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Weka - 11 Day South Island (One-way)


Weka - 11 Day South Island (One-way)

Day 1: Picton to Marahau (Abel Tasman)

Kia ora (hello)! Your Stray Adventure Journey kicks off from the picturesque harbour town, Picton - the Heart of the Marlborough Sounds. We will then set off through the Marlborough Region to Marahau, our accommodation is situated right on the edge of the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park - perfect for exploring arguably the best National Park in NZ.

Accommodation: Waterfront accommodation
Optional paid activities: Wine tasting (usually $5-10)
Meals included: Breakfast
Meal options: We’ll stop at a supermarket to stock up on supplies - Self-cater or join the optional group dinner
Free activity: Stargazing

Day 2: Marahau (Abel Tasman)

Count yourself lucky because you have a full day to explore New Zealand’s most popular national park today. From our accommodation we’ll be picked up and taken by water taxi to Anchorage Bay, admiring the park’s natural golden sand beaches and brilliant blue waters along the way. Enjoy a picnic on the beach before checking out Cleopatra’s Pools, moss lined fresh water pools with a natural water slide and then, we’ll walk approximately 4 hours back to our accommodation, stopping along the way to take amazing photos and swim in the secluded bays.<br /> <br /> <b>Accommodation:</b> Waterfront accommodation<br /> <b>Included activity:</b> Water taxi into Anchorage Bay<br /> <b>Optional paid activities:</b> Kayaking, skydiving, canyoning - (PM)<br /> <b>Meals included:</b> Breakfast<br /> <b>Meal options:</b> Pack a picnic lunch and lots of snacks for your hike, Self-cater in the kitchen or use the BBQs<br /> <b>Free activities:</b> Hike in the national park, relax on the golden sand beaches, see Cleopatra’s Pools

Day 3: Marahau (Abel Tasman) to Franz Josef

Buckle up for an awesome day driving down the incredibly scenic ‘wild’ West Coast, an area known for its untamed beaches and spectacular rainforest. Through Buller Gorge and down a stretch of road named one of the top drives in the world by Lonely Planet, there’s not much phone reception but you are NOT going to need it - we dare you to peel your eyes away from the window for even just a second. We’ll stop at Cape Foulwind and the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and blowholes to explore this unique part of coastline before continuing on to the quaint township of Franz Josef, set amongst the rainforest. Tonight, we’ll have a group dinner together at our accommodation.<br /> <br /> <b>Accommodation:</b> Central hostel accommodation<br /> <b>Meals included:</b> Breakfast and dinner<br /> <b>Meal options:</b> Local restaurants or self-cater in the hostel kitchen<br /> <b>Free activities:</b> Cape Foulwind, Buller Gorge, Pancake Rocks and blowholes, Hokitika

Day 4: Franz Josef Glacier

Ice, ice baby! Get ready to experience the Franz Josef Glacier, an iconic highlight of the West Coast. Take a short drive to the beginning of the track. Hike through native bush and across glacial streams to the terminal face of the glacier for spectacular photos or just hang out at the Retreat and relax in one of NZ’s largest spa pools.<br /> <br /> <b>Accommodation:</b> Central hostel accommodation<br /> <b>Meals included:</b> Breakfast<br /> <b>Optional paid activities:</b> Shuttle to the track<br /> <b>Meal options:</b> Local restaurants or self-cater in the hostel kitchen<br /> <b>Free activities:</b> Glacier hike, bush tracks, soak in the spa

Day 5: Franz Josef to Queenstown

It’s another scenic journey today with plenty of photo stops. First up is the amazing Lake Matheson, known as the mirror-lake, for a short walk. We travel inland through the mountainous Haast Pass and alongside beautiful Lake Hawea to arrive at the Kawarau Bridge on our way into town a.k.a. the first commercial bungy jumping site in the world. If you’re feeling brave you can tick the bungy off your bucket list or if you’d prefer to just watch then you can cheer your mates on from the viewing platform! Once settled, put on your dancing shoes and head out to explore this lakeside resort, there are over 100 clubs and bars to choose from in Queenstown!<br /> <br /> <b>Accommodation:</b> Central Queenstown hostel<br /> <b>Meals included:</b> Breakfast<br /> <b>Optional paid activities:</b> Puzzling World, skydiving, mountain biking, pilot your own stunt plane or learn to fly and take a friend for free, bungy jumping<br /> <b>Meal options:</b> Local restaurants or self-cater in the hostel kitchen<br /> <b>Free activities:</b> Watch people jumping off a bridge!

