Hiking Safaris Frequently Asked Questions
How fit do I need to be?
Our hiking safaris are categorized B, C or D. Please read the segment 'Hiking and Fitness' and select a tour to suit you. If you are apprehensive about your fitness get out there and undertake day treks in the weeks before your hiking trip starts.
Can you pick me up from my city accommodation?
No. We try to leave early so we can have more time hiking. We find it better to meet at a central place - frequently the central Visitors Information Centre – so that everyone can get there easily, either by bus, taxi, shuttle or walking!
Who will be in my group?
Our groups are small with a maximum of 11 people. There is normally an assortment of nationalities, ages and work experiences. 70% of people that come on Hiking Safaris are between 20 and 40 years, although we do get people from 17 to 72 years. Typically on the average tour, half are women and half are men. Everybody shares an appreciation of nature, and an interest in outdoor adventure.
Does everyone help with camp duties?
Everybody helps in the smooth running of the trip, including setting up camp, gathering firewood, and preparing meals. Everyone is expected to do their fair share of the work. You should not worry if you are not a great cook, your guide and other people in the group will be sure to help you.
Do you take single people?
Most of the people on hiking safaris are travelling on their own. We participate in a lot of group activities including exploring caves, playing outdoor games, overcoming obstacles and challenges, helping one another to cross rivers and going for swims. We encourage you to participate in activities, but if you do not want to that’s also all right. You have time to be by yourself if you need to.
Do you cater for vegetarian meals?
Vegetarians frequently come on our tours. All our guides have plenty of superb vegetarian recipes, and are conversant with vegetarian cuisine. We may cook a separate vegetarian meal, or sometimes the entire group will cook vegetarian. The hangi meal is always a combination of vegetarian and meat foods. We can likewise provide for other dietary requests, but please inform us when you book.
I would like to do a longer holiday?
Yes. Many people do connecting hiking safaris, as they cover all of New Zealand. We truly are the trouble-free way to experiencing the finest adventures in New Zealand’s magnificent wilderness areas. Trips are scheduled to leave you a couple of days in between tours so that you can get your washing done, explore the city attractions before moving on.
I am travelling. What can I do with surplus gear, not needed on safari?
If you expect to return to the area you can store it at your accommodation. Alternatively, you can take it with you on safari. You are permitted a maximum space of 120 litres per person (1 large pack plus a daypack). Dependent on how many people are on the trip, you may be required to send on surplus baggage if you have more than this. We lock everything securely in the vehicle during overnight hikes.
Where can I keep my valuables whilst we are hiking?
You should keep your valuables, including airline tickets, passport and money in your hiking pack. We recommend you pack all those effects into plastic bags, so that they keep dry, and keep them with you whilst you are hiking.
What will the weather be like?
We experience extremely unpredictable weather in New Zealand - particularly in the isolated mountainous areas where we do most of our hiking. Some days we can be be freezing in a cool southerly from the sub Antarctic, and the next day we might be sweltering in 30 degrees. We suggest you are equipped for the nastiest conditions you are likely to experience. Please take a look at the 'What To Take' segment. A good waterproof raincoat is essential, as we might have several rainy days on the tour. Please see Climate and Weather section for more information.
Do I have to book in advance?
The earlier you can book the better for safaris starting in the high season between November and April. We receive lots of advance reservations so it is vital to book early to avoid disappointment.
What kind of equipment ought I purchase?
It is worth purchasing superior gear if you expect to do lots of walking and trekking after the trip, such as good hiking clothing and leather walking boots. If you expect that you may not do any other hiking after this tour then you could purchase cheaper substitutes. Just remember that it won't last as long nor do the job as well. You may similarly hire certain pieces from us
What if I am unable to keep up with the others on the trip
We walk together as a group, walking at the pace of the slowest. We stop frequently for snacks and a good lunch. Certain activities are voluntary if you want need some rest
Are there any laundry facilities on tour?
Yes, there are laundry facilities at least once, generally midway through the hiking safari. We recommend you take items that are fast drying, as you will most probably need to line dry clothing. You should bring lots of extra pairs of socks and undies.
Will we meet any dangerous animals?
There are no snakes, bears, lions or alligators in New Zealand. There is the kapito, which is a small poisonous spider that is so unusual it was in recent times made a protected species. In some of our beech forests wasps can be a threat at certain times of the summer and autumn. Make sure you carry medication if you are allergic to them, and tell your guide about it at the commencement of the tour. Otherwise you can hike through the bush and lie in the grass without anything to worry about
Is there somewhere I can charge my phone, camera or laptop?
We will stop at places that have power around two or three occasions on each tour, so you will be able to recharge batteries. If you have a vehicle adapter, take it along as there may be an chance to recharge batteries whilst we are driving.