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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 4772 reviews)

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

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.
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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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Feb 26 ’18 – Mar 11 ’18 US$5299 + tax Almost Full - Check Now! Check Availability
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Useful Info

No Forced Single Supplement:

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

Trip Start:

On the first day of the trip we can either pick you up from the 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

  • Great Trip

    “1st class and professional from start to finish. Both Jackie and Carrie were outstanding. Even though we had to make changes based on weather they always had a plan and options for us. 14 days passed in the blink of an eye. The food, the accommodations, the activities, the camaraderie, and the enthusiasm were all outstanding. We would not hesitate to recommend Active Adventures and are already thinking about future trips.”
    Eric Murray – Nebraska, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • Spectacular!

    “I can't imagine a better way to see the South Island than on Rimu. Challenging? Definitely.... but worth every step!”
    Lisa Kurek – Texas, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • Rimu Was Extraordinary

    “We have been dreaming of visiting New Zealand for a long time, we wanted to see and explore all the best sites in an active way, but doing this on our own would have been overwhelming! Active Adventures was the complete answer. They took us to the best places, sites and beautiful landscapes that we could only have dreamed about. Our group was small which allowed us all to bond, our guides Astrid and Steve could not have been better - fun, knowledgeable, organized and excellent cooks. I got the sense they really enjoyed what they do! I would strongly recommend this tour - a trip of a lifetime that words can’t describe - we will never forget it.”
    Colleen Clark – Ontario, CanadaFebruary 2018
  • South Island Rimu Trip

    “My South Island trip was outstanding, even with the cyclone that came ashore on the second day! The itinerary needed to be changed because of all the washed out roads to places that we were suppose to venture to. Our guides, Jackie and Carrie, came up with new plans that were great. A mark of a good company is when they can handle unexpected events, such as a cyclone, and still provide their guest with a trip of a life time. Thank you A.A. for a great and safe trip!”
    Pete Orefice – Connecticut, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • Nov 2017 Rimu with Claire, Carrie and Natalie

    “The trip was so well organized and orchestrated. Claire’s driving was phenomenal with a bus full of gabbing woman and windy narrow roads. Natalie’s home baked goodies, nice touch. We were fed so so very well. So many highlights, like who lugs bottles of champagne and glasses on a hike to surprise us at the top?! Or having stubbies waiting for us as we emerge from the woods after two nights at the hut.”
    Rebecca Pope – Washington, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • Rimu - Feb 2018

    “Could not have been happier with our guides, their level of preparation/organization and the stunning beauty of the South Island.”
    Tom Townes – North Carolina, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • Jan 2018 Rimu with Steve and Astrid

    “My wife and I were on the January 15th 2018 Rimu trip with Steve and Astrid. It was a trip that met all of our hopes and expectations! We were a part of what developed into a very small and close nit group of 6 travelers and 2 guides. The wonderful experience of spending such a thrilling time with such a group in such a fantastically gorgeous environment was one of the highlights of my lifetime experiences. I feel that spending 2 weeks of challenging daily activities culminating in the 3 day Angelus challenge hike could not have been better. Helping and pushing each other through with support and laughter will always be remembered. I find myself now back home after 2 weeks still reminiscing daily about our moments spent together. My thanks to our wonderful young guides who led us, supported us and fed us so well.”
    Bob Koubsky – Minnesota, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • Amazing South Island Rimu Trip!!

    “The diversity of what we saw and did on the Rimu trip was amazing!! Beautiful mountain and glacier views, our first sea kayak experience, the sub-tropical West Coast rain forests, caving to see glowworms, cycling the Hawea River Trail, and a challenging but very rewarding Angelus Circuit hike. We were fortunate to be with a wonderful group of people - a great team that encouraged each other throughout the trip. Our guides (Dani & Pepper) were outstanding, very positive, and full of energy. We were so impressed with Active Adventures that we will be hiking on their Mont Blanc tour this summer.”
    Kevin Cahill – Washington, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • Amazing Trip! Epic!

    “It is hard to find words to describe this epic trip. Our group included six travellers and two excellent guides! This 'Rimu' trip of two weeks included some of the most beautiful vistas in the world. We had beautiful weather and so enjoyed the New Zealand summer since we are from the north. The camaraderie with our team created a level of togetherness which increased as we paddled, biked, and hiked the most amazing trails I have ever seen. Our food made by Astrid was delicious and we looked forward to every snack and meal to the point I was a little disappointed when it was a time to eat out! Our lead guide Steve helped me through a few tricky moments of climbing as needed and drove our van so skillfully. It was the top trip of many trips! Not sure how many times I said “Wow”!”
    Cindy Koubsky – Minnesota, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • The Long Expected Trip

