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New Zealand Hiking & Adventure Regions

New Zealand is an island nation in the South Pacific. It's not part of Australia and yes, our rugby team is the best in the world! Technically there are 16 regions, each with their own council (and rugby team), from Northland in the far north, to (yes you guessed it) Southland in the deep south. But we like to keep things simple, and if you're thinking of visiting us for a hiking or adventure vacation, all you need to know is that there's a North Island and a South Island. 

Our largest city Auckland, and our capital city, Wellington are both in the North Island. With a number of other large cities as well, the North Island is home to around 75% of New Zealand's population. To a south islander, this makes the north 'busy', though to most visitors you'll still be surprised by the vastness of the countryside and unspoilt nature. Some of the highlights of the North Island include rich insights into our nation's heritage and culture, volcanoes, sub-tropical weather and wonderful ocean-based attractions. 

By contrast, the South Island is just as you'd expect. It's big, it's empty and it's dramatic! The South Island's magnificent scenery is the stuff dreams are made of and the reason it's the 'poster child' of hiking and adventure media. There are 9 national parks in the South Island protecting tall glaciated peaks, ancient rainforest, turquoise blue bays, U-shaped hanging valleys and immense lakes. 

South Island New Zealand

Trip Reviews

  4.53 out of 5 (from 4912 reviews)

Best trip I have ever taken

There are many layers to this trip
1. The Group - It was really fun being in a group, and our group was really fun! Sometimes I hung out with people in my family, sometimes I hung out with someone else in the group. This variety and freedom was very enjoyable.
2. The Guides - Koru and Ash were sooo great. Koru is a polished, learned and experienced leader. Ash is a fabulous cook, so much fun, and cared about each of us on the trip.
3. The Country - Stunning! We covered so much of the South Island that we were able to see many sides of it's weather and terrain. Really great route.
4. Activities - It was great sharing a physical activity with others, something I know brings people together. Hiking was great. At the end of a long hike was a fabulous surprise, like a glacial lake with ice burgs, or a beautiful high-mountain vista, or a glo-worm tunnel. Biking was super fun, and I wish there had been one more day of it. In hind site I personally would have selected the biking 3day excursion. The kayaking was great. Heavy chop or glassy lakes, we kayaked in it.
5. Accommodations - These were just great. As nice as it can be being out in the countryside. I loved how we all ate together every meal.
5. Pace - I thought the trip was very well planned. Just when we needed a break in the beginning from jet lag, and our trip activities, a two day respite was there in Queenstown where we could recharge. I recharged and my family bungy jumped! Also, activities were structured so that the not so keen could bail out at a stopping point.
Ginny Nayden Review Image
– Maryland, United States
Rimu, January 2017
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Approx NZ flight times

Why travel with Active Adventures?

Legendary Kiwi Hospitality

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.

Expert LOCAL Guides & Trip Leaders

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.

Everything is Included

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.

A Sense of Achievement

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.

Small Groups

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.

Diverse Experiences

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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