The Flying Kiwi Story - Best New Zealand Tour
New Zealand's Original Adventure Tour
New Zealand has always been a travellers dream with stunning landscapes, superb activities and some of the World's most amicable hosts. The country has also been a magnet for those looking for outdoor adventure but until relatively recently travel options were particularly limited.
In the late 1980s a 21 year old kiwi took the brave step of introducing a whole new method of travel to those visiting NZ. In contrast to the plethora of fixed itinerary coach tours, visiting the same tourist hotspots, Flying Kiwi combined these great locations with a variety of stunning new destinations that took visitors from all over the World "beyond the tourist trail".
Custom vehicles were built and the addition of a trailer enabled the self-sufficient crew to visit more remote areas, soaking up kiwi culture and lifestyle whilst exploring the regions by foot, bike and kayak. The original buses were "works of art", with elaborate, eye catching designs weaving their way into areas rarely visited by most tourists.
Over the following 10 years the adventure industry boomed as New Zealand was recognised as THE adrenalin destination! New activity options were added to the itinerary whilst the original mantra remained firm - "to provide clients with the opportunity to discover and explore the most beautiful areas of New Zealand in a relaxed and flexible way."
In 2001, current owners, Dennis and Vonnie Christian took over the family business. Proud Kiwis, with a strong commercial background, Dennis and Vonnie were able to take Flying Kiwi to the next level whilst retaining the crucial focus on personal, friendly and reliable service. Over the last 4 years new vehicles have been purchased as Flying Kiwi was firmly established as New Zealand's leading adventure travel company.
A real area of focus for Dennis and Vonnie was to grow the business with a great emphasis on responsible tourism and in 2004 their hard work received its first commercial recognition. The company was named as the Chamber of Commerce Environmental Award Winner in 2004 and then again in 2006. In addition, other recognitions included the Chamber of Commerce medium business winner, export award finalist and finalist for the New Zealand tourism awards in 2007.
In 2010 the company received a Qualmark enviro silver award for the ongoing commitment to responsible tourism. Of particular note was the introduction of driver and vehicle tracking software to help assess and improve the fuel efficiency of the vehicles and trips in general.
Over recent years a number of "backpacker bus" and "adventure" companies have been and gone in NZ, with more due to launch over the coming years. Asked how he felt about the increasing competition, owner Dennis Christian commented that "it's certainly a competitive industry but our product still remains completely unique. Its the places we take people, the fantastic dynamics of the group and the superb relationships we have with other local, kiwi operators and our clients that continues to drive our business."
It certainly seems to be working as last year Flying Kiwi received its greatest accolade yet; being named by National Geographic as one of the Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth. The company was the top rated budget operator for customer satisfaction in all categories including multi sport, culture and hiking.
So where next in the Flying Kiwi story? "We are happy with our level of growth and our current focus is on continuing to increase the range of choices clients have on our trips - we are working hard to ensure that clients have a fantastic range of options to choose from everyday and that each option reflects the best of kiwi service and responsible tourism" assured Dennis.
It certainly seems they're on the right track and if you're the kind of traveller who wants to experience something a little different, hang out with the locals and get healthy while you travel there's really only one choice - jump on board with Flying Kiwi.