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Ultimate North Island Adventure

Kauri

4.49 out of 5 (from 292 reviews)

  • 11 Days - US$4,499 + tax
  • 5 days - US$2,799 + tax

Trip Introduction

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You'll be amazed by the variety of adventures and stunning scenery as we share the iconic locations and best-kept secrets of the North Island. The perfect addition to any of our South Island trips, the year-round 'Kauri' explores the sub-tropical north, a marine reserve, white sandy beaches, unique volcanic terrain, geothermal areas, Maori culture, an underground cave system and arguably the best mountain day-hike in New Zealand. For a great way to see the rest of New Zealand, combine this trip with any of our South Island trips.

Activity level: The 'Kauri' suits people of a wide range of fitness levels and outdoor experience. Typically, activities on the 'Kauri' trip range between two and five hours to complete. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing hike can take a little longer, though there are shorter alternatives available.

Highlights

Hike
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Mt Te Aroha
Explore volcanoes and coastline, kauri forests and sand dunes
Alongside Rotorua's lakes
Coastal tracks to pristine beaches

Cycle
Whakarewarewa Forest

Plus...
Cruise and snorkel, kayak or dive Poor Knights Islands
Maori culture
Waitomo Caves

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What's included in our trips?

  • All guiding services
    Two experienced guides per trip.
  • All accommodations
    For the entire trip.
  • All meals
    Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • All activities
    Hiking, kayaking, biking, rafting.
  • All transport
    From trip start to end.
Ultimate North Island Adventure Kauri map

Interactive Trip Map

Daily itinerary

Tuesday — Arrive, journey north, Waipoua Forest and Foot Prints tour

If you leave the northern hemisphere on a Sunday evening, you'll arrive into Auckland early on Tuesday morning where we'll meet you. You'll lose a day to the dateline, but you get it back on the way home! Leaving the city behind us, we'll follow the road along the banks of the Wairoa River and head north to Waipoua Forest, where we'll stretch our legs, greeted by native birdlife as we pass beneath huge kauri trees. We'll then continue through to the west coast settlement of Opononi, a harbour town made famous in the mid-1950s by the tame dolphin, Opo, who used to let children ride on his back. Later, after dinner we'll head back out into the Waipoua Forest for a twilight walk, where we'll be joined by local Maori guides. It's a memorable and spiritual experience to witness the greeting of these collosal trees with a spine-tingling waiata (sacred chant). We'll also visit Tane Mahuta (meaning Lord of the Forest), New Zealand's largest known living kauri tree. At a height of 51.2 metres (168 feet), and with a trunk girth of 13.7 metres (45 feet), this silent giant, with ancient limbs, seems to grasp at the stars.
Copthorne Hokianga, Hokianga (Lunch, Dinner)

Wednesday — Te Pouahi Reserve, hike Puketi Forest, Bay of Islands

After breakfast we'll board a water taxi to the other side of the Hokianga Harbour to walk the sand dunes at Te Pouahi Reserve. We'll take some sandboards along too, for those who're keen to take the fast route down! More than 1000 years ago, Maori warrior chief Kupe and his people were the first to arrive in New Zealand, landing on the shores of Hokianga Harbour. The area was also one of the first points of Maori and European contact. With our sandboarding fix satisfied we'll head east across the island to Puketi Forest. This is another fine example of ancient kauri forest, with a rich diversity including some 370 recorded species of plants, many of which are found nowhere else on earth. Later we'll head to 'the Jewel of the Bay of Islands', Paihia, a bustling seaside town with golden sand beaches.
Paihia Lodgings, Paihia (All meals)

Thursday — Hike Cape Brett, visit Ruapekapeka Pã site

This morning we’ll take a water taxi from Paihia out to Deep Water Cove for a ridgeline hike to Cape Brett through the Manawahuna Scenic Reserve. On route, you’ll experience the Bay of Islands from the ridge tops and get a magnificent view of an iconic rock formation, Hole in the Rock.  This is a 3-4 hour hike with rewarding views of the Bay of Islands the entire way - you may even see dolphins and seals from your vantage point high up on the cliffs. The mountains that we’re crossing are very important to the local Iwi (Maori tribe) as they’re considered one of the three sacred mountains of Polynesia.  If you’re not feeling up to the hike, have a chat to our guides and they can arrange an alternative boat trip around the Bay of Islands. Later, we’ll be picked up at Cape Brett, again by water taxi for the scenic cruise back to Paihia. This afternoon we’ll head south and inland to Ruapekapeka. The Ruapekapeka Pã was the site of the final battle in the ‘War of the North’, fought between British colonial forces and northern Maori,  and this is where the British first experienced trench warfare. This Pã is widely recognised as one of the most significant historical sites in New Zealand.
Pacific Rendezvous, Tutukaka (All meals)

Friday — Cruise Poor Knights Islands, snorkel or kayak

After breakfast, we'll head out for an early morning walk before boarding a purpose-built boat for a cruise to the Poor Knights Islands. This small cluster of islets is home to a wealth of biodiversity both above and below the water. While you head across from the mainland, keep your eyes peeled for flocks of petrels, shearwaters and gannets – many of these shorebirds nest almost exclusively on the islands you'll be visiting. The Poor Knights is the second oldest marine reserve in New Zealand, and the sub-tropical environment is now an important conservation area for many species of marine-life. Whales, dolphins and orca can often be spotted, as well as a myriad of fish species that constantly trawl the reserve. You'll visit the world's largest sea cave, and hear all about the islands' history including their occupation by ancient Maori. Our guides will then give you the chance to explore under your own steam, by providing you with either a snorkel and mask, or a kayak. If you're a keen scuba diver, there's an option to upgrade to diving for an additional fee, including all the necessary gear. This option must be pre-arranged, so please let the team know well before-hand.
Pacific Rendezvous, Tutukaka (All meals)

Saturday — Hike Northland coastline

This morning, we'll follow the coastal road as it winds its way south alongside tree-lined white sand beaches to Waipu, a quaint village with strong Scottish heritage dating back to the 1850s. Then we'll make our way to Mangawhai Heads for one of the finest coastal cliff top walks in the country. The walk offers spectacular views of the Northland coastline, passing through shady bush and beneath giant old pohutukawa trees, and then returns along the beach. After lunch, we'll continue south from Mangawhai Heads towards the city of Auckland.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Auckland (Breakfast, Lunch)

If you're short on time, this is where the first 5-day 'Kauri' trip finishes.

Sunday — Free day in Auckland

Known as the city of sails, Auckland sprawls over a narrow isthmus between the sparkling waters of the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours. Close to a third of New Zealand's population is settled in this area, and it's home to the largest Polynesian community in the world. Its vibrant, multi-cultural feel makes for a great city experience. Most of Auckland's activities and attractions are within half an hour of the central city. Take in the spectacular views from natural and man-made landmarks - the region is home to 48 volcanic cones, many of which provide excellent viewing points. Rangitoto Island is arguably Auckland's most iconic natural landmark, with its distinctive symmetrical cone and easy access just off the coast. At 328 metres (1076 feet), the Sky Tower is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand offering views for up to 80 kilometres (50 miles) in every direction. For movie enthusiasts, take the day to visit The Shire in Middle-earth, the ultra-realistic fantasy setting for 'The Hobbit' and 'Lord of The Rings' movie trilogies. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Auckland (No meals incl.)

