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Great Walks Discovery

Takahe

4.41 out of 5 (from 842 reviews)

  • 5 Days - US$2,999 + tax
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Trip Introduction

Over five days you'll hike on three of New Zealand's nine 'Great Walks', all located in the Fiordland National Park - a UNESCO World Heritage area with mystical coves and dense temperate rainforest. This is a bucket list hiking trip where you need not forgo any creature comforts.

Activity level: The 'Takahe' is a hiking-focused trip, with options to suit a wide range of fitness levels and outdoor experience. Typically hikes on the 'Takahe' trip range between three and six hours to complete.

Highlights

Hike
Ben Lomond for views over Queenstown
Parts of the Routeburn, Milford and Kepler Tracks

Plus cruise
Milford Sound during the day
Overnight on Doubtful Sound

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What's included in our NZ trips?

  • All guiding services
    - Two experienced guides per trip. In New Zealand you'll have a lead guide and a co guide. 
  • All accommodations
    - A range of hotels, lodges, chalets, inns, sheep stations and backcountry huts, depending on which trip you choose. 
  • All meals
    - Breakfast, lunch and dinner on all days, except where indicated on the itinerary (usually 1 day per trip is a free day, allowing you to choose your own dining location). 
  • All activities
    - Hiking, kayaking, biking, rafting, scenic flights, jet boating and more! 
  • All transport
    - Airport transfers.
    - When you're not travelling under your own steam, they'll be comfortable air-conditioned vans to stretch your legs.
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Interactive Trip Map

Daily itinerary

Sunday — Arrive, gondola ride, hike Ben Lomond

For the first day of your trip we’ll meet you in Queenstown and ride up the gondola to the top of a tree-covered rocky crag, known as Bob’s Peak, to start our alpine hike. We pass through open alpine tussock-land to the Ben Lomond saddle and will be rewarded with panoramic views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by the often snow-covered Southern Alps. For those keen to press on to the top, Ben Lomond’s summit reveals views of Mt Earnslaw and Mt Aspiring, two of New Zealand’s highest peaks, and even a glimpse of Aoraki Mt Cook on a clear day. Once back at lake level, we’ll give our legs a break and travel to Lake Te Anau, on the fringe of Fiordland National Park.
Matai Lodge, Te Anau (Lunch, Dinner)

Monday — Hike Routeburn Track, Fiordland National Park

This morning, we set off for our largest and perhaps most spectacular national park, Fiordland. We’ll hike part of the Routeburn Track, the first of the Great Walks you’ll experience. We hike through beech forest, sub-alpine shrub lands and picturesque alpine tarns, before reaching Key Summit. Here you’ll be standing at the head of three different valleys (the Hollyford, Eglinton and Greenstone), with stunning views over the Great Divide, which separates west and east flowing rivers. We’ll take a short drive through the Homer Tunnel and emerge at the top of a spectacular glacier-carved valley for a memorable descent to the shore of Milford Sound (actually it’s a fiord!). Rudyard Kipling rated Milford as the eighth natural wonder of the world and it is truly breath-taking, with steep granite walls plunging over a thousand metres to the Tasman Sea and waterfalls cascading into deep inky water. Tonight we’ll stay in a wonderful remote location, enjoying the simple things in life.
Milford Lodge Chalets, Milford Sound (All meals)

Tuesday — Cruise Milford Sound, hike Milford Track

It’s worth getting up early to take a photo of Mitre Peak – quite possibly the most photographed mountain in New Zealand – and your challenge is to find a unique angle! After breakfast, we’ll take a short boat ride across Milford Sound to hike from Sandfly Point to the Giant Gates waterfall, a spectacular section of the famed Milford Track. The forest here is lush and rich with mosses and ferns as we follow the Arthur River past Lake Ada. By hiking from the Milford Sound trailhead, we’ll enjoy the track to ourselves, which is a luxury others seldom get. Once we return to the Milford wharf, we’ll board a boat for a two hour nature cruise to the head of this spectacular fiord. We’ll then leave Milford Sound behind to hike some lesser-known tracks in eastern Fiordland before returning to Te Anau.
Matai Lodge, Te Anau (All meals)

Wednesday — Hike Kepler Track, overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound

Three Great Walks in three days ... unheard of! Today, it’s the Kepler Track and we’ll begin by following the lakeshore through native beech and podocarp forest. Interestingly, the Kepler Track differs from the Routeburn and Milford in that it didn’t actually evolve from a necessary Maori greenstone trail, but was custom-built for hiking. After lunch, we’ll travel over Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove where we’ll board the Fiordland Navigator for our overnight cruise of Doubtful Sound. Far larger than its northern neighbour Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound is an even more remote wilderness area. You’ll have the opportunity to take a kayak out on the water or hop aboard the tender craft for a guided exploration of the fiord, and in the right season you may catch a glimpse of the rare Fiordland crested penguin. Tonight you’ll sleep in a quad share room aboard the Fiordland Navigator, though there is the option to upgrade to a private ensuite room, if you’d prefer.
Fiordland Navigator, Doubtful Sound (All meals)

Thursday — Cruise Doubtful Sound, return to Queenstown

Waking up on a boat in misty, mysterious Doubtful Sound is something you have to experience to believe. This morning we’ll cruise back to Deep Cove and you may be lucky enough to spot bottlenose dolphins that inhabit this area before making our way back to Queenstown where you’ll finish your trip. We’ll leave you refreshed and invigorated from the good food, exercise, rest, and great times you’ll have had with us in New Zealand! For a great way to see the North Island too, where you’ll experience Maori culture, pristine beaches and geothermal areas, combine this trip with our 11-day or 5-day ‘Kauri’.
(Breakfast, Lunch)


