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Includes info on all of our trips and a tour itinerary booklet.

New Zealand Family Adventure

Kea

4.67 out of 5 (from 232 reviews)

  • 13 Days - Adult: US$4,399 + tax, Child (15 & under): US$3,599 + tax

Trip Introduction

Let us take care of every detail so that you and your family can enjoy exploring New Zealand’s iconic places on a fun outdoorsy adventure. The ‘Kea’ is the perfect opportunity for everyone in the family to try some new activities together while our guides encourage, entertain, serve up delicious meals and ensure you make the most of your precious vacation time. You’ll be amazed how much everyone learns along the way and our guides will have you laughing as much as the kids! For a great way to see the North Island too, combine this trip with our 11-day 'Kauri' (5-day 'Kauri' options available).

Activity level: This trip has been designed to be fun and gently challenging for the young, and the young at heart. The pace is flexible and most hikes range between two and four hours to complete. 

Highlights

Hike
Franz Josef Glacier
South Westland World Heritage Area
Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park
Mt Aspiring National Park
Beaches and rainforests of the West Coast

Kayak
Lake Mapourika

Plus...
Family rafting trip near Queenstown
Wildlife reserve and kiwi viewing
Jet boat the Rakaia Gorge

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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.

Interactive Trip Map

Daily itinerary

Tuesday — Arrive, wildlife reserve and kiwi viewing

Most people leave the Northern Hemisphere on a Sunday evening, arriving in Auckland early Tuesday morning. You’ll lose a day crossing the dateline – but you get it back on the way home! It’s a short flight to Christchurch in the South Island and we’ll meet your family either in central Christchurch or at the airport. We start with a great introduction to the wildlife of a country isolated for over 80 million years! Willowbank Wildlife Reserve is unique in that you can enter a lot of the animal enclosures and even pet some of the more friendly critters! You can see tuatara lizards, the elusive kiwi, wallabies (small kangaroos introduced from Australia), and of course the namesake of our trip – the kea – our cheeky mountain parrot.
Methven Lodge, Methven (Lunch, Dinner)

Wednesday — Jet boat Rakaia Gorge, hike Peel Forest and star-gazing

After a hearty breakfast and relaxed start to the morning, we have an adventure planned that will knock your socks off – a fun jet boat ride through the winding Rakaia Gorge! Jet boats were originally invented by New Zealander Bill Hamilton to navigate our narrow, shallow rivers. You’ll be jetting down rapids, braided river sections and through shallow water just six inches deep in places. This thrilling, yet safe activity is suitable for the whole family. Then we’ll head to Peel Forest for a hike amongst ancient podocarp trees and many varieties of ferns. Many of New Zealand’s athletes, including our famous rugby team, the All Blacks, wear the fern as a national symbol. After lunch, we’ll travel inland to Aoraki Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain, and Lake Pukaki – an unreal turquoise-blue coloured glacial lake. Tonight, the wide open spaces, regular clear evenings and lack of artificial light provides us with the perfect opportunity to gaze at the Southern Hemisphere’s constellations, including the Southern Cross.
Aoraki Mt Cook Alpine Lodge, Mt Cook Village (All meals)

Thursday — Hike Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

We have a few hikes to choose from in this spectacular national park and our favourite is the stunning day hike (weather permitting) to the main ridge above Mueller Glacier. It’s a bit of a hike, though it’s a real achievement for the whole family to share and you’ll remember the view of the Mueller Glacier and the surrounding peaks of the Main Divide forever! Of course, we always have plenty of options, so there are easier hikes available for you too, such as an impressive hike up the Hooker Valley to a glacial lake (complete with icebergs!) at the base of Hooker Glacier.
Aoraki Mt Cook Alpine Lodge, Mt Cook Village (All meals)

Friday — Explore Queenstown

Today we’ll head through the mountains to Queenstown. We’ll stop along the way for some of the best ice cream in the whole of New Zealand – you’ll soon find out why! We’ll then continue on through fruit orchards and vineyards before arriving in Queenstown. After lunch, we have a few options including a hike up Queenstown Hill, a hike to historic Sam Summers hut or even a game of frisbee golf in the Queenstown Botanical Gardens.
Queenstown apartments, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

