General Information on Hiking Safaris

Safety and our Guides

An exceptional guide can often make the difference between a holiday of a lifetime and only an average tour. This is why we work hard to ensure we employ only the finest guides. Our top-quality professionals emanate from a variety of qualifications. All our hiking guides have wide-ranging outdoor and hiking experience, as well as a passion for New Zealand's wild and stunning backcountry. Our guides will make certain that your time with us is really inspirational, a massive amount of fun and safe. All guides are proficient in Mountain Safety First Aid. Please be gentle with your guide - it is difficult to find good guides!

Cooking and Food

Enjoy some good food and amazing surroundings while getting to know your fellow travellers. Feel free to talk about the hike over pancakes, salads, barbecues, curries, pasta, stir-fries, hangi, and even vegetarian meals. Everyone will get a chance to prepare and cook the food during meal times. On the “wild nights”, pasta and rice meals cooked with a special “secret” recipe will be prepared. 

A full range of cooking equipment such as burners, woks, frying pans and billies (cooking pots) will be available. These will be kept in the transportation vehicles while not in use. Snacks will never run out while hiking too! You can have your pick from chocolates, nuts, raisins and biscuits. If you want to be able to cook your food while on an overnight hike, a portable stove is available for the group to carry.


Nights in civilisation vs "Wild nights": On the "Wild Nights", experience the outdoor accommodations New Zealand has to offer. On the “wild nights”, you can truly experience the wilderness by staying in the backcountry huts or camping in locations far from the nearest road or populated area. During nights in civilisation, you get to stay in cabins, lodges or camp by the vehicle at Department of Conservation campsites. There are some locations that may still be relatively remote in the wilderness but are still reachable by vehicles.

Camping - On the “wild nights” we will camp under natural rock shelters or on remote beaches. You can even sleep under the stars if you prefer! A single tent is available upon request. On nights that are not in the wilderness, tents can be setup near the vehicle in Department of Conservation campsites. In case of rain, storms or cold conditions, your guide will find the nearest alternative accommodation such as lodges, cabins, or a crib.

Huts – There is an excellent network of backcountry huts in New Zealand that are only accessible on foot and should be shared with other hikers. You will have a chance to experience staying in a hut (or camp right next to one). These are equipped with mattresses and running water. There is an outside toilet available for use and cooking meals can be done using a portable stove. Camping beside the huts is also an option if you want to sleep outdoors instead.

Hotel & Lodges - There will be nights where you will stay in lodge-type homes. These are handpicked by us and mostly located near the start or end of a hike, when it will be convenient to rest well. There are twin/double rooms available and rooms that can be shared by several people. Lodges generally have a shared bathroom.

Cabins/Cribs - When the weather is bad your guide will look for other lodgings. This can be anything that is obtainable, from a cabin at a camping area, to a private crib (summer house). Cabins are available on nights spent at a campground. If you prefer a “room” to yourself, you can set up a tent instead.

Bathroom Facilities - Whilst hiking, you must be willing to go for three days (occasionally longer) without a hot shower. On the “wild nights”, there will be long drop (pit) toilets, with rivers or lakes nearby for washing. Some campgrounds or huts have natural hot pools that you can bathe in! The kiwi-style Hiking Tours are organised to have you stay in a comfortable place after a couple of nights in the wilderness. Enjoy a shower, some home comforts, and the use of laundry facilities before “roughing it” up again in the wild.


Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ever-changing forest scenery as we drive you to your next hiking location. A 12-seater minibus will serve as your transportation vehicle along with a custom-built trailer in tow that will store the camp equipment and your luggage. The minibus also comes with a range of natural history reference books that you can browse at your leisure during the 2-3 hour drive to the next location. Please note that the driving time may occasionally exceed more than 3 hours. Since you will be hiking for the most part of this tour, you may only see this minibus every 2-3 days at a time. To get to the hiking location, you will be driven through smooth and rough roads. Be warned, the guide might make frequent stops if there are good photo opportunities or a primo ice cream shop around. 

What to Bring

The weather in New Zealand is unpredictable, particularly in the mountains, and we can experience very cold weather at any time of year. Our camps and huts vary in altitude from sea level to over 1000 metres. Jeans are not suitable for hiking. It is essential to have warm clothes.

Essential Items

  • hiking boots (not shoes)
  • backpack (at least 60 litres capacity)
  • backpack liner (plastic bag)
  • 3-season sleeping bag
  • waterproof raincoat (gore-tex or similar)
  • warm fleece/wool jersey (not cotton)
  • shorts for hiking
  • polypro/thermals - top & long-johns
  • 3 pairs of socks (they get wet)
  • warm hat or balaclava
  • sunscreen and sunglasses
  • drink bottle (1 litre)
  • spare shoes or sandals
  • flashlight/head lamp
  • insect repellent (sandflies like foreign blood)
  • spare set of clothes
  • Optional items: Gaiters, binoculars, gloves/mittens, earplugs, walking poles, camera.

We supply: Pack liner, kit bag for your spare gear, emergency first aid kit, tents and thermarests (3/4 length), and plates, cutlery, mugs, pots, etc.

Baggage: We permit room for 120 litres per person (which is the same as one large pack, plus one day pack). You might be asked to forward surplus baggage if you surpass this. Any gear you do not require whilst hiking can be locked in the van. We accept no responsibility for security of your belongings. We highly recommend Travel Insurance.

Equipment Rental

We have high quality hiking gear which you can rent for our Hiking Safaris. Please book hire gear when you reserve your trip. Applications for rental equipment must be made at least 5 days before the date of departure. Cancellation of equipment hire must also take place at least 5 days prior to departure, or no refund will be made.

Hire gear

5-7 day trip (NZ$)

8-11 day trip (NZ$)

12+ day trip (NZ$)

Backpack (60 litre)




Sleeping bag and liner




2x Fleece jacket




Thermal top & longjohns








Walking pole

$15 each


$15 each

Full set (all of above)