New Zealand Vacations

New Zealand Hiking Tours Adventure Tours

New Zealand vacations will deliver beyond your expectations with unparalleled landscapes, heart-pumping adventure, and warm, welcoming people.

Our New Zealand vacation packages are great for families and small adult groups on a quest for adventure. Experience the birthplace of bungee jumping, stargaze in the largest dark-sky preserve in the southern hemisphere, and kayak the calm, pastel waters of Okarito Lagoon. Hike the glacier-carved mountains of Fiordland National Park and along the stunning scenery of New Zealand's Great Walks. Whether you are hang-gliding over mountains near Queenstown or enjoying a candle-lit dinner in a picturesque National Park, New Zealand’s beauty will captivate your imagination and inspire the spirit of adventure on your next vacation.

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What Our Guests Say

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- April 2022

West Coast is a must visit

"This is our second Active Adventures trip and we weren't disappointed. The itinerary was excellent… read more

"This is our second Active Adventures trip and we weren't disappointed. The itinerary was excellent and food and accommodation of a high standard. We loved the West Coast scenery. The walks were amazing, particularly around Lake Matheson and Punakaiki. Kayaking on Okarito Lagoon, heli-hiking on Franz Joseph Glacier and the scenic flight over Mt Aspiring National Park out to Milford Sound were fantastic experiences. Our guide Clare was first class. Everything was organised to perfection and nothing was too much trouble. read less

5 Stars (2 reviews)

Robert, New Zealand

- April 2022

Great experience

"Well organised trip read more

"Well organised trip read less

5 Stars (863 reviews)

Adrian, New Zealand

- April 2022

Takahe trip 27 Mar-31 Mar 22

"This was a trip down memory lane for me revisiting old haunts & visiting new… read more

"This was a trip down memory lane for me revisiting old haunts & visiting new ones. I was thrilled with how it all went & with the experience of our guides & their enthusiasm. The weather was perfect & I achieved everything on my bucket list! read less

5 Stars (863 reviews)

Colleen, New Zealand

- April 2022

Amazing trip

"We loved our Active Adventures trip. The guides were amazing, super organised and great company. read more

"We loved our Active Adventures trip. The guides were amazing, super organised and great company. read less

5 Stars (64 reviews)

Kate, New Zealand

- April 2022

Great Get away

"With everything organised for you this was a great way to recharge the batteries and… read more

"With everything organised for you this was a great way to recharge the batteries and enjoy a beautiful part of the country. read less

4 Stars (2 reviews)

Tina, New Zealand

- March 2022

Definitely a bucket list thing to do!

"Active adventures is a very slick organisation. Nothing was too much for anyone there. From… read more

"Active adventures is a very slick organisation. Nothing was too much for anyone there. From the lovely girls on the phone as well as the emails coming telling us little bits and tips. The guides Mel and Elder would have to be the most patient helpful informative kind as well as unbelievable chefs you could wish for!! The accommodation they organised for us starting in Christchurch at Merivale Manor right in the heart of Merivale. You must NOT go past this motel. The owners Karen and Wayne greeted us all as long lost family. Their accommodation is just wonderful. Their presentation of all their rooms including continental breakfast with all the fresh fruit flowers fabulous muesli yoghurt and fruit compote. Hot cross buns and fresh bread beautifully wrapped in tissue with string and flowers is incredible!! A must experience for everyone!
Along with that, we experienced all sorts of super and interesting places on our 5-day cycle. Everything any group would love. We had 10 people on our ride and all got on so well that we are going to meet up for a reunion in the near future. Age doesn’t matter! 75 yr olds down to early 50’s Great combo. So get on the net and book in spring before you miss out! read less

5 Stars (64 reviews)

Heather, New Zealand

- March 2022

Definitely a bucket list thing to do!

