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Booking your airline ticket to New Zealand

airline

Photo by money.cnn.com

Once upon a time, if you wanted to fly somewhere international and exciting, like New Zealand, you went down to your friendly main street travel agent, sat down, read a magazine, eventually met with the agent, and booked a ticket. Those days are gone. There are still a few decent agents out there - some examples are Down Under Answers in Seattle and Going Places in San Francisco - but in general, the best way to book your ticket is to do it directly with the airline, using their secure website facilities. Air New Zealand maintains an excellent, very useable website, and, crucially, they *often* have specials on their international flights. We also try to spread the word to people who've enquired about our trips in the past, when Air New Zealand has an especially good deal. The same deal applies for Continental Airlines, for their Houston-Auckland flight, and in fact you can book direct with just about any airline these days.

Before you do that, though, have a trawl though a couple of the more effective airfare consolidator websites, such as Expedia.com, Travelocity.com and Kayak.com, or if you’re in the UK, try www.skyscanner.net or Cheapflights.com. Sometimes you can get a better deal this way - other times, you'll just confirm that you're already getting a great deal with the airline.

On getting cheap tickets                           

Flying to New Zealand isn't usually particularly cheap. It's a low-volume, low-frequency route, so the kind of ultra cheap deals you see going to OTHER places, like Rome, Bangkok or whatever, are generally not available for New Zealand. But you never know! Our clients have often managed to get tickets to NZ from North America or Europe for around US$800, GBP£600, or €720 Euros. If you see a rate like this - grab it! It may not last. As with all airlines, if you leave it till the last minute to book, it'll usually - not always - cost quite a bit more.

Can I use my air points to get to New Zealand?

Yes you can use your Frequent Flyer points to get to New Zealand! All of the main US carriers have a 'code share' agreement with Air NZ or Qantas so check with your travel agent or frequent flier miles provider - and remember the sooner you get in the better, the FF seats are released 335 days prior to departure and people tell me there are only a few seats allocated for each flight, so good luck, and if you don’t have any luck the first time – try again the next day! Occasionally they release more than they let on.

What about business class, premium economy, and so on?

If you've got the bucks or the airpoints to upgrade, we highly recommend Air New Zealand's "business class". They call it business class - but it's not. It's easily the equal of any first class cabin in the world. You have a private "pod", which folds down to a 7 foot lie flat bed....a great menu, with very good quality New Zealand wines....and really, really good service. It's not cheap - but it's totally amazing. You won't want to get OFF the plane, when you arrive in New Zealand! Luckily if you’re coming on a trip with us the excellent service will continue :-).

airline tivck

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4983 reviews)

    Trip of a Lifetime!

    This was such an amazing trip! Our guides Ash and Astrid did a fantastic job. Everyday was met with amazing views and challenging activities like kayaking, biking and hiking. Two weeks felt like a month because we did so much in one day but there was still some down time to enjoy the beauty that is New Zealand. A must for anyone who wants to be active in New Zealand.
    Kilo Piedra Review Image
    – California, United States
    Rimu, March 2018
  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1887 reviews)

    Birthday we'll never forget

    We expected a great trip with where we were going, BUT Active Adventures guides (Michele and Rachael) made it that much more special. Their knowledge, expertise and storytelling abilities made it fun and engaging. Accommodations were better than anticipated, they were great.
    An absolute must for those thinking about this type of a trip.
    Liz Clapp Review Image
    – California, United States
    Tui, February 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4983 reviews)

    Exceeded Expectations

    In planning my trip to New Zealand I specifically signed on to the Rimu trip to achieve 3 goals: first to see as much of the South Island as possible in 2 weeks, second to get outdoors and get a feel for the environment and third to have fun with a group of people. My Rimu experience accomplished all three goals and then some. The mixture of driving, and daily activities was perfect. It allowed us to cover lots of terrain while getting us out and active every day. Our guides, Ben and Emma, were terrific. They were tireless workers who not only made us comfortable but created a positive group dynamic that helped bring complete strangers together into a cohesive group. Ben was great at sharing his knowledge of NZ culture and natural history. Emma was a fantastic cook who kept us well fed even at a hut at 1300 meters. Everything about the trip was well organized and well planned. Thank you for such a great experience.
    Tim Reed Review Image
    – Massachusetts, United States
    Rimu, January 2018
  •   4.48 out of 5 (from 297 reviews)

    Best Guides ever!!!

