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Short Ron

The Short Ron Pass

The Short Ron pass is the Ron Pass but from Picton to Christchurch in an anti-clockwise loop. That means all of the South Island except Kaikoura.
Departs: Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays from Picton
Town / City
Auckland City
Age Restrictions
Stray operates an adventurous product and is not suitable for children under the age of 5 years old. Children aged 5 -16 years of age may travel if accompanied with an adult and must be restrained with a seatbelt or an approved childseat. They are entitl
The Short Ron Pass Itinerary

1. Travel Day: Picton to Marahau (Abel Tasman).
We catch the 8am Bluebridge ferry (check-in at 7am) to the South Island where we meet the Stray bus. We then cruise through the famous Marlborough vineyard area and the coastal town of Nelson, before heading onto Motueka and our amazing night stop of Marahau, right on the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park.

Accommodation: Unique Stray accommodation on the edge of Abel Tasman National Park.
Optional paid activities: Ferry $50-75, wine tasting, skydiving, microlighting!
Free activities: Swim, walk, mussel tasting around the fire.

2. Non Travel Day: Marahau (Abel Tasman).
You have the day at leisure to explore this stunning, coastal national park.

Accommodation: Unique Stray accommodation on
the edge of the national park.
Optional paid activities: Full day sailing trip, kayaking, skydiving, water taxi, horse riding or hang gliding.
Free activities: Walk in the national park or just relax on one of the golden sand beaches! Plant a tree!

3. Travel Day: Marahau to Punakaiki.
Depart Marahau at 8.30am. We head for the ‘wild’ West Coast passing through the Buller Gorge before stopping off at Cape Foulwind to see the seal colony. We head on to our exclusive Stray stop, nestled amongst the native bush in Paparoa National Park. The sunset is a must if the weather is clear.

Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest with ocean views.
Optional paid activities: Save some coin today.
Free activities: Westport seal colony, West coast sunset, walk the Truman Track walk, meet some of the quirky locals.

4. Travel Day: Punakaiki to Franz Josef.
You have the morning free for activities, then at midday we head into the heart of the West Coast – where time almost stands still. We do pick-ups at Greymouth, make a stop in Hokitika then head to Franz Josef, a town squashed between the Tasman Sea and the mighty Franz Josef glacier.

Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest.
Optional paid activities: Bone or jade carving
Free activities: Punakaiki pancake rocks and their mighty blowholes, walk along the beach, sleep in.

5. Non Travel Day: Franz Josef.
A free day to explore the glacier and take an Ice Explorer trip.

Accommodation: Central lodge surrounded by the rainforest.
Optional paid activities: Guided heli-hike (Ice Explorer $299), go ice climbing, relax in the local hot pools.
Free activities: Many excellent bush hikes (but we recommend a guided one for safety). Warm up and relax after all this in one of NZ’s largest spa pools at your accommodation.

6. Travel Day: Franz Josef to Wanaka.
Depart at 9am. We head to Lake Matheson for the amazing mirror lake; stop at Fox Glacier for pickups then travel through to the mountainous Haast pass and Makarora. We pass by the beautiful Lake Hawea and arrive in Wanaka with an afternoon to enjoy this picturesque lakeside town.

Accommodation: Central hostel.
Optional paid activities: Puzzle World, fly a plane!
Free activities: Mirror Lake walk, Ship Creek walk, Blue Pools walk, Thundercreek Falls walk, explore Wanaka.

7. Travel Day: Wanaka to Queenstown.
Depart 11.30am. This morning you have the opportunity to check out amazing views of the lake either by skydiving or walking up Mt Iron! We cruise into Queenstown with a stop at the famous A.J. Hackett Nevis bungy site and then head to the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’! Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge) night out with excellent restaurants, pubs and live music.

Accommodation: Central hostel.
Optional paid activities: Skydiving, bungy jumping.
Free activities: Walk Mt Iron, watch people jumping off a bridge!

