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

Ultimate South Island Adventure

Rimu

4.52 out of 5 (from 4648 reviews)

  • 14 Days - US$5,299 + tax
  • 12 days - US$4,999 + tax
  • 8 days - US$4,199 + tax
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Trip Introduction

Nat Geo Logo 2015This is our signature adventure and a great, outdoorsy way to see New Zealand. We’ve been fine-tuning this perennial favourite since 1996 and it’s simply an awesome trip. You’ll explore the most beautiful, famous and little-known places in the South Island – up close and personal – with legendary hospitality and our unsurpassed attention to detail. For a great way to see the North Island too, combine this trip with our 11-day 'Kauri' (5-day 'Kauri' options available).

Activity level: The ‘Rimu’ is one of our more adventurous trips, but has options to suit a wide range of ages and outdoor experience. Typically, hikes on the ‘Rimu’ trip range between two and five hours to complete, with longer hikes available on the multi-day option. If you think you’d prefer a more relaxed pace and shorter one to three hour hikes, we recommend checking out our ‘Kiwi’ trip. Please get in touch with us if you’d like to chat about the various options.

Highlights

Hike
Routeburn Track
Kepler Track
Punakaiki
Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park
West Coast beaches and rainforests
Franz Josef Glacier (with heli-hike option)

Choice of multi-day options ...
Wilderness hiking in Nelson Lakes National Park OR sea kayaking in Marlborough Sounds OR biking on Queen Charlotte Track

Bike
Te Araroa Track near Wanaka

Sea kayak
Milford Sound, Okarito Lagoon

Plus ...
Exploring Queenstown
Snorkelling with fur seals in Kaikoura
Morelea Farm show

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What's included in our NZ trips?

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

Interactive Trip Map

Daily itinerary

Monday — Arrive, snorkel with fur seals or hike Kaikoura Peninsula

Most people leave the Northern Hemisphere on a Saturday evening, arriving in 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 to Christchurch, in the South Island, where we’ll meet you. We’ll start your trip by travelling up the coast to the seaside town of Kaikoura where you have a choice of snorkeling with the local fur seals or hiking. You’ll be outfitted with everything you need to swim with the friendly New Zealand fur seals (Arctocephalus forsteri) as they cavort in the water, and a specialist guide will accompany you. If you prefer to stay ashore, we’ll hike to the scenic Kaikoura Peninsula past weathered limestone cliffs to watch another colony of fur seals basking on the rocks and playing in the eddies.

Today is a relaxed introduction to New Zealand. 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 the West Coast of the USA 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.
Kaikoura Lodgings, Kaikoura (Lunch, Dinner)

Tuesday (morning) — Visit vineyard

From Kaikoura, we’ll travel along spectacular coastline for a couple of hours to Blenheim, in the Marlborough wine region. We’ll visit Forrest Estate Winery to sample some of their fantastic wines and have a picnic lunch before we head off for our various activities.

Tuesday (afternoon) — Start multi-day hiking, sea kayaking or mountain biking options

Hiking Option - Nelson Lakes National Park: The Angelus Circuit

Tuesday (afternoon) - Hike Angelus Circuit: Saint Arnaud to Lakehead Hut

Our hike begins in the charming village of Saint Arnaud, on the edge of Nelson Lakes National Park. This is serious wilderness country, with incredible views and marvellous solitude. The park straddles the upper Southern Alps, an area composed of beech forests, big lakes and even bigger mountains.We’ll hike the relatively gentle trail through the forest alongside Lake Rotoiti to Lakehead Hut, a small mountain cabin at the head of the lake and our home for the night. Our guides are pretty tough and they’ll carry the lion’s share of the load. All you’ll be carrying is a backpack with your sleeping bag, a few spare clothes, and a share of our food. To protect this beautiful and fragile environment, we always keep our group sizes small and our exact route flexible.
Lakehead Hut, Nelson Lakes National Park (All meals) 

Wednesday - Hike Angelus Circuit: Lakehead Hut to Angelus Hut

Today is an unforgettable day – the scenery gets better with each step! We follow the Travers River through beech forest, before heading up the Hukere Stream towards the ridgeline.This is a steep hike, with an elevation gain of 1,000 m (3,000 ft), but it’s absolutely worth it. The Angelus Circuit has exceptional scenic diversity, so it provides a great reward for the efforts you put in. We will encourage you all the way up to Angelus Hut, nestled beside a gorgeous alpine lake, whatever your hiking speed. Many people tell us this hidden gem was the highlight of their New Zealand adventure, and a lot of Kiwis prefer the Angelus Circuit to better-known tracks.
Angelus Hut, Nelson Lakes National Park (All meals)

Thursday (morning) - Hike Angelus Circuit: Angelus Hut to Lake Rotoiti

This morning you’ll wake up on top of the world. After breakfast, we’ll hike out along the barren Robert Ridge with dramatic views of Tasman Bay and the mountainous Kahurangi National Park in the distance. We’ll descend below the treeline again into native beech forest completing our hike on the shores of Lake Rotoiti. Here, we’ll meet up with the kayakers and cyclists and share stories of our adventures, before carrying on to the West Coast.

Sea Kayaking Option - Marlborough Sounds (Add US$799 + tax)

Tuesday (afternoon) - Sea kayak Marlborough Sounds

After lunch, you'll head to Ngakuta Bay in the Marlborough Sounds to begin three days of paddling in style. The waters are sheltered, meaning they are generally calm. The surrounding lush forest and rocky coastline are truly stunning. You'll be kitted out comfortably in your sea kayak with all the necessary safety equipment for paddling. After a thorough safety briefing, you'll head out with your specialist kayak guide for a gentle first day's paddle to Tanglewood B&B, with sparkling views of the surrounding sounds. This multi-day option is quite flexible, so you don't need any previous paddling experience, but if you are an experienced sea kayaker, we'll certainly keep you challenged.
Tanglewood Lodge, Queen Charlotte Sound (All meals)

Wednesday - Sea kayak Marlborough Sounds

Today we'll kayak around the secluded bays of the Kenepuru Sound. You can paddle at your own pace and we'll make sure you get as much or as little 'paddle time' as you like! We'll check out the beaches, birdlife and native forest that characterise the area and enjoy being out on the water. With a bit of luck, we'll be visited by local dolphins, fur seals and little blue penguins (Eudyptula minor). You'll also have plenty of time to stop for short beach and forest walks along the way.
Tanglewood Lodge, Queen Charlotte Sound (All meals)

Thursday (morning) - Sea kayak Marlborough Sounds

This morning we'll have another chance to spot wildlife as we paddle along the northern coastline from Anakiwa, in the Queen Charlotte Sound. We'll then cross over the Sound and finish back in Ngakuta bay, which will complete the round trip of the Grove Arm. This is where our sea kayaking ends, so after lunch in Picton we'll meet up with the rest of the group in Saint Arnaud before carrying on to the West Coast.

Mountain Bike Option - Queen Charlotte Track (Add US$799 + tax)

Tuesday (afternoon) - Mountain bike Queen Charlotte Track

The third option to personalise your trip is to bike a portion of the Queen Charlotte Track, rated one of the best mountain biking tracks in New Zealand. After lunch, you'll head to Anakiwa on the edge of Queen Charlotte Sound, where you'll be fitted with a Specialised Rockhopper 29er mountain bike, perfect for single track riding. Today we'll ride from Anakiwa to Onahau Bay lookout and back, a perfect taster of what's to come! Tonight, we'll stay at a cosy architecturally-designed bed and breakfast set amongst native tree ferns.
Tanglewood Lodge, Queen Charlotte Sound (All meals)

Wednesday - Mountain bike Queen Charlotte Track

Awaking to native birdsong, we'll head out to Torea Saddle, where we will bike towards the Bay of Many Coves. This part of the track is known as 'The Jewel in the Crown' with stunning views of both Sounds. The area is also well known for its native beech forests, secluded golden beaches and birds, so it's an amazing area to explore at handle-bar level. 
Tanglewood Lodge, Queen Charlotte Sound (All meals)

Thursday (morning) - Mountain bike Queen Charlotte Track

We'll spend the morning biking on the Waikawa Mountain Bike Park near Picton. Later we'll enjoy our lunch at the Picton Harbour before heading to Saint Arnaud to rejoin the hikers and carry on to the West Coast.

Thursday (afternoon) — Finish multi-day backpacking, sea kayaking or mountain biking

After regrouping in Saint Arnaud, we'll head across the Southern Alps to the West Coast – a dramatic and rugged coastline stretching 600 kilometres (372 miles), with a population of only 40,000 people. We'll mingle with the 'coasters' tonight in the seaside village of Punakaiki, exchanging tales of our adventures over fish and chips at the local pub!
West Coast lodgings, Punakaiki (All meals)

Friday — Hike Punakaiki Rainforest, explore Hokitika

We'll spend the morning hiking the Inland Pack Track through temperate rainforest and limestone canyons, following in the footsteps of gold miners who established this trail over a century ago. While we're in Punakaiki, we'll also check out the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes – aptly named limestone formations that have been sculpted through the relentless pounding of the Tasman Sea. Travelling along the scenic coastline, we'll stretch our legs in Hokitika and check out local art galleries and pounamu-carving workshops (pounamu is Maori for jade), before carrying on to the township of Franz Josef where we'll stay for the next couple of nights. Nestled in the rainforest-clad foothills of the Southern Alps, Franz Josef is the heart of New Zealand glacier country.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

Saturday — Kayak Okarito Lagoon, hike coastal forest and beach

This morning we'll take a short journey over to Okarito, a little-known beach community on the coast. We'll take to the water in sea kayaks and glide along a picturesque lagoon, set against a stunning backdrop of snow-capped peaks. Okarito is home to the only native white heron colony in New Zealand, as well as a host of other interesting birds. Later we'll hike through lush coastal forest to Three Mile Lagoon, and wander along the beautiful stony beach next to crashing waves. Later we'll head back to Franz Josef where you'll have the option to take another hike or relax in the hot tub, before enjoying a traditional Kiwi roast dinner.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

Sunday — Hike near Franz Josef Glacier

With some 140 glaciers making their way down from the Southern Alps, this area is fittingly known as glacier country. Few sights equal the spectacle of two of these giant frozen rivers (Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers) imperceptibly grinding their way down through temperate rainforest to just 250 metres (820 feet) above sea level. We'll spend most of the day near Franz Josef Glacier hiking up through the forest to either Alex Knob or Roberts Point, both of which give incredible views of the ice. These hikes can be inaccessible in wet weather, so we may opt to hike close to the terminal face of Fox Glacier, around Lake Matheson and to the Blue Pools near Haast Pass instead.

