New Zealand Adventure Northbound (ex Christchurch) Trip Notes

New Zealand Adventure Northbound (ex Christchurch)

Last Modified: 02 Aug 2016
New Zealand Adventure Northbound (ex Christchurch)
Trip code: PTOACU
Validity: 01 May 2015 to 31 Dec 2016
Visually striking, culturally daring and ever-surprising, New Zealand will charm the socks off even the most reserved traveller. Nature enthusiasts will be awe-struck by the Franz Josef Glacier, photographers dazzled by the Bay of Islands, food lovers swooning over Kaikoura's cuisine and thrillseekers will have their pulses racing in Queenstown - the diversity of landscapes and activities in NZ is boundless. From south to north, beaches to volcanoes and charismatic towns to historical legacies, New Zealand has the capacity to wow on all fronts.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationEmergency contact
ThemesAccommodation NotesVisas
Is this trip right for you?Meals introductionWhat to take
Why we love itMealsClimate and seasonal information
ItineraryMoney mattersTravel insurance
Itinerary disclaimerGroup leaderA couple of rules
Physical ratingSafetyResponsible Travel
Included activitiesJoining pointThe Intrepid Foundation
Important notesFinish pointFeedback
Group sizeFinish point description
Your fellow travellersFinishing point instructions
Explorer, The Great Outdoors, Walking & Trekking
Is this trip right for you?
- Accommodation on this trip isn't luxurious, but it's comfortable enough for you to relax after a day of adventure.
- There are more optional activities on this trip than included ones. These activities range from trekking moderate hiking trails to white water rafting, so you'll be able to choose your own adventure level.
- You'll be spending quite a lot of time in a minibus as you travel through the islands. The bus may be small, but it's comfortable, and offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers and gaze at passing landscapes.
Why we love it
- Spend the night aboard a boat among the spectacular scenery of the Doubtful Sound. Cruise through fjords and take in the natural beauty of this remote wilderness area
- Share amazing moments with your fellow travellers. As you'll be in a small group, the trip retains a fun, personalised atmosphere throughout
- Tour a network of caves in Waitomo and witness nature's illumination in a section lit up with glow worms
- Spend several nights in Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure capital, where's you'll have tonnes of time to explore
- Discover the thermal regions of Rotorua, which offer an impressive mix of boiling mud pools and spectacular geysers
- Kayak around the Bay of Islands during a full day of optional activities. With its sub-tropical climate and clear blue waters, this is the South Pacific's answer to paradise
- The national parks of Abel Tasman and Tongariro feature some of the best scenery in New Zealand. Venture out on challenging treks or simply sit back and take in the views - it's up to you

Day 1 Christchurch
Kia-ora! Welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. 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.

If you arrive early into the city, there's a whole new range of pop up cafes, restaurants and bars to run through. Christchurch has hit the ground running and it's a great chance to get your bearings of this resilient city. Your evening is the free to do as you wish, before settling into your accommodation for the night.

Note: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive to the welcome meeting 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).
Lodge (1 nt)
Day 2 Punakaiki
Depart Christchurch early in the morning and head over the fertile Canterbury Plains, heading for the mountains. Leave the dry earth of the east coast and cross the dividing range to go down to the lush, green west coast. The countryside changes radically, as great deep blue rivers spring from the steep mountainsides. On arrival to Punakaiki, perhaps talk a walk out to Pancake Rocks and watch the power of the waves as they crash against the rocks. In the evening, drive onto Greymouth where you'll spend the night.

Notes: Total driving distance is around five hours (approximately 300kms). Total distance walked is approximately two to three kilometres.
Included Activities
  • Pancake Rocks and Blowhole
    Lodge (1 nt)
    Day 3 Franz Josef Glacier
    The drive down the coast later today is beautiful. You have plenty of time in the morning and afternoon to take part in cultural activities, before leaving for Franz Josef Glacier along the coast of forests, lakes and hidden beaches. Pull into Franz Josef in the evening and relax before tomorrow's activities. Your evening is free, so possibly head out for dinner with the group.

    Notes: Total driving distance takes around three hours (approximately 180kms).
    Included Activities
    • Franz Josef Glacier - Kiwi House
      Optional Activities
      • Glacier Flights from - NZD195
        Lodge (1 nt)
        Day 4 Franz Josef Glacier
        After breakfast this morning, your day is free to do as much or as little as you please. There are plenty of amazing optional activities to keep you busy, such as a guided hike across a glacier, kayaking, taking a spin on a quad bike or enjoying unrivalled views of the region on a scenic flight (at your own cost).

