Milford Track Adventure

  • 12 - 14 Days

    All Prices:

    • 12 Days - USD $6999
    • 14 Days - USD $7499
  • 14 People Max

    This trip has a maximum of 14 guests, plus two experienced Active Adventures guides.

  • Activity Level 3
    • Activity Level 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation and love the feeling of relaxing after a busy day on the go. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.

    Read more about the Active Range

  • Trip Start: Christchurch
  • Trip End: Christchurch
Milford Hiking Adventure 'Manuka'

Hike the iconic Milford Track and discover lesser-known trails on our Milford Track Adventure

Love hiking and love your creature comforts come nighttime? You've come to the right place. On this 14-day Milford Hiking Adventure, you'll experience the very best of New Zealand's South Island, one trail at a time. Choosing between hiking the entire length of the Milford Track or sticking to day hikes along the equally stunning Routeburn, Milford and Kepler Tracks is no easy task. Especially when you add in an overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound and a cruise on Milford Sound. You'll fall in love with Fiordland's diverse landscapes and learn about the fascinating culture, flora and fauna of the region with two knowledgeable local guides leading the way. We don't stop there, though. You'll also hike trails known only to the locals as you explore Mt Aspiring National Park, Fox Glacier and Aoraki Mt Cook National Park. Our Milford Track Adventure is one of those experiences you'll be talking about for years to come.

Milford Track Adventure ~ Itinerary

Trip Start: Christchurch Trip End: Christchurch
  • Day 1Arrive, hike Castle Hill

  • Day 2Rainforest and beach hikes in Punakaiki

  • Day 3 Hike Point Elizabeth, visit Hokitika and hike Okarito walkway

  • Day 4 Hike to Franz Josef Glacier

  • Day 5Hike Rocky Mountain, explore Wanaka

  • Day 6Free day in Queenstown

  • Day 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11Multi-day options

  • Days 7 to 11Option A, Active Great Walks Discovery (Takahe)

  • Days 7 to 11Option B, Milford Track Guided Walk (extra fee applies)

  • Day 12Hike Sam Summers Track, visit local winery

  • Day 13Hike Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

  • Day 14Depart for home

  • Day 1

    Arrive, hike Castle Hill

    #47

    Most people leave the Northern Hemisphere on a Saturday evening, arriving into Auckland early Monday morning. You’ll lose a day crossing the dateline – but you get it back on the way home! It’s a short flight from Auckland to Christchurch in the South Island where we’ll meet you. We’ll then head west to Kuru Tawhiti Conservation Area in the heart of the Southern Alps. We’ll take a gentle one-hour walk among the imposing limestone tors of Castle Hill, which were once a meeting place for moa hunters of the Ngai Tahu tribe. The Dalai Lama visited this area and described it as a ‘spiritual centre of the universe’. This afternoon, we’ll continue on to the West Coast and the seaside village of Punakaiki, where you’ll have the rest of the afternoon to relax or walk along the beach. Depending on where you’re coming from, you’ll probably find jetlag is no big deal – for instance, it’s a 12 to 13 hour direct overnight flight from Los Angeles to Auckland, and there’s only a 3 hour time difference between New Zealand and US Pacific time. If you’re coming from further afield, you’ll appreciate the gentle start to your New Zealand adventure.
    West Coast lodgings, Punakaiki (Lunch, Dinner)

    Hiking Distance: 1 kilometre (0.6 mile), 0.5-1 hour
    Elevation Gain: 
    20 metres (65 feet)
    Elevation Loss: 
    20 metres (65 feet)

  • Day 2

    Rainforest and beach hikes in Punakaiki

    #49

    We’ll spend most of today hiking the Inland Pack Track through temperate rainforest and limestone canyons in the footsteps of the gold miners who established this trail over a century ago. We’ll also follow the Truman Track to a rocky cove and check out the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes – aptly named limestone formations that have been sculpted through relentless pounding by the Tasman Sea. The Punakaiki coastline is a magnet to marine wildlife, including little blue penguins and Hector’s dolphin (the world’s smallest) that can sometimes be seen close to shore.
    West Coast lodgings, Punakaiki (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 6 kilometres (4 miles), 2-3 hours
    Elevation Gain:
    130 metres (425 feet)
    Elevation Loss:
    130 metres (425 feet)

  • Day 3

    Hike Point Elizabeth, visit Hokitika and hike Okarito walkway

    #51

    We’ll travel down the coast to hike the Point Elizabeth track through native coastal forest and flax. The fibres of the flax plant are a traditional resource for Maori, used for weaving a variety of baskets, mats and clothing. Then it’s on to Hokitika where we’ll stretch our legs and check out local art galleries and pounamu-carving workshops (pounamu is Maori for jade). We’ll continue south and stop off in Okarito, a little-known beach community on the coast, for a relaxing hike through lush coastal forest or along the black sand beach. We’ll then carry on down the windswept coast to Franz Josef. Nestled in the rainforest-clad foothills of the Southern Alps, Franz Josef is the heart of New Zealand glacier country. After dark, we can head out to look for the eerie lights of Arachnocampa luminosa – the native glowworm – and listen for some of New Zealand’s nocturnal birdlife such as the distinctive hoot of the morepork owl.
    Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 4.2 kilometres (2.6 miles), 1-2 hours
    Elevation Gain:
    120 metres (394 feet)
    Elevation Loss:
    120 metres (394 feet)

