27 Days
New Zealand

Planning a trip to New Zealand and want to see as much as you can but also not worry about the hassle of getting everything sorted?

Well the Stray Journeys Cook Pass winter itinerary is the ideal way to sort your New Zealand adventure in one easy go!

Packaging in all your transport on the awesome Stray New Zealand buses, accommodation throughout and a huge array of trips and tours across both the North and South Island of New Zealand the Stray Journeys Cook Pass Winter itinerary is the perfect way to make the most of what New Zealand has to offer!

The 23 day Stray Journeys Cook Pass Winter itinerary stops at all the must see destinations – including Rotorua, Wellington, Franz Josef, Doubtful Sound and of course the adrenaline capital of Queenstown too.

But you’ll also discover some more off the beaten track destination as well – including the likes of Opononi, Makarora and Whakahoro along with your new found travel buddies.

And of course this amazing pass also includes heaps of incredible activities along the way too – from wildlife tours and hangs feasts to the Queenstown Shotover Jet and even a Doubtful Sound cruise.

So if you want to spend less time planning and piecing together your New Zealand trip and more time enjoying what this incredible country has to offer the Stray Journeys Cook Pass winter itinerary is the way to go!

Travelling in Summer? Check out the standard Cook Pass instead!

Additional information

Tour DatesDeparts Saturdays & Mondays from 6 May to September 2017

Day 1

Auckland to Paihia

Accommodation: Hostel along from the beach
Optional Activities: Skydiving

Free Activities: Hug huge kauri trees at Parry Kauri Forest


Day 2

Paihia to Cape Reinga and back

Today you travel to the top of NZ – the spiritually significant Cape Reinga. Visit 90 Mile Beach, try dune surfing and see the clashing of 2 oceans! Sample some of the best fish and chips around on your way back to Paihia.

Accommodation: Hostel along from the beach

Included Activities: Cape Reinga day trip, surf sand dunes


Day 3

Paihia to Auckland
This morning we will do the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’ cruise and make an island stop in the bay. Keep an eye out for dolphins and other marine life. We depart in the afternoon to head back to Auckland.

Accommodation: Central Hostel

Included Activities: Hole in the Rock marine cruise


Day 4

Auckland to Raglan

Depart Auckland 7:30am. We head south travelling towards the mighty Waikato River. Head on to the world-renowned Raglan surf beach, with cow spotting and a walk to Bridal Veil Falls on the way. Chill out on the beach or go hard on the waves in this funky surf and arts town.

Accommodation: An eco-lodge surrounded by native bush near the beach

Optional Activities: Learn to surf

Free Activities: Waterfall walk, relax on the beach, spot glowworms in the bush, West Coast sunset, Inspiration Point.


Day 5

Raglan (via Waitomo) to Mourea

Depart 8am. Head to the rural town of Waitomo with time to explore its famous caves and see glowworms. We then head across to the Bay Of Plenty for our unique and special cultural overnight stay. This is an immersion into our indigenous Maori culture and much more than a show. We learn about Maori traditions and history and become fully interactive with Kapa Haka (Maori song and dance). An unforgettable, genuine and educational night! (D)

Accommodation: Unique stay in the Wharenui (Maori meeting house)

Included Activities: Overnight cultural experience – including Marae accommodation, traditional meal, interactive performance

Optional Activities: Waitomo must-do caving options – Haggas Honking Holes, Lost World, Tumu Tumu Toobing, or a glowworm tour.

Free Activities: Walk around Ruakuri Reserve, Waitomo Valley Caves walk.


