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Batten

Start your tour from Auckland and take in all the highlights of the North Island from Paihia to Wellington, returning to Auckland. Soak up the sunshine, spot dolphins in the Bay of Islands, dig your own spa bath at Hot Water Beach and learn about Maori culture at the Tamaki Maori Village. To top it all off, you’ll be travelling with a knowledgeable guide and a small group of like-minded people who you'll be calling friends in no time!


Highlights: 

Scroll through the gallery below to see some of the highlights! 


"It was such a great experience, we saw amazing places and I met wonderful people of all ages and nationalities. Discovering New Zealand with Stray is a great option, especially if you are traveling solo, as it provides everything you need, good accommodation, great activities and the chance to meet a lot of awesome, open-minded travellers. Would definitely recommend Stray and do other tours in the future if I get the chance. Thank you guys!"
Mathilde, January 2018

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Summer Tour Inclusions:

All transport: You'll travel in our comfortable mid-sized coaches around New Zealand.

Experienced tour guide: Expect entertaining commentary, insight into local secrets and extra support from your tour guide. 

Accommodation: 9 nights’ quad share accommodation in a variety of quality backpacker hostels, wilderness lodges and cabins.  Upgrades to twin and single rooms are available - email [email protected] to book.

Meals: 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 6 dinners

Top rated activities:

  • Tree hugging at Parry Kauri Forest
  • Swim at scenic Waipu Cove
  • Bay of Islands Wildlife Cruise
  • Ferry ride across Hokianga Harbour
  • Sand boarding
  • Visit Waipoua Forest and Tane Mahuta (NZ’s largest Kauri tree)
  • Swim at Kai Iwi Lakes
  • Walk to the world famous Cathedral Cove
  • Kai cooking demonstration
  • Visit Hot Water Beach 
  • See bubbling hot mud pools in Rotorua
  • Experience Maori culture at Tamaki Maori Village
  • 4WD eco-wilderness farm tour
  • Tongariro Alpine Crossing

What's not included?

Any additional activities not specified as included on the itinerary. These can be booked via your guide, often at an exclusive Stray special price!


What to Bring

Sturdy walking shoes (ankle high), swimming gear, hat and sunscreen, motion sickness tablets, water bottle, towel and toiletries, warm clothing and waterproof jacket, insect repellent, camera.


Please note:

  • Stray Journey Summer itineraries are October – April. Stray Journeys Winter tours operate from May - September and follow a different itinerary from the Summer tour. View the Batten Winter Journey.
  • All rates are in NZD, per person, and are subject to change.
  • A 15% discount off these rates is available for children aged between 7 - 17 years old travelling with a parent or legal guardian. Please email [email protected] to book. Stray Journeys are not suited to children under 7 years old.
  • At Whakahoro standard accommodation is six share. Upgrades do not extend to accommodation in Hahei.
  • Luggage should be restricted to 15kg in a single bag, plus a small day pack. 

 

Itinerary

Summer Departures: 30 September 2018 - 28 April 2019

Departs from: Auckland
Day: Sundays
Time: 7am

You can select your departure date and check availability at checkout. 

Journey: Auckland to Paihia

Nau mai, haere mai (welcome)! Your journey kicks off in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. Pick-ups start at your accommodation bright and early before we head north to the seaside town of Paihia. We stop en-route to hug some of the world’s mightiest trees, the native kauri, enjoy a hike to a beautiful waterfall and stop for lunch and a swim at scenic Waipu Cove. This is followed by a trip to the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds (own expense), before settling into our accommodation where you’ll have a group meal and the evening free to relax in Paihia. Includes dinner.

INCLUDED: Haka Lodge - Beachfront hostel

OPTIONAL: Waitangi Treaty Grounds

INCLUDED: Tree hugging huge kauri trees at Parry Kauri Forest, Waipu Cove

This morning we take a scenic cruise around the beautiful Bay of Islands, a collection of 144 islands bursting with marine life, and there’s no better way to see it than by boat. Keep a watchful eye out and you may see wild dolphins!

In the afternoon it’s off to the Hokianga Harbour, where we will see the huge sand dunes. Finish the day with a Kiwi classic for dinner, traditional fish and chips. Includes breakfast and dinner.

We start the morning with a ferry ride across the Hokianga Harbour to experience the thrill of sand boarding down massive dunes (weather dependant) before we start to make our way south through the mighty Waipoua Forest. Here we will have the opportunity to visit NZ’s largest kauri trees. We visit the idyllic Kai Iwi Lakes for a swim in the beautiful crystal clear waters surrounded by a pure white sandy beach, before returning to the ‘big smoke’ for a late afternoon arrival. Includes breakfast.