Activity Key - zoom in to see activity detail

Hiking Biking Kayaking Boating Flying

Itinerary

Sunday — Arrive, gondola ride, hike Ben Lomond

For the first day of your trip we’ll meet you in Queenstown and ride up the gondola to the top of a tree-covered rocky crag, known as Bob’s Peak, to start our alpine hike. We pass through open alpine tussock-land to the Ben Lomond saddle and will be rewarded with panoramic views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by the often snow-covered Southern Alps. For those keen to press on to the top, Ben Lomond’s summit reveals views of Mt Earnslaw and Mt Aspiring, two of New Zealand’s highest peaks, and even a glimpse of Aoraki Mt Cook on a clear day. Once back at lake level, we’ll give our legs a break and travel to Lake Te Anau, on the fringe of Fiordland National Park.
Matai Lodge, Te Anau (Lunch, Dinner)

Monday — Hike Routeburn Track, Fiordland National Park

This morning, we set off for our largest and perhaps most spectacular national park, Fiordland. We’ll hike part of the Routeburn Track, the first of the Great Walks you’ll experience. We hike through beech forest, sub-alpine shrub lands and picturesque alpine tarns, before reaching Key Summit. Here you’ll be standing at the head of three different valleys (the Hollyford, Eglinton and Greenstone), with stunning views over the Great Divide, which separates west and east flowing rivers. We’ll take a short drive through the Homer Tunnel and emerge at the top of a spectacular glacier-carved valley for a memorable descent to the shore of Milford Sound (actually it’s a fiord!). Rudyard Kipling rated Milford as the eighth natural wonder of the world and it is truly breath-taking, with steep granite walls plunging over a thousand metres to the Tasman Sea and waterfalls cascading into deep inky water. Tonight we’ll stay in a wonderful remote location, enjoying the simple things in life.
Milford Lodge Chalets, Milford Sound (All meals)

Tuesday — Cruise Milford Sound, hike Milford Track

It’s worth getting up early to take a photo of Mitre Peak – quite possibly the most photographed mountain in New Zealand – and your challenge is to find a unique angle! After breakfast, we’ll take a short boat ride across Milford Sound to hike from Sandfly Point to the Giant Gates waterfall, a spectacular section of the famed Milford Track. The forest here is lush and rich with mosses and ferns as we follow the Arthur River past Lake Ada. By hiking from the Milford Sound trailhead, we’ll enjoy the track to ourselves, which is a luxury others seldom get. Once we return to the Milford wharf, we’ll board a boat for a two hour nature cruise to the head of this spectacular fiord. We’ll then leave Milford Sound behind to hike some lesser-known tracks in eastern Fiordland before returning to Te Anau.
Matai Lodge, Te Anau (All meals)

Wednesday — Hike Kepler Track, overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound

Three Great Walks in three days ... unheard of! Today, it’s the Kepler Track and we’ll begin by following the lakeshore through native beech and podocarp forest. Interestingly, the Kepler Track differs from the Routeburn and Milford in that it didn’t actually evolve from a necessary Maori greenstone trail, but was custom-built for hiking. After lunch, we’ll travel over Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove where we’ll board the Fiordland Navigator for our overnight cruise of Doubtful Sound. Far larger than its northern neighbour Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound is an even more remote wilderness area. You’ll have the opportunity to take a kayak out on the water or hop aboard the tender craft for a guided exploration of the fiord, and in the right season you may catch a glimpse of the rare Fiordland crested penguin. Tonight you’ll sleep in a quad share room aboard the Fiordland Navigator, though there is the option to upgrade to a private ensuite room, if you’d prefer.
Fiordland Navigator, Doubtful Sound (All meals)

Thursday — Cruise Doubtful Sound, return to Queenstown

Waking up on a boat in misty, mysterious Doubtful Sound is something you have to experience to believe. This morning we’ll cruise back to Deep Cove and you may be lucky enough to spot bottlenose dolphins that inhabit this area before making our way back to Queenstown where you’ll finish your trip. We’ll leave you refreshed and invigorated from the good food, exercise, rest, and great times you’ll have had with us in New Zealand! For a great way to see the North Island too, where you’ll experience Maori culture, pristine beaches and geothermal areas, combine this trip with our 11-day or 5-day ‘Kauri’.
(Breakfast, Lunch)

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Dates

Trip Date Price Status  
Dec 31 ’17 – Jan 4 ’18 US$2999 + tax Peak Season - Check Now! Check Availability
2018
Jan 28 ’18 – Feb 1 ’18 US$2999 + tax Full
Feb 11 ’18 – Feb 15 ’18 US$2999 + tax Full
Feb 25 ’18 – Mar 1 ’18 US$2999 + tax Full
Mar 11 ’18 – Mar 15 ’18 US$2999 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Mar 25 ’18 – Mar 29 ’18 US$2999 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Nov 18 ’18 – Nov 22 ’18 US$2999 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 2 ’18 – Dec 6 ’18 US$2999 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 16 ’18 – Dec 20 ’18 US$2999 + tax Christmas Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Dec 30 ’18 – Jan 3 ’19 US$2999 + tax Christmas Season - Check Now! Check Availability
2019
Jan 13 ’19 – Jan 17 ’19 US$2999 + tax Christmas Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Jan 27 ’19 – Jan 31 ’19 US$2999 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Feb 10 ’19 – Feb 14 ’19 US$2999 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 24 ’19 – Feb 28 ’19 US$2999 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 10 ’19 – Mar 14 ’19 US$2999 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 24 ’19 – Mar 28 ’19 US$2999 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Nov 17 ’19 – Nov 21 ’19 US$2999 + tax Great Check Availability
Nov 30 ’19 – Dec 4 ’19 US$2999 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 15 ’19 – Dec 19 ’19 US$2999 + tax Christmas Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Dec 29 ’19 – Jan 2 ’20 US$2999 + tax Christmas Season - Check Now! Check Availability
2020
Jan 12 ’20 – Jan 16 ’20 US$2999 + tax Christmas Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Jan 26 ’20 – Jan 30 ’20 US$2999 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 2 ’20 – Feb 6 ’20 US$2999 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 9 ’20 – Feb 13 ’20 US$2999 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 23 ’20 – Feb 27 ’20 US$2999 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 8 ’20 – Mar 12 ’20 US$2999 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 22 ’20 – Mar 26 ’20 US$2999 + tax Great Check Availability

