Eco tour new zealand

Stunning Lake Wanaka Photo taken by: PlanetD (Flying Kiwi Traveller)

New Zealand eco tour - responsible tourism

Responsible Tourism Policy

Sustainable tourism is key to our operation and in the thoughts and actions of everything we do we here Flying Kiwi. We respect and adore our beautiful environment, culture and history and strive to help others appreciate and maintain it. Guardianship and protection of the land (Kaitiakitanga) is a key belief in all staff and this is installed on visitors to NZ by the way in which our tours are operated. We encourage you, alongside Flying Kiwi to act as guardians of Aotearoa as we explore this beautiful land, we call home.

To help ensure our operation aligns with your values please read through the standards we have achieved and the steps we take:

Your Carbon Footprint

Your personal carbon “footprint” describes the amount of carbon that is emitted as a result of your choices. Choosing to travel with Flying Kiwi who specialise in camping tours, which by their very nature have a low environmental impact versus accommodated tours and combine that with cooking as a group, cycling and travelling in modern buses built with the latest generation in low emission diesel motors, travelling with Flying Kiwi will reduce your environmental impact and carbon footprint during your time in New Zealand. In many instances this can be as much as 60% compared with alternative methods of touring eg camper vans, rental cars and backpacker buses who aren't actively pursuing environmental goals.

We encourage you to visit to assess the impact of your life and travels. The Carbon Fund programme gives you the tools to measure, manage and mitigate your carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

With research currently underway our goal is to go carbon zero in the near future, we encourage you to watch this space!

Qualmark Gold Tourism Sustainability Business Award

Flying Kiwi has been awarded Qualmark Gold Tourism Sustainability Business Award which recognises the best sustainable tourism businesses in New Zealand, with the delivery of exceptional customer experiences an integral part of everything we do. A Gold Sustainable Tourism Award identifies those businesses leading the way in making the New Zealand tourism industry a world class sustainable visitor destination.

Qualmark is New Zealand tourism’s official independent quality assurance organisation, providing a trusted guide to quality travel experiences. Our practices are reviewed annually, for more information click here.

Flying Kiwi Operational Practices:

  • Environmental awareness training – covers these main areas; minimising fuel burn by smart driving, zero food waste policy/smart shopping/cooking, recyclable items, Protect Native Plants and Animals, removing litter found at campsites and disposing of this responsibly, ensuring our groups leave no trace of our visit at campsites.

  • We focus on "authenticity" with a focus on using native guides and activity options that are owned and operated by local people wherever possible.

  • We explore predominantly by bike and foot while also travelling in modern vehicles that are stringently tested and meet or exceed all the required emission standards. Modern buses mean low emission and less fuel required.

  • Wherever possible we use camps and activity operators that are locally owned to ensure that money spent stays in the local community.

  • Recycling encouraged and systems in place. Waste, recycling and composting bins are provided on board and at the various camp sites and stops that we make along the route.

  • All our guides take responsibility for ensuring that the guests understand the nature of the environment that they are in and minimise the impact that they may have, this includes instructing travellers not to pick wildflowers and plants.

  • Shopping for meals is undertaken by our experienced guides who are committed to minimising waste with a focus on Zero Food waste policy – smart shopping, portion cooking by only purchasing as much as needed while also focussing on no unnecessary packaging. Local produce is bought fresh daily whenever possible near to where we will be based.

  • Cooking is done for the entire group minimising the amount of energy used per head.

  • We encourage the reduction of plastic and make available for purchase personal reusable water bottles and coffee cups.

  • We focus on saving water, energy and the environment leaving no litter and keeping all water sources clean, leaving campsites clean or cleaner than we find them. We also use environmentally friendly cleaning products.

  • All travellers are made aware of our responsible travel policy pre-trip. 

  • Building powered lighting minimal and has been changed over to LED.

  • We focus on reduced paper waste by removing the need to print documents, tickets etc with an improved electronic reservations system. Waste is recycled whenever possible.

Investment & Enhancement of Operating Environment is covered by the following initiatives:

Unlike many other tour operators, we are a New Zealand based and New Zealand owned company. We employ local New Zealand staff and profits are retained in New Zealand and taxes paid here. Flying Kiwi actively demonstrates that we are engaging in the following:

- Energy efficiency
- Conservation initiatives
- Waste management
- Community activities
- Water conservation

  • Through annual and access fees to national park authorities we contribute essential revenue to the protection and maintenance of flora and fauna in the parks we visit. We comply with the all plans of national parks we visit and help by reporting harmful events or special findings to the park management.

  • Flying Kiwi is an Associate Member of the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust and will match all travellers optional $10 donation towards this worthy cause. We also make it possible for travellers to volunteer their time and get involved with environmental projects such as site preparation and the clearing of weeds as well as planting knew trees, thereby having a positive impact on the environment.

  • A signatory to the New Zealand Sustainable Tourism Commitment

  • We work closely with New Zealand Department of Conservation We also recommend: NEW ZEALAND TRUST FOR CONSERVATION VOLUNTEERS ( These guys help improve and restore New Zealand's ecology. If you can, participate in one of their many valuable projects run countrywide.

Tiaki Promise:

Flying Kiwi is a voluntary signatory to the Tiaki Promise. Tiaki means to care for people and place. New Zealanders have a special connection to the land, and we want to help visitors travel safely and conscientiously. Everyone who lives, and travels here has a responsibility to look after it.

The Tiaki Promise is a commitment to care for New Zealand, for now and for future generations. By following the Tiaki Promise, you are making a commitment to act as a guardian protecting and preserving our home.

The Tiaki Promise has a set of guiding principles for visitors to follow, showing them how to contribute to preserving and protecting our land.

While Travelling in New Zealand I will:

- Care for land, sea and nature, treading lightly and leaving no trace
- Travel safely, showing care and consideration for all
- Respect culture, travelling with an open heart and mind