Destination Spotlight: Aotearoa New Zealand

Josie Major
Mar 8, 2024

Few travellers need convincing of why they should visit Aotearoa New Zealand. The allure of beautiful beaches, stunning mountain landscapes, friendly people, biodiverse forests and unique wildlife puts it firmly on the wish list of travellers from all over the world. There’s no doubt New Zealanders have plenty to celebrate and share with visitors. The question is therefore not why to visit this paradise in the Deep Pacific, but how to visit in a way that respects and nurtures Aotearoa New Zealand’s unique culture, environments, and communities. 

At The Centre for GOOD Travel, we’re proud to bring visitors to the country many of our team members call home, and we are committed to doing so in a way that contributes to Aotearoa’s ability to thrive now and in the future. 

We’re blessed to have incredible partners all over Aotearoa New Zealand who make our experiences unique and meaningful. Who better to help us understand how to be a GOOD traveller in the country than the locals themselves - especially these incredible hosts showcasing the best of their places through fun, impactful, regenerative experiences. 

Stories of Regeneration in Aotearoa New Zealand

Rewilding a capital city with Zealandia 

Zealandia is a 500-acre fenced eco-sanctuary that is home to some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most vulnerable wildlife and plant species, created with a 500-year vision of restoring forest and water ecosystems of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, to its pre-human grandeur. Not only is the sanctuary an ambitious conservation project, but it is also a place where both locals and international visitors alike can visit to see once-endangered bird life thriving in rich, biodiverse forest, and can be a part of the conservation effort as the proceeds from tickets are used to continue the project’s vital work. Visiting Zealandia is an invitation to take part in New Zealand’s conservationist culture - learn about some incredible wildlife and contribute to their protection while you do! 

Nurturing community with Waka Abel Tasman 

Waka Abel Tasman

In the heart of the picturesque Marlborough Sounds, Waka Abel Tasman hosts unique waka (traditional Māori canoe) paddling experiences that are much more than a day out on the water. Visitors learn the tikanga (customs) and significance of paddling a waka, and through this are invited into a better understanding of Aotearoa's indigenous culture. Paddling with Waka Abel Tasman, you’ll experience the harmonious feeling of paddling in unison with the others in your waka and learn some of the history of the beautiful Te Tauihu-o-te-Waka/Marlborough Sounds. But the real beauty of this uniquely Aotearoa experience is Waka Abel Tasman’s commitment to giving back to their community. Through their tourism business, they’re able to support youth in their community to join waka paddling clubs, travel to take part in competitions and learn about their own culture through waka paddling. 

Transforming food systems with Gravity Fishing 

In the deep south of Aotearoa New Zealand, between the South Island and Stewart Island, Gravity Fishing is challenging the way we think about fishing, wild food, and food tourism. Exclusively fishing via hook-and-line, rather than mass fishing practices, Gravity is supplying restaurants across the South of New Zealand with consciously-harvested premium seafood. In addition, they invite visitors to join them on the Gravity Fishing boats, in an effort to share sustainable fishing practices with a wider audience. On a Gravity Experience, you’ll learn about the hook-to-plate movement, gain a deeper understanding and respect for Aotearoa New Zealand’s wild food, and have an incredible adventure with local hosts sharing their place. Gravity is not only providing a unique experience to visitors but also transforming the way we think about food and fishing. 

Contributing to conservation with Ridgeline Wanaka  

Joining Mark and his Ridgeline Wanaka team on a high-country walk is a unique opportunity to see some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s rugged landscapes through the eyes of local storytellers and guides. Truly “off the beaten track”, you’ll follow rarely trodden trails through high country farms, alpine landscapes and stunning views of Lake Hawea. With a strong commitment to conservation, Ridgeline Wanaka also offers you the opportunity to make a hands-on contribution to Aotearoa New Zealand’s conservation efforts. As you walk and take in the views, you’ll assist your guides in managing the pest traps that protect endangered native bird species, or even plant native trees as part of a wider replanting project across the region. You’ll experience some remote and beautiful Aotearoa New Zealand landscapes, and contribute to their protection along the way. 

Exploring with purpose with The Centre for GOOD Travel 

The Centre for GOOD Travel is dedicated to creating itineraries in Aotearoa New Zealand that contribute to the people and places we visit in a positive way. We co-create experiences with local hosts who help us to design trips that are giving back to communities and environments in ways that are meaningful and specific. If you’re hoping to travel to Aotearoa New Zealand in a sustainable and responsible way, The Centre for GOOD Travel would love to help you to do so. Join us for our 12 day GOOD Awaits group trip, packed full of incredible hosts and experiences like the ones listed above, or reach out to us about your dream itinerary for more information about how we could support you. 

These are just a few of the amazing partners we have in Aotearoa New Zealand that highlight how you can visit this beautiful place in a way that contributes to the thriving of our communities and environment. For more examples of trail-blazing sustainable and regenerative tourism businesses, check out our GOOD Awaits podcast which highlights stories of many more experiences. 

March 8, 2024
5 min read