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Daniel Sutherland

New Zealand Guide

Dan-holding-a-kea-by-a-branch-for-bioSeemingly quiet and serious at first you'll soon discover Dan has a cheeky sense of humour and a wonderful passion for all things New Zealand. He is a typically good Kiwi with a fascinating life, which if prompted he will tell you all about. He is a proud Dad and family man and extremely capable outdoors person. He will make sure your trip is one you'll remember for ever.


  • “Dan did a phenomenal job of keeping the group on schedule and made sure the out travels went smoothly. He's definitely loves NZ and it shows in the stories he tells and just his overall awareness of the everything that is NZ. Great person too! I see him excelling at the leadership position with every trip and becoming one of your top guides (if he already isn't). Thanks for everything, Dan!”
    Alex DePalma (Chicago, Illinois, United States) December, 2014
  • “Dan clearly loves his job. He was a fountain of knowledge about New Zealand and his unique living environment prompted loads of questions which he was more than happy to answer. Great cook as well - I haven't eaten half as well since getting home.”
    Joanne Smith (Putney, London, United Kingdom) June, 2013
  • “Dan's great knowledge of Maori's legends and culture, and understanding of his country was refreshing. I am sure he will make one amazing Lead Guide one day. Most incredible thing Dan cooked for us....home-made waffles in a remote mountain hut. Thank you Dan, you are a star!”
    Leilani Cati-heimsath (Ashtead, Surrey, United Kingdom) June, 2012
  • “Dan was really nice, easy going. A very creative cook - was not expecting such a variety of cuisine.”
    Caroline George (New York, New York, United States) December, 2010
  • “Dan was awesome. He was very knowledgeable and helpful. He did a great job with our kids, particularly our 2 boys who bonded with him. He did a great job cooking, always making the meals delicious and different. Besides, he introduced us to Fergburger, our new favorite burger joint! Dan was like family. He helped indoctrinate us to the world of rugby.”
    Mark Silverstein (Atlanta, Georgia, United States) June, 2010
  • “Excellent, Daniel could not have done a better job. Among the best guides I have ever used.”
    Larry Jordan (Arlington, Texas, United States) February, 2010
  • “Dan was superb. He was really friendly and was always one step ahead of everyone. Nothing was too much for him. I know there is so much that goes on behind the scenes with a trip like this, so a big thank you to Dan. He did a fantastic job.”
    Michelle Tagg (Jindalee, Queensland, Australia) February, 2010
  • “Great guy, talked to each of us on eating preferences/allergies and always tried to please us. His pavlova performance was unforgettable, as was the Tim Tam game. And he's a great hiking guide too!”
    Pat and Rick Byler (Jackson, Michigan, United States) February, 2010
  • “Daniel was very much service oriented. He went out of his way on many occasions to carry extra weight or run ahead of the group to have the meal set up as we arrived. They were special touches that showed that he truly cared about what he was doing. He also shared a knowledge of the country that was valued and appreciated. Do whatever it takes to keep these guides!”
    Michele Budd (Ketchikan, Alaska, USA) December, 2009
  • “Dan was brilliant. Being a non hiker, he got me out of a couple of situations! I turned upside down like a turtle in a stream and he hoiked me out (without being soaked!) and he also got me down from the top of Aoraki when I went over on my ankle! Great guy!”
    Karen Roberts (Derbyshire, United Kingdom) March, 2009
  • “Dan is hilarious. We requested something ridiculous like 4 different varieties of yogurt bars and he got them, no questions asked. Dan really went above and beyond to make us happy.”
    Dorothy Thurston (Massachusetts, USA) January, 2009
  • “Dan was awesome! I never saw him sit still except while we were on the bus. Otherwise, he was prepping our food, schleping our bags and taking our photos for our scrapbooks. Also, he was extremely patient, friendly and a great leader.”
    Robert Candido (Michigan, USA) December, 2008
  • “Daniel was fun and energetic. He did an amazing job with all the food, even producing a cheesecake in the middle of siberia valley - FAB! What was so nice was that whilst it was clear our guides were working very hard, we never once as a group saw this - a lot of the work was done behind the scenes so to speak so we as a group were able to enjoy ourselves and their involvement in our conversations even more.”
    Sarah Lucas (United Kingdom) December, 2008

Trip Reviews

  4.52 out of 5 (from 15471 reviews)

Rimu is Wonderful - A few tips if you plan to go...

My husband and I took the Rimu trip in early November 2016 and had a really terrific time. I encourage everyone who is seriously considering the Rimu to go ahead and sign up. That being said, with all of the fun we had, I do wish we had known a few things ahead of time. I include these tips for you, the soon-to-be Rimu traveler, to make your trip more enjoyable. However, I can promise that even if you do none of these things, you will still have a marvelous time:

1. Guys, if you opt to snorkel with the fur seals be sure to shave your mustache before you leave home. It seems obvious now, but it never occurred to my husband that the mask wouldn’t seal properly to his face with his mustache. Do yourself a favor and shave it off or spend the afternoon dealing with a leaky mask.

2. I also wish I had known just how intense and challenging the 3-day multi-hike through Nelson Lakes would be. If you’re an office worker and occasional hiker like me, then I encourage you to take this trip but do lots of practice/fitness training in advance. Load up your pack and get on the stair-master or start climbing really steep hills. The hike is gorgeous and worth it, but I can promise you it will be a lot more enjoyable if you’re in good shape for it. Also, there are no showers at the huts and only latrines (port-a-potties) for toilets, so bring baby wipes for exactly the same reason you would use them on a baby (wink wink). And also bring hiking poles! I know it says optional on the gear list, but I really found them to be essential. As for the water bottle – leave that at home and invest in a good water bladder system (a “Camelback” or similar). We found the water bottle to be a hassle to take in and out of the bag (forcing us to stop each time), which made us want to drink less water. The water bladders allow you to keep moving and you’ll find you’re more hydrated.

3. The sea kayaks (and, honestly, New Zealand in general) are not made for people over 6’ 2” in height (187 cm). Watch your head everywhere you go, and as for the kayaks, it may help to have the taller person sit in the front seat of the kayak instead of the back.

4. Also, pack enough clothes for a week and then expect to do laundry. Bring some travel-sized laundry soap packets to help save money and make sure you have enough 1$ and 2$ coins for laundry before you get to the hotel (the machines are generally pretty expensive: about $3 for the washer and between $3 - $5 for 30 minutes in the dryer).

5. Bring good cycling shorts – yes, the ones with the weird-feeling padding on the bum. It will help prevent the dreaded ‘grumpy grundle’.

6. And finally, a heads-up to my fellow outgoing introverts (yes, we exist): this trip contains long days of social interaction (think 7:15 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.), with few breaks for introspection/solitude. If you need some down time, skip dinner or unfurl all of the emergency blankets and build your own fort at the back of the bus and hang a sign that says, “Stay Out!” (just kidding about that last one).

A great big thank you to our guides, Rachel and Jordan, who were informative and helpful beyond measure. How they managed to remain cheerful and engaging considering they had to do all of the exertion we clients had to do, plus all of their work on top of it, is beyond me. They are the embodiment of Kiwi hospitality! We are already thinking of coming back for a North Island tour sometime soon.
Lauren Gerth Review Image
– Missouri, United States
Rimu, November 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.

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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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