Road Scholar : Home
Biking New Zealand’s South Island

Program Number: 20754RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/11/2014 - 11/27/2014;
Duration: 16 nights
Location: New Zealand
Price starting at: $5,858.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Bicycling Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 41; 14 Breakfasts, 15 Lunches, 12 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Coastal roads with gigantic panoramic views, stunning snow-capped alps and quiet country lanes — for bike-lovers who want to learn about nature in all its grandeur, there’s no better destination than the South Island of New Zealand. Join us on an epic two-week learning adventure by bike, as you pedal some of the world’s most breathtaking routes, and meet with environmentalists, farmers, mountaineers and local characters who tell the real story of their little corner of paradise.




Highlights

• Cycle the world-famous Central Otago Rail Trail and learn about New Zealand’s gold rush history.
• Visit the Orokonui Ecosanctuary — the only cloud forest in New Zealand.
• Take a study cruise on Lake Wakatipu aboard the historic steamer TSS "Earnslaw."



Activity Particulars

Biking up to 30 miles per day over varied terrain.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Christchurch, 2 nights; Lake Tekapo, 1 night; Twizel, 1 night; Kurow, 1 night; Oamaru, 1 night; Dunedin, 2 nights; Hyde, 1 night; Wedderburn, 1 night; Omakau, 1 night; Clyde, 1 night; Queenstown, 2 nights; departure.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Cross International Dateline
1 night
Arrival Christchurch
2 nights
Coach and bike to Lake Tekapo
1 night
Coach and bike to Twizel
1 night

Begin your adventure with an introduction to New Zealand’s South Island geology and natural history at Lincoln University. Then hop on your bikes for a ride down the Little River Rail Trail alongside Lake Ellesmere, offering magnificent views of volcanic hills and prolific birdlife. Then relax and enjoy a wine-tasting and dinner at a winery. Cycle along Lake Tekapo with the stunning Southern Alps in the background. Visit the Mount John Observatory to learn about the stars of the southern sky and the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre to learn about local mountaineering history.



Coach and bike to Kurow
1 night
Coach and bike to Oamaru
1 night
Coach and bike Dunedin
2 nights
Train and bike to Hyde
1 night

Cycle quiet rural roads and be surrounded by the amazing colors of the Mackenzie Basin. At the Department of Conservation's Black Stilt Recovery Centre, learn about the world's rarest wading bird. Visit the Orokonui Ecosanctuary, the native forest that is the only cloud forest in New Zealand. At the Taiaroa Head Albatross colony, learn about the only mainland breeding colony for any albatross in the world. Take a study cruise to Taiaroa Head aboard the Monarch. Take the historic Taieri Gorge Railway and then get on your bikes to begin the world-famous Central Otago Rail Trail.



Coach and cycle to Wedderburn
1 night
Coach and cycle to Omakau
1 night
Coach and cycle to Clyde
1 night
Coach and cycle to Queenstown
2 nights
Departure

On the Central Otago Rail Trail, cycle across the remote countryside of the Ida Valley and through the Poolburn Gorge, learning the fascinating history of the gold rush. Cycle along the Centennial Trail beside the mighty Clutha River to Clyde. In Queenstown, take a study cruise on Lake Wakatipu aboard the historic steamer TSS Earnslaw. Visit Walter Peak High Country Farm to learn about life on a New Zealand farm.