        Notes: Total driving time is around 30 minutes (approximately 10kms). Total distance walked will be between one and five kilometres.
        Optional Activities
        • Glacier Flights from - NZD195
        • Glacier Hike from - NZD339
          Lodge (1 nt)
          1 breakfast
          Day 5 Queenstown
          After breakfast, drive the remainder of the west coast and climb up through the Haast Pass into the Southern Alps (approximately four to five hours). This is a stunning drive with fantastic views of the mountains, rivers and lakes. Arriving into Queenstown in the late afternoon, enjoy dinner with the rest of your night free. Over the next few days, you'll see and experience a place that's widely acknowledged as being the extreme activity capital of the world. There is simply no end to the line up of optional activities including bungy-jumping, mountain biking, kayaking, rafting, helicopter rides, jet boating and paragliding.

          Note: Total driving time is around five and a half hours (approximately 360kms). Total distance walked is around one to two kilometres.
          Included Activities
          • Arrowtown Tour
          • Lake Matheson
            Optional Activities
            • Bungy Jumping from - NZD135
            • Jet boating from - NZD135
            • River Rafting - NZD220
              Lodge (1 nt)
              1 breakfast
              Day 6-7 Queenstown
              Today is free to take part in as many optional activities as you want. Queenstown will spoil you for choice, as the undisputed adventure capital of New Zealand. Jet boat, bungee jump, paraglide, kayak, mountain bike, ski or river raft - there's so much to do in this grand place (all activities are at own expense). In the evening, settle down in your lodge after a big day of adventure.

              Notes: Total driving time is around one hour (approximately 10kms). Walking distance will depend on what activities you take part in.
              Included Activities
              • Queenstown - Skyline Gondola from
                Optional Activities
                • Paragliding NZ - NZD200
                • Mountain Biking Tours - NZD170
                  Lodge (2 nt)
                  1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                  Day 8 Doubtful Sound
                  Head out after breakfast and take a break from the adrenaline rush of Queenstown, as you drive to Doubtful Sound to board your overnight cruise boat for a trip through the fjords. This place is stunning with tall mountain peaks and waterfalls - easily one of the most spectacular places in the country. Enjoy a dinner aboard the boat this evening with the rest of the group.

                  Notes: Total driving time is around three hours (approximately 170kms).

                  Your boat has four berth cabins, so you'll be sharing your space with travellers of the same or different sex. Twin share cabins aren't available on the boat this night.
                  Doubtful Sound Overnight Boat Cruise (4 berth cabins) (1 nt)
                  1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                  Day 9-10 Mt Cook
                  After breakfast this morning, drive up to the foot of New Zealand's highest peak, Mount Cook (approximately five hours). The drive takes you over expansive high-country farmland with views of the Alps, rivers and lakes. On arrival to Mt. Cook National Park, you'll spend the night in a lodge in an amazing location.

                  Notes: Total driving time is around six hours (approximately 415kms).
                  Optional Activities
                  • 360 Degree Screen Documentary - NZD20
                    Lodge (2 nt)
                    2 breakfasts
                    Day 11 Christchurch
                    Make the drive back to Christchurch after breakfast, which should take around four and a half hours. You should have some time to explore the city before meeting up with new members of your group at around 6.30 pm. In the evening, perhaps head out for dinner with your new travel friends (own expense).

                    Notes: Total driving time is around five hours (approximately 320kms).
                    Lodge (1 nt)
                    1 breakfast
                    Day 12 Kaikoura
                    Depart Christchurch around 7.30 am this morning and head up the coastline to Kaikoura, where many adventures are waiting (approximately three hours). On arrival, there's an optional boat trip where you can go watching whales and experience being close to some of the largest creatures in the world. For those who wish to see the area from a different perspective, there are plane or helicopter flights to view the whales (whale watching activities are subject to weather conditions). Kaikoura is famous for its seafood and marine life, so there's lots to see and do including swimming with dolphins.

                    Note: Total driving time is around three hours (approximately 160kms).
                    Walking distance is dependant on any optional activities you take part in.
                    Included Activities
                    • Kaikoura Seal Colony
                      Lodge (1 nt)
                      Day 13 Nelson
                      Today's destination is Nelson, in the heart of the wine producing area and the Abel Tasman National Park. This is a very pleasant sunny place and home to some of the most beautiful sea kayaking in the world. Spend the afternoon exploring the town, with 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. In the evening, join the group for dinner.

