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New Zealand Winter Adventure

Winter Rimu

4.63 out of 5 (from 535 reviews)

  • 14 Days - US$4,599 + tax
  • 8 days - US$3,899 + tax
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Trip Introduction

May to September is one of the best times to explore New Zealand. Our maritime climate ensures we have relatively mild winters, we’ll almost always have the tracks to ourselves and the snow-capped mountains make an even more dramatic backdrop than in summer – and usually you can get a great deal on flights! Years ago, we adapted our signature Rimu trip to suit the cooler conditions by adding skiing and snowboarding options, along with some of the South Island’s best hikes. This adventure is the perfect excuse to escape the heat!

Activity level: This is one of our more adventurous trips, but has options to suit a range of fitness levels and outdoor experience. Typically hikes on the ‘Winter Rimu’ range between three and six hours to complete, with a longer more challenging hike on the Copland Track.

Highlights

Hike
Kepler Track, Fiordland National Park
Copland Valley, Westland National Park
West Coast beaches and rainforest
Fox Glacier
Mt Aspiring National Park
Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park
Cycle Wanaka

Sea kayak
Okarito Lagoon

Choice of multi-day options...
Skiing/snowboarding in Queenstown OR Sea kayaking in Milford Sound

Plus...
Explore Queenstown

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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

Monday — Arrive, hike Mt John

Most people leave the Northern Hemisphere on a Saturday evening, arriving in Auckland early Monday 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, where we’ll meet you. We then head to Lake Tekapo for a hike along the lakeshore and through fragrant wilding pine, before emerging above the treeline on Mt. John for breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Then we’ll carry on to the remote and beautiful Lake Ohau Lodge. Here we’re staying beside a beautiful alpine lake, with stunning views stretching across to Mt. Cook and the Southern Alps – an ideal spot to soak in the hot tub and enjoy the stars! Today is a relaxed introduction to New Zealand. Depending on where you’re coming from, you’ll probably find jetlag is no big deal. For instance, it’s a 12 hour direct overnight flight from the West Coast of the USA to Auckland and there’s only a 3 hour time difference between New Zealand and US Pacific time. If you’re coming from further afield, you’ll appreciate the gentle start to your New Zealand adventure.
Lake Ohau Lodge, Lake Ohau (Lunch, Dinner)

Tuesday — Hike Aoraki Mt Cook National Park or ski/snowboard Ohau Ski Area

After a late breakfast on the balcony overlooking Lake Ohau, we’ll take an impressive hike at the head of Lake Pukaki, up the Hooker Valley to a glacial lake complete with icebergs! This is a great spot for lunch and on a clear day the views of Aoraki Mt. Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain, are stunning. Then we’ll return to Lake Ohau where we’ll enjoy a sumptuous dinner. An option today is to spend the day skiing at the small and friendly Ohau Ski Area, one of the South Island’s more remote backcountry ski fields (for approx. US$125 including gear rental).
Lake Ohau Lodge, Lake Ohau (All meals)

Wednesday — Hike Mt Aspiring National Park

Today we start the first of two memorable multi-day hikes. We’ll venture up the Matukituki Valley and hike 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. This hike is well suited to winter conditions and the track meanders past majestic snow capped 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 3033 metres (9951 feet) 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 relax by the fire. If you prefer, you can stay at the Lake Wanaka Lodge and do day hikes into the surrounding hills, or just relax and enjoy Wanaka’s laid-back, small town atmosphere! The choice is yours.
Mt Aspiring Hut, Mt. Aspiring National Park or Lake Wanaka Lodge, Wanaka (All meals)

Thursday — Hike Mt Aspiring National Park and bike Wanaka

After enjoying a delicious healthy breakfast and admiring the views, we'll hike back to the trailhead. We'll head to Wanaka for a bike ride along the lakeshore, and then it's a short but dramatic journey over the Cardrona Saddle to Queenstown, on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, our base for the next couple of days. You'll sleep sweetly tonight at a lakefront hotel located in the heart of Queenstown.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

Friday — Free day in Queenstown

Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand (if not the world!) and all the comforts of civilisation are packed into this tiny resort town: restaurants galore, stylish lounge bars, day spas, and boutiques. You’ll also find incredible optional activities here, including horse trekking, a gondola, fishing, winery tours, a historic steamship, bungy jumping, jet boating, skydiving, as well as some great hiking opportunities. Or you can just soak up the atmosphere by the fire at one of the local cafés or pubs. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today. Alternatively, you can go skiing or snowboarding for the day at one of four nearby ski areas (approximate cost US$150 for ski or snowboard hire, transport and lift pass – available as snow conditions suit, generally from June to September).
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (No meals incl.)

Saturday — Start multi-day options

After breakfast together, we head off for our various activities.

Explore Fiordland National Park and sea kayak Milford Sound option I

Saturday - hike Kepler Track

After breakfast we'll travel to Lake Te Anau, to hike the Kepler Track, one of New Zealand's 'Great Walks'. Unlike most of the other 'Great Walks', which evolved from Maori greenstone trails or pioneer exploration routes, the Kepler Track was custom-made - built for pleasure, rather than necessity. The track has been carefully crafted to show walkers all the very best features of Fiordland, from the prolific bird life and tussock high country, to the huge mountain ranges and vast glacier-carved valleys. We'll stay nearby in Te Anau which will be the base for our sea kayaking adventure on Milford Sound.
Matai Lodge, Te Anau (All meals)

Sunday - sea kayak Milford Sound, explore Fiordland National Park

Our day starts early this morning as we head towards Milford Sound. Most people see the fiord from the deck of a ship, though we've got a more active way – gliding along in sea kayaks, causing very little disruption. This also gives us a great chance of getting up close and personal with the friendly fur seals and dolphins that are sometimes in the area. Run by specialist kayak guides, the paddling here is suitable for beginners and experts alike. After kayaking, we'll spend more time exploring the Fiordland wilderness on foot and check out some of its endemic flora and fauna like the kea (Nestor notabilis), New Zealand's notoriously cheeky and intelligent alpine parrot and the kotukutuku (Fuchsia excorticate), the world's largest fuchsia.
Matai Lodge, Te Anau (All meals)

Monday (morning) - relax or hike Queenstown

This morning we’ll journey past beautiful rolling farmland and around the edge of Lake Wakatipu back to Queenstown. You’ll have a couple of hours to spare here to catch up on some shopping, grab a coffee or head off on a local hike - your guides will have plenty of suggestions. We’ll meet up with the skiers/snowboarders before heading back into the wilderness for the rest of the trip.

Skiing or Snowboarding in Queenstown option II (available as snow conditions suit – generally June to September)

Saturday - skiing or snowboarding in Queenstown

With Coronet Peak, the Remarkables, Cardrona and Treble Cone ski areas all within a short drive of Queenstown, there are plenty of skiing and snowboarding options for novices and experts alike. As locals, we’ll be happy to help you choose the area best suited to you, and let you know where the best snow conditions are at the time. You’ll get two full days to enjoy the snow and views, with lift passes and transportation to either ski area provided. You can bring your own gear, or you can rent gear down here (gear hire is about US$65 per day) and lessons are available as well. Conditions vary throughout the season, though you can expect good skiing and riding, on and off-piste, plus scenery that will blow you away! If you want to go skiing, and don’t want to miss out on Milford Sound, let your guide know and we can help arrange an optional day trip to world famous Fiordland National Park for today or tomorrow.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast)

Sunday - skiing or snowboarding

Now that you’ve got your ‘ski-legs’, today you can really carve it up out there!
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast)

Monday (morning) - relax in Queenstown

We’ll spend the morning relaxing in Queenstown before rejoining the hiking and kayaking group and heading to Haast.

