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Ultimate North Island Adventure

Kauri

4.35 out of 5 (from 1045 reviews)

  • 11 Days - US$4,699 + tax
  • 5 days - US$2,999 + tax
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Trip Introduction

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You'll be amazed by the variety of adventures and stunning scenery as we share the iconic locations and best-kept secrets of the North Island. The perfect addition to any of our South Island trips, the year-round 'Kauri' explores the sub-tropical north, a marine reserve, white sandy beaches, unique volcanic terrain, geothermal areas, Maori culture, an underground cave system and arguably the best mountain day-hike in New Zealand. For a great way to see the rest of New Zealand, combine this trip with any of our South Island trips.

Activity level: The 'Kauri' suits people of a wide range of fitness levels and outdoor experience. Typically, activities on the 'Kauri' trip range between two and five hours to complete. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing hike can take a little longer, though there are shorter alternatives available.

Highlights

Hike
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Mt Te Aroha
Explore volcanoes and coastline, kauri forests and sand dunes
Alongside Rotorua's lakes
Coastal tracks to pristine beaches

Cycle
Whakarewarewa Forest

Plus...
Cruise and snorkel, kayak or dive Poor Knights Islands
Maori culture
Waitomo Caves

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What's included in our NZ trips?

  • All guiding services
    - Two experienced guides per trip. In New Zealand you'll have a lead guide and a co guide. 
  • All accommodations
    - A range of hotels, lodges, chalets, inns, sheep stations and backcountry huts, depending on which trip you choose. 
  • All meals
    - Breakfast, lunch and dinner on all days, except where indicated on the itinerary (usually 1 day per trip is a free day, allowing you to choose your own dining location). 
  • All activities
    - Hiking, kayaking, biking, rafting, scenic flights, jet boating and more! 
  • All transport
    - Airport transfers.
    - When you're not travelling under your own steam, they'll be comfortable air-conditioned vans to stretch your legs.
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Interactive Trip Map

Daily itinerary

Tuesday — Arrive, journey north, Waipoua Forest and Foot Prints tour

If you leave the northern hemisphere on a Sunday evening, you'll arrive into Auckland early on Tuesday morning where we'll meet you. You'll lose a day to the dateline, but you get it back on the way home! Leaving the city behind us, we'll follow the road along the banks of the Wairoa River and head north to Waipoua Forest, where we'll stretch our legs, greeted by native birdlife as we pass beneath huge kauri trees. We'll then continue through to the west coast settlement of Opononi, a harbour town made famous in the mid-1950s by the tame dolphin, Opo, who used to let children ride on his back. Later, after dinner we'll head back out into the Waipoua Forest for a twilight walk, where we'll be joined by local Maori guides. It's a memorable and spiritual experience to witness the greeting of these colossal trees with a spine-tingling waiata (sacred chant). We'll also visit Tane Mahuta (meaning Lord of the Forest), New Zealand's largest known living kauri tree. At a height of 51.2 metres (168 feet), and with a trunk girth of 13.7 metres (45 feet), this silent giant, with ancient limbs, seems to grasp at the stars.
Copthorne Hokianga, Hokianga (Lunch, Dinner)

Wednesday — Te Pouahi Reserve, hike Puketi Forest, Bay of Islands

After breakfast we'll board a water taxi to the other side of the Hokianga Harbour to walk the sand dunes at Te Pouahi Reserve. We'll take some sandboards along too, for those who're keen to take the fast route down! More than 1000 years ago, Maori warrior chief Kupe and his people were the first to arrive in New Zealand, landing on the shores of Hokianga Harbour. The area was also one of the first points of Maori and European contact. With our sandboarding fix satisfied we'll head east across the island to Puketi Forest. This is another fine example of ancient kauri forest, with a rich diversity including some 370 recorded species of plants, many of which are found nowhere else on earth. Later we'll head to 'the Jewel of the Bay of Islands', Paihia, a bustling seaside town with golden sand beaches.
Paihia Lodgings, Paihia (All meals)

Thursday — Hike Cape Brett, visit Ruapekapeka Pã site

This morning we’ll take a water taxi from Paihia out to Deep Water Cove for a ridgeline hike to Cape Brett through the Manawahuna Scenic Reserve. On route, you’ll experience the Bay of Islands from the ridge tops and get a magnificent view of an iconic rock formation, Hole in the Rock.  This is a 3-4 hour hike with rewarding views of the Bay of Islands the entire way - you may even see dolphins and seals from your vantage point high up on the cliffs. The mountains that we’re crossing are very important to the local Iwi (Maori tribe) as they’re considered one of the three sacred mountains of Polynesia.  If you’re not feeling up to the hike, have a chat to our guides and they can arrange an alternative boat trip around the Bay of Islands. Later, we’ll be picked up at Cape Brett, again by water taxi for the scenic cruise back to Paihia. This afternoon we’ll head south and inland to Ruapekapeka. The Ruapekapeka Pã was the site of the final battle in the ‘War of the North’, fought between British colonial forces and northern Maori,  and this is where the British first experienced trench warfare. This Pã is widely recognised as one of the most significant historical sites in New Zealand.
Pacific Rendezvous, Tutukaka (All meals)

Friday — Cruise Poor Knights Islands, snorkel or kayak

After breakfast, we'll head out for an early morning walk before boarding a purpose-built boat for a cruise to the Poor Knights Islands. This small cluster of islets is home to a wealth of biodiversity both above and below the water. While you head across from the mainland, keep your eyes peeled for flocks of petrels, shearwaters and gannets – many of these shorebirds nest almost exclusively on the islands you'll be visiting. The Poor Knights is the second oldest marine reserve in New Zealand, and the sub-tropical environment is now an important conservation area for many species of marine-life. Whales, dolphins and orca can often be spotted, as well as a myriad of fish species that constantly trawl the reserve. You'll visit the world's largest sea cave, and hear all about the islands' history including their occupation by ancient Maori. Our guides will then give you the chance to explore under your own steam, by providing you with either a snorkel and mask, or a kayak. If you're a keen scuba diver, there's an option to upgrade to diving for an additional fee, including all the necessary gear. This option must be pre-arranged, so please let the team know well before-hand.
Pacific Rendezvous, Tutukaka (All meals)

Saturday — Hike Northland coastline

This morning, we'll follow the coastal road as it winds its way south alongside tree-lined white sand beaches to Waipu, a quaint village with strong Scottish heritage dating back to the 1850s. Then we'll make our way to Mangawhai Heads for one of the finest coastal cliff top walks in the country. The walk offers glorious views of the Northland coastline, passing through shady bush and beneath giant old pohutukawa trees, and then returns along the beach. After lunch, we'll continue south from Mangawhai Heads towards the city of Auckland.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Auckland (Breakfast, Lunch)

If you're short on time, this is where the first 5-day 'Kauri' trip finishes.

Sunday — Free day in Auckland

Known as the city of sails, Auckland sprawls over a narrow isthmus between the sparkling waters of the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours. Close to a third of New Zealand's population is settled in this area, and it's home to the largest Polynesian community in the world. Its vibrant, multi-cultural feel makes for a great city experience. Most of Auckland's activities and attractions are within half an hour of the central city. Take in the spectacular views from natural and man-made landmarks - the region is home to 48 volcanic cones, many of which provide excellent viewing points. Rangitoto Island is arguably Auckland's most iconic natural landmark, with its distinctive symmetrical cone and easy access just off the coast. At 328 metres (1076 feet), the Sky Tower is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand offering views for up to 80 kilometres (50 miles) in every direction. For movie enthusiasts, take the day to visit The Shire in Middle-earth, the ultra-realistic fantasy setting for 'The Hobbit' and 'Lord of The Rings' movie trilogies. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Auckland (No meals incl.)

