MoaTrek History

New Zealand’s leading small group tour operator

MoaTrek is a New Zealand family business founded by Ena Hutchinson in the 1970s, with her son Miles coming on board in 2008.  

All Kiwis know that there are so many absolutely magical spots all over the country, so in 1971 Ena and a few others decided to start running tours to share our favourite places with visitors. In those days MoaTrek focussed on backpacker trips, our first ever trip was with a load of Aussie travellers.

We kept running backpacker trips and pretty soon we knew everyone all around the country, and our tours were super popular.

Fast forward to today and our trips have matured, we now visit the same amazing spots but these days we happily rest in comfort at the end of each day in our 4-star hotels as opposed to pitching a tent and opening a can of beans for dinner!

For Ena, Miles and everyone else at MoaTrek, we love nothing more than showing visitors to New Zealand all our favourite holiday spots, we still visit lots of places today that we did in the 1970s.

That, and the magic that happens on every trip when a group of travellers share a once in a lifetime experience – that’s why we do this and what makes us keep coming back for more, since 1971!

MoaTrek turned 50 in 2021!

The year 2021 is a special one for MoaTrek, because half a century has passed since our first small group tour.

Take a trip back in time with MoaTrek

Here’s the original MoaTrek video from the 1970s!

MoaTrek brochures over the years

These days, our brochure is online, but in years gone by it was printed and posted to people who wanted to find out more about our tours.

Here’s what they looked like over the years.

MoaTrek today

Fifty years on, MoaTrek is still going strong and still doing what we love, sharing all our favourite places and expriences in New Zealand with travellers.

No longer working out of Ena’s kitchen, the team are now based in the Auckland CBD and our passionate Kiwi Guides are spread around the country.

The MoaTrek team on Great Barrier Island

What’s a Moa?

Unique to New Zealand, Moa lived for 60 million years in a lush, peaceful and primeval landscape until the end of the 13th century. Like the Kiwi, Moa couldn’t fly – instead, they walked everywhere.

Unfortunately, they were no match for the Maori, the new migrants to New Zealand, who saw them as a tasty, easy-to-catch resource and didn’t hesitate to put them on the menu and make cloaks from their feathers. Now extinct, these birds once came in several sizes – from small (1.3m tall) to very big (2m tall and weighing 250kgs).

Life sized Moa statues and the MoaTrek coach
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