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Home. Our Trips » New Zealand » Fantail

Fantail

FantailThe cheeky little fantail is your reliable companion for the South Island. She’ll have you fanning round the South Island highlights in a loop, showing off her favourite foraging spots. From the golden sands of Abel Tasman National Park, to the West Coast's glaciers and rainforests, the wildlife wonderland of Kaikoura and the party capital of Queenstown, she’s not shy of a good time!

Option to start/finish Wellington: Sail the Cook Strait from Wellington to Picton (and back again at the end of your tour). Select this option from the dropdown when booking.

Option to start/finish Christchurch: If you’d like to start your tour from Christchurch, we can help you to book transport to Picton either via Public Bus or via the magnificent Coastal Explorer Train (please note that the scenic train is only available during the Summer Months Dec-Apr). Select one of these options from the dropdown when booking.


Book with confidence

✔️ Money-back guarantee: full refund if the tour doesn't go ahead. ✔️ Flexibility: no fee to make changes.

Tour Highlights:

Scroll through to see what you'll get up to or watch the video



What's included:

  Accommodation

Dorm Style Accommodation (4-10 beds) is included. You'll stay in comfortable backpacker hostels, cabins and lodges. All accommodation facilities have self-catering kitchen facilities. 


 Private coach transport

Take the pressure off, kick back, relax, soak up the scenery and let someone else do the driving. You'll travel by private, air-conditioned bus. 


 Stray Guide

Expect entertaining anecdotes, great recommendations, extra support and local insider knowledge from your charismatic guide. They know every inch of this country. You can't get this from a google search!


Tour Dates: 

2021

  • 12 & 28 August
  • 16 September
  • 14 & 28 October
  • 11 & 25 November
  • 9 December

2022

  • 6, 20 & 27 January
  • 3, 10, 17 & 24 February
  • 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31 March
  • 14 & 28 April
  • 12 May, 9 June, 7 July & 4 August
  • 1, 15 & 29 September

What our customers say:

"I loved the trip so much that I did it twice. The tour takes you around most of New Zealand. You meet the most awesome people and has the best guide on the planet. I would even go on a third trip!"

- Christina, December 2020 & April 2021

"This trip was the happiest 24 days of my 6 months in New Zealand. Thank you for adding so much joy to this journey!"

- Monica, March 2021

"I'd say that the last few weeks were the best time for me in New Zealand and probably the best time of my life as well. This trip was incredibly awesome!"

- Jacob, June 2021


What we're all about...

tick for website 01We're locals who support localsWe're not about mass-produced tourism.
We're all about finding one-of-a-kind experiences and supporting small communities. 


tick for website 01We spearheaded the 'off the beaten track' movement in New Zealand. 
Stray are the original experts in seeking out secluded destinations, taking our travellers off the grid since 2002.


tick for website 01Our Stray Guides are next level and will, no doubt, play a starring role in your travel stories. 
Read our reviews and you'll see what we mean!


tick for website 01Travel is about creating lasting connections and sharing experiences. 
Stray travellers are open-minded adventurers who make the most of every moment.


tick for website 01We aim to leave New Zealand better than we found it, protecting our environment for future generations.
Travel with us and together we can make a positive change.

Fantail

$1,899
$0

Total

$1,899

Itinerary

Picton to Marahau (Abel Tasman)

We depart Picton around midday from Picton Villa, before setting off through the picturesque Marlborough region where we'll stop to sample what the region is most famous for: Sauvignon Blanc wine! Then it's onwards to Marahau, situated right on the edge of the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park.

 

Accommodation: The Barn, waterfront accommodation

Optional paid activities: Wine tasting (usually $5-10)

Meal options: We’ll stop at a supermarket to stock up on supplies - Self-cater or join the optional group dinner

Free activities: Mussel tasting, stargazing

Count yourself lucky - you have a full day to explore New Zealand’s most popular national park. From our accommodation you can hike straight into the park (no water taxi required!). It’s a cool 12kms to Anchorage and you’ll see the park’s natural golden sand beaches and brilliant blue waters along the way. The walk is approx. 4 hours each way but there’s enough photo stops en-route to spend an entire day exploring. Enjoy a picnic on the beach before checking out Cleopatra’s Pools, moss lined fresh water pools with a natural water slide.

Accommodation: The Barn, waterfront accommodation

Optional paid activities: Kayaking, skydiving, water taxi, canyoning (closed in winter), sailing

Meal options: Pack a picnic lunch and lots of snacks for your hike, Self-cater in the kitchen or use the BBQs

Free activities: Hike in the national park, relax on the golden sand beaches, see Cleopatra’s Pools

Buckle up for an awesome day driving down the incredibly scenic ‘wild’ West Coast, an area known for its untamed beaches and spectacular rainforest. Through Buller Gorge and down a stretch of road named one of the top drives in the world by Lonely Planet, there’s not much cell phone reception but you are NOT gonna need it – we dare you to peel your eyes away from the window for even just a second. We’ll stop at the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and blow holes to explore this unique part of coastline before continuing on to the quaint township of Franz Josef, set amongst the rainforest.