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Useful Info

No Forced Single Supplement:

Most other travel companies charge all solo travellers a single supplement fee. We don't! When it comes to accommodation, our trip fares are based on a twin-share rate, which means we'll match you up with another person of the same gender to share a room with. If there's no one suitable to share with, there's no forced single supplement! Having said that, if you specifically request your own room, you can opt to pay the additional single supplement fee.

Trip Start:

On the first day of the trip we will meet you at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Queenstown at 7:30am for breakfast and a trip briefing.

Trip End:

On the last day of the trip we can drop you off at the Queenstown airport in time for the flights below, or anywhere in central Queenstown about 4pm.

Recommended flights:

Arrival: We recommend arriving into Queenstown the night before the trip starts. If that isn't possible please contact us to arrange an alternative arrival time. 
Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Queenstown after 5pm. If you’re considering alternative flight times please check with us. International flights from Auckland airport (AKL) usually leave early evening, so if you’re heading back to North America, you’ll get home on the same day, even though you left that evening! Flights back to Europe, of course, take a little longer.

Accommodation:

The ‘Takahe’ is a wilderness hiking trip. While it’s not designed to be a scenic tour of the South Island’s luxury hotels, it features more creature comforts than some of our other trips and you’ll certainly feel like you’re hiking in style! You’ll stay in some wonderful places in the remote locations we take you.

Fitness:

The ‘Takahe’ is an active hiking trip, and has options to suit a wide range of fitness levels and outdoor experience. If you keep reasonably active and like to give things a go, you’re likely to enjoy the trip much more. Typically, hikes on the ‘Takahe’ trip range between three and six hours to complete.

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Reviews

  • 2017 Manuka

    “Went into the trip not knowing what to expect. Took the trip solo. Was hesitant on taking a guided tour. Felt like i wouldn't have the freedom to do things at my own speed. Not the case at all! Had virtually no restrictions on the hikes. Amanda and Holly let us move at our own paces. Overall trip was a blast! Couldn't have wished for more. Great hikes, great food, good sleeping accommodations, hard charging guides, everything was taken care of, didn't have to lift a finger. I will be back.”
    Dan Baker – APO/FPO AP, United StatesMay 2017
  • March 2017 Manuka with Amanda and Holly

    “The Manuka trip was exceptional. It was extremely well planned out. We were lucky to have had great weather and a group that got along together very well. There was great raw material to work with – NZ has great natural beauty and a variety of climate zones that allow for exceptional hiking. In addition, Amanda and Holly were outstanding guides – attentive to our needs in hiking and constantly striving to provide the best meals possible, taking into account our various dietary requirements.”
    Bruce Benton – Maryland, United StatesApril 2017
  • Awesome!

    “Great hiking, awesome scenery, terrific guides, delicious food and more than comfy accommodations !”
    Cal Hoppe – Arizona, United StatesApril 2017
  • Couple from Little Rock

    “My husband and I had been thinking about a trip to New Zealand for at least 5 years but planning it seemed overwhelming. When a friend told us about her trip with Active New Zealand we decided to look into the options. It was everything we had dreamed it would be and more. There just could not have been a better way for us to actually see and do all that we did in 2 weeks. Kudos to our wonderful guides, Amanda and Holly!!! I have put out 2 ferns on my front porch to remind me of them and of our once in a lifetime trip.”
    Martha Clark – Arkansas, United StatesApril 2017
  • An awesome country and fantastic trip operator

    “We saw the motto for New Zealand when we arrived at the airport - open minds, open spaces, open hearts - and this describes perfectly our experience. Active Adventures embodies these words by taking us to incredible places and having kind, thoughtful and passionate guides.”
    Patricia Benton – Maryland, United StatesApril 2017
  • Wonderful Manuka Trip With Active Adventures, New Zealand

    “Hi, I'm back home in the USA after my Manuka adventure with Active Adventures, New Zealand. I would like to compliment everyone in your company that I came in contact with....from my initial contact with Fiona to my pre-trip emails with Lynette everything was handled with complete professionalism. This was my first adventure with your company but I'm pretty sure that it will not be my last.
    Everything during the trip went forward in a very efficient manner. I was amazed at the energy level and efficiency of our guides Amanda and Holly. The amount of work that they were able to accomplish during the course of a day, their energy levels and very positive attitudes made the trip enjoyable for all of us clients. Also, their knowledge of their country and their willingness to share made the trip even more enjoyable for me.
    Again, thank you to all and especially to Amanda and Holly....I really enjoyed my first visit to New Zealand.”
    Jerry Jobski – Arizona, United StatesApril 2017
  • An Amazing Experience!

