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Best Adventure Activities in New Zealand

If you're wondering what to do with your time in New Zealand, this is the perfect place to start.

New Zealand is quite the adventure playground, especially if you enjoy the great outdoors as much as we do. So we've compiled a guide to some of our favourite things to do in New Zealand, read on and enjoy.

If you'd like personal recommendations on where to enjoy your favourite activities while you're down here, please ask us! Just give us a call, hit the live chat at the bottom of your screen or click the button below to request your free New Zealand brochure... we'd love to help you with any questions you may have and we look forward to seeing you soon!

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Hiking

New Zealand is most definitely a hiker's paradise, with thousands of kilometres of trails, no harmful animals, few people and pristine countryside. It's hiking that really shaped Active Adventures in the early days and has remained our core activity for over 20 years now. On our trips we'll take you on our favourite hikes, some off the beaten track and others better known, such as the Milford Track and the world famous Tongariro Crossing. Learn More...  

Hiking in New Zealand


Biking

Biking in New Zealand is really starting to find its mojo, with major investment in a country-wide trail network in recent years. From technical single track to gondola-assisted trails, to off-road touring, there's a trail to suit everyone and a world of exploring to do! Learn More...

Biking page


Kayaking

From our oceans to our lakes and rivers, kayaking in New Zealand is a popular sport and a regular activity on our Active Adventures. There are some places best seen from the seat of a kayak, when the waters are still. Milford Sound is one of those places - a long time ago we decided it would be far better to stay overnight in Milford Sound and explore the fjord by kayak the next morning, before the bus loads of cruise tourists arrive. We've never looked back! Learn More...

Kayaking in New Zealand


Skiing and Snowboarding

From the major commercial ski fields, through to the small family-owned club fields - New Zealand has it all. Although you might not find the extensive network of back to back fields (like you'll see in Europe and some parts of North America), you will however find some of the best snow in the Southern Hemisphere... and the surrounding mountain vistas will blow you away.

Click here for everything you need to know about taking a skiing vacation in New Zealand.

Ski Cardrona, New Zealand


Snorkelling and Diving

New Zealand is famous for its epic mountains, but many people don't realise that it's also a maritime paradise. Home to a handful of the world's most spectacular marine reserves, you're in for the experience of a lifetime whenever you pull on your wetsuit, and slide down your mask.

Click here to discover the best snorkelling and diving in New Zealand.

Snorkelling in New Zealand


Jet Boating

Did you know that the jet boat was invented in New Zealand, by a Kiwi living in Christchurch? That being the case, no wonder we're the best at driving these graceful craft, and we're lucky enough to have the world's best jet boating rivers on our doorstep.

Learn more about jet boating in New Zealand now.

Shotover Jet

Photo courtesy of Shotover Jet, Queenstown


Cruise Milford Sound

If you're not feeling adventurous enough to kayak Milford Sound, then we definitely recommend climbing on board a cruise boat and take a tour of the great fjord. You'll get up and personal with the granite peaks, and taste the pure glacial water as it cascades down a waterfall in front of you.

Learn how to plan a Milford Sound cruise now...

Cruise Milford Sound


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Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4984 reviews)

    What an adventure!

    Great adventure with wonderful guides Alex and Tia!
    Stephanie Eskuri Review Image
    – Michigan, United States
    Rimu, January 2017
  •   4.38 out of 5 (from 1211 reviews)

    Well done, Andy & Jo

    Many thanks to Andy and Jo, guides to our 2nd half of the Kauri trip. The hiking was outstanding, and the varied other activities just made this trip that more special.
    Ted Jackson Review Image
    – Tennessee, United States
    Kauri, March 2017
  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1888 reviews)

    Exceeding expectations and more!

    We had been planning this trip for about a year and I had been dreaming about this trip for about 7 years, therefore the expectations were high. Active Adventures did an excellent job and our guides Kuru and Liana made this a trip of a lifetime. The most amazing part is that they always were one step ahead of planning the next meal, hike, bike or even maneuvering around the NZ wild weather. All the planning ahead and adjusting on the fly would normally turn a trip to be very stressful but we were able to sit back and relax (not literally because it was very active) and truly enjoy the beautiful landscape and everything NZ had to offer. Truly the trip of a lifetime!
    Ryan Hussey Review Image
    – New Hampshire, United States
    Tui, December 2016
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4984 reviews)

    The Best Way to Spend my 30th Birthday!

    Going to New Zealand has been at the very top of my bucket list for quite a long time and I finally decided to scratch it off when I turned 30. Active Adventures was, from the beginning, the only tour group I would consider travelling with. They were the only group that not only had everything I wanted to do in New Zealand, but also had the highest level of professionalism and ratings that made me trust them.
    From the moment they picked us up at the airport I was certain I’d judged them correctly. Tess was simply an amazing tour guide (we called her mum because that’s exactly how we felt about her) not only was she fun, she took care of us, fed us, and kept us organized. Andy supplemented the tour with such interesting history and facts that I felt like I was on a school trip (in a good way!).
    All in all it was an amazing vacation, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it!
    Thank you Active Adventures for making my 30th the year to remember!
    Dani Felton Review Image
    – Florida, United States
    Rimu, November 2017
  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1888 reviews)

    Professionalism and Exceptionalism Beyond Expectations!

    Our recent Tui trip of the South Island was absolutely the trip of a lifetime and more than I could have ever hoped for! As a very seasoned, frugal, independent, tour-averse traveller, signing up and spending the money for this trip was a bit out of character for me. However, that being said, this was probably the best travel investment I have ever made in my life! We packed so many amazing adventures into eight days, with the kindest most knowledgeable and most professional guides ever, that I seriously doubt I could have recreated it on my own. I cannot recommend Active Adventures and our guides Claire and Rachael highly enough and am already looking forward to and planning my next adventure this year with them!
    Chris Gan Review Image
    – Washington, United States
    Tui, January 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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