Milford Sound

The Fine Print

We like to be very open and transparent about what to expect when you book with us. But if you’re the kind of person that likes to dig deep into the details, you’ll find that here. And if you still cant find what you’re looking for, give us a call. We love to chat!

Booking Conditions

1. Parties and application
The parties to this agreement are:
You (“the guest”, “you” or “your”).
The Real New Zealand Limited, trading as New Zealand Trails (“the company”, “we” or “us”).

By completing the booking form and accepting the following booking conditions, you are agreeing to these conditions on behalf of yourself and all other persons named on the booking and represent that you are authorised to accept these conditions on their behalf. Everyone named on the booking, or if only one person is named, is hereafter referred to as “you”.

We agree to operate the trip or trips booked by you.

2. Payments

2.1 Deposit: A deposit of 15% of your trip, plus 100% of any additional bookings (e.g. pre or post-trip accommodation, or travel insurance if booked through us), is required at the time of booking. This deposit is non-refundable but may be transferrable subject to the change provisions outlined in section 3. In the case your booking is made 90 days or less prior to the scheduled departure date, full payment is due immediately.

2.2 Trip balance: The remaining balance of your trip price and any other additional travel arrangements booked with us is due 90 days prior to your trip’s scheduled departure date. You can choose to make this final payment by credit card (VISA or MasterCard only), with a 2.5% credit card fee, or avoid the credit card fee and pay by bank transfer. For your convenience, we have bank accounts for payment in major currencies (NZD, USD, AUD, GBP, EUR, CAD), which you can pay into by making a local bank payment. Closer to the final payment due date we will send you further information on these payment methods. Should this final payment fail to reach us by the date specified, we reserve the right to treat your booking as cancelled by you.

2.3 Agent bookings: If you choose to make your booking through a travel agent we will address all communication regarding your booking, payments, and the trip, to the agent. Monies paid by you to your travel agent are not considered received by us until such monies are received by us.

3. Changes after booking

3.1 Changes by you
We understand that sometimes even the best-made plans need to change. We’ll do our best to accommodate any alterations, but are sometimes limited due to availability on trips and operational requirements.

For ALL booking changes requested by you:
You must give us at least 90 days written notice before the departure date of your trip if you wish to make any changes to your booking (date, trip, or participants). Requests received less than 90 days prior to departure will be considered a cancellation by you, and our standard cancellation conditions will apply.

You may change your booking date, trip or participants, once without any fees. After your first change, any subsequent changes will incur a fee of NZD200/person, which is payable before your change will be confirmed by us.

The price for your new booking will be the current advertised price applicable at the time we confirm your change request and any deposit or trip payments made previously will be applied against the new booking.

Our standard booking conditions in effect at the time your change request is confirmed by us will apply to your new booking. Your request to change your booking is your acceptance that those booking conditions will apply to your new booking.

Change of departure date or trip
To change your departure date or trip, you must make your request to us in writing. The date that we receive your written request will determine if cancellation fees are applicable.
If you don’t have a new preferred date, or we don’t have availability on your preferred departure, we will hold your deposit pending your election of a new and available travel date.

Change of participants
If you or someone in your travelling party can no longer participate, you can transfer any deposit paid to another person, not already in your travelling party, subject to them agreeing to be bound by our booking terms and conditions in effect at the time of the change.

3.2 Changes by us

The nature of our trips and travelling in the outdoors means that itineraries are subject to change and should be treated as indicative only. We reserve the right to amend itineraries before or during any trip. This is sometimes necessary due to the nature of the New Zealand great outdoors and weather events, for example. Some trips are dependent on external suppliers for some activities, and the cancellation or substitution of any given activity does not give rise to a breach of contract and is not considered a cancellation by us.

During busy times we may operate simultaneous trips by having trips running in opposite directions to what is stated in our published itineraries. In all cases reverse trips follow the standard itinerary, with the same inclusions, but in a backwards direction.

