If you’re looking to explore the best of New South Wales and get off the beaten track, the Nat is where it’s at. She’ll take you full circle, starting and finishing in Sydney with plenty of adventures in between. Canoe down rivers, enjoy scenic beers in a hot tub and party in Byron Bay. Click here to see the route.
Flexible bus transport
Travel on comfortable buses and hop-on hop-off anywhere along the route.
Local Tour Guide
Far more than just a guide! These guys are invaluable sources of local knowledge and support.
Have a bed reserved for you at every Stray overnight stop. Book and pay via our Stray Mate app.
12 month travel pass
Your pass is valid for 12 months from the first day of travel.
- All transport including on the Stray bus between Sydney and Byron Bay return
- Guidance from local guide and access to Stray Mate app
- Wine tasting, Hunter Valley
- Barrington Tops National Park
- Koala hospital visit, Port Macquarie
- Kangaroo spotting, Emerald Beach
- Canoeing, River Retreat
- Angourie Blue Pools, Yamba
- Byron Bay orientation drive
Not included: The cost of your accommodation and extra activities is not included in a hop-on hop-off pass. You have the flexibility to choose what suits your budget and pay-as-you-go. These can be booked via the Stray Mate app, often at an exclusive Stray price!
Is this trip right for you?
✓ Do you want to explore with a group of like-minded travellers?
✓ Do you want to take the pressure off, kick back relax and let someone else do the driving?
✓ Do you want the freedom to hop-on and off along the route?
✓ Do you want exclusive Stray discounts on accommodation and activities?
✓ Do you want to start and finish in Sydney?
The Nat Freestyle Pass is a beaut choice for you!
Buy now, start your travel any time in the next 12 months.
Our mission is to get you off the beaten track amongst authentic local culture and our experienced crew has chosen some incredible destinations so you can see more and do more. 'Strademark' Places are the places you're less likely to find in the guide book but the ones you'll be talking about long after the adventure has ended.
- Barrington Tops - Go tubing down the river and then relax in a giant hot tub on the edge of a national park with your fellow Stray Mates!
- River Retreat - Head out on canoes to spot wildlife, before cooking a group BBQ under the stars.
- Spot X - Shaka brah! There really is no better place to learn to surf and catch some waves along the East Coast.
Get inspired and start planning your trip!
Travel smarter and safer - Stay covered on your adventures!
Want to start or finish in Melbourne? Add on this sector for just $80!
Click 'Select Upgrade' when you purchase this pass.
Short on cash but don't want to miss out?
Deposit option available. Hit BOOK YOUR TRAVEL below and select from the payment options at checkout. Find out more.
The itinerary below is for the current season. Given the nature of our trips and lack of control over weather, what we do each day might occasionally vary.
G’day, mate, and welcome to your Stray adventure! We depart the big city of Sydney early this morning to make our way to the Hunter Valley wine region for a tasting at an award-winning vineyard. From there, we carry on through the backcountry to our first stunning Strademark stop right on the edge of the World Heritage-listed Barrington Tops National Park. At our Stray exclusive accommodation beside the Karuah River, you can choose to go river tubing on the mild rapids, go for a bush walk, or visit a local farm. Finish the day with a shared group dinner and a couple of drinks round the campfire. Dinner, breakfast and activity included in the accommodation price.
See More moment: Spend the night on the edge of the World Heritage-listed Barrington Tops National Park, well and truly off the beaten track!
We depart after breakfast and journey north through the remote countryside back towards the coast. Our next stop is the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, where you can get a closer look at Australia’s laziest (and arguably cutest) marsupials. Check out the information centre to learn all about the hospital’s efforts to rehabilitate, protect and preserve the koalas. After this, we head to Emerald Beach, an iconic kangaroo hangout, where if you’re lucky you can spot them hopping along the beach. We arrive at our beachfront overnight stop Spot X in the early evening.
The morning at Spot X is all yours. Learn to surf in some of the best beginner waves in Australia, or for those who already know how to 'hang 10,' rent a board and show us what you can do! We recommend staying longer to do a Surf & Stay if you are keen to really hone your surf skills. You can also swim and chill out on the beach or sink into a hammock at the camp. We depart around midday, grabbing a bite to eat in town before travelling to our relaxing, rural River Retreat. Spend the afternoon on a guided canoe trip down the Nymboida River to learn about the area, which is home to amazing birds, snakes, and the incredibly shy platypus, and unwind with a refreshing dip in the river. This evening, we’ll gather round a bonfire and sleep in wilderness cabins or tents beneath the stars.
See More moment: Head out on a guided canoe trip or walk to spot wildlife and learn about the fascinating local history. In the evening, cook a classic Australian meal together and watch the stars.