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
Christchurch: Hotel near park. Lake Tekapo: Motel on main street. Twizel: Comfortable hotel. Kurow: Historic motel. Oamaru: Charming hotel. Dunedin: Hotel near gardens. Hyde: Comfortable motel. Wedderburn: Lodge with cottages. Omakau: Lodge. Clyde: Historic hotel. Queenstown: Hotel with lake views.
Meals and Lodgings
   Riccarton Motor Lodge
  Christchurch, New Zealand 2 nights
   Lake Tekapo Scenic Resort
  Lake Tekapo, New Zealand 1 night
   Mackenzie Country Inn
  Twizel, New Zealand 1 night
   Kurow Hotel
  Kurow, New Zealand 1 night
   Kingsgate Hotel Brydone Oamaru
  Oamaru, New Zealand 1 night
   Mercure Hotel Leisure Lodge
  Dunedin, New Zealand 2 nights
   Hyde Hotel
  Hyde, New Zealand 1 night
   Wedderburn Cottages
  Wedderburn, New Zealand 1 night
   Tiger Hill Lodge & Wilson's
  Omakau, New Zealand 1 night
   Dunstan House
  Clyde, New Zealand 1 night
   Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview
  Queenstown, New Zealand 2 nights
 Riccarton Motor Lodge
Type: Hotel
  Description: Located close to Hagley Park as well as the South Island's largest shopping mall.
  Contact info: 241 Riccarton Road
Christchurch,   New Zealand
phone: +64 3 341 3096
web: www.riccartonmotorlodge.co.nz/
  Room amenities: Tea & coffee making facilities; satellite tv; iron & ironing board; hairdryer.
  Facility amenities: Laundry
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Upon request. For additional pre- and post-program accommodation, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to travelinfo@roadscholar.org.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Lake Tekapo Scenic Resort
Type: Motel
  Description: Located on the main street of the village and with spectacular views of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake Tekapo and the mountains that surround it, is the Lake Tekapo Scenic Resort.
  Contact info: State Highway 8
Lake Tekapo,   New Zealand
phone: +64 3 680 6808
web: www.laketekapo.com/
  Facility amenities: Rooms are modern, clean and most have excellent views over Lake Tekapo and the surrounding mountains. Rooms have comfortable queen-size beds, electric blankets and heating, ceiling fans, televisions with Sky TV, DVD players and safety deposit boxes are available. The Traffcmate system of wireless broadband internet is accessible from all rooms.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Mackenzie Country Inn
Type: Hotel
  Contact info: Corner Ostler & Wairepo Roads
Twizel,   New Zealand
phone: +64 -3-435-0869
web: www.mackenzie.nz-hotels.com
  Room amenities: Room facilities include heating, tea/coffee making facilities, refrigerator, television, in-house video movies, telephone, iron/ironing board, electric blankets and hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include a restaurant and adjacent golf course.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Kurow Hotel
Type: Motel
  Description: The Kurow Hotel is a historic hotel, dating back to 1864 (very old for a nation as young as New Zealand) located within walking distance of Waitaki River.
  Contact info: 55 Bledisloe Street
Kurow,   New Zealand
phone: +64 3 436 0850
  Facility amenities: All rooms have Sky TV and mini-bar. Function room, restaurant, bar meals. Laundry facilities on site. Guest lounge with tea/coffee-making facilities.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Please note that this property does not have full individual room en-suite bathroom facilities.

 Kingsgate Hotel Brydone Oamaru
Type: Hotel
  Description: Step inside the enchanting Kingsgate Hotel Brydone Oamaru and you will find yourself in a gentler, more gracious era, when a sweeping staircase, grand chandeliers and ornate interiors represented the height of style and the finest accommodation of a bygone time. Built of white, elaborately carved Oamaru limestone in 1881, this impressive Oamaru hotel has welcomed and charmed guests for over a century.
  Contact info: 115 Thames Street
Oamaru,   New Zealand
phone: +64 3 433 0480
web: www.millenniumhotels.co.nz/kingsgateoamaru/
  Facility amenities: The Kingsgate Hotel Brydone Oamaru is one of the most conveniently located of Oamaru hotels, set in the central business district and within easy walking distance of attractions including the Little Blue Penguin colony, magnificent Victorian whitestone architecture, and the Chinese Garden. Sky TV, direct dial phones, tea and coffee making facilities, iron and ironing board, heating and electric blankets are standard in all rooms.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Mercure Hotel Leisure Lodge
Type: Hotel
  Description: Located adjacent to Dunedin Botanic Gardens.
  Contact info: Duke Street
Dunedin,   New Zealand
phone: +64 3 477 5360
web: www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-6222-mercure-dunedin-leisure-lodge/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, internet access, fitness facilities and safety deposit box facilities.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Hyde Hotel
Type: Motel
  Description: The Hyde Hotel is our first overnight stop on the Central Otago Rail Trail.
  Contact info: 9079 Eaton Street
Hyde,   New Zealand
phone: +64 3 4444800
web: www.hydehotel.co.nz/
  Facility amenities: The Hyde Hotel offers a large lounge area with loads of chairs and sofas so guests can choose privacy or mix with others to share their Rail Trail experiences.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Please note that this property does not have full individual room en-suite bathroom facilities.

