Hop-on Hop-off National New Zealand Pass

Hop-on Hop-off National Pass

Milford Sound, New Zealand

Emerald lakes on Tongariro Crossing track, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

Mirror Lakes along the way to Milford Sound

 Queenstown from the Skyline Luge at sunrise

Coromandel, New Zealand

Wanaka Tree at sunrise, Wanaka

Milford sound, New Zealan

Cathedral Cove marine reserve on the Coromandel Peninsula

Milford sound, New Zealan

New Zealand, Glacier

New Zealand

Milford sound, New Zealan

Scenic Bay of Islands, Paihia, New Zealand

Milford sound, New Zealan

New Zealand

------------------- Transportation Pass -------------------

28 Day Adventure

Amazing Views

Aquatic Adventures

Bus Tour

Customizable Vacation

Itinerary

Soft Adventure

This tour can start anywhere and finish where you start.

Hop-on Hop-off National Pass

28 Day Transportation Pass Adventure - This tour can start anywhere and finish where you start.

On this transportation pass over 4 to 5 weeks in New Zealand, the mission is to get you off the beaten track. This will be done by getting you amongst authentic local culture and our experienced crew has chosen some incredible and unique destinations to explore for the complete experience!

This pass route is a loop, which means you can start and finish anywhere you would like. We recommend at least 5 weeks to get the most out of your trip and to allow some time to hop-off and explore your favourite destinations for longer. Included in this Hop on Hop off pass is your bus transport – Travel in comfort on our private buses. Driver-guide – Far more than just a driver, your tour guide is an invaluable source of local knowledge and will assist you with booking activities and accommodation on your behalf. Plus reserved accommodation – Have a bed reserved for you at every Stray overnight stop. Book through your Driver and pay-as-you-go directly to the accommodation.

The hop on hop off pass is flexible and valid for 12 months from your start date. You can pay as you go for accommodation and activities.

Standard
$1514CAD
per person
  • Starts
  • This tour can start anywhere and finish where you start.
  • Minimum days: 28- 31
  • Recommended days: 5+ weeks
  • Price valid until March 31, 2020.

Get Ready for a Trip of a Lifetime

Details of Your Downunder Travel Adventure

Included in your Adventure

Bus Tour

Customizable

Excluded in your Adventure

Accommodation

Excursions

Flights/Airfare

Meals

Travel Visa

Where will you visit?

Hahei Beach
Cathedral Cove
Blue Duck Station
Lake Aniwhenua
Abel Tasman National Park
Milford Sound
Mount Cook/Aoraki

Hop-on Hop-off National Pass

Itinerary

National Pass

28 Day Adventure

Day 1: Auckland to Paihia

Haere mai (welcome)! Your Stray adventure kicks off in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. We depart northbound for the relaxed seaside town of Paihia, gateway to the beautiful Bay of Islands. We stop en-route at the Parry Kauri Forest Park to hug some of the world’s mightiest trees, the native kauri, before cruising up to Paihia for a relaxing afternoon in the stunning Bay. NB: For those travelling up to Cape Reinga, remember to book this day trip in Stray Mate by 12pm the day before you intend to travel or speak to your Stray Driver Guide on the way to Paihia. The Cape Reinga day trip is operated by a local partner so pre-booking is essential. Accommodation: Hostel along from the beach Optional paid activities: Catch the ferry to historic Russell (NZ’s former capital), skydiving, Hole in the Rock cruise, kayaking, BBQ dinner at the accommodation Free activities: Tree hugging huge kauri trees at Parry Kauri Forest.
Day 2: Paihia to Cape Reinga to Paihia

Gear up for a big day, departing early to make the trip to the top of the country. Don’t forget to pack lunch, water and some snacks to keep you going today. Travelling on a custom-built coach you'll drive up 90 Mile Beach, an official public highway, to Te Paki Stream, where you'll learn the art of sand surfing on some of the biggest sand dunes in New Zealand. Our destination is Cape Reinga, where the Tasman and Pacific Oceans clash at the northernmost point of the country. Legend says it is also the departure point for Maori souls leaving New Zealand to return to their spiritual homeland of Hawaiki. The trip home includes a walk in a kauri forest and a stopover at Mangonui for a Kiwi classic dinner of fish 'n chips (pay on the day), before returning to Paihia in the evening. NB. This day trip is operated by a local partner. To secure a seat on this day trip ensure you book either with your Driver or in Stray Mate before 12pm the day before to secure a seat. Accommodation: Hostel along from the beach in Paihia Optional paid activities: Traditional Kiwi fish and chips option for dinner Free activities: Dune surfing.

