New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

'GO NZ: How to hike three Great Walks in three days - Milford, Routeburn and Kepler', by Rosalie Willis - February 2021

'The engines cut out, the generator is turned off, and suddenly stillness surrounds us. "Stand and look in silence," we're told.

In the quiet, noises become noticeable as gradually my ears adjust. It's not so silent anymore. Slowly the sound of waterfalls and birdsong fills the air.

I try to identify bird calls, listen for each waterfall before identifying it by eye, and take in the sound of the gentle rippling water lapping around the boat.

I don't want to move, hesitant to disturb the stillness.'

Read the full story here.

Hear from our Happy Guests
4.85/5 Rating | 6,500+ Reviews

What people say about our trips

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Costa Rica Guanacaste Adventure - April 2024

Costa Rica Guanacaste Active Adventure

"We truly appreciated the constant care and attention to detail provided by our Guide (Roy) and Chauffeur (Jose)! Roy is a fountain of knowledge and Jose is an excellent driver, along with a great sense of humor!

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"We truly appreciated the constant care and attention to detail provided by our Guide (Roy)… read more

"We truly appreciated the constant care and attention to detail provided by our Guide (Roy) and Chauffeur (Jose)! Roy is a fountain of knowledge and Jose is an excellent driver, along with a great sense of humor! read less

5 Stars (14 reviews)

M Maureen | April 2024

Ultimate South Island Adventure - April 2024

Great planning and execution!

"It was my first visit to New Zealand and I was eager to learn about the country while being actively engaged in its exploration. Active Adventures went above and beyond all expectations in making this trip unforgettable! From some challenging hikes to biking, kayaking and boat cruising we were able to circle entire South Island and see its unparalleled beauty! We heard stories about history and traditions which made our experience more meaningful. Accommodations were great and so was the food!

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"It was my first visit to New Zealand and I was eager to learn about… read more

"It was my first visit to New Zealand and I was eager to learn about the country while being actively engaged in its exploration. Active Adventures went above and beyond all expectations in making this trip unforgettable! From some challenging hikes to biking, kayaking and boat cruising we were able to circle entire South Island and see its unparalleled beauty! We heard stories about history and traditions which made our experience more meaningful. Accommodations were great and so was the food! read less

5 Stars (922 reviews)

M Maya | April 2024

Costa Rica Tortuguero Adventure - March 2024

Costa Rica Tortuguero Adventure

"This holiday was one of the best experiences we've ever had. Costa Rica is a special place, and made even better by having a very knowledgeable and experienced guide called Sterling. As well as keeping us on track with all of the activities, he was always on the lookout for all of the beautiful wildlife that Costa Rica has to offer. We loved all of the activities that included Ziplines, Rappelling and Kayaking. We'd recommend this trip to anyone who's looking for an adventure into the rainforest and like a more active holiday.

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"This holiday was one of the best experiences we've ever had. Costa Rica is a… read more

"This holiday was one of the best experiences we've ever had. Costa Rica is a special place, and made even better by having a very knowledgeable and experienced guide called Sterling. As well as keeping us on track with all of the activities, he was always on the lookout for all of the beautiful wildlife that Costa Rica has to offer. We loved all of the activities that included Ziplines, Rappelling and Kayaking. We'd recommend this trip to anyone who's looking for an adventure into the rainforest and like a more active holiday. read less

5 Stars (42 reviews)

M Mark Withycombe, | March 2024

Ultimate South Island Adventure - March 2024

My awesome Ultimate South New Zealand Adventure

"This was my first experience on the beautiful South Island of New Zealand. The planning, the trip, the itinerary and our guides Mel and Brogan were absolutely outstanding and professional and worked so very hard. Some days we had very long van days, however they broke it up so the trip was delightful. Transport to and from the airport was a nice feature. The days were action packed, the sights and activities we so rewarding. I feel like I had the opportunity to experience the entire South Island and all the beautiful parts of it. The free day came at a perfect time. Our group was small which made it nice for all of us. The meals made by the guides were superb and featured New Zealand cuisine and features products made in New Zealand, like Barkers. We were even able to make a trip there before we headed to the airport. The accommodations were lovely and had all the necessary amenities. NZ accommodations tended to have towel warmers which was delightful and also helpful to dry a small batch of laundry. The 3 day back country backpacking was hard, but worth it, the climb to Mueller's Ridge was hard,…

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"This was my first experience on the beautiful South Island of New Zealand. The planning,… read more

