New Zealand self drive tour, 23 days

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Following New Zealandís lead, we want to offer environmentally sustainable tours that care for land, sea and nature, Ďtreading lightly and leaving no traceí. We believe when we travel, we have a responsibility to ensure the countries we visit are left in the same or better state than we found them and aim to share the principles set out by the country, and support businesses that have an environmental and social commitment.

By not taking any internal flights, and using locally owned transport, this Grand Tour allows you to explore the natural wonders of New Zealand by road, train, boat and on foot, to experience the countryís stunning landscape and local heritage first-hand and at your own leisure.

For this self-drive holiday, we have chosen a hire car company in line with the principles we believe in, also supporting the Tiaki promise. This tour can be priced with any of the rental cars available, and if you want to go the extra eco-mile, there's an option to upgrade to a hybrid vehicle.

New Zealand is abundant with beautiful National Parks which are protected to preserve native wildlife and plant species, and this Grand Tour encompass many of its largest and most awe-inspiring National Parks including Mount Cook, Mt Aspiring, and Milford Sound and Fjiordland. The Department of Conservation manages these parks, running programmes to restore species and heritage, and provide opportunities for people to engage with nature. They also manage threats to places and species, including fire, biosecurity and climate change, and offer education on environmental issues and how to travel responsibly through many of its Visitor Centres within its National Parks. One of which featured in this tour is Waipoua Forest and Arataki Visitor Information Centre situated in Waitakere Ranges Regional Park.

We urge our clients to follow their guidelines for the protection of New Zealandís national parks, wildlife and marine mammals. Through DOC we can offer a wealth of information including maps, policies, alerts, weather, track information, safety outdoors, litter guidelines, wildlife protection, and care codes. And any money for entrance fees and DOC guides mean we are supporting the ongoing conservation efforts on research and development ideas, and summer scholarship projects, and native species-specific protection programmes.

Other wildlife opportunities on this tour are focussed on conservation of species, such as Kaikoura Marine & Wildlife Reserve giving protection around the Kaikoura coast. And the Otago Peninsula, a protected area and home to an abundance marine wildlife, including The Royal Albatross, the endangered Yellow Eyed Penguin and the Blue Penguins.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

New Zealand is pioneering in recognising its native people and traditions and the Maori cultural heritage is an integral part of New Zealand. We also want to celebrate the traditions of the Maori people, by giving you the opportunity to visit and learn about their culture on this tour with recommendations of craft markets, heritage centres and Maori cultural performances. This allows you to contribute to the Maori way of life, with all activity fees going directly to support the local Maori community.

In 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi between Maori and the Crown was signed guaranteeing Maori full possession of their land. We want to recognise the importance of this treaty and show the history of the Maori people on our tours, where possible offering our clients the opportunity to learn about the spiritual heritage of the people, such as visiting the heritage listed buildings and grounds of the Waitangi Treaty House in the Bay of Islands, taking part in Maori cultural performances in Rotorua, with an evening with at the Mitai Maori Village to get an introduction to the indigenous Maori culture.

We recognise the importance of supporting local cultures through tourism, and are proud to use local companies on the ground which give jobs to people in the area, maintaining the heritage and localised knowledge, as well as supporting families. By using locally owned and operated accommodation, local expert guides, and local producers we can ensure this happens. We also support the Department of Conservation National Parks which provide employment across the country in conservation, research and tourism.

In this self-drive itinerary we recommend stop-offs along the way to eat at locally owned cafes and restaurants and go to local shops. These hidden gems give you the real taste of Kiwi culture, whilst also brining tourism to small local businesses.

Climate

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