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MJ Creswick

New Zealand Guide

MJ is as outdoorsy as they come, with a passion for not only adrenaline filled activities, but for native flora, fauna and conservation efforts. She has spent much of her time growing up on the South Island and can dazzle you with facts all day long.   

Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in South London, but moved to Aotearoa when I was 10 years old. Aotearoa was definitely a missing puzzle piece for me- I belong here! I have spent my time here in North Canterbury, about 40km north of Christchurch.

What are your hobbies?
I spend most of my time inland tramping on top of mountains, exploring forests and swimming in rivers. I am very passionate about the native flora and fauna of Aotearoa, so spend a lot of time studying and observing them. My bedroom in my flat is a mini forest as it is full of plants- 27 to be exact! I am also a rock climber, white water kayaker and skier.

Do you have any special talents?
I am full of random fun facts (‘Fun Facts with Mj’), and I am very empathetic no matter the circumstances.

What has been your greatest outdoor adventure?
A 10 day tramp from the West coast to the East coast of NZ. 

What did you do before you became a guide?
I just finished my second year of my degree in Sustainability and Outdoor Education, so mainly studying. Other work I've done is with the City Council and DOC working to trap pests and monitor native species on the coastline and porthills of Christchurch. Apart from that I was a barista for 2 1/2 years even though I hate coffee!

Do you have a favourite quote?
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." - Dr. Suess

Describe a life experience that has shaped you today?
I spent my GAP year in Africa travelling, and it really opened my eyes to what is happening around the globe in terms of conservation- its really fueled my passion moving forward!

Have you studied beyond school? If so in what?
As mentioned before- I’m at Ara Polytechnic in Christchurch studying my Degree of Sustainability and Outdoor Ed at the moment, and I plan to gain my masters and PHD afterwards in something such as zoology or ecology.



“MJ’s passion for flora and fauna as well as her riddles and support on hikes made each hike a true pleasure. I was nearly always the slowest in the group and MJ was so supportive and seemed to always know when I was struggling and would distract me me with a riddle or story. She was very friendly and knowledgeable and did and excellent job with the food. The fact that she seems to always be the first one up making us breakfast and last to sleep after cleaning up dinner and still had a smile all day every day was very impressive. ”
- Amy Youngs (Arlington, Virginia, United States), Rimu November 2018

Trip Reviews

  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1904 reviews)

    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 Review Image
    – Arizona, United States
    Tui, April 2017
  •   4.55 out of 5 (from 1347 reviews)

    Outstanding Adventure with the Best Guide Ever!

    The Tortuga trip was phenomenal. From the moment I arrived, my every need was met and all with grace and professionalism. The trip was well planned, we saw and did so many things, from adventures like hiking and biking, snorkeling and kayaking, to learning all about the Galapagos in a way a book will never tell you. What brought everything off the pages of a book, and from the land in front of us was the knowledge and the passion of our guide Pablo. What a treasure he is! He could answer anything, and it was all shared with enthusiasm, passion, caring, love for this land. I felt so honored to have had him as our guide. Thank you! The food was outstanding, the accommodations perfect. I could not fault a single thing!
    Laurie Kelley Review Image
    – Massachusetts, United States
    Tortuga, December 2016
  •   4.54 out of 5 (from 990 reviews)

    Toughest hike yet but rewarding

    The "W" was one of the toughest hikes we've undertaken because of straight line steep grades and rocky trails. But when we finished we felt like we had met the challenge and all our pre-trip workouts were worth it. Our guide, Cahit, was fantastic - knowledgeable, outgoing and optimistic. The adding of mountain biking and kayaking was a nice touch!
    Jim Santori Review Image
    – Minnesota, United States
    Condor, December 2016
  •   4.44 out of 5 (from 921 reviews)

    One Honey Sweet of an Adventure

    Outstanding tramping with superior guides
    Jim Crookston Review Image
    – Pennsylvania, United States
    Manuka, February 2017
  •   4.39 out of 5 (from 1229 reviews)

    A Deep Dive into the Understanding of the Maori Culture

    Having just come from the South Trip we wondered if this trip would be more of the same. It was not. The landscape and activities were different and just as amazing. We learned so much about the history of the country, the Maori people, culture, and their language. The activities were varied and enabled us to experience the beauty of the North Island and all it has to offer.
    Sharon Brownfield Review Image
    – Massachusetts, United States
    Kauri, December 2017



Why travel with Active Adventures?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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