Monday (afternoon) — Finish multi-day options

After regrouping, we’ll head through the stunning Southern Lakes district and over Haast Pass to the West Coast – 650 kilometres (400 miles) of gorgeous, rugged coastline with a population of only 40,000 people. We’ll mingle with the ‘coasters’ tonight in the tiny township of Haast, exchanging tales of our adventures at the local pub in front of a roaring fire.
Heartland World Heritage Hotel, Haast (Breakfast, Dinner)

Tuesday — Hike to Copland Valley hot pools, Westland National Park

Today we'll walk into a stunningly beautiful mountain basin, set directly underneath the towering peaks of the Southern Alps, with an awesome highlight – natural hot pools! It's a challenging six to seven hour hike 17 kilometres (10 miles) up the Copland Valley with a gradual 300 metres (985 feet) elevation gain, but it's absolutely worth it. Our guides are pretty tough and they'll carry the lion's share of the load. All you'll be carrying is a backpack with your sleeping bag, a few spare clothes, and a share of our food. Tonight, we stay in one of New Zealand's most spacious backcountry huts, a comfortable two-level building. One of the best things about hiking this track in winter is we may well have the hut all to ourselves! While you soak in the hot pools your guide will whip up a hearty dinner.
Welcome Flat Hut, Westland National Park (All meals)

Wednesday — Hike to Douglas Rock

Today we'll hike further up the track towards Douglas Rock for even more amazing scenery and views of multiple glaciers clinging to the top of the mountain valley. If you prefer, you can have a relaxing day at the hut – soak in the hot pools, enjoy the stunning scenery, or even just hang out with a book. Either way, the hot pools are without a doubt the star attraction here, closely followed by the dramatic scenery.
Welcome Flat Hut, Westland National Park (All meals)

Thursday — Hike Copland Valley

An early start sees us on the track, a great time to be hikng with the fresh morning air and stillness.  You’ll be feeling sprightly today after a relaxing evening in the rejuvinating hot pools and with the slightly downhill gradient, you’ll be in ‘cruise mode’ on the outward hike. Once back at the trailhead we’ll rest our bodies with a scenic journey up the coast to the township of Franz Josef where we’ll stay for the next couple of nights. Nestled in the rainforest-clad foothills of the Southern Alps, Franz Josef is the heart of New Zealand glacier country.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

Friday — Kayak Okarito Lagoon, hike near Franz Josef Glacier

This morning we’ll make a short journey over to Okarito, a little-known beach community on the coast. We’ll take to the water in sea kayaks and glide along the picturesque lagoon, set against a stunning backdrop of snow-capped peaks. Okarito is home to the only native white heron colony in New Zealand, as well as a host of other interesting birds. Later we’ll hike through lush coastal forest to Three Mile Lagoon, and wander along the beautiful stony beach next to crashing waves. Once back in Franz Josef you’ll have the option to take another hike to the terminal face for exceptional glacier views or relax in the hot tub, before enjoying a traditional Kiwi roast dinner.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

Saturday — Hike Punakaiki rainforest and beaches

This morning, we'll travel along the coast to check out local art galleries and a pounamu carving workshop (pounamu is Maori for jade) in Hokitika. After lunch, we carry on to Punakaiki, where we'll hike the Inland Pack Track through temperate rainforest and limestone canyons in the footsteps of the gold miners who established this trail over a century ago. While we're in Punakaiki, we'll also check out the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes – aptly named limestone formations that have been sculpted through relentless pounding by the Tasman Sea. Tonight we'll enjoy a celebratory dinner for the last night of your trip.
West Coast lodging, Punakaiki (All meals)

Sunday — Depart for home

We’ll leave after breakfast for the beautiful journey over Arthurs Pass to Christchurch. This is the last day of your 'Winter Rimu' trip, and we’ll leave you refreshed and invigorated from the good food, exercise, rest, and great times you’ll have had with us in New Zealand’s winter landscape.
(Breakfast, Lunch)


Activity Key - zoom in to see activity detail

Hiking Biking Kayaking Boating Flying

Itinerary

Monday — Arrive, hike Mt John

Most people leave the Northern Hemisphere on a Saturday evening, arriving in Auckland early Monday 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, where we’ll meet you. We then head to Lake Tekapo for a hike along the lakeshore and through fragrant wilding pine, before emerging above the treeline on Mt. John for breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Then we’ll carry on to the remote and beautiful Lake Ohau Lodge. Here we’re staying beside a beautiful alpine lake, with stunning views stretching across to Mt. Cook and the Southern Alps – an ideal spot to soak in the hot tub and enjoy the stars! Today is a relaxed introduction to New Zealand. Depending on where you’re coming from, you’ll probably find jetlag is no big deal. For instance, it’s a 12 hour direct overnight flight from the West Coast of the USA to Auckland and there’s only a 3 hour time difference between New Zealand and US Pacific time. If you’re coming from further afield, you’ll appreciate the gentle start to your New Zealand adventure.
Lake Ohau Lodge, Lake Ohau (Lunch, Dinner)

Tuesday — Hike Aoraki Mt Cook National Park or ski/snowboard Ohau Ski Area

After a late breakfast on the balcony overlooking Lake Ohau, we’ll take an impressive hike at the head of Lake Pukaki, up the Hooker Valley to a glacial lake complete with icebergs! This is a great spot for lunch and on a clear day the views of Aoraki Mt. Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain, are stunning. Then we’ll return to Lake Ohau where we’ll enjoy a sumptuous dinner. An option today is to spend the day skiing at the small and friendly Ohau Ski Area, one of the South Island’s more remote backcountry ski fields (for approx. US$125 including gear rental).
Lake Ohau Lodge, Lake Ohau (All meals)

Wednesday — Hike Mt Aspiring National Park

Today we start the first of two memorable multi-day hikes. We’ll venture up the Matukituki Valley and hike 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. This hike is well suited to winter conditions and the track meanders past majestic snow capped 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 3033 metres (9951 feet) 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 relax by the fire. If you prefer, you can stay at the Lake Wanaka Lodge and do day hikes into the surrounding hills, or just relax and enjoy Wanaka’s laid-back, small town atmosphere! The choice is yours.
Mt Aspiring Hut, Mt. Aspiring National Park or Lake Wanaka Lodge, Wanaka (All meals)

Thursday — Hike Mt Aspiring National Park and bike Wanaka

After enjoying a delicious healthy breakfast and admiring the views, we'll hike back to the trailhead. We'll head to Wanaka for a bike ride along the lakeshore, and then it's a short but dramatic journey over the Cardrona Saddle to Queenstown, on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, our base for the next couple of days. You'll sleep sweetly tonight at a lakefront hotel located in the heart of Queenstown.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

Friday — Free day in Queenstown

Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand (if not the world!) and all the comforts of civilisation are packed into this tiny resort town: restaurants galore, stylish lounge bars, day spas, and boutiques. You’ll also find incredible optional activities here, including horse trekking, a gondola, fishing, winery tours, a historic steamship, bungy jumping, jet boating, skydiving, as well as some great hiking opportunities. Or you can just soak up the atmosphere by the fire at one of the local cafés or pubs. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today. Alternatively, you can go skiing or snowboarding for the day at one of four nearby ski areas (approximate cost US$150 for ski or snowboard hire, transport and lift pass – available as snow conditions suit, generally from June to September).
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (No meals incl.)

Saturday — Start multi-day options

After breakfast together, we head off for our various activities.

Explore Fiordland National Park and sea kayak Milford Sound option I

Saturday - hike Kepler Track

After breakfast we'll travel to Lake Te Anau, to hike the Kepler Track, one of New Zealand's 'Great Walks'. Unlike most of the other 'Great Walks', which evolved from Maori greenstone trails or pioneer exploration routes, the Kepler Track was custom-made - built for pleasure, rather than necessity. The track has been carefully crafted to show walkers all the very best features of Fiordland, from the prolific bird life and tussock high country, to the huge mountain ranges and vast glacier-carved valleys. We'll stay nearby in Te Anau which will be the base for our sea kayaking adventure on Milford Sound.
Matai Lodge, Te Anau (All meals)

Sunday - sea kayak Milford Sound, explore Fiordland National Park

Our day starts early this morning as we head towards Milford Sound. Most people see the fiord from the deck of a ship, though we've got a more active way – gliding along in sea kayaks, causing very little disruption. This also gives us a great chance of getting up close and personal with the friendly fur seals and dolphins that are sometimes in the area. Run by specialist kayak guides, the paddling here is suitable for beginners and experts alike. After kayaking, we'll spend more time exploring the Fiordland wilderness on foot and check out some of its endemic flora and fauna like the kea (Nestor notabilis), New Zealand's notoriously cheeky and intelligent alpine parrot and the kotukutuku (Fuchsia excorticate), the world's largest fuchsia.
Matai Lodge, Te Anau (All meals)

Monday (morning) - relax or hike Queenstown

This morning we’ll journey past beautiful rolling farmland and around the edge of Lake Wakatipu back to Queenstown. You’ll have a couple of hours to spare here to catch up on some shopping, grab a coffee or head off on a local hike - your guides will have plenty of suggestions. We’ll meet up with the skiers/snowboarders before heading back into the wilderness for the rest of the trip.