Monday — Hike Mt Te Aroha

If you're short on time, this is where the last 5-day 'Kauri' trip starts

We’ll pick you up from your hotel and leaving the city behind us, drive south to the township of Te Aroha. In the early 1900s, this town was the country’s top tourist spot, celebrated for its naturally hot soda waters and Mokena geyser. Now also known for its hiking trails, the township sits at the foot of Mt Te Aroha, the highest point in the Kaimai-Mamuku Forest Park and part of an ancient volcanic chain. Starting at the geyser, we’ll hike a short way to the Whakapipi Lookout, offering views over the Hauraki Plains. For those with extra energy, there’s the option to continue on to the summit, for 360 degree views, with Mt Ruapehu and Mt Taranaki visible on a fine day. We’ll then continue on to Rotorua, considered the heartland of New Zealand’s Maori culture and the spiritual home of New Zealand’s tangata whenua (original people of the land).
Cedarwood Lakeside Resort, Rotorua (All meals - please note, breakfast not included for those people starting the 5-day trip today)

Tuesday — Mountain bike Whakarewarewa Forest, visit Te Puia

This morning we'll head out to cycle the trails of Whakarewarewa Forest. The cycling in the forest is a real highlight on the 'Kauri' trip and we have options to suit all abilities. If you prefer not to cycle, you can stay and soak in the local mineral spas, or explore Rotorua. After a picnic lunch in the forest, we'll visit Te Puia which is famed for the Te Whakarewarewa geothermal valley – a place of gushing waters, steaming vents, boiling mud pools and impressive geysers. Tonight you'll enjoy a cultural performance by members of the Te Arawa tribe and share a traditional feast. A hangi, as its known, is prepared by wrapping food and burying it in the earth to cook over hot stones. This healthy cooking method is similar to steaming and imparts a wonderful flavour.
Cedarwood Lakeside Resort, Rotorua (All meals)

Wednesday — Hike Rainbow Mountain, hike to Huka Falls

We head south out of Rotorua today to hike Rainbow Mountain, aptly named due to the unusual colour of the soil. We'll head up through native forest past two impressive crater lakes to the summit for panoramic views over the volcanic plateau. Then after lunch, we'll follow the track along New Zealand's longest river, the Waikato, for a spectacular view of Huka Falls. Travelling further south, we follow the shores of Lake Taupo, an enormous volcanic caldera (a caldera is a cauldron-like volcanic feature usually formed by the collapse of land following a volcanic eruption) and the site of the world's largest eruption in the last 70,000 years. We'll stay on the banks of the Tongariro River, New Zealand's most famous trout fishing river, and our hosts tonight, Richard and Jill, will point you in the right direction if you'd like to cast a line!
Creel Lodge, Turangi (All meals)

Thursday — Hike Tongariro Alpine Crossing, soak in hot pools

Just south of Turangi are three massive volcanoes (Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu) – as well as Tongariro National Park, New Zealand's oldest national park and the fifth oldest in the world. Here you'll have the opportunity to walk what is considered the best mountain day-hike in the country, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This full-day hike is challenging and unforgettable – the rewards are definitely worth the effort! The trail takes you through arid volcanic terrain that includes emerald lakes, cold mountain springs, lava flows, active craters and steam vents – it's unlike anything else in New Zealand. If you prefer, there’s an easier hike available at the base of Mount Ruapehu, the highest active volcano in New Zealand. Tonight, we'll head to some natural thermal springs to soak tired muscles and have a celebratory dinner for our last night together.
Creel Lodge, Turangi (All meals)

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing in Winter (from May until September)
Whilst eye-catching, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a more challenging hike in winter, with alpine conditions such as snow and ice. If the weather isn't suitable for the crossing, or you'd prefer to do a hike at lower elevation (away from the snow and ice!) we have a fantastic couple of hikes up our sleeve, to Taranaki Falls and Silica Rapids. Both of these hikes showcase a variety of flora from native beech forest to sub-alpine shrublands, each culminating with a spectacular view; Taranaki Falls is 20 metres (65 feet) high and Silica Rapids has water cascading down a series of creamy white terraces. For those that are keen and fit, and the weather is suitable, you can still choose to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing with a local specialist guide. We will provide you with all the necessary gear such as crampons, ice axes and a helmet. 

Friday — Visit Waitomo Caves, depart for home

For our last day together, we'll head to the spectacular Waitomo Caves for a morning of caving. If you prefer to stay dry, you'll take a walk through Ruakuri cave to learn more about the geological significance of the area. For those keen, you'll head down to explore an underground cave system. You'll be fitted with a wetsuit, helmet, headlamp and rubber tube in order to float down a subterranean stream, slide down waterfalls and at one point, switch off your headlamp to check out the incredible glowworms that live on the limestone ceiling of the cave. After a shower and some hot soup, we'll head back to Auckland where your 'Kauri' trip finishes. We'll have you at the airport in time to catch evening flights back home, or down south for one of our South Island trips.
(Breakfast, Lunch)


Activity Key - zoom in to see activity detail

Hiking Biking Kayaking Boating Flying

Itinerary

Tuesday — Arrive, journey north, Waipoua Forest and Foot Prints tour

If you leave the northern hemisphere on a Sunday evening, you'll arrive into Auckland early on Tuesday morning where we'll meet you. You'll lose a day to the dateline, but you get it back on the way home! Leaving the city behind us, we'll follow the road along the banks of the Wairoa River and head north to Waipoua Forest, where we'll stretch our legs, greeted by native birdlife as we pass beneath huge kauri trees. We'll then continue through to the west coast settlement of Opononi, a harbour town made famous in the mid-1950s by the tame dolphin, Opo, who used to let children ride on his back. Later, after dinner we'll head back out into the Waipoua Forest for a twilight walk, where we'll be joined by local Maori guides. It's a memorable and spiritual experience to witness the greeting of these colossal trees with a spine-tingling waiata (sacred chant). We'll also visit Tane Mahuta (meaning Lord of the Forest), New Zealand's largest known living kauri tree. At a height of 51.2 metres (168 feet), and with a trunk girth of 13.7 metres (45 feet), this silent giant, with ancient limbs, seems to grasp at the stars.
Copthorne Hokianga, Hokianga (Lunch, Dinner)

Wednesday — Te Pouahi Reserve, hike Puketi Forest, Bay of Islands

After breakfast we'll board a water taxi to the other side of the Hokianga Harbour to walk the sand dunes at Te Pouahi Reserve. We'll take some sandboards along too, for those who're keen to take the fast route down! More than 1000 years ago, Maori warrior chief Kupe and his people were the first to arrive in New Zealand, landing on the shores of Hokianga Harbour. The area was also one of the first points of Maori and European contact. With our sandboarding fix satisfied we'll head east across the island to Puketi Forest. This is another fine example of ancient kauri forest, with a rich diversity including some 370 recorded species of plants, many of which are found nowhere else on earth. Later we'll head to 'the Jewel of the Bay of Islands', Paihia, a bustling seaside town with golden sand beaches.
Paihia Lodgings, Paihia (All meals)

Thursday — Hike Cape Brett, visit Ruapekapeka Pã site

This morning we’ll take a water taxi from Paihia out to Deep Water Cove for a ridgeline hike to Cape Brett through the Manawahuna Scenic Reserve. On route, you’ll experience the Bay of Islands from the ridge tops and get a magnificent view of an iconic rock formation, Hole in the Rock.  This is a 3-4 hour hike with rewarding views of the Bay of Islands the entire way - you may even see dolphins and seals from your vantage point high up on the cliffs. The mountains that we’re crossing are very important to the local Iwi (Maori tribe) as they’re considered one of the three sacred mountains of Polynesia.  If you’re not feeling up to the hike, have a chat to our guides and they can arrange an alternative boat trip around the Bay of Islands. Later, we’ll be picked up at Cape Brett, again by water taxi for the scenic cruise back to Paihia. This afternoon we’ll head south and inland to Ruapekapeka. The Ruapekapeka Pã was the site of the final battle in the ‘War of the North’, fought between British colonial forces and northern Maori,  and this is where the British first experienced trench warfare. This Pã is widely recognised as one of the most significant historical sites in New Zealand.
Pacific Rendezvous, Tutukaka (All meals)

Friday — Cruise Poor Knights Islands, snorkel or kayak

After breakfast, we'll head out for an early morning walk before boarding a purpose-built boat for a cruise to the Poor Knights Islands. This small cluster of islets is home to a wealth of biodiversity both above and below the water. While you head across from the mainland, keep your eyes peeled for flocks of petrels, shearwaters and gannets – many of these shorebirds nest almost exclusively on the islands you'll be visiting. The Poor Knights is the second oldest marine reserve in New Zealand, and the sub-tropical environment is now an important conservation area for many species of marine-life. Whales, dolphins and orca can often be spotted, as well as a myriad of fish species that constantly trawl the reserve. You'll visit the world's largest sea cave, and hear all about the islands' history including their occupation by ancient Maori. Our guides will then give you the chance to explore under your own steam, by providing you with either a snorkel and mask, or a kayak. If you're a keen scuba diver, there's an option to upgrade to diving for an additional fee, including all the necessary gear. This option must be pre-arranged, so please let the team know well before-hand.
Pacific Rendezvous, Tutukaka (All meals)

Saturday — Hike Northland coastline

This morning, we'll follow the coastal road as it winds its way south alongside tree-lined white sand beaches to Waipu, a quaint village with strong Scottish heritage dating back to the 1850s. Then we'll make our way to Mangawhai Heads for one of the finest coastal cliff top walks in the country. The walk offers glorious views of the Northland coastline, passing through shady bush and beneath giant old pohutukawa trees, and then returns along the beach. After lunch, we'll continue south from Mangawhai Heads towards the city of Auckland.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Auckland (Breakfast, Lunch)

If you're short on time, this is where the first 5-day 'Kauri' trip finishes.

