WHERE DID THE ‘ORANGE STORY’ BEGIN?
Founded by an entrepreneurial Kiwi bloke named Neil Geddes who had adventure in his blood, the very first hop-on hop-off Stray travel network began back in 1998 way over in the UK. In 2002 after a few years circling the British Isles and a few lessons learnt along the way, Neil decided it was time to bring this innovative style of travel back to his homeland in New Zealand where the real adventure was waiting to begin.
Stray New Zealand managed to carry 10,000 travellers over 1,000,000km around the country not long after its first year. Not too bad for the ‘dark’ days before flash websites, GPS and reliable mobile networks! In the years since, we’ve grown by leaps and bounds, building our own fleet of big orange custom-built buses, and expanding our hop-on, hop-off route to cover all corners of the country.
In 2014 Neil packed up his family and headed across the ditch (Tasman Sea) to set up a new adventure travel network on the East Coast of Australia. After going to high school in Australia, Neil knew there was a lot more to the Coast then just golden beaches and backpacker bars, that are all some travellers see. He was determined to show off the amazing diversity from lush rainforests, waterfalls, awe-inspiring national parks and tropical island paradises. From the start the travel company filled a gap for adventurous travellers wanting to get off the beaten track, meet other travellers and have the freedom to hop on and off whenever they liked. Originally named Loka, Neil threw out the Aussie rulebook and created a travel network combining its own buses in New South Wales, with train travel for the long distances in Queensland and private transfers to Loka’s special, remote locations.
In September 2018 Loka was renamed Stray Australia (or “Straya” for the locals).
PAINTING ASIA PACIFIC ORANGE
In 2010, Stray made the big leap into Southeast Asia with a hop-on, hop-off network through Thailand and Laos. Since then, we’ve further expanded the Asia network to include Cambodia, Vietnam, Borneo and Bhutan.
In 2018, we got married *blushes* to Loka Australia, who eventually agreed to take our name. You can read more about this here.
Through all this expansion Stray still remains all about taking adventurous travellers further off the beaten track to gobsmackingly beautiful, remote destinations that we like to call our 'Strademark Places'. When you share these unique, local adventures with a great group of people from all over the world... well, that is when the real spirit of Stray comes in to play!
WHAT MAKES STRAY SPECIAL?
From our uniquely special ‘Strademark’ stops to our super passionate support staff and guides, to our mission to make a difference in our local communities, the Stray spirit is all about creating positive change in the world through adventure travel.
Definition (noun): 'the reason for which something is done or created for which something exists'
“Share our world, our people, our places, our culture. Be the energy for positive change.”
Set down in writing by a dedicated group of staff members, Stray's values are the guiding principles that we live and breathe on a daily basis. Working for and with Stray is more than just a job, it's a way of life!