Monday — Hike Mt Te Aroha

If you're short on time, this is where the last 5-day 'Kauri' trip starts

We'll pick you up from your hotel and leaving the city behind us, drive south to the township of Te Aroha. In the early 1900s, this town was the country's top tourist spot, celebrated for its naturally hot soda waters and Mokena geyser. Now also known for its hiking trails, it sits at the foot of 952 metre (3123 feet) Mt Te Aroha, the highest point in the Kaimai-Mamuku Forest Park and part of an ancient volcanic chain. Starting at the geyser, we'll hike to the summit for spectacular 360 degree views, with Mt Ruapehu and Mt Taranaki visible on a fine day. We'll then continue on to Rotorua, considered the heartland of New Zealand's Maori culture and the spiritual home of New Zealand's tangata whenua (original people of the land). Tonight we'll dine out at a local favourite.
Cedarwood Lakeside Resort, Rotorua (All meals - please note, breakfast not included for those people starting the 5-day trip today)

Tuesday — Mountain bike Whakarewarewa Forest, visit Te Puia

This morning we'll head out to cycle the trails of Whakarewarewa Forest. The cycling in the forest is a real highlight on the 'Kauri' trip and we have options to suit all abilities. If you prefer not to cycle, you can stay and soak in the local mineral spas, or explore Rotorua. After a picnic lunch in the forest, we'll visit Te Puia which is famed for the Te Whakarewarewa geothermal valley – a place of gushing waters, steaming vents, boiling mud pools and spectacular geysers. Tonight you'll enjoy a cultural performance by members of the Te Arawa tribe and share a traditional feast. A hangi, as its known, is prepared by wrapping food and burying it in the earth to cook over hot stones. This healthy cooking method is similar to steaming and imparts a wonderful flavour.
Cedarwood Lakeside Resort, Rotorua (All meals)

Wednesday — Hike Rainbow Mountain, hike to Huka Falls

We head south out of Rotorua today to hike Rainbow Mountain, aptly named due to the unusual colour of the soil. We'll head up through native forest past two impressive crater lakes to the summit for spectacular 360 degree views over the volcanic plateau. Then after lunch, we'll follow the track along New Zealand's longest river, the Waikato, for a spectacular view of Huka Falls. Travelling further south, we follow the shores of Lake Taupo, an enormous volcanic caldera (a caldera is a cauldron-like volcanic feature usually formed by the collapse of land following a volcanic eruption) and the site of the world's largest eruption in the last 70,000 years. We'll stay on the banks of the Tongariro River, New Zealand's most famous trout fishing river, and our hosts tonight, Richard and Jill, will point you in the right direction if you'd like to cast a line!
Creel Lodge, Turangi (All meals)

Thursday — Hike Tongariro Alpine Crossing, soak in hot pools

Just south of Turangi are three massive volcanoes (Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu) – as well as Tongariro National Park, New Zealand's oldest national park and the fifth oldest in the world. Here you'll have the opportunity to walk what is considered the best mountain day-hike in the country, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This full-day hike is challenging and unforgettable – the rewards are definitely worth the effort! The trail takes you through arid volcanic terrain that includes emerald lakes, cold mountain springs, lava flows, active craters and steam vents – it's unlike anything else in New Zealand. If you prefer, there’s an easier hike available at the base of Mount Ruapehu, the highest active volcano in New Zealand. Tonight, we'll head to some natural thermal springs to soak tired muscles and have a celebratory dinner for our last night together.
Creel Lodge, Turangi (All meals)

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing in Winter (from May until September)
Whilst spectacular, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a more challenging hike in winter, with alpine conditions such as snow and ice. If the weather isn't suitable for the crossing, or you'd prefer to do a hike at lower elevation (away from the snow and ice!) we have a fantastic couple of hikes up our sleeve, to Taranaki Falls and Silica Rapids. Both of these hikes showcase a variety of flora from native beech forest to sub-alpine shrublands, each culminating with a spectacular view; Taranaki Falls is 20 metres (65 feet) high and Silica Rapids has water cascading down a series of creamy white terraces. For those that are keen and fit, and the weather is suitable, you can still choose to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing with a local specialist guide. We will provide you with all the necessary gear such as crampons, ice axes and a helmet. 

Friday — Visit Waitomo Caves, depart for home

For our last day together, we'll head to the spectacular Waitomo Caves for a morning of caving. If you prefer to stay dry, you'll take a walk through Ruakuri cave to learn more about the geological significance of the area. For those keen, you'll head down to explore an underground cave system. You'll be fitted with a wetsuit, helmet, headlamp and rubber tube in order to float down a subterranean stream, slide down waterfalls and at one point, switch off your headlamp to check out the incredible glowworms that live on the limestone ceiling of the cave. After a shower and some hot soup, we'll head back to Auckland where your 'Kauri' trip finishes. We'll have you at the airport in time to catch evening flights back home, or down south for one of our South Island trips.
(Breakfast, Lunch)


Activity Key - zoom in to see activity detail

Hiking Biking Kayaking Boating Flying

Itinerary

Tuesday — Arrive, journey north, Waipoua Forest and Foot Prints tour

If you leave the northern hemisphere on a Sunday evening, you'll arrive into Auckland early on Tuesday morning where we'll meet you. You'll lose a day to the dateline, but you get it back on the way home! Leaving the city behind us, we'll follow the road along the banks of the Wairoa River and head north to Waipoua Forest, where we'll stretch our legs, greeted by native birdlife as we pass beneath huge kauri trees. We'll then continue through to the west coast settlement of Opononi, a harbour town made famous in the mid-1950s by the tame dolphin, Opo, who used to let children ride on his back. Later, after dinner we'll head back out into the Waipoua Forest for a twilight walk, where we'll be joined by local Maori guides. It's a memorable and spiritual experience to witness the greeting of these collosal trees with a spine-tingling waiata (sacred chant). We'll also visit Tane Mahuta (meaning Lord of the Forest), New Zealand's largest known living kauri tree. At a height of 51.2 metres (168 feet), and with a trunk girth of 13.7 metres (45 feet), this silent giant, with ancient limbs, seems to grasp at the stars.
Copthorne Hokianga, Hokianga (Lunch, Dinner)

Wednesday — Te Pouahi Reserve, hike Puketi Forest, Bay of Islands

After breakfast we'll board a water taxi to the other side of the Hokianga Harbour to walk the sand dunes at Te Pouahi Reserve. We'll take some sandboards along too, for those who're keen to take the fast route down! More than 1000 years ago, Maori warrior chief Kupe and his people were the first to arrive in New Zealand, landing on the shores of Hokianga Harbour. The area was also one of the first points of Maori and European contact. With our sandboarding fix satisfied we'll head east across the island to Puketi Forest. This is another fine example of ancient kauri forest, with a rich diversity including some 370 recorded species of plants, many of which are found nowhere else on earth. Later we'll head to 'the Jewel of the Bay of Islands', Paihia, a bustling seaside town with golden sand beaches.
Paihia Lodgings, Paihia (All meals)

Thursday — Hike Cape Brett, visit Ruapekapeka Pã site

This morning we’ll take a water taxi from Paihia out to Deep Water Cove for a ridgeline hike to Cape Brett through the Manawahuna Scenic Reserve. On route, you’ll experience the Bay of Islands from the ridge tops and get a magnificent view of an iconic rock formation, Hole in the Rock.  This is a 3-4 hour hike with rewarding views of the Bay of Islands the entire way - you may even see dolphins and seals from your vantage point high up on the cliffs. The mountains that we’re crossing are very important to the local Iwi (Maori tribe) as they’re considered one of the three sacred mountains of Polynesia.  If you’re not feeling up to the hike, have a chat to our guides and they can arrange an alternative boat trip around the Bay of Islands. Later, we’ll be picked up at Cape Brett, again by water taxi for the scenic cruise back to Paihia. This afternoon we’ll head south and inland to Ruapekapeka. The Ruapekapeka Pã was the site of the final battle in the ‘War of the North’, fought between British colonial forces and northern Maori,  and this is where the British first experienced trench warfare. This Pã is widely recognised as one of the most significant historical sites in New Zealand.
Pacific Rendezvous, Tutukaka (All meals)