Sunday — Free day in Auckland

Known as the city of sails, Auckland sprawls over a narrow isthmus between the sparkling waters of the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours. Close to a third of New Zealand's population is settled in this area, and it's home to the largest Polynesian community in the world. Its vibrant, multi-cultural feel makes for a great city experience. Most of Auckland's activities and attractions are within half an hour of the central city. Take in the spectacular views from natural and man-made landmarks - the region is home to 48 volcanic cones, many of which provide excellent viewing points. Rangitoto Island is arguably Auckland's most iconic natural landmark, with its distinctive symmetrical cone and easy access just off the coast. At 328 metres (1076 feet), the Sky Tower is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand offering views for up to 80 kilometres (50 miles) in every direction. For movie enthusiasts, take the day to visit The Shire in Middle-earth, the ultra-realistic fantasy setting for 'The Hobbit' and 'Lord of The Rings' movie trilogies. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Auckland (No meals incl.)

Monday — Hike Mt Te Aroha

If you're short on time, this is where the last 5-day 'Kauri' trip starts

We’ll pick you up from your hotel and leaving the city behind us, drive south to the township of Te Aroha. In the early 1900s, this town was the country’s top tourist spot, celebrated for its naturally hot soda waters and Mokena geyser. Now also known for its hiking trails, the township sits at the foot of Mt Te Aroha, the highest point in the Kaimai-Mamuku Forest Park and part of an ancient volcanic chain. Starting at the geyser, we’ll hike a short way to the Whakapipi Lookout, offering views over the Hauraki Plains. For those with extra energy, there’s the option to continue on to the summit, for 360 degree views, with Mt Ruapehu and Mt Taranaki visible on a fine day. We’ll then continue on to Rotorua, considered the heartland of New Zealand’s Maori culture and the spiritual home of New Zealand’s tangata whenua (original people of the land).
Cedarwood Lakeside Resort, Rotorua (All meals - please note, breakfast not included for those people starting the 5-day trip today)

Tuesday — Mountain bike Whakarewarewa Forest, visit Te Puia

This morning we'll head out to cycle the trails of Whakarewarewa Forest. The cycling in the forest is a real highlight on the 'Kauri' trip and we have options to suit all abilities. If you prefer not to cycle, you can stay and soak in the local mineral spas, or explore Rotorua. After a picnic lunch in the forest, we'll visit Te Puia which is famed for the Te Whakarewarewa geothermal valley – a place of gushing waters, steaming vents, boiling mud pools and impressive geysers. Tonight you'll enjoy a cultural performance by members of the Te Arawa tribe and share a traditional feast. A hangi, as its known, is prepared by wrapping food and burying it in the earth to cook over hot stones. This healthy cooking method is similar to steaming and imparts a wonderful flavour.
Cedarwood Lakeside Resort, Rotorua (All meals)

Wednesday — Hike Rainbow Mountain, hike to Huka Falls

We head south out of Rotorua today to hike Rainbow Mountain, aptly named due to the unusual colour of the soil. We'll head up through native forest past two impressive crater lakes to the summit for panoramic views over the volcanic plateau. Then after lunch, we'll follow the track along New Zealand's longest river, the Waikato, for a spectacular view of Huka Falls. Travelling further south, we follow the shores of Lake Taupo, an enormous volcanic caldera (a caldera is a cauldron-like volcanic feature usually formed by the collapse of land following a volcanic eruption) and the site of the world's largest eruption in the last 70,000 years. We'll stay on the banks of the Tongariro River, New Zealand's most famous trout fishing river, and our hosts tonight, Richard and Jill, will point you in the right direction if you'd like to cast a line!
Creel Lodge, Turangi (All meals)

Thursday — Hike Tongariro Alpine Crossing, soak in hot pools

Just south of Turangi are three massive volcanoes (Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu) – as well as Tongariro National Park, New Zealand's oldest national park and the fifth oldest in the world. Here you'll have the opportunity to walk what is considered the best mountain day-hike in the country, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This full-day hike is challenging and unforgettable – the rewards are definitely worth the effort! The trail takes you through arid volcanic terrain that includes emerald lakes, cold mountain springs, lava flows, active craters and steam vents – it's unlike anything else in New Zealand. If you prefer, there’s an easier hike available at the base of Mount Ruapehu, the highest active volcano in New Zealand. Tonight, we'll head to some natural thermal springs to soak tired muscles and have a celebratory dinner for our last night together.
Creel Lodge, Turangi (All meals)

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing in Winter (from May until September)
Whilst eye-catching, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a more challenging hike in winter, with alpine conditions such as snow and ice. If the weather isn't suitable for the crossing, or you'd prefer to do a hike at lower elevation (away from the snow and ice!) we have a fantastic couple of hikes up our sleeve, to Taranaki Falls and Silica Rapids. Both of these hikes showcase a variety of flora from native beech forest to sub-alpine shrublands, each culminating with a spectacular view; Taranaki Falls is 20 metres (65 feet) high and Silica Rapids has water cascading down a series of creamy white terraces. For those that are keen and fit, and the weather is suitable, you can still choose to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing with a local specialist guide. We will provide you with all the necessary gear such as crampons, ice axes and a helmet. 

Friday — Visit Waitomo Caves, depart for home

For our last day together, we'll head to the spectacular Waitomo Caves for a morning of caving. If you prefer to stay dry, you'll take a walk through Ruakuri cave to learn more about the geological significance of the area. For those keen, you'll head down to explore an underground cave system. You'll be fitted with a wetsuit, helmet, headlamp and rubber tube in order to float down a subterranean stream, slide down waterfalls and at one point, switch off your headlamp to check out the incredible glowworms that live on the limestone ceiling of the cave. After a shower and some hot soup, we'll head back to Auckland where your 'Kauri' trip finishes. We'll have you at the airport in time to catch evening flights back home, or down south for one of our South Island trips.
(Breakfast, Lunch)

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Dates

Trip Date Price Status  
Oct 3 ’17 – Oct 13 ’17 US$4699 + tax Off Peak rates apply Check Availability
Oct 17 ’17 – Oct 27 ’17 US$4699 + tax Off Peak rates apply Check Availability
Oct 31 ’17 – Nov 10 ’17 US$4699 + tax Off Peak rates apply Check Availability
Nov 14 ’17 – Nov 24 ’17 US$4699 + tax Almost full Check Availability
Nov 28 ’17 – Dec 8 ’17 US$4699 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Dec 5 ’17 – Dec 15 ’17 US$4699 + tax Almost full Check Availability
Dec 12 ’17 – Dec 22 ’17 US$4699 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Dec 19 ’17 – Dec 29 ’17 US$4699 + tax Peak Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Dec 26 ’17 – Jan 5 ’18 US$4699 + tax Peak Season - Check Now! Check Availability
2018
Jan 2 ’18 – Jan 12 ’18 US$4699 + tax Peak Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Jan 9 ’18 – Jan 19 ’18 US$4699 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Jan 16 ’18 – Jan 26 ’18 US$4699 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Jan 23 ’18 – Feb 2 ’18 US$4699 + tax Almost Full - Check Now! Check Availability
Jan 30 ’18 – Feb 9 ’18 US$4699 + tax Almost full Check Availability
Feb 6 ’18 – Feb 16 ’18 US$4699 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Feb 13 ’18 – Feb 23 ’18 US$4699 + tax Almost Full - Check Now! Check Availability
Feb 20 ’18 – Mar 2 ’18 US$4699 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Feb 27 ’18 – Mar 9 ’18 US$4699 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Mar 6 ’18 – Mar 16 ’18 US$4699 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Mar 13 ’18 – Mar 23 ’18 US$4699 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Mar 20 ’18 – Mar 30 ’18 US$4699 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Apr 3 ’18 – Apr 13 ’18 US$4699 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Apr 17 ’18 – Apr 27 ’18 US$4699 + tax Filling up Check Availability
May 8 ’18 – May 18 ’18 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
May 22 ’18 – Jun 1 ’18 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Jun 5 ’18 – Jun 15 ’18 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Jun 19 ’18 – Jun 29 ’18 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Jul 3 ’18 – Jul 13 ’18 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Jul 17 ’18 – Jul 27 ’18 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Jul 31 ’18 – Aug 10 ’18 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Oct 2 ’18 – Oct 12 ’18 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Oct 16 ’18 – Oct 26 ’18 US$4699 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Oct 30 ’18 – Nov 9 ’18 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Nov 13 ’18 – Nov 23 ’18 US$4699 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Nov 27 ’18 – Dec 7 ’18 US$4699 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Dec 4 ’18 – Dec 14 ’18 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 11 ’18 – Dec 21 ’18 US$4699 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Dec 18 ’18 – Dec 28 ’18 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 25 ’18 – Jan 4 ’19 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
2019
Jan 1 ’19 – Jan 11 ’19 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Jan 8 ’19 – Jan 18 ’19 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Jan 15 ’19 – Jan 25 ’19 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Jan 22 ’19 – Feb 1 ’19 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Jan 29 ’19 – Feb 8 ’19 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 5 ’19 – Feb 15 ’19 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 12 ’19 – Feb 22 ’19 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 19 ’19 – Mar 1 ’19 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 26 ’19 – Mar 8 ’19 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 5 ’19 – Mar 15 ’19 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 12 ’19 – Mar 22 ’19 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 19 ’19 – Mar 29 ’19 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Apr 2 ’19 – Apr 12 ’19 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Apr 16 ’19 – Apr 26 ’19 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Apr 30 ’19 – May 10 ’19 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
May 7 ’19 – May 17 ’19 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
May 21 ’19 – May 31 ’19 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Jun 4 ’19 – Jun 14 ’19 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability
Jun 18 ’19 – Jun 28 ’19 US$4699 + tax Great Check Availability

