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Haast - Summer

The Haast tour is named after Julius Von Haast, a German geologist who helped chart various regions of the South Island. He has a mountain pass named after him as well as the world’s largest eagle (now sadly extinct) not to mention three small settlements in the South West corner of the West Coast.  Make your mark on the South Island like Haast. Heading south from Christchurch you'll discover the West Coast taking in glaciers, lakes, snowcapped peaks and Fiordland before looping back up through central Otago's gold mining country towards Christchurch.

Summer Tour Inclusions

  • Experienced tour guide
  • 8 nights' accommodation
  • Meals: 8 breakfasts, 4 dinners
  • Top rated activities 

Tour Activities:

  • Visit a Pounamu jade factory in Hokitika.
  • See the mighty Franz Josef Glacier (optional Glacier Ice Explorer or helicopter flight available at your own expense).
  • Walk around the mirror-like Lake Matheson.
  • Admire the stunning colours of the Blue Pools in Makarora.
  • Thrilling Jet Boat Ride in the Mt Aspiring National Park.
  • Journey through stunning ice-carved fiords, valleys, lakes and mountain scenery in the Fiordland National Park.
  • Overnight cruise on the Doubtful Sound, surrounded by towering peaks and huge waterfalls. Enjoy complimentary afternoon tea while cruising past fur seals, penguins and dolphins.
  • Go sea kayaking in Doubtful Sound.
  • Spend two full days in Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand! 
  • Go mountain biking on the Central Otago Rail Trail.
  • Stay in a fully restored historic hotel in an old gold mining village.
  • See the fascinating Moeraki Boulders.
  • Bus tour of the city sights of Christchurch.

What To Bring

Sturdy walking shoes (ankle high), swimming gear, hat and sunscreen, motion sickness tablets, water bottle, towel and toiletries, warm clothing and waterproof jacket, insect repellent, camera.

Please note:

  • Stray Journey Summer itineraries are October – April. Stray Journeys Winter tours operate from May - September and follow a different itinerary from the Summer tour. View the Haast Winter Journey.
  • All rates are in NZD, per person, and are subject to change. 
  • A 15% discount off these rates is available for children aged 12 and under. 

Haast - Summer



Summer Departures: 13 October 2016 - 11 May 2017

Departs from: Christchurch International Airport.
Day: Thursdays
Time: 9am 

Full departures: 

  • April 20 2017
  • May 4 2017

You can select your departure date and check availability at checkout. 

If you're interested in travelling in the winter season between May - September click here.

Journey: start Christchurch to Franz Josef

Nau mai, haere mai (welcome)!  Your journey kicks off when we depart Christchurch in the morning for a stunning journey across the Canterbury Plains and over the famous Arthur’s Pass to the West Coast. Around almost every corner there is a picturesque backdrop to enjoy so have your camera ready as we stop often for walks and photo opportunities. We visit Hokitika, famous for pounamu (jade), before our day ends in the quaint little West Coast town of Franz Josef, home to Franz Josef Glacier. Includes dinner

INCLUDED: Hostel close to all attractions

INCLUDED: Pounamu jade factory

Enjoy a free day and get out and explore the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. Navigate the maze of ice and explore the incredible landscape on a guided glacier tour, which we highly recommend (own expense). There are also many excellent bush hikes available in the region. Tonight you self-cater, giving you the opportunity to dine at one of the many local cafes and restaurants in town or make use of the self-catering kitchen at our accommodation. Includes breakfast

INCLUDED: Hostel close to all attractions

OPTIONAL: Glacier Ice Explorer, helicopter flight

Today we head down the West Coast towards Mount Aspiring National Park, stopping to take in some breathtaking scenery at the amazing mirror Lake Matheson, NZ’s most photographed lake.  See waterfalls as we travel through the mountainous Haast Pass towards Makarora then visit the stunning Blue Pools.  On arrival in Mount Aspiring National Park we go jet boating, experience the best in shallow water boating skimming just inches from the riverbed, see pristine waterways, snow-capped peaks and native bush. Includes breakfast and dinner

