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Pukeko

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Stray Pukeko Tour will take you on a North Island adventure from Auckland to Wellington, exploring all the top sights, from the geothermal "Sulphur City" - Rotorua, to their favourite place to chill, Blue Duck Station. If you’re short on time and want to see the best of the North, the Pukeko has got you covered.

Hike some of New Zealand's best tracks, dig a spa pool in the sand, taste a delicious traditional hangi meal, see bubbling mud pools in Rotorua, try to spot a rare Blue Duck at Blue Duck Station and finish the tour with a night out in Wellington. 


Book with confidence

✔️ Money-back guarantee: full refund if the tour doesn't go ahead.

✔️ Flexibility: no fee to make changes.

✔️ Departures in November 2022 are GUARANTEED for all NZ tours!

Tour Highlights:

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



What's included:

  Accommodation

High quality twin share rooms are included. You'll stay in comfy 3-4 star hotels for most of nights and high country farm or scenic lodges close to waterfront or national park in our unique destinations. Hotel rooms are with ensuite, while shared facilities are in Strademark places.


 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!


Strademark iconLake Aniwhenua - Strademark Experience

This experience is an introduction to modern-day Maori culture. You’ll be hosted by a local Maori family, taken on a guided tour to a sacred archaeological site, be introduced to the local Maori stories and games and be treated to a delicious hangi dinner, cooked under the ground!


Tour Dates: 

2022

  • 7 July
  • 4 August
  • 8 & 29 September
  • 10 November (guaranteed!)
  • 1 December

2023

  • 12 January
  • 2 February
  • 2 March
  • 13 April

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.

Pukeko

$2,139
$0

Total

$2,139

Itinerary

Auckland Departure Info

7:30AM, The loading zone at 103 Queen Street, Auckland City (outside The Guardian Building, near Superdry/Oakley shop)

*Subject to change. Please be ready at the pickup 15 minutes prior to the departure.

Auckland to Rotorua

Kia Ora (hello) and welcome to your New Zealand adventure. Our tour begins in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland), the largest city in New Zealand and home to over 2 million people and around 50 volcanoes.

We’ll head out bright and early this morning and travel down to Rotorua, the North Island’s geothermal hotspot and probably second only to Queenstown in terms of its adventure activity offerings. Fondly known as ‘Roto-vegas’ due the high volume of tourists it receives, Rotorua is a hive of activity and culture.

We’ll stop at the Whakarewarewa Forest for a walk through the giant California Redwoods which were planted over 100 years ago before checking in at our hotel, the Distinction Rotorua. Centrally located and home to a spa, swimming pool and unlimited wifi (not the norm here in New Zealand) it’s a great base to explore from.

Accommodation: Distinction Rotorua or similar

Meal Options: Local eateries

Optional paid activities: Hobbiton Movie Set

Free activities: Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest walk

Today we have a free day in Rotorua. Have breakfast at the hotel and then head off to an activity of your choice. Go white water rafting down the kaituna river, zipline through the trees on an eco tour, zorb through rolling hills or just relax at a geothermal spa. If you’d like to see some geothermal activity for free, head to Kuirau Park to see boiling mud pools and steaming lakes.

Accommodation: Distinction Rotorua or similar

Meal options: Local restaurants

Meals included: Breakfast

Free activities: Kuirau Park

After a couple of days in a major tourist destination like Rotorua, you’ll probably want some time to recharge the batteries and experience a more authentic slice of New Zealand culture. After breakfast, we’ll venture ‘off the beaten track’ to the shores of Lake Aniwhenua and the incredible Kohutapu Lodge. Owned by a local Maori family who are passionate about showcasing their Maori tribal heritage, the lodge is a pillar of the local community.

We’ll be taken to see sacred Maori rock carvings, play a traditional game of Mau Rakau and watch the preparation of a ground cooked 'hangi'. We’ll enjoy an afternoon tea of freshly made fried bread as we speak with the team at Kohutapu Lodge and practice our weaving and haka skills. In the evening, we’ll sit down to enjoy our lovingly prepared hangi feast - this will probably be the best meal you’ll eat in New Zealand, or, dare we say, your lifetime.