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Useful Info

No Forced Single Supplement:

Most other travel companies charge all solo travellers a single supplement fee. We don't! When it comes to accommodation, our trip fares are based on a twin-share rate, which means we'll match you up with another person of the same gender to share a room with. If there's no one suitable to share with, there's no forced single supplement! Having said that, if you specifically request your own room, you can opt to pay the additional single supplement fee.

Trip Start:

On the first day of the trip we can either pick you up from the Auckland airport (AKL) at 9am or the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Auckland central at 10.15am. If you're joining us for the last five days, we can either pick you up from the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Auckland central at 8.15am or the Auckland airport at 9am.

Trip End:

On the last day of the trip we'll drop you back at Auckland airport, or anywhere in central Auckland in the late afternoon/early evening.

Recommended flights:

Arrival: If you're flying in on the first day of the trip, we recommend arriving in Auckland by 7am (international terminal) or 8am (domestic terminal) on Tuesday.

Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Auckland any time after 7pm. If you are considering alternative flight times, please check with us. International flights from Auckland usually leave in the evening, so if you're heading back to North America, you'll get home some time on Friday, even though you left on Friday evening! Flights back to Europe, of course, take a little longer.

Fitness:

The 'Kauri' suits people of a wide range of fitness levels and outdoor experience. If you keep reasonably active and like to give things a go, you're likely to enjoy the activities much more. Typically, activities on the 'Kauri' trip range between two and five hours to complete. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing hike can take a little longer, though there are shorter alternatives available. Please call us to talk about the best option for you.

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Reviews

  • Active Adventures is the Best!

    “The itinerary, varied activities, guides Andy and Jo, and exposure to North Island culture, history, the outdoors, and the landscape were the very best I can imagine. I would not hesitate to travel with Active Adventures again in the future.”
    Susan Polk – Vermont, United StatesJuly 2017
  • So Much More Than Expected

    “I expected the adventure, and the outdoor activities. What I didn't expect was such an immersion in the history and culture of NZ. And a few of the activities on the North Island were unforgettable. Finally, right in the middle of our trip the weather decided to shut us out of a few of the more interesting activities and Phil came up with great substitutes on the fly.”
    Rick Kalamaya – Colorado, United StatesMay 2017
  • Quick thinking on the fly

    “I can't say enough good things about our guides Andy and Jo. We had not one but two cyclones hit the North Island during out tour and they still managed to find places to take us and keep us challenged and entertained. When we wanted down time, they understood and let us opt out.”
    Nat na Songkhla – Bangkok, ThailandMay 2017
  • A gem

    “Excellent trip. Enjoyed this trip as much as the better known South Island.”
    David Mclure – New Hampshire, United StatesMay 2017
  • A Must Do!

    “The Kauri trip will give you an intensive view of the north island with all its greenery along with its variety of art, culture, activities, waterfalls, seascapes and volcanic landscapes. An absolute must-do!”
    Rita Carole – California, United StatesApril 2017
  • Great Time and a Wonderful Trip!

    “New Zealand is beautiful and there is no better way to see it than on an Active Adventures trip. The activities, the views, the guides, the food and the camaraderie make it special!”
    Dave Stockert – Georgia, United StatesJuly 2017
  • Smorgasbord.

    “A great way to explore the North Island and get a taste of different activities.”
    Ineke van Hasselt – British Columbia, CanadaMay 2017
  • Even Cyclone Cook couldn't dampen our fun

    “I hopped onto the last half of the Kauri after two weeks on the South Island in the Rimu adventure. It just so happened that we had a cyclone hit the island that week, so everything was very wet, to say the least. But everything still worked out okay! We still did lots of hiking in the rain, which was fun in itself. The views were not the same as they would be on a clear day, but different doesn't mean bad. They were unique, and there were a lot of rainbows thanks to the water. We even did the mountain biking in the downpour, which was hilariously muddy and still a lot of fun. Overall, the people were good, the guides were excellent, the food was fantastic, and the trip was terrific.”
    Janine Carbone – New Hampshire, United StatesApril 2017
  • An Outstanding Time!

    “The north island deserves more notice than it gets in the press. A different world than the south island, well worth any time you can give it.”
    Lissa Jackson – Tennessee, United StatesApril 2017
  • Life changing views and people

    “This trip was life changing. Amazing guides (Andrew and Jo) were the best part of the trip. They made us feel at ease, welcome, and like a big family on a road trip. The food was superb, I would get really excited at the end of the day to see what the guys were making for us. It was my 30th birthday and I've never felt this special. It was my first time hiking, and the guys kept encouraging me. All the accommodations were beautiful. In the end everything was perfect.”
    Abdullah Majed – RIYADH, Saudi ArabiaApril 2017
  • 5-Day Kauri is a Nice Addiition to Tui - March 2017

    “After completing the Tui trip, we joined the last 5 days of the Kauri trip. This was a great way to see highlights from both islands. With the exception of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (the highlight of the trip), the South Island has more majestic scenery. However, the Kauri tour has a lot of fun and unique activities. Five of the twelve people on our trip went on the optional rafting trip down the Kaituna River and the 21-foot Okere Falls. It was a blast. Inner tubing through the Waitomo Glowworm Caves was unique to NZ and also a lot of fun. We look forward to our next Active Adventures trip.”
    Tom Smith – Maryland, United StatesApril 2017
  • Awesome vacation!

    “We did the last 5 days of the Kauri trip (added on to our Tui trip) and it was a lot of fun. There was a good variety of activities and all of them were really enjoyable. We had multiple hikes that were challenging but with great views. The mountain biking was a lot of fun and the guides for that activity were really great. We also got to do the glow worm caves, which was an interesting experience. Andy and Jo were great too, easygoing and knowledgeable. Highly recommend Active Adventures for a fun and active vacation!”
    Laura Pape – Virginia, United StatesApril 2017
  • Beautiful scenery with some Maori culture too

    “We wanted to see some of the North Island in addition to our Tui trip so we tacked on the last five days of the Kauri trip. What an excellent tour! Tongariro Crossing wins for best hike/activity of the Kauri trip! Almost a month later and I still look at pictures from that hike every day!”
    David Pape – Virginia, United StatesApril 2017
  • “Great trip with fun and knowledgable guides. Accommodations and food were great.”
    David Brodie – Washington, United StatesApril 2017
  • A life-changing adventure

    “Getting off my plane jet-lagged with almost no hiking experience I really did not know what to expect from my Kauri trip. I neednt have worried- our amazing guides, Jo and Andy, had everything covered. With their encouragement and expertise I was able to complete all the activities on our tour. My biggest accomplishment was hiking the Tongariro Alpine crossing with my group. We spent almost 7 hours on this challenging trail and when the fog cleared we were treated to spectacular views. We also spent a fun day racing down beautiful forest trails on our mountain bikes. Our group was also treated to two memorable water activities. The first was the optional rafting adventure on class 5 rapids that we decided to do on a rainy day. The other activity was exploring Waitomo caves. The pictures we bought from the sponsoring companies highlighted what amazing experiences they both were. Seeing pictures of our group in a little raft perched on top of the rapids half covered by water perfectly captures the moment. Tubing in the Waitomo glowworm (actually maggots but that does not sound as exciting) caves was unlike anything I had experienced. Floating in the darkness, jumping over small waterfalls and seeing glowworms on the ceiling was a fitting end to our wonderful journey.

