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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

 4.50 out of 5 (from 14601 reviews)

Perfect Trip for anyone who loves Nature!

“If you enjoy being outdoors and like to challenge yourself this trip is for you. I wasn't an avid hiker before signing up for the Rimu trip but after reading the itinerary I knew I couldn't pass up this amazing opportunity. You never know what you are capable of until you try and that is how I feel after climbing up to the Angelus Hut and hiking to Mueller ridge. I had never climbed a mountain before (since there are no mountains where I live) but the views are more than worth the climb.
This trip is the best way to see all that the South Island has to offer, it is the perfect balance between adventure, relaxation, self-exploration, and cultural immersion. Anyone can go to New Zealand and rent a car and go hiking, biking, and Kayaking; however, they will miss out on the best parts of traveling to a new place and that is the knowledge and culture that only someone who lives there would know. The guides (Tory and Vanessa) were awesome! Tory is an amazing cook, and Ness was great at making jokes and keeping the atmosphere cheery during the longer drives. I loved listening to the guides tell us about the Maori people and the local legends or folklore. I actually thought Ness was lying to me when she would tell me that the views get better after being left speechless by the scenery, but every day was better than the previous!
I have to mention the FOOD!!! The food alone is enough for me to sign up for this trip again. When I travel I don’t always know what the local food is or would be but with this trip the guides cook you all sorts of local food and all the food is fresh and delicious. If you don’t like something they will make sure to accommodate you.
Ness and Tory made you feel like this was a trip among friends and family, not strangers. I will come back to New Zealand again!”
Brian Heinz's Review Image
– Wisconsin, United States
Rimu, May 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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