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Adventure Holidays

New Zealand is an adventurer's paradise and whether you're a golfer, a surfer, a hunter, or a fisherman, you'll find tours geared specifically toward your needs. The variety is huge and covers most types of sports and adventures throughout the country.

Auckland-based New Zealand Surf 'n' Snow Tours (tel. 09/828-0426; www.newzealandsurftours.com) offers surf tours within the Auckland region, plus 5-and 12-day ultimate kiwi surfing experiences in Auckland and Northland, that give you an insight into New Zealand's beach and surf culture. In winter (July-Oct), they switch to snow tours of the mid-North Island ski fields.

Several companies cater to hunters and fishermen, but be forewarned: New Zealand has strict laws governing fishing and hunting licenses, so make sure you study those. Backcountry NZ, Christchurch (tel. 021/644-507; fax 03/308-2665; www.backcountry.co.nz), is a leading group with great guides that offers a wide range of fishing and hunting tours with stays in luxury accommodations, all set against a dramatic South Island mountain landscape.

If historic homesteads and beautiful gardens are of interest, you'll be hard-pressed to beat the 6- to 7-day South Island tours offered by Belinda McKenzie of Homestead Tours  (tel. 03/692-2824; www.homesteadtours.co.nz). Escorted by Belinda and members of her family, the tour visits many of the South Island's grandest, historic homesteads on farming stations that you would otherwise never be able to see.

For a 12-day autumn grand tour of New Zealand led by horticulturalist and designer Kevin Walsh, contact South Pacific Travellers' World (www.southpacifictravellers.co.nz). The tour starts in Auckland and travels south, arriving in Christchurch in time for the annual Ellerslie International Flower Show.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.