New Zealand Highlights Package


Adventure Awaits

Get off the beaten track amongst authentic local culture and the experienced crew has chosen some incredible destinations so you can see more and do more! 'Strademark' Places are the places you're less likely to find in the guide book but the ones you'll be talking about long after the adventure has ended. 


Day 1: Auckland to Hahei
Haere Mai (welcome)! Your New Zealand adventure kicks off in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. We depart 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 has plenty to offer the active traveller but is also a great place to kick back and relax. When the tides are right, we'll head over to Hot Water Beach, where you can dig your own natural spa pool! Tonight, you have the option to join a group dinner for a classic Kiwi BBQ. You can enjoy 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 2: Hahei
Today you have a full free day to embrace the laid-back lifestyle that makes this such a popular NZ holiday destination. Make the most of this special place by taking a scenic walk or kayak trip to a hidden paradise at nearby Cathedral Cove or opt to relax on the white sands of Hahei Beach. The coast off Hahei is also part of the protected Te-Whanganui-a-Hei Marine Reserve, which makes it a prime place for a guided coastal boat tour. Walk to Cathedral Cove, watch the sunrise on the beach, explore old cultural sites or simply relax on the beach  

Day 3: Hahei to Rotorua
We leave Hahei early, traveling through to Paeroa, home of New Zealand’s oldest and largest soft drink company L&P, where we’ll stop for a fun photo op at a local landmark. Carrying on, we’ll arrive in Rotorua, known for its lively geothermal activity, rich Maori history and adventure tourism. Head to the adventure park, or take a walk around town. Do the Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest walk, see the bubbling mud pools at Kuirau Park.  

Day 4: Rotorua 
Today, you will experience the Wairoa Rafting. Stunning rock and tree-lined gorge combining turbulent rapids with exciting drops to reduce awesome white water action....this is the rafting experience of a lifetime!!
You can also spend time in Rotorua to discover the numerous optional activities available. 

Day 5: Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua
Your last activity in Rotorua is the Hobbiton Movie Set Tours. It's an essential stop on the itinerary for every The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit fan travelling through New Zealand, offering an interesting and entertaining experience for all. The set has been completely rebuilt and is now a permanent attraction. Then, we're moving to Lake Aniwhenua. 

Day 6: Lake Aniwhenua to Blue Duck Station
After breakfast, we’ll make a special visit to the local school to deliver packed lunches to kids that often go without (dependent on school timetable). Then it’s on to Haggas Honking Holes for a very exciting & fast-moving experience. An adventure that crams lots of action into only 4 hours. 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. 

Day 7: 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 for a guided horse trek or kayak on the river through bush clad valleys and lush green hills. It doesn’t matter which option you choose, just get outdoors and enjoy all that Blue Duck has to offer! 

Day 8: Blue Duck Station (via Tongariro) 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 world’s top one-day walks, this 19km hike takes you across a rocky plateau with dramatic volcanic peaks, 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 alternative shorter walks in the area. Tonight, unwind after a big day in a cosy historic lodge in Raetihi, with friendly farm animals, a pamper room and spa bath with mountain views. 

Day 9: Raetihi to Wellington
This morning we travel to 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. 

Day 10: Wellington to Marahau (Abel Tasman)
We catch an early Bluebridge Ferry across the Cook Strait and through the magnificent Marlborough Sounds to the South Island where you meet the Stray group in Picton. Once on the bus, we’ll cruise through the world-famous Marlborough vineyard area. Depending on the group’s interest, we may stop for a wine tasting to sample the region’s speciality Sauvignon Blanc before heading to the coastal town of Nelson. We will stock up on supplies for the next couple days in Motueka and then make our way to our amazing overnight destination Marahau, right on the edge of the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park. NB. The Bluebridge Ferry price is not included in your Stray pass. 

Day 11: 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. 

Day 12: Marahau (Abel Tasman) to Franz Josef
Buckle up for an awesome day driving down the incredibly scenic ‘wild’ West Coast, an area known for its untamed beaches and spectacular rainforest. Today takes us through Buller Gorge and down a stretch of road that was labelled one of the top drives in the world by Lonely Planet. We’ll stop at the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and blowholes to walk around these unique geological wonders. 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 ‘Pounamu’, 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. 

