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Holiday Information

The 2018-19 holidays are coming!

It’s an incredible time of year to be travelling in New Zealand, and there’s no better way to celebrate the holidays than with new Stray mates at one of our awesome off the beaten track stops!

To help with your holiday planning, we compiled everything you need to know about travelling with Stray over the holiday season here in one place.


Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ #1: Are the buses running over the holiday period?

YES! All Stray NZ buses will be running per the regular published timetable, except for the following:

25 December 2018

  • No buses from Auckland northbound to Paihia
  • No buses from Auckland southbound to Hahei

1 January 2019

  • No buses from Auckland northbound to Paihia
  • No buses from Auckland southbound to Hahei

No buses on these days means that there will be disruptions to the route in the days following. You can check for the next available bus:

If you have any questions, please email Reservations or call the team on +64 (0)9 526 2140.

Mozzie group Secret Santa on Abel Tasman beach web

Stray driver Mozzie and his crew sharing Secret Santa on the beach in Abel Tasman

FAQ #2: What happens on the buses on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day?

Your travel day on the bus should proceed like any other day. If there is something special happening at your destination (early or late departure, ‘Orphans Christmas’ dinner, spontaneous bus decorating, etc.) your Stray driver will tell you. Many Stray groups plan their own Christmas or New Year’s celebration together, no matter where they are on the route! 

FAQ #3: Are activities operating on Christmas Day and New Year's Day?

Many activity operators are closed or operating on restricted hours on Christmas Day, but more are open for New Year's Day. We recommend checking directly with the activity operators or asking your Stray driver guide.

FAQ #4: Am I still guaranteed accommodation with Stray?

Yes, if you are travelling on the bus you are still guaranteed the first night's (or first 2 nights at our 2 night stops) accommodation when you book through your Stray driver. As per our normal guarantee, in Queenstown you are guaranteed 3 nights when arriving from Wanaka and 2 nights when arriving from Stewart Island/Invercargill. Keep in mind that Stray's accommodation guarantee is valid for dorm share rooms only - upgraded rooms are subject to availability.

FAQ #5: Will grocery stores, shops and restaurants be open?

Your Stray driver guide will be sure to tell you when and if you need to stock up on supplies, but be aware that 25 & 26 December and 1 & 2 January are New Zealand public holidays. That means nearly all grocery stores and shops will be closed or they will open on limited hours on those days. Some restaurants may be open, but on limited hours and they will often add a public holiday surcharge to your overall bill.


Holiday Opening Hours

We at Stray don’t take many days off, but we do change our schedules slightly to let the Orange Team behind the scenes enjoy their holidays too. Our New Zealand HQ office hours over the holiday period are as follows:

Auckland Stray Travel Shop

23 Dec: CLOSED
24 Dec: CLOSED
25 Dec: CLOSED (Christmas Day)
26 Dec: CLOSED (Boxing Day)
27 Dec: 10am - 2pm
28 Dec: 10am - 2pm
29 Dec: 10am - 2pm
30 Dec: CLOSED
31 Dec: CLOSED
1 Jan:    CLOSED (New Year’s Day)
2 Jan:    CLOSED (Day after New Year's - public holiday)
3 Jan:    Return to normal operating hours

From 3 January, the Auckland Stray Shop will return to normal business hours of Tuesday - Friday 9.30am - 5pm, Saturday 10am-4pm.

Reservations Office Hours

24 Dec:  8am – 5pm
25 Dec:  CLOSED (Christmas Day)
26 Dec:  8am – 5pm (Boxing Day)
27 Dec:  8am – 5pm
28 Dec:  8am – 5pm
29 Dec:  8am – 5pm
30 Dec:  8am – 5pm
31 Dec:  8am – 5pm
1 Jan:   CLOSED (New Year’s Day)
2 Jan:   8am – 5pm
3 Jan:   Return to normal operating hours

From 3 January, the Reservations Office will return to normal operating hours of 7am – 6.30pm Monday – Friday and 8am – 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. 


New NZ Departures coming in January!

Once the New Year’s hangovers fade, New Zealand summer steps into full swing. That means lots of travellers out having the time of their lives around the country. As a result, we’re increasing the number of buses out on the road from 1 January, 2019.

Check out the Summer 2019 timetable on the Timetable page. You can also refer to your Stray Mate app, which shows up-to-date timetable information for all future travel seasons.