Everything you need to know
We choose quality hostels and backpacker accommodation for our international student groups.
Features of our accommodation choices include:
- a range of interesting locations from central city to stunning landscapes
- clean, comfortable rooms
- wireless internet access in most places
- a friendly environment
- shared facilities such as kitchen, bathroom & lounge
- some hostels with spa and swimming pools
Students share rooms with other tour participants. Most of our accommodation providers are Qualmark® registered (this is New Zealand's official mark of quality tourism and is regularly reviewed).
We choose accommodation providers for their standards of cleanliness, safety and comfort, so the students can enjoy our relaxed and friendly New Zealand hospitality.
Our tours offer great value for money and include a wide range of group activities.
We ensure that students have free time to enjoy a hike, play rugby or volleyball or to lay back and relax with their new friends. Additionally, we have already booked some activities for all participants. Below you’ll find a list of included activity examples. Please check out the tour itineraries for details:
- Traditional Maori hangi & Maori song & haka
- Auckland’s Sky Tower
- Waitangi Treaty Grounds in Paihia
- Excursion from Paihia to Russell (incl. ferry ride)
- Bone Carving Workshop
- Hot Water Beach
- Te Papa Museum
- Huka Falls
- Gumboot throwing in Taihape
- Mini golf at “Tahunanui Fun Park” in Nelson
- Day trip to Abel Tasman National Park, including a Boat Cruise to Observation Bay and Guided Walk
- Visit Pancake Rocks
- Walk to Thunder Falls
- Visit Kawarau Bungy Bridge
- Entry & one alcohol-free cocktail at Minus 5 Ice Bar
- Kiwi Haka performance and dinner in Queenstown
- Excursions in Queenstown and Dunedin
- Visit Moeraki Boulders
At each destination, the tour guide will inform the students about things to do. There are also free group activities such as swimming, game nights and BBQ.
In addition to the included activities, there is always a range of extra activities that students can book. Please see itineraries of each tour for detailed information and prices.
Transport on tour
For all our international student tours we charter our own coach with bus driver.
The safety and comfort of our students are the most important aspects for NZdirect. We prefer hiring our buses from companies that are members of Qualmark®.
The bus driver is an integral part of the tour team and is chosen with this in mind.
Before the tour starts, coach drivers will perform a safety check to ensure that the coach meets the safety requirements of NZdirect. This includes the checking of:
- Brakes & handbrake
- Microphone system
- Emergency exits
- Location of fire extinguisher, first aid kit & location of handbrake
The tour guide will also ensure that the following safety precautions are met at all times:
- Exits and aisles are kept free from luggage
- Overhead items are safely stored
- Passengers must remain seated while the coach is in motion
- All guides and drivers are familiar with the location of first aid kits, fire extinguisher etc. in case of emergency
- We have a comprehensive emergency response plan on hand
Transport to and from tour
Most of our tours start in Nelson or Auckland. If the student is not from one of these main cities we organise the transport from their location (at extra cost). Please do NOT book your own transport. We will book the transport to ensure that participants arrive in time and can be picked up at the airport or bus terminal.
Once the student has enrolled online, our team will contact the student by email to discuss their travel needs. The most common means of transport are flight, ferry or bus. Airport shuttles will also be arranged when necessary. We will contact the student with a quote for the appropriate flights or coach and ferry from/to the destination. As soon as the quote is accepted we will book the transport and the student will be invoiced. All transport will be booked at the best available fare including booking fee.
Meals on all NZdirect International Student Tours are not included in the tour price. These are covered by a separate food kitty which includes breakfast and evening dinners.
The group prepares breakfast in their accommodation every morning. Depending on the tour, dinners are catered or eaten out in local restaurants. Sometimes we'll also prepare evening dinners at the accommodation. Usually dinners are eaten out in local restaurants, however sometimes the students prepare an evening meal under the guidance of their tour guide at the accommodation.
The cost of lunches is usually not included in the food kitty and students buy their own lunch individually. This allows them to have free time to spend on other activities.
We'll ensure that dietary requirements and special needs such as vegetarian, vegan or food allergies are catered for.
The student will receive his/her personal tour itinerary and other information approximately 7-10 days before the tour start. A copy of the itinerary will be sent to the school contact person, to the parents at home, as well as to the host parents. This itinerary includes the contact details of the tour guide.
What to bring
Students should remember to pack only as much as they can carry.
Essentials that shouldn’t be forgotten:
- Drink bottle (should be named)
- Camera / Go Pro
- Sun hat and sun glasses as well as sun screen – suitable for the New Zealand outdoor conditions
- Loose clothes that allow sitting on the bus or hang out at the hostel in comfort
- Warm clothes and water-proof clothes
- At least one pair of trousers that are not jeans
- Appropriate shoes for walking
- CD’s or DVD’s for the bus
- Card games or other games, rugby ball, etc.
- 1 small day backbag (school bag)
- 1 suit case (preferably hard case) – weight limit 20kg
- Student ID
- Any medication (please inform NZdirect what medication is carried)