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Paper Trails

By Steve and Joan Ringel of Denver - January 2006

newsphoto-kayaking-milford.jpg

(Paper Trails - where readers send in pictures of their local paper travelling the world!)

Where: Milford Sound

Best meal: Rotherhams, Christchurch, a small, welcoming restaurant run with gourmet continental choices as well as New Zealand specialties. Wonderful desserts. Be hungry; New Zealand menus include appetizers, mains (a small main course), entrees (a regular main course) and dessert. If you ask for salad or vegetables, you will get them; if you don't, they are not likely to be served.

Best deal: Tour with Active Adventures New Zealand. Well planned, no more than 14 in a group, excellent guides, efficiently showcases special places by hiking, biking and sea kayaking that on your own you couldn't organize. Reasonably priced. Spartan but scrupulously clean accommodations. Healthy, family-style meals. Beer and lattes under $3 everywhere.

Best time to go: November and early December - late spring, early summer "down under" - just before Kiwis travel for the holidays and best weather.

Best travel tip: Take rain gear - it is supposed to rain quite a bit, although we had only one day of intermittent drizzle on our last day. Take deet for sand flies, and don't scratch if they bite you. An old Maori myth suggests that when New Zealand was created, it was paradise. The gods sent the sand flies to remind humans how easily paradise can be spoiled.

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15867 reviews)

    Excellent way to see New Zealand

    My husband and I went on the Kauri trip in November 2017. This trip had been on our bucket list for a while and we decided to go with Active Adventures as they were offering the type of travel and activities we wanted to do in New Zealand. Our two awesome guides, Andy (encyclopedia of knowledge) and Jo (excellent cook) made us feel at home and have shown us the beautiful country of NZ while ensuring everyone had fun. We had an amazing time on the North Island and I highly recommend this trip if you enjoy outdoor activities.
    Claire Barrette-Remy Review Image
    – Ontario, Canada
    Kauri, December 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15867 reviews)

    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 Review Image
    – Connecticut, United States
    Tui, March 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15867 reviews)

    Best trip I have ever taken

    There are many layers to this trip
    1. The Group - It was really fun being in a group, and our group was really fun! Sometimes I hung out with people in my family, sometimes I hung out with someone else in the group. This variety and freedom was very enjoyable.
    2. The Guides - Koru and Ash were sooo great. Koru is a polished, learned and experienced leader. Ash is a fabulous cook, so much fun, and cared about each of us on the trip.
    3. The Country - Stunning! We covered so much of the South Island that we were able to see many sides of it's weather and terrain. Really great route.
    4. Activities - It was great sharing a physical activity with others, something I know brings people together. Hiking was great. At the end of a long hike was a fabulous surprise, like a glacial lake with ice burgs, or a beautiful high-mountain vista, or a glo-worm tunnel. Biking was super fun, and I wish there had been one more day of it. In hind site I personally would have selected the biking 3day excursion. The kayaking was great. Heavy chop or glassy lakes, we kayaked in it.
    5. Accommodations - These were just great. As nice as it can be being out in the countryside. I loved how we all ate together every meal.
    5. Pace - I thought the trip was very well planned. Just when we needed a break in the beginning from jet lag, and our trip activities, a two day respite was there in Queenstown where we could recharge. I recharged and my family bungy jumped! Also, activities were structured so that the not so keen could bail out at a stopping point.
    Ginny Nayden Review Image
    – Maryland, United States
    Rimu, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15867 reviews)

    Rimu Rocks!

    The trip was awesome! I met a great bunch of fellow travelers and now have family in New Zealand in Jackie and Emma! I felt like we saw a lot of the South Island in 2 weeks. I loved my first experience in New Zealand and plan on coming back in 2020!
    Terry McNamara Review Image
    – Michigan, United States
    Rimu, January 2018
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15867 reviews)

    This Was an Awesome Adventure!

    The Condor trip was absolutely wonderful. The combination of the itinerary and guides could not have been better. It is definitely at the top of all time best trips. I can't wait for the next trip which my wife is already investigating.
    Wayne Goldner Review Image
    – New Hampshire, United States
    Condor, March 2018

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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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