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Air New Zealand

OK, so it's true, the image above is not an Air New Zealand plane! Though it is way cooler, it's the scenic flight you'd take if you were joining us on our 8-day 'Tui' trip in the South Island. The bad news? New Zealand is kind of a long way from most of the rest of the world, so you'll need a slightly bigger plane. depending on how you look at it though, that's a good thing too, as it means we still have plenty of wilderness - like Siberia Valley photo above. 

The good news? It’s closer than you might think. For instance, it’s before Australia, in fact it’s three hours less flight time if you’re flying from North America.

To get to New Zealand, you jump on a 12 hour overnight flight from Los Angeles or San Francisco. It’s no worse than flying to Europe from the west coast of the US, and as a matter of practice, it’s way easier because you’re asleep! And not only that, but in the New Zealand summer, it’s only a three hour time difference, so you’ll be free of the dreaded jetlag and fresh and ready for your adventures.

And the great news? Our national airline, Air New Zealand, is, by the standards of modern airlines, a hassle free, relaxed and comfortable way to get here.

Air New Zealand is a small airline amongst giants, and a very successful one at that. It was named 'Airline of the Year' in the Global Airline Awards 2012, after previously winning in 2010. In other words, an industry body rated it as the very best airline in the world! Can’t argue with that! There are plenty of reasons for the accolades:

  • Most importantly, Air New Zealand often has pretty good airfares. Like all airlines, they’ve been hit by rising fuel prices and so on, but rates from the UK can be as low as ₤600. Flights from the US tend to start at around US$1000, round trip. Obviously these rates can vary, but if you shop ahead and look for bargains, you can get some very good deals.
  • The flights from North America all leave at night and arrive in the morning, so everyone falls asleep. It’s the best way to travel – and when you wake up, you’re on final approach for Auckland International Airport, not long till you get your boots on New Zealand soil!
  • The Air New Zealand website is easy to use, and totally reliable.
  • Air New Zealand has a first class safety record, as you’d expect.
  • The aircraft fleet is extremely modern. On international routes it flies Boeing 747 and 777 aircraft, and is one of the scheduled launch customers for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
  • It takes comfort and service very, very seriously. Active Adventures staff frequently fly internationally, for business and pleasure, and we know a good airline from a bad one. This one’s a good one! Air New Zealand concierges have been known to call its travellers the day before they fly, and see if there’s anything they can do to make your flight more comfortable. Try asking them for a Crunchie bar – one of the most fabulous chocolate bars. They taste even better at 40,000 feet!
  • Air New Zealand has pioneered an extraordinary innovation for long haul economy class travel – the 'Skycouch' fare. The airline has designed and developed a new sort of seat, which basically means that two people can have a row of three economy seats to themselves, and after the dinner service, the economy seat converts to a couch, and both people can lie down properly and sleep their way to New Zealand. It’s a fabulous new way to fly! You can read more about the Skycouch here.
  • Air New Zealand also offers good rates on its extremely comfortable 'Premium Economy' service, and, if you have the bucks or the airpoints, its’ Business Class', which is really 'First Class' by another name, is second to none. If you’re lucky enough to fly international in Air New Zealand 'Business Class', you get a huge range of perks. Awesome meals (of course), access to really nice lounges, complete with hot showers, top notch service on board, a proper monitor for watching movies, and, the best bit – a seat pod, with loads of privacy, which converts to a full, lie flat seven foot bed.

If we sound a little over the top about Air New Zealand, it’s because we are really proud of our national airline. Many of our clients over the years have commented that they were intimidated by the prospect of a long flight to New Zealand, but they didn’t realise that the evening flight schedule meant they could sleep the whole way, and that they were really impressed with the comfort and amenities on board. And, Air New Zealand’s cabin crew are chosen very carefully, trained to the highest standards, and are experts in making your flight as relaxed as possible.

You can read more about Air New Zealand here, or check out their fares here.

And of course, there are other airlines flying to New Zealand too. You can fly with Qantas from Los Angeles, or if you're looking for an American carrier try Hawaiian AirlinesUnited Airlines or American Airlines.

See you in New Zealand!

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16244 reviews)

    Rimu Trip - Should be #1 on Your Bucket List

    First of all, the guides were "hands-down" the "BEST EVER"!!! They made this trip extra special. Katie C and Lauren were always looking out for our best interest. They were great at engaging each of us in the group, they took the time to get to know each one of us, they made sure they included groceries that you liked and more. They were fun, energetic and full of happiness! They worked very hard and feed us very well. The food was amazing!!! A big THANK YOU to both of you beautiful young women! Thank you active adventures for hiring fun and inspiring women!
    Vicki Igou Review Image
    – California, United States
    Rimu, December 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16244 reviews)

    Perfect Trip for anyone who loves Nature!

    If you enjoy being outdoors and like to challenge yourself this trip is for you. I wasn't an avid hiker before signing up for the Rimu trip but after reading the itinerary I knew I couldn't pass up this amazing opportunity. You never know what you are capable of until you try and that is how I feel after climbing up to the Angelus Hut and hiking to Mueller ridge. I had never climbed a mountain before (since there are no mountains where I live) but the views are more than worth the climb.
    This trip is the best way to see all that the South Island has to offer, it is the perfect balance between adventure, relaxation, self-exploration, and cultural immersion. Anyone can go to New Zealand and rent a car and go hiking, biking, and Kayaking; however, they will miss out on the best parts of traveling to a new place and that is the knowledge and culture that only someone who lives there would know. The guides (Tory and Vanessa) were awesome! Tory is an amazing cook, and Ness was great at making jokes and keeping the atmosphere cheery during the longer drives. I loved listening to the guides tell us about the Maori people and the local legends or folklore. I actually thought Ness was lying to me when she would tell me that the views get better after being left speechless by the scenery, but every day was better than the previous!
    I have to mention the FOOD!!! The food alone is enough for me to sign up for this trip again. When I travel I don’t always know what the local food is or would be but with this trip the guides cook you all sorts of local food and all the food is fresh and delicious. If you don’t like something they will make sure to accommodate you.
    Ness and Tory made you feel like this was a trip among friends and family, not strangers. I will come back to New Zealand again!
    Brian Heinz Review Image
    – Wisconsin, United States
    Rimu, May 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16244 reviews)


    First, there is the magical place that is New Zealand -- unique, varied, and beautiful. Second, there is the operation that is Active Adventures -- organized, engaged, and attentive. Together, they make for an outstanding experience. Thank you!
    Nanette Bahlinger Review Image
    – Tennessee, United States
    Kauri, December 2016
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16244 reviews)

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16244 reviews)

    Wonderful Adventure around the South Island

    We do a lot of travelling and this was one of the best trips we have ever done. the guides - Elder and Nick - are top notch. Their attention to detail, sense of humour and advanced cooking skills made the trip. The weather made it a bit of a challenge, particularly on the west (wet) coast, but they kept our spirits up and all of us safe and sound. I highly recommend this trip to anyone who wishes to see and experience the most of what the South Island has to offer. In slightly less than 2 weeks. If you are mentally prepared for some coolish, wet weather, so much the better. This was an active trip, with many options for additional cycling and hiking, which we took advantage of - which made it all the better. Fitness helped a lot. A must do.
    Murray Beare Review Image
    – Ontario, Canada
    Weka 13-day, February 2017



Approx NZ flight times

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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