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New Zealand Hiking Tours & Adventure Tours

Book your New Zealand tour with us, and experience the real New Zealand!

New Zealand Hiking Tours Adventure Tours v3

New Zealand adventure tours are the best way to see New Zealand! Join a small group tour and explore your way.

From the rugged snow-capped Southern Alps to the wild West Coast rainforests, the infamous glacier of Franz Josef, the famous granite peaks of Milford Sound, the tropical beaches of the North and its rich indigenous history, our home country has it all, and there's no better way to experience it than on one of our New Zealand adventure tours. Whether you're considering exploring the North Island, the South Island, or both, you can rest assured that when you book your New Zealand tour with us, you're going to experience the real New Zealand.

New Zealand Adventure Tours

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What Our Guests Say

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Alps to Ocean Biking Adventure - April 2023

Alps to Ocean ride

"This iconic ride had a bit of everything over the six day journey. Changing weather… read more

"This iconic ride had a bit of everything over the six day journey. Changing weather conditions, tough hills, sometimes rugged trails, creek crossings and technical cycling areas were challenging but upon completion a definite accomplishment. This gradually created a bond between the cyclists which was encouraged by the supportive guides. Van support was always timely and hot tea/coffee and snacks greatly appreciated. Memorable ride in beautiful setting. read less

5 Stars (46 reviews)

Mario,

Ultimate South Island Adventure - April 2023

Beyond my wildest expectations which were high!

"Fabulous trip with outstanding guides who were proud to share their country with us. Everyday… read more

"Fabulous trip with outstanding guides who were proud to share their country with us. Everyday was a new adventure which kept getting better. I can’t single one day as my favorite as the entire trip was incredible. read less

5 Stars (883 reviews)

Pamela,

Ultimate South Island Adventure - April 2023

Ultimate South Island Adventure

"I’ve hiked with several adventure travel companies in far flung and beautiful places but this… read more

"I’ve hiked with several adventure travel companies in far flung and beautiful places but this was the trip of a lifetime. Thanks to Active Adventures and our delightful, extremely knowledgeable, and caring guides Emma, Holly and Josh. Wow – they are all stars. This trip exceeded my expectations in every way. The South Island of New Zealand is breathtakingly beautiful. And, it was so much fun, I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat! read less

5 Stars (883 reviews)

Elizabeth,

Ultimate North Island Adventure - March 2023

Adventures galore

"This trip was everything advertised and more. Our two guides (Lynette our driver and guide… read more

"This trip was everything advertised and more. Our two guides (Lynette our driver and guide and Natalie our chef and guide) made sure we got the most our of our 11 day tour of the North Island. Their expert knowledge on flora and fauna, trails and back roads, meals, local culture plus their encouragement and sense of humor made this trip unforgettable. We were treated to a wide variety of experiences and everyday was an adventure. read less

5 Stars (362 reviews)

Lynda,

Classic South Island Adventure - March 2023

Kris from Tucson, AZ

"It is impossible to capture the Outh Island in only a week but this trip… read more

"It is impossible to capture the Outh Island in only a week but this trip had so many different experiences that one could get a taste of the marvels of the South Island. Hiking, kayaking, biking, flights, optional heli-hiking, forests, coastline, mountains and of course, Milford Sound. If your time is limited, this is a great introduction to the magic that is new Zealand. read less

5 Stars (515 reviews)

Kristine,

Classic South Island Adventure - March 2023

Adventure of a lifetime

"I had a great trip with Active Adventures on the South Island. New Zealand… read more

"I had a great trip with Active Adventures on the South Island. New Zealand has been on my bucket list. This trip fulfilled all my hopes and dreams of exploring New Zealand in a very short time. I will remember this trip for the rest of my life. read less

4 Stars (515 reviews)

Michelle,

Great Walks of New Zealand - March 2023

"I usually do my own itinerary, I am my own travel agent, however, I felt… read more

"I usually do my own itinerary, I am my own travel agent, however, I felt that this hiking tour along the West Coast of New Zealand had created a plan I couldn't beat. I wasn't sure I would like being on a tour with a group of strangers, however, things just clicked. It was a small group and we just seemed to click. The guides were awesome setting the tone that made the trip so thrilling. read less

