A Regenerative Tourism Experience

GOOD Awaits Aotearoa New Zealand

March 27th - April 8th 2023

Welcome to GOOD Awaits - A Regenerative Tourism Experience

GOOD Awaits is not your average travel experience. It’s a new kind of trip that fosters ‘GOOD’, hope, resilience, and inspiration. This multi-day experience in Aotearoa New Zealand is a unique example of tourism serving regenerative practice. Motivated by our conversations on the GOOD Awaits podcast, we’ve designed this trip in partnership with local hosts who are regenerating their communities and places. Not only will you get to experience regeneration in practice, we’re hoping you’ll be moved to explore how you can begin to live, work, and play in a way that is truly regenerative. Learn about regenerative practice, experience wonderful host communities and places, and return home with new inspiration and practices for your own regenerative journey.

Why regenerative tourism?

As travellers, we believe we have a responsibility to care for the people and places we visit. Regenerative tourism is about embracing this and travelling in a way that allows both travellers and hosts to thrive.

This looks different in each unique place you visit, but for this experience in Aotearoa it includes respecting Te Ao Māori and the indigenous knowledge of this place, protecting and contributing to restoring native ecosystems, staying with local hosts who are embedded in their communities, and travelling off the main tourist track to enjoy picturesque Aotearoa without adding pressure to tourist "hot spots".

This trip will invite you to explore some of the key principles of regeneration and experience these being put in to practice by the people we visit, with the hope that you will be inspired and empowered by these concepts long after you return home.

This trip is for the traveller who:

  • cares deeply about travel serving a meaningful purpose
  • wants to support local host communities
  • seeks deep encounters with hosts who are regenerating their communities and places
  • wants to deepen their own connection to nature
  • wants to explore new ways of living and being in the world

This trip includes:

  • Māori owned businesses and regenerative leaders - regenerative thinking is rooted in the knowledge of indigenous peoples including Te Ao Māori (the Māori worldview) in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Regenerative farmers working to regenerate their land and transform the future of food and farming in Aotearoa
  • Social enterprises who have purpose and community wellbeing at the heart of what they do
  • Regenerative food producers, distributors, chefs and restaurants who enable close farm to table linkages, strengthening local food security
  • Kaitiaki (stewards) of environmental conservation projects focused on biodiversity restoration
  • Host communities, including opportunities to contribute and to explore ideas to help your own community to thrive  
  • Nature - essential in developing an understanding that we are a part of, not apart from, our natural world
  • Creative arts - to welcome diverse ways of exploring and expressing what it means to thrive
  • Self-enquiry through deep reflection and exploration of values 

This trip has been designed in alignment with GOOD Awaits - The Regenerative Tourism New Zealand Podcast and our evolving Commitment to GOOD.

Listen to the GOOD Awaits Podcast

Read more about our commitment and what's unique about GOOD Travel trips here.

Register Your Interest

Details & Itinerary

Day 1

Our trip will begin at 10am on March 27th from Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland, so we highly recommend arriving the previous evening so you’re rested and ready to start our journey. If you arrive on the morning of 27th we’ll meet you at the Auckland airport. We'll start our trip by spending time with Nic Turner of Mainstream Green, learning how this cool little town of Cambridge is showing us all how to live lightly.

We’ll then start our trip by travelling down to the edge of Ngati Manawa tribal lands, where we will meet our first hosts, Nadine and Karl of Kohutapu Lodge. With a mission of ‘Transforming a town through tourism’, Nadine and Karl are an inspiring example of how tourism’s primary purpose can be about community wellbeing. Check out our conversation with Nadine on the GOOD Awaits Podcast for an understanding of Nadine’s passion for her community, and how her business is a model of a social enterprise truly creating positive impact. 

We’ll be guided through Ngati Manawa tribal lands, the town of Murupara, and Aniwhenua Falls where we’ll learn about the eel capture and release programme - an ongoing effort to assist the eel around the dam each breeding season. We’ll participate in some interactive activities at Kohutapu Lodge and enjoy a hangi (underground oven) buffet dinner. Nadine will share the story of her business and we’ll help to package up the hangi meal for delivery into the community. 