"Active adventures is a very slick organisation. Nothing was too much for anyone there. From… read more

"Active adventures is a very slick organisation. Nothing was too much for anyone there. From the lovely girls on the phone as well as the emails coming telling us little bits and tips. The guides Mel and Elder would have to be the most patient helpful informative kind as well as unbelievable chefs you could wish for!! The accomodation they organised for us starting in Christchurch at Merivale Manor right in the heart of Merivale. You must NOT go past this motel. The owners Karen and Wayne greeted us all as long lost family. Their accomodation is just wonderful. Their presentation of all their rooms including continental breakfast with all the fresh fruit flowers fabulous muesli yoghurt and fruit compote. Hot cross buns and fresh bread beautifully wrapped in tissue with string and flowers is incredible!! A must experience for everyone!
Along with that we experienced all sorts of super and interesting places on our 5 day cycle. Everything any group would love. We had 10 people on our ride and all got on so well that we are going to meet up for a reunion in the near future. Age doesn’t matter! 75 yr olds down to early 50’s Great combo. So get on the net and book in spring before you miss out! read less

5 Stars (64 reviews)

Marki, New Zealand

- March 2022

Spectacular Scenery

"The Alps to Ocean is a really worthwhile lengthy trail that highlights some of the… read more

"The Alps to Ocean is a really worthwhile lengthy trail that highlights some of the best scenery NZ has to offer. Our guides Mel and Elder were awesome. They were friendly, knowledgeable and experienced. They made every effort to ensure we were well looked after and were always happy to do anything extra for us...their cooking was pretty superb too. Our accommodation was great and the food was excellent. The general organization could not be faulted. However, the e-bikes that were provided are really due for an upgrade. The supposed front suspension turned out to be seat suspension only and limited at that. After owning my own e-bikes for 5 years I have a fairly good idea of what they should be like. We weren't expecting top of the range or anything close to that but I really feel these bikes were not ideal for several parts of the track, especially on the first 3 days. We had to ride carefully conserving battery so we could complete the 70+km average on most days and on the rocky and slightly technical parts of the track the bikes were basic. Looking forward to any upgrade read less

4 Stars (64 reviews)

Raewyn, New Zealand

- March 2022

Alps to Ocean

"This bike tour was indeed an adventure. I was challenged physically and mentally and very… read more

"This bike tour was indeed an adventure. I was challenged physically and mentally and very glad I put the training in before arriving. For me, having guides was the ‘icing on the cake ‘ so- to - speak. I was impressed with their patience, having to often repeat instructions to some very tired participants, always with a positive attitude. It was gratifying to have nutritious and delicious meals provided by them and at the end of the day have the bikes, equipment and luggage all taken care of. Our guides gave of themselves personally and professionally. I cannot speak more highly of them.
The grandeur that is the South Island was as always breathtaking and we were encouraged to notice particular areas. The accommodation was great highlighted by our stay at
Braemar Station.
So much more could be said but one has to experience it for themselves. If you are fit, love off road biking, love the Sth. Island, this is the adventure to go for. I recommend being with guides and hiring / bringing an e-bike to get the best out of it. You’ll love it. read less

5 Stars (64 reviews)

Linda, New Zealand

- March 2022

Alps to Ocean

"Really enjoyed and would highly recommend read more

"Really enjoyed and would highly recommend read less

4 Stars (64 reviews)

Fiona, New Zealand

- March 2022

Alps to Ocean

"Overall a great trip. read more

"Overall a great trip. read less

4 Stars (64 reviews)

Kevin, New Zealand

- March 2022

Perfect Guides

"We were so lucky to have Mel and Elder as our guides on the Alps… read more

"We were so lucky to have Mel and Elder as our guides on the Alps to Ocean bike ride. Such capable and intelligent read less

5 Stars (64 reviews)

Jan, New Zealand

- March 2022

Marking off the Bucket List

"Hi, I have been wanting to do this trip for 4 years. I… read more

"Hi, I have been wanting to do this trip for 4 years. I was diagnosed with MS some 4 years ago and though not a great walker anymore, I thought...hey why not do this!!!! I had led an active life until diagnosis, (I am still am active, but wanted to see if I could do this with my disability). The support from the guides were amazing...they were so, so helpful and patient with my disability...nothing was a problem. They never got frustrated with me and were nothing but encouraging. They managed the trip, food and accommodation with finesse and were such a friendly and accommodating team. The group I travelled with were fun loving people and we have secured contacts and friendships for the future. A SUPERB trip....highly recommended. read less

5 Stars (64 reviews)

Maria, New Zealand

- March 2022

FUN FUN

"Had a brilliant time, met great people and had superb guides. read more

"Had a brilliant time, met great people and had superb guides. read less

4 Stars (64 reviews)

Sonia, New Zealand

- March 2022

This trip was amazing

"This trip was amazing. I got to meet some incredible people in my group that… read more