Do More moment: Your stay here helps to support the local community of Nymboida. Once a hub for white water canoeing, the town has struggled since a crucial dam was shut down. With the help of community volunteers and Stray passengers, the centre is being revived.
Next up - Byron Bay, known as the most chilled out town in Australia! On the way there, we stop in the picturesque seaside town of Yamba for lunch. We'll also visit the Angourie Blue Pool, an old quarry that was accidentally (and awesomely) filled by an underground spring, meaning you can now cool off in an epic fresh water pool right on the beach! Upon arriving in Byron Bay, we’ll take you on an orientation drive around town to help you get your bearings, showing you the points of interest and the top spots for food, shopping and nightlife.
You have two full free days in Byron Bay to "cheer up, slow down, and chill out” as the town’s famous welcome sign instructs. And there is plenty to do in this laidback hippy town: practice your surfing skills down at the beach, walk to mainland Australia’s most easterly point at the Cape Byron Lighthouse, search for dolphins and other marine life on a sea kayaking trip, or visit the alternative town of Nimbin. Tonight, get out to experience Byron’s eclectic nightlife – there is always something going on!
You have another free day in Byron Bay today. Tick off any activities you didn’t get the chance to do yet, or pass the day wandering the township and exploring the many boutique shops and cafes. Eating your way around Byron is an experience in itself, and there are plenty of vegetarian options available!
Today is an express travel day to the final destination of our trip, Sydney. Along the way we stop at Spot X, a famous surf camp with perfect waves for beginners and pros alike. Hop off here to hang 10, or continue with the bus to Sydney, arriving in the evening. If you have some time in Sydney, there is plenty to do! From Stray’s famous Blue Mountains day trip, whale watching tours to climbing the Harbour Bridge, you won’t be bored for a moment. We hope you had a blast on your Stray adventure!
The days and times shown below are for the current season. To see future timetables, please visit our Timetables page. N.B. These are subject to change based on weather.
These are subject to change based on weather.
Each departure can be completed in a minimum of 7 days.
Sydney to Barrington Tops
|Barrington Tops (Arrive)||15:00||15:00||15:00|
Barrington Tops to Spot X Surf Camp
|Barrington Tops (Depart)||09:00||09:00||09:00|
|Spot X Surf Camp (Arrive)||17:00||17:00||17:00|
Spot X Surf Camp to River Retreat
|Spot X Surf Camp (Depart)||12:30||12:30||12:30|
|River Retreat (Arrive)||15:00||15:00||15:00|
River Retreat to Byron Bay
|River Retreat (Depart)||09:30||09:30||09:30|
|Byron Bay (Arrive)||15:00||15:00||15:00|
Free Day 1 in Byron Bay
|Byron Bay (Free Day)||Free||Free||Free||Free||Free||Free||Free|
Free Day 2 in Byron Bay
|Byron Bay (Free Day)||Free||Free||Free||Free||Free||Free||Free|
Byron Bay to Sydney (via Spot X)
|Byron Bay (Depart)||07:00||07:00||07:00|
|Spot X Surf Camp (Departs)||09:30||09:30||09:30|
Need to Know
Some key details...
- Transport - Travel by bus, train and even ferry for those heading to Magnetic Island! All included in the price of your pass and organised by Stray.
- Guides - Your Stray guide is your go-to for entertaining commentary, interesting facts, crazy stories and travel advice. Between Sydney and Rainbow Beach, your Guide is also your Bus Driver. Between Rainbow Beach and Cairns, where we travel on the fast, comfortable trains, you'll have In-Location Guides who will meet you at the station and show you around.
- Validity - This Freestyle Pass is valid for 12 months from your first day of travel.
- Hopping on/off - Hop on and off as much as you like along the travel route. To hop back on, simply book your next travel date and pickup location through our Stray Mate app
- Minimum Days - You don't need to hop off if you're short on time - you can travel your pass in the "Minimum Days". There are non-travel days throughout the route so you will not be travelling everyday.
- Departures - Buses/trains run to a seasonal timetable with multiple departures per week.
- Booking Buses - Use the Stray Mate app to manage your trip - you'll receive log in details in your Booking Confirmation email. If you're on a short timeframe, we recommend booking all your buses in advance.
- Accommodation - Book Stray preferred accommodation as you go via the Stray Mate app - there will be a dorm bed allocated to you at each overnight stop providing you book via the app 24 hours before.
- Activities - Book activities as you go via the Stray Mate app.
- Stray Travellers - Our travellers are from all over the world, are energetic, adventurous and mainly aged between 20-35. 75% of our travellers are travelling solo.