WHERE TO FIND STUFF
KIA ORA! Welcome to our totally biased guide to getting further off the beaten track in New Zealand. Our guide is of most use to people travelling on Stray, but the deals also apply to people in Spaceships and it should also be helpful to anyone else wanting to properly experience our great country.
Why you should Stray? Stray gets adventurous travellers access to amazing things - many exclusively - around New Zealand, which blow them away. It doesn’t matter how else you are travelling, you won’t be able to experience most of the truly great things that we offer.Stray attracts the best people, exactly the sort of people that you’d want to share your adventures with. Adventurous, intelligent, worldly, fun, interesting and very attractive (although maybe only to their mothers). We accept that some of these points are open to debate, so either go and hop on a trip and find out for yourself, or read on until you are convinced to do so.
What is Stray? Stray is an extremely flexible hop-on hop-off bus transport network in New Zealand which covers all the places you may have heard of, as well as going out of its way to access off the beaten track places for local culture and activities - the things that you come here for. Things, which can’t be easily accessed any other way. We attract and train characters as driver/guides; people who are hugely motivated and capable of showing off alternative New Zealand. Our trips are designed for and appeal to travellers not tourists. Because of the crew, guides and customers we attract, we can really push the boundaries and go to amazing unique stops and attractions. Interestingly our top rating activities and attractions are often things that only we offer. The key operating features are: + Up to daily departures in summer- and at least 3 per week minimum year round. + You can get on and off anywhere you want over the routes as often as you wish. + Standard passes include all land transport, commentary, and guidance. + We guarantee you accommodation
Get further off the beaten track
in the night stops by reserving beds. Even though we use a variety of accommodation, all beds are at hostel rates. There are twin, double and dorm options. You pay for your beds as you go. + We pick up and drop off from all major traveller accommodation. + We reserve spaces on key adventure activities and get you discounts. + We work with locals to gain access to truly down to earth experiences. + We make supermarket stops so you can self cater. There are always cheap meals available. + We take our time on travel days to do walks and other activities. + There are passes ranging in length from day trips to three week national passes. All passes are valid for 12 months - so you can take your time - but you can also just stay on one trip to experience a tour type look around. As a rough guideline you need a minimum of a week to do small passes in each island, two weeks to do both islands (if you enter and leave New Zealand from different places) and 3 weeks to do a national circuit.
Where we’ve come from 2012 was a year for celebration as Stray turned 10 years old! Stray was started ten years ago by Neil Geddes. Neil is one of New Zealand’s true backpacking industry pioneers, having also started Kiwi Experience back in 1988. You could say ‘he knew what he was doing!’ We are still proudly independently owned and run by a young team of Strayers who are hugely experienced and fiercely passionate about showing off the 'real' New Zealand to you guys! Stray has grown a lot over the past ten years! Two years ago we made a big move and took our adventurous, flexible travel and orange buses to South-East Asia! If you are heading to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam and want to get further off the beaten track, make sure you check out www.straytravel.asia. Cheers, The Stray Team
WHY STRAY? WHY STRAY?
More national parks, More culture, More unique stops & activites
+ Full access to Cathedral Cove (for its walk and scenery) and Hot Water Beach (for its hot pools): stay beside the beach in Hahei between these two great attractions.
PAIHIA Bay of Islands
Sailing, Dolphin spotting, Walks, Diving, Fishing
+ Raglan’s world famous but remote surf area: stay in a lodge in the bush with the surf school.
Goat Island Marine Reserve
Tane Mahuta (giant Kauri tree)
+ Real Maori culture: spend an evening with a local family on a marae on our main circuit and having the option of going to the East Cape with locals in the summer.
Stay on the beach near Cathedral Cove, Walks, Sea kayaking
Hot Water Beach Chance to sit in beach hotpool included
Haka, Maori culture, Kapa Haka
City orientation included
+ An eco-wilderness country station: stay on remote farmland for amazing wilderness and wildlife conservation.
MARAEHAKO BAY Culture, Fishing, Seafood
Bush lodge, Walk, Surf school, Sunset cruise
+ Better access to Abel Tasman National Park: stay at least a day and two nights at the edge of the park.
+ Our highest mountain Aoraki/Mt Cook: stay at the base of the mountain, in the middle of the national park with access to amazing glaciers, hikes and incredible scenery.
Marae visit, Waka, swimming, bone JHY]PUNZ\YÄUN
Canoeing, Wildlife conservation, Amazing wilderness 1
Maori Geothermal Village, Rafting, Zorb
Caving adventures, Walk
+ The South Island’s West Coast culture: known for its rich mining history, this quirky area offers awesome activities like black powder shooting, gold panning, mine exploring and a haunted house tour.
+ The amazing bird life, rugged scenery and lifestyle of Stewart Island: go to the bottom of New Zealand with our main network and catch the ferry with our driver/ guide to NZ’s third island.
Native Bird Recovery Centre
+ The Tongariro Alpine Crossing (Lonely Planet rates as our best one day walk): time in a normal travel day to do the crossing and then stay the night in the National Park
Skydiving, NZ’s biggest lake
TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Walks, Canoeing, Mountain biking
MARAHAU Abel Tasman
Stay at edge of National Park, Sailing, Walks, Sea kayaking
Te Papa Museum, Lord of the Rings Tour, Zealandia Night Safari
Black powder shooting, Mining History, Haunted house tour
Walks, Bone carving, Pounamu carving
Whale watching, Dolphin and Seal swimming or Pilot a Plane
FRANZ JOSEF Walks, Glacier Visits
RANGITATA Makarora 5
Milford Sound Cruise
Visit Museum, Walks, Greenstone collecting, Kiwi spotting
Walk, Skydive, Puzzle World 2
Walks, Horse riding, Mountain biking, rafting
Our bus routes Ferry Crossings or optional connections (price not included) 2
QUEENSTOWN Bungy Jumping, Jetboating, Skydiving, Rafting and every adventure activity we can think of...
Names in capitals are night stops. 2 indicates 2 night stop.
Places of interest and activity stops
Unique Stray overnight stops
You can stay here without breaking your journey
Feature activities are in light text, Walks are free, ‘included’ means covered in pass price National Parks
Penguins, Albatross Tours
Stray's Further off the Beaten Track Unique Overnight Stops
Mum’s Place Note: This is a guide only. Activities offered may vary depending on the group and local conditions.
(Catlins Wilderness Area) Sea-lion Spotting
Fishing, Walks, Wildlife and optional night stop-over
Off The Beaten Track These are the things that blow travellers away and only Stray offers the chance to do all of them. We go off the beaten track to link alternative attractions and take the time during the travel days to do them, so you don’t have to break our journey, buy side trips or do some “made for tourists” activity just to try and experience the things you want.
Why ‘get off the beaten track’? We believe that to fully experience a place you have to get involved - not just watch - or visit a ‘made for tourists’ simulation of the real thing. The problem is that you usually can’t just turn up - for example you can’t just go to a marae (a traditional Maori meeting place), you have to be invited. That’s why we go out of our way to work with locals to do local things. This means not just paying lip service to getting off the beaten track, but really going out of our way. That’s why we use a range of vehicles that are a bit smaller, and how we ended up with stops in places such as Hahei, Raglan, National Park, Mourea, Abel Tasman... Staying in everything from cabins on the beach, to lodges in the bush and doing things as random as gunpowder shooting in Blackball.
Why Stray? + The alternative New Zealand that we show travellers blows them away. Our top rating activities and accommodation places are often things that no one else offers (currently Blue Duck Lodge in Whakahoro and our overnight cultural stay). + By getting away from the mainstream, seeking local alternatives, and including off the beaten track places in our normal routes we save you at least $500 on activities that you will definitely want to do and at least $300 on things that would otherwise be side trips. + We gain you access to local places like maraes, secret fishing spots, local walks… that you would otherwise either not be able to visit or they would be very hard to find. + We get the people that you’d want to play with - driver/guides who are down to earth characters who want to show you the real New Zealand, and travellers who want to experience it. It is hard to know which comes first - the great driver/ guides or the great travellers - but either way we attract people who want to explore and see the types of things that we offer rather than just tick destination boxes and get pissed every night. People who know that beer tastes best after a mind broadening experience. + We actually take time to do the unique things that we offer. We illustrate how we offer each activity
where it is listed - with other bus companies it simply isn’t possible to do many things they say they offer without buying side trips and breaking your journey. + This is a special place that you’ve travelled a long way to see, so you should do it properly. + We are independent - showing you alternative options is what we do. + We must be doing something right. We are the fastest growing travel network with over 22,000 customers in the past year and our customer surveys show that we have 97.5% customer satisfaction (would recommend). + Stray and Spaceships are both Qualmark endorsed visitor transport, which means you are guaranteed quality and consistency.
How it works Get yourself one of our passes. You can do this through one of our agents or directly on our website. You can confirm your date of departure when you book your pass or leave it open. Either way you will need to confirm your pick up point prior to departure. You can do this by contacting our Auckland office on (+64) 09 526 2140 or by using your booking reference to access the customer login on www.straytravel.com. You can book your departure date at the same time if you haven’t already done so.
On travel days your driver/guide will outline your activity and accommodation options early in the day. There is always a free option where there is a pay activity (our cultural overnight is the exception but this is an amazing, unique experience you won’t want to miss!) The driver pre-books your preferred accommodation and you pay as you go. You can get on and off our services absolutely anywhere you want as often as you want. So if you want to visit Aunt Hilda in Te Awamutu - just ask the driver for the nearest place they can drop you (we can usually get you right to Aunt Hilda’s front door). To organise your next pick up simply log on to our website and book it online. For really unusual places it’s good if you have a cellphone number you can give us so your driver can call you to arrange a specific pick up time and place. You have up to 12 months of unlimited travel over the routes of all major passes. If you have a two year work visa or would like to spend extra time for any reason working over our route tell us and we may extend your pass to up to 2 years. PLEASE NOTE: this magazine is just a guide - activities, times, routes, destinations and/or prices may change depending on the group, driver, season, natural disasters and/or the weather. It’s all an adventure, just enjoy the ride!!
Abel Tasman National Park
Using Strayâ€™s Online Booking System
General NZ Travel Info Passports All visitors to New Zealand must carry a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date you intend to leave the country. Visa Exemptions You do not need a visa or permit to visit New Zealand if you are: + A New Zealand citizen or Resident Permit holder. + An Australian citizen travelling on an Australian passport. + An Australian resident with a current Australian resident return visa. + A citizen of a country which has a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand. Visa Waivers Currently, travellers from more than 50 countries do not require a Visitor's Visa for stays less than three months. You do require: + A passport that is valid for at least three months after your planned departure from New Zealand. + An onward or return ticket to a country that you have permission to enter. + Sufficient money to support yourself during your stay - approximately NZ$1000 per month per person. To find out if your country qualifies for a visa waiver, check out the Visiting New Zealand section of the New Zealand Immigration Service website www.immigration.govt.nz where you’ll find a list of all eligible countries and other useful visa information. Your travel agent, airline or nearest New Zealand Embassy should also be able to advise you if you require a visa.British citizens and other British passport holders who have evidence of the right to live permanently in the UK may be allowed to stay in New Zealand for up to six months. Visitors Visa Applications If your country is not on the visa waiver list, or you wish to stay longer than three months, you’ll need to apply for a Visitor's Visa. You can download application forms directly from the New Zealand Immigration Service website, or contact your nearest New Zealand Embassy.
Study And Work Visas The New Zealand Immigration Service also has information on work, business or student visas. If you’re interested in studying in New Zealand, check out the New Zealand Independent English Language School website, www.fiels.co.nz and Education New Zealand Trust website, www.nzeil.co.nz Immigration If you're thinking about living permanently in New Zealand, there is a Migration section in the New Zealand Immigration Service website (www.immigration.govt.nz). It contains a brief summary of immigration requirements and information on obtaining a residence application pack. Time Differences New Zealand is one of the first places in the world to see the new day, 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). In summer New Zealand uses ‘daylight saving’, with clocks put forward one hour to GMT+13. Daylight saving begins on the first Sunday in October and ends on the third Sunday of the following March, when clocks are put back to GMT+12. Seasons The north of New Zealand is subtropical and the south is temperate. The warmest months are December, January and February, and the coldest June, July and August. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20-30ºC and in winter between 10-15ºC. You can check on weather conditions in New Zealand on the New Zealand Met Service website (www.metservice.co.nz). Banking Banks are usually open from 9.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday (with a few open on Saturdays). Automated Teller Machines (ATM) are widely available at banks, along main shopping streets and in malls. International credit cards and ATM cards will work as long as they have a four-digit PIN encoded.
Currency New Zealand's unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZ$). Coins have values of 10, 20 and 50 cents, $1 and $2; notes have values of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. There is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency that can be brought in or taken out of New Zealand. However, every person who carries more than NZ$10,000 in cash in or out of New Zealand is required to complete a Border Cash Report. Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at banks, some hotels and Bureau de Change kiosks, which are found at international airports and most city centres. All major credit cards can be used in New Zealand. Travellers Cheques are accepted at hotels, banks and some stores. Exchange Rates You can calculate the value of your currency in NZ Dollars using the currency converter on the website www.newzealand.com. The rate you are offered in your home country is likely to differ slightly. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (www.rbnz.govt.nz) provides a monthly online summary of the New Zealand Dollar's average value against the US Dollar, the Pound, the Australian Dollar, the Yen and the Euro. Goods And Services Tax All goods and services are subject to a 15 percent Goods and Services Tax (GST) included in the displayed price. Visitors cannot claim this tax back, however when a supplier ships a major purchase to a visitor's home address the GST will not be charged. The Inter-Island Ferry The Bluebridge ferry that travels between the North and South Island (Wellington and Picton) travels daily. The normal adult price is around $50-75. Please book with your driver.
The Bluebridge ferry
Stray’s Environmental Code of Conduct WHAT WE DO TO KEEP NZ CLEAN AND GREEN We take responsibility as a tourism operator to be guardians of our beautiful country. Our aspiration is to fully get involved in helping to protect New Zealand’s natural environment, so you (and all the generations of travellers that might come after you) can enjoy it. In order to achieve this major goal we have undertaken a number of initiatives: + We encourage our drivers to enforce the ‘take only photos, leave only footprints’ policy with customers, and to guide with respect to an area’s natural environments, history, culture and wildlife. + On the first day of every month our groups help clean up the area where they are staying; we call this clean-up operation 'Polish My Pipi'. + Stray groups can plant a tree for free while they are staying at The Barn, our accommodation at Abel Tasman National Park. + We sponsor ten pest traps at Blue Duck Station which has one of the highest concentrations of Kiwi and Blue Ducks in New Zealand. The traps are monitored online measuring the number of pests that have been trapped. Our passengers are educated on the importance of conservation projects in New Zealand and the challenges we face. They can undertake pest eradication hunts and ‘Eco Warrior’ pest eradication projects. Stray crew also regularly visit Blue Duck Station to undertake pest eradication and gain an appreciation of the importance of environment protection. + We have the first commercially run bus in New Zealand operating on recycled waste product (used cooking oil). + Since launching in 2004 we have planted 45,000 native trees in Children’s Bay, Akaroa. Using locally sourced endemic species, we have seen an increase in insect, endemic fish and bird life in the area and erosion has significantly decreased. We cleared creeks and created ponds forming a wetland reserve with walking tracks that can be used by the public.o and our overnight cultural stay). + We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and our carbon emissions are independently audited.
+ We run the newest fleet of backpacker buses with Euro 3 and 4 emission standards and in 2011 four new Euro 4 buses were added to the fleet. We also use a custom made carbon footprint monitoring tool which tracks monthly emissions from kilometres travelled, fuel purchased, the vehicles used and subsequent emissions, company flight travel and electricity use at Head Office. + We run fewer departures and smaller vehicles in the winter when there are fewer travellers to New Zealand, because while travelling on a bus is one of the most energy efficient ways to travel, this is only true if the bus is full! + We are helping YHA build a 54bed hostel and education centre on Stewart Island by donating a percentage of YHA's Stray sales to the project. For more information on this initiative see Stewart Island Project. + We started a campaign to support the Native Bird Recovery Centre in Whangarei. + We provide significant education to our customers and staff on environmental and sustainable travel options, with an emphasis on conservation activities. + We are the first adventure bus operator to be awarded the prestigious Qualmark (NZ Tourism's official mark of quality) Enviro Gold Award.
