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New Zealand: An Odyssey Down Under

Program Number: 20135RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/3/2013 - 2/16/2013; 1/23/2015 - 2/4/2015; 2/6/2015 - 2/18/2015; 2/20/2015 - 3/4/2015; 3/6/2015 - 3/18/2015; 3/20/2015 - 4/1/2015; 4/3/2015 - 4/15/2015; 5/14/2015 - 5/26/2015; 5/21/2015 - 6/2/2015; 6/4/2015 - 6/16/2015; 9/11/2015 - 9/23/2015; 9/25/2015 - 10/7/2015; 10/9/2015 - 10/21/2015; 10/23/2015 - 11/4/2015; 11/6/2015 - 11/18/2015;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: New Zealand
Price starting at: $4,595.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 32; 11 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Absorb the beauty of “the land of the long white cloud,” as Aotearoa, the Maori name for New Zealand, is commonly translated. Delve into the story of this island nation’s indigenous Maori people. Examine the natural environments of both the North and South Islands: descend into a pristine volcanic valley, stand alongside bubbling mudpools and meet New Zealand’s national bird, the kiwi. Voyage through the majestic fjord of Milford Sound, sail the beautiful waters of Lake Wakatipu, enjoy stunning vistas of Queenstown and much more.




Highlights

• Learn from experts about New Zealand’s settlement by Maori and Europeans.
• Witness the eruptions of spectacular geysers in a volcanic park.
• Experience the magnificent Milford Sound.



Activity Particulars

Walking and standing for up to three hours per day on uneven terrain.



Extension Program 21740 "New Zealand's Capital" is designed specifically as an extension to this program. It rounds out your exploration of New Zealand perfectly with three nights in Wellington. Program # 16434 "An Odyssey Down Under: Australia and New Zealand" combines this program and extension with program 20134 "Australia: An Odyssey Down Under."




Date Specific Information

1-23-2015, 2-6-2015, 2-20-2015, 3-6-2015, 3-20-2015, 4-3-2015, 5-14-2015, 5-21-2015, 6-4-2015, 9-11-2015, 9-25-2015, 10-9-2015, 10-23-2015, 11-6-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Auckland, 3 nights; coach to Rotorua, 2 nights; fly to Christchurch, 2 nights; fly to Invercargill, coach to Te Anau, 1 night; coach to Queenstown, 2 nights; fly to Auckland and depart for the USA.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.



Overnight flight from the USA 1 night
Cross International Dateline
1 night
Arrival Auckland
3 nights

Be introduced to New Zealand history, including Maori and European settlement, through lectures and a guided visit to the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Enjoy a cruise on Auckland's gorgeous Waitemata Harbour and learn about the city’s volcanic geography on a field trip to Auckland's picturesque North Shore.



Coach to Rotorua 2 nights

En route to Rotorua visit the Waitomo Caves, famous for the beautiful light display provided by their glowworm inhabitants. Learn of the impact of the amazing geothermal activity in the region as you explore the Waimangu Volcanic Valley and cruise on Lake Rotomahana. Attend a Maori cultural performance and learn how the knowledge of Maori Arts and Crafts is being handed down to the youth of today.



Fly to Christchurch 2 nights

Visit a historic homestead in this most English of New Zealand's cities to learn of its planned settlement and how it came to be known as the garden city. Be entertained by the Te Puna Ora storyteller channelling two of the city's early inhabitants. Explore the city to learn of the devastation wrought by the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 and how this resilient region is recovering and planning for the future. Travel across Banks Peninsula to the French-inspired settlement of Akaroa and cruise on Akaroa Harbour to spot the area's unique wildlife including one of the world's smallest and rarest dolphins. Visit the International Antarctic Centre to learn of the city's historic links to Antarctica and understand why it is the gateway to the frozen continent for the New Zealand, United States and Italian Antarctic research programs.



Fly to Invercargill
Coach to Te Anau
1 night
Coach to Queenstown
2 nights
Fly to Auckland and depart for the USA.