  • Day 4

    Hike to Franz Josef Glacier

    #53

    With some 140 glaciers making their way down from the Southern Alps, this area is fittingly known as glacier country. Few sights equal the spectacle of this giant frozen river (Franz Josef Glacier) imperceptibly grinding its way down through temperate rainforest to just 250 metres (820 feet) above sea level. We’ll take a morning walk to the historic Tartare Tunnels, and then continue on to Franz Josef Glacier where we’ll walk to an incredible view of the terminal face. 

    Optional Heli-hike (extra fee applies)
    A less strenuous, but outrageously scenic alternative to today’s hike is to heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier itself. After being fitted with crampons, ice axes and so on, you’ll board a turbine helicopter and fly towards the highest peaks of the Southern Alps, landing on the glacier at 1300 metres (4265 feet) above sea level. Led by specialist glacier guides, you’ll hike through the grand ice formations of the glacier, checking out its crevasses, seracs and tunnels – no previous experience is required! The constant movement of the glacier means every day is different, so your guides will cut steps in the ice to make the most of the conditions. At the end of your hike on the ice, you’ll take another helicopter ride out of the mountains and back to civilisation.

    The heli-hike is extremely popular, so we offer advance reservations with the helicopter operators and guiding company. At the time of booking, or up until one month before your trip, we can reserve a space for you, or you can leave your decision until the start of your trip and your guides will get you a spot if it’s available.

    From Franz Josef, we’ll travel down the coast through lush rainforest and inland to Makarora, a small village bordering Mt Aspiring National Park, with incredible views of the snow-capped mountains.
    Makarora Lodgings, Makarora (All meals) 

    Tatare Tunnels Hiking Distance: 3.5 kilometres (2.2 miles), 1-2 hours
    Elevation Gain:
    120 metres (395 feet)
    Elevation Loss:
    120 metres (395 feet)

    Franz Josef Glacier Terminal Face Hiking Distance: 4.8 kilometres (3 miles), 2-3 hours
    Elevation Gain:
    20 metres (65 feet)
    Elevation Loss:
    20 metres (65 feet)
    OR
    Heli-Hike on Franz Josef Glacier: 3 hour excursion

  • Day 5

    Hike Rocky Mountain, explore Wanaka

    #55

    This morning we’ll hike the Rocky Mountain track, a spectacular circuit through an area carved out by ice-age glaciers, with stands of native forest and shrub land. We’ll enjoy lunch after our hike in Wanaka, then it’s a short but dramatic drive over the Cardrona Saddle to Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, our base for the next couple of nights. You’ll have time to explore and plan your free day tomorrow before dinner. You’ll sleep sweetly at this lakefront hotel located in the heart of Queenstown.
    Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

    Hiking Distance: 7 kilometres (4.5 miles), 2-3 hours
    Elevation Gain:
    375 metres (1,230 feet)
    Elevation Loss:
    375 metres (1,230 feet)
    OR
    Alternative Loop Hiking Distance:
    2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles), 1 hour

  • Day 6

    Free day in Queenstown

    #57

    Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand (if not the world!) and all the comforts of civilisation are packed into this tiny resort town: restaurants galore, stylish lounge bars, day spas, and boutiques. You’ll also find incredible optional activities here including horse trekking, fishing, winery tours, an historic steamship, bungy jumping, jet boating and skydiving as well as some great hiking opportunities. Or you can just soak up the atmosphere at one of many local cafés. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today. This afternoon, there’s a pre-departure briefing for the Milford Track Guided Walk if you’ve chosen that option.
    Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (No meals included)

  • Day 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11

    Multi-day options

  • Days 7 to 11

    Option A, Active Great Walks Discovery (Takahe)

    #59

    Day 7 (continued) — Overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound

    Variety is the spice of life and that’s exactly what this option is all about - hike three of New Zealand’s Great Walks and take an overnight cruise, all in five days - it’s unheard of! We kick things off with a relaxed breakfast, and a drive to the lakeside town of Manapouri, where our journey into Doubtful Sound begins. We’ll board a boat for the cruise across Lake Manapouri, before a drive over Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove where we’ll board the Fiordland Navigator for our overnight cruise. Doubtful Sound is a large and remote wilderness area, where you’ll have the opportunity to take a kayak out on the water or hop aboard the tender craft for a guided exploration of the fiord, and in the right season you may catch a glimpse of the rare Fiordland crested penguin. Tonight, you’ll sleep in a quad share room aboard the Fiordland Navigator, though there is the option to upgrade to a private ensuite room, if you prefer.
    Fiordland Navigator, Doubtful Sound (All meals)

