Stray NZ: Jill pass (7 days minimum) JILL
Want to concentrate on the North Island? The "Jill" is for you – whether you have 2 weeks or 12 months, she includes our full North Island travel network.
We recommend at least 1-2 weeks to get the most out of your trip and to allow some time to hop-off and explore your favourite destinations for longer.
- Stay at a wilderness lodge in the bush at Raglan – overlooking New Zealand’s premier surf beach.
- See glow-worms and do some amazing caving at Waitomo Caves.
- Overnight stay on a Marae (Maori meeting house) in Mourea includes your accommodation, hangi (dinner), breakfast and unique cultural experience all for only $80.
- Stop in at Rotorua to experience (smell) the geothermal activity and do extreme white water rafting.
- Stay next to NZ’s largest lake - Lake Taupo (great for skydiving).
- Tongariro National Park (the 'Lord of the Rings' volcanoes and NZ’s best one day walk the ‘Tongariro Alpine Crossing’).
- Stay at award-winning conservation stop Whakahoro for wild, wilderness activities!
- Wellington - NZ’s capital city, home to our national museum Te Papa.
North Island Hop-On Hop-Off Pass Itinerary
Minimum Days: 8
Recommended Days: 10
Travel Day: Auckland to Raglan
We depart Auckland and head south, travelling towards the mighty Waikato. We’ll take a walk to the majestic Bridal Veil Falls on the way to our destination, the world-renowned surf beach Raglan. Enjoy a free afternoon to relax, take a walk on the beach or a mountain walk. Chill out or go hard in this funky surf and arts town.
Accommodation: An eco-lodge surrounded by native bush near the beach.
Optional paid activities: Learn to surf $79 (save $10).
Free activities: Walk to the waterfall, bush walk around Mt Karioi, relax on the beach, glow-worms in the bush, West Coast sunset, Inspiration Point.
Travel Day: Raglan (via Waitomo) to Mourea
Departing Raglan we head for Mourea in the Bay of Plenty, home to our unique cultural overnight stay. We stop in the rural town of Waitomo to explore the spectacular glow-worm caves, before continuing on to Mourea for a very special experience where you’ll get the opportunity to immerse yourself in New Zealand indigenous Maori culture. This is much more than just a show; you’ll learn about Maori traditions and history, spend time with real locals and become fully interactive with Kapa Haka (Maori song and dance). An unforgettable, genuine and educational night!
* Cultural night is an all-inclusive price of $80 including afternoon tea, dinner, interactive performance, storytelling, bed and breakfast. If there are less than 12 people we will stay in Rotorua with an alternative cultural option
Accommodation: Unique Stray stay in the Wharenui (Maori meeting house).
Optional paid activities: Waitomo must-do caving options: Haggas Honking Holes, Lost World, Tumu Tumu TOObing, or a glow-worm tour.
Free activities: Walk around Ruakuri Reserve, Waitomo Valley Caves walk.
Travel Day: Mourea (via Rotorua) to Lake Aniwhenua
We wave goodbye to Richard, Ruth and the whanau and head for Rotorua for a free morning to discover its distinctive smell (geothermal areas), culture and adventure. Around midday we do hostel pick-ups in Rotorua before heading onto Rainbow Mountain to meet our local Maori guide and venture deep into the Kaingaroa Forest in the foothills of the Te Urewera National Park. Today you will experience stories, history and a culture not yet touched by the hand of commercialism that dates back to the first known person to discover NZ (Kupe).
* Lake Aniwhenua night is $75 including accommodation; guided tour and bush walk to see Maori rock art, dinner and breakfast.
Accommodation: Lakefront lodge.
Optional paid activities: Rotorua: rafting, zorbing, Agroventures, visit Hobbiton. Lake Aniwhenua: traditional fishing, eeling, weaving lessons, cooking classes and kayaking. 1 activity costs $10, 2 activities $15 and 3 activities $20.
Free activities: Kuirau Park Rotorua, relax by Lake Aniwhenua, walks.