    “I loved this trip!! We had a great group of 13, with two guides who were professional, flexible, knowledgeable and just as kind as could be. Every aspect of the trip was developed and planned to maximize our time and enjoyment!! The countryside is so beautiful it takes your breath away!! I highly recommend this trip!!”
    Ellen Scopa – Massachusetts, United StatesApril 2017
  • Manuka with Claire and Jess

    “I loved this trip because it was conducted in a small group which made it easy to become acquainted. Not enough can be said for how Claire and Jess made this trip what it was. They were professional, informative, friendly and just great fun. We got lucky with the weather in that we had two days of light rain with most of the rest of the days near perfectly warm and sunny. The trip was well paced and the locations we visited were simply beautiful. The lodging and food was excellent. This was simply a great trip with a great group of people. The trip ended way too soon for me.”
    Jim Chambers – Massachusetts, United StatesApril 2017
  • Great Companionship

    “Our guides were the best and we had a wonderful group of people traveling with us that made the trip so enjoyable.”
    Jane Harding – Massachusetts, United StatesApril 2017
  • A Great Experience

    “Overall experience was excellent. Claire and Jess were very knowledgeable. They also made a point to make unscheduled stops at other great locations on the way when we had time to do so. The food couldn't have been better. The accommodations were also excellent.”
    Kevin Ankuda – Ohio, United StatesApril 2017
  • Whatever the dream, if its New Zealand, find a way!!

    “Where do I even start?!?!? NZ has been #1 on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. It wasn't until I realized I couldn't wait forever for that perfect time, to have X amount of money saved, to have a companion to go with me...that I decided to JUST GO ALREADY! And I suggest you do the same! Don't wait another moment. I went alone but found the most wonderful companions I could have ever hoped for! Even got a great roommate. The guides, Claire and Jess were PHENOMENAL! I started crying off and on a few days before the end of the trip because I became that attached to them and knew I would never see them again. Leaving at the airport, I couldn't even speak I was so upset and saying goodbye. So wonderful and beyond knowledgeable! I miss Jess' cooking and Claire's coffee already and I just got back yesterday!!! But seriously folks, the Manuka was beyond what expectations I could have ever dreamed. Yes it was indeed physical, so be ready for that; but there were some flatter, easier options for those that chose to not exert so much energy. There were a couple of times I wanted to just quit, but Claire and/or Jess kept me going saying it would be worth it (for the view AND the accomplishment) and MAN WERE THEY RIGHT!!!

    The food, the company, the knowledge, the laughs, the comradery, the views, the EXPERIENCES....all of it was TOP NOTCH! I have my memories that will last a lifetime; best money I have EVER spent.

    Don't wait! GO! I plan to go back in a couple of years to do the entire Milford Track. That's my only regret is that I didn't spend the extra to do that. But that's on me, not AA!”
    June Vidrine – Texas, United StatesMarch 2017
  • 2017 Manuka Trip with Claire and Jess

    “Awesome trip.....
    New Zealand is a beautiful country with plenty of great hikes and sights to see. Jess and Claire were fantastic guides. Would go again in a heartbeat!”
    Paul Scopa – Massachusetts, United StatesMarch 2017
  • “The Manuka trip was fantastic!! Our guides, Michelle and Mel were outstanding. They took care of every detail, always available for any questions we had. Super leadership skills, very friendly and approachable. I loved that each day Michelle would describe our hike and the hike was exactly how she had explained it - great preparation! The meals they prepared were fantastic, as were our accommodations. Michelle carefully detailed the plan for each day, so we always were aware of where we were going, how long it would take, etc. Everything was on time, again, great organization. So fantastic to travel so far and simply enjoy because all the details are taken care of !!”
    Debbie Roush – California, United StatesMarch 2017
  • General

    “Tremendous guides that tailored our Active Adventures to the guests, weather and environment. Awesome time and a tremendous group of fellow travelers”
    Susan Harding – Massachusetts, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Every view a winner!

    “It was truly a dream come true. From the incredible views to the tireless efforts of our guides, Claire and Jess, an incomparable experience. There were so many experiences packed into two weeks, I'd already forgotten some until I began to review my photos. I am fortunate to have been able to experience the Manuka trip.”
    Beverly Beran – Texas, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Wonderful

    “We had a wonderful time. Great scenery and travelling companions and the tour guides Claire and Jess were superb. Highly recommend.”
    Wayne Furler – Australian Capital Territory, AustraliaMarch 2017
  • Amazing!

    “I have taken many organized bike tours, but this was my first hiking tour. It was quite challenging, but included four awesome and varied hikes, the must-do Milford Sound cruise, and the best-kept-secret Doubtful Sound cruise. The guides were extremely accommodating and knowledgeable and prepared excellent food. My only quibbles were the lack of choices on two breakfasts and one really inadequate dinner out. Otherwise - excellent!”
    Barbara Rosenberg – Pennsylvania, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Manuka 2/20/17 - great trip.

    “Team Active Adventures did a wonderful job for our trip to New Zealand. Our leader - Michelle, and Assistant Leader - Mel were outstanding. Both were A+ performers and made our trip so much more fun. Both were positive, helpful, accurate in their description of all the trails, enthusiastic, considerate, and wonderful assets to their company. I shared with Michelle, that Active cannot control the weather, but did an outstanding job with the food. Having the fresh fruit and snacks on the bus was a wonderful treat. We really appreciate Mel's help with special diet and keeping a cold diet coke for lunch. I have recommended Active Adventures to several friends after our return home. Again, Lynette, you should be proud of Michelle and Mel as they did an outstanding job.”
    Mike Roush – California, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Manuka 2/17

