21 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 then the Short Max 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.

With a minimum travel time of 21 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 Hahei

Accommodation: Exclusive Stray accommodation by the waterfront.

Optional paid activities: Kayaking, scuba diving, bike hire, glass bottom boat tour.

Free activities: Walk to Cathedral Cove, watch the sunrise on the beach, go snorkelling in the marine reserve, explore old cultural sites or simply relax on the beach.


Day 2

Hahei to Raglan

Accommodation: An eco-lodge, near the beach set in native bush.

Optional paid activities: Learn to surf, sunset cruise, dine on fresh fish and chips for dinner

Free activities: Walk to the waterfall, bush walk around Mt Karioi, beach walk, glow-worm spotting in the bush, West Coast sunset, Inspiration Point.


Day 3

Raglan (via Waitomo) to Rotorua

Accommodation: Comfortable central city hostel

Optional paid activities: Waitomo ‘must-do’ caving options or a glow-worm tour, Hobbiton, Tamaki Village

Free activities: Walk around Ruakuri Reserve, Waitomo Valley Caves walk


Day 4

Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua

Unique Stray Experience: The Lake Aniwhenua overnight experience is $95, which includes comfortable lodge accommodation, a guided tour to sacred Maori rock carvings, a Marae experience, afternoon tea, delicious ‘Hangi’ dinner and buffet breakfast, participation in an altruistic community program. 

Accommodation: Scenic lakefront lodge, including afternoon tea, a Hangi dinner and breakfast
Optional paid activities: Night eeling, flax weaving


Day 5

Lake Aniwhenua to Whakahoro

Accommodation: Country station lodge.

Optional paid activities: Taupo: skydiving, bungy.

Free activities: Huka Falls, Spa Road walk.


Day 6


Accommodation: Country station lodge.

Optional paid activities: An eco-warrior 4WD tour, a one day horse trek, clay bird shooting, kayaking, jet boating, pest control.

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


Day 7

Whakahoro to National Park

Accommodation: Alpine lodge.

Optional paid activities: The Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

Free activities: Taranaki Falls walk, visit the Volcanic Centre, Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s pool).


Day 8

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, visit Te Papa National Museum, gumboot (welly) throwing.


Day 9

Wellington to Marahau (Abel Tasman)

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

Optional paid activities: Wine tasting, skydiving.

Free activities: Walks, mussel tasting around the fire, stargazing.


Day 10

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, stand-up paddle boarding, canyoning, hang gliding, scenic microlight flight.

Free activities: Walk in the national park, relax on one of the golden sand beaches, go for a swim.


Day 11

Marahau (Abel Tasman) to Westport

Accommodation: Charming character villa in the centre of town.

Optional paid activities: Surfing, caving, craft brewery tour.

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


Day 12

Westport to Franz Josef

Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest.

Optional activities: Save some coin today!

Free activities: Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and the mighty blowholes, walk along the beach.


Day 13

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 14

Franz Josef to Wanaka

Accommodation: Central Wanaka hostel.

Optional paid activities: Save some coin today!

Free activities: Lake Matheson walk, Ship Creek walk, Blue Pools walk, Thundercreek Falls walk, explore Wanaka.


Day 15

Wanaka to Queenstown

Accommodation: Central hostel close to all the action.

Optional paid activities: Puzzling World, skydiving, bungy jumping, mountain biking, 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 16


Accommodation: Central hostel close to all the action.

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 17

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 18

Mt Cook to Christchurch

Accommodation: Purpose built backpackers near the city centre.
Optional paid activities: Rangitata River rafting (late September – late March only).
Free activities: Take photos of stunning scenery, go for a walk around central Christchurch.


Day 19

Christchurch to Nelson

Accommodation: Comfortable hostel in the heart of sunny Nelson.
Optional paid activities: Sample local wines and craft beers.
Free activities: Centre of New Zealand walk on Botanical Hill.


Day 20

Nelson (via Picton) to Wellington

Accommodation: Central Wellington hostel or cosy villa in Picton.
Optional paid activities: Save some coin today!
Free activities: Explore Wellington city, go fishing/mountain biking in Picton.


Day 21

Wellington (via Taupo) to Auckland

stray new zealand hop on hop off bus pass shot max auckland christchurch

Start: Anywhere*
Finish: Where you started

Minimum Days: 21-24

Recommended: 4+ weeks

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


  1. Stay at a wilderness lodge in the bush at Raglan – overlooking New Zealand’s premier surf beach.
  2. See glow-worms and do some amazing caving at Waitomo Caves.
  3. Overnight stay on a Marae (Maori meeting house) in Mourea (accommodation, hangi dinner, breakfast and unique cultural experience all for only $80).
  4. Discover history and culture not yet touched by the hand of commercialism at our exclusive stop at Lake Aniwhenua.
  5. Stop in at Rotorua to experience (smell) the geothermal activity and do extreme white water rafting.
  6. Tongariro National Park (home to the ‘Lord of the Rings’ volcanoes and NZ’s best one day walk the ‘Tongariro Alpine Crossing’).
  7. Stay at award-winning conservation stop Whakahoro for wild, wilderness activities!
  8. Wellington – NZ’s capital city, home to our national museum Te Papa.
  9. Unique overnight and a free day in Abel Tasman National Park (walks, sailing and kayaking options in this stunning area).
  10. Experience the remote and rugged West Coast.
  11. Majestic Franz Josef glacier with a free day to hike and explore it.
  12. Spend a few days in Queenstown – the adventure and party capital of NZ!
  13. Stay at base of NZ’s highest mountain Aoraki/Mt Cook.
  14. High country sheep station in Lord of the Rings scenery at Rangitata
  15. 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 hop on hop off bus pass

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