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Essence of the South Island

Tui

4.59 out of 5 (from 1813 reviews)

  • 8 Days - US$3999 + tax

Trip Introduction

This is an action-packed adventure where you’ll explore some of New Zealand’s most iconic and remote wilderness. It works well if your vacation time is limited, since you can fly from North America on a Friday evening, sleep on the plane, and be back at work ten days later to share your photos and stories on Monday morning. For a great way to see the North Island too, combine this trip with our 11-day 'Kauri' (5-day 'Kauri' options available).

Activity level: The ‘Tui’ suits people of a wide range of fitness levels and outdoor experience, particularly if you enjoy a variety of activities. Typically hikes on the ‘Tui’ trip range between two and six hours to complete.

Highlights

Hike
Routeburn Track
Mt Aspiring National Park
Franz Josef Glacier

Overnight cruise and sea kayak
Milford Sound

Bike
Te Araroa track to Wanaka

Plus...
Scenic mountain flight to Siberia Hut
Jet boat in Mt Aspiring National Park
Explore Queenstown

The Siberia Valley experience is an exciting part of the 'Tui' trip, and often the highlight of the trip for our guests:

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.
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Interactive Trip Map

Daily itinerary

Day 1—Arrive, hike in Arthur's Pass

Most people leave the northern hemisphere on a Friday evening, arriving into Auckland early Sunday 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 travel into the Southern Alps to hike Devils Punchbowl in Arthur's Pass. The walk will take you through native beech forest to an awesome 131 metre (430 feet) waterfall so make sure you have your camera handy! From there, we'll head down the coast to Franz Josef where we'll stay the night. Nestled in the rainforest-clad foothills of the Southern Alps, Franz Josef is the heart of New Zealand glacier country.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (Lunch, Dinner)

Day 2—Hike near 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 two of these giant frozen rivers (Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers) imperceptibly grinding their way down through temperate rainforest to just 250 metres (820 feet) above sea level. We'll spend most of the day near Franz Josef Glacier hiking up through the forest to either Alex Knob or Roberts Point, both of which give incredible views of the ice. These hikes can be inaccessible in wet weather, so we may opt to hike close to the terminal face of Fox Glacier, or around Lake Matheson.

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 (4000 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 forest to Haast, and over the divide to a small mountain village called Makarora, where we’ll enjoy some local fare.
Makarora Lodgings, Makarora (All meals)

Day 3 (morning)—Start Mt Aspiring National Park options

This morning we’ll cross Haast Pass to more arid country on the eastern side of Mt Aspiring National Park. From Makarora, we head off on your choice of activity.

Siberia Valley Wilderness option in Mt Aspiring National Park

Day 3 (afternoon) - Scenic flight, hike Lake Crucible

If you like the idea of staying in one of New Zealand’s most isolated mountain huts, then this option is for you (but let us know early as space is limited)! We’ll start with a stunning scenic flight alongside the snowy Southern Alps to the Siberia Valley airstrip, a short hike from our home for the night. After lightening your packs at the hut, you can hike up the trail to Lake Crucible, a cauldron-like glacial lake with fantastic views of the valley below. Tonight you’ll be served a candle-lit dinner in one of the most glorious places in the world. This is also one of the few backcountry huts where you can chat with a resident hut ranger from New Zealand’s Department of Conservation. Rangers are often keen for a yarn around the camp fire, and can offer further insight into the flora and fauna of Mt Aspiring National Park. This is the only night on the ‘Tui’ where your accommodation is basic, though it’s a true Kiwi experience and a lot of fun. Your load will be little more than a day pack – our guides will carry the lion’s share of the load. You’ll be carrying a backpack with a sleeping bag, a few spare clothes and some food – no need for any more than that, although we’ll provide tents and so on if you’d prefer to camp out under the stars.
Siberia Hut, Mt Aspiring National Park (All meals)

Day 4 (morning) - Hike Siberia Valley, jet boat Wilkin River

After an early start, we spend the morning hiking to The Forks, at the head of the Wilkin River, where we’ll be met by a jet boat for an exhilarating ride back to Makarora to meet up with the rest of the group for lunch.

Makarora Adventure in Mt Aspiring National Park

Day 3 (afternoon) - Scenic flight, hike Siberia Valley, jet boat Wilkin River

If you prefer accommodation with modern amenities instead of a mountain hut for the night, then this is the option for you. You’ll head out for a mind-blowing scenic flight into Mt Aspiring National Park, with a bird’s eye view of the lower Southern Alps, landing in the remote Siberia Valley. From here you’ll hike downstream along the Wilkin River, through beautiful silver beech (Nothofagus menziesii) forests to a jet boat rendezvous. Then it’s a thrilling ride back to Makarora for dinner and perhaps a well-earned drink at the Makarora pub.
Makarora Lodgings, Makarora (All meals)

Day 4 (morning) - Hike on Mt Shrimpton

This morning we’ll hike the Mt Shrimpton track. It’s a steep hike with a 750 metres (2500 feet) elevation gain, and wait until you see the views from above the tree-line! Alternatively, you can have a relaxing sleep in and spend your morning soaking up the mountain views.

Day 4 (afternoon)—Finish Mt Aspiring National Park options, cycle Hawea River Trail

After regrouping in Makarora, we’ll have a picnic lunch before taking a beautiful drive through spectacular glacier-carved valleys. The landscape changes rapidly from dense beech forests to semi-arid terrain. When we arrive at Lake Hawea, you’ll be fitted with a 21-speed front-suspension Avanti Black Thunder 7.1 mountain bike for a scenic ride along the Hawea River Trail. This gently undulating track follows the Hawea and Clutha Rivers through the rugged Central Otago landscape for 17 kilometres (10 miles) to the charming lakeside town of Wanaka. From Wanaka, it’s a short but dramatic journey over the Cardrona Saddle to Queenstown, on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. You’ll sleep sweetly tonight at a lakefront hotel located in the heart of Queenstown.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 5—Gondola ride, hike Ben Lomond or free day in Queenstown

Today you have two options – a full day hike or a free day to yourself. For those keen for an alpine hike, you'll meet your guide at reception at 9am, ready to head up the Ben Lomond Track. To save our legs a little, we’ll take a short gondola ride up to Bob’s Peak, which is 450 metres (1476 feet) above Queenstown. From there we’ll head out along the trail through alpine tussock-land towards the summit of Ben Lomond. From this vantage point you’ll find yourself immersed in amazing views over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, which are themselves dwarfed by the surrounding mountains including Mt Aspiring. As an alternative, you can have a free day to explore on your own. 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, sidewalk cafés, stylish lounge bars, day spas, and boutiques. You’ll also find incredible optional activities here including horse trekking, kayaking, fishing, winery tours, hang gliding, mountain biking, bungy jumping, jet boating and skydiving. Or you can just soak up the atmosphere or lounge about reading a book. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (No meals incl.)

Day 6—Hike Fiordland National Park

This morning, we set off for our largest and perhaps most spectacular national park, Fiordland. Once within the park we’ll stop to stretch our legs at regular intervals, to explore some of the highlights of this World Heritage Area, including the Eglington Valley, Mirror Lakes, Marian Gantry and The Chasm. The waterfalls viewed from the gantry will take your breath away! Once through the Homer Tunnel we’ll emerge at the top of a spectacular glacier-carved valley for a memorable descent to the shore of Milford Sound. Rudyard Kipling rated this fiord as the eighth natural wonder of the world and it is truly breathtaking, with steep granite walls plunging over a thousand metres to the Tasman Sea and waterfalls cascading into deep inky water. Tonight you’re in for an extra-special experience, as we’ll board the Milford Wanderer for an overnight cruise in the sheltered fiord. For those who’re keen, there’s time to explore a short section of the Milford Track - you’ll transfer on a smaller vessel to Sandfly Point and join a naturalist guide for approximately 1.5 hours, before rejoining the Wanderer in time for a sumptuous dinner!
Milford Wanderer Overnight Cruise, Milford Sound (All meals)

