Are you a keen traveller looking to minimize your impact on the environment?
The Green Kiwi tour takes you to stay in carefully selected deluxe properties and lodges, which showcase the benefits of conserving resources. You can choose from a range of eco-focused ‘hands-on’ opportunities or select excursions with minimal impact to our beautiful environment.
Along the way you will get to see many of the stunning landscapes throughout the country as well as the local bird and wild life.
And what better way to explore our country’s natural beauty the eco way than in a Hybrid vehicle. With its low emissions and one of the best fuel economies available, this is not only a big relief on your wallet, but the environment as well.
On arrival in Auckland Meet & Greet by REST NEW ZEALAND TOURS. Transfer to your accommodation in Auckland and handover of travel documents. If you are not too tired, we recommend a leisurely stroll along Auckland’s waterfront and dinner in one of the excellent restaurants at the Wynyard Quarter.
The Great Ponsonby Arthotel was the first accommodation provider in NZ to extensively use eco products for guest amenities, laundry and for cleaning. When you stay at the Great Ponsonby your car can stay in the car park, as it is an easy walk or quick bus ride into town with the green Link bus running every 10 or 15 minutes.
Travel Tip: If you have more time to spend, add one night in Auckland to explore all the city has to offer. Take the ferry to Rangitoto or Waiheke Island, climb Mt Eden or explore one of the many Regional Parks in the area and their volcanic origins.
Suggested activity: Habitat Tours
The Tawharanui Day Tour will show you the beauty and nature of Tawharanui Regional Park & Matakana. You will discover some local history, and learn what shaped the natural environment of NZ to how it is today. A fully guided walk on an ecology trail will give you the opportunity to view the NZ native and endemic wildlife which have been successfully reintroduced to this safe haven. Min. 2 pax, included lunch.
Pick up your rental car and travel along the western shores of Coromandel Peninsula to Coromandel Town. Cafés and small shops invite you for a stop. You stay overnight in Tairua, where you can play golf, do some kayaking or simply relax at the beach. The short walk to the top of Mount Paku will reward you with a great view.
Awarded a Gold Environmental Award from Qualmark, Colleith Lodge is a Boutique luxury five star one level accommodation in a unique breath taking location situated on the East Coast of the Coromandel Peninsula. Set on 1 ½ acres amid native bush, the grounds are maintained in an environmentally sensitive way, which helps ensure native trees, insects & birds thrive.
Many Aucklanders own holiday homes on Coromandel Peninsula and enjoy the tranquility and quietness. The white beaches are perfect for swimming, surfing or diving. At Hot Water Beach you can dig your own thermal pool at low tide. A nice short walk from Hahei Beach takes you to the famous Cathedral Cove, one of the most interesting bays in the country.
Suggested activity: Cathedral Cove Kayaks - Cathedral Cove Classic Kayak Tour (duration 3-3.5 hours)
Rated as one of the best sea kayaking trips in the country, the ‘Cathedral Cove Classic’ has got it all. Paddle through amazing sea caves, explore volcanic islands in the Marine Reserve and enjoy a cappuccino at our exclusive Cathedral Cove beachfront cafe. Enjoyed by travelers for over ten years the ‘Cathedral Cove Classic’ is seen as one of New Zealand’s premier eco-tourism attractions.
You travel along the East Coast and pass through the Kiwi growing area of Te Puke where you can stop at the visitor centre and learn all about the national fruit of New Zealand. Later you reach Rotorua, the heartland of Maori culture and centre of thermal activities in New Zealand. On your way to Taupo, we recommend a visit to Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland or Waimangu Volcanic Valley before you make your way to your day’s destination at the edge of Lake Taupo.
Whakaipo Lodge (‘Whakaipo’ in Maori meaning “to court, woo, treat with affection, cherish”) is a boutique luxury lodge in a very private and tranquil location close to Whakaipo Bay, one of Lake Taupo’s most beautiful and pristine bays. Within a short distance there are spectacular volcanic, snow-covered mountains, crystal clear lakes and rivers, sandy deserts and virgin bush. Your Kiwi hosts, Garth & Angie London, share with their guests their passion for quality local food and wine, exploring the outdoors and the simple pleasure of sharing good company.