5 Stars (26 reviews)

Christine,

Alps to Ocean Biking Adventure - March 2023

Alps to Ocean bike ride

"I loved the Alps to Ocean bike ride. The scenery is exceptional and beautiful.… read more

"I loved the Alps to Ocean bike ride. The scenery is exceptional and beautiful. However, our 2 guides showed a wealth of knowledge and experience, and this translated into a number of great decisions, which ensured our group could capitalize on the best possible biking experience. The accommodation and food are excellent. Best moments? Too many the mention. Highly recommended. read less

5 Stars (46 reviews)

Louise,

Alps to Ocean Biking Adventure - March 2023

Kristen

"This is my 4th trip with Active. All my trips have been exceptional and I… read more

"This is my 4th trip with Active. All my trips have been exceptional and I still talk about them to my friends. All the guides have been great and always happy to assist if needed.
I love that we do some activity every day. Some have been challenging even for a fit 67 yr old but facing the challenge and accomplishing the bike ride or hike is the best feeling.
I can't wait to plan my next trip read less

5 Stars (46 reviews)

Kristen,

Ultimate South Island Adventure - March 2023

Fantastic South Island Adventure

"I absolutely loved the 10-day South Island Adventure that included fantastic hikes in the Nelson… read more

"I absolutely loved the 10-day South Island Adventure that included fantastic hikes in the Nelson Lakes National Park and Punakaiki Rainforest, a lovely visit to the Forest Estate Winey where we savoured local wines and culinary delights, mountain biking, superb kayaking in the stunningly beautiful Okarito Lagoon, and in my case heli-hiking in the Franz Josef Glacier which was amazing. Our guides, Elize and Brogan, were fantastic, full of energy, and enthusiasm, ensuring every detail of our trip was taken care of. The home-cooked meals were excellent, the accommodation was first class, and the views on this journey were stunningly beautiful. I highly recommend this trip. read less

5 Stars (883 reviews)

Miriam,

Ultimate South Island Adventure - March 2023

Trip of a lifetime

"From the ever changing landscape, natural beauty, and scenery, this trip is lifechanging. Learning about… read more

"From the ever changing landscape, natural beauty, and scenery, this trip is lifechanging. Learning about nature and the Mauri Culture from our expert guides is something you can't get doing a trip on your own. Food was excellent, especially when made by Brogan, our guide. Guides went above and beyond to handle any requests by the guests. Challenged the group but also set the right pace/expectations for the trails / hut to hut overnights. Seamlessly had new guides come on at different points in the trip due to covid / mandatory driver breaks. Operations of trip were excellent. Overall, great trip, thank you! read less

5 Stars (883 reviews)

Courtney,

Ultimate South Island Adventure - March 2023

Ultimate South Island trip

"What a fantastic trip. Even though the weather did not cooperate and we did… read more

"What a fantastic trip. Even though the weather did not cooperate and we did not get to do some of the mountain tracks, the trip was fantastic. Our guides (Brogan and Elize +) were amazing. They went above and beyond to make sure everyone was taken care of and had just what they needed. I would definitely do another trip with Active. read less

5 Stars (883 reviews)

Carol,

Ultimate South Island Adventure - March 2023

Good sampling of the South Island

"This trip is very well organized with plenty of activities, mainly walking. read more

"This trip is very well organized with plenty of activities, mainly walking. read less

5 Stars (883 reviews)

Mireille,

Ultimate South Island Adventure - March 2023

Review of Ultimate South Island Adventure

"Our trip was exceptional! The guides did an amazing job of keeping us organize and… read more

"Our trip was exceptional! The guides did an amazing job of keeping us organize and informing and educating us about all of the flora, fauna and history about the areas that would surround us on our hikes as well as the different birds and the few mammals that are present. Brogan and Elize, our guides, were fun, high energy plus Brogan was a great cook! We would highly recommend the trip and this company and would definitely consider another Active Adventure trip in the future. read less

5 Stars (883 reviews)

Susan,

New Zealand Biking Adventure - March 2023

Chris Collins

"We thoroughly enjoyed our AA NZ & would definitely recommend the concept , it’s the… read more

