of the awesome Kereru Tour.
  • Kaka: 9-Day South Island tour that starts & ends in Christchurch. The Kaka tour is all about the scenery! Each day delivers more breathtaking views, epic hiking and insane landscapes. Hop aboard a scenic train journey across the Southern Alps, then aboard the Stray bus to take in the icy glaciers of the West Coast, reach new levels of adrenaline in Queenstown, gaze at Lake Tekapo and hike in the impressive Mount Cook National Park. See the tour info of this fantastic Kaka tour.
  • Pukeko: 8-Day North Island tour from Auckland to Wellington. You will be exploring all the top sights, from the geothermal “Sulphur City” – Rotorua to our favourite place to chill, Blue Duck Station. If you’re short on time and want to see the best of the North, this North Island Tour has got you covered. Check out the full itinerary of the amazing Pukeko Tour.
The Barn Abel Tasman
Amazing locations, fantastic views, comfy accommodation and a group of fun people… See New Zealand the #StrayWay

Are these tours hop-on-hop-off?

Our new tours are completely different – different as in better – than the classic hop-on-hop-off tours. We believe change is good and these new tours are definitely good.

As we’ve shown you in our blog post about how we’ve taken hop-on/hop-off bus tours to the next level.
Hop-on/hop-off tours are still on hold at the moment and the new tours here for you. Instead of planning to hop on and off, dealing with bus timetables and booking extra accommodation, we’ve calculated the best amounts of time for you to spent in each location and included all your nights there. It’s way more relaxing and means you can make the most out of your time in NZ. Less worrying, less planning and easier for you to spend time having fun!

Best way to travel without a driving licence and see heaps of New Zealand

New Zealand may look small compared to our big neighbour Australia, but it sure is bigger than you think. Heaps of travellers are eager to enter New Zealand to hit the road to see it all.

But what if you don’t have a driving licence? Can you travel without a driving licence in New Zealand? (psst, the answer is YES). Or maybe you do have a driving licence but you don’t feel comfortable driving on the other side of the road. No worries. Stray Tours to the rescue! On our new bus tours, we’ll do the driving so you can sit back, relax and socialise with your new mates.

Your Stray tour gives you the opportunity to see more of New Zealand. As well as taking in all the “must-see” attractions and places, we still stray off the beaten track to show you the wild and undiscovered parts of New Zealand.
There are plenty of options for extra (optional) activities, including hiking, biking and touring experiences in unbelievable places, as well as a bigger choice of white-knuckle adventure opportunities.

Creating memories & friendships that last a lifetime

When you take a Stray journey, it’s more than a tour. It’s an experience… you’ll see undiscovered New Zealand on your own private, air-conditioned coach with a group of friends. Our amazing Stray guides are very much a part of what we’re about. Like-minded adventurers who will share with you great anecdotes and help you create an unforgettable trip of a lifetime.

But most of all it’s about discovery. Discovering a unique country, discovering new and exciting experiences and discovering new people and friendships. Stray has been helping travellers discover more for 20 years. Check out some of our travellers’ tales on Facebook.

Happy Stray travellers eating icecream
Meet amazing people, create friendships that last a lifetime

Stories from previous Stray travellers

Christine took a Stray tour in 2003 and still keeps in touch with 4 sets of friends in the UK and Sweden to chat about their adventures and driver, Chops, nearly 20 years later!

Michael remembers his 2006 Stray tour with the “legends”, Nemo and Vino. One of our Stray travellers even ended up getting married to her guide!

So, start planning your trip to New Zealand with Stray. Discover the best of New Zealand with a small group of like-minded travel buddies. We welcome solo travellers, mates, couples or groups – you’ll make memories and friendships that will stay with you forever.

Hop on board the Stray bus to explore New Zealand on our new tours

Now we’ve made the experience even better, so you’ll get even more from your next Stray tour. We can’t wait to see you all again and we hope you’ll join us for the ride of your life! Compare our new tours and book your seat as soon as possible. There are still seats left on our tours in June, July and August 2022, so what are you waiting for?

Mike avatar


Stray Mate Mike loves to hop on his bike to explore the outer space of the UK. Or explore nearby beaches, wherever he is in the world. You'll always find him near a coastal area. The sea breeze is what gives him the power to create amazing content about travelling the world.

These New Zealand tours will depart soon!

New Zealand is a tiny country that packs a scenic punch! Explore New Zealand the 'Stray' way - getting further off the beaten track, seeking out one-of-a-kind experiences and meeting a bunch of epic fellow adventurers.
All tours are Stray Journey small group tours!

Wanderlust - See it All in NZ

24 days - starts & ends in Auckland

On this trip, you get the best combination of nature, relaxation, beautiful scenery and adrenaline. In 24 days, you will experience beautiful nature consisting of rainforests, mountains and volcanoes.

Takahe - South Island Tour

11 days - starts & ends in Christchurch

From the golden sands of Abel Tasman National Park to the West Coast’s glaciers and rainforests, the party and adventure capital of Queenstown, to the “Roof of Aotearoa” Mt Cook National Park.

Ruru - All of NZ Tour

18 days - starts in Auckland, ends in Christchurch

Hike some of New Zealand’s best tracks, kayak at sunrise, taste a delicious traditional hangi meal, bathe in a hot thermal stream surrounded by native bush.

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