New Zealand Winter Adventure

  • 5 - 14 Days

    All Prices:

    • 5 Days - USD $3899
    • 8 Days - USD $4599
    • 14 Days - USD $5499
  • 10 People Max

    This trip has a maximum of 10 guests, plus two experienced Active Adventures guides.

  • Activity Level 4
    • Activity Level 4

      Challenge Accepted

      I'll let my trusty guides sweat the small things, so I can focus on my goal. Getting to the top, reaching the end, achieving my dreams! Sure, it'll be tough, but the views will be worth it.

    Read more about the Active Range

  • Trip Start: Christchurch
  • Trip End: Christchurch
New Zealand Winter Adventure

Experience the South Island of New Zealand with its winter coat on, dressed in silence, on our New Zealand winter adventure.

Discover the South Island without the crowds on our 14-day New Zealand Winter Adventure hiking trip. To let you in on a secret, exploring the dramatic landscapes of the South Island during New Zealand's winter months is largely underrated. Between May and September, ski fields come to life and mountains look spectacular covered in snow. However, trails once busy during the summer months are now exclusively yours and huts once packed full of keen hikers sit empty, waiting for a small group to enjoy their beauty. Our New Zealand Winter Adventure has been crafted specifically for our mild winters. You'll enjoy a sunrise cruise on Milford Sound, soak in hot pools under vibrant stars at Welcome Flats Hut on the Copland Track, hike the Kepler Track, Mt Aspiring National Park and under the towering mountains of Aoraki Mt Cook National Park. If you're ready to see New Zealand in all its beauty, our New Zealand Winter Adventure is calling your name.

New Zealand Winter Adventure ~ Itinerary

Trip Start: Christchurch Trip End: Christchurch
  • Day 1Arrive, hike Mt John

  • Day 2Hike Aoraki Mt Cook National Park or ski/snowboard Ohau Ski Area

  • Days 3 & 4Hike Mt Aspiring National Park and Wanaka options

  • Days 3 to 4Option A, Hike and overnight in Mt Aspiring National Park

  • Days 3 to 4Option B, Explore Wanaka

  • Day 4 (afternoon)Bike Wanaka

  • Day 5Free day in Queenstown

  • Day 6Hike Kepler Track and explore Te Anau glow worm caves

  • Day 7Cruise on Milford Sound, explore Fiordland National Park

  • Day 8Scenic journey to the West Coast

  • Day 9 Hike to Copland Valley hot pools, Westland National Park

  • Day 10 Hike to Douglas Rock

  • Day 11Hike Copland Valley

  • Day 12Kayak Okarito Lagoon, hike near Franz Josef Glacier

  • Day 13Hike Punakaiki rainforest and beaches

  • Day 14Depart for home

  • Day 1

    Arrive, hike Mt John

    #177

    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 on the South Island where we’ll meet you. We then head to Lake Tekapo for a hike along the lakeshore before emerging above the treeline on Mt John for breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Then we’ll carry on to the remote and beautiful Lake Ohau Lodge. The lodge is tucked in beside an alpine lake, with stunning views stretching across to Aoraki/Mt Cook and the Southern Alps – the ideal spot to soak in the hot tub and star gaze! Today is a relaxed introduction to New Zealand. 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 the west coast of the USA 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.
    Lake Ohau Lodge, Lake Ohau (Lunch, Dinner)

    Hiking Distance: 8 kilometres (5 miles), 2-3 hours
    Elevation Gain: 330 metres (1,080 feet)
    Elevation Loss: 330 metres (1,080 feet)

  • Day 2

    Hike Aoraki Mt Cook National Park or ski/snowboard Ohau Ski Area

    #179

    After a late breakfast on the balcony overlooking Lake Ohau, we’ll take an impressive hike at the head of Lake Pukaki, up the Hooker Valley to a glacial lake complete with icebergs! This is a great spot for lunch and on a clear day, the views of Aoraki/Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain, are stunning. We’ll return to the lodge where we’ll enjoy a sumptuous dinner. An option today is to spend the day skiing at the small and friendly Ohau Ski Area, one of the South Island’s more remote backcountry ski fields (for approx. US$125 including gear rental).
    Lake Ohau Lodge, Lake Ohau (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 9 kilometres (5.6 miles), 2-3 hours
    Elevation Gain: 
    100 metres (328 feet)
    Elevation Loss: 
    100 metres (328 feet)

  • Days 3 & 4

    Hike Mt Aspiring National Park and Wanaka options

    #181

    This morning we’ll leave Ohau and head through the Lindis Pass to Wanaka – a small alpine village on the shores of Lake Wanaka. After lunch, we head off for our various activities.

