New Zealand vacation, small group
US $5850ToUS $5990 excluding flights
Description of New Zealand vacation, small group
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As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) vacation so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetThis active adventure across New Zealand's North and South islands aims to see the best the country has to offer, by road, sea, on foot and by train! By not taking any flights, using local vehicles, walking and taking the ferry between the north and south island this allows you to see much more of this beautiful country.
We aim to minimise our impact on the environment through our tour operation and this is key on a trip such as this where we have come to enjoy the natural wonders of New Zealand. We and our suppliers work to the strict environmental guidelines laid out in our Responsible Tourism policy, governing how we observe wildlife, deal with waste and operate walks to minimise our impacts in the fragile national parks we are visiting. All leaders are trained in responsible tourism matters too and brief our groups on how they can mimimise their own impacts, avoid disturbing wildlife and foster a respect for the culture of indigenous communities.
As tap water is safe to drink in New Zealand, we urge you to take a water bottle to fill up, rather than generating plastic bottle waste.
In Napier we generally use the Scenic Te Pania hotel which has comprehensive environmental initiatives. All toiletries are made in New Zealand and contained in recyclable cloth ‘take home’bags. They also station double recycling bins strategically for guest use in the hotel. Aswell as beach cleaning initiatives this is the type of hotel that we like to use on our trips.
As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. CoolEarth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.
PeopleOur tour leaders for this trip are New Zealanders and this enables us to get a deeper insight into the history, culture and wildlife of the region. We believe that learning about the place you are traveling to is very important when traveling and greatly contributes to your enjoyment of the trip.
One of the focus’ of this trip is the traditions and culture of the Maori. We visit Te Papa Tongarewa National Museum in Wellington to learn about their heritage and way of life and experience a traditional ‘hangi’ dinner in Rotorua. These excursions allow you to contribute both financially and culturally to the Maori way of life with all activity fees going directly to support the local Maori community. As an example the Te Papa Museum is strongly involved with the repatriation of koiwi and koimi tangata(Maori and Moriori skeletal remains) from international institutions, which is very important in the culture.
Ensuring that local people benefit from tourism is core to our philosophy and relevant to all countries, regardless of the level of development. We use locally owned transport and hotels and try to spread our custom to a variety of local restaurants which is also a great way to taste a variety of different local specialities and support small businesses. It’s not just good for the local communities; we believe you get a better experience as a result.
In reality this means that we take you to eat and shop in local establishments. This may mean eating fish and chips on the coast at Tairua or visiting the local craft shops and galleries in Kaikoura. We also provide lunch prepared aboard a boat that is built along the lines of the old trading scows that plied the waters of Milford Sound in yester year.
In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our UK Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.