FAQ: What can I expect if I travel with Hike NZ?
Put simply, we solve all your travel problems. For a whole week you don't have to worry about anything other than showing up in the morning and enjoying the day. We make creating wonderful travel memories easy, fun and enjoyable. You benefit from our 30 years of experience developing and leading tours and the best guides in the business. We create experiences for you that you would never be able to have on your own. You can count on a level of professionalism that ensures everything is taken care of so you can maximize your precious holiday time.
We are very aware that we need to add value to your travel experience. Over and above the inclusions noted in your itinerary, you can expect to have a very fun time! Our guides are accomplished individuals; many have multiple degrees and come from a variety of walks of life, but most importantly, they are fantastic travel companions who keep you entertained as well as safe and free of any stress. Their primary desire is to create a fun, enriching, informative, and intimate travel experience that our guests couldn’t have had if they'd travelled alone. For this reason, many of our clients choose the same guide to travel with time and again.
We’re all about the personal connection, and we love sharing our "backyard” with our guests. Indeed, travellers often remark at the end of a tour how they really connected with the guides – that it didn’t feel like they were being guided, but rather that they were travelling with a good friend and sharing wonderful moments together.
FAQ: It is challenging times for travel companies. How do I know you will still be in business a month after I pay for my tour?
You have my word. I would not take your reservation if I knew we could not do your tour. We’ve been operating guided holidays for 24 years. We have weathered everything from 9/11 and the 2008 Global Financial Melt down to yo-yoing currency fluctuations and now Covid-19. We are resilient! We are happy to be a small company because our passion is travel and discovery, not making it "big." Being a small company means we have low overheads so even with no income for 2020 we are fine. If you want, I am happy to send you a screen shot of both business and personal bank statements, or our financial statements over the past few years. We are happy to be transparent.
FAQ: What support backup do you have in place if things go awry while on tour?
All of our guides have first-aid training and carry first-aid kits with them. Every guide also carries a GPS beacon in case of need. Although we get you into stunning scenery, our hikes are never more than a few kilometers from a road or 4x4 accessible track. All our tours are supported by a 4x4 vehicle. On every tour we have evacuation protocols for each day should something go wrong.
FAQ: I have specific questions regarding the tour. Who can I speak to or correspond with that has an in-depth knowledge of that tour and the area you’re going to?
Your initial inquiry through the website goes directly to our owner-director Brett Naisby, who is available to answer any and all questions. If you have special requests or just a million questions, call Brett directly at + 64 021 071 1972.
FAQ: Can you tell me a bit about the guide for this trip? Who are they, where are they from, what experience do they have?
First of all, all of our guides absulutely love their work. The guides are there to look after you, entertain you, inform you and generally enrich your travel experience. Upon making your booking inquiry, Brett will let you know who is likely to be your guide and you can see their picture and read their bio on our "About us/Our Guides" page.
FAQ: How large are your groups?
We cap our walking trips at 8 participants. We can accommodate larger groups upon request.
FAQ: How small are your groups? What is your minimum group size?
We will guarantee a departure for only 2 people, but a small-group fee may apply. Please see our Guaranteed Departure Policy for more information.
FAQ: How many guides accompany a tour?
We have at least one NZBF guide accompanying tours with up to 7 participants. If we have a group of 8 there will be a second guide/driver with a second 4x4 support vehicle.
FAQ: How many people do you need for a private trip?
We can do a private trip for 1 person, if that is what you want to do, but of course it will be more expensive. Usually, a good number is between 4 and 8 people. This means your private group benefits from sharing the cost of the trip, while remaining small and flexible. Of course we can also do trips for large groups too! We have done many private tours for groups of 20 to 24 particpants.
FAQ: Where do your clients come from?
Well, in the age of Covid, they are going to be all Kiwis! In normal times, we get a nice cross-section of people, geographically, demographically and socio-economically.
FAQ: What is the age range of people on the trips?
On average, ages range from early 40s to mid-60s, with the majority in the 45 to 75 bracket.
FAQ: Do you get many single travelers?
Yes. Very often a tour has at least 1 single traveller.
FAQ: Do you charge a single supplement?
Yes, we do, but it is relatively modest since we charge only the extra fees that are passed on to us by the hotels. We do not penalize single travelers with our own fees. As a result, our single supplements are lower than most tour companies.
FAQ: What are your clients like?
Mature, reasonably well off and active types who enjoy the outdoors and a good leg stretch – but with a taste for comfort and good company/food/wine. Many of our tour participants have traveled extensively, and often this is their first organized, guided tour.
FAQ: How does a typical day work?
A typical day starts with breakfast at about 7:30 to 8 a.m and departure at about 9 a.m. There is usually a transfer to the trail head (usually not more than an hour) hike with breaks, a picnic lunch, more hiking and then a return to the hotel around 4:00 pm, followed by some down time and dinner at about 06:30 to 7:00 pm. The guides will then brief you on the next day’s activities.
FAQ: How far do you walk in a day?
We design all our trips to have about 4 to 5 hours of activity per day, with a little more in the morning. We usually walk between 12 and 16 kms, with the occassional 18 km day. Please see our Activity Rating page.
FAQ: How long have you been doing tours?
Brett guided his first tour, a cycling tour in Alsace, in June 1990 for a company called Butterfield & Robinson. He established his own walking and biking company in 1996, called Customwalks, which has been doing tours in Europe ever since. He started ScooterBella Vespa Tours in 2006. The cycling division was rebranded as Mondo Bike Tours in 2017. Our first New Zealand tour was in 2017. So, we have 30 years of experience doing tours, and we have been doing New Zealand-based tours continuously since 2017.
FAQ: Where is the company based?
Customwalks is a division of Speranza Travel Ltd, of Christchurch, New Zealand. Speranza Travel Ltd. is also the sole owner of Customwalks Italia SRL, which is a limited liability company based in Castellina in Chianti, Tuscany, Italy. Customwalks Italia SRL is a subsiduary of Speranza Travel Ltd. and it looks after the administration and operations of our Italy-based walking, biking, and scooter tours. Speranza Travel Ltd. brands: New Zealand by Foot, Customwalks, Mondo Bike Tours, Scooterbella Vespa Tours.
FAQ: What about people who suffer from vertigo?
All of the trails that we use are safe. The paths can become narrow on occasion, and skirt along significant drop offs, but only for short stretches. Sometimes we do have to cross narrow rocky sections, so anyone suffering from acute vertigo may feel uncomfortable. There is an optional swing bridge on a section of our High-Country Getaway tour. Each evening the guide explains the next day and if there are any potential issues for people who have vertigo he/she will advise the group. Our guides are used to helping people get over these sections and will ensure that everyone is safe. However, if you already know that you have serious problems with vertigo then please contact us for a more detailed decription of the trails.
FAQ: What about travel and health insurance?
We highly recommend that you purchase Trip Cancellation Insurance and supplemental Travel Medical Insurance. Should you have to cancel your trip because of illness, injury or death to you or a family member, trip-cancellation insurance protects most of your deposits and payment for both air and land cost. Should you be injured during the course of your travels abroad, supplemental Travel Medical Insurance will give you peace of mind and the financial wherewithal to cover the costs of medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
For New Zealand residents, we suggest that you look at the following company or contact your insurance broker or travel agent.
Southern Cross Travel Insurance
Toll free Canada & USA
please note this will ring through to our office in New Zealand and will be answered between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. New Zealand time.
(+64) 021 0711972