    “The trip was delightful. The guides were knowledgeable, informative, and went above and beyond. The local folks were very friendly. The group was enjoyable. The landscape can't be beaten for its beauty. The hikes were varied and scenic. The food was excellent. Even the weather cooperated (just a few sprinkles two late afternoons). Lodging quality varied from good to excellent (to be expected in rural areas). The only downside was the omnipresent sandflies - but, I gather they are part of the New Zealand experience.”
    Wendy Gasch – DC, United StatesMarch 2017
  • “Photos can't prepare you for the stunning and varied landscapes of the South Island. Truly amazing.”
    Gail Lilley – Ontario, CanadaMarch 2017
  • Great Hike

    “Extremely interesting with many varieties of hiking locations.
    Amanda and Clara were extremely knowledgeable and hard workers.
    The guides personalities were friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. The driver was
    very competent and very informative of the country's flora and fauna.”
    Eric Gutscher – Minnesota, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Bucket list fulfilled

    “This trip was amazing in every way. Amanda and Clara were not only organized and efficient but shared a wealth of knowledge about their beautiful country and kept our energy high even on rainy days. We could not imagine better guides. We saw diverse environments on the Manuka trip with the Milford option and the hiking was glorious. We also enjoyed the stops at towns throughout the island.

    I kept thinking about all of the behind the scenes people at Active that we didn't meet that make the trip work. In 14 days everything went like clockwork. Every hotel and dining reservation was perfect. Difficult food allergies were accommodated without a second thought.

    Overall I can't think of anything that would have made this trip better. Beautiful place and beautiful people!!”
    Beth Berry – Arkansas, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Just go to New Zealand with Active Adventures - YOLO

    “If you are going to New Zealand you owe it to yourself to go with the best - Active Adventures. They really are a superb, professional, caring, safe but most of all just fun to be with. You could not ask for better guides, great food and fabulous itineraries. I have done other adventures (Everest Base Camp, Inca Trail, Tour du Mt Blanc) so I have experience with other guided adventure trips. But without a doubt a tour with Active Adventures is a class above the rest and way more fun and laughter along the way. So if you are going to New Zealand read no further just pick a trip with Active Adventures and you will have memories to last a lifetime.”
    Bob Hill – Newfoundland and Labrador, CanadaFebruary 2017
  • One Honey Sweet of an Adventure

    “Outstanding tramping with superior guides”
    Jim Crookston – Pennsylvania, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Magnificent Manuka

    “Traveling to NZ had been a bucket list destination for quite some time. I researched several different companies to find a hiking trip that really grabbed me. It wasn't until I heard of Active Adventures from a recent client that it all came together. I looked at the Manuka itinerary and was sold. I signed up immediately and wasn't disappointed. Now I know why everyone says NZ is one of their most memorable trips. Stunningly beautiful. We also had two absolutely fantastic guides, Koru and Joe.”
    Anne Jacobus – California, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Great Trip!

    “Karu and Joe were great leaders. The Milford Track was a spiritual experience because of all the beauty! The other hiking was also great.”
    Kathy Fisher – California, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • South Island Treking trip

    “We are both keen walkers and had the Milford Trek on our hit list. We have already done the C2C in the UK, The Inca trail and the TMB in Europe (also in the 'top ten'). The Manuka trip allowed us to do the Milford Trek but also walk other treks on S Island such as The Diamond Lake and Mount Cook which were also awesome. The Milford Trek does live up to its name as 'The finest walk in the World'! The scenery everywhere is truly spectacular even when it rains which often enhances the experience.”
    Dave Clark – East Yorkshire, United KingdomJanuary 2017
  • Extraordinary!

    “Great guides, great trip companions, extraordinary scenery, and friendly Kiwis! This was a well-balanced trip that emphasized hiking, but also including other interesting diversions. I cannot say enough about our guides. They were excellent.”
    Bill Webber – Maryland, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Perfect Vacation!

    “Our Manuka trip offered the perfect mix of locales, hiking trails, and even weather! Our guides Greg and Kim and Hillary shared history, culture, mythology, music, and laughter every day. They were so professional and enthusiastic. I loved visiting the variety of places that Manuka offers - rainforests, mountains, beaches, cities - and coming home with a reading list!”
    Lori Northrup – Alabama, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Go hiking, they said. It'll be easy, they said!

    “Surpassed all my expectations on every level. Initially I was disappointed there were only four of us on the trip (plus two guides) but upon reflection, it ended up a great number to get a lot of stuff done. Every whim catered for, every problem anticipated before it became one. The hiking was not easy for me, but I persevered and was glad that Greg the Good Egg chose to encourage me to trek on, rather than pandering to my first instinct to lay down the poles when it got a bit hard. Scenery was brilliant, company was stimulating, and the variety of activities such that we were never bored.”
    – , January 2017
  • Manuka trip Dec 12 2016

    “Although summer came a month late, which meant that our trip was more wet than sunny, we lucked out with the company (our fellow travelers) and especially with Greg and Jess, our very thoughtful guides. I have only high praise and no complaint.”
    Peter Chang – New Mexico, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Tramp of Dreams!

    “Stunning views, experienced guides, Kiwi-fresh food, and great lodging! It felt like we were holidaying with old friends!”
    Carlos Sanchez – , ThailandJanuary 2017
  • Manuka Trip

    “Action packed trip with lots of great hikes. Highlighted the South Island and was able to get a great flavor of New Zealand.”
    Cauleen Svanda – New Mexico, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Fun, interesting, beautiful, very well run.

    “Greg and Jess ran an excellent tour. We learned a lot, had so much fun, ate delicious meals, drank fantastic wine, and enjoyed gorgeous hiking every day.”
    Laurie Webber – Maryland, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Manuka Hiking December 2016

    “It was a wonderful trip that we will never forget. The guides, Jess and Greg, were excellent. They went above and beyond to ensure that we had a great time. We would have preferred more time on the ground v. time in the bus but recognize that it was necessary to cover the ground that we did. I would recommend Active Adventures to anyone looking to hike in New Zealand.”
    James Beamish – Ontario, CanadaJanuary 2017
  • Excellent Itinerary, Guides, and Group

    “The ease with which we were moved throughout the South Island on the Manuka trip made all the difference. I cannot imagine another way to see so much in such a short time.