Day 3: Paihia to Auckand

Enjoy a sleep in and spend the morning at your leisure. There’s time to do the fantastic half-day Hole in the Rock dolphin cruise around the Bay in the morning, or take this opportunity to hike to the Haruru Falls or just hang out on the beach. Mid-afternoon we jump back on board the Stray bus, destined for the bright lights of Auckland, where there are still plenty of exciting activities to do if you have a free day or two. Accommodation: Central Auckland hostel Optional paid activities: Hole in the Rock cruise, skydiving; Auckland: skydiving, bungy off the bridge, walk around or jump off the top of the Sky Tower, whale and dolphin safari Free activities: Walk around Paihia or Haruru Falls, go for a swim or relax on the beach.

Day 4: Auckland to Hahei

We depart Auckland and head south, travelling to the Coromandel Peninsula via the old colonial town of Thames. Renowned for its natural beauty and pristine swimming beaches, the Coromandel Peninsula has plenty to offer the active traveller, but is also a great place to kick back and relax in a pretty coastal setting. On arrival into Hahei, a small beachside village, we’ll get settled into our accommodation before heading over to Hot Water Beach (tidal dependent). This is an absolute ‘must do’ experience where you can dig your own natural spa bath in the sand and soak up the Coromandel surrounds. Tonight, you have the option to join a group dinner for a classic Kiwi BBQ. Accommodation: Exclusive Stray accommodation by the waterfront Free activities: Visit Hot Water Beach for a natural beach spa (tide & weather dependent), walk to Cathedral Cove, explore old cultural sites or simply relax on the beach.

Day 5: Hahei

Today you have a full free day to embrace the laid-back lifestyle that makes this area such a popular NZ holiday destination. Make the most of this special place by taking a scenic walk or kayak to the nearby Cathedral Cove, a paradise-like beach that you might recognize from one of the Narnia films. If you prefer water sports, the coast off Hahei is part of the protected Te-Whanganui-a-Hei Marine Reserve, which is a prime place to take a guided coastal boat tour or fully immerse yourself with a snorkelling excursion. Accommodation: Exclusive Stray accommodation by the waterfront Optional paid activities: Kayaking, bike hire, guided boat tour, seafood cooking class Free activities: Walk to Cathedral Cove, watch the sunrise on the beach, go snorkelling in the marine reserve, explore old cultural sites or simply relax on the beach.

Day 6: Hahei to Rotorua

We leave Hahei early travelling through to Paeroa, home of New Zealand’s oldest and largest soft drinks company – L&P, where we’ll stop for breakfast. Our drive today will take us through the Waikato region, known for its many dairy farms, rolling hills and the mighty Waikato River (the largest river in New Zealand). You can make this a real 10 out of 10 day by signing up to a guided tour through the world famous Hobbiton Movie Set. Even if you’re not a fan, this is truly unique experience which explores a whimsical garden village, home to Frodo and Bilbo in Peter Jackson’s epic trilogies is loved by all. If this is not for you, then you can continue on to Rotorua where there are plenty of other activities on offer. The Hobbiton goers will return early evening. Accommodation: Comfortable central city hostel Optional paid activities: Hobbiton Movie Set tour, white-water rafting, zorbing, adrenaline-fuelled adventure park (big swings, bungees and more) Free activities: Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest walk.

Day 7: Rotorua

Often labelled the adventure capital of the North Island, you have a full free day in Rotorua to discover an area rich in Maori heritage, adventure activities and bubbling geothermal wonders such as Wai-o-tapu and Hells Gate. There are plenty of exciting local activities to get the adrenaline pumping, such as whitewater rafting, zip lining through native bush, zorbing or a truly unique guided jet boat adventure up to bath in a hot waterfall! Alternatively, you have the option to sign up for a day trip to visit the incredible Waitomo Caves, where you can wade, climb, abseil and tube through Waitomo’s magnificent limestone cave network lit up by millions of resident glowworms. Accommodation: Comfortable central city hostel Optional paid activities: Waitomo caving day trip, river jet tour, white water rafting, zip lining, zorbing, geothermal parks, luging, Maori village & performance experience.