Day 7—Sea kayak Milford Sound, hike Routeburn Track

Having seen Milford Sound from the deck of a ship there’s one more unique activity we’ve got lined up for you, to experience the eighth natural wonder ‘Active Style’, gliding along in sea kayaks. You’ll cause very little disturbance to the water, being in kayaks, providing an excellent chance of meeting friendly fur seals and dolphins that are sometimes in the area. This trip is run by specialist kayak guides, and the paddling here is equally suitable for beginners and experts. After lunch, we’ll explore the Fiordland wilderness on foot again, with a hike to Key Summit on the famous Routeburn Track. The panoramic views are incredible from this vantage point and you’ll probably get to meet New Zealand’s notoriously cheeky and intelligent alpine parrot, the kea (Nestor notabilis). Tonight we’ll enjoy a celebratory dinner for the last night of the ‘Tui’.
Lake Manapouri Inn, Manapouri (All meals)

Day 8—Depart for home

After breakfast, we'll return to Queenstown. This is the end of your 'Tui' trip and you'll have had an exhilarating week. We'll leave you buzzing with excitement, but feeling relaxed and refreshed as well! For a great way to see the North Island too, where you'll experience Maori culture, pristine beaches and geothermal areas, combine this trip with our 11-day 'Kauri' (5-day 'Kauri' options available).
(Breakfast)


Activity Key - zoom in to see activity detail

Hiking Biking Kayaking Boating Flying

Itinerary

Day 1 — Arrive, hike in Arthur's Pass

Most people leave the northern hemisphere on a Friday evening, arriving into Auckland early Sunday 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 travel into the Southern Alps to hike Devils Punchbowl in Arthur's Pass. The walk will take you through native beech forest to an awesome 131 metre (430 feet) waterfall so make sure you have your camera handy! From there, we'll head down the coast to Franz Josef where we'll stay the night. Nestled in the rainforest-clad foothills of the Southern Alps, Franz Josef is the heart of New Zealand glacier country.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (Lunch, Dinner)

Day 2 — Hike near 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 two of these giant frozen rivers (Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers) imperceptibly grinding their way down through temperate rainforest to just 250 metres (820 feet) above sea level. We'll spend most of the day near Franz Josef Glacier hiking up through the forest to either Alex Knob or Roberts Point, both of which give incredible views of the ice. These hikes can be inaccessible in wet weather, so we may opt to hike close to the terminal face of Fox Glacier, or around Lake Matheson.

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 (4000 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 forest to Haast, and over the divide to a small mountain village called Makarora, where we’ll enjoy some local fare.
Makarora Lodgings, Makarora (All meals)

Day 3 (morning) — Start Mt Aspiring National Park options

This morning we’ll cross Haast Pass to more arid country on the eastern side of Mt Aspiring National Park. From Makarora, we head off on your choice of activity.

Siberia Valley Wilderness option in Mt Aspiring National Park

Day 3 (afternoon) - Scenic flight, hike Lake Crucible

If you like the idea of staying in one of New Zealand’s most isolated mountain huts, then this option is for you (but let us know early as space is limited)! We’ll start with a stunning scenic flight alongside the snowy Southern Alps to the Siberia Valley airstrip, a short hike from our home for the night. After lightening your packs at the hut, you can hike up the trail to Lake Crucible, a cauldron-like glacial lake with fantastic views of the valley below. Tonight you’ll be served a candle-lit dinner in one of the most glorious places in the world. This is also one of the few backcountry huts where you can chat with a resident hut ranger from New Zealand’s Department of Conservation. Rangers are often keen for a yarn around the camp fire, and can offer further insight into the flora and fauna of Mt Aspiring National Park. This is the only night on the ‘Tui’ where your accommodation is basic, though it’s a true Kiwi experience and a lot of fun. Your load will be little more than a day pack – our guides will carry the lion’s share of the load. You’ll be carrying a backpack with a sleeping bag, a few spare clothes and some food – no need for any more than that, although we’ll provide tents and so on if you’d prefer to camp out under the stars.
Siberia Hut, Mt Aspiring National Park (All meals)

Day 4 (morning) - Hike Siberia Valley, jet boat Wilkin River

After an early start, we spend the morning hiking to The Forks, at the head of the Wilkin River, where we’ll be met by a jet boat for an exhilarating ride back to Makarora to meet up with the rest of the group for lunch.

Makarora Adventure in Mt Aspiring National Park

Day 3 (afternoon) - Scenic flight, hike Siberia Valley, jet boat Wilkin River

If you prefer accommodation with modern amenities instead of a mountain hut for the night, then this is the option for you. You’ll head out for a mind-blowing scenic flight into Mt Aspiring National Park, with a bird’s eye view of the lower Southern Alps, landing in the remote Siberia Valley. From here you’ll hike downstream along the Wilkin River, through beautiful silver beech (Nothofagus menziesii) forests to a jet boat rendezvous. Then it’s a thrilling ride back to Makarora for dinner and perhaps a well-earned drink at the Makarora pub.
Makarora Lodgings, Makarora (All meals)

Day 4 (morning) - Hike on Mt Shrimpton

This morning we’ll hike the Mt Shrimpton track. It’s a steep hike with a 750 metres (2500 feet) elevation gain, and wait until you see the views from above the tree-line! Alternatively, you can have a relaxing sleep in and spend your morning soaking up the mountain views.

Day 4 (afternoon) — Finish Mt Aspiring National Park options, cycle Hawea River Trail

After regrouping in Makarora, we’ll have a picnic lunch before taking a beautiful drive through spectacular glacier-carved valleys. The landscape changes rapidly from dense beech forests to semi-arid terrain. When we arrive at Lake Hawea, you’ll be fitted with a 21-speed front-suspension Avanti Black Thunder 7.1 mountain bike for a scenic ride along the Hawea River Trail. This gently undulating track follows the Hawea and Clutha Rivers through the rugged Central Otago landscape for 17 kilometres (10 miles) to the charming lakeside town of Wanaka. From Wanaka, it’s a short but dramatic journey over the Cardrona Saddle to Queenstown, on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. You’ll sleep sweetly tonight at a lakefront hotel located in the heart of Queenstown.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 5 — Gondola ride, hike Ben Lomond or free day in Queenstown

Today you have two options – a full day hike or a free day to yourself. For those keen for an alpine hike, you'll meet your guide at reception at 9am, ready to head up the Ben Lomond Track. To save our legs a little, we’ll take a short gondola ride up to Bob’s Peak, which is 450 metres (1476 feet) above Queenstown. From there we’ll head out along the trail through alpine tussock-land towards the summit of Ben Lomond. From this vantage point you’ll find yourself immersed in amazing views over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, which are themselves dwarfed by the surrounding mountains including Mt Aspiring. As an alternative, you can have a free day to explore on your own. 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, sidewalk cafés, stylish lounge bars, day spas, and boutiques. You’ll also find incredible optional activities here including horse trekking, kayaking, fishing, winery tours, hang gliding, mountain biking, bungy jumping, jet boating and skydiving. Or you can just soak up the atmosphere or lounge about reading a book. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (No meals incl.)

Day 6 — Hike Fiordland National Park

This morning, we set off for our largest and perhaps most spectacular national park, Fiordland. Once within the park we’ll stop to stretch our legs at regular intervals, to explore some of the highlights of this World Heritage Area, including the Eglington Valley, Mirror Lakes, Marian Gantry and The Chasm. The waterfalls viewed from the gantry will take your breath away! Once through the Homer Tunnel we’ll emerge at the top of a spectacular glacier-carved valley for a memorable descent to the shore of Milford Sound. Rudyard Kipling rated this fiord as the eighth natural wonder of the world and it is truly breathtaking, with steep granite walls plunging over a thousand metres to the Tasman Sea and waterfalls cascading into deep inky water. Tonight you’re in for an extra-special experience, as we’ll board the Milford Wanderer for an overnight cruise in the sheltered fiord. For those who’re keen, there’s time to explore a short section of the Milford Track - you’ll transfer on a smaller vessel to Sandfly Point and join a naturalist guide for approximately 1.5 hours, before rejoining the Wanderer in time for a sumptuous dinner!
Milford Wanderer Overnight Cruise, Milford Sound (All meals)

Day 7 — Sea kayak Milford Sound, hike Routeburn Track

Having seen Milford Sound from the deck of a ship there’s one more unique activity we’ve got lined up for you, to experience the eighth natural wonder ‘Active Style’, gliding along in sea kayaks. You’ll cause very little disturbance to the water, being in kayaks, providing an excellent chance of meeting friendly fur seals and dolphins that are sometimes in the area. This trip is run by specialist kayak guides, and the paddling here is equally suitable for beginners and experts. After lunch, we’ll explore the Fiordland wilderness on foot again, with a hike to Key Summit on the famous Routeburn Track. The panoramic views are incredible from this vantage point and you’ll probably get to meet New Zealand’s notoriously cheeky and intelligent alpine parrot, the kea (Nestor notabilis). Tonight we’ll enjoy a celebratory dinner for the last night of the ‘Tui’.
Lake Manapouri Inn, Manapouri (All meals)