Friday — Cruise Poor Knights Islands, snorkel or kayak

After breakfast, we'll head out for an early morning walk before boarding a purpose-built boat for a cruise to the Poor Knights Islands. This small cluster of islets is home to a wealth of biodiversity both above and below the water. While you head across from the mainland, keep your eyes peeled for flocks of petrels, shearwaters and gannets – many of these shorebirds nest almost exclusively on the islands you'll be visiting. The Poor Knights is the second oldest marine reserve in New Zealand, and the sub-tropical environment is now an important conservation area for many species of marine-life. Whales, dolphins and orca can often be spotted, as well as a myriad of fish species that constantly trawl the reserve. You'll visit the world's largest sea cave, and hear all about the islands' history including their occupation by ancient Maori. Our guides will then give you the chance to explore under your own steam, by providing you with either a snorkel and mask, or a kayak. If you're a keen scuba diver, there's an option to upgrade to diving for an additional fee, including all the necessary gear. This option must be pre-arranged, so please let the team know well before-hand.
Pacific Rendezvous, Tutukaka (All meals)

Saturday — Hike Northland coastline

This morning, we'll follow the coastal road as it winds its way south alongside tree-lined white sand beaches to Waipu, a quaint village with strong Scottish heritage dating back to the 1850s. Then we'll make our way to Mangawhai Heads for one of the finest coastal cliff top walks in the country. The walk offers spectacular views of the Northland coastline, passing through shady bush and beneath giant old pohutukawa trees, and then returns along the beach. After lunch, we'll continue south from Mangawhai Heads towards the city of Auckland.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Auckland (Breakfast, Lunch)

If you're short on time, this is where the first 5-day 'Kauri' trip finishes.

Sunday — Free day in Auckland

Known as the city of sails, Auckland sprawls over a narrow isthmus between the sparkling waters of the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours. Close to a third of New Zealand's population is settled in this area, and it's home to the largest Polynesian community in the world. Its vibrant, multi-cultural feel makes for a great city experience. Most of Auckland's activities and attractions are within half an hour of the central city. Take in the spectacular views from natural and man-made landmarks - the region is home to 48 volcanic cones, many of which provide excellent viewing points. Rangitoto Island is arguably Auckland's most iconic natural landmark, with its distinctive symmetrical cone and easy access just off the coast. At 328 metres (1076 feet), the Sky Tower is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand offering views for up to 80 kilometres (50 miles) in every direction. For movie enthusiasts, take the day to visit The Shire in Middle-earth, the ultra-realistic fantasy setting for 'The Hobbit' and 'Lord of The Rings' movie trilogies. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Auckland (No meals incl.)

Monday — Hike Mt Te Aroha

If you're short on time, this is where the last 5-day 'Kauri' trip starts

We'll pick you up from your hotel and leaving the city behind us, drive south to the township of Te Aroha. In the early 1900s, this town was the country's top tourist spot, celebrated for its naturally hot soda waters and Mokena geyser. Now also known for its hiking trails, it sits at the foot of 952 metre (3123 feet) Mt Te Aroha, the highest point in the Kaimai-Mamuku Forest Park and part of an ancient volcanic chain. Starting at the geyser, we'll hike to the summit for spectacular 360 degree views, with Mt Ruapehu and Mt Taranaki visible on a fine day. We'll then continue on to Rotorua, considered the heartland of New Zealand's Maori culture and the spiritual home of New Zealand's tangata whenua (original people of the land). Tonight we'll dine out at a local favourite.
Cedarwood Lakeside Resort, Rotorua (All meals - please note, breakfast not included for those people starting the 5-day trip today)

Tuesday — Mountain bike Whakarewarewa Forest, visit Te Puia

This morning we'll head out to cycle the trails of Whakarewarewa Forest. The cycling in the forest is a real highlight on the 'Kauri' trip and we have options to suit all abilities. If you prefer not to cycle, you can stay and soak in the local mineral spas, or explore Rotorua. After a picnic lunch in the forest, we'll visit Te Puia which is famed for the Te Whakarewarewa geothermal valley – a place of gushing waters, steaming vents, boiling mud pools and spectacular geysers. Tonight you'll enjoy a cultural performance by members of the Te Arawa tribe and share a traditional feast. A hangi, as its known, is prepared by wrapping food and burying it in the earth to cook over hot stones. This healthy cooking method is similar to steaming and imparts a wonderful flavour.
Cedarwood Lakeside Resort, Rotorua (All meals)

Wednesday — Hike Rainbow Mountain, hike to Huka Falls

We head south out of Rotorua today to hike Rainbow Mountain, aptly named due to the unusual colour of the soil. We'll head up through native forest past two impressive crater lakes to the summit for spectacular 360 degree views over the volcanic plateau. Then after lunch, we'll follow the track along New Zealand's longest river, the Waikato, for a spectacular view of Huka Falls. Travelling further south, we follow the shores of Lake Taupo, an enormous volcanic caldera (a caldera is a cauldron-like volcanic feature usually formed by the collapse of land following a volcanic eruption) and the site of the world's largest eruption in the last 70,000 years. We'll stay on the banks of the Tongariro River, New Zealand's most famous trout fishing river, and our hosts tonight, Richard and Jill, will point you in the right direction if you'd like to cast a line!
Creel Lodge, Turangi (All meals)

Thursday — Hike Tongariro Alpine Crossing, soak in hot pools

Just south of Turangi are three massive volcanoes (Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu) – as well as Tongariro National Park, New Zealand's oldest national park and the fifth oldest in the world. Here you'll have the opportunity to walk what is considered the best mountain day-hike in the country, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This full-day hike is challenging and unforgettable – the rewards are definitely worth the effort! The trail takes you through arid volcanic terrain that includes emerald lakes, cold mountain springs, lava flows, active craters and steam vents – it's unlike anything else in New Zealand. If you prefer, there’s an easier hike available at the base of Mount Ruapehu, the highest active volcano in New Zealand. Tonight, we'll head to some natural thermal springs to soak tired muscles and have a celebratory dinner for our last night together.
Creel Lodge, Turangi (All meals)

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing in Winter (from May until September)
Whilst spectacular, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a more challenging hike in winter, with alpine conditions such as snow and ice. If the weather isn't suitable for the crossing, or you'd prefer to do a hike at lower elevation (away from the snow and ice!) we have a fantastic couple of hikes up our sleeve, to Taranaki Falls and Silica Rapids. Both of these hikes showcase a variety of flora from native beech forest to sub-alpine shrublands, each culminating with a spectacular view; Taranaki Falls is 20 metres (65 feet) high and Silica Rapids has water cascading down a series of creamy white terraces. For those that are keen and fit, and the weather is suitable, you can still choose to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing with a local specialist guide. We will provide you with all the necessary gear such as crampons, ice axes and a helmet. 

Friday — Visit Waitomo Caves, depart for home

For our last day together, we'll head to the spectacular Waitomo Caves for a morning of caving. If you prefer to stay dry, you'll take a walk through Ruakuri cave to learn more about the geological significance of the area. For those keen, you'll head down to explore an underground cave system. You'll be fitted with a wetsuit, helmet, headlamp and rubber tube in order to float down a subterranean stream, slide down waterfalls and at one point, switch off your headlamp to check out the incredible glowworms that live on the limestone ceiling of the cave. After a shower and some hot soup, we'll head back to Auckland where your 'Kauri' trip finishes. We'll have you at the airport in time to catch evening flights back home, or down south for one of our South Island trips.
(Breakfast, Lunch)

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Dates

Trip Date Price Status  
Jan 31 ’17 – Feb 10 ’17 US$4499 + tax Almost Full - Check Now! Check Availability
Feb 7 ’17 – Feb 17 ’17 US$4499 + tax Almost Full - Check Now! Check Availability
Feb 14 ’17 – Feb 24 ’17 US$4499 + tax Almost Full - Check Now! Check Availability
Feb 21 ’17 – Mar 3 ’17 US$4499 + tax Almost full Check Availability
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Mar 14 ’17 – Mar 24 ’17 US$4499 + tax Almost Full - Check Now! Check Availability
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May 2 ’17 – May 12 ’17 US$4499 + tax Almost Full - Check Now! Check Availability
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Dec 19 ’17 – Dec 29 ’17 US$4499 + tax Peak Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Dec 26 ’17 – Jan 5 ’18 US$4499 + tax Peak Season - Check Now! Check Availability
2018
Jan 2 ’18 – Jan 12 ’18 US$4499 + tax Peak Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Jan 9 ’18 – Jan 19 ’18 US$4499 + tax Great Check Availability
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2019
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Jan 15 ’19 – Jan 25 ’19 US$4499 + tax Great Check Availability
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Feb 26 ’19 – Mar 8 ’19 US$4499 + tax Great Check Availability
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Mar 12 ’19 – Mar 22 ’19 US$4499 + 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 can either pick you up from the Auckland airport (AKL) at 9am or the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Auckland central at 10.15am. If you're joining us for the last five days, we can either pick you up from the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Auckland central at 8.15am or the Auckland airport at 9am.

