New Zealand Walking Adventure

  • 8 - 14 Days

    All Prices:

    • 8 Days - USD $5999
    • 12 Days - USD $6499
    • 14 Days - USD $6699
  • 12 People Max

    This trip has a maximum of 12 guests, plus two experienced Active Adventures guides.

  • Activity Level 2
    • Activity Level 2

      On the Move

      Sure, I own some hiking boots, they're even worn in, but they don't go on long trips. I like my creature comforts and I like to give a range of activities a go.

    Read more about the Active Range

  • Trip Start: Christchurch
  • Trip End: Christchurch
South Island Explorer 'Kiwi' Trip

Experience beautiful, famous and little-known places of New Zealand, at your own pace, on our New Zealand Walking Adventure.

Over 14-days, you'll explore the South Island of New Zealand on breathtaking walks and cruises. Our New Zealand Walking Adventure is handcrafted for those new to adventure tours and for those who love to slow down and enjoy shorter hikes. From walking along the golden beaches of Abel Tasman National Park and sipping wine in the Marlborough Sounds to feeling tiny under Aoraki Mt Cook, New Zealand's tallest mountain, and pondering thousands of waterfalls thundering down in Milford Sound. Add in an optional heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier and exploring parts of the Routeburn and Kepler Tracks, and you'll be hard-pressed to pick a favorite moment. Each night, you'll relax in stunning lodges set in unbelievable locations and be looked after by two excellent local guides. The only thing missing on our New Zealand Walking Adventure? You.

New Zealand Walking Adventure ~ Itinerary

Trip Start: Christchurch Trip End: Christchurch
  • Day 1Arrive, visit Gore Bay and hike Kaikoura Peninsula

  • Day 2Wine Tasting and hike Pelorus Track

  • Day 3Boat ride and hike Abel Tasman National Park

  • Day 4Hike Cape Foulwind and Punakaiki rainforest

  • Day 5Hike Truman’s Track, visit Hokitika and explore Lake Mahinapua

  • Day 6Hike coastal forest and beach, kayak Okarito Lagoon (optional)

  • Day 7Hike at Franz Josef Glacier

  • Day 8Hike Mt Iron, visit the Kiwi Birdlife Park

  • Day 9Free day in Queenstown

  • Day 10Hike Kepler Track

  • Day 11Cruise Milford Sound, hike Routeburn Track

  • Day 12Visit Cromwell Old Town, journey over Lindis Pass

  • Day 13Hike Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

  • Day 14Visit Tekapo, depart for home

  • Day 1

    Arrive, visit Gore Bay and hike Kaikoura Peninsula

    #119

    Most people leave the Northern Hemisphere on a Thursday evening, arriving into Auckland early Saturday 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 on the South Island where we’ll meet you. We’ll travel north to Gore Bay to stretch our legs and get some fresh air after your flight. Then we’ll continue north to the seaside town of Kaikoura, referred to as the ‘Serengeti of the South Pacific’ as it has an amazing variety of whales, dolphins, fur seals and other marine life that feed from the surrounding waters. We’ll hike around the Kaikoura Peninsula to visit the local New Zealand fur seal (Arctocephalus forsteri) colony, watch the sea birds and enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding coastal mountains.

     

    Tonight, we’ll kick back and enjoy some delicious kiwi cuisine and get to know your fellow adventurous.
    Kaikoura Lodgings, Kaikoura (Lunch, Dinner)

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

    Kaikoura Peninsula Hiking Distance: 6.5 kilometres (4 miles), 1-2 hours
    Elevation Gain: 20 metres (65 feet)
    Elevation Loss: 20 metres (65 feet)

  • Day 2

    Wine Tasting and hike Pelorus Track

    #121

    From Kaikoura, we’ll travel along the coast to Blenheim, a town in the Marlborough wine region. We’ll visit Forrest Estate Winery to sample some of their fantastic wines and have a picnic lunch, before we head back into the wilderness. The Pelorus River Track is our destination this afternoon, an idyllic spot for a hike, through cool, green native bush, alongside the Pelorus River. You can expect crystal clear waters in this enchanting scenic reserve and even a little bit of Middle-earth magic, as one of the locations for the filming of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. 
    Rutherford Hotel, Nelson (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 3 kilometres (2 miles), 1-2 hours
    Elevation Gain: 20 metres (65 feet)
    Elevation Loss: 20 metres (65 feet)