Day 8 — Depart for home

After breakfast, we'll return to Queenstown. This is the end of your 'Tui' trip and you'll have had an exhilarating week. We'll leave you buzzing with excitement, but feeling relaxed and refreshed as well! For a great way to see the North Island too, where you'll experience Maori culture, pristine beaches and geothermal areas, combine this trip with our 11-day 'Kauri' (5-day 'Kauri' options available).
(Breakfast)

Dates

Trip Date Price Status  
Sep 23, 2018 – Oct 01, 2018 US$3999 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Oct 07, 2018 – Oct 15, 2018 US$3999 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Oct 14, 2018 – Oct 22, 2018 US$3999 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Oct 21, 2018 – Oct 29, 2018 US$3999 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Oct 28, 2018 – Nov 05, 2018 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Nov 04, 2018 – Nov 12, 2018 US$3999 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Nov 11, 2018 – Nov 19, 2018 US$3999 + tax Almost full Check Availability
Nov 18, 2018 – Nov 26, 2018 US$3999 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Nov 25, 2018 – Dec 03, 2018 US$3999 + tax Almost full Check Availability
Nov 27, 2018 – Dec 05, 2018 US$3999 + tax Full Check Availability
Dec 09, 2018 – Dec 17, 2018 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 16, 2018 – Dec 24, 2018 US$3999 + tax Christmas Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Dec 17, 2018 – Dec 25, 2018 US$3999 + tax Christmas Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Dec 23, 2018 – Dec 31, 2018 US$3999 + tax Christmas Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Dec 24, 2018 – Jan 01, 2019 US$3999 + tax Christmas Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Dec 30, 2018 – Jan 07, 2019 US$3999 + tax Christmas Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Dec 31, 2018 – Jan 08, 2019 US$3999 + tax Christmas Season - Check Now! Check Availability
2019
Jan 06, 2019 – Jan 14, 2019 US$3999 + tax Christmas Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Jan 07, 2019 – Jan 15, 2019 US$3999 + tax Christmas Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Jan 13, 2019 – Jan 21, 2019 US$3999 + tax Christmas Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Jan 20, 2019 – Jan 28, 2019 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Jan 27, 2019 – Feb 04, 2019 US$3999 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Feb 03, 2019 – Feb 11, 2019 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 10, 2019 – Feb 18, 2019 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 17, 2019 – Feb 25, 2019 US$3999 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Feb 24, 2019 – Mar 04, 2019 US$3999 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Mar 03, 2019 – Mar 11, 2019 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 10, 2019 – Mar 18, 2019 US$3999 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Mar 17, 2019 – Mar 25, 2019 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 24, 2019 – Apr 01, 2019 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 31, 2019 – Apr 08, 2019 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Apr 14, 2019 – Apr 22, 2019 US$3999 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Apr 28, 2019 – May 06, 2019 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Sep 29, 2019 – Oct 07, 2019 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Oct 06, 2019 – Oct 14, 2019 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Oct 13, 2019 – Oct 21, 2019 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Oct 20, 2019 – Oct 28, 2019 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Oct 27, 2019 – Nov 04, 2019 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Nov 03, 2019 – Nov 11, 2019 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Nov 10, 2019 – Nov 18, 2019 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Nov 17, 2019 – Nov 25, 2019 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Nov 24, 2019 – Dec 02, 2019 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 08, 2019 – Dec 16, 2019 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 15, 2019 – Dec 23, 2019 US$3999 + tax Christmas Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Dec 22, 2019 – Dec 30, 2019 US$3999 + tax Christmas Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Dec 29, 2019 – Jan 06, 2020 US$3999 + tax Christmas Season - Check Now! Check Availability
2020
Jan 05, 2020 – Jan 13, 2020 US$3999 + tax Christmas Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Jan 12, 2020 – Jan 20, 2020 US$3999 + tax Christmas Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Jan 19, 2020 – Jan 27, 2020 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Jan 26, 2020 – Feb 03, 2020 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 02, 2020 – Feb 10, 2020 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 09, 2020 – Feb 17, 2020 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 16, 2020 – Feb 24, 2020 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 23, 2020 – Mar 02, 2020 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 01, 2020 – Mar 09, 2020 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 08, 2020 – Mar 16, 2020 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 15, 2020 – Mar 23, 2020 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 22, 2020 – Mar 30, 2020 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 29, 2020 – Apr 06, 2020 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Apr 12, 2020 – Apr 20, 2020 US$3999 + tax Great Check Availability
Apr 26, 2020 – May 04, 2020 US$3999 + 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 Heartland Hotel Cotswold in Christchurch at 9.30am, or at Christchurch airport in front of the Travel and Information desk at 10am.

Trip End:

On the last day of the trip we can drop you off at Queenstown airport (ZQN) in time for the recommended flights below, or anywhere in Queenstown around lunch time.

Recommended flights:

Arrival: If you’re flying in on the first day of the trip, we recommend arriving in Christchurch before 9am on Sunday.
Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Queenstown any time after 12 noon. If you are considering alternative flight times, or an international departure from Queenstown, 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.

Fitness:

The ‘Tui’ suits people of a wide range of fitness levels and outdoor experience, particularly if you enjoy a variety of activities. If you keep reasonably active and like to give things a go, you’re likely to enjoy the activities much more. Typically, hikes on the ‘Tui’ trip range between two and six hours to complete, and there are shorter alternatives to the longer hikes. If you’re used to pushing yourself further, we’ll keep you challenged as well. Please get in touch with us if you’d like to chat about the trip or activities.

Reviews

  • Perfect Way to Pack South Island Awesomeness into 7 days!

    “The title says it all. If you have a week to hit the highlights, this is the prefect trip. The route and sites selected were ALL amazing. The activities were accessible to a wide range of active abilities, and the guides were hands-down the best adventure guides I’ve had. Besides the incredible beauty the South Island offers at every turn, there were a few things that stood out for me that make Active Adventures the right choice. 1- Group size was perfect. 2- the logistics management of the guides. The guides are masters at anticipating your fun level and changing things up if needed (such a socked-in rain). 3- speaking of guides, they are knowledgeable, personable, and professional. They kept us on track and entertained. I can’t say enough about them! 4- Food and coffee is always flowing. I was always fed and prepped for activities with plenty of delicious New Zealand coffee stops. Also, much of the meals were made delicious and fresh by the guides! Active Adventures knows what they are doing, and it shows in the quality of their tours. Booking with them is a no-brainer! We’ll definitely be booking with them again.”
    Melissa Reyes – Texas, United StatesApril 2018
  • South Island Could Not be Better

    “We had a wonderful time on the South Island. The scenery, activities and accommodations were fantastic. It is truly a paradise, clean, sparsely populated. In addition, our guides were incredible. Knowledgeable, enthusiastic and a lot of fun!”
    Bob Goeltz – Missouri, United StatesApril 2018
  • South Island is Utopia

    “Well worth your money... Don't hesitate to go... the South Island is Utopia. Spectacular scenery everywhere, clean air, clean water, fresh food, variety of activities. I am 61 and had the time of my life on a jet boat, helicopter, 6-seater plane, sea-kayaking, biking. Slept in a hut, on a boat. Guides were fun, friendly, well-informed, responsible. Loved it and want to go back”
    Geri Goeltz – Missouri, United StatesApril 2018
  • A Total Delight

    “Everyone knows New Zealand will be gorgeous, but this trip was fabulous mostly because it was so well planned by Active Adventures, and so incredibly well led by our two guides, Katie and Astrid. They made everything seamless, positive and light, encouraging us in the tougher hikes all the while making endless arrangements and great food behind the scenes. They seriously upped the fun quotient. This knitted our group together and made us realize we were truly on the vacation of a lifetime.”
    Paula Alvary – Massachusetts, United StatesApril 2018
  • A Great Adventure

    “My expectations were exceeded by this 8 day “Tui” adventure. With great weather and interesting travelling companions, my husband and I had a fabulous time. Our guides/leaders/cooks, Katie and Astrid, kept us entertained, informed and well fed throughout the entire week. Congrats to Active Adventures for being committed to showing people from other countries just how beautiful the South Island of New Zealand is. This “Tui” trek was simply a trip of a lifetime for someone who grew up on the prairies in Canada and now lives in Toronto.”
    Chris Conacher – Ontario, CanadaMarch 2018
  • Perfect Way to Pack South Island Awesomeness into 7 days!