    Our guides Jess and Greg were a great team and immediately put everyone at ease. We had a great group with us and thoroughly enjoyed the company and itinerary. With spectacular views and hikes almost every day it was a dream trip. We would definitely consider travelling with Active Adventures again even though we typically go it alone.

    It was lucky we had nice weather on Rocky Mountain, the hard day on the Milford Track, and at Aoraki Mt. Cook, but even on the bad weather days things went smoothly.”
    Jen Collins – Ontario, CanadaJanuary 2017
  • Amazing Adventure!

    “My husband and I joined for the five-day Great Walks segment (Takahe) of the longer Manuka trip with Active Adventures. We really enjoyed the trip - Greg and Clara were wonderful guides who took such good care of everyone along and really went the extra mile, making Thanksgiving lunch for their group of (mostly) Americans - and we were lucky to fall in with a great group of fellow travelers. Because we traveled with Active Adventures, we were able to see much more than we would have done on our own, and relax while doing it as we didn't have to drive ourselves or scout the best hotel / lodge options and other arrangements to arrive at trailheads, identify local flora and fauna, and all the other advantages of having a good guide. We will definitely look to Active Adventures for similar trips in the future.”
    Kristen Knutson – , ThailandDecember 2016
  • We got a great taste of the South Island of New Zealand

    “This trip was a continuation of our first visit to New Zealand that started a week earlier in the North Island. The South Island welcomed us with the earthquake on the first night. Thankfully it did not interrupt our trip that turned out to be a wonderful experience. We could not wish for a more relaxing vacation. It's nice to have locals to show you around and tell you the myths and stories of the land.”
    Warren Hunt – Texas, United StatesDecember 2016
  • South Island Sampling

    “Despite starting the trip with a little rattle and shake (earthquake) the trip was a wonderful experience. We saw so much of the South Island and were able to enjoy the beauty of a sunny day as well as a cloudy one. Greg and Clara were amazing guides and took great care of us.”
    Beth Wilson – Georgia, United StatesDecember 2016
  • Great way to get a taste of South Island

    “It was the first trip to New Zealand for my husband and myself. And also a first trip we took as a part of an organized group. We weren't sure what to expect. The experience was great. We met like-minded people and enjoyed their companionship. The group was small - 9 people plus 2 guides and the minibus was big enough to spread comfortably. The guides were awesome - cheerful young people knowledgeable in culture and nature. They worked around the clock to make our tri as good as possible and were trying accommodate everybody's wishes. Our only regret was that we spent maybe more time on the bus than we wanted. On the other hand, all rides were were scenic and I do not know how else we could get to see so much. So no good advice how to change it. We loved all the lodges we stayed in, each one with a special charm.”
    Anna Slobodova – Texas, United StatesDecember 2016
  • “Walking each day in varied and beautiful scenery was the highlight. At times I felt I was in a Lord of the Rings movie set - it was beautiful, wild and dramatic. Our guides, Greg and Clara made everything about the tour enjoyable and informative. The food was great and the good company along the way was a bonus. It was my first trip travelling solo and I didn't know what to expect, however it was quite simply a wonderful experience of the beauty of NZ on a relaxed and hassle free journey. Thank-you”
    Lesley-Ann Angus – New South Wales, AustraliaDecember 2016
  • Lovely holiday

    “New Zealand is the place to visit. People like our guide, Nick, were so helpful and flexible and "no problem" about everything. Things were so flexible on this Active Adventure trip. When we wanted to do something special, it happened. We were able to have a 5 day trip that covered hiking, cruises, sightseeing. Nick answered questions and came up with all sorts of things to do, including bringing his Frisbees. He gave us information about what to do and places to go after the Active Adventures trip.”
    Becky Engel – Georgia, United StatesNovember 2016
  • Excellent taste of the Great Walks

    “Active Adventures designed a individual trip for us trying out several of the Great Walks and climbing some peaks. Our guide Nick did a great job tailoring the trip for our interests. Great experience. We will definitely be checking with Active Adventures about future trips.”
    Rob O'Brien – Nevada, United StatesNovember 2016
  • Gorgeous natural beauty

    “I was overwhelmed with the natural beauty of the South Island”
    Bob Emley – Iowa, United StatesOctober 2016
  • Manuka 2016

    “Excellent route, hiking, leaders, vehicle, meals and companionship.”
    William Rom – New York, United StatesJune 2016
  • Wonderful South Island adventure

    “Enjoyed all of the hiking, especially the beautiful Milford Track and the challenging Mt. Cook hike. Excellent accommodations and food everywhere we went.”
    Ty Howell – Alabama, United StatesApril 2016
  • “Our two guides made the trip”
    Burt Rosenberg – New York, United StatesMarch 2016
  • A fantastic way to experience the South Island

    “A wonderful mix of seeing the countryside while driving and getting out and hiking in it. The impromptu birthday party on the last night for one our group was the crowning touch. Thank you Kate and Clara.”
    Glenn Rankin – California, United StatesMarch 2016
  • “Go with Active Adventures NZ, you won't be sorry. There are so many positive things that I can say that I don't know where to begin.
    The size of the tour group was ideal. The guides were extremely helpful and fun too! Diggity Dave and Tess were just great. Dave was an excellent driver and we put all our trust in his driving expertise. He was a great story teller too! Tess was so very caring and a great healthful cook always keeping our tummies full. Most of all I loved the variety of things that we did, places that we stayed. Yes, some weren't the greatest but often there weren't a lot of choices in the area but the company made up for the less desirables places by having luxury places in Queenstown. I especially loved the overnight on the boat in Doubtful Sound but wish we had upgraded our room as the rooms were exceedly small for 4 people, but then again it was for only 1 night. It was a fantastic trip and we would do an Active Adventure trip again!”
    Diane Klausner – Oregon, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • Incredible Trip on South Island of NZ

