FAQs

It's very important to us that you have all the information you need and all your questions answered about our tours. Here are some of the questions we most frequently get asked.

If you can’t see what you are looking for, give us a call or send us an email and we can help you out!

Can’t find an answer to your question? Give us a call or email us and Jodi or Dawn will be in touch.

PHONE: +64 3 595 20801800 459 511 1-877-796-04160800 920 2011

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Featured Question

How many guides on the trip?

There are two guides with you for the entire trip. We find this works perfectly with our small groups as two fabulous guides means we can give you lots of options and flexibility every day.

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About the group
General travel information
What kind of accommodation do we stay in?

What kind of accommodation do we stay in?

We reckon getting a good night's sleep is a key part of a great holiday! A lot of thought goes into choosing where you'll stay and we listen closely to feedback. We mix and match a bit, generally between three and four-star lodgings on most trips, with a night or two in back-country huts, or camping when we're *really* in the boonies when the location warrants it. If having a private ensuite each night is important to you, our World Heritage tour has you staying in 4-star lodgings throughout. You'll have a private ensuite bathroom every night on the World Heritage tour, with the exception of a single night in a fully serviced lodge in a remote corner of Fiordland National Park. It's not quite roughing it as the lodge has hot showers, a drying room and a full kitchen and bar, but bathrooms are shared (separate for men and women) that night. Our trips focus on giving you the best and most authentic experiences available but rest assured we never take our eye off the ball when it comes to your comfort. We also avoid rushed mornings and always try to make sure you start every day peacefully wherever we wake up.

What is the food like?

What is the food like?

Delicious! A great deal of care goes into ensuring the high standard of food and wine on your trips is as varied as the scenery, and fuels your incredible experiences. Depending on the trip you choose, we'll take you to our favourite restaurants each night (on the World Heritage) or on our other trips, sometimes you'll stay in, and your guide will host a dinner party and cook for you. Either way, you will be looked after like royalty and, unlike some trips out there, you're our guest and you're never expected to do any food prep, cooking, or dishwashing.

On regular days, we start with a healthy breakfast with lots of choices and awesome coffee served at your accommodation before heading off for the day’s activity! Lunches are either in the best little cafes or restaurants en route or your guide will organise a wholesome packed lunch to last you all day on your activities. Dinners are in our favourite local places or your lodgings, using the best fresh local ingredients with a strong emphasis on introducing you to New Zealand specialties.

All of our trips have some ‘free days’ where we let you take some time to explore the local culture on your own. If you are on the World Heritage Walking Tour your 'free day' (in Queenstown) starts off with an included breakfast. The rest of the day is yours to explore – but there are plenty of tasty options for you in Queenstown. On all of our other trips though, you'll need to make your own arrangements on your ‘free days’ for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We'll always give you some local recommendations, but our guests tell us they enjoy the chance to make their own discoveries.

What is guided walking?

What is guided walking?

Our fully supported tours are designed to make your New Zealand adventure as easy and safe as possible. Your guides will be at your service for the entire duration of the tour, during hikes and other outdoor activities, but also at any other time of the day to help in any way possible. A big part of the tour is the interpretation your guides will provide, giving you the opportunity to learn all about New Zealand's fascinating environment. Your guides are trained in first aid and we operate under an independently audited safety plan.

What is included in the tours?

What is included in the tours?

Everything, generally speaking, once you arrive! Our trips have a wide range of accommodation due to the more remote locations we visit, and for those on our most comfortable trip – the World Heritage – all four-star accommodation. Nearly all meals are included with a varied menu, all guided walks and activities in the itinerary, all transport in a private vehicle, your professional guides and all National Park and attraction entry fees. You’ll want a little extra money for a souvenir or two, maybe tipping your guides and so on, but you're basically paying up front for everything, so just relax and give your wallet a rest as soon as you step off the plane! We show our guests around New Zealand as old friends – it’s our shout

Can you cater for a specific dietary requirement?

Can you cater for a specific dietary requirement?

Of course! We've catered for every allergy and all sorts of diets over the years and nothing is a problem. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, lactose intolerant, paleo or some combination thereof... whatever you need to eat or not eat, just let us know in advance and we'll work with your specific dietary requirements so you're safe and feeling your best. Any questions, just call us to discuss your dietary requirements.

What kind of vehicle do we travel in?

What kind of vehicle do we travel in?

A safe and comfortable one, of course! We generally travel in late-model Mercedes Benz minibuses. The size of the vehicle will depend on the size of the group, but we don't pack you in like sardines. For example, a group of eight may travel in a 12-seat mini coach or a group of twelve may travel in a 17-seat mini coach.

Which city or town do the tours start and finish in?

Which city or town do the tours start and finish in?

Please see below for the city or town where your trips will start and finish: Kiwi Classic – Start/Finish Queenstown Masterpiece – Start/Finish Queenstown World Heritage Walking Tour – Start/Finish Christchurch Sweet North – Start/Finish Auckland Short South – Start/Finish Queenstown to Christchurch Let us know if you have questions about your flights and we are happy to help with your accommodation before and after your trip.