Day 8: Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua

We’ll depart in the morning to explore the iconic crater-lake walk at Rainbow Mountain, followed by a soak at Kerosene Creek, a steaming geothermal stream and waterfall. From here our journey ventures right off the beaten track into the remote area of Lake Aniwhenua - voted one of Stray’s top overnight stops! As we drive into the Kaingaroa Forest we will meet up with a respected Maori guide who will lead the group to a sacred archaeological site to view NZ’s oldest Maori rock carvings. Tonight, you will have the opportunity to learn more about Maori traditions, including the entertaining stick games traditionally used to teach hand-eye coordination, as well as how to prepare a ‘Hangi’, a sumptuous feast cooked underground. Sign up for one of the cultural activities on offer or simply enjoy a sunset drink at the Taniwha Bar overlooking the lake. For those visiting during school term, you will be both touched and inspired as you learn about a local community program in which Stray passengers are actively participating. Top-rated ‘Strademark’ experience includes:1 night’s accommodation at the serene lakeside Kohutapu Lodge, 1 x traditional hangi dinner, dessert and a continental breakfast • Guided tour to sacred maori rock carvings, Introduction to the Murupara area, its people, history and challenges, Participation in a local school program designed to inspire the next generation (participation available on school days only) This ‘Strademark’ overnight experience at Lake Aniwhenua is optional, but in our opinion, it’s an absolute must do! To skip this experience, you need to catch an Intercity bus from Rotorua to Taupo and then hop back on the Stray bus the next day in Taupo. Accommodation: Scenic lakefront lodge Free activities: Crater-lake walk at Rainbow Mountain, Kerosene Creek.

Day 9: Lake Auiwhenua to Blue Duck Station

After breakfast we’ll make a special visit to the local school to deliver packed lunches for kids that often go without and participate in a beneficial program aimed at driving cross-cultural education in an otherwise isolated part of NZ (dependent on school timetable). Then it’s on to Taupo to visit the mighty Huka Falls. The brave hearted can opt to plunge from a plane on an adrenaline fuelled skydive over NZ’s largest lake! Our destination this evening is often rated by passengers as one of Stray’s #1 overnight stops and you’ll soon see why. Located in Whakahoro, one of the most remote parts of the North Island, Blue Duck Station is a sprawling 7,200 acre high country farm that is both a working station and an environmental conservation leader. On arrival, we will settle in to learn a little about daily life at Blue Duck, then relax and chill out around an evening fire. Accommodation: Country station lodge Optional paid activities: Skydiving, bungy Free activities: Huka Falls, Spa Park walk, swim in naturally heated pools.

Day 10: Blue Duck Station

Today is yours to fully explore this truly incredible location. Jump on a 4WD and travel up farm roads, over hilly peaks and through native bush to learn about the station’s interesting settlement history and their current conservation efforts. Don your cowboy hat and explore the farm by horseback or kayak on the river through bush clad valleys and lush green hills. Visit the Kaiwhakauka waterfall or assist with the farm’s pest control efforts and bring back tonight’s dinner. It doesn’t matter which option you choose, just get outdoors and enjoy all that Blue Duck has to offer! Accommodation: Country station lodge Optional paid activities: An eco-warrior 4WD tour, a half day horse trek, clay bird shooting, kayaking, jet boating, pest control Free activities: Walk around the amazing Blue Duck property and take in the lush scenery, walk to the Kaiwhakauka waterfall, enjoy your hosts’ fantastic hospitality and stories of the local wildlife and history.

Day 11: Blue Duck Station to Raetihi

We’ll be up at the crack of dawn for an early departure to make our way to the UNESCO Dual World Heritage Site, Tongariro National Park. Today you get the chance to tick off one of the most popular hikes in New Zealand - the epic Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Considered one of the top one-day walks in the world, this 19km walk will take you across a rocky plateau with dramatic volcanic peaks (including the real ‘Mt Doom’), craters and turquoise lakes that you’ll remember for a lifetime. The Crossing is open to walk year-round (alpine gear and guide are required in winter), but subject to the weather conditions. Ensure you pack a day pack with plenty of supplies and clothing for all conditions. If the weather prevents you from doing the Crossing, there are a couple of shorter walks in the area, as well as bike tracks that are well worth doing. Tonight, we will stay in a homely historic Nurses Home in Raetihi, with friendly farm animals, a pamper room and spa bath with mountain views to enjoy at the end of an active day. Accommodation: Historic restored lodge with mountain views Optional paid activities: The Tongariro Alpine Crossing, shuttle to Ohakune township, mountain bike Old Coach Road or Fishers Track, hop-off to go skiing/snowboarding (winter only) Free activities: Taranaki Falls walk, visit the Volcanic Centre, Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s pool), pet the local farm animals, volunteer tree planting.

