Image of the June 2020 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
June 2020 Issue
Home / Articles / Editorial

Going guided in NZ

Looking for an adventure in Auckland? Sea kayaking to Rangitoto to view the sunset from its summit ticks that box. Photo: Auckland Sea Kayaks

Doing a guided trip is not always top of mind when you think about holidaying in your own country. But most people won’t bat an eye to spend a day or more when on an overseas trip to be guided around some ruins or up a high peak or along a trail. And why would you? It’s a unique and often once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see amazing sights and gain a greater understanding of an area, its people, culture and history. It can intensify the enjoyment and memories of overseas holidays.

Why should it be different in New Zealand, especially when it comes to outdoor activities? No matter how experienced an outdoors person you are – at tramping or climbing – a guide can help you achieve more in a day than you would otherwise be able to do on your own. For less experienced people, a guide can provide a safe and more comfortable experience – and that’s important if you want to explore an unfamiliar alpine environment or attempt something entirely new.

During the post-Covid recovery, there will be a lot of talk about getting Kiwis to holiday in their own country. With international travel options limited, and the prospect of a two-week quarantine on your return, it’s logical that more people will be holidaying at home. It’s also necessary if the tourism industry, which represents some eight per cent of the workforce, is to limit job losses – and, in some cases, to survive at all.

But beyond the good samaritan act of holidaying at home, New Zealand adventure operators offer some amazing experiences that can’t be found anywhere else on the planet. And that makes them worthwhile under any circumstances.

We’ve given some serious consideration to how you might be able to holiday in New Zealand and have found what we think are some of the best-guided trips in NZ. They range from getting an alpine experience at Caroline or Plateau huts to spending five days hiking the Heaphy Track or a day sea kayaking in Auckland or skiing the Southern Hemisphere’s longest glacier.

There’s something for everyone – young and old, experienced and novice. I hope you find something worth your while among the 12 trips we’ve highlighted.