"We thoroughly enjoyed our AA NZ & would definitely recommend the concept , it’s the best way to see a lot of the country under the guidance of experienced experts read less

4 Stars (55 reviews)

Christopher,

New Zealand Biking Adventure - March 2023

Valerie Morgan

"Overall we had a wonderful experience and were able to see unique parts of the… read more

"Overall we had a wonderful experience and were able to see unique parts of the South Island we would never have had time to drive to on our own. By taking us, in the van, to different outstanding locations we were ready to then hike or bike that particular area. The van was loaded with fruit, snacks and water and during our time aboard we were able to question both our driver and guide (both of whom were outstanding!) about the local culture and geography. The accommodations were excellent and the food fabulous. read less

5 Stars (55 reviews)

Val Morgan,,

Not Your Average Adventure Tour

From the minute we pick you up, no thinking needed, just sit back relax and take it all in, we've got you covered!

Small group adventures with boutique and personalized service.

Our expert guides are adaptable, and will create the best experience, no matter what happens.

We’re rated 4.54 stars out of 5 from 17,042 reviews. That’s pretty solid.

New Zealand Hiking Adventure Tours 1

Dreaming of a New Zealand hiking trip? Or maybe you're more into biking or kayaking...or wine tasting?

For the outdoor enthusiast, keen on hiking, biking and paddling, amongst other activities, New Zealand is a truly wonderful place to live – and, of course, to visit. Home of the Great Walks (known to be some of the best hikes in the world!) and many other day and multi-day hikes, you could spend months trying to see it all - luckily for you, as locals, we've picked our favourite spots, often away from the main trails, to show you what our country is all about! We have itineraries for all fitness levels - from a gentle walking holiday to a more challenging active trip, you take your pick!

Our Trips... from our Guests' Perspective

Austin PIF 2

Take 10% off the trip price when you book a trip and pay in full.

By paying in full we are able to pass on savings to our guests, but please note that by opting for this payment plan, your booking becomes non-refundable, non-cancellable, and non-changeable. 

We highly recommend that you purchase Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) insurance. We recommend Redpoint Insurance – you can find details here.

T+Cs Apply.

BOOKING CONDITIONS

New Zealand Adventure Tips

Meet Your New Zealand Adventure Guides

FAQs About Visiting New Zealand

Do I need a visa to visit New Zealand?

It is your responsibility stay up to date on the latest visa and entry requirements for your destination. Please use the CIBT entry tracker on our website as a guideline or visit the relevant immigration webpage for more information regarding this.

What about vaccinations for New Zealand?

New Zealand is one of the safest countries in the world. No shots are required to come to New Zealand and none are currently recommended by the World Heath Organisation however we recommend getting vaccinated against Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Polio (infectious hepatitis) and Tetanus. These are our guidelines only and you’ll need to check with your local travel clinic for the latest advice.

Do you recommend buying travel insurance?

It’s essential you take out travel insurance to cover the likes of personal injury, medical expenses, trip cancellation for your travel with us. Please head to our Travel Insurance page for more in-depth information and insurance provider options. It’s also important to check your insurance covers all the activities you’ll be partaking in, in case you’re travelling to altitude or looking at extreme sports.

Can you help me find flights to New Zealand?

We recommend booking your flights through our preferred travel partner – Fuzion Travel. They’re our experienced hand-picked experts in travel, passionate about what they do, and will tailor-make your flight itinerary to match your tour. Get in touch with them directly by email – active@fuziontravel.co.nz or on +1-833-244-5886. Let them know your preferred travel plans, including any stopovers or extra nights’ accommodation, and they’ll put everything in place for you. They offer a total travel solution and five-star service that you’ll want to tell your friends about!

What about domestic flights within New Zealand?

Most international flights arrive and depart from Auckland, on the North Island. Our North Island trip starts and ends in Auckland, though for our South Island trips, you'll also need flights between Auckland and Christchurch or Queenstown. This is usually easy to arrange when you reserve your international flights, and it's worth checking for internet specials online.

What's included on your New Zealand trips?