Suggested activity: Rotorua Canopy Tours Rotorua (10am-2pm year round / allow 3.5 hours)
Embark on a magical journey, only 15 minutes from Rotorua, through untouched native New Zealand forest from an unexplored perspective. On a 3 hour guided eco-tour, experience 1.2 km’s of forest suspended up to 22 m high amongst ancient trees. You will not see any of the tree or plant species on our tour on any other country on earth! In between the thrill of the ziplines (flying fox), suspended tree bridges and the tree platforms let the guides share their passion and knowledge for the local history, the forest and the conservation challenges to preserve it all to bring alive the forest environment you are passing through.
Rotorua Canopy Tours appeals to all ages and is suitable for a wide range of people from children through to grandparents - no experience is required. The tour infrastructure has been built to ensure minimal environmental impact while also delivering unprecedented safety and comfort for all guests.
Hopefully being a clear day, start with spectacular views to the volcanoes of Tongariro National Park. The active volcanoes change the countryside all the time and make this park one of the most spectacular and interesting in New Zealand. The short drive today gives plenty of time for one of the shorter walking options, starting from Whakapapa Village in the heart of the national park.
You stay overnight at Blue Duck Station. Located in the Ruapehu District on the banks of the Whanganui and Retaruke Rivers, and surrounded by Whanganui National park, it is not only a sheep and beef farm and tourism centre, but also an award-winning, working conservation project helping to increase numbers of native species by improving their habitat, enhancing water quality and trapping predators.
Get a taste of what Blue Duck Station is all about on the Bush Safari. See remains of the unbelievable local history, hear all about our conservation work and witness the results it has produced and observe the everyday workings of this sheep and beef station. During the summer months go on a short kayak through the gorge at the base of the Kaiwhakauka falls and if you want to spot a Blue Duck we’ll show you to their hang outs.
Travel back to the main road and then south, passing Tongariro National Park. Via Raetihi your tour continues to Pipiriki and along Whanganui River, the most beautiful river on the North Island. You follow the course of the river along the old Whanganui River Road to Wanganui and on to the Kapiti Coast. Here you will board your vessel to Kapiti Island where you will stay overnight at Kapiti Nature Lodge. Kapiti Island is an internationally renowned sanctuary for New Zealand native birds, a genuine native forest and a reserve for New Zealand wildlife. Kapiti Island Nature Tours runs its environment nature activities and Kapiti Nature Lodge from Waiorua Bay. There are approximately 1200 Little Spotted Kiwi on Kapiti Island and this tour is your best chance of seeing a Little Spotted Kiwi in a predator free and natural environment.
This morning you make your way to New Zealand’s capital Wellington. We recommend a sightseeing tour and a walk along the waterfront to Te Papa, the National Museum of New Zealand. The cruise with the ferry through picturesque Marlborough Sound is one of the highlights of your trip. From Picton you drive along the Queen Charlotte Drive with its many bays and beaches. Enjoy sunny Nelson, with its local art scene, before you continue to Abel Tasman National Park.
The Resurgence is one of the world’s leading luxury eco-lodges, set in 50 acres of wilderness with 5km of bush tracks and the closest 5-star accommodation to the Abel Tasman National Park with easy day trips to Golden Bay, Kahurangi or Nelson art studios and wineries. Let your well-travelled hosts help you plan activities from kayaking, hikes, birding trips to winery and art tours for the next day.
The park offers a wide range of activities and plenty of walks for all fitness levels. For example you can take a water taxi to Tonga Bay and walk from there to Torrent Bay and take the water taxi back. Or just walk from your accommodation to the next bay or take a kayak along the coast on your own or with a group. Or simply relax on the golden sand of Kaiteriteri beach.
Today continue through Wairau Valley via St Arnaud in Nelson National Park and further on the east coast. Blenheim is the focal point for the Marlborough Wine Region and an ideal stop for a gourmet lunch at one of the wineries. Then travel along the spectacular coastline down to Kaikoura where you stay overnight.
