The Finer Touches at New Zealand Trails
You have seen the photographs and videos of cascading waterfalls at Milford Sound, playful dolphins racing your boat in Kaikoura and a carousel of sunrises and sunsets. You have made up your mind; a New Zealand vacation is to be your next (and best) adventure. Now, you have one rather difficult decision to make. You type in ‘New Zealand vacation packages all inclusive’ into Google and you’re confronted with an onslaught of tour companies vying for your attention, and all claiming to be the best. So, who do you choose?
Let me make this a whole lot easier for you. New Zealand Trails excels in five key areas: food, accommodation, guides, hikes and all the other incredible activities we have available on the peripherals. We offer New Zealand luxury tours – Kiwi style. Here, we believe that the secret to excellence lies in the finer touches. Just because you’re playing in the outdoors does not mean that you have to rough it. In our opinion, adventure does not equate with suffering; we’re all about comfort and style. We concentrate on the finer details, the little touches that elevate us from the ordinary into the extraordinary.
You’ll spend the day inhaling crisp mountain air, stretching your legs and testing your limits. You’re showered, changed and feeling exhilarated… it’s time to gorge!
As a company, we make a concerted effort to use and enjoy the local produce in each of the areas we visit. On our tours, highlights of this approach include a wild venison dinner in Te Anau and freshly caught salmon in Mt Cook. When our guides cook for you, the food they use is sustainably and locally sourced and we opt for organic as much as we can. One of the huge benefits of New Zealand produce is that our default farming practice is pastoral, meaning our livestock are out happily grazing in the fields.
When the guides aren’t whipping you up a feast, they’ll wine and dine you in our favourite restaurants. Us Kiwis love a good brunch. On the Masterpiece and Kiwi Classic, we’ll take you to Morri Street Café in Nelson for an awesome breakfast and an artisan brew. On the World Heritage, you’ll enjoy a BBQ lunch overlooking the stunning lake at Distinction Te Anau. On the Sweet North, you’ll be treated to hot chocolate under the stars at Pohutu Geyser.
We encompass everything from the good ol’ classic dish of fish and chips on the beach in Kaikoura to a trip to Geraldine to indulge in coffee, ice-cream, fudge, Barkers chutney and lots and lots of cheese! The guides have even been known to brew a pot of the native herbal Kawakawa tea on occasion for you to try.
Food aside, a New Zealand vacation would not be complete without a vineyard tour. Our wine is world renowned and we want to show it off. You’ll get to sample our Central Otago Pinot Noir at the beautiful Kinross Cottages. Or on the Kiwi Classic and Masterpiece, you’ll be treated to wine tasting and lunch at Wairau Wines in Renwick. We take pride in our craft beer creations too. On the World Heritage and Kiwi Classic, a pub lunch at a brewery is on the cards. You are on holiday after all!
Luxurious lodging on your New Zealand vacation
We don’t like to put you up in generic accommodation at night. You’ll have spent all day hiking in paradise, swimming with dolphins, exploring your thoughts and growing as a person. We want that process to continue at night and we ensure this by finding places of beauty, places in the wild and most importantly, places with character. We specialise in off the beaten track accommodation that you wouldn’t be able to find otherwise. We make an effort to choose places that get you up close to the area that makes that place iconic.
These are a few of our stand out accommodations:
- Ohau Quarters (Masterpiece, Kiwi Classic) – We book out this incredible lakefront lodge so as we have the entire place to ourselves. Its super remote location means you get that feeling of laid back luxury in the wild. Get yourself into the hot tub outside and lap up the epic view of the sun setting across the lake or the panorama of stars above at night (it’s a dark sky reserve!).
- Martins Bay Lodge (World Heritage) – The magic of this lodge lies in its remoteness. It can only be accessed on foot or by helicopter. So, we’re taking you to this exclusive retreat by helicopter! Situated right on the Hollyford River, sit down and indulge in a three course dinner while a chorus of native birds serenades you outside. This is where wilderness and luxury collide.