    “The title says it all. If you have a week to hit the highlights, this is the prefect trip. The route and sites selected were ALL amazing. The activities were accessible to a wide range of active abilities, and the guides were hands-down the best adventure guides I’ve had. Besides the incredible beauty the South Island offers at every turn, there were a few things that stood out for me that make Active Adventures the right choice. 1- Group size was perfect. 2- the logistics management of the guides. The guides are masters at anticipating your fun level and changing things up if needed (such a socked-in rain). 3- speaking of guides, they are knowledgeable, personable, and professional. They kept us on track and entertained. I can’t say enough about them! 4- Food and coffee is always flowing. I was always fed and prepped for activities with plenty of delicious New Zealand coffee stops. Also, much of the meals were made delicious and fresh by the guides! Active Adventures knows what they are doing, and it shows in the quality of their tours. Booking with them is a no-brainer! We’ll definitely be booking with them again.”
    Melissa Reyes – Texas, United StatesApril 2018
  • South Island Could Not be Better

    “We had a wonderful time on the South Island. The scenery, activities and accommodations were fantastic. It is truly a paradise, clean, sparsely populated. In addition, our guides were incredible. Knowledgeable, enthusiastic and a lot of fun!”
    Bob Goeltz – Missouri, United StatesApril 2018
  • South Island is Utopia

    “Well worth your money... Don't hesitate to go... the South Island is Utopia. Spectacular scenery everywhere, clean air, clean water, fresh food, variety of activities. I am 61 and had the time of my life on a jet boat, helicopter, 6-seater plane, sea-kayaking, biking. Slept in a hut, on a boat. Guides were fun, friendly, well-informed, responsible. Loved it and want to go back”
    Geri Goeltz – Missouri, United StatesApril 2018
  • A Total Delight

    “Everyone knows New Zealand will be gorgeous, but this trip was fabulous mostly because it was so well planned by Active Adventures, and so incredibly well led by our two guides, Katie and Astrid. They made everything seamless, positive and light, encouraging us in the tougher hikes all the while making endless arrangements and great food behind the scenes. They seriously upped the fun quotient. This knitted our group together and made us realize we were truly on the vacation of a lifetime.”
    Paula Alvary – Massachusetts, United StatesApril 2018
  • A Great Adventure

    “My expectations were exceeded by this 8 day “Tui” adventure. With great weather and interesting travelling companions, my husband and I had a fabulous time. Our guides/leaders/cooks, Katie and Astrid, kept us entertained, informed and well fed throughout the entire week. Congrats to Active Adventures for being committed to showing people from other countries just how beautiful the South Island of New Zealand is. This “Tui” trek was simply a trip of a lifetime for someone who grew up on the prairies in Canada and now lives in Toronto.”
    Chris Conacher – Ontario, CanadaMarch 2018
  • Incredible Trip

    “The Tui trip was absolutely incredible. I couldn't have imagined a better way to explore New Zealand's South Island. It was an 8 day whirlwind of adventure, and everything was impeccably coordinated. Simon and Liana took care of every detail, while making sure we all had a blast. The accomodations were unique, the food was plentiful, and the days were jam-packed with memorable activities. It was an unforgettable experience - thanks Active!”
    Brittany Gibbons – Nevada, United StatesMarch 2018
  • Tui Adventure

    “This trip was all I had hoped for and then some. I expected beautiful scenery and exciting activities, but I did not expect the personal touch from our guides. One of the group members mentioned chips and salsa... that night we had chips and salsa to go with our appetizers. They knew I love birds, so I was introduced to every bird possible - along with descriptions of the birds’ personalities and habits. There seemed to be no end to Dani and Emma’s knowledge about New Zealand and that made a huge impact on our trip! We all felt like family by the end of the week, and for a person traveling alone, that is a wonderful gift!”
    Janet Slover – Texas, United StatesMarch 2018
  • How Will We Top This?!

    “I was a bit anxious about our trip, since we've never gone on a guided tour before. But Katie and Astrid quickly put aside any worries. The trip was amazing and the scenery beautiful. Our guides were wonderful - they were competent, entertaining and fun. They have set the bar high for any future vacations - how will we top this?”
    Monique Scharlotte – New Hampshire, United StatesMarch 2018
  • Just do it!

    “If anyone is on the fence about going, just do it! It was a lot of fun.

    Nick Spears – Virginia, United StatesMarch 2018
  • Fun in the South

    “What an amazing time we had with two wonderful, fun guides and another couple!!! We went to places and did things we would not have experienced if we had not been on the tour. We feel that our time on the tour gave us a great feel for what this amazing country has to offer. We want to come back!!!! Thank you, Ash and Tess for being the best of company!!!!”
    Pam Moller – Queensland, AustraliaMarch 2018
  • Wonderful Trip with Great Friends.

    “We had a group of 4 couples on the "Tui trip" and had a wonderful experience. The guides were fabulous and extremely knowledgable. They were at their best when the weather (Cyclone Gita) threw us a curveball. (That's a baseball term. Sorry you cricket lovers)!”
    Bobby Upp – Louisiana, United StatesMarch 2018
  • Guided Trips are the Way to Go!

    “I had been wanting to hike in New Zealand for some time, and finally had enough time off. Trying to figure out the hut system, what to see and how to get around seemed a bit overwhelming. Even moreso since I was traveling solo. Active looked to be a great way to travel without having to stress about the planning, travel, etc. Though I had never traveled like this before, I saw the places I wanted to travel to, and others I would have likely not have found alone. Everyone on the trip was pleasant and easy to talk to, friendly and, like me had a great time. Our guides, Katie and Astrid, really made the trip with their upbeat attitudes, informative revelations on everything we saw, continual answering to our sometimes badgering questions and always being ready to help out.”
    Henry Shenk – Louisiana, United StatesMarch 2018
  • Best Ever!

    “Trip of a Lifetime for sure! I’m still on a NZ High :-D))
    Thanks to Nick B & Melissa for their knowlegde & Expertise experience, which made our trip successful & FUN! With their encouragement, I was able to challenge myself & push beyond what I thought my abilities were.......THANK YOU!!! Such a pleasure getting to know Nick & Mel, we were spoiled & enjoyed every minute of this adventure with them. Highly recommend Active Adventures NZ making dreams come TRUE!”
    Wendy Woods – Montana, United StatesMarch 2018
  • Thanks

    “Kim and Lauren were terrific guides.”
    Dan McCool – Utah, United StatesMarch 2018
  • Tui Trip

    “As seasoned travelers we know what makes a great trip. Our guides Nick and Mel were over the top with all aspects of the trip. From the minute of our pickup to our improvised departure, through cyclone Gita we never missed a beat. Wouldn’t change a thing. A true trip of a life time.”
    Kelly Zeiler – Montana, United StatesMarch 2018
  • Stunningly Beautiful!

    “Wow! That was a word we used so many times on our 'Tui' adventure. Every corner we turned or path we climbed led to a stunning view that left us feeling both energized and awed.”
    Sharon Wiley – Ontario, CanadaMarch 2018
  • Great Trip

    “This was a brilliant trip. Superb guides with great information about every place we went. Great pace with a good balance of medium and harder hiking. Highlights: information from guides during the trip; delicious and healthy food; spectacular views; great pace. Lowlights: I’m scratching to find lowlights; but due to the shorter duration of the trip and the number of areas that are visited; there is a lot of travel time. I don’t know how that can be reduced though.”
    Justine van der Werf – Queensland, AustraliaMarch 2018
  • Amazing Trip!

    “Really enjoyed the 'Tui' trip. Amazing guides. They were super knowledgeable and easy to get on with. Brilliant group of people and some memories of a lifetime created.”
    Chris Schumacher – East sussex, United KingdomMarch 2018
  • Trip of a Lifetime

    “Every day was a new adventure. The scenery and activities varied so much and it was the best way to see New Zealand in 8 days”
    Jean Walker – Colorado, United StatesMarch 2018
  • Wonderful Overview of the South Island

    “We really enjoyed all the variety on the trip and seeing a good portion of the South Island.”
    JR Matthews – California, United StatesMarch 2018
  • Tui 1/28-2/4/18

    “It was nice and a great pleasure to come to NZ. Office management and people were all so great! Thanks for all the wonderful memories!”
    Alexander Stoimenow – , Korea, Republic of [South]February 2018
  • Wonderful Tui Trip!

