Why small group tours are the best way to see New Zealand

shona hore

By Shona Hore

4 minute read

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Size does matter when it comes to group travel! Choosing to travel as part of a small group tour is much like having a friend at every stop, whether it's a charming village or a farm stay. Having someone to point out the best local cafes and partaking in real interactions and conversations with locals are just some of the benefits of a small group tour.

The popularity of small group tours has increased in the last few years, and with good reason. People want a more immersive experience, getting off the beaten track whilst being conscious of their impact on the local culture and environment.

New Zealand is the perfect location for taking advantage of all the benefits of small group tours and unlocking the secrets of this fascinating destination.

An eco-friendly option

Increasing numbers of people are conscious of their environmental impact while travelling, and small group travel is a great option for eco-minded adventurers. Smaller group sizes tend to have less of an impact on communities and natural attractions and are usually designed to visit popular spots during quieter times.

Milford Sound is arguably our busiest local attraction and we have masterfully designed our South Island tours to offer the best of Milford Sound and avoid the crowds.

Peace of mind

Let us take care of you. Small group tours tend to have a higher level of service. It's easier for guides to take better care of you and get to know you as individuals on a small group tour than on coaches of 45+ people.

We know some great off-the-beaten-path locations to offer up a unique experience, as well as ways to enjoy the more popular hotspots without the crowds. All you have to do is immerse yourself in the experience and enjoy!

The real New Zealand 

The best way to experience the real New Zealand is on a small group tour. Guided by locals who will regale you with stories of life in our country, each tour is unique in its approach to New Zealand. Our guides are a big part of what makes our tours very ‘kiwi', and before you know it you will have the local colloquialisms down pat.  

Who wants to have their nose stuck in a guidebook for their whole holiday? Our guides are extremely knowledgeable about all things kiwi, and if they don't know, don't worry, they will find out for you. And if they can't find the answer, you'll at least get a great yarn out of it!

New Zealanders are renowned for being friendly and welcoming, with an eagerness to share everything kiwi with visitors. All of our locations, partners and guides are hand-picked to provide that unique and authentic New Zealand experience.

You would be hard-pressed to create a similar experience without a huge time investment and insider knowledge; we do all the hard work and tricky logistics for you.

More experiential travel

Small groups offer unparalleled access to incredible natural locations and pocket-sized communities that are otherwise inaccessible for larger groups. Life-enriching opportunities are around every corner with smaller groups, locals tend to mingle more and you have the chance to make new friends. We can guide you in the right direction when it comes to etiquette at culturally sensitive sites.

Photo opportunities abound and with fewer people around, you have more time to get that National Geographic worthy shot. You can't beat the insider knowledge your guides will have on the best place to secure that epic photo on your journey.

If you prefer to have a more considered, personally-tailored experience, then this becomes more feasible on a small group tour. If there is something particular you want to see, taste or do, then our guides will do their best to make it happen (sometimes it is impossible, and we apologise in advance for those occasions). We have catered to requests from skydiving and fly-fishing to tasting famous delicacies like Bluff oysters and hangi (traditional food cooked underground).

With smaller groups, finding more unique accommodation away from the hustle and bustle of the cities is more achievable, such as these three dream places.

Less time waiting around 

Spend less time waiting around for people to get on and off transport or to check in to accommodation. With small groups, you get the chance to spend more time exploring locations than waiting in queues.

We know when to avoid the busy periods, so you can enjoy uninterrupted scenery without the jostling crowds. 

Who should do small group tours?

Solo people, friends or a couple travelling together who want to meet others will find small group tours a great way to meet other individuals with similar interests. Many of our guests meet new travel friends that they go on future adventures with. It is much easier to get to know your fellow travellers in a smaller group, and likewise, if you need a little alone time, it is easier to accomplish in a small group than trying to avoid a busload of people.

Travellers short on time will find that they will cover more ground in less time than if they tried to plan and execute it themselves. If you don't have months to travel and explore or if you are unlikely to return (although we hope you do), then this is a great option to make the most of your time in New Zealand.

If you are wanting a more personalised experience, or are keen to learn as much as you can about New Zealand, then a small group tour is perfect. Smaller groups mean that you can ask many questions and quench that thirst for knowledge. 

If you have 8 to 14 friends who want to go on a tour together then talk to us about the option of a custom trip. With your own private guide and vehicle, the sky is the limit to the amount of fun you can have.  If you are interested in a custom tour with us then Jodi can help you out.

Join the fun that is a small group tour and experience everything New Zealand has to offer. From a short trip around the South Island through to the Whole Nine Yards, we have many brag-worthy experiences on offer. There's no time like now to knock New Zealand off your bucket list.




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