4. Cancellations

4.1 Cancellations by you
If you need to cancel your booking you can do that at any time. Your request must be in writing and is effective from the date of receipt by us, that date determining any cancellation charges applicable.
Cancellation charges are as follows:

90 days or more notice before trip departure: loss of deposit, or transfer to a future departure date should you elect to change your booking in place of cancellation (subject to change provisions outlined in section 3).
89-60 days notice before trip departure: 50% of the amount paid, or your deposit (whichever is greater).
59 days or less notice before trip departure, or after scheduled departure: 100%.

If you are unable for any reason to start your trip this will be considered a cancellation by you.

No refunds will be provided in the event of voluntary or involuntary early departure from a trip, or for missed or unused services including, but not limited to, accommodation, activities and meals.

4.2 Cancellations by us
Very rarely when the minimum number of bookings required to run a trip is not met, or for operational reasons, we may have to cancel a trip. Please enquire at the time of booking as to whether your trip is confirmed to depart.
If we have to cancel your trip before the date of departure, you will have the choice of taking an alternative trip, or receiving a full refund of monies paid to us.

We are not responsible for any incidental expenses that you may have incurred as a result of the cancellation of your trip booking, including but not limited to: visas, vaccinations, travel insurance excess or non-refundable flights. We strongly encourage you to ensure your travel insurance covers these things.

In the unlikely event that we become unable to provide a significant proportion of the trip after the trip has started, we will make alternative arrangements for you at no extra charge. Or, if this is impossible, we will provide you with transport back to your point of trip departure and provide a pro-rata refund for the cost of the remainder of your trip, less any unrecoverable expenses we have incurred.

4.3 Cancellation by Force Majeure
Force majeure is unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, examples of which are: war or threat of war, riots, civil strife, terrorist activity, industrial disputes, natural or nuclear disaster, fire or adverse weather conditions, level of water in rivers or other similar events beyond our control.

If we have to cancel your trip before the date of departure due to Force Majeure, you will be entitled to transfer to a future trip, or we can hold your trip payments as a credit towards a future booking.

5. Special requests
If you have special requests, such as dietary needs, you should inform us of such requests as soon as possible and not less than 30 days prior to your trip departure. We will advise any relevant suppliers of your requirements, but we cannot guarantee that such requests will be met. Furthermore, we have no liability to you if such requests are not met. Failure to satisfy a special request will not be a breach of contract.

6. Whole agreement
This agreement represents your entire agreement with us. It supersedes any previous agreements, whether made orally or in writing and operates as a legally binding contract. No variation of these conditions may be made unless this is done in writing by a director of the company.

You agree that this contract does not transfer any rights or legal redress to a third party, except you as a participant.

If any part of this agreement is deemed invalid or impossible to implement according to the law, that part will not impact the validity of the balance of the terms, which must then be read without the offending clause.

7. Jurisdiction and governing law
The parties agree that this contract and any dispute arising from it shall be exclusively determined in accordance with New Zealand law in the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of New Zealand.

8. Participant agreement
It is a condition of this agreement that every person on the trip must individually confirm their acceptance of this participant agreement prior to joining the trip.

In consideration of the right to participate in the trip, you agree to the following.

8.1 Risk
The safety of guests and guides is our number one priority, and we have a robust and independently reviewed Safety Management System to manage risks, dangers and hazards on our trips. As our trips operate in the outdoors, they do include an inherent element of risk, along with potential exposure to dangers and hazards. Those risks, dangers and hazards include, but are not limited to: slips, falls, varied terrain, changing weather conditions, physical and mental fatigue, acts or omissions of the public or other participants, accident, or illness in remote areas without the possibility of immediate evacuation or availability of medical suppliers or facilities, natural events such as earthquake, avalanche, or landslides, and accidents during travel on the trip, including travel in vehicles, boats and aircraft operated by us or third parties. Encountering these risks, dangers and hazards could result in physical or mental injuries, damage to personal property, or death. You understand that it is impossible for us to list in this agreement every possible inherent risk, danger or hazard, but you understand and accept you may encounter these and any other inherent risks, dangers, and hazards not specifically listed in this agreement at any time.

