Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do I book a tour?

Please complete the enquiry page on our website, including your tour name and date and your contact details, and we will be in touch to confirm your booking.

Alternatively you can email us on info@tuataratours.co.nz or call our office NZ Freephone: 0800 377 378 , Australia Freephone: 1800 044 633 or International +64 3 962 3280.


 

Do I need to pay a deposit?

Yes, a deposit is required on confirmation of your booking to secure your place on a tour.

The deposit amount is NZ$300 per person unless stated otherwise.

The deposit can be paid by credit card through the secure payment page on our website, over the phone, or by Internet banking or bank deposit for those with a New Zealand bank account, please contact us for bank details.


 

What credit cards do you accept, and do you charge a card fee?

We accept Visa and Mastercard and there are no additional charges for payments by credit card.


 

When is the balance of my tour due?

We will email you out a balance of payment letter approximately 6 weeks before your tour departure date and the balance is then due 30 days prior to departure.

You are welcome to contact us earlier than this if you’d like to make an earlier payment or make a part payment on your tour.


 

What happens if I have to cancel my tour?

If you need to cancel your tour we will do our best to accommodate you on another tour date later in the season, or transfer your deposit to a future season.

If you need to cancel outright, our cancellation policy is:

          • Cancellations 60+ days prior to your tour departure date, 10% of the total tour fee.
          • Cancellations 59-31 days of your tour departure date, 50% of the total tour fee.
          • Cancellations 30-0 days of your tour departure date, 100% of the total tour fee.

We do recommend you have travel insurance in place in case you have to cancel your tour.


 

Is there a minimum and maximum number of participants for tours?

There is a minimum number before we can guarantee a tour departure, this is specific to each tour and you will be advised on enquiring if the tour date you are looking to book has reached minimum numbers.

Once we have confirmed a tour to you, the tour is guaranteed to run so you can confidently make other arrangements for travel and accommodation.

Our maximum number for safety and comfort is 12 participants per guide per tour. If you have a group larger than 12 we are happy to accommodate you, and will assign additional staff to your tour as required, please discuss with our office team.


 

What gear do I need to bring?

There is a pdf brochure specific to each tour on our website for you to download and refer to.

This will give you a full gear list for each tour, including essential items of equipment that you must bring with you and any additional items that we recommend you bring along with you if you have them.

If you would like a copy of the pdf brochure for your tour emailed out to you please contact our office.


 

Do I need all the gear on the list?

The gear list has been compiled with your comfort and safety in mind. New Zealand often has 4 seasons in a day and weather can change very quickly, even in the height of summer.

We need to ensure all our tour participants have adequate clothing and equipment for their own protection so if an item is marked essential or compulsory, we would expect you to have this with you.


 

Do I need special footwear for hiking tours, or can I walk in sneakers?

The key to a successful hike is good footwear. We recommend hiking boots or mid weight hiking shoes with a robust sole, such as a Vibram sole, waterproof or Goretex fabric and good ankle support. Sneakers, tennis shoes and lightweight running shoes do not provide enough support for your feet over mixed terrain and can be a hindrance in wet, slippery conditions.

If you intend to use an existing pair of boots, please check for any obvious signs of ageing and wear as once on the trail, it is unlikely that you will be able to replace footwear that has failed.

If you are intending to purchase new boots for your walk, please give yourself plenty of time to break these in as a blister or painful hot spots can spoil your walk experience.


 

How about cycle tours, do we need special gear for these?

We do recommend a pair of cycle shorts, these have the extra padding required to limit chafing and help keep you comfortable in the saddle for several days of biking.

You don’t need special shoes, sneakers or running shoes are fine for all our hire bikes. If you normally bike with cleats, you are welcome to bring your own pedals and shoes and we will endeavour to fit these to the hire bikes for you.


 

Can we hire bikes from you?

Yes, you can hire a mountain bike or an electric bike for your cycle tour, please see the tour pdf brochure for details of pricing relevant to the tour you are joining.


 

Do we have panniers on the bikes?

There is a small carrier bag on each hire bike as well as a water bottle holder.

Your bike tour is accompanied by a support vehicle and we encourage you to bike as unencumbered as possible, leaving any extra gear on the support vehicle until you need it.


 

What if it rains?

Tours operate rain or shine so please come prepared for all weather.


 

How fit do I need to be?

A guide to the level of fitness required for each tour can be found in the pdf tour brochure relevant to your tour and if you have any concerns about your level of fitness please check with our office team.

We would expect participants for a walking or cycling tour to be generally fit and healthy and to prepare for their tour with regular walks and cycle rides prior to departure.

If you have any medical conditions, we would ask that you disclose these to us on our client information questionnaire which is sent to you as part of your booking process.


 

When is the best time to travel?

Our tours operate November through to the end of April each year, to make the most of the warmer months in New Zealand.

The busiest times for the trails are January, February and March which are considered to be the warmer months of summer.

If you are able to travel in November, December and April you may find the trails less busy and temperatures cooler for outdoor activities.