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"Off The Beaten Track" Destinations

In case you haven’t noticed yet, our mission is to get you off the beaten track in New Zealand.

Our crew have spent years travelling this beautiful country and have found some incredible places – many of which even the locals haven’t heard of! 

Horse Trekking, Blue Duck Station

Blue Duck Station, Whakahoro

Blue Duck Station can be found deep in the remote and rugged Ruapehu District, alongside Whanganui National Park in the North Island. This authentic and exclusive farmstay is one of our favourite off the beaten track destinations and is a Stray Unique Stop. The Stray Bus spends two nights here experiencing how a real New Zealand farm works and breathes.

The station’s core values are based around the conservation of its endangered wildlife, increasing the health of the native bush and rivers, and preserving the history of the area, while educating visitors about the endangered New Zealand species.

The station’s owners are extremely passionate about conservation, including for the Whio – aka the Blue Duck. Stray passsengers can help out with their projects or enjoy your surroundings with some very unique activities which include clay pigeon shooting, hunting, bush walks, jet boating, kayaking and mountain biking.

Learn more about Blue Duck >

Lake Aniwhenua Secret Walk

Lake Aniwhenua

Situated in a region untouched by commercialism and steeped in history and Maori culture, welcome to Lake Aniwhenua in the middle of the North Island. This is another Stray Unique Stop and we stay in a lodge on the edge of the beautiful Lake Aniwhenua. Your hosts here are a local whanau (family) who have lived in the area for generations. Here you'll have the opportunity to take part in their traditions and explore secret local spots. 

Visit the nearby Marae (Maori meeting house) and learn how to do the haka or the poi! Hear stories of how the Maori people arrived by waka (canoe) and lived in this new land and what they hope to achieve for the future. Explore sacred Maori cave art and help prepare local indigenous food; a traditional “hangi” meal cooked under the ground! 

Learn more about Lake Aniwhenua >

Tongariro Crossing

Tongariro National Park

Home to one of the world's top 10 best one-day walks, the epic Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Tongariro National Park was New Zealand’s very first National Park and is a UNESCO Dual-World Heritage Area. Stray stay in an alpine lodge with one of the best views of the nearby mountains and access to the ski fields. >

Raglan Beach


This Unique Stray Stop is for the beach lovers and surfers! New Zealand’s surfing mecca Raglan is known for its famous left-hand break, stunning black sand beaches and its creative arts scene. Our accommodation includes a surf school so you can have a go at surfing, and amazing views to watch the sun go down >

Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park

Stray is the only backpacker bus that stays at The Barn, situated right on the edge of Abel Tasman National Park. This is commonly regarded as one of our passengers’ favourite stops, with access to stunning golden beaches, rainforest, numerous walking tracks and kayaking options >


first sun rise east cape

East Cape

The East Cape is a unique and relatively untouched part of New Zealand, definitely off the beaten track. Enjoy the slower pace of life with gorgeous empty beaches and tiny rural settlements, such as Te Kaha and Tatapouri and get up early to see the first sunrise in the world! Our accommodation is right on the shore.

Check out the East Coaster pass >

Rangitata Cycling Trail

Rangitata, Canterbury

Welcome to “Lord Of The Rings” territory… Rangitata is a hidden gem in the South Island and offers horse trekking and an incredible white-water rafting day trip. >

Gunns Camp

Gunn’s Camp, Fiordland

Welcome to a historic camp set in the spectacular Fiordland National Park. Families used to live in this camp during the 20s/30s, whilst the men were building the road into Milford Sound. These days it is a base for hikers… and a special unique stop for Stray >

Walking in Mt Cook

Mt Cook

Stray are the only backpacker bus to stay at Mt Cook backpackers, underneath New Zealand’s tallest mountain. The Aoraki Mt Cook National Park is a rugged alpine wonderland of magnificent snow peaks and astoundingly clear skies. Biking, walking, four wheel driving, star-gazing and horse trekking are all choices here... >


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