Among travelers who covet spectacular natural scenery, New Zealand is legendary. Our focus is the South Island, a land of topographic extremes, from seaside rain forests and sapphire lakes to ice-crowned peaks, active glaciers and frigid fjords. On a dramatic itinerary that winds from alpine heights to Pacific shores, we are immersed in nature at its showiest. Explore ice-crowned peaks and lush gorges in Fiordland National Park, hike on remote Mou Waho Island in Lake Wanaka, and walk among towering ferns to wild Monro Beach. Within these diverse landscapes, we find rare and intriguing creatures such as the flightless buff weka, yellow-eyed penguins and the famous brown kiwi. We also experience the hospitality New Zealanders are renowned for we meet sheep farmers, learn about Maori culture, and find a bit of Scottish heritage in the South Pacific.
Remote and Intimate EcolodgesFrom secluded ecolodges, search for rare birds on rain forest hikes, paddle a mountain lake, and stargaze beneath some of the darkest skies on Earth
A Rare Stay on Stewart IslandOn wild, little-visited Stewart Island, look for elusive kiwis on a guided night walk, and view breeding seabirds on a private boat excursion.
Private Milford Sound CruiseAboard a chartered boat, cruise the glacial-carved fjords of Milford Sound, where waterfalls plummet in silver ribbons from 500 feet above
See More of Natural New Zealand, Farther off the Standard Track
Most New Zealand tours focus on the same few popular highlights, like Milford Sound. While we’d never dream of skipping those notable draws, we take you farther into New Zealand’s remote reaches, away from crowds, for a Down Under nature odyssey you’ll have a hard time finding anywhere else. When you travel with us, you’ll enjoy distinctive experiences like these:
Fly by Small Plane to Stewart Island to Look for Rare Endemic Wildlife Few travelers to New Zealand visit lushly forested Stewart Island. But we've included it, with the unusual opportunity to look for the endemic flightless brown kiwi bird on a guided night walk. This island is also a breeding and nesting site for one of the world’s rarest birds: the Fiordland crested penguin.
Visit the Isolated Nature Sanctuary of Ulva Island Just minutes from Stewart Island lies wild Ulva Island, a predator-free environment for rare and endangered birds. Explore pristine trails and beaches, observing bird species that no longer exist on the main islands. Not on your standard itinerary!
Stargaze Under Some of Earth's Darkest Skies
In two places, we'll have a chance to experience some of the darkest skies on the planet. Look for glowworms and glittering stars on a guided night walk from Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge, located near (as the crow flies) Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. We also take two night walks on Stewart Island, known as Rakiura in the Maori language, which means “Land of Glowing Skies." If we're lucky, we might even see the aurora australis on the southern horizon.
A Small-Group Nature Experience from Beginning to End Nat Hab has always been committed to the principle that nature is best experienced in small groups. You’ll travel in a group of no more than 11 in a private mini-coach—no big tour buses for us! Few other companies come anywhere near our small numbers, which means you have more intimate and authentic experiences wherever we go.
Visit a Working Sheep Farm—Not a Tourist Set-Up It’s often said that New Zealand has more sheep than people, and you’ll want to get to know more about these famous residents. We visit an authentic working sheep farm to learn from our hosts about the role these animals have played in the country’s history, and their current significance.
Small Chartered Boats for Private Wildlife Viewing
Most companies send their groups on marine wildlife-watching excursions aboard larger commercial vessels shared with other passengers. With Nat Hab, you’ll cruise on privately chartered small boats for a quiet, personal experience of nature, including on Milford Sound.
Stay in Nature’s Most Dramatic Locations No cookie-cutter chain hotels for us. Although they range from simple to luxurious, our lodgings place us in the most striking natural places New Zealand has to offer. Sleep in a lodge tucked into an open forest clearing and run by a family that traces its farming roots back to 1860. On the shores of Lake Wanaka, enjoy spectacular views of the lake and Southern Alps. In every case, we choose our accommodations for their authenticity, history, atmosphere and proximity to nature.
Your Naturalist Expedition Leader Is a New Zealand Native Nat Hab has earned an international reputation for employing the highest-quality Expedition Leaders in the industry. Our guides average 15 years of experience and training, with additional resources and access to WWF’s top scientists. On this trip, you’ll also have the advantage of a native New Zealander as your guide, for a truly personalized interpretive experience. Read our Expedition Leader bios and traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
Our Quality-Value Guarantee Ensures Your Outstanding Nature Adventure Natural Habitat Adventures is proud to offer our exclusive guarantee that clearly states that we will meet the high expectations we set forth in our promotional materials. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise for yourself!
Feel Good About Your Carbon-Neutral Journey We care deeply about our planet, as we know you do. When you travel with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset—including your round-trip flights from home. Natural Habitat Adventures has been the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company since 2007.
Natural Habitat Adventures is WWF's Travel Partner
Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our small-group nature adventures, World Wildlife Fund, the world’s leading environmental conservation organization, has named Natural Habitat Adventures its worldwide travel partner—a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!