"This was my first experience on the beautiful South Island of New Zealand. The planning, the trip, the itinerary and our guides Mel and Brogan were absolutely outstanding and professional and worked so very hard. Some days we had very long van days, however they broke it up so the trip was delightful. Transport to and from the airport was a nice feature. The days were action packed, the sights and activities we so rewarding. I feel like I had the opportunity to experience the entire South Island and all the beautiful parts of it. The free day came at a perfect time. Our group was small which made it nice for all of us. The meals made by the guides were superb and featured New Zealand cuisine and features products made in New Zealand, like Barkers. We were even able to make a trip there before we headed to the airport. The accommodations were lovely and had all the necessary amenities. NZ accommodations tended to have towel warmers which was delightful and also helpful to dry a small batch of laundry. The 3 day back country backpacking was hard, but worth it, the climb to Mueller's Ridge was hard, but worth it! All other adventure hikes, kayaking, biking were nice and rewarding as well. The travel wallet was good, options to use their insurance and their travel agent. The price/cost for the trip was just right. I worked with the travel agency they recommended, specifically I worked with Shelley Bartlett who was outstanding. I will definitely travel with Active Adventures again. read less

5 Stars (922 reviews)

W Wendy | March 2024

Ultimate South Island Adventure - March 2024

Ka kite anō Aotearoa

"New Zealand provided a magnificent backdrop to an amazing Active Adventure trip. I enjoyed every second of this trip. Mel and Brogan, challenging tracks, beautiful views from William and magnificent vistas on our hikes, nutritious and delicious food and snacks, great accommodations, especially the Hermitage Hotel near Aoraki, the small stops along the way grabbing an ice cream, coffee or just stretching our legs and taking pictures (did that a lot), Mel and Brogan providing a ton of information on everything New Zealand, interactions with local people, I couldn’t have asked for more. Thank you. By, the way, did I mention Mel and Brogan?

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"New Zealand provided a magnificent backdrop to an amazing Active Adventure trip. I enjoyed every… read more

"New Zealand provided a magnificent backdrop to an amazing Active Adventure trip. I enjoyed every second of this trip. Mel and Brogan, challenging tracks, beautiful views from William and magnificent vistas on our hikes, nutritious and delicious food and snacks, great accommodations, especially the Hermitage Hotel near Aoraki, the small stops along the way grabbing an ice cream, coffee or just stretching our legs and taking pictures (did that a lot), Mel and Brogan providing a ton of information on everything New Zealand, interactions with local people, I couldn’t have asked for more. Thank you. By, the way, did I mention Mel and Brogan? read less

5 Stars (922 reviews)

Y Yvonne | March 2024

Classic South Island Adventure - March 2024

Beth from Malibu CA

"My Active Adventure Tour of the beautiful South Island of New Zealand was Outstanding! Our tour guides were phenomenal! Ryan was an excellent, safe, and courteous driver, and Noah an amazing chef (yum!!). They both shared so much knowledge about Maori culture, history and stories, re: conservation, wildlife, plant life, and more. Onto the tour, I loved every beach we stopped at, our lagoon kayak trip, all of the hikes, the bike ride, and more! The Siberian Valley was out of this world, from the small plane ride, to the river crossing, the hike. and the most fun of all, the crazy, wild, fun, jetboat trip back! Woohoo! I loved Queenstown, our accommodations there were amazing, and Milford sound and the hike after was fantastic. I also loved all of the birds fluttering around us on hikes, from the Fantails to the Tomtits and more! I will definitely be returning to New Zealand!

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"My Active Adventure Tour of the beautiful South Island of New Zealand was Outstanding! Our… read more

"My Active Adventure Tour of the beautiful South Island of New Zealand was Outstanding! Our tour guides were phenomenal! Ryan was an excellent, safe, and courteous driver, and Noah an amazing chef (yum!!). They both shared so much knowledge about Maori culture, history and stories, re: conservation, wildlife, plant life, and more. Onto the tour, I loved every beach we stopped at, our lagoon kayak trip, all of the hikes, the bike ride, and more! The Siberian Valley was out of this world, from the small plane ride, to the river crossing, the hike. and the most fun of all, the crazy, wild, fun, jetboat trip back! Woohoo! I loved Queenstown, our accommodations there were amazing, and Milford sound and the hike after was fantastic. I also loved all of the birds fluttering around us on hikes, from the Fantails to the Tomtits and more! I will definitely be returning to New Zealand! read less

5 Stars (537 reviews)

B Beth | March 2024

Classic South Island Adventure - March 2024

First time tour group experience as a solo traveler

"I really wasn't sure how I would like traveling with strangers (also considered new friends) and in a group setting, but this was one of the best vacations I have ever had. I did plan for some alone time before and after which was a nice mixture. But ultimately I do believe my experience probably has a lot to do with the company I was keeping. I feel grateful that the folks in our group were easy to get along with and I have made long lasting connections. I also believe that the guides can make or break it and our two guides, Ryan and Noah, were fantastic. They had a wealth of knowledge and I literally said, "it's really nice to have walking encyclopedias with us" on this trip! They were kind, funny, organized and Noah is an amazing chef! We ate well, we hiked great trails, we saw amazing sights and we didn't have to sweat any of the small details which really made me feel like I was on vacation. Overall, I had a wonderful time creating amazing memories I won't forget. It was without a doubt…

