Jerry is perfect for you if you want to get off the beaten track in the central North Island and immerse yourself in New Zealand culture. You'll travel north of Auckland to experience the sub-tropical Bay of Islands before heading south to the beautiful beaches of the Coromandel. See natural geothermal wonders and get the adrenaline pumping with adventure activities in Rotorua and add on the Beach Hopper for even more action!
Add on the Beach Hopper
- Stay at an eco-lodge, built in native bush in Raglan – overlooking New Zealand’s black sand, premier surf beach.
- Explore an underground cave network at Waitomo Caves
- Visit Mount Maunganui, a local favourite holiday spot with an expansive white sand beach, hip cafes and boutique shops.
This section of the pass must be travelled between 5 October 2018 - 29 April 2019. The rest of the pass is valid for a year.
Select Upgrade: "+ Beach Hopper" from the Options.
We recommend at least 2 weeks to get the most out of your trip and to allow some time to hop-off and explore your favourite destinations for longer.
Scroll through the gallery below to see the kinds of the things you'll get up to on the Jerry pass.
Our mission is to get you off the beaten track amongst authentic local culture and our experienced crew has chosen some incredible destinations so you can see more and do more! 'Strademark' Places are the places you're less likely to find in the guide book but the ones you'll be talking about long after the adventure has ended.
- Only Stray stay at Hahei beach, an idyllic spot in the Coromandel, within walking distance to Cathedral Cove.
- Stay at an eco-lodge, built in native bush in Raglan – overlooking New Zealand’s black sand, premier surf beach (included when you add on the Beach Hopper).
"Even though I was only in New Zealand for a week, your tour was exactly what I wanted. The driver was amazingly helpful and knowledgeable. The travellers were friendly. I will be back on a Stray bus again! :)"
- Bus transport – Travel on our comfortable private buses.
- Driver-guide - Far more than just a driver, Stray Driver Guides are invaluable sources of local knowledge and assist with booking activities and accommodation on your behalf.
- Reserved Accommodation – Have a bed reserved for you at every Stray overnight stop. Book via the Stray Mate app.
Not included: The cost of your accommodation and activities is not included in a hop-on hop-off pass. You have the flexibility to choose what suits your budget and pay-as-you-go. These can be booked via the Stray Mate app, often at an exclusive Stray price!
If you would prefer a tour with accommodation and activities included, check out our Stray Journeys tours.
Get inspired and start planning your trip!
Get your trip off to a hassle free start with 2 nights’ accommodation at Nomad's Auckland close to the departure location.
Short on cash but don't want to miss out?
Deposit option available. Hit BOOK YOUR TRAVEL below and select from the payment options at checkout. Find out more.
Given the spontaneous nature of our trips and lack of control over New Zealand's weather(!), what we do each day might occasionally vary.
NB. The cost of accommodation is not included in your travel pass but under each day we have described our recommended accommodation, along with some free and paid activity suggestions.
*The Rotorua to Auckland section of this pass is operated by a third-party bus company. Please confirm your booking with our reservations team 24 hours before to secure your seat.
*The Beach Hopper section of this pass is an optional upgrade. To upgrade select "+ Beach Hopper" from the Options. This section of the pass must be travelled between 5 October 2018 - 29 April 2019. The rest of the pass is valid for a year.
Nau mai, haere mai (welcome)! Your Stray adventure kicks off in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. We depart for the beautiful Bay of Islands, bound for the relaxed seaside town of Paihia often called the ‘gateway to the Bay.’ We stop en-route to visit the Parry Kauri Forest Park and hug some of the world’s mightiest trees, the native kauri, on our way to Paihia.
Enjoy a sleep in and spend the morning at your leisure. There’s time to do the fantastic half-day Hole in the Rock dolphin cruise around the Bay in the morning, or take this opportunity to walk to the nearby Haruru Falls or just hang out on the beach. Mid-afternoon we jump back on board the Stray bus, destined for the bright lights of Auckland, where there are still plenty of exciting activities to do if you have a free day or two.
