Small Group Tours - The Unbeatable Way To See New Zealand
There are many ways to see New Zealand and no matter which way you decide to go, you’re likely to have an incredible time because New Zealand is, for want of a better word... awesome. But with your well-deserved vacation time and hard-earned dollars at the forefront of your mind, no doubt you want to be sure you’re doing it all justice by choosing the absolute best way to spend your time in New Zealand.
Here at New Zealand Trails, we pride ourselves in offering our discerning guests the very finest in small group travel and we humbly challenge any naysayers to prove us wrong! If you’re currently umming and ahhing over the best way to see New Zealand, read on for an insight into why a small group tour might be just the thing you’re looking for.
Why do small group tours work so well in New Zealand?
New Zealand is a country of relatively petite proportions, it’s possible to drive from one end of the country to the other in about 24 hours if you were driving non-stop and didn’t look up from the road the whole time. At the other end of the scale, thinking about somewhere like Australia (which is HUGE), it’s much easier to fly from place to place, rather than drive. You could drive for days through the desert, without so much as a piece of tumbleweed to keep you company.
Here in New Zealand though, despite our somewhat diminutive size, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to our scenery. As a nation of road-trippers, we’re used to spending a day or two in the car to get to our favourite holiday spots. No matter where you’re headed, the journey is typically all part of the adventure as you travel via golden sand beaches, thick rainforests, alpine passes and glacial lakes.
The size and constant barrage of scenic vistas mean that New Zealand is the ideal place to discover on a small-group trip. A well-planned itinerary will ensure that you see a huge variety of places in just a week or two, all the while experiencing the best and most beautiful New Zealand has to offer. Each day brings with it a new adventure and new scenery. If you’re worried it might all be too rushed though, rest assured that there’s plenty of time to relax. Trails trips seamlessly blend activities, travel and downtime to leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated at the end of your vacation.
Benefits of travelling in a minibus
As a visitor to our country, you could rent a car and tackle the driving yourself, but it can often be far more relaxing to let someone else take care of the driving for you, especially if they have the knowledge and experience of our narrow, winding roads and can anticipate any challenges ahead. That way, you get to sit back, listen to some tunes if you fancy and soak in the views, safe in the knowledge that you’re in the hands of an expert. It’s far better than arguing over who’s driving next, who took a wrong turn on the map, who ate the last of the lollies, or whose turn it is the fill up the car with petrol – trust me!
Whilst the driving isn’t the main feature of our trips by a long stretch, it is, of course, necessary to get from one incredible place to the next. We work hard to make it an enjoyable experience, never spending too long on the road and always with regular stops for photo opportunities and short walks along the way. There’s plenty of room to stretch out onboard (no knees squashed up against the seat in front) and big, clean windows to take in the views. If you enjoy a road-trip, then this is the gold-star of road-tripping.
Finding a place to stay
If you’re won over by the thought of travelling New Zealand by road, but perhaps you’re leaning towards a campervan or hire car, bear in mind you’ll have to carefully plan out your route, considering the weather and any road closures. You’ll also need to book your accommodations well in advance and you’ll have to do plenty of research, relying on online reviews to ensure you don’t wind up staying at Fawlty Towers or the Bates Motel - hyperbole, but you get my point.
Of course, you could always get in touch with the New Zealand travel specialists here at Trails and take all the hard work out of finding and booking accommodation. As a small team of dedicated professionals with a wealth of experience, we know all the best spots to stay – stylish places with incredible views, comfortable beds and excellent water pressure. We’ve hand-picked each location (and bounced on the beds – standard industry practice) so we can personally attest to the quality. Your accommodation is all part of the trip and included in the price, so you get to enjoy each day with the anticipation of a delightful night’s rest ahead in superb accommodations. No grubby hostels or sub-par B&Bs in sight!
Enjoying the Local Cuisine
Travelling independently means you have to take care of yourself as far as food goes. Vacations are about exploring, relaxing and absorbing new cultures, not trips to the supermarket (ok, maybe once for curiosity’s sake). On a Trails small-group trip, we take our food seriously and we know that our guests expect excellent cuisine and fresh local fare. Depending on which tour you take, we eat out at a range of excellent restaurants and cafes and enjoy delicious home-cooked meals and favourite Kiwi specialities.
Going-it-alone certainly requires more planning both prior and during your trip. You not only need to decide where to stay, what to eat and what your budget is, but you also need to think about where you’re going and what you want to see. You could always grab a well-thumbed copy of the Lonely Planet and follow in the footsteps of countless tourists ahead of you, or you could travel with the locals for a real taste of New Zealand.
Friendly Kiwi Guides
It would be remiss not to mention the incredible Kiwi guides that work tirelessly to take care of our guests during their trip. We’ve scoured the country high and low, looking for the very-best Kiwis to guide our tours. Highly trained and experienced outdoors people with the most beautiful personalities, you’d be hard pressed to find someone you’d rather have show you around.
New Friends and Future Travels
Speaking of a good giggle, there’s nothing better than travelling with a handful of close friends who share your vacation objectives and enjoy the same style of travel. Perhaps the thought of travelling with new people makes you nervous? The good news is that our guests typically have lots in common with each other. They enjoy spending time in the outdoors and learning about new places and are usually well-travelled, with a good sense of humour. Hailing from various countries around the globe, they’re looking for the best way to see New Zealand and value the local insight and authenticity our trips provide. So, the chances are you’ll get on very well indeed.
Small-group travel means just that, we keep our group sizes small and typically have no more than 8 to 10 people on board, with an absolute maximum of 14. You’ll have a chance to get to know your fellow travellers in a relaxed and comfortable environment, sharing a bottle of wine or good meal as you recount stories from your travels so far. In fact, many of our travellers form strong friendships based on their shared adventures and quite often plan more trips together down the track.
Small Group Travel Takes the Hard Work out of Planning Your Trip
When you’re planning a big vacation overseas there’s always lots to think about, but choosing a small-group tour takes the hard work out of it. We’ll take care of everything, all you need to do is get on the plane and meet us at the airport on the other side. From there, get set for an incredible adventure around New Zealand, taking in the best walks and hikes, experiencing quintessential Kiwi pursuits, visiting the most famous places (as well as those a little further off the beaten track), meeting awesome new friends, enjoying tasty local food and lovely accommodations, all the while content, and dare I say it, a little smug in the knowledge that you have found the BEST way to experience New Zealand.
And if you still have questions or need help deciding which of our trips is right for you, then don’t hesitate to call us for a chat – we’d be happy to help point you in the right direction.
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