Accommodation: Rainforest Retreat

Meal options: Pizza Party (optional), local restaurants or self-cater in the hostel kitchen

Free activities: Buller Gorge, Pancake Rocks and blowholes, Hokitika

Ice, ice baby! Get ready to experience the Franz Josef Glacier, an iconic highlight of the West Coast. Take a short drive to the beginning of the track. Hike through native bush and across glacial streams to the terminal face of the glacier for spectacular photos or just hang out at the Retreat and relax in one of NZ’s largest spa pools.

Accommodation: Rainforest Retreat

Optional paid activities: Heli Hike, ice-climbing, kayaking

Meal options: Local restaurants or self-cater in the hostel kitchen

Free activities: Glacier valley hike, bush tracks, soak in the spa

It’s another scenic journey today with plenty of photo stops – your Mum isn’t gonna be the only one who thinks your travel photos are world-class! First up is the amazing mirror-like Lake Matheson for a short walk. We travel inland through the mountainous Haast Pass and alongside beautiful Lake Hawea to arrive in Wanaka late-afternoon. It’s the perfect time to get your own photo of the famous Wanaka Tree set against a sunset backdrop. Dreamy!

Accommodation: Central Wanaka hostel

Meal options: Local restaurants or self-cater in the hostel kitchen

Free activities: Lake Matheson walk, Ship Creek walk, Blue Pools walk, Thunder Creek Falls walk

Kick start your day with a brisk walk up Mt Iron or have a sleep in (we know they’re necessary sometimes!). Mid-morning we’ll make our way to Queenstown, known in New Zealand as the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’ and the spiritual home of bungy jumping. We stop at Kawarau Bridge on our way into town a.k.a. the first commercial bungy jumping site in the world. If you’re feeling brave you can tick the bungy off your bucket list or if you’d prefer to just watch then you can cheer your mates on from the viewing platform!

Accommodation: Central Queenstown hostel

Optional paid activities: Puzzling World, skydiving, mountain biking, pilot your own stunt plane or learn to fly and take a friend for a small fee, bungy jumping

Meal options: Local restaurants or self-cater in the hostel kitchen

Free activities: Walk Mt Iron, watch people jumping off a bridge!

Our next stop is the Garden City of Christchurch, a city where old meets new, as the rebuild continues following the devastating 2011 earthquake. Spend your afternoon wandering the city streets and laneways to discover creative street art and hidden eateries.  See how Christchurch earned its nickname as the Garden City by visiting the Botanic Gardens. Take a walk down Hereford St to see the ‘Cardboard’ Cathedral and the earthquake memorial of 185 White Chairs. 

Accommodation: All Stars Inn

Meal options: Local restaurants or self-cater in the hostel kitchen

Free activities: Explore Christchurch by foot, check out the Cardboard Cathedral and inner-city street art, the new Riverside Market, Botanic Gardens, Canterbury Museum and 185 White Chairs memorial. 

Wakey wakey! We’ve got an early morning start for a beautiful drive up the coast to Kaikoura. Arriving in Kaikoura around midday, you will have the afternoon free to explore.  See the Kekeno (NZ fur seal) colony near Goose Bay and hike around the peninsula to check out the breathtaking views from the lookout. You’re likely to see sea birds, seals and maybe even whales or dolphins if you’re lucky!

Accommodation: Warm modern hostel

Optional paid activities: Whale watching by boat or by plane, swimming with dolphins, guided fishing trip

Meal options: Local restaurants or self-cater in the hostel kitchen

Free activities: Visit a fur seal colony, walk around the peninsula and up to the lookout

This morning we’ll hop on the bus and wind our way up the coastal roads towards the top of the South Island back to Picton where your trip comes to an end. We hope you had an incredible adventure! 

Fantail

$1,899
$0

Total

$1,899

Accommodation

You'll stay in high-quality backpacker accommodation in a variety of hostels, wilderness lodges and cabins. Standard accommodation is priced for Dorm Style (4-10 beds), upgrades may be available on request. If you purchase an upgrade, it’s for everywhere except Hahei (please note: upgrades are not offered in Hahei).

Accommodation Upgrades

You can choose to upgrade your accommodation to a single or twin/double private room (subject to availability). 

  • Single Room: +$995
  • Double/Twin Room: +$450 per person (can only be booked if you are travelling with a companion). 

To request an accommodation upgrade, please email us before you book to check availability: [email protected]

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

Fantail Map 21 22 Updated

Health and Safety

COVID-19 Safety Measures 

To minimise risk to our travellers, staff and operators we will be doing everything we can to reduce the risk of transmission and we will be playing it safe. 

  • Handrails and surfaces inside the bus will be wiped down daily 
  • Disinfectant will be used on the air conditioning filters in the bus daily
  • Hand sanitizer will be available on the bus 

If you would like a copy of our full WorkSafe COVID-19 Safety Plan, please email [email protected]