We depart Auckland and head south, travelling to the Coromandel Peninsula via the old colonial town of Thames. Renowned for its natural beauty and pristine swimming beaches, the Coromandel Peninsula has plenty to offer the active traveller, but is also a great place to kick back and relax in a pretty coastal setting. On arrival into Hahei, a small beachside village, we’ll get settled into our accommodation before heading over to Hot Water Beach (tidal dependent). This is an absolute ‘must do’ experience where you can dig your own natural spa bath in the sand and soak up the Coromandel surrounds. Tonight you have the option to join a group dinner for a classic Kiwi BBQ.
Today you have a full free day to embrace the laid back lifestyle that makes this area such a popular NZ holiday destination. Make the most of this special place by taking a scenic walk or kayak to the nearby Cathedral Cove, a paradise-like beach that you might recognize from one of the Narnia films. If you prefer water sports, the coast off Hahei is part of the protected Te-Whanganui-a-Hei Marine Reserve, which is a prime place to take a guided coastal boat tour or fully immerse yourself with a snorkelling excursion.
We leave Hahei early travelling through to Paeroa, home of New Zealand’s oldest and largest soft drinks company – L&P, where we’ll stop for breakfast. Our drive today will take us through the Waikato region, known for its many dairy farms, rolling hills and the mighty Waikato River (the largest river in New Zealand). This afternoon you’ll have free time to explore the sights and smells of Rotorua.
Departing early from Rotorua, our first stop of the day is Waitomo, where the main attraction is underground! Don’t miss out on the opportunity for some seriously cool caving adventures. You choose your pace, from a serene boat journey to check out thousands of glowworms, to adrenalin fuelled abseiling, blackwater rafting, and ziplining through the cave network. If you’d rather stay above ground, you can stroll the scenic 45 minute Ruakuri Bush Walk, through native forest to a large cave.
Next, we will set off on a little adventure to Bridal Veil Falls, where a short walk through beautiful native bush leads to the impressive 55m cascading waterfall, before arriving at our overnight accommodation in Raglan. Watch the sunset, or join the yoga or Zumba class at the aptly named Inspiration Point. Then spend your evening chilling around the fire, enjoying the hostel sauna or searching for glowworms in the nearby bush.
There’s no better place to learn to surf than Raglan’s legendary left-hand surf break, so we recommend making the most of your opportunity to take a class this morning! If surfing isn’t for you, then you can cheer your mates on from the beach or head into town and check out what this rad little surfer’s paradise has to offer. Around midday, the surfers will head to town to grab a bite and meet up with the rest of the group.
From here we begin our journey to Mount Maunganui, located in the magnificent Bay of Plenty region. Along the way we make a couple of stops to admire the scenery. First we observe the Waikato landscape at the Kaimai Mamaku lookout, followed by a longer pit stop at McLaren Falls park, where you can explore the rockpools and spectacular waterfalls. Arriving at “The Mount”, you will have the afternoon free to relax, explore the local area, and try a New Zealand delicacy - local fish and chips on the beach. Make sure to soak up the laid-back, surfer vibes downtown this evening or just kick back on the beach under the stars.
Get ready for an action-packed day! Seize the morning with a sunrise hike up Mount Maunganui where you’ll be able to see the entire Western Bay of Plenty and admire the white sand coastline. Those who struggle to get up before the sun can rise a little later to enjoy a scenic hop-on hop-off cruise to the secluded Matakana Island. For a more hair-raising wake up, book in a morning sky dive in Tauranga.
We’ll re-join forces and hop on the bus to Rotorua around midday, stopping to enjoy some epic sights along the way – including the stunning Okere Falls and the striking Lake Tikitapu (known by the locals as Blue Lake). You’ll be able to snap some Insta-worthy photos from the viewpoints, get up close and personal with nature.