  • Day 3

    Boat ride and hike Abel Tasman National Park

    #123

    Abel Tasman National Park is famous for its golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs and the world-renowned Abel Tasman Coast Track. This morning, we’ll take a water taxi through crystal clear, sheltered waters - we’re at the whim of the tides here, though our boat captains know the Abel Tasman Coastal Track like the back of their hands, so we’ll find the best section to hike. Once ashore, we’ll make our way along the coast through stands of ancient rimu, totara and rata. The rata (known as the South Island Kiwi Christmas tree) blossoms with brilliant red flowers between November and January. After our hike, we’ll relax on a white sandy beach and go for a dip in the ocean if you’d like. This area of New Zealand is famous for receiving the most sunshine hours of any place in the country.
    Rutherford Hotel, Nelson (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 8.4 kilometres (5.2 miles), 3-4 hours
    Elevation Gain: 80 metres (260 feet)
    Elevation Loss: 80 metres (260 feet)

  • Day 4

    Hike Cape Foulwind and Punakaiki rainforest

    #125

    Today we journey to Cape Foulwind on the West Coast, where we’ll hike a spectacular track that takes us to a view point overlooking a New Zealand fur seal breeding colony, then on to a lighthouse, taking in panoramic views of the coastline. The sparsely populated West Coast stretches 600 kilometres (372 miles) from north to south and is home to temperate coastal rainforest and two magnificent glaciers. After a picnic lunch, we’ll hike the Pororari River Trail in Paparoa National Park, which passes beneath magnificent limestone cliffs and through dense temperate rainforest full of distinctive coastal plants including the southern rata and towering rimu. This area has a unique micro-climate that supports the native nikau palm, a tree usually found much further north. In nearby Punakaiki, we’ll also visit the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes – aptly named limestone formations that have been sculpted through relentless pounding by the Tasman Sea.
    West Coast Lodgings, Punakaiki (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 3.5 kilometres (2 miles), 1-2 hours
    Elevation Gain: 20 metres (65 feet)
    Elevation Loss: 65 metres (210 feet)

  • Day 5

    Hike Truman’s Track, visit Hokitika and explore Lake Mahinapua

    #127

    We’ll begin the day travelling on the coast to the start of Truman Track, rated one of New Zealand’s finest short walks. We’ll hike through dense native forest with tall flax stands near the ocean, eventually giving way to a pebbled bay and barren sandstone cliffs. Travelling along the scenic coastline, we’ll stop in Hokitika to check out local art galleries and pounamu-carving workshops (pounamu is Maori for jade). Next we’ll get to explore Lake Mahinapua, a beautiful coastal lake surrounded by dense bush and birdlife. We can wander along one of the many paths that wind their way through the bush, and enjoy the serenity of the area. From here, we’ll carry on down to Franz Josef where we’ll stay for the next couple of nights. Nestled in the rainforest-clad foothills of the Southern Alps, Franz Josef is the heart of New Zealand glacier country. 
    Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 6 kilometres (4 miles), 2-3 hours
    Elevation Gain: 130 metres (426 feet)
    Elevation Loss: 130 metres (426 feet)

  • Day 6

    Hike coastal forest and beach, kayak Okarito Lagoon (optional)

    #129

    This morning we’ll take a short journey over to Okarito, a little-known beach community on the coast. We’ll take to the water in sea kayaks and glide along a picturesque lagoon, set against a stunning backdrop of snow-capped peaks. Okarito is home to the only native white heron colony in New Zealand, as well as a host of other interesting birds. If you’d prefer not to kayak, we’ll point you in the right direction for a relaxing hike through lush coastal forest or along the black sand beach. Later we’ll head back to Franz Josef where you’ll have the option to take another hike or relax in the hot tub, before enjoying a traditional Kiwi roast dinner.
    Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

    Kayaking Time: 2-4 hours

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

  • Day 7

    Hike at Franz Josef Glacier

    #131

    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 two of these giant frozen rivers (Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers) imperceptibly grinding their way down through temperate rainforest to just 250 metres (820 feet) above sea level. Our hike will take us along the Waiho River bed up the valley right to the terminal face of Franz Josef Glacier.

