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NZ Travel Guide

How to Get To, From and Around NZ!

Flying to New Zealand

New Zealand is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and although the original Maori settlers arrived in canoes, most people choose to get to New Zealand by jet plane these days! The new era of international aviation was ushered in with the first flight to New Zealand from Australia by Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm in September 1928, but the most famous (in NZ) was Guy Menzies' unauthorised solo flight from Sydney to Hari Hari in 1931. He had logged a flight plan to Melbourne, but snuck across the Tasman Ocean instead, though with a rather un-graceful crash landing in a swamp - most people will experience a far smoother landing on their international flight into New Zealand! On that subject, we've written a guide to surviving a long-haul flight which you might want to take a look at.

heli nz

Getting Around New Zealand

Well, naturally we reckon that the best way to get around is to join one of our New Zealand tours! This way you'll get to see the very best of our country, hassle free, with the locals and without having to dip into your wallet every five minutes! Now that we've got that out of the way, generally speaking, the main method of transport is via internal flights, buses, and cars. There are limited rail links, though some of these are more tourist-oriented and very spectacular, such as the Trans-Alpine from Christchurch to Greymouth on the South Island. For some visitors, the preferred mode of transport is the campervan (known locally as mobile road blocks). Campervans vary hugely in size and facilities, from American RV-style monstrosities to highly-decorated VW Combi-style converted vans that are popular with the backpacker crowd. It's also possible to rent a car in major centres and the more popular tourist towns - just remember to stay on the left hand side of the road! .

And for the more fancy-free traveller, cycle-touring is a popular method of travel - you will often see heavily-laden cyclists pedalling their way around the countryside - and hitch-hiking is probably the cheapest way to get around New Zealand. If cycle-touring is your thing, but 'heavily-laden' sounds ominous, then you may want to check out our New Zealand Biking Adventure 'Weka' trip. 


getting around nz

Trip Reviews

  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1882 reviews)

    Tui Adventure

    This trip was all I had hoped for and then some. I expected beautiful scenery and exciting activities, but I did not expect the personal touch from our guides. One of the group members mentioned chips and salsa... that night we had chips and salsa to go with our appetizers. They knew I love birds, so I was introduced to every bird possible - along with descriptions of the birds’ personalities and habits. There seemed to be no end to Dani and Emma’s knowledge about New Zealand and that made a huge impact on our trip! We all felt like family by the end of the week, and for a person traveling alone, that is a wonderful gift!
    Janet Slover Review Image
    – Texas, United States
    Tui, March 2018
  •   4.64 out of 5 (from 565 reviews)

    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 Review Image
    – GUAM, Guam
    Winter Rimu, August 2016
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4979 reviews)

    2017 Oct/Nov Rimu

    My 2017 Rimu trip was fantastic! Somehow our fabulous guides Ben and Emma arranged for clear sunny skies, a great mix of travelers, and an all around fun time. Seriously though, our group of 10/11 (we had a late addition) got along well from day 1 - we learned about each other's backgrounds, played cards and dice games, and shared bottles of wine. Ben and Emma worked tirelessly to make sure our travels were smooth - often 16+ hour days for them. Emma cooked wonderful meals for us and made sure everyone's dietary requests were met. Ben drove Whina (our bus) so well for so many hours to get us to our destinations - we'll never forget the tunnel! And they both were great guides on the hikes. Thanks for all the wonderful memories!
    Jeanne Stallings Review Image
    – North Carolina, United States
    Rimu, December 2017
  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1882 reviews)

    Graduation gift of a lifetime

    As a recent college graduate, the one thing I wanted to do was travel. I was completely unfamiliar with New Zealand, and my parents wanted to ensure I was safe and could know where I was going each day. Active Adventures was a great way to have the time of my life while being safe. Our group ranged in activity levels, but Andy and Jo made sure we all were comfortable while encouraging us every step of the way. From my initial call with the Active team, to booking, and eventually the trip, I did not have a single problem and had the experience of a lifetime! Thanks Mom and Dad, and thank you Active Adventures!
    Sara Elwell Review Image
    – Pennsylvania, United States
    Tui, February 2017
  •   4.70 out of 5 (from 266 reviews)

    Review of the Kiwi trip

    I chose to visit NZ with Active Adventures because I wanted to experience the South Island from tip to toe in an active fashion. The trip was exactly what I wanted. I loved hiking and kayaking, enjoyed visiting the towns and was swept away by the scenery. I learned a lot about the country's history, geology and mythology from my two guides. And I had fun.
    Barbara Delaney Review Image
    – Maryland, United States
    Kiwi, March 2017



Why travel with Active Adventures?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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