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 1,300 m (4,000 ft) 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)

Monday — Cycle Hawea River Trail

The landscape this morning changes rapidly from dense beech forests to semi-arid terrain. When we arrive at Lake Hawea, you’ll be fitted with a 21-speed front-suspension Avanti Black Thunder 7.1 mountain bike for a scenic ride along the Hawea River Trail. This gently undulating track follows the Hawea and Clutha Rivers through the rugged Central Otago landscape to the charming lakeside town of Wanaka. Here we’ll stop for lunch before a short but dramatic journey over the Cardrona Saddle to Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, our base for the next couple of days. You’ll sleep sweetly tonight at a lakefront hotel located in the heart of Queenstown.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

Tuesday — 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, sidewalk cafés, stylish lounge bars, day spas, and boutiques. You’ll also find incredible optional activities here, including horse trekking, a gondola, kayaking, fishing, winery tours, hang gliding, mountain biking, bungy jumping, jet boating, skydiving, as well as some great hiking opportunities. Or you can just soak up the atmosphere or lounge about reading a book. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (No meals included)

Wednesday — Hike Routeburn Track

This morning, we set off for our largest and perhaps most spectacular national park, Fiordland. We’ll hike part of the Routeburn Track for unsurpassed views of the Hollyford Valley, as well as Lake Marian and Mt Christina. 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. Rudyard Kipling rated this fiord 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. Tonight we’ll stay in some fairly basic accommodation in a wonderful remote location.
Milford Lodge Chalets, Milford Sound (All meals)

Thursday — Sea kayak Milford Sound, hike Kepler Track

Most people see Milford Sound from the deck of a ship, but we've got a more active way – gliding along in sea kayaks, causing very little disruption for the best chance of getting up close and personal with the friendly fur seals and dolphins that are sometimes in the area. It's an early start this morning, but the calm waters and peaceful solitude that you'll enjoy out on the fiord, are well worth it. Fully kitted out in double sea kayaks and lead by a specialist kayak guide, the padding is equally suitable for beginners and experts alike. After kayaking, we'll enjoy a tasty lunch before heading out to explore more of Fiordland's wilderness on foot. This afternoon we'll take a hike on the famous Kepler Track, one of New Zealand's Great Walks. Beginning at Rainbow Reach, we follow the track through mountain beech forest and along the Waiau River. It's an awesome hike with spectacular views! Tonight we'll stay on the edge of Lake Manapouri, enjoying the scenery and the delicious local fare.
Lake Manapouri Inn, Manapouri (All meals)

Friday — Spare time in Queenstown, journey over the Lindis Pass

After a relaxed start we return to Queenstown, where you’ll have a couple of hours to get some lunch, do any last minute shopping, send postcards home, or whatever you might need to do before heading back into the wilderness for the remainder of your trip. Then we’ll drive through the tussock-country of Lindis Pass to Lake Pukaki, where we stay on Hamish and Julia McKenzie’s 5000 hectare high-country sheep farm, Braemar Station (station is the New Zealand word for a big ranch). While we’re here, we’ll stay in a farm cottage that was built for the sheep shearers. It’s a rustic little place with views that will knock your socks off – the biggest mountains in New Zealand piercing the sky on the far side of a gorgeous cobalt-blue lake. With no lights for miles around, the stars on a clear night are like nothing you’ve ever seen. Many of our clients have told us this was one of their favourite places on the whole trip – just the place for your last couple of nights in New Zealand!
Shearers’ quarters, Braemar Station (Breakfast, Dinner)

Saturday — Hike Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

Mt Cook, named Aoraki or ‘cloud piercer’ by South Island Maori, is the highest mountain in New Zealand. Directly opposite the mountain, we have a stunning day hike to the main ridge above Mueller Glacier. 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. Then we head back to Braemar Station for the last night of the ‘Rimu’. We’ll enjoy a celebratory dinner as we sit outside and watch the sun set on Aoraki/Mt Cook.
Shearers’ quarters, Braemar Station (All meals)

Sunday — Visit Morelea Farm, depart for home

After breakfast we’ll head into Mackenzie Country, to Morelea Farm, an 800 acre working farm producing wool, lamb, beef and some dairy grazing stock. The farm is nestled amidst rolling pastureland with the Canterbury Alps as a backdrop. Stan and Angie Taylor are your hosts here and they enjoy nothing better than sharing their love of farming - depending on the season you’ll see sheep shearing, dog round ups and lamb feeding. After a hearty farm-style lunch, we’ll head to Christchurch, arriving in time for afternoon flights. This is the end of your ‘Rimu’ 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 experience Maori culture, pristine beaches and geothermal areas, you can 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, snorkel with fur seals or hike Kaikoura Peninsula

Most people leave the Northern Hemisphere on a Saturday evening, arriving in 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 to Christchurch, in the South Island, where we’ll meet you. We’ll start your trip by travelling up the coast to the seaside town of Kaikoura where you have a choice of snorkeling with the local fur seals or hiking. You’ll be outfitted with everything you need to swim with the friendly New Zealand fur seals (Arctocephalus forsteri) as they cavort in the water, and a specialist guide will accompany you. If you prefer to stay ashore, we’ll hike to the scenic Kaikoura Peninsula past weathered limestone cliffs to watch another colony of fur seals basking on the rocks and playing in the eddies.

Today is a relaxed introduction to New Zealand. 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 the West Coast of the USA 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.
Kaikoura Lodgings, Kaikoura (Lunch, Dinner)

Tuesday (morning) — Visit vineyard

From Kaikoura, we’ll travel along spectacular coastline for a couple of hours to Blenheim, in the Marlborough wine region. We’ll visit Forrest Estate Winery to sample some of their fantastic wines and have a picnic lunch before we head off for our various activities.

Tuesday (afternoon) — Start multi-day hiking, sea kayaking or mountain biking options

Hiking Option - Nelson Lakes National Park: The Angelus Circuit

Tuesday (afternoon) - Hike Angelus Circuit: Saint Arnaud to Lakehead Hut

Our hike begins in the charming village of Saint Arnaud, on the edge of Nelson Lakes National Park. This is serious wilderness country, with incredible views and marvellous solitude. The park straddles the upper Southern Alps, an area composed of beech forests, big lakes and even bigger mountains.We’ll hike the relatively gentle trail through the forest alongside Lake Rotoiti to Lakehead Hut, a small mountain cabin at the head of the lake and our home for the night. Our guides are pretty tough and they’ll carry the lion’s share of the load. All you’ll be carrying is a backpack with your sleeping bag, a few spare clothes, and a share of our food. To protect this beautiful and fragile environment, we always keep our group sizes small and our exact route flexible.
Lakehead Hut, Nelson Lakes National Park (All meals) 

Wednesday - Hike Angelus Circuit: Lakehead Hut to Angelus Hut

Today is an unforgettable day – the scenery gets better with each step! We follow the Travers River through beech forest, before heading up the Hukere Stream towards the ridgeline.This is a steep hike, with an elevation gain of 1,000 m (3,000 ft), but it’s absolutely worth it. The Angelus Circuit has exceptional scenic diversity, so it provides a great reward for the efforts you put in. We will encourage you all the way up to Angelus Hut, nestled beside a gorgeous alpine lake, whatever your hiking speed. Many people tell us this hidden gem was the highlight of their New Zealand adventure, and a lot of Kiwis prefer the Angelus Circuit to better-known tracks.
Angelus Hut, Nelson Lakes National Park (All meals)

Thursday (morning) - Hike Angelus Circuit: Angelus Hut to Lake Rotoiti

This morning you’ll wake up on top of the world. After breakfast, we’ll hike out along the barren Robert Ridge with dramatic views of Tasman Bay and the mountainous Kahurangi National Park in the distance. We’ll descend below the treeline again into native beech forest completing our hike on the shores of Lake Rotoiti. Here, we’ll meet up with the kayakers and cyclists and share stories of our adventures, before carrying on to the West Coast.

Sea Kayaking Option - Marlborough Sounds (Add US$799 + tax)

Tuesday (afternoon) - Sea kayak Marlborough Sounds

After lunch, you'll head to Ngakuta Bay in the Marlborough Sounds to begin three days of paddling in style. The waters are sheltered, meaning they are generally calm. The surrounding lush forest and rocky coastline are truly stunning. You'll be kitted out comfortably in your sea kayak with all the necessary safety equipment for paddling. After a thorough safety briefing, you'll head out with your specialist kayak guide for a gentle first day's paddle to Tanglewood B&B, with sparkling views of the surrounding sounds. This multi-day option is quite flexible, so you don't need any previous paddling experience, but if you are an experienced sea kayaker, we'll certainly keep you challenged.
Tanglewood Lodge, Queen Charlotte Sound (All meals)

Wednesday - Sea kayak Marlborough Sounds

Today we'll kayak around the secluded bays of the Kenepuru Sound. You can paddle at your own pace and we'll make sure you get as much or as little 'paddle time' as you like! We'll check out the beaches, birdlife and native forest that characterise the area and enjoy being out on the water. With a bit of luck, we'll be visited by local dolphins, fur seals and little blue penguins (Eudyptula minor). You'll also have plenty of time to stop for short beach and forest walks along the way.
Tanglewood Lodge, Queen Charlotte Sound (All meals)

Thursday (morning) - Sea kayak Marlborough Sounds

This morning we'll have another chance to spot wildlife as we paddle along the northern coastline from Anakiwa, in the Queen Charlotte Sound. We'll then cross over the Sound and finish back in Ngakuta bay, which will complete the round trip of the Grove Arm. This is where our sea kayaking ends, so after lunch in Picton we'll meet up with the rest of the group in Saint Arnaud before carrying on to the West Coast.

