New Zealand Wildlife Tours

New Zealand as a destination is a great option for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers - you can see dolphins, seals, penguins, kiwi, kea, whales, albatross, sea lions and many other creatures in their natural environment. Our ethos is well known - we pride ourselves on our '100% Pure' approach and attitude. New Zealand's ancient podocarp forests, clear streams and rich oceans provide the ultimate environment for a plethora of bird species, sea mammals, fish and reptiles.

Back in 2006 we ran our first dedicated wildlife tour, called the 'Hoiho'. It was crafted by one of our guides, Lynette Warmington (who now happens to be our client services extraordinaire!) and was launched to immediate praise, named one of the top 25 new trips in the world by National Geographic Adventure magazine. The 'Hoiho' combines opportunities to view wildlife in stunning areas like the Catlins and Kaikoura, with the essential Active ingredients of hiking and kayaking. Over 13 days this tour showcases the best of the South Island from a unique wildlife enthusiast point of view. If you'd like to learn more about the 'Hoiho' or other wildlife tour opportunities in New Zealand, get in touch by filling out the quote form below (or giving us a call).

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You can learn more about New Zealand's curious wildlife on our NZ nature page.

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Hoiho - Till We Meet Again

“Our second trip with Active NZ was awesome! Mike was the 'man with many talents' and never let us down. We saw plenty of wildlife, including Hoiho (yellow-eyed penguins), whales, dolphins, seals, and too many birds to count. Mike was encouraging and showed us that we had the strength to make it to the summits at Mt. Isobel and Ben Lomond. My husband and I even fulfilled an item from our 'bucket list' and Bungy jumped from the Kawarau Bridge. Active NZ knows how to show you the beauty of their country and let you become a 'Kiwi' for a couple weeks. I wish I was still there! ”
Illinois, United States
Guide's Choice: Hoiho, January 2013
Read Reviews

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16240 reviews)

    Lots of fun, great guides

    Guides Phil & Jo kept us busy with a variety of fun activities. The time just flew. I'd love to join another trip led by Phil & Jo.
    Rich Partridge Review Image
    – New York, United States
    Kauri, March 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16240 reviews)

    Outstanding Adventure Vacation

    Our Active Adventures trip was outstanding! The entire process was a tremendous experience. Staff were responsive and friendly during the "sign up" phase. Our guides Jordie and Holly are two of the finest professional, friendly and knowledgeable guides we've had the pleasure to work with. Shout out for both of these wonderful people! They did a marvelous job managing group dynamics to ensure everyone was motivated and individual needs were met. Well trained and both have mastered the skillful art of quality customer service. Keep up the good work!
    Lilly Golden Review Image
    – Texas, United States
    Tui, July 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16240 reviews)

    Amazing Trip

    This trip was amazing - the hikes took us to beautiful vistas, the guides were knowledgeable and fun, and the food was never in short supply ("Food is Fuel!" as one of our guides kept restating).

    Koru and Kim were great guides throughout and everyone had so much fun! I was traveling solo but 2 of the other 4 on my trip were as well, so nobody was ever left out! Having such a small group made the activities much easier to enjoy.

    The hikes, like I mentioned, were truly unbelievable, though somewhat more difficult than I expected. Everything was talked as 'full-on' or by time, but know that NZ hikes are up mountains then back down, so work on hills more than distance before you go! Even some of the small walks we did (Blue Pools, only 5 minutes from the road & the Chasm, 10 minutes from the road) were breathtaking. Kayaking the Milford Sound was another once in a lifetime experience we got to have on this trip.

    The only thing I would have liked (and got jokingly by the end of the trip) were straight communication prior to the hikes about how long they were updates mid-hike about how much longer/further. There was one day with miscommunications leading me to think the hike would be another 3+ hours uphill (nearly inducing panic) but was really only 30 more minutes.

    Overall, I really loved this trip!
    Taylor Ceithaml Review Image
    – California, United States
    Tui, November 2016
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16240 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 16240 reviews)

    A Marvelous Exprerience

    This trip was worth every penny. We had marvelous lodging that we could not have accessed on our own. Our access to trails, parks and activities was all arranged and all we had to worry about was showing up for the experience. We were truly touched by the extent to which our guides went out of their way to respond to our special food needs. I felt truly safe, supported by the experience, training and good will of our guides. I came home stronger and with new confidence that as an elder I can still take on physically challenging experiences and succeed. What a gift that is.
    Wendy Ball Review Image
    – New York, United States
    Kiwi, December 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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