Skiing or Snowboarding in Queenstown option II (available as snow conditions suit – generally June to September)

Saturday - skiing or snowboarding in Queenstown

With Coronet Peak, the Remarkables, Cardrona and Treble Cone ski areas all within a short drive of Queenstown, there are plenty of skiing and snowboarding options for novices and experts alike. As locals, we’ll be happy to help you choose the area best suited to you, and let you know where the best snow conditions are at the time. You’ll get two full days to enjoy the snow and views, with lift passes and transportation to either ski area provided. You can bring your own gear, or you can rent gear down here (gear hire is about US$65 per day) and lessons are available as well. Conditions vary throughout the season, though you can expect good skiing and riding, on and off-piste, plus scenery that will blow you away! If you want to go skiing, and don’t want to miss out on Milford Sound, let your guide know and we can help arrange an optional day trip to world famous Fiordland National Park for today or tomorrow.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast)

Sunday - skiing or snowboarding

Now that you’ve got your ‘ski-legs’, today you can really carve it up out there!
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast)

Monday (morning) - relax in Queenstown

We’ll spend the morning relaxing in Queenstown before rejoining the hiking and kayaking group and heading to Haast.

Monday (afternoon) — Finish multi-day options

After regrouping, we’ll head through the stunning Southern Lakes district and over Haast Pass to the West Coast – 650 kilometres (400 miles) of gorgeous, rugged coastline with a population of only 40,000 people. We’ll mingle with the ‘coasters’ tonight in the tiny township of Haast, exchanging tales of our adventures at the local pub in front of a roaring fire.
Heartland World Heritage Hotel, Haast (Breakfast, Dinner)

Tuesday — Hike to Copland Valley hot pools, Westland National Park

Today we'll walk into a stunningly beautiful mountain basin, set directly underneath the towering peaks of the Southern Alps, with an awesome highlight – natural hot pools! It's a challenging six to seven hour hike 17 kilometres (10 miles) up the Copland Valley with a gradual 300 metres (985 feet) elevation gain, but it's absolutely worth it. Our guides are pretty tough and they'll carry the lion's share of the load. All you'll be carrying is a backpack with your sleeping bag, a few spare clothes, and a share of our food. Tonight, we stay in one of New Zealand's most spacious backcountry huts, a comfortable two-level building. One of the best things about hiking this track in winter is we may well have the hut all to ourselves! While you soak in the hot pools your guide will whip up a hearty dinner.
Welcome Flat Hut, Westland National Park (All meals)

Wednesday — Hike to Douglas Rock

Today we'll hike further up the track towards Douglas Rock for even more amazing scenery and views of multiple glaciers clinging to the top of the mountain valley. If you prefer, you can have a relaxing day at the hut – soak in the hot pools, enjoy the stunning scenery, or even just hang out with a book. Either way, the hot pools are without a doubt the star attraction here, closely followed by the dramatic scenery.
Welcome Flat Hut, Westland National Park (All meals)

Thursday — Hike Copland Valley

An early start sees us on the track, a great time to be hikng with the fresh morning air and stillness.  You’ll be feeling sprightly today after a relaxing evening in the rejuvinating hot pools and with the slightly downhill gradient, you’ll be in ‘cruise mode’ on the outward hike. Once back at the trailhead we’ll rest our bodies with a scenic journey up the coast to the township of Franz Josef where we’ll stay for the next couple of nights. Nestled in the rainforest-clad foothills of the Southern Alps, Franz Josef is the heart of New Zealand glacier country.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

Friday — Kayak Okarito Lagoon, hike near Franz Josef Glacier

This morning we’ll make a short journey over to Okarito, a little-known beach community on the coast. We’ll take to the water in sea kayaks and glide along the picturesque lagoon, set against a stunning backdrop of snow-capped peaks. Okarito is home to the only native white heron colony in New Zealand, as well as a host of other interesting birds. Later we’ll hike through lush coastal forest to Three Mile Lagoon, and wander along the beautiful stony beach next to crashing waves. Once back in Franz Josef you’ll have the option to take another hike to the terminal face for exceptional glacier views or relax in the hot tub, before enjoying a traditional Kiwi roast dinner.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

Saturday — Hike Punakaiki rainforest and beaches

This morning, we'll travel along the coast to check out local art galleries and a pounamu carving workshop (pounamu is Maori for jade) in Hokitika. After lunch, we carry on to Punakaiki, where we'll hike the Inland Pack Track through temperate rainforest and limestone canyons in the footsteps of the gold miners who established this trail over a century ago. While we're in Punakaiki, we'll also check out the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes – aptly named limestone formations that have been sculpted through relentless pounding by the Tasman Sea. Tonight we'll enjoy a celebratory dinner for the last night of your trip.
West Coast lodging, Punakaiki (All meals)

Sunday — Depart for home

We’ll leave after breakfast for the beautiful journey over Arthurs Pass to Christchurch. This is the last day of your 'Winter Rimu' trip, and we’ll leave you refreshed and invigorated from the good food, exercise, rest, and great times you’ll have had with us in New Zealand’s winter landscape.
(Breakfast, Lunch)

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Dates

Trip Date Price Status  
Sep 11 ’17 – Sep 24 ’17 US$4599 + tax Almost full Check Availability
2018
May 7 ’18 – May 20 ’18 US$4599 + tax Great Check Availability
May 21 ’18 – Jun 3 ’18 US$4599 + tax Great Check Availability
Jun 4 ’18 – Jun 17 ’18 US$4599 + tax Great Check Availability
Jun 18 ’18 – Jul 1 ’18 US$4599 + tax Great Check Availability
Jul 2 ’18 – Jul 15 ’18 US$4599 + tax Great Check Availability
Jul 16 ’18 – Jul 29 ’18 US$4599 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Jul 30 ’18 – Aug 12 ’18 US$4599 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Aug 13 ’18 – Aug 26 ’18 US$4599 + tax Great Check Availability
Aug 27 ’18 – Sep 9 ’18 US$4599 + tax Great Check Availability
Sep 10 ’18 – Sep 23 ’18 US$4599 + tax Great Check Availability
2019
May 6 ’19 – May 19 ’19 US$4599 + tax Great Check Availability
May 20 ’19 – Jun 2 ’19 US$4599 + tax Great Check Availability
Jun 3 ’19 – Jun 16 ’19 US$4599 + tax Great Check Availability
Jun 17 ’19 – Jun 30 ’19 US$4599 + tax Great Check Availability
Jul 1 ’19 – Jul 14 ’19 US$4599 + 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 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 desk 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 about 3pm.

Recommended Flights:

Arrival: If you’re flying in on the first day of the trip, we recommend arriving in Christchurch before 10.30am on Monday.
Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Christchurch after 5pm 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.

Fitness:

The Winter Rimu is one of our more adventurous trips, but has options to suit a range of fitness levels and outdoor experience. If you are exercise regularly and like to give things a go, you’re likely to enjoy the trip much more. Typically, hikes on the Winter Rimu trip range between three and six hours to complete. Please get in touch with us if you’d like to chat about the various options.

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Reviews

  • Winter Rimu

    “Winter Rimu was a fantastic trip! The scenery was breathtaking and our guides were exemplary. And, despite being a winter trip, the weather didn't slow us down.”
    Ann Kozlovsky – California, United StatesAugust 2017
  • Winter Splendor - No Crowds!

    “Winter Rimu was a trip of a lifetime which created wonderful memories with my son as his high school graduation trip. We may or may not remember the rain, the cold, the snow, but we will surely remember the togetherness, the chance to explore the beauty of nature, test momma's strength on the hikes and when the sun was out the scenery would take your breath away. Our group was small, fun, the trip well organized. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.”
    Kathy Burke – Florida, United StatesAugust 2017
  • Awesome Trip!