Our first evening will be spent on whakawhanaungatanga (getting to know each other) and setting the tone for the GOOD Awaits experience. Your guides will introduce you to the fundamentals of regenerative thinking and practice that we will be exploring throughout our time together. 


Day 2 

Today we will have the privilege of walking with our hosts in Te Pua a Tāne, The Whirinaki Rainforest, experiencing the rich biodiversity of this ancient, awe-inspiring ngahere (forest) and hearing stories of its plants, animals, and history. 

You’ll enjoy another dinner at Kohutapu Lodge tonight and storytelling around the campfire after dinner. This time with our hosts is a true privilege. 


Day 3 

We’ll travel south towards the striking Mt Ruapehu, to spend a cosy and restful evening at the Powderhorn Chateau.

Regenerative thinking and practice requires us to slow down and take time to think about what we’re experiencing. We’ll explore the ways that our partner hosts are using elements of regenerative practice in their work and consider where and how these ideas might apply in our own lives.


Day 4 

Today we’ll head further south to hosts, Brian and Nicola Megaw of River Valley Lodge. The team at River Valley are dedicated to regenerative practice, and we will experience how this is present in every aspect of their business. 

We’ll have dinner from River Valley’s very own garden, a “taster” of what we’ll be able to explore in their permaculture farm the next day. 

Day 5 

Today we’ll be taken by our River Valley guides down the Rangitikei River, on either an adventurous grade 5 white water rafting experience, or a gentle grade 2 ride. You choose your adventure! The white water trip on the thunderous Rangitikei river will get your adrenaline pumping, or cruise downstream from the lodge for a more serene connection with nature. Both experiences are magical. 

In the afternoon we’ll korero (have conversation) in River Valley Acres - the lodge garden. Brian, Nicola and their family believe in serving food that is ethical, local and environmentally sustainable. Their garden and food philosophy is an expression of their core beliefs about the holistic nature of what River Valley does. 

We’ll have time this afternoon to relax beside the river, to read, snooze, or just breathe in the surrounding beauty. Some of us will enjoy this restful downtime, while others may choose to hire e-bikes and explore the surrounding country roads. Your choice.

Dinner will be a seasonal and creative celebration of the bounty that is River Valley. 

Day 6

Today we’re heading down the Kāpiti coast and taking a ferry from Paraparaumu Beach to breathtaking Kāpiti Island, a nature reserve that is home to some of New Zealand’s most treasured and endangered species. We’ll be hosted by Kāpiti Island Nature Tours who have been welcoming visitors to the Island for generations and will share the unique ecological and human history of this place with you. 

After a dinner with our hosts at the Lodge, we’ll have the privilege of walking with our guides after dark to try spotting New Zealand’s treasured kiwi and other nocturnal species in the wild. After our walk we’ll bunk down in modest cabin accommodation on the island. 

Day 7

Waking up to the serenity of Kāpiti Island is something special, and today we’ll have the chance to explore more of the island with our hosts, taking a ferry to the centre of the island and the opportunity to enjoy the majestic NZ forest by either wandering and bird watching at the base of Kāpiti’s maunga (mountain), or by climbing the trig track to a spectacular view at the top. 

We’ll depart the island by ferry in the late afternoon and travel to Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington for our last night on the North Island. We’ll rest and get refreshed at the central-city Bolton Hotel. Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant that supports local growers and food producers. You can enjoy these delicious foods as well as contributing to our local food systems. 

Day 8 

Today we’ll leave the North Island of Aotearoa and head south via the Interislander Ferry, arriving via the picturesque Marlborough Sounds. We’ll settle in to Kimi Ora Eco Resort in Kaiteriteri, where we’ll be spending the next three nights while we explore the Nelson-Tasman region. Kimi Ora Eco Resort’s founder and owner, Dietmar Glaser, was an early pioneer in ensuring a light footprint and positive contributions to local communities and ecosystems. Climate Positive Kimi Ora offers us lovely accommodation, stunning views of Kaiteriteri Bay while dining on sumptuous locally sourced and seasonal vegetarian dishes. 

Day 9

When you’ll be wondering just how this trip can include yet another inspiring local host, you’ll meet Lee-Anne and Todd Jago and their team at Waka Abel Tasman, to spend the day exploring the stunning Abel Tasman coastline in a paddling waka (Māori canoe).  Listen to our GOOD Awaits podcast episode with Lee-Anne about how she and Todd run their business and why being invested in their local community is such a critical element of their success. Listening to this episode also gives you a glimpse into what to expect today as we paddle out into Abel Tasman National park with Lee-Anne in a waka. We’ll also spend time contributing some of our time to a project close to Lee-Anne’s heart, volunteering in a way that is truly meaningful. 

Day 10

The Nelson Tasman region is committed to reducing their carbon footprint and today we’ll spend time with some of the trailblazers who are certified Zero Carbon or Climate Positive businesses. We’ll learn about what it means to be Zero Carbon while experiencing the wonderful local offerings of the “Top of the South” - flat whites and forest walks, canyons and craft beers. 

Day 11 

Leaving the gorgeous Nelson Tasman region behind, we’ll travel south and inland to arrive at Maruia Hotsprings, a wellness centre and natural hot spring where we will stay and indulge in the healing geothermal waters. As we approach the end of our trip, Maruia will offer us a chance to pause again, focus on regenerating ourselves and to reflect on the experience so far. 

Day 12 

Our last full day together will be marked by a visit to host Angela Clifford of Eat NZ and The Food Farm to learn about regenerating food systems. We’ll visit and share kai (food) from her permaculture farm, learn about the interconnected systems that support it, and get a taste for Aotearoa’s food story. Angela’s passion for transforming New Zealand’s food systems offers an inspiring example of what one person can do when they deeply focus and commit to a cause.

We’ll spend our last night at Give Hotel in Ōtautahi/Christchurch and celebrate our journey by sharing food together and recounting stories that have moved us, deepening our own commitment to action on our return home. 

Day 13

You’ll depart today from Ōtautahi/Christchurch. If you let us know of your return travel plans in advance we can assist with your airport transfer or other requirements. 

Taking in the majestic Whirinaki Forest

In the garden at River Valley

Kaka on Kapiti Island

Kapiti Island Glamping

Kimi Ora Eco Resort- nestled in picturesque Kaiteriteri

Bathing in geothermal waters at Maruia Hotsprings

Sunflower field at The Food Farm

What's GOOD about this trip?

This trip has been designed as a result of over a year of research and exploration of regenerative tourism practice and potential in Aotearoa New Zealand. We’re fiercely aware of the volatile and uncertain world we are living in, and believe that tourism has a role to play in the essential work of reconnecting with our places, nature and each other. GOOD Awaits is designed as a model of a regenerative travel experience, intended to educate and inspire participants while uplifting host communities and places. 

This trip has been designed to visit partner hosts who will ground the experience in a local understanding of place and community. Each partner host has been chosen because of the amazing regenerative work they are doing in their places. Regenerative practice is so much about collaboration and connection, so we hope to weave together the experiences each of these partner hosts has to offer in a way that tells a story of passion and hope.

We seek to reduce our environmental impact as much as possible, and to contribute to the regeneration of habitats and ecosystems. This includes measuring, reducing and offsetting our carbon emissions, minimising waste, and partnering with businesses committed to the stewardship of their natural environments. A significant aspect of the GOOD Awaits experience will be about reconnecting with nature, and we acknowledge the privilege and responsibility of visiting taonga (treasured) and often endangered ecosystems. 

We're deeply committed to partnering with New Zealand owned and operated businesses, ensuring as much as possible of your trip cost is going back into the local economy, and to NZ businesses who have faced immense challenges over the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to supporting Māori business, and have actively sought to partner with businesses owned by Māori and minority groups. 

If you want to learn more about the journey of exploration in regenerative thinking and practice in tourism, have a listen to GOOD Awaits - The Regenerative Tourism New Zealand Podcast. Co-hosts Debbie and Josie set out to explore what a regenerative visitor ecosystem could look like in Aotearoa, in conversation with pioneers and practitioners of regenerative tourism. This GOOD Awaits trip has emerged from the conversations and learnings of the podcast, and with Debbie and Josie leading this trip, we hope this experience will continue this exploration for us and our participants together. 


As a part of our commitment to giving back to our host communities and environments, $100 NZD of each participant’s trip cost will be donated to conservation and community building projects that we visit during the GOOD Awaits trip.

While this is a cash donation to one project, understand that ALL lodgings, restaurants, and activities we partner with on this particular trip are all working in regenerative ways, so the full cost of your trip is contributing to the wellbeing of communities, protection of ecosystems and systems change in Aotearoa. This makes this trip highly unique. 

Our commitment is to:

  • Operate in a way that acknowledges tangata whenua (NZ's indigenous people) and the rights and customs of mana whenua in the places we visit, respects and upholds Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi), and centering the voices of Māori as the traditional kaitiaki (stewards) of Aotearoa. 
  • Support businesses and organisations who are outstanding models of regenerative practice, who are invested in their local communities, and who are working towards a regenerative future
  • Partner with local hosts to offer a deeper connection to place for participants, and to spark a desire to reconnect with your  place on your return home  
  • Assist you in developing a foundational understanding of regenerative principles through learning materials, facilitated conversations, and time with regenerative practitioners
  • Partner beyond the tourism sector, demonstrating the visitor economy as nestled within the ecosystems of communities and places 
  • Measure and reduce the carbon emissions of our trip wherever possible, and offset the remainder through local forest regeneration projects. 
  • Support the cultivation of a community of regenerative practitioners in New Zealand and globally
  • Offer a balance of deep reflection, active learning, exploratory conversations, and playfulness 

Trip Facilitators

Debbie Clarke and Josie Major are your guides and facilitators for this multi-day experience. Debbie and Josie met in September 2020 when they co-led a Tourism Design Challenge team to explore solutions for tracking and measuring regeneration in the tourism industry. Their shared values and belief that tourism can be regenerative led to a partnership between GOOD Travel and New Zealand Awaits (hence GOOD Awaits). They've collaborated, supported and mentored each other on a learning journey towards becoming regenerative practitioners. This journey has included completing Anna Pollock and Michelle Holliday’s Back to Life Regenerative Tourism course, Sara Rickards and Bill Reed’s Introduction to Regenerative Design and Development course, and they are currently enrolled in 'The Regenerative Practitioner' Series with Regenesis Institute for Regenerative Practice. Throughout this time they have also co-launched and co-host GOOD Awaits - The Regenerative Tourism NZ podcast - platform of collective discovery of what a regenerative tourism future could look like in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Season 2 of this podcast is currently in development with support from UNESCO New Zealand. Debbie and Josie are deeply committed to using travel as a means of regenerating communities, ecosystems, and visitors and hosts.

Debbie Clarke

Debbie has a background in special education and counseling before founding New Zealand Awaits, a tour company founded on conscious travel principles. Debbie’s earlier experiences as a slow, low-impact backpacker immersed in local communities with local hosts proved to Debbie on a personal level how impactful travel can be. Travel that allows for excitement, anticipation, challenge, thrill, novelty, awe, time in nature, reflection, exploration, and deep cross-cultural exchange with locals in a new place and culture can be truly transformative. Those immersive experiences with locals shaped her outlook on life and continue to inspire her to create similar travel experiences for change and positive impact. Over the past year, in addition to the courses listed above, Debbie has also completed the Tourism CoLab’s 'Regenerative Tourism x Design' and 'Hosting Conversations' courses with Dr. Dianne Dredge and Dr. Jenny Cave. Debbie is on a journey - to deepen her own understanding of how to live, work, and play in ways that are regenerative, to bring others along on this journey with her, and to create systems level change that contributes to all life thriving. 

