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Essence of the South Island

Tui

4.58 out of 5 (from 1691 reviews)

  • 8 Days - US$3,799 + tax

Trip Introduction

This is an action-packed adventure where you’ll explore some of New Zealand’s most iconic and remote wilderness. It works well if your vacation time is limited, since you can fly from North America on a Friday evening, sleep on the plane, and be back at work ten days later to share your photos and stories on Monday morning. 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 ‘Tui’ suits people of a wide range of fitness levels and outdoor experience, particularly if you enjoy a variety of activities. Typically hikes on the ‘Tui’ trip range between two and six hours to complete.

Highlights

Hike
Routeburn Track
Mt Aspiring National Park
Franz Josef Glacier

Overnight cruise and sea kayak
Milford Sound

Bike
Te Araroa track to Wanaka

Plus...
Scenic mountain flight to Siberia Hut
Jet boat in Mt Aspiring National Park
Explore Queenstown

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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.

Interactive Trip Map

Daily itinerary

Sunday — Arrive, hike in Arthur's Pass

Most people leave the northern hemisphere on a Friday evening, arriving into Auckland early Sunday morning. You'll lose a day crossing the dateline – but you get it back on the way home! It's a short flight from Auckland to Christchurch in the South Island where we'll meet you. We'll then travel into the Southern Alps to hike Devils Punchbowl in Arthur's Pass. The walk will take you through native beech forest to an awesome 131 metre (430 feet) waterfall so make sure you have your camera handy! From there, we'll head down the coast to Franz Josef where we'll stay the night. Nestled in the rainforest-clad foothills of the Southern Alps, Franz Josef is the heart of New Zealand glacier country.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (Lunch, Dinner)

Monday — 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, or around Lake Matheson.

Optional Heli-hike (add US$350 + tax)
A less strenuous, but outrageously scenic alternative to today’s hike is to heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier itself. After being fitted with crampons, ice axes and so on, you’ll board a turbine helicopter and fly towards the highest peaks of the Southern Alps, landing on the glacier at 1300 metres (4000 feet) above sea level. Led by specialist glacier guides, you’ll hike through the grand ice formations of the glacier, checking out its crevasses, seracs and tunnels – no previous experience is required! The constant movement of the glacier means every day is different, so your guides will cut steps in the ice to make the most of the conditions. At the end of your hike on the ice, you’ll take another helicopter ride out of the mountains and back to civilisation. The heli-hike is extremely popular, so we offer advance reservations with the helicopter operators and guiding company. At the time of booking, or up until one month before your trip, we can reserve a space for you, or you can leave your decision until the start of your trip and your guides will get you a spot if it’s available.

From Franz Josef, we’ll travel down the coast through lush forest to Haast, and over the divide to a small mountain village called Makarora, where we’ll enjoy some local fare.
Makarora Lodgings, Makarora (All meals)

Tuesday (morning) — Start Mt Aspiring National Park options

This morning we’ll cross Haast Pass to more arid country on the eastern side of Mt Aspiring National Park. From Makarora, we head off on your choice of activity.

Siberia Valley Wilderness option in Mt Aspiring National Park

Tuesday (afternoon) - Scenic flight, hike Lake Crucible

If you like the idea of staying in one of New Zealand’s most isolated mountain huts, then this option is for you (but let us know early as space is limited)! We’ll start with a stunning scenic flight alongside the snowy Southern Alps to the Siberia Valley airstrip, a short hike from our home for the night. After lightening your packs at the hut, you can hike up the trail to Lake Crucible, a cauldron-like glacial lake with fantastic views of the valley below. Tonight you’ll be served a candle-lit dinner in one of the most glorious places in the world. This is also one of the few backcountry huts where you can chat with a resident hut ranger from New Zealand’s Department of Conservation. Rangers are often keen for a yarn around the camp fire, and can offer further insight into the flora and fauna of Mt Aspiring National Park. This is the only night on the ‘Tui’ where your accommodation is basic, though it’s a true Kiwi experience and a lot of fun. Your load will be little more than a day pack – our guides will carry the lion’s share of the load. You’ll be carrying a backpack with a sleeping bag, a few spare clothes and some food – no need for any more than that, although we’ll provide tents and so on if you’d prefer to camp out under the stars.
Siberia Hut, Mt Aspiring National Park (All meals)

Wednesday (morning) - Hike Siberia Valley, jet boat Wilkin River

After an early start, we spend the morning hiking to The Forks, at the head of the Wilkin River, where we’ll be met by a jet boat for an exhilarating ride back to Makarora to meet up with the rest of the group for lunch.

Makarora Adventure in Mt Aspiring National Park

Tuesday (afternoon) - Scenic flight, hike Siberia Valley, jet boat Wilkin River

If you prefer accommodation with modern amenities instead of a mountain hut for the night, then this is the option for you. You’ll head out for a mind-blowing scenic flight into Mt Aspiring National Park, with a bird’s eye view of the lower Southern Alps, landing in the remote Siberia Valley. From here you’ll hike downstream along the Wilkin River, through beautiful silver beech (Nothofagus menziesii) forests to a jet boat rendezvous. Then it’s a thrilling ride back to Makarora for dinner and perhaps a well-earned drink at the Makarora pub.
Makarora Lodgings, Makarora (All meals)

Wednesday (morning) - Hike on Mt Shrimpton

This morning we’ll hike the Mt Shrimpton track. It’s a steep hike with a 750 metres (2500 feet) elevation gain, and wait until you see the views from above the tree-line! Alternatively, you can have a relaxing sleep in and spend your morning soaking up the mountain views.

Wednesday (afternoon) — Finish Mt Aspiring National Park options, cycle Hawea River Trail

After regrouping in Makarora, we’ll have a picnic lunch before taking a beautiful drive through spectacular glacier-carved valleys. The landscape 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 Specialized 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 for 17 kilometres (10 miles) to the charming lakeside town of Wanaka. From Wanaka, it’s a short but dramatic journey over the Cardrona Saddle to Queenstown, on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. You’ll sleep sweetly tonight at a lakefront hotel located in the heart of Queenstown.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

Thursday — Gondola ride, hike Ben Lomond or free day in Queenstown

Today you have two options – a full day hike or a free day to yourself. For those keen for an alpine hike, you'll meet your guide at reception at 9am, ready to head up the Ben Lomond Track. To save our legs a little, we’ll take a short gondola ride up to Bob’s Peak, which is 450 metres (1476 feet) above Queenstown. From there we’ll head out along the trail through alpine tussock-land towards the summit of Ben Lomond. From this vantage point you’ll find yourself immersed in amazing views over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, which are themselves dwarfed by the surrounding mountains including Mt Aspiring. As an alternative, you can have a free day to explore on your own. 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, kayaking, fishing, winery tours, hang gliding, mountain biking, bungy jumping, jet boating and skydiving. 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 incl.)

Friday — Hike Fiordland National Park

This morning, we set off for our largest and perhaps most spectacular national park, Fiordland. Once within the park we’ll stop to stretch our legs at regular intervals, to explore some of the highlights of this World Heritage Area, including the Eglington Valley, Mirror Lakes, Marian Gantry and The Chasm. The waterfalls viewed from the gantry will take your breath away! Once through the Homer Tunnel we’ll 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 you’re in for an extra-special experience, as we’ll board the Milford Wanderer for an overnight cruise in the sheltered fiord. For those who’re keen, there’s time to explore a short section of the Milford Track - you’ll transfer on a smaller vessel to Sandfly Point and join a naturalist guide for approximately 1.5 hours, before rejoining the Wanderer in time for a sumptuous dinner!
Milford Wanderer Overnight Cruise, Milford Sound (All meals)

Saturday — Sea kayak Milford Sound, hike Routeburn Track

Having seen Milford Sound from the deck of a ship there’s one more unique activity we’ve got lined up for you, to experience the eighth natural wonder ‘Active Style’, gliding along in sea kayaks. You’ll cause very little disturbance to the water, being in kayaks, providing an excellent chance of meeting friendly fur seals and dolphins that are sometimes in the area. This trip is run by specialist kayak guides, and the paddling here is equally suitable for beginners and experts. After lunch, we’ll explore the Fiordland wilderness on foot again, with a hike to Key Summit on the famous Routeburn Track. The panoramic views are incredible from this vantage point and you’ll probably get to meet New Zealand’s notoriously cheeky and intelligent alpine parrot, the kea (Nestor notabilis). Tonight we’ll enjoy a celebratory dinner for the last night of the ‘Tui’.
Lake Manapouri Inn, Manapouri (All meals)