Day 13: 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 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 local hot pools afterwards. Other options include kayaking, visiting the glacial terminal face for spectacular photos or doing one of the many excellent bush hikes in the region. 

Day 14: Franz Josef (via Fox Glacier) 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 another superbly scenic drive 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. 

Day 15: 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 heaps of restaurants, pubs and live music to check out. 

Day 16: Queenstown
Today, onboard a luxury glass-roofed coach in Queenstown, travel along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through the rolling countryside to Te Anau. The coach driver provides a commentary and interpretation material is available in foreign languages.  After a morning tea break in Te Anau, the coach continues along the spectacular Milford Road through impressive alpine scenery. There is time for photo stops and short walks along the way.  On reaching Milford Sound, enjoy a full-length cruise of the fiord in modern, purpose-built vessels.  The vessels offer excellent viewing of waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife with large windows, spacious decks and comfortable lounges. Commentaries are provided in several languages and interpretation handouts are available in eight languages. Following the cruise return to Queenstown by luxury coach. This tour also includes a Jet Boat Tour: Get ready for an insane 60 minute Jet boat ride across three waterways traveling at speeds of up to 95kph on the fastest and meanest Jet boats in town.

Day 17: Queenstown to Aoraki/Mt Cook
Today we head over the Lindis Pass through the beautiful Mackenzie region 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 it’s a clear night, make sure you head outside to experience one of the best stargazing spots in the country. There are some incredible longer walks to do if you want to hop off the bus for a few days (we’d recommend you leave climbing Mt Cook to the experienced mountaineers though). 

Day 18: Mt Cook (via Tekapo) 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 a cosy lodge at one of Canterbury’s original sheep stations. 

Day 19: Rangitata to Christchurch
This morning, you can sign up for top-notch grade 5 white water rafting on the Rangitata River at the foot of the Southern Alps or choose to explore the stunning Peel Forest scenery on horseback. Tonight, we’ll stay in Christchurch, a city where old meets new, as the rebuild continues following the devastating 2011 earthquake. You will find New Zealand’s most modern architecture nestled next to some of the country’s oldest buildings. Spend your afternoon wandering the city streets and laneways to discover creative street art intended to bring cheer and colour to a city once buried in rubble. We hope you had a blast on your Stray adventure!   

Your Adventure Includes

  • Bus Pass
  • Reserved Accommodation (Dorm)
  • Experienced Driver Guide
  • Hobbiton Movie Set
  • 1 Day Milford Sound Scenic Cruise
  • Haggas Honking Holes Adventure - Waitomo
  • Jet Boat Ride
  • Wairoa Rafting

The Specifics

Departure Information
Departs Auckland Southbound, pickups begin from 7:20am

What to bring

  • Comfortable walking shoes/hiking boots
  • Weather-appropriate clothing
  • Towel/Toiletries
  • Swimwear
  • Hat/Sunscreen

Optional Activities


  • Zorbing
  • Adrenaline-fuelled adventure park (big swings, bungys and more) 


  • Ziplining
  • Zorbing
  • Geothermal attractions
  • Maori village & performance experience
  • Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland


  • Skydiving
  • Bungy 


  • 4WD farm tour
  • Half-day horse trek
  • Clay bird shooting
  • Pest control
  • Kayaking (summer only)
  • Jet boating (summer only) 


  • The Tongariro Alpine Crossing
  • Skiing/snowboarding (winter only) 


  • Wellington Movie Tours

MARAHAU (Abel Tasman)

  • Wine tasting
  • Skydiving
  • Full day sailing trip
  • Kayaking
  • Skydiving
  • Water taxi
  • Canyoning 


  • Glacier Heli-hike (entry to hot pools included)
  • Kayaking
  • Skydiving


  • Puzzling World
  • Skydiving
  • Mountain biking
  • Pilot your own stunt plane or learn to fly and take a friend for free
  • Bungy jumping


Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jet boating, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding…) 


  • Alpine Argo tour
  • Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre 


  • Tekapo Hot Springs
  • Ice skating (April-Sept)
  • Snow tubing (June-Sept)
  • Stargazing (must hop off in Tekapo)


  • White water rafting (summer only)
  • Horse trekking

Check Availability


New Zealand Highlights Package