Special Events

New Zealand is well known as a sporting nation, in the traditional sense with sports like cricket, rugby and soccer, but also in terms of individual pursuits, like sailing, surfing, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and multi-sport adventure racing (to name a few). Many kiwis grow up with the mountains, rivers and forests at their doorstep, so these activities are second nature and as they grow in popularity globally - take paddle boarding as a recent example - New Zealand's appeal grows. Athletes from around the world regularly visit our shores to compete in international racing events such as the Auckland Triathlon, the Kathmandu Coast to Coast and GODZone. 

New Zealand is also renowned for producing fantastic wine and wholesome, locally produced food, and now many regions throughout New Zealand offer a unique event to showcase their produce, such as the Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration, the Bluff Oyster Festival and the Whitianga Scallop Festival. 

If you're visiting New Zealand to take part in, or experience an event and you'd like to do some exploring 'Active-style', get in touch with us and we'll help you to choose a trip that fits your dates and event location. 

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New Zealand Events Calendar

Event Date
World Buskers Festival, Christchurch January 16th – 26th
Challenge Wanaka Triathlon, Wanaka January 18th
Ironman Triathlon, Auckland January 19th
Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration January 30th – February 1st
Auckland Rugby Leauge Nines January 30th - February 1st
Rippon Music Festival February 1st
Rugby Sevens, Wellington February 7th – 8th
Marlborough Wine & Food Festival February 8th
Kathmandu Coast to Coast February 14th – 15th
Art Deco Weekend, Napier February 20th – February 23rd
Shotover Moonlight Mountain Marathon February 22nd
New Zealand Golf Open, Queenstown February 27th – March 2nd
GODZone Adventure Race February 28th - March 7th
Motatapu Racing Event March 4th
Pacifika Festival March 8th – March 9th
Hokitika Wildfoods Festival March 14th
Gibston Wine & Food Festival March 15th
Queenstown Bike Festival March 22nd – April 1st
Balloons over Waikato, Hamilton March 26h – March 30th
M2C Multisport Race: Turoa – Whanganui April 4th – April 6th
Warbirds Over Wanaka Air Show April 18th – 20th
Arrowtown Autumn Festival April 25th – May 3rd
New Zealand International Comedy Festival April 24th – 18th May
Bluff Oyster Festival May 23rd
New Zealand Music Month May
Queenstown Winter Festival June 20th – 29th
Restaurant Month – Auckland August
Scallop Festival, Whitianga September 6th 
World Of Wearable Arts, Wellington September 25th – October 12th
Auckland Marathon November 2nd
New Zealand Conservation Week November 1st – 9th
Queenstown Marathon November 22nd
Rhythm and Vines Music Festival December 28th – December 30th
Rhythm and Alps Music Festival December 30th - 31st

- Dates are approximate and may change slightly year to year.

Special Events New Zealand

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Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16244 reviews)

    Trip of a Lifetime!