Day 6

Mourea (via Rotorua) to Lake Aniwhenua

Depart 8.30am and head to Rotorua for a morning free to discover its distinct smell (from the geothermal areas), culture and adventure. At 1pm we depart from Rotorua and move on to Rainbow Mountain to meet our local Maori guide. We head deep into the Kaingaroa Forest to the foothills of the Te Urewera National Park to experience stories, history and culture not yet touched by commercialization. This afternoon you will take part in a Maori cookery lesson and try flax-weaving. (B, D)

Accommodation: Lakefront lodge

Included Activities: Kohutapu Experience – guided tour of Maori rock art, British Redoubt and Aniwhenua Falls. Learn to put a hangi down, enjoy ground cooked hangi feast and dessert, breakfast also included. Take a Maori cookery class and flax weaving lesson.

Optional Activities:  Hobbiton tour, white water rafting, zorbing


Day 7

Lake Aniwhenua to Whakahoro

After breakfast we depart and head to Taupo to see Huka Falls, and for the brave, we have time for skydiving! At 10pm we make our way to Blue Duck Station, a 5,200 acre high country farm that is both a working station and an environmental conservation leader. Settle in and learn a little more about what makes this destination so special. Spend the evening listening to tales from this unique region. (B)

Accommodation: Country station lodge

Optional Activities: Skydiving

Free activities: Walk around the truly amazing property at Whakahoro and take in the lush scenery, walk to the Kaiwhakauka waterfall, enjoy your hosts’ hospitality and stories on the local wildlife and history.


Day 8

FREE day in Whakahoro

Today you have a free day to explore this truly amazing and secluded location up close. There are plenty of farming and conservation based activities around the property for you to partake in.

Accommodation: Country station lodge

Included Activities: Eco-Warrior 4WD farm tour

Optional Activities: Horse riding, clay pigeon shooting and goat hunting


Day 9

Whakahoro to National Park

We depart at 6am and head to the active volcanoes of the nearby dual World Heritage Site of Tongariro National Park. Today you get a chance to do what is rated as one of the world’s best one day walks: the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Be prepared for some epic scenery as you walk around the base of “Mt Doom” from the Lord of the Ringsfilms.

Accommodation: Beautiful alpine lodge

Optional Activities: Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Free activities: Taranaki Falls walk, visit the Volcanic Centre.


Day 10

National Park to Wellington

Depart 9am. We head to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, via Ohakune, Taihape and Bulls. You have the afternoon to cruise around the shops and cafes along popular Cuba Street, explore the New Zealand wonders found in Te Papa or stroll along the waterfront.

Accommodation: Central hostel

Free Activities: Walk ‘Oriental Parade’, head up Mt Victoria for fantastic views, and visit Te Papa – NZ’s national museum.


Day 11

Wellington to Marahau

We catch the 8am Bluebridge Ferry (check-in 7am) across to Picton on the South Island and meet the Stray bus. We will cruise through the famous Marlborough vineyard area and the coastal town of Nelson, before heading through Motueka to our amazing overnight stop of Marahau, right on the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park.

Accommodation: Unique accommodation on the edge of the national park

Included: Ferry crossing from Wellington – Picton

Optional Activities: wine tasting, skydiving

Free activities: Swim, walk, mussel tasting around the fire


Day 12

FREE DAY Marahau

You have the entire day at leisure to explore this stunning coastal national park. Whether by land, sea or air, there’s tons of fantastic options for getting around.

Accommodation: Unique accommodation on the edge of the national park.

Included Activities: Walk part of the Abel Tasman track and catch an Aqua Taxi home.

Optional Activities: Full day sailing trip, kayaking, skydiving, water taxi, horse riding or hang gliding.


Day 13

Marahau to Westport

Today we head south towards the ‘wild’ West Coast passing through Buller Gorge and down a stretch of road that was rated one of the top ten drives in the world by Lonely Planet. We stop at Cape Foulwind to visit the seal colony and then head for the historic coal mining town, Westport. The sunset from our accommodation tonight is a must see if the weather is clear!

Accommodation: Charming character villa in the centre of town.

Optional Activities: Surfing, horse riding, jet boating, caving.

Free activities: Westport seal colony, West Coast sunset, Truman Track walk.