 Wedderburn Cottages
Type: Motel
  Description: The Lodge & Cottages Wedderburn offers Otago Central Rail Trail accommodation & hospitality at its best, ranging from the comfortable 1928 farm homestead Lodge to attractive self-contained Cottages, both ideal for homestay or farmstay type accommodation.
  Contact info: State Highway 85
Wedderburn,   New Zealand
phone: +64 3 444 9124
web: www.wedderburncottages.co.nz/
  Facility amenities: All cottages have kitchenette, heaters, TV and direct access to a veranda with a fabulous view.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Tiger Hill Lodge & Wilson's
Type: Lodge
  Description: Purpose built in the Central Otago style, Tiger Hill Lodge & Wilson's offer comfortable communal living for participants on the Rail Trail.
  Contact info: 20 Alton Street
Omakau,   New Zealand
phone: +64 3 447 3700
web: www.centralotagonz.com/manuherikia/omakau/boutique/x,1,5034/tiger-hill-lodge.html
  Room amenities: The spacious designer kitchen is stunning; the communal lounge enormous, and a smaller more private lounge doubles as a TV viewing room. When not relaxing under summer’s evening sun you can always luxuriate in the hot tub.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Dunstan House
Type: Hotel
  Description: Built in 1900, Dunstan House is located on the main street of historic Clyde. From the original weary travellers stepping off the Cobb & Co stage coach; to the more recent cyclists at the beginning or end of the Central Otago Rail Trail. Offering boutique accommodation, this heritage hotel features an elegant wooden staircase which links the various living areas. A large colonial verandah overlooks the main street of Clyde offering a sunny spot for guests to soak in the atmosphere. Guests will find each of our rooms individually decorated in elegant turn-of-the-century style.
  Contact info: 29 Sutherland Street
Clyde,   New Zealand
phone: +64 3 449 2295
web: www.dunstanhouse.co.nz/
  Facility amenities: Accommodation includes individually decorated guest rooms with a range of bathroom facilities, central heating, a separate television lounge and laundry facilities.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Please note that this property does not have full individual room en-suite bathroom facilities.

 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
  Additional nights after: Upon request. For additional pre- and post-program accommodation, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to travelinfo@roadscholar.org.


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
1200 You will be staying at Riccarton Motor Lodge that night.
  End of Program:
1000 You will be staying at Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. No visa is required for US citizens to enter New Zealand. Only a passport is needed. The passport should have six months validity from the time you depart New Zealand.
  Parking availability:
N/A
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Christchurch
  Nearest airport:  Christchurch International and Domestic Airports
  Transportation to site: A transfer is provided taking participants from the designated group flight to the first accommodation in Christchurch.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Queenstown
  Nearest airport:  Queenstown Domestic Airport
  Transportation from site: Transport to Queenstown Airport will be provided for the designated group flight.
Elevation Note: Mt John Observatory visited to view the night sky on this program is at an altitude of 3376 feet.

Equipment Requirements: Bicycles and helmets will be provided. The cycles are all Avanti Spirit Trails that have had improved specifications on some parts following work with Avanti to design. Examples of this are the inclusion of puncture resistant tyres, sweep-back handlebars on the low step frames, higher handlebar risers on both, better chains and chain rings and front derailleurs on both. These bikes have been a revelation in terms of comfort and reliability.
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: Depart the US on overnight flight to New Zealand.
(Tuesday, November 11)
   
 Depart From: Overnight flight from the US to New Zealand

Day 2: Cross the International Date Line
(Wednesday, November 12)
   
 In Transit: Cross the International Date Line

Day 3: Arrive in Christchurch / Program & Participant Introductions / Orientation to Christchurch
(Thursday, November 13)
   
 Arrive To: After our flight from Los Angeles via Auckland, we are met at Christchurch Airport and transfer to a local cafe to have a welcome breakfast together.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local cafe.
 Afternoon: After lunch we have a welcome meeting and introduction to the program. We also take the opportunity to meet our fellow group members. We then have an orientation to the city of Christchurch to learn of the effects of the recent earthquakes and discover how the city is being rebuilt. Depending on whether the city's new cycleways are up and running or not, we will either do a cycling ability assessment this afternoon or tomorrow out on the Little River rail trail.
 Dinner: After checking in to our accommodation, we have dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Riccarton Motor Lodge
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Introduction to New Zealand and the South Island / Little River Rail Trail
(Friday, November 14)
   