Mountain Bike Option - Queen Charlotte Track (Add US$799 + tax)

Tuesday (afternoon) - Mountain bike Queen Charlotte Track

The third option to personalise your trip is to bike a portion of the Queen Charlotte Track, rated one of the best mountain biking tracks in New Zealand. After lunch, you'll head to Anakiwa on the edge of Queen Charlotte Sound, where you'll be fitted with a Specialised Rockhopper 29er mountain bike, perfect for single track riding. Today we'll ride from Anakiwa to Onahau Bay lookout and back, a perfect taster of what's to come! Tonight, we'll stay at a cosy architecturally-designed bed and breakfast set amongst native tree ferns.
Tanglewood Lodge, Queen Charlotte Sound (All meals)

Wednesday - Mountain bike Queen Charlotte Track

Awaking to native birdsong, we'll head out to Torea Saddle, where we will bike towards the Bay of Many Coves. This part of the track is known as 'The Jewel in the Crown' with stunning views of both Sounds. The area is also well known for its native beech forests, secluded golden beaches and birds, so it's an amazing area to explore at handle-bar level. 
Tanglewood Lodge, Queen Charlotte Sound (All meals)

Thursday (morning) - Mountain bike Queen Charlotte Track

We'll spend the morning biking on the Waikawa Mountain Bike Park near Picton. Later we'll enjoy our lunch at the Picton Harbour before heading to Saint Arnaud to rejoin the hikers and carry on to the West Coast.

Thursday (afternoon) — Finish multi-day backpacking, sea kayaking or mountain biking

After regrouping in Saint Arnaud, we'll head across the Southern Alps to the West Coast – a dramatic and rugged coastline stretching 600 kilometres (372 miles), with a population of only 40,000 people. We'll mingle with the 'coasters' tonight in the seaside village of Punakaiki, exchanging tales of our adventures over fish and chips at the local pub!
West Coast lodgings, Punakaiki (All meals)

Friday — Hike Punakaiki Rainforest, explore Hokitika

We'll spend the morning hiking the Inland Pack Track through temperate rainforest and limestone canyons, following in the footsteps of gold miners who established this trail over a century ago. While we're in Punakaiki, we'll also check out the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes – aptly named limestone formations that have been sculpted through the relentless pounding of the Tasman Sea. Travelling along the scenic coastline, we'll stretch our legs in Hokitika and check out local art galleries and pounamu-carving workshops (pounamu is Maori for jade), before carrying on to the township of Franz Josef where we'll stay for the next couple of nights. Nestled in the rainforest-clad foothills of the Southern Alps, Franz Josef is the heart of New Zealand glacier country.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

Saturday — Kayak Okarito Lagoon, hike coastal forest and beach

This morning we'll take a short journey over to Okarito, a little-known beach community on the coast. We'll take to the water in sea kayaks and glide along a picturesque lagoon, set against a stunning backdrop of snow-capped peaks. Okarito is home to the only native white heron colony in New Zealand, as well as a host of other interesting birds. Later we'll hike through lush coastal forest to Three Mile Lagoon, and wander along the beautiful stony beach next to crashing waves. Later we'll head back to Franz Josef where you'll have the option to take another hike or relax in the hot tub, before enjoying a traditional Kiwi roast dinner.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

Sunday — Hike near Franz Josef Glacier

With some 140 glaciers making their way down from the Southern Alps, this area is fittingly known as glacier country. Few sights equal the spectacle of two of these giant frozen rivers (Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers) imperceptibly grinding their way down through temperate rainforest to just 250 metres (820 feet) above sea level. We'll spend most of the day near Franz Josef Glacier hiking up through the forest to either Alex Knob or Roberts Point, both of which give incredible views of the ice. These hikes can be inaccessible in wet weather, so we may opt to hike close to the terminal face of Fox Glacier, around Lake Matheson and to the Blue Pools near Haast Pass instead.

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 1,300 m (4,000 ft) 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)

Monday — Cycle Hawea River Trail

The landscape this morning changes rapidly from dense beech forests to semi-arid terrain. When we arrive at Lake Hawea, you’ll be fitted with a 21-speed front-suspension Avanti Black Thunder 7.1 mountain bike for a scenic ride along the Hawea River Trail. This gently undulating track follows the Hawea and Clutha Rivers through the rugged Central Otago landscape to the charming lakeside town of Wanaka. Here we’ll stop for lunch before a short but dramatic journey over the Cardrona Saddle to Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, our base for the next couple of days. You’ll sleep sweetly tonight at a lakefront hotel located in the heart of Queenstown.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

Tuesday — 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, sidewalk cafés, stylish lounge bars, day spas, and boutiques. You’ll also find incredible optional activities here, including horse trekking, a gondola, kayaking, fishing, winery tours, hang gliding, mountain biking, bungy jumping, jet boating, skydiving, as well as some great hiking opportunities. Or you can just soak up the atmosphere or lounge about reading a book. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (No meals included)

Wednesday — Hike Routeburn Track

This morning, we set off for our largest and perhaps most spectacular national park, Fiordland. We’ll hike part of the Routeburn Track for unsurpassed views of the Hollyford Valley, as well as Lake Marian and Mt Christina. 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. Rudyard Kipling rated this fiord 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. Tonight we’ll stay in some fairly basic accommodation in a wonderful remote location.
Milford Lodge Chalets, Milford Sound (All meals)

Thursday — Sea kayak Milford Sound, hike Kepler Track

Most people see Milford Sound from the deck of a ship, but we've got a more active way – gliding along in sea kayaks, causing very little disruption for the best chance of getting up close and personal with the friendly fur seals and dolphins that are sometimes in the area. It's an early start this morning, but the calm waters and peaceful solitude that you'll enjoy out on the fiord, are well worth it. Fully kitted out in double sea kayaks and lead by a specialist kayak guide, the padding is equally suitable for beginners and experts alike. After kayaking, we'll enjoy a tasty lunch before heading out to explore more of Fiordland's wilderness on foot. This afternoon we'll take a hike on the famous Kepler Track, one of New Zealand's Great Walks. Beginning at Rainbow Reach, we follow the track through mountain beech forest and along the Waiau River. It's an awesome hike with spectacular views! Tonight we'll stay on the edge of Lake Manapouri, enjoying the scenery and the delicious local fare.
Lake Manapouri Inn, Manapouri (All meals)

Friday — Spare time in Queenstown, journey over the Lindis Pass

After a relaxed start we return to Queenstown, where you’ll have a couple of hours to get some lunch, do any last minute shopping, send postcards home, or whatever you might need to do before heading back into the wilderness for the remainder of your trip. Then we’ll drive through the tussock-country of Lindis Pass to Lake Pukaki, where we stay on Hamish and Julia McKenzie’s 5000 hectare high-country sheep farm, Braemar Station (station is the New Zealand word for a big ranch). While we’re here, we’ll stay in a farm cottage that was built for the sheep shearers. It’s a rustic little place with views that will knock your socks off – the biggest mountains in New Zealand piercing the sky on the far side of a gorgeous cobalt-blue lake. With no lights for miles around, the stars on a clear night are like nothing you’ve ever seen. Many of our clients have told us this was one of their favourite places on the whole trip – just the place for your last couple of nights in New Zealand!
Shearers’ quarters, Braemar Station (Breakfast, Dinner)

Saturday — Hike Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

Mt Cook, named Aoraki or ‘cloud piercer’ by South Island Maori, is the highest mountain in New Zealand. Directly opposite the mountain, we have a stunning day hike to the main ridge above Mueller Glacier. 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. Then we head back to Braemar Station for the last night of the ‘Rimu’. We’ll enjoy a celebratory dinner as we sit outside and watch the sun set on Aoraki/Mt Cook.
Shearers’ quarters, Braemar Station (All meals)

Sunday — Visit Morelea Farm, depart for home

After breakfast we’ll head into Mackenzie Country, to Morelea Farm, an 800 acre working farm producing wool, lamb, beef and some dairy grazing stock. The farm is nestled amidst rolling pastureland with the Canterbury Alps as a backdrop. Stan and Angie Taylor are your hosts here and they enjoy nothing better than sharing their love of farming - depending on the season you’ll see sheep shearing, dog round ups and lamb feeding. After a hearty farm-style lunch, we’ll head to Christchurch, arriving in time for afternoon flights. This is the end of your ‘Rimu’ 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 experience Maori culture, pristine beaches and geothermal areas, you can combine this trip with our 11-day ‘Kauri’ (5-day ‘Kauri’ options available).
(Breakfast, Lunch)

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Dates

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Nov 27 ’17 – Dec 10 ’17 US$5299 + tax Almost Full - Check Now! Check Availability
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2018
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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 Heartland Hotel Cotswold in Christchurch at 10.30am, or at Christchurch airport 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 are considering alternative flight times please check with us. International flights from Auckland 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.

Fitness:

The ‘Rimu’ is one of our more adventurous trips, 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. If you’re used to pushing yourself, we’ll keep you challenged as well. Typically, hikes on the ‘Rimu’ trip range between two and five hours to complete, more, or less hiking is available depending on your multi-day option. If you think you’d prefer a more relaxed pace and shorter hikes, 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

  • NZ Rimu Adventure

    “I've been all around the world, and few places have left me awe struck. The natural beauty of New Zealand is one of those places and it will leave you speechless. The only thing that surpassed the scenery of NZ was Active Adventures' services and the phenomenal guides. This trip was a trip and adventure of a lifetime!!”
    Ray O'Neill – California, United StatesNovember 2017
  • Heaven

    “Some call New Zealand home; I call it Heaven. Hiking, biking, kayaking - all with views of spectacular mountain ranges. Everything about this trip was wonderful. Now that I'm home, I'm wondering how I'll ever organize all of our photos.”
    Valerie Ezrin – Maryland, United StatesNovember 2017
  • The Best Way to Spend my 30th Birthday!

