Stray Australia Byron Bay
Home. Travel Info » How "Freestyle Travel" Works

How "Freestyle Travel" Works

Stray was born in 2002 with a mission to change 'group travel' as we knew it. 

We wanted to offer travellers a different way to travel from traditional mainstream tours with rigid itineraries and time schedules. 

We created a way of travelling we call "Freestyle" to offer travellers more freedom to customise their travel experience, while having awesome knowledgeable guides and travelling with likeminded travellers. 


“It’s like being on a road trip with your mates where you can also stay longer anywhere that you want”


Our Freestyle Travel route covers the East Coast of Australia from Sydney to Cairns. We link all the famous places and beautiful beaches with some special, unique stops to really show off Australia’s amazing diversity, culture and scenery.

There are two options for travelling Freestyle:

  1. Freestyle Tours
  2. Freestyle Passes

Both allow you to hop on and off the tour, travel for 12 months and meet awesome likeminded people.

Freestyle Tours have the added benefit of including your accommodation for each night of the itinerary as well as a selection of top-rated activities.

Freestyle Passes allow you to pay-as-you go for your accommodation and activities via the Stray Mate App.




Stray Mate2Managing your travel

Once you’ve bought a Freestyle Tour or Pass, you’ll get an email from us with your login details for Stray Mate, our Trip Manager App.  You’ll need to download the App, sign up and log in.  Once you’re in, you can read about each destination you’ll visit and starting booking in your trip! If you’re travelling on a short timeframe, we recommend booking your dates in advance (particularly between Nov – March) as the network can get busy, but dates are fully flexible and you can change them any time in the Stray Mate app.


hop on and off2Hopping on and off

Freestyle Tours and Passes are valid for 12 months from the first day of travel, so you can hop on and off as much as you want and extend your stay in any of the destinations along the travel route.  Not sure where to hop off?  Check out our Destination Guides.

If you’re short on time, you don’t need to hop off at all. There are non-travel days built into the itinerary so you won’t be travelling every day.


transportGetting started

It’s day one of your Stray adventure! You’ve booked your first trip and you can see the pick-up time and location in your app. Head to the pick up location 15 minutes before departure and say hello to your rad new group of friends. Don’t worry if you’re standing in awkward silence for a bit, your Guide will break the ice!  Stray departs several times a week, but frequency depends on the time of year (check the timetable).


bus4How you'll travel

You'll travel on Stray's private, air-conditioned buses (up to 40 seats) between Sydney and Rainbow Beach.  Between Rainbow Beach and Cairns, we travel by train to cover the long distances fast and comfortably.  Relax in leather reclining seat, watch movies, or enjoy a pizza and a beer in the dining carriage while playing cards with mates. There's showers and toilets on board too. We also travel on the Magnetic Island Ferry, in 4WD vehicles on Fraser Island and take local bus transfers in some locations. 


no worries3Your Guide

Your Guide is your local expert, story teller and party starter. They’ve had a lot of practice taking a group of strangers and turning them into lifelong friends, so you’re in good hands.  These legends are your locals on hand to give you any help you need. 

Between Sydney and Rainbow Beach your guide is also your bus driver. Your fun Driver Guide will take you on an epic road trip adventure on our private coaches.  We can play our own tunes and stop to explore along the way. 

Between Rainbow Beach and Cairns where we travel on the fast, comfortable trains, you’ll have an “In-Location Guide” who will meet you at the train station and get you settled in.  These local experts bring their own unique flavour to the trip, providing expert information about the region, local tips and guiding off the beaten track excursions. On departure day, they’ll escort you to the station and wave goodbye, sending you off to meet the next awesome In-Location Guide!


accommodation2Booking your accommodation and activities

Travellers on Freestyle Tours will see their included accommodation and activities in their Stray Mate App as “Prepaid”. While these are prepaid, you still need to book in the date you want to use them. Email [email protected] with the dates you want to book them and we’ll get that sorted for you.  If you want to stay somewhere longer, or do extra optional activities, you can book those in your Stay Mate App.

Travellers on Freestyle Passes can book accommodation and activities in the Stray Mate App.  Buses will pick you up from and drop you off to the Stray-preferred accommodation (listed on the timetable page and in the Stray Mate app). If you stay somewhere else, that's no problem, just make your way to the closest pick up option. 


travel time2Your time, your way

Stray is not an express bus service, we're all about the journey and discovering a little bit more! We make stops along the way to show you amazing things, so depending on which pass you go for you’ll be enjoying:

  • Wine tasting in Hunter Valley
  • Secret swimming holes
  • Scenic walks
  • Wildlife spotting
  • An awesome canoeing trip
  • Lookout stops for breath-taking views

If you arrive in a place and it feels like home, you can just hop off and take your time. After all, you’ve got 12 months to travel the route! When hopping off, just make sure you cancel any activities or accommodation you've booked in advance.