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Milford Hiking Adventure

Manuka

4.39 out of 5 (from 797 reviews)

  • 14 Days - US$5,899 + tax

Trip Introduction

If you wish to concentrate on hiking the iconic tracks of New Zealand and like your creature comforts, we’ve crafted this trip just for you. It has a strong focus on New Zealand’s natural history. Our guides have plenty of time to interpret the flora and fauna and explain the geological and social history of the areas you’ll visit. You also have the choice of a selection of the best day hikes Fiordland National Park has to offer, along with an overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound, or hiking the famous Milford Track in its entirety. The ‘Manuka’ really is hiking New Zealand in style!

Activity level: The 'Manuka' is an active hiking trip, but has options to suit a wide range of fitness levels and outdoor experience. Typically hikes on the 'Manuka' trip range between three and six hours to complete, with longer hikes on the Milford Track Guided Walk option.

Highlights

Hike
West Coast beaches and rainforests
Mt Aspiring National Park
Castle Hill
Paparoa National Park
Fox Glacier
Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

Choice of multi-day options...
Active Great Walks Discovery (Routeburn, Milford, and Kepler Track day hikes, plus Milford Sound cruise and overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound)
OR Milford Track Guided Walk

Plus...
Explore Queenstown

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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.

itinerary-map-manuka

Interactive Trip Map

Daily itinerary

Monday — Arrive, hike Castle Hill

Most people leave the northern hemisphere on a Saturday evening, arriving into Auckland early Monday morning. You'll lose a day crossing the dateline – but you get it back on the way home! It's a short flight from Auckland to Christchurch in the South Island where we'll meet you. We'll then head west to Kuru Tawhiti Conservation Area in the heart of the Southern Alps. We'll take a gentle one-hour walk among the imposing limestone tors of Castle Hill, which were once a meeting place for moa hunters of the Ngai Tahu tribe. The Dalai Lama visited this area and described it as a 'spiritual centre of the universe'. This afternoon we'll continue on to the West Coast and the seaside village of Punakaiki, where you'll have the rest of the afternoon to relax or walk along the beach. Depending on where you're coming from, you'll probably find jetlag is no big deal – for instance, it's a 12-hour direct overnight flight from Los Angeles to Auckland, and there's only a 3-hour time difference between New Zealand and US Pacific time. If you're coming from further afield, you'll appreciate the gentle start to your New Zealand adventure.
West Coast lodgings, Punakaiki (Lunch, Dinner)

Tuesday — Rainforest and beach hikes in Punakaiki

We'll spend most of today hiking the Inland Pack Track through temperate rainforest and limestone canyons in the footsteps of the gold miners who established this trail over a century ago. We'll also follow the Truman Track to a rocky cove and check out the famous Pancake Rocks and blow holes – aptly named limestone formations that have been sculpted through relentless pounding by the Tasman Sea. The Punakaiki coastline is a magnet to marine wildlife, including little blue penguins and Hector's dolphin (the world's smallest) that can sometimes be seen close to shore.
West Coast lodgings, Punakaiki (All meals)

Wednesday — Hike Point Elizabeth, explore West Coast Treetop Walk

We'll travel down the coast to hike the Point Elizabeth track through native coastal forest and flax. The fibres of the flax plant are a traditional resource for Maori, used for weaving a variety of baskets, mats and clothing. Then it's on to Hokitika where we'll stretch our legs and check out local art galleries and pounamu-carving workshops (pounamu is Maori for jade). Next we'll visit West Coast Treetop Walk, an exhilarating treetop adventure among giants. This walk will take you up above the forest floor, allowing you to pass through an ancient canopy of rimu and kamahi trees. From here, we'll carry on down the wind-swept coast to Franz Josef. Nestled in the rainforest-clad foothills of the Southern Alps, Franz Josef is the heart of New Zealand glacier country. After dark, we can head out to look for the eerie lights of Arachnocampa luminosa – the native glowworm – and listen for some of New Zealand's nocturnal birdlife such as the distinctive hoot of the morepork owl.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

Thursday — Hike to Franz Josef Glacier

Today we’ll visit one of the formidable West Coast glaciers. We’ll take a morning hike to the historic Tatare Tunnels, and then continue on to Franz Josef Glacier, where we walk to a great view of the terminal face. Franz Josef Glacier is an enormous river of ice, unusual in that it comes from its névé, high in the Southern Alps, and down into the rainforest near sea level.