"This trip was amazing. I got to meet some incredible people in my group that welcomed us into their space with open arms - the scenery and weather were spectacular and the guides really impressed with the organization of the tour and their laid back ''we can make this happen'' personalities. They were absolutely fantastic -thank you both.
all in all, bring it on for the next adventure! read less

4 Stars (64 reviews)

Duncan, New Zealand

- March 2022

Nice, amazing, beauty

"Like a dream, weather was good, company was good, food was good, activities awesome read more

"Like a dream, weather was good, company was good, food was good, activities awesome read less

5 Stars (863 reviews)

Sabine, New Zealand

Active Adventure Assurance

Secure Your Spot Now, Pay the Rest Later

As members of the Active Adventures family, Austin Adventures offers booking assurance that allows you to secure your spot with a deposit now and pay the rest later. Plus, if your plans change or you can’t travel, you can transfer your booking or request a refund on any additional funds paid (less deposit) up to 90 days from your original trip start date.  

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Meet Your New Zealand Adventure Guides

FAQs About New Zealand Vacations

Do I need a visa to visit New Zealand?

You will need a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the date of your planned departure from New Zealand.

Before you head here to New Zealand, you'll need to go online to secure your Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) and pay the Tourism Levy. The ETA is NZ$9 - NZ$12.50 and the Tourism Levy is NZ$35. Both are valid for two years.

**EXCEPTION: Australian citizens are exempt from both fees, but Australian permanent residents need to pay the ETA.

If you are a citizen of another country, you can check if you need a visitor visa at New Zealand Immigration's Quick Check. You may also be asked for proof that you have funds to cover your stay (eg. a bank statement).

What about vaccinations for New Zealand?

New Zealand is one of the safest countries in the world. No shots are required to come to New Zealand and none are currently recommended by the World Heath Organisation however we recommend getting vaccinated against Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Polio (infectious hepatitis) and Tetanus. These are our guidelines only and you’ll need to check with your local travel clinic for the latest advice.

Do you recommend buying travel insurance?

As an Active Adventures traveller, It’s essential you take out travel insurance to cover the likes of personal injury, medical expenses, trip cancellation for your travel with us. Please head to our Travel Insurance page for more in-depth information and insurance provider options. It’s also important to check your insurance covers all the activities you’ll be partaking in, in case you’re travelling to altitude or looking at extreme sports.

Can you help me find flights to New Zealand?

We recommend booking your flights through our preferred travel partner – Fuzion Travel. They’re our experienced hand-picked experts in travel, passionate about what they do, and will tailor-make your flight itinerary to match your Active Adventures tour. Get in touch with them directly by email – [email protected] fuziontravel.co.nz or on +1-833-244-5886. Let them know your preferred travel plans, including any stopovers or extra nights’ accommodation, and they’ll put everything in place for you. They offer a total travel solution and five star service that you’ll want to tell your friends about!

What about domestic flights within New Zealand?

Most international flights arrive and depart from Auckland, on the North Island. Our North Island trip starts and ends in Auckland, though for our South Island trips, you'll also need flights between Auckland and Christchurch or Queenstown. This is usually easy to arrange when you reserve your international flights, and it's worth checking for internet specials online.

What's included on your New Zealand trips?

Accommodation

New Zealand accommodation

We've spent years finding places to stay that are quaint, out of the way, and comfortable when we take you to the most amazing parts of our country. The bed & breakfasts, farm stays, lodges, motels, and the occasional mountain hut we stay at have been carefully chosen because of their location and local flavour. Many of our clients have said that one of the highlights of their trip was meeting and getting to know the Kiwis who are our hosts when we travel around New Zealand. We strongly believe in the value of a good night's sleep, and our accommodation reflects this. We also like to have somewhere comfortable to relax after the day's activities.

On the trips that include multi-day hiking options, you’ll stay in cosy back-country huts (only for the nights of the multi-day option). This is a true kiwi wilderness experience, at the end of the day you’ll kick your feet up and share stories with your fellow travellers as the guides stoke the fire and prepare a three-course candle lit meal, all before a well-earned kip on a comfortable bed.

You won't have to camp on our scheduled trips, although we'll provide the gear if you'd like to sleep under the stars on the backpacking option in Nelson Lakes National Park or would like to include camping on a custom trip.

