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Milford Hiking Adventure

Milford Hiking Adventure

Manuka

4.43 out of 5 (from 888 reviews)

  • 14 Days - From US$6399 + tax

Trip Introduction

If you wish to concentrate on hiking the iconic tracks of New Zealand and like your creature comforts, we’ve crafted this trip just for you. It has a strong focus on New Zealand’s natural history. Our guides have plenty of time to interpret the flora and fauna and explain the geological and social history of the areas you’ll visit. You also have the choice of a selection of the best day hikes Fiordland National Park has to offer, along with an overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound, or hiking the famous Milford Track in its entirety. The ‘Manuka’ really is hiking New Zealand in style!

Activity level: The 'Manuka' is an active hiking trip, but has options to suit a wide range of fitness levels and outdoor experience. Typically hikes on the 'Manuka' trip range between three and six hours to complete, with longer hikes on the Milford Track Guided Walk option.

Highlights

Hike
West Coast beaches and rainforests
Mt Aspiring National Park
Castle Hill
Paparoa National Park
Fox Glacier
Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

Choice of multi-day options...
Active Great Walks Discovery (Routeburn, Milford, and Kepler Track day hikes, plus Milford Sound cruise and overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound)
OR Milford Track Guided Walk

Plus...
Explore Queenstown

What's included in our NZ trips?

  • All guiding services
    - Two experienced guides per trip. In New Zealand you'll have a lead guide and a co guide.
  • All accommodations
    - A range of hotels, lodges, chalets, inns, sheep stations and backcountry huts, depending on which trip you choose.
  • All meals
    - Breakfast, lunch and dinner on all days, except where indicated on the itinerary (usually 1 day per trip is a free day, allowing you to choose your own dining location).
  • All activities
    - Hiking, kayaking, biking, rafting, scenic flights, jet boating and more!
  • All transport
    - Airport transfers.
    - When you're not travelling under your own steam, they'll be comfortable air-conditioned vans to stretch your legs.
Check Availability

Interactive Trip Map

Daily itinerary

Day 1—Arrive, hike Castle Hill

Most people leave the Northern Hemisphere on a Saturday evening, arriving into Auckland early Monday morning. You’ll lose a day crossing the dateline – but you get it back on the way home! It’s a short flight from Auckland to Christchurch in the South Island where we’ll meet you. We’ll then head west to Kuru Tawhiti Conservation Area in the heart of the Southern Alps. We’ll take a gentle one-hour walk among the imposing limestone tors of Castle Hill, which were once a meeting place for moa hunters of the Ngai Tahu tribe. The Dalai Lama visited this area and described it as a ‘spiritual centre of the universe’. This afternoon, we’ll continue on to the West Coast and the seaside village of Punakaiki, where you’ll have the rest of the afternoon to relax or walk along the beach. Depending on where you’re coming from, you’ll probably find jetlag is no big deal – for instance, it’s a 12 to 13 hour direct overnight flight from Los Angeles to Auckland, and there’s only a 3 hour time difference between New Zealand and US Pacific time. If you’re coming from further afield, you’ll appreciate the gentle start to your New Zealand adventure.
West Coast lodgings, Punakaiki (Lunch, Dinner)

Day 2—Rainforest and beach hikes in Punakaiki

We’ll spend most of today hiking the Inland Pack Track through temperate rainforest and limestone canyons in the footsteps of the gold miners who established this trail over a century ago. We’ll also follow the Truman Track to a rocky cove and check out the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes – aptly named limestone formations that have been sculpted through relentless pounding by the Tasman Sea. The Punakaiki coastline is a magnet to marine wildlife, including little blue penguins and Hector’s dolphin (the world’s smallest) that can sometimes be seen close to shore.
West Coast lodgings, Punakaiki (All meals)

Day 3 —Hike Point Elizabeth, explore West Coast Treetop Walk

We’ll travel down the coast to hike the Point Elizabeth track through native coastal forest and flax. The fibres of the flax plant are a traditional resource for Maori, used for weaving a variety of baskets, mats and clothing. Then it’s on to Hokitika where we’ll stretch our legs and check out local art galleries and pounamu-carving workshops (pounamu is Maori for jade). Next we’ll experience the West Coast Treetop Walk, an adventure among giants. This walk will take you up above the forest floor, allowing you to pass through an ancient canopy of rimu and kamahi trees. From here, we’ll carry on down the wind-swept coast to Franz Josef. Nestled in the rainforest-clad foothills of the Southern Alps, Franz Josef is the heart of New Zealand glacier country. After dark, we can head out to look for the eerie lights of Arachnocampa luminosa – the native glowworm – and listen for some of New Zealand’s nocturnal birdlife such as the distinctive hoot of the morepork owl.

Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

Day 4 —Hike to Franz Josef Glacier

With some 140 glaciers making their way down from the Southern Alps, this area is fittingly known as glacier country. Few sights equal the spectacle of this giant frozen river (Franz Josef Glacier) imperceptibly grinding its way down through temperate rainforest to just 250 metres (820 feet) above sea level. We’ll take a morning walk to the historic Tartare Tunnels, and then continue on to Franz Josef Glacier where we’ll walk to an incredible view of the terminal face. 

Optional Heli-hike (add US$350 + tax)
A less strenuous, but outrageously scenic alternative to today’s hike is to heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier itself. After being fitted with crampons, ice axes and so on, you’ll board a turbine helicopter and fly towards the highest peaks of the Southern Alps, landing on the glacier at 1300 metres (4265 feet) above sea level. Led by specialist glacier guides, you’ll hike through the grand ice formations of the glacier, checking out its crevasses, seracs and tunnels – no previous experience is required! The constant movement of the glacier means every day is different, so your guides will cut steps in the ice to make the most of the conditions. At the end of your hike on the ice, you’ll take another helicopter ride out of the mountains and back to civilisation.

The heli-hike is extremely popular, so we offer advance reservations with the helicopter operators and guiding company. At the time of booking, or up until one month before your trip, we can reserve a space for you, or you can leave your decision until the start of your trip and your guides will get you a spot if it’s available.

From Franz Josef, we’ll travel down the coast through lush rainforest and inland to Makarora, a small village bordering Mt Aspiring National Park, with incredible views of the snow-capped mountains.
Makarora Lodgings, Makarora (All meals) 

Day 5—Hike Diamond Lake, explore Wanaka

This morning we’ll hike the Diamond Lake track, a spectacular circuit through an area carved out by ice-age glaciers, with stands of native forest and shrub land. We’ll enjoy lunch after our hike in Wanaka, then it’s a short but dramatic drive over the Cardrona Saddle to Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, our base for the next couple of nights. You’ll have time to explore and plan your free day tomorrow before dinner. You’ll sleep sweetly at this lakefront hotel located in the heart of Queenstown.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 6—Free day in Queenstown

Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand (if not the world!) and all the comforts of civilisation are packed into this tiny resort town: restaurants galore, stylish lounge bars, day spas, and boutiques. You’ll also find incredible optional activities here including horse trekking, fishing, winery tours, an historic steamship, bungy jumping, jet boating and skydiving as well as some great hiking opportunities. Or you can just soak up the atmosphere at one of many local cafés. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today. This afternoon, there’s a pre-departure briefing for the Milford Track Guided Walk if you’ve chosen that option.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (No meals included)

Day 7—Multi-day options begin

Active Great Walks Discovery

Day 7 (continued) — Overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound

Variety is the spice of life and that’s exactly what this option is all about - hike three of New Zealand’s Great Walks and take an overnight cruise, all in five days - it’s unheard of! We kick things off with a relaxed breakfast, and a drive to the lakeside town of Manapouri, where our journey into Doubtful Sound begins. We’ll board a boat for the cruise across Lake Manapouri, before a drive over Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove where we’ll board the Fiordland Navigator for our overnight cruise. Doubtful Sound is a large and remote wilderness area, where you’ll have the opportunity to take a kayak out on the water or hop aboard the tender craft for a guided exploration of the fiord, and in the right season you may catch a glimpse of the rare Fiordland crested penguin. Tonight, you’ll sleep in a quad share room aboard the Fiordland Navigator, though there is the option to upgrade to a private ensuite room, if you prefer.
Fiordland Navigator, Doubtful Sound (All meals)

Day 8 - Cruise in Doubtful Sound, hike Routeburn Track

After our cruise ends we’ll hike part of the Routeburn Track, the first of the Great Walks you’ll experience. We hike through beech forest, sub-alpine shrub land and picturesque alpine tarns, before reaching Key Summit. Here you’ll be standing at the head of three different valleys (the Hollyford, Eglinton and Greenstone), with stunning views over the Great Divide, which separates west and east flowing rivers. We’ll take a short drive through the Homer Tunnel and emerge at the top of a spectacular glacier-carved valley for a memorable descent to the shore of Milford Sound (actually it’s a fiord!) Rudyard Kipling rated Milford the eighth natural wonder of the world and it’s truly breath-taking, with steep granite walls plunging over a thousand metres to the Tasman Sea and waterfalls cascading into deep inky water.
Milford Lodge Chalets, Milford Sound (All meals)

Day 9 - Hike Milford Track, cruise Milford Sound

It’s worth getting up early to take a photo of Mitre Peak, quite possibly the most photographed mountain in New Zealand, but your challenge is to find a unique angle! After breakfast, we’ll take a short boat ride across Milford Sound to hike from Sandfly Point to the Giant Gates waterfall, a spectacular section of the famed Milford Track. The forest here is lush and rich with mosses and ferns as we follow the Arthur River past Lake Ada. By hiking from the Milford Sound trailhead, we’ll enjoy the track to ourselves, which is a luxury others seldom get. Once we return to the Milford wharf, we’ll board a boat for a two hour nature cruise to the head of this spectacular fiord. We’ll then leave Milford Sound behind to hike some lesser-known tracks in eastern Fiordland before returning to Te Anau.
Matai Lodge, Te Anau (All meals)

