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Includes info on all of our trips and a tour itinerary booklet.

Dan Keys

New Zealand and Nepal Guide

Dan has been an important part of setting up Active Adventures trips in the Himalayas. It would have been easy to do exactly what everyone else does, but when you’re accompanied by an Active Adventures guide it bridges the gap between the cultures and it means you can learn more about the warm and friendly people of Nepal. Dan puts extra effort into each of his trips to ensure his guests have the very best Nepalese experience. He has an excellent rapport with all the people that work towards making your trip a trip of a lifetime.

Favourite quote and travel advice:
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” - Henry Miller

"I'm a Kiwi with a long standing love affair with the New Zealand mountains and oceans. I have ten seasons of guiding under my belt throughout New Zealand, Australia and Nepal. Traveling and exploring the world, off the beaten track, with my guitar is when I'm at my happiest. I've plucked a tune in crowded Indian trains, under the Himalayas, around Australian outback campfires and on remote Costa Rican beaches. A fluent Spanish speaker, I have a passion for surfing, diving, trekking and seeing the world first hand. Nothing is better to me than sharing this beautiful place we call home with others." - Dan

Dan-Keys-with-group-for-bio

Check out DK's 10 Questions Blog Post.

Testimonials

  • “D.K. made the trip for me. His connection with the land and culture made what was already mind-blowingly beautiful even more so. He's a wonderful guy and a great guide. He also exhibited extreme patience with a very loud and boisterous group. I can't think of any area in which he could improve.”
    Christopher Skinner (Boxford, Massachusetts, United States) February, 2013
  • “DK did an excellent job of running the trip smoothly whilst making it look easy! His enthusiasm for the trip was infectious. He enhanced our visit to Nepal by sharing his connection with the people and the places. I was impressed with how he has taken on the local language. DK was always available to answer questions & share information. All of this made our trip what it was.”
    Paula Barker (Arthurs Point Queenstown, New Zealand), Damon Stowell (Arthurs Point Queenstown, New Zealand) May, 2013
  • “My initial concern with having a Kiwi guide versus a Nepali guide was I wouldn't be able to have a truly Nepali experience. However, DK has really embraced Nepali culture and traditions and has cultivated relationships so I never felt I was being led by a "foreigner". He was incredibly patient and allowed me to be picky with my food while respecting the need not to waste our hosts food. He has a passion for Nepal and it shows in his interaction with the locals and the friendships he has forged. This translates into non-itinerary opportunities for participants (cooking lessons! water buffalo jerky sampling!) that enhanced this trip.”
    Sophia Jeng (Portland, Oregon, United States), April 2013
  • “DK is the definition of awesome. We felt completely confident with him as our leader. If he said we needed to cross a river, we did. He was very helpful to me on the Alex Knob trail and even loaned me one of his "sticks" (and consequently, made me a "stick" convert). He always had a smile on his face, is an excellent driver, very knowledgeable about the plants and culture....I can not say enough positive things about him!”
    Jane Abels (Fort Collins, Colorado, United States) December, 2012
  • “My guide Dan was phenomenal. I really cannot say enough good things about Dan. Made a wise choice to end a hike in very wet conditions. Always funny, good taste in music. Vast knowledge of botany and NZ geography.”
    Jeremy Hamal (United States) December, 2010
  • “Dan's experience leading groups with various skill levels and was right on the mark. He was sensitive to our needs and suggestions, yet maintained his professionalism at all times.”
    Egons Kubulins (Hingham, Massachusetts, United States) November, 2011
  • “Absolutely the best. He was knowledgeable about flora and fauna and took the time to inform us about each activity. And he loves his job, which is infectious. Both he and Sarah made sure that we were comfortable with all aspects of the adventure.”
    Roxanne Wazlaw (Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States) November, 2010
  • “Dan had a great personality and so enthusiastic!! So lovely to talk to. Very amusing and engaging as well. Perfect guide for the out back! We loved him!! Hard worker too.”
    Scot and Julie Gordon (Murray, Utah, USA) November, 2010
  • “Dan was wonderful. It was so refreshing meeting a young man with such wisdom about so many of the things in life that most people take for granted. His love and respect for New Zealand was very apparent. I learned so much about the "flora and fauna" of New Zealand, especially the endemic trees and birds. It was very interesting learning from him about the Maori culture and some of its vocabulary. Dan definitely made sure that we had an awesome trip. He is a great conversationalist. He turned us on to great Kiwi music. He was very fun.”
    Kim Dobyns (Saint Cloud, Florida, United States) November, 2010

Trip Reviews

 4.51 out of 5 (from 15017 reviews)

Trip of a Lifetime!