INCLUDED: Nomads Auckland - Central city hostel

INCLUDED: Hokianga Ferry ride, sand boarding, visit Waipoua Forest (NZ’s largest Kauri trees), swim in the Kai Iwi Lakes

We depart Auckland and head south east to the pristine sands of Hahei Beach, from which you can access the famous Cathedral Cove. Accessible only by foot, boat or kayak, you’ll discover some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery and stunning sea views in this beautiful coastal spot. Cathedral Cove is a definite ‘must see’ on the Coromandel Peninsula. After an afternoon of seaside exploration, we gather together for a shared dinner. Includes dinner.

Today we start by driving to Hot Water Beach, a unique surf beach where you can dig a hole in the sand to create in your own personal spa pool (tide dependent). After the beach, we’ll make our way towards Rotorua.  This evening you will be welcomed into the authentic Tamaki Maori Village, where you will discover Maori art, ancient rituals and traditions. Tonight we dine on a delicious hangi (Maori feast), enjoy an interactive cultural performance and the company of our Maori hosts. Includes breakfast and dinner.

INCLUDED: Central city lodge

INCLUDED: Dig your own spa pool at Hot Water Beach (tide dependent),  Tamaki cultural experience with traditional hangi meal, Kapa Haka (Maori song and dance) and interactive cultural performance

You have a full free day in Rotorua to discover an area well-known for its Maori heritage, adventure activities and geothermal wonders. Here you have plenty of great optional activities to choose from, such as white water rafting, ziplining through native bush, mountain biking and much more. Alternatively you can visit the world famous Hobbiton Movie Set tour. A great option to finish the day is to spend the evening soaking in the hot pools at the luxurious Polynesian Spa. Includes breakfast.

It’s a very early start this morning so we can make our way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tongariro National Park, where you’ll get the chance to do what is rated as one of the world’s best one day walks, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Trek through dramatic natural scenery past volcanic peaks, vast craters and stunning turquoise lakes on one of the most spectacular treks in New Zealand. Alternatively you can go on one the shorter walks within this volcanic region or visit the Volcanic Centre Museum. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

After your big day of hiking, you get a chance to sleep in because we won’t depart until mid-morning. Our destination today is one of the most remote parts of the North Island accessible by road. We’re heading for the award winning Blue Duck Station in Whakahoro, a 7,200 acre high country farm that is both a working sheep and beef station and an environmental conservation leader. This afternoon you get the opportunity to take part in a 4WD Bush Safari and farm adventure, where you’ll explore this vast land and the New Zealand native bush, discover the remains of an unbelievable local history, and learn about the farm’s conservation efforts. Your dinner tonight is cooked using local produce. Includes breakfast and dinner.

We depart early to arrive into Wellington around midday. Wellington is known as the ‘coolest little capital in the world’ thanks to Lonely Planet, and it’s a great place to check out the lively arts, shopping and craft beer and café culture scene. As New Zealand’s capital city, it is home to New Zealand’s parliament and the iconic Beehive government building. This afternoon, you have the option to tour the world famous Weta Workshop, marvel at the natural and cultural wonders of Te Papa National Museum or wander along the waterfront Oriental Parade. Includes breakfast.

Today is an express day, via National Park back to New Zealand’s largest city Auckland. We stop along the way for photo opportunities and have lunch in National Park village, before heading back to Auckland for a late afternoon arrival. We hope you had a blast on your New Zealand journey! Includes breakfast.

ACCOMMODATION

We've chosen high quality backpacker accommodation in a variety of hostels, wilderness lodges and cabins.  Quad-share accommodation is included with your tour. You can choose to upgrade your accommodation to a single or twin/double private room (subject to availability). 

  • Single Room: +$660
  • Double/Twin Room: +$365 per person 

To request an accommodation upgrade, please email us ([email protected]) to book. 

 

Please note: 

Twin/Double upgrades are based on two people sharing and can only be booked if you are travelling with a companion.  

Please note that at some destinations your private room will include an ensuite bathroom and some it won't.

The standard accommodation in the Coromandel is quad-share and upgrades are limited.  If available you can upgrade on arrival and pay direct to the operator. 

Batten SJSummer 2018 19 route 01

How It Works

Stray Journeys are small group tours based on a fixed itinerary where you stay with the same guide and group of travellers. 

Think of it as a road trip experience, where your guide takes you on a once-of-a-lifetime journey, with plenty of awesome stops along the way showing you the real New Zealand!

What's included? 

  • Bus transport around the North Island
  • Local knowledge, entertaining commentary and bookings service from your tour guide
  • All accommodation, quad-share (summer) or dorm-share (winter) (upgrades available)
  • Some meals and a selection of activities (as indicated on each tour's itinerary)
  • Special deals on activities

What's not included?

Any additional activities not specified as included on the itinerary. These can be booked via your guide, often at an exclusive Stray special price!

If you would prefer to buy a bus pass only and pay-as-you-go for accommodation and activities, check out our Hop-on Hop-off passes