New Zealand Custom & Special Interest Trips

We often find that families, special interest groups, or groups of friends, prefer to travel on their own custom trip, rather than being part of a group experiencing one of the itineraries we already have in place. And that’s awesome! We love working alongside groups who’d rather go down that route, to build the perfect trip for them..

Designing your custom adventure

If your group has decided you’d like to have your own custom trip, and likes the look of one of our itineraries, then it’s really easy to tailor it to the kind of adventure you’re after. For example if you have looked at our Rimu itinerary, and think it looks awesome, but you’d rather not have the backpacking experience (or the alternatives) then we can talk about shortening your custom trip, or filling those days with something more up your street. Alternatively, if you’ve looked through our trips and find that none of them are a good starting point for your adventure’s design, then we can start from the ground up and build something just the way you want it.

One of the coolest things about us here at Active is that we’re kiwis, who have seen and done virtually all that New Zealand has to offer – so you can be confident that the suggestions we make for your custom itinerary are coming from a bunch of explorers and adventurers who know their country inside out! We love getting off the beaten track, and into places you’d never find on your own, it’s what we’re all about.

Group Milford Sound snowy tops

Group Size and Transport

Our buses are either 19 or 20 seater Toyota Coasters, and we also have smaller Toyota Hiace vans for smaller groups. All our vehicles are kitted out with drinking water, snack baskets, and comfort kits with napkins, wipes, sunscreen, and insect repellent. We tend not to take more than 14 people on our adventures. It allows you to stay comfortable on the bus, and keeps things manageable for your guides. However if you have a slightly bigger group of eager adventurers then we can definitely talk this over with you.

Activities

Our active adventures in New Zealand generally include any combination of hiking, mountain biking, and sea kayaking, and when it comes to custom trips we can throw as much or as little of each into your adventure. New Zealand is covered with stunning lakes, so swimming is a rite of passage for adventurous visitors – it’s a great way to cool off after a hike, or to wake up and get the day started.

We’ll usually get out there and do it whatever the weather – unless we think it’s dangerous. So be sure to pack for four seasons in one day. A lot of New Zealand’s most impressive landscapes are arguably more stunning in the rain – so it’s not always a bad thing when it rains!

If you are hoping to add other activities to your custom trip we’d be more than happy to talk it over with you. Popular additions include: Wine Tasting, Boat Cruises, Farm Shows, Jet Boating, Bungee Jumping, Scenic Helicopter Flights, and heaps more! We can give you some great tips on the best locations in New Zealand to throw these activities in.

Wilkin river Jetboat

Food

Our trips are all inclusive. So once you’ve landed in New Zealand you can relax and let us take care of everything. As a general rule on our trips we’d say 50% of your meals will be catered by your guides, and eaten in private accommodations as a group, or as picnics if you're on the go. Our superstar guides are used to catering for all sorts of dietary requirements, so there's no need to worry about that! The other 50% of your meals will be out at our favourite restaurants. The only thing you’ll need to pay for is alcohol as it’s not included; but we definitely recommend sampling the New Zealand wine!

Braemar dinner amazing light

Accommodation

The accommodations we use on our adventures are hand-picked by us and always reflect kiwi hospitality. We use the best lodgings in the coolest places – which means they can come in all shapes and sizes, but are most often locally owned lodges and B&Bs.

If you decide to include a multi-day hiking experience in your custom trip, then we’ll stay in a cozy back-country hut for those nights. The network of back-country huts in the New Zealand wilderness are an opportunity to get right back to basics, and appreciate your travel companions and the natural beauty of your surroundings. We love escaping to a hut for the weekend.

Milford Lodge mountain view chalet

Guides

We are lucky enough at Active Adventures to have a team of the most awesome kiwi guides. They’re not just mega outdoors enthusiasts, great drivers, and great cooks, they’ll also make sure everything runs smoothly behind the scenes so you can relax and enjoy your trip. The size of the group you’re travelling in will depend on whether you have one guide or two, go have a read of the meet our guides page, and see who you could be sharing your adventure with. A past guest of Active Adventures described his guides as ‘A cross between Bear Grylls, David Attenborough, and a Four Seasons concierge.’ We reckon that’s a pretty accurate assessment!

When should you come to New Zealand?

Check out our Best time to visit New Zealand page to see which season is for you. We run most of our trips during the kiwi summer season (the northern hemisphere’s winter!) but we do also run winter adventure trips, and can definitely cater for custom adventurers during winter too.

So, if you reckon you’ve got your heart set on designing your own active adventure alongside our kiwi travel experts, then don’t be afraid to drop us a line and we’ll get into the details with you.

Other relevant information:

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New Zealand April 2016

“What a fantastic place to visit. Active Adventures lives up to its name by providing lots of great adventures that keep you very active. Wonderful guides and office staff to make the experience truly memorable. Would love to do it again...maybe see you Spring time.”
Texas, United States
Space City Kiwi Adventure, May 2016
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Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16212 reviews)

    Rimu—Feb., 2018

    Could not have been happier with our guides, their level of preparation/organization and the stunning scenery of the South Island.
    Tom Townes Review Image
    – North Carolina, United States
    Rimu, February 2018
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16212 reviews)

    Rimu - NZ South Island

    Our Rimu trip with Ken and Elder was truly a trip of a lifetime. The two of them were the perfect pair to lead our adventure -kind, warm, funny, and incredibly encouraging (for those of us who weren't quite sure we'd make it up the mountain!) My husband and I were fortunate to have both of our adult boys join us which made for a very memorable experience. New Zealand's South Island offered some of the most breathtaking landscapes we had ever seen. The hiking, kayaking, and biking was challenging and exhilarating. It was hard to say goodbye to the group who became like family. We have stayed in touch with some, and look forward to our next trip with Active.
    Gigi Altaras Review Image
    – Washington, United States
    Rimu, November 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16212 reviews)

    Rimu Rocks!

    The trip was awesome! I met a great bunch of fellow travelers and now have family in New Zealand in Jackie and Emma! I felt like we saw a lot of the South Island in 2 weeks. I loved my first experience in New Zealand and plan on coming back in 2020!
    Terry McNamara Review Image
    – Michigan, United States
    Rimu, January 2018
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16212 reviews)

    Exceeded my Expectations. A Trip to Treasure.

    Active adventures provided an outstanding New Zealand experience. Our guides (Tory and Jordie) went above and beyond during our South Island Rimu trip. Their passion for the outdoors as well as the traditions and culture of NZ enhanced the two week journey. As guides, I was most impressed by their attention to detail and safety. I appreciated the warm smiles, gems of knowledge and yummy meals on even the challenging hike days. For my birthday, during the three day hike at Nelson Lakes National Park, Tory and Jordie surprised me with two delicious cakes to share with my new hiking family. A moment I will treasure, enhanced by the breath taking views of the alpine lake at Angelus Hut.

    The beauty of the country surpassed my expectations, particularly sites like Milford Sound and Mt. Cook. Such a diverse, lush landscape, each hike offered a unique perspective of the stunning views. Combined with the kayaking and biking options, allowed for an exciting and interesting mix. The highlight of my two weeks was my heli-hike on the Tasman Glacier, such an unforgettable experience.

    I'm looking forward to future Active Adventure trips, but will definitely keep a little piece of NZ in my heart. A truly bucket list destination.


    Gigi (from The Bahamas)
    Gigi Smith Review Image
    – West Virginia, United States
    Rimu, July 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16212 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

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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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