What's GOOD?

  • Travel independently and customise your experience while still knowing that every aspect of your experience is mindfully designed by our experienced team to contribute positively to the places you visit 
  • Each partner host has been chosen because of the amazing regenerative work they are doing in their places
  • A significant aspect of your experience will include reconnecting with nature, and we acknowledge the privilege and responsibility of visiting taonga (treasured) and often endangered ecosystems
  • Visit and contribute to small businesses working on ecosystems restoration, youth empowerment and community development 
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Experience Highlights:

  • Visit the North and South Islands of New Zealand
  • Experience New Zealand's ancient and regenerated native forests
  • Explore our birdlife on an island eco-sanctuary
  • Paddle a Māori waka (canoe) in the glorious Abel Tasman National Park
  • Bathe in geothermal hotsprings
  • Indulge in sumptuous local, fresh foods

What's Included

per person (family and group pricing available)

The per person cost of your trip includes the following:

  • 10 nights of accommodation in sustainable accommodation. 
  • Car hire and insurance in a hybrid vehicle for your self-drive experience 
  • Ferry crossing from Wellington to Picton, including your rental vehicle 
  • 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners 
  • Locally guided experiences with hosts at Kohutapu Lodge, Whirinaki Footsteps, Kāpiti Island Nature Tours and Waka Abel Tasman (other experiences can be added for an additional cost) 
  • $100 donation to a local conservation or community development project
  • Support from our on-call team during your trip 
  • Carbon offsetting for all associated energy emissions
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What's Not Included

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

  • Return flights to New Zealand - arriving in Auckland and departing from Christchurch 
  • Travel insurance, with COVID-19 coverage (required)
  • Visa for New Zealand (if required)
  • International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy of NZ$35
  • Meals not included in itinerary  (restaurant options and price estimates will be provided for meals not included) 
  • Guide or driver - this is a self-drive, independent experience 


Auckland - Whirinaki Forest - Taihape - Kapiti Island - Wellington - Abel Tasman - Christchurch
Flexible departure dates - booking required 12 months in advance

This is the base itinerary included in the per person cost for this trip. Customisations and additions are available for additional cost, to be discussed with your Centre for GOOD Travel trip coordinator.

Day 1

Welcome to New Zealand. On arrival in Auckland you will pick up your rental vehicle at the airport and make your way to Kohutapu Lodge. If you prefer to stay in Auckland for a night to recover from your journey, we can arrange a sustainable accommodation for you in a central location. 

You’ll travel through the central Waikato today to the edge of Ngati Manawa tribal lands and the stunning Whirinaki Forest, where you’ll meet your hosts for the next two days, Nadine and Karl of Kohutapu Lodge.

Staying at Kohutapu Lodge you’ll be immediately immersed into a rich and intimate Māori 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 welcome dinner together.  

Nadine and Karl will prepare enough food not only for your welcome feast, but also to package up and deliver to the Murupara community and school - just one way Kohutapu shows their deep commitment and support for their community.

Day 2

Today you will have the privilege of walking with your hosts in Te Pua a Tāne, The Whirinaki Rainforest, one of New Zealand’s oldest and most diverse forests. You’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 you’ll enjoy another dinner at Kohutapu Lodge tonight before relaxing around the campfire.

Day 3

Travelling further south today, you’ll make your way to your next hosts, Brian and Nicola Megaw of River Valley Lodge.

‍River Valley sits right next to the beautiful Rangitikei River and you’ll spend the next two nights enjoying the tranquillity of rural New Zealand, experiencing life on a regenerative farm. You’ll have dinner from River Valley’s very own permaculture garden. Nothing like fresh food direct from the garden. 

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Day 4

Choose your day! River Valley offers stunning white water rafting trips for those who want to add a white water rafting experience on the river. Or you can choose to rent an ebike and explore the country roads in this beautiful area. Or just relax by the river, read, snooze, or just breathe in the surrounding beauty. 

For those interested in joining our expert and passionate local River Valley guides on the Rangitikei River, choose either an adventurous grade 5 white water rafting experience, or a gentle grade 2 ride. 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.

Day 5

Today you’ll drive down the Kāpiti coast and take 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. You’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 at the Lodge, you’ll have the opportunity to walk with the knowledgeable guides after dark to try spotting New Zealand’s treasured kiwi and other nocturnal species in the wild. After the walk you’ll bunk down in modest cabin accommodation on the island.

Day 6

‍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 you’ll have the option to 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.

You’ll depart the island by ferry in the late afternoon and travel to Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington for your last night on the North Island. Spend the evening relaxing or explore Wellington’s vibrant cultural and gastronomic scene. 

Day 7

Today you’ll leave the North Island of Aotearoa and head south via the Interislander Ferry - driving on board with your rental car - cruising through the picturesque Marlborough Sounds. You’ll arrive in Picton and can stop for lunch overlooking the water before driving to Kimi Ora Eco Resort in Kaiteriteri. Climate Positive Kimi Ora offers lovely accommodation, stunning views of Kaiteriteri Bay and sumptuous locally sourced and seasonal vegetarian dishes.

Day 8

Today you’ll explore the stunning Abel Tasman coastline in a paddling waka (Māori canoe). Paddling a waka is a journey of discovery, combining idyllic scenery, exercise, history and tradition. This unique experience leaves you feeling connected and empowered.

Our treasured local partners, Lee-Anne and Todd Jago of Waka Abel Tasman, 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 time with Waka Abel Tasman, you’ll be supporting their community’s growth and empowerment.

Day 9

Leaving the gorgeous Nelson Tasman region behind, you’ll travel south and inland, through dense nature forests, to arrive at Maruia Hotsprings. You’ll have a chance to relax, unwind, and breathe in the remote beauty of this wellness centre and natural hot spring. At Maruia, you can indulge in geothermal bathing, massage or spa treatments - an opportunity to nourish yourself surrounded by stunning native bush. 

Day 10

Today you’ll drive south towards Christchurch, your final stop for the journey. Spend the afternoon exploring the urban regeneration of this resilient city, and sampling local cuisine. You’ll spend your last night in New Zealand at Hotel Give, a hotel dedicated to giving back to their community. 

Day 11

Haere ra New Zealand! You’ll drop your rental vehicle off at Christchurch Airport and continue with your onward travel plans from there. If you’d like to extend your stay in New Zealand and visit more of our local sustainable partners, we are happy to arrange extensions to your itinerary. Please let us know of your onward travel plans when you inquire. 

Your Guide

More information

Everything you need to know about travelling GOOD.
Who guides this trip?
We aim to have each trip led by a local guide, in collaboration with a Centre for GOOD Travel member or a representative from our experience partner.
How do I book?
To secure your spot, we require a non-refundable deposit of $500 per person. Click 'book now' to start your travel plans with us. You will then be directed to pay your deposit of $500 deposit. If you would prefer to pay via payment plan, please contact us: info@good-travel.org
Are the trip dates confirmed?
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.
Who is this trip for?
This trip is for anyone who wants to travel in a way that has a positive impact on people and places.
Can I upgrade my accommodation?
There is a single-room surcharge, subject to availability. You can let us know on booking if you would like to room on your own.
What else do I need to know?
Before you make your deposit, please make sure you've read and understand our Terms of Service.
What about COVID-19?
The Centre for 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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Want this trip for your own group? Contact us and request your own dates.