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"I really wasn't sure how I would like traveling with strangers (also considered new friends)… read more

"I really wasn't sure how I would like traveling with strangers (also considered new friends) and in a group setting, but this was one of the best vacations I have ever had. I did plan for some alone time before and after which was a nice mixture. But ultimately I do believe my experience probably has a lot to do with the company I was keeping. I feel grateful that the folks in our group were easy to get along with and I have made long lasting connections. I also believe that the guides can make or break it and our two guides, Ryan and Noah, were fantastic. They had a wealth of knowledge and I literally said, "it's really nice to have walking encyclopedias with us" on this trip! They were kind, funny, organized and Noah is an amazing chef! We ate well, we hiked great trails, we saw amazing sights and we didn't have to sweat any of the small details which really made me feel like I was on vacation. Overall, I had a wonderful time creating amazing memories I won't forget. It was without a doubt well beyond what I imagined the trip would be like. We also did have the most amazing weather pretty much the whole time so we lucked out on that. read less

5 Stars (537 reviews)

E Elizabeth | March 2024

Costa Rica Guanacaste Adventure - March 2024

Fun Adventure

"This was my first group tour so I wasn't sure what to expect. I was a little sus, actually, and was uncertain how things would go. Those concerns were quickly dismissed once I met our guide, Roy, and driver, George. They found excellent hotels, activity vendors, restaurants, led informative and exciting hikes, and put together an overall awesome itinerary. Each day was filled with adventure, fun and local food. I have to admit the trip exceeded my expectations and I'm considering exploring the east coast of Costa Rica now that I've experienced the west coast.

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"This was my first group tour so I wasn't sure what to expect. I was… read more

"This was my first group tour so I wasn't sure what to expect. I was a little sus, actually, and was uncertain how things would go. Those concerns were quickly dismissed once I met our guide, Roy, and driver, George. They found excellent hotels, activity vendors, restaurants, led informative and exciting hikes, and put together an overall awesome itinerary. Each day was filled with adventure, fun and local food. I have to admit the trip exceeded my expectations and I'm considering exploring the east coast of Costa Rica now that I've experienced the west coast. read less

5 Stars (14 reviews)

S Steven | March 2024

Costa Rica Guanacaste Adventure - March 2024

Pura Vida - Costa Rica

"This is my second trip with Austin / Active Adventures and it won't be my last! Costa Rica, Guanacaste trip was amazing. The activities were well planned and ran smoothly. The nature was beautiful and everything I hoped it would be. But the best part was our guide Roy and our driver Jorge! They 100% made my trip the best it could be. I am a single traveler and I always felt safe, taken care of and very much entertained and educated! I definitely recommend the Guanacaste, CR trip and if you are lucky to get Roy and Jorge, you are guaranteed to LOVE IT!

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"This is my second trip with Austin / Active Adventures and it won't be my… read more

"This is my second trip with Austin / Active Adventures and it won't be my last! Costa Rica, Guanacaste trip was amazing. The activities were well planned and ran smoothly. The nature was beautiful and everything I hoped it would be. But the best part was our guide Roy and our driver Jorge! They 100% made my trip the best it could be. I am a single traveler and I always felt safe, taken care of and very much entertained and educated! I definitely recommend the Guanacaste, CR trip and if you are lucky to get Roy and Jorge, you are guaranteed to LOVE IT! read less

5 Stars (14 reviews)

J Jeannine | March 2024

New Zealand Walking Adventure - March 2024

New Zealand Walking Adventure

"The trip was first rate and exceeded my expectations. It’s easy to be won over by New Zealand’s stunning scenery and natural beauty! More than this though, the success of the trip was due, in large measure, to our two superlative guides, Emma and Elize. Both guides did their jobs superbly: Emma is a fantastic cook who put heart and soul, indeed love, into her cooking. Every meal she prepared was delicious and well presented. Elize is an excellent driver - steady and considerate, making us feel safe throughout the long distances covered over 14 days. As hiking guides, both enhanced our hiking experience with their knowledge of flora and fauna. They also kept us entertained with local stories and legends. Both put in so much effort to give us an unforgettable holiday, and even went out of their way and beyond the call of duty to help us on 2 occasions. They were exceptional!

