Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a number of questions that we are frequently asked. If you don’t find the answer (or question) you are looking for, just contact us - we’re here to help.

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General questions

Why should I book with First Light Travel?

Well, we can think of at least 10 reasons to book your trip with us.

COST

The misconception is that booking a trip with a tour operator or travel agent costs you more. Not true! The cost to you, the consumer, is the same and, often better as we pass on our good contract rates to you.

TIME

Information overload! There is too much destination information out there to wade through on the internet, travel books and magazines, friends recommendations and other sources. It can be overwhelming, confusing and time-consuming. Then, the actual planning, setting dates, reserving, following up, reconfirming, sending payments to various locations ... there is much to do. Your time is too valuable - let us make it a process whole lot easier for you.

PRODUCT KNOWLEDGE

The glamorous part of being in the travel business is we get to travel all the time. Yeah, someone’s got to do it! The reality is, we check out all the rooms and compare the boats, resorts and operators, meet and negotiate with adventure outfitters, airlines and so forth. Most importantly, we experience firsthand the diving, kayaking, rafting and other adventure activities. Can you believe that some dive & adventure travel companies do not have employees that dive or hike? We are all dive certified with thousands of dives under our belts. Travel is our passion and we pass on our valuable knowledge to you so you will reserve the trip that is right for you. An internet site or brochure might look amazing, but the reality can lead to big time bad experiences and then you have wasted your hard-earned vacation.

EXPERIENCE

We’ve been in the travel business for many years! We know how to put together trips and what makes an itinerary work successfully. We represent only the most seasoned and reputable operators.

LOGISTICS

We coordinate every aspect of your trip. Airline connections, transfers, what works on certain days, what does not, the timing, the pacing - we know who to make it all work together. Let us handle getting you from point A to B to C for you.

DETAILS

We make sure you have exactly what you have requested - whether it is aisle seats, vegetarian meals, diving equipment rentals, king-size beds or honeymoon specials. As our valued clients we provide you with important pre-departure information, which includes recommended packing lists, visa and medical information, travel insurance, suggested readings, emergency contact numbers and more.

THE UNEXPECTED

Just when you think a trip is all set, something happens. Whether it is something major like a hurricane or coup or minor like a flight cancellation, we can fix it for you. We can rearrange your trip to accommodate the change or come up with a viable alternative or handle the refund for you. We specialize in smoothing over the rough spots. We do it all the time. Also, our inbound operators are so amazing that if something happens to you in the field, they will handle any emergency or change with efficiency and care.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

We are not a faceless, dot-com, travel consortium run by venture capitalists trying to retire in their 30s (too late for that!). We are people who love travel and have chosen it as our profession. Whether you contact us by email or over the telephone, we enjoy hearing from you and will fulfill your requests in a timely and personable manner. Many of our clients have become our friends and return to us time and time again. We all share the great passion of travel.

PERSONALISATION

We will not corral you into a pre-packaged tour that is not right for you. All of our itineraries are customised for the travel you have requested. This is time-consuming and work-intensive for us, but we feel very strongly that your vacation time is golden and you should have the perfect itinerary that is right for your travel desires.

YOUR NEXT TRIP

We value our clients and enjoy hearing your feedback and your thoughts on your next travel plans. We offer special deals to our clients and enjoy planning your trip with you. We are here for the long haul and want you to have many fabulous and exciting vacations with us!

I like what I see. How do I make a reservation?

It’s easy. Just contact us directly on +64 (9) 281 4481 or emailinfo@firstlighttravel.com and one of our travel consultants will be happy to discuss your travel plans and talk you through the reservation process.

Are there any hidden charges that are not included in the cost of your itineraries?
Our prices are all-inclusive - there are no hidden costs. You will find details of what is included or optional in each itinerary. Our premium hosted tours include all excursions, activities, meals and accommodation. If you are still unsure, we are happy to discuss any aspect of an itinerary with you.
What will the temperature be?

The north of New Zealand is subtropical and the south temperate. The warmest months are December, January and February and the coldest June, July and August. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20-30°C and in winter between 10-15°C.

The following table has average high/low temperatures for key centres on the North and South Islands.

