We should start by saying that each of our adventure trips has been crafted with flexibility in mind; we make sure the activities we do appeal to beginners and experts alike, and in the 20 years we’ve been running these trips, we have always had great success in looking after both the ‘newbies’ and the ‘old hands’. Unlike many other companies, we’ve got boots on the ground – we’re the ones running the trips – so all those little details we learn from you, whilst chatting on the phone, flow through from our team at HQ to our legendary guides. Ultimately, we make sure that your trip is exactly what you want it to be.
Your trip of a lifetime doesn’t belong in an online shopping cart… Your vacation time is precious, and there’s no ‘one size fits all’ in these parts! Occasionally, folk come to us with a unique idea, something that requires the next level in customisation – a challenge you may say. And we LOVE challenges! Over the years we’ve run private, bespoke trips for singles groups and ski clubs. We’ve also run the odd special interest trip, such as an ‘Extreme’ version of our signature ‘Rimu’ trip, a wildlife-focused adventure trip called the ‘Hoiho’ and a Galapagos land hopping adventure tour with a special focus on photography.
So, needless to say, if you’re after something totally out of the box, we’re listening. The majority of our team are based in Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand (maybe even the world!) and we’re a bunch of passionate trail runners, hikers, skiers, mountain bikers, road cyclists, paddle boarders and kayakers, and when we’re set the task of crafting something from scratch, we go about it the way any seasoned adventurer would – we imagine what we’d like to do! We’re also lucky to have an Active team based in Cuzco and in Nepal, so local knowledge is always at hand.
How do I go about booking a custom adventure trip?
The process is simple really, you’ll need to get in touch with us – and there are plenty of ways you can do that – and we’ll chat with you about your options and maybe make some suggestions you hadn’t thought of. Typically Phil Boorman will be the guy helping you out with this, he’s been in the Active family for many years and actually had a hand in founding Active South America and Active Himalayas. He’s guided pretty much all of our trips and he speaks Spanish almost as well as he speaks English, so he has that unique ability to place a foot in both camps, knowing what is logistically possible and what will exceed all of your expectations.
Finding the right trip (or crafting something totally new!)
As mentioned earlier, our trips are suitable for people from all walks of life. Sometimes on one trip we’ll have a honeymoon couple, a bunch of solo travellers and a group of mates and the cool thing is, the shared experiences create life-long friendships. Our guides are expert at remembering the small details and they know when to give each person some solitude and space and when to bring everyone together to celebrate and share stories.
Private group travel
If you’re a small group, say 5-10 people, we’d always suggest joining one of our scheduled tours, because we’re confident you’ll have a blast with a few other like-minded adventurers. But hey, it’s your vacation and we’re here to make it perfect for you! We’ll run a private trip for any number of people. In the past we’ve organised private trips for entire USA ski councils! One thing we won’t compromise on though, is quality service and to achieve this, we need to keep small group sizes, so if you’ve got a larger group, we’ll always craft the trip in a way that enables you to be together in the evening and in smaller groups with your guides during the day. Nobody wants to wait in line to jump on a bike or go snorkelling!
How do I get the ball rolling?
Another great thing we can do is put you in touch with one of our past travellers, to get their take on their experience. Here’s a few quotes to get you inspired!
“Best Ever Photo and Active Trip!
This is the third Active trip we have taken. It was also the first with National Geographic Photographers. I must tell you I didn’t think anything could be better than our trip to New Zealand, but this one even tops the Peru experience! Our guide Pablo was AWESOME! He was a walking encyclopedia on the flora, fauna and history of the islands. Staying on the islands, meeting the people, and being comfortable enough to walk alone on the beach was the groundwork for a fabulous journey. Ivan and Karla are the best workshop leaders I have ever had. They both shared and helped with any problem you had. The nights were late but the teaching and sharing were well worth it. The photo workshop was extremely well organized and the assignments always taught you another way to look at the world. Ivan took Tom under his wing and taught him to “see”. I can’t tell you what a joy that is. We can now go for a hike and he is not a mile ahead of me, he is now showing me things to photograph! Like Tom said it was a “Life changing experience!” All of the staff were wonderful, helpful and fun to be with. Thank You all for the Best Ever Active & Photo Trip. I would suggest that a balance be worked out tween the “Active” part and the “Photo” part. I think I have finally caught up on my sleep. The schedule was so full I was glad we only had six of us and two instructors and Pablo. The mix was perfect now if you could just extend the hours in the day a bit it would all fit.”
Barb Beck, Galapagos Photography Adventure, May 2013
“Hoiho – Till We Meet Again”
Our second trip with Active NZ was awesome! Mike was the ‘man with many talents’ and never let us down. We saw plenty of wildlife, including Hoiho (yellow-eyed penguins), whales, dolphins, seals, and too many birds to count. Mike was encouraging and showed us that we had the strength to make it to the summits at Mt. Isobel and Ben Lomond. My husband and I even fulfilled an item from our ‘bucket list’ and Bungy jumped from the Kawarau Bridge. Active NZ knows how to show you the beauty of their country and let you become a ‘Kiwi’ for a couple weeks. I wish I was still there!
Susan Cadie, Guide’s Choice ‘Hoiho’, December 2012
“A truly enjoyable trip”
Usually when I go for a long holiday, I will start to feel tired and miss home. However, I felt time flying during the Rimu trip. There are surprises for us every day – partly probably due to the fact that I didn’t do any homework to study the itinerary since it’s supposed to be a guided trip, and what we need to do is just to come with a beautiful holiday mood, and everything else will be taken care of. For this point, there is of course no surprise, which we are certainly quite happy with. I enjoyed not only the activities, but also the variety of food arranged for us throughout the whole trip. Good on you – Amanda and Lauren. Thank you!
Jane Huang, Custom Rimu, November 2012