If there is one silver lining to be found during last-minute lockdowns, it’s that nature is given a chance to breathe. The sky becomes clearer, birds become bolder, and our landscapes let out a sigh of relief.
Stuck indoors, or to the confines of our neighbourhoods, humans don’t fare as well in such times. Naturally, booking an escape to the great outdoors gives us something to look forward to when we can spread our wings once more.
Tourism operators are excited to share the best of what our country has to offer again. But in an eagerness for business to return to normal, unsustainable practices threaten to tip nature out of balance. In a typical year, the industry contributes 8 to 10 percent of New Zealand’s total carbon emissions, harming the very environments we set out to appreciate. Herein lies the industry’s paradox. It’s time for a new itinerary.
Tūtira is New Zealand’s first climate positive tourism provider offering the ultimate high country, low impact experiences. Its guided electric motorbike tours explore some of the most majestic privately-owned stations in New Zealand, where you will feel but a blip in the breath-taking landscapes. Kiwi-made electric motorbike technology ensures each ride is smooth and silent, allowing you to take in the serene and expansive scenery in all its glory.
On offer is one of New Zealand’s finest high country land holdings, Lake Hāwea Station in the Queenstown Lakes District. The 6500-hectare property produces top-grade merino wool, lamb and purebred Angus beef. Guests here will enjoy exclusive access to the farm’s dramatic landscapes, which undulate from the pristine lakeside to tussock covered hilltops and rolling backcountry.
Another option, Middlehurst Station, is an original New Zealand high country merino farm in the heart of Marlborough’s Awatere Valley. Visitors have the run of its vast 16,000 hectare property — from the broad riverbeds around the homestead to the varied backcountry and rugged peaks of the upper Kaikōura Ranges. A new station stay in Canterbury will be announced soon.
With curated rides available for groups of up to ten, this is your chance to experience outstanding high country hospitality and the rustic charms of your surroundings. Tūtira’s off-the-beaten-track adventures are typically three days — with three-course meals featuring local produce along the way.
In Te Reo Māori, Tūtira translates to gathering together in a row or a line, which is similar to how guests experience the stations on an at-your-own-pace ride. It is also the title of one of the first books to discuss the ecological impacts of farming in New Zealand. Encouraging guests to understand the past and look ahead to the future, Tūtira shares the tangata whenua, history, heritage and environmental story that makes each high country visit unique.
When we need a break from modern life’s complexities, reconnecting with nature helps us to reflect on what’s truly important. For Tūtira, it’s protecting some of the country’s greatest natural assets long after a stay. Ten percent of revenue from each trip goes to on-station conservation and regeneration efforts. Guests are welcome to encounter these grounding initiatives, from habitat and biodiversity restoration to waterways protection and regenerative soil projects.
Tūtira approaches tourism with the principles of carbon negativity and a restorative connection to land, food and fibre. Each trip includes climate positive offsets equal to 200 percent of all experience emissions, including the complimentary transfers to the location. It’s part of Tūtira’s committed to making New Zealand’s pure, clean promise a reality. Creating a new, and renewed, normal.