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Morepork Tour: 24 days, 23 nights

Starts & ends in Auckland. You’ll visit amazing places in North and South Island! Select departure date and make it happen.

From: NZ$3,895

Morepork Tour: 24 days, 23 nights

Advantages of a Stray Tour

Dorm-style accommodation is included. Upgrades are available.

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We'll do the driving. You'll travel by private, air-conditioned bus.

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Charismatic Stray Guide: expect tips, support & insider knowledge

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From: NZ$3,895

Starts & ends in Auckland. You’ll visit amazing places in North and South Island! Select departure date and make it happen.

Upgrade: double/twin room

Upgrade can only be added if you are travelling with a companion. Make sure to select 2 travellers!

Only a 10% deposit is needed to secure your seat

Money-back guarantee: you'll get a full refund if the tour doesn't go ahead.

Flexibility: no fee to make changes
Swap tours or change dates. Easy as!

Easy payment: pay only 10% now
Remaining 90% before departure date.

Description

Morepork owl - Stray Tour Logo

Hike some of New Zealand’s best tracks, kayak at sunrise, taste a delicious traditional hangi meal, bathe in a hot thermal stream surrounded by native bush, explore national parks, party in Queenstown and stargaze in an International Dark Sky Reserve.

Itinerary of the Morepork Tour

Day 1: Auckland to Hahei

Today’s the day we say ‘haere rā’ to Auckland and ‘kia ora!’ to the trip of a lifetime! First stop, Hahei Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula. This gorgeous little place will capture your heart (and have you calculating how much it would cost to move to NZ’s coast eternally). When the tides are right, we’ll drive over to the nearby Hot Water Beach and dig ourselves an all-natural hot pool in the sand. Who said backpackers can’t do luxury?

Accommodation: Cabin accommodation by the beach

Day 2: Hahei

If you don’t believe in magic yet you might just change your mind after watching a sunrise on Hahei Beach. It’s worth the 7am alarm – trust us – but don’t even think about going back to bed afterwards. Instead, grab a coffee, pack a picnic and ‘carpe diem’ by hiking to the hidden paradise we like to call Cathedral Cove. Walk to the north end of Hahei Beach, up the coastal track and along the cliffs to discover heaps of cool little coves and bays!

Accommodation: Cabin accommodation by the beach

Day 3: Hahei to Rotorua

It’s just a short trip to Rotorua and, let’s just say, the ‘unusual’ sulphur smell will be a telltale sign that you’ve arrived! Known as the North Island’s geothermal hot spot and hub for all the very best adventure activities, Rotorua is 100% one of the best places to explore… even if your nostrils tell you otherwise! We’ll stop at the Whakarewarewa Forest for a walk amongst the giant California Redwoods planted over 100 years ago before checking in at our hostel. If you want to see some geothermal activity for free, head across the road to Kuirau Park to see boiling mud pools and steaming lakes.

Accommodation: YHA Rotorua

Day 4: Rotorua

There’s so much to see and do around Rotorua, the hard part will be deciding what to do with your free day. You could hire a mountain bike, go ziplining through native bush, try zorbing, go whitewater rafting or hop on the gondola and race your mates down a mountain on a luge. If you’re looking to relax instead, have no fear! Visit the thermal pools, sample all the food on Eat Street or explore the lake front area and the Government Gardens.

Accommodation: YHA Rotorua

Day 5: Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua

After hanging out in a major tourist destination like Rotorua, you’ll probably feel ready to experience a more authentic slice of New Zealand culture. Today we venture off the beaten track to the shores of Lake Aniwhenua. Kohutapu Lodge is owned by a local Maori family who are passionate about showcasing their Maori tribal heritage. You'll see sacred Maori rock carvings, play traditional stick games and watch the preparation of a ground cooked 'hangi', before tasting it for yourself! Prepare your tastebuds - this will probably be the best meal you eat in New Zealand, or maybe even in your lifetime!