                      Notes: Total driving time is around four hours (approximately 240kms).
                      Optional Activities
                      • Dolphin Swim - NZD170
                      • Whale Watching - NZD155
                        Lodge (1 nt)
                        Day 14 Nelson
                        Today, you have the option of visiting the Abel Tasman National Park. Bushwalking tracks among these inlets and coves are just begging to be explored, and the boat ride in water taxi is spectacular. Make sure you have plenty of space left on your memory card, as photo opportunities are aplenty. If you have time, you could also head out on a winery tour of the area.

                        Notes: Walking distance is dependant on what activities you take part in.
                        Optional Activities
                        • Kayak Tour from - NZD140
                          Lodge (1 nt)
                          1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                          Day 15 Wellington
                          Cross to the north island on the inter island ferry today and enjoy the fantastic scenery of the Marlborough Sound (approximately five and a half hours). Arriving in the late afternoon, use the opportunity to go on a night out in the capital city of Wellington.

                          Notes: Total driving time is around two hours (approximately 130kms).

                          Included Activities
                          • Scenic Cruise via Queen Charlotte Sounds
                            Lodge (1 nt)
                            1 breakfast
                            Day 16 Mt Ruapehu
                            Pay an included visit to Te Papa National Museum this morning, and leave Wellington afterwards. Head through the central North Island plains towards the great volcanoes and Mount Ruapehu National Park. There are several optional activities during your time here. Many will want to hike the famous Tongariro Crossing track, which is a good day hike and known as the best of its kind in New Zealand. This hike has spectacular views of the volcanic plateau and the lakes below. Those who don't fancy going on the hike can explore the local area instead.

                            Notes: Total driving time is around four and a half hours (approximately 330kms).
                            Included Activities
                            • Wellington - Te Papa Museum
                              Lodge (1 nt)
                              Day 17 Mt Ruapehu
                              Today you have the option of walking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This is a full day hike and people should have a decent level of fitness - it's also considered New Zealand's best one day trek and has fantastic views so it's more than worth it. For those not taking part, there are lower altitude bush walks available from your motel. In the evening, head back to your accommodation to have an included dinner with the group.
                              Optional Activities
                              • Tongariro Crossing - NZD35
                                Lodge (1 nt)
                                1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                                Day 18 Taupo/Rotorua
                                Drive for around an hour to Taupo today, which is widely acknowledged as the North Island's home of extreme sports. On the way visit the spectacular Huka Falls, where 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 may just be one of your highlights. You'll also visit the Whakarewarewa, site of the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and the thermal area in Rotorua. See geysers and boiling mud pools in an amazing display of the power of nature. In the evening, there's an option for a Maori Hangi dinner and concert.

                                Notes: Total driving time is around two and a half hours (approximately 180kms).
                                Included Activities
                                • Rotorua - Te Puia Maori Art & Cultural Centre
                                • Huka Falls
                                • Te Puia Thermals
                                  Optional Activities
                                  • Bungy Jumping from - NZD170
                                  • Jet Boating from - NZD120
                                  • Maori Cultural Evening - NZD80
                                  • Mountain Biking - NZD60
                                  • River Rafting - NZD200
                                  • Thermal Baths from - NZD15
                                    Lodge (1 nt)
                                    1 breakfast
                                    Day 19 Waitomo
                                    Drive west for around two hours today, as you leave Taupo behind and venture to Waitomo. Today there are some great optional activities to choose from, as you can head out on a boat trip, walk through the glow worm caves or go black water rafting. This is an unforgettable trip involving hiking and descending an underground river, while floating on an inner tube.

                                    Notes: Total driving time is around two hours (approximately 140kms).
                                    Included Activities
                                    • Waitomo - Caves Entrance
                                      Optional Activities
                                      • Black Water Rafting from - NZD135
                                        Lodge (1 nt)
                                        1 breakfast
                                        Day 20 Waitomo/Bay of Islands
                                        Leave Waitomo and drive north through fantastic scenery towards New Zealand's winterless north. Be prepared for a long drive today, which should take between five and six hours. On arrival, there are tonnes of beautiful beaches and unspoiled places to explore. As there won't be too much light left today, prepare for a full day of optional activities tomorrow, including kayaking, a boat trip to the islands or simply relaxing.

