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Hop aboard a scenic train journey across the Southern Alps, then aboard the Stray bus (this feisty bird can’t fly) to take in the icy glaciers of the West Coast, reach new levels of adrenaline in Queenstown, gaze at Lake Tekapo and hike in the impressive Mount Cook National Park.
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Scroll through to see what you'll get up to or watch the video
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.
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.
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!
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!
- 16 - 25 January 2021
- 13 - 22 February 2021
- 13 - 22 March 2021
- 10 - 19 April 2021
- 15 - 24 May 2021
- 12 - 21 June 2021
- 17 - 26 July 2021
- 14 - 23 August 2021
- 18 - 27 September 2021
What our customers say:
"I couldn't ask for a better group with so many amazing warm-hearted people. Thank you so much for making this adventure so magical. The goodbyes are only hard because it was such a great time!"
- Tim, June 2020
"This trip was the happiest days of my 6 months in New Zealand. Thank you for adding so much joy to this journey!"
- Monica, June 2020
"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!"
- Mischa, June 2020
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.
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.
NB. Please contact the Stray office at least 48 hours before your Christchurch departure to confirm your transfer details and departure times.
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.
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!
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!
Depart Queenstown early to drive over the Lindis Pass through the beautiful Mackenzie Country and past the vivid blue waters of Lake Pukaki. Then, we head north to our amazing overnight stop at the base of New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki/Mt Cook, arriving in the early afternoon. There's time to do one of the many short hikes in the region or to choose one of the optional activities.
It's a short drive today to Lake Tekapo, an electric blue lake framed by the Southern alps. See the famous Church of the Good Shepherd, a quaint stone church right on the edge of the lake. In the afternoon your could take a hike up to the Mount John Observatory to see the incredible views. Or if you'd rather just have a ‘self-care’ afternoon, then the Tekapo Hot Springs are the perfect place to relax and soak up the scenery. Tonight, if skies are clear, head outside to experience one of the best stargazing spots in the country.
Our final destination is Christchurch where the tour will end. We hope you had a blast travelling with us!
If you have time at the end of your tour, there's plenty to explore in Christchurch. Spend your afternoon wandering the city streets and laneways to discover creative street art and hidden eateries. Take a walk down Hereford St to discover the ‘Cardboard’ Cathedral and the earthquake memorial of 185 White Chairs. If you have a bit more time, visit the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and see how Christchurch earned its nickname as the Garden City or visit the Canterbury Museum to learn about the past, present and future of the region.
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.
You can choose to upgrade your accommodation to a single or twin/double private room (subject to availability).
- Single Room: +$650
- 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
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]