    “Going to New Zealand has been at the very top of my bucket list for quite a long time and I finally decided to scratch it off when I turned 30. Active Adventures was, from the beginning, the only tour group I would consider travelling with. They were the only group that not only had everything I wanted to do in New Zealand, but also had the highest level of professionalism and ratings that made me trust them.
    From the moment they picked us up at the airport I was certain I’d judged them correctly. Tess was simply an amazing tour guide (we called her mum because that’s exactly how we felt about her) not only was she fun, she took care of us, fed us, and kept us organized. Andy supplemented the tour with such interesting history and facts that I felt like I was on a school trip (in a good way!).
    All in all it was an amazing vacation, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it!
    Thank you Active Adventures for making my 30th the year to remember!”
    Dani Felton – Florida, United StatesNovember 2017
  • Oct 2017 Rimu

    “Outstanding collaboration between our guides and the weather gods allowed us to experience a nearly rain-free trip around the South Island. Expansive views of Mt Cook, Fiordland and Milford greeted us every day. The guides were also able to seamlessly adjust the trip schedule to accommodate a delayed arrival flight, an unexpected trail closure and a bit of stormy weather near the end of our trip. Well done!”
    Rick Pope – Oregon, United StatesOctober 2017
  • I Love Active Adventures!

    “This was the best trip of my lifetime! The only disappointment was that there was not enough rain, as the guides had really talked up how awesome the rain can make the landscapes look. But we had no rain! Seriously the guides were marvellous and really made the trip with their warmth, enthusiasm, support and all around good cheer - they rivalled the beauty of New Zealand.”
    Barbara Suter – DC, United StatesOctober 2017
  • A Memorable Trip That Will Always Be a Part of Me

    “Hello my name is Mario Salazar, from San Francisco California. I took the Rimu trip to have an experience of visiting the beautiful country of New Zealand and all it could offer as a first time visitor. The nature of the parks and activities that I did was worth the time to travel there.The trip became a memorable experience that left me wanting to come back as there is a lot to see and try to take in. The time I spent there made me feel a longing to come back one day and continue my trek in the land of the Kiwi, be it by Kayak, or on the trek of personal growth, hiking a mountain almost a mile up. I thank the guides for showing us the fabulous land of New Zealand and being part of something that will be part of me always. Thank you Active Adventures! and thank you New Zealand for leaving something special in me.”
    Mario Salazar – California, United StatesOctober 2017
  • Amazing Experience with Wonderful Guides!

    “Just finished the last half of the Rimu trip and I can’t say enough about Active Adventures. It was my first time going with a travel group instead of with a friend or solo, and I thought this would be my one and only time. After travelling with my group and wonderful guides, Andy and Tess, I really think I might have to go with Active Adventures again! This was an amazing trip and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
    Jessica Andersen – , Korea, Republic of [South]October 2017
  • Reconnecting with Nature

    “I had a wonderful time on my trip! It was exactly what I needed and was looking for; two weeks to reconnect with nature and see parts of New Zealand I'd have only been able to find on foot, by kayak, or by bike. I know I wouldn't have seen or done as much as I did had I not signed up with Active Adventures! I'll definitely go on another trip with them in the future.”
    Grace Gan – New York, United StatesJuly 2017
  • Exceeded my Expectations. A Trip to Treasure.

    “Active adventures provided an outstanding New Zealand experience. Our guides (Tory and Jordie) went above and beyond during our South Island Rimu trip. Their passion for the outdoors as well as the traditions and culture of NZ enhanced the two week journey. As guides, I was most impressed by their attention to detail and safety. I appreciated the warm smiles, gems of knowledge and yummy meals on even the challenging hike days. For my birthday, during the three day hike at Nelson Lakes National Park, Tory and Jordie surprised me with two delicious cakes to share with my new hiking family. A moment I will treasure, enhanced by the breath taking views of the alpine lake at Angelus Hut.

    The beauty of the country surpassed my expectations, particularly sites like Milford Sound and Mt. Cook. Such a diverse, lush landscape, each hike offered a unique perspective of the stunning views. Combined with the kayaking and biking options, allowed for an exciting and interesting mix. The highlight of my two weeks was my heli-hike on the Tasman Glacier, such an unforgettable experience.

    I'm looking forward to future Active Adventure trips, but will definitely keep a little piece of NZ in my heart. A truly bucket list destination.


    Gigi (from The Bahamas)”
    Gigi Smith – West Virginia, United StatesJuly 2017
  • Puts the "Active" in Active Adventures

    “What a great trip! The variety of stunning vistas in New Zealand is something to behold. We had a really fun group and our guides -- Kim and Ashleigh -- were amazing! We were on the move every day, seeing every corner of the South Island, getting in a pretty good workout most days through hiking, biking or kayaking, and eating wonderful meals, many prepared by our guides. I would highly recommend this trip!”
    Dave Stockert – Georgia, United StatesJuly 2017
  • Active Adventure Indeed!

    “My first comment is that this IS an Active Adventure. My husband and I consider ourselves fit, as we regularly run, do gym workouts, and added weekly hikes in the months leading up to our trip. We both found the Rimu hikes to be a challenge. I mean this in a good way. The hikes were the most difficult I've ever done, and I am so proud of myself for my accomplishments. My advice to potential travelers is to train hard. The vistas are absolutely worth the effort. Our enthusiastic, knowledgeable, energetic guides Kim and Ashleigh did everything to make this a trip of a lifetime for us. We traveled in late March and lucked into mostly perfect weather; the few times weather did not cooperate the guides shifted activities without missing a beat. The guides also set a positive, fun tone for our group. We really bonded during the trip. Food was great, accommodations were for the most part good to great. In all, I would not hesitate to recommend Rimu to anyone looking for a truly active New Zealand vacation. I for one cannot imagine experiencing the beauty of the South Island any other way.”
    Cammie Ives – Georgia, United StatesJune 2017
  • Everything We Could Have Asked For!

    “Our goal was to find an active trip which explored the various wildlife habitats and natural areas of the South Island. The Rimu trip was perfect for that goal! Never a dull moment, Nick and Tory were amazing guides, and even made up a ghost story to spook my wife (at her request)! I can't wait to travel with Active Adventures again!!”
    Scott Porter – Maryland, United StatesJune 2017
  • Incredible Milford

    “Milford Sound was one of the most incredible places we have ever been.
    The three day hike to the Angelus Hut was difficult but the guides could not have been more helpful to an ageing hiker.
    The Okorito kayak trip was not great from our point of view, but some of that was not attributable to the organization.
    And the farm experience was unexpected and very enjoyable.”
    Rick Kalamaya – Colorado, United StatesMay 2017
  • An unforgettable adventure in South Island!

    “Amazing views, extraordinary wildlife (birds!), lovely guides (Tory and Nick), and memorable Active adventures (no rest for the wicked with a hike or two scheduled every day) - an unforgettable trip all in all.”
    Katherine Gadaingan – , PhilippinesMay 2017
  • The Kirk Family Reflections of Rimu 2016

    “It was a fantastic vacation, quite possibly the best we have ever taken. I know our son, Benjamin, rates it as his number one vacation. I actually have a small book summary of the entire trip, with which I will not bore others, but I wanted to remember the details so I wrote them down. The experiences, leaders, guests, accommodations and food were wonderful. On Sunday we had a Mother's Day celebration and my sons chose to prepare a New Zealand-themed meal for me, inspired by recipes from the cook book we purchased at the sheep farm on the last day of our trip. I baked a pavlova and made chocolate slice for the occasion. I wrote down ingredients of recipes prepared by Tess on the trip and made a couple of them within a week of our return in January. When asked about the trip, I continue to say that I did not want to leave New Zealand at the end of the trip.”
    Nancy Jo Kirk – Georgia, United StatesMay 2017
  • South Island trip of a lifetime

    “An absolutely awesome adventure with fantastic guides Vanessa and Tory. Experiencing parts of the great tramps in New Zealand of Kepler, Routeburn, Mueller Hut, Inland pack track at Punakaiki and Angelus Hut are a great introduction to tramping in NZ. I will definitely be back to complete some of the tramps. The Angelus hut hike was one of the hardest I have done (I hike regularly in Western Australia) and I loved every second of it. I would do the Angelus hut Nelson lakes hike again in a heart beat. The cycle along the Hawea river was stunning. Every day was a highlight of the trip.”
    Amie Culverson – Western Australia, AustraliaMay 2017
  • Rimu Trip Southbound

    “I would recommend this trip to anyone who enjoys being active and loves the outdoors! New Zealand is an absolute GEM of a country and Active Adventures ensures that you experience the beauty and diversity of its land. I cannot say enough about every aspect of this trip from start to finish. The tour guides, accommodations, food, activities all EXCELLENT!!”
    Barb Fraser – Ontario, CanadaMay 2017
  • Good trip

    “Good overview of the South Island. Friendly, knowledgeable guides, good group.”
    David Mclure – New Hampshire, United StatesMay 2017
  • Best Way to Check NZ Off Your Bucket List

    “If you want to check New Zealand off your bucket list, this is the best way to do it. Active Adventures showed us the South Island, taught us about the eco-system and the history of the country, and kept us active while we did it. We made new friends within our group and had a thousand laughs along the way.”
    Laura Hamilton – Texas, United StatesMay 2017
  • Southern Exposure

    “There could be no better way to experience the south island than with an Active Adventures trip...hiking, biking, kayaking, backpacking... all with exceptional guides, facilities, equipment and food. A dream come true...!”
    Rita Carole – California, United StatesMay 2017
  • Perfect Trip for anyone who loves Nature!

