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Travellers Backpacker

Taking a Tour with Flying Kiwi

Catering to every kind of traveller who wants to embrace all that New Zealand has to offer, Flying Kiwi have over thirty years experience hosting and guiding travellers, showcasing the country’s stunning landscape with multi-activity adventure tours. Flying Kiwi will help you explore every part of New Zealand in a friendly atmosphere with like-minded travellers.

Who Are Flying Kiwi?

Flying Kiwi's mission statement says its guiding principle is ' to immerse all our travellers in the real New Zealand - staying in stunning locations, enjoying amazing activities and interacting with local culture and traditions'. Does this make them one of the best adventure travel companies on Earth? According to adventure experts National Geographic – yes - Flying Kiwi have the right to shout this claim loud and proud. Such a recognition comes about thanks in no small part to the many satisfied customers who have been-there-and-done-that with this camping, cycling, hiking and adventure tour company. In the trekking, biking, multi-sport and cultural encounters categories Flying Kiwi has been named New Zealand and Oceania's top rated budget operator for client satisfaction under National Geographic's 'Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth' scheme. What's more they also made it into the highly prestigious international top 5 list for client satisfaction in the same categories.

What Makes Flying Kiwi Special?

Aside from the National Geographic accolade, independant reviews from Flying Kiwi's clients found in a variety of places across the Internet are typically so glowing they almost tend towards gushing and superlatives reign supreme. So, why do this company elicit such a fervant following of extra-happy cutomers?

There are all kinds of things which make Flying Kiwi somewhat different to their tour company counterparts. Here are just a few of them:

  • A mix-n-match feast of choice - When you are immersed in the great adventure playground which calls itself New Zealand it can be hard to decide whether you want to spend your days hiking, biking, sampling one of the many incredible experiences or activities on offer in this country or getting some insider insights into its colourful culture. Flying Kiwi removes the need for settling on just one because each of their multi-activity tours combine it all. Every day you will be offered options for free hikes and bike rides varying from the easy scenic variety to those guaranteed to satisfy even the most hard-core. There are even opportunities for overnight options or multi-day treks.
  • Out of this world camping – Outdoor types and nature lovers rejoice – Flying Kiwi tours allow you to pitch your tent in some of the most remote, pristine and idyllic spots any advenure lover could dream of. Sleep under the canopy of a million stars on the shores of a mountain lake, fall asleep to the sound of a gently lapping ocean right on the sand of some gorgeous beach or otherwise surround yourself with scenery of the stunning kind. You can opt for a single tent if you don't want to go with the shared tent choice which is included in the price and sometimes there is the chance to upgrade to a cabin too if you fancy a little more comfort.
  • Secret spots and hidden gems – While many tour companies ply a well-trodden route with the occasional foray off into some lesser known place the opposite is true for Flying Kiwi. Exploring the gems which other companies don't even know exist, Flying Kiwi aims to give its customers some real nature and cultural immersion with tours aimed at those who want to hang with the locals. And don't worry – although far-from-the-madding crowd is a common theme of these tours you also get to experience all of those must-do or must-see highlights too.
  • Al fresco meals and camp cooking – While the vast majority of tour company's package prices only include breakfast, Flying Kiwi options usually include all of your meals. In most cases the only exceptions to this are the occasional evening which will find you somewhere a little more urban and you can go off to explore, dine out and let your hair down on the town. Otherwise here is how it works – your guides do the shopping and then everyone in the group takes their turn with meal preparation (on average about once every 4 days). Your outside 'kitchen' typically offers stunning backdrops as you chop and chat to your trip buddies while the resulting meals and barbecues are enjoyed as some of the best experiencesin al fresco dining you're ever likely to have. If you are a little discerning where food is concerned you can relax. Many, many of the rave reviews for Flying Kiwi tend to mention the excellent food and all those with larger appetites might be pleased to learn 'we were well-fed' is also something which crops up over and again.

  • Start where you like, finish where you like or even take extended breaks along the way – Flying Kiwi's system of journey flexibility is pretty unique and manages to combine all the advantages of independent travel, hop on/hop off buses AND those of being part of a tour. The company's buses run in a continuous loop so you can join where best suits you and also finish up where best suits you. If somewhere along the way charms you so much you can't bear to leave with the bus no problem, you can take a break and then hop back on a bus when you're ready.