Sunday — Depart for home

After breakfast, we'll return to Queenstown. This is the end of your 'Tui' trip and you'll have had an exhilarating week. We'll leave you buzzing with excitement, but feeling relaxed and refreshed as well! For a great way to see the North Island too, where you'll experience Maori culture, pristine beaches and geothermal areas, combine this trip with our 11-day 'Kauri' (5-day 'Kauri' options available).
(Breakfast)


Activity Key - zoom in to see activity detail

Hiking Biking Kayaking Boating Flying

Itinerary

Sunday — Arrive, hike in Arthur's Pass

Most people leave the northern hemisphere on a Friday evening, arriving into Auckland early Sunday morning. You'll lose a day crossing the dateline – but you get it back on the way home! It's a short flight from Auckland to Christchurch in the South Island where we'll meet you. We'll then travel into the Southern Alps to hike Devils Punchbowl in Arthur's Pass. The walk will take you through native beech forest to an awesome 131 metre (430 feet) waterfall so make sure you have your camera handy! From there, we'll head down the coast to Franz Josef where we'll stay the night. Nestled in the rainforest-clad foothills of the Southern Alps, Franz Josef is the heart of New Zealand glacier country.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (Lunch, Dinner)

Monday — 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, or around Lake Matheson.

Optional Heli-hike (add US$350 + tax)
A less strenuous, but outrageously scenic alternative to today’s hike is to heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier itself. After being fitted with crampons, ice axes and so on, you’ll board a turbine helicopter and fly towards the highest peaks of the Southern Alps, landing on the glacier at 1300 metres (4000 feet) above sea level. Led by specialist glacier guides, you’ll hike through the grand ice formations of the glacier, checking out its crevasses, seracs and tunnels – no previous experience is required! The constant movement of the glacier means every day is different, so your guides will cut steps in the ice to make the most of the conditions. At the end of your hike on the ice, you’ll take another helicopter ride out of the mountains and back to civilisation. The heli-hike is extremely popular, so we offer advance reservations with the helicopter operators and guiding company. At the time of booking, or up until one month before your trip, we can reserve a space for you, or you can leave your decision until the start of your trip and your guides will get you a spot if it’s available.

From Franz Josef, we’ll travel down the coast through lush forest to Haast, and over the divide to a small mountain village called Makarora, where we’ll enjoy some local fare.
Makarora Lodgings, Makarora (All meals)

Tuesday (morning) — Start Mt Aspiring National Park options

This morning we’ll cross Haast Pass to more arid country on the eastern side of Mt Aspiring National Park. From Makarora, we head off on your choice of activity.

Siberia Valley Wilderness option in Mt Aspiring National Park

Tuesday (afternoon) - Scenic flight, hike Lake Crucible

If you like the idea of staying in one of New Zealand’s most isolated mountain huts, then this option is for you (but let us know early as space is limited)! We’ll start with a stunning scenic flight alongside the snowy Southern Alps to the Siberia Valley airstrip, a short hike from our home for the night. After lightening your packs at the hut, you can hike up the trail to Lake Crucible, a cauldron-like glacial lake with fantastic views of the valley below. Tonight you’ll be served a candle-lit dinner in one of the most glorious places in the world. This is also one of the few backcountry huts where you can chat with a resident hut ranger from New Zealand’s Department of Conservation. Rangers are often keen for a yarn around the camp fire, and can offer further insight into the flora and fauna of Mt Aspiring National Park. This is the only night on the ‘Tui’ where your accommodation is basic, though it’s a true Kiwi experience and a lot of fun. Your load will be little more than a day pack – our guides will carry the lion’s share of the load. You’ll be carrying a backpack with a sleeping bag, a few spare clothes and some food – no need for any more than that, although we’ll provide tents and so on if you’d prefer to camp out under the stars.
Siberia Hut, Mt Aspiring National Park (All meals)

Wednesday (morning) - Hike Siberia Valley, jet boat Wilkin River

After an early start, we spend the morning hiking to The Forks, at the head of the Wilkin River, where we’ll be met by a jet boat for an exhilarating ride back to Makarora to meet up with the rest of the group for lunch.

Makarora Adventure in Mt Aspiring National Park

Tuesday (afternoon) - Scenic flight, hike Siberia Valley, jet boat Wilkin River

If you prefer accommodation with modern amenities instead of a mountain hut for the night, then this is the option for you. You’ll head out for a mind-blowing scenic flight into Mt Aspiring National Park, with a bird’s eye view of the lower Southern Alps, landing in the remote Siberia Valley. From here you’ll hike downstream along the Wilkin River, through beautiful silver beech (Nothofagus menziesii) forests to a jet boat rendezvous. Then it’s a thrilling ride back to Makarora for dinner and perhaps a well-earned drink at the Makarora pub.
Makarora Lodgings, Makarora (All meals)

Wednesday (morning) - Hike on Mt Shrimpton

This morning we’ll hike the Mt Shrimpton track. It’s a steep hike with a 750 metres (2500 feet) elevation gain, and wait until you see the views from above the tree-line! Alternatively, you can have a relaxing sleep in and spend your morning soaking up the mountain views.

Wednesday (afternoon) — Finish Mt Aspiring National Park options, cycle Hawea River Trail

After regrouping in Makarora, we’ll have a picnic lunch before taking a beautiful drive through spectacular glacier-carved valleys. The landscape 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 Specialized 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 for 17 kilometres (10 miles) to the charming lakeside town of Wanaka. From Wanaka, it’s a short but dramatic journey over the Cardrona Saddle to Queenstown, on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. You’ll sleep sweetly tonight at a lakefront hotel located in the heart of Queenstown.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

Thursday — Gondola ride, hike Ben Lomond or free day in Queenstown

Today you have two options – a full day hike or a free day to yourself. For those keen for an alpine hike, you'll meet your guide at reception at 9am, ready to head up the Ben Lomond Track. To save our legs a little, we’ll take a short gondola ride up to Bob’s Peak, which is 450 metres (1476 feet) above Queenstown. From there we’ll head out along the trail through alpine tussock-land towards the summit of Ben Lomond. From this vantage point you’ll find yourself immersed in amazing views over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, which are themselves dwarfed by the surrounding mountains including Mt Aspiring. As an alternative, you can have a free day to explore on your own. 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, kayaking, fishing, winery tours, hang gliding, mountain biking, bungy jumping, jet boating and skydiving. 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 incl.)

Friday — Hike Fiordland National Park

This morning, we set off for our largest and perhaps most spectacular national park, Fiordland. Once within the park we’ll stop to stretch our legs at regular intervals, to explore some of the highlights of this World Heritage Area, including the Eglington Valley, Mirror Lakes, Marian Gantry and The Chasm. The waterfalls viewed from the gantry will take your breath away! Once through the Homer Tunnel we’ll 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 you’re in for an extra-special experience, as we’ll board the Milford Wanderer for an overnight cruise in the sheltered fiord. For those who’re keen, there’s time to explore a short section of the Milford Track - you’ll transfer on a smaller vessel to Sandfly Point and join a naturalist guide for approximately 1.5 hours, before rejoining the Wanderer in time for a sumptuous dinner!
Milford Wanderer Overnight Cruise, Milford Sound (All meals)

Saturday — Sea kayak Milford Sound, hike Routeburn Track

Having seen Milford Sound from the deck of a ship there’s one more unique activity we’ve got lined up for you, to experience the eighth natural wonder ‘Active Style’, gliding along in sea kayaks. You’ll cause very little disturbance to the water, being in kayaks, providing an excellent chance of meeting friendly fur seals and dolphins that are sometimes in the area. This trip is run by specialist kayak guides, and the paddling here is equally suitable for beginners and experts. After lunch, we’ll explore the Fiordland wilderness on foot again, with a hike to Key Summit on the famous Routeburn Track. The panoramic views are incredible from this vantage point and you’ll probably get to meet New Zealand’s notoriously cheeky and intelligent alpine parrot, the kea (Nestor notabilis). Tonight we’ll enjoy a celebratory dinner for the last night of the ‘Tui’.
Lake Manapouri Inn, Manapouri (All meals)

