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Kiwi Wildlife Tours

What you need to know before you book

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New Zealand

Transport
We travel by comfortable mini coach on each tour. In addition there are various boat excursions ranging from short trips to an overnight trip on Milford Sound. There is also one flight included in the tour itself, between the North and South Islands. Our mini-bus tows a luggage trailer with ample room for luggage, scopes etc. but we ask you to limit yourself to 20kg per person.

Food and Accommodation
All accommodation and meals are included in the price (see tour itineraries for details). We have found the best accommodation possible including luxurious forest lodges, boutique hotels and motels. We also stay on board a small ship and on an island. Evening meals are either at our accommodation or a local restaurant and range from international cuisine to kiwi style BBQ's. Lunches are usually alfresco to make the most of our time in the field, and include hot tea and coffee. We also include morning or afternoon tea, depending on the itinerary. Again in the field.

Hiking and Fitness
You need to be fairly mobile, but not necessarily young. Johnny is 80 but is very fit and agile. We don't do any overnight hiking, but most days include several, short bush or coastal walks. Luckily you don't need to trek for hours to see most of our birds!

What to Bring
New Zealand is a predominately a temperate country but extends from subtropical Northland to the subantarctic islands of the south. It is essentially an archipelago of some 600 islands and 3 main islands. We are never far from the coast but we also have high mountains so this also affects our temperature and climate. Wind chill and temperature decrease as you ascend in altitude are major factors in New Zealand to take into account.
You need to be prepared for all possibilities even in the middle of summer (December-February). During the spring our weather is even more unpredictable and we are often on boats or out at night so warm clothes are necessary.

For efficiency it is best to think in terms of layers of clothing. When you are walking you will start to warm up and need to take off a layer of clothes to reduce perspiration. The list we have provide is a guide only. If you have any questions or aren't sure then please ask us.

If you are on a trip staying overnight on an island it helps to have an additional small soft bag or carry-on, in which you can pack a few things just for that trip. For example, on Stewart Island we are there for two nights staying in the same lodge.

GEAR LIST FOR NEW ZEALAND (essentials marked in bold)

  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Spotting scope
  • Flashlight
  • Bathroom things
  • Medication
  • Sunblock
  • Sunhat
  • Sun glasses
  • Insect repellent
  • Strong walking shoes or light boots
  • Hiking pole (recommended)
  • Thermal hat and gloves
  • Long pants for hiking (2 pairs)
  • Shorts for hiking (2 pairs)
  • Wet weather gear, i.e. raincoat and over-trousers. Please make sure this is a good waterproof rain jacket, nylon isn't sufficient. The best coats are made from Goretex as it allows breathing while maintaining a waterproof exterior.
  • T-shirts (2)
  • Long sleeved cotton shirt for sun protection and protection from insects.
  • Good clothes (casual for eveningwear)
  • Thermal undergarment (but very useful for night trips)
  • Thermal jumper or jacket
  • Umbrella
  • Laundry powder
    (Note there will be opportunities to have clothes washed or to use washing machines en route, but not every day)

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