Saturday — Family rafting near Queenstown, explore Arrowtown

Excitement levels will be high this morning, as we head off for a family rafting trip in Skippers Canyon. Set in a deep, beautiful, rose-lined schist gorge, it’s a spectacular float trip – perfect for the whole family. The ‘Kea’ trip operates year-round, with minor changes during the New Zealand winter. From June to September, rather than rafting we take a lift on the gondola up Bob’s Peak for stunning views over the region and thrilling downhill rides on the luge. After lunch, we’ll explore an old Chinese goldmining settlement in the nearby historic village of Arrowtown. Chinese immigrants travelled to New Zealand during the 1800s and like many New Zealand pioneering stories, theirs is one of adversity and adaptation. You can try your hand at gold panning – in 2006 a man found a gold nugget worth $15,000 in this area, so you never know your luck!
Queenstown apartments, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

Sunday — Free day in Queenstown

All the comforts of civilisation are packed into this tiny resort town: restaurants galore, sidewalk cafés, stylish lounge bars, day spas, and boutiques. There’s plenty of family entertainment here too: luge rides, a gondola, lakeside playgrounds, mini golf and a cinema. There are also some more adventurous optional activities such as horse trekking, kayaking, fishing, winery tours, hang gliding, mountain biking, bungy jumping, jet boating and skydiving as well as some great hiking opportunities. Or you can just soak up the atmosphere and lounge about reading a book. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today. A great winter option (June to September) is to spend a couple of days skiing or snowboarding at one of four local ski areas: Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Cardrona or Treble Cone. Transport, lift pass and equipment rental is about US$150 a day for an adult, slightly less for children, which we will happily organise for you.
Queenstown apartments (No meals included)

Monday (Morning) — Start Mt Aspiring National Park and Wanaka options

This morning we’ll leave Queenstown and head over the Crown Range to Wanaka – a small alpine village on the shores of Lake Wanaka. After lunch, we head off for our various activities.

Hike and overnight in Mt Aspiring National Park option I

Monday (afternoon) - Hike and overnight in Mt Aspiring National Park

After leaving Wanaka, we’ll venture up the Matukituki Valley and hike two to three hours into Mt Aspiring National Park to reach our home for the evening – a spacious mountain hut nestled in a valley in the middle of nowhere. The track meanders past majestic peaks, fresh mountain streams and natural beech forest. You’ll be carrying a sleeping bag, a few spare clothes and some food, so your pack won’t weigh much more than a regular day pack. The scenery is off the charts with Mt Aspiring rising over 3,000 m (10,000 ft) into the blue. It’s amazing how far you’ll feel from civilisation after this relatively short walk! Tonight your guide will whip up dinner in the backcountry kitchen while you and the kids relax by the fire.
Mt Aspiring Hut, Mt Aspiring National Park (All meals)

Tuesday (morning) - Hike to trailhead

We have a leisurely start today, enjoying breakfast and a cuppa while admiring the view, before hiking back to the trailhead. Along the way, we might encounter the cheeky kea again – this time in its natural habitat – they’re really inquisitive and like to get pretty close at times!

Explore Wanaka option II

Monday (afternoon) - Explore Wanaka

Lake Wanaka is our fourth largest lake and surrounded by an amphitheatre of mountains. There are great walking trails and biking tracks in the area, as well as jet boating and kayaking. It’s well worth a visit to the famed Warbirds and Wheels Museum, which is home to an amazing collection of old fighter planes and classic cars. Whether you’re skipping stones on the lake’s edge or relaxing by the fire at the lodge, Wanaka is a great spot to rediscover simple pleasures.
Wanaka Hotel, Wanaka (All meals)

Tuesday (morning) - Explore Wanaka

After a relaxed breakfast, you’ll have the morning to yourselves before meeting up with the rest of the group.

Tuesday (afternoon) — Delve into Puzzling World

After regrouping in Wanaka, we’ll head to Puzzling World to explore over a mile of passageways in one of the world’s largest modern mazes. Kids of all ages really enjoy trying to beat our wily guides through the labyrinth! Tonight we spend the evening in the small village of Makarora, sharing stories over a delicious home-made meal
Makarora Lodgings, Makarora (All meals)

Wednesday — Explore West Coast forests and beaches, discover glowworms

This morning, we’ll travel over Haast Pass through spectacular beech forest to the wild West Coast, stopping on a deserted beach to stretch our legs and keep an eye out for friendly dolphins passing by. A little further north takes us to Lake Matheson for a short walk, where you’ll be rewarded with awesome vistas of the Southern Alps. After settling into our accommodations in Franz Josef, we can head out after dark with flashlights for a short night walk to search for the native glowworm while listening to some of New Zealand’s nocturnal birdlife, such as the morepork owl.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

Thursday — Kayak Lake Mapourika, hike to Franz Josef Glacier

It’s an early start this morning for our kayaking trip on Lake Mapourika, a tranquil ancient lake formed during the last ice age. This is an awesome activity, run by specialist kayak outfitters, and it’s equally suitable for beginners and experts alike. From there we head to Franz Josef, in the heart of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area, where there are two formidable glaciers descending from the mountains to near sea level. The first is Franz Josef Glacier, where we’ll be stopping for a hike (or optional heli-hike). When it comes to the scenery, this place is off the charts! Our hike will take us alongside the Waiho River bed and up the valley to the terminal face of Franz Josef Glacier.

