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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
Read Reviews

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4984 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
  •   4.38 out of 5 (from 1211 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 4984 reviews)

    Rimu nov. 27 - dec. 10 '17

    This trip was unsurpassed by any other I've ever been a part of! Ben and Emma seemed like family to us with their wonderful cooking, extreme knowledge of the island and extraordinary skill as guides made every step of every hike better than the last!
    I have not stopped singing the praises of Active Adventures to my like minded friends since returning!
    You really 'knocked this one out of the park'!
    Bob Anderson Review Image
    – Georgia, United States
    Rimu, January 2018
  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1888 reviews)

    Terrific Tui

    What a great route and selection of activities! Informative and fun guides, well-managed accommodations, and good eats! A wonderful tour and experience.
    Matthew Gonser Review Image
    – Hawaii, United States
    Tui, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4984 reviews)

    Trip of a Lifetime!

    This was such an amazing trip! Our guides Ash and Astrid did a fantastic job. Everyday was met with amazing views and challenging activities like kayaking, biking and hiking. Two weeks felt like a month because we did so much in one day but there was still some down time to enjoy the beauty that is New Zealand. A must for anyone who wants to be active in New Zealand.
    Kilo Piedra Review Image
    – California, United States
    Rimu, March 2018

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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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