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  • The New Zealand South Island Ecological Touring Holiday

     

     The New Zealand South Island Ecological Touring Holiday

    15 Nights / 16 Days
    Abel Tasman National Park – Kaikoura – Arthur’s Pass –Lake Moeraki – Queenstown – Stewart Island – Milford Sound  
    About this tour
     
    The New Zealand South Island Ecological Touring Holiday is an excellent holiday for those looking to focus their visit in this wild and scenic country by coming face to face with its ecological riches of wildlife and scenery. The South Island is home to New Zealand’s most wild and dramatic scenery, and large swathes of the island remain completely untouched. For this reason, it is now home to an incredible diversity of wildlife, and a generous share of New Zealand’s best scenery. You will see much of its diversity, from the subtropical environment of the Abel Tasman National Park to the maritime Serengeti at Kaikoura. Next you will ascend into a 4,000-acre sheep farm and nature reserve in Arthur’s Pass, and then onto the World Heritage Area of Te Wahipounamu. Finally, you will visit the astonishingly wild and pristine Stewart Island, as well as New Zealand’s most dramatic scenery in Milford Sound, whilst intermittently returning to the country’s outdoor adventure capital – Queenstown.
    Highlights 
    This list includes optional activities possible in the featured locations of the tour, they will entail an additional cost on the base price of the itinerary.
    • Explore true wilderness in the turquoise bays and native forests of the Abel Tasman National Park 
    • Find a ‘maritime Serengeti’ in the rich waters of Kaikoura 
    • Swim with dolphins or come face to face with 60 feet long Sperm Whales 
    • Venture into the start of alpine New Zealand as you ascend to Arthur’s Pass in the Southern Alps 
    • Live like a local on a 4,000-acre sheep farm and nature reserve in the heart of Arthur’s Pass 
    • Find a secluded natural paradise in the heart of Te Wahipounamu, the most south westerly New Zealand World Heritage Area 
    • Lose yourself in the setting as you are surrounded by lakes, rivers, rainforest and sea coast
    • Experience New Zealand’s adventure and outdoors capital in Queenstown
    • Venture to the pristine environment of Stewart Island, New Zealand’s most southerly point 
    • Find an incredibly diverse and rich assemblage of native birdlife as well as fabulous marine life and untouched ecosystems 
    • Embark on a cruise in the world-famous World Heritage Area of Milford Sound 
    • Spot marine life both above and below the waves, as you are surrounded by towering and awe-inspiring scenery 
    Tour description 
    Starting in the wilderness of the Abel Tasman National Park, this tour will take you via the Marlborough Sounds to the ‘maritime Serengeti’ of Kaikoura, home to an extraordinary diversity of marine life. From here, you will make your first alpine ascent to Arthur’s Pass where you will stay on a 4,000-acre sheep farm and nature reserve, before journeying southwest to the pristine World Heritage Area of Te Wahipounamu. Finally, you will visit the astonishingly wild and pristine Stewart Island, as well as New Zealand’s most dramatic scenery in Milford Sound, whilst intermittently returning to the country’s outdoor adventure capital – Queenstown. 
    Our range of accommodation includes everything from luxury boutique hotels, to remote wilderness eco-lodges. Hand-crafted experiences make your bespoke holiday to New Zealand even more special, and a seemingly infinite number of possibilities are available upon request. Please do not hesitate to get in touch and let us know how we can further personalise your once-in-a-lifetime tour through New Zealand.  
    Prices 
    From £5,900 per person to stay in our favourite hotels for introducing yourself to the ecological side of the South Island New Zealand. 
    Please see our hotel lists for more information on what is included in this basic rate. 
    Dates 
    This holiday can be arranged throughout the year. Timings may vary depending on the month and day of the week. 
    What’s Included 
    • Return scheduled flights with British Airways, Air New Zealand, Qantas or Emirates from London to Auckland in economy class.
    • Domestic flights from Auckland to Nelson, and from Queenstown to Auckland, and return flights from Invercargill to Stewart Island. 
    • Transfers and car hire where specified in our itinerary. 
    • Accommodation sharing a double or twin room. Please see our suggested list of hotels for details of base accommodation type. 
    • The meals included with your tour will vary by chosen accommodation. Please see our hotel suggestions for included board basis. 
    What’s not included 
    • Meals and drinks, except as specified in our hotel suggestions. 
    • Optional tours and activities within each location, except where explicitly specified as included in our itinerary, or by hotels in our hotel lists. 
    • Personal expenses. 
    • Insurance.
    • Visa and Passport. 
    You will need a full British passport with at least six months validity. To do not need a Visa for travel to New Zealand as a British Passport will allow the holder a six month stay upon arrival. More details are available from https://www.newzealand.com/uk/visas-and-immigration/