Where does the tour pick up and drop off?

Where does the tour pick up and drop off?

We will pick you up from our joining hotel or the airport on the first morning of your trip and you'll get confirmation of pickup times beforehand. If you have other requirements or happen to be staying a long way out of town, just let us know. After your trip, we'll drop you back at the airport, into town, or just about anywhere you need to go – we aim to please!

How fit do I have to be?

How fit do I have to be?

Luckily with our small groups and two guides on almost all of the activities, we can give you lots of options and keep the distances and times of hikes flexible - so you can do as much or as little as you like on most days on most of our trips. We find people who have an active lifestyle and enjoy walking, going to the gym, bike riding, golf and generally keep fit have no worries at all. No matter which trip you choose, we are never in so much of a hurry that we don’t take time to breathe the fresh air, snap a few photos and soak up the scenery. For those wanting to challenge themselves, there are plenty of opportunities to do that as well. Have a chat with us to find out which tour might be best for you depending on your level of fitness.

How fast or slow does everyone walk?

How fast or slow does everyone walk?

Everyone walks at the pace most comfortable for them and there is never any time pressure on our walks. In a small group tour, it's natural that there will be different fitness levels in the group, but with two trained guides on most hikes, this is never a problem. If you'd like to stretch out a little, or take your time, either way you'll only ever have to walk at a pace that is comfortable for you.

Which hikes are included in the World Heritage Walking tour?

Which hikes are included in the World Heritage Walking tour?

You’ll enjoy the best walking in New Zealand and explore several UNESCO World Heritage sites: Milford Track – Guided day hike from Sandfly Point (Milford Sound) to Giant’s Gate Falls. Routeburn Track – Guided day hiking from the Routeburn road-end to either Routeburn Falls or Routeburn Flats. Hollyford Track – Guided day hike from the Pyke River Confluence to the Hollyford road-end. Also, a guided afternoon hike from Martin’s Bay to Long Reef seal colony. Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park – Guided day walk on the Hooker Valley track. Arthur's Pass National Park – Short guided hike on the Upper Bealey Valley track. Mou Waho Island – Guided nature walk on this island eco-sanctuary in the middle of Lake Wanaka. Paparoa National Park – Afternoon guided hike on the Pororari River track. You can check out each hike here.

How should I prepare myself physically?

How should I prepare myself physically?

If you are generally active and enjoy physical hobbies like hiking, cycling, golf, tennis or dancing then you will have no problems with the walks and activities on the tour. If you’d like to do a little preparation for your tour we recommend regular short walks anywhere from one to four hours in the six weeks leading up to your trip. It helps to wear the shoes and carry the backpack you will bring to New Zealand; this will assist you with getting used to your equipment. Whatever you can fit into your lifestyle will help but don’t overdo it and certainly don’t worry about it. We’ve had people of all ages and abilities on our walking tours and everyone’s had a great time!

How many people will be in my group?

How many people will be in my group?

We believe traveling in a small group is the best way to experience everything New Zealand has to offer. So all of our trips have a maximum of 14 people to make sure you'll never feel over-crowded.

What kind of people will be on the tour?

What kind of people will be on the tour?

You will meet like-minded people who have an appreciation for nature and the great outdoors, while still being able to enjoy the benefits of comfortable accommodation, great food and stimulating conversation on this journey. Our guests are usually people from a wide range of nationalities, backgrounds and experiences. On average, we have a 50/50 split between men and women, with several single travellers on each trip as well as couples and friends travelling together.

How old are the people on your tours?

How old are the people on your tours?

We get a pretty wide range of age groups on our tours, anywhere from people in their 30s to 70s. In any case, we reckon it’s more about attitude than age, which is why the social dynamics usually work so well. If you love the idea of getting out into the most incredible landscapes on the planet, with your feet on the ground rather than looking out of a coach window, and you enjoy your creature comforts -- we know you will love our trips!

What if I'm traveling alone?

What if I'm traveling alone?

No worries at all, we get plenty of people joining us who are also travelling solo. Our trips are a fun, stress-free way to explore a new country where you'll share lots of laughs with new friends and never have to eat alone. Most share a twin room with another solo traveller of the same sex, but if you're not comfortable with that you have the option of upgrading to guarantee your own room. There's no mandatory single supplement, and you might even end up with your own room by default if no other single is available to share.

How much luggage can I or should I bring with me?

How much luggage can I or should I bring with me?

You’ll discover some wonderful off-the-beaten-path places on our small group tours and our guests tend to dress fairly casually so you won’t need to bring the tuxedo or the kitchen sink! We travel in comfort in a late model Mercedes-Benz mid-sized coach with plenty of room and we usually tow a luggage trailer with us. Try and limit your luggage to one mid-sized suitcase or duffel bag plus your day pack. If you follow our packing list, this should be easy and you will have access to your belongings every night. We are more than happy to help organise luggage storage for any items you won’t need for the duration of your tour if you need to bring extra luggage. In addition to your main suitcase/duffel, we recommend bringing a comfortable day pack (25 litres is ideal) that you can use on day hikes, on non-hiking days and as your carry on.

