A new addition to our collection of incredible Active Adventures trips… drum roll, please!
As New Zealand’s best-known adventure tour operator, we know what pushes people’s buttons. We understand the reasons people travel with us and we listen to their suggestions. Each year we tweak our trips to make them even better, but every so often, it’s clear that there’s an opportunity to design and run a completely new adventure experience. Now is that time!
|Hiking in Punakaiki|
‘The New Zealand Explorer’ or ‘Kiwi’ trip, as we’ve nicknamed it, is our latest addition to the Active New Zealand collection and it’s a real beauty! This 14-day South Island adventure tour is modelled on our signature Rimu trip, but as the name suggests, it’s designed more for those who want a more laid-back pace with plenty of time to explore and take in the beautiful New Zealand landscape. We’ve taken all of the trademark Active ingredients; extraordinarily talented guides, warm Kiwi hospitality, small group sizes and welcoming accommodation, and around this, we’ve introduced hikes that are a little shorter and less demanding. Having said that, if you’re keen to stretch your legs a bit more on a given day there are always more challenging options available, and our two guides will happily make sure you are doing everything you want to do.
|Whale watching option in Kaikoura|
Right off the bat, on the second day, we’ve introduced a new optional activity – in fact, it’s one of New Zealand’s most popular – the opportunity to go whale watching off the coast of Kaikoura. This is a chance to view some of the ocean’s most majestic marine life, including a variety of whale species, albatrosses, penguins, fur seals and dolphins. Further on, another new destination for Active New Zealand, we’ll hike next to the emerald bays of Abel Tasman National Park. The lush native forest here is full of birdlife and backs straight onto some of the whitest beaches in New Zealand. Incidentally, this area is renowned for receiving the sunniest days in the country too!
On the West Coast, we’ll hike in pristine rainforest, kayak on Okarito Lagoon, visit the art centre of Hokitika and hike to Franz Josef Glacier. The popular option of taking a Heli-hike high up on the glacier is still available (we weren’t about to replace that!) and to top off this leg of the journey we’ve introduced a visit to a local Kiwi Wildlife Centre, a definite highlight, where we’ll take a behind-the-scenes-tour to see the world’s rarest kiwi birds (the ‘rowi’) up close and personal.
|Milford Sound boat cruise|
We’ll explore Milford Sound, New Zealand’s most iconic destination, where you’ll have the option to take a cruise or sea kayak on the world-renowned, silky blue waters, with towering granite cliffs all around. We’ll hike along two of New Zealand’s Great Walks in the Fiordland National Park; the Kepler and Routeburn tracks. And we’ll still spoil ourselves in Queenstown where the options are endless.
The homeward leg of this adventure will take us up through the heart of the south to Mt Cook National Park; a place where legendary climbers have made their mark, including our favourite, Sir Edmund Hillary. Here, as with many spots on this itinerary, you can hike as far as you like – we’re spoilt for options. The last highlight of this 14-day adventure is Braemar Station. A working sheep station (the Kiwi name for a big sheep ranch) that is always understated and needs to be experienced to be appreciated. After spending two nights under one of the world’s clearest night skies, you’ll leave feeling an energy you may never have felt before!
If this sounds like your cup of tea, you can read the full itinerary or give us a call and we can run you through it. But remember, whilst this is certainly a more relaxed adventure, it’s still Active and you’ll need to be prepared for a few challenges, after all it’s these experiences that will stay with you forever!