Optional Heli-hike (add US$350 + tax)
An outrageously scenic alternative to today’s hike is to heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier itself. After being fitted with crampons, ice axes and so on, you’ll board a modern turbine helicopter and fly towards the highest peaks of the Southern Alps, landing on the glacier at 1300 metres (4,000 feet) above sea level. Led by specialist glacier guides, you’ll hike through the grand ice formations of the glacier, checking out its crevasses, seracs and tunnels – no previous experience is required! The constant movement of the glacier means every day is different, so your guides will cut steps in the ice and make sure you make the most of the conditions. At the end of your hike on the ice, you’ll take another helicopter ride out of the mountains and back to civilisation. The heli-hike is extremely popular, so we offer advance reservations with the helicopter operators and guiding company. At the time of booking, or up until one month before your trip, we can reserve a space for you, or you can leave your decision until the start of your trip and your guides will get you a spot if it’s available.

After we’ve finished our various activities, we’ll rendezvous at our accommodation for the night.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

Friday — Bushman’s Centre, visit Hokitika

We’ll head further up the coast to the Bushman’s Centre – a ‘living museum’ that combines an interactive history of the West Coast’s early settlers with the chance to introduce the kids to brush-tail possums. We’ll then continue to Hokitika, where you can check out the local art galleries and pounamu carving workshops (‘pounamu’ is Maori for jade). The beach here is a great place for playing games or making sculptures out of driftwood. Then we’ll head back through the Southern Alps to Flock Hill Station – a stunning location for our final two nights together.
Flock Hill Lodge, Arthur’s Pass (All meals)

Saturday — Hike Castle Hill

Flock Hill, near Cave Stream in the Southern Alps, is a superb viewpoint for the nearby Craigieburn and Torlesse Ranges. It’s a bit of a climb to the top, but it’s worth every step as we arrive at an eerie limestone landscape where much of the movie ‘Narnia – the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ was filmed. This afternoon, we’re off to the ultimate hide-and-seek spot, Castle Hill. During a visit a few years ago, the Dalai Lama called this natural labyrinth ‘the spiritual centre of the universe’!
Flock Hill Lodge, Arthur’s Pass (All meals)

Sunday — Farm show, depart for home

This is the last day of your ‘Kea’ trip, and we’ll head to the small farming community of Springfield to check out a working New Zealand high-country sheep farm. Here we’ll watch highly trained farm dogs rounding up stock and see a sheep shearing demonstration. All the kids (young and old!) will have the chance to join in and give sheep shearing a go. Then it’s on to Christchurch, where we’ll farewell your family and wave you off feeling refreshed, invigorated, and with lasting memories of the adventures, great food, stories, laughs and fun times you’ll have had with us in New Zealand!
(Breakfast, Lunch)


Activity Key - zoom in to see activity detail

Hiking Biking Kayaking Boating Flying

Itinerary

Tuesday — Arrive, wildlife reserve and kiwi viewing

Most people leave the Northern Hemisphere on a Sunday evening, arriving in Auckland early Tuesday morning. You’ll lose a day crossing the dateline – but you get it back on the way home! It’s a short flight to Christchurch in the South Island and we’ll meet your family either in central Christchurch or at the airport. We start with a great introduction to the wildlife of a country isolated for over 80 million years! Willowbank Wildlife Reserve is unique in that you can enter a lot of the animal enclosures and even pet some of the more friendly critters! You can see tuatara lizards, the elusive kiwi, wallabies (small kangaroos introduced from Australia), and of course the namesake of our trip – the kea – our cheeky mountain parrot.
Methven Lodge, Methven (Lunch, Dinner)

