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The 25 Best New Trips for 2010: Points South

National Geographic Adventure online

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New Zealand: All Access Kiwiland. The North Island has the Bay of Islands and the best surfing; the South Island trumpets Queenstown and world-class hiking. For decades, New Zealand's two halves have been vying for the country's title of premier travel destination. But Active Adventurees New Zealand just gave the South Island a major one-up: the first guided hiking and bicycle crossing from coast to coast.

For this 13-day trip, the high-octane outfitter has chosen the wildest route possible, using little-known tracks (Kiwi for trails) and New Zealand's excellent hut system, which offers everything from bare-bones shelters to cushy crash pads with private bunks and kitchens.

Starting in the temperate rain forests of West Fiordland National Park and the Milford Sound, you'll follow the Greenstone Track through the Southern Alps, then continue along Lake Wakatipu and across Central Otago to the brisk waters of the east coast. Highlights include beach-hut overnights on the Tasman Sea, where penguins and seals are a common sight; hiking to 200-foot Homer Falls; and biking to 3,000-foot Key Summit for views of three glacier-carved valleys, including the one you just hiked through, seven-mile Hollyford.

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15867 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
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15867 reviews)

    Best Ever!

    Trip of a Lifetime for sure! I’m still on a NZ High :-D))
    Thanks to Nick B & Melissa for their knowlegde & Expertise experience, which made our trip successful & FUN! With their encouragement, I was able to challenge myself & push beyond what I thought my abilities were.......THANK YOU!!! Such a pleasure getting to know Nick & Mel, we were spoiled & enjoyed every minute of this adventure with them. Highly recommend Active Adventures NZ making dreams come TRUE!
    Wendy Woods Review Image
    – Montana, United States
    Tui, March 2018
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15867 reviews)

    Excellent NZ Adventures!

    My Rimu Active Adventure trip exceeded my high expectations. The hikes, backpacking, kayaking, and cycling adventures were thrilling, fun, and beautiful. Luckily for our group, we had absolutely perfect weather every day of the trip! Dani and Hilary were tremendous guides who taught me a lot about Kiwi life. Highlights for me were the 3-day backpacking tramp in Nelson Lakes National Park to Angelus Hut and kayaking in Milford Sound. I appreciated that we mostly stayed in local lodges, hotels, inns. I recommend this trip to anyone who wants to truly explore the stunningly beautiful South Island of New Zealand with wonderful friendly guides.
    Brian Holsclaw Review Image
    – Washington, United States
    Rimu, March 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15867 reviews)

    Condor 2018

    This IS the trip of a lifetime! The itinerary is excellent, including the highlights of Patagonia and more! Trip logistics are well planned and expertly executed. Our guide, Arturo was one step ahead at all times and clearly has developed relationships with all hotels, refugios, restaurants and especially our local guides, creating incredible, seamless travel. The local guides, Cem (Jim) on the W Trek, Christian in El Chaltan, our drivers and specific activity guides were all excellent and willing to share their knowledge and love for their countries. This trip was FUN, Arturo is fun and all the new friends we met on our trip were fun!!!
    Cindy Jacobs Review Image
    – Maine, United States
    Condor, March 2018
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15867 reviews)

    It doesn't get much better!

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

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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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