Day 10 - Takahe Bird Park, hike Kepler Track

This morning we’re heading for a Department of Conservation birdlife park in Te Anau. The centre takes care of injured or ageing birds which would struggle to survive in the wild - it’s a great opportunity to see some of our rarest birds up close, so don’t forget your camera! Afterwards we’ll tick off our third Great Walk in three days - the Kepler Track. Interestingly, the Kepler Track differs from the Routeburn and Milford Tracks in that it didn’t actually evolve from a necessary Maori greenstone trail, but was custom-built for hiking. The section we’ll hike today passes over the control gates at the outlet of Lake Te Anau and meanders through ancient beech and podocarp forest.
Matai Lodge, Te Anau (All meals)

Day 11 - Gondola ride, hike Ben Lomond

Today we’ll drive back along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown, and take a ride on the gondola to the top of a tree-covered rocky crag, known as Bob’s Peak, to start our alpine hike. We pass through open alpine tussock-land to the Ben Lomond saddle and will be rewarded with panoramic views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by the often snow-covered Southern Alps. For those keen to press on to the top, Ben Lomond’s summit reveals views of Mt Earnslaw and Mt Aspiring, two of New Zealand’s highest peaks, and even a glimpse of Aoraki Mt Cook on a clear day. Tonight we’ll dine out in Queenstown at your guides’ favourite restaurant.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (All meals)

Milford Track Guided Walk (from US$799 + tax)

Day 7 (continued) - Boat ride and hike Milford Track

The 5-day/4-night Milford Track is one of the first-established and best-known walking tracks in the country. It takes in glacial peaks, a mountain pass, New Zealand’s highest waterfall and the dense rainforest of Fiordland. You’ll have four days of exercise, good food and great scenery as you walk 53 kilometres (33 miles) from Lake Te Anau to Milford Sound. Because you’re doing the guided walk, you’ll just be carrying a few essentials and a packed lunch each day, so your pack won’t be much heavier than what you’d bring on a regular day hike. Everything else is provided, including excellent meals at the lodges and on the trail, hot showers, bedding, specialist Milford Track guides, and even hairdryers in the rooms! For the first three nights, you’ll stay in comfortable mountain lodges, in four and six-bed bunk rooms with shared bathroom facilities. If you prefer your own bedroom and bathroom, contact us for the latest private room rates. On the fourth night, you’ll stay at Mitre Peak Lodge, a hotel exclusively for Milford Track Guided Walk hikers. From Queenstown, we’ll head to Lake Te Anau, stopping for lunch along the way. We take a boat to the head of the lake to the start of the Milford Track. It’s a short, easy walk to Glade House, where we stay our first night.
Glade House, Milford Track (All meals)

Day 8 - Hike in beech forest

We start the day by crossing Clinton River and hiking through lush beech forest to Hirere Falls, where we’ll have lunch. After crossing the prairie, the track gets a little steeper as we climb up to Pompolona Lodge. Today’s highlights include spectacular flora and stunning views up the ice-carved Clinton Canyon toward McKinnon Pass.
Pompolona Lodge, Milford Track (All meals)

Day 9 - Hike McKinnon Pass

Today is the most spectacular day of the Milford Track! We climb a series of switchbacks to cross McKinnon Pass and from the top, the views of Arthur Valley and the surrounding peaks are just magnificent. We’ll lunch at Pass Hut, then head down to Quintin Lodge. After some refreshments, a 90-minute round trip hike will lead us to Sutherland Falls, the fifth highest waterfall in the world.
Quintin Lodge, Milford Track (All meals)

Day 10 - Hike to Milford Sound

This is your last day on the Milford Track. It’s 21 kilometres (13 miles) of varied terrain, slightly downhill, with no significant climbs. The small waterfalls to be found alongside the track make for a delightful hike today. At the trailhead at Sandfly Point, you’ll be picked up for a short cruise across Milford Sound to the marina, and arrive at Mitre Peak Lodge for a night. We’ll be staying at the only hotel in the area (Milford Track hikers have exclusive use of it), and with the memories of the last few days you’ll almost regret being back near civilisation!

Mitre Peak Lodge, Milford Sound (All meals)

Day 11 - Cruise Milford Sound

This morning, we’ll enjoy a cruise to explore the full length of Milford Sound and the ship’s captain will nose the boat right up to some magnificent waterfalls that plunge into the fiord. Keep your eyes open for native New Zealand fur seals relaxing on the rocks and the chance to spot dolphins swimming alongside us. An option when you return to Milford Sound village is to take a stunning scenic helicopter flight, which will have you back in Queenstown for a free afternoon to enjoy (scenic helicopter flight option approx. US$650 per person).  The rest will take the scenic journey back to Queenstown via Te Anau and this evening we’ll meet up with those who chose the Active Great Walks Discovery to catch up on our Fiordland experiences over dinner.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (All meals)

Day 12—Hike Sam Summers Track, visit local winery

After breakfast, we head out round Lake Wakatipu to the Mt Crichton Scenic Reserve, where we’ll hike the Sam Summers Track. This area was mined for gold until the 1930s and there are still many relics to be seen along the way. After hiking, we’ll continue on to a local winery. This region’s dry and sunny climate is ideal for grape growing and is becoming well known for producing world-class pinot noir and other quality wines. We’ll enjoy a glass or two and then head to Lake Ohau Lodge. Here we’re staying beside a beautiful alpine lake, with stunning views stretching across to Aoraki Mt Cook and the Southern Alps - an ideal spot to soak in the hot tub!
Lake Ohau Lodge, Lake Ohau (All meals)

Day 13—Hike Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

A short distance away is Mt Cook, named Aoraki or ‘cloud piercer’ by South Island Maori, the highest mountain in New Zealand. Directly opposite the mountain, we have a stunning day hike to the main ridge above Mueller Glacier. This area has a unique alpine environment and includes endemic flora such as the Mt Cook Lily (Ranunculus lyallii), the world’s largest buttercup. Many of our clients have said this is the best hike they’ve ever done and it’s a fine way to finish off a great trip. It’s a bit of a hike, but you’ll remember the view of the glacier and the surrounding peaks forever! The weather conditions are very important in this area, as it’s a true alpine climate notorious for sudden weather shifts. If we aren’t able to do the Mueller hike, or you’d like to take it a little easier, there’s an impressive hike up to a glacial lake (complete with icebergs!) at the base of the Hooker Glacier. After hiking, we’ll relax at our lodge nestled right in the heart of Aoraki Mt Cook National Park.
Aoraki Alpine Lodge, Aoraki Mt Cook Village (All meals)

Day 14—Depart for home

This is the last day of your 'Manuka' trip and we'll leave you refreshed and invigorated from the good food, exercise, rest, and great times you'll have had with us in New Zealand! For a great way to see the North Island too, where you'll see Maori culture, pristine beaches and geothermal areas, combine this trip with our 11-day 'Kauri' (5-day 'Kauri' options available).
(Breakfast, Lunch)


Activity Key - zoom in to see activity detail

Hiking Biking Kayaking Boating Flying

Itinerary

Day 1 — Arrive, hike Castle Hill

Most people leave the Northern Hemisphere on a Saturday evening, arriving into Auckland early Monday morning. You’ll lose a day crossing the dateline – but you get it back on the way home! It’s a short flight from Auckland to Christchurch in the South Island where we’ll meet you. We’ll then head west to Kuru Tawhiti Conservation Area in the heart of the Southern Alps. We’ll take a gentle one-hour walk among the imposing limestone tors of Castle Hill, which were once a meeting place for moa hunters of the Ngai Tahu tribe. The Dalai Lama visited this area and described it as a ‘spiritual centre of the universe’. This afternoon, we’ll continue on to the West Coast and the seaside village of Punakaiki, where you’ll have the rest of the afternoon to relax or walk along the beach. Depending on where you’re coming from, you’ll probably find jetlag is no big deal – for instance, it’s a 12 to 13 hour direct overnight flight from Los Angeles to Auckland, and there’s only a 3 hour time difference between New Zealand and US Pacific time. If you’re coming from further afield, you’ll appreciate the gentle start to your New Zealand adventure.
West Coast lodgings, Punakaiki (Lunch, Dinner)

Day 2 — Rainforest and beach hikes in Punakaiki

We’ll spend most of today hiking the Inland Pack Track through temperate rainforest and limestone canyons in the footsteps of the gold miners who established this trail over a century ago. We’ll also follow the Truman Track to a rocky cove and check out the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes – aptly named limestone formations that have been sculpted through relentless pounding by the Tasman Sea. The Punakaiki coastline is a magnet to marine wildlife, including little blue penguins and Hector’s dolphin (the world’s smallest) that can sometimes be seen close to shore.
West Coast lodgings, Punakaiki (All meals)

Day 3 — Hike Point Elizabeth, explore West Coast Treetop Walk

We’ll travel down the coast to hike the Point Elizabeth track through native coastal forest and flax. The fibres of the flax plant are a traditional resource for Maori, used for weaving a variety of baskets, mats and clothing. Then it’s on to Hokitika where we’ll stretch our legs and check out local art galleries and pounamu-carving workshops (pounamu is Maori for jade). Next we’ll experience the West Coast Treetop Walk, an adventure among giants. This walk will take you up above the forest floor, allowing you to pass through an ancient canopy of rimu and kamahi trees. From here, we’ll carry on down the wind-swept coast to Franz Josef. Nestled in the rainforest-clad foothills of the Southern Alps, Franz Josef is the heart of New Zealand glacier country. After dark, we can head out to look for the eerie lights of Arachnocampa luminosa – the native glowworm – and listen for some of New Zealand’s nocturnal birdlife such as the distinctive hoot of the morepork owl.

Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

Day 4 — Hike to Franz Josef Glacier

With some 140 glaciers making their way down from the Southern Alps, this area is fittingly known as glacier country. Few sights equal the spectacle of this giant frozen river (Franz Josef Glacier) imperceptibly grinding its way down through temperate rainforest to just 250 metres (820 feet) above sea level. We’ll take a morning walk to the historic Tartare Tunnels, and then continue on to Franz Josef Glacier where we’ll walk to an incredible view of the terminal face. 

Optional Heli-hike (add US$350 + tax)
A less strenuous, but outrageously scenic alternative to today’s hike is to heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier itself. After being fitted with crampons, ice axes and so on, you’ll board a turbine helicopter and fly towards the highest peaks of the Southern Alps, landing on the glacier at 1300 metres (4265 feet) above sea level. Led by specialist glacier guides, you’ll hike through the grand ice formations of the glacier, checking out its crevasses, seracs and tunnels – no previous experience is required! The constant movement of the glacier means every day is different, so your guides will cut steps in the ice to make the most of the conditions. At the end of your hike on the ice, you’ll take another helicopter ride out of the mountains and back to civilisation.

The heli-hike is extremely popular, so we offer advance reservations with the helicopter operators and guiding company. At the time of booking, or up until one month before your trip, we can reserve a space for you, or you can leave your decision until the start of your trip and your guides will get you a spot if it’s available.

From Franz Josef, we’ll travel down the coast through lush rainforest and inland to Makarora, a small village bordering Mt Aspiring National Park, with incredible views of the snow-capped mountains.
Makarora Lodgings, Makarora (All meals) 

Day 5 — Hike Diamond Lake, explore Wanaka

This morning we’ll hike the Diamond Lake track, a spectacular circuit through an area carved out by ice-age glaciers, with stands of native forest and shrub land. We’ll enjoy lunch after our hike in Wanaka, then it’s a short but dramatic drive over the Cardrona Saddle to Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, our base for the next couple of nights. You’ll have time to explore and plan your free day tomorrow before dinner. You’ll sleep sweetly at this lakefront hotel located in the heart of Queenstown.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 6 — Free day in Queenstown

Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand (if not the world!) and all the comforts of civilisation are packed into this tiny resort town: restaurants galore, stylish lounge bars, day spas, and boutiques. You’ll also find incredible optional activities here including horse trekking, fishing, winery tours, an historic steamship, bungy jumping, jet boating and skydiving as well as some great hiking opportunities. Or you can just soak up the atmosphere at one of many local cafés. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today. This afternoon, there’s a pre-departure briefing for the Milford Track Guided Walk if you’ve chosen that option.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (No meals included)

Day 7 — Multi-day options begin

Active Great Walks Discovery

Day 7 (continued) — Overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound

Variety is the spice of life and that’s exactly what this option is all about - hike three of New Zealand’s Great Walks and take an overnight cruise, all in five days - it’s unheard of! We kick things off with a relaxed breakfast, and a drive to the lakeside town of Manapouri, where our journey into Doubtful Sound begins. We’ll board a boat for the cruise across Lake Manapouri, before a drive over Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove where we’ll board the Fiordland Navigator for our overnight cruise. Doubtful Sound is a large and remote wilderness area, where you’ll have the opportunity to take a kayak out on the water or hop aboard the tender craft for a guided exploration of the fiord, and in the right season you may catch a glimpse of the rare Fiordland crested penguin. Tonight, you’ll sleep in a quad share room aboard the Fiordland Navigator, though there is the option to upgrade to a private ensuite room, if you prefer.
Fiordland Navigator, Doubtful Sound (All meals)

Day 8 - Cruise in Doubtful Sound, hike Routeburn Track

After our cruise ends we’ll hike part of the Routeburn Track, the first of the Great Walks you’ll experience. We hike through beech forest, sub-alpine shrub land and picturesque alpine tarns, before reaching Key Summit. Here you’ll be standing at the head of three different valleys (the Hollyford, Eglinton and Greenstone), with stunning views over the Great Divide, which separates west and east flowing rivers. We’ll take a short drive through the Homer Tunnel and emerge at the top of a spectacular glacier-carved valley for a memorable descent to the shore of Milford Sound (actually it’s a fiord!) Rudyard Kipling rated Milford the eighth natural wonder of the world and it’s truly breath-taking, with steep granite walls plunging over a thousand metres to the Tasman Sea and waterfalls cascading into deep inky water.
Milford Lodge Chalets, Milford Sound (All meals)

Day 9 - Hike Milford Track, cruise Milford Sound

It’s worth getting up early to take a photo of Mitre Peak, quite possibly the most photographed mountain in New Zealand, but your challenge is to find a unique angle! After breakfast, we’ll take a short boat ride across Milford Sound to hike from Sandfly Point to the Giant Gates waterfall, a spectacular section of the famed Milford Track. The forest here is lush and rich with mosses and ferns as we follow the Arthur River past Lake Ada. By hiking from the Milford Sound trailhead, we’ll enjoy the track to ourselves, which is a luxury others seldom get. Once we return to the Milford wharf, we’ll board a boat for a two hour nature cruise to the head of this spectacular fiord. We’ll then leave Milford Sound behind to hike some lesser-known tracks in eastern Fiordland before returning to Te Anau.
Matai Lodge, Te Anau (All meals)

Day 10 - Takahe Bird Park, hike Kepler Track

This morning we’re heading for a Department of Conservation birdlife park in Te Anau. The centre takes care of injured or ageing birds which would struggle to survive in the wild - it’s a great opportunity to see some of our rarest birds up close, so don’t forget your camera! Afterwards we’ll tick off our third Great Walk in three days - the Kepler Track. Interestingly, the Kepler Track differs from the Routeburn and Milford Tracks in that it didn’t actually evolve from a necessary Maori greenstone trail, but was custom-built for hiking. The section we’ll hike today passes over the control gates at the outlet of Lake Te Anau and meanders through ancient beech and podocarp forest.
Matai Lodge, Te Anau (All meals)

Day 11 - Gondola ride, hike Ben Lomond

Today we’ll drive back along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown, and take a ride on the gondola to the top of a tree-covered rocky crag, known as Bob’s Peak, to start our alpine hike. We pass through open alpine tussock-land to the Ben Lomond saddle and will be rewarded with panoramic views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by the often snow-covered Southern Alps. For those keen to press on to the top, Ben Lomond’s summit reveals views of Mt Earnslaw and Mt Aspiring, two of New Zealand’s highest peaks, and even a glimpse of Aoraki Mt Cook on a clear day. Tonight we’ll dine out in Queenstown at your guides’ favourite restaurant.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (All meals)

Milford Track Guided Walk (from US$799 + tax)

Day 7 (continued) - Boat ride and hike Milford Track

The 5-day/4-night Milford Track is one of the first-established and best-known walking tracks in the country. It takes in glacial peaks, a mountain pass, New Zealand’s highest waterfall and the dense rainforest of Fiordland. You’ll have four days of exercise, good food and great scenery as you walk 53 kilometres (33 miles) from Lake Te Anau to Milford Sound. Because you’re doing the guided walk, you’ll just be carrying a few essentials and a packed lunch each day, so your pack won’t be much heavier than what you’d bring on a regular day hike. Everything else is provided, including excellent meals at the lodges and on the trail, hot showers, bedding, specialist Milford Track guides, and even hairdryers in the rooms! For the first three nights, you’ll stay in comfortable mountain lodges, in four and six-bed bunk rooms with shared bathroom facilities. If you prefer your own bedroom and bathroom, contact us for the latest private room rates. On the fourth night, you’ll stay at Mitre Peak Lodge, a hotel exclusively for Milford Track Guided Walk hikers. From Queenstown, we’ll head to Lake Te Anau, stopping for lunch along the way. We take a boat to the head of the lake to the start of the Milford Track. It’s a short, easy walk to Glade House, where we stay our first night.
Glade House, Milford Track (All meals)

Day 8 - Hike in beech forest

We start the day by crossing Clinton River and hiking through lush beech forest to Hirere Falls, where we’ll have lunch. After crossing the prairie, the track gets a little steeper as we climb up to Pompolona Lodge. Today’s highlights include spectacular flora and stunning views up the ice-carved Clinton Canyon toward McKinnon Pass.
Pompolona Lodge, Milford Track (All meals)

Day 9 - Hike McKinnon Pass

Today is the most spectacular day of the Milford Track! We climb a series of switchbacks to cross McKinnon Pass and from the top, the views of Arthur Valley and the surrounding peaks are just magnificent. We’ll lunch at Pass Hut, then head down to Quintin Lodge. After some refreshments, a 90-minute round trip hike will lead us to Sutherland Falls, the fifth highest waterfall in the world.
Quintin Lodge, Milford Track (All meals)

Day 10 - Hike to Milford Sound

This is your last day on the Milford Track. It’s 21 kilometres (13 miles) of varied terrain, slightly downhill, with no significant climbs. The small waterfalls to be found alongside the track make for a delightful hike today. At the trailhead at Sandfly Point, you’ll be picked up for a short cruise across Milford Sound to the marina, and arrive at Mitre Peak Lodge for a night. We’ll be staying at the only hotel in the area (Milford Track hikers have exclusive use of it), and with the memories of the last few days you’ll almost regret being back near civilisation!