    Day One: Abel Tasman National Park 
    Arriving in Nelson, you are transferred to your luxury accommodation in the Abel Tasman National Park by private chauffeur. Settle into the time zone with the help of your luxury accommodation, and the stunning views in this wild region of New Zealand. 
    Day Two: Abel Tasman National Park 
    Today would be a great day to venture into the true wilderness of the Abel Tasman National Park. Preferably, you could join your own private charter so that you get to see the major sights along the coast and have time for a swim and sunbathe and a picnic lunch on a pretty-much deserted beach. Either way, the Abel Tasman National Park is a mecca for wildlife enthusiasts the world over. Here lush vegetation and hills of native bush cascade into sheltered inlets of turquoise water and idyllic beaches. The Park can only be reached by water or foot, and it is this isolation that makes the Abel Tasman such a special retreat into nature. Birdlife is particularly impressive, and visitors should look out for the flightless Weka, as well as Shags, Little Blue Penguins, Oystercatchers, Fluttering Shear Waters and Fantails. Out on the water, your eyes should be drawn to the New Zealand fur seals, as well as Orca and three different species of dolphin.  
    Day Three: Abel Tasman National Park
    Surrounded by pristine wilderness, the Abel Tasman National Park can provide a serene and private retreat into nature. For this reason, today would be perfect for exploring the park independently, and there are several ways of doing so. For hikers, the Coastal Track is an excellent walkway that can vary from half-day to multi-day routes. Alternatively, you can get out onto the water by sea kayak and paddle through the crystal-clear water to find deserted beaches and subtropical native rainforest. Many sections are sheltered from coastal winds and currents, meaning there are adequate opportunities for first time paddlers, particularly with the help of guided trips offered to novices. 
    Day Four: Kaikoura 
    Today’s drive is particularly pretty as you head along the coast passing Nelson again, and then heading through wooded hills skirting the edge of the Marlborough Sounds near Havelock. Stop here for a fantastic lunch of the local Greenlip mussels before skirting down the wild and rugged eastern seaboard of the South Island. Spot striking beaches, and the friendly faces of sunbathing seals before arriving into Kaikoura for lunch of local crayfish, the delicacy from which this town takes its name. Set between the rugged Seaward Kaikoura Range and the vast Pacific Ocean, this wild place has been made famous by the exceptional marine life found just off the shores. Perhaps today though, explore the wonderful terrestrial environment with scenic tramping on the Kaikoura Coast Track, or take to the air with a scenic flight over this pristine ecosystem. 
    Day Five: Kaikoura  
    Having gazed over the coastline by foot or by air, it is now time to take to the water in order explore the rich biodiversity found below the waves. Kaikoura benefits from a 2km deep canyon lying just offshore where 2 strong sea currents converge drawing a coup of nutrients to the surface. This bounty has resulted in a great conglomeration of wildlife in its waters. Sperm whales are found here in greater numbers than anywhere on earth. They can reach a length of 60 metres making them the world’s largest toothed mammal. Join one of the whale watching boats to get up close and personal with these wonderful creatures. Alternatively, you could choose to swim with the wild dolphins of the region, of which there are many species including Hector’s dolphins – believed to be one of the rarest species of dolphin in the world. It is possible to kayak with inquisitive seals and spot the graceful flight of Albatross. Orcas, Pilot Whales and Southern Right Whales are also frequent visitors to these rich waters.
    Day Six: Arthur’s Pass
    Today an easy drive will take you south to the fringes of the Canterbury Plains that surround Christchurch, and into the start of the Southern Alps. The scenery from the road is some of the best in New Zealand, and postcard images of the South Island will pass by in their dozens, from pastures of grazing sheep to craggy cliffs and distant snow-clad mountain peaks. The vistas reach their crescendo as you approach Arthur’s Pass. Here, settle into your friendly and cosy luxury hotel, and perhaps join one of the walking tours of this alpine environment before tucking into a well-earnt hearty meal. 
    Day Seven: Arthur’s Pass
    With the help of naturalist guides, Arthur’s Pass is a wonderful place to experience the typical New Zealand way of life in the great outdoors. Your accommodation is a 4000-acre merino sheep farm, as well as being a nature reserve. Expert guides will show you some of the highlights of this alpine environment, including guided walks of the McKay Moa Forest and the Beech forest. You can also learn more about sheep farming in this wild environment, and farmer guides can demonstrate traditional blade-shearing, and how sheep dogs work in action. In the evening, observe the stars of the southern sky in this second-to-none setting where clean air and zero light pollution reveal the entirety of the milky way. 
    Day Eight: Te Wahipounamu 
    Today’s drive will take you along the dramatic South Western seaboard of the South Island. On the way you will pass the Fox Glacier and Franz Josef glacier, which would make an ideal stop for breaking up your journey. The adventurous may wish to take part in a guided helicopter hike on the pale blue ice of the Franz Josef glacier, whilst other may wish to indulge in the thermal hot pools of the region. Be sure to keep a look out for the Kea, the West Coast Parrott. Next continue south to your accommodation near Haast at the start of the World Heritage Area of Te Wahipounamu. Settle into your cosy accommodation for the evening by taking a guided stroll to learn about the stars of the southern sky, and to see glow worms lighting up the rainforest. 
