Every day we aim to Make a Difference!
Whether it's big or small, we do right by our customers, our team, our community and our environment.
We want all customers to have an amazing experience in New Zealand. We know that part of that is playing our part in protecting our beautiful, unique environment for future generations. It's also about supporting the local people in the communities we visit, and aiming to become a truely environmentally sustainable company.
We also seek to inspire the Eco-Warrior in each and every one of our passengers to make a difference as they travel in New Zealand and all over the world.
Because of our efforts we were proud to be the first backpacker bus company in our market be to awarded the prestigious environmental Qualmark Enviro Gold Award (NZ Tourism's official mark of quality).
We continue to strive to Make a Difference in the following ways...
Lake Aniwhenua Community Programme
The closest town to Lake Aniwhenua is Murupara, one of the poorest towns in New Zealand. Stray stays at Kohutapu Lodge and our hosts there are real visionaries who understand the positive impact tourism can have on a struggling community. We've teamed up to provide food parcels to the local school and Stray travellers spend time in the classroom with the children to help expand their thinking beyond the confines of Murupara.
We have delivered more than 20,000 hangi meals to the Murupara community!
Blue Duck Conservation Programme
As you arrive at Blue Duck Station the education begins! Passionate staff explain the conservation efforts in place to save the native and endangered Whio (Blue Duck). Stray sponsor 10 traps to catch rats, ferrets and other pests that eat Blue Duck eggs or kill chicks. Stray passengers can get off the bus here and time as Blue Duck "Eco-warriors", getting involved in conservation projects. If you spot a Blue Duck at Blue Duck Station, this means we are doing a good job of protecting them!
Stray's 10 sponsored traps have trapped over 200 pests that kill native birds!
World Oceans Day - Beach Clean Up
Stray celebrated World Oceans Day on 8 June with our first ever company-wide beach clean up initiative. Our awesome Stray passengers and their dedicated guides collected rubbish from beaches and waterways across New Zealand, Laos and Australia. Our HQ staff also previously worked with Sustainable Coastlines as part of their 'Love Your Coast' Manukau Harbour Clean-Up in Auckland. Read more >
Plastic, even in tiny amounts is harmful for the ocean, so we encourage everyone to #take3forthesea whenever they visit the beach, as well as practice the 3 R's (Reduce, Reuse & Recycle) to prevent plastic pollution to begin with.
Stray removed 5 bags of rubbish from Hahei Beach on World Oceans Day!
Native Tree Planting
Planting native trees has been an ongoing initiative at Stray for many years. In 2013 Stray passengers planted nearly 2000 trees near Abel Tasman National Park. This newly forested area is now seeing the return of native birds to the area. In 2016 Stray staff planted over 500 new Manuka and Kanuka trees (the trees that allow the bees produce Manuka honey!) in one day at Atiu Creek Regional Park! With our sister company, Spaceships, we've contributed to 50,000 new native trees in Children's Bay, Akaroa. Read more >
We've planted over 52,500 trees and counting!
Eat My Lunch - Community Programme
Eat My Lunch is a charity in New Zealand that aims to ensure no child at school goes without lunch. Stray first got involved by getting together to all order Eat My Lunch, by purchasing our lunches, the charity would also provide lunches for kids in need. We thought it was such a great concept that we took it one step further and our staff volunteered at Eat My Lunch making the lunches! Read more >
Our team made 1,400 lunches for kids in need!
Sky Tower Stair Challenge for charity
We put our fittest team members forward for one of our toughest challenges yet - climbing the 1,103 stairs of the Auckland Sky Tower for a very important cause; to raise money for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer NZ and for the six New Zealanders every day that are diagnosed blood related cancers. The fundraising target was $5,000 but the whole office, industry partners, friends and family rallied behind the Stray team and we raised a whopping $8,082! That placed Stray in the top 10 highest fundraising teams in New Zealand! Read more >
We raised $8,082 for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand!
Driver Sustainability Education Programme
We provide all of our drivers with Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving training (SAFED). We have fuel monitoring systems and special training programmes so our drivers consciously try to drive in a way that reduces fuel consumption. We also train our road crew to promote recycling and to educate the passengers on important things like reducing single use plastic; saying 'No' to plastic bags, refilling water bottles with New Zealand's clean, pure water straight out of the tap, and using keep-cups for coffee.
We've reduced our fuel consumption by approximately 5-6% since introducing SAFED training!
Fleet Replacement Programme
In the last 2 years we've replaced 10 of our buses with brand new buses and we'll continue to replace old models as newer buses produce less carbon emissions.
10 Brand new buses in the last 2 years!
Reducing Carbon Emissions
We like to keep this country as clean and green as possible, and one of the ways we do this is by actively seeking to reduce our carbon emissions by scaling our bus fleet to meet passenger demand. In winter we may not have as many passengers on our tours, so we use our smaller coaches to keep carbon emissions down.
We've reduced our carbon emissions by 43 dairy cows! Our annual carbon emissions are now equivalent to 397 dairy cows.
Donating to Great Causes
We show our support to some great New Zealand causes by donating money or Stray passes to be raffled or auctioned. We've been proud to support Friends of the Whanganui River, Heart Kids NZ, NZ Special Needs Children's Party, Brain Injured Children's Trust, Autism Special Needs Children's Party and Dry July supporting Cancer Charities. We've also run a special Stray trip for the children of Murupara to explore the North Island and to visit parliament in Wellington. We also like to donate our time to worthy causes and volunteer with local charities. This year we worked with the Auckland City Mission to sort through clothes donations and pack emergency food parcels.
We've supported 100's of local kids in New Zealand - the next Stray Generation!
Love Notes - Recycled Paper Programme
We try to save the trees by reducing our printing in the office whenever possible, however sometimes it's a necessary evil, so we make sure we turn it into something good! We save all of our one sided paper print outs, and then we send them to Love Notes, where they are transformed into these awesome little notebooks for our staff to use!
We've produced 85 Love Notes note books so far!
Alternative Fuel Options
Back in the day Stray was the first commercial operator to commission a bus that ran on vegetable oil. While it was a cool idea in theory the practicalities meant we couldn’t maintain Hot Chips on our national circuit. Our heart was in the right place. RIP Hot Chips. Next up will be electric buses, we are just waiting on Elon Musk to build us some ;)
Stray was the first commercial operator to run a bus on vegetable oil!
At Stray we like to keep up with the latest technology and we're particularly interested in the work being done overseas in the advancement of electric buses! We'd love to be able to get some of these on our fleet and we're currently in discussions with suppliers in Australia.
While we have reduced our carbon emissions significantly, our vision is to one day be completely carbon neutral. We work with a farm in Akaroa (near Christchurch) that plants trees to offset carbon emissions.