Christmas on the Milford Track for Clients Hiking New Zealand with Active Adventures is Just Icing on the Cake

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While it seems the rest of the world rushes around frantically to prepare for Christmas, eleven clients on Active Adventure New Zealand’s 14-day Milford Hiking Quest, known as “The Manuka” trip, are enjoying the trip of a lifetime far away from the maddening crowds. On Christmas Day, nine of them will be hiking the Milford Track Guided Walk, New Zealand’s most famous trek, and one couple will be waking up in remote Doubtful Sound on an overnight cruise.

Milford Track, New Zealand

Hiking the Milford Track

"Each part of my journey held its own unique beauty and my amazement at being awed day after day is something I will cherish for a lifetime," said Claudia Wish (of Carson City, Nevada) of her Active Adventures “Manuka” trip in November.

Leading adventure tour operator, Active Adventures New Zealand, report that this is their busiest time of year with more than a hundred clients hiking New Zealand on their New Zealand South Island tours during this holiday season. Some on their Milford Hiking Quest, known as “The Manuka” tour, will be hiking the Milford Track Guided Walk, New Zealand’s most famous trek, on Christmas Day.

“We have travelers from all over the world who specifically come to do the Milford Track, and the ‘Manuka’ trip is perfect if they want the rest of their time in New Zealand to be just as amazing!” say Matty Yates, a New Zealand destination expert at Active Adventures.

The 14-day “Manuka” is a small group hiking adventure with a strong focus on New Zealand’s natural history, designed for those who appreciate creature comforts and a high level of service as well as occasionally getting off the beaten track. Participants hike on most days, from lush rainforest on the West Coast to the snow-capped mountains of Mt. Aspiring. At the time of booking, clients have a choice of multi-day options: hiking the 5-day Milford Track Guided Walk in its entirety or walking part of it on the Active Great Walks Discovery that includes day hikes on three of the Great Walks and an overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound.

The Milford Track is one of the longest established and best-known walking tracks in the country. It starts on the eastern shore of Lake Te Anau and crosses McKinnon Pass to Milford Sound, taking in glacial peaks, a mountain pass, New Zealand’s highest waterfall and the dense rainforest of the West Coast. Hikers enjoy four days of exercise and great scenery as they walk from Lake Te Anau to Milford Sound. Everything is provided, including excellent meals at the mountain lodges, hot showers, bedding, specialist Milford Track guides, and even hairdryers in the bunk rooms at the mountain lodges (with upgrades to private rooms upon request). By the end of the 33 miles (53 km), hikers see why Rudyard Kipling referred to Milford Sound as the 8th Natural Wonder of the World.

For those who have chosen the Active Great Walks Discovery option on the “Manuka”, they’ll experience the diversity and grandeur of Fiordland National Park accompanied by their Active Adventures guide. They start with a memorable hike up Ben Lomond for incredible views of Queenstown, explore Lake Marian and Humboldt Falls along the Hollyford Valley, then visit Milford Sound and do day walks on the Milford, Routeburn and Kepler Tracks (all Great Walks within Fiordland National Park) before finishing with a stunning cruise on Doubtful Sound. Either way, it’ll be a Christmas to remember!

“The Manuka trip is the most marvellous adventure that enables you to see and do so much while exploring the southern island of New Zealand. At the end of each part of my trip, I thought nothing could be better than what I just did and saw, but I would always be surprised. Each part of my journey held its own unique beauty and my amazement at being awed day after day is something I will cherish for a lifetime. Thanks for the chance to fall in love with New Zealand, your magnificent country!” wrote Claudia Wish (of Carson City, Nevada) of her “Manuka” trip in November.

About Active New Zealand:
Active Adventures New Zealand is a New Zealand-based tour operator specializing in bucket list travel and small group adventures with unsurpassed personal service and attention to detail. In addition to New Zealand tours, they also run multi-activity tours in Peru, Patagonia, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands (as Active Adventures South America), as well as trekking tours in Nepal as Active Adventures Himalayas. Call Matthew or Jodi to discuss trips to New Zealand or to request a brochure on 800.661.9073 (it’s free!).

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Brett Black
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