WHAT YOU CAN DO Take only photos, leave only footprints... + Protect plants and wildlife - Treat New Zealand’s forests and wildlife with care and respect. They are unique and often rare. Stand a respectable distance from animals for their safety and your own. + Remove your rubbish and put it in the bin! On Stray’s buses we have rubbish bags including ones for recycling - please use them. Put all cigarette butts in the bin. + Respect our cultural heritage - Many places in New Zealand have a spiritual and historical significance. Treat these places with consideration and respect. + Keep to the track - By keeping to the track, where one exists, you lessen the chance of damaging fragile plants and reduce your impact. + Consider other people - Be considerate of other visitors who also have a right to enjoy the natural environment. + Use only what you need and recycle - Be careful of your power and water use. Have shorter showers, turn all electrical appliances (MP3 player, camera, phone, laptop chargers) off at the wall after use. Use reusable shopping bags, and recycle or reuse your drink bottles. Thanks - we can all make a difference!
Polish My Pipi
RECYCLING ON THE BUS
ORANGE IS THE NEW GREEN How Do We Sort It Out? The bag/bin at the front is for recycling. The bags down the aisle are for other rubbish/trash. What Can Be Recycled? Glass bottles/plastic bottles (depending on the recycling stations, some will only recycle 1 & 2, others will take 1-6)/tin cans/ CLEAN cardboard (not your coffee cup) and Aluminium (Aluminum for Americans!).
How You Can Help? + Become a volunteer recycling police officer on the bus - If you spot someone putting food scraps etc/recyclables in the wrong bins, pull them up! Set them right. + At the end of the day, you could bring all the rubbish bags to the front of the bus and have a double check no recycling has been missed. + Help keep NZ beautiful! At some of our scenic stops, lazy bums leave rubbish behind, you could help your driver pick this up. Just ask for a rubbish bag. + Blue Duck Lodge is one hour from it's recycling station, so we like to take our recycling out with us. Take it to the bus in the morning. + All hostels have recycling. Please take a moment to put your waste in the right bin. + Turn up to the bus on time! In summer, once most people are on the bus, the driver needs to
turn on the bus to run the aircon, if you are 5min late, the bus has been running for 5min longer than it needed to! + In the height of summer, buses can get super hot (32.c+) without the aircon on, so drivers keep the bus running while they clean the bus at the end of each day, so they don't die of heat exhaustion. + Maybe volunteer to clean your own sunblock arm-print and face-plant off your window before you arrive at your final destination for the day. Just ask driver for the window cleaner! : ) Reduce/Re-Use/Recycle + Refill your waterbottle, tap water is drinkable (imagine that?!) unless otherwise signposted (usually DOC bathrooms) + Buy a 'Keeper coffee cup', just give it a rinse and use again, this could save you fifty cents a takeaway coffee!
+ Give unwanted grocery bags to the driver to be used as rubbish bags. + Take your spare plastic bags with you back to the supermarket for your next shop. + Cathedral Cove Backpackers, Karioi Lodge, Blue Duck Lodge, Rangitata Rafting Lodge have a food scraps bucket for pigs or chickens, feel free to take your food scraps off the bus and place in the bucket. Piggy and Chook will love ya!
Clip AND Save VOUCHERS
A Bit of History (An edited version of our driver/ guide notes - the original source of some of this information has been lost over the years but is as varied as the ‘Mobil guide’ and the department of conservation’s published information).
constructed for the journey. Today almost all Maori can trace their ancestry back to these first waka that landed here.
Creation - Legend tells us that the North Island of New Zealand is actually a fish. Maui, a legendary Maori bloke, hooked the enormous fish while on a fishing trip with his brothers. It wasn’t long after he dropped his line with his special fishhook attached (made from the jaw bone of his grandmother) that he felt the tug of what was no ordinary fish. It took all the strength of Maui and his brothers to pull up what was to become known as Te Ika a Maui (the fish of Maui). If you look at the North Island you can see the resemblance to a fish with the head being Wellington, the eye being lake Taupo and the tail the land beyond Auckland. Once the fish was pulled up Maui realised that this was no ordinary feat and that he should go and make peace with the gods. While he was doing this his brothers started trying to chop up the fish. The writhing of the fish before Maui made peace with the gods left the mountains and hills that you see in the North Island. The canoe was frozen in place. This became the South Island. Also known as Te Waka a Maui (the canoe of Maui). The mountains of the South Island are the piles of fish previously caught. Stewart Island, which lies at the very bottom of New Zealand, is known as Te Punga a Maui or Maui’s anchor.
Maori Settlement - The Great Migration is believed to have taken place around 1350. Eight waka made the journey, including: the Aotea, Arawa, Tainui, Kurahaupo, Takitimu, Horouata, Tokomaru and Mataatua. The names of these waka also served as names of the tribes. Today the tribal names in different regions are still linked to the waka, which originally landed in the region. The first Maori settlers were dependant on fishing and catching birds for food. As their population grew and food became more difficult to find they became increasingly dependent on farming - most particularly kumara (sweet potato). Food was cooked in the ground on hot stones in hangi (essentially the hot stones are used to steam the food). As food got increasingly scarce intertribal conflicts arose. It was at this time that many tribes began to fortify their kainga (villages). Larger and more heavily defended villages (called ‘pa’) began to dot the countryside as early as 500 years ago. These pa sites had various fortifications for defence such as ditches, banks and palisades, which provided valuable protection. A well-fortified pa was practically invulnerable to attack. The need for pa no longer exists today, however the marae (meeting house), which is the central part of both kainga and pa still continues to play an important role within Maori culture.
Discovery - Around 1200 years ago a Polynesian navigator by the name of Kupe discovered a new land. Kupe lived in Hawaiiki, mythical ancestral homeland of the Maori. In order to stay away from the vengeance seeking family of his new wife Kura, Kupe headed off on a voyage of discovery with her in her canoe Matahorua. After many days at sea Kura sighted the islands of New Zealand, which appeared as a sleeping land lying beneath a cover of cloud. She named this land Aotearoa meaning, ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’. Kupe then returned to Hawaiiki, telling everybody of this distant cloud capped land, which he had discovered (they had seemingly forgotten about his past troubles). He helped plan the great migration back to Aotearoa. Large waka (canoe) were designed and
European Discovery - A Dutch explorer named Abel Tasman first sighted New Zealand on December 13th 1642. The area of New Zealand that Tasman sighted was in the vicinity of the coast between modern Hokitika and Okarito, on the west coast of the South Island. Unfortunately things didn’t go well for Tasman. Shortly after night fell on the 18th of December two canoes appeared while his two boats were anchored off Taitapu Bay (now Golden Bay). The people in the canoe called out to the sailors but unfortunately the Dutch couldn’t speak Maori so had no idea what they were on about. After a while, the canoes paddled away. The following morning, another canoe appeared, and once again the natives called out to the Dutch. The Dutch tried to tempt the Maori to come on board, without
success. As the Maori appeared to be friendly, the Dutch decided to sail further in, and anchor as close to the shore as possible. In the meantime, more native canoes appeared, some approaching to within a stone’s throw of the ships. To avoid the possibility of too many natives attempting to board the ships, the skipper of the far ship, sent a small boat back to his ship with a message warning his officers to be on their guard. However, on returning after delivering the message, one of the native canoes suddenly paddled directly at the Dutch boat and rammed it, killing three sailors. The natives made off with one dead body and threw another into the sea. The Dutch weighed anchor and left as quickly as they could, but they were chased by many canoes full of Maori. They fired a couple of shots from close range, killing one Maori and forcing everyone to retreat. Because of this incident, Tasman named the bay ‘Moordenaers Baij’ - Murderer’s Bay. Tasman never set foot on New Zealand soil. Captain James Cook - was the first European to set foot on New Zealand soil. Cook set sail from England in August 1768 in the Endeavour. He arrived at Poverty Bay in New Zealand around October of 1769. Unfortunately his first meeting with the Maori people here also became hostile. Cook fired in self-defense and killed two or three people. This didn’t deter Cook who spent much time ashore and generally got on very well with Maori (and learnt to speak some Maori). Cook successfully circumnavigated the North and South Islands. He was an excellent navigator and charted the coastline amazingly accurately considering the tools he had available, with much of the country correct. Cook completed his voyage in the Endeavour on July 12 1771. He was distinguished by the excellence of his survey work and the discoveries he made, notably the east coast of Australia, and New Zealand. The identification and documentation of around 1,400 plants and more than, 1,000 animals previously unknown to European science also meant much recognition for ‘Banks’ his Botonist. It was also during Cook’s first voyage that the cure for scurvy was discovered as Cook felt very strongly about keeping the ship clean and requiring sailors to eat fruit and vegetables.
European Settlers & Brief History The work that Captain Cook did with charting New Zealand opened the way for whalers, sealers and timber traders. It was men working in these positions that founded the first European settlement at Russell. The rough characters that lived here gave Russell a bad reputation. It became known as the ‘hellhole of the Pacific’. Following these settlers, the missionaries came bringing Christianity to New Zealand. Religion was not the only thing that European settlers brought to this country. They brought with them pigs (some are still called Captain Cookers), disease (some really good ones) and guns. The combination of land, alcohol, hostile people and guns was great fuel for conflict. By 1840 there was a real need for a formal agreement between the British and the Maori to stop the violent disagreements over land. The situation was made worse by the general lawlessness of the settlers. On 6 February 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi was signed guaranteeing Maori land rights in exchange for British Sovereignty; this treaty is still New Zealand’s most important and controversial document. The Treaty did not fully stop Maori losing land to the settlers and the government. This led to increased tension and the break out of battles between Maori and settlers, which are now known as the Land Wars (as an interesting aside these wars were the first time the British saw the Maori invention ‘trench warfare’). Over this period - thanks to the Europeans needing men to fight - there was an influx of settlers into the new colony, which by 1858 had a population of 115,000 with more settlers than Maori.At the end of the Land Wars the best agricultural areas of New Zealand were owned by the settlers, marking the start of the major changes and fast moving progress. Sealing and whaling and the felling of the great kauri trees gave way to farming the land (mainly because they totally plundered the other resources). Every countryman’s buddy the ‘sheep’ was introduced to New Zealand and ever since, farming has dominated the economy, to the extent that in the early 1980s there were 70 million sheep and only 3 million people. Today there are still 14 sheep for every person in New Zealand. Despite its relatively small size New Zealand is the world’s second largest producer
of wool. The land New Zealand is approximately 1,600 kilometres (995 miles) southeast of Australia. It is made up of two main islands (the imaginatively named North and South Islands) and several smaller islands. The combined total land area is 270,533sq. km (104,454 sq. miles - approximately 36 times smaller than the US). For a good comparison NZ is somewhere in between the size of Japan and the United Kingdom - and can fit into NSW three times. New Zealand sits on two separate tectonic plates - the Pacific and the Australian - and for this reason gets a lot of geological action i.e. lots of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. It also means that we get a varied and diverse landscape including everything from geothermal areas with hot springs to huge mountain ranges and amazing secluded beaches.
NZ’S GEOGRAPHY The Bay of Plenty region is the most extreme for geothermal activity, with mud pools, geysers, and hot springs. About a fifth of the North Island and two - thirds of the South Island are mountains. The existence of a ‘spine’ of mountain ranges throughout New Zealand is also due to the movement of the earth’s tectonic plates. New Zealand’s Southern Alps have a number of glaciers, the largest being Tasman glacier on Mount Cook, which you can walk to from our accommodation. New Zealand’s most famous glaciers are the Franz Josef and Fox on the South Island’s West Coast. They are currently the fastest growing glaciers in the world and are easily accessible by foot - we recommend guided - or by helicopter. New Zealand has over 15,000 kilometres of coastline. In the Far North and on most of the East Coast of the North Island you’ll find long sandy beaches perfect for swimming,
surfing and sunbathing. The North Island’s West Coast has dark sandy beaches, with sand heavy in iron. The north of the South Island has some beautiful sandy beaches, while the coastline around the rest of the South Island tends to be wilder and more rugged. The Marlborough Sounds is an example of a high mountain range that has ‘sunk’ into the sea, creating spectacular sounds. This area provides some of New Zealand’s most picturesque scenery, with steep lush hills plunging down to the deep still bays below. Clear, deep still water surrounded by beautiful bush makes this area ideal for boating and kayaking. World Heritage Areas - The New Zealand mainland has two World Heritage Areas - Tongariro in the Central North Island and Te Wahipounamu in the southwest of the South Island. Te Wahipounamu is made up of four national parks - Westland/Tai Poutini, Mount Aspiring, Aoraki/Mount Cook and Fiordland (only Stray goes to all of these National Parks). The area also contains the Milford and Routeburn tracks, two of New Zealand’s most spectacular walks, as well as Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain, and spectacular glaciers. Tongariro is situated on the North Island’s volcanic plateau, and contains the active volcanoes Mount Tongariro, Ruapehu, and Ngauruhoe, and also Lake Taupo our largest lake. Highest point: Mount Cook (3,754m) Deepest lake: Lake Hauroko (462m) Largest lake: Lake Taupo (606sq km) Longest river: Waikato River (425km) Largest glacier: Tasman Glacier (29 km long) Deepest cave: Nettlebed, Mt Arthur (889 m) Length of coastline: 15,811km (9824 miles)
Only Stray stays at the base of NZ's highest moun
tain, Aoraki/Mt Cook
National Parks Over 20 percent of New Zealand is covered in national parks, forest areas and reserves. Our 14 national parks contain an incredible variety of unspoiled landscape and vegetation. The parks are administered and maintained by the ‘Department of Conservation’ - remember to read their signs and not break their rules. They are designed to protect you and the plants and wildlife in the parks.
NEW ZEALAND’S NATIONAL PARKS (from north to south): Te Urewera National Park (212,675ha, established 1954), together with neighbouring Whirinaki Forest Park, is the largest remaining area of native forest in the North Island. Lake Waikaremoana, which is within the park, is noted for its scenic shoreline. We travel by this park on our summer East Cape trip. Tongariro National Park (79,598 ha, established in 1887), was New Zealand’s first (and the world’s second after Yellow Stone) national park. It includes the three active volcanoes, Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro. We do walks and stay in this park. Taranaki National Park (33,543 ha, established 1900), all the land in a 9 kilometre radius of the Mount Taranaki summit and some outlying areas to the north. Whanganui National Park (74,231 ha, established 1986), borders the Whanganui River. It incorporates areas of Crown land, former State Forest and a number of former reserves. We stay on the edge of this park at our eco-wilderness stop, Whakahoro. Kahurangi National Park (452,000 ha, established 1996), situated in the northwest of the South Island comprises spectacular and remote country and includes the Heaphy Track. It has ancient landforms and unique flora and fauna. It is the second largest national park. You can access this from our Abel Tasman stop.
Hiking in Tongariro National Park Abel Tasman National Park (22,541ha, established 1942), has numerous tidal inlets and beaches of golden sand along the shores of Tasman Bay. It is New Zealand’s smallest national park. We stay on the edge of this park and give you time to do walks. Nelson Lakes National Park (101,753 ha, established 1956), is a rugged, mountainous area in Nelson Region. It extends southwards from the forested shores of Lakes Rotoiti and Rotoroa to the Lewis Pass National Reserve. We can drop you near this park. Paparoa National Park (30,560 ha, established 1987), is on the West Coast of the South Island between Westport and Greymouth. It includes the celebrated Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki. We stay on the edge of this park and give you time to explore. Arthur’s Pass National Park (114,357 ha, established 1929), is a rugged and mountainous areas straddling the main divide of the Southern Alps. The Arthur, Short Arthur, Q and Short Q passes travel through this park. Westland National Park (117,547 ha, established 1960), extends from the highest peaks of the Southern Alps to a wild remote coastline. Included in the park are glaciers, scenic lakes and dense rainforest, plus remains of old gold mining towns along the coast. We stay in this park and give you time to explore.