Optional Heli-hike (add US$350 + tax)
An outrageously scenic alternative to today’s hike is to heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier itself. After being fitted with crampons, ice axes and so on, you’ll board a turbine helicopter and fly towards the highest peaks of the Southern Alps, landing on the glacier at 1300 metres (4000 feet) above sea level. Led by specialist glacier guides, you’ll hike through the grand ice formations of the glacier, checking out its crevasses, seracs and tunnels – no previous experience is required! The constant movement of the glacier means every day is different, so your guides will cut steps in the ice to make the most of the conditions. At the end of your hike on the ice, you’ll take another helicopter ride out of the mountains and back to civilisation.

The heli-hike is extremely popular, so we offer advance reservations with the helicopter operators and guiding company. At the time of booking, or up until one month before your trip, we can reserve a space for you, or you can leave your decision until the start of your trip and your guides will get you a spot if it’s available.

From Franz Josef, we’ll travel down the coast through lush forest and then inland to Makarora, a small village bordering Mt Aspiring National Park, with incredible views of the snow-capped mountains.
Makarora Lodgings, Makarora (All meals) 

Friday — Hike Diamond Lake, explore Arrowtown, arrive Queenstown

This morning we’ll hike the Diamond Lake track, a spectacular circuit through an area carved out by ice-age glaciers, with stands of native forest and shrubland. From Wanaka, it’s a short but dramatic journey over the Cardrona Saddle to Arrowtown, a picturesque village nestled into the hills, and a perfect spot for lunch. From there it’s only a ten minute journey to Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, our base for the next couple of nights. You’ll have time to explore and plan your free day tomorrow, before dinner. You’ll sleep sweetly at this lakefront hotel located in the heart of Queenstown.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

Saturday — Free day in Queenstown

Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand (if not the world!) and all the comforts of civilisation are packed into this tiny resort town: restaurants galore, stylish lounge bars, day spas, and boutiques. You’ll also find incredible optional activities here, including horse trekking, a gondola, fishing, winery tours, a historic steamship, bungy jumping, jet boating, skydiving, as well as some great hiking opportunities. Or you can just soak up the atmosphere at one of many local cafés. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today. This afternoon there’s a pre-departure briefing for the Milford Track Guided Walk, if you’ve chosen that option.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (No meals incl.)

Sunday — Multi-day options begin

Active Great Walks Discovery

Sunday (continued) — Gondola ride and hike Ben Lomond

Variety is the spice of life and that’s exactly what this option is all about  - hiking three New Zealand Great Walks and taking an overnight cruise all in five days - it’s unheard of! Except on our Active Great Walks Discovery. We kick things off with a relaxed breakfast, before taking a 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 (All meals)

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 shrublands 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 breathtaking, with steep granite walls plunging over a thousand metres to the Tasman Sea and waterfalls cascading into deep inky water.
Milford Lodge, Milford Sound (All meals)

Tuesday - 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 – but 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 and overnight cruise on 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 red and mountain beech. 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 it’s northern neighbour, Milford, 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 tendercraft 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 Navigator, but there is the option to upgrade to a private ensuite room, if you’d prefer.
Fiordland Navigator ship, Doubtful Sound (All meals)

Thursday - Cruise Doubtful Sound and 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 civilisation.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (All meals)

Milford Track Guided Walk (Add US$799 + tax)