    “Jackie and Ash were awesome. They were fun, capable and kept us all going and well fed.
    We couldn't have asked for a more enjoyable trip. Thank you very much for a wonderfully warm and welcoming New Zealand experience. The hike up to the glacial lake will never be forgotten. Corinne”
    Corinne Laverty – California, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • First time in New Zealand

    “It was a beautiful trip! We were in so many places and we had seen so many of the natural beauties of New Zealand in a short time.
    Our guides were great, very professional, knowledgeable, easy going, accommodating and friendly
    The trip covered a lot of activities for any level of fitness.
    The plane ride, the jet boat ride, the nocturnal cruise in Milford Sound and the kayak experience and bike riding were all wonderful.
    Thank you for the great experience!”
    Carmen Cojanu – Colorado, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • Fabulous Trip!

    “Great guides, great destinations - we felt safe, entertained and totally taken care of for the whole trip.”
    Tom Schulman – California, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • It Was a Trip Full of Action!

    “We really enjoyed this south island trip.
    Both Dani and Maya are full of energy and appears to enjoy what they do!
    Dani is very knowledgeable about the history of the area and people.
    They are problem solvers and went out of their ways to accommodate this large group of travelers!”
    Miao Zhao – Texas, United States of AmericaJanuary 2018
  • Tui Trip

    “Excellent trip, very well run and great guides.”
    Dana Weingardt – Illinois, United States of AmericaJanuary 2018
  • New Zealand - South Island

    “Had a great vacation and our guides made it even more fun.”
    Loretta Harland – Ohio, United States of AmericaJanuary 2018
  • Memorable Trip

    “The Tui trip included a variety of activities and allowed us to see quite a bit of the South Island. The scenery was outstanding - it was everything we hoped for. The guides were fantastic. This is a trip we will be talked about for a long time to come.”
    Mary Beth Sattler – Maryland, United States of AmericaJanuary 2018
  • Tui with Dani and Maya

    “My Tui trip was an excellent "Active" adventure.. without Bill&Ted.
    Dani and Maya showed up on the 12/25.. and their exuberance set the tone for the trip. Really, enjoyed myself on this guided tour. The itinerary was perfect, and gave us a great overview of the South Island. I wish I had done the helicopter ride to the Franz Josef glacier; if I had to do it again it would have been worth the fee. Loved the rain forest hotel stay there too.
    Siberia Hut/Lake Crucible was an awesome hike.. enjoyed the bush plane flight into the valley - scary but fun. Tough climb up beside the falls, but the views were well worth it. Walking through the meadows towards the lake was amazing. Awe-inspiring views. Lake Crucible/Valley: tired from the climb, the view towards Lake Crucible drove you to move forward. Lake Crucible itself is pretty cool with its floating "glaciers" great hike. I Enjoyed the hike out as we headed for the valley and rivers. The jet boat ride was awesome - besides the thrills of the ride we got the extra "pop" of the views of the mountains. Meeting up as a group and then doing a bike ride in the afternoon added to the adventure. It was awesome going from an alpine environment to a social bike ride. It's amazing how the environments change so quickly, those 2 days are a workout but worth it.
    The day off in Queenstown was good, allowed us to rest up but also time to get a feel of the resort culture and kiwi Hospitality of New Zealand.
    The Milford Sound portion was amazing as we arrived during a heavy downpour to see the thousands of waterfalls produced by the rains. The views and splendor made you want to to stand in the rain to observe. Enjoyed the overnight stay on the boat, and the dinner. Next day we kayaked, it was my first time which was enjoyable. It is something that i will pursue as a hobby based on this experience.
    I'd like to personally thank both Dani, and Maya. They were personable, fun, and kept the trip on track. Both had great personalities, and took care of us on both X-Mas Day, and NYE, much appreciated.
    Based on my positive experience I would recommend the Tui Trip and Active Adventures to someone else.”
    John Jones – Massachusetts, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • Trip of a life time

    “My wife and I planned this trip with some friends to try something new and to maximize the experience of New Zealand. We spent 8 days hiking, biking, and kayaking through the South Island. Every day was action packed with something different to do. We got to try new things, test a few of our limits that we wouldn't have normally done, and learn a few things about local culture along the way. I can't say enough good things about our guides Ben and Liana. They were enthusiastic about everything we did and full of information. They helped us push limits and get the most out of the experiences we had. Everyone I've told about our trip has been wowed by the awesome things we got to see and do.”
    Chris Busch – Pennsylvania, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • The Perfect Amount of Challenge!

    “Flying into the Siberia Valley, hiking up to an alpine lake, sleeping in a back country hut, and jet boating back to civilization - all in a 36 hour period - means I earned bragging rights and street cred! Many thanks to our wonderful guides for their encouragement and knowledge. Truly a trip of a lifetime.”
    Jennifer Wegryn – Ohio, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • “We really had a great time with your team. Your lead guide, James, was always accommodating and willing to go the extra mile for everyone. When we could not make one of our trips due to rain it was super impressive that you guys made a work-around and made it happen. It was a wonderful trip.”
    Steve Henriques – Texas, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • An Unforgettable Adventures

    “From kayaking to mountain biking to hiking and even skydiving!- Active Adventures let me do it all in just 8 days during the South Island Tui Trip. It was an amazing experience and I especially loved how everything was planned beforehand and taken care off. Traveling stress free is one of the best! Definitely would recommend to my friends!”
    Nikitha Murugesan – Texas, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • Best trip ever!

    “The Tui trip was well planned with two very cheerful and detail-oriented guides, Amanda and Alex! I enjoyed not only the spectacular post-card like views, but also the hospitality of Kiwi!”
    Bingli Mo – California, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • A Great Trip

    “We had a blast. Even when the weather didn't work in our favor our guides made it possible to do about everything we wanted to do. Franz Joseph Glacier was a once in a lifetime experience, exploring all the ice caves. The Siberia Wilderness was absolutely amazing. Loved the scenic flight. And Milford Sound cruise and sea kayak made it feel like we experienced the sound from so many different perspectives. Also, added bonus, we saw dolphins, seals, and a whale!!! We got to do so much in the week that we had. And our guides were great and knew a lot about the places we visited. It was fun to learn about New Zealand from the locals.”
    Liz Monson – Hawaii, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • Wonderful introduction to the South Island

    “Based on the trip itinerary and description, I assumed this would be a fantastic introduction to the South Island. And, it was. What I did not expect were two of the best guides I have ever had on a planned adventure trip. They made adventure absolutely wonderful.”
    Roy Breyfogle – Colorado, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • Sweet as

    “I really don't know how our trip could have been any better! We must have won the guide lottery to get Amanda and Alex on our trip. They were a lot of fun to be with, knowledgeable in all things New Zealand, and just did an amazing job running the trip. We loved each stop and activity on the Tui itinerary and feel like we got to see some of the best the South Island had to offer. My son and I had been looking forward to this trip for a very long time and it definitely lived up to our expectations. The only regret is that we couldn't stay longer!”
    Rick Wells – Arkansas, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • “Amanda and Alex made our trip special. An adventure trip is only as good as the guides. I have done a few bicycle trips, etc., but Amanda and Alex are the "Best Guides Ever." Inside joke.”
    Treena Breyfogle – Hawaii, United StatesDecember 2017
  • Majestic South Island

    “This tramping trip fed me body and soul! ”
    Michael Smith – Maryland, United StatesDecember 2017
  • Best way to see New Zealand

    “My husband and I spent our honeymoon in New Zealand for several weeks, the middle part of which we spent with Active Adventures. Being shown New Zealand by local people was by far the best way to travel. Our guides were absolutely amazing and were able to create a trip that best suited everyone. We were able to go places that would have been otherwise impossible for my husband and I to plan on our own. From staying in small towns that we wouldn't have heard about otherwise and being flown into isolated valleys to spend a few days, it felt like we were being shown a different side of NZ. It was the trip of a lifetime. ”
    Bridgette Van Sloun – New York, United StatesDecember 2017
  • Tui Trip Nov 2017

    “My husband and I, along with two other friends, went on the 8 day Tui Trip in November of 2017. It was truly the trip of a lifetime. We spent additional time in NZ on our own, but the Tui Trip was the hands down highlight. This type of trip was our of our usual wheelhouse, typically preferring city based trips, but this may have changed our outlook forever! The day hike in Siberia Valley and night spent under the stars was a personal favorite. Ben and Liana were incredible guides. They made us feel at home immediately, and kept it fun and casual throughout. Our group was the perfect size. By the end of 8 days, it felt like we were leaving a new family behind. I would recommend this trip to anyone and everyone and would do it again in a heart beat! ”
    Lindsay Busch – Pennsylvania, United StatesDecember 2017
  • Trip of a Lifetime!

