26 Days (Min)
New Zealand

New Zealand is a country full of incredible things to see and do – from sprawling lakes and snow capped mountains to black sand beaches and world class surfing.

If you’re trying to experience the best of what New Zealand has to offer and cover as much of this amazing country as you can then the Maximus Pass with Stray New Zealand is for you!

This epic hop on, hop off bus pass takes in heaps of both the North and South Island – from backpacker favourites like Queenstown, Rotorua and Franz Josef to more off the beaten track destinations like Raglan, Whakahoro and Te Araroa.

In fact it’s the most extensive travel pass on offer for New Zealand!

With a minimum travel time of 26 days and a maximum travel time of 12 months you can tailor it to suit your own time scale and travel plans.

Fallen in love with Kaikoura? Extend your stop off!

Waves pumping in Raglan? Stay as long as the swell does!

Stray New Zealand also includes heap of awesome free activities en route too – such as snorkelling, dune surfing, scenic walks, kayaking and Maori blessings, so its much more than just a bus trip!

Explore new places, meet some amazing new travel buddies and soak up all the goodness that New Zealand has to offer!

Additional information

Recommended Travel Time30 Days
FinishWhere You Started

Day 1

Auckland to Paihia

Accommodation: Hostel along from the beach.
Optional paid activities: Catch the ferry across to historic Russell (New Zealand’s former capital), skydiving, Hole in the Rock, diving.
Free activities: Snorkeling at Goat Island (summer only), tree hugging huge kauri trees at Parry Kauri Forest (wet weather/winter option).


Day 2

Paihia to Cape Reinga to Paihia

Accommodation: Hostel along the beach in Paihia.
Optional paid activities: Traditional Kiwi fish and chips option for dinner!
Free activities: Dune surfing.


Day 3

Paihia to Auckland

Accommodation: Central Auckland hostel.
Optional paid activities: Sailing, swimming with dolphins, kayaking, fishing.
Free activities: Walk around Paihia or Haruru Falls; go for a swim or relax on the beach.


Day 4

Auckland to Raglan

Accommodation: An eco-lodge surrounded by native bush near the beach.
Optional paid activities: Learn to surf $79 (save $10)
Free activities: Walk to the waterfall, bush walk around Mt Karioi, relax on the beach, glow-worms in the bush, West Coast sunset, Inspiration Point.


Day 5

Raglan (via Waitomo) to Mourea

Accommodation: Unique Stray stay in the Wharenui (Maori meeting house).
Optional paid activities: Waitomo must-do caving options: Haggas Honking Holes, Lost World, Tumu Tumu TOObing, or a glow-worm tour.
Free activities: Walk around Ruakuri Reserve, Waitomo Valley Caves walk.


Day 6

Mourea (via Rotorua) to Lake Aniwhenua

Accommodation: Lakefront lodge.
Optional paid activities: Rotorua: rafting, zorbing, Agroventures, visit Hobbiton. Lake Aniwhenua: traditional fishing, eeling, weaving lessons, cooking classes and kayaking. 1 activity costs $10, activities $15 and 3 activities $20.
Free activities: Kuirau Park Rotorua, relax by Lake Aniwhenua, walks.


Day 7

Lake Aniwhenua to Whakahoro

Accommodation: Country station lodge.
Optional paid activities: Skydiving, bungy, river jet Taupo.
Free activities: Huka falls, Spa Road walk.


Day 8


Accommodation: Waterfront Hostel.
Optional paid activities: Cray fishing or boat fishing.
Free activities: Swimming, Kayaking, snorkelling.


Day 9

Whakahoro to National Park

Accommodation: Beautiful alpine lodge.
Optional paid activities: The Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
Free activities: Taranaki Falls walk, visit the Volcanic Centre, Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s pool).


Day 10

National Park to Wellington

Accommodation: Central city hostel.
Optional paid activities: Check out some of the great cafes and bars.
Free activities: Walk ‘Oriental Parade’, head up Mt Victoria for fantastic views, and visit ‘Te Papa’ – our national museum, gumboot (welly) throwing.


Day 11

Wellington to Marahau (Abel Tasman)

Accommodation: Unique Stray accommodation on the edge of the national park.
Optional paid activities: Wine tasting, skydiving.
Free activities: Walk, mussel tasting around the fire, star-gazing.


Day 12

Marahau (Abel Tasman)

Accommodation: Unique Stray accommodation on the edge of the national park.
Optional paid activities: Full day sailing trip, kayaking, skydiving, water taxi, hang gliding, stand-up paddle boarding, canyoning.
Free activities: Walk in the national park, relax on one of the golden sand beaches, go for a swim!


Day 13

Marahau (Abel Tasman) to Westport

Accommodation: Charming character villa in the centre of town.
Optional paid activities: Surfing, horse riding, jet boating, caving.
Free activities: Westport seal colony, West Coast sunset, Truman Track walk.


Day 14

Westport to Franz Josef

Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest.
Optional paid activities: Bone carving and jade carving.
Free activities: Punakaiki pancake rocks and the mighty blowholes; walk along the beach.


Day 15

Franz Josef

Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest.
Optional paid activities: The ‘Ice Explorer’ Trip – a short heli-hop onto the glacier followed by an educational tour (entry to hot pools included), kayaking, skydiving.
Free activities: Many excellent bush hikes (but we recommend a guided one for safety). Relax in one of NZ’s largest spa pools at your accommodation.


