Check out our incredible adventures exploring the highlights and hidden gems of New Zealand!
Activity Level 1
What's The Rush?
I'm active and in decent shape and not looking to experience a place just through a bus window. I'm happy to slow down on the trail, soak it in and breathe in the fresh air.
Walking: 2-3 hours per day on gentle-gradient trails.
Other activities: On these trips, you'll be taking part in a range of other activities that focus less on building up a sweat and more on enjoying the finer things in life.
Activity Level 2
On the Move
Sure, I own some hiking boots, they're even worn in, but they don't go on long trips. I like my creature comforts and I like to give a range of activities a go.
Walking: 2-4 hours per day on gentle to moderate gradient trails. No multi-day hikes.
Biking: 1-3 hours, cruisy rides achievable by anyone, even first-timers. Kayaking: 1-3 hours, entry-level sea kayaking with specialist guides and stable boats.
Other activities (i.e. snorkeling): Always optional and very little exertion required. A highlight for many!
Activity Level 3
Earn Your Lunch
I stay active on vacation and love the feeling of relaxing after a busy day on the go. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.
Hiking: Typically, 3-6 hours per day on well-formed backcountry trails. Expect some significant gradient inclines and declines.
Altitude: Your trip may include some moderate altitude areas, though these don't form the focus of the trip and are generally manageable.
Biking: 1-3 hours on well-formed paths or roads where you can expect some hills with moderate climbs and descents.
Kayaking: 1-3 hours, entry-level sea kayaking with specialist guides and stable boats.
Other activities (i.e. caving): Always optional and very little exertion required. A highlight for many!
Activity Level 4
I'll let my trusty guides sweat the small things, so I can focus on my goal. Getting to the top, reaching the end, achieving my dreams! Sure, it'll be tough, but the views will be worth it.
Hiking / Trekking: Typically, 4–6-hour hikes with options for more, sometimes with limited or no vehicle support and nearly always with ascents and descents.
Altitude: Some trips at this level will reach a significant altitude. We are here to help you manage that and make your experience one to cherish for a lifetime.
Biking & Kayaking: If one, or both, of these activities are 'your thing,' there are trip options in this range, allowing you to be on two wheels or with a paddle in your hand for most of the day.
Activity Level 5
The Upper Limit
I'm ready to put in the hard work to reap the rewards. I'm a seasoned adventurer, not afraid to get my boots wet.
Trekking & Altitude: This is classic trekking, at altitude. Some might even call it 'expedition-style.' We've had folks from all walks of life achieve their dreams on our grade 5 trips, so if you're in for a challenge get in touch to find out if this is for you.
- June 2020
"Most exciting and challenging adventure trip I've ever taken. A solid five-stars. We… read more
"Most exciting and challenging adventure trip I've ever taken. A solid five-stars. We hiked, biked, snorkeled and subterranean-tubed all over New Zealand's beautiful north island. The sights during the19 Km Tongariro Alpine Crossing were amazing. Our guides, Liana and Lauren, were the best. Both are fountains of New Zealand cultural and archeological history. They kept us safe and anticipated all of our needs. If I find the right woman, I'll bring her to New Zealand with me for another Active Adventures trip!! read less
David, United States
- May 2020
"I enjoyed the shortened Kauri trip. Although only a few days long we saw… read more
"I enjoyed the shortened Kauri trip. Although only a few days long we saw a lot of the north island with several very fun things to do! read less
Tom, United States
- April 2020
"There is no doubt that the scenery of Northland New Zealand is magnificent, the Kauri… read more
"There is no doubt that the scenery of Northland New Zealand is magnificent, the Kauri trip took us to places that we probably would not have visited had we travelled independently. More than that though our guides Andy and Jo brought the trip to life with their pride in New Zealand and Andy's constant supply of information about New Zealand's history and culture, we learned more from Andy and Jo and the Maori we met than we ever would have from reading travel guides. Highlihgts for me were the Maori guide led evening walk in the Kauri forest, sandboarding in Hokianga and the beach and cliff walk at Mangawhai Heads. We travelled with a great group and had a lot of fun. read less
David, United Kingdom
- April 2020
"This truly was an amazing trip. Every day a new adventure began. The guides were… read more
"This truly was an amazing trip. Every day a new adventure began. The guides were absolutely brilliant, they were so good at including and empowering everyone, despite some having reservations at times. The activities were quite a challenge but the relaxed but firm guidance gave everyone the confidence to ‘go for its. I felt safe at all times. The variety of challenges was superb, and when things didn’t quite work out as planned the alternatives always surpassed our expectations, didn’t feel like second best at all. read less
Anne, United Kingdom
- April 2020
"Active enough for me- walking up and down hills and volcanos, zip lining, sand dune… read more
"Active enough for me- walking up and down hills and volcanos, zip lining, sand dune boarding, cave floating and much more. read less
- April 2020
"The Kauri trip provided us with a very good diversity of activities and covered a… read more
"The Kauri trip provided us with a very good diversity of activities and covered a lot of ground! Well organized! Professional guides! read less
- March 2020
"I booked with Active Adventures on the recommendation of a relative who works in tourism… read more
"I booked with Active Adventures on the recommendation of a relative who works in tourism in New Zealand. She told me you were the best and I have to agree. The locations and activities did not disappoint, the accommodation ranged from luxurious to quirky and the food was tasty and plentiful. On top of that, we had outstanding guides in Claire and Holly, with years of experience, plenty of local knowledge and a knack for treating their guest just right. These two were amazing and I would happily book to travel with either one again, regardless of the destination. Thank you Active for a great trip! read less
Kate, United Kingdom
- March 2020
"Great trip. Great hosts. The food was wonderful. read more
"Great trip. Great hosts. The food was wonderful. read less
Dave, United States
- March 2020
"Reading the description for Kauri trip, it sounded a little too good to be true… read more
"Reading the description for Kauri trip, it sounded a little too good to be true but not only was it as good a advertised, but even better!! We were fortunate to have a small group of 5-6 (one person joined halfway through). The ages varied from 29 to 67 (we were the oldest in the group) from all different backgrounds. But within a couple of days, we felt like family! Claire and Holly made everyone feel included and important!!
