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The 25 Best New Trips for 2010: Points South

National Geographic Adventure online

NGA-november-2009New Zealand: All Access Kiwiland. The North Island has the Bay of Islands and the best surfing; the South Island trumpets Queenstown and world-class hiking. For decades, New Zealand's two halves have been vying for the country's title of premier travel destination. But Active Adventurees New Zealand just gave the South Island a major one-up: the first guided hiking and bicycle crossing from coast to coast.

For this 13-day trip, the high-octane outfitter has chosen the wildest route possible, using little-known tracks (Kiwi for trails) and New Zealand's excellent hut system, which offers everything from bare-bones shelters to cushy crash pads with private bunks and kitchens.

Starting in the temperate rain forests of West Fiordland National Park and the Milford Sound, you'll follow the Greenstone Track through the Southern Alps, then continue along Lake Wakatipu and across Central Otago to the brisk waters of the east coast. Highlights include beach-hut overnights on the Tasman Sea, where penguins and seals are a common sight; hiking to 200-foot Homer Falls; and biking to 3,000-foot Key Summit for views of three glacier-carved valleys, including the one you just hiked through, seven-mile Hollyford.

Trip Reviews

 4.51 out of 5 (from 14816 reviews)

7 Day Jaguar Adventure

“I have nothing but positive reviews for this week-long adventure of a lifetime (I would have loved to stay on for the full 14 day experience, but unfortunately work responsibilities limited my time away). As a seasoned solo traveler/hiker, and it being my 30th birthday week, I must rank this trip as my top guided-tour experience. Everything from the Lares Inca Trail experience (with its less crowded characteristics making it a much more attractive alternative to the Classic Inca Trail, at least to me), to the accommodations, the food (which can be catered to most anyone’s dietary needs, at least from what I experienced both first hand and from others in the group...still not sure how the chef/porters can transport all that fresh food and whip up such fantastic meals miles and miles from the nearest town!?), our tour leader Daniel and other affiliated guides and porters...quite honestly above and beyond what my original expectations were for the trip! I met several fellow hikers from around the world with whom I bonded and would now call lifelong friends, and have numerous photos and memories to last a lifetime! I would also like to mention that during our 4 day/3 night hike, we encountered several other hikers along the trail who were with various other tour companies (some of which I had researched prior to booking with Active Adventures), and were told several stories about various mishaps and/or negative experiences they were having with their tour leaders...perhaps we lucked out with our fantastic tour leader, but I definitely do not regret for a second my decision to ring in the third decade of my life with Active Adventures! I can’t thank you guys enough and will definitely keep you in mind for my next hiking adventure, wherever that may be :)”
Kevin Bui's Review Image
– New Hampshire, United States
Jaguar 2017, October 2017
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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Legendary Kiwi Hospitality

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.

Expert LOCAL Guides & Trip Leaders

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.

Everything is Included

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.

A Sense of Achievement

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.

Small Groups

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.

Diverse Experiences

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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