Why Choose Us?
New Zealand Trails proudly operate the best hiking, walking and adventure tours in New Zealand. It's a bold claim we know... but we really believe and strive every day to make sure it's true.
It's our mission to make sure you have a truly unique and unforgettable experience. These are the Magic 5 things we focus on to make this happen!
The New Zealand Trails Magic 5
- Pure focus on New Zealand
- Experienced New Zealand travel team
- New Zealand local guides
- Exclusive access to extraordinary places
- Your trip of a lifetime
1. Our pure focus on New Zealand.
We only operate our trips in New Zealand. New Zealand is our home, it's where we know best and it's part of our DNA. With its astonishing diversity and accessible size, it has all the ingredients you need for the trip of a lifetime.
2. Experienced New Zealand Travel Team.
New Zealand Trails has the All Blacks of Adventure Travel Teams! With Nigel Williamson at the helm, you can rest assured you are in safe and experienced hands. Nigel traded in his city suit for hiking boots back in in the 1990s to pursue his career in adventure travel. He founded several companies, including the largest dive company in New Zealand and is proud of his ever expanding New Zealand Trails team.
Jodi Narbey is the person most likely to be at the end of the phone when you call. She studied a BA in history and can still often be found with a historic novel in hand. She hit the trails as soon as she could, guiding overland trips in Africa, travelling Europe and learning to snowboard. Since returning to New Zealand many moons ago she has worked organising travel for international visitors. From ensuring you know exactly what to expect, to helping you decide on your perfect trip, there is no one better to help you get your trip off to the best start.
We are all driven by the same passion - to see the smiles on the faces of our guests, to hear the raving reviews and to really share with you the real New Zealand. We keep things small and personal. We want to know about you, to find out what you want to get out of your New Zealand experience, and we want to make it happen.
3. Our Local New Zealand Guides.
As an adventure traveller yourself, you'll know that local is best. In New Zealand adventure travel, “local” is New Zealand Trails.
Our local Kiwi guides have a passionate desire to share their country with you and make sure your experience goes well beyond that of a ‘normal’ tour. Our behind-the-scenes team is a mix of Kiwis and honorary Kiwis who have chosen to make New Zealand their home. Our guides are walking encyclopaedias on Kiwi life, culture, geography and history, learned and ingrained from being born and bred here.
It can be common in the industry to hire seasonal foreign guides, here for a summer to discover New Zealand for themselves whilst doing a fun job. In our experience, the best guides are those that are focused on making Tour Guiding an important part of their career. We take a serious and committed approach - our guide selection program is thorough, our training is the envy of the industry, and our team of professional career guides are true ambassadors for New Zealand. They are well-travelled themselves, mature, capable, wonderful human beings, and strong leaders through and through.
We are extremely proud of our guides and when we ask our guests to tell us the favourite part of their trip, it's usually meeting their guides.
4. Our exclusive access to extraordinary places.
Together, we’ll visit parts of New Zealand you would probably never find if you were on your own. Also, we have exclusive access to extraordinary places you wouldn't be able to visit on your own.
On a New Zealand Trails trip, you’ll visit places you might not see by any other means. We work closely with local Maori landowners, government officials, and the owners and operators of all sorts of interesting little places. You’ll gain access to rarely visited areas in our wildest National Parks, hidden private lodges and the opportunity to hike into the most beautiful surroundings. You will see the New Zealand that we share with our family and friends.
New Zealand is ever-growing in popularity, but we want to share with you our New Zealand, not necessarily the New Zealand of the guidebooks. You’ll still experience the most famous locations like Milford Sound, Mount Cook, Queenstown and so on – but depending on your trip you’ll also get to sleep in a traditional Kiwi ‘bach’ (the Beach House at Okarito, pop. 30), stay over at a remote working sheep farm deep in the mountains – or hike into the remote Hollyford Valley, where we’ve obtained special access. No-one can buy relationships, or trust, with the locals. It has been hard earned it over many years through working closely with our network of friends and partners all over New Zealand.
5. Our commitment to providing you with The Trip of Your Lifetime.
Most people only visit New Zealand once, and as we all know, time once spent, is gone forever. We can assure you that your time and money with us will be well spent. You’ll have the trip of your lifetime and go home with a grin on your face and a spring in your step.
There are many ways to see New Zealand, but some are better than others. A self-guided tour in a campervan can be great fun, although you might be surprised at the total cost of even a 'cheap' trip once you add in accommodation and fuel costs. And let's not even mention the driving... But New Zealand Trails trips are all-inclusive, so you can leave your pocketbook at home. No surprises.
We understand how important it is that you spend your time and money carefully and we will ensure you stay in the best possible lodges, dine well, travel in comfort and enjoy the best level of guiding that money can buy.
We’re not here to offer you any-old tour, we’re here to share with you an all-encompassing New Zealand experience, to learn a little or a lot, to feel energised and active, and have the time of your life.
How does that sound?
You don’t have to take our word for it! If you’d like to read some reviews of our trips, or talk to someone who’s taken a New Zealand Trails trip in the past, let us know.
Previous guest referrals are responsible for nearly half of our bookings, which we reckon means we must be doing something right.
When you’re looking at options, don’t be afraid. Peek behind the advertising speak and marketing paraphernalia and see exactly what you’re getting for your time and money. We’ll be here when you get back!