Ultimate Journeys For Two
Extraordinary destinations on every continent:
Mike and Anne Howard are officially the world's longest honeymooners, and founders of the acclaimed travel blog HoneyTrek. Here at Active Adventures we've had the pleasure of hosting and guiding hundreds of honeymooners on our trips over the past twenty years, so we were excited when Mike and Anne got in touch to enquire about joining one of our adventures. They chose the Galapagos Land and Sea Adventure 'Tortuga' trip - think snorkelling in rich, clear blue waters, walking amidst hundreds of scurrying iguanas and relaxing with a cocktail at sunset - and that's a fraction of what they experienced! They then went on to write a book about their global honeymoon, and Active Adventures has been featured under the Galapagos section.
Volcano and Jungle Adventure - excerpt from magazine below:
Ecuador is a magnificent little country - long one of South America's best (but less known) adventure spots! It has pristine Pacific coast, Andean highland, a capital so beautiful it was named the world's first heritage site, and Amazonian jungle. And this one-week extravaganza packs in many of the country's highlights. You will bike down one of Ecuador's most iconic Andean mountains - Cotopaxi - and trek in the rainforest, visit an indigenous family and soak in natural hot springs. Explore the Valley of the Volcanoes and the colonial but cosmopolitan capital Quito, where you will be stunned by the beauty of it all.
Interview: Vanessa Wards, Active Adventures Trip Leader
Misadventures Magazine, November 2015: I was quick enough to nab an interview with Vanessa Wards, a guide at Active Adventures, between her travels for work and for fun — though I have to say it’s hard to tell which is which.
Active Adventures is New Zealand’s premier outdoors expedition company. They take small groups on week to two-week long biking, snorkeling, backpacking, kayaking, and caving trips all around New Zealand primarily, but also in Nepal, Peru, Patagonia, the Galapagos Islands, and Ecuador. Sounds like a pretty sweet gig Vanessa’s got.
National Geographic Traveler Magazine
New Zealand: Sea to Sky
An action-packed program [Ultimate South Island Adventure 'Rimu'] draws thrill seekers to New Zealand’s South Island. First stop: the fishing town of Kaikoura, to shake off jet lag (try a swim among fur seals). Then head out on a three-day hike of the Angelus Circuit, in Nelson Lakes National Park. Recuperate at Braemar Station, a high-country sheep ranch in the shadow of Aoraki/Mount Cook.
The Best Scottish Weddings Magazine
A complete haven for thrillseekers, and with mountains you’ve probably seen Gandalf scampering over, New Zealand is the perfect destination for intrepid explorers. Active Adventures offers trips bursting with activities to get your pulse racing as well as hikes that will take you through rainforests, up glaciers and to the top of snowy peaks. Couples can snorkel with fur seals, go on a three-day kayak, sandboard over dunes and trek across active volcanic terrain. And, of course, there’s always the option to go visit Hobbiton.
National Geographic Traveler Magazine
New Zealand: The Shire and More
Some thrill-seekers never leave the South Island, but the less trod North Island has its share of Kiwi magic, too. This multisport romp [Essence of the North Island 'Kauri' trip] takes you mountain biking through the Whakarewarewa Forest and trekking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Recoup with a soak in geothermal pools and a Maori feast cooked underground with hot stones. Finally, pay homage to that most beloved of explorers, Bilbo Baggins, with a visit to the set of The Hobbit.
Travel + Leisure - May 2013
New Zealand: Top to Bottom
Five ideas on how to explore the country's diverse terrain with Active Adventures New Zealand.
1. Volcanoes, emerald-hued mineral lakes, and tufted grasslands define the Tongariro Northern Circuit, where the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed.
2. Thousands of rare glowworms cling to the walls of the Waitomo Caves, which you can explore by foot or by boat.
National Geographic Adventure online
New Zealand: All Access Kiwiland. The North Island has the Bay of Islands and the best surfing; the South Island trumpets Queenstown and world-class hiking. For decades, New Zealand's two halves have been vying for the country's title of premier travel destination. But Active Adventurees New Zealand just gave the South Island a major one-up: the first guided hiking and bicycle crossing from coast to coast.
For this 13-day trip, the high-octane outfitter has chosen the wildest route possible, using little-known tracks (Kiwi for trails) and New Zealand's excellent hut system, which offers everything from bare-bones shelters to cushy crash pads with private bunks and kitchens.
Outside magazine - April 2009
Deal of the year: That New Zealand is the place you fantasize about most is no surprise. But here's what is: This is the year to stop drooling and go. With a historically favorable exchange rate (at press time, one U.S. dollar equaled just under two New Zealand bucks) and round-trip flights available for around $800, adventure in Middle Earth is suddenly on sale.
For multisport gluttons: Do it all
On this whirlwind, called the Essence of the South Island 'Tui' , guests hike the Franz Josef Glacier, a World Heritage site; cycle Hollyford Valley; sea-kayak Milford Sound; and take a scenic flight to the Siberia Hut, one of the South Island's many isolated mountain lodges. Departures between October and April.
National Geographic Adventure Online
The Adventure Ratings 2009: For the second time in as many years, we've conducted an unprecedented survey of adventure travel companies, based on the idea that a traveler's most important decision is not always where to go but who to go with. For the 2009 edition, we spoke to more guide services—and their clients—than ever before.
Active Adventures New Zealand overall score: 89.80
'Rugged hike has its beauty', by Pamela LeBlanc - March 2007
Nelson Lakes, New Zealand - Just before lunch, my backpack starts to feel like I've stuffed a circus tent inside it, and my boots and socks are soaked from slogging through calf-deep streams.