    “In 2012, when I learned that Peter Jackson was going to build the set of The Shire with permanent materials, I knew that it was time for me to go to New Zealand. I was 8 when "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" was released in theaters, and since then I have grown up with both the movies and J.R.R. Tolkien's books. These stories became very dear to me and New Zealand became (and always will be) Middle-earth. I have always wanted to visit NZ, but I never knew how or when that would happen. The deciding moment came in 2012. I saw my chance to visit an "actual" piece of Middle-earth. But I also wanted to experience New Zealand apart from the tourist spots. I wanted to explore and see NZ not just for it's role in the films but because of it's unique, natural beauty. So I went to Google to see what I could find that would satisfy my wish to see New Zealand. I forget the exact phrase I searched, but I know that Active Adventures was the first result. It was meant to be. Within days after exploring the site, I received a call from a representative named Matthew and we started talking about my trip. I was still in college at the time and explained that I would have to wait 5 years before I could go. It was a nice chat and I was reassured that New Zealand would still be there in 5 years. But 5 years is a long time, and although I was making plans, my trip seemed like a far off dream.
    But before I knew it, I was packing for New Zealand. By this time, my trip had evolved into 2 Active Adventure trips and 12 days on my own to explore places like Wellington and Matamata. I completed my degree and now it was time to begin a new chapter of my life. A month-long trip to New Zealand was a perfect start.
    It's hard to put into words how much I enjoyed this trip - incredible, terrific, amazing, life-changing...these sentiments don't seem to encompass how much this trip meant to me. I waited 5 long years, working and studying, and saving for this trip-of-a-lifetime. I could not ask for a better tour group than Active Adventures. The group was just the right size; the guides were friendly, cheerful, knowledgeable, and made sure I got the most out of my time in New Zealand. The food was amazing - I'll definitely be recreating the recipes at home. Having never really done intense hiking before, I've discovered a love for hiking in New Zealand. There were some trails that I though I wouldn't be able to complete, like the Angelus Circuit, but I did it! And I'd do the hikes again. I got so much out of traveling with Active Adventures that I will be looking for similar adventures of my own when spring comes along at home. It's hard to believe my trip is finished. I've waited for so long and worked so hard to get to New Zealand...where did the time go? I have memories to last a lifetime and photos and stories to remind me of where I've been. Though I will explore the world, I know that I'll be returning to New Zealand again and again. Active Adventures allowed me to see the incredible country they call home, and I'd be lying if I said that NZ hasn't become a home-away-from-home to me. I will never forget this trip.”
    Megan McDermott – Pennsylvania, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • A Great NZ Sampler

    “A great way to see and sample the South Island.”
    Scott Warner – Maryland, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • Rimu January 2018... Even more beautiful in hindsight.

    “Pretty hard to capture with mere words just how beautiful and challenging this trip was. Only now, with the clarity of hindsight and reviewing my photos, am I really beginning to grasp the magnitude of the natural wonder that is New Zealand. And reviewing the map against where we traveled shows that we saw a pretty good chunk of the South Island on our Rimu trip, and only whets my appetite to see even more.

    If you are considering an adventure tour with knowledgeable fun loving guides, who also happen to be fantastic cooks, then look no further. Active Adventures has everything covered. We stayed in top notch accommodations, from a sheep station to a luxury riverside bungalow, and we started each day with a great breakfast, had a hearty lunch break during the day's activity, and finished with appetizers in the evening before a delicious dinner. Did I mention these guides can cook? And that fresh food using local ingredients tastes even better after a full day of adventure. And adventure is what you'll be doing, each and every day.

    So pick out a trip, book it, and do it. You'll be glad you did.”
    Barry Sloan – Montana, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • Well done

    “This was a well organized trip done by very competent guides who went above and beyond
    their duties to provided what was a excellent experience.
    I think that the group size was an excellent number and the choice of activities made it better still.
    I would also like to thank the staff for locating and delivering my lost luggage.

    Thank you for an excellent experience”
    Jerry Stewart – Idaho, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • A Special Place

    “New Zealand is a very special place. The natural beauty was inspiring and the well planned trip provided unique opportunities to experience the magical environment.”
    Patrick Kenney – Wisconsin, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • Holiday Trip 2018

    “Our guides Ken and Carrie were great! We had a wonderful time with all the activities and the variety of experiences was perfect.”
    Todd Goatley-Seals – Nevada, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • Rimu, Experience NZ's Stunning Nature

    “Searching for a suitable tour, the 'Rimu' promised exactly what I was looking for: daily outdoor activities, lovely accomodations and good coffee :-). This tour exceeded my expectations!! Our attentive and friendly guides kept us active and challenged every day. We experienced New Zealand's nature hiking, cycling and kayaking. Throughout the whole tour everything was organised and taken care of. They prepared delicious meals and picnics. Daily surprises such as a cold drink after a long hike or an especially beautiful lookout during the bus ride completed this outstanding tour. Furthermore we got to know many stories about New Zealand's customs, it's flora and fauna, the Maori...We had the chance to fully "immerse" into New Zealand and take home an unforgettable experience!”
    Esther Buegler – , SwitzerlandFebruary 2018
  • Excellent

    “This trip went beyond my expectations in every aspect. Active Adventures knows what they're doing and provides the most thoughtful and best experience. I've done many organized trips over the world with other companies, and this was one of the best I've taken. The company and guides create a trip that feels personal (not touristy at all) of the most amazing spots of New Zealand, while choosing exceptional and beautiful places to stay. This was exactly what I was hoping for (even better). This trip has one activity after the next, so if you enjoy being active, you will love this trip. Thank you, Active Adventures!”
    Nadia Strasser – California, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • Rimu Trip Review - Jan 15, 2018

    “Great Trip! Well planned, very enjoyable group, excellent guides! Really got a great feel for the South Island of New Zealand! I just hope I will be able to get back someday!”
    Doug Thornley – Delaware, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • Best Trip Ever!