Kaikoura, the Eco capital of the world, is beautifully located by the sea with the snow-capped mountains of the Kaikoura Ranges in the background. In 2002 Kaikoura, as a township, was the first local authority in the world to become a Green Globe certified community. Nearly every local operator has a green mission threaded through their operations, caring for the environment which brings tourists from all over the world.
PurePods is a totally private experience of your own slice of beauty. The PurePod itself is designed for environmental sustainability. Travel through a delightful nature walk to see your PurePod hovering above the ferns and tussocks. Discover your own isolated slice of Kiwi paradise, revel in the birdsong all day long and, at night, explore the stars of the southern sky from the comfort of your luxury bed.
Suggested activity: Kaikoura Dolphin Encounter Tour (tours scheduled daily between November and April)
The dusky dolphins inhabit the coastal waters off Kaikoura all year round, making Kaikoura a unique place in the world where wild dolphins can be encountered every day, weather permitting. Those intending to swim will need their swimsuit, towel, warm clothing and a camera.
Suggested activity: Wings Over Whales Scenic Flight (flight time 30 min)
While you are in New Zealand head for Kaikoura and go whale watching....by aeroplane! It’s the best way to view whales and mountains while in New Zealand. See the majestic Sperm Whale preparing for his next dive and up to 500 Dusky Dolphins playfully swimming. Occasional sightings include Southern Right, Humpback, Fin, Sei, Brydes, Pilot, Southern Bottlenose and Blue Whales. Flying over Kaikoura Peninsula, you can see evidence of Maori fortifications (Pa sites), the township of Kaikoura and New Zealand Fur Seals relaxing on the rocks. During favourable conditions, passengers can enjoy a spectacular flight over the 2800m high Seaward Kaikoura Ranges.
You drive west to Hanmer Springs, famous for its Thermal Pools. Then continue on the drive along the winding Buller Gorge which takes you to the West Coast. A side trip in Westport to a seal colony at Cape Foulwind is worthwhile. We recommend later a walk along the Pororari River near Punakaiki. Sunset at the Pancake Rocks will be a memorable experience.
Situated on New Zealand’s wild West Coast, 30 minutes north of Greymouth and 300m south of the famous Pancakes Rocks and Blowholes, Punakaiki Resort is only a stone’s throw from the beach. Their Eco-Suites are environmentally friendly; designed in harmony with the local environment, utilizing only organically grown timbers and commercial materials with little or no toxins, to maintain a sense of privacy and seclusion and have either ocean or rainforest views. Large solar panels provide power to heat the water as well as under floor heating, along with ecofleece insulation in the wall cavities and thermocell panels in the ceiling to promote energy efficiency.
You continue along the West Coast. Visit a workshop in Greymouth and Hokitika, the jade centres of the country, and watch the jade carvers doing their art work. Glaciers, rainforest and coast are close together in Westland National Park. The many different shades of green of the dense rainforest will amaze you. There is a lot to see and to do like a jet boat tour in Whataroa to a White Heron Colony where you can watch these rare birds.
Or visit Okarito at the coast and make a kayak trip through the quiet lagoon. Helicopter flights with glacier landing are possible from Fox Glacier and Franz Josef.
A haven from the city rush, a foray into New Zealand’s pristine wilderness - Te Waonui Forest Retreat is truly a place to relax and refresh. Encircled by native bush, building materials have been chosen to minimise environmental impact, and the Retreat’s carbon footprint is reduced with energy efficient design. Furniture and fittings incorporate natural wool carpets, organic cotton bedspreads and even possum skin cushioning, in-keeping with the character of the region.
Suggested activity: Glacier Valley Eco Tours (departs all year, minimum 2 pax)
Glacier Valley Eco Tours hold a Department of Conservation license to operate guided tours in the South Westland World Heritage area. We provide guests with quality, informative, friendly and relaxed eco-style tours. Our tours are especially designed for clients who want to learn about the wonders of this incredible natural environment.
