Stray together, stay together!

Ever wondered what it’s like to Stray with your other half? We caught up with an awesome couple: Kaya Bulbul from Turkey and Amelie Krug from Sweden. They made the most of their 2 week university break and used Stray’s Peter Pass to see the best of the North Island.

Why did you choose to travel Stray?

We chose Stray for two reasons. Firstly, it was recommended to us by a friend who also had an excellent experience on her bus tour. Secondly, it was the ideal trip for the short time period we had. We wanted to see as much as possible in just 2 weeks and the Stray route covered all of the best bits. We think the Peter Pass is ideal for people who have a limited amount of time – we could sample all types of landscapes from beaches to cities to national parks. The only problem was that it left us desperate to return!

Enjoying the sunshine at Cathedral Cove

What was it like travelling as a couple on Stray?

It was great travelling as a couple because it can be nerve-wracking to meet new people but when you have your best friend beside you it makes it a lot easier. We could also combine moments of hanging out with the whole group with moments alone. We often shared a room with other Stray passengers (limited backpacker budget, you know?!), but it was great because we got to know them so much better.

Being the perfect #instagramboyfriend and taking photos of Amelie
She always returned the favour though!

Do you have any advice for other couples thinking about Straying in New Zealand?

Don’t always stick to yourselves – get to know the people you are travelling with! On our first bus ride, we passed around a microphone and were all asked to introduce ourselves. When it was Kaya’s turn to speak he said “Alright, who’s single and ready to mingle?!’. This was followed by “Nah, I’m only joking. I’m here with my girlfriend and she gets super jealous so don’t even look at me”. It definitely got a lot of laughs and people wanted to get to know us after that. So yeah, put yourselves out there! Be bold! Mingle even if you’re not single!

Before we went for a mud spa at Hells Gate in Rotorua

What was the most bizarre thing that happened to you on your trip?

The MOST bizarre thing happened to us at Blue Duck Station. There was an opportunity to go hunting (an ecological effort to rid the area of invasive species that are non-native to New Zealand and destroying the Blue Duck population). Two of our friends went along and shot a goat, which we could eat for dinner. The locals then convinced them that it was a local tradition to eat the goats (still-steaming) testicles….. and they did!!!

What was the standout moment from your North Island adventure?

Although there were so many highlights, the standout moment was skydiving over the stunning Lake Taupo. Amelie’s face went purple before she jumped and she said goodbye as if we would never see each other again. Good news is that we DID see each other again during the free-fall (which was indescribable) – our tandem masters coordinated to float towards each other and Amelie and I were able to exchange huge, beaming smiles. It was an unforgettable moment.

Obligatory team photo after falling 15,000ft from the sky!

What did you miss the most when you returned home?

It was a close tie between the magical places we stayed in New Zealand and the awesome group of friends we made along the way – saying goodbye in Wellington was tough!

What is the one thing you’d like to say to the new friends you made on the bus?

5 year reunion, guys?

The people make the place!

Thanks to Kaya and Amelie for sharing their stories from the road and for showing us how to ‘mingle even if you’re not single’ 😉 If you want to see more of their trip around the North Island then check out this epic video:

Tara profile picture


Originally from Birmingham, UK. Favourite Stray stop: Tongariro National Park. Fun fact: she has done every Bungy Jump in New Zealand.

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 departures between September 2022 and April 2023 are GUARANTEED for all NZ tours! All tours are Stray Journey small group tours!

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.

Or check out these articles for more travel inspiration

Can you explore New Zealand without a driving licence? Is it possible to get off the beaten path without one?

New Zealand is one big playground. There is always something to climb on, jump out of, hike to, a path or a trail to follow… You name it, New Zealand has it! Aotearoa truly is one of the world’s ultimate […]

Read More

Our sustainable traveller’s bible will help you to live your best life – without it costing the earth

We all share a common goal: more travel, and less impact. There’s an overwhelming amount of information (and disinformation) about how to be more sustainable, and we know that when you’re travelling, it becomes 10 times harder. We’ve put together […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Scroll to Top