    Day 8 - Cruise in Doubtful Sound, hike Routeburn Track

    After our cruise ends we’ll hike part of the Routeburn Track, the first of the Great Walks you’ll experience. We hike through beech forest, sub-alpine shrub land and picturesque alpine tarns, before reaching Key Summit. Here you’ll be standing at the head of three different valleys (the Hollyford, Eglinton and Greenstone), with stunning views over the Great Divide, which separates west and east flowing rivers. We’ll take a short drive through the Homer Tunnel and emerge at the top of a spectacular glacier-carved valley for a memorable descent to the shore of Milford Sound (actually it’s a fiord!) Rudyard Kipling rated Milford the eighth natural wonder of the world and it’s truly breath-taking, with steep granite walls plunging over a thousand metres to the Tasman Sea and waterfalls cascading into deep inky water.
    Milford Lodge Chalets, Milford Sound (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 3.4 kilometres (2 miles), 3-4 hours
    Elevation Gain:
    380 metres (1,246 feet)
    Elevation Loss: 
    380 metres (1,246 feet)

    Day 9 - Hike Milford Track, cruise Milford Sound

    It’s worth getting up early to take a photo of Mitre Peak, quite possibly the most photographed mountain in New Zealand, but your challenge is to find a unique angle! After breakfast, we’ll take a short boat ride across Milford Sound to hike from Sandfly Point to the Giant Gates waterfall, a spectacular section of the famed Milford Track. The forest here is lush and rich with mosses and ferns as we follow the Arthur River past Lake Ada. By hiking from the Milford Sound trailhead, we’ll enjoy the track to ourselves, which is a luxury others seldom get. Once we return to the Milford wharf, we’ll board a boat for a two hour nature cruise to the head of this spectacular fiord. We’ll then leave Milford Sound behind to hike some lesser-known tracks in eastern Fiordland before returning to Te Anau.
    Te Anau Lodgings, Te Anau (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 10 kilometres (6 miles), 3-4 hours
    Elevation Gain:
    300 metres (985 feet)
    Elevation Loss:
    300 metres (985 feet)

    Day 10 - Takahe Bird Park, hike Kepler Track

    This morning we’re heading for a Department of Conservation birdlife park in Te Anau. The centre takes care of injured or ageing birds which would struggle to survive in the wild - it’s a great opportunity to see some of our rarest birds up close, so don’t forget your camera! Afterwards we’ll tick off our third Great Walk in three days - the Kepler Track. Interestingly, the Kepler Track differs from the Routeburn and Milford Tracks in that it didn’t actually evolve from a necessary Maori greenstone trail, but was custom-built for hiking. The section we’ll hike today passes over the control gates at the outlet of Lake Te Anau and meanders through ancient beech and podocarp forest.
    Matai Lodge, Te Anau (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 9.5 kilometres (6 miles), 2-3 hours
    Elevation Gain:
    50 metres (165 feet)
    Elevation Loss:
    50 metres (165 feet)

    Day 11 - Gondola ride, hike Ben Lomond

    Today we’ll drive back along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown, and take a ride on the gondola to the top of a tree-covered rocky crag, known as Bob’s Peak, to start our alpine hike. We pass through open alpine tussock-land to the Ben Lomond saddle and will be rewarded with panoramic views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by the often snow-covered Southern Alps. For those keen to press on to the top, Ben Lomond’s summit reveals views of Mt Earnslaw and Mt Aspiring, two of New Zealand’s highest peaks, and even a glimpse of Aoraki/Mt Cook on a clear day. Tonight we’ll dine out in Queenstown at one of the many excellent restaurants.
    Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (All meals)

    Ben Lomond Hiking Distance (From the gondola): 8 kilometres (5 miles), 4-5 hours
    Elevation Gain:
    978 metres (3,208 feet)
    Elevation Loss:
    978 metres (3,208 feet)

    Note: That option is also a trip by itself, the Great Walks Discovery 'Takahe'.

  • Days 7 to 11

    Option B, Milford Track Guided Walk (extra fee applies)

    #75

    Day 7 (continued) - Boat ride and hike Milford Track

    The 5-day/4-night Milford Track is one of the first-established and best-known walking tracks in the country. It takes in glacial peaks, a mountain pass, New Zealand’s highest waterfall and the dense rainforest of Fiordland. You’ll have four days of exercise, good food and great scenery as you walk 53 kilometres (33 miles) from Lake Te Anau to Milford Sound. Because you’re doing the guided walk, you’ll just be carrying a few essentials and a packed lunch each day, so your pack won’t be much heavier than what you’d bring on a regular day hike. Everything else is provided, including excellent meals at the lodges and on the trail, hot showers, bedding, specialist Milford Track guides, and even hairdryers in the rooms! For the first three nights, you’ll stay in comfortable mountain lodges, in four and six-bed bunk rooms with shared bathroom facilities. If you prefer your own bedroom and bathroom, contact us for the latest private room rates. On the fourth night, you’ll stay at Mitre Peak Lodge, a hotel exclusively for Milford Track Guided Walk hikers. From Queenstown, we’ll head to Lake Te Anau, stopping for lunch along the way. We take a boat to the head of the lake to the start of the Milford Track. It’s a short, easy walk to Glade House, where we stay our first night.
    Glade House, Milford Track (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 1.6 kilometres (1 mile), 0.5-1 hour
    Elevation Gain:
    5 metres (16 feet)