Transport

Active New Zealand transportNew Zealand is a small country - about 1000 miles from top to bottom, and only about 150 miles wide - but it's not THAT small! We're really focused on ensuring that we spend as little time as possible sitting in vehicles, and that we optimise your time for outdoors-oriented adventure. The average driving time over the period of our Rimu trip is just over two hours a day, and we try to spend us much time as possible in the outdoors. Even so, we prefer you to be comfortable when we do have to drive. We use modern, comfortable minibuses for smaller groups, and purpose-built coaches for larger groups. For instance, we often use one of our spacious, quiet and comfortable 20-seater coaches, even though we generally only take 10-14 people per trip! Make no mistake - our trips are not typical bus tour vacation packages! Our vehicles are fitted with good stereo systems, and we love to play New Zealand music.

Meals

Whats-included-pavlova-nzJust about all your meals are included when you travel with Active Adventures New Zealand. We provide a wide variety of cuisine - sometimes we dine out, and sometimes we dine in. Breakfasts when we are starting early generally consist of cereal, yoghurt, fruit, toast, coffee and tea. When we have more time, we whip up pancakes and full cooked breakfasts. Lunches are usually picnic style with sandwiches, salad and fruit, or maybe a barbeque in some beautiful spot. Dinners are usually two or three-course meals, covering a range of styles. We easily cater to vegetarians and people with particular dietary needs.

We have several second guides whose primary responsibility, when they are not guiding, is cooking up great meals. Their cooking skills will astound you, as you enjoy a traditional Kiwi roast dinner at the shearer's quarters, or freshly seared salmon at Mount Cook, or one of a score of awesome meals on the road! When we go out to eat, we pick a nice restaurant and enjoy a night out. You'll find the meals are a real highlight of your trip!

All Guiding Services

We have two incredible guides per trip, one whom will be your driver and the other specialises as your chef! Our guests are often drawn to New Zealand by the beautiful scenic landscapes, promise of wilderness and clean air - and there's no doubt you'll find all that, but what you may not be expecting is to forge real, genuine friendships with the locals you'll meet, including our wonderful guides. They're hands-down the BEST guides you'll ever come across. 

Activities

It goes without saying, that all the activities as described in the itineraries including hiking, kayaking and biking are included in your trip fare. We make it clear when there's an additional charge for an optional activity, like heli-hiking on Franz Josef Glacier. 

Diving Tutukaka Poor Knights Islands

Why do you run trips in two directions?

Some of our trips are so popular we often run two trips simultaneously, with generally no more than 14 guests on any one trip. We stay at some pretty small out-of-the-way places, so we operate one trip starting southbound around the South Island and the other one starting northbound. This also gives us the flexibility to arrange each trip for the best social mix. The itineraries we publish generally happen to be northbound, though it doesn't matter which way around you go, since both trips start and end in the same place at the same time. If for any reason you'd like to be on a particular departure (northbound or southbound) just let us know and we'll be happy to accommodate you if we can.

How many people are there on each of our trips?

We get a real variety of people on our trips and they all seem to have one thing in common – a love of the outdoors! Our group sizes range from a minimum of four people to a maximum of fourteen people, generally with a mix of singles, couples and friends.

Do you charge a forced single supplement if I'm a solo traveller?

We welcome solo travellers onto our trips – in fact, we get many, many solo travellers and they always say how it’s a great way to travel alone, but not actually be alone, so that’s always good to hear. You’ll have an incredible adventure at the same time as meeting and sharing your experiences with a bunch of welcoming other travellers. We don’t believe in charging you extra for travelling alone and we have lots of single travellers on our trips.

There’s no forced single supplement if you don’t mind sharing a room (you might even get a room to yourself sometimes). If you prefer not to share a room at all, you can upgrade to a single room.

How much luggage can I bring on the New Zealand trips?

You’ll need one piece of luggage on your trip, plus a daypack. Your main piece of luggage can be anything from a backpack, to a sports bag with wheels or a suitcase and a good quality daypack 25-30 litres (2000 cubic inches) to use throughout the days.

As far as extra luggage goes, if there's not too much (such as one small extra bag per person) then it shouldn't be a problem to fit it in our luggage trailer during the trip. If you've got more than that, then all major airports have luggage facilities available on a weekly basis. If you are staying at a hotel pre-trip then they may be able to store it for you until you return too.