Accommodation: Scenic lakefront cabins

Day 6: Lake Aniwhenua to Blue Duck Station

Rise and shine, strayers! Enjoy your buffet breakfast and get ready for a day of jam-packed adventure. Keep your togs (swimwear) handy, because our first stop is Kerosene Creek – a naturally hot river and the perfect place for a morning soak. Then it’s on to Taupo to see Australasia’s largest lake and the mighty Huka Falls before venturing about as far off the beaten track as you can get in the North Island!

Blue Duck Station is a sprawling 7,200-acre high country farm that is both a working station and an eco-conservation pioneer dedicated to protecting the native environment for its namesake, the rare blue duck.

On arrival, we will settle in to learn a little about daily life at Blue Duck, the station’s interesting settlement history and their sustainability efforts before cooking some dinner and chilling out around the bonfire.

Accommodation: Country station lodge

Day 7: Blue Duck Station

Good news - You have a full free day to explore this ruggedly charming destination. For entertainment, you have the option to go horseback riding over rolling green hills, or jump on a 4WD and travel through native bush to the ‘Top of the World’ where you can see the three peaks of Mount Ruapehu, Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe.

If you prefer to explore on foot, hike to the Kaiwhakauka waterfall and see if you can spot a rare blue duck in the flesh. Whatever you decide, we have no doubt this will be the start of your love affair with this lush kiwi paradise. Those holiday romances, aye!

Accommodation: Country station lodge

Day 8: Blue Duck Station to Raetihi (via Tongariro)

Limber up! Today you get the chance to tick off one of the most popular hikes in New Zealand, the epic Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Considered one of the world’s top one-day walks, this 19km hike takes you across a rocky plateau with dramatic volcanic peaks, craters and turquoise lakes that you (and your Instagram feed) will remember for a lifetime.

The Crossing is open to walk year-round (alpine gear and guide are required in winter), but it is subject to weather conditions. If the weather prevents you from doing the Crossing, there are other awesome short walks in the area.

Tonight, unwind after a big day in a cosy historic lodge in Raetihi – complete with a pamper room, spa bath and mountain views.

Accommodation: Historic restored lodge with mountain views

Day 9: Raetihi to Wellington

Onwards to Wellington, the ‘coolest little capital in the world’! Wellington packs a lot of character into its downtown district, with funky restaurants and bars along Cuba Street and Courtenay Place.

Fill your afternoon by browsing through the exhibits at Te Papa National Museum, grab a craft beer at an edgy brewery, climb to the top of Mt Victoria for panoramic views or take a stroll along the waterfront and Oriental Parade.

Oh and, most importantly for those who seek 24/7 caffeination, you’ll be glad to know that Wellington’s coffee culture and cafe scene is considered one of the best in NZ.

Accommodation: Central city hostel

Day 10: Wellington to Marahau (Abel Tasman)

We catch an early Bluebridge Ferry across the Cook Strait and through the magnificent Marlborough Sounds to the South Island. If the weather’s good, head out to the viewing deck to witness some incredible scenes.

From here we’ll pick up a few extra Strayers in Picton before setting off through the picturesque Marlborough region. Then we continue to Marahau, situated right on the edge of the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park.

Accommodation: The Barn, waterfront accommodation

Day 11: Marahau (Abel Tasman)

Count yourself lucky - you have a full day to explore New Zealand’s most popular national park. From our accommodation you can hike straight into the park (no water taxi required!). It’s a cool 12kms to Anchorage and you’ll see the park’s natural golden sand beaches and brilliant blue waters along the way. The walk is approx. 4 hours each way but there’s enough photo stops en-route to spend an entire day exploring. Enjoy a picnic on the beach before checking out Cleopatra’s Pools, moss-lined freshwater pools with a natural water slide.

Accommodation: The Barn, waterfront accommodation

Day 12: Marahau (Abel Tasman) to Franz Josef

Buckle up for an awesome day driving down the incredibly scenic ‘wild’ West Coast, an area known for its untamed beaches and spectacular rainforest. 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 cell phone reception but you are NOT gonna 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 blow holes to explore this unique part of coastline before continuing on to the quaint township of Franz Josef, set amongst the rainforest.

Accommodation: Rainforest Retreat

Day 13: Franz Josef

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.