Days 6-7: Queenstown (2 Days)

Yaaaasssss Queen(stown)! You’ve got 2 full days in the adventure capital. With an awesome night life, beautiful mountain scenery and plenty of outdoor activities, it’s easy to understand why so many backpackers refuse to leave this place.<br /> <br /> <b>Accommodation:</b> Central Queenstown hostel<br /> <b>Meals included:</b> Breakfast<br /> <b>Optional paid activities:</b> Any adventure activity that we wild Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jet boating, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding…)<br /> <b>Meal options:</b> Local restaurants or self-cater in the hostel kitchen<br /> <b>Free activities:</b> Hike Ben Lomond, the Queenstown Hill, or Bob’s Peak

Day 8: Milford Sound Day Trip

Today you’ll hop aboard the Coach and we’ll take you to the stunning and world famous Milford Sound. After a super scenic drive, you’ll board the boat and cruise across the Sound. Look out for the impressive Mitre Peak, lush rainforests and (if it’s been raining) thundering waterfalls. You’ll also have the opportunity to spot lots of amazing wildlife like Fur Seals, Penguins and Dolphins. Once you’ve snapped as many pics as you possibly can, it’s back to Queenstown where you can check out some one of the many restaurants Queenstown has to offer or try the famous Fergburger!<br /> <br /> <b>Accommodation:</b> Central Queenstown hostel<br /> <b>Meals included:</b> Breakfast<br /> <b>Included activity:</b> Day trip to Milford Sound

Day 9: Queenstown to Lake Tekapo

It’s a short drive to Lake Tekapo this morning where we’ll see an electric blue lake framed by the Southern alps. Walk over to the famous Church of the Good Shepherd, a quaint stone church right on the edge of the lake for some awesome photo opportunities. In the afternoon, take a hike up to the Mount John Observatory to see the incredible views, or if you'd rather just have a ‘self-care’ afternoon, then the Tekapo Hot Springs are the perfect place to relax. Tonight, we’ll head to the team at Dark Sky for their Summit Experience where you’ll have the chance to stargaze at one of the best stargazing spots in the country.<br /> <br /> <b>Accommodation:</b> Tekapo accommodation<br /> <b>Meals included:</b> Breakfast<br /> <b>Included activity:</b> Dark Sky Summit Experience<br /> <b>Optional paid activities:</b> Tekapo Hot Springs, Ice Skating, Snow tubing<br /> <b>Meal options:</b> Self catering in the hostel kitchen or local bars and restaurants<br /> <b>Free activities:</b> Mount John Observatory Hike, Church of the Good Shepherd, stargazing

Day 10: Lake Tekapo to Christchurch

Our next stop is Christchurch, a super cool city with the Avon river running through it, full of lush parks and cool laneway bars! Spend your afternoon wandering the city streets to discover creative street art and hidden eateries, visit the Botanic Gardens, do some shopping or hop on the tourist tram and see the sights!<br /> <br /> <b>Accommodation:</b> Lodge accommodation<br /> <b>Meals included:</b> Breakfast<br /> <b>Meal options:</b> Local restaurants or self-cater in the hostel kitchen<br /> <b>Free activities:</b> Explore Christchurch by foot, check out the new Riverside Market, Botanic Gardens

Day 11: Depart Christchurch

Today your adventure comes to an end. Say goodbye to your guide and your new Stray mates, we hope you had a great time and we look forward to adventuring with you again in the future!<br /> <br /> <b>Meals included:</b> Breakfast

What’s Included

- Experienced tour guide<br /> - Private coach transport<br /> - 10 nights’ accommodation<br /> - 1o Breakfasts, 1 Dinner<br /> - Visit to Franz Josef Glacier<br /> - Abel Tasman National Park Tracks and Water Taxi<br /> - Trip to Punakaiki Pancake Rocks<br /> - Day trip and Cruise to the Milford Sound<br /> - Stargazing Experience in Lake Tekapo

What to Bring:

-Camera, Sturdy walking shoes/boots, Warm clothing, Waterproof jacket, Hat & Sunscreen, Bathers/towel, Water bottle, Toiletries, Motion sickness tablets, Insect repellent

Please Note:

-Luggage is limited to one piece per person with a maximum weight of 23kg plus a day pack<br /> - A basic level of fitness is required for medium length walks


What’s included?