Sunday — Depart for home

After breakfast, we'll return to Queenstown. This is the end of your 'Tui' trip and you'll have had an exhilarating week. We'll leave you buzzing with excitement, but feeling relaxed and refreshed as well! For a great way to see the North Island too, where you'll experience Maori culture, pristine beaches and geothermal areas, combine this trip with our 11-day 'Kauri' (5-day 'Kauri' options available).
(Breakfast)

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Dates

Trip Date Price Status  
May 1 ’17 – May 8 ’17 US$3799 + tax Almost Full - Check Now! Check Availability
Oct 1 ’17 – Oct 8 ’17 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Oct 8 ’17 – Oct 15 ’17 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Oct 15 ’17 – Oct 22 ’17 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Oct 22 ’17 – Oct 29 ’17 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Oct 29 ’17 – Nov 5 ’17 US$3799 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Nov 5 ’17 – Nov 12 ’17 US$3799 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Nov 12 ’17 – Nov 19 ’17 US$3799 + tax Almost Full - Check Now! Check Availability
Nov 13 ’17 – Nov 20 ’17 US$3799 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Nov 19 ’17 – Nov 26 ’17 US$3799 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Nov 26 ’17 – Dec 3 ’17 US$3799 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Dec 10 ’17 – Dec 17 ’17 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 17 ’17 – Dec 24 ’17 US$3799 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Dec 24 ’17 – Dec 31 ’17 US$3799 + tax Peak Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Dec 31 ’17 – Jan 7 ’18 US$3799 + tax Peak Season - Check Now! Check Availability
2018
Jan 7 ’18 – Jan 14 ’18 US$3799 + tax Peak Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Jan 14 ’18 – Jan 21 ’18 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Jan 21 ’18 – Jan 28 ’18 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Jan 28 ’18 – Feb 4 ’18 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 4 ’18 – Feb 11 ’18 US$3799 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Feb 11 ’18 – Feb 18 ’18 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 18 ’18 – Feb 25 ’18 US$3799 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Feb 25 ’18 – Mar 4 ’18 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 4 ’18 – Mar 11 ’18 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 11 ’18 – Mar 18 ’18 US$3799 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Mar 18 ’18 – Mar 25 ’18 US$3799 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Mar 19 ’18 – Mar 26 ’18 US$3799 + tax New date! Check Availability
Mar 25 ’18 – Apr 1 ’18 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Apr 1 ’18 – Apr 8 ’18 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Apr 15 ’18 – Apr 22 ’18 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Sep 30 ’18 – Oct 7 ’18 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Oct 7 ’18 – Oct 14 ’18 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Oct 14 ’18 – Oct 21 ’18 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Oct 21 ’18 – Oct 28 ’18 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Oct 28 ’18 – Nov 4 ’18 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Nov 4 ’18 – Nov 11 ’18 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Nov 11 ’18 – Nov 18 ’18 US$3799 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Nov 18 ’18 – Nov 25 ’18 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Nov 25 ’18 – Dec 2 ’18 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 9 ’18 – Dec 16 ’18 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 16 ’18 – Dec 23 ’18 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 23 ’18 – Dec 30 ’18 US$3799 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Dec 30 ’18 – Jan 6 ’19 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
2019
Jan 6 ’19 – Jan 13 ’19 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Jan 13 ’19 – Jan 20 ’19 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Jan 20 ’19 – Jan 27 ’19 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Jan 27 ’19 – Feb 3 ’19 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 3 ’19 – Feb 10 ’19 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 10 ’19 – Feb 17 ’19 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 17 ’19 – Feb 24 ’19 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 24 ’19 – Mar 3 ’19 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 3 ’19 – Mar 10 ’19 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 10 ’19 – Mar 17 ’19 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 17 ’19 – Mar 24 ’19 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 24 ’19 – Mar 31 ’19 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 31 ’19 – Apr 7 ’19 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Apr 14 ’19 – Apr 21 ’19 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability
Apr 28 ’19 – May 5 ’19 US$3799 + tax Great Check Availability

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Useful Info

No Forced Single Supplement:

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

Trip Start:

On the first day of the trip we can either pick you up from the Heartland Hotel Cotswold in Christchurch at 9.30am, or at Christchurch airport in front of the Travel and Information desk at 10am.

Trip End:

On the last day of the trip we can drop you off at Queenstown airport (ZQN) in time for the recommended flights below, or anywhere in Queenstown around lunch time.

Recommended flights:

Arrival: If you’re flying in on the first day of the trip, we recommend arriving in Christchurch before 9am on Sunday.
Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Queenstown any time after 12 noon. If you are considering alternative flight times, or an international departure from Queenstown, please check with us. International flights from Auckland airport (AKL) usually leave early evening, so if you’re heading back to North America, you’ll get home some time on Sunday, even though you left on Sunday evening! Flights back to Europe, of course, take a little longer.

Fitness:

The ‘Tui’ suits people of a wide range of fitness levels and outdoor experience, particularly if you enjoy a variety of activities. If you keep reasonably active and like to give things a go, you’re likely to enjoy the activities much more. Typically, hikes on the ‘Tui’ trip range between two and six hours to complete, and there are shorter alternatives to the longer hikes. If you’re used to pushing yourself further, we’ll keep you challenged as well. Please get in touch with us if you’d like to chat about the trip or activities.

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Reviews

  • Absolutely amazing!

    “My husband and I did this trip to celebrate our 10-year anniversary and we couldn't have asked for a better vacation. The hikes were fun and challenging (in a good way!); the views were spectacular everywhere we went; and Ken and Kim (our guides) made the trip perfect. They were super knowledgeable and friendly and made everything fun. We felt like we got to see New Zealand in a unique way that you could never get with your standard tour group. We will definitely be looking at doing more tours with Active Adventures in the future!”
    Laura Pape – Virginia, United StatesApril 2017
  • Best vacation yet!

    “When my wife and I started talking about how we wanted to celebrate our 10 year anniversary we started to think big. We had come across pictures of New Zealand. We started looking at Lord of the Rings Tours but they seemed to focus more seeing the studios or showing up at a photo stop. We wanted something more adventurous. After searching online for awhile we found the Active Adventures site. Fast forward a year and we were landing in Christchurch getting ready to kick off the tour! We both had high expectations for the trip, and man did it deliver!
    It seemed like every day we got to see scenery that took our breath away. We loved the physical activity, the sense of accomplishment every day”
    David Pape – Virginia, United StatesApril 2017
  • Active

    “The trip was the best trip ever! The guides were wonderful and the sites were breathtaking. We were on the South Island, which is amazing! We were able to take a small plane into the Siberian Valley, which was an adventure in itself. Our group was small (8), which was really great. We all got along really well.”
    Terri Lundy – Oregon, United StatesApril 2017
  • Tui Trip-March 2017

    “I cannot say enough positive things about how wonderful and seamless this trip was from start to finish! The timing for every piece of our journey was impeccable, and I could tell Active Adventures has honed their craft well! We have recommended this to many of our friends and family, as this was a trip of a lifetime for me and my husband!
    David and Tonya Ward
    Colorado USA”
    Tonya Loveday-Ward – Colorado, United StatesApril 2017
  • Awesome Challenge

    “The TUI trip provided a wide-range of outdoor activities in an unbelievable setting on the South Island. Liked the mix of hiking, biking, kayaking and overall area knowledge provided by the guides.”
    Bruce Van Der Kamp – Colorado, United StatesApril 2017
  • A Great Eight Days

    “My wife, Shanen, and I had a goal of running a marathon on all seven continents and our seventh took place on March 18, in Rotorua, NZ. So two days after completing our goal, we returned to Christchurch and met up with our guides, Hillary and Dan, along with our fellow travelers. As good fortune would have it we all clicked as a group and off we went.

    For the remainder of our journey it was clear that both Hillary and Dan took great joy in what they do. Furthermore, and of great importance to us, they ensured meals had met our vegetarian and vegan needs. We were never made to feel our dietary needs were inconvenient to them and they were handled in such a way that all of us were able to enjoy our group meals.