  • So many optional activities, so little time – Flying Kiwi are not alone in offering a range of optional extra activities and experiences to tack onto their tours. However, what makes them unusual in this area is the sheer number of possibilities From deep-sea fishing to deep-sea or cave diving and from Milford Sound cruising to Maori cultural experiences – in fact all you can think of and probably plenty you have never imagined.

  • Sunday afternoon cyclists and hard-core hikers – A common worry for those joining a tour group and eager to get active is will this be too challenging for me or will I not be challenged enough and bored? Or perhaps one element of the hiking, biking and adventuring choices is more important than another? Besides the fact that you get to choose EXACTLY what you join in with or not, each of Flying Kiwi's tours offer a super easy at-a-glance system of knowing what might suit. Check out each tour's individual 5 star system rating with regard to hiking, biking and activities.

A Day in the Life of a Flying Kiwi-er

Every day of your Flying Kiwi trip is going to be totally different and memorable for some particular reason or thanks to some unique experience you get to take part in. Something which crops up again and again in customer reviews is the fact that Flying Kiwi pack in as much as is possible to each and every day while still balancing the need to relax and enjoy yourself. So, there is no such thing as a typical day here although any of the following could be part of it.

As Flying Kiwi take you to some truly out-of-the way places your day will almost certainly start with you crawling from your snug tent straight into a scenic backdrop of anything from soaring mountains to ocean views. Or you might have been awake for a few hours already when the rest of the camp stirs if you perhaps opted to take a sunrise hike.

After your freshly prepared al fresco breakfast possibilities for the day ahead are endless. Perhaps you will find yourself walking or cycling through a lush and dramatic gorge studded about with historical remnants or a coastal trail with stunning views around every bend in the track. Or perhaps you get to dig your very own hot pool at a beach, explore a Lord of the Rings filming location, laze back in the refreshing waters of a waterfall pool in the forest, swim with wild dolphins or take a leap of faith from an aeroplane strapped to a tandem-skydive instructor. You may have simply just decided to head out on your bike for the entire day along a deserted road with a plan to hook back up with the bus somewhere down the road.

Lunch might be treats at some local spot or a sun-soaked picnic by a lake. At some point during the day you get to sit back and relax on the bus (unless you opt to bike the journey), watching the spectacular scenery drift by, as you head to your next destination. You might get to welcome other potential trip buddies as new people join the group along the way. Depending on the distances to be covered on your current day's schedule you might get to choose from a range of activities and experiences in the afternoon too or perhaps you fancy some just-me time and want to wnder off on your own to explore your latest destination. Alternatively, Flying Kiwi might have some special freebie treat in store, all included in the price, such as a exploring a geothermal wonderland, riding a gondola high above the mountain and lakes of Queenstown or sampling some of the region's finest wines.

As the sun sinks you will be pitching your tent yet again in some idyllic location, perhaps while the campfires are being lit and the day's current cook group gets to work to prepare the freshly caught fish supper or the beach barbeque wafts some mouth-watering aromas your way. Perhaps you will get to wander along some secret trail lit by glow worms or simply lay back under a sky full of stars, contemplating the highlights of your day and dreaming of what adventures tomorrow may bring.

The Other Interesting Bits

Here are a few more snippets, facts and interesting details regarding Flying Kiwi tours.

  • You have a choice of 16 different tours with Flying Kiwi covering both islands ranging in length from 4 to 28 days which include four winter/snow options.
  • Flying Kiwi is a 100% family-owned Kiwi company which has almost 30 years of experience under its belt.
  • Group sizes are usually around 18 people with a maximum of 24 at any one time.
  • Package prices include meals, transport, accommodation and several freebie activities or experiences thrown in.
  • Flying Kiwi frquently have special deals on the go and also operate a refer-a-friend programme which offers significant rewards for both you and the friend you refer.
  • With a host of eco-friendly initiatives in place and a firm commitment to responsible tourism, Flying Kiwi have scooped themselves a range of awards including Qualmark Enviro recognition.
  • As we might already have mentioned reviewers love Flying Kiwi and who better to listen to than those who have taken one of their trips. The Facebook end of things presents 137 reviews with a whopping 127 of those attracting 5 stars and other review sites all tend to veer along the same lines. Many customers are so impressed they rebook other tours. What do reviewers like best? Something of a theme is the mention of how the excellent tour guides themselves made the trip but other often-mentioned details include the incredible range of activity options possible, the stunning camping locations, the slick operation and the wonderful food. As one reviewer put it ' it really was a tour that I came back from saying there are too many highlights to pick a favourite'.
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