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

Joanna McHugh

New Zealand Guide

Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I grew up on the Welsh coast; I've been in New Zealand for 5 years now.

Hobbies?
I'm a complete mermaid so I love anything water based (frozen water included!). Surfing is my number one, closely followed by diving and snowboarding.

What’s been your greatest outdoor adventure to date?
Fulfilling my lifelong dream of surfing and snowboarding in the same day, right here in NZ!

What did you do before discovering a passion for guiding?
I'm a bit of a Jack of all trades! From chalet hosting in Italy, to buyer for an Oil and Gas company, to surf inctructor, to diving instructor, I've done all sorts!

Do you have a favourite quote that you live by?
'Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than the things that you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.'  Mark Twain.

Have you studied beyond school? If so in what field? 
I have a BA Hons Degree in Italian and Spanish with Business Studies.

Joanna and Andy

Testimonials

  • “BEYOND EXCEPTIONAL!!! Jo made this trip the trip of my lifetime. She was so bubbly and perky to be around. There are not enough words to describe how awesome she is!!! She just is!”
    Pamela Massette (Corte Madera, California, United States) Kauri Jan 10 2017
  • "Jo was amazing, she was so warm and friendly and just radiated positive energy. She was a great cook and made sure we were always safe, and was comfortable hanging back on tough hikes to make sure we had a buddy!”
    Sara Elwell (Yardley, Pennsylvania, United States) Tui Jan 1 2017
  • “Jo was fantastic. Very well organized and made sure everything went smoothly with the smaller details like meals and accommodation. She was always very attentive to every member of group and took time to talk to everyone to make sure they were getting what they needed and were having a good time. During one of our longer hikes, Jo arrived at the end with the lead group, than ran back up the trail, all the way to those in the back and carried their backpacks the rest of the way so they could finish the hike. This really stood out to me and showed me how dedicated Jo was to making this trip the best experience to all of the group members. Being 23 and traveling alone, knowing that I had someone like Jo to look after me made all the difference.”
    Cassidy Anderson (West Wardsboro, Vermont, United States) Kauri Nov 1 2016

Perfect Trip for anyone who loves Nature!

“If you enjoy being outdoors and like to challenge yourself this trip is for you. I wasn't an avid hiker before signing up for the Rimu trip but after reading the itinerary I knew I couldn't pass up this amazing opportunity. You never know what you are capable of until you try and that is how I feel after climbing up to the Angelus Hut and hiking to Mueller ridge. I had never climbed a mountain before (since there are no mountains where I live) but the views are more than worth the climb.
This trip is the best way to see all that the South Island has to offer, it is the perfect balance between adventure, relaxation, self-exploration, and cultural immersion. Anyone can go to New Zealand and rent a car and go hiking, biking, and Kayaking; however, they will miss out on the best parts of traveling to a new place and that is the knowledge and culture that only someone who lives there would know. The guides (Tory and Vanessa) were awesome! Tory is an amazing cook, and Ness was great at making jokes and keeping the atmosphere cheery during the longer drives. I loved listening to the guides tell us about the Maori people and the local legends or folklore. I actually thought Ness was lying to me when she would tell me that the views get better after being left speechless by the scenery, but every day was better than the previous!
I have to mention the FOOD!!! The food alone is enough for me to sign up for this trip again. When I travel I don’t always know what the local food is or would be but with this trip the guides cook you all sorts of local food and all the food is fresh and delicious. If you don’t like something they will make sure to accommodate you.
Ness and Tory made you feel like this was a trip among friends and family, not strangers. I will come back to New Zealand again!”
Brian Heinz's Review Image
– Wisconsin, United States
Rimu, May 2017
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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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