Mount Cook National Park (70,728 ha, established 1953), is an alpine park, containing New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki/Mount Cook (3,754m), and longest glacier, Tasman Glacier (29 km). A focus for mountaineering, ski touring and scenic flights, the park is an area of outstanding natural beauty. The Mount Cook and Westland National Parks have together been declared a world heritage area. We stay in this park at the base of Mt Cook. Mount Aspiring National Park (355,531 ha, established 1964), is a complex of impressively glaciated mountain scenery centered on Mount Aspiring (3033m), which is New Zealand’s highest peak outside Mount Cook National Park. We stop at the edge and offer a great flight or jet boat option into this park. Fiordland National Park (1,251,924 ha, established 1952), is the largest national park in New Zealand and one of the largest in the world. The grandeur of its scenery, with its deep fiords, its lakes, which originate from the glaciers, its mountains and waterfalls, has earned it international recognition as a world heritage area. We go into this park and spend the night at the edge of it. Rakiura National Park (157,000 ha, established in 2002) makes up about 85% of the whole land area of Stewart Island. The relatively small human population and the untouched state of much of the environment make this an amazing sanctuary for our native bird life. It is the nearest that you will find to the way that New Zealand would have originally been before settlement. There are many great tracks on the island. We have an optional night stay on Stewart Island.
North Island Travel Days Auckland - A number of different tribes fought for the land that we now know as Auckland before white men came and attempted to also lay claim. The land, which they came to know as Tamaki-makau-rau (‘the spouse sought by a hundred lovers’), became the prize of numerous battles. Kiwi Tamaki ruled this area from One Tree Hill where he had established a threethousand-strong pa until 1750, when Ngati Whatua attacked and killed the chief and wiped out the tribe, and took many of his followers as slaves. The Ngati Whatua were still in possession when the first Europeans, two Anglican missionaries Samuel Marsden and John Butler came in 1820. New Zealand’s Lieutenant Governor Captain William Hobson first hoisted the British flag on the 18 September 1840 at the fort of Britomart point; a thin piece of land was purchased from the Maori for the sum of £55 and some blankets. Auckland was chosen as a name because Lord Auckland had given Captain Hobson the command of the boat the HMS Rattlesnake in which he first visited NZ in 1837. He was sent back to New Zealand in 1839 to get
Aerial shot of Auckland Museum
sovereignty for Britain. Part of this was getting Maori tribes to sign the Treaty of Waitangi. Unfortunately a month after his arrival he had a stroke which forced him to abandon a series of Waitangi type meetings throughout the country which in turn left the whole treaty process in a bit of a mess. Auckland is the 4th largest city in the world by landmass (as up until recently New Zealanders all insisted on having a quarter acre of land to live on) and is New Zealand’s largest city by a long way. Of the nation’s 4 million population over a third make Auckland their home. Auckland is built on the narrow piece of land between the Manukau and Waitemata Harbours. The distance between these
two harbours at its narrowest point is a mere 16kms. On the Waitemata Harbour you will see the area’s youngest volcano ‘Rangitoto Island’ which was formed when it erupted about 600 years ago. The landscape of Auckland is dominated by a series of volcanoes. You can still easily make out about 20 volcanic cones around the city. Outstanding examples of these are One Tree Hill (or No Tree Hill since the tree got cut down) and Mt Eden. You will also see boats of all shapes and sizes. It is estimated that one in ten Aucklanders owns a boat and it is because of this and that there are more boats per capita here than anywhere else, that Auckland is known as the ‘City of Sails’.
Things to see and do in Auckland DO STRAY’S FREE AUCKLAND CITY ORIENTATION! You get picked up from central city hostels around 10am (book at reception or call the Stray office to confirm your pick-up), get a full commentary from your Stray guide, visit the Skytower (New Zealand’s tallest building), walk the viaduct, visit Bastion Point (historic Maori site), visit a central city beach (optional swim), see the city from the top of a volcano, walk over part of the harbour bridge (worth $20) and stop at a local pub for lunch and free beer tasting!
OTHER OPTIONS Go to the ferry terminal and go to Devonport (the ferry leaves every half hour) for shops and city beaches; Rangitoto Island (the ferry leaves three times daily) for native bush and lava caves on Auckland’s youngest volcano. Waiheke Island (the ferry leaves every hour) - a half hour trip to a scenic place with great vineyards and
Bungy off Auckland's Harbour Bridge
beaches which you can explore by hire car or scooter; or Great Barrier Island (the ferry leaves infrequently so check the timetable online) - a four hour trip to a remote place with great walks, bush, beach and scenery that is definitely worth a visit for a few days. Visit the Auckland Domain, it’s a great central park with a view out to the harbour but the main attraction is the Greco Roman-style Auckland Museum (Te Papa Whakahiku; $10 donation expected and valid for repeated entry on one day). It contains one of the finest collections of Maori and Pacific art and taonga (treasures) and they have cultural shows every weekday. The shops: The main drag of Auckland is Queen St. It is the commerce and business centre for the city. Running parallel to Queen St is High St, the home of the
designer label clothes, and upmarket restaurants and cafes. At the top end of Queen St is Karangahape Rd, which is home of alternative shops and some of the best nightclubs in the city (and Red Light district). If you head to the bottom end of Queen St then go left past the Downtown mall you will see the Viaduct Basin, home to flash restaurants, yachts (the old America’s Cup Village) and the National Maritime Museum. If you want to explore further try the link bus, which is $1.80 per ride and takes in the shopping areas of Parnell, Ponsonby and Newmarket. For adventure: Why not jump off one of Auckland’s icons like the Sky Tower or the Harbour Bridge? You can also do a guided climb over the bridge (great views), learn to sail on a real America’s Cup racing yacht or head out west for some surfing or canyoning.
auckland north on Langs Beach have a picnic lunch and chill around the Pohutukawa trees (NZ Christmas trees). If time, we stop at the Native Bird Recovery Centre (gold coin donations, weekdays only) to see some native birds. We normally arrive in Paihia by 3pm. In winter we skip the Goat Island Marine Reserve and lunch at the beach and cruise up to Paihia arriving approximately at 12pm. The afternoon is yours free to relax or participate in some fishing from shore.
Unique Features + Mini coach (seats up to 24 for access to the back roads) + Smaller group size means more time for doing things + Free snorkelling and glass bottom boat at Goat Island Marine Reserve (summer only) + Native Bird Recovery Centre + Free wildlife eco-cruise in the Bay of Islands (winter only)
Other Highlights + Paihia and the Bay of Islands + Ninety Mile Beach + Top of New Zealand + Early settlement history + Access to Whangarei for diving TRAVEL DAY AUCKLAND TO PAIHIA: Pickups start at 7am. If you don’t head over the Harbour Bridge within the first hour of your trip north, tap your driver on the shoulder as you may be on the wrong bus. After heading over the Harbour Bridge we head north and make our first stop to look at a kauri forest, which is of most interest as it still exists (kauri trees were prized as ships’ masts). We make our introductions and outline what’s happening over the day and what your options are for the days ahead. We stop in Warkworth so that you can get supplies if you need them then head down the back road towards Goat Island for snorkeling (we supply snorkels and goggles) and a glass bottom boat trip at the Marine Reserve (summer only). The amount of time that we play here is dependent on you, the weather and what else we want to do today. The rest of the day is a fantastic cruise up the east coast with some of New Zealand’s nicest beaches. We usually go for a wander
We highly recommend the awesome kebabs (lamb, chicken or falafel) at ‘Kebabulous’ in Paihia for dinner Stray passengers get $1 off kebabs! Parry Kauri Park - after flax and whale blubber, kauri timber and gum was our third major export for early settlers. The timber was so strong and rot resistant, and the trees were so tall and straight that they were sought after for ships’ masts amongst other things. Unfortunately the trees grow very slowly and this meant that many of the forests were quickly destroyed. This makes it special that some of the trees in this park are over 600 years old. By way of random example, international exports from Auckland in 1885 had the following make up 39% kauri gum, 19% kauri timber, 20% gold, 22% other. Goat Island - Goat Island was established as a marine reserve in 1975. It was New Zealand’s first marine reserve; it stretches 5km along the shoreline and 800 metres off the coast. It is a popular diving spot, where you can see large rock lobster, huge snapper in the clear water and rock pools. Snorkelers can look at kelp forest on the sea floor, and you can also check out the bright blue fish called Maomao. Whangarei - Settlement at Whangarei dates back to 1839, when war broke out in the Bay of Islands with only 48 Europeans living in the area, they fled for the safety of Auckland. European settlement centred on kauri timber and gum; today Northland’s economy is based on tourism, dairying, sheep and citrus orchards. Whangarei is a good base to get to Poor Knights Island - a diving mecca in the Marine Reserve.
Native Bird Recovery Centre - Since the centre was established in 1992 it has cared for and treated thousands of native birds. The centre's operations include: rescuing, caring for and rehabilitating over 1200 birds each year; running education programmes; fostering environmental consciousness in Northland's communities; helping save the kiwi by supporting the Department of Conservation and many Northland Landcare groups in their work associated with kiwi recovery; provide ongoing care of birds that cannot be released. It offers a unique opportunity to see New Zealand’s native birds up close. Kawakawa - has a unique entrance sign constructed in the style of Frederick Hundertwasser. This Austrian born designer lived in this area for 25 years and his major local contribution is very prominent. The public toilets which he designed in 1998 are literally a work of art, from the grass roof, to gold balls, ceramic tiles, bottle glass windows, mosaic tiling, copper handwork, cobblestone flooring, individual sculptures and a living tree integrated into the design structure. Paihia - was first settled by Europeans when the Reverend Henry Williams was seeking a suitable site for a mission station. Apparently the name came about when he looked out along the golden beaches and island studded bay and said PAI (meaning good) and the English word ‘Here’. Russell - was named after Lord John Russell, secretary of the State of Colonies and later Prime Minister of Great Britain. Whaling ships began calling here in the early 1800s; by 1840 Russell was the largest European settlement in the country, and despite the missionary station nearby, the area was lawless. It was a rough sailors’ hang out at what was then, almost the end of the known world, it so became known as ‘the hellhole of the Pacific’. Russell was the first capital of New Zealand but in 1841 this title was moved to Auckland where it remained until 1865 (when it was moved to Wellington to be more central). Hone Heke gained fame by chopping the government flagpole down in 1844 in protest at government duties and concerns over the Treaty of Waitangi. It wasn’t that he did it once but that he did
the top of NZ it four times - the last after it had been clad in steel and surrounded by a wall all while there was a 100 pound reward on his head. Haruru Falls - Haruru means ‘big noise’- and as the name suggests, it’s worth a look. Maori legend states that a taniwha (water monster) lives in the lagoon below so be careful. You can walk to Haruru Falls along the Waitangi walking track. Waitangi - Waitangi is one of the most important historical places in New Zealand. On February 6th 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was signed here. The document remains both controversial and central to race relations in New Zealand. As already mentioned the Treaty was an agreement between the British Crown and Maori Chiefs in an attempt to control the sale and ownership of land. Throughout its history Waitangi has gone from one extreme to another. Often with mixed feelings from within the tribes themselves. At one point activists called for a boycott of Waitangi Day until the terms of the treaty were ‘honoured’, but there was no unified response. Maori opinion was divided, both on treaty issues and on Waitangi Day events. Tensions between activists and the older leaders of the tribe became obvious to the public. Northern leaders had traditionally regarded the treaty as a covenant of a sacred nature negotiated by their ancestors. At other times the Government has decreed that there would be no celebrations of Waitangi for that year or alternatively gone for a very quiet observance at the Beehive in Wellington. Today February 6th Waitangi Day is recognised as New Zealand’s Day.
Travel Day: (option one) Paihia to Cape Reinga & back Hostel pickup 7am. NB you can’t hop off the bus on this sector as it is another operator’s day trip. Today we head to the top of New Zealand. The first stop is the mighty kauri forests then through Kaitaia to Ninety Mile Beach (which is actually 64 miles long!) on the West Coast. We drive on the sand and through the surf until we reach Tepaki Stream and some of New Zealand’s biggest dunes. Here you get a chance to try a bit of dune surfing. We stop for lunch (you get a chance to swim) before we head up
from Cape Reinga to the top of New Zealand. You have time to take in the Light House, the rugged scenery and watch the clashing of two oceans. In the afternoon we head down the east coast, stop at a fantastic fish and chip shop if you want to buy dinner, then head back to Paihia in the early evening. Accommodation is the same as last night. Ninety Mile Beach - is a stretch of almost endless sand; it’s flanked by the Tasman Sea in the west and by forests in the east before the land drops into the Pacific on the other side of the Aupouri Peninsula. It’s not ninety miles (closer to 90 km) and isn’t even NZ’s longest beach (that’s Ripiro Beach a little further south). It is regarded as one of the best surfcasting beaches in the world and the large sand dunes are great for sand boarding. Be aware you need a WD to drive on it - the beach is one of only a couple of ‘roads’ in the whole country where rental car companies won’t insure you (in case you get stuck). Cape Reinga - is the pointy bit at the top of New Zealand. It overlooks the meeting place of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Legend has it that it is the departure point for Maori souls (Te Rerenga Wairua) back to their spiritual homeland Hawaiki. The Pohutukawa tree, from which souls are said to make their final leap, grows out from the face of the Cape and is said to be 800 years old. The lighthouse is one of New Zealand’s most powerful lights, visible for up to 50 km. Mangonui - is a small resort settlement on the east of the far north, close to the base of Aupouri Peninsula. In the early 1800s the picturesque area became a haven for whalers and still has great fishing making it the home of reputedly New Zealand’s best fish and chips shop.
Cape Reinga Lighthouse
Travel Day: (option TWO) Paihia to HOKIANGA and back Hostel pickup 8am. Today we follow the old stagecoach trail from Paihia to Hokianga - a trail originally marked out by early Maori and then frequented by traders and merchants who transported supplies, kauri, gum and timber between the coasts during the 19th and 20th centuries. Through the stories and culture of your local Maori guide, we take you back to the days of Kupe, believed to be the first voyager and Maori to discover New Zealand over 1,000 years ago. Our guide will give you an understanding of the many myths and legends of the local hapu (sub-tribe and will lead you into the Waipoua Kauri Forest to meet Tane Mahuta, the largest kauri tree in the world! Hokianga - The Hokianga Harbour is generally accepted as being the home of Kupe the very first voyager, and Maori, to discover New Zealand approximately 1,000 years ago. Later some of the earliest European settlers came to Hokianga and small communities were formed. These are amongst the oldest European settlements in New Zealand. The Waipoua Kauri Forest - provides a natural stage for an unforgettable encounter with some of the largest remaining kauri trees in the world. The mighty Tane Mahuta (the Lord of the Forest) is a national icon and the largest known kauri tree in the world. Estimated to be 2,000 years old his mighty girth is over 13 metres and he stands an impressive 51 metres tall. Travel Day: Paihia to Auckland Pickups start at 4pm (summer) 2pm (winter) This morning, enjoy a morning at leisure to try out the number of activities on offer including sailing, kayaking, dolphin swimming, fishing, diving, skydiving, ferrying to Russell, walking the Waitangi Treaty grounds, just relaxing on the beach or if you are travelling on a Murphy Pass enjoy the Hole in the Rock Cruise. We pick you up from hostels at 4pm (2pm in winter) before expressing back to Auckland via Whangarei and Wellsford. We drop off at central city hostels around 7pm (7pm in winter).
