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Booking Buses

You can book your buses one travel day at a time, or you can book multiple travel days at a time. 

Booking one at a time

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When you look at your itinerary, you'll see the first available bus in a grey icon between destinations "Book Your Bus" 

i.e Here you can see the bus between Auckland and Thames is waiting to be booked. 

When you click "Book Your Bus" you'll be shown the next available departure, or you can choose a date from the calendar and a pick up location. 

Check availability. If a bus is unavailable, there might not be a scheduled departure on that day. If it is available, it will appear as 'Booked' in your itinerary.  


Booking multiple travel days at once. 

Select the destination you want to travel 'to' and click 'Book a Bus here'. 

Choose the Start Point (set to the last stop if you have already have bus bookings).

Choose the date you wish to depart. 
Check availability. If a bus is unavailable, you'll be asked to select a different date, or choose to book in part of the travel bookings. 

Changing Bus Bookings 

In order to change a bus booking you need to cancel that bus and any buses that have been booked after that date first. Select 'Cancel' in the top right corner. Then you'll be able to select alternative dates. 

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If you decide to hop off the bus at the last minute, it's no problem! Just click the buses you've booked and 'Edit Booking' and Cancel your future bookings.  

If you miss your bus, your booking on that day and all future dates will be cancelled. You will need to rebook your dates when you are ready to get back on the bus.

Important: If you cancel your bus booking, please also remember to cancel your accommodation and activity bookings on that day.


Last Minute Bookings

The Stray Mate Booking System can be accessed 24/7, but our passenger lists are submitted at 4pm the day before travel. So if you make a booking after 4pm for the next day, the driver might not have your name on their printed list, that's ok - as long as your seat is confirmed, there is space for you on the bus. 
Make your way to the pickup location 10 minutes before the departure time. This will ensure you are picked up! 

Handy Info

Peak season is between November – March and buses can get pretty busy so we strongly recommend you book your travel dates 5 days in advance during this period to avoid disappointment – you can always clear them if you change your plans.

If the bus is full on the day you wish to travel, you can go on 'Standby' (a waiting list). Once you've been promoted to the confirmed list, you will be notified via the app and by e-mail.  Nine times out of ten you will still be able to get on the bus you want as other people change their plans. Otherwise we will work with you to get you on the next available departure. We recommend that you don't book accommodation or activities in the next destination until you know you are booked on the bus. 
Bus bookings are flexible, but please ensure you have your dates sorted before you book accommodation and activities as there is a 5% cancellation fee if you need to cancel and rebook for another date if your dates change.