Trip End:

On the last day of the trip we'll drop you back at Auckland airport, or anywhere in central Auckland in the late afternoon/early evening.

Recommended flights:

Arrival: If you're flying in on the first day of the trip, we recommend arriving in Auckland by 7am (international terminal) or 8am (domestic terminal) on Tuesday.

Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Auckland any time after 7pm. If you are considering alternative flight times, please check with us. International flights from Auckland usually leave in the evening, so if you're heading back to North America, you'll get home some time on Friday, even though you left on Friday evening! Flights back to Europe, of course, take a little longer.

Fitness:

The 'Kauri' suits people of 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 activities much more. Typically, activities on the 'Kauri' trip range between two and five hours to complete. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing hike can take a little longer, though there are shorter alternatives available. Please call us to talk about the best option for you.

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Reviews

  • From Alan Roth

    “I love what you all do. For my 2nd AA trip I can't wait to try another.”
    Alan Roth – Florida, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • So much to do on the north island!

    “The North Island trip was very different from the South. It showed us a completely different side of NZ. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about NZ history and culture and that made our adventures have much more meaning. The 5 days flew by and we were so sad when it was over! There is so much left to do in the north, we will undoubtedly return and we hope to be lucky enough to have the same guide.”
    Danyel Goddard – Florida, United StatesDecember 2016
  • Awesome

    “If you are wanting to explore New Zealand at its best and want a physically active and varied adventure, Active Adventures is the tour to go on. The guides are knowledgeable, inspiring and motivating. You cover a tremendous amount of territory and leave feeling that you've seen the best of the North Island.”
    Barb Miller – California, United StatesDecember 2016
  • Outstanding!

    “First, there is the magical place that is New Zealand -- unique, varied, and beautiful. Second, there is the operation that is Active Adventures -- organized, engaged, and attentive. Together, they make for an outstanding experience. Thank you!”
    Nanette Bahlinger – Tennessee, United StatesDecember 2016
  • A wide variety of activities in a varied landscape

    “Our Kauri trip followed the Rimu South Island trip. The North Island turned out to be quite different from the South Island, but just as interesting and rewarding. The first few days of the trip were sea based, incorporating boat rides to the day's activities, which added an element of adventure. The second half of the trip introduced us to the volcanic nature of the North Island, and culminated in the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, which was fascinating and satisfying. Our guides were very knowledgeable and greatly added to our understanding of Maori and local culture. Highly recommended!”
    Steve Martel – Maine, United StatesDecember 2016
  • Kauri Dec 26 2016 (second half)

    “We joined the trip during its second half. Full of interesting activities, and the final hike was the highlight.”
    Peter Chang – New Mexico, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Kauri Trip

    “The last 5 days gave us a good flavor of the North Island, its culture and geothermal/volcanic activity of the island.”
    Cauleen Svanda – New Mexico, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Last 5 Days Kauri

    “So much packed into just a few days. From walking to tops of (several!) mountains to floating through underground tunnels, plus geothermal springs and Maori culture. A whirlwind central North Island adventure!”
    Matthew Gonser – Hawaii, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • 5 day Kauri Trip

    “Tongariro Alpine Crossing was the best hike of my life!”
    Grace Zheng – Hawaii, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Wonderful trip!!!!

    “This was a great trip! Well organized and well planned. Our guides did a great job of trying to accomodate everyone. This trip has a nice diversity of experiences and I really enojoyed that about this trip. I liked the variety in outdoor activites as well as the cultural elements and connections with the local and native people.”
    Elizabeth Horton – Ohio, United StatesDecember 2016
  • The trip of a lifetime absolutely! Kauri.

    “The whole trip was just fabulous. So many different activities, each amazing and unique so that every day was a new adventure....or two..or three! Our guides Phil and Jo were so great! Knowledgable, enthusiastic, accommodating, adaptable and absolutley a pleasure to be with for the 11 days of the tour.
    We loved the little extras too, the Kiwi release, the wine tasting, the music, the food, did we mention the homecooked food?, and especially the celebration at the end of the Tongariro Crossing. Such a treat!
    Thank you for an amazing introduction to New Zealand! We will be back.”
    Leigh Smythe – Alberta, CanadaDecember 2016
  • It was great

    “A combination of a great group and great guides”
    Gordon Sorenson – Alberta, CanadaDecember 2016
  • 50 Shades of Green

    “I highly recommend the full itinerary for the Kauri trip! Excellent hikes, fantastic scenery, and great variety of activities: sand boarding, biking, caving, and snorkeling.”
    Kathy Martel – Maine, United StatesNovember 2016
  • “This trip exceeded every expectation. Every activity was more exciting than the last, never was there a dull moment. The hikes, especially the hike to Cape Brett and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, were absolutely incredible. Andy and Jo were the perfect team. Andy always kept us occupied with good stories and always had a backup plan if we weren't able to do something on the itinerary. He took the time on hikes to stop and point out unique things that otherwise would have been missed. "Mama Jo" really looked after us and made sure we all had the most amazing time. I have no idea where she found the energy to always be the one running back up the mountain to help carry the backpacks of tired hikers and then get back to the accommodations and cook everybody a delicious dinner. They were more than just tour guides, they were our family. I highly recommend this trip!”
    Cassidy Anderson – Vermont, United StatesNovember 2016
  • A beautiful adventure with fantastic guides

    “My wife and I had an unforgettable experience discovering the beautiful beaches and volcanic regions of the North Island.
    Every day was jammed with fun and diverse activities. I cannot think of a better, more efficient way to learning and exploring a new country.
    Andy and Jo make a great team too. Andy is extremely knowledgeable, smart, fun, cheeky and helpful. Jo is the perfect partner and she cooks fabulously!
    There are so many small details that have made this trip so awesome. Birthday cakes, surprises, trip music selection, great weather, great travel companions, the list goes on!”
    Miguel Hernandez – British Columbia, CanadaNovember 2016
  • beautiful people, trees and culture

    “We thoroughly enjoyed learning about the Maori culture, and especially appreciated the kauri tree tour from the Maori guide. The hiking and trip was adventurous and exciting.”
    Bob Emley – Iowa, United StatesOctober 2016
  • Joy Project; New Zealand's North Island

    “The Tongariro Crossing was the highlight of my visit of the Northern Island. I felt as though we were trekking on another planet.

    Andrew and Claire shared their extensive knowledge of New Zealand’s culture, land, flora and fauna while offering great music on Dick, the bus and fabulous meals!