Travel to New Zealand’s majestic Fiordland and explore the most famous fjord, Milford Sound, by boat — keep an eye out for seals, penguins and dolphins. In Queenstown, learn about the Wakatipu Basin and explore Lake Wakatipu on board a vintage coal-fired steamer. Visit a farm homestead across the lake to learn about New Zealand high-country farming and view a demonstration of dog control and sheep shearing. Ascend via cable car to the Skyline restaurant for a birds-eye view of this beautiful lake surrounded by the awesomely rugged Remarkables mountain range.






New Zealand

English explorer Captain James Cook put New Zealand on the map when he sailed around the coast on the Endeavour in 1769. He not only mapped the area during his three voyages around the coast, but named landmarks, many of which still exist today. Dubbed the “land of the long white cloud” by the early Polynesian settlers, New Zealand’s predominately mountainous terrain and large coastal plains make it the perfect place for adventurous outdoor activity.



Accommodations
Auckland: Hotel in central business district. Rotorua: Hotel with outdoor pool. Christchurch: Hotel in the centre of the city. Te Anau: Garden hotel on the shores of Lake Te Anau. Queenstown: Hotel on the shores of Lake Wakatipu.
Meals and Lodgings
   Mercure Auckland
  Auckland, New Zealand 3 nights
   Copthorne Hotel Rotorua
  Rotorua, New Zealand 2 nights
   Kingsgate Hotel Te Anau
  Te Anau, New Zealand 1 night
   Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview
  Queenstown, New Zealand 2 nights
   Copthorne Hotel Wellington, Oriental Bay
  Wellington, New Zealand 3 nights
 Mercure Auckland
Type: Hotel
  Description: Situated in the centre of Auckland and within walking distance to picturesque Waitemata Harbour.
  Contact info: 8 Customs Street
Auckland,  1010 New Zealand
phone: +64 -9-377-8920
web: www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-1721-mercure-auckland/index.shtml
  Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, refrigerator, iron/ironing board, Internet & PC connection and hairdryer.
  Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a laundry service, fitness facilities and safety deposit box facilities
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBA in Preparatory Material The Program Provider can arrange additional accommodation for participants arriving earlier or departing later than the group. A Request form will be included with the Preparatory Material, or participants can contact the Provider direct by email.

 Copthorne Hotel Rotorua
Type: Hotel
  Contact info: Fenton Street
Rotorua,  3010 New Zealand
phone: +64 -7-348-0199
web: www.millenniumhotels.co.nz/copthornerotorua/
  Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, refrigerator, iron/ironing board and hairdryer.
  Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a heated swimming pool, spa, sauna, tennis court, gymnasium, guest laundry and safety deposit box facilities.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Kingsgate Hotel Te Anau
Type: Hotel
  Description: Set amongst manicured gardens on the tranquil shores of Lake Te Anau.
  Contact info: 20 Lakefront Drive
Te Anau,  9600 New Zealand
phone: +64 -3-249-7421
web: www.millenniumhotels.co.nz/kingsgateteanau/index.html
  Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, refrigerator, hairdryer and electric blankets.
  Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a guest laundry, foreign exchange and safety deposit box facilities.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview is located within a 10 minute walk of the town centre and all rooms enjoy superb lake and mountain views.
  Contact info: 88 Frankton Road
Queenstown,  9300 New Zealand
phone: +64 -3-442-7950
web: www.millenniumhotels.co.nz/copthornequeenstownlakeview/index.html
  Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making facilities, television, telephone, refrigerator, iron/ironing board, electric blankets and hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a spa pool, guest laundry and safety deposit box facility.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Copthorne Hotel Wellington, Oriental Bay
Type: Hotel
  Description: The hotel has stunning views of Wellington's delightful harbour. It is located on the edge of Wellington's central business district and offers easy, flat walking access to many of the city's attractions including Te Papa Tongarewa: Museum of New Zealand.
  Contact info: 73 Roxburgh Street
Wellington,  6011 New Zealand
phone: +64 -4-385-0279
web: www.millenniumhotels.co.nz/copthorneorientalbay/index.html
  Room amenities: Room facilities include tea/coffee making, ISD telephone, television, refrigerator, ironing facilities and electric blankets (upon request).
  Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a heated swimming pool, cocktail bar, guest laundry facilities and a safety deposit box.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: TBA in Preparatory Material The Program Provider can arrange additional accommodation for participants arriving earlier or departing later than the group. A Request form will be included with the Preparatory Material, or participants can contact the Provider direct by email.


