TOURS & BUS PASSES / North Island Bus Pass: 6+ Days

North Island Bus Pass: 6+ Days

If you only have a week to explore New Zealand’s North Island, then this hop on hop off bus pass is for you.  

This pass starts and finishes in Auckland and explores the North Island’s best spots – Taupo, Rotorua, Tongariro National Park and more. Like all of our hop on hop off bus passes, accommodation or activities aren’t included, but a sweet as driver guide is to get you from Point A to B.

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


  • Stay at a peaceful wilderness lodge in Raglan – New Zealand’s premier surf town
  • Stop off at Waitomo to see their world-famous glow worms
  • Experience indigenous Maori culture with an overnight stay at a Marae
  • Explore New Zealand’s largest lake and lakeside town of Taupo

What's Included

  • Knowledgable driver-guide who will help get you around the country 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

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Number of Days 8

Starts: Auckland Finishes: Auckland

Tour Type: Hop on Hop Off Bus Pass


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 to travel to the mighty Waikato region. First up is a little adventure into Bridal Veil Falls, where a short walk through beautiful native bush leads to an impressive cascading waterfall. Our destination today is at the world-renowned surf town of Raglan. There’s no better place to learn to surf; but if you don’t fancy a splash in the waves, the afternoon is free to watch the surfers from the beach or enjoy a bush walk. Chill out or go hard in this arty surf town.


An eco-lodge, near the beach set in native bush.


Optional Paid Activities: Learn to surf, sunset cruise, dine on fresh fish and chips for dinner.

Free Activities: Walk to the waterfall, bush walk around Mt Karioi, beach walk, glow-worm spotting in the bush, West Coast sunset, Inspiration Point.

Departing early, our first stop on route to Rotorua is at Waitomo, a small rural town where it’s main attraction is in fact underground. Don’t miss out on the opportunity for a seriously cool caving adventure that will have you wading, climbing, abseiling and tubing through Waitomo’s magnificent cave network. From here we continue on to Rotorua where you have the opportunity to make this a 10/10 day with a visit the world famous Hobbiton Movie Set. Explore the hills, gardens and houses that were home to Frodo and Bilbo in Peter Jackson’s epic trilogies. Those not interested in Hobbiton, will continue on to Rotorua and will be joined by the Hobbiton goers early evening.


Comfortable central city hostel.


Free Activities: Walk around Ruakuri Reserve, Waitomo Valley Caves walk

Paid Activities: Waitomo ‘must-do’ caving options or a glow-worm tour, Hobbiton, Tamaki Village


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.

We’ll be up at the crack of dawn for an early departure to make our way to the UNESCO Dual World Heritage Site, Tongariro National Park. Today you get the chance to do what is rated as one of the world’s top ten one-day walks and a definite NZ ‘must do’: the epic Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Trek through dramatic natural scenery, past volcanic peaks, vast craters and stunning turquoise lakes on one of the most spectacular walks in New Zealand. The Crossing is open to walk year round (alpine gear and guide are required in winter), but subject to the weather conditions.


Alpine lodge


Optional paid activities: The Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
Free activities: Taranaki Falls walk, visit the Volcanic Centre, Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s pool).

The bus to Auckland rolls through town mid-morning. It’s an express trip to the city where you arrive early evening. Time to catch your onward travel, or explore the city on your own. 


Central Auckland 


Explore the city at your leisure. 

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