New Zealand holidays, tailor made

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor-made and departures can be arranged all year. The sample itinerary below can be modified to your personal wishes including departure date, duration, accommodation used & how long you spend in each destination.
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: New Zealand holidays, tailor made

Green Globe 21: Several of the properties and excursions mentioned in this itinerary are members of Green Globe 21, the worldwide benchmarking and certification programme which facilitates sustainable travel and tourism for consumers, companies and communities. It is based on Agenda 21 and Principles for Sustainable Development endorsed by 182 governments at the United Nations Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992.

Accommodation: In general, New Zealand is a very environmentally friendly country, but certain properties have excelled in their eco-friendly approach. The Summer House in Kerikeri is the first B&B in the world to be Green Globe 21 benchmarked, and Rod, the owner, will happily take you on en eco-tour of the region. Their attention to conservation attracts 27 bird species to their gardens.

Wilderness Lodge in Arthur's Pass was specifically set up to show that ecotourism can contribute to the economy and also protect the environment through nature conservation. Lodge owner Dr Gerry McSweeney is currently the National President of the National Forest and Bird Protection Society, and he and his naturalist guides can take you on guided tours of the farm, the mountains and the forest.

New Zealand excels in its small, family-run bed and breakfast properties, where visitors experience true kiwi hospitality as well as often learning more about the area they are staying in and meeting the people who live there. This itinerary includes a variety of such properties, many of which are buildings of historic interest and are in stunning locations, a wonderful contrast to the impersonal, international hotel chains.

Excursions: No trip to New Zealand is complete without observing the fantastic array of wildlife which is found in every region. By carefully choosing which operators we recommend, visitors to New Zealand can get up close to the wildlife in its natural environment without causing any disturbance.

Ruggedy Range Wilderness Experience on Stewart Island is wholly owned and operated by familes from Stewart Island, and part of the revenue supports local conservation programmes. They are currently applying for Green Globe certification.

Whale Watch Kaikoura is a Maori-owned enterprise, hugely proud of their commitment to education and their affiliations with international organisations involved in the research of marine life in the Kaikoura Trench. Not only do their trips offer breathtaking views of the Sperm Whales in their natural habitat, but will also often include encounters with fur seals, dolphins, and a host of offshore birds. On-board naturalists offer a wealth of information about both the wildlife and the local Maori history and culture.

Myths and Legends in the Marlborough Sounds is a very small operation, run by a local family from their 75 year old Kauri planked launch. Pete's family have lived in the Marlborough Sounds for six generations, and since the destruction caused by the introduction of ferry routes to the Sounds, he has founded a very successful environmental watchdog group called the "Guardians of the Sounds". His wife, Takutai, is Maori, and together with Tane, their son, they run their ecotours to suit the preferences of the small groups they take on board. All excursions recommended in our itineraries focus on small groups, lead by operators whose policies respect the environments into which they take visitors, leaving as little impact as possible.

Local Culture: The Maori heritage is an inherent part of New Zealand life, and there are countless opportunities to experience Maori traditions, crafts, food and dance. Te Puia in Rotorua is an excellent place to learn more about all facets of Maori life. It is a working Arts and Crafts Institute, founded by the government in recognition of the real threat to the indigenous race of New Zealand and the need to encourage, foster, train students, exhibit works and restore the Maori culture and Maori arts and crafts. As well as this, it is a centre for Maori cultural performances, and is built next to an area of great thermal activity steeped in Maori myths. Local guides offer an insight into the lives of the local people, their activities and their land.

Smaller operators such as Mitai, who invite visitors to come and experience formal Maori ceremonies followed by feasting and entertainment, support local tribes and allow visitors an insight into these traditions in a more authentic and personal environment.

No trip to New Zealand is complete without observing the fantastic array of wildlife which is found in every region. By carefully choosing which operators we recommend, visitors to New Zealand can get up close to the wildlife in its natural environment without causing any disturbance.

Ruggedy Range Wilderness Experience on Stewart Island is wholly owned and operated by familes from Stewart Island, and part of the revenue supports local conservation programmes. They are currently applying for Green Globe certification.

Wilderness Lodge in Arthur's Pass was specifically set up to show that ecotourism can contribute to the economy and also protect the environment through nature conservation. Lodge owner Dr Gerry McSweeney is currently the National President of the National Forest and Bird Protection Society, and he and his naturalist guides can take you on guided tours of the farm, the mountains and the forest.

Reviews of New Zealand holidays, tailor made

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 14 Apr 2006 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


We had a wonderful holiday. Loved New Zealand, what is there not to like? Beautiful countryside, lovely people, lots to do and a nation that is responsible in maintaining the environment. Hard to pick most memorable....both my husband and I did a 2 day horse trek and we had a ball. Then landing on a glacier in a ski plane was awesome. Can't overlook the wonderful people we met everywhere, they made the trip! My personal favorite place was Arthur's Pass at the Wilderness Lodge. Just the view and tranquility was enough, add the staff and the freedom to hike and explore at leisure and it was paradise.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


There is never enough time! We went for 19 days and needed another week. If you do not plan on another trip back then go longer. The company booked our trip and did an excellent job. Not hard to do yourself either but certainly was easy doing it through them.

3. Do you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?
We stayed at B&B's which are abundant in NZ. Staying with people who live there gives one an opportunity to see and visit without the impact and clutter of hotels and such. People share where to go and what to do. Most of the places we stayed directed you to local people and places… New Zealanders love their country and enjoy sharing.

4. Any other comments?


How many stars can I give.....it was wonderful. Close to perfect, how about a 10 star.

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