Mitre Peak Lodge, Milford Sound (All meals)

Day 11 - Cruise Milford Sound

This morning, we’ll enjoy a cruise to explore the full length of Milford Sound and the ship’s captain will nose the boat right up to some magnificent waterfalls that plunge into the fiord. Keep your eyes open for native New Zealand fur seals relaxing on the rocks and the chance to spot dolphins swimming alongside us. An option when you return to Milford Sound village is to take a stunning scenic helicopter flight, which will have you back in Queenstown for a free afternoon to enjoy (scenic helicopter flight option approx. US$650 per person).  The rest will take the scenic journey back to Queenstown via Te Anau and this evening we’ll meet up with those who chose the Active Great Walks Discovery to catch up on our Fiordland experiences over dinner.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (All meals)

Day 12 — Hike Sam Summers Track, visit local winery

After breakfast, we head out round Lake Wakatipu to the Mt Crichton Scenic Reserve, where we’ll hike the Sam Summers Track. This area was mined for gold until the 1930s and there are still many relics to be seen along the way. After hiking, we’ll continue on to a local winery. This region’s dry and sunny climate is ideal for grape growing and is becoming well known for producing world-class pinot noir and other quality wines. We’ll enjoy a glass or two and then head to Lake Ohau Lodge. Here we’re staying beside a beautiful alpine lake, with stunning views stretching across to Aoraki Mt Cook and the Southern Alps - an ideal spot to soak in the hot tub!
Lake Ohau Lodge, Lake Ohau (All meals)

Day 13 — Hike Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

A short distance away is Mt Cook, named Aoraki or ‘cloud piercer’ by South Island Maori, the highest mountain in New Zealand. Directly opposite the mountain, we have a stunning day hike to the main ridge above Mueller Glacier. This area has a unique alpine environment and includes endemic flora such as the Mt Cook Lily (Ranunculus lyallii), the world’s largest buttercup. Many of our clients have said this is the best hike they’ve ever done and it’s a fine way to finish off a great trip. It’s a bit of a hike, but you’ll remember the view of the glacier and the surrounding peaks forever! The weather conditions are very important in this area, as it’s a true alpine climate notorious for sudden weather shifts. If we aren’t able to do the Mueller hike, or you’d like to take it a little easier, there’s an impressive hike up to a glacial lake (complete with icebergs!) at the base of the Hooker Glacier. After hiking, we’ll relax at our lodge nestled right in the heart of Aoraki Mt Cook National Park.
Aoraki Alpine Lodge, Aoraki Mt Cook Village (All meals)

Day 14 — Depart for home

This is the last day of your 'Manuka' trip and we'll leave you refreshed and invigorated from the good food, exercise, rest, and great times you'll have had with us in New Zealand! For a great way to see the North Island too, where you'll see Maori culture, pristine beaches and geothermal areas, combine this trip with our 11-day 'Kauri' (5-day 'Kauri' options available).
(Breakfast, Lunch)

Dates

Trip Date Price Status  
Nov 26, 2018 – Dec 09, 2018 US$6399 + tax Almost Full - Check Now! Check Availability
Dec 10, 2018 – Dec 23, 2018 US$6699 + tax Check Now! Check Availability
Dec 24, 2018 – Jan 06, 2019 US$6699 + tax Almost Full - Check Now! Check Availability
2019
Jan 07, 2019 – Jan 20, 2019 US$6699 + tax Almost Full - Check Now! Check Availability
Jan 21, 2019 – Feb 03, 2019 US$6699 + tax Almost Full - Check Now! Check Availability
Feb 04, 2019 – Feb 17, 2019 US$6699 + tax Almost Full - Check Now! Check Availability
Feb 18, 2019 – Mar 03, 2019 US$6699 + tax Almost Full - Check Now! Check Availability
Mar 04, 2019 – Mar 17, 2019 US$6399 + tax Almost Full - Check Now! Check Availability
Mar 18, 2019 – Mar 31, 2019 US$6399 + tax Almost Full - Check Now! Check Availability
Nov 11, 2019 – Nov 24, 2019 US$6399 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Nov 25, 2019 – Dec 08, 2019 US$6399 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Dec 09, 2019 – Dec 22, 2019 US$6699 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 23, 2019 – Jan 05, 2020 US$6699 + tax Filling up Check Availability
2020
Jan 06, 2020 – Jan 19, 2020 US$6699 + tax Great Check Availability
Jan 20, 2020 – Feb 02, 2020 US$6699 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Jan 27, 2020 – Feb 09, 2020 US$6699 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 03, 2020 – Feb 16, 2020 US$6699 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Feb 17, 2020 – Mar 01, 2020 US$6699 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 02, 2020 – Mar 15, 2020 US$6399 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Mar 16, 2020 – Mar 29, 2020 US$6399 + tax Great Check Availability
Oct 26, 2020 – Nov 08, 2020 US$6399 + tax Great Check Availability
Nov 09, 2020 – Nov 22, 2020 US$6399 + tax Great Check Availability
Nov 23, 2020 – Dec 06, 2020 US$6399 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 07, 2020 – Dec 20, 2020 US$6699 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 21, 2020 – Jan 03, 2021 US$6699 + tax Great Check Availability
2021
Jan 04, 2021 – Jan 17, 2021 US$6699 + tax Great Check Availability
Jan 18, 2021 – Jan 31, 2021 US$6699 + tax Great Check Availability
Jan 25, 2021 – Feb 07, 2021 US$6699 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 01, 2021 – Feb 14, 2021 US$6699 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 15, 2021 – Feb 28, 2021 US$6699 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 01, 2021 – Mar 14, 2021 US$6399 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 15, 2021 – Mar 28, 2021 US$6399 + tax Great Check Availability

Useful Info

No Forced Single Supplement:

Most other travel companies charge all solo travellers a single supplement fee. We don't! When it comes to accommodation, our trip fares are based on a twin-share rate, which means we'll match you up with another person of the same gender to share a room with. If there's no one suitable to share with, there's no forced single supplement! Having said that, if you specifically request your own room, you can opt to pay the additional single supplement fee.

Trip Start:

On the first day of the trip we can either pick you up from the Chateau on the Park in Christchurch at 10.30am or at the Christchurch airport (CHC) in front of the Travel and Information desk at 11am.

Trip End:

On the last day of the trip we can drop you off at the Christchurch airport in time for the flights below, or anywhere in central Christchurch about 3pm.

Recommended flights:

Arrival: If you’re flying in on the first day of the trip, we recommend arriving in Christchurch before 10am on Monday.
Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Christchurch after 4pm on Sunday. If you’re considering alternative flight times please check with us. International flights from Auckland airport (AKL) usually leave early evening, so if you’re heading back to North America, you’ll get home some time on Sunday, even though you left on Sunday evening! Flights back to Europe, of course, take a little longer.

Accommodation:

The ‘Manuka’ is a wilderness hiking trip. While it’s not designed to be a scenic tour of the South Island’s luxury hotels, it features more creature comforts than some of our other trips and you’ll certainly feel like you’re hiking in style! You’ll stay in some wonderful places in the remote locations we take you.

Fitness:

The ‘Manuka’ is an active hiking trip, and has options to suit a wide range of fitness levels and outdoor experience. If you keep reasonably active and like to give things a go, you’re likely to enjoy the trip much more. Typically, hikes on the ‘Manuka’ trip range between three and six hours to complete, with longer hikes on the Milford Track Guided Walk. If you think you’d prefer a more relaxed pace, we recommend checking out our ‘Kiwi’ trip. Please get in touch with us if you’d like to chat about the various options.

Reviews

  • Manuka

    “Great hiking, enjoyed the walk on the glacier at Franz Josef, and the Milford Sound Trek was the highlight for my six weeks in New Zealand, on three Active Adventures.”
    George Wark – Ontario, CanadaJune 2018
  • The Best Trip with the Best Tour Guides - Claire & Holly

    “My husband and I went on our Honeymoon to New Zealand for 2 weeks and took half of the time to be with Active Adventures. That was the best decision we could have made. It was extremely well organized, just the right amount of activity, hit just about all the places we wanted to go on our bucket list, the accommodations were more than we expected, and we couldn't have had better tour guides than Claire & Holly. They were extremely friendly, welcoming, talkative, informative, cooked great meals, had great conversations, were very passionate about the outdoors and wildlife, and overall really great hosts. This was our first time doing a official tour when traveling, and it exceeded our expectations. We could go at our own pace on the hikes and enjoy the group for the social aspect, but also get off on our own to have some peace and quiet. We really don't have a bad word to say. Highly Recommend!”
    Laura Miller – Iowa, United StatesJune 2018
  • Manuka

    “Fabulous! Thank you for a wonderful adventure!”
    Alice Feller – California, United StatesMay 2018
  • Manuka

    “An absolutely wonderful adventure and the people who made it exceptional where our two guides, Claire and Holly.
    Both were very organized, fun and professional!”
    Jeanne Keith-Ferris – British Columbia, CanadaMay 2018
  • Manuka trip March 2018

    “Wonderful trip, guides were great organisers and great company. They put huge effort into making it interesting and fun.”
    Brian Reilly – , United KingdomMay 2018
  • Great Trip!

