Stray bus south island
Home. Bus Passes » Peter Pass

Peter Pass

Travel from Auckland to Wellington whilst seeing everything worthwhile in between! You'll immerse yourself in local Maori culture at our exclusive overnight stops, get well off the beaten track at an award-winning conservation country station and hike the volcanic Tongariro Alpine Crossing (New Zealand's best one-day walk).

Planning to travel after 1 October 2018? Click here to view our new season Short Jill itinerary.


Peter - Highlights

Scroll through the gallery below to see the kinds of the things you'll get up to! 


STRADEMARK PLACES 

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.
  • Spend two nights at Blue Duck Station, an award-winning conservation farm and get hands-on with some wilderness activities!
  • Discover history and culture not yet touched by the hand of commercialism at Lake Aniwhenua - it's also your chance to try a traditionally cooked hangi dinner.

"Those 6 weeks were some of the best of my life, I regret not doing the entire country with Stray. The drivers: are absolutely amazing, they put in 110%. I was blown away by the professionalism! The Strademark locations really felt like they were special. There was no pressure to book things.  Every activity I booked with Stray was amazing, cathedral cove kayaks was awesome, I think you guys have organised really great partners to book with!"
Lachlan, January 2018
Read more reviews on the Stray NZ facebook page


What's Included?

  • 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 through your Driver and pay-as-you-go directly to the accommodation.

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 your Driver, often at an exclusive Stray price!

If you would prefer a tour with accommodation and activities included, check out our Stray Journeys tours.

The Peter Pass is a one-way pass. If you want to return to Auckland, check out our Tom and Jill Pass.


Want more? 

Destination guide orangeNew Zealand Destination Guides 

Get inspired and start planning your trip!


 Arrival Pack OrangeAuckland Arrival Pack

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.

Itinerary

The itinerary below is for the current season. For travel after 1 October 2018 refer to our new season Short Jill Pass. 

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.

Auckland to Hahei

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.

Hahei Holiday Resort - Exclusive Stray accommodation on the waterfront.

Visit Hot Water Beach for a natural beach spa (tide & weather dependent), walk to Cathedral Cove, explore old cultural sites or simply relax on the beach.

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.

Hahei Holiday Resort - Exclusive Stray accommodation by the waterfront.

Kayaking, bike hire, guided boat tour, seafood cooking class.

Walk to Cathedral Cove, watch the sunrise on the beach, go snorkelling in the marine reserve, explore old cultural sites or simply relax on the beach.

We leave Hahei early to travel through the rural Waikato region, known for its many dairy farms and the mighty Waikato River. We’ll start with a little adventure to Bridal Veil Falls, where a short walk through beautiful native bush leads to the impressive 55m cascading waterfall. Our destination today is the world-renowned surf town of Raglan. There’s no better place to learn to surf than Raglan’s legendary left-hand surf break. If you don’t fancy a splash in the waves, the afternoon is free to watch the surfers from the beach, enjoy a bush walk or watch the sunset from the aptly named Inspiration Point. Chill out or go hard in this arty surf town – it’s up to you!

Karioi Lodge - An eco-lodge, near the beach set in native bush.

Learn to surf, sunset cruise (summer only), dine on fresh fish and chips for dinner.

Walk to the waterfall, bush walk around Mt Karioi, beach walk, glow-worm spotting in the bush, West Coast sunset, Inspiration Point.

Departing early, our first stop of the day is Waitomo, a small rural town where its main attraction is in fact underground. Don’t miss out on the opportunity for a seriously cool caving adventure that will have you wading, climbing, abseiling and tubing through Waitomo’s magnificent cave network. From here we continue on to Rotorua where you can make this a real 10 out of 10 day with a visit to the world famous Hobbiton Movie Set. Explore the hills, gardens and houses that were home to Frodo and Bilbo in Peter Jackson’s epic trilogies. Those not interested in Hobbiton will continue on to Rotorua and be joined by the Hobbiton goers in the early evening.