- Milford Lodge (World Heritage, Masterpiece)– There are only two options for accommodation in Milford. Lucky for you, both are incredible! Depending on the trip you choose, you’ll either stay in Milford Lodge’s beautiful chalets set in the bush or spend the night on a boat (Kiwi Classic and Short South) gently rocking on the fiord. There’s nothing quite like having your morning coffee out on deck surrounded by cascading waterfalls and massive peaks. It’s otherworldly.
- Okarito Beach House (World Heritage, Kiwi Classic) – For the real Kiwi bach (holiday home) experience, Okarito Beach House is always a highlight on our guests’ trips. Hot tub, sunsets and strolls along the beach; it’s the true kiwi experience. Only 32 people live in the area, so it really is one of New Zealand’s best kept secrets.
- Lochmara Lodge (Masterpiece) – Sitting on the edge of the Queen Charlotte Track is Lochmara Lodge. It is only accessible by foot or boat, so we hop in a water taxi over and kayak back! Wildlife lovers will adore this place. Highlights include phosphorescent plankton, glow worms, an underwater observatory (where you can see sting rays!) and many gorgeous sunsets.
- Punakaki Resort (World Heritage) – An evening spent cuddled up beside a bonfire listening to the ocean. Punakaiki Resort is right on the beach front and every time you look out the window, you will be filled with awe.
We don’t just hire anyone. Our guides are an amalgamation of Bear Grylls, Dr Phil, a five star concierge and your Mom all rolled into one.
Safety and service is paramount to us here at New Zealand Trails. Your guides are always one step ahead of you. They are ready and waiting when you sleepily crawl out of bed in the morning to offer you your long black with one sugar, so you can simply take it in your hands and walk out on deck to enjoy the sunrise. They take notice and they will keep you safe. They will encourage you to try new things and be patient and supportive of you if you’re outside your comfort zone.
Our guides are really special people – diverse and accomplished in their own way. Made up of environmentalists, historians and adventurers; each of them has their niche area of expertise. They are passionate Kiwis, who have grown up wandering around the mountains barefoot and are self-confessed hobbits at heart! They have a depth of knowledge of New Zealand that you won’t get from non-local guides. Plus, their endearing Kiwi accents and quirky ways will melt your heart!
At New Zealand Trails, we’re offering full service from your first enquiry, to meeting Tash (our dedicated person to take care of you before you even arrive) until long after your trip is done.
Of course we will take you to the places you’ve circled in your guide books, the likes of the Routeburn, Milford Track and Mount Cook. We have hiking permits to guide on five of the Great Walks! But we’ll also take you to the hidden gems like the Hollyford and Okarito Tracks.
On the Sweet North, we’ll take you to Waiomu in the Coromandel region to get up close and personal with Kauri trees. It’s one of just a few places in New Zealand where you can still visit these mighty ancient trees! On the Kiwi Classic, we’ll take on the Angelus Circuit Hike for a taste of both bush and alpine, amazing mountain lakes and perhaps a swim if you’re feeling bold!
Awesome activities with an all inclusive New Zealand vacation package
We offer so much more than guided walks. We are offering all the once in a lifetime, bucket list activities!
For the thrill seekers, there is the Glacier Explorers trip to Tasman Glacier on a Zodiac boat, optional heli-hikes in Mt Cook, backcountry jet boating, gazing at glow worms from your river tube and so much more. On the Pure South, you’ll take to the skies at Makarora in a little bush plane and land on a grass airstrip in Siberia Valley. You’ll also swim with Hector’s Dolphins (the only place in the world you can do this)!
This barely scratches the surface of what we are about, but we don’t want to ruin all of the surprises. You’ll have to come and experience them for yourself on one of our New Zealand luxury tours!
Get in touch to learn more about our trips, or you can also request your free copy of our 36-page brochure for all the details on our 5 multi-day, fully-guided, all-inclusive, small group, adventure tours of New Zealand.