Top tips for choosing an adventure tour

Adventure tours are a popular way to experience the excitement and beauty of NZ. This great article provides tips on choosing an adventure tour for you.

Aotearoa is arguably the adventure capital of the World and the perfect place to satisfy every adrenalin fix. From skydiving to whale watching you are guaranteed to find something for every taste.

The next step is working out how to co-ordinate your journey and experience as much as possible. For many people, particularly those with limited time or looking to fill every day, joining an adventure tour is the obvious answer.

Joining one of these trips offers the following advantages (may vary dependant on tour operator – check itineraries for further details):

- Food, accommodation and transport are all provided – enabling you to spend more time doing the things you love

- The best activities are available at the best rates. Travelling with a group ensures discounts and established operators will have researched the best operators and deals for you.

- An instant group of travel mates. The best part about joining a tour is having instant access to groups of like-minded travellers to share your experiences with.

- Access to local knowledge. Good guides are the key to successful trips – choose a company that only uses local guides and has a good passenger to guide ratio. This will ensure you get to learn and experience more of the Kiwi culture.

- Peace of mind. Whilst travelling independently can be a rewarding experience a tour provides the guarantee of support and quick feedback throughout your trip. Whether you want to know the name of a local landmark, more about Maori traditions or the best ice cream store – your guides should be a fountain of knowledge throughout.

- Discovering secret spots. Some tour companies will also provide you with access to hidden spots, often overlooked on the normal tourist trail. Flying Kiwi Tours, in particular, are renowned for visiting a variety of wonderful spots that get visitors beyond the tourist trail.

- Tours can save you money. When working out your trip it’s important to factor in the inclusions. The number of meals, transport, ferry crossings, accommodation and activities should all be factored in to the cost of your trip or used when comparing to other options.

It’s also important to note that many “inclusions” listed are actually free when travelling around New Zealand (these include entry to many museums such as Te Papa and visiting attractions such as Pancake rocks, Moeraki boulders and more).

If you’ve decided an adventure tour is for you, consider the following when choosing an operator:

• Make sure they are Qualmark certified. The Qualmark logo is a regulated standard that ensures operators are meeting key service standards on their trips. Other key affiliations to look out for include; TIANZ ( Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand), BCA (Bus and Coach Association) and ITOC (Inbound Tour Operators). Each affiliation will ensure your chosen operator is involved in meeting a variety of industry standards.

• Choose a tour that suits you. Decide carefully what you want from your experience and choose accordingly. Consider the activities and options available, driving distances and the “style” of trip. From adventurous to sedate there are tours to fit all levels.

• Experience counts. A bit of light research should enable you to find operator reviews and how long the companies have been around. Review sites are a great way to compare travel options.

For more information on bus tours visit the Flying Kiwi Website.