 Breakfast: After continental breakfast in our rooms, we travel out to Lincoln University, New Zealand's specialist land-based university.
 Morning: At Lincoln University we will have a lecture introducing us to New Zealand's South Island. We will learn of the geology, natural and economic history, and land-use of the areas we are about to cycle through.
 Lunch: After exploring the university, we will have lunch at Lincoln University.
 Afternoon: After lunch we have the short transfer to to Motukarara for cycle on the Little River Rail Trail which runs alongside Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere), where the railway embankment is raised above the lake and adjoining wetlands affording magnificent views of the surrounding volcanic hills and the prolific birdlife. We finish at Birdlings Flat, a pebble beach where we can search for gemstones. We cycle approximately 13 miles today. We board our transport and transfer back to Christchurch.
 Dinner: We head out tonight for a wine-tasting and dinner at a winery on the outskirts of Christchurch.
   
Accommodations: Riccarton Motor Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: The Canterbury Plains - the rural economy with a stunning mountain backdrop / Cycle to the head of Lake Tekapo / Learn about the star of the southern sky at Mount John Observatory.
(Saturday, November 15)
   
 Breakfast: After continental breakfast in our rooms, we board our transport and leave Christchurch en route to Tekapo.
 Morning: We travel through mixed-use farmland as we drive through the foothills with the stunning vistas of the magnificent Southern Alps in the background.
 Lunch: We pause for lunch at a local cafe.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we cycle along the side of Lake Tekapo towards the head of the lake. We will overlook a landscape where the cloudy blue (silica-full) lake stands out against a backdrop of rugged snow-capped peaks. Lake Tekapo is renowned as one of New Zealand's most picturesque locations. We cycle approximately 26 miles before returning to Lake Tekapo and our accommodation. We have the time to stroll to the lakefront to visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and the statue paying homage to the New Zealand working sheep-dog.
 Dinner: We have dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: This evening we visit the Mount John Observatory where we learn about the stars of the southern night sky.
   
Accommodations: Lake Tekapo Scenic Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Aoraki-Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest peak / the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre / Cycling the hydro canals.
(Sunday, November 16)
   
 Breakfast: We have breakfast at our accommodation.
 Morning: This morning we transfer to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, named after the New Zealander who in 1953 (with Sherpa Tensing Norgay) was the first man to summit Mount Everest. Here we will learn about the Southern Alps and the activity in the area. We shall also visit the base of the Department of Conservation.
 Lunch: We will have a packed lunch today.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we cycle the route alongside the Pukaki-Ohau-Ruataniwha canal system feeding a number of New Zealand's hydro-electricity schemes. The canal roads provide for gentle gradients and stunning vistas. We cycle approximately 20 miles today. We reconnect with our driver/guide and drive on to Twizel for our overnight stay.
   
Accommodations: Mackenzie Country Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Black Stilt Recovery Centre / Quailburn Historic Shearing Shed / Otematata-Aviemore cycle.
(Monday, November 17)
   
 Breakfast: We have breakfast at our accommodation.
 Morning: This morning we first visit the Department of Conservation's Black Stilt Recovery Centre. The black stilt (or kaki) is the world's rarest wading bird. They are very distinctive with completely black plumage and long red legs. Unique to New Zealand, they are regarded by Maori as a taonga species (living treasure). Here we will learn of the attempts being made to ensure the survival of the species.
 Lunch: We will have a packed lunch as we explore the historic Quailburn shearing shed.
 Afternoon: From here we cycle out on the sealed route towards the main road, during which we will be surrounded by the amazing colours of the Mackenzie Basin, named after a famous sheep-rustler. We have a short transfer in our transport to the low pass at Otematata from where we have a picturesque downhill ride to the Aviemore Dam. We regroup with our transport and drive into our accommodation in the delightful village of Kurow. We cycle approximately 25 miles in our two legs today.
 Dinner: We have dinner tonight at our accommodation.
   
