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North Island trip with STRAY NZ

By Mitch Tuitupou, Traveller

Proud to call New Zealand home
I was fortunate enough to travel the North Island of New Zealand with a company that ensures each passenger gets the most out of their journey. Stray NZ isn’t your ordinary bus company, they’re extraordinary. They don’t just take passengers from A to B, they allow them to hop on and off whenever they feel like it. From start to finish this trip exceeded my expectations.

I was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest and most populated city, and while I’ve had the opportunity to visit some of New Zealand’s hot spots I never thought I would have the chance to travel the North Island. I didn’t really know what to expect, what sights I would get to see and adventures I would experience, but I didn’t hesitate when I was presented with the opportunity to explore our backyard. Here’s some highlights of my trip.

We traveled north of Hahei to Cathedral Cove and Mahurangi Island where the views of our natural environment are spectacular. Next stop was exploring Hahei Marine Reserve which provided a unique opportunity to see marine life in their natural habitat. South of Hahei is Hot Water Beach which is known for its natural hot springs - a treasure hidden beneath the sand.

Rotorua, the North Island’s adventure capital, was another highlight of the trip. Well known for its geothermal activity, Maori culture, and distinctive ‘rotten egg’ smell, Rotorua never ceases to amaze.

Off the beaten track
Stray NZ doesn’t just take you to the tourist hot spots, they take you off the beaten track to some true gems. Kohutapu Lodge near Lake Aniwhenua, and Blue Duck Station in Whakahoro provide an escape from civilisation. Blue Duck Station’s purpose is to conserve endangered wildlife, improve the state of bush and rivers, and educate visitors about the area’s history and the endangered Blue Duck. The beauty of Kohutapu Lodge and Blue Duck Station allowed us to truly experience the ‘off the beaten track’ vibe that New Zealand has to offer.

Live with no excuses, and travel with no regrets.