Accommodation

New Zealand accommodation

We've spent years finding places to stay that are quaint, out of the way, and comfortable when we take you to the most amazing parts of our country. The bed & breakfasts, farm stays, lodges, motels, and the occasional mountain hut we stay at have been carefully chosen because of their location and local flavour. Many of our clients have said that one of the highlights of their trip was meeting and getting to know the Kiwis who are our hosts when we travel around New Zealand. We strongly believe in the value of a good night's sleep, and our accommodation reflects this. We also like to have somewhere comfortable to relax after the day's activities.

On the trips that include multi-day hiking options, you’ll stay in cosy back-country huts (only for the nights of the multi-day option). This is a true kiwi wilderness experience, at the end of the day you’ll kick your feet up and share stories with your fellow travellers as the guides stoke the fire and prepare a three-course candle lit meal, all before a well-earned kip on a comfortable bed.

You won't have to camp on our scheduled trips, although we'll provide the gear if you'd like to sleep under the stars on the backpacking option in Nelson Lakes National Park or would like to include camping on a custom trip.

Transport

Active New Zealand transportNew Zealand is a small country - about 1000 miles from top to bottom, and only about 150 miles wide - but it's not THAT small! We're really focused on ensuring that we spend as little time as possible sitting in vehicles, and that we optimise your time for outdoors-oriented adventure. The average driving time over the period of our Rimu trip is just over two hours a day, and we try to spend us much time as possible in the outdoors. Even so, we prefer you to be comfortable when we do have to drive. We use modern, comfortable minibuses for smaller groups, and purpose-built coaches for larger groups. For instance, we often use one of our spacious, quiet and comfortable 20-seater coaches, even though we generally only take 10-14 people per trip! Make no mistake - our trips are not typical bus tour vacation packages! Our vehicles are fitted with good stereo systems, and we love to play New Zealand music.

Meals

Whats-included-pavlova-nzJust about all your meals are included when you travel with Active Adventures New Zealand. We provide a wide variety of cuisine - sometimes we dine out, and sometimes we dine in. Breakfasts when we are starting early generally consist of cereal, yoghurt, fruit, toast, coffee and tea. When we have more time, we whip up pancakes and full cooked breakfasts. Lunches are usually picnic style with sandwiches, salad and fruit, or maybe a barbeque in some beautiful spot. Dinners are usually two or three-course meals, covering a range of styles. We easily cater to vegetarians and people with particular dietary needs.

We have several second guides whose primary responsibility, when they are not guiding, is cooking up great meals. Their cooking skills will astound you, as you enjoy a traditional Kiwi roast dinner at the shearer's quarters, or freshly seared salmon at Mount Cook, or one of a score of awesome meals on the road! When we go out to eat, we pick a nice restaurant and enjoy a night out. You'll find the meals are a real highlight of your trip!

All Guiding Services

We have two incredible guides per trip, one whom will be your driver and the other specialises as your chef! Our guests are often drawn to New Zealand by the beautiful scenic landscapes, promise of wilderness and clean air - and there's no doubt you'll find all that, but what you may not be expecting is to forge real, genuine friendships with the locals you'll meet, including our wonderful guides. They're hands-down the BEST guides you'll ever come across. 

Activities

It goes without saying, that all the activities as described in the itineraries including hiking, kayaking and biking are included in your trip fare. We make it clear when there's an additional charge for an optional activity, like heli-hiking on Franz Josef Glacier. 

Diving Tutukaka Poor Knights Islands

How many people are there on each of our trips?

We get a real variety of people on our trips and they all seem to have one thing in common – a love of the outdoors! Our group sizes range from a minimum of four people to a maximum of fourteen people, generally with a mix of singles, couples and friends.

Do you charge a forced single supplement if I'm a solo traveller?

We welcome solo travellers onto our trips – in fact, we get many, many solo travellers and they always say how it’s a great way to travel alone, but not actually be alone, so that’s always good to hear. You’ll have an incredible adventure at the same time as meeting and sharing your experiences with a bunch of welcoming other travellers. We don’t believe in charging you extra for travelling alone and we have lots of single travellers on our trips.

