Waves & Caves is an action packed trip from Rotorua taking in glowworms, lakes, waterfalls, and two of New Zealand's most beautiful beaches, on opposite sides of the coastline - showcasing New Zealand's spectacular nature.
This pass can be booked on its own, or added to selected National or North Island passes.
(Available for travel from 8 October 2019 - 31 March 2020)
Take the pressure off, kick back, relax and let someone else do the driving. You'll be travelling on our comfortable private buses and can "hop-on, hop-off" anywhere along the route.
So much more than just your driver - expect entertaining anecdotes, great recommendations, extra support and local insider knowledge. They know every inch of this country. You can't get this from a google search!
It's easy to view your itinerary and book accommodation and activities on-the-go.
Flexibility at its finest!
A dorm bed will be reserved for you at every Stray overnight stop.
Book and pay as you go via our Stray Mate app
What we're all about...
We're locals who support locals. We're not about mass produced tourism.
We're all about finding one-of-a kind experiences and supporting small communities.
We 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.
Our 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!
Travel is about creating lasting connections and sharing experiences.
Stray travellers are open minded adventurers who make the most of every moment.
We 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.
Given the spontaneous nature of our trips and lack of control over New Zealand's weather(!), what we do each day might occasionally vary from the itinerary below.
Departing early from Rotorua, our first stop of the day is Waitomo, where the main attraction is underground! Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity for some seriously cool caving adventures. Choose your own pace, from a serene boat journey to see thousands of twinkling glowworms to the thrill of abseiling and blackwater rafting through a vast cave network. If you’d rather stay aboveground, you can also stroll to a large cave opening on the scenic Ruakuri Bush Walk. Next, it’s on to Bridal Veil Falls, where a short walk through beautiful native bush leads to the impressive 55m cascading waterfall, before arriving at our base for the next two nights, Raglan.
There’s no better place to learn to surf than Raglan’s legendary left-hand surf break, so we recommend a lesson this morning on how to catch the perfect wave! Even if surfing isn’t for you, you’ll still love the vibes of this rad little West Coast town. Cheer on your surfing mates from the black sand beach, test your balance with stand-up paddleboarding, stretch your body and mind with a yoga class or search for the perfect cup of coffee at one of the funky cafes in town.
This morning takes us from the West Coast to the East and Mount Maunganui, a popular beach destination in the magnificent Bay of Plenty. Once we arrive, you have time to get the blood pumping with a skydive, hit the walking tracks around the base of “the Mount,” enjoying a scenic hop-on, hop-off cruise to secluded Matakana Island or spend time soaking up the downtown scene. In the afternoon, we’ll regroup and hop back on the bus bound for Rotorua, stopping to see the stunning Okere Falls along the way.
Departure Days: Tuesdays & Fridays
Operating dates: 8 October 2019 - 31 March 2020
Timetables are subject to change but our team will email you if this happens whilst you are travelling.
Rotorua (via Waitomo) to Raglan
|Raglan (Non-Travel Day)||Free||Free|
Raglan (via Mt Maunganui) to Rotorua
|Mount Maunganui (Depart)||15:30||15:30|
Need to Know
- Transport - Travel by private, air-conditioned bus (24-48 seats). We actively seek to reduce our carbon emissions by scaling bus fleet to meet demand, so if there are not as many passengers we use a smaller coach.
- Validity - Waves & Caves is valid between 8 October 2019 - 31 March 2020.
- Booking Buses (Hopping on/off) - Use the Stray Mate app to manage your trip - you'll receive log in details in your Booking Confirmation email. Hop on and off as much as you like along the travel route - Here are our favourite places to hop-off. If you're on a short timeframe, we recommend booking all your buses in advance.
- Minimum Days - You don't need to hop off if you're short on time - you can travel your pass in the "Minimum Days". There are non-travel days throughout the route so you will not be travelling everyday.
- Departures - Buses run to a seasonal timetable with multiple departures per week. View Pickup Points and Departure Times
- Flexibility - The cost of your accommodation, activities and meals is not included in a Freestyle Travel pass giving you extra flexibility to choose options that suit your budget and taste.
- Accommodation - Book Stray preferred accommodation as you go via the Stray Mate app - there will be a dorm bed allocated to you at each overnight stop providing you book via the app 24 hours before. Backpacker hostel rates are between $27-$37 per night for a dorm bed.
- Activities - Book activities as you go via the Stray Mate app.
- Stray Travellers - Our travellers are from all over the world, they are energetic, adventurous and mainly aged between 18-30. 75% of our travellers are travelling solo.
- Payment Options - If you'd like to secure your place on the trip, but are a little bit short on cash, you can reserve a seat with a 20% deposit. You then have 6 months to pay it off - too easy! Better yet - there's no admin fee. You can make payments when it suits you using our Extra Payments page. You just need to have paid for your trip in full 14 days before you jump on the bus.
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