New Zealand walking holiday, small group
Description of New Zealand walking holiday, small group
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Small group tour:
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. Those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetOn this trip we travel overland to enjoy the natural wonders of New Zealand. 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 and reduce our carbon footprint.
The 13 National Parks in New Zealand receive thousands of visitors each year and good administration and management is essential in order to minimise the impact on the fragile areas we are visiting. We ensure that our walks only follow marked official trails and actively encourage clients to carry all waste out of parks and not to pick flowers or disturb the natural resources.
The tap water is both safe to drink and very clean in New Zealand and we encourage clients to take a water bottle to fill up, rather than generating plastic bottle waste – the water taste even better taken straight from the springs which we pass during the walks!
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.
PeopleOne of the focuses 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 live 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.
We use locally owned and managed accommodation where possible. Our hotel in Picton is owned by 2 locals who have a passion for the running of their hotel and very knowledgeable of the local area and walking trails.
On this trip we generally provide breakfast so our guests have the opportunity and are recommended to eat in local restaurants or eateries. Where we provide lunch in Milford Sound it is prepared aboard your boat and the included dinner is the ‘hangi’ dinner, which supports the local Maori customs and culture.
Our 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. They are trained in how to actively promote responsible tourism and brief our groups on how they can minimise their own impacts, avoid disturbing wildlife and travel with respect for the cultural significance of indigenous communities.
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 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.
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