Auckland South Unique Features + Stay beside the beach in Hahei for easy access to Cathedral Cove walk and Hot Water Beach + Stay in a lodge in the bush in Raglan to be near walks and Raglan surf school + Special price on black water tubing/ caving + Interactive overnight Maori cultural stay at Maketu + Award-winning eco wilderness stop at Whakahoro + Stay in a stunning alpine lodge in Tongariro National park - for access to Tongariro Crossing
Other Highlights + Geothermal activity + Maori culture + Great Lake Taupo + Dual World Heritage Area, Tongariro National Park + An option to go to Te Papa - our national museum
Travel Day: Auckland to Hahei (the Coromandel) We depart at 7am (Summer only)
We start the day with pickups around the city and then we make a quick stop at Stray’s head office in Penrose to get everyone together for a chat about how Stray’s trips work i.e. a reminder of how you book on and off buses and how we book accommodation and activities. We then head south towards the Waikato and then across to the Coromandel Peninsula. We stop in the old colonial town of Thames for supplies (a good cheap supermarket so don’t stress too much about bringing things with you). We climb over the Coromandel ranges then head through Tairua on our way to Hahei where we spend the night. Either this afternoon or tomorrow morning we will stop and visit the awesome Twin Kauri trees. We get in
early afternoon so you have time to do some exploring. We recommend either the Cathedral Cove walk, a great 2 hour scenic walk past limestone caves and cliffs to one of New Zealand’s most beautiful beaches (it is used in promo photos by our tourism board, and also featured in the movie 'Chronicles of Narnia') or the excellent sea kayaking trip which takes in much more of this amazing coastlines beaches and sea caves. We have the option of another truly unique activity - which unfortunately is totally tide dependent - of digging holes in the sand of the appropriately named ‘Hot Water Beach’ and sitting in the hot water which comes up from natural springs. This evening we stay in a backpackers hostel at the beach. You can either self cater or contribute to the group barbeque which your driver will suggest. The Coromandel Peninsula is well known for its fantastic beaches and as a holiday destination for New Zealanders (don’t worry about it being crowded though as they all holiday at the same time - from December 24 to January 10 - and is relatively quiet outside that period). The first settlers were those who came searching for gold and kauri timber. When both of these things began to run out the populations drastically reduced. The Coromandel also has an infamous reputation for being one of the country’s main cannabis growing spots. This area is favoured because of the dense native bush, which make crops difficult to spot from the air. Hahei - is one of the best beaches on the Peninsula, quieter, more remote and untouched than the larger places. It has a great view of Mercury Bay, so called, as it was the place where Captain James Cook anchored in 1769 to watch the passage of the planet Mercury. The area has a large marine park so there is great snorkeling and diving. Thames - was once a thriving town. There was a gold rush in 1867 and when combined with the strong trade in kauri timber (for ships masts) Thames quickly became one of New Zealand’s major centres. Although many of the original buildings remain it is a shadow of its former self but well worth a wander around.
RAGLAN Travel Day Hahei to Raglan: Depart 7.30am
We head back over the Coromandel Ranges and down into the Waikato. This area is known to be the most productive dairy farming land in the world (measured by butter fat output per cow…isn’t that great to know?!); which explains why you’ll see heaps of cows (don’t stress you country boys as you’ll see plenty of sheep soon enough). We pass around Hamilton, New Zealand’s fourth largest city (which used to have the great slogan of ‘Better than you’d expect’) before heading out towards our night and activity stop of Raglan. We have an option of visiting the remote and scenic Bridal Veil falls (unless the
Learn to surf, Raglan
surf’s up), before we stop in Raglan township for supplies. This afternoon you have options, which include lying in the sun, walking along the beach or in the bush on Mount Karioi, or surfing - this is a world-famous surf spot after all. You can choose from simply hiring a surfboard to the excellent lessons provided by the surf school - they guarantee that you will stand up. Accommodation tonight is in Karioi Lodge in the bush overlooking the Whale Bay surf area. You should seriously consider getting off the bus here to spend extra time in what is one of New Zealand’s great alternative towns. There are cool shops, cafes and a lively music scene. Waikato River - means flowing water and is the longest in New Zealand, flowing 425km from Ruapehu to Port Waikato. For the Maori this was a well used travel route for small hunting canoes and large war canoes, during the nineteenth century wars British gunboats and troop carriers steamed up the waterway and its banks became the scene of some fierce and gruesome battles.
Bridal Veil Falls - got its name because someone thought that it looked like a bride’s veil. It’s a 5 minute walk to the top of the falls and a 15 minute walk to the base of the falls for an even more impressive view. The falls are 55 metres high. Raglan - was named after ‘Lord Raglan’ after it was used as a base during the Land Wars. The town’s known history goes back as far as 1000 years when the Tainui waka of the local Maori people first landed here during the Great Migration. Legend has it that they saw Mt Karioi in the distance and after what seemed an age finally got there. They named this area Whaingaroa meaning ‘the long pursuit’. The thing that really sets Raglan apart is its relaxed atmosphere and huge reputation for surfing. It is one of the few great surf towns, which has maintained its style. The left hand surf break (which you can see from the lodge we stay in) is reputed to be one of the best in the world and was featured in the classic surf film ‘The Endless Summer’.
Inspiration Point, Raglan
MOUREA Travel Day: Raglan (via Waitomo) to MOUREA Depart 8am
We take a back road through the Waikato down to the amazing town of Waitomo. Famous for its holes in the ground - not just for its fence posts but for the huge network of caves throughout the area. The extra cool thing is that many are lit by naturally glowing worms of a type that are unique to New Zealand. You have many options to explore the area ranging from simply doing one of the local walks such as the one around Ruakuri Reserve to one of the must do trips offered by the local adventure companies (they are your only option for really exploring the caves and no matter which trip you do you will be blown away). We recommend one of Waitomo Adventures trips (because they are the good local guys) which include Tumu Tumu Tubing (Black water rafting) where you ride an old car tyre through an underground network, Haggas Honking Holes where you do everything from a squeeze to
abseiling down an underground waterfall, and Lost World which is a full on adventure caving trip. If you’re after a gentler drier option you can go with Spellbound who have a special Stray price of $63 for a cruisey look at the glowworms. We spend about 4 hours in Waitomo so that people can complete caving adventures. There is good accommodation if you want to stay longer. We then head across to the East Coast of the Bay of Plenty to Mourea for our unique and very special cultural overnight stay. We are welcomed on to the marae with a powhiri (traditional welcome). We then learn about Maori traditions and history and become fully interactive with Kapa Haka (Maori song and dance) before enjoying a group dinner This is an awesome experience learning about the local culture and bringing the group together. Tonight we sleep in the Wharenui (Maori meeting house). The cost of the cultural night is an all -inclusive price of $80 including afternoon tea, dinner, interactive performance, storytelling, bed and breakfast. Mourea - is home to the Ngati Pikiao people, who are a sub tribe of the prominent New Zealand Iwi of Te Arawa. Settled on the shores of both Lake Rotorua and Rotoiti, Mourea
More culture, Mourea
is home to a number of small Maori communities with multiple Marae running down the side of the Ohau Chanel, which connects the two lakes together. Just 15 minutes from Rotorua, this small community is full of readily available Maori culture, history and adventure with the mighty Kaituna River on its footstep. Waitomo Caves - The largely uncharted network of caves under Waitomo was created by water running through the soft limestone. The water, which continues to flow through the network creates stalactites (which form downwards) as the lime in the water reforms from drips from the roof and stalagmites (which form upwards) as the water hits the floor. The Maori name ‘Waitomo’ means ‘water hole’. Arachnocampa luminosa - The proper name for New Zealand’s very own glowworm. It is the larva stage of an insect and emits a light to attract food. Its life cycle is in 4 stages: egg, larva, pupa, adult and the whole cycle takes about 11 months. They remain in the glowing larva stage for about nine months. If you have seen glowworms in Australia you will notice that the New Zealand glowworm is a lot larger in size (of course).
Tairawhiti (East Coast)
Summer only option. The East cape is a special place. not only does it have amazing scenery - particularly its beaches, it is rich in Maori culture in what is arguably probably the purest form that you will find it. It is also the birthplace of New Zealand history - where the first Polynesian migration canoes landed, where Captain Cook first set foot, and where Maori and European people first encountered each other. This trip is unique for Stray in that we work with an East Cape local who owns and operates the trip to give Stray travellers the best access to the region and to get fully involved in the culture. You can still hop-on and off the bus but it has smaller groups and a really chilled out vibe. There are lots of adventure activities, group meals and all accommodation is beachfront. You can join the East Bro trip from Rotorua. Don’t miss out on this summer only adventure option!
Travel Day : Rotorua to Gisborne We start pickups from Rotorua at 1pm and head for Gisborne making our way through the rugged Waioeka gorge, stopping for a walk or swim.Continuing on towards the coast we journey through beautiful farmlands and vineyards. We arrive into Gisborne and you have the afternoon free for activities. In the evening enjoy a group meal and get to know everyone on the bus.
TRAVEL Day: Tokomaru Bay to MaraehakoC This morning we get immersed in local history and culture stopping off at the sacred Mount Hikurangi and a traditionally carved Maori church. We then head out to the most eastern point of New Zealand to visit the famous lighthouse. We arrive into Maraehako Bay early and you have the afternoon free for activities, then in the evening chill out and relax in front of a warm open fire at our hostel.
TRAVEL Day: Gisborne to Tokomaru BayContinuing on Wake up early to witness the ‘first sunrise in the world’ before heading off to your chosen activity. We depart Gisborne at 1pm and head along the coast, stopping off in Tolaga Bay to walk along New Zealand’s longest pier. Once we get to Tokomaru Bay you have the afternoon free for yourself. In the evening head down to the famous Te Puke tavern for some great kai (food), and hang out with the locals.
travel Day: Maraehako Bay to Rotorua Wake up early to witness the ‘firstsunrise-in-the-world’ - out front of our hostel. This morning you can either chill at the hostel or head off to your chosen activity. There is shark-diving, stingray feeding, rock-sliding or surfing available, otherwise just explore Gisborne itself. We depart Gisborne at 1pm, to head inland for Rotorua. You can see the farmlands, vineyards and orchards that make Gisborne’s wine and produce famous, and later, take a swim or walk in the Waioeka Gorge. For those wanting to visit the marine volcano White Island (Whakaari), you can hop-off in Whakatane; we arrive back into Rotorua by 12pm where you can meet up with the Stray bus travelling south.
Wharf jumping, Tokomaru Bay
Experience the â€œfirst sunrise in the worldâ€? on the
East Bro trip
Mud pools, Rotorua
The Most Famous Maori Love Story Hinemoa was a beautiful young maiden and the daughter of a very influential chief in a tribe that lived on the eastern shores of Lake Rotorua. Because of her rank and beauty she was considered very special and while many men showed a lot of interest and tried to make her their wife her tribe considered that no one was good enough. Tutanekai was a young warrior from a tribe who lived on Mokoia Island in the middle of Lake Rotorua. During intertribal games he and Hinemoa met and fell in love. Despite being handsome and successful at the competitions Hinemoa’s tribe considered Tutanekai like everyone before him, to be too lowly for her. Tutanekai refused to give up and spent his evenings on Mokoia Island playing love songs for Hinemoa on his flute. This spurred Hinemoa on and she decided that she was going to paddle a waka (canoe) across to see Tutanekai - unfortunately someone from her tribe became suspicious and they pulled all the canoes high up on to the shore. Still Tutanekai played his flute - so Hinemoa not to be held back tied water gourds to herself to act as floats and swum across to see Tutanekai. The couple’s persistence convinced their tribes to let them stay together and they lived happily
ever after. This story is told in the song Po Karekare Ana.
Travel Day: MOUREA to Taupo (via Rotorua) We depart Mourea at 8am and have the morning free to explore Rotorua
There are many things to do in Rotorua, which makes it a favourite for Stray customers to hop off the bus and spend an extra day or two. Options include: walking around Kuirau Park for free geothermal activity; going over the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world in a raft or on a sledge; enjoy a walk through the Whirinaki Rainforest with local Maori Guides and learn about traditional ways - a highly recommended and amazing experience; jetboat through the Tutukau Gorge and go ‘squeeze
through a cliff gap to explore a secret natural thermal bathing area; or visiting Whakarewarewa (Whaka to its mates) for an awesome walk through a historic Maori village and geothermal area. They also have a unique new option where you can get a personally designed moko (tattoo) based on your life story for the special Stray price of $84 (includes village entry and show). You get to keep the design as a piece of art, or if you’re keen, take it to a tattoo artist for a permanent memento! We do hostel pickups around town at 8am (confirm this with your driver or the office if you are unsure about your pickup point) before heading south towards our night stop of Taupo and its great lake. We stop for more free geothermal activity in our secret remote location (sorry, can’t tell you where you’ll just have to go and find out). We head through the Kaingaroa forest then stop on the way for a short walk and look at Huka falls. If there is time we may also go for a walk at another great free geothermal attraction ‘Craters of the Moon’. This afternoon, weather permitting, you get a chance to do what is one of our most popular activities ‘skydiving’ (we recommend ‘Skydive Taupo’ - see their ad). Skydiving is really popular here because of the amazing lake views but also because it is amongst the best value in the world (apparently because it is cheaper to operate light aircraft here).
Tekoteko, Maketu marae
Rotorua Rotorua - in Maori ‘roto’ means lake, and ‘rua’ means two, so Rotorua is the 2nd lake. The full name is Rotorua Nui a Kuhumatamoemoe. The second great lake of Kuhumatamoemoe (who was the uncle of Ihenga the explorer). Over 35% of the population in the area is Maori so you will see plenty of signs of the culture. You’ll also notice the smell of rotten eggs - which is caused by sulphur, which is caused by the earth’s crust being thin here and leading to a lot of geothermal activity. The culture, the boiling mud pools and shooting geysers make Rotorua one of New Zealand’s biggest tourist destinations. Prior to the turn of the century Rotorua was already becoming world famous for a natural attraction. The Pink and White terraces which were located near Mount Tarawera on the edge of Lake Rotomahana. They were considered to be the eighth wonder of the world and drew visitors from all over at a time when New Zealand was at best very difficult to get to. They were made up of silica based terraces filled with geothermal water. This great attraction was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Tarawera in 1886, which also destroyed nearby villages and killed about 120 people. A cool thing about Rotorua is that many homes are able to take advantage of the natural resource with private bores allowing them to do everything from having private geothermal pools to heating their houses. It used to be a bit of a free for all until in the 80s when the council noticed that all the private use was reducing the level of geothermal activity throughout the city and so put restrictions on private use. Kaingaroa Forest - This is the largest hand planted forest in the Southern Hemisphere. During the 1930s the government hired cheap labour (available because of the Depression) to plant Radiata Pines (a Californian native which usually reaches maturity in 50 years but only 25 years in New Zealand). The trees on the highway between Taupo and Rotorua are between 20-25 years old. Between 12 and 15 thousand trees are planted per hectare and blocks of up to 80,000 hectares are clear felled at one time. The trees in this forest are used for timber, paper and pulp.
Historic geothermal village, Whakarewarewa
Taupo Taupo - had a violent past. In 181AD the volcanic crater erupted causing such a mess that its effects on the weather and sky were recorded in ancient Rome and China. After the massive explosion of the crater the resulting hole filled with water and created Lake Taupo, our largest lake (which is about the same size as the whole land area of Singapore). The Maori pronunciation of Taupo is “toepaw”. The full name of the Lake is Taupo -nui-a-Tia, which means “The Great Garment of Tia.” Tia was one of the Polynesian chiefs who came to our shores from Tahiti in the canoe Arawa, who believed one of the cliffs resembled the flax cape (taupo) he was wearing. Huka Falls - New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction. They are located on the Waikato River and whilst only 11m high, they are famous for the speed and volume of water they produce. Every three seconds enough water flows through the falls to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool.
Travel Day: Taupo to WhakahoroToday’s departure Depart 9am
We head around Lake Taupo to the most remote part of the North Island. Our destination is Blue Duck Lodge, a 9,000 acre high country farm that is both a working station and an environmental conservation leader. Once you arrive, go for a walk around this truly amazing property and just take in the lush scenery, or enjoy your host Dan’s fantastic hospitality and stories on the local wildlife and history. Some other optional activities are going on an environmental bush 4WD tour, a one day horse trek (like a real cowboy) or a fully guided kayak tour. Spend the evening sitting around and listen to tales from this unique region.
