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NEW ZEALAND

Land of Geysers and Greenstone

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Road Scholar
Program #3304RJ
27 Days | 26 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Discussion Board

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Mary Vallier-Kaplan Jan 22, 2015 at 04:21 PM

Regarding carry on bags, AirNZ website said that bag must weigh 15 lbs or less which is not very much. A friend of mine has a daughter who lives in NZ. She said they have never weighed her carry on bag on the flight over but when she was flown within NZ they have. Do you notice it was 80 degrees in Auckland this week????
Carl Benz Jan 23, 2015 at 12:12 PM

Good morning. 80 degrees sounds delightful, sez this SoCal boy. Regarding carry-on within NZ, you might want to contact RS travel, as they have arrangemenets with AIr NZ for this travel. Nevertheless, thank you for the heads-up, I will keep mindful of your advice.


Karin Salomon Jan 20, 2015 at 08:00 PM

I am glad I read the postings about a water proof jacket, I had been planning on taking the water resistant type. I am on the 2/4 trip arriving in LAX 4pm Delta-I'd better get out shopping! I have advised to take bug spray or repellant by a New Zealander, as the no-see-ums are deadly. After reading AirNZ baggage, we have to check our carryon bags? Do we know the fees? I didn't see it on the ANZ website.
David Owens Jan 20, 2015 at 08:47 PM

Karin, We just got our itinerary for this trip from RS (even though we're not leaving until November 11!). The itinerary was in the form of a link to "Check My Trip" by amadeus. In the details for each trip, they say "baggage info not available" -BUT if you expand the drop-down under 1st passenger name, it says "baggage info - https://bags.amadeus.com. There it says for New Zealand Air, Carry-On is one bag, free, 15 lbs max, 46.5 in max. 1st checked bag is free overseas flight, 20 NZD domestic legs. This sounds similar to our Qantas flight to Australia last year - carry-ons free and did not have to be checked. Haven't yet tried finding this info on the Air NZ site. BTW, this amadeus page says we leave LAX from "Terminal B" - but LAX doesn't have a "B" - just 1 through 8 plus the Tom Bradley International Terminal. I'm guessing that it's really TBIT we're leaving from.
Karin Salomon Jan 20, 2015 at 08:55 PM

Thanks David, I will do more investigation.
Carl Benz Jan 21, 2015 at 02:03 PM

The Feb 4th trip is leaving from the TBIT, and by calling RS, I discovered that we need to check-in to get our boarding pass. We are allowed one free checked bag, one carry-on and one "bag" that can go under your seat - - as David said. If you have any other questions, Air NZ is very helpful as is RS Travel. Karin, Thanks for the heads-up about "no-see-ums", I had not heard that. Good info!


Carl Benz Jan 16, 2015 at 12:42 PM

Hiking Poles - info you should know. I inquired from Air NZ about bringing collapsible hiking poles in carry-on luggage. That is not allowed, as they could be dangerous. They must be with checked-in luggage.


Carl Benz Jan 14, 2015 at 01:56 PM

Mary, thank you for your note. Regarding clothes, based on what I have learned from other NZ travelers, I agree with the comments already posted. I will bring one nice shirt for going out, and nice (black) jeans. I don not plan on bring anything dressier - trying to avoid bulk. Layers is the key, especially items that can dry quickly or wick moisture away from your body, in addition to t-shirts, etc. I'm also bring camping Zip-off pants as a second pair of pants that can convert to shorts -- for obvious reasons. My fleece will be one that has a nylon outside so it can serve as a wind breaker plus a backpacking rain jacket. I have some trail running shoes I will bring - I do have a bad ankle but based on what I have read so far, as long as I bring my ankle brace, I should be OK.
Thanks for the info regarding reading material. I am planning to buy and begin reading "Bone People", as it sounded intriguing. The idea of swapping books is great - however, as I am a slow reader, I dare not imply that I will have a book to share, unless of course I am reading "The Little Golden Book of New Zealand Wildlife." Looking forward to hearing more about those attending our Feb trip as well as from those experienced mates!
PS I am bringing small collapse-able hiking poles - - extra support for my ankle.


Mary Vallier-Kaplan Jan 13, 2015 at 11:51 AM

Hi Carl,

A friend and I from NH are on the Feb 4 tour. Next week I get down to some serious organizing! By the way I am bringing a paperback copy of The Bone People that I will pass on to others after the flight over! Learned about another great book that won the Booker Award - The Luminaries. Wondering about the variation in weather. Another friend was on the glacier in Jan 2014 and was glad to have wool socks, hat, gloves and a warmer jacket. Do I take a fleece for under my windbreaker says I? I did ask RS about need for light hikers and they said it wasn't necessary. We are coming into LA the day before given New England's weather delays in early Feb. Also means we can walk around between a 6 hour flight and a 13 hour flight!