    We didn't have the best weather on this trip, but Nick and Elder were able to bring out the best in all of us. Their energy was boundless, their cooking was superb, and their humor and good natures made every day a pleasure.
    Sherry Malone Review Image
    – New Mexico, United States
    Weka 13-day, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4983 reviews)

    Rimu is Wonderful - A few tips if you plan to go...

    My husband and I took the Rimu trip in early November 2016 and had a really terrific time. I encourage everyone who is seriously considering the Rimu to go ahead and sign up. That being said, with all of the fun we had, I do wish we had known a few things ahead of time. I include these tips for you, the soon-to-be Rimu traveler, to make your trip more enjoyable. However, I can promise that even if you do none of these things, you will still have a marvelous time:

    1. Guys, if you opt to snorkel with the fur seals be sure to shave your mustache before you leave home. It seems obvious now, but it never occurred to my husband that the mask wouldn’t seal properly to his face with his mustache. Do yourself a favor and shave it off or spend the afternoon dealing with a leaky mask.

    2. I also wish I had known just how intense and challenging the 3-day multi-hike through Nelson Lakes would be. If you’re an office worker and occasional hiker like me, then I encourage you to take this trip but do lots of practice/fitness training in advance. Load up your pack and get on the stair-master or start climbing really steep hills. The hike is gorgeous and worth it, but I can promise you it will be a lot more enjoyable if you’re in good shape for it. Also, there are no showers at the huts and only latrines (port-a-potties) for toilets, so bring baby wipes for exactly the same reason you would use them on a baby (wink wink). And also bring hiking poles! I know it says optional on the gear list, but I really found them to be essential. As for the water bottle – leave that at home and invest in a good water bladder system (a “Camelback” or similar). We found the water bottle to be a hassle to take in and out of the bag (forcing us to stop each time), which made us want to drink less water. The water bladders allow you to keep moving and you’ll find you’re more hydrated.

    3. The sea kayaks (and, honestly, New Zealand in general) are not made for people over 6’ 2” in height (187 cm). Watch your head everywhere you go, and as for the kayaks, it may help to have the taller person sit in the front seat of the kayak instead of the back.

    4. Also, pack enough clothes for a week and then expect to do laundry. Bring some travel-sized laundry soap packets to help save money and make sure you have enough 1$ and 2$ coins for laundry before you get to the hotel (the machines are generally pretty expensive: about $3 for the washer and between $3 - $5 for 30 minutes in the dryer).

    5. Bring good cycling shorts – yes, the ones with the weird-feeling padding on the bum. It will help prevent the dreaded ‘grumpy grundle’.

    6. And finally, a heads-up to my fellow outgoing introverts (yes, we exist): this trip contains long days of social interaction (think 7:15 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.), with few breaks for introspection/solitude. If you need some down time, skip dinner or unfurl all of the emergency blankets and build your own fort at the back of the bus and hang a sign that says, “Stay Out!” (just kidding about that last one).

    A great big thank you to our guides, Rachel and Jordan, who were informative and helpful beyond measure. How they managed to remain cheerful and engaging considering they had to do all of the exertion we clients had to do, plus all of their work on top of it, is beyond me. They are the embodiment of Kiwi hospitality! We are already thinking of coming back for a North Island tour sometime soon.
    Lauren Gerth Review Image
    – Missouri, United States
    Rimu, November 2016

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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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