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Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do we book a tour? 

The deposit is $300 per person to confirm your place and can be paid with a credit card through our website at https://www.tuataratours.co.nz/make-a-payment/ (we accept Visa or MasterCard with no card surcharges) or by internet banking or bank transfer (New Zealand bank account holders only) to Tuatara Tours 01 0797 0308837 00. 

Please use your surname as a reference when making a payment so we can tell who it’s from.

 

When is the balance due? 

Your final balance is due 90 days prior to departure. We will email you a reminder when this is due.

 

Can I pay in instalments? 

Yes, you certainly can. Please email us each time you make a payment so we can confirm receipt.

 

What if I need to cancel? 

Please see our terms and conditions for our cancellation policy https://www.tuataratours.co.nz/terms-conditions/ 

We do recommend you purchase travel insurance to cover yourself in the event that something unexpected happens and you cannot proceed with your tour.

 

How big are the groups? 

Normally we take a maximum of 12 people on a tour but are happy to cater to larger groups on request if you are planning to get a group together.

 

Do I have to share a room? 

The tours are priced on a twin share basis (2 people to a room). Please let us know at the time of booking if you prefer a queen room (one queen bed) or a twin room (2 single beds). If you are a solo traveller, we will room you with another single person of the same gender, or you may wish to pay an additional single supplement to reserve a private room to yourself.

 

Am I fit enough? 

As a general guideline we suggest the following activity level guide for our tours: 

  • Easy/Mild: An average level of fitness – you should be comfortable walking 12 km, or biking 25 km, on well-formed tracks and roads with a small amount of incline. 
  • Moderate: An above average level of fitness – you should be comfortable walking 20 km, or biking 45 km, on formed tracks and roads with some average to steep inclines at times. 
  • Challenging: An above average level of fitness – you should be comfortable walking 20+ km, or biking 50+ km, on partially formed tracks and roads, some off-road, some steep inclines, some easy river and creek crossings. 

 

What’s the best time to do a trip? 

New Zealand is known to have four seasons in a day. Rain can be expected at any time throughout the year, and we depart rain or shine, so you should always be prepared for sudden changes in weather or temperature and always have the appropriate gear with you. 

  • Spring (September-November) and autumn (March-May) are generally cooler months for experiencing the outdoors, with temperatures averaging 15-25 degrees during the day. 
  • Summer (December-February) is usually warmer with averages of 20-30 degrees and longer sunshine hours due to daylight saving. We typically see more activity on the trails over February, March and April, so September to December can be a quieter time to travel if you prefer trails less busy.

 

Can you pick me up for the tour? 

Yes, if your tour starts in Nelson, Christchurch, Queenstown or Rotorua. Pick-ups and drop offs are available at most central city hotels and motels. Pick-ups are not possible at Airbnb properties or in residential suburbs. If your tour departs from Picton, we ask you to make your own way to the meeting point on the wharf for the tour departure.

 

Do I have breakfast on the first day or is this included? 

Your tour starts after we pick you up on the first day so please come having had breakfast. After this, all meals on tour are included for you as per the trip inclusions in your itinerary.

 

What sort of food do you provide? 

We provide continental breakfasts, either café or packed lunches, and an evening meal either in-house at your accommodation, or dining out at a local restaurant. We can cater for most dietary requests; however, these need to be advised at the time of booking.

 

Do you provide alcohol? 

No, but this can be purchased with your evening meal, or you are welcome to bring a small amount for your own personal consumption. BYO is not available when dining at licensed premises.

 

Do I need to come ready to walk or cycle? 

Yes, please come dressed ready to walk or cycle with your overnight bag packed ready for the transport. During the day, you will not have access to your overnight bag so please make sure to have all the items you require for use during the day packed separately. For some of the tours, there is a ride of up to several hours in the bus to get to your start location. If you are not comfortable travelling in full walking or cycling gear, please have this readily available to change into before the walk/ ride starts.

 

Can I fly in/ fly out the same day?

Ideally, we recommend you arrive the day prior to your tour and depart the morning after the tour finishes just in case there are any unexpected delays or cancellations to your flights. 

 

Can I bring my own bike for the cycle tours? 

Yes, please make sure it has been serviced and is fit for purpose for the trail you are undertaking. If you are not sure, please check with our office staff on booking.

 

What comes with the hire bikes? 

Our hire e-bikes and standard bikes all come with a comfortable gel-tech saddle and a rack bag for carrying your jacket, phone and a drink bottle. Helmets and hi-vis garments are issued with each bike, and as helmets are required by law in New Zealand, we ask riders to wear these at all times while riding. The support vehicle is never far away if you need access to other items of your clothing or equipment.

 

How much luggage can I bring on tour? 

Space is limited so we would appreciate if you could please keep your luggage to one hand carry and one overnight bag or suitcase. On some of the tours, luggage is transported by boat for you and there are restrictions on the size and weight of bags that can be transported. Please check your trip notes for details if you are on the Abel Tasman or Queen Charlotte tours. On some of the hiking tours you may be required to carry your own pack – this is specified in the packing list for your trip.

 

Are all your tours guided? 

Our walking tours, with the exception of the Queen Charlotte Boat Stay tour, are all guided by a knowledgeable local guide, who provides information on the terrain you are passing through as well as logistical support. 

On a cycle tour, you do not bike with a guide but there is a support vehicle and Tuatara staff with you throughout to help with any bike issues, first aid, trail instructions and to set up for meal breaks. On occasion, they will bike part of the trail with you to highlight places of interest or point out directions. If you need to take a break from the riding, you are welcome to make use of the support vehicle at any stage.