    “This was a trip I planned for years and it is easy to be disappointed when you have built it up so high in your mind, but, if anything, this trip was even better than I imagined. We must have been assigned the best guides in the company, because I cannot imagine the trip with anyone else in charge.”
    Diane Nagel – Illinois, United StatesDecember 2017
  • Fantastic Trip

    “This was certainly a trip of a lifetime. I believe doing these guided tours takes you off the beaten track, and shows you what NZ really has to offer. Our guides gave us great insight, helped us when we needed help, and let us explore when we wanted the freedom. They catered to everyone in our group, and really brought the group closer together.”
    Greg Wright – Colorado, United StatesDecember 2017
  • South Island Adventure

    “I cannot say enough about my Active Adventures Tui trip of the South Island of New Zealand. If you are looking for a tour that will take you to some of the most stunning natural settings the South Island has to offer, then book this trip. Be sure to cross the rivers “kiwi style”, you will appreciate the bragging rights after the fact! Climb to Lake Crucible, it is a spectacular view and worth every sweaty step. Sleep in the mountain hut, it is a unique experience. As for our amazing guides, Katie and Eve, Active Adventures certainly made the right selection with these two; they made this trip unforgettable.

    The Maori call New Zealand Aotearoa, land of the long white cloud. After taking this trip Aotearoa now has a special place in my heart and I cannot wait to return for another visit.
    Tracey Walt – British Columbia, CanadaDecember 2017
  • Beautiful Trip Through Remote Corners of the Country

    “Our Active Adventures 'Tui' tour on the South Island of New Zealand was wonderful. With the help of our exceptional guides and our new comrades we were able to see so many breathtakingly pristine natural wonders, and engage with them in such fun ways. The trip was fast paced and exciting. Highly recommended!”
    Albert Kennis – Shizuoka-ken, JapanDecember 2017
  • Unbelievable weather!

    “Our guides really made the trip! Katie and Eve were fantastic, and the South Island was so beautiful. I can't recommend the Tui trip enough.”
    Katrina Linder – Pennsylvania, United StatesNovember 2017
  • Great Way To See The South Island In A Week

    “The 'Tui' trip is a great way to see the key parts of the south island if you only have a week. I really feel like I saw the most important parts of the southern island and got a feel for New Zealand history and culture.”
    Catherine Gioeli – New Jersey, United StatesNovember 2017
  • Amazing Tui Adventure!

    “My husband and I were looking for a way to see the "outdoorsy" aspects of New Zealand but we only had a short chunk of time. Active Adventures was a perfect fit for us. The guides were amazing at showing us the ropes, teaching us some Kiwi culture, and helping us push our limits in all things active. We are already looking at some other options and can't wait to get back to New Zealand again soon!”
    Elyssa Wright – Colorado, United StatesNovember 2017
  • Wow

    “Super trip with enthusiastic, capable, knowledgeable, encouraging and fit Eve and Katie. Saw so much more with people who knew where to go- from the best views of the Franz Josef glacier, to what to buy in the small town of Hokitita. We felt a bit stretched "all hikes in New Zealand are uphill-that is where the views are, awed (stars are bright), well fed and excited. We could never have organized a small plane ride, grass field landing, wade across a glacier fed river, hike, and a jet boat out, in a town with a population of 70, and not listed in any guidebook. This was followed by a postcard perfect bike ride along the trail between two lakes-over multiple suspension bridges, then a cruise on Milford Sound where whale blow holes were spotted, seals cavorted and rare Fiordland penguins flapped on the shore. Still haven't culled down the over 800 pictures taken in a week. I appreciated the guides' ability to stay positive with different personalities in the group, to be sure all had the trip they wanted. We drove ourselves the week before - it was indeed more relaxing to be able to give this responsibility to someone else. If you are in reasonable shape, love being outside and enjoy national park type accommodations and food- you will have a blast on this trip.”
    Cindy Heldt – Delaware, United StatesNovember 2017
  • Amazing Tui Trip

    “We had an amazing time in New Zealand and enjoyed our Tui trip of the South Island! It was an excellent way to travel and see so many different places in one trip. Our guides, Eve and Katie, were great! They were extremely knowledgeable and very attentive to our needs, and always made sure we were well fed. We would definitely recommend the Tui trip to anyone traveling to New Zealand!”
    Dana Pasini – Pennsylvania, United StatesNovember 2017
  • Amazing South Island Experience

    “The Tue trip was everything I hoped for and much much more. NZ is the most beautiful place on earth and our guides Katie and Eve made the journey fun, safe, comfortable and easy! This is the only trip of this kind I have taken where I felt truly refreshed when I arrived back at my home. How Active consistently finds guides of this calibre and character is a mystery to me. Both of my trips with Active have been outstanding!”
    Michael Orzen – Oregon, United StatesNovember 2017
  • Great Way to Experience the South Island

    “This vacation was a great combination of active and pure sightseeing. Lots of good hikes and terrific landscape.”
    Linda McKenzie – Ontario, CanadaNovember 2017
  • Could Not Have Asked For More

    “Organization: Amazing. Pace: Active! Guides: A big TEN. Group: Really nice. Beauty of NZ: Obvious. I loved everything about the trip. No joke about the "get fit" recommendation. Nick and Tess are amazing guides, I need to start there. They made everyone feel special. Nick kept us laughing all the time. But they were also so encouraging when hikes were tough. I felt they really cared about us. I thought it was weird that so many reviews talked about the food being good until I was on the trip realizing that Tess was doing a lot of the cooking or organizing so yes, the food was great. Accommodations were so nice. I would recommend anyone thinking of doing the trip to stop thinking and sign up.”
    Janet Pahima – Israel, IsraelNovember 2017
  • Wonderful Overview of the South Island

    “Taking the Tui trip in early November was a fast paced way to see a huge amount of South Island. The itinerary was filled with challenging hikes that explored gorgeous rain forests and often led to breath taking views. The weather changes on a dime and I'm glad that I followed the suggested packing list because it got quite cold some days. One of my favorite things about this trip was the variety of activities. Yes, we did a lot of short walks and substantial hikes, but we also experienced a jet boat ride in the rain on a pristine river, a helicopter ride to the top of a glacier, a scenic flight and a bike ride along a crystal clear river that finished in the charming town of Wanaka. The highlight of the trip for me was the two days in Milford Sound. The area is magical with gushing waterfalls and massive tree covered mountains. I loved being on the boat over night after getting a taste of walking the Milford Track with the naturalist who explained the history as well as the flora and fauna of the area. The morning cruise to the Tasman Sea allowed us to see penguins, dolphins and sea lions. All of that was followed by a peaceful kayak trip and a hike up the "Divide" portion of the Routeburn Track. Our guides - James and Maddi - were outstanding. They were both super responsible and had great personalities. James was a focused driver and did a good job of keeping us organized and on time. Maddi provided for us as a chef and "Jill of all trades". Specifically, she went out of her way to make sure that I always had an ice pack for my bum knee. On that note, this trip keeps the participants moving, but the guides were usually able to adjust the activities to suit the needs of each individual. The bus was fairly comfortable with 15 passengers and I enjoyed the "Classic Road Trip" and "Reggae Classics" soundtrack. Sometimes if felt a little bit like summer camp for grown ups. In general the food was not what I would call gourmet, but it was fresh, wholesome and plentiful. I loved that the snacks on the bus were mainly fresh fruit and healthy snack bars.”
    Jennifer Klein – California, United StatesNovember 2017
  • Wonderful Trip on the South Island!

    “Our South Island adventure was wonderful! Katie and Astrid were great, taking care of everything we needed. It was so nice not to have to worry about anything the whole week. We saw beautiful scenery throughout the trip and we only had inclement weather one day. It’s hard to say what the highlight would be. Franz Josef Glacier? The plane ride into Siberia Valley and the hike out? The night spent on Milford Sound? So many amazing activities! We would totally recommend the Tui and our guides, Katie and Astrid.”
    Dan Arnold – Colorado, United StatesNovember 2017
  • Great Active Honeymoon!