Wednesday — Jet boat Rakaia Gorge, hike Peel Forest and star-gazing

After a hearty breakfast and relaxed start to the morning, we have an adventure planned that will knock your socks off – a fun jet boat ride through the winding Rakaia Gorge! Jet boats were originally invented by New Zealander Bill Hamilton to navigate our narrow, shallow rivers. You’ll be jetting down rapids, braided river sections and through shallow water just six inches deep in places. This thrilling, yet safe activity is suitable for the whole family. Then we’ll head to Peel Forest for a hike amongst ancient podocarp trees and many varieties of ferns. Many of New Zealand’s athletes, including our famous rugby team, the All Blacks, wear the fern as a national symbol. After lunch, we’ll travel inland to Aoraki Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain, and Lake Pukaki – an unreal turquoise-blue coloured glacial lake. Tonight, the wide open spaces, regular clear evenings and lack of artificial light provides us with the perfect opportunity to gaze at the Southern Hemisphere’s constellations, including the Southern Cross.
Aoraki Mt Cook Alpine Lodge, Mt Cook Village (All meals)

Thursday — Hike Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

We have a few hikes to choose from in this spectacular national park and our favourite is the stunning day hike (weather permitting) to the main ridge above Mueller Glacier. It’s a bit of a hike, though it’s a real achievement for the whole family to share and you’ll remember the view of the Mueller Glacier and the surrounding peaks of the Main Divide forever! Of course, we always have plenty of options, so there are easier hikes available for you too, such as an impressive hike up the Hooker Valley to a glacial lake (complete with icebergs!) at the base of Hooker Glacier.
Aoraki Mt Cook Alpine Lodge, Mt Cook Village (All meals)

Friday — Explore Queenstown

Today we’ll head through the mountains to Queenstown. We’ll stop along the way for some of the best ice cream in the whole of New Zealand – you’ll soon find out why! We’ll then continue on through fruit orchards and vineyards before arriving in Queenstown. After lunch, we have a few options including a hike up Queenstown Hill, a hike to historic Sam Summers hut or even a game of frisbee golf in the Queenstown Botanical Gardens.
Queenstown apartments, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

Saturday — Family rafting near Queenstown, explore Arrowtown

Excitement levels will be high this morning, as we head off for a family rafting trip in Skippers Canyon. Set in a deep, beautiful, rose-lined schist gorge, it’s a spectacular float trip – perfect for the whole family. The ‘Kea’ trip operates year-round, with minor changes during the New Zealand winter. From June to September, rather than rafting we take a lift on the gondola up Bob’s Peak for stunning views over the region and thrilling downhill rides on the luge. After lunch, we’ll explore an old Chinese goldmining settlement in the nearby historic village of Arrowtown. Chinese immigrants travelled to New Zealand during the 1800s and like many New Zealand pioneering stories, theirs is one of adversity and adaptation. You can try your hand at gold panning – in 2006 a man found a gold nugget worth $15,000 in this area, so you never know your luck!
Queenstown apartments, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

Sunday — Free day in Queenstown

All the comforts of civilisation are packed into this tiny resort town: restaurants galore, sidewalk cafés, stylish lounge bars, day spas, and boutiques. There’s plenty of family entertainment here too: luge rides, a gondola, lakeside playgrounds, mini golf and a cinema. There are also some more adventurous optional activities such as horse trekking, kayaking, fishing, winery tours, hang gliding, mountain biking, bungy jumping, jet boating and skydiving as well as some great hiking opportunities. Or you can just soak up the atmosphere and lounge about reading a book. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today. A great winter option (June to September) is to spend a couple of days skiing or snowboarding at one of four local ski areas: Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Cardrona or Treble Cone. Transport, lift pass and equipment rental is about US$150 a day for an adult, slightly less for children, which we will happily organise for you.
Queenstown apartments (No meals included)

Monday (Morning) — Start Mt Aspiring National Park and Wanaka options

This morning we’ll leave Queenstown and head over the Crown Range to Wanaka – a small alpine village on the shores of Lake Wanaka. After lunch, we head off for our various activities.

Hike and overnight in Mt Aspiring National Park option I

Monday (afternoon) - Hike and overnight in Mt Aspiring National Park

After leaving Wanaka, we’ll venture up the Matukituki Valley and hike two to three hours into Mt Aspiring National Park to reach our home for the evening – a spacious mountain hut nestled in a valley in the middle of nowhere. The track meanders past majestic peaks, fresh mountain streams and natural beech forest. You’ll be carrying a sleeping bag, a few spare clothes and some food, so your pack won’t weigh much more than a regular day pack. The scenery is off the charts with Mt Aspiring rising over 3,000 m (10,000 ft) into the blue. It’s amazing how far you’ll feel from civilisation after this relatively short walk! Tonight your guide will whip up dinner in the backcountry kitchen while you and the kids relax by the fire.
Mt Aspiring Hut, Mt Aspiring National Park (All meals)

Tuesday (morning) - Hike to trailhead

We have a leisurely start today, enjoying breakfast and a cuppa while admiring the view, before hiking back to the trailhead. Along the way, we might encounter the cheeky kea again – this time in its natural habitat – they’re really inquisitive and like to get pretty close at times!