    I was asked about traveling to New Zealand alone. I explained I was not alone but traveling with twelve friends I had not met yet. This turned out to be factual.
    Lynn Marie”
    Lynn Dulmage – Michigan, United StatesAugust 2016
  • Perfect way to see the north island

    “had a really good time. Guides were very professional and met all our needs”
    Sai Krishna Gangavalli – Texas, United StatesJuly 2016
  • North Island Adventure

    “After finishing the South Island tour, I joined the North Island tour for the last five days out of Auckland, a city I like for the short time I had to explore it. The 12 mile hike over the mountain and the tire tube experience in a cave were highlights along with mountain biking. Andy is a good cook, and a lucky man to catch a good woman from Wales.l”
    Vincent Simpson – New York, United StatesJune 2016
  • Kauri Mar 2016

    “We joined the Kauri for the second half in Auckland, Andy & Alex welcomed us into the group that was continuing from the first half of the trip, we immediatly felt comfortable. The knowledge that Andy & Alex have tucked away in their brains to share with the guest is amazing, the hiking, biking, cultural events at Te Pau all leading up to the "beast" the Tongariro Alpine Crossing were amazing. The weather for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing was not at its best, but that is the weather in New Zealand in the fall. Learning about the legend "Shrek" and glowing poop rounded off the trip.. Having only completed half of the Kauri trip, are appetites are whetted to return to do the full tour. The camaraderie amongst the tour group was great, the food that Alex prepared & Andy helped with during the tour was amazing, so my waist line tells me.”
    Nick Ward – Alberta, CanadaMay 2016
  • Fabulous trip, every day a new adventure

    “We loved our Active Adventures Kauri trip. Every day we had new adventures hiking in the beautiful North Island. The scenery is spectacular. At the end of the day we'd gather with local bottles of NZ wine and delicious home cooking by Andy and Kim--a great way to recap our day and to learn about the day ahead. Our guides were friendly, knowledgeable and genuinely caring, thank you!”
    Janet Evans – Colorado, United StatesMay 2016
  • “This was an amazing trip where I found that even a certified klutz like me was able to survive going up and down mountains and doing other crazy adventures that got me out of my comfort zone; with the help of 2 great guides and the encouragement of the group.”
    Megan Loyd – Texas, United StatesMay 2016
  • Great trip

    “The North Island had a little more variety than the South Island, which I enjoyed. Both trips were excellent.”
    Armando Smithee – Texas, United StatesApril 2016
  • Brilliant Kauri trip

    “First trip to New Zealand far exceeded expectations. Wonderful country showed off to its best by a superb itinerary and first rate guides.”
    Jane Gordon – Scotland, United KingdomApril 2016
  • “We had such a wonderful time touring the North with a great bunch of people. The beaches and forests were so unique, and the mountains were amazing. Andy and Kim were great guides. We had so much fun hiking, and trying new things.”
    Karen Lienhart – New York, United StatesApril 2016
  • Kauri trip adventure and culture of the North Island

    “Normally a solo traveller so this was my 1st group tour and I found it so much more relaxing and enjoyable not having to drive, organise meals, accom etc. Every little detail of the trip was covered, our tour guide Andy was awesome, shared so much knowledge of the areas we travelled, was accomodating and adaptable, and a great cook. Jasmine who also joined us on the trip was lovely, such a pleasure travelling with her. I was after a tour with adventure and culture and it provided plenty of both. Already planning to do a South Island tour with Active Adventures in the future.”
    Amie Culverson – Western Australia, AustraliaApril 2016
  • Best Trip Ever!

    “What an amazing experience. I wasn't sure what to expect as this was my first time in New Zealand. Our guides were excellent and every bit of the trip was fantastic!! Definitely the trip of a lifetime!”
    Beth Julian-Wang – California, United StatesApril 2016
  • second half of Kauri trip

    “To be honest, there is no way to compare the two trips I took. South island activities blew me away, not to mention the pristine wonder of the land.
    I tell everyone go to south island, spend your time there!
    Aukland on north island was fun and the caving experience with glow worms was thrilling and magical. Due to poor weather we were unable to hike the pass...a lost day unless you chose to go for a little hike in pouring rain.”
    Grae Garl – New Hampshire, United StatesApril 2016
  • Beautiful North Island

    “We spent one week traveling around the North Island with Active Adventures. The tour was focused on the Maori culture and the incredible ancient forests. The tour took us to places that we never would have found on our own.”
    Lu Johnson – Iowa, United StatesApril 2016
  • North island at its best

    “From great hikes, breathtaking views, wonderful snorkeling and kayaking, best mountain bike trails I have ever seen and finally the spectacular Waitomo Caves, our North Island adventure was outstanding.”
    Ty Howell – Alabama, United StatesApril 2016
  • Hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing on my birthday!

    “I hiked the Tongariro Alpine Crossing on my birthday and it was the most wonderful birthday of my life!”
    Ivette Alonso-Triack – , Puerto RicoApril 2016
  • Good complement to the Rimu!

    “Traveling half way around the world to participate in the Rimu (South Island), we wanted to see the North Island, too. The 11-day Kauri truly addressed that desire and helped us better understand the culture and history of New Zealand.”
    Pam Taylor – Texas, United StatesApril 2016
  • Our adventure continues

    “We did the first 5 days of the Kauri trip right after our 8 day Tui trip. So glad we did, as we got to experience the different things the North island has to offer. I only wish we could have done the entire trip!”
    Barb Mize – Oklahoma, United StatesApril 2016
  • A north island adventure!

    “The north island has a beauty that is different than the south, and of course Active Adventures puts you in the middle of it for a great experience. Highlights include the Tongariro Crossing, black water rafting in the Waitomo caves, and hot springs. One regret is that I took part only in the 5-day Kauri instead of the 11 day trip.”
    Paul Markworth – Oregon, United StatesApril 2016
  • Kauri March 2016

    “Another excellent trip with Active! Carefully thought out and executed with a healthy sprinkling of fun!”
    Joanna Clarke – Alberta, CanadaMarch 2016
  • “I was on the last 5 days of the trip and having Andrew and Claire as leaders were great. When I wasn't feeling well I really appreciated Andrew and Claire staying with us hikers that were bringing up the rear on the Tongariro Crossing hike. Again, we had a lot of rain, but Andrew and Claire made the trip enjoyable.”
    Mary Beth Scheffel – Michigan, United StatesMarch 2016
  • Kauri in the rear view mirror

    “The north island of New Zealand is such a diverse landscape from forest to sand dunes to beautiful coastal hikes to volcano tramps. Through AA we were able to experience all of this and still be left with a desire to return for more.”
    Barry Ashton – Alberta, CanadaMarch 2016
  • Impressions Kauri trip

    “Really enjoyed listening to the guides humorous and interesting New Zealand facts. Andy and Alex are exceptional people-I am deeply impressed by their devotion to customer service and appreciated their encouragement when the trail let me know that I should be more active in my real life-best boot camp workout ever! I thoroughly enjoyed the activities, the scenery, the local guides, the "home cooked meals", the accommodations, even appreciated that it rained during some of the hikes. The trip left me wanting more-I wasn't ready to go home at the end-that's the only downside.”
    Judy Savinkoff – British Columbia, CanadaMarch 2016
  • Sad to Say Goodbye

    “”
    Sharon Ashton – Alberta, CanadaMarch 2016
  • Awesome Action Packed Adventure

    “Hiking, kayaking, and mountain biking in an "outdoor museum"! Absolutely an unreal trip of a lifetime!”
    Isaac Daugherty – Minnesota, United StatesMarch 2016
  • A good time

    “The Kauri trip (pronounced Corey, right?) was truly enjoyable. The Active Adventures crew shared their enthusiasm throughout and many of the places we visited were spectacular and memorable. I did the whole eleven day trip and would certainly recommend it to anyone interested in exploring a good variety of the North Island and getting a feel for the Maori culture.”
    Drew Greenland – Connecticut, United StatesMarch 2016
  • Perfect

    “My expectations were exceeded. I would absolutely sign-up again for an adventure package in the future. Our guide was great and was good at adding more adventure between advertised ones. I would have gone for the longer packgae if Middle Earth was on the itinerary. Thanks!”
    Ryan Slade – Ontario, CanadaMarch 2016
  • Kauri

    “Kauri was an excellent trip - and provided a wonderful snapshot of life on the North Island. I only participated in the second half, as an "add-on" to the Rimu trip to the South Island. This combination worked very nicely, and provided a snapshot of both islands.