    “The trip overall was great! Very well organised and the accomodation was better than I would have booked for myself. My guides Tess and Nick where the best part of the trip. They have the patience of saints as some of us where quite sick and high maintenance. Tess cooked awesome food and looked after our every need, plus she was a treat to be around. Nick's commentary was entertaining and I couldn't fault his driving skills. They both where heaps of fun, was quite sad to say goodbye to them both. My highlights of the trip would be Mt Cook and the Copland Hut. Can't beat the scenery!!! I also had my birthday during the trip and it's definitely one to remember, I felt super special with the decorations and the cake the crew put together for me. Definitely a trip to remember!”
    Natalie Whitehouse – Australian Capital Territory, AustraliaAugust 2017
  • Awesome Tour Awesome Guides

    “The planned tour was very exciting and challenging. The guides were knowledgeable and very helpful. When the hike or climb was challenging the guides were there to ensure safety and a great experience. We were burning calories and the food provided was delicious, healthy and more than sufficient to power us through the activities. The entire tour was very educational due to the knowledge of our guides. Each days drive and activity provided learning as the guides educated and added to the experience.”
    Dwayne Roberts – Texas, United StatesAugust 2017
  • Winter Rimu - May/June 2017

    “It truly was the trip of a lifetime. The guide was a local Kiwi who really knew her stuff in terms of hiking and activities, culture and local legends and flora and fauna. Could not have asked for a better guide. If you're lucky enough to get Amanda L. to guide your trip you're in for a real treat :)”
    Evelyn Zuk – Massachusetts, United StatesJune 2017
  • Perfect Winter Rimu Adventure

    “It was an excellent trip. Wonderful sites and guides with a well planned itinerary!”
    William Kozlovsky – California, United StatesJuly 2017
  • Best Trip of My Life

    “This was a great trip from the start. The guides, Duck and Tess were great; very friendly, had great energy, and very knowledgeable about the South Island. Words fail to describe how amazing this trip was. If you're on the fence it is worth it. You will meet great people, and see the most amazing aspects of the South Island during the winter.”
    Bryant Slevin – New York, United StatesMay 2017
  • Perfect first trip to breathtaking Southern Alps

    “As upper-middle-aged travelers, we approached this trip with high expectations but slight trepidation due to the intense terrain. Our guide smoothed all the rough edges, enabling us to simply enjoy ourselves throughout the trip. His good humor and competence were unflagging. He was also a fantastic cook!
    The trip spanned an amazing diversity of natural settings and welcoming towns. The New Zealand system of maintained backcountry huts provided very comfortable and convenient shelters and facilities. We are already discussing when we can come back!”
    Art Morris – North Carolina, United StatesOctober 2016
  • “The Winter Rimu is such a wonderful way to visit the highlights and hidden gems of the South Island! Since it's the off-season, the trails are sparsely populated, and you really get to enjoy nature (without sand-flies). The gorgeous snowy peaks certainly don't hurt either.”
    Therice Morris – California, United StatesSeptember 2016
  • Winter Rimu - July 2016

    “This trip represented the first two weeks of our 4 and a bit in New Zealand. It wasn't the cheapest way we could have 'done' the South island but it was worth every penny. Although we are confident and capable in the outdoors we felt that the combination of expert local knowledge in an environment with which we weren't familiar (particularly from a 'weather in winter' point of view) and not having to worry about logistics was worth spending a wee bit of money on. We weren't disappointed. The guides Mel and Gary, were excellent throughout; whether they were telling us stories, motivating, cooking, reassuring, improvising or just doing the basics of guiding - everything was done to a really high standard. We did have to learn Kiwi guide speak though - 'around the next corner' - about 5 miles, 'a bit undulating' - mountainous, 'west coast weather' - days of solid rain and so on. We also learned to judge the weather by how much Gary's socks were pulled up - right over the calves - a bit chilly, long trousers - 'batten down the hatches it's pissing down'....and so on. The itinerary and structure of the trip was excellent - yes you move around a fair bit but it doesn't get wearing and there is a good mix of activity so that whilst you are always active it's not one huge day after another - there's plenty of time for 'recovery' should you need it. You'll get the best out of the trip if you have some 'get up and go' about you - the second week on the west coast was almost solid rain and sometimes torrential - that's why you bring a good attitude and a full set of waterproofs! Drying things out overnight became a daily challenge! The wet weather actually prevented us from undertaking one of our multi days hikes but the days were seamlessly filled and accommodation arranged so that we wouldn't have noticed had we not known the itinerary in advance. A specific mention goes to Mel's cooking which was awesome - even managing to rustle me up a birthday cake in one of the huts and also to Gary the Glowworm - you just had to be there. Personal highlights included kayaking on Milford Sound and Okarito, climbing Alex Knob in the snow and getting great views across the Franz Josef glacier as we ascended as well as Mt Aspiring hut - just a few of many.
    Overall an excellent trip and on the back of it we would definitely use Active again for trips elsewhere around the world.....now, where did I put the Patagonia itinerary....?”
    James Fox – Scotland/Aberdeenshire, United KingdomSeptember 2016
  • A "Sweet As" adventure

    “The 14 day Winter Rimu trip was the best guided tour trip I have ever taken! Everyday was action packed with great 2-3 hour hikes that took you to places you never would of seen alone. Jasmine and Elder were our hospitable guides, they cooked for us delicious meals, took us to local places to explore the culture, told us great stories and made sure each of our questions were answered. During the 14 day trip I felt like we formed a family of 8. We hiked, ate and explored beautiful New Zealand together. Making friends this way was the most fun part. When the hikes were tough and the rain was pouring on us, not only did Jasmine and Elder provide encouragement but the other tour mates were there to give you a boost.
    I was very impressed with the organization and the accommodations that were arranged, they were cozy, clean and had amazing views. I would definitely do this tour again in another part of the world.”
    Joel Vitta – Texas, United StatesSeptember 2016
  • Winter Rimu Trip with Jasmine and Elder

    “Over the course of a fortnight the activities vary, the destinations change, and the weather does what weather does so the only constant is the guides. Jasmine and Elder, from the moment I met them in Christchurch on the first day until the moment when they dropped all of us off at the airport two weeks later, were patient, flexible, attentive, and infinitely good-humored. When a day's activity had to be cancelled (no kayaking on Milford Sound due to 80-km.-an-hour winds) they responded quickly and proactively (a cruise of the sound with lunch). Nothing seemed to bother them and they seemed to want nothing more than to ensure that we had a memorable trip filled with new experiences and minimal inconvenience or (unwelcome) surprises. (The Pavlova cake on our last night, which appeared out of nowhere was a surprise of the best kind.)
    As for the trip itself, independent of the guides--if that's possible--it was exceptional. Nothing is more eyebrow-raising than to hear a tourist come back from a city, or country, or island claiming to have "done everything," but we came close. The tour was designed to show us the mountains, valleys, historic towns, and beautiful countryside of New Zealand. By the end of the trip I had a deep first impression of the country and its history, the topography and the culture. (Jasmine and Elder could lecture at university on just about any subject that came up.) I would love to get back to New Zealand but if that isn't possible I'll know that I had the best time possible.”
    Andrew Coffey – New York, United StatesAugust 2016
  • “I had a fabulous time. Loved the variety of activities. The accommodations were comfortable and the meals great. Our guide, Gary was helpful and a wonderful cook.
    I look forward to traveling with you in the future.”
    Jennifer Jordan – California, United StatesAugust 2016
  • Harry , UK

    “Hiking in stunning scenery, mountains more rugged than I imagined, beautiful lakes and glaciers wonderful, strange looking forests, kayaking on a beautiful coastal lagoon. Led by knowledgeable, incredibly helpful and fun guides... Visiting many curious towns. All very interesting - A great introduction to the South Island. Brilliant.”
    Harry Mountain – Staffordshire, United KingdomAugust 2016
  • Best Decision I have ever made so far,

    “Having time during my transfer to do what ever I wanted to do, I decided to visit New Zealand after hearing about it's beauty and adventure. I can say it met all my expectations and more. I enjoyed every meal they provided, every hike, and even when I wanted to do a little more then the group was up for they were very supportive of making sure I had the time of my life. Snowboarding in Queenstown was amazing and such a great little place to go out on the town. Even when nature decided to change our plans the guides didn't miss a beat. I had a great time and will continue to cherish the memories and fun we had.