Day 12: Raetihi to Wellington

This morning we travel towards the bottom of the North Island via the rural towns of Ohakune, Taihape and Bulls. Today is mostly an express day to get to Wellington, our capital city and home to New Zealand’s parliament and the iconic Beehive government building. Also known as the ‘coolest little capital in the world’, thanks to Lonely Planet, Wellington is a great place to check out the lively arts, craft beer and café culture scenes or do some shopping. The afternoon is yours to explore the sights - we recommend wandering down Oriental Parade or viewing the excellent exhibits on display at Te Papa National Museum. Accommodation: Central city hostel Optional paid activities: Wellington Movie Tours, check out some of the great cafes and bars. Free activities: Walk Oriental Parade, head up Mt Victoria for fantastic views, visit Te Papa National Museum, gumboot (welly) throwing.

Day 13: Wellington to Marahau (Abel Tasman)

We catch an early Bluebridge Ferry across the Cook Strait to the South Island where you meet the Stray bus in Picton. Once on the bus, we’ll cruise through the world-famous Marlborough vineyard area and, depending on the groups interest, we may stop for a wine tasting to sample the region’s specialty Sauvignon Blanc before heading to the coastal town of Nelson. We make a supermarket stop in Motueka to stock up on supplies for the next couple days and then make our way to our amazing overnight destination Marahau, right on the edge of the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park. Accommodation: Unique Stray accommodation on the edge of the national park Optional paid activities: Wine tasting, skydiving Free activities: Walks, mussel tasting around the fire, stargazing.

Day 14: Marahau (Abel Tasman)

With a full day at your leisure, don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore this stunning, coastal national park on foot, by sea or from the air. Abel Tasman is famous for being one of the sunniest spots in New Zealand and, as home to one of NZ’s Great Walks, is a popular place to hop off for hiking enthusiasts. Even those short on time can still use this free day to hike, kayak, sail or take a water taxi to get a taste of the park’s natural golden sand beaches and brilliant blue waters. Accommodation: Unique Stray accommodation on the edge of the national park Optional paid activities: Full day sailing trip, kayaking, skydiving, water taxi, stand-up paddle boarding, canyoning, hang gliding Free activities: Walk in the national park, relax on one of the golden sand beaches, go for a swim.

Day 15: Marahau (Abel Tasman) to Franz Josef

Buckle up for a awesome day driving down the incredibly scenic ‘wild’ West Coast, an area known for its untamed beaches and spectacular rainforest. We’ll pass through Buller Gorge and down a stretch of road that was labelled one of the top ten drives in the world by Lonely Planet. We’ll take a walk along the craggy cliffs at Cape Foulwind to view the seal colony before continuing further down the coast to the geographic wonder of Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks and blowholes. Here we’ll take a walk around these unique limestone rock formations and stop for a bite of lunch. Our next stop is the historic gold mining town of Greymouth to collect passengers connecting from Christchurch. From here we’ll make one last stop via Hokitika (the best place to buy ‘Pounami’, a native greenstone) before continuing onto the quaint township of Franz Josef, home of the mighty Franz Josef Glacier where we’ll spend the next two nights. Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest Free activities: Buller Gorge, Cape Foulwind Seal Colony, Pancake Rocks and Blow holes, Hokitika greenstone store.

Day 16: Franz Josef

Enjoy a free day to get out and experience the Franz Josef Glacier, an iconic highlight of the West Coast. The best way to navigate the maze of ice and explore the incredible landscape on the Franz Josef Glacier is with a guided tour, which consistently ranks as a favourite activity amongst Stray travellers. The most popular trip features a short heli-hop onto the glacier with a guided educational tour on the ice and includes entry to the hot pools afterwards. Other options include visiting the glacial terminal face for some spectacular photos or doing one of the many excellent bush hikes in the region. Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest Optional paid activities: Glacier heli-hike (entry to hot pools included), kayaking, skydiving Free activities: Many excellent bush hikes (we recommend a guided one for safety), relax in one of NZ’s largest spa pools at your accommodation.