Accommodation: Rainforest Retreat

Day 14: Franz josef to Wanaka (via Fox Glacier)

It’s another scenic journey today with plenty of photo stops – your Mum isn’t gonna be the only one who thinks your travel photos are world-class! First up is the amazing mirror-like Lake Matheson for a short walk. We travel inland through the mountainous Haast Pass and alongside beautiful Lake Hawea to arrive in Wanaka late afternoon. It’s the perfect time to get your own photo of the famous Wanaka Tree set against a sunset backdrop. Dreamy!

Accommodation: Central Wanaka hostel

Day 15: Wanaka to Queenstown

Kick start your day with a brisk walk up Mt Iron or have a sleep in (we know they’re necessary sometimes!). Mid-morning we’ll make our way to Queenstown, known in New Zealand as the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’ and the spiritual home of bungy jumping. We stop at 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!

Accommodation: Central Queenstown hostel

Day 16-17-18: Queenstown (3 days)

Yaaaasssss Queen(stown)! You’ve got 3 full days in the adventure capital. With a buzzy nightlife, beautiful mountain scenery and plenty of outdoor activities, it’s easy to understand why so many backpackers refuse to leave this place.

Accommodation: Central Queenstown hostel

Day 19: Queenstown to Tekapo

Depart Queenstown to drive over the Lindis Pass through the beautiful Mackenzie Country and past the vivid blue waters of Lake Pukaki. Our final destination of the day is Lake Tekapo. The Lake is a stunning electric blue and is framed by the Southern Alps. See the famous Church of the Good Shepherd, a quaint stone church right on the edge of the lake or hike up to the Mount John Observatory to see the incredible views.

Accommodation: YHA Tekapo (probably the most amazing hostel in the YHA range)

Day 20: Tekapo

This morning we’ll make our way to take in the stunning views of Aoraki Mount Cook. While you’re there you can hike the scenic Hooker Valley Track or head to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre. This evening, why not head to the Tekapo Hot Springs - they're the perfect place to relax and soak up the scenery. If skies are clear tonight, be sure to head outside to experience one of the best stargazing spots in the country.

Accommodation: YHA Tekapo (probably the most amazing hostel in the YHA range)

Day 21: Tekapo to Christchurch

Our next stop is the Garden City of Christchurch, a city where old meets new, as the rebuild continues following the devastating 2011 earthquake.

Spend your afternoon wandering the city streets and laneways to discover creative street art and hidden eateries. See how Christchurch earned its nickname as the Garden City by visiting the Botanic Gardens. Take a walk to see the ‘Cardboard’ Cathedral and the earthquake memorial of 185 White Chairs.

Accommodation: All Stars Inn

Day 22: Christchurch to Kaikoura

Wakey wakey! We’ve got an early morning start for a beautiful drive up the coast to Kaikoura. Arriving in Kaikoura around midday, you will have the afternoon free to explore. See the Kekeno (NZ fur seal) colony near Goose Bay and hike around the peninsula to check out the breathtaking views from the lookout. You’re likely to see sea birds, seals and maybe even whales or dolphins if you’re lucky!

 Accommodation: Warm modern hostel

Day 23: Kaikoura to Wellington (via Picton)

This morning we’ll hop on the bus and wind our way up the coastal roads towards the top of the South Island. We will catch the afternoon Bluebridge Ferry across the Cook Strait. The evening in Wellington is free for a second chance to explore this funky town’s nightlife at any of the bars and restaurants along Cuba Street. It’s your last night guys – go wild! Alternatively, it’s a good time to craft your master plan on how to stay in New Zealand forever. Either or.

Accommodation: Central city hostel

Day 24: Wellington to Auckland (via National Park)

All good things must come to an end. After an incredible few weeks of exploring New Zealand it’s officially time to head back to the ‘City of Sails’. If you had any luck creating that master plan, now would be a good time to implement it – otherwise, today is an express day from Wellington to Auckland, so soak up the last few moments with your new Stray family. We hope you had a blast!

See where the Morepork Tour will take you

Route map of the Stray Morepork NZ Tour

Free activities

There are so many amazing free activities to do on our Morepork Tour!