    Day 8 - Hike in beech forest

    We start the day by crossing Clinton River and hiking through lush beech forest to Hirere Falls, where we’ll have lunch. After crossing the prairie, the track gets a little steeper as we climb up to Pompolona Lodge. Today’s highlights include spectacular flora and stunning views up the ice-carved Clinton Canyon toward McKinnon Pass.
    Pompolona Lodge, Milford Track (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 16 kilometres (10 miles), 5-7 hours
    Elevation Gain: 
    200 metres (665 feet)

    Day 9 - Hike McKinnon Pass

    Today is the most spectacular day of the Milford Track! We climb a series of switchbacks to cross McKinnon Pass and from the top, the views of Arthur Valley and the surrounding peaks are just magnificent. We’ll lunch at Pass Hut, then head down to Quintin Lodge. After some refreshments, a 90-minute round trip hike will lead us to Sutherland Falls, the fifth highest waterfall in the world.
    Quintin Lodge, Milford Track (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 16 kilometres (9 miles), 6-8 hours
    Elevation Gain:
    700 metres (2,295 feet)
    Elevation Loss:
    860 metres (2,820 feet)

    Day 10 - Hike to Milford Sound

    This is your last day on the Milford Track. It’s 21 kilometres (13 miles) of varied terrain, slightly downhill, with no significant climbs. The small waterfalls to be found alongside the track make for a delightful hike today. At the trailhead at Sandfly Point, you’ll be picked up for a short cruise across Milford Sound to the marina, and arrive at Mitre Peak Lodge for a night. We’ll be staying at the only hotel in the area (Milford Track hikers have exclusive use of it), and with the memories of the last few days you’ll almost regret being back near civilisation!
    Mitre Peak Lodge, Milford Sound (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 20 kilometres (13 miles), 6-8 hours
    Elevation Gain: 
    220 metres (720 feet)
    Elevation Loss: 
    220 metres (720 feet)

    Day 11 - Cruise Milford Sound

    This morning, we’ll enjoy a cruise to explore the full length of Milford Sound and the ship’s captain will nose the boat right up to some magnificent waterfalls that plunge into the fiord. Keep your eyes open for native New Zealand fur seals relaxing on the rocks and the chance to spot dolphins swimming alongside us. An option when you return to Milford Sound village is to take a stunning scenic helicopter flight, which will have you back in Queenstown for a free afternoon to enjoy (scenic helicopter flight option approx. US$650 per person).  The rest will take the scenic journey back to Queenstown via Te Anau and this evening we’ll meet up with those who chose the Active Great Walks Discovery to catch up on our Fiordland experiences over dinner.
    Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (All meals)

  • Day 12

    Hike Sam Summers Track, visit local winery

    #71

    After breakfast, we head out round Lake Wakatipu to the Mt Crichton Scenic Reserve, where we’ll hike the Sam Summers Track. This area was mined for gold until the 1930s and there are still many relics to be seen along the way. After hiking, we’ll continue on to a local winery. This region’s dry and sunny climate is ideal for grape growing and is becoming well known for producing world-class pinot noir and other quality wines. We’ll enjoy a glass or two and then head to Lake Ohau Lodge. Here we’re staying beside a beautiful alpine lake, with stunning views stretching across to Aoraki/Mt Cook and the Southern Alps - an ideal spot to soak in the hot tub!
    Lake Ohau Lodge, Lake Ohau (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 7.4 kilometres (4.6 miles), 3-4 hours
    Elevation Gain:
    355 metres (1,165 feet)
    Elevation Loss:
    355 metres (1,165 feet)

    NOTE: The 12-day trip option ends today in Queenstown. 

  • Day 13

    Hike Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

    #77

    A short distance away is Mt Cook, named Aoraki or ‘cloud piercer’ by South Island Maori, the highest mountain in New Zealand. Directly opposite Aoraki/Mt Cook, we have a stunning day hike to the main ridge above Mueller Glacier. This area has a unique alpine environment and includes endemic flora such as the Mt Cook lily (Ranunculus lyallii), the world’s largest buttercup. Many of our clients have said this is the best hike they’ve ever done and it’s a fine way to finish off a great trip. It’s a bit of a hike, but you’ll remember the view of the glacier and the surrounding peaks forever! The weather conditions are very important in this area, as it’s a true alpine climate notorious for sudden weather shifts. If we aren’t able to do the Mueller Glacier hike, or you’d like to take it a little easier, there’s an impressive hike up to a glacial lake (complete with icebergs!) at the base of the Hooker Glacier. After hiking, we’ll relax at our lodge nestled right in the heart of Aoraki Mt Cook National Park.
    Mt Cook Lodgings, Aoraki/Mt Cook Village (All meals)