    “I have never been on a guided tour before so I did not know what to expect. I researched New Zealand's South Island and wanted to experience all the sites that were on the Rimu itinerary. My expectations were low going into the trip. What I discovered is that the Active Adventures tour and our guide Melissa (Mel) McCartney blew me away. The accommodations were great and way better than I could have booked on my own. The hikes, biking, kayaking and swimming were perfect and the food (especially Mel's cooking) was fantastic. The only downside was the driving time in the bus but there was no other way to cover the ground we did without a little sacrifice. James Stephens, Our driver and Lead Guide, was a great driver and as a son of a police officer, made us feel safe as he confidently drove us around the island. Both Mel and James kept us on schedule, made sure we were looked after and well taken care of. They were very pleasant and told stories of Maori legends, Kiwi history and NZ lifestyle. When they realized that several of us were more physically fit, they designed different hikes so everyone would be happy. We had six trekkers on the bus and all of us fell in love with Mel. She is the perfect guide and she loves what she does. She is a great cook, organizer and so casual and fun. Mel and James really made this trip fun for all. I have and will continue to recommend this trip to everyone.
    Thank you for a great trip.”
    Stephen Jackson – California, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • A Great Taste of the South Island

    “It's obvious that the Rimu Tour has been tuned to perfection over time. The venues are wonderful and the food is excellent (thank you Mel!). Many hours in the bus, but that was to be expected given the breadth of coverage. I'd highly recommend this tour without hesitation!”
    Doug Pierson – Massachusetts, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • Rimu trip with Amanda T & Maya

    “A beautiful trip, between the scenery, hikes, sea kayaking, delicious food, the guides' kindness & attention, fitness & knowledge of the surroundings, I could not have asked for anything more. It was rejuvenating & enjoyable.”
    Paul Valerio – New York, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • Great Way to Enjoy a Beautiful Country

    “Great hiking, kayaking and biking. We covered a good amount of the South Island in a very comfortable bus. The guides were excellent, food was great. I highly recommend this tour.”
    Ellen McCabe – Wisconsin, United States of AmericaJanuary 2018
  • Amazing Family Trip

    “We travelled with our 20 and 23 yo boys and met another family and a single woman. The 8 of us hit the road, trails, lakes, bike trails together. The pace was excellent. The guides terrific. Even though the weather did not cooperate well, we had a great and memorable trip. Loved having everything meticulously planned, yet some ability to be spontaneous and adapt to the group's desires. Truly a vacation: all we had to do was show up! Meals, lodging, hikes, etc. all "happened" for us!”
    Linda Eckert – Washington, United States of AmericaJanuary 2018
  • An Unbelievable Experience

    “The Rimu trip was beyond phenomenal! The sights we saw were breathtaking and the small group size allowed us all to bond and truly enjoy our time together exploring this magnificent country. Our guides were fantastic and provided lots of information and fun facts, along with a large amount of encouragement as we tackled some of our adventures! I'm still searching for words to describe just how great a trip it was!”
    McKayla Anderson – Nebraska, United States of AmericaJanuary 2018
  • A blast!

    “The trip was great, the guides were very relatable and worked to meet our standards of the trip. To be personal and show the places but also culture is what made it so fun. Astrid did a wonderful job in hospitality and information. James was a strong leader of the group and gave a challenge but also insight to the group about the area. Thank you again and we look forward to another trip with your company.”
    Michael Leopold – Wyoming, United States of AmericaJanuary 2018
  • Oh-my-Gosh!

    “it was truly a fabulous trip! Only 7 other travelers and 2 great guides, and every day was packed with gorgeous scenery and fun ways to work off the calories. We enjoyed a nice mix of accommodations, from luxury hotel to a rustic but spotless A-frame in a secluded wide spot in the road, and everything in between. Truly memorable: Tanglewood on Queen Charlotte Sound, and the low-key but gorgeous place at Milford Sound. Superb food, Button and Maya were fabulous guides, and even the time in the van was pleasant with so much to see. Interesting fellow travelers too!”
    Ed Mencke – Washington, United States of AmericaJanuary 2018
  • The Great Outdoors!

    “Amazing way to connect to the natural beauty of New Zealand. The hut to hut hike pushed me to the limits of my endurance but every step was worth the views! Between the hiking, biking and kayaking, we experienced the vast and varied terrain that was breathtaking.”
    Jeanne Reynolds – DC, United States of AmericaJanuary 2018
  • WOW!

