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Home. Our Story

The Stray Story

Where did the ‘Orange story’ begin?

The very first hop-on hop-off Stray travel network was started by a kiwi lad in 1998 over in the UK while on his OE (overseas experience). In 2002 after a few years circling the British Isles and a few lessons learnt along the way, it was time to bring it back to New Zealand where the real adventure was waiting to begin. Stray New Zealand was, and still remains, all about taking adventurous travellers further off the beaten track to gobsmackingly beautiful, remote destinations that we like to call our 'Strademark Places'. When you share these unique adventures with a great group of people from all over the world... well, that is when the real spirit of Stray comes in to play! 

Conquering New Zealand

We managed to carry 10,000 travellers over 1,000,000km around New Zealand not long after our first year. Not too bad for the ‘dark’ days before flash websites, GPS and reliable mobile networks! In the years since, we’ve grown by leaps and bounds, building our own fleet of big orange custom-built buses, moving office locations three times to accommodate growing staff and vehicle needs, and expanding our hop-on, hop-off route to cover all corners of the country.

After 10 years of hop-on, hop-off adventures, it was time to grow our New Zealand offerings and the small group, fixed tours called Stray Journeys launched in 2013.

Painting Asia Pacific orange

While we remain proudly Kiwi owned and operated, the Stray network couldn’t be contained to New Zealand alone. In 2010, Stray made the big leap into Southeast Asia with a hop-on, hop-off network through Thailand and Laos. Since then, we’ve further expanded the Asia network to include Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar. Determined to continue our quest for world domination, Stray joined forces with Australian adventure tour operator Loka (now Stray Australia) to create Asia Pacific’s largest Flexible Adventure Travel Network in 2017. 

Our Awards 

Stray is an award-winning New Zealand tourism company. We're especially proud to have achieved Qualmark Gold which is the highest accolade for quality, sustainably operated tourism operators in New Zealand. Qualmark recognises businesses that are focused on protecting what makes New Zealand unique and special and at Stray, protecting our beautiful natural environment, enhancing local communities and delivering a high quality, safe experience for our passengers are things we feel extremely passionate about!


What makes Stray special?

From our uniquely special ‘Strademark’ stops to our super passionate office staff and Driver Guides, to our mission to make a difference in our local communities, the Stray spirit is all about creating positive change in the world through adventure travel.

Stray's Purpose:

Definition (noun): 'the reason for which something is done or created for which something exists'

Share our world, our people, our places, our culture. Be the energy for positive change.

Stray's Values:

Set down in writing by a dedicated group of staff members, Stray's values are the guiding principles that we live and breathe on a daily basis. Working for and with Stray is more than just a job, it's a way of life!

Read more about what makes Stray tick here: