Why Choose Us Mt Cook Header

Why Choose New Zealand Trails?

Here at New Zealand Trails, we’ve perfected small-group travel and proudly operate the very best hiking, walking and adventure tours in New Zealand. We’ve got decades of experience designing and running world-class trips but at the heart of things, we are real New Zealanders (or ‘Kiwis’ as we’d say!) who absolutely love sharing our home with you, our guests.

Your trip to New Zealand is a BIG deal and we want to make sure that it is the trip of your lifetime. Here’s how we make the magic happen…

The New Zealand Trails Magic 5

  1. Our 5-star rated guides are all New Zealanders
  2. Flexible small group travel that is made with you in mind no matter if you are travelling solo, with friends or family
  3. Our small yet mighty team will look after you from start to finish - we'll know your name and you'll know ours
  4. Exclusive access to extraordinary places
  5. Your trip of a lifetime

1. Our 5-star rated guides are all New Zealanders

When we ask our guests to tell us their favourite part of their trip with us they always say it was their tour guide. We’re proud to have assembled – without exception – the very best guides you could wish to travel with. 

It can be common for other companies 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 way to experience a new country is with a true local. That’s why all of our guides are New Zealanders.

Our New Zealand guides have a passionate desire to share their country with you and make sure your experience goes well beyond that of a ‘normal’ tour. They are walking encyclopaedias on New Zealand life, culture, geography and history in a way that can only be obtained by being a New Zealander.  

Our guides return year after year and we take a very considered approach to adding new members to our guiding team. 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, who will make sure you have the time of your life.

Meet your New Zealand Trails tour guides here

"I’ve travelled to nearly fifty countries and Cameron is easily in my top 2% of guides. He is patient, resourceful, smart, knowledgeable, caring, interested in his clients and invested in their enjoyment of and immersion in the tour activities. He is wise beyond his years and a great ambassador for NZ Trails. I would jump at the chance to tour with him again. A super guide!"

- Pam Payne, New Zealand Great Walks Adventure

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2. Flexible small group travel that is made with you in mind no matter if you are travelling solo, with friends or family

Over the years we’ve perfected small-group travel that’s personal, flexible, safe and sustainable. To make sure our trips are of the highest quality we only run a limited number of departures. On your trip, you’ll explore the very best of New Zealand at a pace that’s right for you. With multiple guides on activities and walks, we are always able to offer you different options so that you can scale your activity level up or down depending on how you’re feeling each day. Your guides are experts in making sure that you’ll never feel like you’re holding anyone up or that you’re being held up!

Travelling in a small group means that you’ll have lots of one-on-one time with your guides and that we can tailor the itinerary each day to everyone's personal tastes. Your fellow travellers will be like-minded people who all share a love for the outdoors.

If you’re travelling solo like a third of our guests are, you’ll be pleased to hear that we don’t charge a forced single supplement. We will team you up with a member of the same sex to room with and if you want to guarantee your own room, you’ll have the option to upgrade to a single supplement.

So, whether you’re with a group of your best hiking buddies, travelling solo or with friends and family, if you are looking to explore the best of New Zealand and experience the people, places and culture that make it so special, then you’re in the right place!

"Once the trip was underway it was truly a 5-star event. I would credit this to two things: First, the itinerary was extremely well thought out. We all felt like we got to see almost everything worth seeing. Ending the tour at Milford Sound is quite special. One of the most outstanding things I have ever done in my 60 years on Earth. Second, the guides worked so seamlessly with the main office, constantly making needed changes on the fly. Clearly the work of a dedicated small company that was able to be flexible. We always had the sense we were in very competent hands."

- Matthew Canzonetti, Masterpiece

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Want to know more? Request our free brochure

3. Our small yet mighty team will look after you from start to finish - we'll know your name and you'll know ours!

We’re a team of knowledgeable travel experts and outdoor enthusiasts with countless years of experience. We keep things small and personal and you’ll always have a real person to talk to, no big call centres here! We'll know your name and you'll know ours. We’ll find out what you want to get out of your New Zealand experience, and then we’ll make that happen. When you first get in touch, Jodi will talk through your travel ideas and help you plan your New Zealand adventure. Then once you’ve signed up for your trip, Becky and our guest services team will help you put together the rest of your holiday, giving you advice on flights, booking your pre and post-trip accommodation, providing you with plenty of resources and answering all your questions about travelling to New Zealand, big or small. We’re here to sweat all the details so you don’t have to!