    “What an awesome experience! We had such a great time with our TUI guides & Active Adventures group... just wish that we could have stayed more days together :-) The itinerary was full of variety, and well-organised; the scenes were amazing, breathtaking in their beauty. The Siberia Valley experience was just mind-blowing! The sheer amount of places to visit and activities to do was so impressive. Our guides James and Maya were really easy-going, friendly, and always with a smile on their faces; we really loved them! And were also lucky to have Evie, Leo, and Jennie as lovely fellow-travellers. Thanks guys for making our honeymoon unforgettable! We will certainly recommend this TUI trip to anyone planning on visiting New Zealand.

    Erica & Alex, Italy”
    Alexander Faes – Bolzano, ItalyNovember 2017
  • Rain or Shine

    “The Tui trip was a great way to see some of the South Island through hiking, biking, and kayaking. If the weather is nice it just makes everything spectacular. If it's raining, the weather is balanced out by the fun interactions with fellow tour mates and guides, excellent food, and good accommodations.”
    Jenny Martin – Alaska, United StatesNovember 2017
  • Kiwi Birds Do Exist!

    “Our 8 day Tui excursion on the South Island with Active Adventures literally was the trip of a lifetime. We absolutely fell in love with New Zealand. Our guides were fantastic! They chauffeured us all over the countryside, led us up and down trails and mountains, fed us like royalty, and treated us like family. I can't say enough great things about our experience. Needless to say, we highly recommend this company. Go with these people if you want to see the country the right way - by foot, by bike, by air, and by sea. It's mind-boggling how much we did in just over a week. Oh and we also managed to see the elusive yet real Kiwi birds in one of the preservation centers - what a treat. All I can say is - Sweet As!!!!”
    Ken Houghton – South Carolina, United StatesNovember 2017
  • Tui October 2017

    “Just returned from a Tui trip last month and it was AWESOME! Our fantastic guides, James and Maya, took care of everything to make our trip comfortable, safe, and tasty (Maya's pavlova was delicious!). They encouraged this 59 year old novice hiker up and down the mountains, and were so much fun to be around. We really enjoyed talking with these two and hearing about life in NZ. When our camera didn't work, James stepped in and took a bunch of excellent pictures for us which he promptly shared.
    With Active Adventures, it's all of the fine details that make them an exemplary company to deal with: from the friendly office staff who provide thorough preparation information, travel assistance, helpful advice about anything and everything I asked, to the trip itself with great guides who took us through the week with every detail taken care of, and, of course, the most amazing scenery. New Zealand is truly one of the most beautiful places we have been. Getting to know and enjoy our fellow Tui adventurers, Alexander and Erica from Italy and Jennie from Alaska, made the trip even better.”
    Evie Jaskoski – Arizona, United StatesNovember 2017
  • Had a Great Time, and Made New Friends

    “Had a great time, Jordie and Ash were great hosts and guides. Also met some new friends from Canada who we are still in touch with! Great experience all around.”
    Matt Wilson – Oregon, United StatesJuly 2017
  • Flawless!

    “The Tui trip from Active Adventures was absolutely fantastic! Every detail was so well planned and executed. The places we visited were gorgeous, and each new day seemed even more beautiful than the prior. Our guides truly made the trip memorable....I don't see how Kim and Ken could have given us a more awesome experience. Thank you AA! ”
    Bonnie Finley – Ohio, United StatesJuly 2017
  • Outstanding Adventure Vacation

    “Our Active Adventures trip was outstanding! The entire process was a tremendous experience. Staff were responsive and friendly during the "sign up" phase. Our guides Jordie and Holly are two of the finest professional, friendly and knowledgeable guides we've had the pleasure to work with. Shout out for both of these wonderful people! They did a marvelous job managing group dynamics to ensure everyone was motivated and individual needs were met. Well trained and both have mastered the skillful art of quality customer service. Keep up the good work!”
    Lilly Golden – Texas, United StatesJuly 2017
  • You're Never too Old to Try Something New!

    “I had a wonderful holiday. Better than I expected. More Aussies should do this trip. Best experience kayaking on Milford Sound, lovely sunny day, no wind and water like glass. Amazing. Enjoyed all my hikes but learning how to mountain bike ride and enjoy it was also great.”
    Kristen Wiltshire – New South Wales, AustraliaJune 2017
  • Great trip with fantastic guides

    “I typically do not travel with group tours, but I found myself with a ticket to NZ but no time to plan my solo trip. I booked rather last minute but have no regrets. Our guides were not only very knowledgeable, but were also fun and caring. The accommodations varied greatly but were always clean and comfortable. The food was delicious as well. I would book another trip with Active in a heartbeat!”
    Kathleen Huff – Virginia, United StatesMay 2017
  • Tui May 1, 2017

    “Trip of a lifetime. The guides were outstanding, accommodations were excellent. Great food... we even had a picnic!”
    Donna Diaz – Pennsylvania, United StatesMay 2017
  • Our Kiwi Special Holiday

    “This was a very well planned, organised and delivered holiday experience. The guides were excellent; they were both great individuals who clearly loved their job and made our family holiday such a memorable experience. The South Island is a magic place. Thank you Active for your efforts. ”
    Paul Spencer – New South Wales, AustraliaMay 2017
  • Sit Back and Relax!

    “This trip was pretty awesome. The guides were personable while being professional and they were organized and knowledgable. It was nice to relax and let all the planning and coordination be done by someone else.”
    Lynn Biehl – Colorado, United StatesMay 2017
  • Active Adventure Indeed

    “It was a great trip with just enough activities to keep it interesting and challenging. Koru provided good insights on locations, while Tess took care of all our needs. The group was small enough to feel like family and we bonded well during the trip. I highly recommend this trip to anyone that likes to stay active during vacation.”
    Steve Yates – Texas, United StatesMay 2017
  • Exceeded my expectations

    “Everyone said it'll be a trip of a lifetime, and it really was. Our guides Jordie and Holly were excellent, and Holly was an amazing cook! I was a single traveller and the rest of the group was made up of some wonderful individuals from all age groups and walks of life. Would highly recommend to anyone who is hesitant like I was, go for it! You won't regret it.”
    Lauren Purdie – Tennessee, United StatesMay 2017
  • Tui Trip

    “The Tui tour was the best trip I've ever had, all the group was great and very friendly, there was a very good feeling with all the group. It was so great to see all the nice places that you have in NZ, the tour passed so fast that I would love to do another one with you guys! And what about the super guides that we had - Jordy and Holly! They are the best ever, I would like to thank them again so much for the great time we had with them, I'm ready to do more! Holly next time we'll do the swimming race in the lake? Thanks a lot again, Ia orana from Tahiti.”
    Peva Levy – tahiti teahupoo, French PolynesiaMay 2017
  • Horizons Broadened

    “We normally take two hiking/walking holidays a year but really enjoyed the variety of activity on this tour. We were challenged to do things we'd never done before and it was great fun. ”
    Nat na Songkhla – Bangkok, ThailandMay 2017
  • A most excellent adventure..

    “The Tui experience is active and adventurous, exactly as described. From scaling summits to kayaking in the Milford Sound and many long and shorter hikes in between. Our excellent guides took the group to remote places, encouraged and supported us as we did some easier and then really challenging hikes, giving ongoing commentary on the history and culture of New Zealand and cooking delicious meals along the way, the final feast was an absolute treat. The groups are small which makes for a really personal experience, our group got on so well as one of us said ‘it feels like family’ at the end of the trip. The most memorable experience for me in a stream of stunning memories was the drive to the Milford Sound in the setting sun, one of the great road trips of the world. The trip is meticulously organised and you get ongoing emails to support what you need to bring and what to expect. Highly recommended, it was the trip of a lifetime.”
    Alison Daun – Australian Capital Territory, AustraliaApril 2017
  • “Awesome trip. The staff was great to work with. Very accommodating to a last minute change in our trip plans. Our guides were fun, encouraging and adapted well to our needs. Meals were delicious and well organized. Our lodgings were excellent.”
    Nancy Nagle – Minnesota, United StatesApril 2017
  • Fun Trip

    “I very much enjoyed the Active Adventures Tui trip. The guides were phenomenal and very knowledgeable about the sites in New Zealand. We saw many beautiful places and I enjoyed the activities that were planned. ”
    Lenore Ma – New York, United StatesApril 2017
  • Wonderful Choice!