    “Where do I begin?
    At the beginning I guess.
    This trip was brilliant and perfect for anybody.
    The guides make it possible for everybody to join in everything.
    The activities are challenging but fun.
    The food is excellent and lots of it!
    The accommodation was staggeringly good.
    If you suffer with travel sickness - beware lots of long minibus trips but a good selection of music and snacks made them bearable.
    New Zealand is a beautiful country and the people are amazing.
    This trip will be in my heart and mind forever.
    Thanks xxxx”
    Elizabeth Webster – West Sussex, United KingdomJanuary 2018
  • Majestic New Zealand

    “Active Adventures attracts like-minded explorers who are up for anything and fun to boot! New Zealand is a remarkable country - and seeing the South Island through the special lens of this tour was truly life changing. The astounding beauty allowed me to feel more connected to our planet, collective community and to myself. Thank you for sharing this majestic place with us!”
    Libby MacFarlane – Minnesota, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • A Wonderful, Relaxed, Fun-packed, Gorgeous Adventure.

    “The title says it all, our guides were great, and the group dynamics were amazing. It’s not every time you luck out with a trip like this and we sure did. Between the dynamics of Astrid and James and that of the group, we had a truly special group and trip, and I can’t imagine having it done any other way... the way Astrid and James worked together to lead the group was pure magic. Truly. I think the only way I’d ever do an active trip again is if I had the two of them to guide it together. No joke. They rocked it that hard. Thanks to you all. I will never forget it.”
    Tiffany Dawson – California, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • Action Packed Road Trip - Fantastic Experience For Our Family

    “We loved our trip overall and appreciated the amount of miles and activities we were able to cover and experience in a two week itinerary. Every detail was thoughtfully executed and our guides were terrific; we actually can't say enough about how much we admired Jackie's driving and Emma's cooking not to mention their cheerful and encouraging leadership of our group! I was impressed with the bus which provided comfort, storage of daily items (YAY for cupholders!) and wonderful panoramic views; excellent since we logged a lot of miles on it. The hiking, biking and kayaking were epic & strenuous and led us to amazing sights. It was our goal to see as much of the South Island as we could on our first trip to New Zealand and the 'Rimu' trip sure delivered that.
    Our family has taken many guided adventure trips (road and mountain biking, rafting, and hiking) in America and Europe and your company is one of the very best at what you do. Thank you for a wonderful trip full of treasured memories.”
    Heather Weir – New Mexico, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • Mid Life Challenge

    “A great way to re-energize your life. Gets you to think about what is really important- life experiences- challenges and successes!”
    Gillian Harrington – California, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • Trip of a Lifetime!

    “I am still basking in the glow from this remarkable trip! I admit that I was a bit nervous at first as I was the oldest person in our group and not as fit (for hiking) as some in the group, so I worried about 'keeping up' on the hikes - especially the steeper climbs. Ben and Lauren were very reassuring and encouraging and I felt that I was able to 'hold my own'. In fact, while the hiking was probably the most challenging I've done in at least 7 years, it was the most rewarding/exhilarating part for me. I loved our group - a very positive, health-conscious and fun group of people from all walks of life. It was also wonderful that we were only 12 people - it helped to create a much more intimate and personal atmosphere. I felt we bonded together well - again, thanks to Ben and Lauren's great skills with ice-breaking, fun games, and ability to set and maintain a positive atmosphere from the beginning.
    From the moment we set off from the airport to the emotional farewells back at the airport at the end of the trip, this was a top notch adventure. Our transportation was comfortable, our accommodations were always different and unique and very comfortable - I loved that they weren't all in your standard hotel and that some of them were really off the beaten track. The food was amazing - from the snack basket in the van, loaded fresh every day with fruit and other snacks, to the amazing meals that Lauren and Ben created and the breakfasts and dinners that we had at various restaurants - there was a lot of variety, special dietary considerations were accounted for and there was lots of it!
    I did the kayak option and it was outstanding. The B&B and our hosts were wonderful (the hot tub at the end of the day was most appealing!) and our kayak guide, Nick was terrific - very accommodating, skilled and he made it all very interesting and fun!
    I cannot say enough about our incredible guides - Ben and Lauren - they truly moved the bar for me from a great trip to one that will go down in history for me as the trip of a lifetime. They were so knowledgeable about the island - I loved listening to the legends/folklore and learning more about the vegetation, birds, etc. Ben was a terrific driver - I always felt safe. Lauren was terrific with her cooking and meal presentations - meals looked fantastic and tasted even better! Both Ben and Lauren added those special touches from decorating the bus for the Christmas season, organizing our Secret Santa, making a fantastic Christmas morning breakfast, complete with Christmas crackers and special hats, managing extra logistics like re-booking the paragliding for us, setting up the helicopter tour, taking the time and effort to help reconnect people with items they had left behind either in our accommodations or on a hike/kayak. They even had the perfect music for when we went through the Homer Tunnel and down into Milford Sound - the combination of the music and the scenery was so moving it had several of us in tears! They really ensured that they got to know each person and took a genuine interest in each person. Their positive energy and enthusiasm was infectious. They took kindness and customer service to a new level! The scenery was breathtaking everywhere we went. It would be hard for me to say what the favourite part was or favourite view as the South Island is simply spectacular. I felt that the trip was organized in such a way that I really got a good feel and appreciation for the South Island. Truly New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places (both 'inside and out') that I have ever visited (and I've visited over 20 other countries around the world). I really loved the more laid-back way of life and the local people we met were so welcoming and kind. I would love to come back again and see the North Island but also re-visit the South Island!
    I highly recommend this trip and have already suggested it to a number of my friends. It really was transformational for me on so many levels! My heartfelt thanks to Ben and Lauren and everyone at Active Adventures!”
    Sue Hazell – Ontario, CanadaJanuary 2018
  • Rimu Rocks!