  • Days 3 to 4

    Option A, Hike and overnight in Mt Aspiring National Park

    Day 3 (afternoon) - Hike and overnight in Mt Aspiring National Park

    After leaving Wanaka, we’ll venture up the Matukituki Valley and hike two to three hours into Mt Aspiring National Park to reach our home for the evening – a spacious mountain hut nestled in a valley in the middle of nowhere. The track meanders past majestic peaks, fresh mountain streams and natural beech forest. You’ll be carrying a sleeping bag, a few spare clothes and some food, so your pack won’t weigh much more than a regular day pack. The scenery is off the charts with Mt Aspiring rising 3033 metres (9951 feet) into the blue sky. It’s amazing how far you’ll feel from civilisation after this relatively short walk! Tonight your guide will whip up dinner in the backcountry kitchen while you relax by the fire.
    Mt Aspiring Hut, Mt Aspiring National Park (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 9 kilometres (5.6 miles), 3-5 hours
    Elevation Gain: 60 metres (197 feet)

    Day 4 (morning) - Hike to trailhead

    We have a leisurely start today, enjoying breakfast and a cuppa while admiring the view, before hiking back to the trailhead. Along the way, we might encounter the cheeky kea – they’re really inquisitive and like to get pretty close at times!

    Hiking Distance: 9 kilometres (5.6 miles), 3-5 hours
    Elevation Loss: 60 metres (197 feet)

  • Days 3 to 4

    Option B, Explore Wanaka

    Day 3 (afternoon) - Explore Wanaka

    Lake Wanaka is the fourth largest lake in New Zealand and surrounded by an amphitheatre of mountains. There are great walking trails and biking tracks in the area, as well as jet boating and kayaking. It’s well worth a visit to the famed Warbirds and Wheels Museum, which is home to an amazing collection of old fighter planes and classic cars. Whether you’re skipping stones on the lake’s edge or relaxing by the fire at the lodge, Wanaka is a great spot to rediscover simple pleasures.
    Wanaka Lodgings, Wanaka (All meals)

    Day 4 (morning) - Explore Wanaka

    After a relaxed breakfast, you’ll have the morning to yourselves before meeting up with the rest of the group.

  • Day 4 (afternoon)

    Bike Wanaka

    #183

    After regrouping in Wanaka, we'll head out for a bike ride along the lakeshore, and then 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. You’ll sleep sweetly tonight at a lakefront hotel located in the heart of Queenstown.
    Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

    Hiking Distance: 9 kilometres (5.6 miles), 2-3 hours
    Elevation Loss: 
    60 metres (197 feet)
    Biking Distance: 
    Up to 10 kilometres (6 miles), 2-3 hours

  • Day 5

    Free day in Queenstown

    #185

    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, an historic steamship, bungy jumping, jet boating and skydiving as well as some great hiking opportunities. Or you can just soak up the atmosphere by the fire at one of the local cafés or pubs. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today. Alternatively, you can go skiing or snowboarding for the day at one of four nearby ski areas (approximate cost US$150 for ski or snowboard hire, transport and lift pass – available as snow conditions suit, generally from June to September).
    Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (No meals included.)

    Note: The 5-day trip option ends today after your included breakfast.

  • Day 6

    Hike Kepler Track and explore Te Anau glow worm caves

    #189

    After breakfast, we’ll travel to Lake Te Anau to hike the Kepler Track, one of New Zealand’s ‘Great Walks’. Unlike most of the other ‘Great Walks’, which evolved from Maori greenstone trails or pioneer exploration routes, the Kepler Track was custom-made, built for pleasure rather than necessity. The track has been carefully crafted to show walkers all the very best features of Fiordland, from the prolific bird life and tussock high country, to the huge mountain ranges and vast glacier-carved valleys. This evening we’ll take a boat journey across Lake Te Anau to a glittering grotto of glow worms. These fascinating bugs light the way in a 200 metre system of caves, underground waterfalls, sculpted walls and swirling pools. From the darkness of the glow worm caves, we’ll head back into the light of Te Anau where we’ll stay the night.
    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 7