    “A trip to New Zealand was on my "bucket list" and my husband chose this trip for the south island. I think this is a wonderful way to see the outstanding scenery of the south island. We will be back!”
    Lissa Jackson – Tennessee, United StatesApril 2017
  • Magical South Island Trip

    “This was a truly amazing trip from start to finish! Scenery, activities, accommodations, tour group and food were all outstanding! What made it really shine were our guides: Tess and Koru. Their knowledge, guidance, friendship and obvious passion about New Zealand made this trip stand out. We would highly recommend this trip,
    Tom and Sallie.”
    Thomas Suby-Long – Colorado, United StatesApril 2017
  • Amazing Tui trip - March 2017

    “When our daughter decided to go on foreign study to Auckland, my wife and I had a perfect excuse to visit New Zealand. We like active vacations with small groups, so I was intrigued by the Active Adventures tours. We signed up for the Tui tour and the second half of the Kauri tour and added a few days to visit with our daughter. This was an amazing trip that we thoroughly enjoyed. Every day was a new adventure with spectacular scenery. We really liked the mix of activities (hiking, biking, sea kayaking, scenic flight, and jet boat). Our favorite day included the scenic flight up to Siberia Valley, a beautiful hike, and then the jet boat ride back to Makarora. Ken and Kim were excellent guides and cooks. I look forward to our next Active Adventures tour. ”
    Tom Smith – Maryland, United StatesApril 2017
  • Absolutely amazing!

    “My husband and I did this trip to celebrate our 10-year anniversary and we couldn't have asked for a better vacation. The hikes were fun and challenging (in a good way!); the views were spectacular everywhere we went; and Ken and Kim (our guides) made the trip perfect. They were super knowledgeable and friendly and made everything fun. We felt like we got to see New Zealand in a unique way that you could never get with your standard tour group. We will definitely be looking at doing more tours with Active Adventures in the future!”
    Laura Pape – Virginia, United StatesApril 2017
  • Best vacation yet!

    “When my wife and I started talking about how we wanted to celebrate our 10 year anniversary we started to think big. We had come across pictures of New Zealand. We started looking at Lord of the Rings Tours but they seemed to focus more seeing the studios or showing up at a photo stop. We wanted something more adventurous. After searching online for awhile we found the Active Adventures site. Fast forward a year and we were landing in Christchurch getting ready to kick off the tour! We both had high expectations for the trip, and man did it deliver!
    It seemed like every day we got to see scenery that took our breath away. We loved the physical activity, the sense of accomplishment every day ”
    David Pape – Virginia, United StatesApril 2017
  • Active

    “The trip was the best trip ever! The guides were wonderful and the sites were breathtaking. We were on the South Island, which is amazing! We were able to take a small plane into the Siberian Valley, which was an adventure in itself. Our group was small (8), which was really great. We all got along really well.”
    Terri Lundy – Oregon, United StatesApril 2017
  • Tui Trip-March 2017

    “I cannot say enough positive things about how wonderful and seamless this trip was from start to finish! The timing for every piece of our journey was impeccable, and I could tell Active Adventures has honed their craft well! We have recommended this to many of our friends and family, as this was a trip of a lifetime for me and my husband!
    David and Tonya Ward
    Colorado USA”
    Tonya Loveday-Ward – Colorado, United StatesApril 2017
  • A Great Eight Days

    “My wife, Shanen, and I had a goal of running a marathon on all seven continents and our seventh took place on March 18, in Rotorua, NZ. So two days after completing our goal, we returned to Christchurch and met up with our guides, Hillary and Dan, along with our fellow travelers. As good fortune would have it we all clicked as a group and off we went.

    For the remainder of our journey it was clear that both Hillary and Dan took great joy in what they do. Furthermore, and of great importance to us, they ensured meals had met our vegetarian and vegan needs. We were never made to feel our dietary needs were inconvenient to them and they were handled in such a way that all of us were able to enjoy our group meals.

    The actual adventure was well planned out and the expectations of each day were always explained. Our group was one that started together, made sure all finished and enjoyed the adventure.

    John Edmundson – Arizona, United StatesApril 2017
  • Awesome Challenge

    “The TUI trip provided a wide-range of outdoor activities in an unbelievable setting on the South Island. Liked the mix of hiking, biking, kayaking and overall area knowledge provided by the guides.”
    Bruce Van Der Kamp – Colorado, United StatesApril 2017
  • Amazing Trip!

    “All the activities were well planned, fun & a bit challenging! And the scenery was beautiful. Our guides were well prepared, and informative.”
    Sally Van Der Kamp – Colorado, United StatesApril 2017
  • Unbelievable Vacation!

    “What can I say! This was the best vacation we have ever taken as a family. I have been looking for a trip with activity, and I came to the right place. From the beginning, Greg and Tess made us feel right at home. The kids loved hiking and the incredible scenery. On our free day, our entire family went skydiving to complete our amazing trip. Experiences in life are so important to us and this is not one that will be forgotten. The photographers, Jacob and Hamish, were great as well. By the end of the trip, we truly felt like our family had grown by four! Thank you for everything and I would definitely recommend this trip to others!”
    Ruth Grissom – Florida, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Outstanding Guides!

    “I would like to extend kudos to our trip leader Ken. He was an inspiration to me. He encouraged me on hikes I was questioning myself about and gave me praise every step of the way. You are the BOMB Ken. Also, he is a very courteous driver. I felt very safe with him driving.”
    Lynn Schiller – Minnesota, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Great Trip to NZ South Island

    “Enjoyed the adventurous activities while touring the South Island. Good mix of hiking, biking, kayaking, river crossing, and site seeing. Hiking difficulty and distances were just right, and guides were knowledgeable and fun. Good way to travel with a group. ”
    Joe Bahr – Florida, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Late Summer West Coast South Island NZ

    “Combination of great weather, great guide skills, great scenery and great companionship make this an active but not exhaustive adventure.”
    George Powell – Texas, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Tui February 2017

    “Fantastic tour of New Zealand. Definitely stayed "active" throughout the whole trip! Already planning my next visit through Active Adventures. ”
    Lindsay Grim – Alabama, United StatesMarch 2017
  • McKinnon's NZ Active Adventure 2017

    “For us there were two things going on here. Mainly it was a time when we could be together as a family again; and then secondly it enabled us to experience a part of NZ that I was somewhat familiar with in my early 20's.
    The trip exceeded expectations, and is something we'll remember positively forever. Most importantly, I think, the trip helped us all reconnect as a family.”
    Graeme McKinnon – Wisconsin, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Feb 19-26 Active Adventures TUI trip

    “Really had a fantastic 8 day TUI trip to the South Island led by Joe and Steve of Active Adventures. Great way to experience New Zealand for the first time. Those two worked really hard to make the trip go smoothly from start to finish. Great music, great meals, amazing scenery, hiking, and conversation. Only problem was it all went too fast. I hope to get back to NZ someday soon. It was everything I hoped and more! ”
    Doug Nagle – Minnesota, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Virgin Active Adventurist-When can I do it again?!

    “Fabulous trip! Not having to drive, research stops, plan activities, arrange accommodations and decide what to eat made this so relaxing, letting us enjoy every minute of every activity and even the down time! I can't wait to sign up for another trip!”
    Karen Basil – Minnesota, United StatesMarch 2017
  • trip of a lifetime

    “This is the best trip I have ever been on, but be forwarned we covered 50 miles of hiking and 15 miles of mountain biking in the first 8 days. Mt Aspiring National Park and the hut in Siberia Valley is breathtaking, as well as the kayaking in Milford Sound. The guides were super cool and we all had a great time. Definitely check this trip out but be ready for it”
    Chris McGlinchy – New Jersey, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Feb 12 2017 Tui with Greg and Melissa

    “The weather slowed us down on the first couple of days. But after that it was an amazing experience. The views, the activities and the guides made it easy. Coordinating the activities, transportation, food, etc.”
    Ross Gough – California, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Breathtaking Tui

    “This was a great trip. The fact that New Zealand's South Island is a wonderful, breathtaking place may have made the guides' jobs easier, but both they and my fellow travellers made this a very enjoyable and memorable vacation.
    In particular, the two days spent flying into, hiking through and up the Siberia Valley, the overnight stay and the hike and jet boat out made the trip a "must do". The wild, untouched, glorious beauty of it all is more than I can put into words. I have already recommended it to other friends planning to visit kiwi land.”
    Miles Chaston – California, United StatesMarch 2017

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.