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Maddi Keurntjes

New Zealand Guide

We have another Australian in our midst! Maddi was born and raised in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. The city that likes to claim every title... most liveable city, sporting capital and best coffee to just name a few (her claim, not ours!) But unfortunately it does not claim adventure capital of the world, so that is why you will find her here in Queenstown

What has been your greatest outdoor adventure?
My greatest outdoor adventure was spending 28 days backpacking in the Nelson Lakes National Park and travelling off-trail for multiple days at a time, being far, far away from any civilisation, visiting tremendous alpine lakes that very few people have witnessed before. Being completely disconnected from the outside world (with no mobile phones or showers), I truly gained a connection with nature that I will treasure forever.

What are your hobbies?
If I had to only pick a few hobbies, I would have to say: snowboarding, hiking, camping and travelling the world. Although, anything that gets the blood pumping and being outside is a hobby of mine!

Do you have a favourite quote?
"Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity" John Muir.

Describe a life experience that has shaped you today?
Once I finished studying at University I decided to experience a Canadian winter in the Rocky Mountains. My original plan was to stay for 3-6 months, but I ended up staying for nearly 2 years once I realised my strong love for the mountains. It was then when I became fully aware that my true passion is to be adventuring in the great outdoors. Ever since then I have been chasing the mountain lifestyle.

Have you studied beyond school? If so in what?
Once completing high school, I continued my study and graduated as a Myotherapist (Remedial Massage) at RMIT University in Melbourne. I enjoyed the short years of practising as a Myotherapist, decreasing client's pain and improving functional movement. But now it's time for me to get serious about playing in the great outdoors!

Maddi Keurntjes


“Maddi was fabulous. Our meals were all delicious and she went out of her way to find local delicacies when we expressed an interest in trying them. She listened to our preferences, for example, my husband loves banana bread. She made banana bread french toast on our last morning. Little acts of consideration like this were quite typical of Maddi. I found Maddi to be very no-nonsense in a gentle and patient way when she helped me on our bike ride and she helped me become a better hiker. She and Liana took turns being with me as I was slower than the others and their support and knowledge made the trip more enjoyable for me.”
- Sherrilee Rothwell (Red Lake, Ontario, Canada), Kauri October 2018

“Again... as with Jacki... I cannot say enough positive comments about Maddi. She was great... entertaining... and, just a great person to be around. She made great meals - and - was full of positive energy.”
- Greg Deffenbaugh (Denver, Colorado, United States), Kauri July 2018

“It WAS a most awesome trip and Maddi was an important part of it. It didn't take long to find out that Maddi knew how to prepare a great meal. I was impressed when she went over my participant info at the outset, noting my health issues and inquiring about my likes and dislikes. From day two on she always had a cold Coke waiting for me and it was very much appreciated. She was good to check up on me along the way, making sure I didn't leave something behind and encouraging me in my physical endeavors.”
- Steve Ashby (Memphis, Tennessee, United States), Rimu December 2017


Trip Reviews

  •   4.39 out of 5 (from 1228 reviews)

    An Outstanding Time!

    The north island deserves more notice than it gets in the press. A different world than the south island, well worth any time you can give it.
    Lissa Jackson Review Image
    – Tennessee, United States
    Kauri, April 2017
  •   4.39 out of 5 (from 1228 reviews)

    Kiwi & Active Adventures - Perfect!

    With great anticipation, and admittedly high expectations, Ann and I left New Orleans on Christmas Day to begin our trip to the North Island of New Zealand. We each had long wanted to see this special place! From the moment that Phil and Vanessa picked us up, until the time that Phil and Elder dropped us at the airport for our return flight, we could not have been happier, or more satisfied, with our trip. Phil, Vanessa, and Elder were perfect guides... and hosts. The history and information that Phil shared along the way helped us understand, and therefore appreciate even more, the places we visited and the people we met. We fell in love with the North Island, and its people and history! With Active Adventures having arranged practically everything, and Phil, Vanessa, and Elder taking great care of us along the way (even preparing our last 2 wonderful evening meals), we had nothing to do but rise each morning and enjoy our day! Perfect!
    Thad Minaldi Review Image
    – Louisiana, United States
    Kauri, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 5004 reviews)

    It doesn't get much better!

    What a fantastic time traveling with family and new-found friends! New Zealand is an absolutely beautiful country, with thrills and adventure around every corner (and there a lot of them)! Our guides Ken and Elder were as good as they come; from their knowledge of the country, to their welcomed encouragement on the trail and the water. Oh, and did I mention their wholesome and delicious cooking?!?
    I would not hesitate to travel with Active Adventures again. Their organization, communication and willingness to please were simply over the top. Next year in Patagonia perhaps???
    Dean Altaras Review Image
    – Washington, United States
    Rimu, February 2017
  •   4.39 out of 5 (from 1228 reviews)

    This trip exceeded every expectation. Every activity was more exciting than the last, never was there a dull moment. The hikes, especially the hike to Cape Brett and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, were absolutely incredible. Andy and Jo were the perfect team. Andy always kept us occupied with good stories and always had a backup plan if we weren't able to do something on the itinerary. He took the time on hikes to stop and point out unique things that otherwise would have been missed. "Mama Jo" really looked after us and made sure we all had the most amazing time. I have no idea where she found the energy to always be the one running back up the mountain to help carry the backpacks of tired hikers and then get back to the accommodations and cook everybody a delicious dinner. They were more than just tour guides, they were our family. I highly recommend this trip!
    Cassidy Anderson Review Image
    – Vermont, United States
    Kauri, November 2016
  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1902 reviews)

    Unbelievable weather!

    Our guides really made the trip! Katie and Eve were fantastic, and the South Island was so beautiful. I can't recommend the Tui trip enough.
    Katrina Linder Review Image
    – Pennsylvania, United States
    Tui, November 2017



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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