    The hiking - particularly the Tongariro Alpine Crossing - was wonderful. I loved Lake Taupo - so beautiful, and I swapped a visit to the mineral spa (Polynesian Spa) in Rotorua, for the bicycling (was incubating a cold, and it was raining), and can't recommend the spa more, if you're up for a break from more active events. Loved the two places where we stayed - Cedarwood Lakeside and Creel Lodge - absolutely charming and loved the chance to stay two nights in each. Wonderful trip!”
    Gail Janes – DC, United StatesMarch 2016
  • Incredible Honeymoon

    “My husband and I had an amazing time. The activities were very well organized and the guides were both very professional and a joy to be around. We loved learning all about the North Island from Andy. We also enjoyed his energetic and caring personality. Celia was great. She was so accommodating of everyone's needs and her cooking was fantastic. The greatest part was the fact that my husband and I did things that we wouldn't have normally chose to do if we were to just plan the trip ourselves, i.e. the mountain biking with Planet Bike in Rotorua (this was so much fun). It was so refreshing to just show up every morning and to have the day planned out for us. After this experience we are definitely interested in signing up for another Active Adventure for our future anniversaries.”
    Candice Vallejos – New York, United StatesMarch 2016
  • Incredible honeymoon

    “Same as my wife. We both had an amazing time.”
    Dan Bennett – New York, United StatesMarch 2016
  • My peg leg adventure.

    “This was a great trip, well planned and organized. I was injured from the Rimu loop so it was hard for me to keep up with all the activities, not Active's fault, just getting older.”
    Scott Woodward – Washington, United StatesMarch 2016
  • My First Action Adventure Trip

    “My wife and I are retired and enjoy traveling. We rarely go on a tour and prefer to rent a car and see sights ourselves. Our trip of a lifetime was going to be our New Zealand trip. We went online and got information on renting a car that included a complete itinerary and lodging. While looking at various options we discovered "Active Adventures". When we read further we found that this alternative was exactly what we like when we are on our own but without the difficulty of obtaining the right equipment and finding the best places to explore. The small group size and active tours seemed perfect. The trip was everything we had hoped for and more. We saw the true heart of New Zealand in all its beauty and grandeur.”
    Phil McLemore – Georgia, United StatesMarch 2016
  • Kauri

    “Had a wonderful time. Liona, Ken and Laura were brilliant. The food was extremely good considering Laura was cooking for 17! Really enjoyed the sand boarding and scuba diving. The group was large which meant that it was a tight squeeze in the van but it didn't detract from our enjoyment. Had already completed the Rimu and glad that the North Island had some different activities. Would highly recommend Active Adventures having completed 4 trips and they were all excellent.”
    Frances Partridge – Hertfordshire, United KingdomFebruary 2016
  • “This is our second trip with Active Adventures (we did the Rimu in February 2007) and we couldn't be happier with the guides, activities, food, and our fellow travelers. Lina, Ken and Laura took care of all our needs so that we could relax and enjoy the trip.”
    Jean Cunningham – Michigan, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • Arron's Review

    “We enjoyed our time with Active from the first introduction to our guides, the other guests and throughout every tour and fantastic site.”
    Arron Tschida – California, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • Enchanting New Zealand

    “This is our second trip with Active Adventures. Our last trip was Rimu on the South Island, 10 years ago. We were so enchanted by our experience on the South Island that we wanted to do a second one at the North Island. We were hoping that the Kauri trip would be as good as the Rimu on the South Island, but it proved to be even better!!”
    Fawwaz Ulaby – Michigan, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • Kauri

    “Awesome”
    Peter Clausen – Iowa, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • Amazing Time

    “I wasn't exactly sure what I expected when my husband suggested this trip and got us signed up. This was something he wanted to do and I was going along. I can't tell you how many times once we were in New Zealand I told him that it was so much more than I had anticipated. I was totally engaged and surprised by the opportunities that we had to test our physical abilities and more importantly to just enjoy thoroughly enjoy ourselves. Our guides were superb and the planning that went into each activity was immense.”
    Jane McLemore – Georgia, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • Active trip on the North Island

    “After my South Island trip I just hopped on the North Island and discovered it as well! It was great to be able to combine the North and South Island. It was an active trip, but it was also a relaxing journey. Very recommendable if you like to discover New Zealand but you do not like to drive, organize etc. everything on your own.”
    Samuel Moser – Schwyz, SwitzerlandFebruary 2016
  • Kauri January 16

    “Amelia and Klara were wonderful hosts and extremely well organised. I enjoyed the walking and boat trips especially the day at Poor Knights Islands. They made my birthday very special with stunning accommodation and a lovely meal and cake. The girls were great and made our trip very memorable.”
    Gaynor Waterman – West Sussex, United KingdomFebruary 2016
  • Kauri Jan 16

    “Our Leaders, Amelia and Klara, were terrific throughout. Very knowledgeable, personable and good fun. They are a great advert for the company. The walking and boat trips were well organised and led, providing the group with a great time.”
    David Daniels – West Sussex, United KingdomFebruary 2016
  • “I had a fabulous time on the Active Adventures trip! The staff was knowledgeable, fun, friendly and very funny. I liked the way they catered to my needs - speeding up when I was cold, moderating the pace when I was winded - and they did it in a subtle and supporting way. Since I only did the North Island, I must come back and see the South island. And I would be thrilled to do it with Active Adventures.”
    Peg Videtta – California, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • North island

    “The guides Alex and Amelia were the best, the trip was awesome”
    Jo Peebles – , United KingdomJanuary 2016
  • Kauri Trip

    “It was the trip of a lifetime. We got to experience the New Zealand culture, history, and outdoors effortlessly. I cannot put into words how meaningful Amelia and Nick Mc made our visit. We would have had a great time had we hiked by ourselves, but we would not have been able to arrange all the activities in just a few days or learned so much about the history and culture of New Zealand. We also would not have laughed so hard or so continuously. Amelia and Nick were very professional, knowledgeable, and experienced with the outdoors. The cooking was fantastic, the level of safety we felt while hiking over the Tongariro Crossing, and the simple things like homemade cookies, New Zealand Lemon Soda, and Chicken Noodle soup at the top of the crossing were very thoughtful on the part of the guides. The special American dinner on the last night was unforgettable. New Zealand's beauty stands alone, but the relationships with Amelia and Nick are what will last with us.”
    Sheila Mckay Long Brandt – New Mexico, United StatesJanuary 2016
  • “Great guides, great itinerary, good pace, good food and company. Lovely not to have to worry about where and what to see. Charming accomodation.”
    Lucinda Regan – New South Wales, AustraliaJanuary 2016
  • What a great time !