    Day Nine: Te Wahipounamu 
    Your accommodation is a wonderful destination for wildlife lovers, positioned invitingly amongst the rainforest, lakes, rivers and coast of the region. Today you can make the most of this situation by taking part in a number of complimentary guided tours. For example, venture into a 1000-year-old rainforest to find orchids, ferns and ancient trees. In the freshwater, learn of the ecology of the region where tiny invertebrates have supported a complex food chain. Here, you can even hand feed the giant eels that call Lake Moeraki home. Getting out to the water is important, and you can join an easy guided tour to spot water birds and trouts in serenity on Lake Moeraki, or even head to the nearby beaches to watch Tawaki, otherwise known as Fiorland Crested Penguins, in their natural habitat.
    Day Ten: Queenstown 
    A scenic drive will take you further south past a number of achingly pretty stops. Enjoy the sights and sounds of Mount Aspiring National Park and Wanaka, before touching the wineries of Otago and passing into Queenstown. Set on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is well known as the outdoor adventure capital of New Zealand, and a staggering infrastructure has now been set up to take visitors out in many weird and wonderful capacities. Today, settle into your private lake-side apartment and revel in the serene alpine surrounds as you enjoy an exclusive location just outside the bustle of the city. 
    Day Eleven: Stewart Island 
    Today, wake early to drive south to Invercargill Airport. From here you will take a small plane to New Zealand’s most southerly outpost, Stewart Island. In 2002, this island was recognised for its pristine ecosystem, and awarded the formation of Raikura National Park, which covers 85% of the island’s 1570 kilometres. Stewart Island is now one of the best places in New Zealand to observe its unique native birdlife. Many sea birds breed here, and land birds such as tui, parakeets, kaka, bellbirds, fernbirds, robins, dotterels abound, as well as the symbol of New Zealand, the incredibly illusive Kiwi. The water is crystal-clear, and marine life, such as the Fiordland Crested Penguin, is found in abundance for anyone braving the chilly waters. On land, spot red and Virginia deer, as well as the introduce brush-tailed possum. Spend the afternoon gently exploring your surroundings before settling into an excellent seafood dinner. 
    Day Twelve: Stewart Island
    Lying in the sheltered bay of the Paterson Inlet, Ulva Island was declared a bird sanctuary in 1922. Its isolated location meant that it was free of predators, and the diversity and abundance of native birdlife is simply staggering. Today you could take trip to this 250-hectare wilderness and surround yourself with the song of tui and bellbirds. Alternatively, you can stay on Stewart Island where numerous trails allow trampers to experience the truly wild nature of Stewart Island. One such walk is even classified as one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, the Rakiura Track. It takes three days to complete, but fortunately shorter walks are available including a three-hour trek from Observation Rock to Ackers Point Lighthouse. The trail will provide excellent views over the Patterson Inlet, as well as the Forveux Strait where a colony of shearwaters and blue penguins can be observed. 
    Day Thirteen: Queenstown
    Wake early to catch your return flight to the South Island. From here you will re-join your 4x4 hire car and drive back to Queenstown. The choice of activities on offer in Queenstown is truly staggering. In the winter, head to the aptly-named Remarkables to find some of the best skiing in the Southern Hemisphere. In the summer, choose from mountain biking, white-water rafting or horse-riding amongst other activities. Many of these opportunities operate year-round, allowing families to acquaint themselves with Fiordland in an adventurous way. Queenstown itself is a beautiful and exciting home from home amidst all the adrenaline. There is a youthful energy available, as well as a palpable air of sophistication for those seeking outstanding hospitality, food and wine.  
    Day Fourteen: Milford Sound
    The grand finale of New Zealand’s world-famous scenery awaits. In the morning, you are picked up by coach transfer and driven south to Milford Sound. As you approach, your anticipation will heighten in parallel with the crescendo of the land height. These stunningly beautiful, sheltered fiords are alive with rich marine life, and a unique variety of endemic flora and fauna. Board your state of the art boat to explore these world-renowned waterways which are fringed by towering peaks of rainforest and cascading waterfalls. The crew will show you some of the most impressive sights, both above and below the water. Seals, dolphins and penguins can be spotted playing in the water, and a Remote Operated Vehicle will help show you the black coral, lobsters and schools of fish that inhabit the unique marine environment. Sea kayaks are available to get off the boat and explore your environment in a more intimate way. Dine under the stars tonight and lose yourself in the majesty of Milford Sound.
    Day Fifteen: Queenstown
    Departing the boat, you will return to Queenstown by coach transfer. On your last full day in New Zealand, make the most of the adventurous capabilities of Queenstown in a way that suits you. In the evening, return to your luxury accommodation and raise a glass to this incredible country. 
    Day Sixteen: Return Home
    Wake to soak up the last of the scenery, before driving being transferred to Queenstown Airport and dropping your hire car. Catch your domestic flight to Auckland and continue onwards to return home. However, this tour can easily form part of a larger trip with Australasia, and therefore you may well today simply re-join the next chapter of your holiday today. 

