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NZ Travel Guide

How to Get To, From and Around NZ!

Flying to New Zealand

New Zealand is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and although the original Maori settlers arrived in canoes, most people choose to get to New Zealand by jet plane these days! The new era of international aviation was ushered in with the first flight to New Zealand from Australia by Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm in September 1928, but the most famous (in NZ) was Guy Menzies' unauthorised solo flight from Sydney to Hari Hari in 1931. He had logged a flight plan to Melbourne, but snuck across the Tasman Ocean instead, though with a rather un-graceful crash landing in a swamp - most people will experience a far smoother landing on their international flight into New Zealand! On that subject, we've written a guide to surviving a long-haul flight which you might want to take a look at.

heli nz

Getting Around New Zealand

Well, naturally we reckon that the best way to get around is to join one of our New Zealand tours! This way you'll get to see the very best of our country, hassle free, with the locals and without having to dip into your wallet every five minutes! Now that we've got that out of the way, generally speaking, the main method of transport is via internal flights, buses, and cars. There are limited rail links, though some of these are more tourist-oriented and very spectacular, such as the Trans-Alpine from Christchurch to Greymouth on the South Island. For some visitors, the preferred mode of transport is the campervan (known locally as mobile road blocks). Campervans vary hugely in size and facilities, from American RV-style monstrosities to highly-decorated VW Combi-style converted vans that are popular with the backpacker crowd. It's also possible to rent a car in major centres and the more popular tourist towns - just remember to stay on the left hand side of the road! .

And for the more fancy-free traveller, cycle-touring is a popular method of travel - you will often see heavily-laden cyclists pedalling their way around the countryside - and hitch-hiking is probably the cheapest way to get around New Zealand. If cycle-touring is your thing, but 'heavily-laden' sounds ominous, then you may want to check out our New Zealand Biking Adventure 'Weka' trip. 

 

getting around nz

Trip Reviews

  •   4.70 out of 5 (from 266 reviews)

    Wonderful Trip

    A wonderful experience....Koru and Lauren were fantastic guides and showed us the best New Zealand has to offer. From Maori history to present day sights the tour was constantly informative and inspirational. Although it was "guided" they gave plenty of freedom to hike at your own pace, take in the sights without feeling rushed and allowed ample time to take in all NZ has to offer.
    Brandi Sima Review Image
    – Maryland, United States
    Kiwi, February 2018
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4984 reviews)

    An Unbelievable Experience

    The Rimu trip was beyond phenomenal! The sights we saw were breathtaking and the small group size allowed us all to bond and truly enjoy our time together exploring this magnificent country. Our guides were fantastic and provided lots of information and fun facts, along with a large amount of encouragement as we tackled some of our adventures! I'm still searching for words to describe just how great a trip it was!
    McKayla Anderson Review Image
    – Nebraska, United States of America
    Rimu, January 2018
  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1888 reviews)

    Virgin Active Adventurist-When can I do it again?!

    Fabulous trip! Not having to drive, research stops, plan activities, arrange accommodations and decide what to eat made this so relaxing, letting us enjoy every minute of every activity and even the down time! I can't wait to sign up for another trip!
    Karen Basil Review Image
    – Minnesota, United States
    Tui, March 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4984 reviews)

    Rimu - Awesome South Island trip!

    This trip is really a great way to experience the true beauty of the South Island. We hiked in beautiful areas with spectacular views, biked the Te Araroa track and sea kayaked in Milford Sound and in the Okarito Lagoon. Our guides, Ben and Emma, were absolutely great! They were cheerful, caring and attentive to our needs. They kept us well fed all along the trip even while hiking in remote areas with minimal cooking facilities. Accommodations were great and representative of the visited area. Thanks to one of our travel companions, we had magnificent weather for the trip duration… we cannot have asked for better temperatures.
    Claire Barrette-Remy Review Image
    – Ontario, Canada
    Rimu, December 2017
  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1888 reviews)

    Perfect amount of adventure

    From gazing upon Franz Josef Glacier to biking along Hawea Lake Trail, to gliding on calm waters in Milford Sound, it's been a most memorable adventure! Our guides Tess and Amanda were a great duo! I loved that it was just enough activity without being sore while still being able to see so much of South Island.
    Grace Zheng Review Image
    – Hawaii, 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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