Get involved in various conservation projects at Blue Duck Station
Mt Pihanga (1,325m) - very goodlooking lady mountain. In Maori mythology it is said that the mountains Taranaki, Putauaki and Tauhara also used to live in this area with the mountains Pihanga, Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngaruahoe which are still here. You will see that Pihanga is incredibly beautiful - and the only female - and mountains Taranaki, Putauaki and Tauhara all desired her. Unfortunately she only had eyes for the very tough looking Tongariro. Unable to have the lovely Pihanga, Tauhara moved away to the north eastern shore of Lake Taupo (the name Tauhara means the lonely mountain). Tongariro then beat up Putauaki who then went east to the Bay of Plenty. Taranaki also fought and lost with Tongariro before going west carving out the Wanganui River and filling it with his tears. Whakahoro (Blue Duck Station) This area is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. Located in the Ruapehu District on the banks of the Whanganui and Retaruke Rivers, and surrounded by Whanganui National park. Whakahoro has a very colourful history, both Maori and European, and there are remnants of this all around Blue Duck Station. There is also a huge conservation effort in preserving the Blue Duck (or Whio in Maori), which is an endangered species. The rare Blue Ducks can be observed while kayaking down the Retaruke River or walking along the Kaiwhakauka track above the waterfall. You can get involved in the various conservation projects when you stay at Blue Duck Station, from surveying the Kiwi and Whio population, to helping restore some of the historic buildings in the area, which were abandoned by the early farmers.
Horse riding Whakahoro
NATIONAL PARK Travel Day: Whakahoro to National Park Today’s departure time depends on season and weather. Please see your driver or the latest timetable. If the conditions allow it (not too much rain, wind or snow) you get a chance to do what is rated as one of the world’s best one day walks - the ‘Tongariro Alpine Crossing’’. It is not to be taken lightly because of its remoteness, length and height above sea level (which gives changeable weather). Your driver/guide will make sure that you are properly prepared by working you through a checklist of what you need to take and taking you to get suitable food supplies (the night before). Please note there is a transport/concession fee to do this walk and in winter for safety, an equipment /guide charge as well. The walk takes about 6 - 7 hours and crosses the National Park’s scenically amazing volcanic plateau (complete with steaming craters). For those not doing the walk - or on days that the walk isn’t possible - we spend the day exploring the National Park. We take in a couple of shorter walks and visit the Volcanic Centre Museum. In winter you also have the option to ski or snowboard at Mt Ruapehu (NZ’s largest ski area).
At the end of the day we head back to National Park Village where we stay in a beautiful alpine lodge ‘The Park’ for the night. You can relax in the spa or have a few drinks in the Spiral Bar to toast your achievement! This is a great place to hop off the bus to stay longer with options of mountain biking, rafting, canoeing, skiing boarding in winter, or maybe some traditional kiwi lawn bowling!
Tongariro National Park - The Tongariro National Park was New Zealand’s first National Park, and is a World Heritage Area. The park was created in 1887 when Te Heuheu Tukino IV, paramount chief of the Ngati Tuwharetoa, gifted its three volcanoes, Ruapehu, Tongariro, and Ngauruhoe, to the people of New Zealand. Ruapehu is the most active of the volcanoes. It has a simmering crater lake and last erupted in 1996 showering most of the central North Island in ash.
4wd eco-wilderness tour, Whakahoro, unique Stray overnight stop
WELLINGTON Travel Day: National Park to Wellington Depart 9am
museum. Wellington is a cool place to hang out for its arts, shopping and café culture and to check out the home of NZ’s parliament. We stay in a backpackers hostel in central Wellington tonight. Waiouru - is home of our largest army base and is the main training area for the New Zealand Army. The town is 815 metres above sea level, which means that it is freezing cold in winter and cooking hot in summer so it is perfect for training in the extremes.
We head to Wellington by heading round the mountains to Ohakune. This is a great little ski village also known as the ‘Carrot Capital of New Zealand', which you may consider hopping off in to take in more of the National Park (or for skiing and nightlife in the winter). We then cruise down to the top of the Desert Road and through the great rural towns of Taihape and Bulls. Today is mostly an express to get to Wellington for the sights of our capital. We strongly recommend walking ‘Oriental Parade’ or visiting ‘Te Papa’ our national
Taihape - is locally famous as a down to earth Kiwi farming town. Depending on the group and timing we sometimes stop to celebrate this with a bit of gumboot throwing. Bulls - caused a stir during World War II when milk exported from here labeled ‘Milk from Bulls’ got everyone guessing. Recently Bulls made international news when a proposed architectural design for the new public toilets resembled a bull’s rear end from the air. People paying a visit to the Bull’s public toilet would walk up the tail of the bull and enter between the cheeks. The proposed design was to cost the town more than $226,000.
Check out the awesome puns and murals - they’re commenda-bull! Kapiti Island - the big island as you head towards Wellington 1,700 Hectares). Was the home base of the famous warrior Te Rauparaha before being a significant whaling base with seven whaling stations. There are now two marine reserves off its shore. Wellington - Wellington is New Zealand’s third largest city and has been the capital and home of the New Zealand Government since 1865. It is named after the first Duke of Wellington ‘Arthur Wellesley’ who commanded the British army against Napoleon and was also British Prime Minister (which must have seemed like good reasons to name a town in the place on the opposite side of the world after him). New Zealand’s capital was originally up north in Russell, then moved to Auckland before being moved south to keep the gold rich southerners happy. The central city is jammed between the hills and the harbour, so is relatively small and can be easily walked around. It is known as the windy city (the local rugby team is called ‘The Hurricanes’). Wind is channeled through the Cook Strait, which is the only gap in New Zealand’s 1400km chain of mountains. The city is located on a major fault line and Wellington leads the world (they hope) in the development and application of technology to create earthquake resistant buildings. The harbour is a large volcanic crater. Wellington is home to Te Papa New Zealand’s National Museum; this is free to enter although a donation is much appreciated. Inside its walls you will find many exhibitions detailing New Zealand’s precarious position on the tectonic plates, its birds and marine life, cultural history, a contemporary designed marae, and copies of the Treaty of Waitangi. It also hosts many temporary exhibitions (that sometimes have a small charge). The Wellington area is also home of Peter Jackson and his Weta Studios of Lord of the Rings, King Kong and The Hobbit fame. Forget Hollywood and Bollywood we now have Wellywood.
Cook Strait - at its narrowest point is 23km. Because the ferry trip has to make its way across Wellington Harbour on one side and through the Marlborough Sounds on the other the average crossing time is roughly 3 hours. The fastest recorded time of someone swimming the Strait is 5 hours and 4 mins this record is held by Denise Anderson who was only 14 years old at the time. If you want to try this please notify our office as you may have to depart Picton on a later bus.
Visit Te Papa!
South Island Travel Days Unique Features + Stay beside Abel Tasman National Park + Sailing, walking and kayaking options + West Coast cultural day with unique activities ranging from greenstone hunting to bone carving + Special deals on glacier trips + Access to Mt Aspiring National Park, scenic flights and jet boating + Milford Sound included in route + Optional overnight on Stewart Island with incredible wildlife and remote scenery + Stay at the base of NZâ€™s highest mountain, Mt Cook + Rangitata for Lord of the Rings scenery and awesome mountain biking and rafting (summer only) options
+ Lush rainforest + Awesome Franz Josef glacier + Incredible mountains and fiords + Every adventure activity you can think of!
Travel Day: (Wellington) Picton to Marahau (Abel Tasman)
We need to be at the ferry terminal by 7am to catch the 8am ferry (the ferry will cost between $50-75). Ask you driver or at the hostel reception to confirm the exact procedure from where you are staying. If you are flying you can sleep in for at least an hour longer. We pick up our new coach in Picton - we depart from the Bluebridge ferry terminal at 11.45am (this point is of particular relevance to people who have not carried on with the one driver, are just starting their trip, and those who have flown over, who will be dropped off at the ferry terminal as well) then head through the famous Marlborough
vineyard area. Depending on the groupâ€™s wishes we may stop to do a bit of a wine tasting (our usual - and best value - preference is to buy local wines at a bottle shop and enjoy them at the farm in the evening). We stop at the coastal city of Nelson (a cool relaxed town where you may like to get off and spend longer) before heading onto Motueka for a supermarket stop and on to our night stop of Marahau. This is a relatively remote place right at the edge of the amazing Abel Tasman National Park. The park is famous for its beautiful golden sand beaches and the area has the most sunshine hours in New Zealand so you may well want to spend a few days here. This is a popular place for Stray people to get off the bus and spend an extra day or two exploring and/or relaxing. Tonight we have free mussel tasting around the fire at our accommodation right at the edge of Abel Tasman National Park. It is the perfect base for exploring the area and has cabin or camping options for you to choose from.
WEST COAST Travel Day: Marahau to BLACKBALL Depart 8.30am
Head through the Buller Gorge to the ‘wild’ West Coast, which stretches for over 600 kilometres. This strip of road was recently rated as one of the top ten drives in the world by Lonely Planet. We stop along the way for photos (Hawks Crag) before heading on to Punakaiki for its famous blowholes and Pancake Rocks in Paparoa National Park. We do the great short walk here and check out the amazing plant life in this rainforest area before heading on to our stop for the night. West Coast - The major influx of settlers arrived between 1864 and 1867 when gold fever drove the population from 250 to 26,000. Coal was also discovered during the same period and lead to the establishment of a more stable and ongoing industry. The relative isolation (mobile phones still don’t work throughout much of the area) means that West Coasters are really a breed apart from the rest of the country – rock solid and very specifically to the point. The Buller Gorge - The Buller River’s Maori name ‘Kawatiri’ meaning ‘swift and deep’ gives an idea of what an obstacle it used to be. It used to take travellers up to seven weeks to get through the gorge (the only way to cross the river was by boat until 1890). Paparoa National Park - is 30,000 ha of rainforest, cliffs and caves. The most famous feature is Punakaiki (Pancake Rocks). These are made up of soft and hard layers of rock, which have been eroded by the sea to leave formations, which look like stacks of pancakes. The sea still roars through the formations creating huge blowholes. There is a great 20 minute loop walk around the formations. The community surrounding Punakaiki is made up of many laidback artists, potters, carvers, glass blowers and weavers all inspired by the rugged beauty and mystery of this region. Their work can be seen in the nearby cafes.
The ‘wild’ West Coast
WEST COAST Barrytown (Baz Vegas or just Barry - no town) - A great place to get involved in local culture, to explore the temperate local rainforests and/or wild coastline. Blackball - The small town of Blackball has a long gold and coal mining history, as well as an interesting political background. The town was the first place in New Zealand where workers collectively and successfully striked to achieve better working conditions, signaling the start of collective movements in the Country, as well as the establishment of the New Zealand Labour Party. The NZ Communist Party Headquarters were also established in the town in 1925 due to the town’s reputation for militant order. Today, the town’s population is around 370.
historic mining town, Blackball. This will take 7 to 8 hours. There is a hut at the halfway point if you want to do it in two days. A good option though is the return walk up to the top of the bush line which will take you about 5- 5 ½ hours return and gets you one of the best possible views of the coastline.
Punakaiki - Best known for its Pancake Rocks and Blowholes - both of which are spectacular and a mustsee when visiting the West Coast.
Do a local activity - the area has a rich gold mining history. They experienced the West Coast’s last gold rush in 1879 and there are still relics lying around everywhere. There is a popular option of bone or jade carving where you can make your own jewellery, which we highly recommend. You get to choose what you make and can do anything from traditional designs to your family crest. Another great option is canoeing in the Paparoa National Park. This trip has amazing scenery through the lush temperate rainforests, with some likening it to Jurassic Park because you seem so cut off from the rest of the world.
Walk - The Croesus Track starts directly across the road from the All Nations Hotel. You have two options with this walk - you can organise a transfer from one end and cross the divide between Barrytown and another
Or simply cruise in this great alternative location - a walk along the beach may be well worth your while - a traveller once found a piece of greenstone worth over $300! However we warn you it’s not that
easy - someone once complained to their driver that they spent an hour looking and found none. Hanging in the pub is also an interesting pastime on The Coast, as many locals are real characters who will keep you well entertained. Truman Track - is an easy 20 min walk through subtropical forest down to the coastline. If it is low tide, you can follow some steps down to the beach, where you will be able to see an amazing overhanging sandstone cliff. The Bush - this coastal area is plant paradise. There are hardly any frosts, over 2000 hours of sunshine and 2000mm of rain every year. The forest is made of a variety of broadleaf trees with great Maori names including kamahi, mahoe, and kawakawa. It used to be dominated by big trees called rimu, matai and kahikatea but many of these areas were extensively logged in the past. As you walk in the bush, you will also notice a number of bushy things growing on other trees. These are called epiphytes. Nikau palms are another characteristic feature plant of this area and appear often in local art.
Christchurch to West Coast Travel Day: Christchurch to WEST COAST PLEASE NOTE: the 1st sector of this day is not on the Stray bus so please call the Stray office at least 48 hours before departure to confirm pick up details. Pick up will be at 7.15 am (be waiting at 7am), by an Atomic Shuttle bus. The service heads over the stunning Arthurâ€™s Pass to Greymouth where you have a half hour stop before you get picked up by the Stray bus outside the train station at 1pm and head to Franz Josef. *If you have the TranzAlpine rail option, make your own way to the Railway Station, Troup Drive, Addington. The train departs at 8.15am (be at the Railway Station 30 minutes prior to departure). You still connect up with the Stray bus at 1pm outside the train station in Greymouth. NB: Please contact Stray if bus/train is late.
FRANZ JOSEF TRAVEL DAY: West Coast Cultural Stop to Franz Josef Depart 12pm
You have the morning free to walk amongst the old mine relics, take a tour with a quirky local, or sleep in. We depart early afternoon and head into the heart of the West coast where time almost stands still. We stop in Hokitika to look at the pounamu (greenstone) factory and then head down the coast where depending on the time and the weather (this is a lush ‘rain’forest after all) we do either the Okarito lagoon trig walk (great forest scenery and wildlife), the Hari Hari coastal walk or visit the Bushman’s Centre (where you learn about all of the local wildlife). We then travel on to our night stop of Franz Josef. A town set in bush squashed between the Tasman Sea and the mighty Franz Josef Glacier, the head of which can be seen from the town itself. We stay at a great backpackers hostel in the middle of the rainforest. Greymouth - with a current population of about ,14,000 it is much smaller than it would have been during the gold rush but it’s still the largest service centre of the West Coast. One of our great annual sporting events starts just south of here at Kumara Beach each February. The ‘Coast to Coast’ is as the name suggests a race from the West Coast of New Zealand to the east. The real challenge is that the Southern Alps just happen to be between these two points.
Hokitika - yet another town that owes its existence to the gold rushes of the 1860s. Despite the treacherous bar at the river mouth, the port briefly became the country’s busiest. Hokitika is exceptionally well known in New Zealand for greenstone (or Pounamu as the Maori know it). Greenstone took the place of metals for practical, war faring and decorative uses. Adzes and chisels were used for carving, specific weapons were created for hand-tohand combat and pieces were created and worn as jewellery.
Poutini - is the name in Maori for the West Coast. Legend has it that Poutini is also the name given to a taniwha (monster) which swims up and down the West Coast of the South Island protecting both the people and the spiritual essence of pounamu, greenstone. Pounamu has always been held in high regard by New Zealand Maori. It has high spiritual significance and is worn in remembrance of passed ancestors (tipuna) where the tiki is often regarded as holding the power (mana) of the previous owners. The Wild Food Festival happens in March every year. It all began as a simple celebration for the completion of a heritage area development. The idea was to celebrate with the wild food tastes of the West Coast. It now attracts a crowd of tens of thousands who get to sample everything from the well-known local delicacy of whitebait fritters to the scary option of stuffed and fried sheep testicles.