Accommodations: Kurow Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: The Waitaki Valley / Oamaru's Historic Quarter / Blue Penguins.
(Tuesday, November 18)
   
 Breakfast: We have breakfast at our accommodation.
 Morning: This morning we drive east to Duntroon and turn inland so that we can cycle on quiet rural roads. We reconnect with our driver and head to lunch at a local cafe.
 Lunch: Lunch is at a local cafe.
 Afternoon: We drive into Oamaru and check-in at our accommodation. We then have a guided walking tour of the historic section of Oamaru where we see the impressive (for such a small town) limestone buildings. We will also learn something of the steampunk movement and the town's historic cycling festival.
 Dinner: We have dinner tonight at our hotel.
 Evening: This evening we visit the Blue Penguin colony where we can view the penguins returning from a day at sea gathering food.
   
Accommodations: Kingsgate Hotel Brydone Oamaru
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Orokunui Ecosanctuary / Cycle into Dunedin.
(Wednesday, November 19)
   
 Breakfast: We have breakfast at our accommodation.
 Morning: This morning we drive through productive rolling pastoral land in the direction of Dunedin. We visit the Orokonui Ecosanctuary - a 307-hectare native forest that is the only Cloud Forest in New Zealand where indigenous plants and animals can live in the wild without threat from most introduced pests. It is home to some of New Zealand's most fascinating and rare forest wildlife. We explore the Ecosanctuary's protected habitat where we have a guided tour allowing us to experience a natural encounter with South Island forest wildlife in a regenerating forest ecosystem.
 Lunch: We have lunch at the Ecosanctuary.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we transfer to Dunedin. We will have a 12-mile cycle ride on the back route to the South Island's second city.
 Dinner: After arriving in Dunedin we will check in to our accommodation where we will have dinner tonight.
   
Accommodations: Mercure Hotel Leisure Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: The Leith Walk / Otago Peninsula / Albatross Colony / Fort Taiaroa / Taiaroa Head Cruise
(Thursday, November 20)
   
 Breakfast: We have breakfast at our accommodation.
 Morning: Today we leave our cycles behind as we begin this morning with a field trip along The Leith Walk where we learn of Dunedin's Scottish history and the importance of education to the city, home to New Zealand's first university. We then carry on to Otago Peninsula & Taiaroa Head.
 Lunch: We have lunch at the Albatross Colony cafe.
 Afternoon: Our first field trip this afternoon is to the Taiaroa Head Albatross Colony - the only mainland breeding colony for any albatross species anywhere in the world. After learning about these fascinating birds, we visit Fort Taiaroa (1886 Armstrong Gun Placement) and cruise to Taiaroa Head aboard the Monarch.
 Dinner: We return to Dunedin this afternoon. Dinner is at own arrangements tonight and you are free to explore the city this evening.
   
Accommodations: Mercure Hotel Leisure Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11: Taieri Gorge Railway / Beginning the Central Otago Rail Trail.
(Friday, November 21)
   
 Breakfast: We have breakfast this morning at our accommodation.
 Morning: We transfer to Dunedin's historic and stunning railway station. We will board the Taieri Gorge Railway to travel to Middlemarch.
 Lunch: We have lunch at a local cafe.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we begin our Central Otago Rail Trail with the 15 mile ride to Hyde where we will stay overnight.
 Dinner: We have dinner tonight at our accommodation.
   
Accommodations: Hyde Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Day 2 of the Central Otago Rail Trail / Macraes Gold Mine / Historic Naseby / Curling
(Saturday, November 22)
   
 Breakfast: We have breakfast at our accommodation.
 Morning: This morning we visit the Macraes Gold Mine, New Zealand's largest. We then begin cycling the 30-mile section to Wedderburn.
 Lunch: We have a picnic lunch on the Rail Trail.
 Afternoon: Once arriving in Wedderburn, we jump aboard our transport and head to historic Naseby to learn some more of the Central Otago history. Here we will also get a chance to try our hand at curling with some of the enthusiastic locals.
 Dinner: We have dinner tonight at our accommodation.
   
Accommodations: Wedderburn Cottages
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Day 3 of the Central Otago Rail Trail / The Ida Valley / The Dunstan Ranges / Spooky Saint Bathans.
(Sunday, November 23)
   
 Breakfast: We have breakfast at our accommodation.
 Morning: This morning we begin the approximately 30-mile leg of the Rail Trail from Wedderburn to Omakau. We cycle across the remote countryside of the Ida Valley and through the Poolburn Gorge.
 Lunch: We have a picnic lunch along the Rail Trail.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we arrive in Omakau and rejoin our transport for a field trip to the former coal and gold mining town of Saint Bathans, well known to New Zealanders as home to the historic Vulcan Hotel, a restored and reputedly haunted public house; and the Blue Lake, a small lake formed during gold-sluicing, which gives it a distinctive turquoise colour.
 Dinner: We have dinner tonight at our accommodation.
   
