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Astrid Harrison

New Zealand Guide

Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I was born in Timaru and I grew up on a sheep/cattle farm in South Canterbury with my two older brothers. I grew up having many pet lambs and calves every year along with 4 cats at some stage! Think my love for animals and the outdoors came from growing up in this environment and being able to explore on the farm.

What are you hobbies?

My hobbies are hiking and swimming! If there's a beautiful swimming spot ill get in it no matter the temperature or weather. I also love sewing and enjoy up-cycling old clothes into something new!

What has been your greatest outdoor adventure?

My greatest outdoor adventure was walking the Camino De Santiago last summer in Spain. It was an amazing experience were I meet many extraordinary people while getting to see the beautiful diverse countryside of northern Spain.

What did you do before you became a guide?

Lots of different stuff! I was a Massage and Aromatherapist and have worked with the elderly as a dementia caregiver. I have also had experience in hospitality and retail.

Do you have a favourite quote?

"Not all those who wander are lost."

Have you studied beyond school? If so in what?

YesI have a Diploma in Beauty Therapy, specialising in Massage and Aromatherapy.

Astrid Harrison


“She was also sooooo amazing. Loved her too - so fun and easy and helpful always. Great food that were picture perfect. ”
- Colleen Clark (Oshawa, Ontario, Canada), Rimu January 2018

“Astrid absolutely ensures that we had an amazing trip. Not only did she have the most positive. Chillest attitude about everything, but she always made sure thecvan was loaded with everyone’s favorite snacks, she was excellent at reading people and accommodating everyone’s needs. I was so impressed by her amazing attitude and willingness to bend over backwards to accommodate anyone- I certainly could not have done so myself. She cooked us incredible meals and worked magic with the food. She was always on her A-game. Honestly I don’t know when she ever slept. She was always busy taking care of us. Truly, an excellent guide.”
- Tiffany Dawson (Novato, California, United States), Rimu December 2017

“The best host! This girl deserves a medal! Even after a long day she is more than happy to offer cups of tea and make snacks for everyone, always saying to the group to sit down and relax and she'll bring us over everything we need. Always had a smile and joking and laughing. The type of person who can just get on with everyone and very patient when the group started to get tired. ”
- Jen Morse (Queenstown, New Zealand), Rimu November 2017

Trip Reviews

  4.64 out of 5 (from 565 reviews)

I wasn't ready for the trip to end!

I don't even know where to let's start at the beginning. I spent the last year dreaming about going to New Zealand, trying to talk just one friend into going with me, and finally, with some encouragement from family, booking this trip as a first time solo traveler. And let me be clear- that was the best decision I could have made! I enjoyed every single minute of my trip and wouldn't change the experience of traveling solo for anything. From the moment I met Gary and Mel, I knew that I had made the right decision. They were welcoming, to all, from the moment they met us. Right away I knew I had nothing to worry about, and worry I did prior to the start of the trip. I could not have asked for a better group of travel mates; it was as if you had hand-picked who should be on the trip together. They were amazing! The experiences on the trip would not have been nearly as amazing if it wasn't for these awesome people with whom I had the good fortune to travel.
Gary and Mel were kind, patient, and so easy to be around. They answered every question a novice like myself asked, without ever making me feel like an idiot. Gary was witty, kept us going, and a super safe driver! ( I am not a big fan of mountain roads with cliffs on the edge that lead to instant death and not once did I fear for my life.) Mel's cooking...holy smokes was it good; so much so that the pounds I was so sure I would lose on the trip didn't happen. She has even inspired me to try to cook a couple of her dishes this winter. She made it look so easy, even with the varied diets of the group. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I had chatting with both Gary and Mel wherever we were: on the bus, hiking, eating or playing cards. They brought us all together.
Now, for the adventures! Every day was different from the day prior. I saw and experienced so many new things that I can't stop talking about it. I loved the really challenging hikes (Sealy Tarns and Alex Knob) and the slower paced treks through the rain forest and valleys. The night sky at Mt. Aspiring Hut is indescribable! While we were unable to go on the second overnight hike due to weather, Gary and Mel didn't miss a beat. We were so busy and had so much fun, even in the rain, that you would never have known that we were doing almost 3 days of alternate activities. Major kudos to them for this! I could keep going on how much I enjoyed every aspect of my trip. This was the first vacation I have been on where I didn't want it to end and it truly was the trip of a lifetime. I can't wait to book my next trip with Active Adventures!
Melissa Munno Review Image
– California, United States
Winter Rimu, August 2016
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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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