“I really enjoyed the experience of spending so much time outdoors. This was my first time really hiking, and thanks to the Tongariro and Routeburn tracks, I have a new found love! The Flying Kiwi team does an exceptional job at enhancing each individuals...“
- More opportunities to get off the beaten track
- Stunning accommodation by lakes, mountains and oceans
- New Zealand owned and operated for over 30 years
- Hike and cycle options for all fitness levels
Since 1988 Flying Kiwi has been recognised as New Zealand's leading adventure tour company. These unique tours focus on taking travellers beyond the tourist trail to experience some of the more remote parts of the country as well as the more famous attractions. We p...
Since 1988 Flying Kiwi has been recognised as New Zealand's leading adventure tour company. These unique tours focus on taking travellers beyond the tourist trail to experience some of the more remote parts of the country as well as the more famous attractions. We proud to be kiwi owned and operated providing authentic, "local" travel experiences. Every trip is carefully structured to provide a range of activity options. Choose from a combination of hiking, cycling and adventure activities everyday - no pressure to participate but plenty of choice for everyone. Tasty, healthy meals are included and rather than hostels we stay in tents or cabins by lakes, mountains and oceans - waking up to magnificent views everyday and getting away from the tourist crowds. Flying Kiwi is the only New Zealand company listed in National Geographic's "Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth" for their oustanding trips, customer service and sustainability and the World Travel Awards for the last 6 consecutive years.Read more
24 Flying Kiwi Reviews
- Rather Poor
- 4 / 5
- 4.5 / 5
- 4.5 / 5
- Value for money
- 4.5 / 5
- 4.5 / 5
- SFSallyUltimate Explorer from Auckland (28 days) - Top rated by National Geographic5.0 - ExcellentWritten on February 15, 2018This tour was absolutely amazing!! Highly recommend, the tour guides were amazing!Flying Kiwi commented on this reviewthanks so much sally and so pleased you had a great trip - love the pic :)
- LSLaurenWild West from Queenstown - top rated by National Geographic5.0 - ExcellentWritten on February 4, 2018Dinner each night was excellent and way exceeded my expectations! Everyday was packed with activities, a good mixture of driving, sightseeing, cycling and rela…Read moreFlying Kiwi commented on this reviewThanks so much lauren and great to hear you had such a good trip - we'll pass your feedback on to Genna and Franki :)
- THTingGrand Traverse from Auckland - top rated by National Geographic4.5 - ExcellentWritten on January 28, 2018… Traverse tour with Robbi-John and Bente that I extended my trip with Flying Kiwi to stay on with the group! It was the best decision. If I were…Read moreFlying Kiwi commented on this reviewthanks for the kind words Ting and we will pass your comment on to the guides :)
- PUPamelaReverse Traverse from Queenstown - Top rated by National Geographic4.5 - ExcellentWritten on January 13, 2018My experience with Flying Kiwi Reverse Traverse Queenstown to Auckland was fabulous. Staff wer…Read moreFlying Kiwi commented on this reviewThanks for the comment Pamela and so pleased you loved your trip. Yep the 2 week trip does pack a lot in - all i can say is our 28 day option is the best to see "everytjing" but maybe you can join us and do the remainder another time. :)
- MMeiReverse Traverse from Queenstown - Top rated by National Geographic1.5 - Rather poorWritten on January 11, 2018the Reverse traverse tour joins the Grand Traverse tour group halfway through the tour so I wasn't given a bus introduction and didn't find out how to get water…Read moreFlying Kiwi commented on this reviewHi Mei, It is very disappointing to hear that you didn’t enjoy your time on tour with us. I have tried to make contact with you directly to discuss some of your concerns, however I have not heard anything back from you. Thank you for taking the time to write, I will attempt to clear up some of your issues or misconceptions with my response here. When new guests join a tour, our driver and guides give an introduction to the bus and onboard facilities. This is sometimes over the bus PA if we are on the road, or as a personal introduction if joining at a camp as you did in Queenstown. We have a comprehensive printed onboard guide that is given to every passenger to read. The guide contains all of the information pertinent to your tour, such as the onboard safe and I am assured that you were given this to read and had an introduction from our senior team on arrival in Queenstown. The nature of a bus tour circumnavigating a whole country, will always lead to people joining and leaving in different places. We have 5 departure