    Thanks guys.”
    Robert Oyler – Hawaii, United StatesAugust 2016
  • Amazing Adventure!

    “I just got home from the Winter Rimu trip throughout South Island of New Zealand. To say it was simply "amazing" does not accurately describe the trip. The views, adventures, service and guides were extraordinary. The trip was worth every penny. Even when snowstorms came or other inclement weather hit, there was always a backup plan that allowed us to keep experiencing the awesome culture, people, mountains, lakes and glaciers of New Zealand. I was very impressed with Active Adventures and can not wait to plan my next trip through Active Adventures!”
    Elizabeth Derck – Tennessee, United StatesAugust 2016
  • NZ in the winter is pretttttty

    “The Winter Rimu trip is very cool. Our guides (Jasmine and Elder) were fantastic, very laid back and super-well organized. Winter in New Zealand is volatile and some of the segments needed to be adjusted, but I was really impressed by how Active Adventures adjusted based on frequent weather forecast checks by always have options available which all ended up being very impressive. If you haven't been to NZ, just go, any season you can make it!”
    Noah Goldstein – Ontario, CanadaAugust 2016
  • Winter Rimu to Remember

    “Coming from a small island which is tropical year around, I didn't expect to have a wonderful winter experience. We had amazing adventures all around the southern island from hikes, kayaking, and food. Everything was well planned out. Even when obstacles with the weather occurred, their alternate plans were just as amazing! Mel and Gary were our guides. These two are the best in each their own. They both displayed great hospitality and patience. I've learned so much about New Zealand while trekking with a great company. Overall, I would return to New Zealand to do more adventures.”
    Eliseo Silverio – GUAM, GuamAugust 2016
  • I wasn't ready for the trip to end!

    “I don't even know where to begin...so let's start at the beginning. I spent the last year dreaming about going to New Zealand, trying to talk just one friend into going with me, and finally, with some encouragement from family, booking this trip as a first time solo traveler. And let me be clear- that was the best decision I could have made! I enjoyed every single minute of my trip and wouldn't change the experience of traveling solo for anything. From the moment I met Gary and Mel, I knew that I had made the right decision. They were welcoming, to all, from the moment they met us. Right away I knew I had nothing to worry about, and worry I did prior to the start of the trip. I could not have asked for a better group of travel mates; it was as if you had hand-picked who should be on the trip together. They were amazing! The experiences on the trip would not have been nearly as amazing if it wasn't for these awesome people with whom I had the good fortune to travel.
    Gary and Mel were kind, patient, and so easy to be around. They answered every question a novice like myself asked, without ever making me feel like an idiot. Gary was witty, kept us going, and a super safe driver! ( I am not a big fan of mountain roads with cliffs on the edge that lead to instant death and not once did I fear for my life.) Mel's cooking...holy smokes was it good; so much so that the pounds I was so sure I would lose on the trip didn't happen. She has even inspired me to try to cook a couple of her dishes this winter. She made it look so easy, even with the varied diets of the group. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I had chatting with both Gary and Mel wherever we were: on the bus, hiking, eating or playing cards. They brought us all together.
    Now, for the adventures! Every day was different from the day prior. I saw and experienced so many new things that I can't stop talking about it. I loved the really challenging hikes (Sealy Tarns and Alex Knob) and the slower paced treks through the rain forest and valleys. The night sky at Mt. Aspiring Hut is indescribable! While we were unable to go on the second overnight hike due to weather, Gary and Mel didn't miss a beat. We were so busy and had so much fun, even in the rain, that you would never have known that we were doing almost 3 days of alternate activities. Major kudos to them for this! I could keep going on how much I enjoyed every aspect of my trip. This was the first vacation I have been on where I didn't want it to end and it truly was the trip of a lifetime. I can't wait to book my next trip with Active Adventures!”
    Melissa Munno – California, United StatesAugust 2016
  • Thank You Active Adventures

    “Active Adventures' Winter Rimu trip allowed me to experience many things for the first time. Coming from an island of Guam, I was able to see something so different than what I normally see in my backyard. It was my first time to climb up to 1,100 meters. The climb was at Sealy Tarns which overlooked a lake, Mt. Cook village and most especially a fantastic view of Mt. Cook. It was my first time doing an overnight hike as well. We trekked through the scenic landscape towards Mt. Aspiring hut and was rewarded at night with an unspoilt sky of the Southern Hemisphere. It was so clear that we were able to see the Milky Way (another first). We also did a hike up Alex Knobb to get a good view of Franz Glacier and on the way up, we experienced so much elements in one day. We experienced hail and snow (both for the first time) and enjoyed some picturesque views the more higher we climbed.

    From the beginning of the trip, Lynette and Miriam were wonderful at helping to book my trip with Active Adventures. During the trip, Mel and Gary were so hospitable and helped make the trip memorable. Mel and Gary understood that we haven't hiked at this capacity or weren't seasoned hikers, yet they remained with us at the back and encouraged us every step of the way. They helped to show the true essence of New Zealand's natural beauty as well as the friendliness and hospitality of Kiwis. This trip has been amazing and thanks to Active Adventures, New Zealand has become my favorite place in the world.

    Thank you for the memories and for these experiences. <3”
    Analyn Palugod – GUAM, GuamJuly 2016
  • “The Winter Rimu Trip was an unbelievable experience. It was the perfect combination of exploration and relaxation. Not to mention the food was phenomenal!”
    Josh Moisand – Florida, United StatesJuly 2016
  • Above and beyond

    “We couldn't have been any more pleased with our Winter Rimu trip! We loved every part of the trip and were amazed at how Active Adventures thought of everything! Not to mention our amazing trip guides who went above and beyond in every way to make the trip that much more memorable. Definitely a trip we'd recommend!”
    Karen Vann – Texas, United StatesJune 2016
  • Winter Rimu

    “The trip was fantastic. Well thought out and organized but the real bonus was our guides. One of our party had some physical issues arise and The AA team was able to adapt in such a way that our companion was able to have great time even though he couldn't be all that active.”
    Dan Moisand – Florida, United StatesJune 2016
  • Trip of a Lifetime

    “This trip has been in the planning for over two years to celebrate my grandson's graduation.
    We spent three weeks in New Zealand, the last two with Active Adventures. The entire process of working with Active Adventures has been an unbelievable positive experience.
    The most amazing were our two guides Gary for the entire two weeks and Mel the last week.
    Their experience and knowledge was really impressive and their cooking was fantastic.
    I injured my knee the second day but Gary found alternative short hikes I could do and experience the amazing country of New Zealand.
    Words are not sufficient to express the splendor of the snow covered southern Alps or the
    beauty of kayaking on Milford Sound.
    Thank you Gary and Mel for making a fantastic trip the trip of a lifetime!”
    Kim Kimball – Florida, United StatesJune 2016
  • Winter Rimu - 2016

    “The Winter Rimu trip was a fantastic experience! The guides were professional, enthusiastic, knowledgable and made the trip so enjoyable. Even during some of the minor challenges we encountered, the unwavering positivity from the guides was incredible. What a beautiful trip, I will never forget it and can't wait to come back for another visit! Cheers!”
    Jacqueline Navarro – North Carolina, United StatesJune 2016
  • Great experience, Must do it once at least

    “It was my great pleasure having the chance to be a member of this tour in May 2016.
    It is way beyond my expectations, the guides:Jasmine and Elder were great guides and friends, they never hesitated to help any of us at any time.