    “My travels have taken me all of over the world on outdoor adventures and the time spent with Active Adventures was the absolute best! From the great staff and communication / website, to the ease of booking and planning, to the most professional, hard working and enjoyable guides, I can't wait to do another trip with Active.”
    Mike Brecht – California, United StatesJanuary 2016
  • Guides made the trip

    “Can't say enough about Andy and Clara. Their attentiveness, knowledge of the country and genuine enthusiasm was a huge part of what made the trip so great. At 62, the pace was right there at the limit of my comfort zone. But with their encouragement, I did it all!”
    Ellyn Dooley – California, United StatesJanuary 2016
  • Amazing NZ

    “I found everything splendid, beautiful, and just fantastic. The trip was worthwhile and the adventure of hiking outdoors was fun and exactly what I needed. I'm happy to have booked this trip with Active Adventure first and grateful for Fiona persistence and friendliness from the time we emailed one another to the time I booked the trip. She was extremely patient and knowledgeable. I really enjoyed the process of getting to know what I will be exploring on this trip with her. We were fortunate to have wonderful guides Clara and Andy with us who were very knowledgeable, kind, and detailed oriented. It was the most fun I've had practically ever touring with a group. It was intimate, fun, and became family. Enjoyed the outdoors as much as I did the company. Their hospitality was welcoming and can honestly say that I've learned so much about the land, food, and Mauri traditions and customs than I had expected. Sir Ed was a wonderful ride. Hands down I would recommend anyone on the fence to do just do it. You won't regret it.”
    Isabel Giamos – California, United StatesJanuary 2016
  • Kauri 22 December 2015

    “Having previously been on the Rimu trip in (justifiably the trip of a lifetime at the time) it is difficult not to make comparisons. However the two trips are very different, perhaps reflecting the differing nature of the North and South Islands of NZ. The trip certainly lived up to expectations
    tbc”
    Chris Idle – Warwickshire, United KingdomJanuary 2016
  • Kauri 22 December 2015

    “Having previously been on the Rimu trip in (justifiably the trip of a lifetime at the time) it is difficult not to make comparisons. However the two trips are very different, perhaps reflecting the differing nature of the North and South Islands of NZ. The trip certainly lived up to expectations
    tbc”
    Sally Idle – Warwickshire, United KingdomJanuary 2016
  • Great North Island Experience!

    “An amazing way to see the North Island. Every day offered something unique and memorable. It was great to see the sights and learn about the history, culture, and ecosystem of New Zealand. The accommodations offered beautiful views and Amelia and Elysse made sure we never went hungry! Thanks for the trip of a lifetime!”
    Nick Hackett – Illinois, United StatesJanuary 2016
  • Kauri trip

    “Beautiful, wonderful, adventure to New Zealand. The guides, Andy and Clara were wonderful. The meals prepared by Clara were delish. They both listened and created a trip suited to the group.”
    Cindy Johnson – California, United StatesJanuary 2016
  • Hiking, Biking and Rafting in the North

    “Although we had high expectations for a fun and active week I had been nervous as to how group dynamics would work and whether or not I would be fit enough (or have the capability) to keep up with others on the various activities. My fears were totally unfounded and the enthusiastic guides ensured that within hours we were a very happy team. All our individual needs and wishes for the holiday were catered for and we had the most amazing week. I was just sad that we weren't continuing for another.”
    Anne Culverwell – Essex, United KingdomDecember 2015
  • Beyond Expectations

    “I've heard too many people say skip the North Island. I am so happy I ignored that advice. This was a fabulous trip--outstanding itinerary, eye popping scenery, great people, excellent food, and spectacular guides. I loved the North Island forests. They are definitely unique. The Footprints tour with the local Maori guides was a highlight of this trip. I've been on a lot of guided trips and Andy and Clara were two of the best guides ever. Very knowledgeable about all aspects of New Zealand, attentive to every detail, fun, and great cooks. I would travel with them again and look forward to my next Active Adventures trip.”
    Teresa Morehead – Indiana, United StatesDecember 2015
  • Sandy, Denver, Colorado

    “A moonlight walk among the Kauri Trees with songs and prayers sung by a lovey Maori couple was the perfect introduction to the Kauri Trip and Maori culture. How could it get better than this?? Just wait....Andy and Clara made every day exceptional with their knowledge of NZ, love of their country, attention to details, surprises!!!, good humor and zest for adventure travel. I didn't want the trip to end!!!”
    Sandy Sauer – Colorado, United StatesDecember 2015
  • Nov 3 2015 Kauri with Andrew and Clara - second half

    “Allison - Boston, MA

    This was truly a remarkable, emotional, calming trip. Your beautiful country was shared with care, love and respect by your guides who added color, history and so much more!”
    Allison Houghteling – Massachusetts, United StatesDecember 2015
  • Awesome

    “Your guides often used the word "awesome" about the week's worth of adventures - they were wrong, we needed a better superlative than awesome. It was an awesome+ week, with awesome+ companions and awesome++ guides.
    Being by far the oldest in the group with water and height phobias, the guides were always thoughtful and conscientious with their trekkers.
    A great shame we couldn't cross Tongariro because of the weather, and the last day with just a visit to Waitomo dragged a bit, but otherwise TOTAL AWESOMENESS.”
    Ray Crowther – Essex, United KingdomNovember 2015
  • Showcased the beauties of the North Island

    “I really enjoyed the trip. Special events for me were the visit to Waipoa Forest with our Mauri guides, Billy Boy and Merepaea, the Cape Brett hike, and the Ruapekapeka Pa site. Andrew and Clara were wonderful tour guides, knowledgeable, patient, and concerned.”
    Naomi Marcus – New York, United StatesNovember 2015
  • Would definitely recommend!

    “This trip was truly amazing! The guides were tons of fun and helpful in any aspect needed, definitely loved the whole experience and can't wait to come back for more of New Zealand!”
    Noodle Evans – British Columbia, CanadaNovember 2015
  • Tough, but with help I did it!

    “Signing on for this NZ Active Adventures trip on North Island without a break from our first one on the South Island, was not the smartest thing for me to do. Nevertheless, the guides were accommodating and allowed me to modify some of the activities. They were supportive and always positive. I really appreciated their understanding.”
    Betsy Richman – Pennsylvania, United StatesNovember 2015
  • First trip I've ever been on and the greatest

    “My Kauri trip was simply amazing!!! I can get quite anxious in any situation but Amelia, Alex and Duck made everyone feel really comfortable all the time and it was fantastic! I can't really put into words how amazing the trip was! Everything from service to accommodation to food to witty banter was simply amazing! They joked around with us and we're so incredibly friendly that it made it feel like you were on a trip with friends and they weren't working! Best thing I've ever done was go on a trip with active adventures!”
    Abby Quesnel – British Columbia, CanadaNovember 2015
  • Officially traveling only through Active Adventures!

    “New Zealand is the most beautiful and welcoming country I have ever been to. I was blown away by how green and beautiful it is. Amelia was the coolest guide and person I have ever met. She was filled with so much energy that was just contagious, she made you so excited for each adventure! Alex was so chill, which I loved because that's how I am, she gave me so many good tips and information for New Zealand and for my possible trip of the South Island that I would love to do. Duck was hilarious, even though I thought his name was Doug! He was very understanding of every issue that arose for everyone in the group. Even though I'm used to being in the woods where I'm from, I learned that New Zealand wasn't my home and that it's best to stay with the group, because I got lost haha but everyone was very understanding of the situation, which made me feel better. The food was so amazing, I never felt hungry, and the fact that snacks were available incase I did was fantastic. The hikes pushed me a little bit physically but that was good, I like to push myself, so with each hike I felt like accomplished something and the reward was the incredible sights New Zealand has to offer. Every person I met from New Zealand was so cool and kind wether they were a part of active or not. I was blown away by the kindness. The accommodations were so great, I was impressed. I was worried before the trip about sharing a room with a stranger, but I found out I had nothing to worry about. My roommate was very cool and it was fun to get to know someone from a different country. I was thinking I would be put in a small room with two beds and have to listen to snoring or have someone listen to me snore haha but that wasn't the case, it was like we had our own apartment since it was lodging and resorts! So there was plenty of space, privacy, and no snoring to be heard! I'm so excited to travel through you guys again, I've been telling everyone here at home that I miss New Zealand and was very sad to leave, because it is literally the most incredible place I've been to. My parents also love that I was with a group and guides so they didn't have to worry too much. Which I liked too, I felt very comfortable and look forward to my next Active Adventure:)

    -Melissa”
    Melissa Revis – Idaho, United StatesNovember 2015
  • Awesome trip

    “Lots of great hikes interspersed with Maori culture and a little New Zealand history. Even the driving was scenic. Had an amazing time!”
    Rebecca Roulo – Georgia, United StatesNovember 2015
  • The Most Beautiful Place on Earth

    “The North Island of New Zealand exceeded my expectations. I could not have been happier with the scenery, accommodations', food and especially the wonderful guides. Not only did we do some awesome hikes, but I was challenged to do some things that were out of my "comfort zone". (Like snorkeling and black water rafting) Keep up the great work.
    This was my second trip to New Zealand and hopefully not my last !”
    Barbara Pippenger – Wisconsin, United StatesMay 2015
  • Awesome North Island!