Mary V-K
Charlotte Drayer Jan 13, 2015 at 04:11 PM

Mary, we took this trip last year in February. A fleece and windbreaker plus a real raincoat (not water resistant coat) plus a wide brimmed had with a chinstrap will be enough. The coldest place was taking the chairlift up the mountain at a ski slope, bu they have winter jackets you may borrow for that. The day we went to the Franz Josef Glacier was HOT. That is the day when a hiking stick would be helpful when you climb the morraine, a hill of loose rocks over ice and an informal switchback path. I guarantee that you'll want a real raincoat with a hood or a rainhat or umbrella in Wellington and Doubtful Sound unless you're far luckier than we were. The apparent wind of being on boats will make you grateful for your fleece and windbreaker. Don't forget sunscreen. You're smart to go to LA a day early. We had folk from the NE arrive a day late due to weather delays.
Mary Vallier-Kaplan Jan 13, 2015 at 05:30 PM

Thank you so much Charlotte for the reality based info. Do we need hiking boots? Any other suggestions about clothing? I'll be sure they add the "fleece" to the list of clothes you should bring on this trip.
Charlotte Drayer Jan 13, 2015 at 06:41 PM

If your ankles do better with hiking boots, then take them, but the only genuine hiking is the morraine at Franz Josef and I did fine with walking shoes with tread. Capris and long pants. I just took tees and had a light sweater and a fleece to layer under the windbreaker. My only packing mistakes were not packing a real raincoat (a nylon windbreaker will be drenched) and not having a chinstrap on my hat. I bought one. I rather wished I'd taken something a little dressier for the last dinner at the vineyard because several people did, but I don't pack single purpose clothes as a rule. You may want to buy greenstone, carved bone and/or paua shell jewelry or ornaments as gifts. I took home lots of Paua shell necklaces/pins/earrings/scarf clips as gifts. Greenstone is pricier. People who aren't allergic to wool will want to check out the merino/possum scarves and knit goods. Very soft. Mostly, you'll take photos. It's a "bucket list" trip!
David Owens Jan 14, 2015 at 10:18 AM

Mary, can you tell me what time the group leaves LAX for NZ? We're not going until next fall, but I'd like to know so we can plan our flights to LAX.
David Owens Jan 14, 2015 at 02:07 PM

Mary, never mind...got the answer from Carl.


Carl Benz Jan 09, 2015 at 04:02 PM

Hi, I'm Carl B. and I am going to NZ on Feb. 4th. I sure would like to hear from anyone else going on this upcoming trip :)
David Owens Jan 11, 2015 at 11:52 AM

Carl - The day we tried to sign up for the Feb 4 trip was the day it sold out! We did sign up for the next one (Nov 11). Question: Has RS told you your airline and departure time from LA? Will need to get tickets to LA before long, and don't know when we need to be there.
Carl Benz Jan 12, 2015 at 05:40 PM

Hi David, I had RS set up my flight. They notified me as to when the flight would likely be booked; then sent me a draft itinerary. If you asked RS to book your flight to NZ, and you have not yet heard from them, I suggest you call RS - they are very helpful and will refer you to their ticketing group. Good Luck
David Owens Jan 12, 2015 at 07:31 PM

I did ask RS to book my flight, but since it's not until next November, they won't be providing details for some time. But since you are going in just a few weeks, RS has already sent you an itinerary. Whatever is true for next month will probably be just the same for me - e.g., Air NZ flight NN leaving YY PM. Was just hoping to avoid having to call RS and listen to canned music for 20 minutes.
Carl Benz Jan 14, 2015 at 01:36 PM

HI David, sorry I missed understood your earlier request. My flight is with AIr New Zealand, and we leave LAX at 10:00 PM. I hope this helps.
David Owens Jan 14, 2015 at 02:05 PM

Carl, thanks! Hope you all have a good flight.


Linda Reid Sep 29, 2014 at 03:55 PM

For information on the genetic background of Kiwis see:
http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2014/08/29/the-genographic-project-reveals-the-ancient-ancestry-of-new-zealand/?utm_source=NatGeocom&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=geno_20140929&utm_campaign=Content
An excerpt:
"New Zealand: The world’s last settlements

How does New Zealand fit into the larger human family tree? New Zealand’s two islands were among the last discovered by humans just 800 years ago, and also one of the last places colonized by Europeans just 200 years ago."


Linda Reid Aug 09, 2014 at 06:30 PM

We're looking forward to this trip in February. I like historical fiction for background reading and have just read "The Colour" by Rose Tremaine, set during the time of the mid-19th century gold rush.
Linda Reid
Toronto, Canada

PS. Are there any other attendees who think that the country abbreviation is pronounced "En Zed"?
Charlotte Drayer Aug 09, 2014 at 09:53 PM

I hadn't heard that, but it makes sense. I had a South African student in third grade who was taught in English schools, and he pronounced "z" as "zed" and referred to a period at the end of a sentence as a "full stop". You will love this trip! It was our third RS trip and we were delighted. Take a wide brimmed hat with a chin strap. The sun is strong as is the apparent wind on the boat trips. You will probably need a real raincoat in Wellington and Doubtful Sound, not a "water resistant" coat. Pack layers. Have a GREAT time! I'd return in a heartbeat!


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Included
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24 nights of accommodations
68 meals: 24 breakfasts, 22 lunches, 22 dinners
10 Expert-led lectures
40 Field trips
2 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances
2 Flights during the program

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