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

    “Rimu with Active was an excellent fit for us! Pace, guides and hikes were just amazing and heaps of fun!”
    Daniel Cotton – Illinois, United StatesApril 2017
  • Wow! What a trip!

    “We had an absolute blast exploring the South Island with two legendary guides, Ken and Elder. Amazing hiking and other activities, great food, and awesome company!”
    Jordan Altaras – Washington, United StatesApril 2017
  • Awesome guides & beautiful scenery, need I say more?

    “Seeing the incredible beauty of NZ would have certainly been enough to make the trip worthwhile, but learning the history, the culture, and the traditions, from the guides - Tory and Jordie - took this amazing experience to a whole new level! This trip far exceeded my expectations and left me wanting to go back for more!!”
    Bonita Rogozinsky – New Mexico, United StatesApril 2017
  • LEGENDARY

    “Travelling to New Zealand has been on my bucket list for nearly half my life, and I'm so glad I spent three weeks there with Active! I was a bit worried going by myself, but it turned out to be the best vacation of my life. They took us to so many spots that I probably would have never seen if I tried to organize everything on my own. It was great to have them feed me, drive me, hike me, and take me to our accommodations at night - not once did I have to worry about anything. The accommodations themselves were so fun and unique, staying in them was a highlight of my trip. Our guides, Kim and Ashleigh, were fantastic young ladies. Ash was an amazing chef and Kim rocked the in-bus narration. I also think we had a phenomenal group of people who clicked very well, and absolutely the best weather one could wish for.

    Even when there were a few changes to the itinerary due to road damages, weather issues, or anything else, the guides were on top of it so fast that we barely even noticed there was a problem. We did miss out on snorkeling with the fur seals, and our Franz Josef Heli-Hike was cancelled, but we were still able to see seals and take a helicopter ride to a glacier at another time. No loss whatsoever.

    I'm a fairly active person under thirty, who lives in an mountainous region, and I was still challenged by the hikes and activities they provided. I also have bad knees, and was still able to get up and down the more difficult mountains. For those wondering abut the multi-day hike, it's definitely a work-out, but totally worth it! And be sure to invest in a hydration bladder, you'll really appreciate it! If you're looking for an outdoor adventure with lots of activity and fun, this is definitely one of the better ways to explore New Zealand.”
    Janine Carbone – New Hampshire, United StatesApril 2017
  • Great exposure to South Island

    “Greatly enjoyed trip. Our trip was the beginning of April. We've done other tour packages around the world and usually struggle with finding trips that are truly active and challenging. We love hiking and are active distance runners. The Rimu trip was one of the best. A hike described by Active Adventures as 'challenging' is very accurately represented. We had an awesome group on our trip. 10 people with roughly similar energy and activity levels. Kim and Ashleigh were excellent guides. I didn't understand before the trip how many meals during the 2 weeks would be prepared by our guides (probably close to 50%). I was a bit leery the first day when I heard the approach. After seeing the remoteness of locations -- I understand the necessity. The guides did a great job on meal preparation -- variety and quality.”
    K'Lynne Johnson – Illinois, United StatesApril 2017
  • You Are Stronger Than You Realize

    “Many people go on a vacation to relax, sit in the sun, and read. For me, I chose Active Adventures because I wanted to see the world by pushing myself out of my comfort zone and challenging myself both mentally and physically. The Rimu trip did not disappoint as it delivered exactly that! I loved learning a new skill (kayaking), embracing my passion for travelling through the most incredible terrain (cycling), and pushing myself to exceed what I thought I could ever do (climbing up to the Mueller Ridge). From those experiences, particularly the last one, I realized that in life when things seems hopeless or beyond your capability you are stronger than you realize. When you 'actively' engage your mind and body, you CAN climb that mountain!. Every day was an adventure, filled with memories I will treasure for a lifetime and take with me into my job as I train the next generation to build grit for the mountains they are sure to have in their future!
    None of this would have been possible without the incredible guides we had. Kim and Ashleigh were a phenomenal team. They worked so well together and met our every need. I appreciated how they gave us just enough information about where we were going or what we were doing. They allowed us to discover our potential and pushed us on to victory.
    This will definitely not be my last trip!”
    Charlene Mahon – Ontario, CanadaApril 2017
  • Rimu

    “A wonderful introduction and exploration of the South Island. Each day was a new experience and an adventure. If you are looking to explore the South Island, this tour hits many of the major highlights and peaks your curiosity to come back and explore further!”
    Andrea Bonanno – Massachusetts, United StatesApril 2017
  • Rimu Rules

    “Excellent trip. Content is outstanding. Delivery is outstanding. Execution is flawless. A very well done experience in a beautiful country. Ken and Elder are the PhD's of guides. If all guides were as good as Ken and Elder, you would be a publicly traded company with a stock value rivaling Apple.”
    Curt Hudson – Massachusetts, United StatesApril 2017
  • Rimu, March 2017

    “Thank you for sharing New Zealand with us! Dani and Liana are amazing women, we loved getting to know them and appreciate how hard they worked to make sure that our trip was everything it could be.”
    Susan Moyer – Pennsylvania, United StatesApril 2017
  • Rimu March 2017

    “It was an amazing trip that covered most of the South Island. Dani and Liana did a fabulous job making sure each of us got the most out of our trip. They are full of life and energy. it was a joy to have them as our guides.”
    Rick Moyer – Pennsylvania, United StatesApril 2017
  • Worth all of the Sweat and Laughs

    “I was on the Rimu trip through much of the South Island with tour guides Kim and Ash. I was only able to make 8 days of the trip because I had a prior commitment to meet a family member in the North Island. So my review will only be able to cover my 8 days, although I believe the trip was for a total of 14 days. The trip was excellent on many levels. The tour leaders were outstanding. They drove us in a cool bus, made most of our 3 meals a day and provided snacks in the bus. They lead us on the hikes and activities and seemed to make all arrangements(along with the cool Active Adventures office team support)for our journeys. Our guides were both in their mid 20's and I have to say the most positive and mature people I have ever met. They kept us on schedule and showed us a good variety of terrain in the South Island. New Zealand is really amazing. At times it reminded me of Alaska and also northern California perhaps Hawaii as well. The vegetation is beautiful, lush and the scenery incredible. We were in their Fall October months and so we did have some wet weather, but nothing that stopped us from enjoying the trip. I attended this journey as a single person and that was not a problem because there were 3 other women on the trip and we just were able to share hotel rooms which was great. I chose the Hiking Option through Nelson Lakes and that was an amazing and challenging journey. The real reward for me was making it up the very steep parts, over rocks and lots of tree roots. In the beginning of the trip I was not sure I was in good enough physical shape. I am a tennis player and skier and like to hike and walk a lot but after a few days hiking I found out that I could handle it . That was a big relief because I really wanted to enjoy the trip to the best of my ability. I also have to say that I lucked out because our group was really outstanding. They came from all over the USA and Canada and they were a fun and upbeat team. We were also close in age and that was also interesting in terms of our professional lives and personal cross roads.This turned out to be the perfect experience for me. It kicked me up a notch in terms of physical demands of day after day exercise and reminded me of being in camp as a child, but showed me a beautiful country that I will hopefully some day return to see more of.”
    Adrienne Helitzer – California, United StatesApril 2017
  • Extraordinary experience!

    “This adventure was perfect in every way. We appreciate all the thought that went into the planning, to make it that way. It had just the right balance of hiking, biking, and kayaking, as well as of rigorous days and relaxing ones. Days that had to involve longish bus travel were appropriately broken up. The two things we appreciated most were the skill, competence, and temperament of our leaders, Tory and Jordie, who were able to rise to every occasion; and the way the trip allowed for different fitness and interest levels: I couldn't have done the strenuous hiking my husband did, and loved the kayak or hiking options provided. Extremely well organized for everyone's enjoyment.”
    Jane Epstein – Massachusetts, United StatesApril 2017
  • A terrific trip

    “It is hard to say enough about our Rimu trip with Jordan and Tory as our trip leaders. We were fortunate to have good weather and a great group but the planning and just plain hard work of Active Adventures and our trip leaders is what made it so memorable. For my wife and I, a particular plus, and what made the trip possible for us, are the options offered if one member of a couple doesn't feel comfortable with the more challanging parts of the trip.”
    Arnie Epstein – Massachusetts, United StatesApril 2017
  • New Zealand

    “New Zealand is a trip of a lifetime, it was more beautiful than expected and so many fond memories of my trip with Active Adventures”
    Judy Russell – Virginia, United StatesApril 2017
  • “An awesome trip. Loved the hikes, the bike ride into Wanaka and the kayaking at Okarito and Milford Sound. We had glorious food, lots of laughs at group dinners and shared our love of travel.”
    Chris Bezat – Montana, United StatesApril 2017
  • “Excellent, we had a great time and the team was very fun and supportive. Liana and Greg were first class and I would highly recommend them.”
    Patricia Newton – Oregon, United StatesApril 2017
  • “The trip was great and our leaders were first class. Greg and Liana were fantastic and they made the trip doable and great fun.”
    Randy Ainslie – Oregon, United StatesApril 2017
  • Outstanding New Zealand

    “It was a wonderful trip, with great guides, and activities in a beautiful country. The variety of experiences and scenery make me want to return. Here I thought I would make just one trip to New Zealand.”
    Eleanor Saliamonas – Illinois, United StatesApril 2017
  • Awesome Rimu Adventure

    “This truly was the trip of a lifetime--beyond awesome in so many ways. The scenery was incredible, the activities were varied and wonderful, the lodgings and meals were memorable, and, best of all, the company and guides were seamlessly delightful. We got to experience places of amazing natural beauty and encounter wildlife that we never could have managed to access on our own. We were nurtured and guided by our guides, Greg and Liana, as well as given just the right amount of free time and solitude. Greg seemed to know everything about history, geology, botany, ornithology, and culture, and could answer every question we could think of with authority and humor. Liana was a stalwart, never-complaining chef, and a strong, responsible, kind guide. Amazingly, the weather cooperated to give us incredible outings --for instance, the day before we went to Milford Sound it rained 1.2 meters, but when we were there not a drop of rain, and perfect kayaking conditions as well as hundreds and hundreds of effervescent waterfalls. I will never forget this adventure, and never forget the wonderful people I was privileged to share it with.”
    Lucy Collier – California, United StatesApril 2017
  • Beyond Our High Expectations

    “To anyone who is considering Active Adventures and you're wondering all the things we were; Is it worth the price tag, will I be challenged, can I keep up, will I see a variety of things, will I like the food, will the guides be helpful, good people? The answer to all these questions and more is YES.