What kind of clothing should I be packing?

Once you've booked your trip, you'll have access to a gear list in your portal on exactly what to bring along. The gear list is carefully thought out to provide you with everything you need to be warm and happy, or cool and relaxed, whatever the weather! So it is best to bring everything we recommend along, if you don't bring everything you need, we can't guarantee your comfort.

Do I need hiking boots or are hiking sneakers okay?

You will need proper hiking boots - trail shoes are not good enough. We'll be taking you to some awesome places where you'll be hiking over a variety of terrain, therefore your boots should have full ankle support and a stiff sole with a high profile tread. It's also important that whichever footwear you decide to bring that it's well broken-in and waterproofed before you come down. If you have good ankles that will be able to cope pretty well with varied terrain, then good hiking shoes should be fine, but if not then hiking boots will give you better support.

What is the food like in New Zealand?

The type of food varies – on some occasions your guides will cook your meals and on other occasions we’ll eat out at restaurants. We also keep a generous snack basket on the bus at all times. All the food you eat, be it a traditional Kiwi barbeque, or a packed lunch to take with you on a hike, will be of top quality. All our guides have food hygiene certificates and are well practiced in the art of back country catering!

What if I need a special diet?

We are accustomed to catering to the following special diets:

• vegan (no meat or animal products)
• vegetarian (no meat products)
• fishatarian (vegetarian, and eat fish)
• no red meat (eat chicken & fish)
• gluten intolerant (no wheat, rye, barley or oats)
• lactose intolerant (no dairy products)

You will get the opportunity to specify your particular requirements when you fill in our pre-trip questionnaire. If you have any other dietary requirements please let us know well in advance, via email or the online questionnaire.

What is the currency in New Zealand?

The currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand dollar

How much spending money should I bring and where do I get local currency?

Your trip fare includes all transportation, guiding, meals and activities (except any optional activities). Most people like to bring a little extra to cover a round of drinks at the pub, take home some souvenirs, book a tour and eat out on their free day in Queenstown or Auckland, and tip our guides if they've had a great time. 

Usually the easiest thing to do is use your credit or debit card to withdraw money directly from your home account, in local currency. There are plenty of ATM's and banks in larger towns in New Zealand, and ATM's will accept all major credit cards and many debit cards. Cash advances are the most convenient way to get cash.

Is tipping expected in New Zealand?

Tipping is neither required nor routinely expected in New Zealand, but it is appropriate for very good service. In New Zealand you don't usually tip in restaurants, or if you take a taxi, or get a haircut. Many of our clients do choose to tip our guides, at the end of an awesome trip and US$100 per person per Trip Leader seems to be the norm, however less, more or not at all is also fine too.

What altitude will we be at in New Zealand?

The highest elevation we get to on any of the Active Adventures New Zealand trips is about 1,500 metres (5,000 feet). So there are no real altitude issues to contend with in New Zealand though the tracks can still be quite challenging.

What time zone is New Zealand in?

New Zealand Time (NZT) is the time zone for New Zealand. It is +13 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

What types of plugs and voltage do you use in New Zealand?

nz plugNew Zealand operates on a 230V AC system with the Plug Type I.

Will I have access to the internet/WiFi?

WiFi is available almost everywhere in cities and easy enough to find in most towns/villages so you can rely on having access a few times a week during your trip. If you have data roaming switched on, then you'll be able to use the internet on your smartphone about 70% of the time during your trip, but beware of the fees! WiFi is available at some of the accommodations that you'll be staying at, usually for a small cost so check this out at each location when you arrive.

Is it safe to travel to New Zealand?

This also means New Zealand is a safe place to travel and the crime rate is low - visitors to New Zealand are held in high regard so you can expect the warmest of welcomes. . We recommend taking the same common sense
precautions you would anywhere else – just to be on the safe side! Don’t bring valuable things with you unless necessary for your trip. Keep your money and other valuables in a money belt or pouch under your clothes. Lock your bags and luggage, and leave valuable items you don’t need for the day (e.g. passports and credit cards) in the hotel safe.

What is the weather like in New Zealand?

