Fifty shades of green: Discover special Kiwi tourism businesses with conservation at the core

TD Editor

Sustainability and conservation have become increasingly important among travellers these days, with the growth in awareness of the environmental impact of travel.

New Zealand invites its visitors to become kaitiakitanga, guardians of our place. Ensuring it is maintained and treated in a way that keeps it in a condition for future generations to come. Visitors are encouraged to make the Tiaki Promise, an initiative launched by Tourism New Zealand and close partners, an invitation and encouragement to visitors to care for the country alongside Kiwis.

Many businesses within New Zealand’s tourism sector are already making positive changes in sustainability. Whether they’re carbon-neutral, carbon-positive, or just doing amazing things for the environment, here are top 4 New Zealand tourism businesses with conservation at their core:

Carino Wildlife Cruises | Northland

Carino is the only company in the Bay of Islands to be awarded a Responsible Whale Watching Certificate from the World Cetacean Alliance (the world’s largest marine conservation partnership). They offer a variety of cruises for guests to experience and be inspired by the natural environment around them. They actively work with multiple research universities on conservation and research efforts. Carino also regularly holds beach clean-ups and uses biodegradable or non-toxic cleaning products. They also use wind power as often as possible and have started a tree-planting program local to them.

Ziptrek Ecotours | Queenstown

Ziptrek Ecotours were the first company in Queenstown to achieve Zero Carbon Business status in 2019. Some of their community and environment initiatives include planting 5000-plus trees, shrubs and grass over the past ten years on its zipline site at Gondola Hill and around the local area, through the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust, sponsoring Paper4Trees, a waste minimization and native tree planting program for NZ schools and preschools and more.

Dive! Tutukaka | Northland

Dive Tutukaka operates out of the Tutukākā Marina in the Bay of Islands and focuses its visitor experience around the Poor Knights Islands. It is New Zealand’s largest dive charter company, taking over 12,000 people to the Poor Knights Islands every year on five boats. The enterprise has won a number of national and international awards for environmental and business practices and were a finalist in the 100% Pure New Zealand Experience Awards in 2021.This company was a key player in advocating for the exclusion of recreational fishing from within the marine reserve, and every time a tourist books with the company they’re contributing to the preservation of the beautiful Poor Knights Islands.

Kaitiaki Adventures | Rotorua

Kaitiaki Adventures is a globally recognised adventure tourism company specialising in white-water rafting and sledging experiences on the Okere section of the historic Kaituna river. In 2021 they won a Qualmark 100% Pure New Zealand Experience Award owing to their priorities in sustainable tourism, Māori prosperity and environmental wellbeing. Conservation projects include management of wilding pines, guardianship of Mt Tarawera, protecting the endangered Dabchick in partnership with DOC and maintaining a 100% Zero Waste business operation.
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