I had broken my ankle the year before our trip and was concerned about doing the Tongariro crossing. Active Adventures provided a special guide for 3 of us who did not want to do the crossing. The guide, Olivia, was great! She took us on the beginning of the crossing and then for a beautiful hike through the woods around a nearby lake. It was great and I didn't have to feel like I missed out because of my physical limitations.
I really liked that in general we stayed at small, out of the way places. Not very touristy. I especially liked that Active used local guides. Bob, who took us in his water taxi to Deep Water Cove was great! He is Maori and told us many interesting facts about the Maori people from an insider's perspective. Charlie, who led us on a twilight walk in the Waipoua Forest is also Maori and told us Maori legends as well as sang us Maori songs. Claire and Holly are also very knowledgeable about Maori culture and gave us a lot of insight. Something we would not have gotten had we traveled on our own. I feel like I learned much more about Maori culture from these individuals than our trip to Te Puia which was much too touristy and glitzy for my liking.
My favorite activity on the trip was boogie boarding on the sand dunes!! I wasn't even sure that I would do it because I am not a very adventurous person but it was SOOO much fun! I just wish that we had more time to do it longer. The mountain biking was a lot of fun as well. I had never been mountain biking before but the guides were very calm and helpful and it went great. They only brought us on trails that they knew we could handle. It was great for a beginner but I wonder if there had been more experienced riders in the group if they would have been guided to more challenging trails.
The cruise to Poor Knights Islands was great!! The personnel on the boat were very friendly and helpful. We chose to go snorkeling and paddle boarding and enjoyed them both.
All of the hikes were great!!! Some were more challenging than others but all (except Toninga crossing) were very doable even with my bum ankle and bad knees. Although I must say that we followed Active Adventures advice and trained in the months before the trip to get in shape for it. We were able to go as fast or as slow as we wanted and were given plenty of time to take photos.
The tubing in the Waitomo caves was certainly exciting!! Even though I was very apprehensive about the whole idea, the guides put me at ease and were always handy at the difficult parts to lend a hand. It really was fun.
I can't say enough good things about Claire and Holly!!! They were unbelievable! They were patient, kind, fun, knowledgeable, etc ...And on top of all of that they were incredible cooks!! I loved the fact that they made most of our meals for us. The food was healthy (a lot of green salads), we were able to get and eat our meals much faster than if we had gone out, taking a prepared lunch with us gave us the ability to eat on our hikes, we were able to have friendly conversations without a lot of background noise, and Holly made sure that our dietetic preferences were considered. It was perfect. I could not believe how delicious the food was and how beautifully presented. My only complaint is that I gained weight on the trip when I should have lost some with all of the hiking we did. :-)
While on the trip we mentioned that we had gone to Ireland with We Banjo 3 (a musical group). A couple of days later, We Banjo 3 was on the bus's playlist!! It was touches such as this that made us feel like we were on a trip with family. We ran into Holly and Claire on our trip to the South Island and we really felt like we ran into well-loved relatives.
I guess you can tell from my description of the trip that it was stupendous!