New Zealand is an island nation, therefore enjoys a maritime climate with plenty of sunshine and mild temperatures. The weather can vary a lot from top to bottom and east to west, which can be a bit of a surprise for many of our visitors, who come from a continental climate where the weather is a little more predictable. Have you heard of the song "Four Seasons in One Day"? If you haven't, we suggest having a listen - it's a classic song by a kiwi group called Crowded House, and of course, the weather in New Zealand inspired the lyrics! They say, one of the reasons Sir Edmund Hillary was such an accomplished mountaineer was his ability to read the weather - his training in the Southern Alps no doubt played a large part in this! 

In the far north (aka the 'winterless north') you can expect semi-tropical conditions, with a fair dosing of rain, plenty of sun and mid temperatures during the day and evening. As you head further south, the average temperature falls, though each region has its own unique characteristics. For example, you'll often hear us talking about one of our favourite spots, the West Coast of the South Island. Along this wild stretch of largely uninhabited coast, rainfall is high (coming off the Tasman Sea) and temperatures are mild, which contributes to the Jurassic-like forests you'll encounter. The Southern Alps, which divide the South Island act as a catchment for this rain (which turns to snow and glacial ice at higher elevations). By the time the clouds have reached the eastern side of the Alps, they're empty, and as they make their way down towards the plains, they warm up creating the typical nor' westerly winds. 

Parts of the South Island have a sort of mini continental climate, being further from the ocean and sheltered by the alpine ranges. These areas, such as Queenstown can get hot and dry during the summer and remain cool in the evenings - perfect for some grape varieties.

Learn more about the weather down here at our best time to visit New Zealand page. 

 

Celsius

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring (Sep/Oct/Nov)

Summer (Dec/Jan/Feb)

Autumn (Mar/Apr/May)

Winter (Jun/Jul/Aug)

 

 

High

Low

High

Low

High

Low

High

Low

Bay of Islands

19

9

25

14

21

11

16

7

Auckland

18

11

24

12

20

13

15

9

Rotorua

17

7

24

12

18

9

13

4

Wellington

15

9

20

13

17

11

12

6

Christchurch

17

7

22

12

18

8

12

3

Queenstown

16

5

22

10

16

6

10

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fahrenheit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring (Sep/Oct/Nov)

Summer (Dec/Jan/Feb)

Autumn (Mar/Apr/May)

Winter (Jun/Jul/Aug)

 

 

High

Low

High

Low

High

Low

High

Low

Bay of Islands

67

48

76

56

70

52

61

45

Auckland

65

52

75

54

68

55

59

48

Rotorua

63

45

75

54

68

55

59

48

Wellington

59

48

68

55

63

52

54

43

Christchurch

63

45

72

54

65

46

54

37

Queenstown

61

41

72

50

61

43

50

34

What kind of things are there to do on my free day in Queenstown/Auckland/Christchurch?

Queenstown rightly has the reputation of being the Adventure Capital of New Zealand. All manner of adventurous activities can be tried here, ranging from the infamous Bungy-jumping, through river-surfing, jetboat-riding, white-water rafting, parasailing, parapenting, hang-gliding, sky-diving, and a whole lot more. It is also a great area for hiking or mountain-biking. For a more leisurely time you can take a Wine tour or cruise across to Walter Peak station on the steamship Earnslaw, or sample some of the extremely pleasant cafes and restaurants dotted around the very picturesque town.

There’s so much on offer in Auckland that we like to leave it up to you to decide what to do. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, there’s bungy jumping off the Auckland Harbour Bridge or a Sky Jump off our tallest man-made structure, the Sky Tower! For those who prefer a more relaxed pace, there’s hiking, golfing, fishing, wine tasting and sailing options to name a few. Or if you’d like to take things real easy, then there are shops, cafés, book stores, pubs and restaurants to explore. For movie enthusiasts, take the day to visit The Shire in Middle-earth, the setting for ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘Lord of The Rings’ movie trilogies.

In Christchurch you could take a walk around Hagley Park, including the Christchurch Botanic Gardens or visit the free Canterbury Museum to learn about New Zealand history, art and the natural world. Explore the Brockworth Street Art Gallery which gives you a taste of the awesome street art there is to see in Christchurch or head to Quake City (NZ$20 entry) gives you a deeper understanding of Christchurch’s recent history of the 2011 Canterbury Earthquakes. Check out the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial too by following by the 185 Empty White Chairs memorial to those who lost their lives in these earthquakes.