    Mueller Ridge Hiking Distance: 7.2 kilometres (4.4 miles), 5-6 hours
    Elevation Gain:
    975 metres (3,200 feet)
    Elevation Loss:
    975 metres (3,200 feet)
    OR
    Hooker Valley Hiking Distance:
    9 kilometres (5.6 miles), 3-4 hours
    Elevation Gain:
    100 metres (328 feet)
    Elevation Loss:
    100 metres (328 feet)

  • Day 14

    Depart for home

    This is the last day of your ‘Manuka’ trip and we’ll leave you refreshed and invigorated from the good food, exercise, rest, and great times you’ll have had with us in New Zealand! For a great way to see the North Island too, where you’ll see Maori culture, pristine beaches and geothermal areas, combine this trip with our 11-day ‘Kauri’ (5-day ‘Kauri’ options available).
    (Breakfast, Lunch)

Milford Track Adventure Departure Dates

  • Upcoming
  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 1 year

This trip is also available in 5 and 12-day options. The 5-day option starts on Day 7 of the itinerary and ends on Day 11. The 12-day option starts on Day 1 of the itinerary and ends on Day 12. Contact us for more information and prices.

USD $7499/pp
5 Dec 2022
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Interactive Trip Map: Click on the map icons to read details for each day

What Our Guests Say About the Milford Track Adventure

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- May 2022

Amazing trip with great guides

"I had a great time on the Jaguar trip - our guides were friendly, knowledgeable,… read more

"I had a great time on the Jaguar trip - our guides were friendly, knowledgeable, organized, and always helpful. Our porters and camp staff also were friendly and highly competent. The sites chosen by the guides for us to visit were always interesting, and the guides were able to provide great information about them. The information provided to us by Active Adventures was helpful and comprehensive - my only comments regarding the pre-trip information would be to update the materials to clarify that guests need a small day pack for biking and day hikes AND a 30L plus hiking bag for the Inca trail, and the pre-trip information could have included information about tipping for the porters and guides. While it is sensible that the company would not want to pressure guests into tipping a certain amount, everyone in my group had a wonderful time and genuinely wanted to show appreciation to our porters and guides. It would have been helpful to know how much cash we should have with us when departing on the trail to be able to tip each individual adequately, as well as information about when in the trip we would have an opportunity to tip both porters and guides. read less

5 Stars (2056 reviews)

Amy, United States

- May 2022

Bucket list trip for sure!!

"After having had my retirement bucket list trip snatched from under me in 2020, I… read more

"After having had my retirement bucket list trip snatched from under me in 2020, I was delighted to finally take it this April. Active Adventures deserves huge kudos for honouring its commitment to the trip. I travelled with two friends, and we were in a group of 15 on the trip - from the US and Canada. What a fantastic group of people! Best of all though, were our two tour guides from the Galapagos, Pepo and Paulo. They were the best ambassadors for the islands and Ecuador - very knowledgeable, professional, kind hearted - and just plain fun. They made us feel safe and relaxed throughout the trip. The islands are gorgeous - and the wildlife does not disappoint. I found deep ocean snorkelling a bit out of my comfort zone, and wished I had practiced a bit in a pool before I left. However, it is an essential part of the trip, and cannot be skipped. Learning about tectonic plates, volcanoes and the conservation efforts for the giant tortoises was food for thought. As for helpful tips, bring lots of sun screen, sun protective clothing, and bug spray. These items are not readily available on the islands, but they are absolutely essential. Also bring a reusable water bottle as recommended by AA, because although bottled water is available for purchase everywhere, it makes more sense to fill up from the large reusable containers provided and not create plastic waste. I would definitely recommend this beautiful active adventure - my first with this company, but not my last. read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Serena, Canada

- May 2022

Bucket List Trip

"We loved our trip to Galapagos! Our guides, Pepo and Paulo were so knowledgeable… read more

"We loved our trip to Galapagos! Our guides, Pepo and Paulo were so knowledgeable about the islands and loved sharing it all with us. The warm weather was so welcome after a winter in New England. All of the logistics were handled smoothly so that all we had to do was enjoy the varied land and marine wildlife. An amazing trip that I highly recommend! read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Claudia, United States

- May 2022

Somethings really do live up to the hype. This was AMAZING!!

"To be honest, I was a little leery traveling with a new company, with new… read more

"To be honest, I was a little leery traveling with a new company, with new people and well, Covid. But this was abso-fricking-lutely the BEST ADVENTURE TRIP! From our guide, Pepo (who completely hit it out of the park), to the places we saw, to the organization behind the scenes and those wonderful meals, this was amazing! If you want the best way to SEE the Galapagos Islands, this is it. I can't say enough great things about Galakiwi (Active's partner) and our guides. They made this trip unforgettable. Pepo and Paolo answered our flora/fauna questions (we had lots!) and happily shared us what makes this place so special. And man, Pepo can dance - and surf! We're already talking about our next Active Adventure - we can't wait! :) read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Lori, United States

Ultimate Patagonia & Chile Adventure - April 2022

Wonderful Patagonia

"Although initially disappointed that the border with Argentina remained closed, the Torres del Paine hiking… read more

"Although initially disappointed that the border with Argentina remained closed, the Torres del Paine hiking with Alvaro and Christian was compensation aplenty. read less

4 Stars (1175 reviews)

Nick, United Kingdom

Ultimate Patagonia & Chile Adventure - April 2022

Bucket List Trip!

