Leading adventure tour operator, Active Adventures, mark a milestone as they celebrate 20 years of small group adventure tours. Established in the mid-90s, and originally known as Active New Zealand, the company started with one guide, one van and one Department of Conservation concession – to hike in the Nelson Lakes National Park. From these humble beginnings the 14-day ‘Rimu’ trip was born, as the first true multi-sport adventure tour in New Zealand, offering hiking, biking and kayaking around the South Island.
Today, Active Adventures offer plenty of different adventure tours throughout New Zealand as well as in South America and Nepal. Over all these years the original Ultimate South Island Adventure ‘Rimu’ still remains the signature trip, with 3662 completed surveys (and counting!) and a rating of 4.49 out of 5. The trip has been tweaked here and there with upgrades to the accommodation and some new activities added, but the basic ingredients remain the same – because it’s a recipe that works!
The highlight for many guests who join the ‘Rimu’ is the three day wilderness hike in the Nelson Lakes National Park. This stalwart portion of the signature adventure trip sees guests hiking off the beaten path on the Angelus Circuit, a true local’s favourite. It begins as a relatively gentle trail through beach forest alongside Lake Rotoiti to Lakehead Hut and then becomes more demanding as you ascend almost 1000 metres towards the ridgeline. Effort is rewarded with incredible scenery including alpine tarns and views of the majestic Southern Alps. Often the most challenging moments are also the most rewarding. The journey also packs in some well-known, must-see destinations such as Milford Sound in the Fiordland National Park, and the Mueller Ridge Hike in the Aoraki Mt Cook National Park. Needless to say, it’s an action-packed 14 days of adventure that leaves a lasting impression!
“Not A Lying In The Sun Waiting For a Pina Colada Vacation
The adventures on our exciting Rimu trip kept coming and coming. We knew we were in for a remarkable experience when we donned our backpacks and took to the wilderness for three days. Although the initial adventure was a true challenge, the fortitude and good cheer of our wonderful guides, plus their amazing patience, was motivating and inspiring. After the accomplishment of this hike in the Nelson Lakes National Park, we were up for anything! And on we went - up through rain forests, along mountain ridges, finding hidden lakes, kayaking lagoons, and winding our way around a beautiful lake on our mountain bikes. The group was spirited and cohesive - a mood that was created and reinforced by our guides. Thank you to Active Adventures New Zealand for constructing such a wonderful itinerary, thank you to our fabulous guides, Ken and Nick, who saved the day each day, thank you to our fellow travelers who helped make the trip so joyous, and thank you to New Zealand for being so incredibly gorgeous.”
- Karen Goldberg, ‘Rimu’, March 2014
As the original multi-sport tour in New Zealand, the ‘Rimu’ has had its fair share of media attention over the years, with mentions in publications such as the Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, Real Travel Adventures International, Globe and Mail Travel and Travel + Leisure.
Active Adventures continue to diversify with new trips, such as the 13-day New Zealand Biking Adventure ‘Weka’, but they don’t plan on removing the old favourites any time soon.
“Best trip I’ve been on
I lived in Germany for two years prior to visiting New Zealand, and in that time I was able to travel all throughout Europe and see many of the "most beautiful places in the world". However, I have never been to any country that was more beautiful or amazing than New Zealand. More than just the aesthetically pleasing aspects that New Zealand has to offer, but also the people, the food, and the general outlook on life is unlike any other place that I have ever experienced.”
- Tom Leland, ‘Rimu’, May 2014