INCLUDED: Unique mountain chalets

INCLUDED: Walk around Lake Matheson - Mirror Lake, walk through beech forest to the Blue Pools, jet boat in Mt Aspiring National Park

Fiordland National Park is one of New Zealand’s most beautiful locations, with stunning ice-carved fiords, valleys, lakes and mountain scenery; it is our first port of call today. Within Fiordland we visit Doubtful Sound, the deepest of all the fiords, surrounded by towering peaks and huge waterfalls. We will board a purpose built boat and enjoy complimentary afternoon tea while cruising past fur seals, penguins and dolphins. There are also sea kayaks to explore the fiord. Includes breakfast and dinner

INCLUDED: Overnight on the boat, anchored within a secluded bay in a UNESCO World Heritage Site

INCLUDED: Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise, sea kayaking, wildlife spotting

We depart Doubtful Sound around midday, leaving behind the stunning Fiordland to head for the ‘adventure capital of the world’ Queenstown. Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge) night out with excellent restaurants, pubs and live music. Includes breakfast

INCLUDED: Lodge located close to town with awesome views

You have two free days to fully explore everything on offer. Queenstown is a great place to spend a few days, no matter what your past-time of choice is. Options include: bungy jumping, zipline tours, canyoning, Shotover River jet boating, skiing, sky diving or walk Ben Lomond or Queenstown hill for amazing views, or just enjoy the stunning scenery and do nothing. Optional activities and meals not indicated are at your own expense. Includes breakfast

INCLUDED: Lodge located close to town with awesome views

OPTIONAL: Any adventure activity you can imagine!

Leaving Queenstown behind, we’ll jump back on the bus to head for the historic town of Naseby.  Located in a shallow valley in the foothills of the Mt Ida Range, Naseby is a unique gold mining village just minutes from the Central Otago Rail Trail. Arriving by midday, there is time to ride our favourite part of the Central Otago Rail Trail in the afternoon. It’s an ideal activity for riders of all abilities and the best way to soak up the incredible scenery of the area. Includes breakfast and dinner 

INCLUDED: Fully restored historic hotel

INCLUDED: Mountain bike Otago Rail Trail

From Central Otago we head back to the Pacific coast, where we’ll turn to head north on a scenic coastal drive towards Christchurch. Stop along the way to see the fascinating Moeraki Boulders and the town of Oamaru before arriving in Christchurch in the afternoon. There is an option to stay with your group for a tour of the city’s highlights with your driver guide. We hope you had a blast on your New Zealand journey! Includes breakfast

OPTIONAL INCLUSION: Guided city sights tour

Haast - Summer



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Haast - Summer



We've chosen high quality backpacker accommodation in a variety of hostels, wilderness lodges, cabins and historic hotels.  Quad-share accommodation is included with your tour. You can choose to upgrade your accommodation to a single or twin/double private room (subject to availability). 

  • Single Room: +$485
  • Double/Twin Room: +$160 per person 

To request an accommodation upgrade, please email us ( to book. 


Please note: 

Twin/Double upgrades are based on two people sharing and can only be booked if you are travelling with a companion.  

Please note that at some destinations your private room will include an ensuite bathroom and some it won't.

The standard accommodation on the Doubtful Sound Cruise is quad-share and upgrades are limited.  If available you can upgrade on arrival and pay direct to the operator.  

Haast south island nz stray journeys tour RC16

How It Works

Stray Journeys are small group tours based on a fixed itinerary where you stay with the same guide and group of travellers. 

Think of it as a road trip experience, where your guide takes you on a once-of-a-lifetime journey, with plenty of awesome stops along the way showing you the real New Zealand!

What's included? 

  • Bus transport around the South Island
  • Local knowledge, entertaining commentary and bookings service from your tour guide
  • All accommodation, quad-share (summer) or dorm-share (winter) (upgrades available)
  • Some meals and a selection of activities (as indicated on each tour's itinerary)
  • Special deals on activities

What's not included?

Any additional activities not specified as included on the itinerary. These can be booked via your guide, often at an exclusive Stray special price!

If you would prefer to buy a bus pass only and pay-as-you-go for accommodation and activities, check out our Hop-on Hop-off passes