That last swing bridge over a raging river, the one with a sign warning that it could support just one person at a time? It made my knees quake. And, our guides have warned, the steepest part is yet to come. So I am happy when we break for lunch.
National Geographic Adventure magazine - November 2006
What's new: Ask any group of experienced guides about their dream trips, and chances are they'll rattle off dozens of options. This year Queenstown-based Active Adventures New Zealand invented a creative way to take advantage of all this unrealized trip-planning potential: The outfitter inaugurated an annual competition among its guides to design the best trip around New Zealand. The winner, of course, would get to lead his or her entry.
Outside magazine - March 2006
The Wanderlist: All it takes is one trip to change your life... One trip, one world - that's all it takes.
During Active Adventures founder Andrew Fairfax's 2,700-mile cycling expedition from Istanbul to London in 2003, he thought, Why aren't we doing this at home? The result of that epiphany is the 'Weka', a 13-day supported bike trip circling the South Island. It hits all the top spots, like the majestic peaks and gushing waterfalls of Milford Sound and the blue ice of the Franz Josef Glacier, while staying off most of the main routes, worn thin by tourist traffic.
By Steve and Joan Ringel of Denver - January 2006
(Where readers send in pictures of their local paper travelling the world!)
Where: Milford Sound
Best meal: Rotherhams, Christchurch, a small, welcoming restaurant run with gourmet continental choices as well as New Zealand specialties. Wonderful desserts. Be hungry; New Zealand menus include appetizers, mains (a small main course), entrees (a regular main course) and dessert. If you ask for salad or vegetables, you will get them; if you don't, they are not likely to be served.
'Slogging through midlife', by Catherine Gildiner - September 2004
It's that time of year when back-to-school rumblings inspire thoughts of self-improvement. Catherine Gildiner forsakes the annual all-inclusive holiday and signs up to hike glaciers, ford rivers and paddle across Queen Charlotte Sound on a 'multisport extravaganza' in New Zealand. But she encounters an unexpected challenge: a bee-fearing, TV-producing kayak partner named Sid.
'No worries in the other land down under', by Linda Ballou - October 2003
In New Zealand, a country that embraces tourism like no other, the outdoor loving Kiwis have made nature's treasures accessible to all. A network of trails from mild to wild, are well marked and maintained by the Department of Conservation. Numerous outfitters are happy to take visitors hiking, biking, kayaking, snorkeling, whale watching, birding and more. Just bring a fit body, plenty of sun block, and a sense of humor to the other land down under. You will be amazed at the variety of terrain from the snow-crowned Southern Alps with glaciers descending into lush rainforests, to rugged valleys carved by wild rivers rushing to sun-washed shores.
National Geographic Adventure magazine - February 2003
Here's why people fly so far to hike in New Zealand: A third of the island nation is parkland, and it has just 3.8 million residents. Consequently, hundreds of miles of lightly used trails weave through rugged ranges and untrammeled rain forests. Active's 14-day loop is billed as multisport, but most clients opt for tramping around the canyons of Punakaiki, Franz Josef Glacier, the Mount Cook Region, and other South Island beauty spots. Nights are spent in lodges, B&Bs, and a sheep shearer's cabin on a 63,000-acre farm.
Why this trip: It dodges the predictable Milford Track in favor of trails loved by locals, and it offers two levels of hiking-moderate and challenging-on every outing.
'Take a hike', by Jim Beriau - February 2003
Attitude is everything. It could not have been clearer after seven years of marriage. Her body language said it all. "Just what on Earth am I doing at 6,000 feet with a 30-pound pack on my back, boulder-hopping on this ridge?" Her trekking pole slapped some of the small rocks out of the way. She stopped to pick one up. Must be a souvenir, as if the blisters on her feet weren't enough. I watched all this from a distance and did what all good husbands should do. Nothing.
'Scar Treks: Trips for those who can't sit still' - March 2001
We all know people who refuse to slow down: workaholics, workout fanatics, compulsive overachievers. It used to be that these stress addicts hated taking vacations, but now they've inspired their own travel trend: multi-sport adventures. This breed of package tour is designed for those who can't sit still. While many of these trips are best for those who have a steady relationship with their gym, itineraries adn activities are sometimes flexible enough to accommodate travelers of all abilities. Here is a list of trips designed for the leisure-impaired:
Newsweek article - September 2000
Ann Worthington, a work-at-home lawyer and mother in Capistrano Beach, Calif., rarely breaks away from her telecommute and Teletubby routine. So what was she doing last spring, sans husband and child, bungee-jumping off New Zealand's Kawarau Bridge? No, she wasn't caving in to domestic pressures. She was just embarking on a multi sport vacation, the latest adventure-travel trend. Leaving her husband at home with their toddler, Worthington spent the rest of her week hiking, biking and sea-kayaking across New Zealand's South Island.
Escape Magazine article - April 1999
Kathy Singleton took one look at her itinerary for a three-week trip in New Zealand, and her eyes popped out of her head. The 46-year-old Colorado resident had unwittingly signed up for a multisport adventure outing and discovered that her trip's menu of activities read more like the scorecard for an adventure race than a vacation: trekking, mountain biking, sea kayaking, whitewater rafting and horseback riding, with a little caving and glissading thrown in for good measure. "I love the outdoors," Singleton recalls thinking, "but I'm no triathlete."