Ross - is yet another small historic gold mining township and in fact gold is still mined in the town today. It was the place where New Zealand’s largest gold nugget, the 99-ounce ‘Honourable Roddy’ was found in 1907. The Bushman Centre - in Pukekura is sometimes a stop. Their goal is to teach you about local bush life. They have a small museum and show a short DVD on deer farming on the West Coast. They have a café in which you can try local delicacies such as possum pie. Hari Hari - is a small dairy farming settlement. Its ‘claim to fame’ dates back to 1931, when Guy Menzies, a young aviator from Sydney, made the first solo flight across the Tasman Sea, and landed upside down in a swamp on the outskirts of town!
Whataroa - This farming and sawmilling centre is the base for tours to the nearby kotuku (white heron) sanctuary. Although common in other Pacific and Asian countries there are only about 150 kotuku in New Zealand and they nest in a single streamside colony south of the outlet of the Whataroa River. To the Maori kotuku were a bird ‘of a single flight’, a bird seen perhaps once in a lifetime and a symbol of things both beautiful and rare. Okarito - The nearby lagoon is the largest unmodified tidal inlet in New Zealand and a major feeding area for many wading birds (including kotuku - White Heron). Franz Josef - The township is a cool little place set in the rainforest which contains little more than a couple of cafes, some booking offices, a gas station, a supermarket, money machines and an internet cafe. According to Maori legend the glacier is actually the frozen tears of a maiden called Hinehukatere. They were made from her crying for the one she loved. She made her man (Tane) climb the mountains with her but unfortunately near the top he slipped and fell to his death. Hinehukatere was heart broken and with her crying at such a high altitude her tears turned to ice and formed the glacier we all see today. The name Franz Josef was given to the glacier by the geologist Julius von Haast to honour the emperor of his native Austria. The glacier itself is 12 kilometres long and is one of the fastest moving glaciers in the world with growth of as much as 1.5 metres a day. While Franz Josef glacier is almost unique in the world for its ease of access we recommend that because of the changeable and difficult conditions and the difficulty of getting beyond the glacier face (and how cool it is on the glacier - excuse the pun) you do one of the guided trips which are on offer (where you get shown the right way to go but more importantly get flash shoes with steel grips).
Franz Josef Glaciar Guides
FRANZ JOSEF TO WANAKA TRavel day: Franz Josef to Queenstown Depart 9am
1965 and fully sealed in 1995. Have your walking shoes ready as there are a couple of great short walk options including Ships Creek, Thunder Creek Falls, Blue Pools and Gates of Haast. We stop at the remote town of Makarora on the edge of Mt Aspiring National Park. There’s a great jet boating option or if you have time to hop off do one of the amazing walks or scenic flights. We pass by the beautiful lakes Wanaka and Hawea and aim to arrive in Wanaka by 4.30pm (depending on how many walks we do.
We depart early and drive through the rainforest to Fox Glacier. We do pickups (and drop-offs) in Fox and then head to Lake Matheson for some amazing upside-down scenery viewing, before traveling through the mountainous Haast Pass and Mount Aspiring National Park. This is one of the most scenic drives you’ll ever do - from rainforests to mountains, to beech forests to great lakes. The area is so rugged that the road (which is important as it completes the South Island circuit) was only opened in
Knights Point - This was named after a dog belonging to one of the men who worked on the road. The Haast Road was started in 1929 as part of a government unemployment scheme. It follows what was a track used by Maori who used to wander over the West Coast searching for greenstone. The war and engineering problems meant that it wasn’t finished until 1965. Haast - is probably the most remote wilderness area that you can relatively easily drive to, in New Zealand. It’s a landscape of rainforest, wetlands,
sand dunes and shingle beaches. The area is part of the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. The township has little more than a pub, a gas station and an information centre. You can see 800-year-old rimu trees, kahikatea (New Zealand’s tallest tree), kowhai and manuka trees and flax. Haast Pass - The road reaches 564 metres at its highest point. A simple glance out the bus window is all you need to understand why it took so long to turn what used to be a track used by Maori. It cuts straight across the rugged main divide. It was named by a bloke called Julius Von Haast who was apparently the second white man to cross over the pass. The road was opened in 1965 but was only fully sealed in 1995 - which is quite significant when you remember that this is the only way to cross the Alps for 400km. Thunder Creek Falls - a great short walk takes you to these falls that drop about 30m. Makarora - The area of Makarora was once covered with thick forests, this lead to it being a key saw milling area, supplying timber to the Otago Goldfields.
Makarora Tourist Centre
WANAKA Lake Wanaka - As you drive through the gorge past the lakes you will see long horizontal lines carved into the mountainsides. These were created by the large glaciers which led to the formation of the large lakes as the rocks they pushed blocked the valleys. Lake Wanaka is the third largest of the Southern Lakes. It is 45km long and is as much as 312 metres deep. It is fed by the Makaroa and Matukituki Rivers and is the source of the Clutha River. Lake Hawea is 35km long and as much as 410 metres deep. Legend has it that the great chief Te Rakaihautu carved out the beds of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea with his mighty Ko, or digging stick piling up the debris to form mountain ranges. Wanaka - is both a summer holiday town for Kiwis and travellers alike and a winter base for access to Mount Aspiring National Park, Cardrona and Treblecone ski-fields. Wanaka is like a sister city to Queenstown and is a good place to jump off the bus for a couple of days to chill out.
Queenstown TRavel day: WANAKA TO QUEENSTOWN Depart 11.30am
This morning you have the option of hiking to the summit of Mt Iron (1.5 hours), getting disorientated at Puzzling World, flying your own plane or Skydiving over beautiful Lake Wanaka. Just before Queenstown we visit the famous A.J. Hackett Bungy site, in the Kawarau gorge for the option of throwing yourself off a bridge (bungy attached!) Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge) night out with excellent restaurants, pubs and live music. Tonight your backpacker
accommodation is in the middle of town. It was gold which bought the first settlers to the area, followed by sheep stations but all of this has now been totally outdone by adventure tourism development. Coronet Peak Ski area (one of the two closest ski fields) was opened in the 1950s. In the 1970s, the now hugely successful Shotover Jet, the world’s first commercial jet boat operation was opened. The jet used an invention by a Kiwi guy called Bill Hamilton (basically a powerful water pump for propulsion), which enables specially designed boats to be really maneuverable and to be driven in rocky rivers with a depth of as little as 10cm. Quick to follow were white water rafting and the AJ Hackett Bungy development. These iconic activities have been draw cards for years and have made it possible for many other lesser-know activities to become viable. Kawarau Suspension Bridge - was originally built in the 1880s to provide access to the goldfields around Lake Wakatipu. The bridge then fell into disrepair and was deemed unsafe until Henry van Asch and AJ Hackett applied for a one-month license to use the bridge commercially for
Bungy Jumping in 1988 …and so it became the location of the world’s first fulltime commercial bungy operation. A fee is paid to the Department of Conservation for every jump by AJ Hackett Bungy to maintain the site. Bungy Jumping - was created by New Zealanders Henry van Asch and AJ Hackett. They were inspired by the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club who tried jumping off bridges while holding onto big rubber bands back in the 70s. This was also similar to the ancient passage to manhood ritual of the people of Vanuatu in the Pacific who throw themselves from huge towers with vines tied to their feet (yes it hurts). Henry and AJ did much testing and experimentation to come up with the ideal latex cord and attachment system then set off around the world to do some high profile jumps first in Tignes, France from a ski area gondola 91 metres above the snow, followed by the Eiffel Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. This gained them huge profile from the start and they still dominate the world of Bungy.
The Ledge Bungy - Queenstown
QUEENSTOWN Non Travel Day: Queenstown
‘ADVENTURE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD’ Queenstown is a great place to spend some extra time no matter what your pastime of choice is. Today is yours to explore. There is probably a wider choice of adventure activities easily accessible from here than from anywhere else in the world. The region also offers a number of world-class multi-day treks, as well as great shorter local walks...and if this all sounds a bit much, you can just sit and stare at some of the world’s most awe-inspiring scenery. Options include: doing nothing, great local walks and any adventure activity that you can think of. Obviously you can break your journey in Queenstown for as long as you want. You should take the opportunity to do one of the many multi-day adventure activities or walks. If heading straight north to Christchurch (via Mt Cook and Rangitata), look at doing a one day Milford Sound trip before you go. Queenstown
QUEENSTOWN TO FIORDLAND Travel Day: QUEENSTOWN TO GUNNS CAMP (VIA MILFORD SOUND) Depart 8.30am (pick ups start before this).
Enjoy a scenic drive alongside Lake Wakatipu before we head to Te Anua, the gateway to a walkers paradise. We will gather a few supplies and your Milford Cruise and Stewart Island ferry tickets here before heading to Milford Sound, one of the most scenically amazing drives in the world. We pass through the farmland of Southland and
watch it turn into mountains, glacial carved valleys and fiords. At Milford, you have the option of a scenic cruise to really appreciate this stunning fiord. In the afternoon we head to our unique overnight stop at Gunnâ€™s Camp, a historic camp on the edge of the Hollyford Track. Accommodation is in quaint cabins tonight. The Homer Tunnel - was named after Harry Homer, the bloke who started the construction project (no relation to Homer Simpson). It began in 1935 as a work project for the unemployed. The tunnel was entirely carved out by hand - which as you can imagine was not an easy task - and explains why it is not one smooth curve. The tunnel is 1200m long and has a gradient of 1 in 10. There are no lights in the tunnel and the traffic lights are a very recent addition. The view at the exit is one of the most spectacular that you will see. The weather proved to be the biggest hazard to the workers on the whole Milford Road project. The terrain was also harsh, high in altitude, rugged and steep and plagued by floods and deadly avalanches. The route to Milford was not finished until 1952 and was shut every winter until the 1970s.
The bottom of New Zealand. Bluff
MILFORD SOUND / FIORDLAND Milford Sound - is actually a fiord. This is an absolutely stunning place, which you really must visit. Its most well known feature is Mitre Peak, the world’s highest sea cliff at 1692m. It was given the name of Mitre Peak by early explorers because it resembled the Mitre on a Bishop’s hat. It is 290m deep in the middle but only 120m at the sea entrance. This is because this was the terminal point of the glacier, which created it. The fiords in this area contain unusual life because they have a 2-4 metre layer of fresh water which sits above the salt water (because it is so calm) and only weak light filters through to below. This means that there is a great deal of sea life which would usually only be found in very deep water relatively near the surface. You will also see an abundance of wildlife at and above the surface including, fur seals, crested penguins, bottle nosed and dusky dolphins. Initial development in this area is largely down to a guy called Donald Sutherland (not the actor apparently) who was an old sea dog who settled here in the late 1800s and became known as the hermit of Milford. He discovered the huge waterfalls, which he named after himself. He claimed that the Sutherland falls were over 1000 metres high and the highest in the world. This was a great trick as it attracted tourists and he was able to build the first hotel in the Sound and went from living like a hermit to being the host of people from around the world. The falls while high and spectacular are actually 630 metres and are not the highest in the world.
(some over 600 metres), and calmness created by the protection of the steep walls mean that this is a pretty mind blowing place. It was named by Captain Cook who did not actually enter the sound as he was
‘doubtful’ he would be able to sail out. Lake Manapouri and Doubtful Sound are joined by a man-made tunnel which takes water from the lake through an underground power station and on to deep cove in Doubtful Sound.
The Takahe is one of New Zealand’s rarest birds. It is about 25cm tall, has green feathers and a red beak and legs. Like all of our favourite birds it cannot fly. For over half a century they were thought to be extinct and were only rediscovered in 1948. A large part of the park is closed off to minimalise disturbance to the bird. Manapouri - is New Zealand’s second deepest lake at 433m (after Lake Hauroko 462m deepest) and is regarded by many as one of the best looking. Doubtful Sound - is the deepest of all fiords. It is three times longer than Milford and over 10 times the area. It's remoteness and physical grandeur with towering peaks, huge waterfalls
Fiordland Walking Tracks Kepler Track - is a 60 km circuit through the spectacular scenery of Fiordland National Park. It can be walked in either direction (although anti-clockwise is recommended) and approximately 8000 walkers complete it each year. It was originally established to take pressure of the Routeburn and Milford Tracks but is now one of New Zealand’s Great Walks in its own right.
Weather - Fiordland National Park has high rainfall and changeable weather. Unpredictable weather patterns mean that cold temperatures, snow, strong winds and heavy rain can occur at any time of the year. It is estimated that it rains 276 days of the year down here so be prepared for at least one wet day on your trip. Remember, exposure and hypothermia (low body temperature)
can affect anyone when the weather is wet, cold and windy and hypothermia can kill. Correct clothing is essential - Travel along the alpine sections can be difficult due to the strong winds, which are common in the area. Wind gusts up to 80km per hour are possible and will greatly increase the wind-chill factor on cooler days. Be prepared.
Routeburn Track - traverses 33km of Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks. It can also be walked in either direction and can be combined with the Greenstone or Caples Tracks. Most walkers take three days. It has about 13,000 walkers each year. Between October and late April bookings are essential to guarantee your hut or campsite accommodation. This is not a circuit track and there are about 350km of road transport between the ends. It is accessed by road at either the Routeburn Shelter, (the starting or finishing point at the Mount Aspiring National Park end of the track), or at The Divide (the starting or finishing point at the Fiordland National Park end of the track). Public transport services both ends of the track. There is no cell phone coverage in the area. Milford Track - is 53.5 kilometres through Fiordland National Park and is New Zealand’s most famous walk with approximately 14,000 people walking it each year; it has been described as the finest walk in the world. It starts at the head of Lake Te Anau and finishes in Milford Sound. It passes New Zealand’s (not the world’s) highest waterfall (Sutherland Falls at 630 metres). The track may only be walked in one direction, Glade Wharf to Milford Sound, during the booked walking season (late October to late April), with a maximum of 40 independent walkers permitted to start the track each day. Booking is essential to guarantee your hut accommodation. To walk the Milford Track you require either a bus or private transport to Te Anau Downs, then boat transport to Glade Wharf. Boat transport is also required from Sandfly Point (the end of the track) to Milford Sound. There is no cell phone coverage in the area. Fiordland National Park
MILFORD SOUND Travel Day: GUNNS CAMP TO INVERCARGILL / STEWART ISLAND Depart 8.30am
We start the morning with a great hike up to the Key Summit Track for stunning views over the Fiordland mountains. We then head across the farmlands of Southland to Invercargill and Bluff. Next stop - Stewart Island - New Zealand’s ‘third island.’ We catch the 5pm ferry from Bluff (check in at 4.30pm), which takes an hour. For those not heading to Stewart Island the bus will drop you off at our hostel in Invercargill (Tuatara’s - one of our best rating) on the way through to Bluff. However, we strongly recommend that you head over to the Island (there are great combo deals for the ferry and Milford Sound cruise - ask your driver about them). There are many activity options available on Stewart Island including: incredible walks; fishing trips (which people rave about); a cruise to Ulva Island - an open air bird sanctuary; scooter hire and mountain bike hire to explore this remote oasis; or even a Great White Shark wilderness cruise option! The one and only Stewart Island Pub is a must do if you’re wanting to meet highly interesting locals. A few years back the pub forgot to renew it’s liquor license, which forced the whole island to go dry, caused havoc for the beer loving locals and made national news headlines! We stay in a backpackers on the island and catch the first ferry back in the morning.
Invercargill - is New Zealand’s southernmost city. The upside is that it gets long daylight hours in summer. The downside is that it has the lowest average temperature, the lowest annual average of sunshine hours, and the highest number of rain days. Invercargill shares much of its history with Dunedin and both cities have very distinct Scottish influences as they were both initially surveyed by Scottish companies looking to create new settlements in the new world. White settlement in Invercargill was always focused on being a service town for beef and dairy farming in the area. Recently there has been relatively significant growth in the number of dairy farms in the area as land has got too expensive to be viable for milk production in the Waikato and many farmers have moved south. A lot of the recent rejuvenation of the town can be put down to its mayor Tim Shadbolt a colourful character known throughout New Zealand. It is thanks to his efforts in introducing the free fees scheme to the polytechnic that attracted young people to the South and a breath of life into the city. The mayor and the town featured in a recent Hollywood movie ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’ which is a true story about a local who set out to break the speed record for motorbikes of less than 1000cc.
