8 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 looking to take in the best of the South Island then the Short Q Pass with Stray New Zealand is for you!

This epic hop on, hop off bus pass takes in heaps of what the South Island has to off, including Franz Josef (for the famous glacier hike) and the backpacker adrenaline capital of Queenstown!

With a minimum travel time of 8 days and a maximum travel time of 12 months you can tailor it to suit your own time scale and travel plans.

Loving Queenstown? Extend your stop off!

Fancy fitting in a skydive and glacier hike at Franz Josef? Go for it!

Stray New Zealand also includes heap of awesome free activities en route too – such as 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 Zealands South Island has to offer!

Additional information

Recommended Travel Time2 Weeks +

Day 1

Christchurch to Franz Josef (via Greymouth)

Please note: The first sector of this day is not on the Stray bus so please call the Stray office at least 48 hours before departure to confirm pick up details.

You will be picked up by Atomic Shuttle* bus at 8:15am (please be waiting at 8:00am) from the Christchurch Bus Exchange at 72 Lichfield Street. This service heads over the stunning Arthur’s Pass to Greymouth where you have a half hour stop before you meet the Stray bus outside the train station at 1.00pm and head to the quaint little West Coast town of Franz Josef, home to the mighty Franz Josef Glacier.

* The Atomic Shuttle is included in your pass with connections to Greymouth available 7 days a week. However, the Stray buses from Greymouth to Franz Josef only operate on certain days of the week (depending on the season). Check the current timetable for connection days.

*If you upgrade to the TranzAlpine rail option, please make your own way to the Christchurch Railway Station, Troup Drive, Addington. The train departs at 8.15am (be at the Railway Station 30mins prior to departure). You will meet the Stray bus outside the train station at 1.00pm.

Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest.

Optional paid activities: TranzAlpine train.

Free activities: Chill out in the spa pool at your accommodation.


Day 2

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 3

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 4

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 5


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 6

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 7

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.

stray new zealand short q pass south island hop on hop off bus kiwi backpacker

Start: Christchurch*

Finish: Christchurch*

Minimum Days: 8-10

Recommended: 2+ weeks

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


  1. Majestic Franz Josef glacier with a free day to hike and explore it.
  2. Spend a few days in Queenstown – the adventure and party capital of NZ!
  3. Stay at base of NZ’s highest mountain Aoraki/Mt Cook

Christchurch to Greymouth Sector

This pass includes a public bus service from Christchurch to Greymouth, where you will meet the Stray bus. We need at least 48 hours’ notice to organise this sector – we will email you special instructions regarding this.

There is an upgrade available to travel on the famous Tranzalpine train journey, available for $99. Just let our reservations team know after booking and we will be happy to arrange this on your behalf. (NB. Train is subject to availability and we require at least 3 days’ notice.)

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

stray new zealand hop on hop off bus pass kiwi backpacker

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