Day 17: Franz Josef to Wanaka

It’s time to leave the West Coast behind. We stop in the morning for pick-ups at Fox Glacier before heading to the amazing mirror-like Lake Matheson to stretch our legs with a short walk. Then, we’ll travel inland through the mountainous Haast Pass and Makarora towards Wanaka. This is one of the most scenic drives you’ll ever do and we’ll stop for plenty of photo ops along the way as we drive from rainforests to mountains, through beech forest and past great lakes. We’ll pass by the beautiful Lake Hawea and arrive in Wanaka late-afternoon in time to enjoy this picturesque lakeside town. Accommodation: Central Wanaka hostel Free activities: Lake Matheson walk, Ship Creek walk, Blue Pools walk, Thunder Creek Falls walk, explore Wanaka.

Day 18: Wanaka to Queenstown

Kick start your day with a brisk walk up Mt Iron, an early morning skydive or learn to fly a stunt plane over Wanaka. At mid-morning we’ll pack up and 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 on our way into town at Kawarau Bridge, the first commercial bungy jumping site in the world, for your chance to take the big leap of faith. Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge!) night out with plenty of excellent restaurants, pubs and live music to check out. Accommodation: Central hostel close to all the action Optional paid activities: Puzzling World, skydiving, mountain biking, pilot your own stunt plane or learn to fly and take a friend for free, bungy jumping Free activities: Walk Mt Iron, watch people jumping off a bridge!

Day 19: Queenstown

You need at least one free day in Queenstown to make the most of the wide range of activities on offer. With a buzzy night life, beautiful mountain scenery and an exciting outdoor lifestyle, it’s easy to understand why Stray passengers often hop off here to spend extra time exploring. Options include: bungy or swing, zipline tours, canyoning, jet boating, skiing, skydiving, local bush walks, or just spend a day relaxing and enjoying the stunning scenery. Accommodation: Central hostel close to all the action Optional paid activities: Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jet boating, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding…) Free activities: Fabulous walks, take in beautiful views from this cool resort town.

Day 20: Queenstown (via Milford Sound) to Gunn's Camp

Today you are in for a treat. It’s an early start as make our way to Milford Sound, one of NZ’s most famous destinations, sometimes referred to as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’. You won’t want to nap on this leg of the journey as we drive past Lake Wakatipu and watch the landscape change from farmland to mountains, glacier-carved valleys and fiords. There is time to do an afternoon boat cruise around Milford Sound to soak up this untouched world. Known for its rich marine ecology, it’s likely you’ll spot a few wild dolphins, seals and penguins. Next, we head for our unique Stray overnight stop, Gunn’s Camp, located in the solitude of Hollyford Valley. There’s no better place to enjoy an evening under the stars, spot glow-worms in the bush and listen out for kiwi bird calls in the night. Accommodation: Historic camp in the heart of Fiordland National Park Optional paid activities: Milford Sound cruise (ask the driver about the special Milford Sound + Stewart Island combo) Free activities: Stunning views, visit the historic museum or take in the incredible surroundings at Gunn’s Camp, Chasm walk.

Day 21: Gunn's Camp to Invercargill /Stewart Island

We start the morning with a short riverside stroll through beech forest on the Viewing Gantry walk. Fiordland is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site Te Wahipounamu (which incorporates four national parks including Mt Cook, Mt Aspiring, Westland and Fiordland) and you’ll understand why as you marvel at the spectacular surrounding landscape. This afternoon we travel further south via Te Anau to Invercargill and on to Bluff, where you can catch a ferry to Stewart Island. NZ’s third largest island, Stewart Island, has an abundance of activities for the outdoor enthusiast, such as fishing, kayaking, diving, bird watching and tramping tracks. Those not going to Stewart Island will spend the night in Invercargill. Accommodation: Stewart Island backpackers or central hostel in Invercargill Optional paid activities: Te Anau Wildlife Centre, catch the ferry to Stewart Island (ask the driver about the special Milford Sound + Stewart Island combo) Free activities: Humboldt Falls walk, Viewing Gantry walk.

Day 22: Invercargill /Stewart Island to Queenstown

For those who stayed overnight on Stewart Island, this morning is free for you to explore, meet the locals, go fishing or enjoy some of the walks before catching an afternoon ferry back to the mainland. Those in Invercargill will have the option to visit Demolition World (a world entirely constructed from demolished buildings and recycled items), race your bus mates around a go-karting track or walk up to the Bluff Hill lookout before reuniting with the island-goers for an express journey back to Queenstown. Accommodation: Central hostel close to all the action Optional paid activities: Stewart Island: fishing, Village & Bays tour, a visit to Ulva Island. Invercargill: Go-karting, Demolition World Free activities: Stewart Island: explore the island and amazing birdlife Invercargill: Bluff Hill walk.

