• Eco adventures on land and sea offer ‘slow tourism’

By Gabrielle Young

Walking by Nature has recently rebranded to Terra & Tide, launching sea-based experiences alongside our premium land-based offerings. With a focus on ‘slow tourism,’ Terra & Tide is aimed at Kiwis who want a chance to relax, rejuvenate and mindfully experience the natural wonders of their own backyard.

Five years ago, I quit my high-pressure corporate job. I went walking alone for a month from the top to the bottom of the South Island. I felt an immense increase in my wellbeing during those lone hours walking. While I was appreciating the nature around me, I decided I had to offer others a similar experience.

My new business was christened Walking by Nature, with the aim of helping visitors to Waiheke Island explore the natural surroundings on foot with an expert guide.

After a few years, and reflecting on the values and mission of the business, it became clear that I needed to rebrand to mirror the dual focus on the land and sea.

Terra & Tide continues to host internationally applauded guided and self-guided, single-day and multi-day walking tours and forest therapy tours, but now we also offer private charter day trips to the outer Hauraki Gulf. These are hosted by my husband Bruce and me, aboard our 41-foot sailing catamaran Pacific Star, based at Waiheke Island.

Bruce and I want to connect people with nature, while sharing our appreciation for conservation and the environment. We offer boat cruises that are not fishing tours, because we want to protect the Hauraki Gulf.

Over the summer months, up to 12 guests can discover the outer Hauraki Gulf aboard Pacific Star on a day excursion, exploring Waiheke Island and the Outer Gulf. The trip can include a guided walk on Waiheke or a nearby pest-free island, swimming, snorkelling and paddleboarding. Guests will learn about sailing, with the opportunity to take the helm or trim the sails, all while spotting seabirds, dolphins, and even the occasional whale.

A day out on the water is not complete without a locally produced and catered lunch. These tours also give sailors a chance to discover some of Waiheke’s hidden gems, like Garden Cove, which is only accessible by boat.

If you prefer staying on dry land, Terra & Tide hosts a number of Waiheke-based walking tours that span from a few hours to a few days.

I’m proud of Terra & Tide’s slow tourism model and the way it works to protect the community we share with our guests. We try to use our tours to educate walkers and sailors on different environmental and conservation initiatives happening on the island and in the Hauraki Gulf.

I want every person who takes a tour with us, whether by land or sea, to leave with a deeper understanding of Waiheke. It’s very important to us that in tourism, we give back more than we take away. For example, we’re thrilled to share our own conservation efforts to protect DoC land in the Hekerua Reserve, a project we started in 2018 with our team and other locals.

Terra & Tide also offers guided Forest Therapy walks, and I have been an internationally accredited nature and forest therapy guide since 2016. Forest Therapy offers a sensory, mindful experience where walkers are encouraged to connect with nature and themselves. The benefits of Forest Therapy are becoming more widely recognised for enhancing health and wellbeing.

Forest Therapy on Waiheke Island

Forest Therapy on Waiheke Island

Physical and mental wellbeing can be hugely improved by immersing yourself in nature, be that on the water or on land. Nature has almost magical restorative powers where you find yourself with no choice but to instinctively relax, breathe and give yourself space to find perspective and peace.

Terra & Tide is incredibly excited to share these unique and unseen experiences with New Zealanders. Whether it’s to reconnect with nature or gain a better understanding of the environment, we welcome the chance to share our island and its waters with you.

Along with our sailing trips and Forest Therapy, Tide & Terra continues to offer a range of guided walks for every fitness level, age group and interest – including themed walks featuring vineyards, artists, beach and bush.

3 December 2020

  • star rating  Highly enjoyable introduction to cultural and natural highlights of the island. - Justine was super friendly and accomodating, and knowledgable about Maori culture and history as well as nature. She drove us to some interesting locations on the island, and after an... read more

    27 February 2024

    star rating  Wonderful experience on Waiheke Island! - Although the weather was dull with light rain at the beginning of our hike, our wonderful guide Tyler engaged our attention right away with her knowledge of the flora and... read more

    John M
    26 February 2023

    star rating  Optimal tour for a meaningful overview of Waiheke Island and NZ in general - The Waiheke Island History and Heritage Tour was a fabulous way to start our vacation. Gabrielle and team are extremely knowledgable about all aspects of NZ and Waiheke Island... read more

    16 April 2024
  • star rating  A Day on Waiheke Island - We had a wonderful day on Waiheke Island. Our guide, Nydia, was terrific. She was friendly, she told us all about the flora and fauna as well as... read more

    14 March 2023

    star rating  Great day on Waiheke Island with Lucie - had an excellent day hiking around the headlands with Lucie!!!! Had a nice orientation before we headed out and spent the morning hiking around the beautiful headlands of the... read more

    11 March 2024

    star rating  Sailing - Fab journey, Bruce and Gabrielle great hosts
    Anchored up and swam, not much wind but all good, great food :)