    My wife and I waited 7 years to take our dream trip of a lifetime to New Zealand. We placed our trust in Active Adventures and I can never describe how amazing the trip was. Truthfully, they made it more than a trip or vacation. It was a true life experience. From the moment we inquired years ago, our friends at AA kept in touch, were never pushy, but encouraged us to be part of an adventure with them.

    After we paid our money, my mother was told she had stage 4 Cancer. When I called and told the staff at Active, they told me whatever they had to do to work with me to make the trip happen now or at another time, they would work with me. Luckily, she's doing great and we were able to go. The point of the story is that you are more than a Master Card payment to this company. They treat you with respect and kindness from day one and the way they handles that situation told me everything I needed to know about them as a company and as people.

    What truly made the trip was our guides. DK and Elder are two of the most genuine, amazing people you could ever meet. Their attention to detail, work effort and knowledge of the country was unreal. The food that the lads cooked was better than what we had in restaurants on our trip and the restaurant food was great. I could go on and on about the boys and how encouraging they are, as well as helpful, friendly, as well as how very professional they are. But honestly, they are amazing people who did everything they could to ensure each person on the trip got the best experience they could in their own way.

    The lodging was awesome. I could go on and on but I'll simply state that each place you stay, as well as each place you visit, was a different experience. We were always very comfortable, even in the hut after 7 hours of an uphill climb. Though I could have slept on rocks that night and it would have been perfect!

    The bus, which I was most concerned about, was actually very comfortable. With so many beautiful places to see, the rides were quick and the boys had facts, stories, and history about pretty much every site outside the window.

    As for the hikes, the biking, the kayaking; the views and landscapes are surreal. It cannot be described. You need to experience it. But do not be discouraged or worry about "not keeping up." The guides make sure that everyone is involved no matter what the skill or fitness level.

    The people you meet on these trips are just amazing. We were so fortunate to meet such beautiful people. They helped make the experience.

    In summary, there are many companies to chose from. We were very lucky in finding Active Adventures. DK and Elder, along with all the staff, are the reason the trip was as amazing as it was. Everything was so well planned and never could we have seen so much without their precise planning and organization. New Zealand was the experience of a lifetime and we owe it all to Active Adventures.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Newfoundland and Labrador
    Canada”
    Steve Miller – Newfoundland and Labrador, CanadaApril 2017
  • Humbled Hiker

    “Beautiful country with kind beautiful people. I was challenged by the hiking and impressed with the love of the guides for their country.
    Will never forget sitting in the Angulus Hut listening to the languages from all over the world. People sharing their meals in happy, grateful awe of being in a very special gathering of people sharing the wonders of the world.

    I considered myself an experienced hiker, taking on steep, long trails living in Colorado. I was humbled by the challenging backpack tramp to Angulus Hut. Survived the rock scrambling that wasn't part of my skill set”
    Nancy Kalamaya – Colorado, United StatesApril 2017
  • Great Outdoor Adventure!!

    “If you enjoy group travel and want to have some challenging and fun hiking, kayaking and cycling adventures that would be hard to organize on your own--this is the trip for you!”
    Susanna Ross – Oregon, United StatesApril 2017
  • Rimu NZ 2016

    “Our Rimu tour was an amazing composite of beautiful NZ nature, amazing co-adventurerers, knowledgable and friendly guides, and well-planned, active kayaking, hiking, and bicycling.”
    Scott Miller – California, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Rimu trip January 2017

    “In spite of my unanticipated fitness changes, I was accommodated as if I was someone's favorite grandmother. Because the trip was to be a retirement celebration for my husband, I was reluctant to cancel because of unexpected knee problems so hoped for the best. And it was the best! I was given permission to do what I could, and assisted to do more at other times. I couldn't ask for more except to return after knee replacement this spring!”
    Marsha Duke – Iowa, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Even better than expected, and I expected a lot

    “This was a truly awe inspiring trip---from the mountains to the rain forest to Milford Sound. A friend of mine advised me not to go on this trip. He said if I did, I would never have anything better to look forward to and he may have been right.
    Realizing that an extraordinary amount of work is done by the office and support staff, I still have to say that this trip would not be what it was without the guides, Nick and Tory, going above and beyond what anyone could have expected. They have got to be among the best.
    Thank you to the entire gang at Active Adventures.”
    Doug Spitzenberger – South Dakota, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Rimu with D K and Elder

    “Given that we were 20 years older than any of the other travellers we were with, we felt very cared for and found both of the guides were able to taylor each experience to our comfort level. The guides couldn't have been more delightful. Our whole experience was extremely bonding with our all on our "party bus"!”
    Judith Giguere – North Carolina, United StatesMarch 2017
  • excellent Rimu tour

    “Guides were great; accomodations were great to ok; food was good; scenery was spectacular; activities were challenging and enjoyable”
    Mike Church – Illinois, United StatesMarch 2017
  • we did it all!!!!

    “This was an amazing trip, thanks to the great group company, beautiful scenery, fabulous organisation, and especially our great guides Rachel and Kim. They were able to share their love for New Zealand and all their youthful energy and enthusiasm in an incredibly contagious way(including the horrible flu germs that went around our group)...many thanks! Looking back on all we did and saw, I really can't think of one highlight that overall supercedes anything else, but for me personally their gentle support on our three day challenging Nelson Lakes hike was invaluable. I would go on another Active trip in a heartbeat, and so look forward to hearing what you folks are up to as I settle back into life in the Northern Hemisphere.”
    Laurie Martz – British Columbia, CanadaMarch 2017
  • “This was truly the trip of a lifetime!! Amazing guides, perfect size, and the most beautiful scenery made this an unforgettable adventure! I did not want to leave when it was over. I would recommend Active Adventures to anyone!!”
    Khristina Hoover – Virginia, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Out of this world!

    “I can't believe our Active Adventures Rimu trip has come to an end! What a truly fantastic 2 weeks traveling around the South Island: incredible weather; wonderful, strong and inspiring people; landscape to die for and 2 amazingly kind and caring guides for whom nothing was too much. I still have Ed Sheeran's "castle on a hill" spinning around in my head - it's the song of the holiday! Thank you all so much for a magical fortnight.”
    Frieda Levycky – , SwitzerlandMarch 2017
  • RIMU - Or Becoming a Kiwi!

    “If you’re a fit independent outdoors ‘animal’ you will love this Rimu tour! Plus you’ll get far more out of your vacation time by leaving the care & feeding part to a fully professional Active team. Pack everything they suggest for each day’s activities – nothing more, nor less. They run a tight schedule with time leftover for worthwhile surprises. And they seemingly sweep away the hassles...
    Midway through my trip I caught up with fellow Americans who were traveling on their own (on the wrong side of the road!). And they remarked at how much information I was able to share with them – as though I were a Kiwi – by just paying attention to Active's local guides. Be smart, make it memorable. Priceless!”
    Lorna Donovan – Alabama, United StatesMarch 2017
  • “We enjoyed the trip, Amanda and Hillary (and Joe) were great. We had fantastic weather and the general locations included on the trip were exactly where I would have chosen to go if left to my own choosing. Wish we could have made it to Kaikora (spelling?), but that was out of your control.

    So (you might ask) why wasn't it "Excellent, the trip of a lifetime". For me it's having to deal with "strangers" for two weeks - I could probably handle a week a little better, but certain things can drive you crazy in 14 days. Most of the people were great, others (to my mind) were annoying. Major point being, this has nothing to do with your staff, your itinerary or anything else under your control - so AA did just fine. Some of the activities might have been a little more challenging, but overall I thought the general level of difficulty was fine.”
    Gary Blose – New York, United StatesMarch 2017
  • New Zealand - RIMU Trip

    “Trip of a lifetime! What an amazing, unforgettable trip. Our guides were fantastic and Active Adventures is perfection! Professional, knowledgeable, they take care of everything. All you need to do is show up. I'd love to redo that entire trip. Don't miss it!!”
    Mary Stump – Indiana, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Rimu trip

    “I would rename it to the "Most Active Adventure" I enjoyed this adventure from beginning to end. Although the through hike was far more difficult than I had immagined, I an impressed that I was able to complete the trek.”
    Mike Aitken – Maine, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Organized and Fun!

    “Great trip! ... the guides were very well organized and were very knowledgeable about the local areas and history, flora, fauna, and were more than willing to share it all with us.

    Having the logistics of such a trip so well taken care of made it easy to just enjoy the time we were there.”
    Christine Wilson-McGrady – Colorado, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Rimu rocks!

    “Our expectations for this trip were outrageously, unreasonably high. And those expectations were exceeded! We love nature and interesting topography, and we love activity. We got an abundance of all of that. What a great combination! We wanted to be away from the crowds and see the country up close, and we got that too. The guides made it all so easy and real - no spin on reality, no superfluous talking-up of what we were seeing or doing. They were a wealth of information that was not just factual, but meaningful and relatable. The whole trip was all well planned, well organized, and well executed. We feel very lucky to have had such an experience.”
    Matt Aaronson – North Carolina, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Great way to maximize two weeks in New Zealand

    “We had hoped to spend four to six weeks in New Zealand, but work shortened our trip to two weeks. With a longer trip we might have rented a car and an apartment and explored on our own, but with less time we decided to turn our adventure over to experts. Friends who had used Active Adventures recommended the Ramu trip, and we are forever thankful to them. There is no question that we experienced much more than we would have on our own in two weeks, and the unique experiences we enjoyed we could not have duplicated in two months. Cannot recommend it highly enough.”
    Chip Newell – Maine, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Rave for Rimu!