    Before this trip I would never have considered myself to be adventurous but now I am eager for my next challenge. This was my first Active Adventures journey and I am currently making plans for one or two more within the next year. Active and its guides put together a trip that met all our needs. Andy and Jo took care of all the logistics. Not only did they safely navigate the roads and hotel accommodations but along the way they enthusiastically told us about all aspects of New Zealand past and present. Everywhere we went people greeted them as friends and gave us wonderful service. After a long day of hiking we would take a quick shower and within an hour Jo would produce wonderful healthy dinners including beautiful salads, curry, lasagna, barbecue and desserts. I also enjoyed the camaraderie of our little group and appreciated what interesting and supportive people they all were.”
    Andrea Rudolph – New York, United StatesApril 2017
  • “We saw some truly amazing sights which included the stunning Kauri trees. We were fortunate to see the Father at dusk and it seemed even more impressive as the sun was setting. The whole trip was a real experience and certainly challenged us! Lots of really worthwhile hikes including the fabulous Alpine crossing. That IS something people who consider themselves hikers should do (even if moaning and groaning along the way!)”
    Lorna Miles – California, United StatesApril 2017
  • The Spirit of New Zealand

    “The ten days of magical waterfalls, lakes, Kauri trees, geo thermal parks and Maori cultural experiences was a perfect fit to the South Island Rimu trip. Sprinkle in gloworms, sand boarding, a mountain bike lesson and I am very grateful I left New Zealand with the North Island magical memories.”
    Nancy Kalamaya – Colorado, United StatesApril 2017
  • Very Impressed!

    “I was very impressed with how organized and professional our tour was. Our guides, Phil and Ashley, were incredibly knowledgeable, helpful, PATIENT, hardworking, and of course, friendly and fun! It was a tight schedule and they managed to get us all where we were supposed to go on time and in one piece (and well fed). I highly recommend this tour. What a beautiful country!”
    Dawn Robinson – Oregon, United StatesApril 2017
  • excellent Kauri trip - 1st 5 days

    “Excellent in all respects: great guide - very friendly, very informative, very accommodating, excellent driver, and an excellent cook. Trip was well steaped in Maori tradition and legend; great itinerary - all the activities were enjoyable and at an appropriate level of exertion; there were only 4 of us on the 1st 5 days, all very compatible, and that was great; I'm only sad that I didn't sign up for the 2nd half of the tour; I now feel I have a good sense of the north half of the North Island; loved the huge Kauri trees.”
    Mike Church – Illinois, United StatesMarch 2017
  • wonderful Active Adventure

    “The following sums my trip up. My sister said that after hearing my enthusiatic recounting of my trip, she wants to go to NZ.”
    Eleanor Saliamonas – Illinois, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Had a great time, some very memorable adventures

    “Our guides were excellent, fun, relaxed, flexible and very organized. We had some amazing adventures. Most meals were prepared by the guides and were excellent, plenty of tasty food in relaxed settings, which I prefer to restaurant meals. We covered a lot of ground in a short time and had to keep on schedule to get to all the things on the itinerary. Note this is an "Active" adventure, not a "beach" type vacation, so approach it with a can-do attitude and you'll have a great time.”
    George Radu – California, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Kauri Trip

    “For those who love to be truly active in their leisure time, the Kauri trip in North Island certainly does not disappoint. I did the complete 11 days - you can choose to do either the first half or the last hinging on the free day in Auckland if you wish.

    Just like the Rimu trip on South Island which I did a few years back, the Kauri had a number of magical ingredients that make for a memorable holiday - first and foremost being the quality of the guides. Andy and Jo took us through the Kauri with a wonderful balance of hard facts, democratic decision making, sound leadership, great empathy for the guests' individual needs, and best of all their good humour and obvious enthusiasm for NZ. They not only guided us through the walks and activities, but also cooked us fabulous healthy meals! Nothing was too much trouble.

    Second, the magnificent scenery, and the variety of environments they took us to, including lovely beaches, remote islands, huge dunefields, forest walks, rocky ascents to waterfall overlooks, and perhaps most spectacular the volcanic activity around Rotorua, which cannot be described in words or photos - you just have to be there! Amongst this busy programme there was even time to do the spectacular white water rafting on the Kaituna River near Rotorua, which includes a whopping 7 metre drop that is still giving me nightmares!

    The accommodation is everywhere set in beautiful places, spacious, and one could say luxurious. Despite the hectic pace, I came back utterly relaxed, because I didn't have to worry about a thing, it was all planned perfectly for us!

    There are a few comments I'd make about things that they may not make clear in the brochures. First, in North Island much of the walking (except the Tongariro Alpine Crossing) is through forest. For a country that laments the loss of over 90% of its native forest, we certainly got a good sampling of what is left! That meant views on the climbs were often limited. Second, there are hardly any native wild flowers in NZ, so don't expect Alpine prettiness. Likewise the fauna are limited, and often nocturnal. Finally, for anyone who has been lucky enough to see the coral in tropical waters, the snorkelling around the Poor Knights Islands lacks the colour of a real coral reef, although there are plenty of lovely fishes.


    Finally be aware that Active means Active - one or two on our trip were not quite up to all the activities, though they still had a great time and Andy always found a Plan B for them.

    These are small points - I can't imagine that anyone would grade this trip less than 5 stars! Well done Active - keep up the good work!
    Terry Hardaker, Oxford”
    Terry Hardaker – Oxford, United KingdomMarch 2017
  • My Magical Kauri Adventure (last 5 days of Kauri trip)

    “The first day was magic,
    how lucky were we.
    Blessed with Active's top guides,
    -Phil and Ashleigh.

    We hiked through the forest,
    a fairytale scene.
    To the Wairere Falls,
    picnic lunch by a stream.

    The forest is enchanted,
    mountain bikers be aware.
    Hobbits, sprites and fairies,
    I could see them everywhere.

    Rotorua geysers,
    Maori cultural show.
    Dan did the Haka,
    Mel and Ash learned the poi.

    Tongariro Crossing,
    a spectacular sight.
    Glowworms at Waitoma,
    that twinkled so bright.

    White water rafting,
    an optional trip.
    Hiking Rainbow Mountain,
    then a thermal pool dip.

    Our food was delicious,
    never any left over.
    Gourmet meals, chocolate fish
    And Ash's Pavlova.

    Our guides were inspiring,
    friendly, fun and hip,
    Thanks to Ashleigh and Phil
    for a Magical trip!”
    Sandra Martin – South Australia, AustraliaMarch 2017
  • Beyond my expectations!

    “I was sure we would see some beautiful sights and we sure did! We didn't just see it, we lived it. It was a fabulous adventure that I will never ever forget. Our hosts Phil and Ash were knowledgeable, fun, considerate and full of enthusiasm. Active adventures is lucky to have those two working for them. They should get a big raise because they are perfect!”
    Lisa Miller – Oregon, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Lots of fun, great guides

    “Guides Phil & Jo kept us busy with a variety of fun activities. The time just flew. I'd love to join another trip led by Phil & Jo.”
    Rich Partridge – New York, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Can I Go Back?

    “This trip was an amazing one from start to finish. The "walks" were phenomenal, with our guides, Ash and Phil, providing so much more information than we could have imagined. Every stop was a great one, and we did so much more in a short span of time than I could have planned on my own.”
    Melissa Kwan – Texas, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Memories for a lifetime!

    “We loved this trip! The guides were amazing, and we got to experience so many incredible things!”
    Danny Rigg – Texas, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Jan 31 2017 Kauri with Andrew and Jo

    “Awesome trip. Andy and Jo were excellent guides. Loved Andy's music selection. Themed for the various activities (played Queen Fat Bottom Girls as we drove to mountain biking). He gave us great insight into the history of New Zealand as well as the flora and fauna. And Jo was an excellent cook and companion.”
    Ross Gough – California, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Kauri Feb 21-Mar 3

    “The scenery and the activities were great. Our guides were terrific. I so appreciated Phil's obvious love of the country, and his tutelage in the pronunciation of the Maori names of the places we saw. Ashleigh was so attentive and thoughtful, and a GREAT cook! Her athleticism was inspiring too. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing was a fitting finale to an all around excellent introduction to the North Island. Spectacularly varied landscapes and colors.”
    Lisa O'Donnell – Massachusetts, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Fantastic Trip!

    “This was a fantastic trip! Just the right amount of strenuous exercise but enough time to relax at night. The guides were amazing and the views were stunning!”
    David Green – California, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Kauri trip, Feb. 21-March 4

    “A memorable and rewarding trip in many ways: stunning scenery, challenging hikes and other activities, knowledgeable and attentive guides, excellent food, good accommodations. We enjoyed the company of our fellow travelers, too. A completely worthwhile experience!”
    Lisa Schneck – Colorado, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Awesome trip

    “Wow! I loved my Kauri trip. There were so many fun activities in spectacular locations and the elements of Maori culture that were woven into our travels really completed the experience. Plus our guides Andy and Jo really did everything possible to help us get the most from the trip.”
    Honora Bauman – New York, United StatesMarch 2017
  • 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 – Tennessee, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Kauri

    “I combined the Kauri trip, last 5 days, with the Tui trip on the South Island. I did not have enough time to do the full 11-day trip. I am really happy with my decision to do the last 5 days. Crossing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing was an amazing experience! I loved everything about this trip... Andy and Jo were absolutely awesome!”
    Andrea King – Connecticut, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Awesome Vacation!!!

