Team Orange take Puhoi!

Here at Stray, we don’t just provide awesome, off-the-beaten track experiences for our passengers but we also encourage our team to get out there and ‘walk the walk‘ too. This time around, we swapped walking for kayaking and ventured north of Auckland to Puhoi, where we paddled along the river to Wendeholm Regional Park.

After rounding up the office team, the Fort Street shop team, Stray drivers Nat and Seagull and some of our awesome Auckland agents, we finished work early and loaded up the Stray bus ready for an afternoon adventure. This blog would be incomplete without a shout out to the reservations team. A.K.A the legends who stayed behind to make sure that everything was running smoothly for our passengers on the road – you guys are the real MVP’s!

Upon arrival to Puhoi River Kayaks & Canoes, we listened to a summary of basic kayaking rules, got geared up in our life jackets and slathered on the sunscreen before heading down to the waterfront. Some of us set out in single kayaks, while others paired up to master the art of synchronised paddling.

Geared up and ready to get out on the water

We began the journey by kayaking 200m upstream – a ‘test-run’ just to get the hang of things. Everyone took to the sport pretty quickly, even those that had never tried it before – energy levels were high and we were all raring to go!

A beautiful setting for a kayak
Posing in between paddling

We turned back downstream and began our kayak to Wendeholm regional park. We paddled alongside each other, taking selfies and playing practical jokes on one another (putting the steering rudders up on your unsuspecting friends’ kayaks and watching them veer off into the mangroves will never not be funny). It was great to get together outside of the office and truly ‘live the brand’ by spending time enjoying the great outdoors.

You okay there, Seagull?
Walking the walk = kayaking the kayak

We kayaked through native bush, farmland and down into the mangrove forest, spotting herons, pukekos, kingfishers and other water-minded birds along the way. We managed to avoid the worst of the bad weather but we did get caught in a few rain showers. Pretty convinced this was a result of our terrible team sing-a-longs whilst kayaking…  but the great thing about Team Orange is that our good vibes stay strong come rain or shine. So, we welcomed the wet weather with open arms (and just sang even louder).

Selfie stop!

There were a few close calls as we collided, crashed and bumped into each other (hey, we’re travel experts not kayak experts) but amazingly none of us capsized! We reached Wendeholm safe and sound, eager to fire up the barbeque and get the drinks flowing after a successful day of team bonding.

Multi-talented Justin can manage a BBQ almost as well as he manages our Stray shop
The post-kayak group photo

After a delicious feast, our wonderful Stray driver Nat drove us safely back to Auckland but the day wasn’t over just yet… No team-building event would be complete without a group effort to clean the Stray bus!

Team work makes the dream work!

‘Walking the Walk’ is as much about adventure as it is about the types of people we strive to be here at Stray. It’s all about being a dependable teammate, delivering on promises and putting our customers front and centre of what we do every day. Being a part of Team Orange means that we practice what we preach – by going out on our own adventures and not only working hard but STRAY-ing hard too 😉


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

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