We’re not simply a bus network – our trips include train, boat and even tuk tuk! With us, you get the full backpacker travel experience.
Most of the time we travel in private vehicles which means we can go where we want, stop where we want and ensure a safe, reliable and comfortable service.
How we Stray New Zealand
In New Zealand we use private buses (22-25 seats)
Travelling in New Zealand is like a road-trip experience, we're pretty flexible. We make stops for the bathroom, food, supermarkets, interesting sights and activities along the way.
We use the best vehicle size to minimise our environmental impact while making sure that the bus is not cramped and everyone has enough space.
There are some sectors where you won't be travelling on a Stray bus. These are:
- Christchurch to Greymouth (you'll travel on the TranzAlpine scenic train)
- Wellington to Picton (you will travel with the BlueBridge Cook Strait ferry with the Stray group)
- Christchurch to Picton (a comfortable InterCity bus will take you up to Picton and meet your Stray mates there)
- Milford Sound Day Trip ex. Queenstown (a custom build RealNZ coach will lead you to travel through the Fiordland National Park with extra-large windows, glass roof, and angled seating for optimal viewing)
How we Stray Australia
In Australia we use our own private buses (24-40 seats).
From Sydney to Cairns we travel ‘road-trip’ style on our own comfortable, private buses which allows us to get off the highways, into the national parks and check out some pretty special places. We keep our maximum group sizes to 24 even in our larger coaches for safety and comfort. Along the way our driver guides will provide interesting commentary and crank the tunes, in between making stops for walks, wildlife, waterfalls and of course coffee!
We travel to K'Gari (Fraser Island) by ferry, then use 4WD cars to traverse the island. In the Whitsunday Islands we travel by sailing yacht!
We do not travel overnight in Australia. This is for a number of reasons:
1. Safety - managing driver/guide fatigue, it's important that they have a proper night's sleep. There can be additional heavy transport and wildlife on the roads at night to be aware of.
2. Your comfort - If you can sleep in a proper bed at night, then you'll be up for more adventures during the day.
3. Convenience - there's no point arriving at a destination very in the early morning when you can't check in to hotels and there are no restaurants and shops open.
4. The Journey - It's not just about the destinations, it's also all the cool stuff along the way. We don't want you to miss the diverse scenery along the East Coast. We make stops for walks, willdlife spotting, waterfalls, photos and amazing views.
How we Stray Asia
In Asia we use private buses (12-24 seats), minivans, an overnight sleeper train and a private long boat.
We also hire private tuktuks for short transfers/shuttles.
If you're starting your trip in Bangkok you'll travel to Chiang Mai (Thailand) on the overnight sleeper train - a great way to get to know your new travel mates!
From Houay Xai to Luang Prabang we take a private 2day slow boat cruise down the Mekong River, stopping overnight at a remote Laos village for an exclusive homestay experience.
The rest of the route you'll be travelling on private, air-conditioned mid-sized coaches and minivans (depending on the group size). We make stops along the way to check out the sights, the views, swim in a waterfall, see an important monument, stretch our legs, get some food and go to the bathroom.
Some days when we're travelling in remote areas, restaurant options may be limited. We'll stop at places we know are clean and hygienic and can cope with our group size. You're welcome to bring snacks on the bus too.
The sectors where you'll cross the border into a new country are unguided and operated by third party operators because our private buses can’t move from country to country. Crossing the borders can be a bit intimidating and time consuming but it's all part of the adventure! We've detailed how these days work so you know what to expect.
We do not use Night Buses in Asia. Night buses look cool with flashing lights and reclining seats and some passengers ask why we don't use them. The short answer is that we don’t use night buses for safety reasons. The highways are dangerous at night. Night bus and lorry drivers are known to take stimulants to stay awake and there are a lot more heavy transport vehicles on the road, travelling at high speeds. Night buses are also pretty small, cramped and uncomfortable and arrive at a destination very in the early morning when you can't check in to hotels and there are no restaurants and shops open so you end up waiting around with nothing to do. You can’t enjoy the views out the window along the way either, and we all know it’s not just about the destination – it’s about the journey!