Day 23: Queenstown to Aoraki/Mt Cook

Today we head over the Lindis Pass through the beautiful Mackenzie Country and past picturesque Lake Pukaki on the way to our amazing stop at the base of New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook. We arrive in the early afternoon with time to do a 4WD & Argo Tour, check out the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre or do one of the many great short walks in the park. If you want to hop off the bus for a few days there are some incredible longer walks you can do (we’d recommend leaving climbing Mt Cook to the experienced mountaineers though). Accommodation: Stunning alpine lodge Optional paid activities: Argo tour of alpine region, visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre Free activities: Take photos of awe-inspiring scenery, do one of the many great short walks to the Hooker glacial lake (weather dependent), stargazing.

Day 24: Mt Cook to Rangitata

Leaving Mt Cook, we make our way through a landscape made famous in the Lord of the Rings films. We’ll stop to admire the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo and the Church of the Good Shepherd – a famous photo stop. Relax in the Tekapo hot pools, go snow tubing or ice skating (winter only) or hike up to the Mt John observatory where you’ll witness stunning views of the lake from above. After lunch, we will continue to our overnight stop in Rangitata Peel Forest. Tonight, we’ll stay in one of Canterbury’s original sheep stations. Accommodation: One of Canterbury’s original sheep stations Optional paid activities: Tekapo Hot Springs, Ice skating (April-Sept), Snow tubing (June-Sept) Free activities: Visit Lake Tekapo, Mt John observatory walk, Rangitata forest walks.

Day 25: Rangitata to Christchurch

This morning, you will have the opportunity to sign up to a top-notch grade 5 white water rafting experience on Rangitata River under the foot of the Southern Alps or to explore the stunning Peel Forest scenery on horseback. Tonight, we’ll stay in Christchurch - a city where old meets new, as an enormous rebuild continues following the devastating 2011 Earthquake. You will find some of New Zealand’s most modern architecture nestled next to some of our oldest buildings. Wander the city streets and laneways to discover creative street art intended to bring cheer and colour to a city once buried in rubble. Spend your afternoon exploring the city or getting involved in one of the activities on offer. Accommodation: Comfortable, modern backpackers near the city centre Optional paid activities: White water rafting, horse trekking Free activities: Explore Christchurch by foot, check out the Re-Start Mall, Cardboard Cathedral and inner-city street art.

Day 26: Christchurch to Kaikoura

We stop briefly to do pick-ups and drop-offs at the Christchurch International Airport as we depart early this morning for a beautiful drive up the coast to Kaikoura. Arriving in Kaikoura around midday, you will have the afternoon free for activities to experience the incredible marine world just off shore. Get out on the water and experience one of Kaikoura’s famous dolphin and whale spotting tours, see seals sitting right beside the road at Goose Bay or wander around the peninsula and check out the breathtaking views from the lookout. Accommodation: Warm modern hostel Optional paid activities: Whale watching by boat or by plane, swimming with dolphins, guided fishing trip Free activities: Walk around the peninsula and up to the lookout.

Day 27: Kaikoura (via Picton) to Wellington

Leaving Kaikoura in the morning we wind our way up the rugged coastal roads towards the top of the South Island. For those that choose to hop off in the port town of Picton, check out the Queen Charlotte Sound view walk and take advantage of the free fishing gear and pushbikes at the Picton accommodation. Those heading to Wellington will catch the afternoon Bluebridge Ferry across the Cook Strait (from Picton to Wellington). The evening in Wellington is free so why not explore this funky town’s nightlife at any of the bars and restaurants along Cuba Street. Accommodation: Central city hostel Free activities: Wellington: Explore the city’s nightlife, Picton: fishing, biking.

Day 28: Wellington (via Raetihi) to Auckland

We depart in the early morning. This is an express day via Raetihi heading back to the ‘City of Sails’, Auckland. For those who may have missed out on hiking the Tongariro Crossing, you have the option to hop off in National Park and try again. With an early evening arrival, there’s still time to wander the streets of Auckland, visit the Viaduct, do some souvenir shopping or hang out with new friends and share stories about your recent adventures. If you are hanging around Auckland for another day or two, don’t miss your chance to jump off the Harbour Bridge or Sky Tower, skydive, or take a wildlife cruise around the Hauraki Gulf. We hope you had a blast on your Stray adventure!