    Cruise on Milford Sound, explore Fiordland National Park

    #191

    This morning we’ll head towards Milford Sound on one of the most dramatically scenic drives in the world. We’ll pass through the Eglinton Valley, and wind our way through the mountains of Fiordland. Our drive takes us through the Homer Tunnel, an astounding feat of human engineering which must be seen to be believed. Once we arrive you’ll have the opportunity to explore Milford Sound and hopefully spot some friendly fur seals and dolphins. 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. This afternoon, we’ll explore the Fiordland wilderness on foot to check out some of its endemic flora and fauna, like the kea (Nestor notabilis), New Zealand’s notoriously cheeky and intelligent alpine parrot and the kotukutuku (Fuchsia excorticate), the world’s largest fuchsia.
    Matai Lodge, Te Anau (All meals)

  • Day 8

    Scenic journey to the West Coast

    #193

    Today, we’ll be making the scenic journey past beautiful rolling farmland and around the edge of Lake Wakatipu, leaving the dry-arid mountains behind us as we continue driving on the stunning road between Lake Wanaka and Hawea. There will be plenty of time for photo stops and we’ll have some lunch on the way before continuing over the Haast Pass, down into impressively dense rain forest as we near the West coast – a long stretch of gorgeous, rugged coastline with a population of only 40,000 people. We’ll mingle with the ‘coasters’ tonight in the tiny township of Haast, exchanging tales of our adventures at the local pub in front of a roaring fire.
    Heartland World Heritage Hotel, Haast (Breakfast, Dinner)

    Note: The 8-day trip option ends today in Queenstown. You will be dropped off en-route between Te Anau and Haast.

  • Day 9

    Hike to Copland Valley hot pools, Westland National Park

    #195

    Today we’ll hike into a stunningly beautiful mountain basin, set directly underneath the towering peaks of the Southern Alps, with an awesome highlight – natural hot pools! It’s a challenging six to seven hour hike 17 kilometres (10 miles) up the Copland Valley with a gradual elevation gain, but it’s absolutely worth it. Our guides are pretty tough and they’ll carry the lion’s share of the load. All you’ll be carrying is a backpack with your sleeping bag, a few spare clothes, and a share of our food. Tonight, we stay in one of New Zealand’s most spacious backcountry huts, a comfortable two-level building. One of the best things about hiking this track in winter is that we may well have the hut all to ourselves! While you soak in the natural hot pools your guide will whip up a hearty dinner.
    Welcome Flat Hut, Westland National Park (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 18 kilometres (11 miles), 6-7 hours
    Elevation Gain: 
    420 metres (1,380 feet)
    Elevation Loss: 
    40 metres (130 feet)

  • Day 10

    Hike to Douglas Rock

    #197

    Today we’ll hike further up the track towards Douglas Rock for even more amazing scenery and views of multiple glaciers clinging to the top of the mountain valley. If you prefer, you can have a relaxing day at the hut – soak in the hot pools, enjoy the stunning scenery, or relax with a good book. Either way, the hot pools are without a doubt the star attraction here, closely followed by the dramatic scenery.
    Welcome Flat Hut, Westland National Park (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 14 kilometres (8.6 miles), 6-7 hours
    Elevation Gain: 
    430 metres (1,410 feet)
    Elevation Loss: 
    430 metres (1,410 feet)

  • Day 11

    Hike Copland Valley

    #199

    An early start sees us on the track, a great time to be hikng with the fresh morning air and stillness. You’ll be feeling sprightly today after a relaxing evening in the rejuvinating hot pools and with the slightly downhill gradient, you’ll be in ‘cruise mode’ on the outward hike. Once back at the trailhead, we’ll rest our bodies with a scenic journey up the coast to the township of 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: 18 kilometres (11 miles), 4-6 hours
    Elevation Gain: 
    40 metres (130 feet)
    Elevation Loss: 
    420 metres (1,380 feet)

  • Day 12

    Kayak Okarito Lagoon, hike near Franz Josef Glacier

    #201

    This morning we’ll make 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 the 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. Once back in Franz Josef, you’ll have the option to take another hike to the terminal face for exceptional glacier views 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 13

    Hike Punakaiki rainforest and beaches

    #203

    This morning, we’ll travel along the coast to check out local art galleries and a pounamu carving workshop (pounamu is Maori for jade) in Hokitika. After lunch, we carry on to Punakaiki, where we’ll hike 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. While we’re in Punakaiki, we’ll also check out the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes – aptly named limestone formations that have been sculpted through relentless pounding by the Tasman Sea. Tonight we’ll enjoy a celebratory dinner for the last night of your trip.
    West Coast lodging, Punakaiki (All meals)