There’s no forced single supplement if you don’t mind sharing a room (you might even get a room to yourself sometimes). If you prefer not to share a room at all, you can upgrade to a single room.

How much luggage can I bring on the New Zealand trips?

You’ll need one piece of luggage on your trip, plus a daypack. Your main piece of luggage can be anything from a backpack, to a sports bag with wheels or a suitcase and a good quality daypack 25-30 litres (2000 cubic inches) to use throughout the days.

As far as extra luggage goes, if there's not too much (such as one small extra bag per person) then it shouldn't be a problem to fit it in our luggage trailer during the trip. If you've got more than that, then all major airports have luggage facilities available on a weekly basis. If you are staying at a hotel pre-trip then they may be able to store it for you until you return too.

What kind of clothing should I be packing?

Once you've booked your trip, you'll have access to a gear list in your portal on exactly what to bring along. The gear list is carefully thought out to provide you with everything you need to be warm and happy, or cool and relaxed, whatever the weather! So it is best to bring everything we recommend along, if you don't bring everything you need, we can't guarantee your comfort. The video below is a good overview of what to bring when hiking in New Zealand.

Do I need hiking boots or are hiking sneakers okay?

You will need proper hiking boots - trail shoes are not good enough. We'll be taking you to some awesome places where you'll be hiking over a variety of terrain, therefore your boots should have full ankle support and a stiff sole with a high profile tread. It's also important that whichever footwear you decide to bring that it's well broken-in and waterproofed before you come down. If you have good ankles that will be able to cope pretty well with varied terrain, then good hiking shoes should be fine, but if not then hiking boots will give you better support.

What is the food like in New Zealand?

The type of food varies – on some occasions your guides will cook your meals and on other occasions we’ll eat out at restaurants. We also keep a generous snack basket on the bus at all times. All the food you eat, be it a traditional Kiwi barbeque, or a packed lunch to take with you on a hike, will be of top quality. All our guides have food hygiene certificates and are well practiced in the art of back country catering!

What if I need a special diet?

We are accustomed to catering to the following special diets:

• vegan (no meat or animal products)
• vegetarian (no meat products)
• fishatarian (vegetarian, and eat fish)
• no red meat (eat chicken & fish)
• gluten intolerant (no wheat, rye, barley or oats)
• lactose intolerant (no dairy products)

You will get the opportunity to specify your particular requirements when you fill in our pre-trip questionnaire. If you have any other dietary requirements please let us know well in advance, via email or the online questionnaire.

What is the currency in New Zealand?

The currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand dollar

How much spending money should I bring and where do I get local currency?

Your trip fare includes all transportation, guiding, meals and activities (except any optional activities). Most people like to bring a little extra to cover a round of drinks at the pub, take home some souvenirs, book a tour and eat out on their free day in Queenstown or Auckland, and tip our guides if they've had a great time. 

Usually the easiest thing to do is use your credit or debit card to withdraw money directly from your home account, in local currency. There are plenty of ATM's and banks in larger towns in New Zealand, and ATM's will accept all major credit cards and many debit cards. Cash advances are the most convenient way to get cash.

What altitude will we be at in New Zealand?

The highest elevation we get to on any of the Active Adventures New Zealand trips is about 1,500 metres (5,000 feet). So there are no real altitude issues to contend with in New Zealand though the tracks can still be quite challenging.

What time zone is New Zealand in?

New Zealand Time (NZT) is the time zone for New Zealand. It is +13 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

What types of plugs and voltage do you use in New Zealand?

nz plugNew Zealand operates on a 230V AC system with the Plug Type I.

Will I have access to the internet/WiFi?

WiFi is available almost everywhere in cities and easy enough to find in most towns/villages so you can rely on having access a few times a week during your trip. If you have data roaming switched on, then you'll be able to use the internet on your smartphone about 70% of the time during your trip, but beware of the fees! WiFi is available at some of the accommodations that you'll be staying at, usually for a small cost so check this out at each location when you arrive.

Is it safe to travel to New Zealand?