                                        Notes: Total driving time is around six and a half hours (approximately 420kms).
                                        Lodge (1 nt)
                                        1 breakfast
                                        Day 21 Bay of Islands
                                        The Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand’s top holiday destinations, and with 144 islands in total, this boating paradise also enjoys a sub-tropical climate. After breakfast, why not head out on the water to the Hole in the Rock or take part in a kayaking tour around the islands. Another option is to visit the village of Russell for a look into New Zealand's interesting past.
                                        Optional Activities
                                        • Boat Trip - Hole in Rock - NZD110
                                          Lodge (1 nt)
                                          1 breakfast
                                          Day 22 Auckland
                                          Pass unspoiled beaches and lush forests this morning, as you make your way back south. You'll see huge native trees that are over 1000 years old, as the area around Auckland is full of protected hardwood timbers. Crossing the Auckland Harbour Bridge, with a spectacular view of the 'City of Sails', arrive into Auckland to say farewell to your fellow travellers. Your trip finishes on arrival into Auckland at around 6 pm.

                                          Note: Total driving time is around four hours (approximately 225kms).

                                          Please take the arrival time into consideration when booking any onward flights.
                                          Optional Activities
                                          • Skytower, Auckland - NZD30
                                            1 breakfast
                                            Itinerary disclaimer
                                            ITINERARY CHANGES 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. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! 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. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

                                            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.
                                            Physical rating

                                            Included activities
                                            Pancake Rocks and Blowhole
                                            Franz Josef Glacier - Kiwi House
                                            Arrowtown Tour
                                            Lake Matheson
                                            Queenstown - Skyline Gondola from
                                            Kaikoura Seal Colony
                                            Scenic Cruise via Queen Charlotte Sounds
                                            Wellington - Te Papa Museum
                                            Rotorua - Te Puia Maori Art & Cultural Centre
                                            Huka Falls
                                            Te Puia Thermals
                                            Waitomo - Caves Entrance
                                            Important notes
                                            1. Tour commences in Christchurch with group meeting on day 1 at 6:00pm and finishes in Auckland day 22 at approx 6pm; please consider when booking flights and accommodation.
                                            2. We recommend you book accommodation in advance and extend your stay.
                                            3. Trip runs in reverse, see tour code PTOZCU.
                                            4. Allow NZD 870 for meals not included.

                                            Group size
                                            Maximum of 15 travellers per group.
                                            Your fellow travellers
                                            GROUP TRAVEL
                                            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.

                                            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.
                                            Lodge (20nt), Overnight boat (1nt)
                                            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.

                                            Accommodation is on a twin share basis, and single travellers are paired with someone of the same sex. On rare occasions there may be triple rooms. Single supplement room upgrades can be requested at the time of booking.
                                            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.
                                            15 breakfasts, 4 dinners
                                            Ferry, Van

                                            You will be travelling in a coaster vehicle specially designed for local conditions.
                                            Money matters
                                            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 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
                                            When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

                                            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.

                                            NZ$25 departure tax is required for all international departures, except flights out of Auckland where this charge is included in your flight ticket.

                                            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.

                                            EMERGENCY FUNDS
                                            Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
                                            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.
                                            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 and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. 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 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 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!
                                            Joining point
                                            Breakfree Christchurch
                                            165 Cashel St
                                            NEW ZEALAND
                                            Phone: +64 800 448 891
                                            Finish point
                                            Kiwi International Hotel
                                            411 Queen Street
                                            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.
                                            Finishing point instructions
                                            Taxis are readily available and cost approx 35NZD and take approx 20 minutes to the airport.
                                            Emergency contact
                                            In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency only, Trek Tracks can be reached on Tel: +64 (0) 7 377 8015 or +64 (0) 277678675. For further contact details please use the following page:

                                            For general contact details please use the following page:

                                            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.

                                            Trek Tracks: +64 (0) 7 377 8015

                                            Trek Tracks: +64 (0) 277678675
                                            Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

                                            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
                                            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, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).

                                            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.

                                            Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:


                                            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.
                                            Climate and seasonal information
                                            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!

                                            Please check the start and finish points of your trip, as they can vary between departures.
                                            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 Travel 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.
                                            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 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.


                                            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.
                                            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.

                                            Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
                                            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.


                                            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$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website: