‘GOOD’ awaits you on this GOOD Travel 13 day experience. GOOD Awaits is a new kind of trip that fosters ‘GOOD’, hope, resilience, and inspiration. As travellers, we know we have a responsibility to care for the people and places we visit while experiencing something new and memorable ourselves. Regenerative tourism is about travelling in a way that allows both travellers and local hosts to thrive.
This looks different in each unique place you visit, but for this experience in Aotearoa, New Zealand it includes respecting Te Ao Māori and the indigenous knowledge of this place, protecting and contributing to restoring native ecosystems, staying with caring enthusiastic local hosts who are embedded in their communities, and travelling off the main tourist track to enjoy the hidden gems of our stunning country.
The thrill and excitement of exploring a new place and culture is amplified when you know you're travelling in a way that not only nourishes and energises you, but also contributes to the wellbeing of the people and places you visit.
We hope you join us on this unique experience in Aotearoa New Zealand.
This trip is for the traveller who:
Welcome to New Zealand. Our trip will begin at 10am on March 27th, 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 airport.
Our first encounter today is with Nic Turner of Mainstream Green. Nic is an inspiration in living lightly on the planet. Her enthusiasm for all things local, especially her cool little town of Cambridge, invites us into a unique experience of seeing how she has worked with her neighbours and town to create some super cool initiatives - like roadside berm veggie gardens, and so much more.
From Cambridge we’ll travel down to the edge of Ngati Manawa tribal lands and the stunning Whirinaki Forest, where we will meet our hosts for the next two days, Nadine and Karl of Kohutapu Lodge.
Staying at Kohutapu Lodge immerses us immediately into a rich and intimate Maori cultural experience that is truly unique in New Zealand. We’ll be welcomed by Nadine and Karl’s warm Māori manaakitanga (hospitality) and have a celebration welcome dinner together.
Nadine and Karl will prepare enough food not only for our welcome feast, but also for us to help package up and deliver to the Murupara community and school - just one way Kohutapu show their deep commitment and support for their community.
Our first evening will be spent on whakawhanaungatanga (getting to know each other) and setting the tone for the GOOD Awaits Aotearoa experience.
Today we will have the privilege of walking with our hosts in Te Pua a Tāne, The Whirinaki Rainforest, one of New Zealand’s oldest and most diverse forests. We’ll take a gentle 12km (7.5mile) hike through this ancient, awe-inspiring forest, visiting the Aniwhenua Waterfall, touching 1000 year old trees, learning how plants are used as medicine, and being rejuvenated through forest bathing in this old growth forest.
Tonight we’ll enjoy another dinner at Kohutapu Lodge tonight before relaxing and connecting over storytelling around the campfire.
We’ll travel south along the shores of stunning Lake Taupo with the backdrop of the central plateau mountains towering behind. Lord of the Rings fans will recognise these mountains! As time allows we’ll explore a couple of short bush walks to keep the nature connection going, then , we’ll explore some of the little rural towns that make this part of the country so interesting, taking in an inspiring and fun, creative space run by a group of artists and like-minded people who showcase locally made art, fashion, spices, teas, and eco-products.
We’ll settle into Ohakune for the night to spend a cosy and restful evening at the Powderhorn Chateau.
Travelling further south today, we’ll make our way to our next hosts, Brian and Nicola Megaw of River Valley Lodge.
River Valley sits right next to the beautiful Rangitikei River and we’ll spend the next two nights enjoying the tranquillity of rural New Zealand, experiencing life on a regenerative farm. 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.
Choose your adventure! Today we’ll be taken by our expert and passionate local 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! 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 (chat) 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 disconnected downtime, while others may choose to be more active and hire e-bikes to explore the surrounding country roads. Your choice.
Dinner will be a seasonal and creative celebration of the bounty that is River Valley.
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.
Waking up to the serenity of Kāpiti Island is something special - a whole chorus of New Zealand’s native birds will greet you in the morning! Today we’ll explore more of the island with our hosts, 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 supports a local restaurant that supports local growers and food producers.
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. Climate Positive Kimi Ora offers us lovely accommodation, stunning views of Kaiteriteri Bay while dining on sumptuous locally sourced and seasonal vegetarian dishes.
Today we’ll explore the stunning Abel Tasman coastline in a paddling waka (Māori canoe). Embracing the spirit of adventure, together we’ll push off from the golden sand beaches and paddle out into the turquoise waters of Abel Tasman National park. Paddling a waka is a journey of discovery, combining idyllic scenery, exercise, history and tradition. This unique experience leaves you feeling connected and empowered.
Lee-Ann and Todd Jago own Waka Abel Tasman, and are passionate about waka, the outdoors, tikanga Māori (correct Māori etiquette) and sharing these things with others. Their community is at the heart of everything they do as well as uplifting rangitahi (young people). By spending a day with Waka Abel Tasman, we are helping their community’s growth and empowerment.
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.
Leaving the gorgeous Nelson Tasman region behind, we’ll travel south and inland, through dense nature forests, to arrive at Maruia Hotsprings. This evening we’ll relax, unwind, and breathe in the remote beauty of this wellness centre and natural hot spring where we will indulge in the healing geothermal waters.
Our last full day together will be marked by a visit to host Angela Clifford's The Food Farm, a bountiful and regenerative food experience. As well as enjoying some freshly picked and prepared food from Angela’s farm, we’ll be energised by Angela’s passion for all things food, and explore our own connection to local and seasonal foods.
We’ll spend our last night in Christchurch and celebrate our journey by preparing and sharing food together and recounting stories that have moved us, deepening our own commitment to action on our return home.
You’ll farewell new friends today as you prepare to depart today from Christchurch. If you let us know of your return travel plans in advance we can assist with your airport transfer or other requirements.
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 Clarke and Josie Major 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 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:
The trip is led by GOOD Travel's Director of Regenerative Development, Debbie Clarke. There will also be many different local guides involved in your various activities.
Debbie is deeply committed to using travel as a means of regenerating communities, ecosystems, and visitors and hosts. She has a background in special education and counselling before founding New Zealand Awaits, a tour company founded on conscious travel principles. Debbie’s earlier experiences as a backpacker wandering through different countries and spending time with locals proved to Debbie how impactful travel can be. Debbie believes travel should be filled with excitement, anticipation, challenge, thrill, novelty, awe, time in nature, reflection, exploration, and deep cross-cultural exchange. She strives to facilitate this for her guests on all trips she leads. Debbie is on a journey to deepen her own understanding of how to live, work, and play in ways that are regenerative and to bring others along on this journey with her.
The cost of your trip includes the following:
Please note that the following are not included and are your responsibility to arrange:
This trip includes:
Cost per person: $5,995 USD
$460 per day including all accommodation, most meals, all 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.
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.