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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
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Trip Reviews

  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1887 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
  •   4.68 out of 5 (from 244 reviews)

    Loved NZ Kea Adventure

    New Zealand is a beautiful country, but the experience would not have been half as memorable if it were not for our AA guides. They were professional, could answer any question about NZ, incredibly competent in all ways and so much fun! But it would be unfair not to mention the preliminary support team leading up to the trip. All requests and needs were handled quickly and efficiently. And last, but not least, the itinerary was so well thought out. I enjoyed every minute of the trip and was sorry to see it end.
    Lori Schimpf Review Image
    – California, United States
    Kea, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4982 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
  •   4.38 out of 5 (from 1211 reviews)

    Perfect

    The trip was perfect and our guides, Jo and Andy, are awesome!
      Review Image
    – ,
    Kauri, December 2017
  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1887 reviews)

    Worth every penny!

    This was an amazing trip - highly recommended! Our guides, Koru and Liana, were great - kept us moving and active in all kinds of weather and conditions. Some of the planned tour had to be modified due to weather - it does rain a lot - but no regrets at all. We got a taste of New Zealand on beautiful days, rainy days, and once in rain, sleet and hurricane force winds, but we were always well cared for and felt like we'd seen New Zealand in all of it's majesty. The hiking was strenuous enough to feel like a challenge and leave us tired and a bit sore most days, but never too difficult. The Siberia Valley part of the trip was just spectacular! Koru's knowledge of New Zealand's native plants and animals, history, Maori heritage, and Lord of the Rings stories were particularly fascinating. Would love to go again!
    Bob Martin Review Image
    – South Carolina, United States
    Tui, December 2016

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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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