Any good books or videos about New Zealand?

There are so many great stories to come out of New Zealand, probably because the landscape and the people inspire such creativity and adventure. Here is a list, gathered from across the Active Adventures family, of recommended reads:

  • "An Angel at My Table" - Janet Frame Though undoubtedly one of New Zealand's most accomplished novelists, Frame is perhaps best known for this three-volume autobiography, dramatised in Jane Campion's film which, with wit and a self-effacing honesty, gives a wonderful insight into both the author and her environment. Her superb novels and short stories use humour alongside highly disturbing combinations of events and characters to overthrow readers' preconceptions. For starters, try Faces in the Water, Living in the Maniototo, Scented Gardens for the Blind, Daughter Buffalo and Owls Do Cry (all The Women's Press).
  • "Dogside Story" - Patricia Grace - Short-listed for the 2001 Booker Prize, this is a wonderful story concerning the power of the land and the power of whanau at the turn of the Millennium. (whanau is the Maori word for family
  • "The Bone People" (Picador) - Keri Hulme - Celebrated winner of the 1985 Booker Prize, and a wonderful first novel set along the wild beaches of the South Island's West Coast. Mysticism, myth and earthy reality are transformed into a haunting tale peopled with richly drawn characters.
  • "King of the Gypsies" (Penguin) - Witi Ihimaera Bulibasha – The best introduction to one of the country's finest Maori authors. A rollicking good read, energetically exploring the life of a rebellious teenager in 1950s rural New Zealand, where two mighty sheep-shearing families are locked in battle. It's an intense look at adolescence, cultural choices, family ties and the abuse of power, culminating in a masterful twist. Look out also for the excellent The Matriarch (Penguin) and The Uncle Story (Talanoa, NZ) by the same author.
  • "The Luminaries" - Eleanor Catton - winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize. The plot follows Walter Moody, a prospector who travels to the fledgling West Coast of the South Island settlement of Hokitika, near New Zealand's goldfields in 1866 to try to make his fortune. Instead he stumbles into a tense meeting between twelve local men, who draw him in to the complex mystery behind a series of unsolved crimes.
  • "The Penguin History of New Zealand" – Michael King - For NZ history this is the best book - It catalogues the history of New Zealand from initial settlement (well, at least the various theories of the initial settlements) right through to the government in 2005. This one is my favourite history books - to be read in small sections and with much discussion!

Is there a number to call in an emergency? How can my family, friends or colleagues contact me

Please contact our New Zealand office using the details below. If the office is unattended (outside of New Zealand business hours), please leave a message so we can pick it up and respond as soon as we can.

Free phone 1 800 661 9073 (USA, Canada & Australia)
Free phone 0808 234 7780 (UK)
Free phone 0800 234 726 (New Zealand)
Worldwide +64 3 450 0414, ext 1
Email: service@activeadventures.com

 

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Why Travel With Us

benefit group size

Just-right group sizes allow you to get off the beaten path

With an average of 12 guests per departure and an industry-leading 6:1 guest-to-guide ratio, you’ll enjoy a highly personalized experience with the perspective of an insider.

benefit guides

Award-winning guides lead the way

It’s so much easier to relax and enjoy your adventure when you have fun, caring guides who know the land, are experts in motivation, sweat all the details and whip up incredible meals, too!

benefit inclusive

You’ll never need to sweat the details

When we say all inclusive, we mean it! Meals and snacks, activities, lodging, transportation, guiding services and more. Every detail is handled; all you need to do is show up!

benefit safety

Enjoy freedom to push your boundaries – safely

Every aspect of your trip is thoroughly considered for your safety, from highly vetted vendors and well-maintained equipment to extensively trained guides and our seasoned operations team at headquarters.

benefit family

Decades of expertise mean you’ll experience only the best

Family travel and North American National Parks are our specialty. We’ve perfected our itineraries and sustained relationships for decades, ensuring you'll experience your destination to the fullest.

benefit wow

"Wow Moments” take your trip from enjoyable to extraordinary

For us, the extra mile is never extra, it’s part of the way! Count on special touches throughout your trip that will amplify your experience. If we’ve done our job, they’ll have you saying “wow!”