    “We usually travel on our own, but decided on this tour because it encompassed everything we were interested in doing. It was fantastic. We saw and did things we never would have done on our own. Dave and Tess escorted us from one incredible spot to the next. We really appreciated their professionalism, their friendliness and their knowledge. The food was exceptional and the accommodations very comfortable. I would suggest this tour to anyone.”
    Lu Johnson – Iowa, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • New Zealand Adventure

    “This was one of the best trips we have ever taken. The trip was well organized and we were able to customize for our needs. Dave and Tess were amazing guides. They were patient, organized, caring and knowledgable. Everything went as planned and we were able to enjoy the hiking and amazing scenery without having to worry about trip details. The food and lodgings were outstanding.”
    Jeffrey Klausner – Oregon, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • Wonderful 2 weeks!

    “Well organized by Active Adventures, and couldn't have asked for better companions to travel with. A slow start with lots of traveling time but not disappointing with the scenery outside the window, Dave's skillful driving and his endless storytelling. I learned a lot from Maori language and history to what Manuka honey is all about, to why the the Kiwi can't fly, and to how the Tui bird got his white balls on his chin. If you are hard core hikers and just want to 'bag' peaks, then maybe you should look at other treks. The Manuka offers options that everybody can hike. Some of the peaks require quite a bit of cardio and are strenuous, but you don't need to 'summit' them, or do so at your own pace. The views were fabulous at every vantage point. I took their Milford Track option which was also very well organized and enjoyable. The climate in the Southern Alps is known for its unpredictability, we were lucky that we had great weather for most of our 14 days there. A shout out to Tess, our other guide. Our trip wouldn't have worked without Tess! Tess fed us well and she certainly knows her ice creams!”
    Khanitha Tangnavarad – Connecticut, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • This trip has it all!

    “The Manuka Trip, including Milford Track, had everything. Excellent guides, who can cook, drive, entertain, and keep us on track and safe. The mix of hikes, accommodations and scenery were non stop breathtaking. The companionship that developed will make this a trip I will long remember.”
    Terry Born – New York, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • Our guides made our trip so enjoyable!

    “Kate and Clara were professional, prepared, and fun as well as being great chefs and hosts. The hikes were varied, interesting and beautiful. The wine tasting and whitebait stops were true New Zealand. Thanks for a great trip.”
    Deane Collinson – Ontario, CanadaFebruary 2016
  • Awesome guides!

    “Kate and Clara were wonderful - informative, fun, intuitive of the group's needs, great cooks, kind, helpful and anticipated our needs! We loved them”
    Judy Collinson – Ontario, CanadaFebruary 2016
  • Primo

    “Lucked out with near perfect weather. Guides were amazing, personable, resourceful, and unceasingly cheerful. Every sight was well chosen. Only downer was time "wasted" in Queenstown tourist milieu at Xmas, but the opportunity to summit Ben Lomond made up for 48 hours of urban crush.”
    Steve Levy – Vermont, United StatesJanuary 2016
  • A real adventure!

    “We loved all aspects of our Manuka trip. Nick and Elysse were terrific. They worked VERY hard ... keeping us informed, cooking meals, handling baggage, describing the scenery and history and animals and plants in New Zealand, and making needed adjustments on the fly. Not to mention their being our terrific and thoughtful hiking guides for 2 weeks! I would do it again with them.”
    David Goode – Oregon, United StatesDecember 2015
  • Manuka November 2015

    “This was my first time travelling with a hiking group trip. I was a little concerned prior to the trip - would I be able to keep up, will the group members be compatible, will the guides be responsive and care. Happy to say all of my concerns were for naught. Even though I was slowest member of the group, everyone was wonderful. The group members were great and the guides were very supportive. Needless to say, I will do this again. Active adventures were great to work with.”
    Liz Rogers – Oregon, United StatesDecember 2015
  • Manuka

    “A great trip – amazing scenery, fantastic hikes, wonderful food and people”
    Allan Cameron – Ontario, CanadaDecember 2015
  • Exceeded my expectations

    “We have to correct people when they ask how was the vacation. "It wasn't a vacation; it was an adventure." The hikes were glorious and they tested us. Even though our Milford Track excursion was non-stop rain, we couldn't stop grinning. It was like a fair tale. Our guides were wonderful - knowledgeable, helpful and full of energy. We're planning on a return trip to tackle the Routeburn Track.”
    Jim Santori – Minnesota, United StatesDecember 2015
  • “Great trip! The landscapes are exceptional and varied. Milford Sound and Milford Track were absolute highlights. Thanks so much for letting us travel with you!”
    Joyce Barbour – Ontario, CanadaDecember 2015
  • A Truly Great Experience

    “I enjoyed my trip with Active Adventures/New Zealand. The guides were suburb,and the accommodations were very good,often excellent.The food served was quite good also.Nick and Elysse prepared some delicious meals.
    Both of the guides seemed genuinely concerned about our well-being.
    Nick was an excellent driver and explained things well as we went along.
    The hikes were quite enjoyable and you were given choices to do as much or as little as you chose.
    I would highly recommend Active Adventures to other hikers.”
    Phoebe Rollins – South Carolina, United StatesDecember 2015
  • Manuka trip review

    “We had a fantastic time with GT and Alex, we have already recommended this trip to some of our friends.”
    George Mitchell – British Columbia, CanadaMay 2015
  • Don't forget your poles! HUT! HUT! HUT!