    The actual adventure was well planned out and the expectations of each day were always explained. Our group was one that started together, made sure all finished and enjoyed the adventure.”
    John Edmundson – Arizona, United StatesApril 2017
  • Amazing Trip!

    “All the activities were well planned, fun & a bit challenging! And the scenery was beautiful. Our guides were well prepared, and informative.”
    Sally Van Der Kamp – Colorado, United StatesApril 2017
  • Unbelievable vacation!

    “What can I say! This was the best vacation we have ever taken as a family. I have been looking for a trip with activity, and I came to the right place. From the beginning, Greg and Tess made us feel right at home. The kids loved hiking and the incredible scenery. On our free day, our entire family went skydiving to complete our amazing trip. Experiences in life are so important to us and this is not one that will be forgotten. The photographers, Jacob and Hamish, were great as well. By the end of the trip, we truly felt like our family had grown by four! Thank you for everything and I would definitely recommend this trip to others!”
    Ruth Grissom – Florida, United StatesMarch 2017
  • “I would like to extend kudos to our trip leader Ken. He was an inspiration to me. He encouraged me on hikes I was questioning myself about and gave me praise every step of the way. You are the BOMB Ken. Also, he is a very courteous driver. i felt very safe with him driving.”
    Lynn Schiller – Minnesota, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Great Trip to NZ South Island

    “Enjoyed the adventurous activities while touring the South Island. Good mix of hiking, biking, kayaking, river crossing, and site seeing. Hiking difficulty and distances were just right, and guides were knowledgeable and fun. Good way to travel with a group.”
    Joe Bahr – Florida, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Late Summer West Coast South Island NZ

    “Combination of great weather, great guide skills, great scenery and great companionship make this an active but not exhaustive adventure.”
    George Powell – Texas, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Tui February 2017

    “Fantastic tour of New Zealand. Definitely stayed "active" throughout the whole trip! Already planning my next visit through Active Adventures.”
    Lindsay Grim – Alabama, United StatesMarch 2017
  • McKinnon's NZ Active Adventure 2017

    “For us there were two things going on here. Mainly it was a time when we could be together as a family again; and then secondly it enabled us to experience a part of NZ that I was somewhat familiar with in my early 20's.
    The trip exceeded expectations, and is something we'll remember positively forever. Most importantly, I think, the trip helped us all reconnect as a family.”
    Graeme McKinnon – Wisconsin, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Feb 19-26 Active Adventures TUI trip

    “Really had a fantastic 8 day TUI trip to the South Island led by Joe and Steve of Active Adventures. Great way to experience New Zealand for the first time. Those two worked really hard to make the trip go smoothly from start to finish. Great music, great meals, amazing scenery, hiking, and conversation. Only problem was it all went too fast. I hope to get back to NZ someday soon. It was everything I hoped and more!”
    Doug Nagle – Minnesota, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Virgin Active Adventurist-When can I do it again?!

    “Fabulous trip! Not having to drive, research stops, plan activities, arrange accommodations and decide what to eat made this so relaxing, letting us enjoy every minute of every activity and even the down time! I can't wait to sign up for another trip!”
    Karen Basil – Minnesota, United StatesMarch 2017
  • trip of a lifetime

    “This is the best trip I have ever been on, but be forwarned we covered 50 miles of hiking and 15 miles of mountain biking in the first 8 days. Mt Aspiring National Park and the hut in Siberia Valley is breathtaking, as well as the kayaking in Milford Sound. The guides were super cool and we all had a great time. Definitely check this trip out but be ready for it”
    Chris McGlinchy – New Jersey, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Feb 12 2017 Tui with Greg and Melissa

    “The weather slowed us down on the first couple of days. But after that it was an amazing experience. The views, the activities and the guides made it easy. Coordinating the activities, transportation, food, etc.”
    Ross Gough – California, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Breathtaking Tui

    “This was a great trip. The fact that New Zealand's South Island is a wonderful, breathtaking place may have made the guides' jobs easier, but both they and my fellow travellers made this a very enjoyable and memorable vacation.
    In particular, the two days spent flying into, hiking through and up the Siberia Valley, the overnight stay and the hike and jet boat out made the trip a "must do". The wild, untouched, glorious beauty of it all is more than I can put into words. I have already recommended it to other friends planning to visit kiwi land.”
    Miles Chaston – California, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Best day ever at Crucible Lake

    “Many thanks to Steve (awesome guide) for this memorable experience. I loved every minute of it - a true adventure. I've fallen in love with the New Zealand 'hut' experience and the magical world this open you up to.”
    Pamela Rubidge – British Columbia, CanadaMarch 2017
  • Beautiful, perfect trip!

    “The Tui trip was a perfect way to see parts of New Zealand on a short time frame. I was concerned traveling by myself, and this trip was the perfect way to do it. Between the the most spectacular scenery, the knowledge of the guides, and the varied and incredible itinerary, this really was the trip of a lifetime for me.”
    Rosie Stein – New York, United StatesMarch 2017
  • It really was a trip of a lifetime.

    “Everything about the trip itinerary and the staff was wonderful. Of course the scenery was amazing too. Amanda and Clara took wonderful care of us. I felt bad that my husband had refused to train in a manner that would have made him better prepared for the hiking task. Both Amanda and Clara were very patient with him. He was a trouper while he was there. With their encouragement he completed it all, just slowly. It worked out well that the four weaker hikers had time a when they could slow down for a morning later in the week. I wouldn't change anything about how you organize the tour. The bus was comfortable and the guides were great at getting all the tour-mates to converse and mesh. We all agreed at the end of the week what a personality compatible group of travelers we ended up being. I am glad Tim and I did not choose to stay at the Siberia Hut. We enjoyed our A-frame option with Amanda. I have already recommended your trip to other potential travelers. Thank you to Active Adventures, Amanda and Clara.”
    Jan Pfannes – Michigan, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Tim big adventure

    “First things first,

    Amanda and Clara were the greatest. The trip extremely well organized. New Zealand's landscape is the most beautiful we have been to, ever. The food was good and plentiful. All the people we travelled with were fun to be around. I have to admit at 68 I thought I was in pretty good shape. This was a difficult trip physically. I did manage to finish all the hiking, biking, and kayaking. My wife did tell me to workout harder on the step master, should of listened.
    Thanks for a great adventure.”
    Tim Pfannes – Michigan, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Active trip yet relaxed and refreshing!

    “My husband and I just finished the 8 day TUI trip in New Zealand and we had an absolutely wonderful time. We were a little worried that maybe we were getting a little "old" for this type of trip (husband is 63 and I'm 61), but we're healthy and in good shape and the staff assured us that we would be fine! And we were! It was very challenging, yet we never felt we could not complete or comfortably do anything. We had weather issues, rain and clouds, and even a dunking in Milford Sound when our kayak hit a rock, yet that made it all the more adventurous and memorable. We had always wanted to go to New Zealand and experience the great natural beauty there, and this trip allowed us to do that and so much more!
    To start with, we had two great guides, Ken and Elder, and they were very friendly, helpful, kind, and always professional and they really took good care of us. I am so glad I did not have to drive those roads or navigate, and they always got us to our destinations safely and in time. We were kept in the loop of where we were going, when and why, and if there needed to be modifications due to weather, we were kept aware.
    Secondly, we had a great group of travelers. Nine in all, and from all over the world! Folks ran the gamut of what they did and where they were from, however the one thing we all had in common was a love for the outdoors and adventure, so we all had similar goals and expectations. On the "free" day in Queenstown, everyone went out for a once in a lifetime experience-paragliding, sky diving, white water rafting, or a jet boat adventure. This was quite a lively and fun loving group, which made it all the more fun. I don't know anyone back home that would have done all these things with me. It was really nice to share these experiences with like minded folks.
    And finally, the itinerary and the activities were all top notch. The hiking was challenging and beautiful, yet we could go at our own pace. The bike ride was absolutely stunning, and just "scary" enough to energize us, and then there were jet boats, small plane flights over gorgeous canyons and rivers, a backpack trip into Siberia hut, where the night sky was unlike anything I had ever seen! And the final Milford Sound kayak trip was phenomenal (even though yes we did turn over, but no worries-just got wet!). I know we could not have planned for all of these activities easily on our own, so the value of the tour for us had a lot to do with the activities and the ease in which we were able to participate.
    So that is our trip in a nutshell. My husband and I were both refreshed and relaxed after this vacation, even though it was very active and we felt like we were not so "old" after all. And that feeling is priceless.”
    Stewart Shanfield – California, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Get in Shape for Sensational Views!