Sunday (continued) - Boat ride and hike Milford Track

The 5-day/4-night Milford Track is one of the first-established and best-known walking tracks in the country. It takes in glacial peaks, a mountain pass, New Zealand’s highest waterfall and the dense rainforest of Fiordland. You’ll have four days of exercise, good food and great scenery as you walk 33 miles (53km) from Lake Te Anau to Milford Sound. Because you’re doing the guided walk, you’ll just be carrying a few essentials and a packed lunch each day, so your pack won’t be much heavier than what you’d bring on a regular dayhike. Everything else is provided, including excellent meals at the lodges and on the trail, hot showers, bedding, specialist Milford Track guides, and even hairdryers in the rooms! For the first three nights, you’ll stay in comfortable mountain lodges, in four and six-bed bunk rooms with shared bathroom facilities. If you prefer your own bedroom and bathroom, contact us for the latest private room rates. On the fourth night, you’ll stay at Mitre Peak Lodge, an exclusive hotel for Milford Track Guided Walk hikers. From Queenstown, we’ll head to Lake Te Anau, stopping for lunch along the way. We take a boat to the head of the lake to the start of the Milford Track. It’s a short, easy walk to Glade House, where we stay our first night.
Glade House, Milford Track (All meals)

Monday - Hike in beech forest

We start the day by crossing Clinton River and hiking through lush beech forest to Hirere Falls, where we’ll have lunch. After crossing the prairie, the track gets a little steeper as we climb up to Pompolona Lodge. Today’s highlights include spectacular flora and stunning views up the ice-carved Clinton Canyon toward McKinnon Pass.
Pompolona Lodge, Milford Track (All meals)

Tuesday - Hike McKinnon Pass

Today is the most spectacular day of the Milford Track! We climb a series of switchbacks to cross McKinnon Pass and from the top the views of the Arthur Valley and the surrounding peaks are just magnificent. We’ll lunch at Pass Hut, then head down to Quintin Lodge. After some refreshments, a 90-minute round trip hike will lead us to Sutherland Falls, the fifth highest waterfall in the world.
Quintin Lodge, Milford Track (All meals)

Wednesday - Hike to Milford Sound

This is your last day on the Milford Track. It’s 21 km (13 miles) of varied terrain, slightly downhill, with no significant climbs. The small waterfalls to be found alongside the track make for a delightful hike today. At the trailhead at Sandfly Point, you’ll be picked up for a short cruise across Milford Sound to the marina, and arrive at Mitre Peak Lodge for a night. We’ll be staying at the only hotel in the area (Milford Track hikers have exclusive use of it), but with the memories of the last few days you’ll almost regret being back near civilisation!
Mitre Peak Lodge, Milford Sound (All meals)

Thursday - Milford Sound boat cruise

This morning we’ll enjoy a cruise to explore the full length of Milford Sound and the ship’s captain will nose the boat right up to some magnificent waterfalls that plunge into the fiord. Keep your eyes open for native New Zealand fur seals relaxing on the rocks and the chance to spot dolphins swimming alongside us. An option when you return to Milford Sound village is to take a stunning scenic helicopter flight, which will have you back in Queenstown for a free afternoonto enjoy (scenic helicopter flight option approx. US$560 per person). The rest will take the scenic journey back to Queenstown via Te Anau and this evening we’ll all meet up with those who chose the Active Great Walks Discovery to catch up on our Fiordland experiences over dinner.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (All meals)

Friday — Hike Sam Summers Loop Track, visit local winery

After breakfast, we head out round Lake Wakatipu to the Mt Crichton Scenic Reserve, where we’ll hike the Sam Summers Track. This area was mined for gold until the 1930s and there are still many relics to be seen along the way. After hiking, we’ll continue on to a local winery. This region’s dry and sunny climate is ideal for grape growing and is becoming well known for producing world-class pinot noir and other quality wines. We’ll enjoy a glass or two and then head to Lake Ohau Lodge. Here we’re staying beside a beautiful alpine lake, with stunning views stretching across to Aoraki Mt Cook and the Southern Alps - an ideal spot to soak in the hot tub!
Lake Ohau Lodge, Lake Ohau (All meals)