"I finally made it to Patagonia! And I couldn't have done it with a better… read more

"I finally made it to Patagonia! And I couldn't have done it with a better company! This was my 5th tour with Active!
The landscape was even more breathtaking than I had imagined. And every guide was so much fun to hang out with and incredibly knowledgeable about the culture and the land. If you are planning a trip to Patagonia and you love being in the outdoors, this is the tour company for you! read less

5 Stars (1175 reviews)

Jolene, Canada

- April 2022

West Coast is a must visit

"This is our second Active Adventures trip and we weren't disappointed. The itinerary was excellent… read more

"This is our second Active Adventures trip and we weren't disappointed. The itinerary was excellent and food and accommodation of a high standard. We loved the West Coast scenery. The walks were amazing, particularly around Lake Matheson and Punakaiki. Kayaking on Okarito Lagoon, heli-hiking on Franz Joseph Glacier and the scenic flight over Mt Aspiring National Park out to Milford Sound were fantastic experiences. Our guide Clare was first class. Everything was organised to perfection and nothing was too much trouble. read less

5 Stars (2 reviews)

Robert, New Zealand

- April 2022

Fabulous trip!

"First “big” trip in 2 years due to the pandemic. Honestly, more anxiety than excitement… read more

"First “big” trip in 2 years due to the pandemic. Honestly, more anxiety than excitement prior to the trip but once I arrived in the Galapagos, the excitement hit and so glad my friend and I decided to go on the adventure together. AA tour made the trip really easy. I really like the balance of being “active” and some downtime of my own. The tour guides were friendly and very knowledgeable. The meals were all very good except for the first night dinner on San Cristobal Island…to me, it wasn’t good. I thought the fish weren’t well prepared and tasted too fishy. Another person ordered the same meal and I noticed she hardly touched hers. Later I found out hers was too salty. Another low light for me was the accommodations on Floreana Island. Apparently, very limited hotel selections on the island. Hotel Wittmer was ran down and we all had cold showers that night. I also found a smashed dead mosquito with blood on the wall! Isabela Island was fun and where we stayed was wonderful. I wish we had more time on Santa Cruz Island. All in all, I had a fantastic trip and would recommend this trip to my friends who enjoy the outdoor and animals! read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Hui-Chien, United States

- April 2022

Wonderful wildlife adventures

"The Tortuga trip was full of once in a lifetime experiences. Pablo, our guide was… read more

"The Tortuga trip was full of once in a lifetime experiences. Pablo, our guide was so passionate about the islands and knowledgeable about the wildlife and all aspects of our trip. We swam with sea turtles, rays, sea lions, and sharks!. The land tortoises were great to see in their natural habitat and in the breeding centers. I learned so much about the history of the islands, the environment, Darwin's studies and plans for the furture on the island. The snorkeling in Los Tunels was the highlight as well as the hike to the volcano lava fields. The Galapagos is truely a unique and fascinating place. read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Barb, United States

- April 2022

Great experience

"Well organised trip read more

"Well organised trip read less

5 Stars (863 reviews)

Adrian, New Zealand

Ultimate Patagonia & Chile Adventure - April 2022

Almost to Antarctica

"The Condor trip and the W Trek were wonderful. I was there in early February… read more

"The Condor trip and the W Trek were wonderful. I was there in early February and the weather was good; clouds mixed with sun, and surprisingly warm…but windy. The guides, as always, were special and took care of everything. The scenery is amazing, and constant for the entire 4+ days. The Argentina border was closed so the trip was modified to include the Chile Lake District, and I opted out of that portion of the trip because it was similar to the Active Adventures Puma trip which I did a couple years ago (also a great trip!). Even doing only the W Trek was great…and I hope to return for the whole trip! read less

5 Stars (1175 reviews)

Mark, United States

- April 2022

Great trip with Great people

"I could write pages about our Tortuga trip in April . Instead I will just… read more

"I could write pages about our Tortuga trip in April . Instead I will just say that we were so surprised how much we enjoyed traveling with Active Adventures. We are typically not "group travel" people but in the Galapagos it seems necessary...so many things to line up and local people and facilities to communicate with. AAdventures did this with amazing competency. Things flowed seamlessly. Our guide Pepo and his assistant Paolo were amazing. They seemed to do all this and yet still ENJOY being with us, answering questions and getting everyone excited for the next adventure. I will advise that this is an active trip, not intense but lots of exercise, sweating and moving every day. It is important to know that and be prepared or know that you might skip some of the longer things. I also want to add that the guides' English was beautiful and Pepo's knowledge about the area, the geography and the animals was impressive. To anyone who is worried about the "group" aspect but needs the logistics AAdventures can provide, be assured. They still respect your privacy, your right to skip something if its not for you and the small size makes it not feel chaotic. Food was also very good, fresh and simple but abundant and well prepared. I had dreamed of this trip since I was a little girl and read about the tortoises in National Geographic. I never thought the experience would live up to the dream, but it truly did and I think Active Adventures had a big part in that. read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Lynn, United States