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Auckland, New Zealand You will be staying at Mercure Auckland that night.
  End of Program:
Wellington, New Zealand - includes a flight to Auckland to join your international flight to Los Angeles. You will be staying at Copthorne Hotel Wellington, Oriental Bay the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Passport only is required for New Zealand.
  Parking availability:
n/a
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Auckland
  Nearest airport:  Auckland International & Domestic Airports
  Transportation to site: Coach transfers are provided for the group at the beginning of the program, from the arrival airport to their accommodation. POP participants can join this transfer free of charge provided they are present when the transfer departs. Alternatively they can make their own arrangements and use the airport shuttle bus or taxi services at their own expense.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Wellington
  Nearest city or town:  NA
  Nearest highway: NA
  Nearest airport:  Wellington International and Domestic Airports
  Transportation from site: Coach transfers are provided for the group at the conclusion of the program, from their accommodation to the departure airport. POP participants can join this transfer free of charge provided they are present when the transfer departs. Alternatively they can make their own arrangements and use the airport shuttle bus or taxi services at their own expense.
Elevation Note: The highest elevation reached is the Homer Tunnel en route to the Milford Sound (NZ) at 3,100 feet.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departure
(Sunday, February 3)
   
 Evening: Depart the USA on overnight flight to New Zealand.

Day 2: In Flight
(Monday, February 4)
   
 In Transit: Cross International Dateline.

Day 3: Arrivals & Orientation / Orientation walk
(Tuesday, February 5)
   
 Arrive To: Arrival processing then coach to hotel to check in. Welcome, introductions & program overview followed by a lecture introducing participants to Auckland.
 Lunch: In the hotel's top-floor dining room with stunning views of Auckland Harbour and the central business district.
 Afternoon: Excursion: Guided orientation walk through city centre. Remainder of afternoon at leisure.
 Dinner: In the hotel's top-floor dining room with stunning views of Auckland Harbour and the central business district.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Mercure Auckland
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Introduction to New Zealand History / Harbour Cruise / City Orientation / Auckland Museum.
(Wednesday, February 6)
   
 Breakfast: In the hotel's top-floor dining room with stunning views of Auckland Harbour and the central business district.
 Morning: Lecture: Introduction to New Zealand History. Excursion: A yacht cruise on Auckland's magnificent Waitemata Harbour with views of the city and the surrounding volcanic cones. At the conclusion of the cruise we disembark at Auckland's maritime museum.
 Lunch: At Eden Garden surrounded by delightful gardens created in an abandoned quarry nearly 50 years ago.
 Afternoon: Field Trip: Orientation to Auckland city. Field Trip: Guided tour of Auckland War Memorial Museum.
 Dinner: Own arrangements - a chance to sample Auckland's cuisine at your leisure. The Viaduct Basin, formerly the home of the America’s Cup, has a variety of cafes and restaurants a short walk from the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Mercure Auckland
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Auckland's Geology / Explore the North Coast
(Thursday, February 7)
   
 Breakfast: In the hotel's top-floor dining room with stunning views of Auckland Harbour and the central business district.
 Morning: Lecture: Geology of Auckland and its varied coastlines. Field Trip: Exploring Auckland's northern coastline to understand the variety of its coastal environment.
 Lunch: At local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Field Trip: Exploring Auckland's northern coastline continued.
 Dinner: In the hotel's top-floor dining room with stunning views of Auckland Harbour and the central business district.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Mercure Auckland
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Waitomo Glow-Worm Caves / Coach to Rotorua / City Orientation
(Friday, February 8)
   