Day 14

Westport to Franz Josef

An early start takes us down the rugged West Coast to the spectacular limestone Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and blowholes. We’ll stop to take a short walk and grab refreshments at the café before we head for the historic gold mining town, Greymouth. We do pick-ups in Greymouth and make stops in Hokitika before heading to the quaint little town of Franz Josef, home to the mighty Franz Josef Glacier.

Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest

Optional Activities: Bone carving and jade carving.

Free Activities: Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and their mighty blowholes.


Day 15

FREE DAY Franz Josef

Enjoy a full free day to explore the glacier. Live your glacier walking dream with a guided tour or hike to view it from below, then unwind in the spa pools afterwards.

Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest

Optional Activities: Ice Explorer Trip (short helicopter flight onto the glacier), Glacier Valley Walk


Day 16

Franz Josef to Wanaka

Depart at 8am. We head to Lake Matheson for a walk at the amazing mirror lake, stop at Fox Glacier for pickups, and then travel through the mountainous Haast Pass and Makarora. We pass by the beautiful Lake Hawea and arrive in Wanaka late afternoon.

Accommodation: Central hostel

Free Activities: Mirror Lake walk, Ship Creek walk, Blue Pools walk, Thundercreek Falls walk, explore Wanaka.


Day 17

Wanaka to Queenstown

This morning, head out on a guided bike tour around the lake before we depart Wanaka at 10.30am and cruise down to the famous A.J. Hackett bungy site where you can take the plunge, if you dare! Then, it’s on to the ‘Adventure Capital of the World!’ Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge) night out with excellent restaurants, pubs and live music.

Accommodation: Central hostel

Included Activities: Guided Bike Tour

18 - 20

Days 18 - 20


With so much to see and do in and around Queenstown, you need three full days to take it all in!

Accommodation: Central hostel

Included Activities: Shotover Jet and Doubtful Sound day trip

Optional Activities: Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jetboating, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding…), trip to Milford Sound.

Free Activities: Sleep in, great walks, take in beautiful views from this cool resort town.


Day 21

Queenstown to Aoraki/Mt Cook

Depart from 8.40am. We head over the Lindis Pass through the beautiful Mackenzie Country and Lake Pukaki, then head north to our amazing stop at the base of New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki/Mt Cook, arriving in the early afternoon.

Accommodation: Stunning alpine lodge

Optional Activities:  Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre

Free Activities: Take photos of awe-inspiring scenery, do one of the many great short walks to the Hooker Glacial Lake.


Day 22

Mt Cook to Rangitata

Depart 10am. We make our way to the ‘Lord of the Rings’ landscape of Rangitata. We head past turquoise Lake Tekapo, where we stop for ice-skating, snow tubing or a swim at the hot springs. We arrive early afternoon in Geraldine, and then head through to spend the night at Rangitata.

Accommodation: One of Canterbury’s original sheep stations

Optional Activities: Horse ride through Peel Forest.

Free Activities: Take photos of stunning scenery, go for a walk.


Day 23

Rangitata to Kaikoura

Depart 7.30am. It is an express haul across the Canterbury plains to Christchurch, arriving at the Christchurch International Airport at 9.40am. After making drop offs and pickups, we depart from Christchurch and have a beautiful drive up the coast to Kaikoura. You have the afternoon free for activities to check out the amazing marine wildlife that inhabit the area.

Accommodation: Historic seaside hotel

Optional Activities: Whale watching, swimming with seals, piloting your own plane or swimming with dolphins. Try the amazing fresh fish and chips!

Free activities: Walk around the peninsula and up to the lookout.


Day 24

Kaikoura to Wellington

Depart 8.30am. We wind our way up the rugged coastal roads with stops for photos and to visit a seal colony. Then we take the ferry crossing over the Cook Strait, back to Wellington.