Explore Wanaka option II

Monday (afternoon) - Explore Wanaka

Lake Wanaka is our fourth largest lake and surrounded by an amphitheatre of mountains. There are great walking trails and biking tracks in the area, as well as jet boating and kayaking. It’s well worth a visit to the famed Warbirds and Wheels Museum, which is home to an amazing collection of old fighter planes and classic cars. Whether you’re skipping stones on the lake’s edge or relaxing by the fire at the lodge, Wanaka is a great spot to rediscover simple pleasures.
Wanaka Hotel, Wanaka (All meals)

Tuesday (morning) - Explore Wanaka

After a relaxed breakfast, you’ll have the morning to yourselves before meeting up with the rest of the group.

Tuesday (afternoon) — Delve into Puzzling World

After regrouping in Wanaka, we’ll head to Puzzling World to explore over a mile of passageways in one of the world’s largest modern mazes. Kids of all ages really enjoy trying to beat our wily guides through the labyrinth! Tonight we spend the evening in the small village of Makarora, sharing stories over a delicious home-made meal
Makarora Lodgings, Makarora (All meals)

Wednesday — Explore West Coast forests and beaches, discover glowworms

This morning, we’ll travel over Haast Pass through spectacular beech forest to the wild West Coast, stopping on a deserted beach to stretch our legs and keep an eye out for friendly dolphins passing by. A little further north takes us to Lake Matheson for a short walk, where you’ll be rewarded with awesome vistas of the Southern Alps. After settling into our accommodations in Franz Josef, we can head out after dark with flashlights for a short night walk to search for the native glowworm while listening to some of New Zealand’s nocturnal birdlife, such as the morepork owl.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

Thursday — Kayak Lake Mapourika, hike to Franz Josef Glacier

It’s an early start this morning for our kayaking trip on Lake Mapourika, a tranquil ancient lake formed during the last ice age. This is an awesome activity, run by specialist kayak outfitters, and it’s equally suitable for beginners and experts alike. From there we head to Franz Josef, in the heart of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area, where there are two formidable glaciers descending from the mountains to near sea level. The first is Franz Josef Glacier, where we’ll be stopping for a hike (or optional heli-hike). When it comes to the scenery, this place is off the charts! Our hike will take us alongside the Waiho River bed and up the valley to the terminal face of Franz Josef Glacier.

Optional Heli-hike (add US$350 + tax)
An outrageously scenic alternative to today’s hike is to heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier itself. After being fitted with crampons, ice axes and so on, you’ll board a modern turbine helicopter and fly towards the highest peaks of the Southern Alps, landing on the glacier at 1300 metres (4,000 feet) above sea level. Led by specialist glacier guides, you’ll hike through the grand ice formations of the glacier, checking out its crevasses, seracs and tunnels – no previous experience is required! The constant movement of the glacier means every day is different, so your guides will cut steps in the ice and make sure you make the most of the conditions. At the end of your hike on the ice, you’ll take another helicopter ride out of the mountains and back to civilisation. The heli-hike is extremely popular, so we offer advance reservations with the helicopter operators and guiding company. At the time of booking, or up until one month before your trip, we can reserve a space for you, or you can leave your decision until the start of your trip and your guides will get you a spot if it’s available.

After we’ve finished our various activities, we’ll rendezvous at our accommodation for the night.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

Friday — Bushman’s Centre, visit Hokitika

We’ll head further up the coast to the Bushman’s Centre – a ‘living museum’ that combines an interactive history of the West Coast’s early settlers with the chance to introduce the kids to brush-tail possums. We’ll then continue to Hokitika, where you can check out the local art galleries and pounamu carving workshops (‘pounamu’ is Maori for jade). The beach here is a great place for playing games or making sculptures out of driftwood. Then we’ll head back through the Southern Alps to Flock Hill Station – a stunning location for our final two nights together.
Flock Hill Lodge, Arthur’s Pass (All meals)

Saturday — Hike Castle Hill

Flock Hill, near Cave Stream in the Southern Alps, is a superb viewpoint for the nearby Craigieburn and Torlesse Ranges. It’s a bit of a climb to the top, but it’s worth every step as we arrive at an eerie limestone landscape where much of the movie ‘Narnia – the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ was filmed. This afternoon, we’re off to the ultimate hide-and-seek spot, Castle Hill. During a visit a few years ago, the Dalai Lama called this natural labyrinth ‘the spiritual centre of the universe’!
Flock Hill Lodge, Arthur’s Pass (All meals)