    “So much more than I was expecting, incredible landscapes and amazing hikes - an awesome adventure!”
    Claire Todd – , New ZealandMay 2015
  • Awesome Guides made the trip memorable

    “Andrew and Sally were extremely knowledgeable and welcoming. Awesome food and fun activities!”
    Vinny Montemurro – Connecticut, United StatesApril 2015
  • North Island Adventure

    “Fantastic coastal walks, beautiful islands and the icing on the cake was the Tongariro Crossing which our group completed in perfect weather.”
    Judith Jones – Herts, United KingdomApril 2015
  • “Fantastic-you read the description, you think you are ready and the trip is even better! No way would I have tried the various activities without the Active guides, they made it seamless and fun!”
    Annabelle Irey – New York, United StatesApril 2015
  • Kauri Trip (thats "Coty" to those in the know!!)

    “We had previously done the Rimu trip which we loved and were inspired to return to see the North Island. The trip had many of the same attributes as the Rimu - great energetic and informative guides, full on activity with a focus on the enjoyment of the outside world. There was probabaly less hiking than Rimu and more variety in the activities - wait for the snorkelling at Poor Knights (best snorkelling ever!) Black Water Rafting which finishes the trip on a high. We were a small intimate group and that added to the pleasure of the trip, If you like the outdoors, whatever your age, are generally fit and up for things then Active New Zealand won't disappoint. Great value for money too.”
    Alison Pritchard – London, United KingdomApril 2015
  • JAL North Island Review

    “The trip not only provided us with wonderfully diversified hikes and activities in the beautiful scenery of the North Island, but the incredible information provided to us by our guides gave us the background and understanding of the history and culture of New Zealand. It was an intellectually, as well as physically, rewarding experience.”
    Jim Locke – New York, United StatesApril 2015
  • Adventure trip of a lifetime in New Zealand

    “This trip surpassed almost every expectation I had! I tried not to pay attention to details ahead of time, preferring to be surprised by what each different day had to offer! I had researched what company to travel with and Active Adventures always rose to the top of my list and seemed to have the most variety in what they offered. The guides, Andrew and Amanda were quite a team! They worked together seamlessly to make everyone happy and I am not sure that they ever slept. Andrew should be a history professor!
    I am thrilled that I did the longest trip offered on each Island as there is so much to see and do. Lots of driving and understandably so as we covered a lot of ground!”
    Kathleen Conklin – Colorado, United StatesApril 2015
  • Kauri

    “Awesome trip. Andy and Amanda went above and beyond the call of duty. Andy was so informative about the North Island and such a good sense of humour. Amanda paid attention to my dietary needs, she even found Dairy Free Chocolate!!!!!
    Both had a way of prodding one ever onward without being intrusive, demanding, or adding pressure to your experience.”
    Betty Jaap – Alberta, CanadaApril 2015
  • Fantastic Kauri an Active Adventure!!

    “Thanks so much to Andrew and Amanda for the marvelous time you gave us in New Zealand. We so appreciate your guidance and patience for the not real speedy Grandmas from Canada. Loved all the fun and adventures and the big highlight was hiking Tongariro Crossing. Spectacular! I would recommend this tour to anyone who wants an adventure.”
    Bonnie Mullin – Alberta, CanadaApril 2015
  • Kia Ora!

    “This trip was a dream come true for me. It met all my expectations and then some!”
    Colette Piceau – Florida, United StatesApril 2015
  • Wonderful

    “My journey to New Zealand with Active Adventures was the absolute trip of a lifetime! From the Volcanic north to the towering alps of the south. Every day offered a new and exciting adventure. The guides were terrific, friendly and knowledgeable about the land, people and culture that we immersed ourselves in.”
    James Kilduff – New York, United StatesMarch 2015
  • Amazing Way to See the North Island

    “All aspects of the trip were excellent. The tour guides were friendly and knowledgable, the food was fantastic and we went to some amazing places. I'll definately take a tour with Active Adventures New Zealand in the future.”
    Wanda Callahan – Washington, United StatesMarch 2015
  • Second half of Kauri

    “We did the second half of a Kauri after doing the Rimu. We enjoyed seeing the North Island and the opportunity to do the Alpine crossing which offered spectacular views and seeing the geothermal areas. This group was a different one for us than the Rimu in that the fitness level varied much more. Fortunately for everyone, the guides did everything that they could to provide the best experience that they could to every person and the group got on well. It was also a bit different to join a group in the middle of a trip but there were many others in the same boat and everyone was welcoming. We were able to take a slightly different option off the Alpine hike which allowed us an adventure and some relief from the crowds and I really appreciated that. The mountain biking was really fun but it might be challenging if you had not done much biking before. Amanda and Andrew were terrific.”
    Duncan Laidlow – British Columbia, CanadaMarch 2015
  • Inspirational

    “Andrew and Natalie were an amazing duo providing an outstanding challenging adventure that has inspired me to keep on pushing for greater achievements in health, fitness and life in general. The driving, meal planning, story telling, activities, organizing, encouragement, accommodations, personal requests, sights, history, etc. is a lot of hard work for these two who pulled it off making it look easy. But I know from experience IT IS a lot of hard dedicated work especially with such a diverse group of individuals. Thank you for making it such an inspirational life changing adventure for me!!”
    Joanne Skibsted – Alberta, CanadaMarch 2015
  • Kauri

    “The trip far exceeded my expectations. Great planning, cuisine, comfortable lodging and choices of activities. Andrew and Natalie were extremely knowledgable in all facets of the trip, from bird life to local knowledge. I highly recommend this trip to those seeking a very active and well planned tour.”
    Elizabeth Robson – Florida, United StatesFebruary 2015
  • Definitely worth adding on to the south island trip :)

    “I did both the Rimu and the Kauri and I thought they were both amazing! New Zealand is all around a beautiful place, but the scenery that you get in the North Island is distinctive from that of the South. I think it is definitely worthwhile to do both trips (either adding the 5 day trip or the 11 day trip like I did). The Kauri trip has more culturally activities and has less intense hikes than that of the Rimu trip. That being said, the hikes can still be challenging if you decide to push yourself. I am so glad that I did both trips because it gave me a picture of New Zealand as a whole. Additionally, Nat and Andrew were amazing guides! I have no complaints about anything and would recommend this trip to everyone.”
    Lauren Brown – New York, United StatesJanuary 2015
  • Best time of our lives!

    “We had the most incredible trip! It was our honeymoon, and we couldn't have asked for a better experience of a lifetime. The guides were very informative, motivated, friendly, and great cooks! I would recommend this trip to anyone. Thank you for making it such a wonderful experience!”
    Rebecca Spahos – Georgia, United StatesJanuary 2015
  • Fantastic Trip

    “First time to NZ, from the booking people on the phone to the guides to the guests, everyone was amazing. We all became fast friends and had a great time and great adventures. Can't recommend it highly enough. Hiking, biking, snorkeling, volcanoes, boating, Maori culture and more.”
    James Chapchuk – Alberta, CanadaJanuary 2015
  • “Great trip, made unforgettable by super guides and weather!”
    Andrew Wilkinson – Cornwall, United KingdomJanuary 2015
  • Great experience

    “This was my second trip with Active in New Zealand- and maybe because it was summertime and the weather was great or just that the itinerary was well designed, or that my group leaders and co-travelers were awesome, but I had an amazing time!”
    – , January 2015
  • “Wonderful trip. wonderful guides. wonderful fun.”
    Hayley Cohen – New Jersey, United StatesJanuary 2015

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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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