    The program was well planned and organized, we were very lucky with the weather and I truly had an amazing life-changing experience.
    Trust me, it's worth it!”
    Ayman Aldeheshi – Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaJune 2016
  • “The Winter Rimu trip simultaneously hit all of the South Island highlights while making us feel like the original NZ backcountry trampers.”
    Pamela Kasenetz – DC, United StatesOctober 2015
  • The perfect escape

    “I loved escaping the daily grind of office life to explore beautiful New Zealand with Active Adventures! The country side was incredible, our guides DK & Kelsie were fantastic & so down to earth, and the hikes were as challenging as they were rewarding. A great trip for shaking yourself up a bit, meeting people from all walks of life and seeing some pretty amazing scenery.”
    Elle Glynn – Australian Capital Territory, AustraliaOctober 2015
  • Better than any of my expectations

    “My Winter Rimu trip was beyond incredible. It surpassed all my expectations and was definitely a trip of a lifetime (so much so that I cannot wait to experience it again). The itinerary was perfect, the scenery was spectacular, and the hikes were brilliant. But ever better than that, our guides were amazing. Mel is an absolute legend who not only knows the area, can hike better than anyone, but she can also cook like nobody I have ever met (I’m talking making a cheesecake in the middle of nowhere with little, to no supplies or equipment). Aaron may not always work for Active but he should. He was a wonderful driver and his knowledge of New Zealand and Maori history in particular added substance and depth to my New Zealand experience. I cannot recommend Active Adventures highly enough. If you are hesitating about joining one of their trips—don’t. Book it now you won’t regret it.”
    Megan Colville – Queensland, AustraliaOctober 2015
  • Best way to experience New Zealand

    “Fantastic trip, Active Adventures experience in doing these types of tours really shined through, from the pre trip preparations to the tour itself. Stayed in some fantastic locations and had the chance to do some great activities an hikes that can really cater for everyone, from the super fit to the causal hiker. Our guides Dan and Alex were fantastic and worked tirelessly throughout the trip to ensure the group had a great time and all needs were catered for. Would highly recommend the trip to anyone who wants to experience the south island and is up for an adventure.”
    Rob Walker – Western Australia, AustraliaOctober 2015
  • I'm living a natural adventure movie.

    “True, the Active Adventures New Zealand-Winter Rimu is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. I have never thought I would do unexpected journey with the finish tour guides and best friendship. I am lucky. I haven't just seen beautiful nature and wonderful weather, but I have learned a lot about New Zealand's extensive native forests. New Zealand's South Island showcases the purest natural landscapes. From its rugged coastlines to lush plains, the South Island has amazing views. Extra flavor to the trip was the fun activities. Such as ; Hiking & Hot camping, Horseback Riding, New Zealand Wine Tours and testing, Air Tours, Milford Sound, Scopa diving, Skiing, , and much more. I love to do it again and i advice all my friends and others out there to not miss New Zealand finest tours.”
    Nasir Huwaimil – , Saudi ArabiaSeptember 2015
  • Experience of a lifetime

    “Wow...what a fantastic trip. It was beyond my expectations. I have fallen in love with the South Island. The hikes were off the beaten track..creating unforgettable experiences. I loved every minute and would highly recommend the Winter Rimu trip. Our guides Dan and Alex were awesome...knowledgeable, encouraging and couldn't do enough for us.”
    Jane Chanders – New South Wales, AustraliaSeptember 2015
  • A well organized and enjoyable trip.

    “I thoroughly enjoyed the winter rimu trip. I was anxious about travelling in winter and by myself. The itinerary covered everything I needed to cope with the winter and guides did an excellent job of integrating the groups. Nick and Mel were excellent guides and extremely helpful and friendly. Accommodation was lovely throughout the trip as was the food Nick and Mel always provided an excellent spread and accommodated everyone needs.”
    Sean O Keeffe – Alberta, CanadaSeptember 2015
  • Trip of a lifetime indeed!!

    “Before I made the trip, I'd heard of New Zealand as a beautiful travel destination with adventure options galore. What I saw actually way exceeded my expectations! Coming from a crowded, populated, although a beautiful country (India), experiencing nature in isolation with our small group in the New Zealand winter was a mind blowing experience. The beautiful snow capped mountains and the lakes were a sight to behold. The night skies were the best I've ever seen. The hikes were well organised, and the stay was always comfortable. Our guides Nick and Melissa were thoroughly well informed, went out of their way to help us, and made sure that we enjoyed ourselves in the best possible manner. Lucky to have a wonderful group of people travelling along, made some good friends along the way. All in all definitely, the trip of a lifetime.”
    Apoorv Grover – Delhi, IndiaSeptember 2015
  • Awesome trip

    “Everything I expected and more”
    Andrew Yeh – Texas, United StatesSeptember 2015
  • Winter Rimu 2015

    “Winter Rimu exceeded all of my expectations. The scenery was spectacular, the hikes well planned, and our guides, Mel and Nick, were professional yet lots of fun!”
    Milli Wright – Hawaii, United StatesSeptember 2015
  • Does everything you want

    “The Winter Rimu trip is well organised and takes you everywhere you would want to go in the South Island if you like the outdoors. The guides take care of everything and are really nice friendly people. They take you on a variety of hikes from one day to three day and different terrain and difficulty levels. You get to explore the back country of New Zealand and go to some places that you wouldn't find on your own as well as the main tourist sites as well. The food and accommodation varies from hotel to outdoors hut and restaurant to sandwiches/trangia stew but good all round and they did their best to cater for my gluten free diet. It is expensive for what you get on the trip but it is an excellent trip and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to visit New Zealand and make the most of their trip.”
    Alisdair Denholm – Lancashire, United KingdomSeptember 2015
  • Better than I could've imagined!

    “The Rimu Trip was amazing from start to end! The landscape, the people, our guide! Everything was perfect! Had a blast and would totally do it again! And a shout out to the people organizing all of this in the office - THANKS FOR YOU HARD WORK!”
    Lindsay Tremblay – Quebec, CanadaSeptember 2015
  • Winter Rimu

    “Beautiful country, wonderful food and fantastic guides. Mel and Nick work extremely hard to make the trip as enjoyable as possible. Mel works magic in the kitchen and on the trail with her culinary skills.”
    Monte Harrison – Oklahoma, United StatesAugust 2015
  • Winter Rimu 2015 August

    “What a great way to see New Zealand! Mel and Nick are not only great guides, but wonderful people. The trip was amazing in so many different ways. Challenging when it should have been, relaxing when it needed to be, and fun overall. I can not wait for my next Active Adventures vacation.”
    Dana Rae Vessio – New York, United StatesAugust 2015
  • Best trip ever!

    “Aaron & Mel were amazing tour guides and I had the best time ever exploring the South Island with them. The views were unbelievable and the hikes were so much fun (even the Copland, but don't tell anyone I said that haha). The experiences and memories that I made on this trip were amazing and something that I will hold dear forever. It was a trip of a lifetime and there isn't a thing I wouldn't mind doing all over again!”
    Pua Chee – Hawaii, United StatesAugust 2015
  • Truly the trip of a lifetime!!

    “I honestly can't put into words how much fun this trip was. From the breathtaking scenery to our wonderful guides, Duck and Mel, it was an experience I will never forget. I would go back in a heartbeat!”
    Andy Johnson – Minnesota, United StatesAugust 2015
  • Winter Rimu 2015 July

    “This trip was so fabulous I just wanted to stay on the South Island and start all over again.”
    Charlie Jacobs – Maine, United StatesAugust 2015
  • Winter Rimu 2015 July

    “New Zealand is a magnificent place. Active Adventures has put together an amazing itinerary, perfect places to stay, wonderful food, impeccably organized travel with SUPER guides. Can't get any better than that!!!”
    Cindy Jacobs – Maine, United StatesAugust 2015
  • Great Tour of New Zealand with Gluten Allergy

    “The Winter Rimu trip was a great first time for me in NZ. As someone with Celiac, I was very happy that AA offered from the beginning and while on the trip to be so accommodating for my condition; it really took a load off not having to worry about it. Even while on the overnight trips I was provided for by the guides very well. The variety of activities was well balanced and the guides were very friendly. I'll be back to NZ for sure! Luke, USA”
    Lucas Hauck – , SingaporeAugust 2015
  • Best part of my trip!

    “Hello,

    The hiking adventure was by far the best part of my trip. The other hikers that joined we bonded immediately and that had to do with how comfortable and safe our guide Danny made us feel. The locations, accommodations, meals, and memories were all so fantastic. I could not be happier with the outcome of my trip. Only regret is that I did not stay for the other half :( If I had known how great of a time I was going to have I would have stayed for the entire trip.
    Thanks for everything.