Sunday — Farm show, depart for home

This is the last day of your ‘Kea’ trip, and we’ll head to the small farming community of Springfield to check out a working New Zealand high-country sheep farm. Here we’ll watch highly trained farm dogs rounding up stock and see a sheep shearing demonstration. All the kids (young and old!) will have the chance to join in and give sheep shearing a go. Then it’s on to Christchurch, where we’ll farewell your family and wave you off feeling refreshed, invigorated, and with lasting memories of the adventures, great food, stories, laughs and fun times you’ll have had with us in New Zealand!
(Breakfast, Lunch)

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Dates

Trip Date Price Status  
Oct 24 ’17 – Nov 5 ’17 US$4399 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 19 ’17 – Dec 31 ’17 US$4399 + tax Peak Season - Check Now! Check Availability
Dec 26 ’17 – Jan 7 ’18 US$4399 + tax Peak Season - Check Now! Check Availability
2018
Jun 19 ’18 – Jul 1 ’18 US$4399 + tax Great Check Availability
Jul 10 ’18 – Jul 22 ’18 US$4399 + tax Great Check Availability
Jul 24 ’18 – Aug 5 ’18 US$4399 + tax Great Check Availability
Aug 7 ’18 – Aug 19 ’18 US$4399 + tax Great Check Availability
Oct 23 ’18 – Nov 4 ’18 US$4399 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 18 ’18 – Dec 30 ’18 US$4399 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 25 ’18 – Jan 6 ’19 US$4399 + tax Great Check Availability
2019
Jun 18 ’19 – Jun 30 ’19 US$4399 + 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 Heartland Hotel Cotswold in Christchurch at 10.30am, or at Christchurch airport (CHC) in front of the Travel and Information Centre at 11am.

Trip End:

On the last day of the trip we can drop you off at the Christchurch airport in time for the flights below, or anywhere in central Christchurch in mid-late afternoon.

Recommended flights:

Arrival: If you’re flying in on the first day of the trip, we recommend arriving in Christchurch before 10am on Tuesday.
Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Christchurch after 4pm on Sunday. If you are considering alternative flight times please check with us. International flights from Auckland airport (AKL) usually leave early evening, so if you’re heading back to North America, you’ll get home some time on Sunday, even though you left on Sunday evening! Flights back to Europe, of course, take a little longer.

Accommodation:

The ‘ Kea’ family trip is an activity-oriented trip around the South Island. We’ve chosen interesting, comfortable and family-friendly accommodation throughout. Where possible we will provide accommodation with two bedrooms for your family.

Fitness and Age:

This trip has been designed to be fun and gently challenging for the young, and the young at heart. The pace is flexible and our guides are expert at tailoring hikes to a wide variety of fitness levels. Most hikes range between two and four hours to complete, but there’s plenty of time to explore, have snacks and take photos along the way. Our guides will ensure everyone gets the most out of their trip and you can always get in touch with us if you’d like to chat about the trip.

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Reviews

  • Just do it! Take a Kea trip with your family!

    “Our family vacation on the South Island was fabulous! Here are some specifics:

    The itinerary was well-thought-out, as we drove in "Bill" the bus for only relatively short spells at a time before arriving at an interesting spot to hike, explore, picnic, etc. Never was there a spell where we sat for more than 1.5 hours or so.

    "Bill" the bus was a very comfortable ride, by the way, allowing us to sit with a variety of people or even alone. The bus held 20 or so, and we were only 12 in number plus our two guides. The windows are large, allowing for expansive views of the beautiful New Zealand landscape. We towed a trailer behind us for all of our luggage and food, so we were not sitting amongst or climbing over luggage or supplies.

    Our guide Claire was an excellent driver, and we felt very safe with her at the wheel.

    The variety of experiences was exceptional! We visited four national parks. We hiked 10 miles roundtrip to a glacial lake at Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park. We hiked amongst sheep and cows (within just a few feet of us!) at Mt. Aspiring National Park and stayed overnight in a classic NZ "hut." We visited a wildlife preserve where we saw the nocturnal kiwi, we saw Fox Glacier; we spent several days in lovely Queenstown, canyoning, luging, and river rafting; we visited Puzzling World and found our way out of a very puzzling wooden maze. Our guides engaged our children in the building of a driftwood fort on a beach on the Tasman Sea. Our youthful, energetic guides also engaged all of us in playing "Go Home, Stay Home" amongst giant boulders and bravely accompanied our children into the cold water of a cave, where the children spied an eel! We also visited a sheep farm, where the kids took their turn trying to herd the sheep into a corral, learned about sheep farming and the dog's commands, and tried their hand at shearing a sheep.

