22 Day New Zealand Explorer Northbound Trip Notes

This New Zealand tour takes in the best of both the North and South islands. Visit attractions like Mt Ruapehu and Rotorua, plus Auckland, Wellington, Franz Josef, Queenstown and more.

    • 22
    • PTOAC
    • Total price tool tip
      USD $3,265
      CAD $3,480
      AUD $3,620
      EUR €2,510
      GBP £2,160
      NZD $4,280
      ZAR R32,860
      CHF FR3,090
      *
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    • Basix
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Last Modified: 02 Jul 2014
22 Day New Zealand Explorer Northbound
Trip code: PTOAC
Validity: 01 Apr 2014 to 31 Mar 2015
From sprawling glaciers, snow-capped mountains and spectacular fjords on the South Island to the secluded beaches, volcanic craters and cosmopolitan cities of the North Island, this three-week NZ tour has it all - Franz Joseph Glacier, Milford Sound, Kaikoura, Mt Ruapehu, the Bay of Islands are just some of the highlights. This trip is packed with adrenaline activities for those with an adventurous streak, such as sea kayaking, snorkelling, blackwater rafting, bungee jumping, jet boating, mountain biking and kayaking. Or for travellers after a slower pace, walking trails, picture-postcard scenery, galleries, shops and restaurants are all on the cards. With a perfect combination of sights and activities, this New Zealand Explorer trip has something for everyone.
Table of Contents
StyleImportant notesFinish point description
MapGroup sizeFinish point instructions
ItineraryYour fellow travellersEmergency contact
Also available to purchaseSingle travellersEmergency funds
We also recommendAccommodationVisas
Itinerary disclaimerMeals introductionIssues on your trip
Culture shock rating MealsWhat to take
Physical ratingTransportHealth
Included activitiesGroup leaderSafety
Optional activitiesJoining point Travel insurance
Money ExchangeJoining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Spending moneyJoining point instructionsA couple of rules
TippingArrival complicationsThe Intrepid Foundation
Departure taxFinish point Feedback
To save you money and the hassle of booking multiple trips, this journey is a combination of some of our most popular adventures so your leader and the composition of your group may change.
Style
Basix
  • The best value journeys on the planet! On a Basix trip you can expect amazing experiences, but none of the inclusions that you may not want. Which means budget (1-2 star) accommodation, plenty of free time, activities that are optional and the freedom to choose meals to suit your budget. On some trips you may be camping and required to set up your own tent. You'll also have access to a group leader to offer advice and help you uncover the region's hidden gems. On a Basix journey, the way you travel is all a part of the adventure. Depending on the destination and the itinerary, you could find yourself travelling on anything from a donkey to a bus or a private safari vehicle. These trips are ideal for first-time travellers seeking fun and independence with the support of a group leader. They're also ideal for independent travellers looking to make the most of their travel time with minimum hassle and maximum experiences.
Map
22 Day New Zealand Explorer Northbound
Itinerary
Day 1 Christchurch
Kia-ora! Welcome to New Zealand
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6.30PM on Day 1.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Soak up the atmosphere, a city that Lonely Planet described as "re-emerging as one of New Zealand's most exciting". With a whole new range of pop up cafe's, restaurants and bars, Christchurch has hit the ground running. Its a great chance to spend a dew days exploring this resilient city. With the CBD closed down, visit the 'Re:Start' development on the fringe of the CBD, a shopping and entertainment area of shipping containers, boasting great coffee, shopping and food.
Accommodation
Hostel (1 nt)
Day 2 Punakaiki
We depart Christchurch early in the morning and head over the fertile Canterbury Plains heading for the mountains. We leave the dry East Coast and cross the dividing range to go down to the lush, green and moist West Coast. The countryside changes radically as great deep blue rivers spring from the steep mountainsides. (B)
Accommodation
Hostel (1 nt)
Days 3-4 Franz Josef Glacier
The drive down the coast today is beautiful. We have several cultural activity options before leaving for Franz Josef Glacier along the coast of forests, lakes and hidden beaches. We pull in to Franz Josef in the evening and prepare for tomorrow's activities.
The following day we have many options. There are spectacular flights available in either a helicopter or a ski-plane. The flights offer unequalled views of the mountains, valleys and glaciers and there is the option of a snow landing depending on the trip you pick. There are also guided walks onto the glacier and excellent light hikes available in the valley.