    “This was the trip of a lifetime! We all read about how beautiful New Zealand is, but nothing compares to seeing it with your own two eyes. And up close on an Active Adventure is even better! But be prepared to be very active. This was a non-stop week of fantastic activity, with lots of hiking and some kayaking and biking in beautiful surroundings and a chance to catch your breath on scenic plane flights and jet boat rides. And don't miss the helicopter ride!”
    Jeanne Brady – Massachusetts, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Terrific Tui!

    “The Tui adventure was definitely a trip of a lifetime! New Zealand was on my bucket list, but I was overwhelmed trying to plan a trip. I have always planned our family vacations vs going on a guided tour... so I was very reluctant to spend the money. But it was so worth it! We were able to see and do more than we could have ever accomplished on our own. And it was stress free... we just had to show up. Loved it! Our guides, Andy & Jo, were amazing, informative and fun! My husband, 2 kids (recent college grads) and I also had some hesitation about travelling with a bunch of strangers. But we had such a fun group, we were like family by the end of the trip and the opportunity to get to know our fellow travellers just added to the experience. Now I'm dreaming of my next adventure!”
    Cheri Nehl – Minnesota, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Bonzer trip to the South Island

    “Thanks to Greg and Mel for a memorable exploration of New Zealand's South Island. Need to come back to enjoy the wonders of this place.”
    Ted Jackson – Tennessee, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Tui in February

    “I combined Kauri with Tui and it was the perfect blend to see both Islands in New Zealand. My Tui experience was terrific. It certainly was an active adventure!”
    Andrea King – Connecticut, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Best adventure yet

    “This by far ranked as one of the best adventure and time spent outdoors enjoying and experiencing nature at it finest. AA did a fabulous job planning every aspect of the trip and taking care of us without over managing our experience. Our two guides, Clara and Amanda are true pros that made the adventure truly enjoyable event at the risk of having to listen to my many jokes and riddles during our bus trips. I wish them the best.”
    George Vanecek – California, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Tui Trip of a lifetime!

    “This trip was an amazing adventure for our family of 6! Our guides, Michelle, Rachael and Liana were organized, knowledgable and fun. Every day was a new experience on the beautiful South Island... fly-in and camping in the Siberian Wilderness, sea kayaking in Milford Sound, waterfalls everywhere, and many laughs on the bus with family and new friends! Highly recommend this trip :)”
    Janet Lattof – Colorado, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • The best week!

    “We cannot say enough positive things about our experience with Active! The booking process was super smooth and we were provided tons of info to make sure we were all prepared for the week. Our guides, Claire and Torrey were exceptionally friendly, knowledgeable, and organized. Every day was planned almost down to the minute, with back up plans in case of weather changes, etc. it was such a relief to have alll of the logistics accounted for (including several delicious meals) which ensured we were able to really enjoy our trip and get the most out of our time on the South Island. At the same time, the guides were super accommodating, with everything from diet-specific needs to being able to modify the activities to fit the wide range in interests and levels of fitness. Siberia Valley was the highlight for the group and we would highly recommend it! Overall, this really was the trip of a lifetime and it was mostly thanks to the knowledge, patience, planning, and stellar attitudes of our guides! Thanks ladies for a wonderful week!!”
    Mike Moncrief – New Jersey, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Fantastic trip!

    “Amanda and Clara are amazing. They provided detailed information about the areas we visited, made sure everyone was safe and sound during our hiking, biking, and kayaking, made the trips between areas entertaining for all, and made sure we had great food the entire time. One of the best trips I've taken, and one I will remember forever.”
    Jay Perry – California, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Michelle Yezierski

    “The Active Adventure Tui Trip was a trip of a lifetime. Great guides, amazing activities, excellent food and breath-taking views. I came home relaxed and smiling; telling anyone who will listen to go to New Zealand that they won't regret it. Thank you Tori and Claire for a great experience and the Active Adventure staff in Queenstown who helped with the booking.”
    Michelle Yezierski – Virginia, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Active adventures it surely was!

    “Everything about this trip was awesome! from each place we stayed, to each area we hiked, biked and kayaked... every meal with Claire and Tory too. it surely was a wild adventure and couldn't imagine a better time! thank you.”
    Kerry Dwyer – New Jersey, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Great trip in a beautiful country!

    “The Tui trip was an excellent way to experience the wonders of New Zealand. The scenery was spectacular and every day of the trip was filled with beauty and adventure. Clara and Amanda did an outstanding job taking care of us and assuring that each person was fully participating to the best of his or her ability.”
    Bob Kelly – New York, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Great trip!!

    “We had a wonderful time on this trip. The days were full and our guides Amanda and Clara were amazing.”
    Molly Kelly – New York, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Great trip, Great guides

    “As a way to get 'unwired' from work, we scheduled the Tui trip. It was the first group adventure trip we had ever done. It was fantastic. Great group, great guides and great adventures. After a couple of hikes in the Southern Alps, we split from the group opting for the Siberian hut trip with a fly in and hike out. A challenging hike up to Crucible Lake and return to a "home-cooked" hearty meal. We met up with the group the next day after a 2 hour hike out and jet boat ride down the Wilkin river to pick up bicycles and cycle along the beautiful Hawea River Trail. Allowing for a day of 'rest' we set our sights on sea kayaking in Milford Sound. One spectacular experience after another was hard to process. Nothing was unspectacular. From the guides, to the trips, to the meals, to the accommodations, everything exceeded our expectations. New Zealand is awesome and Active Adventures allowed us to experience the best of it.”
    Kris Schlenker – California, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Amanda and Clara

    “Amanda was totally amazing. Clara was not only a great guide but a fabulous chef. Challenging in ways I never expected. Siberia Valley plane trip, river crossing, hike out and jet boat trip was awesome and very well organized!”
    Chris Lodge – California, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Simply amazing

    “Loved every moment of the trip, and would do it all again in a heartbeat!”
    Goranka Bjedov – California, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Tui experience

    “This trip provided a good balance of activities with the necessary travel time to access the different parts of the South Island. The trip was well organized, and the guides were super. They accommodated our individual desires and capabilities, as well as being good cooks, leaders, and knowledgeable guides. Our group quickly melded into collegial and interesting companions, and that make the experience that much better. The itinerary provides a taste all that the South Island offers. I'm happy to have chosen this company to tour with.”
    Gary Ezzell – Arizona, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Tui Trip

    “In one word, this trip was FANTASTIC! We had Dani and Mel as our guides, and they helped us and looked out for us every step of the way. I am vegetarian, and they took that into account for every meal and there were no issues at all. They always put us first and made sure we were prepared and enjoying every aspect of the tour. I loved the intensity of the activities and hikes; we did not feel rushed at any point. We were able to take our time. Great memories that we will never forget!”
    Dipa Shah – Illinois, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • The Great Adventure

    “The organization of the trip regarding schedule hikes and driving was well conceived and executed. Long drives where always broken up with hikes in between or visiting small towns for a stretch of the legs. The hikes provided spectacular beauty and on occasional days an excellent physical challenge that everyone loved! The trip also sprinkled in fun adventures of helicopter, small prop plane, river jet boat, and bike rides. A well timed day of rest and adventure on your own in Queenstown allowed trippers to bungee jump, swing, zipline, or just chill in this hip town.”
    Michael Uttecht – DC, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Great trip,Great Time!