Ecuador Volcano and Jungle Adventure - April 2022

Tapir with Alberto

"This was an excellent way to see more of mainland Ecuador. The scenery was… read more

"This was an excellent way to see more of mainland Ecuador. The scenery was breathtaking with waterfalls, rushing river and majestic mountains. Got to sample local cuisine with I enjoyed very much. read less

5 Stars (294 reviews)

Sandy, United States

- April 2022

Takahe trip 27 Mar-31 Mar 22

"This was a trip down memory lane for me revisiting old haunts & visiting new… read more

"This was a trip down memory lane for me revisiting old haunts & visiting new ones. I was thrilled with how it all went & with the experience of our guides & their enthusiasm. The weather was perfect & I achieved everything on my bucket list! read less

5 Stars (863 reviews)

Colleen, New Zealand

- April 2022

Our 4th trip with Active

"Another great guide. Beautiful diving, biking and hiking adventures. Great local food and accommodations. We… read more

"Another great guide. Beautiful diving, biking and hiking adventures. Great local food and accommodations. We have loved every single Active Adventure. As always though, the Active guides are what make the trip special. This time Pepo and Paulo were absolutely awesome with their knowledge and communication. The people in the group always seem to come together as great friends and we have the guides to thank for that! Can't wait for the next one! read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Paul, United States

- April 2022

Amazing trip

"We loved our Active Adventures trip. The guides were amazing, super organised and great company. read more

"We loved our Active Adventures trip. The guides were amazing, super organised and great company. read less

5 Stars (64 reviews)

Kate, New Zealand

crowne plaza
doubtful
ohau lodge
rainforest 2
rainforest v3

Accommodation

We have selected the accommodations on your ‘Manuka’ trip for their stunning setting, unique character or adventuresome feel – they’re not designed as a tour of the fanciest hotels in New Zealand. We prefer to stay in quaint, comfortable B&B’s, lodges and apartments.

Active Adventure Assurance

Our Active Adventures Assurance

If your plans change or you decide to travel to another destination, you can change your trip to any of our departures in any destination or request a refund (less deposit) up to 90 days out from your original trip start date.

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Useful Info

What's the maximum group size on this trip?

This trip has a maximum of 14 guests, plus two experienced Active Adventures guides. 

Where does the trip start?

On the first morning of the trip, our two pick-up locations are Merivale Manor at 10.30am or the Christchurch airport (CHC) in front of the Help Desk (near door 7) at 11am. You are welcome to stay at any hotel in Christchurch if you arrive before the first day, though you must make your own way to one of the two pick-up points at the pre-designated times.

Where does the trip end?

Your trip ends with a drop-off at the Christchurch Airport (CHC) in time for flights below or anywhere in Central Christchurch around 3pm.

What flights would you recommend?

Arrival: If you’re flying in on the first day of the trip, we recommend arriving in Christchurch before 10am.

Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Christchurch after 4pm. If you’re considering alternative flight times please check with us. International flights from Auckland airport (AKL) usually leave early evening, so if you’re heading back to North America, you’ll get home some time on Sunday, even though you left on Sunday evening! Flights back to Europe, of course, take a little longer.

How fit do I need to be?

As an Activity Level 3 trip, you’ll need a good level of fitness for the trip as it’s one of our more adventurous trips. Typically, hikes range between two and five hours to complete, more, or less hiking is available depending on your multi-day option.

Please head to our Fitness Guide for great tips on how to prepare along with a workout plan!

What accommodations do we stay at on this trip?

We have selected the accommodations on your trip for their stunning setting, unique character or adventuresome feel – they’re not designed as a tour of the fanciest hotels in New Zealand. We prefer to stay in quaint, comfortable B&B’s, lodges and apartments.

While there are laundry facilities at most locations, they may not be convenient or there may only be one machine to service your entire group. We recommend bringing enough clothing to only have to do laundry once, maybe twice, during your trip. The best time will be during your 2-night stay in Queenstown (during your free day). 

How much luggage can I bring on this trip?

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.

Will we encounter snow on this trip?

During bumper snow years the snow may stay on the mountains into October and November. If so, the New Zealand Department of Conservation (equivalent of the USA’s National Park Service) will not allow us to travel over heavily snowed terrain for safety reasons and we heed their warnings. As a result, we may not be able to access some higher elevation hikes such as Mueller Ridge in Aoraki Mt. Cook National Park at 1,500 metres (4500 feet) in our itinerary. Luckily, New Zealand is full of stunning hikes so we’ll select an alternative hike that allows you to enjoy the snow-capped peaks from a safe distance.

