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Adventure travel in New Zealand

newzealandtourist.com recommends Active New Zealand Adventure Touring for the adventurous traveler who wants a real Kiwi outdoorsman-led tour with plenty of options. Three different trips are offered along with occasional custom itineraries. You can backpack in a secluded national park – sea kayak – cycle – jump off bridges – take incredible hikes, all the while staying in comfortable lodgings. Active New Zealand – headed by Andrew Fairfax – has found BNB’s, farmstays, lodges, motels, and the occasional mountain hut — places which are quaint, out-of-the-way, and comfortable. Cycle the Hollyford Valley into Milford Sound. Stay well off the beaten track. Stay in some spectacular lodges, meet the people of New Zealand – soak in hot pools – check out the local Maori culture. Active New Zealand’s small size and local contacts means they will also customize trips for you.

These are not trips for couch potatoes. Andrew offers three trips:

  • Rimu – 14 days
  • Kauri – 5 days
  • Tui – 7days

An example of these trips is the Rimu, where you will stay in local BNB’s with meals included. This trip is action-packed with plenty of choice in activities….it begins and ends in Christchurch in the South Island. You can join the trip for a smaller pro-rated portion if your time or budget are limited. It features Nelson Lakes National Park hiking and sea kayaking into the Queen Charlotte Sound, canoeing on the Porari River along with fishing, caves to play in, beaches to lie on, and rivers to swim in. For a little extra, you can take a heli-hike, which is a helicopter ride up towards the highest peaks of the Southern Alps, then land 4000 feet up the glacier for a 3 hour hike with crampons, ice axes, etc. — so long as the weather permits. You will visit the Franz-Josef glacier.

On the way to Queenstown, the truly adventurous may try bungy jumping ($60) off the A.J.Hackett bungy jump bridge. You will take the S.S. Earnshaw, a century old steamer, across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station, a high country sheep station, where they have a sheep shearing demonstration, then hit the road for a half day bike ride up the Mt. Nicholas Station Road. Then on to a private farmstay near Milford Sound, rated the 8th wonder of the world by Rudyard Kipling. The vast majority of people see Milford Sound from the deck of a ship, but you will have a better way – 3 feet above the water line with Roscoe’s Sea Kayaks. Weather permitting, there is a hike up the main ridge of Mt. Cook, a tough 3-4 hour slog for the physically fit. And so on.

The activites on the Rimu trip are typical of Active New Zealand’s other trips. Visit their website at www.activenewzealand.com for complete details, and then let us integrate your itinerary from your front door to adventurous New Zealand and back to your front door.

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