Many travel companies expand their trip offerings into other countries, running adventure tours all over the world. We are based here in Queenstown, New Zealand and only run trips within 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. If you want to see the real New Zealand with real New Zealanders then New Zealand Trails is for you!

"We travel frequently for business and leisure and are pretty critical. This trip was by far our best, most enjoyable travel experience ever. The thought and planning that went into the trip was evident at every turn. Making that look and feel seamless is another trick entirely and our guide Hayley did an extraordinary job of that even when she was thrown what we Americans call a curve ball. As last-minute bookers and first-time travellers to New Zealand Jodi was incredibly helpful. Once we arrived we felt Hayley was always on the case - an absolute delight. We will be back. We would like to talk to you about how to follow up on this tour for our next trip."

- George Stapleton, World Heritage Walking Tour

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4. Exclusive access to extraordinary places

You’ve no doubt got a list of experiences you’d love to have while you’re here in New Zealand. Things like walking among the towering peaks of Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park and listening to the waterfalls cascading down the fiords in Milford Sound.  On a New Zealand Trails trip, you’ll visit all of those spots you’ve always dreamt of along with places you never even knew you needed on your bucket list until you met us locals! With our local connections, knowledge and permits, you’ll gain access to rarely visited areas of our most beautiful National Parks, hidden private lodges and the opportunity to hike in the most spectacular surroundings. You will see the New Zealand that we share with our family and friends and experience so much more than you can learn from the guidebooks.

We only run a limited number of departures each season so that we can maintain our extremely high standards and minimise our environmental impact. Our trips sell out months in advance and our guests typically book their trips at least a year out from travelling so that they can secure their preferred dates.

"I was able to experience so much of the South Island with such ease thanks to my New Zealand Trails tour. I would never have been able to have anywhere close to the same experience without their hospitality and expertise. They made the trip so easy for us, allowing us to see such a variety of terrain and so many of the most beautiful sights and tracks on the South Island. Anyone considering a trip to New Zealand should stop considering and book the trip today. Anyone looking to experience the very best of the country’s hiking, landscapes and hospitality while there should contact New Zealand Trails."

- Sarah Franke, New Zealand Great Walks Adventure

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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 take your time and money very seriously. Our all-inclusive trips will give you the best value for both. You’ll experience the very best of New Zealand's bucket list hikes, activities and destinations and go home with a grin on your face and a spring in your step. There are no hidden costs when it comes to your trip with us, when we say all-inclusive we mean it! Once you are on your trip, you won't be dipping into your pocket every five minutes. All you will need is a bit of pocket money for a meal or two on your free day, souvenirs and anything extra you wish you purchase for yourself, like a glass of wine in the evenings. 

Our trips are adventurous yet indulgent. You'll stay in the best possible accommodation, 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.

"Not to sound cliché, but this truly was the trip of a lifetime. Every day provided such variety and a new adventure with beautiful sights to experience and information about New Zealand to learn. I knew that New Zealand is a beautiful country, but the diversity and glory of it exceeded all expectations. Countless oohs and aahs! Our guides, Daniel and Tasha, anticipated and took care of all of our needs so that we could get the most out of the tour. They truly made the experience exceptional! I have already shared New Zealand Trails with friends and family who are interested in a trip to New Zealand with confidence that they will not be disappointed."

- Lisa Sleezer, Masterpiece 

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How does that sound?

You don’t have to take our word for it! You can read our reviews here, or check us out on TripAdvisor.

We’re extremely proud of our consistent 5-star reviews and with previous guest referrals responsible for many of our bookings, we reckon that means we must be doing something right.

If you’re ready for the New Zealand adventure you’ve been dreaming of then we’d love to hear from you. You can grab a copy of our FREE BROCHURE HERE or get in touch to start planning your perfect trip.