    “Loved the trip. Lots of fun, education, and challenge. Great leadership by Holly and Claire”
    Don Ferris – British Columbia, CanadaApril 2018
  • Adventure of a Lifetime! Bucket list✅

    “Claire & Holly’s Most Excellent Adventure! I felt privileged to be on their Manuka Tour. The guides can either make or break a trip, so I was thrilled to experience the best! I’m so impressed with their knowledge, fun spirit, culinary skills, and especially, their attention to details! I couldn’t believe how they catered to each individual’s needs or preferences! Of course, the scenery and hikes were amazing everywhere we explored! How can you go wrong with New Zealand landscape?! Top notch all the way!”
    Kathy Viola – California, United StatesApril 2018
  • Manuka 2018

    “Our guides, Claire & Holly, were very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and helpful in every manner. They made the experience quite rewarding.”
    Ed Wiest – California, United StatesApril 2018
  • A Wonderful Trip

    “It was a wonderful trip. Our group was really fun and Holly & Claire are both real gems. We could not have been happier.”
    Tim Conarro – Colorado, United StatesApril 2018
  • Excellent Taste of the South Island Walks

    “The 5 day Takahe trip was the perfect sampling of the South Island. Claire and Holly took great care of everything allowing us to take in the amazing and overwhelming beauty. Even when it rained 2 inches on us in one outing, they kept the group spirit high, kept us on track and made sure we got to still enjoy the sights. They personalized the trip, making sure we got great insights into history, culture and the plant/wildlife that make this place unique. Active Adventures did a great job preparing a wonderful itinerary, letting us know what gear we'd need and ensuring we got everything in on time. Logistics can be hard, but they made it snap!”
    Melissa Delvecchio – Oregon, United StatesApril 2018
  • Great Way to Sample 3 of the Great Walks

    “Our guides, Holly and Claire, were knowledgeable, enthusiastic, fun and well organized. We would recommend this to anyone of any age (we're in our 70's) who enjoys wilderness hiking and climbing and viewing the beauty of New Zealand's Fiordland. They were great at keeping our group on track and cohesive in spite of the widely different paces of participants.”
    Dan Cope – Florida, United StatesApril 2018
  • Hiking New Zealand

    “Wonderful trip with outstanding guides.”
    Carol Lindahl – Arizona, United StatesApril 2018
  • Jodi and Renee's Manuka

    “The trip was incredible! Fantastic itenerary, great food, good people. I couldn’t have imagined better!”
    Jodi Welborn – Colorado, United StatesMarch 2018
  • Great Adventure in the South Island

    “We had a great time! The itinerary covered a large part of the South Island including hiking parts of all the South Island's famous treks. Food was excellent, I came back 4 lbs heavier! Weather mostly cooperated, but I would say if you don't want to get wet, New Zealand may not be your best vacation spot. Hikes were mostly moderate in effort {5-7 miles} with a few steeper, rocky sections. You don't need to be crazy fit, but hiking daily and a full schedule will add up; rest when you get home!”
    George Radu – California, United StatesMarch 2018
  • Great Trip with Great leaders and Great Group

    “We really enjoyed our trip to New Zealand and the incredible hiking on the South Island. We lucked out with the weather as we only had two days of rain. Our favorite part was the Milford Track hike from inn to inn. The scenery of the place is simply stunning. We enjoyed the variety of hikes and our guides were very knowledgeable about the flora of New Zealand and culture. The only downside are the drives. You cover a good deal of territory during the trip which necessitates a good deal of time in the van.”
    Pam Roberts – Indiana, United StatesMarch 2018
  • A Fabulous Taste of the Beauty of New Zealand’s South

    “This was a great taster of New Zealand’s South Island with lots of great physical activity balanced with opportunities to rest, enjoy the scenery and learn about New Zealand’s fascinating culture and heritage. Our guides Dani and Liana were knowledgeable, cheerful and personable throughout. They prepared excellent nutritious meals and kept us fully informed about the agenda at all times. They did an excellent job of balancing the very different expectations and fitness levels of the individuals in the group and helped create an environment where we could all enjoy ourselves convivially despite our varying needs.
    Accommodation was excellent and travel comfortable and easy.
    All in all the trip provided us with a great introduction to what needs to be done to appreciate the magnificent natural beauty of New Zealand “close up and personal”. We will be back for more.”
    Jan Orman – New South Wales, AustraliaMarch 2018
  • Alan's Manuka Feb. 2018

    “Excellent trip, expectations fully met and delivered upon, outstanding staff.”
    Alan Valentine – Texas, United StatesMarch 2018
  • Wonderful Trip!

    “This was a really great trip. We hiked every day in beautiful areas and got to see a wide variety of climate, terrain and vegetation. Our Guides, Koru and Holly were wonderful - pleasant, knowledgeable and accommodating. One could not ask for more. Having Koru share his knowledge of the Maori culture and legends surrounding the places we visited was a real bonus.”
    Greg Lindahl – Arizona, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • Wonderful 5-Day Adventure

    “Overall, the Manuka trip with Koru and Holly was great. There's so much to do in Fiordland that it really made sense for us to dip into as much of it as possible in 5 days. And Koru and Holly were unfailingly professional, informative and engaging as guides. Being in a good group also really worked for us. When the scenery is so spectacular, you want to share it and 14 worked really well.”
    Mary Maybin – UK, United KingdomFebruary 2018
  • Amazing Trip!

    “This was a fantastic exposure to the South Island with extremely helpful guides.”
    Bob Voigt – Virginia, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • Manuka Trip was Awesome!

    “Koru and Holly were terrific guides (and cooks)! We had a fantastic time experiencing the rainforests, mountains, plains, fjords and culture of New Zealand's South Island. The hikes were challenging and rewarding!”
    Susan Voigt – Virginia, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • Manuka-February 2018

    “This is our third Active Adventures trip and we have never been disappointed. Each trip has been a learning experience for us. The beautiful sights and people we have met along the way have made it a very worthwhile event that we will never forget. We enjoyed working with your professional team of staff and guides and hopefully one day we will return for another adventure. Thanks, Steve and Marilyn.”
    Stephen Tatham – Washington, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • If I Knew Then What I Know Now.....I’d Do It All Again!

    “There are many hikes one can take just about anywhere in the world however no place has hikes or tramps or treks like New Zealand. Active Adventures put together a great run of easy-moderate day trips that were varied in terrain and they included a lot more of New Zealand than what required a daypack. The Doubtful Sound experience was not a hike at all yet it was definitely a highlight of this trip. Stunning. Beautiful (insert all possible descriptors of natural beauty here). Another aspect of this trip that was not anticipated was the two Active Tour Guides who led the way; Claire and Holly. And they WERE active, all the time, sunrise to sunset,....making sure everyone had what they needed and more. Warning!! - if you do this trip you will want more. New Zealand is addictive. Be prepared!”
    Fred Plant – New Brunswick, CanadaFebruary 2018
  • Great Way to Explore the South Island

    “A wonderful, well-organized hiking/exploring trip with skilled, attentive, enjoyable guides who made it feel like it was customized just for us. Can highly recommend Active Adventures for a great way to hike and explore the natural beauty of the South Island. Our guides, Daniel and Liana were outstanding.”
    Charles Marsden – Connecticut, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • A Wonderful and Exciting Adventure

    “Active Adventure is very lucky to have Koru on their staff. The guide makes the trip and Koru made the trip a welcoming, learning adventure. He is great at creating a positive community within his groups. He has great insight showing New Zealand as if we were all locals. Koru, Katie, and Natalie were great at helping me with my personal bird count challenge. Koru had great understanding of the trails and it showed. He gave great advice on hikes to do out side of the trip and knew great routes to avoid the masses of tourist. He also is a wonderful cook. Overall I believe that Koru loves what he does, therefore, he passes on that passion to participants to create a magical experience.
    Thank you for not canceling the trip with just 2 participants.”
    Mike Shanahan – Alabama, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • Manuka trip

    “I already sent you guys an email about how much I loved the trip but if this makes it official I'll do it again here. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS TRIP!!! I was able to do the Milford Track (which I have wanted to do ever since I was here 13 years ago) and it was fantastic!!! I know you have no control over the weather but even that was perfect. I was told to expect lots of rain (we barely got wet) There were very few bugs (even at "sandfly point") It was perfect! I must thank Active Adventures for not cancelling the trip when only myself and one other individual showed up for what could have been a 15 person tour. (Where was everybody? They missed out on the trip of a lifetime!) Koru was the best guide/host ever! He made us eggs benedict for breakfast, fresh salmon for dinner and treated us to chocolate muffins for lunch. since there were only 2 of us we were able to fit in a lot of bonus hikes and side trips that we probably couldn't have done with a full group. The Milford Track segment was a bit pricey but worth every penny of it. The food was insane! (venison, salmon pate, creme brulee, apple strudel, choice of packed lunch every day...yum) The scenery was gorgeous and with so few people I could walk in solitude much of the time. I tried to be one of the first on the trail every day and I was frequently the last one in at the lodges, not because I wasn't able to keep up; I just had to stop to look at everything, touch the trees, listen to the birds, feel the water on my bare feet (I even went "swimming" once just to see how cold it really was: VERY!) New Zealand is special. There aren't many places left in the world that are so unspoiled that you can safely drink right out of the river (no mine runoff, toxic waste, chemicals and general human sludge ruining it) It was funny to me that the worst traffic problem seemed to be the occasional 2 minute pause at the 1 lane bridges. (it can sometimes take HOURS to get to the mountains or home again on I-70 in Colorado due to weekend ski traffic or holiday travelers trying to escape the city) So thank you Active Adventures for setting up a tour showcasing the wonderful diversity of the natural beauty in your country. Thank you Tess and especially Koru for sharing this most excellent experience with me (and Mike, my fellow wanderer, he was good company also!)”
    Mary Everitt – Colorado, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • Marvellous trip!

    “I just love new Zealand after this and I did not want to go home!”
    Solfrid Hagen – , NorwayDecember 2017
  • 2017 Manuka

    “Went into the trip not knowing what to expect. Took the trip solo. Was hesitant on taking a guided tour. Felt like i wouldn't have the freedom to do things at my own speed. Not the case at all! Had virtually no restrictions on the hikes. Amanda and Holly let us move at our own paces. Overall trip was a blast! Couldn't have wished for more. Great hikes, great food, good sleeping accommodations, hard charging guides, everything was taken care of, didn't have to lift a finger. I will be back.”
    Dan Baker – APO/FPO AP, United StatesMay 2017
  • March 2017 Manuka with Amanda and Holly

    “The Manuka trip was exceptional. It was extremely well planned out. We were lucky to have had great weather and a group that got along together very well. There was great raw material to work with – NZ has great natural beauty and a variety of climate zones that allow for exceptional hiking. In addition, Amanda and Holly were outstanding guides – attentive to our needs in hiking and constantly striving to provide the best meals possible, taking into account our various dietary requirements.”
    Bruce Benton – Maryland, United StatesApril 2017
  • Awesome!