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

    Pancake Rocks Hiking Distance: 1 kilometre (0.6 mile), 0.5-1 hour
    Elevation Gain:
    9 metres (30 feet)
    Elevation Loss:
    9 metres (30 feet)

  • Day 14

    Depart for home

    We’ll leave after breakfast for the beautiful journey over Arthurs Pass to Christchurch. This is the last day of your ‘Winter Rimu’ 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’s winter landscape.
    (Breakfast, Lunch)

New Zealand Winter Adventure Departure Dates

  • Upcoming
  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 1 year

This trip is also available in 5 and 8-day options. The 5-day option starts on Day 1 of the itinerary and ends on Day 5. The 8-day option starts on Day 1 of the itinerary and ends on Day 8. Contact us for more information and prices.

USD $5499/pp
1 May 2023
2023
1 May14 May
New Zealand Winter Adventure 5/1/2023-5/14/2023
Departure Open Open
15 May 2023
2023
15 May28 May
New Zealand Winter Adventure 5/15/2023-5/28/2023
Departure Open Open
29 May 2023
2023
29 May5 Jun
New Zealand Winter Adventure 5/29/2023-6/5/2023
Departure Full Full
29 May 2023
2023
29 May11 Jun
New Zealand Winter Adventure 5/29/2023-6/11/2023
Departure Open Open
12 Jun 2023
2023
12 Jun25 Jun
New Zealand Winter Adventure 6/12/2023-6/25/2023
Departure Filling Up Filling Up
26 Jun 2023
2023
26 Jun9 Jul
New Zealand Winter Adventure 6/26/2023-7/9/2023
Departure Open Open
10 Jul 2023
2023
10 Jul23 Jul
New Zealand Winter Adventure 7/10/2023-7/23/2023
Departure Open Open
24 Jul 2023
2023
24 Jul6 Aug
New Zealand Winter Adventure 7/24/2023-8/6/2023
Departure Open Open
7 Aug 2023
2023
7 Aug20 Aug
New Zealand Winter Adventure 8/7/2023-8/20/2023
Departure Open Open
21 Aug 2023
2023
21 Aug3 Sep
New Zealand Winter Adventure 8/21/2023-9/3/2023
Departure Open Open
4 Sep 2023
2023
4 Sep17 Sep
New Zealand Winter Adventure 9/4/2023-9/17/2023
Departure Open Open
29 Apr 2024
2024
29 Apr12 May
New Zealand Winter Adventure 4/29/2024-5/12/2024
Departure Open Open
13 May 2024
2024
13 May26 May
New Zealand Winter Adventure 5/13/2024-5/26/2024
Departure Open Open
27 May 2024
2024
27 May9 Jun
New Zealand Winter Adventure 5/27/2024-6/9/2024
Departure Open Open
10 Jun 2024
2024
10 Jun23 Jun
New Zealand Winter Adventure 6/10/2024-6/23/2024
Departure Open Open
24 Jun 2024
2024
24 Jun7 Jul
New Zealand Winter Adventure 6/24/2024-7/7/2024
Departure Open Open
8 Jul 2024
2024
8 Jul21 Jul
New Zealand Winter Adventure 7/8/2024-7/21/2024
Departure Open Open
22 Jul 2024
2024
22 Jul4 Aug
New Zealand Winter Adventure 7/22/2024-8/4/2024
Departure Open Open
5 Aug 2024
2024
5 Aug18 Aug
New Zealand Winter Adventure 8/5/2024-8/18/2024
Departure Open Open
19 Aug 2024
2024
19 Aug1 Sep
New Zealand Winter Adventure 8/19/2024-9/1/2024
Departure Open Open
2 Sep 2024
2024
2 Sep15 Sep
New Zealand Winter Adventure 9/2/2024-9/15/2024
Departure Open Open
28 Apr 2025
2025
28 Apr11 May
New Zealand Winter Adventure 4/28/2025-5/11/2025
Departure Open Open
12 May 2025
2025
12 May25 May
New Zealand Winter Adventure 5/12/2025-5/25/2025
Departure Open Open
26 May 2025
2025
26 May8 Jun
New Zealand Winter Adventure 5/26/2025-6/8/2025
Departure Open Open
9 Jun 2025
2025
9 Jun22 Jun
New Zealand Winter Adventure 6/9/2025-6/22/2025
Departure Open Open
23 Jun 2025
2025
23 Jun6 Jul
New Zealand Winter Adventure 6/23/2025-7/6/2025
Departure Open Open

