What type of hiking tours do you offer?
We offer pack-free day hikes, over multi-day itineraries. Each day, we include a day hike of between two and eight hours and stay comfortably in our accommodation each night.
Our special extra ‘ingredient’ is that we also seek out local artisan food producers, wineries and the like to visit. These visits are included on shorter hikes days, where we always walk in the morning and taste in the afternoon as our reward!
Our tours are all-inclusive; this means that all your meals, and wine with meals, accommodation, transfers to and from Auckland/Hamilton and track fees are included. All you will need to bring is money for purchasing any extra gifts or bottles of wine along the way!
Where in New Zealand do you operate?
We operate across the might Waikato and the Coromandel regions. We know and love these two regions in the North Island intimately and that’s why we are local experts there. We don’t currently operate hiking tours in the South Island.
Do you offer hut-to-hut hiking?
We don’t offer hut-to-hut hiking. We stay in lodges, guesthouses or bed and breakfasts after each walk for a minimum of two nights on the multi-day itineraries. There is usually a short drive each day to the start of the track (trail), and driving in between lodges. This ensures that we can offer the most scenic and diverse day walks across our regions, whilst staying in comfortable beds with hot showers and NO HEAVY PACKS TO CARRY!
What is the accommodation like?
During our tours, you will stay in premium lodges, guesthouses and boutique bed and breakfasts with local hosts. The level of accommodation varies between tours – our Coastal Charm tours are a slightly higher level of accommodation than our Heart of the North Tours.
Do all of the rooms have ensuites?
Nearly all of our rooms have private ensuites and some even have views. However, on some of our tours, such as the Coastal Charm Taster and last two nights of the Coastal Charm, there are shared bathroom facilities (one bathroom between two rooms).
What are the meals like on tour?
You will enjoy a variety of kiwi cuisine experiences, from fine-dining to hearty home cooking by our local hosts - some even source fresh produce from their own gardens! Breakfast is an option of cooked or continental to fuel you properly for your day of hiking. Lunches are freshly packed for you in the mornings and we have plenty of snacks for the journey. Evening meals are two or three-courses with a glass of wine, beer or beverage of your choice.
Do you cater for special dietary requirements?
Absolutely! As long as we know about them in advance. We hope to accommodate all special dietary requirements, however, if this is not possible we will inform you as soon as we can.
How fit do I need to be?
At a minimum, you will need to be able to walk 5-8 hours a day up to 17km, carrying a small backpack weighing 3-5kgs (with water and lunch).
However, the grading of each track and each tour varies, so check the grading information on each tour page. To determine the grade of a particular tour we consider the walking terrain, altitude, and the length of each hike, then average that out. Each day will be different!
As a general rule, our Heart of the North classic and taster tours are more difficult than our Coastal Charm classic and taster tours because there is much more climbing/elevation gain involved.
If you have hiked in New Zealand before, you will know that many of our tracks (trails) are what you might consider back country terrain. Many are dirt/mud tracks with plenty of tree roots and rocks so you will need to be sure footed to enjoy your hikes here.
The tracks are a combination of flat, steep hills and steep descents, and in a couple of instances, some climbing (using hands to pull yourself up). The more prepared you are, the better you will enjoy your hikes.
How many people will be on tour with me?
We specialise in small group tours with maximum numbers of 10. We’ve found that limiting each tour to this number gives the best possible experience and allows us to travel in comfort and access places and roads that larger vehicles can’t.
Do your tours have minimum numbers?
Yes, for our multiday tours we have a minimum number of four for a guaranteed departure. We will get in touch at the time of booking to let you know if your tour has met this minimum and is confirmed. If it has not, you can either wait to see if minimum numbers are met, change your dates to a guaranteed departure, or pay a fee to guarantee your departure of this tour date. In some instances, we may confirm a tour with less than the minimum four guests.
Do you cater for solo travellers?
We sure do! You’ll make some great connections on one of our tours and our guide will make sure that you are well looked after. There is a single supplement fee for solo travelers to allow for accommodation (our tours are priced based on twin/double share). Get in touch with Kylie (firstname.lastname@example.org) to find out which tours have met minimum numbers with guaranteed departures you can join!
Can my children come on a Nature and Nosh tour?
We generally don’t cater for children under the age of 16 on our set tours because of the difficulty and length of the walks. However, we have many child friendly walks that we can include on a custom/private tour specially put together for your family. If your child can walk 4 or 5km on their own, we have some special tracks (trails) we can include for a memorable family walking holiday. Enquire about a custom or private tour.
How do we travel around?
Depending on the size of the group, you will either be travelling in our 9-seater Ford Torneo, or a 12-seater Mercedez Sprinter. Both vehicles are spacious and comfortable and have air conditioning, which makes a difference on our New Zealand roads, trust us!
I have a medical condition; can I still walk?
This really depends on what the condition it is. If you meet the fitness requirements safely (outlined above), there’s no reason you can’t! We do ask that you disclose this information to us when you book so that we can prepare our guides to enable them to ensure yours and the groups safety best they can.
What will the weather be like?
Our tour season runs from the start of October until the end of May, which means we cover all seasons except the height of winter and start of spring (where we get a lot of rain!). The regions we operate in the North Island (Waikato and The Coromandel) have temperate climates, with large areas of native sub-tropical rainforest – which means we get plenty of rain to keep it all looking beautifully green and lush!
In the warmest months (January – March), day time temperatures will generally reach 26 – 29 degrees celcius. In the shoulder, cooler months (October – December, and April/May), temperatures can vary a lot! Usually cool in the mornings and evenings but warm up beautifully during the day.
We do walk in the rain! As long as our guides have deemed conditions safe for walking. We can usually change our day around a little to make the best of the weather, however in very, very rare instances where we have to cancel a hike, we have a back-up hike and plan ready to go.
What do I need to bring?
A packing list guide can be found here. Everything should easily fit into a standard suitcase and small backpack. As we are based at each night’s accommodation for a minimum of two nights, you can unpack and relax. Your belongings will be safe with us in the tour van during transfers and travel days between lodges.
How do I know I'll be safe?
All our guides are seasoned bushmen, with extensive experience in the New Zealand outdoors and each have first aid qualifications. Their number one priority is to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable adventure! As a company, we have been approved by the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) to take guided hiking tours in public conservation areas, meeting their environmental and health and safety standards and these systems are audited each year. We have also been awarded a Silver Qualmark award which you can read more about here.
Do I need travel insurance?
We strongly recommend a travel insurance policy that covers you for your activities and belongings whilst you are on holiday in New Zealand.