    “This was the trip of a lifetime! Could not have asked for better tour guides. Loved every second of it!!!”
    Jesse Strickland – Texas, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • North Island Adventure

    “Great trip on the North Island. The meals were tasty yet healthy. The information I received was more a learning experience. I was able to sit in the front seat of the van quite often and would see great things on the road show. The birds we saw while hiking helped to get my bird buzz on.”
    Chip Barry – Oregon, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Kauri

    “Overall thought this trip was better than anticipated. There is so much emphasis
    on the South Island from trip brochures that it downgrades the North's offerings.

    Jo:
    Very professional, very organized, always has a smile (a beautiful one at that!)
    For some reason has a calming influence on just about any situation. Understand she is a long term Active employee and does a great job.

    Phil:
    His knowledge alone is worth the price of admission. Having taken some
    other day guides and the like, I would be hard pressed to find someone
    who knows their region better. He took us to a couple of spots off grid we really enjoyed. Strong, with a temperament that makes you think he is allows
    worrying and planning for the group, he is very good.

    Overall Jo and Phil made a good team we really enjoyed.”
    Eric Henstridge – Manitoba, CanadaFebruary 2017
  • Beyond My Expectations......

    “COMPLETELY MISSING my daily Active Adventures around North Island with Andy and Jo aka "Tarzan and Jane." It was an AMAZINGLY INCREDIBLE SPECIAL ADVENTURE from the moment of our first "Hello" to our misty-eyed farewell. This being my first Active Adventure, I now know why Active Adventures is a first class operation and has an extremely high return rate of repeat travelers. Andy and Jo are beyond AWESOME, they are FIRST CLASS PROFESSIONAL GUIDES ALL THE WAY!!!

    Andy and Jo are so passionate about everything, literally EVERYTHING. The historical knowledge they shared of their breathtaking "home" while out and about was so enlightening and educational. They touched on everything from the Primordial Gods to the current state of the economy; the geology of the land from each tiny sand pebbles, sea shells and dirt to the beautiful trees (Kauri), pastures, mountains, waterfalls, coastline, rivers and streams: then from cicadas, birds, cows and sheep to the non-existence of predatory animals.....there was always a story to be shared.

    Each morning we woke up to delightful breakfasts with warm smiles stretching as far west and east as possible. It was a perfect way to start the days, our daily gift if you will. Lunches and dinners were equally enjoyable and delicious, something I personally would prepare in my own kitchen but missing the colorful cupcake apron.

    Each activity was bittersweet, a journey into the unknown that always left you wanting more. Our itinerary was action packed, filled with amazing destinations yet they still managed to squeeze in some extra jumps, swings, “walks” and stops into the mix of things. They were in touch with our strengths and limitations and kept our group moving harmoniously together. They were the BEST GUIDES for each step of our adventure and the beauty of it all was we were out enjoying the day with friends or better yet, family.

    Their effortless hospitality was in a league of its own and downright immeasurable. I was convinced they could read our minds because things would magically appear. They were in tune with every need and desire. Who creates and plays a song list to sync with the mood and temperament of the days travels…..our one and only of course! I'm still humming to the song of OPO!!

    Andy and Jo made this North Island trip, a trip of a lifetime. I can only imagine what treasures and gifts the South Island beholds. One thing is for sure, I'm making it another “Active Adventure” and requesting our special "Tarzan and Jane" to walk us about…….

    THANK YOU ANDY, JO, and ACTIVE ADVENTURES ~ for without your existence, I would not have this special memory to cherish and share!!!”
    Pamela Massette – California, United StatesFebruary 2017
  • Fabulous Kauri trip

    “We absolutely loved the trip. Of course the scenery was amazing. But also the guides were fun, engaging, informative, helpful and flexible! They genuinely focused on us and our having a "memorable vacation of a lifetime experience". And we did! The activities were all fun, not too challenging and we always felt safe. Lodging and food was also terrific. We had good mix of action, history, culture and environmental. To anyone evaluating which Active
    Adventures NZ trip to take - I highly recommend the Kauri trip. Try the North Island, you won't be disappointed.”
    Barbara Sherry – California, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Kiwi & Active Adventures - Perfect!

    “With great anticipation, and admittedly high expectations, Ann and I left New Orleans on Christmas Day to begin our trip to the North Island of New Zealand. We each had long wanted to see this special place! From the moment that Phil and Vanessa picked us up, until the time that Phil and Elder dropped us at the airport for our return flight, we could not have been happier, or more satisfied, with our trip. Phil, Vanessa, and Elder were perfect guides... and hosts. The history and information that Phil shared along the way helped us understand, and therefore appreciate even more, the places we visited and the people we met. We fell in love with the North Island, and its people and history! With Active Adventures having arranged practically everything, and Phil, Vanessa, and Elder taking great care of us along the way (even preparing our last 2 wonderful evening meals), we had nothing to do but rise each morning and enjoy our day! Perfect!”
    Thad Minaldi – Louisiana, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Kauri

    “What an amazing introduction to the North Island. Every day was unique - starting with the hiking and boogie boarding on the sand dunes to seeing a kiwi released was exceptional. Walking through the rain forest and seeing the phenomenal kauri trees are memories we will treasure forever!”
    Ben Thorlakson – Alberta, CanadaJanuary 2017
  • Kauri Dec 26 2016 (second half)

    “We joined the trip during its second half. Full of interesting activities, and the final hike was the highlight.”
    Peter Chang – New Mexico, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • From Alan Roth

    “I love what you all do. For my 2nd AA trip I can't wait to try another.”
    Alan Roth – Florida, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Kauri Trip

    “The last 5 days gave us a good flavor of the North Island, its culture and geothermal/volcanic activity of the island.”
    Cauleen Svanda – New Mexico, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Last 5 Days Kauri

    “So much packed into just a few days. From walking to tops of (several!) mountains to floating through underground tunnels, plus geothermal springs and Maori culture. A whirlwind central North Island adventure!”
    Matthew Gonser – Hawaii, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • 5 day Kauri Trip

    “Tongariro Alpine Crossing was the best hike of my life!”
    Grace Zheng – Hawaii, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Wonderful trip!!!!

    “This was a great trip! Well organized and well planned. Our guides did a great job of trying to accomodate everyone. This trip has a nice diversity of experiences and I really enojoyed that about this trip. I liked the variety in outdoor activites as well as the cultural elements and connections with the local and native people.”
    Elizabeth Horton – Ohio, United StatesDecember 2016
  • So much to do on the north island!

    “The North Island trip was very different from the South. It showed us a completely different side of NZ. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about NZ history and culture and that made our adventures have much more meaning. The 5 days flew by and we were so sad when it was over! There is so much left to do in the north, we will undoubtedly return and we hope to be lucky enough to have the same guide.”
    Danyel Goddard – Florida, United StatesDecember 2016
  • Awesome

    “If you are wanting to explore New Zealand at its best and want a physically active and varied adventure, Active Adventures is the tour to go on. The guides are knowledgeable, inspiring and motivating. You cover a tremendous amount of territory and leave feeling that you've seen the best of the North Island.”
    Barb Miller – California, United StatesDecember 2016
  • Outstanding!

    “First, there is the magical place that is New Zealand -- unique, varied, and beautiful. Second, there is the operation that is Active Adventures -- organized, engaged, and attentive. Together, they make for an outstanding experience. Thank you!”
    Nanette Bahlinger – Tennessee, United StatesDecember 2016
  • A wide variety of activities in a varied landscape

    “Our Kauri trip followed the Rimu South Island trip. The North Island turned out to be quite different from the South Island, but just as interesting and rewarding. The first few days of the trip were sea based, incorporating boat rides to the day's activities, which added an element of adventure. The second half of the trip introduced us to the volcanic nature of the North Island, and culminated in the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, which was fascinating and satisfying. Our guides were very knowledgeable and greatly added to our understanding of Maori and local culture. Highly recommended!”
    Steve Martel – Maine, United StatesDecember 2016
  • The trip of a lifetime absolutely! Kauri.

