After New Year I have been on a 2 week holiday trip with Stray. I started in Rotorua and had an amazing trip around the east coast with Lantern (Fun fact: they get their nickname when they do their training trip from their coach
) as driver. The weather was really bad when we were leaving Rotorua but when we arrived at our first overnight stop in Te Kaha the weather cleared up. First we were meeting the family who are the hosts of the homestay. With a big group we were going to the beach and played some games in the water and some people took a kayak and went out on the see. After a good time in the see we went in the jacuzzi and had a good time with some drinks. Then it was time for the seafood buffet. It was delicious. Then we went for some music and some games. We had to think of our own song and we made our own text on the song Take on me from a-ha. They loved it.
The next day we were heading to Tatapouri. First we were going to the most eastern lighthouse of the world. The weather was beautiful and we had to walk up 800 steps to reach the lighthouse. After that we were moving on to Tatapouri. There you had the option to feed stingrays!! That was so much fun to do. The stingrays are not captured but are just living in that area. I believe there were 7 or 8 angel rays and 1 short tale stingray, so quite a lot. We bought drinks on the way to the coasts and played some fun games during the night. The next morning you have the chance to see the first sunrise in the world!!
After the first 2 nights it was time to head back to Rotorua. The first stop was Gisborne where we had some lunch and some time at the beach. Then we had to move on to Rotorua and were passing White Island what is an active volcano. In Rotorua we meet up for a drink in the bar and had a fun night and had to say goodbye to some people and our driver Lantern.
After spending 1 spare day in Rotorua we moved on to Lake Aniwhenua with our new driver Romeo. It was the day for a cultural experience. First we stopped in the middle of nowhere and our guide was taking us to old Maori carvings in the middle of the forest. It was quite special to see. After seeing the carvings we were going to their village and had a cultural ceremony. Afterwards we were heading to the lodges were we stayed for the overnight and we had the best weather ever and had time to chill. You could sign up for some activities. You could go cooking, learning the Haka, weaving and night ealing. I signed up for the Haka and night ealing. Doing the Haka and learning some self-defence was quite fun, and heard from the people who did the cooking it was so much fun. They made us the bread for the ‘Hangi’ meal. It was really good. After the dinner it was time for night ealing. That was really a nice thing to do. I catched two eals!
The next day we moved on and were heading to Whakahoro with a stop in Taupo. In Taupo I did a Skydive! I went up to 12000 ft and jumped out of a plane. I really recommend to do it once in your life and why not here in New Zealand. It is such an amazing experience! Everyone else had a nice 2 hour break in Taupo.
After that we moved on to the Blue Duck Station in Whakahoro. That is seriously in the middle of nowhere without any mobile connection. We stayed there for 2 days and it was amazing. On the first night we had dinner from the Argentinian chef that works at the station. In the evening we had a campfire and had a good evening, it definitely made the group closer. On the 2nd day it was time for the activities. I personally did some hunting, kayaking and clay bird shooting. It was such a good day and I don’t regret of buying the Blue Duck pass with Stray.In this pass is accommodation, food and 3 activities are included so you don’t have to buy anything for 2 days. It is so worth it! In the evening a 2nd bus of Stray arrived and had a pretty good time with them as well and meet up with some other people who were on the same bus as us before but who hopped off somewhere on the route.
The next day we were heading to National Park where Stray normally does the Tongariro Alpine Crossing but we couldn’t do that because the wind didn’t allow it unfortunately. So we had a relaxing day and I think some people didn’t really mind but of course they preferred to walk the Alpine Crossing.
Last stop of my trip was Wellington. They are not joking about windy Wellington. It was so windy, almost storming. First we went with a group to the museum, where you could see some history about New Zealand and the animal life in New Zealand.
We had a goodbye drink in the bar and I played some beer pong with Santa. I spend one more day in Wellington and went up a hill with a cable car to the gardens. After that we went to a small cinema with really nice seats and watched a movie. In the evening we were meeting up with the people who didn’t went to the South Island in a nice restaurant and had a really good time. On Friday it was time to move back to Auckland. But it was such an amazing trip and I am happy that I did it with Stray!
When you are really excited about this story and want to travel with Stray as well. Let us know and we can help you with booking it and give you a INTERNeX discount!