    “The trip was awesome! I met a great bunch of fellow travelers and now have family in New Zealand in Jackie and Emma! I felt like we saw a lot of the South Island in 2 weeks. I loved my first experience in New Zealand and plan on coming back in 2020!”
    Terry McNamara – Michigan, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • Amazing South Island Rimu Adventures

    “The most awesome and enjoyable adventure I've had, with Active Adventures on a Rimu trip with Jackie and Emma! We had a really good group and the best tour leaders too. Emma is a talented cook and Jackie is an excellent driver, as well as both being friendly and hilarious people. Nothing was ever too much trouble for them. They made us feel comfortable and happy. I enjoyed all the hikes we went on and the kayaking too. I would definitely consider going on another Active Adventures tour some day, as I really enjoyed my tour!”
    Georgie Wearne – Victoria, AustraliaJanuary 2018
  • NZ Alps and surrounding region: what a great place!

    “The much wilder South Island was a great place to visit, despite the weather which was for some days awful, notably on the West Coast (rain, wind, fog, snow). Incredible choice of outdoor activity, the highlight being the kayaking (with heavy rain) in Milford Sound as well as the hiking to Franz-Josef Glacier (hail did not allow us to complete it).”
    Ivo Bergamo Andreis Cesarini Sforza – TN, ItalyJanuary 2018
  • Absolutely the trip of a lifetime

    “This trip was both physically and mentally challenging, and I left with a huge sense of accomplishment and confidence! Not to mention the stunning scenery of New Zealand. Our guides were amazing and our whole group was one big family. This was a trip of a lifetime for me, and I'm already planning my next Active Adventures trip to South America!”
    Lauren Brennan – Dublin, Ireland (Republic of)January 2018
  • Great trip. Fantastic guides.

    “The guides were perfect. We kept a brisk pace and covered a lot of ground beside beautiful country.”
    Braden Pollock – California, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • An Amazing Tour of the Stunning South Island!

    “Through the Active Adventures trip, my group of family and friends were able to truly soak up and appreciate all the wonders NZ has to offer. We were able to visit the must-see tourist destinations while also going off the beaten track (sometimes quite literally) on stunning hiking routes where we barely saw another person all day. Filled with activity as promised, we were always in the hands of incredibly knowledgeable and caring guides who really made the trip an experience to remember.”
    Sahar El Abbadi – California, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • Trip of a lifetime

    “Our Rimu trip of the South Island was a wonderful experience. Having a guided tour really took the stress out of planning and also allowed us to sit back and enjoy the views, which would not have been possible if we had chosen to drive ourselves. Our guides Simon and Maddi were extremely knowledgable and a joy to spend time with. Our tour was very personalized and we were able to see and experience much more than larger tour groups. Our guides made sure that we were able to get the most out of our experience and tailored our hikes and activities to fit our personal fitness levels and goals. New Zealand was truly a beautiful country and am very pleased with our experience with Active Adventures!”
    Jessica West – California, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • Dan Barnes Review

    “The trip was amazing . . . The views and experiences made the trip one of a kind”
    Dan Barnes – California, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • Nice job

    “Well organized, super friendly guides, saw gorgeous scenery.”
    Lisa Bloom – California, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • Unforgettable Experience

    “The trip and our guides more than exceeded our expectations for the trip. Each activity was backed by incredible scenery and unique memories. Our guides were amazing and very encouraging and our group hit it off from the start making it all the more special.”
    Hillary Jenson – Oregon, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • Exceeded Expectations

    “In planning my trip to New Zealand I specifically signed on to the Rimu trip to achieve 3 goals: first to see as much of the South Island as possible in 2 weeks, second to get outdoors and get a feel for the environment and third to have fun with a group of people. My Rimu experience accomplished all three goals and then some. The mixture of driving, and daily activities was perfect. It allowed us to cover lots of terrain while getting us out and active every day. Our guides, Ben and Emma, were terrific. They were tireless workers who not only made us comfortable but created a positive group dynamic that helped bring complete strangers together into a cohesive group. Ben was great at sharing his knowledge of NZ culture and natural history. Emma was a fantastic cook who kept us well fed even at a hut at 1300 meters. Everything about the trip was well organized and well planned. Thank you for such a great experience.”
    Tim Reed – Massachusetts, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • Rimu nov. 27 - dec. 10 '17