Exclusive experience includes:

  • Welcome to the tribal lands and a guided tour to sacred Maori rock carvings
  • Introduction to to the Murupara area, its people, history and challenges
  • Afternoon tea
  • Mau Rakau (Maori stick games)
  • Weaving Lesson
  • Haka Lesson
  • 1 night’s accommodation at the serene lakeside Kohutapu Lodge
  • Full traditional hangi buffet dinner & dessert
  • Storytelling around the fire pit
  • Continental breakfast

Accommodation: Scenic lakefront cabins

Meals included: Breakfast, full traditional hangi dinner and dessert

Free activities: Maori rock carvings, volleyball

We’ll tuck into our buffet breakfast and say goodbye to our wonderful hosts at the lakeside lodge before we depart this morning to Kerosene Creek – a naturally hot river and the perfect place for a morning soak. Afterwards we’ll drive on to Taupo to see Australasia’s largest lake and the frothy Huka Falls before heading inland to Blue Duck Station for an immersive and off the grid experience. Blue Duck Station is a 7,200-acre high country farm and is the most sustainable high country sheep and cattle station in New Zealand, the team have made it their mission to protect their native environment for its namesake, the rare blue duck. On arrival, we’ll settle in to learn a little about daily life at Blue Duck, the station’s interesting settlement history and their sustainability efforts before cooking some dinner and relaxing around the bonfire.

Accommodation: Country station lodge

Optional paid activities: Skydiving or bungy in Taupo

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Free activities: Huka Falls, Spa Park walk Taupo

Good news - we have a full free day to explore the station, a ruggedly charming destination that’s as far as we can get from the ocean by road. Options for entertainment today are horseback riding over rolling green hills or a 4WD eco tour through native bush to the ‘Top of the World’ where we can see the three peaks of Mount Ruapehu, Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe. To explore on foot, hike to the Kaiwhakauka waterfall and try to spot a rare blue duck in the flesh. So much to do and a whole day in which to do it - today is about our love affair with this lush kiwi paradise, ah those holiday romances.

Accommodation: Country station lodge

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Included activities: 4WD farm eco-tour

Free activities: Hike to Kaiwhakauka waterfall

This morning we’re up nice and early to head straight to Tongariro National Park where we’ll tick off one of the most popular hikes in New Zealand, the epic Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Considered one of the world’s top one-day walks, this 19km hike takes us across a rocky plateau with dramatic volcanic peaks, craters and turquoise lakes that we (and our Instagram feed) will remember for a lifetime. The Crossing is open to walk year-round (alpine gear and guide are required in winter), but it is subject to the weather conditions. If the weather prevents us from doing the Crossing, there are other awesome short-walks in the area. Tonight, we’ll unwind after a big day at our accommodation, the Powderhorn Chateau. Styled like a log cabin, this boutique accommodation is so cosy and even has an indoor heated pool where we can rest our weary bones after our hard days work - after all, we’re on holiday aren’t we?

Accommodation: Powderhorn Chateau or similar

Meal options: Local restaurants

Optional activities: Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Meals included: Breakfast

This morning after breakfast we’re going for a scenic bike ride along the Old Coach Road, an easy but epic 4-hour unguided bike trail. We’ll cycle on a unique cobbled road, past historic Viaducts and limestone cliffs and there’ll be plenty of stops along the way to take photos for the ‘gram. This is a great way to spend a morning learning about New Zealand history and seeing some pretty spectacular views as we go.

Afterwards, we’re heading down to Wellington, the ‘coolest little capital in the world’! Wellington packs a lot of character into its downtown district, with interesting restaurants and bars along Cuba Street and Courtenay Place. We’ll have an afternoon to browse through the exhibits at Te Papa National Museum, grab a craft beer at a brewery, climb to the top of Mt Victoria for panoramic views or take a stroll along the waterfront and Oriental Parade. Oh and, most importantly for those who seek 24/7 caffeination, we are happy to say that Wellington’s coffee culture and cafe scene is considered one of (if not THE) best in New Zealand.

Accommodation: ibis Wellington or similar

Meal options: Local restaurants

Meals included: Breakfast

Included activity: Electric bike along the Old Coach Road

Free activities: Walk Oriental Parade, head up Mt Victoria for fantastic views, visit Te Papa National Museum

Today your adventure comes to an end. Say goodbye (or see you soon) to your mates and go your separate ways for now. We hope you had a blast and remain close with your Stray Mates for 4ever!

Meals: Breakfast

Pukeko

$2,139
$0

Total

$2,139

Accommodation

You'll stay in comfy 3-4 star hotels for most of nights and high country farm or scenic lodges close to waterfront or national park in our unique destinations. Hotel rooms are with ensuite, while shared facilities are in Strademark places. Upgrade to solo occupancy may be possible and subject to availability.

Accommodation Upgrade

You can choose to upgrade your accommodation to a solo occupied private room (subject to availability). 

  • Single Room: +$1110

To request an accommodation upgrade, please choose Solo Traveller - Private Room from the drop-down menu, before you click BOOK YOUR TRAVEL button. Please email us to check availability before your booking: [email protected]

Please note: At some destinations, such as Lake Aniwhneua or Blue Duck Station, your private rooms may not be with ensuite, but shared bathroom or kitchen facilities.

8 DAY PUKEKO

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]