 Breakfast: In the hotel's top-floor dining room with stunning views of Auckland Harbour and the central business district.
 Morning: Coach transfer to Waitomo through Waikato's rolling green countryside.
 Lunch: At a local orchard cafe in Waitomo.
 Afternoon: Field Trip: Guided tour of the internationally-recognised Waitomo glowworm caves. Coach to Rotorua. Field Trip: Orientation to Rotorua.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Copthorne Hotel Rotorua
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Waimangu Volcanic Valley / Maori Arts and Crafts / Kiwi House / Whakarewarewa Thermal Area / Maori Cultural Evening
(Saturday, February 9)
   
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: Field Trip/Class: Waimangu Volcanic Valley: volcanic New Zealand. Waimangu Volcanic Valley is the only geothermal system in the world wholly created as the direct result of a volcanic eruption - the Tarawera Eruption of 10 June 1886. Walk through this amazing volcanic landscape serenaded by the songs of the local native birdlife. Cruise on Lake Rotomohana, also formed as a result of the 1886 eruption.
 Lunch: At local restaurant beside Rotorua's Government Gardens.
 Afternoon: Field Trip/Class: Te Puia (Arts & Crafts Institute). Visit the Kiwi House to meet New Zealand's national symbol - the flightless kiwi; view the Whakarewarewa thermal area, boiling mudpools & pohutu geyser; partake in a Maori cultural performance.
 Dinner: Experience a hangi - the traditional Maori method of cooking food in the ground - at a Marae.
 Evening: Enrichment Activity: Maori Cultural Evening.
   
Accommodations: Copthorne Hotel Rotorua
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Flight to Invercargill then coach to Te Anau / Course Overview / Ata Whenua Shadowland - Fiordland on Film
(Sunday, February 10)
   
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: Coach to Rotorua Domestic Airport for flight to Invercargill.
 Lunch: At local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Coach to Te Anau with course overview and introduction to the Southern Lakes en route. Coach to Ata Whenua Shadowland - Fiordland on Film.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Kingsgate Hotel Te Anau
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Cruise on stunning Milford Sound / Coach to Queenstown
(Monday, February 11)
   
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: Field Trip/Class: Travel around the side of Lake Te Anau and through New Zealand's highest tunnel, the Homer Tunnel (where you may well meet a cheeky kea or two), en route to majestic Milford Sound. Cruise on Milford Sound, one of Fiordland's most picturesque fiords, where mountains stand tall right out of the sea and rainforest clings to sheer rock faces.
 Lunch: On board cruise
 Afternoon: Coach to Queenstown.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Lake Wakatipu Cruise including Walter Peak Sheep Station / Southland in Perspective / Gondola to Skyline Restaurant overlooking Queenstown's stunning natural beauty
(Tuesday, February 12)
   
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: Field Trip: Cruise on Lake Wakatipu on board the historic steamer TSS Earnslaw. Excursion: Visit Walter Peak High Country Farm for a guided tour and an insight into New Zealand farmers' working dogs.
 Lunch: At Walter Peak Homestead.
 Afternoon: Continue Field Trip: Cruise on Lake Wakatipu. Lecture: Southland in Perspective. Gondola to Skyline Restaurant on top of Bob's Peak for dinner overlooking Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables.
 Dinner: At Skyline Restaurant.
 Evening: Gondola to coach, then return to hotel. Remainder of evening at leisure.
   
Accommodations: Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Flight to Wellington / Orientation to Wellington / City Lights
(Wednesday, February 13)
   
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: Coach to Queenstown Domestic Airport for flight to Wellington via Christchurch. Coach to Wellington accommodation.
 Lunch: In the hotel.
 Afternoon: Field Trip/Class: Orientation to Wellington, New Zealand's capital - cable car, botanic gardens, Boulton Street Memorials, Premier House.
 Dinner: At accommodation.
 Evening: Wellington city lights tour.
   