or end points to a tour throughout the country, it would be impractical to have all passengers joining and leaving in the same place as guests holiday dates almost always differ. Our teams always try their absolute best to help newcomers to the tour integrate into the group. Of note would be mealtimes, designed with rotating cook groups, actively encouraging social interaction. Getting to know new people and making new friends is one of the many reasons that people join our tours and our staff will do all they can to help with that process. My apologies if you found this difficult or not the case, whilst on board. Waiwera Hot pools are part of the tour that you were on, they are located close to Orewa North of Auckland. Unfortunately on the day that you were due to visit, the pools were closed for construction work, this is completely out of our control and was explained by your guide to the group. The next opportunity to visit Hot Pools was at Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula, this would have been after you left the tour in Auckland. Again my apologies if this was a confusing situation. Having booked through a travel agent as you did, your single tent upgrade was paid for at the time of booking, the pre-trip email that you received simply outlines extra costs that passengers may want to consider before their departure. I have looked back through your email correspondence and I can see that when you queried the upgrade cost that you had already paid, Penny replied immediately with this explanation. Similarly, the activities that were listed in the pre trip email are those activities that are extremely popular across New Zealand and therefore we recommend pre booking to secure a place. Some of those activities may not have been on the tour that you did. I realise that this may have led to confusion and I will look to implement a more tour specific pre trip email in the future. The “old” bus that you mention you were in for the second half of your tour is a custom built 2016 Mitsubishi Fuso. It is in its second season of use. I am surprised that you felt that this was an old bus! I was aware and acknowledge that the USB ports failed on one side of the bus after leaving Wellington, however they were repaired within 4 days, as soon as practically possible to get to an auto electrician to fix. My apologies if this issue left you feeling inconvenienced. The fully stocked kitchen on board has multiple kitchen knives for food preparation, the team do their best to keep them sharp and we do have a very good knife sharpener on board. I will let my teams know to verbalise this fact in future so that guests don’t struggle on with a blunt knife. The menus on tour are designed to be wholesome, healthy and filling. We have many years of experience providing meals to our guests and also cater to many specific dietary requirements. The guides shop to a menu that is worked out for the number of people on board. Again I am surprised to hear that you felt that there wasn’t enough food supplied on your tour, this is definitely not echoed in the feedback left by other members of your tour. We have spent many years building relationships with campsite and hostel operators. We try to pick the best of the best for your tour and we have a variety of upgrade options to suit all budgets, in most of the places that we stay. If our guests have issues with camps or hostels, we actively encourage communication of those issues and are happy to report back to the accommodation providers. If we don’t know of an issue at the time, then it is very difficult for us to put it right, or at least inform the campsite owner to see what can be done to find a resolution. You were required to pay for your Jucy hostel in Auckland as you were booked to stay there and didn’t inform us of your intention to stay somewhere else. My team actually spent over an hour in Auckland city centre trying to locate you after you left without word to find your own alternate accommodation. The only other customers who made their own arrangements had finished their tour and were leaving the group in Auckland. My apologies again if you found this situation confusing, had we known that you wanted to find your own accommodation that night we could have cancelled your booking. Once again I am sorry that your tour didn’t live up to your expectations. Customer experience and satisfaction sits extremely high on our priority list. If guests are having problems on tour, generally we find that issues can be resolved quite easily, but only if those issues are brought to our attention at the time.
- PUPamelaReverse Traverse from Christchurch - top rated in National Geographic5.0 - ExcellentWritten on January 10, 2018Tour was excellentFlying Kiwi commented on this reviewthanks Pamela and great to hear you had such a good trip.