What do I need to pack?

What do I need to pack?

Some clothes to enjoy the outdoors in and something to change into in the evenings. You'll also have lots of opportunity during your trip to get some laundry done so you don't need to pack very much at all. In the time leading up to your trip, we'll be in regular contact with you to make sure you have all the information you need to help prepare for your trip, including a detailed packing list that you can easily print out. We're always available on the phone if you have any questions.

Who will my guide be?

Who will my guide be?

Your guides will be one of our hand-picked, experienced and passionate Kiwis with a wide array of life experiences. From spotting native wildlife to bringing the past alive with stories from the land, from adjusting gear on hikes to providing that little extra encouragement during the last mile, the connections you make with your guides will last a lot longer than the duration of this tour.

How many guides on the trip?

How many guides on the trip?

There are two guides with you for the entire trip. We find this works perfectly with our small groups as two fabulous guides means we can give you lots of options and flexibility every day.

What's the best time of year for hiking in New Zealand?

What's the best time of year for hiking in New Zealand?

Hiking in New Zealand can be enjoyed all year round, but we recommend visiting between October and April as there's often snow on the higher passes during our Southern hemisphere Winter.

What's the weather like in New Zealand?

What's the weather like in New Zealand?

We are lucky in New Zealand as we have a temperate climate, which means it's not subject to extremes of either hot or cold. The most popular times to visit are the Spring, Summer and Autumn months with each season enjoying its own benefits. They are all excellent times to be enjoying New Zealand's outdoors. The warmest time is from December to February.

Do I need to apply for a visa before travel?

Do I need to apply for a visa before travel?

Citizens of many countries do not need visas to visit New Zealand for holiday purposes, this includes the USA, Australia, the UK, Canada, Germany, France and Japan. Please be aware it is your own responsibility to ensure you have the correct travel documents to enter New Zealand. For more information please visit the New Zealand government immigration and travel website.

How do I make a booking?

How do I make a booking?

When you’re ready to book, there are two ways you can secure your spot on the tour: 1. Go to the secure booking page on our website. You’ll have the option of paying your deposit with a secure credit card transaction or an account transfer to a local account in your own currency. 2. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you make your booking over the phone. See our contacts page for phone numbers, including toll-free numbers from the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK.

How and when do I pay for my booking?

How and when do I pay for my booking?

To secure your spot on the tour we require a 20% deposit, with the balance payable 60 days before departure. You have the option of paying by credit card, either over the phone or through our secure online booking page. You can also make payment to a local bank account in your own currency. This can often be done from the comfort of home via internet banking.

What happens if I have to cancel?

What happens if I have to cancel?

As we're in small groups and our tours are usually fully booked many months in advance, we do have to adhere to our cancellation policy: 60 days or more before departure: loss of deposit 59-31 days before departure: 50% of amount paid, or deposit (whichever is greater) 30 days or less before departure: 100% After scheduled departure date: 100% It's always a good idea to buy travel insurance at the same time as booking your trip, to make sure you're covered for anything unexpected. We can help you with insurance cover, just give us a shout and we'll give you a great option to compare with anything you see at home.

Can I change to another tour date?

Can I change to another tour date?

You can change your booking to another one of our departures, for no charge, as long as there is 90 days before the departure of the trip you are changing from and to. We will always try to accommodate any date changes like this but are sometimes limited by availability and operational requirements.

How far in advance should I book?

How far in advance should I book?

As our tours are in small groups, we are usually fully booked during the summer season so we advise booking as soon as possible in order to avoid disappointment. New Zealand is a small country with limited international air connections so flights and hotels can be booked out quickly in popular spots during high season. It's normal for guests to book on our tours 9-12 months in advance.

Can you help with my travel arrangements before or after the tour?

Can you help with my travel arrangements before or after the tour?

Absolutely, we can help you with all of your travel arrangements. From flights, travel insurance and pre or post-trip accommodation. Please let us know if you'd like help with any of these.

Do I need travel insurance?

Do I need travel insurance?

We strongly recommend you take out travel insurance for your trip to New Zealand. This should cover medical expenses, repatriation, cancellation, loss of deposit, travel interruption, luggage / belongings and cash. You should let your insurer know the kind of travel you'll be doing (ie, guided hiking and outdoor activities). We work with an insurer here who is able to provide a comprehensive policy at very competitive prices for guests on our tours, including non New Zealand residents. Please ask us for more information

Could you organise a private tour for me and my friends or family?

Could you organise a private tour for me and my friends or family?

We regularly organise private tours for specialist groups, clubs, extended families and groups of friends wishing to travel together and would be more than happy to help you with your travel plans.

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