    “This trip was unsurpassed by any other I've ever been a part of! Ben and Emma seemed like family to us with their wonderful cooking, extreme knowledge of the island and extraordinary skill as guides made every step of every hike better than the last!
    I have not stopped singing the praises of Active Adventures to my like minded friends since returning!
    You really 'knocked this one out of the park'!”
    Bob Anderson – Georgia, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • Oct 16 2017 Rimu with Simon and Liana

    “Your mission was accomplished. I would not change a thing about my Oct 16 2017 Rimu adventure with Simon and Liana. It was perfect!
    - Well organized – From the pickup at the airport, to meals and accommodations, to the drop off at the airport, the trip was well organized. Liana and Simon kept an eye on time to ensure we kept on schedule and they even added additional stops as time allowed for unscheduled adventures. They were very thoughtful and attentive to our preferences and requests.
    - Outdoor oriented – LOVED IT! I was able to eat outdoors, watch sunrises and sunsets, sit under the stars, and adventure out on my own in the mornings and the evenings. The timing of this trip couldn’t have been better for me; since it was Spring in New Zealand, the weather was wonderful with perfect temperatures and there were very few other tourists on our hikes and at our stops. Both Simon and Liana were great guides. Liana was a great source of knowledge, particularly about the vegetation, birds, wildlife, and the history of New Zealand.
    - Awesome adventure around New Zealand – The trip was well laid out to allow an efficient tour of the South Island. We were able to see and experience so many landscapes. New Zealand is quite impressive in what it has to offer. The days were well balanced; the amount of time we spent traveling in the bus was broken into smaller, manageable chunks of time. Simon did a splendid job driving the bus and having our luggage easily accessible.
    - Allow time to relax – I had plenty of time to relax and unwind. I had time before and after our daily scheduled events to do my own thing. There were also ample opportunities during our bus rides and activities (hiking, biking, kayaking) to just sit back in take in the beautiful surroundings and the serenity of it all.
    - Get off the beaten track - I loved the quaint places we would stay and visit; each was unique and an experience in itself. There was so much to see and explore. The remote locations were perfect for being unplugged/unconnected and just being in the moment.
    - Show the real New Zealand – Stops along the way (Torlesse winery, Andris Apse gallery, Garston Honey shop, sheep shearing at Morelea, etc.) to visit with locals and hear about their history are one of a kind experiences I will always treasure. I am impressed and grateful that Active Adventures supports local, small business entrepreneurs for outfitters (kayaking, biking), accommodations, meals, and shopping. Liana did a great job incorporating local cuisine into our meals and snacks. The food was wonderful; my compliments to Liana who is a very talented culinary artist.
    - Sent home buzzing with energy – My time in New Zealand couldn’t have been better. It is exactly what I needed; it truly reenergized me. I’ve been sharing my experience and recommending Active Adventures since my departure flight shuttle ride. Just thinking about my trip to New Zealand makes me smile. I would definitely consider doing another adventure with Active Adventures.
    I sincerely appreciate that the Oct 16 2017 Rimu adventure was allowed with only 3 of us. The potential of having 14 in a group was the only reservation I had when I signed up for this adventure; I was extremely delighted when I found out we had a small group. Our small group made the whole experience that much more personable.”
    Jean Erpelding – Minnesota, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • Rimu - South Island

    “Great trip, full of discoveries away from big city centers, the kind of adventure nature lovers will appreciate to the fullest. We had a great two weeks of travelling through the real NZ landscaping natural beauty and 14 days is not enough to see or do everything. We enjoyed hiking, kayaking, biking, swimming in pristine water, caving, always surrounded by super guides who made us feel in goods hands at all time.”
    Claude Remy – Ontario, CanadaDecember 2017
  • Outstanding Locations. Outstanding Service

    “We have always wanted to see New Zealand, but we didn't know how to select the best and organize a trip around these. Active Adventures gave us an answer, and on the trip, AA gave us much more than we expected. We saw amazing locations, did lots of fun activities, and had amazing service... with the guides providing great information, assistance, service and various options. Terrific!”
    Rick Lent – Massachusetts, United StatesDecember 2017
  • Perfect in Everyway!!

    “With great guides, fabulous weather and scenery that is amazing, we hiked, kayaked our way through-out the South Island. We learned a lot about the country, the flora and fauna, birds and conservation efforts.”
    Sharon Brownfield – Massachusetts, United StatesDecember 2017
  • Rimu - Awesome South Island trip!