- RPRuthNorthern Light from Auckland - Top rated by National Geographic4.0 - GoodWritten on December 20, 2017It has been an awesome experience and a great way to see so much of New Zealand’s beauty with other likeminded people. Thank you!Flying Kiwi commented on this reviewOur pleasure Ruth and so pleased to hear you had a great trip
- TCTerenceNorthern Wanderer from Auckland - top rated by National Geographic5.0 - ExcellentWritten on December 7, 2017Great trip with committed courier and driver whom could not have done more to support the clients. Great fun and no problem for any age group if you enjoy the c…Read moreFlying Kiwi commented on this reviewThanks for the review Terence and you are totally right - we welcome all ages if you love travelling with others and the outdoors. :)
- CristinaGrand Traverse from Auckland - top rated by National Geographic5.0 - ExcellentWritten on December 4, 2017… to the Tongariro and Routeburn tracks, I have a new found love! The Flying Kiwi team does an exceptional job at enhancing each individuals exper…Read moreFlying Kiwi commented on this reviewThanks so much for the kind words Cristina and so pleased you had a great trip. :)
- SCSharonSummer Blast from Christchurch - top rated by National Geographic4.0 - GoodWritten on March 30, 2017…xperience, great tour. tour leader and helper. Would highly recommend Flying Kiwi.Read moreFlying Kiwi commented on this reviewthanks sharon - so pleased you loved the tour and please recommend away :)
Flying Kiwi Tours
- Ultimate Explorer from Auckland (28 days) - Top rated by National Geographic 28 daysStarts AucklandEnds Auckland$3,077
- Grand Traverse from Auckland - top rated by National Geographic 15 daysStarts AucklandEnds Queenstown$1,992
- Northern Light from Auckland - Top rated by National Geographic 5 daysStarts AucklandEnds Wellington$735
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Questions & Answers
Here we have collected and answered the most frequently asked questions.
How much personal spending money should I bring?
As a general rule, it comes out at around NZD$30 per day, depending on the person. Things like meals, accommodation and transport along some free activities are included.
There are optional activities you will need to budget for as well as some meals which are not included in the itinerary.
What is a bush camp?
A bush camp is a campsite usually in a remote or wilderness location. They have limited facilities, usually just a long-drop toilet with a great view!!
Is there mobile phone coverage?
Most of our north island camps have network coverage available. For approximately ½ of the camps in the south island there is no network coverage. As this is an outdoor trip, please respect that some of our passengers have come to escape the rat-race and keep your phones on silent or give yourself a break and turn-off your phone for a few days you never know what you might hear instead.
Where can I charge my camera, phone, batteries, i-pod or MP3 player?
These are regularly available at the commercial campgrounds and some of the buses are also able to charge some of the appliances.
Are activities included in the price?
There are walks each day which are free. Bike rides are also free as long as you have hired a bike. All other optional activities have an associated cost. These can be found on the activities section of the website or in our activity guide on board the bus. Apart from the Routeburn walk and Dolphin Swimm in Kaikoura, these do not need to be booked in advance. Your driver/guide will give you the low-down the night before of what is coming up the next day and you just need to let them know what you would like to do, they take care of everything after that.
I’m a vegetarian or have other dietary requirements – is that a problem?
No problem at all, we are used to catering for all kinds of dietary requirements and as we cook for ourselves we can easily accommodate your needs. Just let us know when you book.
What does the tour leader/assistant do?
Your tour leader/assistant are there to provide you with a wealth of knowledge about New Zealand – history, culture, and trivia as well as recommending and booking activities, doing the shopping and helping with the cooking, and getting you from A to B each day. They are walking guidebooks always there to help and entertain! Please be gentle with them – good guides are hard to find.
It’s Summer. Do I really need thermals and a fleece?
Yes! We can experience extreme weather even in the summer.
What footwear do we need?
You’ll need to bring a decent pair of comfortable footwear, that you can walk in comfortably, trainers are ideal. Hiking boots are good but not essential. It is also good to bring a pair of flip-flops, sandals or thongs (depending on whether you speak NZ English, Oz English or just English) for the camp showers.
Is the Interisland ferry included and how much does it cost?
The Interisland ferry is included on trips that traverse both islands, the Ultimate Explorer, Grand and Reverse Traverse. The other trips it is not included but Flying Kiwi can book this for you, you just need to contact the office.