Often labelled the adventure capital of the North Island, you have a full free day in Rotorua to discover an area rich in Maori heritage, adventure activities and bubbling geothermal wonders. There are plenty of exciting local activities to get the adrenaline pumping, such as whitewater rafting, ziplining through native bush, zorbing or a truly unique guided jet boat adventure up to bath in a hot waterfall. The choice is yours!
Today is an express day back to the ‘City of Sails’ via an intercity bus. N.B Please confirm your bus booking with reservations 24 hours before as this part of the journey is not operated by Stray. With an early evening arrival into Auckland, there’s still time to wander the streets of Auckland, visit the Viaduct, do some souvenir shopping or hang out with new friends and share stories about your recent adventures. If you are hanging around Auckland for another day or two, don’t miss your chance to jump off the Harbour Bridge or Sky Tower, skydive, or take a wildlife cruise around the Hauraki Gulf. We hope you had a blast on your Stray adventure!
The days and times shown below are for the current season. For future seasons, please refer to our Bus Timetables page.
Timetables are subject to change but our team will email you if this happens whilst you are travelling. Your online booking account will also show confirmed departure times.
Auckland to Paihia
|Whangarei - Info Centre (Depart)||11:00||11:00||11:00||11:00||11:00|
Paihia to Auckland
|Whangarei - Info Centre (Depart)||15:00||15:00||15:00||15:00||15:00|
Auckland to Hahei
|Hahei (Non-Travel Day)||Free||Free||Free||Free||Free||Free||Free|
Hahei to Rotorua
Rotorua (via Waitomo) to Raglan (*Beach Hopper)
Raglan to Mt Maunganui (*Beach Hopper)
|Raglan - Karioi Lodge (Depart)||10:00||10:00|
|Raglan - Fire Station (Depart)||12:00||12:00|
|Mount Maunganui (Arrive)||16:30||16:30|
Mt Maunganui to Rotorua (*Beach Hopper)
|Mount Maunganui (Depart)||12:00||12:00|
|Rotorua (Non-Travel Day)||Free||Free||Free||Free||Free||Free||Free|
How It Works
Stray's operates a private transport network using comfortable air conditioned 24 - 48 seater buses. The buses are driven by qualified, knowledgeable Driver Guides who will lead you on a true adventure around our carefully thought out route, offering the mix of iconic 'hot spots' and super special 'off the beaten track' destinations we refer to as STRADEMARK places.
Best of all you have total freedom to hop on and off the bus at destinations along the way so you can spend more time in the places you love.
How do you hop on and off the bus?
‘Hop off’ the bus anywhere along the route, even places in between the designated stops. Either plan to hop off in advance or do it spur of the moment – it’s up to you!
To hop back on, simply book your next travel date and pickup location through Stray Mate, your online Trip Manager (you'll receive log in info after you've booked).
The buses run on a regular timetable with multiple departures a week so you can plan ahead too.
Your pass is valid for up to 12 months from your first day of travel, meaning you can hop on and off as often as you like for up to a year!
Short on time?
What about accommodation?
At all of Stray's overnight stops along the route, you'll have a dorm bed reserved at our preferred accommodation. Simply book via the Stray Mate app. Its that easy.If you choose to hop-off and stay a few nights, you can book those extra nights in via the app too.
What activities can I do?There are over 150+ activities on offer! Whether you are a hiker, a biker, a Lord of the Rings fan or an adrenaline junkie you can start getting inspired by checking out our comprehensive Destination Guides.
Who travels with Stray?
Our travellers are an energetic outgoing crowd who share a common objective: to have a great time! Most are aged between 18 - 30 although we have no maximum age because we believe age doesn't matter - it's more about having a thirst for adventure! We get a wide range of nationalities from all over the world with the majority from UK, Europe and America. 75% of our travellers are travelling solo and some travel as part of a couple or group of friends.