How it works
Stray is a nationwide, guided hop-on hop-off bus network. Our passes are totally flexible so you can jump on or off the bus anywhere you want along the way – to stay longer, visit friends or even work for a while.
If you are short on time you can also use the Stray bus like a tour and complete your pass in minimum days and still enjoy outstanding locations and unique attractions around New Zealand. You can relax while your driver books your activities and accommodation for you, or be independent and do your thing.
YOU NEED TO KNOW
+ What's included? Land transport around New Zealand, guidance and commentary from your driver/guide (they book your accommodation and activities), access to special deals, access to our expert local knowledge on the best things to do on and off the beaten track!
+ Where can I hop on and off? You can get on and off the Stray bus anywhere on the route, as often as you like, so long as you verify your trip changes online or with our reservations team. You can't hop off the bus on non-Stray run sectors i.e. Paihia - Cape Reinga - Paihia, and Christchurch - Greymouth sector. Overnight destinations are shown as a white dot on our maps (with the name in capitals), whereas places of interest or activity stops are normally in an orange colour. You need to update your plans on our online booking system or by contacting our reservations team after any changes, to ensure that your seat is confirmed.
+ How long is my pass valid? All passes are valid for 12 months and with unlimited travel can be used as many times as you like, travelling in one direction around New Zealand (see fine print for conditions).
+ Is accommodation included? We organise beds in our night stopovers and guarantee you accommodation for the minimum travel days in each place - even in peak season (which can be invaluable). We give you a choice where we can - there is always an option at backpacker hostel rates (about NZ$28 per night), and usually twin and double options to hotel standards from about NZ$75 per couple. You simply pay for your accommodation as you go.
Note: our cultural overnight is an exception with an all-inclusive price of NZ$80 for bed, hangi meal, breakfast and cultural show. This is a unique opportunity to sleep in a marae (meeting house).
+ Where do we stay? Accommodation ranges from backpacker hostels (VIP, BBH, Nomads, YHA), to wilderness lodges, to cabins in amazing off the beaten track locations. For a list of Stray's accommodation please click here. Your driver will book your accommodation for you.
+ What do we eat? You can self cater (we make supermarket stops) but there are cheap meals (often with local specialties), available at all stops – there is always a vegetarian option.
+ What activities do we do? Your driver gives you guidance and information about the local culture, history and wildlife of each location, and each day will try to offer a number of activities for you to choose from with free or paid options. For a list of Stray's main activities and deals click here.
+ How many people will be on the bus? Our average group size is 30 (20 in winter)- so you don't feel herded around; we can offer more activity and accommodation options, plus we can get you to the off the beaten track places!
+ Are we travelling every day? We include free days (non-travel days) in key locations i.e. Abel Tasman National Park, Franz Josef Glacier and Queenstown so even if you’re on minimum time you’ll be able to do activities and explore each of these areas. We guarantee your accommodation for two nights in each of these locations.
+ Who travels on Stray? Our trips are active. If walks and wildlife aren’t your thing – don’t travel with us. If they are, bring some good walking shoes and a daypack. Don’t worry about not being fit enough, we cater to all fitness levels and all activities are optional. We believe a few drinks at the end of a day full of adventure always taste the best! Most Stray travellers are between 20 and 30 but we get younger and much older too! If you're keen to meet other active travellers, push your limits and get involved in the local culture, then jump on board!
+ How do I book on and off a bus? You can book back on a bus online via the ‘Login’ button located in the main menu of this website. In peak season (especially January and February) we recommend to book your seats at least a few days in advance to avoid disappointment.