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TakaheThe Takahe tour brings you all the highlights for an adventure in the South Island! One-way from Christchurch to Queenstown via the West Coast, this tour delivers breathtaking views & magnificent Southern alpine landscapes. Hop aboard a scenic train journey across the Southern Alps, then travel with your Stray mates down to the icy glaciers of the West Coast. Breathe in the freshest air, embrace snow capped mountains in Lake Wanaka and reach new levels of adrenaline in Queenstown.

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:


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!

train 2TranzAlpine Train

Experience the South Island's striking natural landscape as you travel on one of the world's greatest train journeys. From Christchurch to Greymouth, The TranzAlpine train is a New Zealand Must Do!

Tour Dates: 


  • 22 & 29 January
  • 5, 12, 19 & 26 February
  • 5, 12, 19 & 26 March
  • 2, 16 & 20 April
  • 14 May, 11 June, 9 July & 6 August
  • 3 & 17 September
  • 1 October

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.


Christchurch to Franz Josef

Transverse the Southern Alps on the highly regarded TranzAlpine Scenic Train. You'll start the day by travelling through the stunning Arthur's Pass to the historic gold mining town of Greymouth on the West Coast. Your Stray group will meet you outside the Greymouth train station. From here we’ll make a stop in Hokitika (the best place to buy ‘Pounamu’, a native greenstone) before continuing on to the quaint township of Franz Josef, home of the famous Franz Josef Glacier and our base for the next two nights.

Accommodation: Rainforest Retreat

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

Free activities: Hokitika greenstone store, chill out in the spa pool at your accommodation

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!

Yaaaasssss Queen(stown)! You’ve got 3 full days in the adventure capital. With a buzzy night life, beautiful mountain scenery and plenty of outdoor activities, it’s easy to understand why so many backpackers refuse to leave this place.

Accommodation: Central Queenstown hostel

Optional activities: Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jet boating, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding…)

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

Free activities: Hike Ben Lomond, the Queenstown Hill, or Bob’s Peak

Today you’ll hop aboard a Coach which will take you to the stunning Milford Sound. You’ll take a Cruise across this impressive Sound and see towering Mitre Peak, plus rainforests and waterfalls as well as spotting some amazing wildlife like Fur Seals, Penguins and Dolphins. Once you’ve snapped as many pics as you possibly can, it’s back to Queenstown. We recommend checking out the buzzy nightlife and many restaurants Queenstown has to offer.

Accommodation: Central Queenstown hostel

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

Included activity: Milford Sound Day Trip

Today your tour ends, we hope you leave with many happy memories of your trip with us!


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: +$595
  • Double/Twin Room: +$325 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.


Health and Safety

Stray New Zealand COVID-19 Protection Policy 

Stray is following the Covid-19 Protection Framework, which has been mandated by the New Zealand Government. When you take part in a tour or experience with us, you will need to show your ‘My Vaccine Pass’. This will enable us to ensure that you are fully vaccinated or to confirm that you have a medical exemption (this does not apply for children under 12). This framework allows us to help minimise the spread and harm of COVID-19 for our customers, team members and communities.

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If you haven’t yet had the chance to get fully vaccinated, please contact us and we will be happy to reschedule your trip to a later date.

While we respect your right to choose not to get a vaccine, if you don’t intend to get vaccinated then under the COVID-19 Protection Framework we will not be able to accommodate you on any of our tours or experiences. If you booked directly with us we will provide you with a full refund. If your booking wasn’t made directly with us, please talk to your point of purchase in order to seek a refund.


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]