Optional Activities
  • Glacier Flights - NZD390
  • Glacier Hike - NZD195
Accommodation
Hostel (2 nts)
Days 5-8 Queenstown
We drive the remainder of the west coast and climb up through the Haast Pass into the Southern Alps. This is a stunning drive with fantastic views of the mountains, rivers and lakes. Lots of great stops to take photos today. Tonight we arrive in Queenstown for three full days of fun and activities.
Over the three full days you have here there is the chance to see and experience a place that is widely acknowledged as being the extreme activity capital of the world. There is simply no end to the fantastic line up of optional activities including bungy-jumping, mountain biking, kayaking, rafting, helicopter rides, jet boating and paragliding. There is also a huge variety of shops, restaurants and fun things to see in town. On our first day in Queenstown we will do a tour of the area in the bus to orient you around Queenstown and to show you the outer areas such as Arrowtown, a quaint old gold mining town with lots of history. After that you have two days free to enjoy the area and do your own thing. Queenstown and its surrounds are an unforgettable and very special part of the world.
Included Activities
  • Queenstown - Skyline Gondola
Optional Activities
  • Bungy Jumping - NZD260
  • Jet boating - NZD250
  • River Rafting - NZD200
  • Paragliding NZ - NZD195
  • Winter Ski Pass - NZD85
  • Mountain Biking Tours - NZD170
Accommodation
Hostel (4 nts)
Day 9 Doubtful Sound
We drive through to Doubtful Sound to go aboard your overnight cruise boat for a fantastic trip through the fjords. This place is stunning with tall mountain peaks, waterfalls, and is one of the most spectacular places in the country. Tonight we sleep in four berth cabins aboard the ship.
Accommodation
Doubtful Sound Overnight Boat Cruise (4 berth cabins) (1 nt)
Day 10 Mt Cook
After returning to dry land we drive up to the foot of New Zealand's highest peak, Mt Cook. The drive is over expansive high country farmland with views of the Alps, rivers and lakes. We spend the night in Mt Cook National Park.
Accommodation
Hostel (1 nt)
Day 11 Christchurch
This morning at Mt Cook we hope to catch a view of this spectacular mountain and hike some of the lower trails. There are wonderful lake views and photo opportunities galore. From here we continue back to Christchurch by early evening.
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
Accommodation
Hostel (1 nt)
Day 12 Kaikoura
We depart Christchurch around 7.30 in the morning and we head up the beautiful coastline to Kaikoura where many adventures await us. Take a boat trip out to see the whales. Experience being close to some of the largest creatures in the world. For those who wish there are plane or helicopter flights to view the whales. Kaikoura is famous for its seafood and marine life with much to see and do.
Accommodation
Hostel (1 nt)
Days 13-14 Nelson
Today our destination is Nelson, in the heart of the wine producing area. It is a very pleasant sunny place and home to some of the most beautiful sea kayaking in the world. We spend the afternoon exploring the town.
We have a huge variety of activities to choose from including kayaking, boating, sailing in the Abel Tasman National Park, mountain biking or just relaxing in town or on the beach. Nelson is very picturesque and is a delight to visit.
Optional Activities
  • Kayak Tour - NZD200
Accommodation
Hostel (2 nts)
Day 15 Wellington
We cross to the north island on the inter island ferry and enjoy the fantastic scenery of the Marlborough Sound. We arrive in the afternoon and have a great opportunity for a night out in the capital city.
Included Activities
  • Wellington - Te Papa Museum
Accommodation
Hostel (1 nt)
Days 16-17 Mt Ruapehu
We leave Wellington after visiting the fantastic Te Papa museum. We head through the central North Island plains towards the great volcanoes & Mount Ruapehu National Park.
There are several options during our time here. Many will want to hike the famous Tongariro Crossing track. A good day hike which is known as the best of its kind in New Zealand. This hike has spectacular views of the volcanic plateau and the lakes. Those who do not go on the hike can explore the beautiful local area.
Optional Activities
  • Tongariro Crossing - NZD35
Accommodation
Hostel (2 nts)
Day 18 Taupo/Rotorua
We head to Taupo, just one hour away which is widely acknowledged as the North Island's home of extreme sports. On the way we visit the spectacular Huka Falls. Here you can bungy-jump or ride in a jet boat, as well as do many other activities. Or how about just relaxing by the shores of the largest lake in New Zealand? The sights are fantastic and this will be one of your highlights.
We visit the Whakarewarewa, site of the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and thermal area in Rotorua. See geysers and boiling mud pools in an amazing display of the power of nature. There is an option for a Maori Hangi dinner and concert.