    “Great hiking, awesome scenery, terrific guides, delicious food and more than comfy accommodations !”
    Cal Hoppe – Arizona, United StatesApril 2017
  • Couple from Little Rock

    “My husband and I had been thinking about a trip to New Zealand for at least 5 years but planning it seemed overwhelming. When a friend told us about her trip with Active New Zealand we decided to look into the options. It was everything we had dreamed it would be and more. There just could not have been a better way for us to actually see and do all that we did in 2 weeks. Kudos to our wonderful guides, Amanda and Holly!!! I have put out 2 ferns on my front porch to remind me of them and of our once in a lifetime trip.”
    Martha Clark – Arkansas, United StatesApril 2017
  • An awesome country and fantastic trip operator

    “We saw the motto for New Zealand when we arrived at the airport - open minds, open spaces, open hearts - and this describes perfectly our experience. Active Adventures embodies these words by taking us to incredible places and having kind, thoughtful and passionate guides.”
    Patricia Benton – Maryland, United StatesApril 2017
  • Wonderful Manuka Trip With Active Adventures, New Zealand

    “Hi, I'm back home in the USA after my Manuka adventure with Active Adventures, New Zealand. I would like to compliment everyone in your company that I came in contact with....from my initial contact with Fiona to my pre-trip emails with Lynette everything was handled with complete professionalism. This was my first adventure with your company but I'm pretty sure that it will not be my last.
    Everything during the trip went forward in a very efficient manner. I was amazed at the energy level and efficiency of our guides Amanda and Holly. The amount of work that they were able to accomplish during the course of a day, their energy levels and very positive attitudes made the trip enjoyable for all of us clients. Also, their knowledge of their country and their willingness to share made the trip even more enjoyable for me.
    Again, thank you to all and especially to Amanda and Holly....I really enjoyed my first visit to New Zealand.”
    Jerry Jobski – Arizona, United StatesApril 2017
  • 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 – Massachusetts, United StatesApril 2017
  • Manuka with Claire and Jess

    “I loved this trip because it was conducted in a small group which made it easy to become acquainted. Not enough can be said for how Claire and Jess made this trip what it was. They were professional, informative, friendly and just great fun. We got lucky with the weather in that we had two days of light rain with most of the rest of the days near perfectly warm and sunny. The trip was well paced and the locations we visited were simply beautiful. The lodging and food was excellent. This was simply a great trip with a great group of people. The trip ended way too soon for me.”
    Jim Chambers – Massachusetts, United StatesApril 2017
  • Great Companionship

    “Our guides were the best and we had a wonderful group of people traveling with us that made the trip so enjoyable.”
    Jane Harding – Massachusetts, United StatesApril 2017
  • A Great Experience

    “Overall experience was excellent. Claire and Jess were very knowledgeable. They also made a point to make unscheduled stops at other great locations on the way when we had time to do so. The food couldn't have been better. The accommodations were also excellent.”
    Kevin Ankuda – Ohio, United StatesApril 2017
  • Whatever the dream, if its New Zealand, find a way!!

    “Where do I even start?!?!? NZ has been #1 on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. It wasn't until I realized I couldn't wait forever for that perfect time, to have X amount of money saved, to have a companion to go with me...that I decided to JUST GO ALREADY! And I suggest you do the same! Don't wait another moment. I went alone but found the most wonderful companions I could have ever hoped for! Even got a great roommate. The guides, Claire and Jess were PHENOMENAL! I started crying off and on a few days before the end of the trip because I became that attached to them and knew I would never see them again. Leaving at the airport, I couldn't even speak I was so upset and saying goodbye. So wonderful and beyond knowledgeable! I miss Jess' cooking and Claire's coffee already and I just got back yesterday!!! But seriously folks, the Manuka was beyond what expectations I could have ever dreamed. Yes it was indeed physical, so be ready for that; but there were some flatter, easier options for those that chose to not exert so much energy. There were a couple of times I wanted to just quit, but Claire and/or Jess kept me going saying it would be worth it (for the view AND the accomplishment) and MAN WERE THEY RIGHT!!!

    The food, the company, the knowledge, the laughs, the comradery, the views, the EXPERIENCES....all of it was TOP NOTCH! I have my memories that will last a lifetime; best money I have EVER spent.

    Don't wait! GO! I plan to go back in a couple of years to do the entire Milford Track. That's my only regret is that I didn't spend the extra to do that. But that's on me, not AA! ”
    June Vidrine – Texas, United StatesMarch 2017
  • 2017 Manuka Trip with Claire and Jess

    “Awesome trip.....
    New Zealand is a beautiful country with plenty of great hikes and sights to see. Jess and Claire were fantastic guides. Would go again in a heartbeat!”
    Paul Scopa – Massachusetts, United StatesMarch 2017
  • “The Manuka trip was fantastic!! Our guides, Michelle and Mel were outstanding. They took care of every detail, always available for any questions we had. Super leadership skills, very friendly and approachable. I loved that each day Michelle would describe our hike and the hike was exactly how she had explained it - great preparation! The meals they prepared were fantastic, as were our accommodations. Michelle carefully detailed the plan for each day, so we always were aware of where we were going, how long it would take, etc. Everything was on time, again, great organization. So fantastic to travel so far and simply enjoy because all the details are taken care of !!”
    Debbie Roush – California, United StatesMarch 2017
  • General

    “Tremendous guides that tailored our Active Adventures to the guests, weather and environment. Awesome time and a tremendous group of fellow travelers”
    Susan Harding – Massachusetts, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Every view a winner!

    “It was truly a dream come true. From the incredible views to the tireless efforts of our guides, Claire and Jess, an incomparable experience. There were so many experiences packed into two weeks, I'd already forgotten some until I began to review my photos. I am fortunate to have been able to experience the Manuka trip.”
    Beverly Beran – Texas, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Wonderful

    “We had a wonderful time. Great scenery and travelling companions and the tour guides Claire and Jess were superb. Highly recommend.”
    Wayne Furler – Australian Capital Territory, AustraliaMarch 2017
  • Amazing!

    “I have taken many organized bike tours, but this was my first hiking tour. It was quite challenging, but included four awesome and varied hikes, the must-do Milford Sound cruise, and the best-kept-secret Doubtful Sound cruise. The guides were extremely accommodating and knowledgeable and prepared excellent food. My only quibbles were the lack of choices on two breakfasts and one really inadequate dinner out. Otherwise - excellent!”
    Barbara Rosenberg – Pennsylvania, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Manuka 2/20/17 - great trip.

    “Team Active Adventures did a wonderful job for our trip to New Zealand. Our leader - Michelle, and Assistant Leader - Mel were outstanding. Both were A+ performers and made our trip so much more fun. Both were positive, helpful, accurate in their description of all the trails, enthusiastic, considerate, and wonderful assets to their company. I shared with Michelle, that Active cannot control the weather, but did an outstanding job with the food. Having the fresh fruit and snacks on the bus was a wonderful treat. We really appreciate Mel's help with special diet and keeping a cold diet coke for lunch. I have recommended Active Adventures to several friends after our return home. Again, Lynette, you should be proud of Michelle and Mel as they did an outstanding job.”
    Mike Roush – California, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Manuka 2/17

    “The trip was delightful. The guides were knowledgeable, informative, and went above and beyond. The local folks were very friendly. The group was enjoyable. The landscape can't be beaten for its beauty. The hikes were varied and scenic. The food was excellent. Even the weather cooperated (just a few sprinkles two late afternoons). Lodging quality varied from good to excellent (to be expected in rural areas). The only downside was the omnipresent sandflies - but, I gather they are part of the New Zealand experience.”
    Wendy Gasch – DC, United StatesMarch 2017
  • “Photos can't prepare you for the stunning and varied landscapes of the South Island. Truly amazing.”
    Gail Lilley – Ontario, CanadaMarch 2017
  • Great Hike

    “Extremely interesting with many varieties of hiking locations.
    Amanda and Clara were extremely knowledgeable and hard workers.
    The guides personalities were friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. The driver was
    very competent and very informative of the country's flora and fauna.”
    Eric Gutscher – Minnesota, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Bucket list fulfilled

    “This trip was amazing in every way. Amanda and Clara were not only organized and efficient but shared a wealth of knowledge about their beautiful country and kept our energy high even on rainy days. We could not imagine better guides. We saw diverse environments on the Manuka trip with the Milford option and the hiking was glorious. We also enjoyed the stops at towns throughout the island.

    I kept thinking about all of the behind the scenes people at Active that we didn't meet that make the trip work. In 14 days everything went like clockwork. Every hotel and dining reservation was perfect. Difficult food allergies were accommodated without a second thought.

    Overall I can't think of anything that would have made this trip better. Beautiful place and beautiful people!!”
    Beth Berry – Arkansas, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Just go to New Zealand with Active Adventures - YOLO

    “If you are going to New Zealand you owe it to yourself to go with the best - Active Adventures. They really are a superb, professional, caring, safe but most of all just fun to be with. You could not ask for better guides, great food and fabulous itineraries. I have done other adventures (Everest Base Camp, Inca Trail, Tour du Mt Blanc) so I have experience with other guided adventure trips. But without a doubt a tour with Active Adventures is a class above the rest and way more fun and laughter along the way. So if you are going to New Zealand read no further just pick a trip with Active Adventures and you will have memories to last a lifetime.”
    Bob Hill – Newfoundland and Labrador, CanadaFebruary 2017
  • One Honey Sweet of an Adventure

    “Outstanding tramping with superior guides”
    Jim Crookston – Pennsylvania, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Magnificent Manuka

    “Traveling to NZ had been a bucket list destination for quite some time. I researched several different companies to find a hiking trip that really grabbed me. It wasn't until I heard of Active Adventures from a recent client that it all came together. I looked at the Manuka itinerary and was sold. I signed up immediately and wasn't disappointed. Now I know why everyone says NZ is one of their most memorable trips. Stunningly beautiful. We also had two absolutely fantastic guides, Koru and Joe. ”
    Anne Jacobus – California, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Great Trip!