    “We thoroughly enjoyed our trip. The itinerary was well planned. Michelle and Rachel were excellent hosts. Would definitely recommend Active Adventures!”
    Frank Walter – DC, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Birthday we'll never forget

    “We expected a great trip with where we were going, BUT Active Adventures guides (Michele and Rachael) made it that much more special. Their knowledge, expertise and storytelling abilities made it fun and engaging. Accommodations were better than anticipated, they were great.
    An absolute must for those thinking about this type of a trip.”
    Liz Clapp – California, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Great time, great guides

    “Had so much fun with Dani and Mel as our guides. They did such a great job for us. Loved each varied part of the trip. Day 2 hike at Franz Josef was a bit hard for a first major hike. Loved Siberia valley. Loved Milford sound. Trip overall was excellent. Would definitely highly recommend.”
    Christian Den Ouden – Illinois, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • The only way to "do" the south island

    “What a great trip! There is no way we could have seen or done half as much on our own. The sights were amazing, rain or shine. The hiking was a mix of easy and tough. Food was great. The accommodations were top of the line and such a welcome retreat after an active day. We had a really lovely, interesting, and inclusive group. Kim did a fantastic job driving the winding mountainous roads. It only took a day to learn to look at what Tess is wearing...if she takes a layer off, you should too! Wonderful trip, so glad we went with Active!”
    Brianna Frear – Wisconsin, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Graduation gift of a lifetime

    “As a recent college graduate, the one thing I wanted to do was travel. I was completely unfamiliar with New Zealand, and my parents wanted to ensure I was safe and could know where I was going each day. Active Adventures was a great way to have the time of my life while being safe. Our group ranged in activity levels, but Andy and Jo made sure we all were comfortable while encouraging us every step of the way. From my initial call with the Active team, to booking, and eventually the trip, I did not have a single problem and had the experience of a lifetime! Thanks Mom and Dad, and thank you Active Adventures!”
    Sara Elwell – Pennsylvania, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • My biggest best trip ever

    “Endless physical activities, super nice guides and a friendly small group made for the best ever trip (so far :)).”
    Jason Willett – Minnesota, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Tui Trip Rocks!

    “I've never purchased a trip because of my personal reasons and that I can do this on my own. Wow was I mistaken! If anyone has second thoughts about the Tui trip please don't, it was an adventure I will never forget. A very big thank you to our guides Claire and Racheal as well as the team at Active Adventures.”
    Ruth Milan – Washington, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Amazing! Such an incredible experience

    “From the moment we arrived as a group, we felt included and taken care of. The staff are highly attentive and organized and maintained a great deal of professionalism throughout the trip. We visited amazing locations and felt like we had a good sense of the South Island. Every detail, logistic and meal was taken care of, making it very enjoyable. They varied our activities throughout the day, from hiking and biking, to kayaking. We created great friendships with the other participants and were very sad to leave at the end of the trip. I cannot wait to go on another trip with Active Adventures and have already recommended them to a wide variety of people!”
    Kat Fischer – New York, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Amazing Honeymoon Experience

    “We decided to travel around NZ with Active Adventures for our honeymoon. What an incredible decision! All the logistics were taken care of for us, so we didn't have to worry about any of it while we were focusing on planning the wedding. The staff were terrific....excellent tour guides and went above and beyond for us. New Zealand itself is such a gorgeous place and was a great place to kick off married life. Active Adventures really does it right and the group sizes (max 14) are perfect. We had an amazing experience and plan to travel with Active Adventures again on our next adventure!”
    Crista Cohen – Colorado, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Fantastic trip

    “This was a great family vacation. The hiking, biking, and kayaking were awesome! We are an athletic family and it was just the right amount to keep everyone excited and wanting more. Nick and Hillary were terrific leaders and always up for activity and educating us on NZ. Thanks for a great trip.”
    Jan Garfinkle – Michigan, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • 2017's first Tui trip

    “The Tui trip exceeded my (high) expectations - it was a trip of a lifetime! Spectacular scenery, beautiful hikes, friendly trip-mates and superb guides - and generally some great weather to boot!”
    Peter Greulich – Illinois, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Super experience.

    “Great guides in Andy and Jo and we were lucky to have exceptional traveling partners in our group.”
    Jim Nehl – Minnesota, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • This trip will make you want to come back

    “This was a wonderful trip led by Michelle and Rachael. As a single traveller, the group size was ideal so I didn't feel overwhelmed by the couples and family groups.
    Quite simply this trip gives a superb overview of the South Island taking in some of the key sights of the area.... to the point where it just makes you want to come back. The pace and variety of the trip was set at the right level to suit everyone, including the option to have a lesser climb on the overnight section. The accommodation and the meals provided by Active were extremely good, and some of the settings were breathtaking. Quite simply the camera did not do the scenery justice and I can't wait to come back and explore some more of the country.”
    Sue Cole – Middlesex, United KingdomJanuary 2017
  • Outstanding Place, Outstanding Guides

    “We loved the way this brief tour showed us the full variety of NZ's South Island, and our guides knew how to take care of everything we wanted. They made it all look effortless, too.”
    Keith Rhodes – Nebraska, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Can't wait to come back!

    “Ever since I arrived back home I wake up thinking about NZ and our Tui trip! It was exactly what I had hoped it would be like and better! Better because not just the scenery and activities were amazing, but because of the people. Our guides Claire and Rachael took incredible care of us, (down to how we liked our tea and coffee) were fun to be around, really knew their stuff, and were total
    professionals! We can't wait to come back!!!”
    Pam Cruse – Colorado, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Best trip ever!

    “I went on this trip as a solo female traveler & am incredibly glad I did! The guides couldn't have been more informative of the kiwi culture and our group was perfect. Every activity was extremely organized. Highly suggest this trip for anyone only having 8 days to explore the South Island!”
    Starla Terry – Texas, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Tui Trip 2017

    “How could this have been any better? Can't think of any way. Our guides were extraordinary and handled every request or complication with ease and grace. The weather can be tricky, making this somewhat challenging, but you'd never know that from how they acted with the group. They always had options up their sleeves. Every day was some new adventure. Some challenging, some not. Always choices if things were too challenging. We plan on coming back for another trip as soon as we can.”
    Larry Noe – North Carolina, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Awesome

    “The South Island of New Zealand is incredible - the scenery is beyond description. The Tui trip provided us with a variety of activities and nature. Thanks for an unforgettable experience.”
    Barb Miller – California, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Great treks

    “We went as a family of five and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!
    The scenery was even better than you might imagine from gallery photos.
    The hikes were variable, some challenging and others easier but never felt pressured to do anything uncomfortable. The guides, Hiliary and Nick were fantastic.
    Highly recommended as a family trip for the adventurers.”
    Mike O'Donnell – Michigan, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Professionalism and Exceptionalism Beyond Expectations!

    “Our recent Tui trip of the South Island was absolutely the trip of a lifetime and more than I could have ever hoped for! As a very seasoned, frugal, independent, tour-averse traveller, signing up and spending the money for this trip was a bit out of character for me. However, that being said, this was probably the best travel investment I have ever made in my life! We packed so many amazing adventures into eight days, with the kindest most knowledgeable and most professional guides ever, that I seriously doubt I could have recreated it on my own. I cannot recommend Active Adventures and our guides Claire and Rachael highly enough and am already looking forward to and planning my next adventure this year with them!”
    Chris Gan – Washington, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Amazing!!

    “An extraordinary trip. So well organized, amazing tour guides, with so many activities. A really lovely way to experience the South Island. Would highly recommend to anybody.”
    Abida Dhukai – Ontario, CanadaJanuary 2017
  • Tui Trip

    “Colin and I had a great time. Even though the guide is our daughter it is accurate and fair to say she has was really great. Very accommodating, friendly and skill full as well as being a great cook. Nothing fazed her. A very 'can do' attitude which everyone appreciated. The trip itself was great fun and the weather helped with that. The kayaking team was very good and I trusted their judgement. The walks were perfect for anyone. A very good all around experience.”
    Cheri Crosby – , New ZealandJanuary 2017
  • “What a fabulous trip this was! I have traveled extensively throughout the world and often avoid tours because I don't want to be too regimented and I don't want to be on a bus with 40 people! When we decided to go to New Zealand, our goal was to try to experience it rather than just see it and that is just what Active Adventures allowed us to do. The guides know their country well and truly shared it with us. Each day we were out tramping somewhere, rain or shine, but there was always an option to take it easy if one needed to do so. We loved the small size of the group, 11 of us, plus our two guides. They ran each day efficiently and were well-prepared for our meals. We had fresh wholesome snacks always available and all kinds of tips on how to do the hike of the day. Koru was especially knowledgeable about the Maori heritage of New Zealand and was constantly teaching us about the flora and fauna of the country. Liana and Koru both were working late and getting up early to make sure that our day went well. Even when the weather didn't cooperate, there was always another great alternative. They introduced us to the beauty and wonder of New Zealand and when the trip ended, we were excited to head out on our own, with the skills we needed to continue to discover and experience even more! It truly was a trip of a lifetime!”
    Sharon Funk – Colorado, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • The deep South

    “Top quality guide,great food,excellent bus commentary,excellent organisation.”
    Colin Wards – , New ZealandJanuary 2017
  • Terrific Tui

    “What a great route and selection of activities! Informative and fun guides, well-managed accommodations, and good eats! A wonderful tour and experience.”
    Matthew Gonser – Hawaii, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Perfect amount of adventure

    “From gazing upon Franz Josef Glacier to biking along Hawea Lake Trail, to gliding on calm waters in Milford Sound, it's been a most memorable adventure! Our guides Tess and Amanda were a great duo! I loved that it was just enough activity without being sore while still being able to see so much of South Island.”
    Grace Zheng – Hawaii, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Everything went perfectly for us!