Accommodations: Tiger Hill Lodge & Wilson's
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Day 4 of the Central Otago Rail Trail - the final leg / Alexandra / the Clutha River & Clyde Dam.
(Monday, November 24)
   
 Breakfast: We have breakfast at our accommodation.
 Morning: This morning we begin the final leg of the Rail Trail bound for Clyde. Again we have about 30 miles to cover today.
 Lunch: We have lunch today in a cafe in Central Otago's main town of Alexandra.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we cycle along the Centennial Trail beside the mighty Clutha River to Clyde.
 Dinner: We have dinner tonight at our accommodation.
   
Accommodations: Dunstan House
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Lake Dunstan / Cromwell / Central Otago winery lunch / Arrowtown's golden history / Queenstown.
(Tuesday, November 25)
   
 Breakfast: We have breakfast this morning at our hotel.
 Morning: Today we leave our cycles hitched to our trailer as we travel through gorgeous scenery from Clyde to Queenstown. This morning we drive along Lake Dunstan to Cromwell surrounded by vineyards and stone-fruit orchards. We then drive through the ruggedly, stunning Kawerau Gorge towards Queenstown.
 Lunch: We have lunch at a local winery.
 Afternoon: This afternoon's field trip takes us to the historic settlement of Arrowtown with its picture-postcard main street. We learn of its gold-mining history and visit the historic Chinese village to learn of the conditions this minority endured in the gold-field.
 Dinner: We drive through to Queenstown for an orientation to the township before checking into our hotel in time for dinner.
   
Accommodations: Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Lake Wakatipu Cruise including Walter Peak Sheep Station / Gondola to Skyline Restaurant overlooking Queenstown's stunning natural beauty
(Wednesday, November 26)
   
 Breakfast: We have breakfast at our hotel.
 Morning: This morning we cruise on Lake Wakatipu aboard the historic steamer TSS Earnslaw. We visit Walter Peak High Country Farm for a guided tour and an insight into New Zealand farmers' working dogs.
 Lunch: We have lunch at Walter Peak Station.
 Afternoon: Our field trip at the Station continues before our return cruise on Lake Wakatipu. After a program review we have some free time before we take the gondola to Skyline Restaurant on top of Bob's Peak for dinner overlooking Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables.
 Dinner: We have our farewell dinner up at Skyline.
 Evening: We take the gondola down the Peak and then return to our hotel. Remainder of evening at leisure.
   
Accommodations: Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Free morning.
(Thursday, November 27)
   
 Breakfast: We have breakfast at our hotel.
 Morning: We have this morning free to do last-minute packing and explore Queenstown for the last time.
 Lunch: We will have lunch at a local cafe or at the airport before transferring to the airport for our flights to Auckland and on to the USA.
   
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 Concise History of New Zealand


Author: Philippa Mein Smith


Description: This well-written pocket history in the series by Cambridge University Press covers the history and development of New Zealand from its origins and early development to the 21st century. With illustrations, glossary, chronology and bibliography.



A Personal Kiwi-Yankee Dictionary


Author: Louis Leland


Description: Take this book with you on your trip to help you untangle the sometimes perplexing and colorful local idioms.



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.



Christchurch Map


Author: HEMA Maps


Description: With a map of Christchurch and surroundings from Saltwater Creek to Akaroa, detailed street map of Christchurch itself and regional map on the reverse at a scale of 1:350,000. With scenic drives, National Parks, Camping Grounds and travel information. Two Sides. 20X29.5 inches.



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.



Erewhon


Author: Samuel Butler


Description: Butler's satirical account of a journey across the mountains to an upside-down country at the end of the world (Erewhon is an anagram of Nowhere), where sick people are thrown in jail and murderers are taken to the hospital. Erewhon is also a place in New Zealand where Butler, not coincidentally, ran a sheep ranch for several years in the 1860s. Upper Rangitata, in the foothills of Canterbury, retains its wild beauty (featured in the movie Lord of the Rings). Butler not only exposes the hypocrisy of Victorian society, church and education but also does a fine job of evoking the landscape of the region. First published privately by Butler in 1872.