Accommodations: Copthorne Hotel Wellington, Oriental Bay
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Zealandia Native Sanctuary / Brooklyn Wind Turbine / Te Papa Tongarewa: Museum of New Zealand
(Thursday, February 14)
   
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: Field Trip/Class: Zealandia native sanctuary - New Zealand as it once was. Excursion: Brooklyn Wind Turbine - stunning views over Wellington and across Cook Strait to the South Island.
 Lunch: At accommodation.
 Afternoon: Field Trip/Class: Walk to Te Papa Tongarewa: Museum of New Zealand. Lecture/guided program followed by free time for self-exploration. Remainder of afternoon free.
 Dinner: At accommodation.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Copthorne Hotel Wellington, Oriental Bay
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: New Zealand Politics & Public Life / New Zealand Parliament House / New Zealand's Supreme Court
(Friday, February 15)
   
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: Lecture: New Zealand Politics & Public Life. Field Trip/Class: New Zealand's Parliament. Excursion: Old St Paul's Church.
 Lunch: At local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Field Trip/Class New Zealand's Supreme Court.
 Dinner: At own arrangements to sample the many fine restaurants, cafes and bars Wellington has to offer.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Copthorne Hotel Wellington, Oriental Bay
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 14: Wellington's fascinating coastline / Flight to Auckland to connect with international flight to Los Angeles
(Saturday, February 16)
   
 Breakfast: In the hotel.
 Morning: Field Trip/Class: Wellington's fascinating coastline - how tectonic forces have shaped the New Zealand capital.
 Lunch: At accommodation.
 Afternoon: Coach to Wellington Airport for flight to Auckland.
 Dinner: At own arrangements at the airport.
 Evening: International flight to Los Angeles.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Traveler’s History of New Zealand and the South Pacific


Author: John Chambers


Description: A concise, generous overview of the region, organized chronologically, and including line drawings and maps. While a great deal of the book focuses on New Zealand, there is also ample coverage of the South Pacific.



Captain James Cook


Author: Richard Hough


Description: A vividly written narrative of the life and three great voyages of Captain Cook. This fine book includes a gripping account of his discoveries throughout the Pacific and his demise in the Sandwich Islands.



Cultural Atlas of Australia, New Zealand & the South Pacific


Author: Richard Nile & Christian Clerk


Description: This handsome volume weaves together history, geography, archaeology, and the arts, covering the Australasian region from prehistory up to the founding of the modern nations. Features hundreds of illustrations.



Eyewitness Guide New Zealand


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: This superb illustrated guide to New Zealand from the Eyewitness series features color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country's attractions. Handsome, convenient and up-to-date, this is the guide to carry.



Great Southern Landings: An Anthology of Antipodean Travel


Author: Jan Bassett


Description: This eclectic and quirky anthology collects nearly 100 excerpts from various writers who have left their impressions of actual visits to the Antipodes in books and journals, while others, travelling only in their minds, left accounts of imaginary voyages to distant utopias. The contributors include Jonathan Swift, Jules Verne, Joseph Conrad, Kenneth Clark, Charles Darwin, Robin Hanbury-Tenison, Herbert Hoover, Anthony Eden, Anthony Trollope, Mark Twain, Bruce Chatwin, Jan Morris, Harold Larwood, Germaine Greer, and Peter Conrad. A helpful introduction is given to each extract and author.



Hand Guide to the Birds of New Zealand


Author: Barrie Heather, Hugh Robertson & Derek Onley


Description: A compact edition of the classic field guide to the birds of New Zealand, featuring 74 color plates. Brief descriptions, range maps and illustrations are integrated on facing pages for easy reference.



In A Sunburned Country


Author: Bill Bryson


Description: Bill revels in Australia's eccentric characters, dangerous flora and fauna, and other oddities. As has become his custom, he effortlessly imparts much fact-filled history in this wildly funny book. Included at the end is a short bibliography.



New Zealand: A Natural History


Author: Tui De Roy & Mark Jones


Description: The authors, both naturalists and photographers, present the wildlife, habitats and splendor of their adopted homeland in this pictorial celebration.



The Bone People


Author: Keri Hulme


Description: Set in modern-day South Island, this lyrical novel brings together three troubled individuals who represent New Zealand’s varied Maori and European traditions. (Winner of the Booker Prize)



Whale Rider


Author: Witi Ihimaera


Description: A magical, mythical novella about a young Maori girl and her relationship with a whale, that ultimately saves her village. Based loosely on Ihimaera’s youth in a Maori village.





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