Travel Day: Lake Aniwhenua to Whakahoro
After breakfast we’ll depart for a local school to drop lunch off to some needy school kids, before heading to Taupo to visit Huka Falls and experience skydiving for the brave! Our destination today is one of the most remote parts of the North Island. Located in Whakahoro, Blue Duck Station is a 5,200 acre high country farm that is both a working station and an environmental conservation leader. Once you arrive, settle in, relax and chill out around an evening fire.
Accommodation: Country station lodge.
Optional paid activities: Skydiving, bungy, river jet Taupo.
Free activities: Huka falls, Spa Road walk.
Non-Travel Day: Whakahoro
Today is yours to explore and discover this remote destination! Jump on a 4WD and travel up farm roads, over hilly peaks and through New Zealand native bush to learn about the stations history and conservation efforts. Don your cowboy hat and explore the farm by horseback or kayak through bush clad valleys and lush green hills. Visit the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ and Kaiwhakauka waterfall or learn about the farms pest control and bring back tonight’s dinner.
Accommodation: Country station lodge.
Optional paid activities: An eco-warrior 4WD tour, a one day horse trek (like a real cowboy), clay bird shooting, kayaking, jet boating, pest control.
Free activities: Walk around the truly amazing property at Whakahoro and just take in the lush scenery, walk to the Kaiwhakauka waterfall, enjoy your host Dan’s fantastic hospitality and stories on the local wildlife and history.
Travel Day: Whakahoro to National Park
We’ll be up at the crack of dawn for an early departure to make our way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, ‘Tongariro National Park’. Today you get the chance to do what is rated one of the world’s best one day walks: the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Trek through dramatic natural scenery, past volcanic peaks, vast craters and stunning turquoise lakes on one of the most spectacular treks in New Zealand.
Accommodation: Beautiful alpine lodge.
Optional paid activities: The Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
Free activities: Taranaki Falls walk, visit the Volcanic Centre, Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s pool).
Travel Day: National Park to Wellington
After breakfast we head around the mountains via the rural towns of Ohakune, Taihape and Bulls to New Zealand’s capital city Wellington. Today is mostly an express day to get to Wellington, and the afternoon is yours to cruise and explore the sites of the capital. We recommend wandering down Oriental Parade or visiting Te Papa national museum. Wellington is a cool place to just hang out and check out the arts, shopping and café culture scene and is home to NZ’s parliament.
Accommodation: Central city hostel.
Optional paid activities: Check out some of the great cafes and bars.
Free activities: Walk ‘Oriental Parade’, head up Mt Victoria for fantastic views, and visit ‘Te Papa’ - our national museum, gumboot (welly) throwing.
Travel Day: Wellington (via National Park) to Auckland
We depart in the early morning. This is an express day via National Park heading back to New Zealand’s largest city Auckland. You can hop off anywhere along the way. With a late-afternoon arrival there’s still time to wander the streets of Auckland, visit the waterfront, do some souvenir shopping and hang out in some of Auckland’s lively cafes and bars. We hope you had a blast on your Stray adventure!
Most travellers start this pass in Auckland. See the Timetable tab for all other departure days and times.
From Auckland: Tuesdays, Wednesdays (Summer-only), Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays (Spring-only).
+ Experience the Coromandel Peninsula with an overnight stop in Hahei (Summer).
+ Stay at a wilderness lodge in the bush at Raglan – overlooking New Zealand’s premier surf beach.
+ See glow-worms and do some amazing caving at Waitomo Caves.
+ Overnight stay on a Marae (Maori meeting house) in Mourea includes your accommodation, hangi (dinner), breakfast and unique cultural experience all for only $80.
+ Stop in at Rotorua to experience (smell) the geothermal activity and do extreme white water rafting.
+ Stay next to NZ’s largest lake - Lake Taupo (great for skydiving).
+ Tongariro National Park (the volcanoes, Mordor and Mt Doom , NZ’s best one day walk the ‘Tongariro Alpine Crossing’).
+ Stay at award-winning conservation stop Whakahoro for wild, wilderness activities!
+ Wellington - NZ’s capital city, home to our national museum Te Papa.