We recommend a stop at Ship Creek Walk and a side trip to Monro Beach Walk. During the months of October to December you might be lucky and see penguins and hector dolphins playing in the sea. You drive over Haast Pass, a scenic drive with many opportunities to stop and explore, to Wanaka. After the long drive the easy walk to the top of Mount Iron will reward you with a 360 degree view over the Southern Alps.
Suggested activity: Waiatoto River Safari - Ocean to the Mountains (2.25 hours including optional bush walk)
Discover the world’s first and only sea to mountain ecojet boat adventure exploring Te Wahipounamu. The South-West New Zealand world heritage area. Premier Jet boat tour of 2.25 hours including optional bush walk. Recommended by Lonely Planet. Pause for photos and an informative commentary on your journey up the river. Leave the boat to stretch your legs at the forest edge for departing on your return journey. Suitable for all ages.
There’s no better place to appreciate the incredible beauty of New Zealand’s South Island. Mountains merging into lakes, sunny crisp air and crystal clear waters. In this spectacular environment, we thought nothing but sensational hospitality would do. Wanaka Haven combines a mix of European chic and Kiwi touches. Enjoy the outdoor sitting area with unobstructed panoramic mountain views. The lodge also offers an edible garden and berry farm.
Ridgeline Adventures - Wanaka Nature Encounter (included)
Wanaka’s raw natural beauty all yours for a day!
Begin your day with a boat cruise on the pristine waters of Lake Wanaka to Mou Waho Island Nature Reserve. A guided walk to the spectacular summit reveals the island’s secret - A lake on top of an Island! Enjoy a serene “High Tea” here, up close and personal with rare native birds, and plant a tree as part of this unique eco experience. Return to Wanaka for cafe lunch (at own expense) or optional packed picnic lunch. After lunch experience some of New Zealand’s most spectacular backcountry in this exclusive 4WD adventure covering terrain many locals have never seen as you climb above Lake Wanaka. Traversing remote tracks, you will enjoy breathtaking panoramas of the Southern Alps whilst exploring private farm roads, ancient Maori trails, heritage sites and farming life.
You cross the Crown Range, New Zealand’s highest official road to Queenstown. Spend some time in the self-proclaimed adventure capital of the world, seek out relaxation and rejuvenation in one of the spa and wellness centres, or just breathe pure mountain air, before you continue to your Te Anau accommodation. A popular tour option is a Milford Sound cruise, one of the world’s most spectacular trips with the Sound itself arguable the most impressive of all the fiords in Fiordland with its sheer cliff faces, tall mountains, stunning waterfalls and marine life.
Suggested activity: Ziptrek Ecotours Flying Fox
Join Ziptrek Ecotours for an exhilarating zipline (flying fox) adventure above spectacular Queentown! Ride up the Skyline Gondola or if you prefer take the Tiki Trail (allow 60 minutes for Trail walk) harness up and step onto our tree platform, then glide through the treetops on a series of four flying foxes. Your experienced Guides will deliver an interpretive tour as you “Zzziiiiiip” from tree to tree. Breathe in some pristine mountain air as you venture on a carefully crafted journey that combines exhilaration, adventure, and ecological exploration. Ziptrek Ecotours offer a thrilling eco-adventure experience, with spectacular views of the surrounding area while also providing the opportunity to learn about what this breath-taking place has to offer.
Blue Ridge is a Boutique Bed & Breakfast in secluded garden setting in the heart of Te Anau, just a 5 minute walk to the town centre. Be assured of comfort and hospitality as your hosts endeavour to share their passion for Fiordland with their guests. They are also committed to the environment and work hard to support the unique and beautiful area that is Fiordland (a World Heritage area) by following an environmental plan and welcome their guests’ support of this initiative.
Drive through Fiordland National Park, the biggest rainforest in New Zealand with 1000 year old Totara trees. In Clifden visit the oldest suspension bridge in the country. You continue on the Southern Scenic Route via Te Waewae Bay where you can watch dolphins and whales from the cliffs to Riverton. Bluff is the southernmost point of the South Island. You continue on the Southern Scenic Route through the Catlins: windy and rough coast, many beautiful bays, forest and waterfalls. Visit the world oldest Petrified Forest (160 million years) and Nugget Point before you reach Dunedin which Scottish roots are clearly reflected in the buildings.
