Journey to New Zealand. Discover magnificent fjords, ethereal glowworm caves, picturesque vineyards, meet the country's indigenous people and explore vibrant cities.
Duration: 12 days, 11 nights
Investment: $3699 per person double (will pair same gender roommates) Call for Solo supplement.
This National Geographic adventure will bring you greater exploration, insider access and the freedom to roam the beautiful country of New Zealand. Traveling by plane, train, van, boat and cable car, we will explore both the North and South islands. Exploring vibrant Auckland and action packed Queenstown, cruising in Fjordland National Park and visiting with the Tamaki Maori Village elder, this journey is packed with amazing experiences.
1. Catch a ferry to beautiful Waiheke Island, a haven of world-class vineyards and idyllic beaches
2. Visit Tamaki Maori Village and enjoy a private welcome ceremony; then sit down for an exclusive talk with a Maori elder
3. Discover the natural wonders of the Franz Josef Glacier, opt to take a helicopter for a hike or an interpretive walk along the glacier’s edge
4. Glide past waterfalls, watch for dolphins, seals and penguins on a cruise through Fjordland National Park
5. Opt for a bungy jump or thrilling jet boat ride or maybe a wine tasting in Queensland
Itinerary – March 6-17, 2022
Day 1 – Auckland
Arrive at any time.
Please make your own way to the joining hotel. Our guide will have a welcome meeting this evening.
Depending on your arrival time, explore Auckland on your own or opt to crew on a competitive yacht or visit Hobbiton Movie Set.
Day 2 – Auckland
Take an orientation walk in Auckland, one of the most multicultural cities in the Southern Hemisphere. We’ll then catch a ferry to beautiful Waiheke Island, a haven of world-class vineyards and idyllic beaches. Visit two wineries to learn about New Zealand’s burgeoning wine industry and the history of viticulture in the country while sampling some of the local blends.
Day 3 – Auckland/Rotorua
Drive to the lakeside town of Rotorua, situated over an active geothermal zone and known for its volcanic features and rich Maori heritage. Stop en route at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, and take a boat ride through this spectacular underground realm to see thousands of flickering glowworms light up in the dark.
Rotorua sits over an active geothermal zone with bubbling mud pits and multi-coloured pools in different areas around the town. This is a fascinating region with Maori history and culture tied directly to the geothermal aspects of the land.
Day 4 – Rotorua
Spend a free day in fascinating Rotorua. Opt to explore a geothermal park, walking past bubbling mud pits and multi-coloured pools, or go on a white-water rafting excursion. This evening, visit Tamaki Maori Village and enjoy a private welcome ceremony; then sit down for an exclusive talk with a Maori elder, learning about the community’s traditions, myths, and legends. Later, we’ll witness a captivating performance of Maori folklore while dining on an array of traditional foods prepared in a hangi, or underground oven.
Day 5 – Rotorua/Christchurch
Enjoy time at leisure this morning before catching a flight to Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island. Take some time to explore this small city on your own.
With free time in Rotorua this morning, opt to relax in one of the hot pools fed by water coming directly from the natural springs.
On arrival in Christchurch enjoy a brief walk to get a lay of the land.
Day 6 – Christchurch/Franz Josef
Board the TranzAlpine train—one of the world’s most scenic rail routes—for a breathtaking journey through verdant plains, beech forests, and majestic, misty mountains. Disembark at Arthur’s Pass—the highest pass in the Southern Alps—and continue on a private vehicle to a rainforest lodge near the town of Franz Josef, our home for the next two nights.
Day 7 – Franz Josef
Discover the natural wonders of the Franz Josef area on your own today. Opt to take a helicopter up to the stunning Franz Josef Glacier and hop out for an unforgettable hike on the jagged ice; embark on a guided interpretive walk that follows a riverbed along the glacier’s retreat; soak up in natural hot pools surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery; and more.
Day 8 – Franz Josef/Queenstown
Set out towards Queenstown on a drive along the South Island’s magnificent west coast. Stop at tranquil Lake Matheson, where, on a clear day, you can capture a postcard-perfect image of New Zealand’s highest peaks reflected in the water. Continue to Queenstown, pausing for short walks through the rainforest and visits to picturesque waterfalls.
Early start to travel to the picturesque Lake Matheson. When the weather is right, you can get a great photo of the Southern Alps reflected in the lake. Follow the wild West Coast Road, through the rainforest before stopping for some short walks and waterfall visits.
Day 9 – Queensland/Fiordland National Park
Discover the glacially carved wilderness of Fiordland National Park on a cruise. Glide past shimmering waterfalls and towering cliffs, and look out for bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, and little blue penguins with our naturalist guides. Depending on the season, we’ll spend the night onboard in comfortable cabins, enjoying time to relax on deck and watch the stars.
In the evening, enjoy a delicious three course buffet dinner prepared by our onboard chef and served in the dining saloon. Mingle with fellow travellers, savour some of the fine wines at our licensed bar (additional price) and if the skies are clear in the evening, spend some time on the upper deck gazing at the stars.
Please note: your accommodations onboard this vessel are private cabins with en-suite bathrooms. Amenities onboard include viewing decks, a dining saloon, a licensed bar and an observation lounge.
Day 10 – Fiordland National Park/Queenstown
Rise early for a wildlife viewing cruise along the pristine fjord. Then navigate back to Queenstown and spend the rest of the day at leisure in this fun-loving lakeside town, known as the adventure capital of the world.
Day 11 – Queenstown
The day is yours to explore Queenstown. Choose to go bungee jumping at the world’s first commercial bungee jumping site; Cruise lake Wakatipu on a historic steamer; experience a thrilling jet boat ride; or visit a local winery to sample the region’s award-winning vintages. This evening, enjoy a cable car ride to the top of Bob’s Peak for panoramic vistas of Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps.
Day 12 – Queenstown
Depart at any time.
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Pricing for this trip is 3699.00 per person based on double occupancy. Deposit $350 to hold your space.
Same gender solo travelers will be paired in rooms. If you prefer your own room, the cost is $1739 additional.
Final payment is due on January 1, 2022.
Assistance with international flight arrangements and extra days and optional tours will be provided if desired.
Cancellation policy and information:
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