    “All the excursions were essential to understanding the South Island. Our guides were great! They made us feel comfortable and capable. All the adventures we tackled were exciting and challenging. We were able to complete them all! The provided food was good. The bus we rode in was new and nice. The rooms we stayed at were great. Having wifi at the accommodations was appreciated. In short, the Tui trip was amazing!”
    Danyel Goddard – Florida, United StatesDecember 2016
  • Amazing Experience, enhanced by an remarkable AA Staff

    “It was great doing it with a group of people who enjoyed it like we did.
    The two guides from Active Adventures made the whole thing excellent: perfectly organized, highly entertaining.
    The small group of 10 people, like minded with respect to nature and adventure, worked out well.
    The nights were spent in above-expectation locales. Those were welcome comforts after amazing hikes in the rain.”
    JP Abgrall – California, United StatesDecember 2016
  • Ran out of adjectives to describe the wonder of this trip

    “Awesome, spectacular, amazing, jaw-dropping... just a wonderful vacation. The intinery was everything we'd hoped for and more. The guides were perfect ambassadors for New Zealand and Active Adventures. The country - truly one of the most special places on earth. If you're into the outdoors, make this pilgrimage.”
    Matt Brown – Florida, United StatesDecember 2016
  • The trip of a lifetime!

    “Amanda and Clara made the trip five stars! Clara loves ball sports! I wish I could travel every year with these two beautiful ladies. Thanks for making our trip so special.”
    Diana Rauchwarger – Florida, United StatesDecember 2016
  • Exceeding expectations and more!

    “We had been planning this trip for about a year and I had been dreaming about this trip for about 7 years, therefore the expectations were high. Active Adventures did an excellent job and our guides Kuru and Liana made this a trip of a lifetime. The most amazing part is that they always were one step ahead of planning the next meal, hike, bike or even maneuvering around the NZ wild weather. All the planning ahead and adjusting on the fly would normally turn a trip to be very stressful but we were able to sit back and relax (not literally because it was very active) and truly enjoy the beautiful landscape and everything NZ had to offer. Truly the trip of a lifetime!”
    Ryan Hussey – New Hampshire, United StatesDecember 2016
  • Tui

    “We had a truly great time. Our guides, Koru and Liana were the best. They made the trip so much fun, especially in the light of the unpredictable New Zealand weather! And Lynette was always right there to help us along every step of the way. I brought home memories of a lifetime, and discovered that Kiwis are absolutely the friendliest people on earth. The Tui Trip was a great introductory tour, but now I want to come back again and spend more time hiking and exploring the South Island.

    Many thanks to the whole Active Adventures team. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    - Mick”
    Mick Owens – Florida, United StatesDecember 2016
  • Awesome Tui Trip!

    “My husband and I traveled to New Zealand for a late honeymoon and our adventure started with the Tui Trip which couldn't have been better! Between the amazing places we visited along the South Island from our unbelievable guides who quickly became friends, the trip definitely exceeded our expectations! We quickly learned how kiwis truly cherish and appreciate what their beautiful country has to offer and are so thankful to have had such a wonderful experience. New Zealand will always hold a special place in our hearts, along with our memories of hiking, biking, cheers-ing, and chatting with new friends. Thank you Koru and Liana, for making our trip so unforgettable!”
    Lauren Hussey – New Hampshire, United StatesDecember 2016
  • “My wife and I were 62 at the time of our trip and were concerned that we were getting in over our head. However, the guides carefully monitor our "activity" level to make sure we were fit enough for most activities. We also opted out of some activities but alternatives were available. We enjoyed our trip immensely because we got out of our comfort level and "experienced" the true beauty of NZ including the local accommodations, the food and the people. We tried whitebait and meat pies. We discovered that Makarora was an undiscovered treasure. We also discovered you could dine in Queenstown without waiting in line at Fergburger! We were also blessed with fellow guests that were patient and fun.”
    Casey Funk – Colorado, United StatesDecember 2016
  • Worth every penny!

    “This was an amazing trip - highly recommended! Our guides, Koru and Liana, were great - kept us moving and active in all kinds of weather and conditions. Some of the planned tour had to be modified due to weather - it does rain a lot - but no regrets at all. We got a taste of New Zealand on beautiful days, rainy days, and once in rain, sleet and hurricane force winds, but we were always well cared for and felt like we'd seen New Zealand in all of it's majesty. The hiking was strenuous enough to feel like a challenge and leave us tired and a bit sore most days, but never too difficult. The Siberia Valley part of the trip was just spectacular! Koru's knowledge of New Zealand's native plants and animals, history, Maori heritage, and Lord of the Rings stories were particularly fascinating. Would love to go again!”
    Bob Martin – South Carolina, United StatesDecember 2016
  • TUI 2016: LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE!

    “Tui trip November 2016 with Tess and Jordie was one of the best experiences of my life! Great vibes and a chilled out atmosphere to enjoy the best of the South Island! Hikes were different every day as were the scenic drives on board Ed! The mountain bike riding across Lake Wanaka was spectacular as was the scenic flight across Siberia Valley! There was a great workout every single day! Jordie and Tess made us feel so welcome and were super knowledgable of every town and national park they took us to! We were never hungry, they never let us lift a finger to do any of the work! FELL IN LOVE with NZ on this trip and will be back within 2 years.”
    Sai Malathi Siritharan – New South Wales, AustraliaDecember 2016
  • Cara Gambill

    “Best adventure trip ever. Every day the scenery and adventures got better. I'd highly recommend the trip.”
    Cara Gambill – North Carolina, United StatesDecember 2016
  • Trip of a Lifetime is a good way to put it

    “Our guides were absolutely amazing! They catered to all of our needs, which is not always the easiest task. I was impressed with how much we fit into our schedule, there is no way I would have been able to do what we did in such a short period of time on my own. It was exactly what I was looking for in a tour group.

    It was hard to leave our group and our guides!”
    Beth Kenney – California, United StatesDecember 2016
  • Tui 2016

    “This trip was fantastic, one of the best holidays I have had!

    The guides were enthusiastic, had great local knowledge and were able to work around the weather conditions so our days were filled with enjoyable and safe activities no matter what
    The hikes were tailored to suite everyone so everyone could join in and enjoy no matter age etc but were still challenging enough for avid hikers
    The food and accommodation were excellent

    I would definitely recommend this holiday to anyone who enjoys the outdoors and being active, thank you for showing us around your beautiful country”
    Jacque Ogilvy – South Australia, AustraliaDecember 2016
  • Amazing Trip

    “This trip was amazing - the hikes took us to beautiful vistas, the guides were knowledgeable and fun, and the food was never in short supply ("Food is Fuel!" as one of our guides kept restating).

    Koru and Kim were great guides throughout and everyone had so much fun! I was traveling solo but 2 of the other 4 on my trip were as well, so nobody was ever left out! Having such a small group made the activities much easier to enjoy.

    The hikes, like I mentioned, were truly unbelievable, though somewhat more difficult than I expected. Everything was talked as 'full-on' or by time, but know that NZ hikes are up mountains then back down, so work on hills more than distance before you go! Even some of the small walks we did (Blue Pools, only 5 minutes from the road & the Chasm, 10 minutes from the road) were breathtaking. Kayaking the Milford Sound was another once in a lifetime experience we got to have on this trip.