    The food was delicious, fresh and plentiful. Whether prepared for us by our guides Claire and Mel, or served to us at a restaurant where reservations had been made and service was quick, the food was uniformly excellent. Snacks were always available on the bus. We were very well-fed!

    Our guides Claire and Mel were EXTRAORDINARY. We also were joined by a guide Steve for our hike in Mt. Aspiring, and he was equally AWESOME! Their sense of fun, their youthful energy, and their competence in managing the vehicles, preparing food, mobilizing the group, keeping to a schedule, etc. impressed us daily. Their knowledge of all things NZ, their ability to engage our children in fun, tossing a rugby ball or playing hangman with dry erase markers on the windows of the bus, made our trip the success that it was. We LOVED them!!!!”
    Michelle Ford – California, United StatesMarch 2017
  • Loved NZ Kea Adventure

    “New Zealand is a beautiful country, but the experience would not have been half as memorable if it were not for our AA guides. They were professional, could answer any question about NZ, incredibly competent in all ways and so much fun! But it would be unfair not to mention the preliminary support team leading up to the trip. All requests and needs were handled quickly and efficiently. And last, but not least, the itinerary was so well thought out. I enjoyed every minute of the trip and was sorry to see it end.”
    Lori Schimpf – California, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • New Zealand and Kiwis are the Best!

    “It would be difficult to overstate how impressed I was with our Active Adventure tour. Mel and Claire were absolutely incredible!! Steve was great too, but he was only with us for the hike up and back from the Aspiring Hut. Plus, he was weighed down by a rock he so generously carried up the hill for Mel.
    Anyway, Mel and Claire made Active Adventures (and New Zealand) look so good! They were EVERYTHING I could hope for: friendly, funny, knowledgeable, professional, hard-working, kind, easy-going, energetic, .... Thank you for one of the best 2-week periods of my entire life!”
    Mike Schimpf – California, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Great trip

    “My experience with Active Adventures in NZ was so fun! The guides were really nice and perfect to play games with. Steve was also really nice and funny. I had such a fantastic time and I'm glad I got to go with Active Adventures.”
    Marissa Schimpf – California, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Amazing

    “Fabulous, Brilliant, Fun, Energizing, Escape, New Friends and Family Bonding.”
    Bill Evans – California, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Incredible family trip!

    “We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and our guides did an excellent job being understanding of the food allergies of my daughter”
    Makenzie Birkey – Minnesota, United StatesJuly 2016
  • Awesome Family Trip over Christmas With Claire and Melissa

    “We chose Active Adventures based on a colleague recommendation, and could not have been happier. After considering various options, including renting a camper, we were thrilled to have chosen Active Adventures and never looked back.
    While the itinerary was well made for families with children of similar age to ours, we feel Claire and Melissa were the real pillar of our entire vacation. They did everything! We saved so much time everyday compared to if we had remotely tried to organise our trip ourselves, making it so efficient and smooth. More importantly, they had such a big smile everyday and were a hit with our three children aged 10, 9 and 6. Our children cried when leaving them, they had adopted Claire and Mel immediately. With their great games ideas and spirit, through stories and sharing with them about New Zealand, their patience with all of us, they all made it happen! We can't thank you enough Mel and Claire! Oh and Claire is a fantastic bus driver and Mel a great chef!”
    Javier Cedillo Espin – , SingaporeFebruary 2016
  • “Our guides were amazong persons and did an excellent job. This trip was a one in a lifetime experience and we couldn't have ask for more.”
    William Escobar – Valle, ColombiaFebruary 2015
  • Nathan Frye Review

    “The trip was incedible! The tour guides, Kate and Nick, were the best I have ever experienced. They were friendly, flexible, patient, and extremely efficient. There was never a moment where anything was in question. Everything we did was fun and perfect for our family. I will use Active again, NO question!”
    Nathan Frye – California, United StatesJanuary 2015
  • Family of five in New Zealand

    “We thought the activities were perfect for a family with three (7, 11 and 13) children. We were always busy and when we got off the bus and had extra time, Mel always had a game to play with the kids. Our three children loved the trip. The guides were so relaxed and fun.”
    Diana Rogers – Shanghai, ChinaJanuary 2015
  • Worth waiting for!

