TOURS & BUS PASSES / Auckland to Wellington Bus Pass: 8+ Days

Auckland to Wellington Bus Pass: 8+ Days

This backpacker bus pass takes you from Auckland to Wellington, exploring the highlights of the North Island on the way.  

The Auckland to Wellington Bus Pass is identical to our North Island Bus Pass, except after visiting Tongariro National Park, you head south to New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington. The pass explores the North Island’s best spots – Waitomo, Rotorua, Taupo, Tongariro National Park and more. As this is a hop on hop off bus pass, accommodation or activities aren’t included, but a local and knowledgable driver guide is to get you from Point A to B – and to show you the top out of the way spots in the process.

If you want to explore any area further, simply hop off the bus and stay awhile.


  • Experience the best of the North Island Stay at a wilderness lodge in Raglan – New Zealand’s premier surf town
  • Stop off at Waitomo to see the world-famous glow worms
  • Experience Maori culture on with an overnight stay at a Marae
  • Explore New Zealand’s largest lake and lakeside town of Taupo
  • Chance to visit Hobbiton (extra cost)

What's Included

  • A knowledgable driver-guide who will help get you around the North Island and tell you everything you need to know about New Zealand.
  • Guaranteed accommodation along the way, no need to book in advance (extra cost). More details here 
  • Questions? Check out our FAQ or Contact Us

Book Now


Number of Days 9

Starts: Auckland Finishes: Wellington

Tour Type: Hop on Hop Off Bus Pass


May 01, 2019 - September 30, 2019: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
Tour Itinerary EXPAND ALL

We depart Auckland and head south, travelling to the Coromandel Peninsula via the old colonial town of Thames.  The Coromandel Peninsula, which is renowned for its natural beauty and pristine swimming beaches, is the perfect place to kick back and relax for a couple days. We’ll get settled into our beachside accommodation in Hahei before heading over to Hot Water Beach (tidal dependent). This is an absolute ‘must do’ experience where you can dig your own natural spa bath in the sand and soak up the Coromandel surrounds.  Tonight you have the option to join a group dinner for a classic Kiwi BBQ.


Accommodation on the waterfront. 


Optional Paid: Canyoning in Sleeping God Canyon* (hop-off in Thames).

Free: Visit Hot Water Beach for a natural beach spa (tide & weather dependent), walk to Cathedral Cove, explore old cultural sites or simply relax on the beach.

Today you have a full free day to embrace the laid back lifestyle that makes this area such a popular NZ holiday destination. Make the most of this special place by taking a scenic walk or kayak to the nearby Cathedral Cove, a paradise-like beach that you might recognize from one of the Narnia films. If you prefer water sports, the coast off Hahei is part of the protected Te-Whanganui-a-Hei Marine Reserve, which is a prime place to go scuba diving, snorkelling or take a glass bottom boat tour.


Accommodation by the waterfront.


Optional Paid Activities: Kayaking, scuba diving, bike hire, glass bottom boat tour.

Free Activities: Walk to Cathedral Cove, watch the sunrise on the beach, go snorkelling in the marine reserve, explore old cultural sites or simply relax on the beach.

We leave Hahei early travelling through to Paeroa, home of New Zealand’s oldest and largest soft drinks company – L&P, where we’ll stop for breakfast. Our drive today will take us through the Waikato region, known for its many dairy farms, rolling hills and the mighty Waikato River (the largest river in New Zealand). You can make this a real 10 out of 10 day by signing up to a guided tour through the world famous Hobbiton Movie Set. Even if you’re not a fan, this is truly unique experience which explores a whimsical garden village, home to Frodo and Bilbo in Peter Jackson’s epic trilogies is loved by all. If this is not for you, then you can continue on to Rotorua where there are plenty of other activities on offer. The Hobbiton goers will return early evening.


Comfortable central city hostel 


Free activity: Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest walk

Optional paid activities: Hobbiton Movie Set tour, white-water rafting, zorbing, adrenaline fuelled adventure park (big swings, bungees and more)

Often labelled the adventure capital of the North Island, you have a full free day in Rotorua to discover an area rich in Maori heritage, adventure activities and bubbling geothermal wonders. There are plenty of exciting local activities to get the adrenaline pumping, such as whitewater rafting, ziplining through native bush, zorbing or a truly unique guided jet boat adventure up to bath in a hot waterfall. There is also the option to sign up for a full day trip out of Rotorua on the highly regarded White Island tour* – a boat trip to New Zealand’s only active marine volcano where you can get up close to the hot volcanic streams and bubbling pits of mud. The choice is yours!


Comfortable central city hostel


Optional paid activities: White Island tour, river jet tour, white water rafting, zip lining, zorbing, geothermal parks, luging, Maori village & performance experience

We depart at midday, leaving the morning free to get involved in one of the many adventure activities on offer in Rotorua. This afternoon our trip takes us further off the beaten track into the remote area of Lake Aniwhenua, voted as one of the top overnight stops. As we drive into the Kaingaroa Forest we will meet up with a respected Maori elder who will guide the group to a sacred archaeological site to view some of NZ’s oldest Maori rock carvings. As we approach the small township we will visit the local Marae (a Maori meeting house), where we will receive a traditional welcome and spend time learning about the Maori’s cultural beliefs, song and dance while sharing some ‘kai’ (afternoon tea). Tonight while staying in the tranquil oasis of Kohutapu Lodge, you will learn how to cook a traditional ‘Hangi’ (a feast cooked underground). Opt into one of the many activities on offer or simply enjoy a sunset drink at the Taniwha Bar overlooking the lake. You will be both touched and inspired as you learn about the beneficial community program to which Stray travellers are contributing.

Unique Experience: The Lake Aniwhenua overnight experience is $95, which includes comfortable lodge accommodation, a guided tour to sacred Maori rock carvings, a Marae experience, afternoon tea, delicious ‘Hangi’ dinner and buffet breakfast, participation in an altruistic community program.


Scenic lakefront lodge, including afternoon tea, a Hangi dinner and breakfast


Free Activities: Guided tour with a local Maori, Karakia (Maori blessing), relax by the lake, walks.

Paid Activities: Night eeling, flax weaving.

We depart at 7.00am and head to Taupo, see Huka Falls and have time to experience skydiving if you’re brave! Our destination is Blue Duck Station, a 7,200 acre high country station that is both a working farm and an environmental conservation leader.  


Country station lodge.


Free Activities: Huka Falls, walk around the stunning Whakahoro Station.

Paid Activities: Bungy Jump in Taupo, Skydive, jet boat ride. 

Today is yours to explore and discover this remote unique NZ destination! 


Country station lodge. 


Free Activities: Explore the amazing farm, go for a hike, relax. This place is EPIC!

Paid Activities: Horse riding, jet boating, 4WD touring.

Up early today to head to Tongariro National Park. You have a chance to walk the Tongariro Alpine Crossing – one of the world’s best day walks. 


Alpine Lodge. 


Free Activities: Taranaki Falls walk, visit the Volcanic Centre, Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s pool).

Paid Activities: New Zealand's best one-day walk, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. 

After breakfast we head around the mountains via the rural towns of Ohakune, Taihape and Bulls and then onto New Zealand’s capital city Wellington. This is mostly an express day to get to Wellington, and the afternoon is yours to explore the sites of the capital. We recommend checking out Te Papa national museum – it’s fantastic! From here you can head across the the South Island and join a South Island tour or start another bus pass.


Not included on this day. 


Mostly an express day to Wellington, with sights along the way. Visiting Te Papa in Wellington is a must!

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