Anna, United States
- March 2020
"Northern New Zealand has the most beautiful landscapes made up of forests, beaches, mountains, volcanos;… read more
"Northern New Zealand has the most beautiful landscapes made up of forests, beaches, mountains, volcanos; you will never get bored on this trip. The guides were very knowledgable about the Mauri culture and the history of New Zealand, safe transportation, beautiful accomidation, delicious food, amazing views and gorgeous hikes. I would recommend this trip to anyone who loves outdoor adventures! read less
- March 2020
"another fabulous Active Adventures trip read more
"another fabulous Active Adventures trip read less
Dave, United States
- March 2020
"The Kauri trip was a great combination of lots of different activities that showcased so… read more
"The Kauri trip was a great combination of lots of different activities that showcased so many different environments and the culture of the North Island. We hiked in mountains, volcanoes, high above the sea, on the beach and in the jungle. We biked, sand boarded, walked through caves, learned about the Maori culture, visited historical sites and saw some of the oldest tress in the world. Each adventure was very different, many challenging and all fascinating. read less
Adrienne, United States
- March 2020
"In February my husband and I did the Kauri trip which was truly an adventure!… read more
"In February my husband and I did the Kauri trip which was truly an adventure! We lucked out with great weather allowing us to do all the planned activities plus two. Not only did we sand board, snorkel, kayak, mountain bike, and go cave tubing, all connected with some amazing hikes, we rafted the highest commercially rafted falls in the world, and jumped off the sky tower in Auckland!! In between the adventures were great food and new friends,sightseeing and culture, all pieced together by fantastic guides. Jo & Koru were top notch New Zealand hosts, taking care of every need or want even before we new we wanted it! read less
Stephanie, United States
- March 2020
"I originally booked my trip with Active Adventures because I was traveling on my own… read more
"I originally booked my trip with Active Adventures because I was traveling on my own and wanted to be part of a group of like-minded travelers. I have used several other companies in the past (with my husband, my mother, and by myself) and this was by far my favorite.
Our group was on the smaller side, which made for lots of room on the bus and easier logistics than larger groups that I have been a part of. Our guides, Claire and Holly were absolutely amazing! Seriously, I can't say enough good things about them. Holly made us the most delicious meals. After a few days, she even remembered what kind of tea I preferred and always had it ready. She was also always cheery and a delight to be around. Claire was a wealth of information about the places we visited. She also rescued me on several occasions when I was not as organized as I could be. She got my Ipad back when I accidentally left it at one of the hotels, she lent me her hiking poles when I forgot my own on the bus, and even lent me her jandels when I didn't have mine available. They worked together seamlessly, clearly love what they do, and fostered a relaxed and fun atmosphere that helped us all to bond and enjoy the trip. And also, they played great music on the bus (including the Opo the Dolphin song, which will now be with me forever).
I thought the planned hikes and other activities were top-notch. On almost all of the hikes, it was just one beautiful view after another. It was also interesting to learn about the plants and animals around us. I appreciated that most of the hikes were spaced with other activities in between. I especially enjoyed the mountain biking, the boat day, and sand surfing.
Overall, I am a happy camper and will use Active Adventures when I come back to New Zealand and possibly for other destinations as well. read less
Rachel, United States
- March 2020
"I did the first half of the Kauri trip and it was a truly wonderful… read more
"I did the first half of the Kauri trip and it was a truly wonderful experience. Claire and Holly were the best guides. Claire is an excellent leader, safe and always very competent driver, and gave deep insights about NZ history and culture. Holly is a brilliant cook, always using many herbs, and always going the extra mile to meet everyone's special needs or wishes. And, most importantly, both were huge fun! In addition to being great guides on the trip, they also gave lots of great and spot-on recommendations for the free day or other parts of the country to visit.
The trip itself was full of wonderful experiences and a wonderful combination of activity (especially hiking Cape Brett), spiritual insights into Maori culture (especially visiting the Lord of the Forest) and epic scenery and fun (snorkel day and sandboarding) - in short, perfect! The accommodations were great. I was amazed how well everything was organised and came together seamlessly. In short, six stars out of five! read less
- March 2020
"Well, I am sad to be back home again after our wonderful Kauri trip with… read more
"Well, I am sad to be back home again after our wonderful Kauri trip with Claire and Holly. This was our third trip with Active, having previously gone on the Tui tour of the South Island with Amanda and Clara in early 2017, and then the Condor tour of Patagonia with Cahit, Anna, and Cristian in early 2018.
I can't say enough good things about Active. On every trip, our guides have been extremely fun, while at the same time very safety conscious and professional. And the food was delicious! It says something that I am three years away from that first trip and have no problem remembering the names of these wonderful people.
As with our previous tours, the itinerary was well-balanced between getting us out in the beautiful natural scenery of New Zealand, while at the same time allowing us enough time to recover so that we enjoy the trip. From sandboarding, to snorkeling, to mountain biking, to tubing a subterranean river, to hiking, we had a blast. I have been asked what the highlight of the trip was, and I struggle to come up with an answer I can stand by. There are too many superlative moments to choose from. It doesn't get better than that.
We have made friends again on this trip, as we have on previous trips, and I look forward to keeping in touch. And I look forward to my next Active Adventure. Thanks again for another wonderful vacation! read less
Jay, United States
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!”