    “This trip is really a great way to experience the true beauty of the South Island. We hiked in beautiful areas with spectacular views, biked the Te Araroa track and sea kayaked in Milford Sound and in the Okarito Lagoon. Our guides, Ben and Emma, were absolutely great! They were cheerful, caring and attentive to our needs. They kept us well fed all along the trip even while hiking in remote areas with minimal cooking facilities. Accommodations were great and representative of the visited area. Thanks to one of our travel companions, we had magnificent weather for the trip duration… we cannot have asked for better temperatures.”
    Claire Barrette-Remy – Ontario, CanadaDecember 2017
  • TOP

    “Awesome...
    How New Zealand is beautiful!
    Rimu did surprise me each of its 14 days with amazing landscapes and activities.
    How Koru & Pepper were nice, professionals, helpful and now friends!
    Rimu was much more pleasant because of these two top guides.
    I recommend NZ and Rimu. I highly recommend Koru & Pepper as guides.
    Rimu was perfect also because of my trip companions, now, friends.
    Who knows Koru & Pepper aren't responsible by joining us?
    Thank you Koru!
    Thank you Pepper!
    Tkank you Active Adventures!”
    Alfredo Furukawa – Parana, BrazilDecember 2017
  • Great New Zealand Adventure

    “Active Adventures provided a well rounded and action packed vacation. The guides, Simon and Maddie, were fully committed to the attention of their guest.”
    Ro Bradley – Michigan, United StatesDecember 2017
  • Mary and Mark best trip ever!

    “Our expectations for this trip was to experience things we had never done before and learn about the beauty of a country that was on our “bucket list” . This trip met our expections and more! Each night we would discuss our daily adventures and say it was the best day ever- and then the next day was even better! For the entire trip we had no worries or concerns- everyday was well planned out and extremely enjoyable.”
    Mark Erbstoesser – Wisconsin, United StatesDecember 2017
  • Rimu Trip - Should be #1 on Your Bucket List

    “First of all, the guides were "hands-down" the "BEST EVER"!!! They made this trip extra special. Katie C and Lauren were always looking out for our best interest. They were great at engaging each of us in the group, they took the time to get to know each one of us, they made sure they included groceries that you liked and more. They were fun, energetic and full of happiness! They worked very hard and feed us very well. The food was amazing!!! A big THANK YOU to both of you beautiful young women! Thank you active adventures for hiring fun and inspiring women!”
    Vicki Igou – California, United StatesDecember 2017
  • Awesome Adventure

    “I can honestly say that I don't think it would be possible to plan a trip like this on your own. There is a lot to be said for exploring off the beaten path & Steve & Pepper sure delivered that type of trip for us.”
    Linda Gallivan – Ontario, CanadaDecember 2017
  • Exceeded Expectations!

    “From start to finish, our guides (Ben and Emma) spoiled us with first-class service. Always cheerful and genuinely caring for our every need. Accommodations were all GREAT, as was the food and the always available snacks on the bus. As food preparers/chefs, they always made sure we were fed well and on time... important after many a gruelling hike. The hiking was more challenging than I thought, but worth every breath and groan. The bus was comfortable (a necessity for the long rides) and spacious. The South Island was as gorgeous as billed, and fortunately for the group I brought along the magnificent weather we experienced throughout. If this is typical of Active Adventures experience, then I will for sure be a repeat AA customer. Good Job!!”
    Hans Anger – Florida, United StatesDecember 2017
  • Outstanding Trip!!

    “This trip was especially great because of our guides, Ben and Emma. I cannot say enough good things about those two. They were extremely patient, energetic, and very sincere.
    The trip has a wide variety of activities that allowed us to see and experience most of the South Island, keeping us away from the more congested tourist hangouts. I really felt like we saw the true South Island and not just the tourist trap attractions.
    The only reason I have not given it a 5 star rating is because my wife and I are very active and do very challenging trips that most people would never want to take on. It was not a trip of a lifetime for me only because of that. Take "trip of a lifetime" away from the 5 stars and just have excellent and I would mark that. Excellent trip!!!!”
    Dave Mastolier – Alaska, United StatesDecember 2017
  • Loved it!

    “We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and felt we saw and experienced much of the island. Ben and Emma were exceptional guides: friendly, fun, knowledgeable, and hard working! We were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary with this trip and they went out of their way to make it even more special. The sites were amazing and to top it off we had outstanding weather.”
    Bonnie Mastolier – Alaska, United StatesDecember 2017
  • The Most Beautiful Place in the World

    “Thank you to Active Adventures for a most spectacular trip. I traveled with my daughter, to celebrate her college graduation, and my brother. The Kiwi people are the friendliest people on the planet. Our guides were extremely helpful, cooked awesome meals, and taught us so much about New Zealand. They took care of everything. All we had to do was sit back and enjoy the ride. The locations for the lodging were probably the best views in all the country. We stayed right in the center of Queenstown, next to a remote area of a lake with views of Mt. Cook, in a small towns next to the ocean. They were all very clean and neat, always with a pot of tea ready, and cookies for a snack. There was always an excess of food. No one ever went hungry. In fact, I don't think I ever ate so much on holiday. The activities were fun and varied, relaxing at times, strenuous on occasion but with awesome views as payback. I am recommending this trip to all my friends, and already planning the next one.”
    Terri Donati – Colorado, United StatesDecember 2017
  • Epic Trip!

