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Paper Trails

By Steve and Joan Ringel of Denver - January 2006

newsphoto-kayaking-milford.jpg

(Paper Trails - where readers send in pictures of their local paper travelling the world!)

Where: Milford Sound

Best meal: Rotherhams, Christchurch, a small, welcoming restaurant run with gourmet continental choices as well as New Zealand specialties. Wonderful desserts. Be hungry; New Zealand menus include appetizers, mains (a small main course), entrees (a regular main course) and dessert. If you ask for salad or vegetables, you will get them; if you don't, they are not likely to be served.

Best deal: Tour with Active Adventures New Zealand. Well planned, no more than 14 in a group, excellent guides, efficiently showcases special places by hiking, biking and sea kayaking that on your own you couldn't organize. Reasonably priced. Spartan but scrupulously clean accommodations. Healthy, family-style meals. Beer and lattes under $3 everywhere.

Best time to go: November and early December - late spring, early summer "down under" - just before Kiwis travel for the holidays and best weather.

Best travel tip: Take rain gear - it is supposed to rain quite a bit, although we had only one day of intermittent drizzle on our last day. Take deet for sand flies, and don't scratch if they bite you. An old Maori myth suggests that when New Zealand was created, it was paradise. The gods sent the sand flies to remind humans how easily paradise can be spoiled.

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15889 reviews)

    New Zealand is Majestic...Thanks Active Adventures!

    This was my first trip traveling alone and traveling overseas. Active Adventures made this trip amazing and so easy. From initial planning of trip, to the moment of pick up at the airport, until drop off at the end of the adventure all details were taken care of. The guides (Amanda and Joe) were fabulous and the prepared meals were fantastic. New Zealand is truly beautiful. Thanks for sharing your country, can't wait to go back!
    Jennifer Smith Review Image
    – Arizona, United States
    Rimu, December 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15889 reviews)

    Land-based tours are the way to go!

    We are so glad we chose to do an active, land-based trip rather than take a cruise ship. Staying in small hotels in the various towns on four islands and gaining an appreciation for the locals, the local food and customs was a tremendous addition to the natural beauty of the Galapagos. Knowing that we were contributing to the local economy rather than to a cruise line's bottom line felt good to us. Our guides (Lenin in Quito) and Zambo (on the Galapagos) were outstanding.
    Tom Ward Review Image
    – Massachusetts, United States
    Tortuga, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15889 reviews)

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15889 reviews)

    Wow! What a trip!

    We had an absolute blast exploring the South Island with two legendary guides, Ken and Elder. Amazing hiking and other activities, great food, and awesome company!
    Jordan Altaras Review Image
    – Washington, United States
    Rimu, April 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15889 reviews)

    BEST TRIP EVER!!!

    This trip was a dream come true with a BIG unexpected surprise...I swam with a whale shark. Active Adventures has thought of everything. You need to bring your clothes, quick dry is a must, and personal items. All activity amenities are supplied, including a long or short sleeve wetsuit. If you use a prescription mask in the water, bring it along. All the work is done for you. Your guide will let you know what time to be ready and off you go. Everything ran on time, no waiting for anything (once we did wait 4 minutes at the airport for the van). Even meals were ordered ahead and served within a few minutes of sitting down. We ate at many of the best restaurants. I felt like a princess. The Galapagos animals even did their part by 'posing' for great pics. We saw all the great sites while our guide educated us on the topic. Our guide, Pablo, is amazing.

    The whale shark...while boating between islands, we saw a group of dolphins. Then, we saw the whale shark. Pablo handed out mask a few of us gently jumped in the water to 'swim' with the 30ft long animal. Yes, we have videos thanks to our boat captain and one person with a go pro.

    Active Adventures does it right.
    Kim Tetzner Review Image
    – Texas, United States
    Tortuga, February 2017

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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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