Saturday — Hike Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

A short distance away is Mt Cook, named Aoraki or ‘cloud piercer’ by South Island Maori, the highest mountain in New Zealand. Directly opposite the mountain, we have a stunning day hike to the main ridge above Mueller Glacier. This area has a unique alpine environment and includes endemic flora such as the Mt Cook Lily (Ranunculus lyallii), the world’s largest buttercup. Many of our clients have said this is the best hike they’ve ever done and it’s a fine way to finish off a great trip. It’s a bit of a hike, but you’ll remember the view of the glacier and the surrounding peaks forever! The weather conditions are very important in this area, as it’s a true alpine climate notorious for sudden weather shifts. If we aren’t able to do the Mueller hike, or you’d like to take it a little easier, there’s an impressive hike up to a glacial lake (complete with icebergs!) at the base of the Hooker Glacier. After hiking, we’ll relax at our lodge nestled right in the heart of Aoraki Mt Cook National Park.
Aoraki Alpine Lodge, Aoraki Mt Cook Village (All meals)

Sunday — Depart for home

This is the last day of your 'Manuka' trip and 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 see Maori culture, pristine beaches and geothermal areas, combine this trip with our 11-day 'Kauri' (5-day 'Kauri' options available).
(Breakfast, Lunch)


Activity Key - zoom in to see activity detail

Hiking Biking Kayaking Boating Flying

Itinerary

Monday — Arrive, hike Castle Hill

Most people leave the northern hemisphere on a Saturday evening, arriving into Auckland early Monday morning. You'll lose a day crossing the dateline – but you get it back on the way home! It's a short flight from Auckland to Christchurch in the South Island where we'll meet you. We'll then head west to Kuru Tawhiti Conservation Area in the heart of the Southern Alps. We'll take a gentle one-hour walk among the imposing limestone tors of Castle Hill, which were once a meeting place for moa hunters of the Ngai Tahu tribe. The Dalai Lama visited this area and described it as a 'spiritual centre of the universe'. This afternoon we'll continue on to the West Coast and the seaside village of Punakaiki, where you'll have the rest of the afternoon to relax or walk along the beach. Depending on where you're coming from, you'll probably find jetlag is no big deal – for instance, it's a 12-hour direct overnight flight from Los Angeles to Auckland, and there's only a 3-hour time difference between New Zealand and US Pacific time. If you're coming from further afield, you'll appreciate the gentle start to your New Zealand adventure.
West Coast lodgings, Punakaiki (Lunch, Dinner)

Tuesday — Rainforest and beach hikes in Punakaiki

We'll spend most of today hiking the Inland Pack Track through temperate rainforest and limestone canyons in the footsteps of the gold miners who established this trail over a century ago. We'll also follow the Truman Track to a rocky cove and check out the famous Pancake Rocks and blow holes – aptly named limestone formations that have been sculpted through relentless pounding by the Tasman Sea. The Punakaiki coastline is a magnet to marine wildlife, including little blue penguins and Hector's dolphin (the world's smallest) that can sometimes be seen close to shore.
West Coast lodgings, Punakaiki (All meals)

Wednesday — Hike Point Elizabeth, explore West Coast Treetop Walk

We'll travel down the coast to hike the Point Elizabeth track through native coastal forest and flax. The fibres of the flax plant are a traditional resource for Maori, used for weaving a variety of baskets, mats and clothing. Then it's on to Hokitika where we'll stretch our legs and check out local art galleries and pounamu-carving workshops (pounamu is Maori for jade). Next we'll visit West Coast Treetop Walk, an exhilarating treetop adventure among giants. This walk will take you up above the forest floor, allowing you to pass through an ancient canopy of rimu and kamahi trees. From here, we'll carry on down the wind-swept coast to Franz Josef. Nestled in the rainforest-clad foothills of the Southern Alps, Franz Josef is the heart of New Zealand glacier country. After dark, we can head out to look for the eerie lights of Arachnocampa luminosa – the native glowworm – and listen for some of New Zealand's nocturnal birdlife such as the distinctive hoot of the morepork owl.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

Thursday — Hike to Franz Josef Glacier

Today we’ll visit one of the formidable West Coast glaciers. We’ll take a morning hike to the historic Tatare Tunnels, and then continue on to Franz Josef Glacier, where we walk to a great view of the terminal face. Franz Josef Glacier is an enormous river of ice, unusual in that it comes from its névé, high in the Southern Alps, and down into the rainforest near sea level.

