Tours included in this box involve taking part in one or other or, in extreme cases, all of the activities featured in this section. Although New Zealand is an easy place to explore independently, tours offer specialist insight, logistical help and company along the way.
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Hiking and wildlife
Active Earth activeearthnewzealand.com. Suitable for anyone who is reasonably fit and wants to see things few other tourists will. Good-humoured and informative guides take small groups tramping, climbing and wilderness camping in virtually untouched country from $920 for four nights.
Hiking New Zealand hikingnewzealand.com. Conservation-minded company offering everything from hiking trips around the far north of Northland (6 days; $995) to boat trips to NZ’s sub-Antarctic islands (9 days; $4082, plus US$250 landing fees).
Kiwi Wildlife Tours w kiwi-wildlife.co.nz. Upmarket small-group birding tours starting at around $300/person/day.
Kiwi Wildlife Walks w nzwalk.com. Expertly run guided walks including Stewart Island, where they go kiwi spotting (4 days; $1995).
Real Journeys w realjourneys.co.nz. Professionally run trips include an overnight cruise on the Fiordland Navigator, taking in Doubtful Sound (quad-share/double from $263/473), with on-board kayaks.
Ruggedy Range w ruggedyrange.com. Stewart Island-based company offering enthusiastic and entertaining trips visiting the unique wildlife (from 1 day, 1 night; $470).
Cycling, horse riding and kayaking
Adventure South w advsouth.co.nz. This environmentally conscious company runs guided cycling and multi-activity tours around the South Island, with accommodation in characterful lodges or track huts – for example, 21 days cycling (and walking) on the South Island ($9659). All tours carry a single supplement.
Alpine Horse Safaris, Waitohi Downs w alpinehorse.co.nz. Treks intended for serious riders, including food and accommodation, that follow old mining tracks well away from civilization, or at least roads (4 days; $1340).
Cycle Touring Company w cycletours.co.nz. Tailored self-led or guided tours of Northland, with several routes of 2–21 days, and the option to have your gear carried for you. Accommodation is in lodges and homestays (or a cheaper backpacker option). Prices start around $1607 for seven nights if you carry your gear.
New Zealand Sea Kayak Adventures w nzkayaktours.com. Fully catered Northland- and Bay of Islands-based guided sea kayak camping tours catering to a wide range of abilities, including a popular seven-day trip ($1225).
Pacific Cycle Tours w bike-nz.com. Mountain-bike, road-bike and hiking tours round both islands with varying degrees of adventurousness, including a five-day cycling and wine-tasting trip (from $835).
Pakiri Beach Horse riding w horseride-nz.co.nz. Highly professional multi-day tours through native bush and along clifftops including an epic coast-to-coast trip (7 days; $3999).
Pedaltours w pedaltours.co.nz. Guided road- and mountain-biking tours of both islands, including a week-long ride around the Nelson Lakes ($3150).