How to book your New Zealand trip

Caroline Hickman

By Caroline Hickman

6 minute read

Get hold of your free New Zealand Trails brochure here

One thing we're always getting asked is how, when and which trip should I book? Well, here I am to explain it all! It always feels like there’s a lot to think about when organising your travels, so we’ve made it easy so you enjoy every step of the journey rather than it being a headache. We reckon booking your trip should be fun and exciting and lay the foundations for an amazing trip ahead.

So, where to start? Well, let’s have a look…

1. Decide which brilliant locally guided trip you'd like to do

New Zealand Trails has five guided trips to choose from. Each one is led by a local New Zealand guide and includes all your activities, a well-planned itinerary (not as easy as it sounds to create, we promise – it’s taken us years to refine!), comfortable transport, tasty and decadent meals, and amazing accommodation.

World Heritage Walking Tour13 days of luxurious travel exploring New Zealand’s stunning South Island World Heritage areas. With fine dining, excellent wines, delightful accommodation, famous places, and a well-rehearsed itinerary, this is a wonderful walking trip for those that enjoy a few of the finer things on their adventures.

Masterpiece14 days exploring the South Island’s natural beauty on foot, bike, and kayak. Our Masterpiece itinerary takes you on a memorable journey from the vast mountains to the rolling sea. This is an itinerary we often share with our friends and, of course, you’ll be treated as a friend when you join us on this trip.

Kiwi Classica 14-day South Island true Kiwi adventure with high levels of activity, heaps of fun and a good dose of endorphins. We’ll keep you moving as much as you like as you explore famous and not-so-famous areas, reach beyond the tourist trail, and get a decent lungful of fresh New Zealand air every day.

Pure Southwe’ve distilled our very best activities into 8 glorious days for anyone a little short on time. You won’t miss out on anything as you hike, cruise, bike, and swim (with dolphins!) through this week of epic proportions.

Sweet Northperfect as a stand-alone trip or a brilliant addition to our South Island guided trips, the Sweet North takes you on a 5-day journey from the city to the sea, through caves, groves, coves and more. You’ll not only explore the natural wonders of the thermally active North Island, but we’ll introduce you to our unique culture and heritage too.

Still not sure? Request a free brochure or get in touch - we'd love to hear from you!

Book your New Zealand hiking trip

2. But what if I want to do something different?

If you’re looking for something different, we can design bespoke itineraries or offer private departure dates for groups of friends, clubs, or colleagues of 6 or more. That said, our itineraries are extremely well planned and finely tuned to make the most of everything. We’ve had years of experience and we know they work well in terms of balancing activity and travel time, so they are worth considering.

But you might be a purely hiking group, only wanting to be on your feet, or cycling enthusiasts eager to stay in the saddle from dusk ‘til dawn. Or you might just be down for something completely different. If that is the case, get in touch and we’ll get started on your plans and creating your own personal itinerary. There is no easier way to plan a trip for your group, we promise!

If you’re on your own and want to do something a bit different, we can see how we can adapt our itineraries to suit you. We are really flexible and will make sure you get to have your dream trip.

3. Pick your ideal travel date

You’ll see that we schedule regular trips during the New Zealand hiking season, which runs from October through until April, when the weather is at its best for getting out and about in the outdoors. Each month brings with it something unique, from snowy mountains, bouncing lambs, summer festivities through to autumn leaves.

It’s worth considering though that the most popular time to travel is during the Christmas holidays and January, when people seem to get the most chance for holiday and it’s the start of summer in NZ. This is also when flights tend to be at their most pricey, so be prepared for that when budgeting.

Don’t be afraid to travel earlier or later in the season when things are generally quieter and flights cheaper. There’s never a bad time to be in New Zealand, rain or shine - you can’t go wrong.

You can take a look at our dates and trip availability here.

Kayaking Lake Mapourika

4. Book your spot on your trip

Once you’ve decided on your trip and date you can book your New Zealand trip online here. Prices are listed online in your local currency. To secure your place you pay a 15% deposit at the time of booking with the remainder due 60 days before your departure date.

To secure your spot you can pay your deposit by credit card in US, Australian, Canadian dollars or in British Pounds or Euros.  The balance can be paid by bank transfer.

We recommend booking well in advance to secure your preferred date, particularly if you are after a January/February date, as these seem to book up very quickly. Many people book 9-12 months in advance, with others just a few weeks ahead. As long as we have space, you are welcome to book any time.

Once you’ve booked you’ll receive a full pre-departure pack from us with details on what to bring, extra accommodation, flights and insurance.

5. Book your flights

We work with trusted agents to help organise flights suitable for your trip. Alternatively you can book your own online or through your own local agent. Please ensure you are at the pick-up point listed in your itinerary in time, and that you book your departure flight after the airport drop-off time listed at the end of your trip. That way you will be in good time for your flights. Alternatively, many people decide to stay a night or two either side of the trip if they have time (it certainly can help with the jet lag) and we can suggest or book suitable hotels as you like.

Mt John Observatory hike

6. Book travel insurance

It’s really important to purchase travel insurance as soon as you book your trip to give yourself protection from any unexpected occurrences that may affect you taking part in the trip. You can read our blog to find out why it’s so important here.

If you do find yourself with medical problems when you are travelling, you’ll find New Zealand has an excellent healthcare system and in the event of accidental injury a government department (called The ACC) may be able to assist you with funding to cover your healthcare costs. However, they do not cover:

  • Any type of illness
  • Disrupted travel plans
  • Air ambulance or other emergency travel to get you back home
  • Any injuries incurred while in transit to or from New Zealand. This includes getting on or off a boat or plane
  • Travel around New Zealand in the craft you arrived in e.g. a cruise ship

Therefore it’s vital that you have appropriate travel insurance for the best protection and to avoid any unwanted expenses. A little cost now can save a whole lot of costs and headaches later.

So as you can see it’s as easy as 1,2,3 to book your trip with us here at New Zealand Trails leaving you to sit back, relax and count down the days until your big adventure. No route planning, budget setting, logistical nightmares, or practising driving on the wrong wide of the road (please don’t!). It’s too easy!

While you count down the days, you’re welcome to read more New Zealand Trails blogs, read reviews from our past travellers or check out our trip galleries. Alternatively, you might just want it all to be a wonderful surprise, in which case we look forward to seeing you very soon.

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