    “The whole trip was just fabulous. So many different activities, each amazing and unique so that every day was a new adventure....or two..or three! Our guides Phil and Jo were so great! Knowledgable, enthusiastic, accommodating, adaptable and absolutley a pleasure to be with for the 11 days of the tour.
    We loved the little extras too, the Kiwi release, the wine tasting, the music, the food, did we mention the homecooked food?, and especially the celebration at the end of the Tongariro Crossing. Such a treat!
    Thank you for an amazing introduction to New Zealand! We will be back.”
    Leigh Smythe – Alberta, CanadaDecember 2016
  • It was great

    “A combination of a great group and great guides”
    Gordon Sorenson – Alberta, CanadaDecember 2016
  • 50 Shades of Green

    “I highly recommend the full itinerary for the Kauri trip! Excellent hikes, fantastic scenery, and great variety of activities: sand boarding, biking, caving, and snorkeling.”
    Kathy Martel – Maine, United StatesNovember 2016
  • “This trip exceeded every expectation. Every activity was more exciting than the last, never was there a dull moment. The hikes, especially the hike to Cape Brett and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, were absolutely incredible. Andy and Jo were the perfect team. Andy always kept us occupied with good stories and always had a backup plan if we weren't able to do something on the itinerary. He took the time on hikes to stop and point out unique things that otherwise would have been missed. "Mama Jo" really looked after us and made sure we all had the most amazing time. I have no idea where she found the energy to always be the one running back up the mountain to help carry the backpacks of tired hikers and then get back to the accommodations and cook everybody a delicious dinner. They were more than just tour guides, they were our family. I highly recommend this trip!”
    Cassidy Anderson – Vermont, United StatesNovember 2016
  • A beautiful adventure with fantastic guides

    “My wife and I had an unforgettable experience discovering the beautiful beaches and volcanic regions of the North Island.
    Every day was jammed with fun and diverse activities. I cannot think of a better, more efficient way to learning and exploring a new country.
    Andy and Jo make a great team too. Andy is extremely knowledgeable, smart, fun, cheeky and helpful. Jo is the perfect partner and she cooks fabulously!
    There are so many small details that have made this trip so awesome. Birthday cakes, surprises, trip music selection, great weather, great travel companions, the list goes on!”
    Miguel Hernandez – British Columbia, CanadaNovember 2016
  • beautiful people, trees and culture

    “We thoroughly enjoyed learning about the Maori culture, and especially appreciated the kauri tree tour from the Maori guide. The hiking and trip was adventurous and exciting.”
    Bob Emley – Iowa, United StatesOctober 2016
  • Joy Project; New Zealand's North Island

    “The Tongariro Crossing was the highlight of my visit of the Northern Island. I felt as though we were trekking on another planet.

    Andrew and Claire shared their extensive knowledge of New Zealand’s culture, land, flora and fauna while offering great music on Dick, the bus and fabulous meals!

    I was asked about traveling to New Zealand alone. I explained I was not alone but traveling with twelve friends I had not met yet. This turned out to be factual.
    Lynn Marie”
    Lynn Dulmage – Michigan, United StatesAugust 2016
  • Perfect way to see the north island

    “had a really good time. Guides were very professional and met all our needs”
    Sai Krishna Gangavalli – Texas, United StatesJuly 2016
  • North Island Adventure

    “After finishing the South Island tour, I joined the North Island tour for the last five days out of Auckland, a city I like for the short time I had to explore it. The 12 mile hike over the mountain and the tire tube experience in a cave were highlights along with mountain biking. Andy is a good cook, and a lucky man to catch a good woman from Wales.l”
    Vincent Simpson – New York, United StatesJune 2016
  • Kauri Mar 2016

    “We joined the Kauri for the second half in Auckland, Andy & Alex welcomed us into the group that was continuing from the first half of the trip, we immediatly felt comfortable. The knowledge that Andy & Alex have tucked away in their brains to share with the guest is amazing, the hiking, biking, cultural events at Te Pau all leading up to the "beast" the Tongariro Alpine Crossing were amazing. The weather for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing was not at its best, but that is the weather in New Zealand in the fall. Learning about the legend "Shrek" and glowing poop rounded off the trip.. Having only completed half of the Kauri trip, are appetites are whetted to return to do the full tour. The camaraderie amongst the tour group was great, the food that Alex prepared & Andy helped with during the tour was amazing, so my waist line tells me.”
    Nick Ward – Alberta, CanadaMay 2016
  • Fabulous trip, every day a new adventure

    “We loved our Active Adventures Kauri trip. Every day we had new adventures hiking in the beautiful North Island. The scenery is spectacular. At the end of the day we'd gather with local bottles of NZ wine and delicious home cooking by Andy and Kim--a great way to recap our day and to learn about the day ahead. Our guides were friendly, knowledgeable and genuinely caring, thank you!”
    Janet Evans – Colorado, United StatesMay 2016
  • “This was an amazing trip where I found that even a certified klutz like me was able to survive going up and down mountains and doing other crazy adventures that got me out of my comfort zone; with the help of 2 great guides and the encouragement of the group.”
    Megan Loyd – Texas, United StatesMay 2016
  • Great trip

    “The North Island had a little more variety than the South Island, which I enjoyed. Both trips were excellent.”
    Armando Smithee – Texas, United StatesApril 2016
  • Brilliant Kauri trip

    “First trip to New Zealand far exceeded expectations. Wonderful country showed off to its best by a superb itinerary and first rate guides.”
    Jane Gordon – Scotland, United KingdomApril 2016
  • “We had such a wonderful time touring the North with a great bunch of people. The beaches and forests were so unique, and the mountains were amazing. Andy and Kim were great guides. We had so much fun hiking, and trying new things.”
    Karen Lienhart – New York, United StatesApril 2016
  • Kauri trip adventure and culture of the North Island

    “Normally a solo traveller so this was my 1st group tour and I found it so much more relaxing and enjoyable not having to drive, organise meals, accom etc. Every little detail of the trip was covered, our tour guide Andy was awesome, shared so much knowledge of the areas we travelled, was accomodating and adaptable, and a great cook. Jasmine who also joined us on the trip was lovely, such a pleasure travelling with her. I was after a tour with adventure and culture and it provided plenty of both. Already planning to do a South Island tour with Active Adventures in the future.”
    Amie Culverson – Western Australia, AustraliaApril 2016
  • Best Trip Ever!

    “What an amazing experience. I wasn't sure what to expect as this was my first time in New Zealand. Our guides were excellent and every bit of the trip was fantastic!! Definitely the trip of a lifetime!”
    Beth Julian-Wang – California, United StatesApril 2016
  • second half of Kauri trip

    “To be honest, there is no way to compare the two trips I took. South island activities blew me away, not to mention the pristine wonder of the land.
    I tell everyone go to south island, spend your time there!
    Aukland on north island was fun and the caving experience with glow worms was thrilling and magical. Due to poor weather we were unable to hike the pass...a lost day unless you chose to go for a little hike in pouring rain.”
    Grae Garl – New Hampshire, United StatesApril 2016
  • Beautiful North Island

    “We spent one week traveling around the North Island with Active Adventures. The tour was focused on the Maori culture and the incredible ancient forests. The tour took us to places that we never would have found on our own.”
    Lu Johnson – Iowa, United StatesApril 2016
  • North island at its best

    “From great hikes, breathtaking views, wonderful snorkeling and kayaking, best mountain bike trails I have ever seen and finally the spectacular Waitomo Caves, our North Island adventure was outstanding.”
    Ty Howell – Alabama, United StatesApril 2016
  • Hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing on my birthday!

    “I hiked the Tongariro Alpine Crossing on my birthday and it was the most wonderful birthday of my life!”
    Ivette Alonso-Triack – , Puerto RicoApril 2016
  • Good complement to the Rimu!

    “Traveling half way around the world to participate in the Rimu (South Island), we wanted to see the North Island, too. The 11-day Kauri truly addressed that desire and helped us better understand the culture and history of New Zealand.”
    Pam Taylor – Texas, United StatesApril 2016
  • Our adventure continues

    “We did the first 5 days of the Kauri trip right after our 8 day Tui trip. So glad we did, as we got to experience the different things the North island has to offer. I only wish we could have done the entire trip!”
    Barb Mize – Oklahoma, United StatesApril 2016
  • A north island adventure!