    The New Zealand South Island Ecological Touring Holiday map

    Our favourite natural retreats
    Abel Tasman National Park
    The Resurgence

    With a welcoming village feel, complete with a green, streams and cottages, this hotel provides a prime position for exploring the best of the Nelson and Abel Tasman region. We include room only for two sharing a 1 Bedroom Cottage with Spa. 
    Kaikoura
    Hapuku Lodge

    With balconies that overlook the farm’s deer grazing in paddocks adjacent the Kaikoura mountains, these rooms offer a refined elegance in the heart of this wild region. We include Dinner and Breakfast and accommodation for two when sharing 1 x Lodge Room.
    Arthur’s Pass
    Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass

    Live like a local on a 4000-acre merino sheep farm and nature reserve in the heart of Southern Alps. Guided ecological walks, kayaking and much more will introduce you to the best of the region. We include Dinner and Breakfast for two when sharing 1 x Mountain View Room.
    Te Wahipounamu 
    Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki
     
    Surrounded by lakes, rivers, rainforests and seacoast in the heart of the World Heritage Area of Te Wahipounamu, this Lodge is a truly cosy retreat that specialises in introducing you to the natural riches of the region. We include Dinner and Breakfast and accommodation for two when sharing 1 x Garden View Room. 
    Queenstown
    Hidden Lodge

    On a secluded hillside juts outside of Queenstown, the Hidden Lodge has been a best kept secret of this adventure capital for years. It promises secluded and private stays in a peaceful location whilst still putting you in the thick of the action for the tourist infrastructure of Queenstown. We include Breakfast and accommodation for two when sharing 1 x Rua Suite. 
    Stewart Island
    Stewart Island Lodge

    This Lodge is a peaceful sanctuary in the pristine environment of Stewart Island. It commands excellent views over Halfmoon Bay and is conveniently located a 5-minute walk from the village centre. Its grounds themselves are home to many native birds including the kaka (native parrots). We include Continental Breakfast and accommodation for two sharing 1 x Lodge Room. 
    Milford Sound 
    Fiordland Discovery
     
    The Fiordland Jewel, operated by Fiordland Discovery, is a state of the art ship designed to maximise your experience of your overnight cruise in the World Heritage Area of Milford Sound. Complete with a Remote Operated Vehicle and impeccable service, it is the ultimate vessel for exploring this unique environment. We include Dinner and Breakfast and accommodation for two sharing 1 x Captain Cook Cabin. 

