| Greening in Kiwiland |
New Zealand’s renowned natural beauty—after all, this is the nation that provides those ethereal backdrops to The Lord of the Rings Trilogy—consistently ranks high on the bucket list of green travel destinations. From the Art Deco town of Napier and surrounding Hawke’s Bay winemaking region on the North Island to the spectacular Franz Josef Glacier on the South Island, there’s so much to see. It can be difficult zeroing in on your priorities, especially if you have concerns about your carbon footprint. Consulting a knowledgeable travel agent like Round the World Experts can be helpful in finding an itinerary and transport that suit your ethics, but it’s important to keep a few uber-basics in mind, too. Here are our top tips for a dream green adventure on these magical islands.
Wherever you venture in New Zealand, look to the local economy. Ask your travel agent to do a little research on your behalf, and take the time to do a little Googling on your own. Opt to visit restaurants and hotels which sustainably source their food, materials and staff from the local community. Ditto for tour operators. Ecotourism is thriving throughout the country, so you can easily filter your options. This applies especially to accommodations, which range from self-sustaining country farm-stays near major attractions like the Fiordland National Park, to socially responsible luxury hotels in major cities like Wellington and Auckland.
New Zealand’s incredible natural attractions are the core of the country’s tourist industry. Some venues, like the self-contained and sustainably built Orokonui Ecosanctuary just outside of Dunedin, offer visitors a fantastic insight into the rich and unique ecosystem of New Zealand—including those iconic Kiwi birds. Of course, there are always hot springs to splash in, and the world’s first (since 1988) bungee jump in Kawarau Bridge, Queenstown, to give a go.
Naturally, the best way to minimize your carbon footprint when touring New Zealand is to be mindful of the resources you use. Fortunately many of the country’s stunning landscapes are best seen not through a car window but by foot or on bike. Sports and hiking enthusiasts will find no shortage of options, from mountain biking to climbing to kayaking. The Great Taste Trail, 175-kilometers from Nelson to Kaiteriteri on the South Island, offers not only stunning vistas but also the best breaks—from excellent wineries to more craft breweries per capita than anywhere in the country.
Photo: 100% Pure New Zealand