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"The trip was first rate and exceeded my expectations. It’s easy to be won… read more

"The trip was first rate and exceeded my expectations. It’s easy to be won over by New Zealand’s stunning scenery and natural beauty! More than this though, the success of the trip was due, in large measure, to our two superlative guides, Emma and Elize. Both guides did their jobs superbly: Emma is a fantastic cook who put heart and soul, indeed love, into her cooking. Every meal she prepared was delicious and well presented. Elize is an excellent driver - steady and considerate, making us feel safe throughout the long distances covered over 14 days. As hiking guides, both enhanced our hiking experience with their knowledge of flora and fauna. They also kept us entertained with local stories and legends. Both put in so much effort to give us an unforgettable holiday, and even went out of their way and beyond the call of duty to help us on 2 occasions. They were exceptional! read less

5 Stars (239 reviews)

J Juniper | March 2024

Patagonia Hiking Adventure - March 2024

Patagonia Adventures

"Wonderful experience exploring Patagonia - outstanding guide (CEM), spectacular scenery and great food.

CEM went out of his way to ensure we were well taken care of throughout the trip. Highly recommend any trip with him. He was the best guide! Our group named him "Guide of the Year" to our farewell dinner.

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"Wonderful experience exploring Patagonia - outstanding guide (CEM), spectacular scenery and great food.

CEM went… read more

"Wonderful experience exploring Patagonia - outstanding guide (CEM), spectacular scenery and great food.

CEM went out of his way to ensure we were well taken care of throughout the trip. Highly recommend any trip with him. He was the best guide! Our group named him "Guide of the Year" to our farewell dinner. read less

5 Stars (377 reviews)

M Michelle | March 2024

Patagonia Hiking Adventure - March 2024

Liz

"The Patagonia adventure was epic. Our guide, CEM, was an experienced professional who cared about each of us.

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"The Patagonia adventure was epic. Our guide, CEM, was an experienced professional who cared about… read more

"The Patagonia adventure was epic. Our guide, CEM, was an experienced professional who cared about each of us. read less

4 Stars (377 reviews)

M Mary | March 2024

Classic South Island Adventure - March 2024

Tomi (Classic South Island Adventure)

"This was an absolutely fabulous trip. Every step of the trip was smooth and all details taken care of. Beautiful country and our guides were spectacular (Liana & Lauren). The accommodations were great, food was good, and the narrative by Liana was second to none. She described in beautiful detail everywhere we went and the history (maori legends included) of each town and sight we saw. Lauren was a perfect partner to her in making sure we were well fed and all details taken care of.
I would gladly do another trip with Active Adventures or even Austin Adventures. Will only hope I get Liana and Lauren again.

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"This was an absolutely fabulous trip. Every step of the trip was smooth and… read more

"This was an absolutely fabulous trip. Every step of the trip was smooth and all details taken care of. Beautiful country and our guides were spectacular (Liana & Lauren). The accommodations were great, food was good, and the narrative by Liana was second to none. She described in beautiful detail everywhere we went and the history (maori legends included) of each town and sight we saw. Lauren was a perfect partner to her in making sure we were well fed and all details taken care of.
I would gladly do another trip with Active Adventures or even Austin Adventures. Will only hope I get Liana and Lauren again. read less

5 Stars (537 reviews)

T Tomi | March 2024

Ultimate South Island Adventure - March 2024

South Island trip

"Greg and Max were fantastic guides. They were positive and made the trip a joy to experience. If they were guaranteed to be my guide for other trips then I would sign up for a trip again in the future. Not only were they our tour guides, chefs, and drivers, but they also were wonderful teachers sharing their passion for New Zealand.

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"Greg and Max were fantastic guides. They were positive and made the trip a joy… read more

"Greg and Max were fantastic guides. They were positive and made the trip a joy to experience. If they were guaranteed to be my guide for other trips then I would sign up for a trip again in the future. Not only were they our tour guides, chefs, and drivers, but they also were wonderful teachers sharing their passion for New Zealand. read less

4 Stars (922 reviews)

C Courtney | March 2024

Ultimate South Island Adventure - March 2024

Fear not the bus

"A bit apprehensive at first about a guided tour, on a bus, etc but after the first day with Max and Greg at the wheel settled in to letting them be the excellent guides they are. Saw much more than previous trip I did on my own; secret places with thorough explanations Especially nice after an arduous day of hiking to have a gourmet meal cheerfully prepared by our guide! The last evening after another tough hike (how many thousand steps?) of crashing glaciers, we were entertained by both on the piano, bringing the history and ambiance of the Hermitage alive!

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"A bit apprehensive at first about a guided tour, on a bus, etc but after… read more

"A bit apprehensive at first about a guided tour, on a bus, etc but after the first day with Max and Greg at the wheel settled in to letting them be the excellent guides they are. Saw much more than previous trip I did on my own; secret places with thorough explanations Especially nice after an arduous day of hiking to have a gourmet meal cheerfully prepared by our guide! The last evening after another tough hike (how many thousand steps?) of crashing glaciers, we were entertained by both on the piano, bringing the history and ambiance of the Hermitage alive! read less

5 Stars (922 reviews)

P Patrick | March 2024

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