Bluff - The first Europeans to visit the area were Sydney merchants in about 1813 who were keen to set up a flax milling industry to supply rope for ships. Unfortunately while there was heaps of flax in the area there was no wood, which was needed to burn the flax to get the fibre out. Tiwai Aluminium Smelter - our only aluminium smelter is situated at Tiwai Point on the northeast side of Bluff Harbour. This uses most of the power created by the Manapouri power station. The smelter operates continuously, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. More than 90 percent of the smelter’s production is exported, primarily to Japan and other Asian markets. It employs approximately 1000 people. Oysters - Bluff Oysters are a New Zealand delicacy. They drift on the seabed throughout New Zealand. They are found in their biggest quantities and in the best quality in the Foveaux Strait (the bit of water between the South Island and Stewart Island). They have a limited harvest season each year from March to August (it is restricted further if it is a poor season).
STEWART ISLAND The anchor stone from Maui’s canoe (see the earlier legend of the fishing trip of New Zealand) is definitely worth a visit. It has over 85% conservation land and has only a small human population - mostly fisherman - who live clustered around the township of Oban (which has the island’s only pub and is also well worth a visit). There is only 20km of road. A large part of the island is a bird sanctuary with all introduced predators removed (rats and cats mainly) so the bird life is amazing and is a lot like New Zealand would have been before human settlement. The first settlers were whalers in the 1830s and there are some cool ruins from this early settlement, which can be seen on a number of the well signposted walks. Accommodation can be an issue on the island so make sure that you sort something out with your driver before you go. We recommend ‘Real Journey’s’ ferry, which goes from Bluff to Oban to get there. NB: you can go to Stewart Island for a night without breaking your journey with Stray.
Ulva Island - sits in Patterson Inlet below Oban (Half Moon Bay). It used to be the home of naturalist Charles Traill, who combined the running of a general store with a passion for botany, birdlife and the study of shells. Charles was appointed postmaster for ‘the most southerly post office in the world’. The post office lasted until the island was made into a bird sanctuary. There is a great trip from Oban, which allows you to take in the relatively untouched plant and bird life. Ulva Island is one of the most densely populated area of Kiwi in New Zealand, but you probably won’t get to see one as they are nocturnal.
Muttonbirds - are a bird, which chooses to hang out mainly on the islands to the south west of Stewart Island that are not surprisingly called the Muttonbird Islands. They are a traditional Maori delicacy and every year during April and May those who are entitled to (Maori with direct historical connections) descend on the islands to catch the chicks, which are so fat they cannot fly. Up to 250,000 are taken from the islands each year and sent to shops throughout the country. The birds are very oily and have to be boiled before they are roasted.
Native birdlife, Stewart Island
Travel Day: STEWART ISLAND/ INVERCARGILL TO QUEENSTOWN
The morning is yours to explore Stewart Island, meet the locals, go fishing or enjoy some of the magnificent walks. We catch the ferry back to the ‘mainland’ at 3pm. If you stayed in Invercargill, we depart at 10.30am and head to Waipapa Point for some sea-lion spotting. We then head to Bluff where we meet up with the island-goers before expressing back to Queenstown at 4.30pm. Lake Wakatipu - This is New Zealand’s third largest lake after Taupo and Te Anau, it is also the second deepest lake. The temperature of the lake only varies by a few degrees from the hottest summer to the coldest winter. The name Wakatipu means ‘Space of the Demon’. Which relates to a Maori legend of the lake.
The legend of the breathing lakeThe story goes that a giant called Matau kidnapped the local chief’s beautiful daughter (Manata). There was a brave warrior called Matakauri who'd been trying to cruise her for a while but who had been told by her father that he couldn’t marry her because he wasn’t worthy. So when the chief said that anyone who got his daughter back could marry her he jumped at the chance to have a go even though everyone else was too scared. When he found them the giant was asleep and Manata was tied to him with flax ropes. He tried to cut the ropes with his greenstone axe but the ropes were too strong. Manata started crying because she was scared that the giant was going to wake up, and an amazing thing happened -her tears dissolved the rope. They got away before the giant woke up and the chief allowed them to marry. The story doesn’t end there. Matakauri knew that the people wouldn’t be safe until the giant was dead so he snuck up on him while he was asleep. He surrounded him with piles of flax, which he then set on fire. The fire burned so strongly that they destroyed the giant, burned a big hole in the ground and, melted the snow on the mountains. This water then filled the hole creating Lake Wakatipu. Apparently you can never destroy a giant’s heart and this still beats at the bottom of the lake creating a tidal effect. This must all
be true of course as when you look at a map of the lake you can see the outline of a sleeping giant. Kingston - sits on the pile of rocks where the great glacier that carved out Lake Wakatipu stopped and retreated. Kingston is another old gold mining town, which is now known as the home of the 'Kingston Flyer', a vintage steam train. The Flyer is over 120 years old. The original Kingston Flyer was a passenger service that operated between Kingston and the Main South Line at Gore from 1878 through to the mid 1950s. It provided a passageway to Queenstown and the surrounding stations, by meeting up with the lake paddle steamers (such as the Earnslaw which you should have seen in Queenstown) at Kingston Wharf.
Native New Zealand bush, Stewart Island
Otago Peninsula, Dunedin
Dunedin If you want to visit Dunedin - you can easily get a return express bus trip with Intercity. With a population of about 120,000 Dunedin is New Zealand’s fifth largest city. It was developed and first settled by Scottish immigrants and is known as the Edinburgh of the South. Dunedin is Gaelic for Edinburgh and the Scottish influence can still be seen everywhere from the architecture to the street names. The Otago University was established in 1869 it was New Zealand’s first and is still our second biggest. Not surprisingly during the gold rushes Dunedin became the financial capital of New Zealand. As a result, many major companies still had their head offices here until very recently. Baldwin Street - recorded by the Guinness Book of Records as being the steepest street in the world. Speight’s Brewery Heritage Tour takes you on a journey through the art of making beer from the Babylonians in 6000BC to the modern day brewing that operates today. Speight’s has been a part of Dunedin since 1876 and has a wonderful history. It is a much-
loved part of the city and of course no tour would be complete without a tasting session in the Brewery Bar! Larnach Castle - is probably the nearest thing that we have to a castle and is a great example of some of the eccentric behavior of homesick early settlers. It was built in 1871 by William Larnach who for a while was a successful businessman and member of parliament (which is an interesting combination in its own right - many early politicians in New Zealand were businessmen who would only have been there to help their businesses). To put it simply, he had very unfortunate luck with relationships… starting with his wives. His first died unexpectedly so he married her sister who then promptly did the same. He then married a much younger woman who ran off with his son. He built the ballroom for his daughters 21st - she unfortunately died not long after what was apparently a great party. To top it all off (excuse the pun), old William took his own life in parliament in 1898 when faced with financial ruin. The building is apparently haunted by a number of these people.
Otago Peninsula - is a 40 minute drive out of central Dunedin and is well worth visiting for the stunning scenery and amazing wildlife particularly New Zealand seals and sea lions and the colonies of Royal Albatross and Yellow Eyed Penguins. The Albatross Colony - on the Otago Peninsula is the only place where the birds breed on the mainland in the world. With a 3 metre wingspan these birds are huge and it is great to simply watch them glide in the air currents. Hoiho - the Yellow-eyed Penguin - the world’s rarest. Known to the Maori as Hoiho (meaning noisy), the Yellow-Eyed Penguin is the third largest of the species of penguin in the world. ‘Penguin Place’ is a Yellow-eyed Penguin Conservation reserve, which is a self-funded project which aims to help save the world’s rarest penguin. Native bush has been replanted to recreate the original habitat and encourage breeding, while attempts are being made to eliminate cats, ferrets and other predators. It’s a great place to visit as you can do a hour trip where you are guided down into the nesting area where with the help of tunnels and camouflage netting you can get to as close as a few metres away from the Hoiho. As well as the Hoiho there are other species of penguins that visit the area such as the Emperor and Royal Penguins.
Cheers, Speight’s Brewery
QUEENSTOWN TO AORAKI MT COOK Travel Day: Queenstown to Aoraki/Mt Cook Depart 8.40am We head over the Lindis Pass through to the MacKenzie country to Lake Pukaki where we head north to our amazing stop at Mt Cook. We head over the Lindis Pass through to the Mackenzie country to Lake Pukaki where we head north to our amazing stop at Mt Cook. We arrive into Mt Cook in the early afternoon and you have to time to take a boat to check out the Tasman Glacier, check out the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, or do one of the many great short walks to the Hooker Glacial Lake. There are also some incredible longer walks in this stunning area if you want to hop off the bus and stay longer for a few days (we’d recommend leaving climbing Mt Cook to the mountaineers though). Lindis Pass - The dramatic Lindis Pass with its tussock covered hills, links the Mackenzie Basin with Central Otago. The actual pass crosses a saddle between the valleys of the Lindis and Ahuriri Rivers at
an altitude of 971 metres above sea level. For many months of the year, you can expect to see snow in this mountainous area - often down to the roadside. Omarama - Omarama is known as a world-class gliding area, hosting the 1995 World Gliding Championships and 2006 Gliding Grand Prix. Its name translated from Maori means ‘place of light’ - some say this is because it is so sunny. The statue of the ram is a great photo opportunity, especially for the Welsh.
MacKenzie Country - The Mt Cook region is sometimes referred to as MacKenzie Country, situated in the high inland basin beneath the Southern Alps and Aoraki/Mount Cook, south west of Christchurch. It has an interesting history - the area was named after Jock Mackenzie, New Zealand’s most notorious sheep rustler, who used a secret route through the mountains to move his stolen flock. Now it’s known for its amazing scenery, turquoise lakes, tussock covered hills and great off the beaten track ski areas.
Aoraki/Mt Cook - at 3754 metres it is the highest of the 23 mountains in New Zealand that are over 3000 metres. If it is clear you should be able to see it today. The area, which was designated a National Park in 1953 includes 22 peaks over 3000m and glaciers cover 40 percent of the park. By way of comparison (and because we like to beat the Australians) it is more than 1500 metres higher than Australia’s highest peak, Mt Kosciusko. It was named after Captain James Cook.
Mt Cook, NZ's highest mountain and unique Stray overnig
ht stop (at the base!)
RANGITATA Travel Day: Mt Cook to Rangitata Depart 8am We head past the scenic Lake Tekapo, with time for a photo of the turquoise lake and the picturesque Church Of The Good Shepherd.. We arrive late morning in Geraldine and then head through to our night stop of Rangitata to take in some incredible ‘Lord of the Rings’ scenery. We stay at one of Canterbury’s original sheep stations. You have options of doing one of the best rafting trips in the country (summer only - make sure you have your swimwear in your day pack), mountain biking or a horse trek.
Rangitata River and Peel ForestRangitata’s name is of Maori derivation and means ‘low sky’. The river passes from the Southern Alps through the Rangitata Gorge, in the Alpine foothills, and then out to Pacific Ocean. The Maori name for Mount Peel is Tarahaoa. Tarahaoa is still sacred to Ngai Tahu, the local tribe. The mountain is part of their heritage, but is also seen as part of their family. Legend has it that Chief Tarahaoa and his wife Huate-kerekere were washed up ashore at Shag Point while trying to migrate north from South Otago.They wandered inland and lived the remainder of their lives where they could always see the sun go down. They prayed to their gods that on their death they should be changed into mountains. The Gods obliged and Big Mount Peel and Little Mount Peel/Huatakerekere are really Tarahaoa and Hua-te-kerekere, inseparably linked to each other. Their grandchildren became the Four Peaks, the mountain range adjoining Big Mount Peel and Little Mount Peel/Huatakerekere. In 1849, Charles Torlesse was the first white man to
explore the foothills hoping to discover coal. He called the bush Gurdon, but it was later changed to Peel Forest as a memorial to the British Prime Minister, Peel. Travel Day: Rangitata to Christchurch Depart 7.30am
This morning we express across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, arriving at 9.30am. For those whose Stray adventure is coming to an end we arrive at Christchurch International Airport at 9.40am. For those continuing north see the next page for the Christchurch to Kaikoura day.
Lake Tekapo - Lake Tekapo is New Zealand’s highest lake at 710m and is the largest of the 3 lakes in the MacKenzie area (the others are Lake Ohau and Lake Pukaki.) Tekapo is a Maori word meaning ‘night sleep place’ - it derives from the words ‘Taka’ (sleeping mat) and ‘Po’ (night). It is reputed to have one of the clearest and most unforgettable night skies in the world. Finely ground rock from the glaciers fed from the Southern Alps via rivers to the lake give Lake Tekapo its beautiful turquoise colour. On the shores of the lake are two iconic features - the dog statue, dedicated to the working collie dogs of the MacKenzie Country; and the Church of the Good Shepherd, built in 1935. It was the first church in the area and is now a favourite location for weddings (just in case you meet someone nice on your travels!). Rangitata - This is an incredibly scenic area at the base of the Southern Alps - some of the Lord of the Rings was filmed nearby and you’ll be able to see why.
Rafting, Rangitata – unique Stray overnight stop and activity
Christchurch On February 22nd 2011, a major earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 struck the Canterbury region, forever altering the beautiful city of Christchurch, killing 181 people and devastating all New Zealanders. The earthquake caused widespread damage across Christchurch, especially in the central city and eastern suburbs. Huge amounts of liquefaction affected the eastern suburbs, producing around 400,000 tonnes of silt. The high death toll made it New Zealand’s second deadliest natural disaster (after the Napier earthquake in 1931). The city has started to rebuild but sadly they still have a long way to go. Christchurch - Known as ‘The Garden City’ Christchurch is the South Island’s largest, and New Zealand’s second largest city. European settlement started with the English who arrived in large numbers starting from 1850 and the city still shows huge signs of their influence from the street names to the River Avon which runs through the middle of town, to the early gothic architecture including what was the fantastic Cathedral in the town’s square (imaginatively named ‘Cathedral Square’). Christchurch became a city by Royal Charter on July 31, 1856, making it officially the oldest established city in New Zealand.
New Brighton Beach - yet another reminiscent reminder of England. Christchurch must be one of the few cities in the world where the coastal property is often cheaper than inland. New Brighton is a great example of this - a great beach with a pier (of course) which until recently was quite undeveloped.
result of the earthquakes because damage was deemed too extensive for reconstruction. The town's oldest churches have collapsed, including Canterbury's oldest stone church, the Holy Trinity. The Port Hills are now an excellent recreation area with everything from mountain biking and parasailing to a gondola.
Cathedral Square - was a focal point for the city with the Cathedral being the focal point of the square. Sadly the Cathedral got badly damaged in the 2011 earthquake.
Akaroa - (don’t let the name fool you) is New Zealand’s very own French town complete with French street names. The French colony here was that which prompted the British to set about proceedings to make New Zealand a formal colony leading to the Treaty of Waitangi.
Sumner and Lyttleton - originally Christchurch city was to be built in Lyttleton but the planners quickly realised that because of its location between the hills and the harbour it would be too small. The Port Hills provided a significant barrier which early settlers had to literally get over. They either walked over the hills with all of their stuff or offloaded their gear into small punts to be taken up the estuarythen walked in. The port is actually a volcanic crater, and the tunnel was the first road tunnel to be built through a volcano and was only opened in 1967. There is a road over the hills but all freight goes through the tunnel so it is a critical link between the port and the city. Much of Lyttelton's architectural heritage was lost as a
River Avon, Christchurch
NB: Stray now picks up and drops off from the Christchurch International Airport.