8.2 Assumption of risk & liability waiver
Your voluntary participation in the trip implies your understanding, acceptance and assumption of all the inherent risks, dangers and hazards associated with your participation, whether known or unknown, including those specified. You acknowledge that you are participating with the knowledge of the dangers involved, and that you are voluntarily assuming those risks, dangers and hazards.

You agree to waive any claim against the company and its owners, directors, employees, and subcontractors, to the fullest extent permissible by law, arising out of personal injury, harm, or any loss whatsoever during your trip, and to bind your successors and representatives by this waiver. You enter this release of liability on behalf of yourself and any members of your travelling party that are under 18, certifying you are the parent or legal guardian of any such minors.

Considering this: While our guides are all thoroughly trained and subject to independently reviewed safety procedures, ultimately, you are responsible for your own health and safety.

Your guides may give important safety and other instructions from time to time. These are required (for example) to ensure the safety of participants, preservation of the environment, and enjoyment of the experience by all. You agree to listen to and follow those instructions, and accept that the decision of our guides regarding activities and your participation will be final.

You warrant that you are in good health, with a suitable level of fitness to participate in the trips you are booking. Any medical conditions that may impact your safety, or the safety of other participants on the trip, must be disclosed. You agree that you will not participate in activities if you are feeling unwell while on the trip.

8.3 Consent to first aid
In the unlikely event that you require first aid while on the trip, you consent to your guide or any other person administering first aid to you and any minors travelling with you. You agree to release, indemnify and hold harmless the company, its directors, employees and subcontractors from any claims for damages that may arise from the provision of first aid.

8.4 Travel delays/missed departure
For the start of your trip to run smoothly, you will need to be at the trip departure location for an on-time departure. It is not possible in most cases to delay a trip departure time due to delayed guests. If you miss the scheduled departure of your trip due to flight or other delays, we are happy to help with travel arrangements so you can meet up with the trip at the earliest practical time, but these additional travel arrangements will be at your cost. Please ensure your travel insurance covers travel delays.

8.5 Travel documents
It is your sole responsibility to make sure that you have all necessary travel documents (e.g. passports, visas, transit visas, etc), and meet any government health requirements for your entire journey. Any information or advice given by us on visas, vaccinations, climate, clothing, equipment, baggage, etc. is given in good faith. The company is not liable for any disruption to your travel plans or any associated costs incurred as a result of your failing to have the correct travel documents.

8.6 Travel Insurance
We strongly encourage you to ensure you are covered by comprehensive travel insurance. This insurance should cover personal accident, medical expenses, and repatriation costs, loss of effects and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage, injury, delay, cancellation or inconvenience, or the inability to join your trip for any reason. You agree it is your sole responsibility to ensure your travel insurance cover is adequate for your circumstances.

8.7 Use of imagery and reviews
We love sharing stories of our trips, and are grateful for the use of trip images and feedback to do that.
We reserve the right to use any photographic or video images of guests on our trips or any written reviews for promotional purposes. This may include but is not limited to images used online, in printed material or events. You agree that we may use these images, videos and reviews for business purposes without payment or other consideration.

8.8 Withdrawal of services
We reserve the right to withdraw services and remove from a trip any person causing risk to themselves or the environment, negatively impacting others’ enjoyment of their trip, not complying with laws, customs, or drug regulations, or failing to follow reasonable safety instructions from our guides or subcontractors. If this occurs, you agree that you will not be entitled to a refund of any sort and that you will be fully responsible for your travel arrangements from the point of expulsion.

8.9 Complaints
We want your trip to be everything you thought it would be. If you have any issues or complaints during your trip, you agree to raise them at the time with your guides, as almost all matters can be easily sorted out for you on the spot. We will try our best to resolve any issues, and the sooner we know about them the faster and more easily a solution can be found.

In the unlikely event things can’t be resolved while on your trip, we have a robust complaints procedure and ask that you let us know of your issue within 14 days of the incident, in order to trigger an investigation into the complaint and for us to do our best to find a solution.