A gay holiday adventure in New Zealand.

Active Travel in New Zealand

The bungy jump is this trip's most talked-about event.


Take the Alps of Switzerland and the glacier-carved fjords of Norway; the lakes of England and the dolphin-filled waters of Greece. Put them all together on a small island -- and you'll be amazed how much room is still left for sheep. That's New Zealand.

Now add a small, friendly, adventurous gay group and -- no, the sheep do not flee in terror -- please behave, if you're going to visit our website -- and, as we were saying, you have the ingredients of an unforgettable vacation.

On our Wild Kiwi adventure, you'll become a part of New Zealand's natural wonders as you try out the myriad sports and activities that this friendly country offers. New Zealand is scenic and exciting in any circumstances. When you're traveling with us, it gets even better.


  Golden Beaches  

Join other gay men and lesbians to kayak along the sandy beaches of New Zealand.We begin our holiday in Nelson, at the north end of the South Island. Nelson is the sunniest spot in all of New Zealand. On arrival day, we'll relax at the beach. The next day, more beaches, as we kayak in the sparkling waters of Abel Tasman Bay.

The next day, we drive through the wine region of Blenheim, with a vineyard tour and ample time to sample the wares over lunch. Then it's onto Kaikoura, a rugged peninsula where currents and the continental shelf create a rare combination of conditions that attract more marine mammals than any other spot on earth. Snorkel with dusty dolphins, then with seals.

Landlubbers can opt for a whale-watch, instead. And if you still have energy, there ares spectacular hiking trails along the cliffs at the end of the peninsula. Our favorite hike, which must be planned to coincide with low tides, goes around the peninsula in one direction at sea level, then returns along the top edge of the cliff.




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Canyoning near Lake Wanaka in New Zealand

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We also offer mountain biking holidays in Iceland with a gay group, and road biking in France and Italy.


  The Southern Alps  

Hiking on Fox Glacier, on New Zealand's South Island.After a night in Christchurch, we cross the Southern Alps, on a dramatic road through Arthurs Pass, where we'll stretch our legs and hike to an forest waterfall. Our destination: Fox Glacier, where we've scheduled an exciting day-long hike on one of New Zealand's two largest glaciers.

Strap on crampons and head up an icy ridge. Occasional cra-a-a-acks in the distance remind us that this glacier, like all others, is constantly moving and re-arranging itself. Ice caves and sculptures, tunnels, even rivers and lakes, can open up and disappear in a matter of days. An experienced guide keeps us out of trouble.

We're not done yet. We're at one of only two spots in the world where a rainforest and a glacier meet. The rainforest, too, merits some exploration. The next morning, before departing, early risers can catch the fabled rose hues of sunrise over Lake Mathesen.


  Lake Wanaka  

New Zealand boasts two mountain-lake towns that offer a wide range of outdoor sports: Wanaka and Queenstown. Our next stop is Wanaka, the less-known of the two.

The highlight of the trip, for many, could well be our canyoning day here. Slip into a wetsuit, and follow a tumbling river as it wends through a canyon. You'll zip down natural waterslides, hop into pools of water, and rappel through a waterfall before emerging at the other end.

Canyoning is not for everyone! Other Wanaka activities include rafting, panning for gold, paragliding, and hiking in the mountains. Or go mountain biking, Wanaka-style: Get driven to the top of the mountain, and coast down.


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Gay Life in New Zealand



  One long rubber band  

Now comes the most talked-about and anticipated part of the trip: The bungee jump. Not everyone has to do it, and part of the fun is guessing who will trust that rubber band, and who won't. There are always a few surprises.

Bungee jumps don't fit into our usual definition of "active sports" -- all your really have to do is fall off a bridge. But since we're at the bridge where this high-adrenaline activity got its start, it seems a shame not to give it a fling.

Moving from sensational to sublime, we spend a night on a boat in Milford Sound, a deep-carved fjord that Rudyard Kipling called "the eighth wonder of the world." Kayak under the shadow of Mitre Peak, rising a mile from the water, or just watch the seals at play.




  Queenstown Adventures  

Gay hikers explore the New Zealand coast around KaikouraWe end in Queenstown, rightly nicknamed the Adventure Capital of the World. You could try something new every day here for weeks. Those who developed a taste for canyoning can have an entirely different experience in a new canyon. Go whitewater rafting, hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, or rock climbing. Take a garden tour, sheep farm tour, or wine tour.

One high-energy choice merits a few words: Riversurfing, a sport that requires certain water conditions and won't often have an opportunity to try. Armed with just a paddleboard, helmet, and short fins, you'll plop into Class-III whitewater and follow the churning river past fields and cliffs, right under the bungee-jump bridge.



A gay holiday adventure in New Zealand.

  • Our overview of this holiday tour offers full travel details.
  • Or read more about Alyson Adventures, specializing in gay holidays and vacations.