New Zealand has been described by National Geographic as a 'world in miniature'. New Zealand is a land of incredible natural wonders with a unique ecosystem featuring many species found only on these islands - and we want to keep it that way! Sustainable tourism is everything to us, this is our country and we love living here, our job is to help others experience that very thing we treasure the most. So we have put strategies in place to promote the positive impacts and to minimise the negative.
Like other parts of the “New World”, New Zealand’s natural environment has seen fundamental changes with the arrival of modern European cultures with many introduced species which have often harmed the endemic species – and human activity which has degraded much of the original native forest and habitat. There are however many positives. New Zealand has long taken an environmentally enlightened stance in international affairs and its tourism industry is 10, possibly 15 years ahead of many countries who might otherwise consider themselves to be leading in responsible eco-tourism.
First Light Travel has a well-developed Leave-No-Trace ethic in New Zealand. We are involved in supporting a range of local conservation efforts. Most of all however, we believe that joining one of our journeys will inspire you to be a passionate advocate for New Zealand’s unique wild places should they be under threat in future. We are passionate about wilderness and wild places and it is a real privilege to share the landscapes, flora and fauna with our clients. We greatly value these assets and are absolutely committed to operating in a manner which conserves and enhances our natural environment.
Our business activities and trip operations are purposefully designed to minimise environmental impact carbon emissions. We will encourage our partners, suppliers and sub-contractors to improve their contribution to sustainable development and management of tourism, and will work with them and share information to assist in this. We seek to support locally-owned New Zealand guiding operations who can demonstrate to us a similar passion for the natural environment. All of our partners are involved where practical in local conservation efforts and we believe that in journeying to New Zealand you are contributing to a valuable alternative natural economy in sustainable tourism.
All of our trips in New Zealand are committed to the implementation of the following environmental policies:
• Itinerary design which has utmost regard to minimising impact on the local environment and improving it wherever possible.
• Location choice – we have deliberately sought to design our journeys in the regions where you are most likely to be inspired to become an ambassador for New Zealand’s wild places in the future.
• Our Group Tours – We maintain genuinely small group sizes which minimise the environmental and social footprint of our trips.
• A destination based approach which reflects the carrying capacity of tourist locations with an emphasis on undiscovered and off the beaten track locations.
• A focus on experiences which require human power e.g. trekking, mountain biking in preference to vehicle based itineraries.
• A policy of “leave no trace” which is relevant to wild camping, flora and fauna, waste disposal, visual and noise intrusion and other land users.
• Client briefings on environmental awareness, responsibilities and practice with particular emphasis on highlighting local environmental issues/threats. An opportunity to offset carbon emissions arising from international air travel.
Please feel free to contact us if you have an questions.