    I am still basking in the glow from this remarkable trip! I admit that I was a bit nervous at first as I was the oldest person in our group and not as fit (for hiking) as some in the group, so I worried about 'keeping up' on the hikes - especially the steeper climbs. Ben and Lauren were very reassuring and encouraging and I felt that I was able to 'hold my own'. In fact, while the hiking was probably the most challenging I've done in at least 7 years, it was the most rewarding/exhilarating part for me. I loved our group - a very positive, health-conscious and fun group of people from all walks of life. It was also wonderful that we were only 12 people - it helped to create a much more intimate and personal atmosphere. I felt we bonded together well - again, thanks to Ben and Lauren's great skills with ice-breaking, fun games, and ability to set and maintain a positive atmosphere from the beginning.
    From the moment we set off from the airport to the emotional farewells back at the airport at the end of the trip, this was a top notch adventure. Our transportation was comfortable, our accommodations were always different and unique and very comfortable - I loved that they weren't all in your standard hotel and that some of them were really off the beaten track. The food was amazing - from the snack basket in the van, loaded fresh every day with fruit and other snacks, to the amazing meals that Lauren and Ben created and the breakfasts and dinners that we had at various restaurants - there was a lot of variety, special dietary considerations were accounted for and there was lots of it!
    I did the kayak option and it was outstanding. The B&B and our hosts were wonderful (the hot tub at the end of the day was most appealing!) and our kayak guide, Nick was terrific - very accommodating, skilled and he made it all very interesting and fun!
    I cannot say enough about our incredible guides - Ben and Lauren - they truly moved the bar for me from a great trip to one that will go down in history for me as the trip of a lifetime. They were so knowledgeable about the island - I loved listening to the legends/folklore and learning more about the vegetation, birds, etc. Ben was a terrific driver - I always felt safe. Lauren was terrific with her cooking and meal presentations - meals looked fantastic and tasted even better! Both Ben and Lauren added those special touches from decorating the bus for the Christmas season, organizing our Secret Santa, making a fantastic Christmas morning breakfast, complete with Christmas crackers and special hats, managing extra logistics like re-booking the paragliding for us, setting up the helicopter tour, taking the time and effort to help reconnect people with items they had left behind either in our accommodations or on a hike/kayak. They even had the perfect music for when we went through the Homer Tunnel and down into Milford Sound - the combination of the music and the scenery was so moving it had several of us in tears! They really ensured that they got to know each person and took a genuine interest in each person. Their positive energy and enthusiasm was infectious. They took kindness and customer service to a new level! The scenery was breathtaking everywhere we went. It would be hard for me to say what the favourite part was or favourite view as the South Island is simply spectacular. I felt that the trip was organized in such a way that I really got a good feel and appreciation for the South Island. Truly New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places (both 'inside and out') that I have ever visited (and I've visited over 20 other countries around the world). I really loved the more laid-back way of life and the local people we met were so welcoming and kind. I would love to come back again and see the North Island but also re-visit the South Island!
    I highly recommend this trip and have already suggested it to a number of my friends. It really was transformational for me on so many levels! My heartfelt thanks to Ben and Lauren and everyone at Active Adventures!
    Sue Hazell Review Image
    – Ontario, Canada
    Rimu, January 2018
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16244 reviews)

    Tui in February

    I combined Kauri with Tui and it was the perfect blend to see both Islands in New Zealand. My Tui experience was terrific. It certainly was an active adventure!
    Andrea King Review Image
    – Connecticut, United States
    Tui, March 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16244 reviews)

    Even Cyclone Cook couldn't dampen our fun

    I hopped onto the last half of the Kauri after two weeks on the South Island in the Rimu adventure. It just so happened that we had a cyclone hit the island that week, so everything was very wet, to say the least. But everything still worked out okay! We still did lots of hiking in the rain, which was fun in itself. The views were not the same as they would be on a clear day, but different doesn't mean bad. They were unique, and there were a lot of rainbows thanks to the water. We even did the mountain biking in the downpour, which was hilariously muddy and still a lot of fun. Overall, the people were good, the guides were excellent, the food was fantastic, and the trip was terrific.
    Janine Carbone Review Image
    – New Hampshire, United States
    Kauri, April 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16244 reviews)

    An Amazing Experience!

    I loved this trip!! We had a great group of 13, with two guides who were professional, flexible, knowledgeable and just as kind as could be. Every aspect of the trip was developed and planned to maximize our time and enjoyment!! The countryside is so beautiful it takes your breath away!! I highly recommend this trip!!
    Ellen Scopa Review Image
    – Massachusetts, United States
    Manuka, April 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16244 reviews)

    Melissa's Weka Adventure

    I knew from pictures taken by family that New Zealand is a beautiful place but the beauty is much deeper than the eye can see. Everyone we came in contact with was wonderful and I can't think of enough superlatives to describe our guides, Nick and Elder. The trip was above our expectations. The biking was varied and interesting and the hikes worth every step. The food was too good and we enjoyed the variation in accommodations. We would go back and do it again.
    Melissa Contos Review Image
    – Virginia, United States
    Weka, February 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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