Included Activities
  • Rotorua - Te Puia Maori Art & Cultural Centre
Optional Activities
  • Bungy Jumping - NZD260
  • Jet Boating - NZD250
  • Maori Cultural Evening - NZD95
  • Mountain Biking - NZD60
  • River Rafting - NZD200
  • Thermal Baths - NZD35
Accommodation
Hostel (1 nt)
Day 19 Waitomo
Today we have some great choices. You can do the boat trip and walk through the glow worm caves or go black water rafting. This is an unforgettable trip involving hiking and descending an underground river floating on an inner tube.
Included Activities
  • Waitomo - Caves Entrance
Optional Activities
  • Black Water Rafting - NZD75
Accommodation
Hostel (1 nt)
Days 20-21 Waitomo/Bay of Islands
We leave Waitomo and drive north through fantastic scenery towards New Zealand's winterless north. There are beautiful beaches and unspoiled places to explore. The next day we have a host of available activities including kayaking, a boat trip to the islands or just relaxing Visit the village of Russell for a look into NZ´s past.
Accommodation
Hostel (2 nts)
Day 22 Auckland
We make our way back South passing unspoiled beaches and lush forests. There are native trees of massive size that are over 1000 years old. This area has always been prized for its fantastic native hardwood timbers that are fortunately protected nowadays. Crossing the Auckland Harbour Bridge, with a spectacular view of the "City of Sails", we arrive in Auckland to say our fond farewells.
Our trip finishes on arrival to Auckland at approx 6PM. Please take this into consideration when booking any onward flights.
Optional Activities
  • Skytower, Auckland - NZD30
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
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      Itinerary disclaimer
      Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
      Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
      Culture shock rating

      At times local life here will be familiar to that of back home, and at times very different. Services are available most of the time, English may not be the native language, and there may be some cultural differences.
      Physical rating

      This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.
      Included activities
      Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
      Please note that some of our included activities are contingent on weather conditions. We'll arrange an alternative if an included activity is deemed unsafe.
      Optional activities
      A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
      Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
      Money Exchange
      The currency of New Zealand is the New Zealand dollar (NZD). US$1 = NZ$1.15 (rate current for August 2011). For the latest exchange rate refer to www.oanda.com or check at your local bank or in the newspaper prior to travel.
      The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). This allows you to draw funds from your personal account at a superior exchange rate. Most ATMs will also give you a cash advance on your credit card but be wary of high fees imposed by banks for this service. Bank fees for these withdrawals can be either a flat rate or a percentage of the amount withdrawn. Check with your bank for information on their international fees. There are ATMs (which accept both Visa and MasterCard) throughout the main stops on our itinerary and these are also accepted by the majority of local service providers. When leaving home don't forget your PIN number and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen.
      It is a smart idea to take some of your money in travellers' cheques of a major brand in a major currency ($US, GBP, $AUD and EURO are all fine). Travellers' cheques have security advantages although please be aware that the exchange rates may not be favourable and that it is difficult to change travellers' cheques in remote locations, on weekends and public holidays.
      Spending money
      Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
      Tipping
      In New Zealand, tipping is not expected but for certain things you may wish to for good service. As a guide, tipping applies when you sit down in a restaurant for a meal (10% is a general rule). You may also like to tip for exceptional service such as when we use local guides. When using taxis or buying drinks at a bar, rounding up is acceptable.
      You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline NZ$2-5 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
      Departure tax
      NZ$25 departure tax is required for all international departures, except flights out of Auckland where this charge is included in your flight ticket.
      Important notes
      FLEXIBLE ITINERARY:
      Our routes have been carefully chosen to include the best night stops and highlights. However, as road conditions, weather, local restrictions and group input may vary, no two trips will ever be the same. With the help of your tour leader and fellow travellers you may modify certain nightstops and highlights to give a truly unique experience!
      LOCAL PARTNER:
      This trip is operated by our trusted local partner Trek Tracks New Zealand.
      Group size
      Maximum of 15 travellers per group.
      Your fellow travellers
      As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
      Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit: www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
      Single travellers
      Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
      Accommodation
      Hostel (20 nts), Doubtful Sound Overnight Boat Cruise (4 berth cabins) (1 nt)
      Our accommodation in New Zealand are backpacker lodges which have a friendly festive atmosphere and good facilities. All bedding is included. Please note that whilst visiting Doubtful Sound, upgrade options are not available on the overnight cruise due to room restrictions, all accommodation is quad share.