Interactive Trip Map: Click on the map icons to read details for each day

What Our Guests Say About the Trip

view all

- 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

Copland

Accommodation

We’ve selected the accommodation on your Winter Rimu trip for the stunning settings, unique character and adventuresome feel. We prefer to stay in quaint, comfortable bed and breakfasts, lodges and apartments, some of which have private bathrooms and some shared bathrooms. Some places are fairly basic - like when we stay at Mt. Aspiring Hut and Welcome Flat hut on our overnight hikes - and the true Kiwi experience makes it all worthwhile.
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 10 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 9:30am or the Christchurch airport (CHC) in front of the Help Desk (near door 7) at 10am. 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 9.30am on Monday.

Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Christchurch after 5pm on Sunday. If you are 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 3-4 trip, you’ll need a good level of fitness for this trip as it’s one of our more adventurous trips. Typically, hikes range between two and five hours to complete. While you don’t have to be extremely fit, you should be in the habit of doing regular aerobic exercise, ideally involving some hills, steps and carrying a backpack. Advance preparation means you’ll enjoy the active and outdoor nature of your trip even more.

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’ve selected the accommodation on your  trip for the stunning settings, unique character and adventuresome feel. We prefer to stay in quaint, comfortable bed and breakfasts, lodges and apartments, some of which have private bathrooms and some shared bathrooms. You may be sharing a two bedroom apartment or bathroom with other group members at some stage. Some places are fairly basic - like when we stay at Mt. Aspiring Hut and Welcome Flat hut on our overnight hikes - and the true Kiwi experience makes it all worthwhile.

If you've selected a single supplement for your trip, the overnight hike(s) are not included as no single rooms are available in the huts, and the single supplement price takes this into account.

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, a daypack and a trekking pack. Your main piece of luggage can be anything from a backpack, to a sports bag with wheels or a suitcase, a good quality daypack 25-30 litres (2000 cubic inches) to use throughout the days, and a trekking pack with well-fitting shoulder and waist straps for the overnight hikes. Your pack should have a volume of ~60 litres (3500 cubic inches), large enough to fit your sleeping bag inside along with all your multi-day gear.

What will the weather be like?

Seeing you’re visiting New Zealand during the winter months, temperatures tend to be pretty cold, so be sure to pack those extra warm layers (see the gear list below). On the odd occasion, the weather can get in the way of our planned activities, so we try and be as flexible as possible and we always have great Plan B’s up our sleeve! Your guides will always inform you of any changes that need to be made during the trip - we ask for your flexibility and understanding under these circumstances as such decisions are always made with your safety in mind.

Tell me about the overnight hikes?

Mt. Aspiring National Park
Your first overnight hike, into Mt. Aspiring Hut, is designed to ease you into the overnight hikes. It’s a three hour hike
(10 kilometres / 6 miles) to Mt. Aspiring Hut, your humble home for the night. Here you’ll be treated to a candle-lit
dinner - mountain style whilst looking up at New Zealand’s second highest peak! The following day you return the way you came, with a two hour detour up the Rob Roy Valley if the weather permits, and you’ll be treated to spectacular views of the glacier.

Copland track to Welcome Flat
After a few days of creature comforts your next overnight hike is designed to be a bit more of a challenge. You’ll be
carrying a slightly bigger pack (more clothes and food) and we’ll be hiking greater distances (17 kilometres / 11 miles).
You’ve got all day to make your way up the Copland track to Welcome Flat hut - and the rewards are well worth it! Be sure to pack your bathing suit as only five minutes from the hut door there are natural hot pools – the perfect antidote for weary muscles! You’ll spend the following day hiking further up the valley, soaking in the pools or reading a book in the hut while we cook up a storm for you! On the third day we retrace our steps down the valley.

While on the overnight hikes you’ll be sleeping in Department of Conservation (DOC) owned mountain huts. These unique huts are open to the public and are warm, dry and comfortable. They’re located in very remote areas (with amazing scenery) so they don’t have private rooms, electricity, hot water, phones or flushing toilets - and the view from the outhouse is second to none! This really is New Zealand’s wildest country and because it’s not possible to book these huts, you’ll meet and share the experience with other mountain adventurers and explorers.

You’ll be carrying a large backpack of around 60 litres (3500 cubic inches) in volume - strapping things to the outside of your pack is not recommended in New Zealand. Your other gear will be stored securely for you. Your guides will give you a gear list to check over prior to both overnight hikes.

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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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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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New Zealand Winter Adventure