    “Our adventure began from the moment we touched down in Christchurch and were greeted by our warm and friendly guide. Despite our flight being very delayed, Active Adventure staff ensured that we were greeted at the airport and taken to where the rest of the group was gathered. This attention to detail remained throughout the trip. The South Island scenery is stunning and the choices for our hikes, kayaking and cycling were excellent. For me, this type of well guided trip is truly vacationing! All I need to do is show up on time and I'm presented with stunning scenery, great exercise, tasty, healthy, food and most of the time, good accommodations. I do have one suggestion to help make some of the longer bus rides more entertaining. I would like to see a media system installed on the bus so that we could watch interesting cultural stuff about New Zealand along the way. This would help pass the time---there are some rides where the scenery outside was entertaining enough, but on other occasions it would have been a nice added touch! Congratulations on running an excellent trip all around! I hope to be back on another Active Adventure...maybe Himalayas?”
    Sherry Zweig – Ontario, CanadaMarch 2017
  • More than I could have imagined

    “This is my first trip with Active Adventures and I could not have been more pleased. The activities planned and places we visited on the south island were amazing. We were pushed to our physical limits a few times but loved every minute of it. We lucked out with absolutely amazing weather, but even if we hadn't I think this would still go down as an adventure of a life time. Our guides, Dani and Hilary were incredible, they made us laugh, taught us so much about NZ wildlife and culture and took 5 star care of us as well. Having done other group trips with other companies I would rate Active Adventures as the best value and experience of any.”
    Kristy Clarke – California, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Excellent NZ Adventures!

    “My Rimu Active Adventure trip exceeded my high expectations. The hikes, backpacking, kayaking, and cycling adventures were thrilling, fun, and beautiful. Luckily for our group, we had absolutely perfect weather every day of the trip! Dani and Hilary were tremendous guides who taught me a lot about Kiwi life. Highlights for me were the 3-day backpacking tramp in Nelson Lakes National Park to Angelus Hut and kayaking in Milford Sound. I appreciated that we mostly stayed in local lodges, hotels, inns. I recommend this trip to anyone who wants to truly explore the stunningly beautiful South Island of New Zealand with wonderful friendly guides.”
    Brian Holsclaw – Washington, United StatesMarch 2017
  • If you want to smile come to New Zealand

    “Where to start?? In one sentence "Truly an amazing trip if you want to get a feel for what New Zealand is all about, this is the place to start".
    We were blessed with the most amazing weather, a wonderful group of fellow adventurers, and 2 extremely knowledgeable guides that truly cared about our needs. This is a trip that only makes you want to see and do more. The entire time I was telling my daughter (who couldn't join) that we must come back and I know exactly what we will do. This was my first multi day backpacking trip where I actually carried my share of the supplies. Now I am ready to do all the famous tracks of New Zealand with her:)) Although Ive done hut to hut I have never had to carry all the stuff, it was nice to find out I can do it!!!! The great thing about Active is they make all of us feel like we can do anything, even when the going gets tough, they are there to support the group to achieve their goals.
    I always have to have another trip planned before I leave and yes I have my new one planned with my daughter to Patagonia. I cant wait, Hoping Cynthia will be there to show us the way. Thanks for making a long lived dream come true of getting to New Zealand. It is truly a country of beauty of people who are proud of their country and well just such beauty all around.
    Thank you all at Active, so glad to finally see your offices although I was sorry not to see more staff there the day I visited.”
    Penny Fink – California, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Exceeded all expectations

    “Our Rimu trip truly exceeded all expectations. Our Active guides, Rachael and Gary were wonderful guides with so much knowledge to share with us about the New Zealand culture, wildlife, history, and geography that we encountered along the way. This was truly an adventure of a lifetime that my son and I will always treasure.”
    Mia Byrne – Michigan, United StatesMarch 2017
  • My dream came true!!!

    “I was on the RIMU trip that began on Jan 9, 2017. I have been wanting to go to New Zealand for the last five years and I have worked very hard to save the money for this trip. I was so anxious, not knowing what to expect, especially seeing as this was my first international trip and I was traveling alone!
    From the moment I set foot in New Zealand, I was greeted with smiles and overall kindness by all. I felt so welcomed by the warmth of the people and was not afraid!
    Our guides were Tori and Jordie and I cannot begin to tell you how incredible they were to every single person on our tour. Both were so very kind, knowledgeable, inspiring, encouraging, educated, funny, supportive, soulful, and projected their connection of their country and their people---it was beautiful to see and be surrounded by.
    I do not think I have a favorite moment, so many were so beautiful and just took my breath away, enriched my soul, made me feel alive, and appreciate the beauty of this planet.
    One of the moments I am proud of is during the first 3 days of our trip....we had a 3 day long hike through Nelson National Park. We hiked to Angelus Hut and I tell you what, I did not think I was going to make it. With the constant encouragement from Tori (and her bright smiling face), Jordie and our team, I made it! I was so proud to have accomplished this feat (which was a lot for me). The rest of the trip was filled with more beautiful land, DELICIOUS food and happy times. I will definitely be coming back to see the North Island and I personally request that Tori and Jordie be our guides! (If that is even possible). I could continue to write a novel about how this trip changed me, inspired me, awakened me and humbled me. Thank you for continuing to preserve your land and the birds that inhabit it. This was my dream, and I lived it! Thank you Active Adventures for helping me make my dreams come true!
    Sincerely,
    JoAnna Pitre”
    JoJo Pitre – Massachusetts, United StatesMarch 2017
  • BLT's NZ Odyssey

    “The Rimu provided us with a whirlwind opportunity to see the best of the South Island! The mix of physical activity and sightseeing was good. We appreciated the sample of hiking terrain and ecology - from the Kepler Track to the Routeburn Track to the Angelus Circuit. The sea kayaking was serene.”
    Linda Terry – New Hampshire, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Active and Awesome

    “We went with high expectations for this adventure and we were never disappointed. From the gorgeous scenery to the warmth of the Kiwis to the incredible food and masterful guides, it was a trip of our lifetime!”
    Julie Metzger – Pennsylvania, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Very Active Trip!!

    “Always on the move...
    We covered a lot of miles and experienced most of New Zealand's South Island!
    Including: a lot of kayaking... which was great, and the vast knowledge shared by our guides!!
    P.S. Also recommend the Walking Tour in Queenstown by Miriam's Husband... It was Great!!”
    Sandy Boothe – Pennsylvania, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Wished I could have done it all again Rimu

    “The Rimu trip in February was my first experience ever taking a guided tour or an adventure vacation. All the words I can think of to describe the mountains, the fjords, the forests, the rivers and lakes will just sound cliched and will inevitably fall short of the actual experience. The "active" parts of the trip often pushed me out of my comfort zone into places I didn't know I could go, but afterwards left me happy and proud of myself for going. Our guides, Ken and Tess, made me feel both challenged and safe in pushing my limits. Their own confidence and enthusiasm was infused into the experience, not just for me but the whole group of us. The 13 of us on the Rimu tour were uncannily well suited as a group. I have to believe it was a rare and special connection. We are all still in touch, sharing pictures and memories, and I know that many of us have made lasting friendships. This experience has left me hungry for more.”
    Lisa O'Donnell – Massachusetts, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Most amazing adventure to date, but there will be more!!

    “Our group of adventurers magically gelled right from the start and we were thrilled to have Jordi, Tia and Tory as our tour guides! From Braemer Station to the Angelus Hut and everything in between, we were well cared for. I loved the variety of lodging and meals prepared by Tory, as well as the local restaurants. The hike to Angelus Hut was my hands-down favorite "active" day, but I truly loved it all. Thank you Active Adventures Team for all the great memories!!
    Cheers, Tamara Higgins, RIMU Feb 2017”
    Tamara Higgins – Colorado, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Southbound Rimu trip

    “After being on a Galapagos trip I thought I knew what to expect! Galapagos was amazing too but this trip was an experience in itself!! Every hike was an adventure and the rewards for getting to the top were a treasure to be seen!! A huge thanks to Rachel and Gary for their knowledge and everything they did to make this trip incredible!”
    Kathy Lomeli – Indiana, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Best Trip Ever

    “You go hiking, exert yourself, see spectacular views, and you think "this is the best day, it can't get better than this." Then you go kayaking, see wildlife, lush rain forest and red tinted water, all with the backdrop of snow capped mountains, and you think "no, this is the best day, it can't get better this. Then you go biking along a teal colored river and through a birch forest with snow capped mountains ringing a suddenly peaceful lake and you think, "okay, THIS is the best day." And then you drive to Milford Sound, gawk in awe at waterfalls tumbling down towering cliffs along the road and you get to the Sound and you kayak with dolphins, and you come to the realization, "this is my New Zealand trip, every day better than the last," so that on your last day when you are lying beneath the stars, staring at the Milky Way and the Southern Cross, you know you've experienced something beyond special.”
    Tanya Karimi – Colorado, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Rimu Trip Review

    “This was my second trip with Active Adventures, and although I didn't think it was possible, the Rimu trip was even better than my Patagonia one, which at the time was the BEST adventure I ever had. The bar just keeps getting higher!”
    Chelle Porper – Massachusetts, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Ran out of adjectives!

    “I had high expectations and every one of them was surpassed! The entire trip was exceptional---and we had the best guides in the world!”
    Suzy Monford – California, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Truly the trip of a lifetime!