Accommodation: Central Hostel

Included Activities: Ferry crossing from Picton – Wellington

Free activities: Seal Colony, Queen Charlotte View Walk, explore the city


Day 25

Wellington north (via National Park) to Auckland

Depart 6.40am. This is an express day via National Park to Auckland, arriving in the late afternoon/early evening.

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  • Bay of Islands wildlife cruise
  • Sand Boarding
  • Visit Tane Mahuta, the ‘Lord of the Forest’, in the Waipoua Forest near Hokianga
  • Cathedral Cove walk / Hot Water Beach
  • Specially-developed Maori cultural experience with hangi, interactive show and story telling
  • Bubbling hot pools / Huka Falls / Bush safari at unique eco-wilderness stop / Tongariro Alpine Crossing / Te Papa National Museum 
  • Abel Tasman National Park / Hanmer Springs / Kaikoura (for dolphin and whale spotting)
  • Franz Josef glacier / Mount Aspiring National Park
  • Two free days in Queenstown / Exclusive overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound
  • Mountain biking in Wanaka / Walk on Hooker Valley track, Mt Cook National Park / Explore Lake Tekapo area


  • Bay of Islands wildlife cruise
  • Sand Boarding
  • Visit Tane Mahuta, the ‘Lord of the Forest’, in the Waipoua Forest near Hokianga
  • Cathedral Cove walk / Hot Water Beach
  • Specially-developed Maori cultural experience with hangi, interactive show and story telling
  • Bubbling hot pools / Huka Falls / Bush safari at unique eco-wilderness stop / Tongariro Alpine Crossing / Te Papa National Museum 
  • Abel Tasman National Park / Hanmer Springs / Kaikoura (for dolphin and whale spotting)
  • Franz Josef glacier / Mount Aspiring National Park
  • Two free days in Queenstown / Exclusive overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound
  • Mountain biking in Wanaka / Walk on Hooker Valley track, Mt Cook National Park / Explore Lake Tekapo area


Sturdy walking shoes (ankle high), swimming gear, hat and sunscreen, motion sickness tablets, water bottle, towel and toiletries, warm clothing and waterproof jacket, insect repellent, camera.


During Winter our Stray Journeys are operated on our hop-on hop-off bus network. This means some passengers on your trip who are travelling on flexible passes will be hopping on and off the bus. Stray Journeys passengers will follow a fixed itinerary with specified inclusions. You can expect to travel on a modern comfortable bus (mid-coach) and to be led by a knowledgeable Driver Guide.

No meals are included with Winter Itineraries except for North Island stops at Mourea and Lake Aniwhenua (each include a dinner and breakfast).  Winter itineraries are discounted to compensate for this.


  • Upgrade accommodation is excluded in Hahei and Doubtful Sound.
  • Standard accommodation is 6-share in Whakahoro.
  • Tours should be reconfirmed at least 48 hours in advance by calling +64 9 526 2140.
  • Luggage should be restricted to 15kg in a single bag, plus a small day pack.


The tour is scheduled to depart every Saturday from 7 October 2017 – 28 April 18

Departure pick-up time will be approximately 7am. The exact time of pick up from your Auckland accommodation will be confirmed with you.

All bookings must be re-confirmed at least 48 hours in advance. Please contact us on 0064 9 5262149 or support@straytravel.co.nz or visit our Stray Retail branch at 50 Fort Street, Auckland City.


For Stray Hop-on Hop-off travel passes, Stray Journeys and Stray Adventures.

Stray will charge the following fees in the event of booking cancellations:

8+ Days before departure (or open dated): 35% of fare

3-7 Days before departure: 50% of fare Less than 48 Hours: 100% of fare

Cancellations should be made with your original booking agent who may charge an additional fee. If you booked online please contact reservations@straytravel.co.nz

Please note our terms and conditions are subject to change so please check our website for the latest version.

Provider Details
Stray Limited
Free Phone: 1300733048 Phone: +64 95262140
P O Box 112 037 60 Walls Road Penrose Auckland 1642 New Zealand

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