    Lauren Lemieux”
    Lauren Lemieux – Alberta, CanadaAugust 2015
  • Winter Rimu

    “Great trip....beautiful country, hiking, kayaking, bungee, skydive, luge, horseback riding, skiing....all great. NZ is the only country I've visited that I've ever thought about emigrating. Aaron and Mel were fantastic.”
    Paul Kuo – Illinois, United StatesAugust 2015
  • Family Reunion

    “The guides made our trip. They knew the group and how hard to push/encourage each of us on the all day trek. They allowed the "youngsters" on the trip the freedom to forge ahead of the hikers who needed a slower pace. They were professional yet personal for the entire adventure. They really listened to each of us and surprised us with treats and incorporated activities based on random conversations among the group while traveling along on "Jean." Things like serving cold beer after our two days at Welcome Flat Hut felt like they were mind readers! Mel was so considerate of making sure dietary concerns were covered and the meals she prepared were presented as if in a 4 star restaurant in NY. We have many delicious memories! The friendships we made on our adventure are ones we will truly treasure. Whether we were trekking along the backcountry, playing cards in the hut, listening to Duck tell us a bed time story, or learning how to play rugby seaside, it was guaranteed that we spent most of the time laughing. We thank Mel and Duck for their patience, sense of humor, and mostly for their love of the stunningly beautiful country of New Zealand.”
    Kathy Looney – New Jersey, United StatesAugust 2015
  • Trip of a life time!

    “From the moment we were picked up by our guides (Mel & Duck) until they dropped us off, we were treated like family in their home, not just their homeland. From snow capped peaks and remote huts to rain forests and fiords, they went above and beyond to ensure that each day of our two weeks with them was truly the "trip of a lifetime."”
    Carole Johnson – Minnesota, United StatesAugust 2015
  • Fantastic trip of a life time

    “I didn't know what to expect on our Active trip. I've never done anything like it. I soon learned what an amazing country New Zealand is and what an amazing company Active Adventures is. The guides (Duck and Mel) were incredible. Their knowledge, kindness and skill were simply incredible.”
    Paul Johnson – Minnesota, United StatesJuly 2015
  • The perfect trip!

    “The Winter Rimu trip was truly incredible! From the crystal clear waters and amazing sites of Milford Sound to the relaxing hot pools at Welcome Flat Hut I believe I got a taste of heaven on Earth. A huge thanks to Duck and Mel for flawlessly leading us through the beautiful land of New Zealand!”
    Trudy Johnson – Minnesota, United StatesJuly 2015
  • Winter Rimu 2015

    “This trip couldn't have been better. It was the best trip I have ever had. The scenery was beyond spectacular and I achieved things I couldn't imagine I could do. Our guides Mel and Nick were exceptional.”
    Sarah Brickles – California, United StatesJuly 2015
  • Almost perfect

    “Great people, great scenery, great activities, good food, and fair weather... besides more sunny days, I couldn't have asked for anything else!”
    Kate Duch – Colorado, United StatesJuly 2015
  • NZ is magical and beyond!

    “”
    Katlyn Chaves – Massachusetts, United StatesJuly 2015
  • Winter Rimu Is Perfect Action Against Stunning Scenery

    “Active Adventure's guides did everything to make this a trip of a life time. They did mention, as we all realized, that they have no control over the weather. And did we get weather! Instead of the trip turning into a dull inside focused venture, our guides led us through several "Plan B's" which many of us agreed were probably more to our liking than the original plan! The best part...I never had to rearrange meals or lodging or transportation. Our guides and the home office took care of every detail behind the scenes to ensure that rain, shine, snow, or gale force winds didn't stop our group from having an unforgettably wonderful experience. The group size of 12 was great for fostering camaraderie and allowing each of us to find that person who was exactly our own active speed. The food was spectacular -- a nice variety of healthy options for main meals and snacks. I loved that within days, our guides knew our coffee or tea preferences and often greeted us in the morning with our beverage of choice. I only hope I can live up to our chef Mel's reputation as I return home to cook for my husband! The level of activity was doable for anyone in good fitness level. The guides make sure that the ultra-fitties got extra challenges to keep them engaged and they also encouraged anyone having a little more trouble to keep going. The result was that each of us was challenged and stretched at some point on the trip in some way. My highlight was the hike up the Copland Valley with our entire group retiring to the hot pools together at night to stare in awe at the silvery swath of the Milky Way. Breath-taking!!! To anyone thinking of taking this trip, don't let the winter part discourage you. Mostly the weather was beautiful for hiking without cooking under summer sun. But, definitely follow Active Adventure's packing guide. We packed exactly what was advised and had perfect gear to keep us warm and dry when the weather turned. "There's no bad weather, only bad gear." Thank you, Active Adventures, and guides Duck and Mel for truly making this a trip of a life time. My husband and I were able to enjoy a wonderful holiday with our young adult son before he heads off to university. I would absolutely recommend this trip and look forward to tramping with Active Adventures in the future.”
    Jane Kurtz – Kansas, United StatesJune 2015
  • Winter Rimu South Island

    “We faced some challenging weather, resulting in our trip's nickname: 'Plan B'. But honestly, some of our 'Plan B' activities were the best days of the trip! My personal favourite was the challenging Rocky Mountain trek and we were rewarded with amazing views on the descent.
    Our guides, Duck and Mel were really incredible; I couldn't praise them enough. They were both professional, caring and really motivating with great stories and full of support. Overall, the Winter Rimu was a wonderful trip and I'm already planning my next holiday with Active Adventures.”
    Caitlyn Buchanan – Queensland, AustraliaJune 2015
  • Best Way to See the South Island of NZ

    “Active Adventures and our guides Duck and Nick organized and operated one of my favorite vacations to date. Everything was first rate. When rain prevented us from crossing some rivers in the bus to make it to the trailhead of our first overnight hike, Plan B was already in the works and there was no noticeable delay in the itinerary. Accommodations and meals were booked and ready when we arrived. For the most part, food was excellent and the guides worked hard to cater to special dietary needs (we had 3 different ones in our group of 8). Coffee/tea and breakfast was ready every morning and I didn't have to wash a single dish for two weeks. Highly recommended.”
    Adrian Radtke – California, United StatesMay 2015
  • Winter Remu September 2014

    “The Winter Remu Trip was amazing. The South Island of New Zealand is absolutely beautiful and it was awesome to be able to travel to and experience as many things as we did in one trip. I couldn't of asked for a better tour guide (Cassie!) or a better group of fellow travelers! Because of them I was able to push myself and accomplish things I didn't think I was capable of! Loved it! This was a great experience for me!”
    Katie Maluso – New York, United StatesSeptember 2014
  • I Want To Go Back!

    “Going into this trip, I really didn't know what to expect since it was going to be with a very small group of people. I have to say that I was blown away and it was indeed the trip of a lifetime. Cassie, our tour leader, was amazing and extremely accommodating to the needs of the group. She actually fit in extra hikes that were not on the itinerary because we expressed interest in doing more. I feel that we got a comprehensive tour of the South Island, and I can't wait to go back to New Zealand.”
    Sudeep Paul – New York, United StatesSeptember 2014
  • The Spiritual Center of the Universe

    “This trip was first class, all the way! Hands down, there is no better way to experience the Kiwi culture, lands, and adventure. It was remarkable on a daily basis the level of planning, experience, and wisdom our guides led us with. In all seriousness, our expectations of what New Zealand would be like were blown away on a daily basis. Kiwi hospitality, attention to detail, and leadership from two world-class guides, Mel and DK, showed us the south island on a truly, truly, unforgettable journey. This was not a once in a lifetime trip, as that implies we won't be back. I am very grateful to have been able to experience part of the world in such epic fashion.”
    Kyle Detar – South Carolina, United StatesSeptember 2014
  • :)

    “The Winter Rimu trip was amazing!!! I'm so glad both our guides were kiwis - they had the accent, the lingo, and a lot of life experience knowledge about the culture and landscape of New Zealand. I was especially lucky because I signed up for the trip on my own and didn't know anyone before I got there - both guides were really outgoing and always seemed to have time to answer questions and chat.”
    Amber Kiffer – Utah, United StatesSeptember 2014
  • College sendoff

    “We wanted to do something special as a family before our only son left home for college. After friends recommended Active Adventures New Zealand, we looked into participating in the Winter Rimu. We couldn't have been more pleased with our choice. Our guides Dan and Sarah were warm, professional, and highly organized. Happily, our fellow travelers were engaging and easy to get along with. And of course New Zealand is a stunningly beautiful place to explore.”
    Lynne Robins – Washington, United StatesSeptember 2014
  • Winter Ramu 2014 was truly a trip of a lifetime

    “I highly recommend this trip as an ACTIVE adventure. We did lots of hiking, a VERY intense backpack, sea kayaking, biking, and lots of site seeing. The views are unbeatable, the food is delicious, and the guides are great. I really enjoyed being taken care of and not needing to help with the dishes and cooking. It made it so we could really relax and enjoy this vacation.”
    Katy Privon – Mississippi, United StatesAugust 2014
  • The BEST way to see the South Island!