    “The trip was everything we wanted it to be: We went beyond the tour bus stops to explore the true New Zealand wilderness. Our guides approached every day with good humor and great energy, making every day physically challenging and fun. We can't wait to get out there again.”
    Jennifer Johnston – Tennessee, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Great Introduction to New Zealand

    “The trip provided us with a wonderful taste of New Zealand's South Island. The 'summer' weather we experienced certainly put the adventure in Active Adventures New Zealand. Although, we were faced with several days of rainy weather, both Claire and Ash's positive attitudes made any changes to our itinerary seamless. Our group was fantastic and everyone went with the flow and made our time together a real bonding experience.”
    Stephanie Wood – Illinois, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Old knees good times

    “My wife and I had so many questions prior to meeting our group and guides in NZ. How many in our group? What kind of people and what ages? What about the guides?

    What a great group from the start! Tess and Ken were thoughtful, sharing and knowledgeable guides. The itinerary was well thought-out even though we had our detours and quick changes. I was the oldest by 12 years and I loved it--tough for one without any meniscus but I expected it would be so--loved sweating and working. Braemar Station and Milford Sound were definitely highlights but the chemistry of our group was most prominent.”
    John Meek – California, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Best trip ever - and we've done a few!

    “Amazing place, made spectacular by knowledgeable, warm, energising guides, an incredibly well thought through & jam packed itinerary, and like-minded fellow travellers. Would do it again without a second thought.”
    Zena El Farra – , United KingdomFebruary 2017
  • WOW!

    “Our guides, Greg and Liana are amazing! Their tireless energy, cheerful attitudes, helpfulness, flexibility, wisdom and professionalism played a big part in making this a very special trip.

    New Zealand's scenery is absolutely spectacular! Hiking the lush forests with mammoth ferns and trees left us unable to say anything but WOW!! Each hike we did seemed "the best". Our hike on the Routeburn Track was a highlight. The drive to Milford Sound held us in silent awe.

    At Mt. Cook it was great to have a choice between a challenging and a relaxing hike ~ both fantastic. Staying at the Braemar Station, a sheep shearers' quarters was a perfect end to our adventure. We reveled in the wide open rolling grasslands while fixated on the majestic mountains beyond.

    Active Adventures is an outstanding company and has put together a variety of activities to make "RIMU" a real winner!”
    Susan Ebinger – Oregon, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Great Trip.

    “The best way to experience the South Island.”
    Leith Maclaren – Illinois, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Best Trip Ever

    “Every single bit of the trip was amazing - the route, the guides, the activities, the food and the company. There wasn't a single thing that I could fault - I always saw a trip to New Zealand as a trip of a lifetime and Active made sure it didn't disappoint!”
    Nick Fraine – , United KingdomFebruary 2017
  • Great trip! Wonderful guides!

    “We loved our Rimu adventure! Tia and Tess were fabulous guides. Always cheerful and wonderful ambassadors for their country. The trip was a great mix of touring and challenging mountain experiences.”
    Carl Helmetag – Rhode Island, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • South Island Adventure 2017

    “I was able to keep active while vacationing and develop new found skills while hiking. The guides kept us safe while challenging our skills and abilities.”
    Chip Barry – Oregon, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Experience an Amazing Place with Amazing Guides!

    “My trip was all that I had expected and more. The landscape was so amazing and spectacular, and the people of New Zealand, they are just as amazing - some of the nicest people I have met! Our guides, Claire and Ash, were just awesome in everything they planned, prepared and shared with our group. They were always right on top of things and never missed a beat!”
    Ernie Garcia – New Mexico, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Great trip

    “I think this is the best one I have taken with Active!”
    SueAnn Griffin – Maryland, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • It doesn't get much better!

    “What a fantastic time traveling with family and new-found friends! New Zealand is an absolutely beautiful country, with thrills and adventure around every corner (and there a lot of them)! Our guides Ken and Elder were as good as they come; from their knowledge of the country, to their welcomed encouragement on the trail and the water. Oh, and did I mention their wholesome and delicious cooking?!?
    I would not hesitate to travel with Active Adventures again. Their organization, communication and willingness to please were simply over the top. Next year in Patagonia perhaps???”
    Dean Altaras – Washington, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Astonished and delighted

    “”
    Mil Apostol – California, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • “One of the best trips I've been on. Ken and Elder were such great guides and the passion they displayed was fantastic.”
    Justen Altaras – Washington, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Rimu, January 2017

    “We had high expectations for the Rimu trip, which were all exceeded. The South Island is a magical place. The trip was like spending two weeks in a national park. Even the occasional moisture added to a rain forest feel. The activities, which technically involved hiking, kayaking and biking, also included understanding of the culture, agriculture, city life, and experience sharing with fellow trip members. Jordan and Tory really made the trip into an experience through their knowledge, constant helpful support, excellent cooking and capacity to fully engage with us as a team. True professionals! The group connected immediately. Accommodations were excellent. We even "timed" kayaking Milford Sound the day following a major storm, resulting in the hundreds of waterfalls being at peak. Perfect trip. Thank you, Active Adventures.”
    Ellery Duke – Iowa, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Absolutely wonderful experience!

    “We have always wanted to travel to New Zealand, yet weren't sure how we might approach the potential journey. After looking at online reviews we contacted a Kiwi friend and former travel guide, who confirmed our thinking that Active Adventures would provide an amazing experience. To hike, bike, and kayak our way through 6 national parks in 14 days with special friends seemed just perfect. And it was exactly that, perfect!”
    Pat Dunn – Oregon, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • A Trip of a Lifetime!

    “This was one of my all time favorite trips. New Zealand is stunning and Active Adventures did an amazing job. Our guides, Rachel & James definitely made our trip special. I was nervous that I didn't have enough hiking experience but with the encouragement from our guides, I was fine. In fact, my favorite part of the trip was the multi-day hiking in Nelson Lake NP. I felt a real sense of accomplishment! To be honest, I loved all the activities. From the hiking, kayaking, to the snorkeling. A piece of advice, have some water shoes, like Keens, for the snorkeling. We walked quite a ways through the water and over rocks to get to where we snorkeled. Water shoes would have made it a lot easier. If you are thinking about taking this trip, do it! You won't regret it! You will make lifelong friends while exploring this beautiful country.”
    Beth Langhals – Colorado, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Great introduction to New Zealand

    “When visiting New Zealand, one must be aware of the tendency for Mother Nature to intervene. We altered our backpacking due to epic rains! The earthquake last year kept us out of the northeast coast due to slides (slips down under). Low clouds downed the helihikers. And high winds kept us out of kayaks at Milford sound. Our guides always had excellent backup plans and we had a ball.”
    John Wood – Illinois, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Fantastic

    “Fantastic trip with fantastic guides”
    Derek Vander Velde – Florida, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Great guides

    “Our guides were great! Couldn't be better.”
    Carol Corbett – Utah, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Rimu 2017 New Zealand

    “My New Zealand trip with Active Adventures was full of excitement, beauty and of course, adventure! I am certain I would not have seen or experienced many of the sights if I had scheduled this experience on my own. Active Adventures knows where to take you, how to get there and where to stay. Some very sweet, out of the way places were explored. Thanks so much for a super three weeks!”
    Sue Lipsman – Utah, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Excellent Trip

    “If you like outdoor activities this is your dream trip. The itinerary is very well planned. The scenery and landscapes are beautiful. Our guides Tia and Alex are fabulous. They are youthful, caring, knowledgeable, and extremely professional. Their hardwork made the entire trip smooth and enjoyable. Everyday is packed with interesting and exciting outdoor activities: multi-day hiking in Nelson Lake NP, kayaking in Milford Sound, biking along the shore of Wanaka Lake, and day hiking the Routeburn, Kepler, Sealy Tarns, Hooker Valley and many other beautiful short tracks in various NPs of the South Island. The group mates are very friendly and fun and the small group size made it easy to socialize. In addition, the food is healthy and very delicious. Thanks to every member of the group, in particular our great guides Tia and Alex, it is your care, warmth, encouragement, and tolerance that made this trip truly unforgettable.”
    Siyuan Han – Kansas, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • New Zealand Doesn't Disappoint

    “My husband said this every evening we were there! The guides support and attitude, the environment and natural beauty of the South Island, the quality of accommodations, food and the local people we'd meet all combined to make this a trip of a lifetime.”
    Laurie Erickson – California, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • What an adventure!

    “Great adventure with wonderful guides Alex and Tia!”
    Stephanie Eskuri – Michigan, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Fantastic Family Adventure

    “Truly a memorable adventure for the entire family! From the first meet and greet with the guides and co-adventurers to the last day’s New Year Eve hurrah, we were awe inspired by the landscape, local hospitality, guides, and fellow travelers. This trip was much more than hiking, biking, and kayaking. Some of the many rewarding events included, sampling the local foods, an ad hoc blind sparkling wine tasting, an impromptu haka dance, free time passing the rugby ball, the warmth of a Queenstown sunrise, viewing the Milky way at Braemar Station, listing to the wonderful stories of others while hiking along scenic trails, defeating the 1800 steps to Sealy Tarns, and most of all creating unforgettable experience.”
    John Pfeifer – California, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • January 2 2017 Rimu with Ken and Holly

    “Just fantastic--knowledgeable, enthusiastic and caring guides, unbelievable sights every day, went way beyond our expectations.”
    Win Quayle – Massachusetts, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Rimu January 2017

    “Never having gone on a guided trip I was not sure what to expect and uncertain how I would like it. The trip was filled with once in a lifetime experiences that I will never forget. I did and saw things in New Zealand with our guides that my husband and I would never have done. It was one of the most fantastic experiences I have ever had traveling. Our guides were amazing in their knowledge, enthusiasm and warmth. We hope to go on another trip with Active, but can not imagine how we it could equal this awesome experience.”
    Deb Manegold – Massachusetts, United StatesJanuary 2017

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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Legendary Kiwi Hospitality

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

Expert LOCAL Guides & Trip Leaders

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

Everything is Included

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

A Sense of Achievement

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

Small Groups

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

Diverse Experiences

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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