Extra expenses at the destination
Please check the itinerary for optional paid activities.


Please see the different activities (either free/included or requiring an extra payment) in the itinerary.


You'll stay in quality comfy hostel or backpacker standard accommodation including high country farm, scenic lodges close to waterfront or national park in our unique destinations.

Local transport

Take the pressure off, kick back, relax, soak up the scenery and let someone else do the driving. You'll travel by private, air-conditioned bus.


Some meals are included (please see itinerary).

Additional info

We actively seek out the best places off the beaten track so you'll get an unforgettable experience whilst in New Zealand.

- We stay CLOSER to the action
You've come all the way to New Zealand, so you'll want to get close to the action! We stay in great Kiwi locations, such as on a real sheep/cattle station, amongst Lord of the Rings scenery and beside at least eight national parks. Thus you can easily access the outstanding, unique nature as well as activities, such as a Maori cultural stop-over, a wildlife stop-over on Stewart Island, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (rated as NZ's best one day walk), sailing or kayaking in the Abel Tasman National Park... All of these and more are exclusive to Stray and some of our top-rating features.

- Top Kiwi guides
Stray is NZ-known as being a top place to work - and we should know! We give our driver-guides market-leading training to help them take you around New Zealand; as well as being your local "guidebook" they provide commentary, book beds and activities, and provide information on things from New Zealand history and culture to the best drinking spots. These are all people that you’d like to adventure with.

- Save money whilst getting off the beaten track
With Stray you don't have to buy costly side trips as we already include out-of-the-way places like Raglan, Mt Cook, and the Abel Tasman. We save you time by picking you up and dropping you off at your accommodation; and by our extensive knowledge of where and what the best things in New Zealand are. We get you deals on activities so you can afford to do more, and there are always free things for you to do (please see your Stray pass itinerary for the free options in each place).

- Orange is the new Green - with one of NZ’s most efficient bus fleets
Stray is committed to environmentally sustainable tourism. Rather than just token gestures of energy efficient light bulbs and recycling (which we do anyway), we lead the market with the newest bus fleet to reduce our emissions. By choosing Stray you are helping reduce your own carbon output - travelling on a bus is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to travel, but only if the bus is full! We reduce our departure days and bus sizes in NZ's low season to further reduce unnecessary output. We have Enviro-Gold accredition from Qualmark.

- Don't just take our word for it!
We won the Best Visitor Transport Award at the NZ Tourism Awards and the Best NZ Tour Operator Award at the Australasian Golden Backpack (traveller-voted) Awards in 2010. We have extremely high customer satisfaction and referrals (97.5%) because we offer travellers more of what they want - down-to-earth, real New Zealand with an awesome crew and a greater emphasis on your needs.

- And finally...
You can realistically do the things that we list in the itinerary. Many of the things that we identify on our trips we have to go out of our way to do. For example, going to Mt Cook and Stewart Island, and doing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing are part of our normal itinerary so Stray offers the best chance to do them on our trips. That means that you don't have to hop off the bus, leave your group, and make your own way to enjoy these iconic NZ activities. Be also aware that you simply can't access much of what we think is the best stuff in New Zealand by using public transport - it simply doesn't go there.

- Is it a full-on party bus or nature bus?
Stray’s main priority is walks and wildlife and we have lots of early starts so we can fit as many adventure activities in as possible. What you do in the evenings is your choice, but we do have a couple of big nights out on the circuit in particular in Wellington and Queenstown.

- What is the average age of travellers on Stray?
The average age of Stray passengers is about 26. The majority of people are between the age of 20 and 40 (but we also have older). No matter what the age, we find we attract on-to-it people who want to meet other travellers, and get out there and further off the beaten track.

- Is it ok to travel alone on Stray?
Stray is perfect for people travelling by themselves. New Zealand is a relatively safe country and our smaller group sizes means you can meet more people, and your driver is always there for any questions you may have.

- Should I reconfirm my trip?
If you are happy with the start date and pick up point confirmed when you booked your Stray pass then you do not need to confirm. If you booked an ‘open-dated’ pass, or want to change your start date, you need to contact Stray (either by phone or online) AT LEAST 48 hours prior to a desired departure to arrange a departure date. Remember - we need to know where to pick you up from!

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