New Zealand is world famous as a paradise for those who love the outdoors. The South Island is divided by a mountain range, the Southern Alps, which are responsible for the islands' unique climate zones that include high alpine and glaciers, lush rainforest, beech forests, and plains. On this adventure, you'll explore the mountains in Mount Cook National Park and Nelson Lakes National Park, hike the rainforests and coastlines of the West Coast, get up close to glaciers in Franz Josef, cycle the Alps to Ocean trail, paddle the Okarito Lagoon, cruise around Milford Sound, and so much more. Along the way, experience New Zealand's unique culture and wildlife in a mix of famous and lesser-known places on the South Island.
Maximum group size: 14
This trip is designed for women in very good physical condition who enjoy hiking and other activities and want to explore New Zealand. Hiking is generally 3 - 7 hours on dirt trails, rocky paths, and occasionally uneven footing. Please note that Day 3 includes an optional hike with over 3,000 feet elevation gain and is more typical for trips that are rated 4. The biking and kayaking are suitable for novices. A rating of 3 requires aerobic conditioning, such as walking vigorously up hills, jogging, cross country skiing or stair stepping for 30 - 45 minutes at least 3 - 4 times a week. For this trip you should be working out at the upper end of these ranges.
Rating: 1 2  4 5
NOTE: For this trip, emergency/evacuation/medical insurance is required. This insurance can be added as an option after you have chosen your base insurance, and before the final payment section. This insurance should cover medical and helicopter evacuations.
This trip is designed as an exploration of the natural beauty and diversity of New Zealand's landscape, mountains, and waterways. We will be hiking 2-7 hours a day along and in New Zealand's mountains, beaches, rainforests and forests of southern New Zealand. We will kayak in a lagoon. We will also bike along the Alps to Ocean Trail.
Most of our accommodations are locally owned small lodges or hotels, 2-bed rooms with private bathrooms. We'll also spend 1-2 nights in the in backcountry huts. These cozy huts will have bunk beds (platform-shared bunks with mattresses) with outside compostable toilets. There are no showers or hot water. The water supply is good for drinking and washing. Two nights will be at the Crown Plaza in Queenstown, a large modern hotel.
Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.
We saw lots of NZ’s South Island. Guides were organized, worked well together, and friendly. They were flexible and created easier activities for those who desired. Walking about daily felt great.
The itinerary is splendid and the scenery at all points was spectacular. Just what the doctor ordered after years of C0VID.
The trip was very well planned to allow us to thoroughly enjoy every moment. The guides were amazing and informative. The country is remarkably beautiful. I found myself smiling every day along the trail.
Easy going pace, more than excellent guides
Excellent, personable and well informed guides.
Fabulous hiking and views!
The country was beautiful and our two guides were excellent.
The activities, scenery and the people plus the guides were amazing fun to be around.
Whenever you thought it couldn't get any better, it did. Just spectacular.
Great location local guides were outstanding . Well planned trip with good overall feel of South Island
The Active Adventures guides were AMAZING! New Zealand is a pretty special place - truly spectacular landscape and culture. The people on the trip were super fun. The prep info from ACG was really helpful.
It was as described in the itinerary but for the last Sunday morning. That was a bit upsetting.
Great New Zealand leaders. Very accommodating and pleasant to travel with.
It was a wonderful trip! The guides Tess and Astrid were phenomenal.
The guides were great! We covered all of the highlights on the South Island. Plenty of exercise and great food.
The more AGC trips I go on, the more women I know who are on the trip and we begin to decide on next year’s trip. NZ was a surprise in terms of exceeding what I imagined in terms of beauty, range of options offered, interaction with excellent guides from Active Adventures on behalf of AGC.
I loved every day, every activity and all the new friends I met!
Location fabulous, well organized, great guides.
The wonderful hikes the positive guides and great women I met. (Scenery and Food)
The country itself plus excellent guides and perfect weather
Extremely well organized each day - yet as a participant, there was no feeling of being rushed. I'm amazed at the variety of different sties we were able to see in the short period of time available.
So many hikes...crossing the river...staying in the hut...biking...meals together... great people!
Loved the beauty of the South Island!! The mountains, lakes, rivers, and scenery exceeded my expectations! I thoroughly enjoyed the biking and kayaking and most of the hiking. The other women on the trip were the best - tremendous group of women!
Seeing a large part of the South Island.
Fording an icy rushing river linked to 3 other women! Biking 18 miles on one of the most beautifully scenic trails imaginable! Kayaking on calm waters in iconic Milford Sound! Having the most excellent Kiwi guides escort/cajole/feed us through their beautiful country!
Epic! Great balance of activities and remote locations only the locals would know about. Food, accomodations and service were top notch! All guides were just awesome!