    “Karu and Joe were great leaders. The Milford Track was a spiritual experience because of all the beauty! The other hiking was also great.”
    Kathy Fisher – California, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • South Island Treking trip

    “We are both keen walkers and had the Milford Trek on our hit list. We have already done the C2C in the UK, The Inca trail and the TMB in Europe (also in the 'top ten'). The Manuka trip allowed us to do the Milford Trek but also walk other treks on S Island such as The Diamond Lake and Mount Cook which were also awesome. The Milford Trek does live up to its name as 'The finest walk in the World'! The scenery everywhere is truly spectacular even when it rains which often enhances the experience. ”
    Dave Clark – East Yorkshire, United KingdomJanuary 2017
  • Extraordinary!

    “Great guides, great trip companions, extraordinary scenery, and friendly Kiwis! This was a well-balanced trip that emphasized hiking, but also including other interesting diversions. I cannot say enough about our guides. They were excellent.”
    Bill Webber – Maryland, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Perfect Vacation!

    “Our Manuka trip offered the perfect mix of locales, hiking trails, and even weather! Our guides Greg and Kim and Hillary shared history, culture, mythology, music, and laughter every day. They were so professional and enthusiastic. I loved visiting the variety of places that Manuka offers - rainforests, mountains, beaches, cities - and coming home with a reading list!”
    Lori Northrup – Alabama, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Go hiking, they said. It'll be easy, they said!

    “Surpassed all my expectations on every level. Initially I was disappointed there were only four of us on the trip (plus two guides) but upon reflection, it ended up a great number to get a lot of stuff done. Every whim catered for, every problem anticipated before it became one. The hiking was not easy for me, but I persevered and was glad that Greg the Good Egg chose to encourage me to trek on, rather than pandering to my first instinct to lay down the poles when it got a bit hard. Scenery was brilliant, company was stimulating, and the variety of activities such that we were never bored. ”
    – , January 2017
  • Manuka trip Dec 12 2016

    “Although summer came a month late, which meant that our trip was more wet than sunny, we lucked out with the company (our fellow travelers) and especially with Greg and Jess, our very thoughtful guides. I have only high praise and no complaint.”
    Peter Chang – New Mexico, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Tramp of Dreams!

    “Stunning views, experienced guides, Kiwi-fresh food, and great lodging! It felt like we were holidaying with old friends! ”
    Carlos Sanchez – , ThailandJanuary 2017
  • Manuka Trip

    “Action packed trip with lots of great hikes. Highlighted the South Island and was able to get a great flavor of New Zealand.”
    Cauleen Svanda – New Mexico, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Fun, interesting, beautiful, very well run.

    “Greg and Jess ran an excellent tour. We learned a lot, had so much fun, ate delicious meals, drank fantastic wine, and enjoyed gorgeous hiking every day. ”
    Laurie Webber – Maryland, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Manuka Hiking December 2016

    “It was a wonderful trip that we will never forget. The guides, Jess and Greg, were excellent. They went above and beyond to ensure that we had a great time. We would have preferred more time on the ground v. time in the bus but recognize that it was necessary to cover the ground that we did. I would recommend Active Adventures to anyone looking to hike in New Zealand.”
    James Beamish – Ontario, CanadaJanuary 2017
  • Excellent Itinerary, Guides, and Group

    “The ease with which we were moved throughout the South Island on the Manuka trip made all the difference. I cannot imagine another way to see so much in such a short time.

    Our guides Jess and Greg were a great team and immediately put everyone at ease. We had a great group with us and thoroughly enjoyed the company and itinerary. With spectacular views and hikes almost every day it was a dream trip. We would definitely consider travelling with Active Adventures again even though we typically go it alone.

    It was lucky we had nice weather on Rocky Mountain, the hard day on the Milford Track, and at Aoraki Mt. Cook, but even on the bad weather days things went smoothly. ”
    Jen Collins – Ontario, CanadaJanuary 2017
  • Amazing Adventure!

    “My husband and I joined for the five-day Great Walks segment (Takahe) of the longer Manuka trip with Active Adventures. We really enjoyed the trip - Greg and Clara were wonderful guides who took such good care of everyone along and really went the extra mile, making Thanksgiving lunch for their group of (mostly) Americans - and we were lucky to fall in with a great group of fellow travelers. Because we traveled with Active Adventures, we were able to see much more than we would have done on our own, and relax while doing it as we didn't have to drive ourselves or scout the best hotel / lodge options and other arrangements to arrive at trailheads, identify local flora and fauna, and all the other advantages of having a good guide. We will definitely look to Active Adventures for similar trips in the future.”
    Kristen Knutson – , ThailandDecember 2016
  • We got a great taste of the South Island of New Zealand

    “This trip was a continuation of our first visit to New Zealand that started a week earlier in the North Island. The South Island welcomed us with the earthquake on the first night. Thankfully it did not interrupt our trip that turned out to be a wonderful experience. We could not wish for a more relaxing vacation. It's nice to have locals to show you around and tell you the myths and stories of the land.”
    Warren Hunt – Texas, United StatesDecember 2016
  • South Island Sampling

    “Despite starting the trip with a little rattle and shake (earthquake) the trip was a wonderful experience. We saw so much of the South Island and were able to enjoy the beauty of a sunny day as well as a cloudy one. Greg and Clara were amazing guides and took great care of us.”
    Beth Wilson – Georgia, United StatesDecember 2016
  • Great way to get a taste of South Island

    “It was the first trip to New Zealand for my husband and myself. And also a first trip we took as a part of an organized group. We weren't sure what to expect. The experience was great. We met like-minded people and enjoyed their companionship. The group was small - 9 people plus 2 guides and the minibus was big enough to spread comfortably. The guides were awesome - cheerful young people knowledgeable in culture and nature. They worked around the clock to make our tri as good as possible and were trying accommodate everybody's wishes. Our only regret was that we spent maybe more time on the bus than we wanted. On the other hand, all rides were were scenic and I do not know how else we could get to see so much. So no good advice how to change it. We loved all the lodges we stayed in, each one with a special charm. ”
    Anna Slobodova – Texas, United StatesDecember 2016
  • “Walking each day in varied and beautiful scenery was the highlight. At times I felt I was in a Lord of the Rings movie set - it was beautiful, wild and dramatic. Our guides, Greg and Clara made everything about the tour enjoyable and informative. The food was great and the good company along the way was a bonus. It was my first trip travelling solo and I didn't know what to expect, however it was quite simply a wonderful experience of the beauty of NZ on a relaxed and hassle free journey. Thank-you”
    Lesley-Ann Angus – New South Wales, AustraliaDecember 2016
  • Lovely holiday

    “New Zealand is the place to visit. People like our guide, Nick, were so helpful and flexible and "no problem" about everything. Things were so flexible on this Active Adventure trip. When we wanted to do something special, it happened. We were able to have a 5 day trip that covered hiking, cruises, sightseeing. Nick answered questions and came up with all sorts of things to do, including bringing his Frisbees. He gave us information about what to do and places to go after the Active Adventures trip.”
    Becky Engel – Georgia, United StatesNovember 2016
  • Excellent taste of the Great Walks

    “Active Adventures designed a individual trip for us trying out several of the Great Walks and climbing some peaks. Our guide Nick did a great job tailoring the trip for our interests. Great experience. We will definitely be checking with Active Adventures about future trips. ”
    Rob O'Brien – Nevada, United StatesNovember 2016
  • Gorgeous natural beauty

    “I was overwhelmed with the natural beauty of the South Island”
    Bob Emley – Iowa, United StatesOctober 2016
  • Manuka 2016

    “Excellent route, hiking, leaders, vehicle, meals and companionship.”
    William Rom – New York, United StatesJune 2016
  • Wonderful South Island adventure

    “Enjoyed all of the hiking, especially the beautiful Milford Track and the challenging Mt. Cook hike. Excellent accommodations and food everywhere we went.”
    Ty Howell – Alabama, United StatesApril 2016
  • “Our two guides made the trip”
    Burt Rosenberg – New York, United StatesMarch 2016
  • A fantastic way to experience the South Island

    “A wonderful mix of seeing the countryside while driving and getting out and hiking in it. The impromptu birthday party on the last night for one our group was the crowning touch. Thank you Kate and Clara.”
    Glenn Rankin – California, United StatesMarch 2016
  • “Go with Active Adventures NZ, you won't be sorry. There are so many positive things that I can say that I don't know where to begin.
    The size of the tour group was ideal. The guides were extremely helpful and fun too! Diggity Dave and Tess were just great. Dave was an excellent driver and we put all our trust in his driving expertise. He was a great story teller too! Tess was so very caring and a great healthful cook always keeping our tummies full. Most of all I loved the variety of things that we did, places that we stayed. Yes, some weren't the greatest but often there weren't a lot of choices in the area but the company made up for the less desirables places by having luxury places in Queenstown. I especially loved the overnight on the boat in Doubtful Sound but wish we had upgraded our room as the rooms were exceedly small for 4 people, but then again it was for only 1 night. It was a fantastic trip and we would do an Active Adventure trip again! ”
    Diane Klausner – Oregon, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • Incredible Trip on South Island of NZ

    “We usually travel on our own, but decided on this tour because it encompassed everything we were interested in doing. It was fantastic. We saw and did things we never would have done on our own. Dave and Tess escorted us from one incredible spot to the next. We really appreciated their professionalism, their friendliness and their knowledge. The food was exceptional and the accommodations very comfortable. I would suggest this tour to anyone.”
    Lu Johnson – Iowa, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • New Zealand Adventure

    “This was one of the best trips we have ever taken. The trip was well organized and we were able to customize for our needs. Dave and Tess were amazing guides. They were patient, organized, caring and knowledgable. Everything went as planned and we were able to enjoy the hiking and amazing scenery without having to worry about trip details. The food and lodgings were outstanding. ”
    Jeffrey Klausner – Oregon, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • Wonderful 2 weeks!