The 1937 former Chief Post Office in Dunedin has been transformed into he elegant 4 1/2 star luxury hotel Distinction Dunedin, located in the rejuvenated and vibrant exchange area in the heart of the city. The hotel consists of 121 elegant suites and studio rooms, Parcels Restaurant, Post Bar and an on-site gym.
Dunedin’s Otago Peninsula is renowned for hosting the world’s only mainland breeding colony of the northern royal albatross, and being home to the world’s rarest penguin, the yellow-eyed, and various species of seals, sea lions and pelagic birds. Guided tours are available with the best time at dawn.
Suggested activity: Nature Guides Otago Peninsula Excursion & Albatross Encounter (Picnic Lunch incl, approx. 6 hours)
Start your peninsula excursion with a scenic drive on the high road to the remote side of the Otago Peninsula with its tidal inlets where, depending on tide and season, a variety of birds can be observed - pied stilt, white faced heron, oyster catcher, spoonbill and arctic waders. Take a walk through regenerating native bush or visit a private peninsula property where we will see conservation in action with the opportunity to contribute to ongoing re-vegetation by planting a native tree. This is followed by picnic lunch at a stunning lookout with the most amazing views of the beaches, cliffs, geological features, and the vast Pacific Ocean (weather permitting). Further along the peninsula, Northern Royal Albatross are breeding in the only mainland breeding colony of any albatross species in the world. This will be another highlight of the day with the option of either a one-hour guided tour of the Taiaroa Head Albatross Colony or a onehour harbour cruise on the MV Monarch to view these majestic birds in flight. The tours are suitable for adults only and a good level of fitness is required.
Suggested activity: Penguin Place Guided Tour (minimum numbers apply, approx. 90 minutes)
The Penguin Place conservation project is a private effort, founded in 1985 when there were just eight breeding pairs of Yellow Eyed Penguins on the property. The colony peaked in 1996 with 36 breeding pairs; since then numbers have declined and nesting pairs fluctuate from year to year. You will be taken on a guided tour through the colony for some close up viewing of the beautiful Yellow Eyed Penguins. Covered trenches and observation huts will hide you so the penguins will not be frightened and you can observe them going about their daily business unperturbed by our presence.
Drive north to the famous Moeraki Boulders on the coast before you drive inland towards the Alps to Omarama. Visit the impressive Clay Cliffs or make a side trip to Mount Cook Village and admire the glaciers and mountains close up. In the evening join Earth & Sky for their Night Stargazing tour at the summit of Mt John (tour included). As conditions permit, allow the astronomy guides to help you navigate the southern night sky using green laser pointers. Experience the thrill of peering through powerful telescopes and binoculars to see amazing sights, both near and far. You stay overnight at the turquoise Lake Tekapo with the snowy glaciers in the background.
Lake Tekapo Lodge is sited above the village of Tekapo and offers grand views to the lake and mountains. The hosts have extensive experience in hotels and restaurants and are capable chefs. The lodge’s meals are inspired by the Tekapo region based around merino lamb, freshwater salmon, beef and venison. Local producers of cheeses and fruit condiments also feature in the lodge menus.
You drive along the foothills and over the endless wide Canterbury Plains to Garden City Christchurch. Take a walk through Hagley Park and along the Avon River. Enjoy the many cafes and restaurants and take advantage of a last opportunity to purchase souvenirs from Aotearoa.
Situated 4kms from Lincoln township and its University, only 30 minutes’ drive from Christchurch, Silverstream offers a warm Kiwi welcome.
This boutique accommodation set in a stunning rural landscape where guests will enjoy the peace and beauty of the surrounding countryside.
Every morning at Silverstream you will be greeted by a home cooked breakfast including seasonal fruits, homemade bread, locally sourced produce and not forgetting eggs and bacon given by willing hens and pigs living happy lives at Silverstream.
Drop off your vehicle at the rental car office at the airport.