      Meals introduction
      While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
      We include select meals on the 22 Day New Zealand Explorer Northbound
      B: Breakfast | D: Dinner
      Day 1 Christchurch Arrival
      Day 2 Punakaiki B
      Days 3-4 Franz Josef Glacier B (B day 3)
      Days 5-8 Queenstown B (B on 5 & 6 only)
      Day 9 Te Anau/ Doubtful Sound B D (Overnight cruise boat)
      Day 10 Mt Cook B
      Day 11 Christchurch B
      Day 12 Kaikoura B
      Days 13-14 Nelson B (B day 13 only)
      Days 15- Wellington B
      Day 16-17 Mt Ruapehu BD (B & D day 17 only)
      Day 18 Taupo/ Rotorua B
      Day 19 Waitomo B
      Days 20 Bay of Islands B
      Day 21 Bay of Islands
      Day 22 Auckland B
      Meals
      15 Breakfasts, 2 Dinners
      Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
      NZD 700.00
      Transport
      Van, Ferry
      You will be travelling in a coaster vehicle specially designed for local conditions.
      Group leader
      All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. In New Zealand your group leader is also your driver, taking you from start to finish in a coaster vehicle. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Our crew are chosen for their driving skills, their knowledge of the country, their personality, and of course their leadership abilities. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.
      Joining point
      Jailhouse Hostel
      338 Lincoln Road
      Christchurch
      NEW ZEALAND
      Phone: +64 39827777
      Joining point description
      Newly renovated backpacker accommodation in the former Addington Prison. Located close to the Christchurch Railway Station and city centre.
      www.jail.co.nz
      Joining point instructions
      Catch an airport shuttle for around NZ$20 per person (the price reduces if there are 2 or more people travelling together). Alternatively, a taxi will cost approximately NZ$30-35 and takes around 20 minutes.
      Arrival complications
      We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
      Please also make sure have a copy of the local operators Emergency phone numbers from our Emergency Contact section of these trip notes.
      Finish point
      Kiwi International Hotel
      411 Queen Street
      Auckland
      NEW ZEALAND
      Phone: 09 3796487
      Fax: 09 3796496
      Finish point description
      The Kiwi International Hotel is located right in the heart of Auckland City with a 24hr reception and is located very close to the airport bus stop. Facilities include free luggage storage, wireless internet, TV lounge and guest laundry.
      http://www.kiwihotel.co.nz/
      Finish point instructions
      Taxis are readily available and cost approx 35NZD and take approx 20 minutes to the airport.
      Emergency contact
      Tour operated by our touring partner Trek Tracks New Zealand. In the event of an emergency or missed pick up on the day of departure please call Trek Tracks New Zealand directly on +64 (0)7 377 8015 or +64 (0)27 767 8675.
      Emergency funds
      Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
      Visas
      Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
      We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
      Australia: No - not required
      Belgium: No - not required
      Canada: No - not required
      Germany: No - not required
      Ireland: No - not required
      Netherlands: No - not required
      New Zealand: No - not required
      South Africa: No - not required
      Switzerland: No - not required
      United Kingdom: No - not required
      USA: No - not required
      For the most up to date information on visa requirements, we recommend you contact the New Zealand embassy in your country or visit http://www.immigration.govt.nz
      Issues on your trip
      While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
      We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
      You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
      What to take
      What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
      Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
      You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
      CLOTHING & CLIMATE:
      New Zealand has relaxed attitudes to standards of dress however there are a few practical considerations. New Zealand has a temperate climate but be prepared for colder temperatures even in summer months. The sunshine in New Zealand is harsh and a sunhat and sunglasses are a must.
      LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS:
      Pack only your bare essentials. Due to limited space and strict road laws limiting gross weight of vehicles, you are required to limit your luggage to one reasonable sized suitcase or backpack (maximum weight limit of 20kg) and a small airways bag/day pack, which can be carried inside the coach. We cannot guarantee to carry overweight or oversized luggage.
      WATER BOTTLE:
      Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day
      Health
      All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
      You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
      Safety
      Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
      We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
      Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
      For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
      TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
      Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
      Travel insurance
      Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
      When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
      If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
      Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
      Australians travelling to New Zealand are eligible for publicly funded health care whilst in New Zealand. This medical care generally covers emergency treatment and is not free.
      Please note that Intrepid travellers still require comprehensive travel insurance to cover against emergency repatriation, personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
      Responsible Travel
      We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
      A couple of rules
      Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
      The Intrepid Foundation
      Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
      The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website: