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Tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae)

Tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae)The tui is one of our favourite endemic (only found here) birds of New Zealand. In fact, we love it so much that we named one of our trips after it! They are very attractive bird, about 30 cm (12 inches) long with dark plumage, which from a distance or in dim light appears plain black, but close up it is a glossy iridescent multi-coloured green, blue, copper, and violet. It also has two distinctive white plumes on the lower throat and white patches under the wings.
                                                          
You don’t have to be a keen bird-watcher to see a tui in New Zealand - you might see a tui at any time on one of our adventure tours (including the Tui trip, of course!) because they’re found around much of the forested areas of New Zealand where we go hiking, and even in some leafy suburbs. We often spot a few of them hanging around together amongst the trees in Queenstown. Often the best time to see one is first thing in the morning or at dusk when you’ll hear their persistent song – they sometimes even sing at night when the moon is out! Their song is really variable, at times it’s almost a disorganised shambles of beautiful notes, clicks and cackles, but because of that it’s pretty distinctive. Similar to parrots (in song and intelligence), tuis will sometimes mimic other sounds, including other bush birds, especially their relative the bellbird – both birds belong to the family of honeyeaters.

Typically, they’ll perch right at the top of a tree, quite often a dead one. They’ll be looking for flowering flax bushes and trees, along with insects and fruit.

Their song will become a familiar sound on your journey around NZ. Also, when you arrive at Auckland airport, they play the tui birdsong to you as you make your way to the arrivals hall.

The other Tui

tui-beerNot only is the Tui one of our favourite birds, it's also one of New Zealand's oldest and favourite beers! Brewed at the Wagstaff Brewery in Mangatainoka since 1889, it's a hoppy East India Pale Ale style beer enjoyed by many a happy kiwi!

Trip 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 Review Image
– Ontario, Canada
Rimu, January 2018
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Why travel with Active Adventures?

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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.

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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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