Optional Heli-hike (add US$350 + tax)
An outrageously scenic alternative to today’s hike is to heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier itself. After being fitted with crampons, ice axes and so on, you’ll board a turbine helicopter and fly towards the highest peaks of the Southern Alps, landing on the glacier at 1300 metres (4000 feet) above sea level. Led by specialist glacier guides, you’ll hike through the grand ice formations of the glacier, checking out its crevasses, seracs and tunnels – no previous experience is required! The constant movement of the glacier means every day is different, so your guides will cut steps in the ice to make the most of the conditions. At the end of your hike on the ice, you’ll take another helicopter ride out of the mountains and back to civilisation.

The heli-hike is extremely popular, so we offer advance reservations with the helicopter operators and guiding company. At the time of booking, or up until one month before your trip, we can reserve a space for you, or you can leave your decision until the start of your trip and your guides will get you a spot if it’s available.

From Franz Josef, we’ll travel down the coast through lush forest and then inland to Makarora, a small village bordering Mt Aspiring National Park, with incredible views of the snow-capped mountains.
Makarora Lodgings, Makarora (All meals) 

Friday — Hike Diamond Lake, explore Arrowtown, arrive Queenstown

This morning we’ll hike the Diamond Lake track, a spectacular circuit through an area carved out by ice-age glaciers, with stands of native forest and shrubland. From Wanaka, it’s a short but dramatic journey over the Cardrona Saddle to Arrowtown, a picturesque village nestled into the hills, and a perfect spot for lunch. From there it’s only a ten minute journey to Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, our base for the next couple of nights. You’ll have time to explore and plan your free day tomorrow, before dinner. You’ll sleep sweetly at this lakefront hotel located in the heart of Queenstown.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

Saturday — Free day in Queenstown

Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand (if not the world!) and all the comforts of civilisation are packed into this tiny resort town: restaurants galore, stylish lounge bars, day spas, and boutiques. You’ll also find incredible optional activities here, including horse trekking, a gondola, fishing, winery tours, a historic steamship, bungy jumping, jet boating, skydiving, as well as some great hiking opportunities. Or you can just soak up the atmosphere at one of many local cafés. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today. This afternoon there’s a pre-departure briefing for the Milford Track Guided Walk, if you’ve chosen that option.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (No meals incl.)

Sunday — Multi-day options begin

Active Great Walks Discovery

Sunday (continued) — Gondola ride and hike Ben Lomond

Variety is the spice of life and that’s exactly what this option is all about  - hiking three New Zealand Great Walks and taking an overnight cruise all in five days - it’s unheard of! Except on our Active Great Walks Discovery. We kick things off with a relaxed breakfast, before taking a 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 (All meals)

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 shrublands 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 breathtaking, with steep granite walls plunging over a thousand metres to the Tasman Sea and waterfalls cascading into deep inky water.
Milford Lodge, Milford Sound (All meals)

Tuesday - 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 – but 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 and overnight cruise on 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 red and mountain beech. 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 it’s northern neighbour, Milford, 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 tendercraft 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 Navigator, but there is the option to upgrade to a private ensuite room, if you’d prefer.
Fiordland Navigator ship, Doubtful Sound (All meals)

Thursday - Cruise Doubtful Sound and 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 civilisation.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (All meals)

Milford Track Guided Walk (Add US$799 + tax)