    “We did a custom trip very similar to the Rimu. Wonderful guides, accommodations and fantastic little surprises throughout the trip.”
    Debra Huntington – Maryland, United StatesDecember 2017
  • 2017 Oct/Nov Rimu

    “My 2017 Rimu trip was fantastic! Somehow our fabulous guides Ben and Emma arranged for clear sunny skies, a great mix of travelers, and an all around fun time. Seriously though, our group of 10/11 (we had a late addition) got along well from day 1 - we learned about each other's backgrounds, played cards and dice games, and shared bottles of wine. Ben and Emma worked tirelessly to make sure our travels were smooth - often 16+ hour days for them. Emma cooked wonderful meals for us and made sure everyone's dietary requests were met. Ben drove Whina (our bus) so well for so many hours to get us to our destinations - we'll never forget the tunnel! And they both were great guides on the hikes. Thanks for all the wonderful memories!”
    Jeanne Stallings – North Carolina, United StatesDecember 2017
  • Amazing Adventure!

    “Absolutely the BEST way to experience all the amazing things that New Zealand has to offer! This trip lived up to it's name and truly was an Active Adventure - we hiked, biked and kayaked across the gorgeous South Island.
    Skip the massive tour buses and join Active Adventures to go beyond the major tourist routes!”
    Erika Honerkamp – California, United StatesDecember 2017
  • Great Active Fun!

    “A great way to see a beautiful country, and have some fun activities and exercise....really enjoyed it!”
    Larry Cates – Montana, United StatesDecember 2017
  • Flawless

    “My first trip to New Zealand. Active adventures guides and itinerary on the South Island were flawless. We hiked, biked, and kayaked as well as riding a comfortable bus through gorgeous country inspired by the knowledge and stories shared by our wonderful guides.”
    Teresa Rankin – DC, United StatesDecember 2017
  • Awesome, Awesome, Awesome

    “I booked this trip through Adventures in Good Company USA who used Active Adventures as their local partner. I sincerely hope you continue to partner for similar trips - both companies excel at providing a fantastic experience. The Guides clearly love their country and enjoyed sharing their enthusiasm with us. We soon trusted the guides when they said “it’s only a 10 minute walk but worth it!” Or shared fun things like “Tim Tam Slams”. I have been home a week, going through pictures and am so grateful for the experience.”
    Judith Wehmeister – Arizona, United StatesNovember 2017
  • Awsome Adventure!

    “Wonderful, well organized trip. Our guides were amazing, insightful, funny, adept and a joy to travel with. I appreciated the diversity of activity each day and the pace at which we traveled. Our guide/driver Claire, shared local stories and lore that helped us to better understand the local culture and history of the areas we traveled in. Food and accomodations were great. Thank you!”
    Sylvie Hessini – California, United StatesNovember 2017
  • Wow, What a Trip!

    “I have been on many trips, from the Serengeti to the Himalayas, and this trip through the South Island of NZ ranks among the top! First and foremost, the gals who guided us on the hikes, across rivers, on bike trails and more, were exceptional!! Their skills (guiding, driving, communication, exploring, culinary, social, etc.) were exemplary. That combined with the stunning beauty of your lakes, mountains, glaciers, fjords, forests and pastures made each day a joy to wake up to. In our 14 days we certainly experienced an array of beauty and adventures that will not be forgotten. I also appreciated the friendly people, the clean, fresh air and the conservation efforts that are practised in NZ. Your clean bathrooms were an added bonus! Thank you for providing exceptional service and for being so attentive to our every need. This trip was "sweet as"!”
    Bev Hoshi – California, United StatesNovember 2017
  • Perfect New Zealand Trip

    “I could not have dreamed of a more perfect trip to New Zealand. Every day was a new adventure exploring the beauty of this wonderful country. I loved all of our activities-hiking, biking, and kayaking. We had the most fantastic guides, Claire, Nat and Carrie! They made a wonderful trip even more spectacular! Every detail was planned and thought out. Delicious meals they prepared, restaurants ready for us on our arrival, surprise stops on our routes, the music, the stories and preparing us to safely enjoy an adventure of a lifetime!”
    Joyce Giblin – Texas, United StatesNovember 2017
  • A Must Do!

    “Rimu was truly an incredible experience! Jackie and Lauren did a fantastic job of showing us the beauty and magic of The South Island! I have memories (and tons of pictures) to last a lifetime... or at least until I return again. The landscapes, the physical activity, the super-friendly natives, the never ending supply of laughs and good food, I could go on and on! Active Adventures, you have created a lifelong fan and I can not wait to visit again! A class act!”
    Cindy Nigrini – North Carolina, United StatesNovember 2017
  • A Magical Adventure in New Zealand

    “We loved our New Zealand Active Adventure! Ben and Emma were delightful guides that were skillful, knowledgeable and simply said the most lovely people to spend our time with. The people we connected with for this adventure couldn’t have been more fun and lovely travel companions. We felt extraordinarily lucky to have been placed with such fantastically fun and friendly fellow travelers. We were delighted to share the exquisite beauty of NZ with the amazing guides and fellow travellers that you set up for us.”
    Timothy Taich – California, United StatesNovember 2017
  • 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

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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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