This also means New Zealand is a safe place to travel and the crime rate is low - visitors to New Zealand are held in high regard so you can expect the warmest of welcomes. . We recommend taking the same common sense
precautions you would anywhere else – just to be on the safe side! Don’t bring valuable things with you unless necessary for your trip. Keep your money and other valuables in a money belt or pouch under your clothes. Lock your bags and luggage, and leave valuable items you don’t need for the day (e.g. passports and credit cards) in the hotel safe.

What is the weather like in New Zealand?

New Zealand is an island nation, therefore enjoys a maritime climate with plenty of sunshine and mild temperatures. The weather can vary a lot from top to bottom and east to west, which can be a bit of a surprise for many of our visitors, who come from a continental climate where the weather is a little more predictable. Have you heard of the song "Four Seasons in One Day"? If you haven't, we suggest having a listen - it's a classic song by a kiwi group called Crowded House, and of course, the weather in New Zealand inspired the lyrics! They say, one of the reasons Sir Edmund Hillary was such an accomplished mountaineer was his ability to read the weather - his training in the Southern Alps no doubt played a large part in this! 

In the far north (aka the 'winterless north') you can expect semi-tropical conditions, with a fair dosing of rain, plenty of sun and mid temperatures during the day and evening. As you head further south, the average temperature falls, though each region has its own unique characteristics. For example, you'll often hear us talking about one of our favourite spots, the West Coast of the South Island. Along this wild stretch of largely uninhabited coast, rainfall is high (coming off the Tasman Sea) and temperatures are mild, which contributes to the Jurassic-like forests you'll encounter. The Southern Alps, which divide the South Island act as a catchment for this rain (which turns to snow and glacial ice at higher elevations). By the time the clouds have reached the eastern side of the Alps, they're empty, and as they make their way down towards the plains, they warm up creating the typical nor' westerly winds. 

Parts of the South Island have a sort of mini continental climate, being further from the ocean and sheltered by the alpine ranges. These areas, such as Queenstown can get hot and dry during the summer and remain cool in the evenings - perfect for some grape varieties.

Learn more about the weather down here at our best time to visit New Zealand page. 

 

Celsius

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring (Sep/Oct/Nov)

Summer (Dec/Jan/Feb)

Autumn (Mar/Apr/May)

Winter (Jun/Jul/Aug)

 

 

High

Low

High

Low

High

Low

High

Low

Bay of Islands

19

9

25

14

21

11

16

7

Auckland

18

11

24

12

20

13

15

9

Rotorua

17

7

24

12

18

9

13

4

Wellington

15

9

20

13

17

11

12

6

Christchurch

17

7

22

12

18

8

12

3

Queenstown

16

5

22

10

16

6

10

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fahrenheit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring (Sep/Oct/Nov)

Summer (Dec/Jan/Feb)

Autumn (Mar/Apr/May)

Winter (Jun/Jul/Aug)

 

 

High

Low

High

Low

High

Low

High

Low

Bay of Islands

67

48

76

56

70

52

61

45

Auckland

65

52

75

54

68

55

59

48

Rotorua

63

45

75

54

68

55

59

48

Wellington

59

48

68

55

63

52

54

43

Christchurch

63

45

72

54

65

46

54

37

Queenstown

61

41

72

50

61

43

50

34

What kind of things are there to do on my free day in Queenstown/Auckland/Christchurch?

Queenstown rightly has the reputation of being the Adventure Capital of New Zealand. All manner of adventurous activities can be tried here, ranging from the infamous Bungy-jumping, through river-surfing, jetboat-riding, white-water rafting, parasailing, parapenting, hang-gliding, sky-diving, and a whole lot more. It is also a great area for hiking or mountain-biking. For a more leisurely time you can take a Wine tour or cruise across to Walter Peak station on the steamship Earnslaw, or sample some of the extremely pleasant cafes and restaurants dotted around the very picturesque town.

There’s so much on offer in Auckland that we like to leave it up to you to decide what to do. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, there’s bungy jumping off the Auckland Harbour Bridge or a Sky Jump off our tallest man-made structure, the Sky Tower! For those who prefer a more relaxed pace, there’s hiking, golfing, fishing, wine tasting and sailing options to name a few. Or if you’d like to take things real easy, then there are shops, cafés, book stores, pubs and restaurants to explore. For movie enthusiasts, take the day to visit The Shire in Middle-earth, the setting for ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘Lord of The Rings’ movie trilogies.