    Heli-hike option (extra fee applies)
    An 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 and make sure you 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 forest visiting historic Ship Creek to explore the Kahikatea forest, providing a glimpse back in time to what the West Coast may have looked like prior to human settlement. Tonight we’ll stay in the small settlement of Makarora, where you can enjoy incredible views of the mountains right outside your window.
    Makarora Lodgings, Makarora (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 4.8 kilometres (3 miles) 2-3 hours
    Elevation Gain: 20 metres (66 feet)
    Elevation Loss: 20 metres (66 feet)

  • Day 8

    Hike Mt Iron, visit the Kiwi Birdlife Park

    #133

    The landscape this morning changes rapidly from dense beech forest to semi-arid terrain before transforming to an impressive vista of lakes and mountains. At Lake Wanaka, we’ll hike the Mt Iron track, a spectacular circuit with great views of Mt Aspiring National Park.  From Wanaka, it’s a short but dramatic journey over the Cardrona Saddle to Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, our base for the next couple of days.  This afternoon we’ll visit the Kiwi Birdlife Park to view and learn about New Zealand’s icon, the flightless kiwi bird. You’ll sleep sweetly tonight at a lakefront hotel located in the heart of Queenstown.
    Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

    Hiking Distance: 4.5 kilometres (2.8 miles), 1-2 hours
    Elevation Gain: 220 metres (722 feet)
    Elevation Loss: 220 metres (722 feet)

    NOTE: The 8-day trip option ends today in Queenstown. 

  • Day 9

    Free day in Queenstown

    #135

    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, a gondola, fishing, winery tours, a 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.
    Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (No meals included)

  • Day 10

    Hike Kepler Track

    #137

    This morning we’ll take a scenic drive through to Te Anau, our base for the next couple of nights. We’ll enjoy a tasty lunch before heading out to explore Fiordland’s wilderness on foot where we’ll take a hike on the famous Kepler Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks - we follow the track through mountain beech forest and along the Waiau River. It’s an awesome hike with spectacular views! Tonight we’ll stay on the edge of Lake Te Anau, enjoying the scenery and the delicious local fare.
    Te Anau Lodgings, 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

    Cruise Milford Sound, hike Routeburn Track

    #139

    This morning, we set off for our largest and perhaps most spectacular national park, Fiordland. 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. Rudyard Kipling rated this fiord as the eighth natural wonder of the world and it is truly breath-taking, with steep granite walls plunging over a thousand metres to the Tasman Sea and waterfalls cascading into deep inky water. We’ll jump on board a boat cruise, where you’ll gaze in wonder at the waterfalls tumbling down enormous vertical rock faces all around and journey right out to the entrance of the fiord. Afterwards we’ll hike part of the Routeburn Track for unsurpassed views of the Hollyford Valley, as well as Lake Marian and Mt Christina, before heading back to Te Anau for the night.
    Te Anau Lodgings, Te Anau (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 12

    Visit Cromwell Old Town, journey over Lindis Pass

    #141

    Carefully relocated or lovingly reconstructed, the buildings of Cromwell Old Town represent the character of Cromwell’s gold-mining history. We’ll explore the intriguing buildings and eat lunch here together. Then we’ll drive through the tussock country of Lindis Pass to the remote and beautiful Aoraki/Mt Cook Village. Our accommodation for our last two nights is tucked in beside the towering mountains, with stunning views stretching across to Aoraki/Mt Cook and the Southern Alps – the ideal spot to stargaze!
    Mt Cook Lodgings, Aoraki/Mt Cook Village (All meals)

    NOTE: The 12-day trip option ends today in Queenstown. You will get dropped off en-route between Te Anau and Mt Cook.

