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NZ Travel Guide

How to Get To, From and Around NZ!

Flying to New Zealand

New Zealand is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and although the original Maori settlers arrived in canoes, most people choose to get to New Zealand by jet plane these days! The new era of international aviation was ushered in with the first flight to New Zealand from Australia by Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm in September 1928, but the most famous (in NZ) was Guy Menzies' unauthorised solo flight from Sydney to Hari Hari in 1931. He had logged a flight plan to Melbourne, but snuck across the Tasman Ocean instead, though with a rather un-graceful crash landing in a swamp - most people will experience a far smoother landing on their international flight into New Zealand! On that subject, we've written a guide to surviving a long-haul flight which you might want to take a look at.

heli nz

Getting Around New Zealand

Well, naturally we reckon that the best way to get around is to join one of our New Zealand tours! This way you'll get to see the very best of our country, hassle free, with the locals and without having to dip into your wallet every five minutes! Now that we've got that out of the way, generally speaking, the main method of transport is via internal flights, buses, and cars. There are limited rail links, though some of these are more tourist-oriented and very spectacular, such as the Trans-Alpine from Christchurch to Greymouth on the South Island. For some visitors, the preferred mode of transport is the campervan (known locally as mobile road blocks). Campervans vary hugely in size and facilities, from American RV-style monstrosities to highly-decorated VW Combi-style converted vans that are popular with the backpacker crowd. It's also possible to rent a car in major centres and the more popular tourist towns - just remember to stay on the left hand side of the road! .

And for the more fancy-free traveller, cycle-touring is a popular method of travel - you will often see heavily-laden cyclists pedalling their way around the countryside - and hitch-hiking is probably the cheapest way to get around New Zealand. If cycle-touring is your thing, but 'heavily-laden' sounds ominous, then you may want to check out our New Zealand Biking Adventure 'Weka' trip. 


getting around nz

Trip Reviews

  •   4.38 out of 5 (from 1209 reviews)

    Very Glad We Added Kauri to Our Trip

    We added Kauri to our Rimu trip because we wanted to spend more time with the Maori culture and see the north island. Our wishes were more than fulfilled by this excellent trip.
    Rick Lent Review Image
    – Massachusetts, United States
    Kauri, December 2017
  •   4.70 out of 5 (from 266 reviews)

    Review of the Kiwi trip

    I chose to visit NZ with Active Adventures because I wanted to experience the South Island from tip to toe in an active fashion. The trip was exactly what I wanted. I loved hiking and kayaking, enjoyed visiting the towns and was swept away by the scenery. I learned a lot about the country's history, geology and mythology from my two guides. And I had fun.
    Barbara Delaney Review Image
    – Maryland, United States
    Kiwi, March 2017
  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1882 reviews)

    Professionalism and Exceptionalism Beyond Expectations!

    Our recent Tui trip of the South Island was absolutely the trip of a lifetime and more than I could have ever hoped for! As a very seasoned, frugal, independent, tour-averse traveller, signing up and spending the money for this trip was a bit out of character for me. However, that being said, this was probably the best travel investment I have ever made in my life! We packed so many amazing adventures into eight days, with the kindest most knowledgeable and most professional guides ever, that I seriously doubt I could have recreated it on my own. I cannot recommend Active Adventures and our guides Claire and Rachael highly enough and am already looking forward to and planning my next adventure this year with them!
    Chris Gan Review Image
    – Washington, United States
    Tui, January 2017
  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1882 reviews)

    Tui experience

    This trip provided a good balance of activities with the necessary travel time to access the different parts of the South Island. The trip was well organized, and the guides were super. They accommodated our individual desires and capabilities, as well as being good cooks, leaders, and knowledgeable guides. Our group quickly melded into collegial and interesting companions, and that make the experience that much better. The itinerary provides a taste all that the South Island offers. I'm happy to have chosen this company to tour with.
    Gary Ezzell Review Image
    – Arizona, United States
    Tui, February 2017
  •   4.70 out of 5 (from 266 reviews)

    Wonderful Trip

    A wonderful experience....Koru and Lauren were fantastic guides and showed us the best New Zealand has to offer. From Maori history to present day sights the tour was constantly informative and inspirational. Although it was "guided" they gave plenty of freedom to hike at your own pace, take in the sights without feeling rushed and allowed ample time to take in all NZ has to offer.
    Brandi Sima Review Image
    – Maryland, United States
    Kiwi, February 2018



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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