In Christchurch you could take a walk around Hagley Park, including the Christchurch Botanic Gardens or visit the free Canterbury Museum to learn about New Zealand history, art and the natural world. Explore the Brockworth Street Art Gallery which gives you a taste of the awesome street art there is to see in Christchurch or head to Quake City (NZ$20 entry) gives you a deeper understanding of Christchurch’s recent history of the 2011 Canterbury Earthquakes. Check out the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial too by following by the 185 Empty White Chairs memorial to those who lost their lives in these earthquakes.

Any good books or videos about New Zealand?

There are so many great stories to come out of New Zealand, probably because the landscape and the people inspire such creativity and adventure. Here is a list, gathered from across the Active Adventures family, of recommended reads:

  • "An Angel at My Table" - Janet Frame Though undoubtedly one of New Zealand's most accomplished novelists, Frame is perhaps best known for this three-volume autobiography, dramatised in Jane Campion's film which, with wit and a self-effacing honesty, gives a wonderful insight into both the author and her environment. Her superb novels and short stories use humour alongside highly disturbing combinations of events and characters to overthrow readers' preconceptions. For starters, try Faces in the Water, Living in the Maniototo, Scented Gardens for the Blind, Daughter Buffalo and Owls Do Cry (all The Women's Press).
  • "Dogside Story" - Patricia Grace - Short-listed for the 2001 Booker Prize, this is a wonderful story concerning the power of the land and the power of whanau at the turn of the Millennium. (whanau is the Maori word for family
  • "The Bone People" (Picador) - Keri Hulme - Celebrated winner of the 1985 Booker Prize, and a wonderful first novel set along the wild beaches of the South Island's West Coast. Mysticism, myth and earthy reality are transformed into a haunting tale peopled with richly drawn characters.
  • "King of the Gypsies" (Penguin) - Witi Ihimaera Bulibasha – The best introduction to one of the country's finest Maori authors. A rollicking good read, energetically exploring the life of a rebellious teenager in 1950s rural New Zealand, where two mighty sheep-shearing families are locked in battle. It's an intense look at adolescence, cultural choices, family ties and the abuse of power, culminating in a masterful twist. Look out also for the excellent The Matriarch (Penguin) and The Uncle Story (Talanoa, NZ) by the same author.
  • "The Luminaries" - Eleanor Catton - winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize. The plot follows Walter Moody, a prospector who travels to the fledgling West Coast of the South Island settlement of Hokitika, near New Zealand's goldfields in 1866 to try to make his fortune. Instead he stumbles into a tense meeting between twelve local men, who draw him in to the complex mystery behind a series of unsolved crimes.
  • "The Penguin History of New Zealand" – Michael King - For NZ history this is the best book - It catalogues the history of New Zealand from initial settlement (well, at least the various theories of the initial settlements) right through to the government in 2005. This one is my favourite history books - to be read in small sections and with much discussion!

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Why Travel With Us

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Experience adventure the way you want

You’ll be inspired and exhilarated, enjoying mind-blowing scenery on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike - all at your own pace. Get ready for the trip of a lifetime.

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Crafting award-winning trips for decades - the Kiwi way

We're proud of our Kiwi roots and you’ll love our professional, warm and relaxed style of hosting. Plus, we’re always here to help with planning, travel, bookings... even hiking boot recommendations!

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Every detail covered, to maximise your time

As soon as your trip starts, we've got everything covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport, superb accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

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Group travel for those who aren’t ‘group travellers’

With our small groups of typically no more than 14 (up to 18 max), 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 going at your own pace.

benefit gems

Explore hidden gems through our expert local guides

All our carefully selected guides are highly experienced and have deep personal connections to nature and culture. You’ll enjoy a special experience, authentic local knowledge and an adventure like no other.

benefit review

4.85 out of 5 from 6493 reviews. That’s pretty solid.

We could hang around all day telling you how wonderful our trips are... but the best people to hear it from are our guests themselves.