“I am still basking in the glow from this remarkable trip! I admit that I was a bit nervous at first as I was the oldest person in our group and not as fit (for hiking) as some in the group, so I worried about 'keeping up' on the hikes - especially the steeper climbs. Ben and Lauren were very reassuring and encouraging and I felt that I was able to 'hold my own'. In fact, while the hiking was probably the most challenging I've done in at least 7 years, it was the most rewarding/exhilarating part for me. I loved our group - a very positive, health-conscious and fun group of people from all walks of life. It was also wonderful that we were only 12 people - it helped to create a much more intimate and personal atmosphere. I felt we bonded together well - again, thanks to Ben and Lauren's great skills with ice-breaking, fun games, and ability to set and maintain a positive atmosphere from the beginning.
From the moment we set off from the airport to the emotional farewells back at the airport at the end of the trip, this was a top notch adventure. Our transportation was comfortable, our accommodations were always different and unique and very comfortable - I loved that they weren't all in your standard hotel and that some of them were really off the beaten track. The food was amazing - from the snack basket in the van, loaded fresh every day with fruit and other snacks, to the amazing meals that Lauren and Ben created and the breakfasts and dinners that we had at various restaurants - there was a lot of variety, special dietary considerations were accounted for and there was lots of it!
I did the kayak option and it was outstanding. The B&B and our hosts were wonderful (the hot tub at the end of the day was most appealing!) and our kayak guide, Nick was terrific - very accommodating, skilled and he made it all very interesting and fun!
I cannot say enough about our incredible guides - Ben and Lauren - they truly moved the bar for me from a great trip to one that will go down in history for me as the trip of a lifetime. They were so knowledgeable about the island - I loved listening to the legends/folklore and learning more about the vegetation, birds, etc. Ben was a terrific driver - I always felt safe. Lauren was terrific with her cooking and meal presentations - meals looked fantastic and tasted even better! Both Ben and Lauren added those special touches from decorating the bus for the Christmas season, organizing our Secret Santa, making a fantastic Christmas morning breakfast, complete with Christmas crackers and special hats, managing extra logistics like re-booking the paragliding for us, setting up the helicopter tour, taking the time and effort to help reconnect people with items they had left behind either in our accommodations or on a hike/kayak. They even had the perfect music for when we went through the Homer Tunnel and down into Milford Sound - the combination of the music and the scenery was so moving it had several of us in tears! They really ensured that they got to know each person and took a genuine interest in each person. Their positive energy and enthusiasm was infectious. They took kindness and customer service to a new level! The scenery was breathtaking everywhere we went. It would be hard for me to say what the favourite part was or favourite view as the South Island is simply spectacular. I felt that the trip was organized in such a way that I really got a good feel and appreciation for the South Island. Truly New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places (both 'inside and out') that I have ever visited (and I've visited over 20 other countries around the world). I really loved the more laid-back way of life and the local people we met were so welcoming and kind. I would love to come back again and see the North Island but also re-visit the South Island!
I highly recommend this trip and have already suggested it to a number of my friends. It really was transformational for me on so many levels! My heartfelt thanks to Ben and Lauren and everyone at Active Adventures!”
Sue Hazell's Review Image
– Ontario, Canada
Rimu, January 2018
Read Reviews

Why travel with Active Adventures?

Legendary Kiwi Hospitality

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

Expert LOCAL Guides & Trip Leaders

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

Everything is Included

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

A Sense of Achievement

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

Small Groups

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

Diverse Experiences

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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