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COVID Info HubOur Travel Policy + Safety Measureslearn more

COVID-19 Information Hub

Our COVID-19 policy and what we're doing to keep you safe

At Great Walks of New Zealand, your safety is our first concern. 

Our specific protocols and safety analysis procedures, in conjunction with updates provided by our local partners and Government Travel warnings, allow us to carefully assess the stability of our trips throughout New Zealand and plan our operations accordingly. Our experienced staff frequently review all aspects of our adventures to ensure we are providing you with the best possible travel experience. 


Our COVID-19 Travel Policy FAQs

From the 1st of December 2021, travellers over the age of 18 are required to provide proof of a current and valid COVID-19 vaccination, with the final dose administered no later than two weeks prior to departure.

Vaccination age requirements may vary from country to country. 

It is the duty of travellers to check any requirements which need to be fulfilled before travel, which includes transit destinations, on the destination country’s government websites.

USEFUL RESOURCES: IATA COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map

Children under 18 are exempted from vaccination requirements and may instead provide a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior to day one of the trip.

If they are vaccinated, we will require proof of vaccination.

There are some exceptions to the age requirements, for example in Canada, among others, where those aged 12+ are required to be vaccinated.

Medical exemptions for adults will be considered on a case-by-case basis and require a medical certificate from a medical professional.

Those with valid medical exemptions must provide a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior to the first day of the trip.

Please be aware that additional quarantine requirements for unvaccinated travellers may apply, depending on destination and transit countries, and these should be considered before you travel so the appropriate arrangements can be made.

Vaccinations which are acceptable are those approved by New Zealand health authorities. If you are coming from overseas please note that you will also need to check the eligible vaccinations for countries you are transiting through.

USEFUL RESOURCE: IATA COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map.

A copy of your vaccination record must be provided to our reservations staff prior to the start of your trip.

All personal information provided is kept in accordance with our privacy policy which you can view here .

A digital or paper copy should also be kept with you during your trip.

Depending on your country of origin, proof of vaccination may take the form of an:

  • New Zealand - Vaccination confirmation letter
  • Australia - Immunisation history statement or COVID-19 digital certificate 
  • EU - EU Digital COVID Certificate
  • England - NHS COVID Pass 
  • Scotland - Vaccination Status Record 
  • Canada - Vaccination Records or receipts issued by province or territory, pending standardised proof of vaccination
  • USA - CDC documentation 

National certificates may alter if vaccination passports are created. Please check with us if you are unsure which documents are required.

Note entry and exit requirements governing international travel are constantly changing and it is imperative you check any requirements which need to be fulfilled before you travel, via your transit and destination country’s government websites.

Requirements may be more stringent than those required by us, and these may include requiring evidence of recent COVID-19 test results.

USEFUL RESOURCE: IATA COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map.

We acknowledge and accept your right to choose what is best for you as an individual.

Whilst this is the case, we take our responsibility to our travellers, host communities and global staff seriously and with this in mind, will not accept travellers on our trips in the absence of a valid, current vaccination or suitable exemption.

Our Terms and Conditions of travel related to cancellation will apply should you decide not to meet the requirements for joining your chosen trip.

This also applies to those passengers who are holding Travel Credit Vouchers and who booked before or during the pandemic.

We hold our responsibility to our global team in the same high regard as that of our travellers.

In line with this commitment, all our leaders and crew must either have been vaccinated, or in the case of access challenges, being addressed via our advocacy, have tested negative to COVID-19 no more than 72 hours before they start a trip.

In some cases, for example on partner operated trips, local health regulations will direct the policy in place for staff.

In the vast majority of cases, yes.

In some cases, for example on partner operated trips, local health regulations will direct the policy in place for travellers.

There may be some travellers on your trip who are not vaccinated.

Our protocols have been carefully honed with your wellbeing in mind, using our 45 years of experience and in accordance with the standards set by the WHO (World Health Organization) and WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council) and ATTA (Adventure Travel Trade Association).

Our tailored, nuanced rapid response field management protocol is a required standard throughout our operational bases.

Within all the risk mitigation strategies, it remains that COVID-19 is extremely contagious and there is a risk of exposure anywhere where people encounter one another which cannot be removed.

Acceptance of the inherent risk is voluntarily assumed by you when you when join our trips, though you should rest assured we have elevated our protocols with a heightened awareness of this new paradigm.

We are reviewing the access options for testing in our destination countries and until such time as accurate testing is universally available, pre-trip testing is not required for vaccinated travellers.

Note that in most instances, travel outside one’s country of origin will require a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior to departure.

Be sure to check the requirements which need to be fulfilled before you travel, via your transit and destination country’s government websites.

USEFUL RESOURCE: IATA COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map.



Our COVID-19 Safety Measures

We have introduced additional measures considering the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Naturally you’ll be social distancing while walking, but while at your evening accommodation, we recommend you embrace your own personal measures of safely distancing with other patrons, wash your hands regularly and if you are feeling unwell, discontinue your walk at the soonest opportunity and take steps to visit a local doctor to have yourself tested. The accommodation and transport providers used are also following government recommended measures to mitigate the risks to you.

Our guided departures manage the risk of COVID transmission through:

  • Screening – using a predeparture questionnaire to keep people with Covid19 off trips
  • Providing clients with clear guidelines to follow – more detailed briefings
  • Maintain physical distancing, with a max number of people per group
  • Enabling good hygiene practises – much more cleaning on the buses and in shared spaces, arranging pre-packed snacks and lunches when not dining in cafes or restaurants
  • Registering places we visit, keeping a contact register of people we encounter

Under Levels 1 and 2, we are fully operational.

Should you be in a region where there is a known alert Level 3 or 4 in place when your trip is due to commence, please get in touch with us ASAP prior to your travel commencement to discuss your options.  

Please direct any questions to our team at [email protected] or call 0800 496 369. They will be happy to assist.

In most instances, should you be confirmed to travel and unable to do so due to government restrictions or trips being made inoperable, we will be able to transfer you to a new departure, or offer you a credit towards future travel (less any non-recoverable deposits/payments/expenses incurred).  

Stay safe, be kind and unite against the pandemic.

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