With travel being a distant memory to many people this year, it has become so much more than just a holiday. Kiwis are now not only dreaming of their next adventure, but also the meaningful impact they want to have on the place they are travelling to. Booking.com’s recent Future of Travel research found that the impact Coronavirus has had on the environment will be inspiring more Kiwi travellers to make more sustainable travel choices in 2021.
There’s no doubt that COVID has had a big impact on the environment, and because of this many Kiwis are inspired to make more sustainable travel choices in 2021. The pressure will be on the travel industry with (69%) of Kiwis expecting more sustainable options. Kiwi travellers believe the industry need to adapt to this sustainable mindset for the long-term, offering more enticing off-season travel packages (46%), and proposing alternative destinations to prevent overcrowding (36%). There’s a push for travel operators to be more transparent about how Kiwi travellers’ money is being used to rebuild a community, paving the way for more regenerative tourism. (67%) of New Zealanders have said they want their travel choices to support the destination’s recovery efforts, and (55%) want to see how their money is helping the local community.
Booking.com has put together a list of places Kiwis can travel to in their backyard for a meaningful impact, while having a minimal impact on the environment.
Bay of Islands
In the North Island of New Zealand is the Bay of Islands, home to arguably the most important piece of New Zealand history, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and celebrated for its beautiful beaches. It’s also home to the historical whaling port of Russell, whose waterfront promenade is lined with remnants from its days as the country’s first colonial capital. Ecocruz offers overnight sailing cruises to discover the beautiful Bay of Islands in a way that adheres to their ecotourism values and minimising the impact on the environment. This 3-day sailing adventure takes travellers off the beaten track to give a real taste of the marine environment and the beautiful landscapes of this unique coastal region.
Where to stay: Before heading off to Ecocruz travellers can explore the land while staying at Hananui Lodge and ApartmentsSurrounded by gorgeous gardens and situated right on the waterfront of Russell, travellers will be able to understand why the Bay of Islands is such an iconic part of New Zealand.
Rotorua is known for its rich Māori history and geothermal activity where travellers can enjoy the bubbling mud pools, Pohutu Geyser, visit a Māori village. Those up for learning a new skill or two can also visit the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts institute, and experience traditional Māori arts activities such as weaving and wood carving. Kiwis who are interested in expanding their knowledge about the history of our country will appreciate all that Rotorua has to offer for a meaningful stay.
Where to stay: Those visiting Rotorua can treat themselves at Solitaire Lodge, a luxurious 5-star property 20 minutes’ drive from Rotorua, set on a private peninsula on the shores of Lake Tarawera.
With no light pollution, guests are able to enjoy the night sky and get back to nature.
Abel Tasman National Park
Known for crystal clear waters, never-ending coastlines, adventurous nature walks and tropical features, Abel Tasman is the perfect natural playground for Kiwi travellers. With breathtaking natural beauty and abundant wildlife at every turn, every visit to the Abel Tasman contributes to the region’s sustainability initiatives.
Where to stay: Nothing says ‘nature friendly’ like a beautiful resort in the middle of a national park. The Awaroa Lodge are able to keep its environmental footprint low as they cater to passing hikers and visitors, some of which stay long-term. This accommodation in the South Island is surrounded by nature, coastal views and waterfalls, where guests have close-range access to the Abel Tasman track.
Set within Abel Tasman National Park and accessible only by water taxi or helicopter, Awaroa Lodge offers modern accommodation surrounded by native gardens and beach. Travellers are able to explore the coastal walking tracks or go kayaking and fishing nearby.
Travellers will be blown away by all that Lake Tekapo has to offer. From the magical light of the Mackenzie Country across golden grasslands, snow-capped peaks, travellers can trek through the landscape to take it all in. The best way to do this is to hike through the Southern Alps, climbing 2070m high peaks, and enjoy the star-studded night sky with no light pollution to interrupt the views. Not to forget the lake itself, which is renowned for its glowing turquoise water.
Where to stay: The View Lake Tekapo provides luxury apartment accommodation with outstanding lake and mountain views from every room. This means that guests are able to enjoy the panoramic star-studded skies from the warmth and comfort of their rooms.
From their eco-friendly attitude, laid back vibe, gorgeous location where mountains collide with stunning seascape, Kaikōura has it all for Kiwis looking for a meaningful holiday. Hike the Kaikōura Ranges for glorious views of the coast or plan a boat trip out of Kaikōura. Whale Watch operates by the values of manakitanga (hospitality to visitors) and whakaute (reverence for the natural world) so visitors are ensured a memorable experience that shows utmost respect for the surrounding environment.
Where to stay: Kahutara PurePod
Kahutara PurePod is a luxurious glass eco-cabin set in a stunning location, a 20-minute drive away from Kaikōura, offering guests river, mountain and bushland views. This holiday home features sliding doors on all three glassed sides, a glass floor and a glass ceiling, perfect for stargazing. Guests can relax on the deck and enjoy the isolated slice of the New Zealand landscape with views over the mountains, river and bushland surrounds.