YHA Rotorua - Comfortable central city hostel

Waitomo ‘must-do’ caving options or a glow-worm tour, Hobbiton Movie Set tour, Tamaki Maori Village.

Walk around Ruakuri Reserve, Waitomo Valley Caves walk

We depart at midday, leaving the morning free to get involved in one of the many amazing adventure activities on offer in Rotorua. This afternoon our trip takes us further off the beaten track into the remote area of Lake Aniwhenua, voted as one of Stray’s top overnight stops. As we drive into the Kaingaroa Forest we will meet up with a respected Maori guide who will lead the group to a sacred archaeological site to view NZ’s oldest Maori rock carvings. Tonight, you will have the opportunity to learn more about Maori traditions, including the entertaining stick games traditionally used to teach hand-eye coordination, as well as how to prepare a ‘Hangi’, a sumptuous feast cooked underground. Sign up for one of the cultural activities on offer or simply enjoy a sunset drink at the Taniwha Bar overlooking the lake. For those visiting during school term, you will be both touched and inspired as you learn about a local community program in which Stray passengers are actively participating.

This ‘Strademark’ experience is $89pp and includes:

  • 1 night’s accommodation at the comfortable Kohutapu Lodge
  • 1 x Hangi dinner, 1x dessert and 1x continental breakfast
  • Guided tour to sacred Maori rock carvings
  • Introduction to the Murupara area, its people, history and challenges
  • Learn traditional Maori stick games
  • Participation in a local community program (school term only)

This ‘Strademark’ overnight experience is optional, but in our opinion, it's an absolute must do!

After breakfast we’ll make a special visit to the local school to deliver packed lunches for kids that often  go without and participate in a beneficial program aimed at driving cross-cultural education in an otherwise isolated part of NZ (dependent on school timetable). Then it’s on to Taupo to visit the mighty Huka Falls. The brave hearted can opt to plunge from a plane on an adrenaline fuelled skydive over NZ’s largest lake! Our destination this evening is often rated by passengers as one of Stray’s #1 overnight stops and you’ll soon see why. Located in Whakahoro, one of the most remote parts of the North Island, Blue Duck Station is a sprawling 7,200 acre high country farm that is both a working station and an environmental conservation leader. On arrival, we will settle in to learn a little about daily life at Blue Duck, then relax and chill out around an evening fire.

Today is yours to fully explore this truly incredible location. Jump on a 4WD and travel up farm roads, over hilly peaks and through native bush to learn about the station’s interesting settlement history and their current conservation efforts. Don your cowboy hat and explore the farm by horseback or kayak on the river through bush clad valleys and lush green hills. Visit the Kaiwhakauka waterfall or assist with the farm’s pest control efforts and bring back tonight’s dinner. It doesn’t matter which option you choose, just get outdoors and enjoy all that Blue Duck has to offer!

Blue Duck Station - Country station lodge.

An eco-warrior 4WD tour, a half day horse trek, clay bird shooting, kayaking, jet boating, pest control.

Walk around the amazing Blue Duck property and take in the lush scenery, walk to the Kaiwhakauka waterfall, enjoy your hosts’ fantastic hospitality and stories of the local wildlife and history.

We’ll be up at the crack of dawn for an early departure to make our way to the UNESCO Dual World Heritage Site, Tongariro National Park. Today you get the chance to tick off one of the most popular activities in New Zealand by hiking the epic Tongariro Alpine Crossing, considered one of the top one-day walks in the world. This 19km walk will take you across a rocky plateau with Mars-like vistas, dramatic volcanic peaks (including the real ‘Mt Doom’), craters and turquoise lakes that you’ll remember for a lifetime. The Crossing is open to walk year round (alpine gear and guide are required in winter), but subject to the weather conditions. Ensure you pack a day pack with plenty of supplies and clothing for all conditions. If the weather prevents you from doing the Crossing, there are a couple shorter walks in the area, as well as bike tracks that are well worth doing. Tonight we will stay in a homely historic Nurses Home in Raetihi, with friendly farm animals, a pamper room and spa bath with mountain views to enjoy at the end of an active day.