Day 16

Franz Josef to Wanaka

Accommodation: Central hostel.
Optional paid activities: Save some coin today!
Free activities: Mirror Lake walk; Ship Creek walk, Blue Pools walk, Thundercreek Falls walk, explore Wanaka.


Day 17

Wanaka to Queenstown

Accommodation: Central hostel.
Optional paid activities: Puzzle World, skydiving, bungy jumping, pilot your own stunt plane or learn to fly and take a friend for free.
Free activities: Walk Mt Iron, watch people jumping off a bridge!


Day 18


Accommodation: Central hostel.
Optional paid activities: Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jet boating, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding…).
Free activities: Sleep in, great walks; take in beautiful views from this cool resort town.


Day 19

Queenstown to Gunn’s Camp

Accommodation: Historic camp on the edge of the Hollyford Track in the heart of Fiordland National Park.
Optional paid activities: Milford Sound Cruise.
Free activities: Stunning views, Humbolt Falls walk, visit the historic museum or take in the incredible surroundings of a World Heritage National Park at Gunn’s Camp, Chasm walk.


Day 20

Gunn’s Camp to Invercargill/Stewart Island

Accommodation: Central hostel.
Optional paid activities: Ata Whenua – Shadowland, incredible movie of Fiordland National Park, Te Anau Wildlife Centre.
Free activities: Humbolt Falls Walk, Viewing Gantry walk.


Day 21

Invercargill/Stewart Island to Queenstown

Accommodation: Central hostel.
Optional paid activities: Stewart Island: fishing, hire a scooter, go to Ulva Island.
Free activities: Explore the island, amazing birdlife, walks through the native parkland (Stewart Island); visit the start/end point for State Highway 1, sea-lion, penguin, dolphin spotting, find Burt Munro’s World’s Fastest Indian, Bluff Hill walk,  visit Henry the 100 year old Tuatara (Invercargill).


Day 22

Queenstown to Aoraki/Mt Cook

Accommodation: Stunning alpine lodge.
Optional paid activities: Argo tour of Alpine Region, 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 (weather dependent).


Day 23

Mt Cook to Rangitata

*Winter only: We stop longer at Lake Tekapo for ice-skating, snow tubing or a swim in the hot springs.

Accommodation: One of Canterbury’s original sheep stations.
Optional paid activities: Walk through Peel Forest, Rangitata River Rafting (late September – late March only).
Free activities: Take photos of stunning scenery, go for a walk.


Day 24

Rangitata to Kaikoura

Accommodation: Warm modern hostel.
Optional paid activities: Whale watching, swimming with dolphins (pre-booking is advised in summer for dolphin swimming). Go fishing and eat your spoils or try the amazing fresh fish and chips!
Free activities: Walk around the peninsula and up to the lookout.


Day 25

Kaikoura to Wellington

Accommodation: Central Hostel
Optional paid activities: Save some coin today!
Free activities: Seal colony, explore Wellington city, go fishing/mountain biking in Picton.


Day 26

Wellington (via National Park) to Auckland

stray new zealand bus maximus pass north island south island queenstown

Start: Anywhere*
Finish: Where you started
Minimum Days: 27-30
Recommended Days: 30

*This Pass can start or finish anywhere on this route, however most people start/finish in Auckland.


  1. Beautiful Bay of Islands with free snorkelling and glass bottom boat trip (summer-only) en route to Paihia.
  2. Stay at a wilderness lodge in the bush at Raglan – overlooking New Zealand’s premier surf beach.
  3. See glow-worms and do some amazing caving at Waitomo Caves.
  4. Overnight stay on a Marae (Maori meeting house) in Mourea (accommodation, hangi dinner, breakfast and unique cultural experience all for only $80).
  5. Discover history and culture not yet touched by the hand of commercialism at our exclusive stop at Lake Aniwhenua.
  6. Stop in at Rotorua to experience (smell) the geothermal activity and do extreme white water rafting.
  7. Tongariro National Park (home to the ‘Lord of the Rings’ volcanoes and NZ’s best one day walk the ‘Tongariro Alpine Crossing’).
  8. Stay at award-winning conservation stop Blue Duck Station, Whakahoro for wild, wilderness activities!
  9. Wellington – NZ’s capital city, home to our national museum Te Papa and a cool cafe culture.
  10. Overnight stop and a free day in stunning Abel Tasman National Park (walks, sailing and kayaking options).
  11. Experience the remote and rugged West Coast.
  12. Majestic Franz Josef glacier with a free day to hike and explore it.
  13. Spend a few days in Queenstown – the adventure and party capital of NZ!
  14. The stunning fiord of Milford Sound and historic Gunn’s Camp.
  15. Stewart Island’s natural untouched beauty and wildlife or the Catlins wilderness area for sealions and remote scenery.
  16. Visit Kaikoura, for the awe-inspiring whale watching and wildlife spotting.


Most travellers start this pass in Auckland. See the Timetable tab for all other departure days and times.

Auckland Northbound: Mondays, Tuesdays (Summer-only), Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Auckland Southbound: Tuesdays, Wednesday (Summer-only), Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays (Spring-only).

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
PO Box 112 037 60 Walls Road Penrose Auckland 1642 New Zealand

stray new zealand bus pass north island south island queenstown

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