    An introduction to New Zealand 
    All about New Zealand
     
    New Zealand is a country whose name immediately conjures halcyon images of exploration and adventure, of natural splendour and wholesomeness. Yet for many the magic of New Zealand is considered too far way, and it is all too frequently relegated as an impossible dream for the future. For this reason, any journey to this fabulous country must carefully balance a degree of efficiency in experiencing its astonishingly diverse landscapes, and enough time to really soak up the scenery and culture in each locality. That is to say, the best way to holiday in the mystical enigma of New Zealand is via a bespoke touring itinerary. The majesty of New Zealand’s landscapes overwhelms from the moment of arrival. They change dramatically from locality to locality, along with the climate, and result in a patchwork quilt of achingly pretty vistas, and individualised experiences. From skiing in the aptly named Remarkables in Fiordland, to snorkelling in the crystal-clear waters of the Bay of Islands. From boating into the rich and cetacean infested waters of Kaikoura to discovering the erupting geysers and serene hot pools of Rotorua. Of course, this is a nation that thrives on the outdoors, and a range of activities are possible in New Zealand to match all energy (and adrenaline) levels. Yet in contemporary New Zealand, the thriving cosmopolitan city centres are also important sites of interest in their own right. Here you will find distinct local cultures, and a chic and fashionable ambience that feels sophisticated and refreshingly laid-back simultaneously. Indeed, the incredible rise of New Zealand’s culinary and wine scene, from the vineyards of Marlborough in the South to Hawke’s Bay and Waiheke Island in the North, have only compounded the sense of cultural refinement in this magnificent country. 
    Based upon our experience of travelling around New Zealand, we have put together several suggested itineraries, aimed at doing as much justice to the variety and scale of New Zealand as is possible within a reasonable length of time. These are merely suggestions, and any itinerary created by Expressions Holidays is bespoke and completely tailored to the interests and needs of our clients. 
    The price is upon request and will depend on the exact details of the touring itinerary, and the accommodation chosen at each locality. 
    New Zealand facts 
    Location: New Zealand is a country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean consisting of 2 main islands. It is situated approximately 1,500 km east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly 1,000 km south of the Pacific Islands of New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga. 
    Time difference: Wellington has a time zone of GMT + 12 hours. 
    Language: English
    Population: 4.88 million.
    Size: 268,021 km2, roughly 990 miles from north to south and 250 miles from east to west. 
    Currency: New Zealand Dollars (about 1.88 to the pound) 
    Capital: Wellington, located at the southern tip of the North Island.
    Geography and climate 
    New Zealand enjoys a maritime climate, which explains partly the lush vegetation and rich pastures, but it also makes the weather rather changeable. It is subject to prevailing winds from west to east, although most rain falls in the winter (July to August) and the summer months (December to March) are generally drier. Generally, the southern and western parts of the country are wetter than the northern and eastern parts. On top of this longitude and altitude plays a role, with the northern part of the North Island enjoying a subtropical ‘winter-free’ climate, whereas the South Island is home to sterling ski resorts in the winter months, and glaciers and snow-capped peaks are found year-round.
    Cities and Culture 
    New Zealand is well known as a land of stunning views, wilderness expanses, and pristine ecosystems. Yet it is important to note that modern New Zealand is home to a scintillating array of urban centres, which offer a different appeal to tourists. Here, clients will find a burgeoning food and wine scene, as well as great shopping, inspiring architecture, and refreshingly laid-back and welcoming Kiwi culture. Of interest might be Auckland in the North where a historic feel meets strikingly modern architecture such as the 328-meter Sky Tower. A café culture and a truly nautical feel conspire to create a relaxing base from which to start one’s tour in New Zealand. The capital city of Wellington at the bottom of the North Island has a different feel altogether, situated on a hook-shaped harbour ringed with ranges that wear a cloak of snow in winter. Discover the dramatic scenery, theatrical climate, Victorian architecture and the cosmopolitan centre, as well as wilderness surrounds with bushy hillsides that resonate with native bird song. Finally, famously adventurous Queenstown at the foot of the South Island enjoys a magnificent setting in the mountains of Fiordland, and a culture of outdoor pursuits. 
    Landscape and Coastline 
    Despite New Zealand’s modest size, the variety of landscapes on offer are truly staggering, and pay testament to its volcanic history. In the North Island, a beautiful coastline and lush vegetation in the Northland meet the rolling green pastures of sheep farms and wineries in Hawke’s Bay. Elsewhere in the Central North Island, tourists will find pristine rainforest in Whirinaki, an active volcanic plateau in Rotorua, and vast expanses of Lake and the mountains of the Tongariro Crossing in Taupo. On the South Island, the landscape varies even more dramatically, from the Canterbury Plains that encircle Christchurch to the idyllic waterways of the Marlborough Sounds and Abel Tasman National Park, to the mountainous and glacial environment of the Central South Island and the iconic Fiordland. The coastline throughout New Zealand matches this diversity, and whilst tourist may find themselves snorkelling with tropical fish in the Bay of Islands, they will find cool glacial water in the world-famous Milford Sound, and superb surfing beaches on the Western Coastline of the North Island.