    27 February 2023
  • star rating  Amazing, informative, and breathtaking! - This was our first stop on our honeymoon in New Zealand and our guide was Maria. I had done a lot of research on New Zealand and was really wanting... read more

    12 March 2024

    star rating  A fun way to meet some nice people and enjoy the lovely island.
    So much beautiful and creative art to see!
    A great way to tour around some different areas... read more

    Jo S
    21 April 2024

    star rating  What an amazing experience exploring the beautiful Waiheke Island with Gabrielle, a passionate nature lover with in depth knowledge of the flora and fauna of the island. Gabrielle also... read more

    Anthony N
    11 March 2023
  • star rating  Excellent first day in NZ tour of Waiheke. - Having a lunch with my guide on the sandy beach. As it turned out, I was the only guest for the tour time and date I had chosen. ... read more

    Peter B
    9 March 2023

    star rating  Sailing Waiheke with Blue Penguins - My husband and I had such a lovely time touring the islands around Waiheke for our honeymoon! Bruce and Gabrielle were such lovely hosts and we had an amazing time... read more

    11 March 2023

    star rating  Excellent four and introduction to Waiheke Island. - Fantastic tour! Walking and hiking with coastal views, and on a trail through the forest. Then an absolutely delicious picnic lunch on the Mudbrick winery estate before a lovely... read more

    3 March 2023
  • star rating  WAIHEKE FUN DAY - It was a great day of a hike, pi cnic on the beach and because we requested it , wine tasting..Justine was knowledgeable, pleasant, accomodating and just a fun day.

    15 March 2024

    star rating  Relaxed Day - Gabrielle"s wealth of knowledge of the flora and fauna of the island was amazing. Even though the weather meant plans had to change it was a most enjoyable day hiking... read more

    14 March 2023

    star rating  Great time. - The hiking tour we took of Waiheke Island was one of our highlights to the Auckland NZ area. Tyler, our guide was knowledgeable, energetic and FUN! I highly recommend... read more

    29 March 2023
  • star rating  Fabulous private tour with vineyard lunch - Our day with Nicky was wonderful! We were excited to find out it was a private tour! Nicky drove us all around the island and showed us so much in... read more

    1 March 2024

    star rating  Nikki was fantastic- her knowledge of the island & her delightful personality made the day very enjoyable. We were blessed with stunning weather & Nikki showed off the best of... read more

    15 March 2024

    star rating  Incredible day on the catamaran with Bruce - My wife and I had the BEST day out on the water with Bruce this February. We booked rather last minute, but Bruce and Gabrielle were incredibly accommodating and provided... read more

    17 April 2024
  • star rating  Perfect boat trip - We had the best tour. We started sailing and went to a beautiful island and hiked around and then had lunch and sailed back. It was just wonderful and we... read more

    15 April 2024

    star rating  Nydia was a lovely tour guide. The scenery was amazing. We had a tight schedule due to a flight and they modified the tour time to accommodate us. Great people... read more

    Abbey B
    4 March 2023

    star rating  The perfect way to explore the Hauraki Gulf - We had a fabulous day out on board Pacific Star with skipper Bruce and walking guide Lucie. Can’t think of a better way to explore and learn about the history... read more

    6 March 2023
  • star rating  Nature and wine - We, a couple, had a nice walk with Cindy. She explained a lot of interesting facts about the plants, birds and the Māori culture. After the walk we got a... read more

    6 March 2024

    star rating  An Absolute Must - Our time on Waiheke Island was amazing. Nicky, our tour guide, took us around the galleries on the main road of the island and if felt like walking through a... read more

    27 March 2024

    star rating  Waiheke wonderland - My husband and I had splendid tour with Nicky who really did show us the best of Waiheke Island. We had several wine tastings, a super lunch and enjoyed many... read more

    Johanna E
    1 March 2024
  • star rating  Fantastic day out on a catamaran - We took a catamaran out with Bruce to Tiritiri Matangi Island. Not only was the island itself an incredible experience but Bruce was an outstanding and informative host. He let... read more

    26 March 2024

    star rating  Really knowledgable local guide and beautiful walk. Local history, geography, flora, fauna and current regeneration projects. Well worth it.

    1 April 2023

    star rating  Great Tour of Waiheke Island! - We had most of a day to devote to touring Waiheke island and Gabrielle was an EXCELLENT guide! Very accommodating to our schedule, very knowledgeable about the island, a... read more

    Rick S
    7 March 2023
  • star rating  Great walk - We took the vineyards and bush walk around Waiheke. I don't really like bus tours and this was a nice option. A little longer walk than advertised but... read more

    6 March 2023

    star rating  Beautiful Day on Waiheke - I had the best day touring Waiheke Island with Maria of Terra & Tide. We discussed my interests when we met and she tailored the day to fit... read more

    6 March 2024

    star rating  A great day out - I really enjoyed my day out. Lucie was a great guide, offering lots of information about the history of the island and the flora and fauna. The meet and greet... read more

    1 March 2023
Terra & Tide - Tourism Export Council