    “The beauty of the South Island is well off the beaten path and needs to be seen with guides who know where to go. That's the reason we decided on this trip with Active Adventures. It was excellent-from the scenery to the food to the very helpful guides as well as the weather. It's not for the faint of heart but is for the adventurer who wants to see nature, snow capped peaks, have a few rugged hikes and make friends with your fellow trek members.”
    Chris Privon – Idaho, United StatesAugust 2014
  • Great Trip for Challenge seeking Trekkers

    “This trip offered unbeatable scenery and a great view of the South Island of New Zealand. The hikes offered a range of scenery from rain forest to glacial valleys to snow-capped mountains. The backpacks were a nice length, but be prepared to do a lot of stream crossing and scrambling over rocks. Milford Sound was beautiful from a kayak and the short walk to view the Franz Joseph Glacier was nice.”
    Keron Privon – Idaho, United StatesAugust 2014
  • New Zealand Trip: From Handbag to Outdoor Type!

    “We had an awesome experience with Active Adventures! My buddies and I hit the New Zealand countryside for our 40th birthdays, led by our trusty god-like Active guides Dan (D.K.) and Sarah. It was an amazing trip! D.K. and Sarah were superstars and made sure everything went as smoothly as a Lenny Kravitz song. They led us on some outstanding hikes, kayaking, mountain biking, late-night card playing, you name it. The food they prepped was mouthwatering good, and the ever-present milos and flat whites warm and cozy. The accommodations were great, and the pace of the trip was just right. The sites were incredible! I can highly recommend D.K., Sarah, and the rest of the Active team-- I would use them again in a heartbeat. They turned a bunch of handbags like us into full-on Outdoor Types. I give it a score of 5 moustaches and 2 wristbands! Loved our trip- I can't wait to visit N.Z. again!”
    Sasha Kauffman – California, United StatesAugust 2014
  • Fantastic time

    “My wife and I had a great time on the Winter Rimu. Both DK and Mel were really great, knowledgeable guides. The scenery we saw was just breathtaking. The trip was very well paced with the bush-bashing alternating with luxury. I wouldn't hesitate to do another trip with active!”
    Stuart Benson – New South Wales, AustraliaAugust 2014
  • Winter Rimu Jul 14

    “Awesome! Hiking through the valleys beneath clear blue skies & snow capped mountains was definitely a highlight. Not to mention our amazing guides DK & Mel who always cooked great food & shared interesting local/cultural knowledge wherever we were. Overall this was a fantastic experience & would definitely recommend this trip to others!”
    Matthew Hill – Queensland, AustraliaJuly 2014
  • A Delightful Journey

    “The July Winter Rimu trip with Dan & Mel was outstanding. These two were fantastic, it was a real delight being in their company. All the hikes were stunning and not too demanding and the weather was perfect. We certainly came home feeling enthusiastic and we would definitely look at another trip.”
    Eva Kelly – New South Wales, AustraliaJuly 2014
  • A great trip, even in the rain!

    “We are in our early 60s and were a little bit worried about the hikes. We wisely went on only the first 8 days of the Winter Rimu trip. We had a WONDERFUL time. The guides, Sarah and DK were fantastic: funny, helpful, warm, and really well-organized. We couldn't hike as fast as the rest of the group, but Sarah and DK made us feel like we were world-class trampers! The food was wonderful. The day we hiked in driving rain and 90-km wind, Sarah surprised us with a thermos of hot soup, which we ate in the shelter of a little hut. On our overnight, DK surprised us with two bottles of red wine to accompany Sarah's great pasta dinner, made without electricity or running water! It was a terrific experience that I will never forget. Thank you Sarah and DK and Active Adventures!”
    Carolyn Russell – Victoria, AustraliaJuly 2014
  • Winter Rimu

    “This was a great trip, but don't expect to stay on the itinerary. Due to weather, it changed many times over the course of the trip. Despite that, the guides always found fantastic places to hike and explore.”
    Robin Potter – Florida, United StatesJune 2014
  • Best trip ever

    “I knew it at the time and coming home hasn't changed my view that it was two of my favorite weeks on this planet. I think it was a combination of the wonderful scenic country of NZ, the well organized Active NZ, the activities, and last but not least the expertise of our guide Ken and the company of my fellow travelers. Every day was full of fun, laughter, adventure, good food, exercise, and great company. Who could ask for more? Ken as a guide is professional yet playful, knows how to challenge each individual, anticipates the needs of everyone, and is always available to answer questions or chat or share a laugh. We couldn't have been luckier than to have him as our guide. Active NZ is great value for the money and a definite for anyone looking for a combination of nature, adventure, exercise and fun. I can't wait to come back. Cheers.”
    Lani Clark – VI, Virgin Islands (U.S.)September 2013
  • A perfect trip to maybe the most beautiful place on earth!

    “I couldn't have been happier with my trip to New Zealand with Active Adventures! The country is absolutely amazing and the trip was well planned, organized, and had the perfect balance of activity, adventure, flexibility, free time, and local flavor. Our guide Ken was the best! He made the trip so much fun, accommodated all of our individual interests, and made adjustments as we went. This is one of my favorite trips that I've ever taken and will be recommending it to anyone who'll listen.”
    Coe Sherrard – Virginia, United StatesSeptember 2013
  • Fresh air and views galore!

    “I'm so glad I picked coming to New Zealand in the winter. The views and outdoor activities on the South Island were spectacular and the temperatures were perfect for being active outside. Our guide provided the best customer service I have experienced and was very knowledgeable and helpful in teaching us about the activities, areas, and wildlife.”
    Laura Nichols – , GuamSeptember 2013
  • As good as it gets

    “Shortly after returning to the States I said to my 19 year old son, "I think the Winter Rimu trip was as close to a perfect family trip as I could have imagined." He responded that he totally agreed. We loved every aspect of the our recent trip. The hiking was beautiful and was different every day. The kayaking and biking was also great fun. Our guides, Mike and Lauren, ensured that the trip met everyone in the group's expectations, keying in to every individual's needs and doing everything in their power to meet those needs. Thanks so much for everything.”
    Annie Hopfenbeck – Colorado, PeruSeptember 2013
  • Awesome Winter Rimu!

    “We had an amazing adventure on our Winter Rimu trip in July and will definitely be back to New Zealand. Our guides were Lauren and Jax and they were fabulous every single day. We were excited to see what each day would bring and we thoroughly enjoyed the entire trip. Every day brought a new adventure, either hiking somewhere incredible, or kayaking, or driving through scenery that blew your socks off. Lauren and Jax also adapted the trip when weather caused issues, or to make sure we saw as much as possible - more than the brochure promised! We loved our trip and would do it again in a heartbeat.”
    Emily Ricketts – California, United StatesAugust 2013
  • “My trip was fantastic! I didn't really know what to expect beforehand (not being used to travelling in groups) and was a little nervous, but everything was lovely. The guides were incredibly helpful and friendly, and made sure that everyone had fun, even when the weather didn't cooperate (which did happen, although very rarely). The places we went were absolutely breathtaking, and it was amazing to visit New Zealand at a time when there were so few people on the tracks.”
    Brandy Thoma – , United KingdomAugust 2013
  • Active Adventures New Zealand rocks!

    “Great food, beautiful country, wonderful guides! I would give this trip an A+!”
    Michele Taylor – Oregon, United StatesJuly 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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