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PREPARING FOR YOUR TOUR
Here are our suggestions on what to bring and sometimes more importantly, what to leave at home!
We also give some guidance on what to expect on a day to basis and the role our awesome guides will play in your trip! We guarantee you will leave one of our tours with heaps of amazing experiences, unreal stories and some killer pics! All we ask is that you bring your "try anything once" attitude!
So you've booked - yeeehaa! To help you get ready for the ultimate NZ adventure tour, here are some tips and pointers. We will also send you out heaps of helpful information with your Final Tour Documentation.
What to bring
- It doesn't matter whether you bring a backpack or suitcase but we would appreciate it if you would restrict yourself to 1 or 2 bags, max 25kg weight. If you wish to bring more please let us know.
- Clothing depending on weather. When packing for colder conditions we recommend layers. Bare in mind that New Zealand is very casual!
- Sun screen at all times of year - our sun is intense!
- Swimwear (e.g. board shorts or bikini)
- Comfortable shoes
- Jandals/flip-flops/thongs in summer
- Day bag
- Passport for identification
- Make sure you have a valid visa (or check the list of waiver free countries), passport (more than 3 months before its expiry), and travel insurance (as we don't provide it).
What not to bring
- You don't need any extra equipment for activities other than swim gear and a towel; everything is provided.
- Large pieces of sports equipment, surf boards, bikes and such without permission. If you are interested in bringing anything like this, please ask us beforehand.
- Ladies, don't expect to need heels! But it is good to have one "nicer" pair of shoes if you are planning on going out at night.
- Bedding is always provided by our accommodation suppliers so there is no need for sleeping bags
- Cooking equipment, tents or anything along these lines
What to expect on a day-to-day basis
The earliest time we expect you to be up and out of the accommodation by is 7am (when we have to catch the ferry from Wellington to Picton on the 16 and 24 day tours). Other than this we normally have breakfast between 8 and 9am. On "free days" there is sometimes the opportunity for a longer lie-in but we like to make the most of your time!
Journey times can vary between an hour to occasionally 4 or 5 on the road. However, don't sweat because your tour guide will break up every drive with heaps of unique stops to keep you entertained and show you as much of our beautiful country as possible.
Don't expect an hour-by-hour constant schedule as we like to keep some spontaneity involved! However, your tour guide will make sure you know anything important that is planned ahead. They will also provide the odd surprise along the way!
On "free days" when we don't travel between locations there is always plenty to see and do! Your guide will give you a guided tour of the area, and is always open to what tour members wish to focus their day upon. You are of course still free to do your own thing and do not have to stay with the group - your guide will be full of suggestions and won't ever force you into doing anything you don't want to do.
Lunch and dinner are not provided so you have two choices - you can buy food and make it at the hostel (all have kitchen facilities) or you can eat out. Your guide will always have suggestions. Sometimes the place you stay at will offer dinner for a very reasonable price as well. More often than not, a tour party will chose to eat together, often cooking as a group and sharing the cost of food. If you are lucky your guide may treat you all and cook up freshly caught seafood(!) and whilst on the road we have a number of places we like to picnic at.
In the evening there is always an opportunity to socialise but again it is completely optional! Some tour members will like to grab a beer or two (or ten!) whilst others will rather chill out in the hostel and have an early night. If you do ever fancy a night on the town, adrenalin and extreme activities are always the best hangover cure!
What to expect from your tour guide
Passion, knowledge, organisation, and a good friend. Your tour guide is there to provide you with an outstanding service and show you everything New Zealand has to offer! All our guides are NZ experts: bursting with energy and information about their country and all our activities. Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions and make full use of their expertise - you wouldn't get this service if you were travelling alone!
Each of our guides has their own favourite places and extras that they like to show and do with their groups.
Finally, we do ask that you realise your guide cannot be expected to work 24/7, and therefore will need a break in the evenings to relax after their busy day. We can promise they will go out of their way to make sure you have a great time, but don't forget they are also human!
What else to budget for
There are no hidden costs when travelling with Haka Tours. We suggest that you consider N$30-60 for food (i.e. lunch and dinner together) per day, depending on how expensive your tastes may be!
Some activity suppliers will offer you photos or DVDs of your time with them, in particular skydiving, canyon swing, quad biking, rafting, and bungy (like the below). This can vary from $30-100 and is completely optional.
Allow money for souvenirs should you wish to bring back anything and always get travel insurance!
New Zealand is known for the ability to have 4 different seasons in 1 day so we ask you to be prepared for all conditions. The top of the North Island is considered subtropical, so expect more humid conditions in summer. The South Island will be much colder than the North in winter.
Spring - October to December: varying temperatures with cooler temperatures in the evenings and out of the sun. December can be as warm as the summer months on a good year. Summer - January to March: temperatures usually from 20 - 35 degrees Celsius in the North, with the occasional cooler day in the South. Sun screen is essential as you can burn even in 10 minutes. Autumn - April to mid June: getting cooler with more chance of rain, especially in the West Coast... but stunning Autumnal colours. Winter - June to September: colder temperatures, occasionally dropping below freezing. Snow is common in places especially in the South but rain remains relatively infrequent.