    The only thing I would have liked (and got jokingly by the end of the trip) were straight communication prior to the hikes about how long they were updates mid-hike about how much longer/further. There was one day with miscommunications leading me to think the hike would be another 3+ hours uphill (nearly inducing panic) but was really only 30 more minutes.

    Overall, I really loved this trip!”
    Taylor Ceithaml – California, United StatesNovember 2016
  • AWESOME

    “I have been trying to pick my highlight of the trip, and I have come to the conclusion that the whole experience of the Tui trip was a highlight, especially for me coming from the hot Queensland sun where I had not even seen snow before. The country side of NZ is awesome, clear skyes, clean water ways, endless beauty every where I looked. You were able to clear your mind on the hikes and get back in touch with nature, I came home with eye strain from trying to catch and absord all the beauty around me. The trip was even more that I was expecting from start to end. The knowledge of Koru and Kim was great, also those two are machines!!!!!. They went out of there way to make us all feel welcome, nurtured, comfortable and my god, well feed . I can't speak highly enough about Kim and Koru.
    I have come home feeling great buzzing about hiking and exploring. Even the girls in the office from start to end have been so helpful and happy. Thank you for making a big decision so easy.
    I could keep ranting for ages it was the best thing I have done. Thankyou Active Adventures. 1 Happy little Aussie.”
    Vicki Fry – Queensland, AustraliaNovember 2016
  • Tui

    “Amazing exciting adventure with great guides!”
    Holly Henderson – Texas, United StatesNovember 2016
  • Best Trip!!

    “The trip was everything and more of what I expected!! Our guides were amazing and very helpful and attentive. My group was super cool!”
    Maria del Carmen Quiroz – Distrito Federal, MexicoOctober 2016
  • Exceptional

    “I could not have had a better experience on my Tui trip. From start to finish, Claire and Alex were professional, organized, informative, patient and above all else... just amazing human beings. Claire (bear) had an incredible knowledge about New Zealand. No questions went un-answered. She clearly loves her country and it showed in her passion for the culture and the great outdoors. A true guide and educator at heart (I believe.) Alex was so fun and such a great chef. She has an amazing amount of travel experience (especially for her age) and it showed in her skill-set while guiding us.”
    Amelia Bradaric – British Columbia, CanadaOctober 2016
  • Wonderful Tui Trip

    “I wanted to visit NZ since I was six years old and a friend moved there. It took 50+ years for me to get there but Active Adventures made the wait worthwhile. Spectacular scenery, great guides and interesting travel companions made the trip go by too quickly.

    I just wish I had brought less stuff than the list recommended. Way overpacked. But Ken was good about it, moving bags around without a complaint. In fact, having Ken as a guide really helped make the trip. He has an indepth knowledge of NZ and a great storytelling style.

    I'd take the Tui trip again, well, except that I want to see other parts of NZ!”
    Pete Basiliere – New Hampshire, United StatesOctober 2016
  • we had a blast

    “We had the best guides, best group, Good mix of people, Perfect itinerary, cant ask for more for the South Island”
    Sai Krishna Gangavalli – Texas, United StatesJuly 2016
  • Great Fun & adventure

    “It was a well-organized and run trip with a wide variety of activities that were challenging, but also fun. It was great to get to know a lot of what New Zealand has to offer outdoor-wise. Sometimes we felt in a little over our heads, but looking back that was the whole point of an adventure. The leaders, Ken. Laura, & Ellie were personable, friendly and approachable and getting to know the fellow travelers on the trip was a great part of the trip. We felt lucky that everyone did get a long well. Since we had been to New Zealand previously, it was great to see & do a lot of things we hadn't had a chance to before. Having AANZ as a guide allowed greater depth & insight into the character of the country and its ecology. Brilliant trip!”
    Todd Henkelmann – Pennsylvania, United StatesJune 2016
  • Absolutely awesome

    “I visited New Zealand three times in the 1980’s and 1990’s and a fourth visit – a more “active” adventure - became my top bucket list item . . . it was worth the wait! The "Tui" adventure was truly a trip of a lifetime, and our guides, Katie and Alex, were terrific – it’s obvious they love what they do.”
    Robyn Jensen – California, United StatesJune 2016
  • Tui with Michelle and Joe!

    “Wow! such a fun trip! Great guides! Really enjoyed them both. Very professional yet so friendly. Toward the end of the trip, felt out group was really close!”
    Courtney Davis – California, United StatesJune 2016
  • South Island

    “It was a great way to see and experience New Zealand and its people. Michelle and Elder are excellent tour guides, and the 7 people with me were good company. I don't know if I will ever get to NZ again, but I definitely would return based on my experience. It would be a nice place to live.”
    Vincent Simpson – New York, United StatesMay 2016
  • The BEST:)

    “This was one of the best trips I have ever been on! Only downfall was it was only 8 days long...will definitely be going back to New Zealand:)”
    Liz Sinclair – California, United StatesMay 2016
  • Tui was amazing for me!

    “The South Island of New Zealand is the most beautiful place I've ever been. Our guides, Michelle and Joe, were extremely intelligent, kind, and fun! Our fellow tripmates were who you would pick without knowing that's who you'd pick. I had the best time and without Active Adventures I wouldn't have explored this splendorous country and it's natural beauty so thoroughly. It was some of the most adventurous, peaceful, and enjoyable days of my life...so far...”
    Allison Kelly – California, United StatesMay 2016
  • Incredible opportunity!

    “Every day was a fresh challenge and a delightful experience in New Zealand. Our guides were fantastic. I can't really imagine how the trip could be improved. It was simply an expertly organized and led expedition. I hope to travel more with Active Adventures because you obviously know what you are doing!”
    Claire Forsyth – Virginia, United StatesMay 2016
  • Tui in the Fall

    “The Tui trip was an amazing way to see the Southern Island. It gets you to places that would be very difficult to access on your own visiting New Zealand for a couple of weeks. Guides were wonderful and very entertaining. Would suggest it to anyone wanting to see the beauty of the South Island”
    Kelly Dennis – Washington, United StatesMay 2016
  • Everlasting Memories in NZ

    “From start to finish, our Tui Trip with Active Adventures was everything we hoped for and more. I have never experienced a more action packed, stunningly beautiful, adventure filled 8 days in my life! Thank you for the many memories made Active!! NZ will forever have my heart!”
    Cori Harris – California, United StatesApril 2016
  • Fantastic 'trip itinerary' lead by 2 of the best guides

    “This is one of the best outdoor trips my wife and I have ever taken. The scenery to the trek sites is just fantastic and the trek routes are real great.
    We had 2 of the best guides ever!! The driving, guiding and the food preparation were just superb - kudos to Dave and Jasmine :)”
    Peter Tan – Sarawak, MalaysiaApril 2016
  • Tremendous Tui!

    “8 days of intense activity but soooo worth it! Great company, amazing places and just sheer awesomeness - from hiking up mountains, biking around beautiful lakes to jumping off mountains, small planes, jet boats and sea kayaks. Laughs and spills coupled with the odd glass of New Zealand wine - what more could you ask for!”
    Gwen Morgan-Fox – Berks, United KingdomApril 2016
  • Generally a great trip.

    “Generally a great trip.”
    Holly Gambill – Washington, United StatesApril 2016
  • Very well organized with great Guides

    “Overall the trip was very well organized and the guides were great. The guides were very knowledgeable about the areas visited and they kept us entertained with their experiences. The food & accommodation over the trip was quite good and I understand all well vetted by the Active team over the time they have been running their tours. Understandably some accommodation was basic, to other a little more lavish (like in Queenstown) based on the area we travelled through…however in general is was all very comfortable.

    The activities were also well organized - with most of the hikes being relatively easy (and some options for harder ones). As a portion of each day is spent travelling the mode of transport becomes key – the 20-seater bus was definitely a lot more comfortable with us just being a small group of 8.

    Was my first time in New Zealand and definitely was a great tour to get a glimpse of some of the divers areas of the south island.”
    Ankush Sanan – , Hong KongApril 2016

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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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