Adventure tourism can be a life changing experience. Pushing your body to climb a mountain, over come fear on a whitewater rapid or simply taking the time to still a busy mind in a natural environment can be profound. It should be profound. It should have lasting and tangible effects.
We believe this should be true for our guests and as hosts.
Typically mass tourism through huge companies sees less benefit to both the guests and hosts. The quality of any experience is necessarily compromised when done on mass scale and the economic impact on the host region is often diminished too. Often profits don’t stay in the region or even the country. Tourism can become a curse that only ever takes from an environment, leads to over development, displaces populations and creates shallow, disappointing experiences for guests.
We believe in doing things differently. We are committed to small groups and high guide ratios. the quality of our trips is our driving principle, not the profit margin of faceless shareholders.
A flat fee goes from every booking goes towards conservation projects nation wide and also to local initiatives to reintroduce threatened endemic bird species, the Whio, into the area. That’s money from your pocket going back into creating a better environment than the one you encountered. We think that’s pretty amazing!
We use local supplier with real names, back stories and families. Our food is locally sourced, we use local drivers, agents, guides, accountants, lawyers, web developers, marketing personnel, photographers and web partners. We support small businesses and local enterprises. You’ll not see us sourcing our creative labour from websites that encourage gig culture for the lowest bid. We pay our hard working, qualified, experienced and talented crew a living wage and proudly support and sponsor teams within the adventure community and charitable causes. We strive to create virtuous circles with local communities and agencies to incentivise, protect and conserve these amazing places that attract our incredible guests (that’s you guys!) in the first place.
In 2020 our guides removed thousands of wilding pines from the Wakatipu basin and in 2021 we extended and intensified the trap lines that your hard earned cash helped to put in and monitor.
In 2020 we also made a commitment towards more sustainable resources and ways to lessen the impact on the climate that our outdoor gear has. To this end we began upgrading and repairing boats for our customers to try and prolong the life of their gear and our latest effort will see us selling packrafts that we bring in using a consignment model. By bringing packrafts into NZ in larger consignments, we are reducing the number of flights needed to bring our much loved packrafts to NZ. This significantly lowers our carbon footprint.
As part of retail drive we have partnered up with local gear suppliers where possible too, in some cases helping these small business to actually expand their operation and become more sustainable themselves. Much as we love our partners overseas, it has never been more important to support local businesses and this has meant innovating and collaborating with talented small manufacturers in the Wakatipu and in the North Island where possible.
Our guides are also heavily involved with community projects such as Search and Rescue, to the extend where our guides are asked to train teams from around NZ.
In a period of time where Tourism businesses are being asked to reinvent themselves and come up with more sustainable way of running, we’re thrilled to see more businesses adapting the business models that we’ve been passionate about since our conception. We’re like the hipsters of sustainable and regenerative tourism, enthusiastic about our responsibilities to our communities and environments since waaaaaay back!