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Soak up the sunshine and spot some marine life in the subtropical North. This 3 day tour takes you from Auckland to the Bay of Islands and back again. You'll get out on the water exploring the beautiful beaches, see giant native Kauri trees and go sand boarding down massive dunes. It’s a jam-packed adventure made even better with the company of an awesome driver guide and a great group of travellers to explore the region with. 

Tour Highlights:

"This experience was awesome. The guide was very friendly! I really enjoyed travelling with this group. Thanks again for this unforgettable beautiful trip!"

What's Included: 


All transport

You'll travel in our comfortable private, air-conditioned minivans

Stray Guide

Far more than just a driver - expect entertaining commentary, insight into local secrets and extra support from your guide. 

Strademark icon 1 Special Strademark Place

Strademark Places are the special off-the-beaten-track destinations on the route that make Stray's tours stand out from the crowd. With the Worsley Tour you'll visit Hokianga, a special spot on Northland’s west coast not easily accessible on public transport. 


2 nights’ accommodation in a quality hostels and hotel. 


2 breakfasts and 2 dinners

trekkingTop rated activities

From cruising the Bay of Islands to sand-boarding down giant dunes, this is an action-packed tour with great activities included:  


  • Parry Kauri Forest
  • Swim or walk to waterfalls at Waipu Cove
  • Bay of Islands Wildlife Cruise
  • Ferry ride across Hokianga Harbour
  • Sand boarding
  • Swim at Kai Iwi Lakes

Your Guide can help you book any additional activities you want to do that are not included in the itinerary, often at a special discounted Stray price!


Due to COVID-19 all Stray trips are suspended until 1 November 2020. Please check our Service Updates page for more information.

Summer Departures: November 2020 - April 2021

Departs from: Auckland
Day: Sunday
Time: 7am

You can select your departure date and check availability at checkout.

Journey: Auckland to Paihia

Nau mai, haere mai (welcome)! Your journey kicks off in New Zealand’s largest city Auckland, known as the ‘City of Sails’ because of its location between the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours, making it a boaters' paradise. Pick-ups start at your accommodation bright and early, before we head north to the seaside town of Paihia, gateway to the Bay of Islands. We stop en-route to view some of the world’s mightiest trees, the native Kauri, and stop for lunch at scenic Waipu Cove. This is followed by a trip to the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds (own expense), before settling into our accommodation where you’ll have a group meal and the evening free to relax. Includes Dinner.

INCLUDED: Central Bay of Islands Hostel

OPTIONAL: Waitangi Treaty Grounds

INCLUDED: Tree hugging huge kauri trees at Parry Kauri Forest, swim or walk to see waterfalls at Waipu Cove (weather dependent)

This morning we take a scenic sightseeing cruise around the beautiful Bay of Islands, a collection of 144 islands bursting with marine life. There’s no better way to see it than by boat - keep an eye out for wild dolphins. In the afternoon it’s off to the Hokianga Harbour, where we will see the huge sand dunes across the harbour. Tonight, you have the option to take part in a Maori-guided twilight encounter in the Waipoua Forest, where you'll learn about Maori legends and the spiritual inhabitants of the forest, and visit the largest Kauri tree in the world, the “God of the Forest” Tane Mahuta (own expense). Finish the day with a Kiwi classic for dinner, traditional fish and chips. Includes breakfast and dinner.

INCLUDED: Harbourside hotel

OPTIONAL: Footprints Waipoua twilight encounter, bone carving

We start the morning with a ferry ride across the Hokianga Harbour for a sand boarding adrenalin rush (weather dependent) before we start to make our way south through the mighty Waipoua Forest. Here we will have the opportunity to see NZ’s largest Kauri trees. We'll stop at the idyllic Kai Iwi Lakes for a swim in the beautiful crystal-clear waters surrounded by a pure white sandy beach, before returning to the ‘Big Smoke’ Auckland for a late afternoon arrival. We hope you had a blast on your Stray Journey! Includes breakfast

INCLUDED: Hokianga Ferry ride, sand boarding, visit Waipoua Forest (NZ’s largest Kauri trees), swim in the Kai Iwi Lake


You'll spend one night in high quality backpacker accommodation in Paihia and one night in a 4-star hotel in Hokianga:


Accommodation Upgrades

Quad-share accommodation is included with your tour. You can choose to upgrade your accommodation to a single or twin/double private room (subject to availability). 

  • Single Room: +$169
  • Double/Twin Room: +$89 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.





Need to Know

Due to COVID-19 all Stray trips are suspended until 1 November 2020. A new timetable will be available 1 August 2020. Please check our Service Updates page for more information.

Stray Journeys are small group tours designed to take you on a once-of-a-lifetime journey, with plenty of awesome stops along the way showing you the real New Zealand!


Some key details...

  • Group Size: Small Group (Max 24, Avg 18)
  • Physical Rating:  Average 
  • Transport: Travel by private, air-conditioned minibus (14-24 seats). 
  • Guides: Your Guide is also your driver - expect entertaining commentary, to learn some interesting facts about New Zealand and to hear a crazy story or two. 
  • Accommodation: Standard accommodation is quad-share. Upgrades may be available on request.  
  • Activities: Top-rated activities are included. If you want to do any additional activities, not specified in the itinerary, these can be booked via your guide, often at special Stray price. 
  • Meals: Meals are included in this tour. Any dietary requirements or allergies must be advised upon booking.
  • Stray Journeys Travellers: Our travellers are from all over the world, they are energetic, adventurous and mainly aged between 22-35 years old. 70% of our travellers are travelling solo.
  • Children: While not common, children aged between 7 - 17 are permitted to travel on this tour providing they are travelling with a parent or legal guardian and are booked to stay in a private room together. A 15% discount off these rates is available for children. Please email [email protected] to enquire about availability. 


What to Bring:

Sturdy walking shoes/boots, swimming gear, hat and sunscreen, motion sickness tablets, water bottle, towel and toiletries, warm clothing and waterproof jacket, insect repellent, camera. 

Luggage should be restricted to 15kg in a single bag or suitcase, plus a small day pack. 


Every Sunday from Auckland between October and April

Pick up locations and times: 

Waterloo Quadrant (10 Waterloo Quadrant) - 6.55am ​

70 Queen Street (by Bank of NZ) - 7.00am ​

YHA City (Go to corner of Queen St outside Bus Stop 7062) - 7.10am ​

YHA International - 7.10am ​

Base (Corner of Queen and Darby Street) - 7.20am ​

Sky Tower (Victoria Street) - 7.20am