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.



Fairness and Freedom, A History of Two Open Societies, New Zealand and the United States


Author: David Hackett Fischer


Description: Fischer compares the political similarities of two societies, the United States and New Zealand, why they have taken different forms, and asks the question: is it possible to be both fair and free? An expansion of Fischer's previous work on liberty and freedom, and the first book to be published on the history of fairness.



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.



Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance


Author: Lloyd Jones


Description: From rural New Zealand at the end of World War I to the present day, two separate love stories resonate across three generations, as two very different couples are brought together by their obsession with the seductive power of the tango. By the author of the critically acclaimed Mr. Pip, this earlier novel was first published in New Zealand in 2002.



Making Peoples, A History of the New Zealanders from Polynesian Settlement to the End of the Nineteenth Century


Author: James Belich


Description: An extremely readable and scholarly history that traces the development of New Zealand -- and the Maori -- from pre-contact to the late 19th century. With its wide, yet detailed focus, this book gives the reader a glimpse into the social forces that have formed the Maori, including the tremendous impact of colonization. It concludes with a discussion of the Pakeha, the 19th century settlers who helped shape what has become modern day New Zealand. Belich, a professor of history at the University of Aukland, continues the story in a second volume (NZL59).



New Zealand Adventure Map


Author: National Geographic


Description: This handy, double-sided map (1:1,100,000), printed on water- and tear-resistant paper, includes inset maps of the Sub-Antarctic islands and an index. Published in conjunction with Reise Know-How and the World Mapping Project, this is one of a growing series of National Geographic Adventure Maps. One Side. 39x27 inches.



New Zealand Wildlife


Author: Julian Fitter


Description: Julian Fitter's splendid introduction to the nature and wildlife of New Zealand features succinct chapters on geography and geology, history, habitats and wildlife, along with hundreds of color photographs. Fitter (Wildlife of the Galapagos) and Tui de Roy, who contributed many of the photographs, also collaborated on Albatross, Their World, Their Ways.



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.



Once Were Warriors


Author: Alan Duff


Description: You may have seen the movie. This is the controversial best-selling novel set in what would appear to be Auckland. It follows the fate of Beth, a tough young woman with a son to protect, and is an insightful, gut-wrenching look at social problems of the Maori in contemporary New Zealand.



Presenting New Zealand, An Illustrated History


Author: Philip Temple


Description: Organized from North to South , not Stone Age to now, this oversized paperback, featuring large, full-color archival illustrations on every page, is a profile of the island nation, its history, people and nature



Slipping Into Paradise, Why I Live in New Zealand


Author: Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson


Description: In this far-ranging book, a travelogue of sorts, Masson (who left the rarified atmosphere of Berkeley for Auckland in 2000) combines his travels and tales with history, riffs on the kiwis, nature and society. This is the same author who has written a series of wildly successful books on the emotional lives on animals, including The Pig Who Sang to the Moon, which is about treatment of farm animals.



Stories


Author: Katherine Mansfield


Description: This collection includes three marvelous, long pieces which together constitute the beginnings of an unfinished novel based on Mansfield's childhood in Wellington, New Zealand in the 1890s.



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)



The Hand Guide to the Birds of New Zealand


Author: Barrie Heather


Description: A revised, compact edition of the classic field guide to the birds of New Zealand featuring 74 color plates by Derek Onley. Brief descriptions, range maps and illustrations are integrated on facing pages for easy reference in the field. It combines the two sections (field guide and details) of the 1997 edition.



Tutira, The Story of a New Zealand Sheep Station


Author: Herbert Guthrie-Smith


Description: First published in 1921, this loving acount of the ecology of New Zealand focuses on Guthrie-Smith's 40,000-sheep shearing station on the shores of Lake Tutira. He covers the geologic setting, ecology and and impact of sheep on the region. With line drawings, maps and a few period photographs.



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.



Wild Fiordland


Author: Neville Peat


Description: This comprehensive (and hard to find) overview of the natural history of New Zealand's Fiordland features maps, lively essays and 200 color photographs. It takes you from high mountains to forests and fjords, lakes and rivers.



Xenophobe's Guide to the Kiwis


Author: Christine Cole Catley


Description: Frank, irreverent and funny, this entertaining pocket guide might just increase cultural awareness!





You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.


As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.



Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:


© Road Scholar 2014 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768