Hop-on Hop-off National Pass

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What you need to know

Information and Facts

New Zealand: Facts & Information

Weather

New Zealand’s climate is the opposite of our climate and altogether a lovely destination to visit year-round. Summer is between December and February, autumn is between March and May, winter is between June and August and spring is September to November. Snow can appear throughout June to October, yet most of the snow calls in mountainous regions.

Safety

New Zealand is generally a very safe destination. We recommend that all our travellers purchase travel insurance to cover theft, loss, cancellations/travel interruptions, accidents and non-pre-existing medical problems. Take necessary travel precautions; bring sun block and sun glasses with you, have copies on-hand of your important documents.

Vaccinations

WHO recommends travellers be up to date with Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, meningitis, polio, measles,  mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap(tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza.

Currency & Customs

The currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar, which more or less at-par to the Canadian Dollar. Tipping is not customary in the country; however, hotels, tour guides/ground operators and restaurants do not add service charges to your bill and if you feel your service provider went above and beyond, it is recommended to tip about 10%.

Electricity

The electrical current for New Zealand (and Australia) is 220-240 volts; it is recommended for certain appliances such as hair dryers and straighteners to bring both a plug adapter and converter. For newer electronics such as tablets or smartphones, a plug adapter may only be needed as the voltage could automatically adjust.

Language

The main spoken language in New Zealand is English. As well, the Māori language of the indigenous residents of New Zealand is also recognized as a national language.

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We will be recommending you to anyone we know

We absolutely loved our vacation, Jason!  Kudos to you with your recommendations, bookings, etc.  Everything came off without a hitch –  excursion pickups, airport shuttles were always on time.  We made out great driving on the wrong side of the road, and steering wheel on wrong side of car lol.  Air New Zealand was a great choice for our main flights, flight attendants came to our seats and thanked us personally for flying with Air New Zealand.  Again, we have to thank you so much Jason for helping us plan such a fantastic vacation – such a great time.  Hopefully we will vacation in another area you sell and we’ll need your services again.  We will definitely be recommending you to anyone we know.

C. Hinks

A Phenomenal South Pacific Adventure

A special thanks for putting my phenomenal South Pacific Adventure of a lifetime together.  Much appreciation for all the hard work that you have endured to make my trip a most memorable adventure.  I have totally enjoyed every aspect of the trip.  I will definitely recommend this itinerary to anyone looking for a trip of a lifetime.

A. Millette

3 Week Australia Trip!

Our family would like to thank you for coordinating an amazing trip to Australia!  We only had 3 weeks but we were able to experience so much with an itinerary that was seamless and worry free!

Every spot was memorable, from the Grampians to Kangaroo Island, to a liveaboard on the GBR and the bright lights of Melbourne and Sydney  – a spectacular country and can’t wait to go back!

We definitely recommend Downunder Travel and are grateful to Andree for all her help and expertise in creating a wonderful adventure!

Maureen

Best Vacation Ever

Jason created the Best Vacation Ever for us – a month long trip to Australia travelling the east coast, the Red Center and south. All arrangements, locations, excursions, transfers were well executed which resulted in a stress free vacation for us! Thanks so much for your attention to all the details. Would definitely recommend that others trust Jason to make their entire trip as spectacular as ours was.
Gregory’s and Short’s

L. Gregory

Wonderful Thailand and Myanmar!

Thanks for organizing and planning our recent trip to Thailand and Myanmar. We had a wonderful, magical month on some Thai islands, and tremendously enjoyed Mandalay and particularly, Bagan. The hot air balloon ride, is not to be missed.  Our next trip to that part of the world , we will certainly use your expertise Andree.

T. Baker

NZ and Cook Islands

“Jason planned our 3 week honeymoon to New Zealand and Cook Islands in October 2016. Jason was very knowledgeable and saved us so much time not trying to plan the trip details ourselves! We had an amazing time, with everything going smoothly. Overall, happy to recommend his service to anyone else planning to go “down under” 🙂 .”

L. Filipic

Melbourne, Cairns & Sydney!

