New Zealand Trails Newsletter February 2014
• Photos and Feedback from our January 2014 trip
• Hiking Quicktips - Fit for hiking (and life) with Yoga
• Travel Deal for Trailmates - Free accommodation and airport transfers
Greetings from New Zealand!
It's mid summer here in New Zealand which is many people's favourite time of year - holidays, long twilights and warm weather. While we are enjoying the season we do spare a thought to those of you in the Northern Hemisphere enduring a cold winter. Even though much of New Zealand has been on holiday for January, for us it is the start of our busiest time of year with guests and guides having a great time on trips.
In this month's newsletter:
- Photos and guest feedback from our January trip - our luck with the weather continued and we all had a wonderful time discovering the best of Southwest New Zealand World Heritage Area.
- This month's hiking tip - A a beginner's introduction to a great way to keep fit for hiking (and life in general) - Yoga.
- Travel Deals - Receive free pre-tour accommodation & airport transfer on selected trips.
Availability Update: We do still have space available on our February 24 departure and have a new travel deal available so if you're still thinking about a New Zealand hiking adventure this summer please contact us now.
For those of you joining us on trips in the next few months, we look forward to seeing you soon and to all of you, Happy Hiking!
Andrew Wells and the New Zealand Trails team.
January 2014 trip - A fantastic small group, blue skies and cheeky birdlife
Our January 2014 New Zealand World Heritage Hiking trip was a fantastic adventure and quite a unique one at that. Our small group was made up entirely of single travellers, the first time I've ever experience this as a guide. I knew this would mean a great group of people with new friendships made and this was certainly the case. Many people join our hiking trips for the famous NZ scenery, hiking and outdoor activites but what often becomes precious memories are the shared experiences and connections made with other travellers. This was certainly the case this time round and I even heard guests making plans to meet up in Australia after the trip. The wildlife was out to gree us too, with memoriable up-close wildlife experiences with Kea in Arthur's Pass, Weka on Mou Waho Island and the rate New Zealand Falcon in Mount Cook. All in a great time was had by all and I'd really like to thank everyone for joining us and being such wonderful company.
January 2014 Guest Feedback:
'An active New Zealand holiday adventure for anyone who also enjoys a bit of luxury. I loved the walk on the Milford Track and the riverside hiking at Punakaiki. The glowworm caves were great, the drive into Milford Sound quite spectacular as was the helicopter ride into the Hollyford Valey where the lodge at Martins Bay was one of my favourite places on the whole trip. our group gelled really well, Andrew looked after us well and kept us informed and entertained. Memories to last a lifetime and seeing the photos has bought it all back. Many thanks New Zealand Trails.'
New Zealand Hiking tips - Fitness for hiking (and life) with Yoga
Guiding New Zealand hiking tours over the years I have noticed one thing - Hikers love Yoga. It seems a natural match for the peaceful gentle exercise of hiking and also seems to attract similar personalities. Many guests on our trips either actively practice Yoga or are interested in learning more. On our last two trips, we had a mix of experienced Yogis and those keen to try, which led to some great evening discussions around the dinner table and hopefully some newly inspired people. After disclosing my own habit, guests demanded I strike a few poses on the Trail - how could I refuse?
My own experience with Yoga started around 12 years ago, I had just set up my first hiking business and while well aware of the benefits, I also realized I would need to counteract all the walking with something to help my flexibility. So I went along to my local Yoga studio and booked three one on one sessions with an instructor, with the aim of coming up with a simple routine I could do in my own time at home or on the road. It was as easy as finding twenty minutes a day and a flat surface and I was away - as anyone who has started Yoga will know, the first little while is hard and there are a few days of walking like a robot for sure, but if you stick at it the progress will come.
Going alone or in a class
For over ten years I practiced Yoga alone, at home, in hotel rooms and even on airplanes or in national parks. With my lifestyle it suited me not to be tied into a schedule of classes or commuting to a studio. I know lots of people who practice this way and for many it's their preferred option. Last year my wife suggested Bikram Yoga (hot yoga) which you can't really do at home so I gave it a try and have become a real convert. At first it was unusual for me having to get along to the Yoga studio for a certain time, but I came to realize a couple of real benefits of practicing in a class - there's a real synergy from Yoga in a group and your Yoga improves a lot as your instructor talks you through poses. Find whichever works for you and your lifestyle.
- I started to improve my flexibility and stop feeling stiff and sore after physical exercise. Like anyone who has stuck with Yoga for a few months, I was successful in achieving this. Particularly since I started Bikram Yoga I've noticed a lot of unexpected but very welcome benefits - better sleep, being less irritable, little aches and pains I thought were just part of getting older have just gone away. I could go on but anyone who sticks with Yoga for at least a few months will see the benefits - it really works.
All you have to do is show up and try
- The instructors at our studio always remind us it's a gradual process and as long as you are trying your best each day then you're getting the benefits. No-one judges you on what you can or can't do and everyone has postures they're not so good at - with my stiff hips you should see me butchering some of the sitting head to knee stretches! On our trips we often have a mix of experience so it's the perfect opportunity to find out a little more and get inspired to give it a try for yourself.
As many avid hikers will attest, Yoga is a great way to keep fit for hiking and life in general.
Give it a go - it works.
Travel deals for Trailmates
Free pre-tour accommodation and airport transfers on selected departures
Thanks to all of you who were in touch to secure your 'Earlybird Deal' for the 2014/2015 season. With such a positive response we'll certainly be repeating this offer next year.
While this deal has now finished, we would still like to extend one of our most popular deals for travellers booking for this month (February 2014) and later this year:
One night's accommodation and airport transfers included on selected departures (February and November 2014): On selected small group New Zealand hiking tour departures this and next season we would like to extend a special offer - included in your tour price is one night's accommodation either the night before you join the tour or the evening you leave the tour, plus a private transfer between your accommodation and the airport.
Find out more or register your interest for this travel deal now.
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