Tell me about the Optional Activities on this trip?

You have the option to take an exciting scenic helicopter flight to visit the upper reaches of the Franz Josef Glacier on the West Coast – an area usually only experienced mountaineers would get to see. No prior experience is required, everything you need is supplied, and as long as you can hike, you can heli-hike!

The three hour package includes a scenic helicopter flight (15 minutes one-way), a two-hour guided walk on and around the glacier and amazing panoramic views of the area. A good level of fitness is required and the following equipment is provided for you: glacier boots, socks, crampons, ice axe and a waterproof raincoat. You’ll need to bring three warm upper body layers, leggings or lightweight trousers, waterproof trousers, sunglasses, sunscreen, some snacks and a small drink bottle.

Note; this is not a fast activity, as walking with a group and continually cutting steps in the ice can be time-consuming. This is however a unique experience. Also If you have (or have had) a heart condition, ACL Knee surgery or you exceed the weight limit of 110 kilograms (240 pounds), you may be refused this activity on arrival.

Tell me about the Active Great Walks Discovery?

You’ll be spending three days hiking in Fiordland National Park on three different Great Walks – the Milford Track, the Routeburn track and the Kepler track before heading back to Queenstown to hike Ben Lomond! You’ll also get to visit Milford Sound, and take an overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound. This is the perfect option for those who want to experience a variety of hiking tracks, spend more time with our lovely Active Adventures New Zealand guides and explore the lesser known, though equally stunning Doubtful Sound – often referred to as Milford Sound on steroids!

You’ll say goodbye to the Milford Track hikers and enjoy a relaxed breakfast, before being whisked away, like royalty, to take an overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound! The next day you’ll head into the Fiordland National Park to explore the Routeburn Track and Humboldt Falls down the Hollyford Valley. After a night in Milford Lodge, you’ll then hike part of the Milford Track in the morning before heading out of the National Park into Te Anau for two nights. Next morning you’ll explore the Kepler Track, yet another of New Zealand’s Great Walks and relax by the Lakefront, staying your second night in Te Anau. The next morning you’ll head back to Queenstown, taking a gondola ride to the top of Bob’s Peak looking over Queenstown. You’ll climb Ben Lomond and then give the legs a good rest before regrouping for dinner with the Milford Track hikers.

Tell me about the Milford Track Guided Walk?

You’ll be spending four days and four nights hiking in Fiordland National Park. The Milford Track is run by a local Queenstown operator, and is a popular route that starts near Te Anau and finishes with a cruise on Milford Sound. This trail is very popular so you will get to meet other travellers during this hike, though numbers are limited to 50 people a day. You’ll be hiking from lodge to lodge, carrying only wet weather gear, spare clothes and toiletries in your day pack, or a pack provided by us.

The night before your Milford Track option begins, you’re required to attend a pre-trip briefing. Here you’ll learn more about the track itself and meet some of your specialist Milford Track guides who look after you for this segment of your trip. The following morning you’ll be driven to Te Anau to catch a boat to the start of the track. Over the next four days you’ll hike 53 kilometres (33 miles) with the longest day being 21 kilometres (13 miles). You’ll be provided with a detailed itinerary at your pre-trip briefing. The final night on the track will be on the shores of Milford Sound. After cruising on Milford Sound the following morning you’ll get a bus back to Queenstown, arriving at about 4pm.

You’ll be given a medium-sized backpack (40 litres), a pack liner and a storage sack (20 litres) at your pre-trip briefing
in Queenstown. If you’ve chosen the dorm-share rooming option you’ll also be given a cotton sleep sheet. The evening
prior to departing you’ll divide your gear into three parts: Milford Track gear (for hiking), Milford Sound gear (for post-hike) and Queenstown gear (excess luggage). The next morning your Queenstown gear will be stored securely and you and your other two bags will go with you on the trip. You’ll take the backpack with you on the track, and the storage sack with your change of clean clothes will be transported to the end of the track to await your arrival in Milford Sound.

At the end of each day’s hiking you’ll arrive at the lodge for the evening. All the lodges are equipped with the comforts of home – towels, pillows and warm duvets, plus linen for those in private rooms. Shampoo, conditioner, soap, hand washing facilities and excellent drying rooms are provided at each lodge which allows you to keep your gear to a minimum. Electricity is generated at the lodges and at 10pm it’s turned off every night. Three-course meals, cooked breakfasts and picnic lunches are provided on the track. Beer, wine and soft drinks are available for purchase with dinner at the lodges and can be paid for on the last day at Mitre Peak Lodge with either cash or credit cards.

Rooming in the lodges is in 4-6 person dorms with bunk - style beds and shared bathroom facilities. There’s also the
option to upgrade to a private room with ensuite bathroom for an additional charge. If you’d like a private room please let us know as soon as possible as there are limited rooms available and they’re allocated on a first come, first serve basis. You can select from the following two options:

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Your Local New Zealand Guides

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.

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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.

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4.54 out of 5 from 17045 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.

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Milford Track Adventure