North Island

  Spring
Sep, Oct, Nov
Summer
Dec, Jan, Feb
Autumn
Mar, Apr, May
Winter
Jun, Jul, Aug
Bay of Islands
Temp (C)
Temp (F)
Rain days

19/9
67/48
11

25/14
76/56
7

21/11
70/52
11

16/7
61/45
16
Auckland
Temp (C)
Temp (F)
Rain days

18/11
65/52
11

24/12
75/54
8

20/13
68/55
11

15/9
59/48
15
Rotorua
Temp (C)
Temp (F)
Rain days

17/7
63/45
11

24/12
75/54
9

18/9
65/48
9

13/4
55/39
13
 
Wellington
Temp (C)
Temp (F)
Rain days

15/9
59/48
11

20/13
68/55
7

17/11
63/52
10

12/6
54/43
13
 

South Island

  Spring
Sep, Oct, Nov
Summer
Dec, Jan, Feb
Autumn
Mar, Apr, May
Winter
Jun, Jul, Aug
Christchurch
Temp (C)
Temp (F)
Rain days

17/7
63/45
7

22/12
72/54
7

18/8
65/46
7

12/3
54/37
7
Queenstown
Temp (C)
Temp (F)
Rain days

16/5
61/41
9

22/10
72/50
8

16/6
61/43
8

10/1
50/34
7

 

Many outdoor activities are weather dependent. What happens if I've paid for an activity that has to be cancelled due to the weather?

We will provide as best an alternative as we possibly can at no additional charge to you. On our hosted tours all the details will be taken care of for you. If you are on a self-drive tour, simply call our freephone number and we will endeavour to either book you onto a different activity of your choice, determine whether the activity can be rescheduled or, in the event that there are no suitable alternatives, we will refund to you the cost of the activity. Note that this does not apply if you change your mind on a particular activity – only if the activity is cancelled.

Do I need travel insurance to travel to New Zealand?

Travel insurance is not compulsory except on group dive tours, but is strongly recommended. We offer highly competitive travel insurance packages that are especially prepared to cover most adventure activities. Please enquire for further details.

Do prices on your website include international flights?
No. But we regularly have access to special fares for flights to New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific. If you require flights please ask and we can get a quote for you.
What do prices include/exclude?

Although most tours include your accommodation and transport, each tour is different with regards to meals and activities that are included. Please check the itinerary to see what is included or contact us. Items of a personal nature, such as laundry, phone calls, tipping, room service, optional excursions, wine & beverages, etc. are not included in tour and holiday costs and are your own responsibility. Tour and Holiday prices also exclude International and New Zealand departure taxes, customs and immigration fees.

What passports/visas are required?

Please check with us and/or your airline regarding current passport, visa and vaccination requirements. Generally vaccination certificates are not required for European, US or UK residents travelling directly to New Zealand.

All travellers will require a valid passport to enter New Zealand. Visas for short term stays in NZ (i.e. less than 3 months) are not generally required for US, British and most European passport holders. Please check with us or your airline at time of booking as to the precise requirements and procedures for obtaining passports or visas. (It is the responsibility of the traveller to hold the above travel documents).

Do I need an international drivers licence to drive in New Zealand?

You can legally drive in New Zealand if you have either a current driver’s licence from your home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP). The law here requires all drivers carry their licence or permit when driving. You will only be able to drive the same types of vehicles you are licensed to drive in your home country. Just make sure your driver’s licence is current and if not in English you should bring an English translation with you or obtain an IDP.

What types of activities are available for children?

If you are thinking about visiting with your family, we can suggest a wide range of activities to keep your children happy.

New Zealand's parks and large areas of unspoilt wilderness are ideal places to expand your children’s appreciation of wildlife and the outdoors. Horse riding, snow activities, whale watching, fruit picking, wildlife centres and zoos are just some of the choices available.

If you are visiting the larger centres, you will find a range of themed attractions including Rainbow’s End (Auckland), Splash Planet (Hastings), Marine Land (Napier) and the International Antarctic Centre (Christchurch). Te Papa, New Zealand’s interactive national museum, has a range of activities for the whole family to enjoy, including Story Place, a haven for small children.

Most family restaurants have children’s menus and high chairs. Many cafés also have high chairs and a toy basket to amuse babies and toddlers is becoming increasingly common in both cafes and shops. Most public gardens have well equipped play areas for young children, as do many holiday parks. Adventure playlands such as Chipmunks or Lollipop’s Playland are always popular with the very young – these can be found in most main centres.

How much does it cost to go to New Zealand?

That's a difficult question to answer.  But having worked with people with all levels of budgets we can safely say it can be done "on the cheap", in total luxury, or anywhere in between.  
For most people a trip to New Zealand is a once in a lifetime trip, so they will want to see and do as much as they possibly can in the time they have available.  That can obviously have an impact on how much you spend.
If you're thinking about planning a trip to New Zealand why not contact us and we will be more than happy to give you a quote based on your personal travel goals.  And if price is important to you we can keep you informed of any flight specials or package discounts that come available.

Wellington Sunsets
Pohutukawa Tree, New Zealand's Christmas Tree