    “This tour was more than I expected in every way! It was very efficiently organized and carried out by our guides, covering so many diverse areas (rainforest, tide pools, great walks, glaciers, beaches, cruises on sounds, etc.) I enjoyed the hikes, and appreciated that our guides make such an effort to have everyone make them all, regardless of weather! Most amazing was the food that Laura prepared! And when there were no cooking facilities, the restaurants chosen were great! We were never hungry with fruit and snacks available at all times! What made this such a memorable trip were the PEOPLE! With travel and hiking as a common interest, I have made some wonderful friends!”
    Charlene Williams – California, United StatesApril 2015
  • Have to come basck

    “Awesome country, awesome people, awesome trip”
    Jim Miller – Illinois, United StatesApril 2015
  • Bucket list trip

    “The trip was truly an adventure. Loved the landscape, especially the West coastal area. Our Guides (GT & Alex) were great & really know their home land. This trip was a great way to see New Zealand in a short time frame.”
    Robert Mann – Ohio, United StatesMarch 2015
  • An awesome trip in an awesome country!

    “This was definitely a trip of a lifetime - one that was on my bucket list for a while! The tracks that we hiked were all great, from the rainforest to Mt. Cook. Our guides, GT and Alex, were great and worked really hard to ensure that our trip was seamless. If you are looking for a way to experience New Zealand by hiking and sightseeing, this is the way to go - a very professional outfitter that takes care of all the details! It was worth the wait!”
    Norma Watterman – Ohio, United StatesMarch 2015
  • Well Rounded Trip

    “We have traveled a bit so we know when a trip shines. The Manuka trip shined for us because of the balanced itinerary led by great guides. So much to see and do in the South Island, but Manuka allowed us to get into it first hand and experience what all others describe as a beautiful place.”
    John Yee – California, United StatesMarch 2015
  • Very active Active NZ

    “Our trip was just what we hoped for. Great hikes every day to very scenic spots. We didn't have to worry about a thing or plan an agenda. Food was great every day and accommodations were what we anticipated given the descriptions about the trip. The guides were great and kept us well informed at all times. They really made the trip enjoyable with plenty of knowledge about the places we went to. They both had a great sense of humor and did a great job creating a sense of comraderie in our group of 14.
    All in all a trip of a lifetime!”
    Jim Eastham – Maryland, United StatesMarch 2015
  • John H

    “My Manuka Adventure exceeded all of my expectations. Challenges were faced and I can happily say were "Overcome." Our guides, Dave and Celia were fantastic, they were very personable, knowledgeable, and took a genuine interest in not just my needs but the needs of our entire group. They are both a great asset to your organization. I had gotten to see the "AWESOME PLACE NEW ZEALAND REALLY IS."”
    John Hamilton – Florida, United StatesFebruary 2015
  • My trip of a lifetime

    “I had a wonderful trip. Dave and Amanda, our guides, were excellent. They took care of everything. No Worries. I would recommend the Manuka trip to all. Thanks”
    Jerry Friedman – Michigan, United StatesFebruary 2015
  • Manuka December 15-28, 2014

    “This was a really enjoyable trip that provided exposure to a broad range of habitats and some of the iconic scenery of the South Island. We were really lucky with the weather -- only a couple of days of rain and even then not heavy -- and traveling at the holidays was fun, even if it made things a bit more crowded in some places. I would tweak a few details but liked the itinerary overall.”
    Rob Franklin – California, United StatesJanuary 2015
  • walking around NZ

    “Seamless delightful trip with great food. Thanks for ordering up the good weather as well!”
    Janet Northcott – Alberta, CanadaApril 2014
  • “Simply the BEST!”
    Mike Pier – Indiana, United StatesMarch 2014
  • Perfectly Wonderful!

    “The Manuka trip with Nicole and Dave in February 2014 was amazing! Great scenery and hiking, wonderful fellow travelers, delicious meals, lots of unique experiences, the BEST guides, and just loads of fun! I couldn't have asked for a better New Zealand adventure!”
    Susan LaHoda – Colorado, United StatesMarch 2014
  • Manuka 2014

    “Our Manuka trip exceeded all our expectations. I knew the trip was going to be great, but our accommodations, food, and especially our guides Nicole and Dave were "over the top" fantastic! First class all the way. It didn't hurt that we had outstanding weather too. New Zealand shined in every way.”
    Rhonda Robinson – Indiana, United StatesMarch 2014
  • Thanks for the New Zealand adventure!

    “A great introduction to New Zealand. I felt I was in really good hands with our guides: great personalities, competent, patient and they went out of their way to provide personal attention. The itinerary and choice of accommodations was just right. The holiday was very well-organised and co-ordinated but still had a completely relaxed feeling. Thank you Andrew, Nicole and Cassie.”
    Pamela Gigney – South Australia, AustraliaMarch 2014
  • Marvelous Manuka

    “Active Adventures is certainly the best way to experience New Zealand. The varied landscapes and hiking trails gave a true feel for the South Island. The guides, Dave and Nicole, kept us well in tow and well fed. Loved the trip!”
    Maggie Means – Florida, United StatesMarch 2014
  • NZ Chamber of Tourism Wish List

    “Top of the line guides, equipment, facilities, fellow travelers and perfect weather made this a trip of a lifetime that I hope to repeat with my upcoming trip to Peru (Jaguar Trip 4/14) with Active S. America.”
    David Humphrey – Kentucky, United StatesJune 2013

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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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