    “Well organized by Active Adventures, and couldn't have asked for better companions to travel with. A slow start with lots of traveling time but not disappointing with the scenery outside the window, Dave's skillful driving and his endless storytelling. I learned a lot from Maori language and history to what Manuka honey is all about, to why the the Kiwi can't fly, and to how the Tui bird got his white balls on his chin. If you are hard core hikers and just want to 'bag' peaks, then maybe you should look at other treks. The Manuka offers options that everybody can hike. Some of the peaks require quite a bit of cardio and are strenuous, but you don't need to 'summit' them, or do so at your own pace. The views were fabulous at every vantage point. I took their Milford Track option which was also very well organized and enjoyable. The climate in the Southern Alps is known for its unpredictability, we were lucky that we had great weather for most of our 14 days there. A shout out to Tess, our other guide. Our trip wouldn't have worked without Tess! Tess fed us well and she certainly knows her ice creams!”
    Khanitha Tangnavarad – Connecticut, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • This trip has it all!

    “The Manuka Trip, including Milford Track, had everything. Excellent guides, who can cook, drive, entertain, and keep us on track and safe. The mix of hikes, accommodations and scenery were non stop breathtaking. The companionship that developed will make this a trip I will long remember.”
    Terry Born – New York, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • Our guides made our trip so enjoyable!

    “Kate and Clara were professional, prepared, and fun as well as being great chefs and hosts. The hikes were varied, interesting and beautiful. The wine tasting and whitebait stops were true New Zealand. Thanks for a great trip.”
    Deane Collinson – Ontario, CanadaFebruary 2016
  • Awesome guides!

    “Kate and Clara were wonderful - informative, fun, intuitive of the group's needs, great cooks, kind, helpful and anticipated our needs! We loved them”
    Judy Collinson – Ontario, CanadaFebruary 2016
  • Primo

    “Lucked out with near perfect weather. Guides were amazing, personable, resourceful, and unceasingly cheerful. Every sight was well chosen. Only downer was time "wasted" in Queenstown tourist milieu at Xmas, but the opportunity to summit Ben Lomond made up for 48 hours of urban crush. ”
    Steve Levy – Vermont, United StatesJanuary 2016
  • A real adventure!

    “We loved all aspects of our Manuka trip. Nick and Elysse were terrific. They worked VERY hard ... keeping us informed, cooking meals, handling baggage, describing the scenery and history and animals and plants in New Zealand, and making needed adjustments on the fly. Not to mention their being our terrific and thoughtful hiking guides for 2 weeks! I would do it again with them. ”
    David Goode – Oregon, United StatesDecember 2015
  • Manuka November 2015

    “This was my first time travelling with a hiking group trip. I was a little concerned prior to the trip - would I be able to keep up, will the group members be compatible, will the guides be responsive and care. Happy to say all of my concerns were for naught. Even though I was slowest member of the group, everyone was wonderful. The group members were great and the guides were very supportive. Needless to say, I will do this again. Active adventures were great to work with.”
    Liz Rogers – Oregon, United StatesDecember 2015
  • Manuka

    “A great trip – amazing scenery, fantastic hikes, wonderful food and people ”
    Allan Cameron – Ontario, CanadaDecember 2015
  • Exceeded my expectations

    “We have to correct people when they ask how was the vacation. "It wasn't a vacation; it was an adventure." The hikes were glorious and they tested us. Even though our Milford Track excursion was non-stop rain, we couldn't stop grinning. It was like a fair tale. Our guides were wonderful - knowledgeable, helpful and full of energy. We're planning on a return trip to tackle the Routeburn Track.”
    Jim Santori – Minnesota, United StatesDecember 2015
  • “Great trip! The landscapes are exceptional and varied. Milford Sound and Milford Track were absolute highlights. Thanks so much for letting us travel with you!”
    Joyce Barbour – Ontario, CanadaDecember 2015
  • A Truly Great Experience

    “I enjoyed my trip with Active Adventures/New Zealand. The guides were suburb,and the accommodations were very good,often excellent.The food served was quite good also.Nick and Elysse prepared some delicious meals.
    Both of the guides seemed genuinely concerned about our well-being.
    Nick was an excellent driver and explained things well as we went along.
    The hikes were quite enjoyable and you were given choices to do as much or as little as you chose.
    I would highly recommend Active Adventures to other hikers. ”
    Phoebe Rollins – South Carolina, United StatesDecember 2015
  • Manuka trip review

    “We had a fantastic time with GT and Alex, we have already recommended this trip to some of our friends.”
    George Mitchell – British Columbia, CanadaMay 2015
  • Don't forget your poles! HUT! HUT! HUT!

    “This tour was more than I expected in every way! It was very efficiently organized and carried out by our guides, covering so many diverse areas (rainforest, tide pools, great walks, glaciers, beaches, cruises on sounds, etc.) I enjoyed the hikes, and appreciated that our guides make such an effort to have everyone make them all, regardless of weather! Most amazing was the food that Laura prepared! And when there were no cooking facilities, the restaurants chosen were great! We were never hungry with fruit and snacks available at all times! What made this such a memorable trip were the PEOPLE! With travel and hiking as a common interest, I have made some wonderful friends! ”
    Charlene Williams – California, United StatesApril 2015
  • Have to come basck

    “Awesome country, awesome people, awesome trip”
    Jim Miller – Illinois, United StatesApril 2015
  • Bucket list trip

    “The trip was truly an adventure. Loved the landscape, especially the West coastal area. Our Guides (GT & Alex) were great & really know their home land. This trip was a great way to see New Zealand in a short time frame.”
    Robert Mann – Ohio, United StatesMarch 2015
  • An awesome trip in an awesome country!

    “This was definitely a trip of a lifetime - one that was on my bucket list for a while! The tracks that we hiked were all great, from the rainforest to Mt. Cook. Our guides, GT and Alex, were great and worked really hard to ensure that our trip was seamless. If you are looking for a way to experience New Zealand by hiking and sightseeing, this is the way to go - a very professional outfitter that takes care of all the details! It was worth the wait!”
    Norma Watterman – Ohio, United StatesMarch 2015
  • Well Rounded Trip

    “We have traveled a bit so we know when a trip shines. The Manuka trip shined for us because of the balanced itinerary led by great guides. So much to see and do in the South Island, but Manuka allowed us to get into it first hand and experience what all others describe as a beautiful place.”
    John Yee – California, United StatesMarch 2015
  • Very active Active NZ

    “Our trip was just what we hoped for. Great hikes every day to very scenic spots. We didn't have to worry about a thing or plan an agenda. Food was great every day and accommodations were what we anticipated given the descriptions about the trip. The guides were great and kept us well informed at all times. They really made the trip enjoyable with plenty of knowledge about the places we went to. They both had a great sense of humor and did a great job creating a sense of comraderie in our group of 14.
    All in all a trip of a lifetime! ”
    Jim Eastham – Maryland, United StatesMarch 2015
  • John H

    “My Manuka Adventure exceeded all of my expectations. Challenges were faced and I can happily say were "Overcome." Our guides, Dave and Celia were fantastic, they were very personable, knowledgeable, and took a genuine interest in not just my needs but the needs of our entire group. They are both a great asset to your organization. I had gotten to see the "AWESOME PLACE NEW ZEALAND REALLY IS."”
    John Hamilton – Florida, United StatesFebruary 2015
  • My trip of a lifetime

    “I had a wonderful trip. Dave and Amanda, our guides, were excellent. They took care of everything. No Worries. I would recommend the Manuka trip to all. Thanks ”
    Jerry Friedman – Michigan, United StatesFebruary 2015
  • Manuka December 15-28, 2014

    “This was a really enjoyable trip that provided exposure to a broad range of habitats and some of the iconic scenery of the South Island. We were really lucky with the weather -- only a couple of days of rain and even then not heavy -- and traveling at the holidays was fun, even if it made things a bit more crowded in some places. I would tweak a few details but liked the itinerary overall. ”
    Rob Franklin – California, United StatesJanuary 2015
  • walking around NZ

    “Seamless delightful trip with great food. Thanks for ordering up the good weather as well!”
    Janet Northcott – Alberta, CanadaApril 2014
  • “Simply the BEST!”
    Mike Pier – Indiana, United StatesMarch 2014
  • Perfectly Wonderful!

    “The Manuka trip with Nicole and Dave in February 2014 was amazing! Great scenery and hiking, wonderful fellow travelers, delicious meals, lots of unique experiences, the BEST guides, and just loads of fun! I couldn't have asked for a better New Zealand adventure!”
    Susan LaHoda – Colorado, United StatesMarch 2014
  • Manuka 2014

    “Our Manuka trip exceeded all our expectations. I knew the trip was going to be great, but our accommodations, food, and especially our guides Nicole and Dave were "over the top" fantastic! First class all the way. It didn't hurt that we had outstanding weather too. New Zealand shined in every way.”
    Rhonda Robinson – Indiana, United StatesMarch 2014
  • Thanks for the New Zealand adventure!

    “A great introduction to New Zealand. I felt I was in really good hands with our guides: great personalities, competent, patient and they went out of their way to provide personal attention. The itinerary and choice of accommodations was just right. The holiday was very well-organised and co-ordinated but still had a completely relaxed feeling. Thank you Andrew, Nicole and Cassie. ”
    Pamela Gigney – South Australia, AustraliaMarch 2014
  • Marvelous Manuka

    “Active Adventures is certainly the best way to experience New Zealand. The varied landscapes and hiking trails gave a true feel for the South Island. The guides, Dave and Nicole, kept us well in tow and well fed. Loved the trip!”
    Maggie Means – Florida, United StatesMarch 2014
  • NZ Chamber of Tourism Wish List

    “Top of the line guides, equipment, facilities, fellow travelers and perfect weather made this a trip of a lifetime that I hope to repeat with my upcoming trip to Peru (Jaguar Trip 4/14) with Active S. America.”
    David Humphrey – Kentucky, United StatesJune 2013

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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