There’s nothing like being a local to know exactly what is happening and what is worth sharing. We live here and have a wealth of local knowledge and insights to share with you. We will help you to meet the locals, find magical places and maybe try something new!
Here’s a snapshot of just a few of the experiences we’ve made happen for our guests.
- A Manhattan family stayed at a private beach house and paddle boarded, fished, kayaked, collected crayfish and scallops and slept with the doors wide open to the sound of the surf.
- Local Jewish communities have hosted our visitors for Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah.
- An award winning author and professor of New Zealand and Pacific prehistory had a private dinner with British clients who wanted to know more about early New Zealand.
- An all terrain amphibious Antarctic vehicle the Hagglund, driven by a real Antarctica explorer, met clients and their children at the doors of Christchurch International Airport to take them back to the Antarctica Centre to have a private feeding of the penguins.
- Owners of the best dealer galleries have shown our guests through their stock rooms and talked with them about NZ art.
- A Maori chef has cooked up a superb meal of local fish and fresh produce for a group of Taiwanese visitors in their water’s edge apartment in Auckland.
- Families have rented private beach houses and joined local children in toasting marshmallows over open fires in the evening, fishing, swimming and roaming safely. We know the best beaches!
Following are just a few of our favourite experiences that you can enjoy:
Hike, fly and jetboat
The Siberia Experience is a wonderful wilderness experience amongst rugged mountains, glaciers, mountain lakes, hanging valleys and vast rainforests. Take a 25 minute aeroplane flight thorught this landscape. Do a 3 hour bush walk which follows a well-formed track through river valleys and native beech forest. Hear birdsong and immerse yourself in nature while you pass mountain streams, rock formations, mossy tree trunks, native ferns and birds, including the inquisitive fantail. Meet a jetboat for a scenic 30 minute mountain river journey back to the base.
With our helicopter company partners we can put together a totally customised day using a Squirrel helicopter and highly experienced crew and guides as necessary to see all of our favourite parts of the Fiordland National Park, Mt Aspiring National Park, the Milford Sound and the West Coast. The day can include skiing, fishing, climbing, wild life viewing, hiking or simply exploring and landing in different spectacular locations to marvel at the landscape.
“Off the shelf” itineraries are wonderful too. Alpine or snow landings are part of all our flights and glacier landings are included in all Milford Sound experiences. Premier flights also include landing on a remote alpine peak, where you can experience a stunning vista while enjoying a delicious gourmet picnic accompanied by Central Otago wine – perfect for celebrating special occasions.
Action seekers will enjoy helicopter sightseeing combined with a thrilling jet boat ride on the Kawarau and Shotover Rivers with Kawarau Jet, followed by a helicopter flight over Queenstown Bay. Land at the summit of Bob’s Peak for breath-taking views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains. Enjoy the thrills of luge rides before you return to Queenstown by gondola.
Sailing on Lake Rotoiti
Spend a day on a stylish and luxury sailing catamaran on bush-fringed Lake Rotoiti near Rotorua. The ‘off the beaten track’ location of the lake offers guests the opportunity to discover beautiful sandy coves, lake edge thermal hot springs, relatively untouched bush-clad shorelines and cultural sites rich in history and legend.
Matt is a wonderful sailor, offers exceptional service and is great company. He tailors the day to your interests. You can choose total relaxation through to activities such as cave swimming, cliff jumping, thermal pool soaking and trout fishing.
Matt can also arrange helicopter or float plane transfers, stand up paddle boarding or jet boat journeys in partnership with other top Rotorua operators,
In addition to a well-stocked licensed bar, Kiwi cuisine is another feature of the Pure Cruise experience. Seasonal and local produce is sourced by the chef and prepared freshly on board.
Stay overnight on Doubtful Sound
The best way to experience Doubtful Sound in the World Heritage area of Fiordland is to spend the night on a boat. With no direct road access, the only way you can to get to Doubtful Sound is by a cruise across Lake Manapouri and a 4WD coach trip over Wilmot Pass. With its rugged peaks, verdant rainforest and twisting, hidden inlets, Doubtful Sound will take your breath away. Home to abundant wildlife you may see bottlenose dolphins and fur seals at play, or catch a glimpse of a rare Fiordland Crested Penguin. An expert wildlife guide who will share their immense knowledge with you. Designed along the lines of a traditional scow, the Fiordland Navigator blends old world charm with modern comforts that include spacious viewing decks, a dining saloon/fully licensed bar and an observation lounge. There is a great chef on board.
Hollyford Track Guided Walk
The Hollyford Track is a wonderfully diverse hiking trail, located in the spectacular Fiordland National Park, World Heritage Area. Explore undisturbed and inspiring scenery that has remained largely untouched for thousands of years, from the snow-capped mountains of the majestic Southern Alps, ancient native rainforest, pristine rivers and lakes to the remote sand dunes, reef and surf of the rugged West Coast. Helicopter through Milford Sound.
The Hollyford Track is well formed, and being a valley walk, suitable for most ages and abilities. Accommodation is in simple comfortable twin room lodges. Meals showcase local produce.
Explore Queenstown with a guide
Our favourite guide in the Queenstown area studied commerce at university but couldn’t resist the pull of the southern lakes outdoor lifestyle. His passion and certificated high level skills in skiing, rafting, hiking and climbing led him to share his enthusiasms with visitors. Your day might include a tour of the sculpture at The Hills golf course, a visit to meet the first pinot noir wine maker in Central Otago, a visit to a high country sheep station for a barbecue lunch, a 4WD tour to Lord of the Rings film locations, paddle boarding on the lake or trying one of the many adrenaline activities that the region is renowned for such as para gliding or river surfing.
A day with John is a day with a most charming local, meeting local people and experiencing this amazing region in the easiest way possible.
Taking you to the heart of a World Heritage Park.
The most scenic jet boating in New Zealand. A 1½ hour ride along the Dart River amongst towering mountains and the refreshingly beautiful wilderness of the Mt Aspiring National Park.
Then take a short and easy walk, of 20-40 minutes, through ancient forests, unchanged for 80 million years. Hear an informative and entertaining commentary on the area and its history – including the quest by early Maori for highly prized pounamu (greenstone).
Board your back road coach for a journey to Paradise and beyond.
This 40-50 minute trip allows the opportunity to explore a region filled with spectacular vistas which have inspired many talented film makers to bring their projects to this area, including Lord of the Rings.
Alternatively take a Funyak, an inflatable canoe.
You’ll travel by jetboat to the upper part of the Dart River, and then at your own pace paddle downstream, exploring some of the many safe and intriguing chasms and byrnes along the way down.
Best day cruising the Abel Tasman National Park
Clients love the Abel Tasman National Park, the most affable Rod the owner/skipper, the activities on offer and also the gourmet lunch. “We swam, kayaked, hiked, snorkelled, enjoyed a stunning lunch and think Rod is the simply the best.”
Watch out for dolphins and seals.