Beachfront dinner, Kaikoura
KAIKOURA Travel Day: Christchurch to Kaikoura Depart 9.45am
Head up the coast – a great scenic drive to Kaikoura. We stay in a backpackers hostel by the beach tonight. You have options of swimming with the seals, whale watching and swimming with dolphins. We will head down to Goose Bay where because of the deep-water sea canyon the seals sit on the rocks right beside the road. Kaikoura - means ‘meal of crayfish’. It started as a whaling base and you could say that it still is - although now people come to see the whales rather than catch them. George Allwright’s - headstone is beside the railway line just south
of Kaikoura. The story of his death has sometimes been used to prove the power of tapu (a Maori curse). Allwright arrived in Kaikoura in April 1846 wanting to establish a whaling station. He asked the local Maori chief for permission to do so, but the chief had already given permission to someone else to do so and he would not go back on his word. At this knock back Allwright lost his cool and started abusing the chief. The chief said ‘Enough! Go! You may reach your boat, or you may not’. Allwright stormed off but dropped dead just before he got to his boat. Dolphins - The Kaikoura region is home of many Dusky Dolphins. They are very friendly and can be seen year round. They are also very social and live in groups (pods) sometimes numbering in their hundreds. An interesting fact is that they don’t only mate for reproductive purposes (or should that be porpoises) it appears that sometimes they just do it for fun. Albatross - Kaikoura is one of the few places in the world where you can feed an albatross! The region is unique in having 12 species of
albatross visit the coastline, including the largest wingspan in the world at 3.4m - the Wandering Albatross. It takes its name because of the huge distances they can cover in one day just to find some food and return to the chick on their nest. A large number of albatross species can be found in Kaikoura coastal waters, this is because the ocean is rich in food and supports a large array of marine life. Kaikoura has been described as the best place in New Zealand, if not the world, to view albatross. The deepwater canyon which is very close to shore, encourages a huge selection of these spectacular ocean going birds which are viewed so easily, and at close proximity. The albatross tours have grown in popularity as a result of an increase in awareness of just how precious some of these species are. Some of the regularly sighted species in Kaikoura are in a declining state due to high mortality rates as a result of fishing practices in the Southern Ocean. A great number of albatross have been caught on hooks as long line fishing vessels set their gear and much research has been undertaken to find safer methods of setting lines to prevent seabirds from dying in this way.
KAIKOURA TO WELLINGTON Whaling - was the first big export industry for New Zealand and much of the first European settlement was with whaling bases. The first one in Kaikoura was established in 1842 by Robert Fyffe. The whales were sought mainly for oil. At first the whaling stations were very successful but in many places whales quickly became rare so the business slowed down significantly by the 1850s. There are over 79 species of whale and dolphin in the world today. About 34 of these have been sighted in New Zealand waters, over half of these in the waters off Kaikoura. There is a deep-sea trench only a couple of kilometres off the coast from here so you don’t have to go very far to gain access to a wide variety of mammals. This makes it one of the best places in the world to go whale spotting. The Sperm Whales are the most common seen in Kaikoura but you sometimes also see Right Whales, Minke Whales, Blue Whales, Killer Whales and Humpback Whales. The Humpback passes through Kaikoura on its annual migration to Antarctic waters to feed.
Travel Day: Kaikoura to Wellingon (or Picton if you are heading around the South Island) Depart 9am
Blenheim - lies deep in the heart of the Marlborough region. An area which is becoming world famous for the quality of its wines most particularly its Sauvignon Blancs. Blenheim’s first name was originally Beaver Town a name gained when the first survey party to the area were caught in a flood and had to sit on piles of wood to escape the water (like beavers on a dam). The town still has a Beaver as its mascot.
We wind our way up the rugged coastal roads with stops for photos and a seal colony. Those heading to Wellington will catch the Bluebridge Ferry across the Cook Strait otherwise we will stay in the port town of Picton for the night. Here you can do the Queen Charlotte Sound view walk and enjoy free mountain bikes and fishing gear where we stay. Lake Grassmere Saltworks - The country’s only solar salt works, where seawater is evaporated from wide shallow ponds.
WELLINGTON TO AUCKLAND Travel Day: WELLINGTON TO AUCKLAND (VIA NATIONAL PARK) Depart 6.40am We leave the Capital nice and early this morning to get into the central parts of the north island around midday. Lunch is at National Park before heading through the Waikato and back to the big smoke of Auckland in the early evening. We recommend hopping off in these destinations to experience the Tongariro Alpine Crossing or Blue Duck Station at Whakahoro. For information on Auckland please see pages 17-18. There’s plenty to do before you leave - check out the Viaduct and America’s Cup Village area, go sailing on an America’s Cup yacht, cruise on the Dolphin and Whale Safari, jump off the Sky Tower or Harbour Bridge, walk along Tamaki Drive or visit the Auckland Museum, the home of the greatest collection of Taonga (Maori treasures). Stray has a free city orientation tour - contact the Stray office to book! If you have a few extra days head over to Waiheke Island or Great Barrier Island, or head up north to the Bay of Islands.
Treat yourself to a mud facial, Rotorua
View of Wellington from Mt Victoria lookout
STRAY Accommodation NORTH ISLAND AUCKLAND
SOUTH ISLAND ROTORUA
Base - ACB Level 3, 229 Queen Street, Auckland Ph 0800 227369
Base - Hot Rocks 1286 Arawa Street, Rotorua Ph 07 348 8636
Nomads Auckland 16-22 Fort Street, Auckland Ph 0800 220198
Fat Camel Cnr Gore / Fort Street, Auckland Ph 0800 220198 YHA International 5 Turner Street, Auckland Ph 09 302 8200 YHA City Cnr City Road & Liverpool Street, Auckland Ph 09 309 2802 Ponsonby Backpackers Franklin Road, Auckland Ph 09 360 1311
PAIHIA Base - Pipi Patch Lodge 18 Kings Road, Paihia Ph 09 402 7111 Saltwater Lodge 14 Kings Road, Paihia Ph 09 402 7075 YHA Paihia 10 Kings Road, Paihia Ph 0800 44 33 22
HAHEI Hahei Holiday Resort 41 Harsant Avenue Hahei Beach, Hahei Ph 07 866 3889
RAGLAN Karioi Lodge* 5B Whaanga Road, Whale Bay, Raglan Ph 0800 867873
Urban Retreat 65 Heuheu Street, Taupo Ph 07 378 6124 Base Taupo 7 Tuwharetoa Street, Taupo Ph 07 377 4464
WHAKAHORO Blue Duck Lodge* 4265 Oio Road, Whakahoro, RD2 Owhango 3990 Ph 07 895 6276
NATIONAL PARK The Park Finlay Street, National Park Ph 0800 800 491
WELLINGTON Base Wellington 21-23 Cambridge Terrace, Wellington Ph 04 801 5668 Nomads Capital 118 Wakefield Street, Wellington, 6001 Ph 04 978 7800 Wellington YHA 292 Wakefield Street (cnr Cambridge Trce), Wellington Ph 04 801 7280 Downtown Backpackers 1 Bunny Street, Wellington Ph 0800 225 725
Tuatara Lodge 30 Dee Street, Invercargill Ph 03 214 0954
Paradiso Backpackers Weka Street, Nelson Ph 0 70
Stewart Island Backpackers Ayr St, Oban Ph 03 219 1114
Old MacDonalds Farm* Harveys Road, Marahau Ph 03 527 8288
Leviathan Hotel 27 Queens Gardens, Dunedin Ph 0800 773 773
The Barn Harveys Road, Marahau Ph 03 527 8043
On Top Backpackers Corner Filleul Street & Moray Place, Dunedin Ph 0800 668 672
BLACKBALL Formerly The Blackball Hilton 26 Hart Street, Blackball Ph 03 732 4705
GREYMOUTH Duke Hostel 27 Guinness St, Greymouth Ph 03 7689470
FRANZ JOSEF Rainforest Retreat State Highway 6, Franz Josef Ph 0800 435 673
MAKARORA Makarora Tourist Centre 5944 Haast Pass, Makarora Road, Makaroa Ph 0800 800 443
WANAKA Base Wanaka 73 Brownston Street, Wanaka Ph 03 443 4291 Mountain View Backpackers 7 Russell Street, Wanaka Ph 0800 11 22 01 YHA Purple Cow 94 Brownston Street, Wanaka Ph 0800 44 33 22
QUEENSTOWN PLEASE NOTE: Once you’re travelling on the Stray bus your guide will organise your accommodation at each overnight stop. You simply tell them your preference (twins, doubles, dorms...) and they’ll book it- you just pay as you go. Please note: in peak season twins and double rooms may have limited availability. All accommodation is at backpacker hostel rates (about $25-30 per night for a dorm bed and $60-80 for a double or twin room). * = no cellphone coverage
Picton Villa 34 Auckland Street, Picton Ph 03 573 6598
Base - Discovery Lodge 40 Shotover Street, Queenstown Ph 03 441 1185 Nomads Queenstown 5-11 Church Street, Queenstown Ph 03 441 3922
FIORDLAND Gunn's Camp* Hollyford Valley Rd, Te Anau No phone, firstname.lastname@example.org
MT COOK Mt Cook Backpacker Lodge 11 Motel Access Rd Mt Cook National Park Ph 0800 100 512
RANGITATA Rangitata Rafts Peel Forest RD20, South Canterbury Ph 03 696 3534
CHRISTCHURCH ( NOTE: Pick ups and Drop offs for Stray heading north or south are from the Christchurch International Airport). Around the World Backpackers 314 Barbadoes Street, Christchurch 8011 Ph 03 365 4363 Kiwi Base Camp 69 Bealey Avenue, City Centre, Christchurch Ph 0800 50 50 25 Jailhouse Accommodation 338 Lincoln Road, Christchurch Ph 0800 524 546
KAIKOURA Adelphi 26 West End, Kaikoura Ph 03 319 5141 Fishtank 86 West End, Kaikoura 7300 Ph 03 319 7408
Where to next? If you’re travelling onto other countries after new Zealand there are lots of fantastic travel options we can recommend. If you’re heading to Australia and loved the hop-on hop-off concept, try Oz Experience on the East Coast (check out www.ozexperience.com); or if you are looking for a more adventurous option with your food and accommodation included, check out Adventure Tours at www.adventuretours.com. au, they’re Australia’s leading small group, nature-based tour option. We also have Spaceships campervans in Australia with depots in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Cairns so if you’ve made a special friend or two on your NZ travels and want to go roadtripping round OzStraylia check out www.spaceshipsrentals.com.au or email email@example.com - ex-Stray customers get deals! If you’re heading to South-East Asia, Stray now operates in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, so you can stray some more and enjoy the flexibility, guidance and adventure of Stray Asia. Explore the incredible untouched scenery and culture by local trains, long boats, tuk tuks and
Stray’s own bright orange buses! Passes range from 2-21 days depending on where you want to start and what you want to do. Check out www.straytravel.asia for more info! Wanting a pacific island holiday before you head home? Get one of the cheap flights from NZ to Fiji and chill out island styles for a while! Fiji is right on New Zealand’s doorstep (only 3 hours from Auckland) and is made up of over 300 islands set in unbelievably crystal clear waters with palm fringed, white sandy beaches, coral reefs and lagoons. Awesome Adventures has some great island hopping options for you to chose from, check out www.awesomefiji.com. Heading up to North America? Want the freedom and flexibility to jump on and off the bus whenever you want in Canada while seeing breathtaking vistas and wildlife like bears, beavers and wolves? Check out Moose Travel Network www.moosenetwork.com. Lastly, we now operate your favourite two berth campervans in the UK and Europe! That’s right, Spaceships now has a depot in London where you can head off on your own personal adventure from chasing hairy coow in the Scottish highlands, supping with
the best on a vineyard tour of southern France, soaking up the art and culture while camping in Italy, or doing the big European roadie - running with the bulls in Pamplona and chugging beers with frauleins at Octoberfest! Check out www.spaceshipsrentals.co.uk and don’t forget to mention you stray’d so you can get special deals! For more info on any of the above companies you can also ask your Stray driver or visit our travel experts at the Stray and Spaceships shop, 50 Fort St, Auckland Central. You’ve got further off the beaten track in New Zealand now keep straying around the world!!
Spaceships are a great option to explore the UK and Europe!
Kiwi Lingo In order to relate to the locals you have to be able to communicate, so to get you used to the lingo here’s a bit of a lesson. Eh - compulsory addition to the end of a rhetorical question “‘Cor, last night was bloody good eh” IE - this is added to the end of shortened words eg; pressie, hottie, tantie, cuzzie Dag - a piece of dried up sheep dung attached to the sheep’s bum (is also known as a hard case character) Hard case - Someone who has heaps of personality, may do unusual things but basically is a real laugh No worries - No problem Bro - friend (guy) or brother Cuz - friend (guy or girl), cousin Chur bro – cheers, thanks or that’s cool, my friend She’ll be right mate - It’ll be OK Nice one mate - Good job Sweet as - as it’s ‘sweet as pie’ so it’s all good Not even, ow - No, it’s not or that’s not true Nek minit – Next minute. Google it for the origin of this catch phrase which went viral New Zealand wide in 2010 causing a love-hate relationship for many Kiwi’s Ta - Thanks True - Question as in ‘is it true?’ or ‘really?’ Answered back ‘true’ as ‘yes it is true’
Ring - Phone or call Togs - Swimsuit Jandals - Flip-flops Sunnies - Sunglasses Suss - To figure out Wop-wops - out in the back country (middle of nowhere) Piker - Someone who backs out of doing something Tiki tour - to drive around taking the scenic route Gawk - to stare Pack a sad - To get upset and sulk Loo - Toilet Kia ora - Hello, Goodbye, Thank you Haere Mai - Welcome Hau mai - Welcome Haere ra - Goodbye Whanau - Family Whare - House Ai - Yes Kau - No Kai - Food Kai moana - Seafood Kia ora tatou - Hello everyone Tena koe - Greetings to you (said to one person) Tena koutou - Greeting to you all Kei te pehea koe? - How’s it going? Kei te pai - Good Tino pai - Really good Ka kite ano - Until I see you again (Bye) Hei konei ra - See you later Mana - respect, status earned through actions
(the most common haka war challenge) (the most common haka - war challenge) Ka mate! Ka mate! Ka ora! Ka ora! Ka mate! Ka mate! Ka ora! Ka ora! Tenei te tangata puhuru huru Nana nei i tiki mai Whakawhiti te ra A upa ... ne! ka upa ... ne! A upane kaupane whiti te ra! Hi!! I die! I die! I live! I live! I die! I die! I live! I live! This is the hairy man Who fetched the sun And caused it to shine again One upward step! Another upward step! An upward step, another The sun shines!! It is said that around 1820 a chief by the name of Te Rauparaha composed Ka Mate, the most well known haka of all. He was in the thick of the warfare action somewhere in the region of Taupo. “Ka mate! Ka mate!” were the words he uttered as he hid from his pursuing enemies – led by Tauteka - in a kumara pit. His wife, Te Rangikoaea sat over the entrance to the pit and as the pursuers arrived, Te Rauparaha muttered “Ka mate! Ka mate!” under his breath (I die! I die!), but when the local tribal chief indicated the man they sought had gone to Rangipo he murmured “Ka ora! Ka ora! ” (I live! I live!). However when Tauteka doubted the words of the chief he gloomily muttered “Ka mate! Ka mate!” once again. Then, when his pursuers were eventually convinced he was not in the pa, but had made for Taranaki he exclaimed “Ka ora, ka ora! Tenei te tangata puhuruhuru nana nei i tiki mai whakawhiti te ra!” (I live! I live! For this is the hairy man who has fetched the sun and caused it to shine again). The ‘hairy man’ in the haka in fact refers to the chief who gave Te Raparaha protection despite his wish not to be involved. The apparently hairy chief was called Te Wharerangi.
STAY IN TOUCH AND WIN!
Published on Dec 11, 2012
A guide to get off the beaten track. Stray is NZ's hop-on hop-off bus network for adventurous travellers. Learn more about the amazing thing...