    “The north island has a beauty that is different than the south, and of course Active Adventures puts you in the middle of it for a great experience. Highlights include the Tongariro Crossing, black water rafting in the Waitomo caves, and hot springs. One regret is that I took part only in the 5-day Kauri instead of the 11 day trip.”
    Paul Markworth – Oregon, United StatesApril 2016
  • Kauri March 2016

    “Another excellent trip with Active! Carefully thought out and executed with a healthy sprinkling of fun!”
    Joanna Clarke – Alberta, CanadaMarch 2016
  • “I was on the last 5 days of the trip and having Andrew and Claire as leaders were great. When I wasn't feeling well I really appreciated Andrew and Claire staying with us hikers that were bringing up the rear on the Tongariro Crossing hike. Again, we had a lot of rain, but Andrew and Claire made the trip enjoyable.”
    Mary Beth Scheffel – Michigan, United StatesMarch 2016
  • Kauri in the rear view mirror

    “The north island of New Zealand is such a diverse landscape from forest to sand dunes to beautiful coastal hikes to volcano tramps. Through AA we were able to experience all of this and still be left with a desire to return for more.”
    Barry Ashton – Alberta, CanadaMarch 2016
  • Impressions Kauri trip

    “Really enjoyed listening to the guides humorous and interesting New Zealand facts. Andy and Alex are exceptional people-I am deeply impressed by their devotion to customer service and appreciated their encouragement when the trail let me know that I should be more active in my real life-best boot camp workout ever! I thoroughly enjoyed the activities, the scenery, the local guides, the "home cooked meals", the accommodations, even appreciated that it rained during some of the hikes. The trip left me wanting more-I wasn't ready to go home at the end-that's the only downside.”
    Judy Savinkoff – British Columbia, CanadaMarch 2016
  • Sad to Say Goodbye

    “”
    Sharon Ashton – Alberta, CanadaMarch 2016
  • Awesome Action Packed Adventure

    “Hiking, kayaking, and mountain biking in an "outdoor museum"! Absolutely an unreal trip of a lifetime!”
    Isaac Daugherty – Minnesota, United StatesMarch 2016
  • A good time

    “The Kauri trip (pronounced Corey, right?) was truly enjoyable. The Active Adventures crew shared their enthusiasm throughout and many of the places we visited were spectacular and memorable. I did the whole eleven day trip and would certainly recommend it to anyone interested in exploring a good variety of the North Island and getting a feel for the Maori culture.”
    Drew Greenland – Connecticut, United StatesMarch 2016
  • Perfect

    “My expectations were exceeded. I would absolutely sign-up again for an adventure package in the future. Our guide was great and was good at adding more adventure between advertised ones. I would have gone for the longer packgae if Middle Earth was on the itinerary. Thanks!”
    Ryan Slade – Ontario, CanadaMarch 2016
  • Kauri

    “Kauri was an excellent trip - and provided a wonderful snapshot of life on the North Island. I only participated in the second half, as an "add-on" to the Rimu trip to the South Island. This combination worked very nicely, and provided a snapshot of both islands.

    The hiking - particularly the Tongariro Alpine Crossing - was wonderful. I loved Lake Taupo - so beautiful, and I swapped a visit to the mineral spa (Polynesian Spa) in Rotorua, for the bicycling (was incubating a cold, and it was raining), and can't recommend the spa more, if you're up for a break from more active events. Loved the two places where we stayed - Cedarwood Lakeside and Creel Lodge - absolutely charming and loved the chance to stay two nights in each. Wonderful trip!”
    Gail Janes – DC, United StatesMarch 2016
  • Incredible Honeymoon

    “My husband and I had an amazing time. The activities were very well organized and the guides were both very professional and a joy to be around. We loved learning all about the North Island from Andy. We also enjoyed his energetic and caring personality. Celia was great. She was so accommodating of everyone's needs and her cooking was fantastic. The greatest part was the fact that my husband and I did things that we wouldn't have normally chose to do if we were to just plan the trip ourselves, i.e. the mountain biking with Planet Bike in Rotorua (this was so much fun). It was so refreshing to just show up every morning and to have the day planned out for us. After this experience we are definitely interested in signing up for another Active Adventure for our future anniversaries.”
    Candice Vallejos – New York, United StatesMarch 2016
  • Incredible honeymoon

    “Same as my wife. We both had an amazing time.”
    Dan Bennett – New York, United StatesMarch 2016
  • My peg leg adventure.

    “This was a great trip, well planned and organized. I was injured from the Rimu loop so it was hard for me to keep up with all the activities, not Active's fault, just getting older.”
    Scott Woodward – Washington, United StatesMarch 2016
  • My First Action Adventure Trip

    “My wife and I are retired and enjoy traveling. We rarely go on a tour and prefer to rent a car and see sights ourselves. Our trip of a lifetime was going to be our New Zealand trip. We went online and got information on renting a car that included a complete itinerary and lodging. While looking at various options we discovered "Active Adventures". When we read further we found that this alternative was exactly what we like when we are on our own but without the difficulty of obtaining the right equipment and finding the best places to explore. The small group size and active tours seemed perfect. The trip was everything we had hoped for and more. We saw the true heart of New Zealand in all its beauty and grandeur.”
    Phil McLemore – Georgia, United StatesMarch 2016
  • Kauri

    “Had a wonderful time. Liona, Ken and Laura were brilliant. The food was extremely good considering Laura was cooking for 17! Really enjoyed the sand boarding and scuba diving. The group was large which meant that it was a tight squeeze in the van but it didn't detract from our enjoyment. Had already completed the Rimu and glad that the North Island had some different activities. Would highly recommend Active Adventures having completed 4 trips and they were all excellent.”
    Frances Partridge – Hertfordshire, United KingdomFebruary 2016
  • “This is our second trip with Active Adventures (we did the Rimu in February 2007) and we couldn't be happier with the guides, activities, food, and our fellow travelers. Lina, Ken and Laura took care of all our needs so that we could relax and enjoy the trip.”
    Jean Cunningham – Michigan, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • Arron's Review

    “We enjoyed our time with Active from the first introduction to our guides, the other guests and throughout every tour and fantastic site.”
    Arron Tschida – California, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • Enchanting New Zealand

    “This is our second trip with Active Adventures. Our last trip was Rimu on the South Island, 10 years ago. We were so enchanted by our experience on the South Island that we wanted to do a second one at the North Island. We were hoping that the Kauri trip would be as good as the Rimu on the South Island, but it proved to be even better!!”
    Fawwaz Ulaby – Michigan, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • Kauri

    “Awesome”
    Peter Clausen – Iowa, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • Amazing Time

    “I wasn't exactly sure what I expected when my husband suggested this trip and got us signed up. This was something he wanted to do and I was going along. I can't tell you how many times once we were in New Zealand I told him that it was so much more than I had anticipated. I was totally engaged and surprised by the opportunities that we had to test our physical abilities and more importantly to just enjoy thoroughly enjoy ourselves. Our guides were superb and the planning that went into each activity was immense.”
    Jane McLemore – Georgia, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • Active trip on the North Island

    “After my South Island trip I just hopped on the North Island and discovered it as well! It was great to be able to combine the North and South Island. It was an active trip, but it was also a relaxing journey. Very recommendable if you like to discover New Zealand but you do not like to drive, organize etc. everything on your own.”
    Samuel Moser – Schwyz, SwitzerlandFebruary 2016
  • Kauri January 16

    “Amelia and Klara were wonderful hosts and extremely well organised. I enjoyed the walking and boat trips especially the day at Poor Knights Islands. They made my birthday very special with stunning accommodation and a lovely meal and cake. The girls were great and made our trip very memorable.”
    Gaynor Waterman – West Sussex, United KingdomFebruary 2016
  • Kauri Jan 16

    “Our Leaders, Amelia and Klara, were terrific throughout. Very knowledgeable, personable and good fun. They are a great advert for the company. The walking and boat trips were well organised and led, providing the group with a great time.”
    David Daniels – West Sussex, United KingdomFebruary 2016
  • “I had a fabulous time on the Active Adventures trip! The staff was knowledgeable, fun, friendly and very funny. I liked the way they catered to my needs - speeding up when I was cold, moderating the pace when I was winded - and they did it in a subtle and supporting way. Since I only did the North Island, I must come back and see the South island. And I would be thrilled to do it with Active Adventures.”
    Peg Videtta – California, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • North island

    “The guides Alex and Amelia were the best, the trip was awesome”
    Jo Peebles – , United KingdomJanuary 2016
  • Kauri Trip

    “It was the trip of a lifetime. We got to experience the New Zealand culture, history, and outdoors effortlessly. I cannot put into words how meaningful Amelia and Nick Mc made our visit. We would have had a great time had we hiked by ourselves, but we would not have been able to arrange all the activities in just a few days or learned so much about the history and culture of New Zealand. We also would not have laughed so hard or so continuously. Amelia and Nick were very professional, knowledgeable, and experienced with the outdoors. The cooking was fantastic, the level of safety we felt while hiking over the Tongariro Crossing, and the simple things like homemade cookies, New Zealand Lemon Soda, and Chicken Noodle soup at the top of the crossing were very thoughtful on the part of the guides. The special American dinner on the last night was unforgettable. New Zealand's beauty stands alone, but the relationships with Amelia and Nick are what will last with us.”
    Sheila Mckay Long Brandt – New Mexico, United StatesJanuary 2016

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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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