The tours in Melbourne, Cairns and Sydney were exceptional.  The guides were all very informative and helpful when explaining the sites, sometimes throwing in their own personal stories too.  In Melbourne we enjoyed: the hop on/off bus tour, the Central Historical tram, the Treasury and ANZAC Memorial is is very worthwhile, The Great Ocean Road with our small group tour was fabulous and the Penguin Parade with underground viewing is definitely a must-see!  The Cairns tours are remarkable; I enjoyed our small personalized group travel to Frankland Island (including guided walk), the Kuranda Train, Skyrail and Hartley’s offered a great variety and St. Monica’s Cathedral with its stained glass windows are a hidden gem!  In Sydney, we enjoyed so much; the Ferry boat was easy to manage, The Sydney Opera House was definitely a highlight, our Harbour Cruise was fantastic and our Blue Mountains tour with hike was lovely, definitely another must-experience.

In addition to the terrific tours, our flights and connections were seamless and the personal touches and the variety of experienced offered on this trip was one of a kind!  I look forward to working with you again in the not too distant future!

W. MGee

Australia, Africa, and more!

“A group of 9 travelers wanted to do a tour of Australia. 4 of us have been using Jason at Downunder Travel since 2005. We are a group with agricultural interests so we were hoping to see the diversity of Australia with as many ag components as possible. We met with Jason and he compiled an itinerary for us which gave us another trip of a lifetime. Jason’s attention to detail is truly amazing. Everything happened without a glitch which makes for a worry-free holiday. He also allowed for some free days if anything needed rearranged. We are already planning our next holiday with his company. Kudos to Jason!”

T. Evans

Super Thank-You for completely arranging our 5 week trip!

We would like to say a super Thank You to Jason Webb at Downunder Travel. For completely arranging our 5 week trip to New Zealand, Australia, Bora Bora, Paul Gauguin Cruise in Tahiti & return to Canada. Jason booked all our airline travel, chauffeur pick ups, & travel dates. These were very convenient scheduled & were all on time. Twelve air planes in 34 days. Jason had the knowledge & experience to pre-book excellent hotels, exceptional tours & timely transfers. We had a memorable, enjoyable carefree trip due to Jason’s knowledgeable preparation.

Bonnie & Kent

New Zealand Self-Drive

“We spent 6.5 wonderful weeks exploring both Islands in New Zealand. Jason met with us to understand our interests and a sense of where we hoped to travel while there. Accommodations, day trips, half day tours etc all ran without a hitch. At one point we thought we might be seeking medical assistance at a drop in clinic. Not sure about the process with Medical Insurance, we sent him a note to which he quickly responded and we really appreciated. We are very thankful for the arrangements and bookings that helped make the time there truly great. Thanks Jason.”

D. Nixon

African Safari

“Our group of 4 travelled to Africa, 4 different countries, many flights, hotels and tours under the guidance of Jason at Down Under Travel. The trip was amazing especially the safaris. Jason’s attention to detail made this trip outstanding. Truly a trip of a lifetime that was arranged perfectly. Don’t hesitate to book with this company, you will not be disappointed.”

M. O'Bryan

Selection of excursions were suited to our interests

Kudos to Sawyer, our travel agent from Downunder Travel, who did a fantastic job of arranging our trip to Fiji. Her attention to detail was impeccable.

We were delayed for takeoff from Calgary to San Francisco due to weather and Sawyer helped us with our hotel bookings and transfers en-route to San Francisco. As well, she automatically readjusted our Fiji itinerary to coincide with our missed arrival dates in Fiji.

When we were planning our trip, we told Sawyer what our interests were, and her selection of excursions were exactly suited to our interests. Her choice of accommodations was excellent.

Jim & Mary

Ghan Platinum Trip

Just to let you know we arrived safely back home late yesterday after a wonderful trip. Thank you for setting it all up. We saw almost no rain but the day that it did rain was when we arrived in Darwin. Having Platinum [The Ghan] meant our transfer bus was right beside the train whereas the Gold passengers had quite a walk to get to the station. The train is almost a kilometer long so it meant a walk in the rain for some.

G. Bernhardt

Southern Africa 25 Day Tour

“Heard about this place through a friend and decided to inquire about a trip to Southern Africa. Jason did a fantastic job with very little time and set up a 25 day trip, flights included. Was excellent at every stage and everything went off without a hitch. Would absolutely recommend, and will most definitely be a repeat customer.”

J. Szoo