    Wildlife and Ecology
    New Zealand’s isolation as a remote island has resulted in a truly unique set of ecosystems. Many of the species found here are endemic, meaning exclusively found in New Zealand, and their often-inquisitive manner leads to truly once-in-a-lifetime encounters for many visitors. On the North Island, lush vegetation and pristine rainforest have provided a sanctuary for many tropical species, whereas the South Island is made famous primarily for its bird life. On Stewart Island for example, tourists will find an extraordinary abundance of native species including the bell bird, tui, kaka, tomtit, grey warbler, kakariki, and the New Zealand wood pigeon. Also found here is the iconic Stewart Island Brown Kiwi, as well as albatross, and several species of penguin including the Southern Blue Penguin, Yellow-eyed Penguin, Rockhopper Penguin, Fiordland Crested Penguin and Snares Crested Penguin. 
    In terms of the underwater world, New Zealand is perhaps even more special still. On the North Island, clear and warm waters are found, creating an ecosystem where many tropical species, often also found on the Great Barrier Reef, as well as temperate marine life can co-exist in harmony. Poor Knights Island, to the east of the Northland, is a fantastic example of this, and intrepid snorkelers or scuba divers will find soft corals, sponges, vibrant anemones, and kelp forests, as well as sting rays, manta rays, and a myriad of other lifeforms. Another fantastic place to search for incredible marine life is Kaikoura on the East Coast of the North Island. Brimming with dolphins, whales, orcas, seals, albatross and more, these rich waters are often featured in nature documentaries, and they have recently been championed by Sir David Attenborough. Tourists can swim, scuba dive, sail or kayak through the waters in search of a variety of once-in-a-lifetime encounters. 
    Government advice 
    The UK government has an excellent website www.fco.gov.uk which you must use to obtain up-to-date information about worldwide destinations. This site gives details about trouble spots but also general advice about most countries. We advise most strongly that you check notices about your intended destination before you book and travel. 
    Passport and Visas 
    A full British passport is required for travel to New Zealand. Please bear in mind that it is your responsibility to ensure that your passport is valid and still has six months validity before you book your holiday and it can take some time to obtain a new one. Everyone needs his or her own passport so if you are thinking of taking an infant, allow plenty of time to get a passport. Visas are not generally required for travel to New Zealand, although full details should be obtained with the New Zealand authorities. More information is available from https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas
    Health 
    There are no required vaccinations for travel to New Zealand but you should nevertheless always check with your doctor before travelling. A leaflet is available from the Department of Health called ‘Health Advice to Travellers’, by telephoning 0800-555777. If you are suffering from any disability or illness, this should be communicated to us at the time of booking. Please note that pregnant passengers are not accepted by airlines usually after about 28 weeks into the pregnancy. You should check this with us before you make a booking. 
    Insurance 
    It is your own responsibility to ensure that you are adequately insured for your holiday. Please refer to our statement on insurance in our booking conditions. Insurance for the activities you choose to undertake during your holiday is also your own responsibilities. Additional requirements are needed for scuba diving, such as a doctor’s certificate. 
    Security and personal safety 
    When travelling you should take sensible precautions wherever you are and take care of money and personal valuables when passing through crowded and public places and cities in particular. In New Zealand, you should advise your accommodation when you set out on a long walk, drive, or venture into the wilderness. It is sensible to top up with petrol whenever you are about to leave a town for a long rural drive. 
    Wildlife hazards 
    Mosquitoes are a fact of life in the tropics. In fact, it is advisable to take your own anti-mosquito creams and lotions with you. Other insects (large beetles, cockroaches, sand flies etc) and some rodents are also common in tropical places. We cannot prevent these creatures from entering your accommodation. If this is a worry, perhaps a holiday to the tropics is not right for you. Guide books available will give you more advice on wildlife hazards. 
    Getting around 
    Main roads in New Zealand are very good. Some roads are not surfaced, particularly side roads, rural roads and private roads. These often lead to lodge accommodation. 
    What to wear 
    Due to the incredible diversity in climate and landscape, a trip to New Zealand will require a range of clothing. We advise you to check local recommendations. 
    Tipping 
    Tipping is generally expected for many services throughout New Zealand. Around 10 per cent of the bill is sufficient. This does not apply to your hotel stay.

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