Josie Major

Josie is the New Zealand Programmes Manager and Operations Manager for GOOD Travel. Prompted by an awareness of her own impact while backpacking as a university graduate, Josie now dedicates herself to creating systemic change in travel, advocating for regenerative thinking and practice in the tourism industry. Josie has spent the past two years immersed in learning about regenerative thinking and practice - studying with global thought leaders, speaking with innovative operators in Aotearoa, and researching the emerging future of tourism. Josie is an evolving regenerative practitioner, which to her means being an advocate for shifting the way we live and work to having the wellbeing of our communities and Papatūānuku (mother earth) at the heart. She is the co-creator and co-host of GOOD Awaits – The Regenerative Tourism New Zealand Podcast, an exploration of a regenerative future for tourism in Aotearoa, and looks forward to welcoming curious new practitioners to join her on this journey through the GOOD Awaits trip.

What's included

The cost of your trip includes the following:

  • 12 nights of accommodation in sustainable accommodation. Please note, some lodgings have shared bathroom facilities. 
  • Airport pick-up on your arrival into Auckland and back to Christchurch Airport at the end of the trip
  • All transport during the trip
  • All meals beginning with lunch on your arrival day and ending with breakfast on departure day
  • Locally guided private experiences with hosts at Kohutapu Lodge, Whirinaki Footsteps, and River Valley Lodge, Kapiti Island, Waka Abel Tasman and The Food Farm
  • $100 donation to conservation and community building projects that we visit during this trip
  • Daily support from your trip leaders throughout your trip
  • Facilitated sessions led by your trip leaders on regenerative principles and practice
  • Exclusive membership in our The GOOD Awaits Regenerative Experience 2023 Facebook group
  • The opportunity to join New Zealand’s first multi-day tourism experience specifically designed to support and deepen regenerative practice. Be an early adopter!
  • Carbon offsetting for all associated energy emissions
  • Pre-trip materials on Regenerative Principles and a GOOD Travel journal for notes along the way

Please note that the following are not included and are your responsibility to arrange:

  • Return flights to New Zealand
  • Travel insurance, with COVID-19 coverage (recommended)
  • Visa for New Zealand (if required) 
  • International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy of NZ$35
  • COVID-19 vaccination - please note that we require all adults and children over 12 to have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Should you not be able to get a COVID-19 Vaccination, please email us to learn more about our exceptions to this rule
  • COVID-19 test 72 hours before departure (required) and any necessary testing to return to your home country
  • Snacks, drinks, other personal purchases


Cost per person: $6,695 USD

$515 per day including all accommodation, meals, activities, project donation, carbon offsetting and travel within New Zealand as outlined in the What's Included tab. Payment plan options are also available.

To secure your spot on this trip, we require a non-refundable deposit of $500 USD per person. 

Please click the Book Now button below to book your spot. You will then be directed to pay your deposit of $500. If you would prefer to pay via payment plan, please contact us. Before you make your payment, please make sure you’ve read and understood our terms of service. If there is anything in our terms of service that you’d like us to clarify, please contact us for more information.

Our trip will be confirmed once we have the minimum number of participants needed. Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip is confirmed.

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Travelling During COVID
GOOD Travel is committed to minimizing the risk to our travellers, team leaders, our partners and the people in each destination we visit. We also want to give greater confidence and flexibility to our travellers in response to the uncertainties present within international travel. Therefore we have adjusted our policies and safety protocols. You can find more information in our terms of service.

We follow safety recommendations from the WHO, CDC and the official recommendations from each country we visit, and we work with partners who adhere closely to health and safety protocols.

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