  • Day 1: Dig a hot pool at Hot Water Beach
  • Day 2: Hike to Cathedral Cove, explore Hahei or relax on the beach
  • Day 3: Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest walk, Kuirau Park
  • Day 4: Explore the lakefront and the Government Gardens
  • Day 5: Maori rock carvings, volleyball, Maori cultural games
  • Day 6: Huka Falls, Spa Park walk Taupo
  • Day 7: Hike to Kaiwhakauka waterfall
  • Day 8: Taranaki Falls walk, visit the Volcanic Centre, Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s pool)
  • Day 9: Walk Oriental Parade, head up Mt Victoria for fantastic views, visit Te Papa National Museum, Gumboot (welly) throwing
  • Day 10: Mussel tasting, stargazing
  • Day 11: Hike in the national park, relax on the golden sand beaches, see Cleopatra’s Pools
  • Day 12: Cape Foulwind, Buller Gorge, Pancake Rocks and blowholes, Hokitika
  • Day 13: Glacier hike, bush tracks, soak in the spa
  • Day 14: Lake Matheson walk, Ship Creek walk, Blue Pools walk, Thunder Creek Falls walk
  • Day 15: Walk Mt Iron, watch people jumping off a bridge!
  • Day 16-18-19: Hike Ben Lomond, the Queenstown Hill, or Bob’s Peak
  • Day 20: Church of the Good Shepard, Hike to Mt John Observatory
  • Day 21: Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, Hooker Valley Track, stargazing
  • Day 22: Explore Christchurch on foot, check out Cathedral Square (and the progress of the cathedral restoration) and inner-city street art, Riverside Market, Botanic Gardens, and Canterbury Museum.
  • Day 23: Visit a fur seal colony, walk around the peninsula and up to the lookout
  • Day 24: Perfect moment to start sorting/editing your photos or to update your social channels on the way back to Auckland.

Accommodation

Dorm-style accommodation (4-10 beds) is included. You’ll stay in comfortable backpacker hostels, cabins and lodges. All accommodation facilities have self-catering kitchen facilities.

You can choose to upgrade your accommodation to a single or twin/double private room (subject to availability) when booking the Morepork Tour online. Prices for these paid upgrades are shown when you make the booking. Please note: At some destinations, your private room will include an ensuite bathroom and at some, it won’t. Room upgrades do not apply in
Hahei.

Private Coach 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.

Stray Guide

Expect entertaining anecdotes, great recommendations, extra support and local insider knowledge from your charismatic guide. They know every inch of this country. You can’t get this from a google search!

Maori experience at Lake Aniwhenua (unique Stray Experience)

This experience is an introduction to modern-day Maori culture. You’ll be hosted by a local Maori family, taken on a guided tour to a sacred archaeological site, be introduced to the local Maori stories and games and be treated to a delicious hangi dinner, cooked under the ground!

Ferry North Island – South Island (2x)

You’ll travel on the Bluebridge ferry twice between the North and South island.

Lots of free activities along the way

At each stop, there are various free activities to do, from hikes to experiencing our unique flora & fauna. Make sure the batteries of your camera are charged so you can make heaps of Insta-worthy photos.

Meals & drinks (not included)

All accommodation facilities have self-catering kitchen facilities.

Optional paid activities

Your Stray driver can book these for you, often at a discounted price. Example of optional paid activities:

  • Kayaking, guided boat tour
  • Bike hire
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • River jet tour
  • Skyline Luge
  • Ziplining
  • Zorbing
  • Geothermal attractions
  • Learn the Haka
  • Maori flax weaving
  • Skydiving or bungy
  • 4WD farm tour
  • Half-day horse trek
  • Tongariro Alpine Crossing
  • Wine tasting
  • Kayaking
  • Skydiving
  • Water taxi
  • CanPuzzling World
  • Skydiving
  • Mountain biking
  • Pilot your own stunt plane or learn to fly and take a friend for free,
  • Jumpingyoning
  • Hot Springs
  • Ice Skating
  • Snow tubing

Amazing views on this tour

Book your Stray Tour with confidence

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