Travelling safely with New Zealand Trails
In March 2020, New Zealand moved quickly and successfully to eliminate Covid-19. We now have some of the lowest numbers of Covid mortality and infection rates in the world. As of December 2021, 94% of eligible New Zealanders have had their first Covid-19 vaccine dose and 89% have had their second dose. With one of the highest vaccination rates and lowest transmission rates in the world, New Zealand is certainly one of the safest places to visit post-pandemic.
New Zealand's borders open to all vaccinated international travellers in May 2022 and when it comes to travelling again, it’s almost as if New Zealand is the perfect travel destination. We’ve got wilderness and space, quiet hiking trails and the freedom to go at your own pace as you step out and explore the world again. A New Zealand Trails trip is focused on the outdoors and we’ll be discovering stunning off-the-beaten-track spots where we’ll almost certainly be on our own in the heart of nature.
Before your trip
Being fully vaccinated against Covid-19 is a requirement for entry into New Zealand and for travelling with our domestic airline, Air New Zealand. Our priority is always the safety of our guests, staff, guides and wider communities so, under the New Zealand government’s Covid-19 Protection Framework New Zealand Trails will require all guests and guides to be fully vaccinated at least two weeks before their trip departs.
Proof of vaccination - So that things on your trip run smoothly, we will request proof that you are fully vaccinated before your trip departs. For New Zealanders, proof of vaccine is your government-issued "My Vaccine Pass". Overseas visitors need a digital vaccine passport or another form of electronic or paper document from a government health authority or approval authority confirming you have had a full COVID-19 vaccine course. You can find more information about the proof of vaccination requirements for overseas visitors here.
Health and safety on your trip
We are following all guidelines and recommendations from the New Zealand government, and have developed a Covid-19 Safety Plan that is regularly updated and follows the latest recommendations. We will be taking a number of precautions to ensure the health and safety of our guests and guides on our trips and have received the COVID Clean Approved endorsement from Qualmark. Here are some of the things we will be doing to keep you safe:
- Your tour group will be treated as a ‘bubble’ for the duration of your trip. You won't neeed to wear face masks while inside your tour vehicle or completing outdoor activities with your group. If you prefer to wear a mask, however, we encourage you to do so.
- You will travel in the same vehicle throughout your trip, which will be regularly cleaned and kept stocked with hand sanitiser, spare disposable masks, surface disinfectant spray, disinfectant wipes, tissues, and somewhere to dispose used masks, wipes and other rubbish.
- Any hiking or activity gear such as hiking poles will be assigned to each person, and cleaned between use.
- Regular and thorough hand washing is strongly recommended throughout the trip. Hand sanitiser will be available in the vehicle at all times, and your guide will carry sanitiser with them on activities.
- If a case or suspected case arises during the trip, we have procedures in place to mitigate the risks and will follow all advice from the Ministry of Health. Your guide has been trained in these procedures and we will be able to manage this with minimal disruption.
Accommodation & Activities
Throughout your trip, we will be visiting different accommodation and activity providers. We have a close relationship with the accommodation and restaurant owners we use on our trips. They are all adhering to the guidelines set by the Ministry of Health on maintaining a safe environment and will continue to follow the guidelines as we operate our trips. Most of the accommodation and places we eat are small, not attracting great crowds of tourists or visitors. Our guides are also required to hold a Food Safety Certificate and be fully trained in safe food preparation.
Private group tours
If you think our trips look awesome but only want to travel with the members of your group then a private guided tour of New Zealand provides the perfect solution to your dilemma. Our team of New Zealand travel experts and Kiwi super-guides regularly work with groups of travellers looking to experience New Zealand on a private guided tour. Whatever you’re looking for, we can make your dream trip a reality. You can read more about our private tours here if you'd like.
A Queenstown based support team
The guides and office team at New Zealand Trails are outdoors professionals, with first-aid qualifications and many years of experience running trips in the New Zealand outdoors. We run an industry-leading guide training trip prior to each season for all staff and have added in extra training on maintaining a Covid-safe environment. Our guides all carry advanced first aid kits, emergency locator beacons and satellite phones.
Behind the scenes, an experienced team supports your trip 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The guides regularly check in with their support team and as we are all based right here in New Zealand, we can offer the fastest help with the most local knowledge. With us, you are in the best of hands!