Sunday (continued) - Boat ride and hike Milford Track

The 5-day/4-night Milford Track is one of the first-established and best-known walking tracks in the country. It takes in glacial peaks, a mountain pass, New Zealand’s highest waterfall and the dense rainforest of Fiordland. You’ll have four days of exercise, good food and great scenery as you walk 33 miles (53km) from Lake Te Anau to Milford Sound. Because you’re doing the guided walk, you’ll just be carrying a few essentials and a packed lunch each day, so your pack won’t be much heavier than what you’d bring on a regular dayhike. Everything else is provided, including excellent meals at the lodges and on the trail, hot showers, bedding, specialist Milford Track guides, and even hairdryers in the rooms! For the first three nights, you’ll stay in comfortable mountain lodges, in four and six-bed bunk rooms with shared bathroom facilities. If you prefer your own bedroom and bathroom, contact us for the latest private room rates. On the fourth night, you’ll stay at Mitre Peak Lodge, an exclusive hotel for Milford Track Guided Walk hikers. From Queenstown, we’ll head to Lake Te Anau, stopping for lunch along the way. We take a boat to the head of the lake to the start of the Milford Track. It’s a short, easy walk to Glade House, where we stay our first night.
Glade House, Milford Track (All meals)

Monday - Hike in beech forest

We start the day by crossing Clinton River and hiking through lush beech forest to Hirere Falls, where we’ll have lunch. After crossing the prairie, the track gets a little steeper as we climb up to Pompolona Lodge. Today’s highlights include spectacular flora and stunning views up the ice-carved Clinton Canyon toward McKinnon Pass.
Pompolona Lodge, Milford Track (All meals)

Tuesday - Hike McKinnon Pass

Today is the most spectacular day of the Milford Track! We climb a series of switchbacks to cross McKinnon Pass and from the top the views of the Arthur Valley and the surrounding peaks are just magnificent. We’ll lunch at Pass Hut, then head down to Quintin Lodge. After some refreshments, a 90-minute round trip hike will lead us to Sutherland Falls, the fifth highest waterfall in the world.
Quintin Lodge, Milford Track (All meals)

Wednesday - Hike to Milford Sound

This is your last day on the Milford Track. It’s 21 km (13 miles) of varied terrain, slightly downhill, with no significant climbs. The small waterfalls to be found alongside the track make for a delightful hike today. At the trailhead at Sandfly Point, you’ll be picked up for a short cruise across Milford Sound to the marina, and arrive at Mitre Peak Lodge for a night. We’ll be staying at the only hotel in the area (Milford Track hikers have exclusive use of it), but with the memories of the last few days you’ll almost regret being back near civilisation!
Mitre Peak Lodge, Milford Sound (All meals)

Thursday - Milford Sound boat cruise

This morning we’ll enjoy a cruise to explore the full length of Milford Sound and the ship’s captain will nose the boat right up to some magnificent waterfalls that plunge into the fiord. Keep your eyes open for native New Zealand fur seals relaxing on the rocks and the chance to spot dolphins swimming alongside us. An option when you return to Milford Sound village is to take a stunning scenic helicopter flight, which will have you back in Queenstown for a free afternoonto enjoy (scenic helicopter flight option approx. US$560 per person). The rest will take the scenic journey back to Queenstown via Te Anau and this evening we’ll all meet up with those who chose the Active Great Walks Discovery to catch up on our Fiordland experiences over dinner.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (All meals)

Friday — Hike Sam Summers Loop Track, visit local winery

After breakfast, we head out round Lake Wakatipu to the Mt Crichton Scenic Reserve, where we’ll hike the Sam Summers Track. This area was mined for gold until the 1930s and there are still many relics to be seen along the way. After hiking, we’ll continue on to a local winery. This region’s dry and sunny climate is ideal for grape growing and is becoming well known for producing world-class pinot noir and other quality wines. We’ll enjoy a glass or two and then head to Lake Ohau Lodge. Here we’re staying beside a beautiful alpine lake, with stunning views stretching across to Aoraki Mt Cook and the Southern Alps - an ideal spot to soak in the hot tub!
Lake Ohau Lodge, Lake Ohau (All meals)