    “We had to postpone our trip by one year due to work commitments, and it was 100% worth waiting for. Everyone in our family (including 11 year old son and 12 year old daughter) had an amazing time. Our son said it was the best trip he has ever taken -- beating out a previous once in a lifetime vacation in Fiji. Of particular note were our two guides (Dan S. and Celia) who took incredibly good care of every detail of the trip and were a treasure trove of wonderful stories and facts about each of our stops. They also really helped out with figuring out activities for us to do during our days off in Queenstown and were really flexible in arranging an easier hike for my daughter who had a sore ankle. We will remember this always and hope to do a similar trip in the future. Highly recommended to anyone with active kids looking for a perfect family trip.”
    Laurie Lebrun – Tokyo, JapanJanuary 2015
  • Memories Forever & A Day

    “The New Zealand Active Adventures Tour was something to remember for a lifetime!!! Great scenery will be embroidered within me forever and the Kindness, Friendship, Humour and Excitment of the trip and its guides was an adventure and a half. From the scenery of Mt Cook to the exitment of Queenstown this was an ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME, ACTIVE ADVENTURES!!! Thankyou for the food, stories, history and of coarse the laughs of a lifetime Daniel and Celia!!! Theae are MEMORIES FOREVER AND A DAY!!! THANKYOU ACTIVE ADVENTURES NEW ZEALAND FOR A GREAT EXPERIENCE!!!”
    Shanelle Flute – Queensland, AustraliaJanuary 2015
  • A Whole New World

    “Taking the Kea trip for our first family holiday was the best decision. Not only did we have a fantastic time but we made some wonderful friends from other parts of the world. New Zealand is a beautiful country, we learnt alot about the history and our guides stories always had our ears pricked to the front! We will definitely be referring the Kea trip to our family and friends.”
    Niki Flute – Queensland, AustraliaJanuary 2015
  • KEA in the Winter

    “This trip was really fun and had lots of activities suitable for all folks. The scenery was magnificent, the food was fantastic (thanks Mel!), and the guides Dan and Mel were full of interesting facts and stories!”
    Anne Longmuir – California, United StatesJuly 2014
  • Thank You for Being Awesome!

    “Our trip was incredible! Duck and Mel were such wonderful guides. Our entire family (which included myself, my husband, my parents, my sister, my nephew, and my soon-to-be brother-in-law) traveled together for the first time and by the end of the trip, Duck and Mel felt like family as well! We enjoyed every minute of it! THANK YOU for being AWESOME!!!”
    Maggie Ruelle – Texas, United StatesJuly 2014
  • Kea

    “My only regret...it ended too soon! Most of the pictures seem to show New Zealand as it appears in summer. Don't be fooled -- winter is gorgeous and perfect for hiking. I think the locals try to keep winter a secret to keep the tourists away :-) And speaking of locals.... Duck (Dan) and Mel (Melissa) are a national treasure -- we couldn't have had better guides for this trip!”
    Barb Haas – Texas, United StatesJuly 2014
  • ANZ in NZ

    “The only weakness of this trip was in my legs after a long, wet, sloppy hike (my fault, inadequate conditioning). The guides, scenery, and general plans were outstanding. Particularly impressed with "Duck" and "Mel" (Dan and Melissa) for their knowledge, attitudes, and support. Well worth the money, time and effort!”
    Charlie Haas – Texas, United StatesJuly 2014
  • Wow!

    “Active Adventures has set the bar high - it is going to be hard for us to ever best this trip! What an amazing journey we had. Every day was action-packed, full of amazing sights and awesome adventures. We loved our guides, our kids especially. Sarah & Huw really made the trip special. They took care of everything so that we could really soak in all the wonders of New Zealand. I'd book again with Active Adventures in a heartbeat - this was truly a trip of a lifetime.”
    Sarah Rothleder – Virginia, United StatesMarch 2014
  • A Very Kea Christmas and New Year

    “Our family of five (16G, 14G and 9B) thoroughly enjoyed our trek through NZ's South Island on the Kea celebrating both Christmas and New Year. Lauren and Mel were fantastic and knowledgeable guides each with a sense of humor. Mel was a great cook, and we never went hungry. The hiking, rafting, jet boating and the activities were great even if the weather did not always cooperate. The long weekend in Queenstown was great to explore, rest and be with the family finishing with bungy jumping in the rain on the bridge where it was invented. It was a very memorable vacation and the pre-planned itinerary made for a very relaxing vacation. It would have been a much different vacation if we had had to drive, cook and schedule all the activities. Would definitely do another trip like this again!”
    Ben Emery – Bangkok, ThailandJanuary 2014
  • Kea July 2013

    “We had a great time on our Kea trip with Duck and Dan! They were great with my kids, catered to our every whim, and were awesome hosts for a beautiful country.”
    Libby Ellinas – Wisconsin, United StatesAugust 2013

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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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