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Manuka Tree (Leptospermum scoparium)

Tea Tree

manuka

Photo by Nzmanukagroup.com

The manuka or ‘tea tree’ is a common small tree or shrub found around New Zealand, particularly in drier areas where it is generally the dominant shrubland plant. The manuka plant is related to the Australian ‘tea tree’ (melaleuca) and both have many medicinal uses. The plants became known as tea tree because early pioneers used it to make a tea, although it would be safe to say that flavour isn’t one of manuka tea’s strong points! Manuka sawdust, however, is used for smoking fish and meats to impart a delicious flavour.

New Zealand Manuka Honey

Manuka honey is highly prized not only for its distinctive strong taste but it has been shown to have extraordinary anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It is often used topically to help heal boils, burns, cuts and even acne as well as soothe sore throats when taken either by the spoonful or in freshly brewed lemon, manuka honey and ginger tea. If you’re buying manuka honey for its healing properties, look for a seal certifying the highest “Unique Manuka Factor” (UMF) you can find, or afford. UMF is still being studied, but its amazing healing properties is said to be due to a unique ingredient only found in New Zealand manuka honey and its health benefits haven’t been duplicated by any other type of honey or natural remedy. 

Where to find the Manuka Tree

The Manuka, our New Zealand hiking tour, was named after this plant that grows prolifically just north of the township of Te Anau, on the drier eastern edge of Fiordland National Park. The manuka plant can be seen on most of our South Island adventure tours that explore Milford Sound. Look for an evergreen shrub that grows up to 5m (16 feet) high and has small spiky leaves and very dark branches. The plant has pretty white flowers (sometimes pink) and it’s commonly confused with its close relative, kanuka, which has softer leaves and grows taller.

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 5003 reviews)

    South Island trip of a lifetime

    An absolutely awesome adventure with fantastic guides Vanessa and Tory. Experiencing parts of the great tramps in New Zealand of Kepler, Routeburn, Mueller Hut, Inland pack track at Punakaiki and Angelus Hut are a great introduction to tramping in NZ. I will definitely be back to complete some of the tramps. The Angelus hut hike was one of the hardest I have done (I hike regularly in Western Australia) and I loved every second of it. I would do the Angelus hut Nelson lakes hike again in a heart beat. The cycle along the Hawea river was stunning. Every day was a highlight of the trip.
    Amie Culverson Review Image
    – Western Australia, Australia
    Rimu, May 2017
  •   4.69 out of 5 (from 248 reviews)

    New Zealand and Kiwis are the Best!

    It would be difficult to overstate how impressed I was with our Active Adventure tour. Mel and Claire were absolutely incredible!! Steve was great too, but he was only with us for the hike up and back from the Aspiring Hut. Plus, he was weighed down by a rock he so generously carried up the hill for Mel.
    Anyway, Mel and Claire made Active Adventures (and New Zealand) look so good! They were EVERYTHING I could hope for: friendly, funny, knowledgeable, professional, hard-working, kind, easy-going, energetic, .... Thank you for one of the best 2-week periods of my entire life!
    Mike Schimpf Review Image
    – California, United States
    Kea, January 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)

    Wonderful Choice!

    A trip to New Zealand was on my "bucket list" and my husband chose this trip for the south island. I think this is a wonderful way to see the outstanding scenery of the south island. We will be back!
    Lissa Jackson Review Image
    – Tennessee, United States
    Tui, April 2017
  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1902 reviews)

    Tui Trip Nov 2017

    My husband and I, along with two other friends, went on the 8 day Tui Trip in November of 2017. It was truly the trip of a lifetime. We spent additional time in NZ on our own, but the Tui Trip was the hands down highlight. This type of trip was our of our usual wheelhouse, typically preferring city based trips, but this may have changed our outlook forever! The day hike in Siberia Valley and night spent under the stars was a personal favorite. Ben and Liana were incredible guides. They made us feel at home immediately, and kept it fun and casual throughout. Our group was the perfect size. By the end of 8 days, it felt like we were leaving a new family behind. I would recommend this trip to anyone and everyone and would do it again in a heart beat!
    Lindsay Busch Review Image
    – Pennsylvania, United States
    Tui, December 2017

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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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