Saturday — Hike Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

A short distance away is Mt Cook, named Aoraki or ‘cloud piercer’ by South Island Maori, the highest mountain in New Zealand. Directly opposite the mountain, we have a stunning day hike to the main ridge above Mueller Glacier. This area has a unique alpine environment and includes endemic flora such as the Mt Cook Lily (Ranunculus lyallii), the world’s largest buttercup. Many of our clients have said this is the best hike they’ve ever done and it’s a fine way to finish off a great trip. It’s a bit of a hike, but you’ll remember the view of the glacier and the surrounding peaks forever! The weather conditions are very important in this area, as it’s a true alpine climate notorious for sudden weather shifts. If we aren’t able to do the Mueller hike, or you’d like to take it a little easier, there’s an impressive hike up to a glacial lake (complete with icebergs!) at the base of the Hooker Glacier. After hiking, we’ll relax at our lodge nestled right in the heart of Aoraki Mt Cook National Park.
Aoraki Alpine Lodge, Aoraki Mt Cook Village (All meals)

Sunday — Depart for home

This is the last day of your 'Manuka' trip and 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 see Maori culture, pristine beaches and geothermal areas, combine this trip with our 11-day 'Kauri' (5-day 'Kauri' options available).
(Breakfast, Lunch)

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Dates

Trip Date Price Status  
Feb 20 ’17 – Mar 5 ’17 US$5899 + tax Full
Mar 6 ’17 – Mar 19 ’17 US$5899 + tax Almost Full - Check Now! Check Availability
Mar 20 ’17 – Apr 2 ’17 US$5899 + tax Almost Full - Check Now! Check Availability
Nov 13 ’17 – Nov 26 ’17 US$5899 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 11 ’17 – Dec 24 ’17 US$5899 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 25 ’17 – Jan 7 ’18 US$5899 + tax Peak Season - Check Now! Check Availability
2018
Jan 8 ’18 – Jan 21 ’18 US$5899 + tax Peak Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Jan 22 ’18 – Feb 4 ’18 US$5899 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Feb 19 ’18 – Mar 4 ’18 US$5899 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Mar 5 ’18 – Mar 18 ’18 US$5899 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 19 ’18 – Apr 1 ’18 US$5899 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Nov 12 ’18 – Nov 25 ’18 US$5899 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 10 ’18 – Dec 23 ’18 US$5899 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 24 ’18 – Jan 6 ’19 US$5899 + tax Great Check Availability
2019
Jan 7 ’19 – Jan 20 ’19 US$5899 + tax Great Check Availability
Jan 21 ’19 – Feb 3 ’19 US$5899 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 18 ’19 – Mar 3 ’19 US$5899 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 4 ’19 – Mar 17 ’19 US$5899 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 18 ’19 – Mar 31 ’19 US$5899 + 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 Chateau on the Park in Christchurch at 10.30am or at the Christchurch airport (CHC) in front of the Travel and Information desk at 11am.

Trip End:

On the last day of the trip we can drop you off at the Christchurch airport in time for the flights below, or anywhere in central Christchurch about 3pm.

Recommended flights:

Arrival: If you’re flying in on the first day of the trip, we recommend arriving in Christchurch before 10am on Monday.
Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Christchurch after 4pm on Sunday. 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 some time on Sunday, even though you left on Sunday evening! Flights back to Europe, of course, take a little longer.

Accommodation:

The ‘Manuka’ 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 ‘Manuka’ 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 ‘Manuka’ trip range between three and six hours to complete, with longer hikes on the Milford Track Guided Walk. If you think you’d prefer a more relaxed pace, we recommend checking out our ‘Kiwi’ trip. Please get in touch with us if you’d like to chat about the various options.

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Reviews

  • 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
  • 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 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
  • 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 Routeburn”
    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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