8. Recommended Non Travel Day: Queenstown.
Today is yours to explore. Obviously you can break your journey in Queenstown for as long as you want. If you’re not doing the ‘Burt’, look at doing a one day trip to Milford Sound before you go. Speak to your driver or hostel travel desk for Dunedin connection options.

Accommodation: Central hostel.
Optional paid activities: Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jetboating, rafting, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding…), trip to Milford Sound.
Free activities: Sleep in, great walks, take in beautiful views from this cool resort town.

9. Travel Day: Queenstown to Gunn’s Camp.
Depart from 6.30am onwards. Enjoy the views on the drive past Lake Wakatipu, then get ready for one of the most scenic drives in the world on our way to Milford Sound. We pass through the farmland of Southland and watch it turn into mountains, glacial carved valleys and fiords. We have time to explore Milford and then in the late afternoon we head to our unique overnight stop at Gunn’s Camp.

Accommodation: Historic camp on the edge of the Hollyford Track in the heart of Fiordland National Park.
Optional paid activities: Milford Sound cruise (there is a great Stray combo deal for this and the Stewart Island).
Free activities: Stunning views, Humbolt Falls walk, visit the historic museum or take in the incredible surroundings of a World Heritage National Park at Gunn’s Camp.

10. Travel Day: Gunn’s Camp to Invercargill/Stewart Island.
Depart at 8.30am. We start the morning with a great hike up to the Key Summit Track for stunning views over Fiordland mountains. We then head through Southland to Invercargill on the scenic route, next stop Stewart Island! There are also options for those not going to Stewart Island to stay in Invercargill.

Accommodation: Cozy hostel.
Optional paid activities: Ata Whenua – Shadowland, incredible movie about the Fiordland National Park. Stewart Island Ferry.
Free activities: Key Summit walk (2 1/2 hours, part of the Routeburn Track - a Great Walk).

11. Travel Day: Invercargill/ Stewart Island to Queenstown.
The morning is yours to explore the island, meet the locals, go fishing or enjoy some of the walks. We catch the ferry back to the mainland at 3pm. For those who choose not too venture to Stewart Island, we depart Invercargill at 10.30am and head out to Waipapa Point for some sea-lion spotting. We return to Bluff Hill where we meet up with the island-goers before we express back to Queenstown.

Accommodation: Central hostel.
Optional paid activities: Fishing, hire a scooter, go to Ulva Island Bird Sanctuary
Free activities: Explore the island, amazing birdlife, walks through the native parkland (Stewart Island); sea-lion spotting, Bluff Hill walk (Invercargill).

12. Travel Day: Queenstown to Aoraki/ Mt Cook.
Departures from 8.40am. Onwards we head over the Lindis Pass through the beautiful Mackenzie Country past Lake Pukaki, then head north to our amazing stop at the base of New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki/Mt Cook, arriving in the early afternoon. If you want to hop off the bus for a few days there are some incredible longer walks (we’d recommend leaving climbing Mt Cook to the mountaineers though).

Accommodation: Stunning alpine lodge inside the National Park.
Optional paid activities: Take a boat to check out the Tasman glacier and icebergs, visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre.
Free activities: Take photos of awe-inspiring scenery, do one of the many great short walks through the Hooker Valley.

13. Travel Day: Mt Cook to Rangitata.
Depart at 8am. We make our way to the ‘Lord of the Rings’ landscape of Rangitata. We head past scenic Lake Tekapo, with time for photos of the turquoise lake and the picturesque Church of the Good Shepherd. We arrive late morning in Geraldine, and then head through to spend the night at Rangitata.

Accommodation: One of Canterbury’s original sheep stations.
Optional paid activities: Do an amazing rafting trip, go for a mountain bike, walk or horse ride through Peel Forest.
Free activities: Take photos of stunning scenery, food tasting at Geraldine.

14. Travel Day: Rangitata to Christchurch.
Depart at 7.30am. It is an express haul across the Canterbury plains to Christchurch where your time with Stray come to an end. We arrive at the International Airport around 9.30am.

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