Snowy Waters Lodge - Restored historic lodge with mountain views

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing, shuttle to Ohakune township, mountain bike Old Coach Road or Fishers Track, skiing/snowboarding (winter only).

Taranaki Falls walk, visit the Volcanic Centre, Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s pool), pet the local farm animals, volunteer tree planting.

This morning we travel towards the bottom of the North Island via the rural towns of Ohakune, Taihape and Bulls. Today is mostly an express day to get to Wellington, our capital city and home to New Zealand’s parliament and the iconic Beehive government building. Also known as the ‘coolest little capital in the world’ thanks to Lonely Planet, Wellington is a great place to check out the lively arts, craft beer and café culture scenes or do some shopping. The afternoon is yours to explore the sights, and we recommend wandering down Oriental Parade or viewing the excellent exhibits on display at Te Papa National Museum.

Nomads Capital - Central city hostel.

Wellington Movie Tours, check out some of the great cafes and bars.

Walk Oriental Parade, head up Mt Victoria for fantastic views, visit Te Papa National Museum, gumboot (welly) throwing.

Timetable

The days and times shown below are for the current season (1 May - 30 Sept 2018). 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 Hahei

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Auckland (Depart) 07:30 07:30 07:30
Thames (Depart) 10:00 10:00 10:00
Hahei (Arrive) 12:00 12:00 12:00

Hahei

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Hahei (Non-Travel Day) Free Free Free Free Free Free Free

Hahei to Raglan

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Hahei (Depart) 07:30 07:30 07:30
Hamilton (Depart) 10:30 10:30 10:30
Raglan (Arrive) 13:00 13:00 13:00

Raglan (via Waitomo) to Rotorua

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Raglan (Depart) 07:00 07:00 07:00
Waitomo (Depart) 13:00 13:00 13:00
Rotorua (Arrive) 17:00 17:00 17:00

Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Rotorua (Depart) 12:30 12:30 12:30
Lake Aniwhenua (Arrive) 15:30 15:30 15:30

Lake Aniwhenua to Blue Duck Station

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Lake Aniwhenua (Depart) 08:30 08:30 08:30
Taupo (Depart) 13:00 13:00 13:00
Blue Duck Station (Arrive) 17:00 17:00 17:00

Blue Duck Station

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Whakahoro (Non-Travel Day) Free Free Free Free Free Free Free

Blue Duck Station to Raetihi

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Blue Duck Station (Depart) 06:00 06:00 06:00
Raetihi (Arrive) 14:00 14:00 14:00

Raetihi to Wellington

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Raetihi (Depart) 08:00 08:00 08:00
Bulls (Depart) 11:30 11:30 11:30
Wellington (Arrive) 14:30 14:30 14:30
peter route map nov17

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‘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?

You are not required to hop off the bus – feel free to use your pass like a tour and complete the itinerary in its ‘minimum days’. Either way you'll have a great time!


What about accommodation?

Where you sleep NZAt all of Stray's overnight stops along the route, you'll have a dorm bed reserved at our preferred accommodation. Simply confirm with your Driver Guide each day and pay on arrival. Its that easy. 

If you choose to hop-off and stay a few nights, it is your responsibility to book those extra nights in.  If you'd like a private room, ask your Driver, but note, these are subject to availability on the day.  


What activities can I do?

Activities NZThere 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. 

 

Once you're on the bus, your Driver will recommend activities, let you know what they cost, even help you plan your budget so you can do as much as possible! 

 

You simply choose what you want to do, as you travel, and pay the operators on arrival. 

Who travels with Stray? 

Whos onboardOur 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.