  • Day 13

    Hike Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

    #143

    The highest mountain in New Zealand, Mt Cook was first named Aoraki or ‘cloud piercer’ by South Island Maori. This region was Sir Edmund Hillary’s training ground as he prepared for his and Tenzing Norgay’s famous summit of Mt Everest in 1953. Feeling inspired, we’ll take an impressive hike up to a lake at the base of the Hooker Glacier, complete with icebergs! The track is surrounded by peaks, glaciers, native vegetation and mountain streams, and provides excellent views of Aoraki/Mt Cook on a fine day. If you’re keen for a challenge, another option is to take a day hike to the main ridge above Mueller Glacier. It’s a tough hike and the weather would need to cooperate, but the views across the Southern Alps are worth it! After hiking, we’ll relax back at our lodge nestled right in the heart of the National Park for the last night of the ‘Kiwi’ and we’ll enjoy a celebratory dinner as we sit outside and watch the sun set on Aoraki/Mt Cook.
    Mt Cook Lodgings, Aoraki/Mt Cook Village (All meals)

    Hooker Valley Hiking Distance: 9 kilometres (5.6 miles), 3-4 hours
    Elevation Gain: 100 metres (328 feet)
    Elevation Loss: 100 metres (328 feet)

    Sealy Tarns Hiking Distance: 6 kilometres (3.7 miles), 2-4 hours
    Elevation Gain: 650 metres (2,132 feet)
    Elevation Loss: 650 metres (2,132 feet)

  • Day 14

    Visit Tekapo, depart for home

    #145

    After breakfast we’ll head north past Lake Pukaki to Lake Tekapo. We’ll stretch our legs with a visit to the Church of the Good Shepherd, easily one of the most scenic locations for a church you’ll ever come across!  After our lunch stop, we’ll head to Christchurch, arriving in time for afternoon flights. This is the end of your ‘Kiwi’ 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 experience Maori culture, pristine beaches and geothermal areas, combine this trip with our 11-day ‘Kauri’ (5-day ‘Kauri’ options available).
    (Breakfast, Lunch)

New Zealand Walking Adventure Departure Dates

  • Upcoming
  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 1 year

This trip is also available in 8 and 12-day options. The 8-day option starts on Day 1 of the itinerary and ends on Day 8. The 12-day option starts on Day 1 of the itinerary and ends on Day 12. Contact us for more information and prices.

USD $6699/pp
10 Dec 2022
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10 Dec23 Dec
New Zealand Walking Adventure 12/10/2022-12/23/2022
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26 Oct 2024
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9 Nov 2024
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23 Nov 2024
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New Zealand Walking Adventure 11/23/2024-12/6/2024
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7 Dec 2024
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New Zealand Walking Adventure 12/7/2024-12/20/2024
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21 Dec 2024
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21 Dec3 Jan
New Zealand Walking Adventure 12/21/2024-1/3/2025
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4 Jan 2025
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18 Jan 2025
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1 Feb 2025
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New Zealand Walking Adventure 2/1/2025-2/14/2025
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1 Mar 2025
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15 Mar 2025
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Interactive Trip Map: Click on the map icons to read details for each day

What Our Guests Say About the New Zealand Walking 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

makaroa 2

Accommodation

We have selected the accommodation on your ‘Kiwi’ trip for the stunning settings, unique character and adventuresome feel – it’s 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 and you’ll have your own bathroom everywhere.

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 12 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 either 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 (AKL) usually leave early evening, so if you’re heading back to North America, you’ll get home some time on Friday, even though you left on Friday evening! Flights back to Europe, of course, take a little longer.

How fit do I need to be?

As an Activity Level 1-2 trip, you’ll need a good level of fitness for this trip though you’ll be hiking on gentle to moderate trails and can still enjoy the scenery and relaxation. Typically, hikes range between two and four hours to complete, more, or less hiking is available too.

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 accommodation on your trip for the stunning settings, unique character and adventuresome feel – it’s 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 and you’ll have your own bathroom everywhere.

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 a couple of times during your trip. The best time will be during your two 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.

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.

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Our local 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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