Road Scholar : Home
Hiking Under Southern Skies

Program Number: 11592RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/1/2014 - 12/22/2014; 2/29/2016 - 3/21/2016; 11/28/2016 - 12/19/2016; 1/30/2017 - 2/20/2017; 2/27/2017 - 3/20/2017;
Duration: 21 nights
Location: New Zealand
Price starting at: $5,795.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking Activity Level: n (see description)
Meals: 55; 19 Breakfasts, 17 Lunches, 19 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Challenge your mind and body on some of New Zealand's most spectacular hiking paths. Hike over the world-renowned Tongariro Crossing and a section of the celebrated Routeburn Track. As a special highlight, enjoy four days on Stewart Island, a native wildlife sanctuary seldom accessible to visiting groups.


• Expert-led hikes explore mountainous Tongariro National Park and Kaimanawa Forest Park.
• Experience Maori culture including the powhiri (formal welcome), traditional songs, dances and hakas.
• Walk sections of the well-known Routeburn Track and Greenstone Trails.

Activity Particulars

Hiking 6-10 miles per day on mixed terrain that is frequently hilly, rocky or uneven. Ascents of up to 2,000 feet on some hikes.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Auckland, coach to Hamilton, 1 night; coach to Turangi, 4 nights; flight to Christchurch, coach to Methven, 4 nights; coach to Glenorchy, 5 nights; coach to Invercargill, ferry to Stewart Island, 4 nights; ferry to Invercargill, flight to Wellington, 1 night; departure.

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Cross International Dateline
1 night
Arrival Auckland
Coach to Hamilton
1 night
Coach to Turangi
4 nights

Turangi sits at the base of the North Island's principal mountain region. On hikes through Tongariro National Park and Kaimanawa Forest Park, your leaders reveal the geological history and flora surrounding Lake Taupo. Experience Maori culture with powhiri (formal welcome) and traditional songs, poi dances and hakas. Enjoy a dip in geothermally heated pools.

Flight to Christchurch
Coach to Methven
4 nights

Venture across the Canterbury Plains to Methven at the foot of the Southern Alps. On walking excursions, explore Mount Somers and adjacent trails for firsthand insight into the region’s natural history and the effect of the Southern Alps chain on flora and weather patterns.

Coach to Glenorchy
5 nights

A scenic journey along Lake Wakatipu sets the scene for Glenorchy — backdrop for many scenes in the “Lord of the Rings.” Locals detail the effect of tourism on the area and efforts underway to preserve its natural heritage. Stroll portions of the Routeburn Track and Greenstone Trails. Visit a wildlife center to study the famed Kiwi and other endangered birds.

Coach to Invercargill
Ferry to Stewart Island
4 nights
Ferry to Invercargill
Flight to Wellington
1 night

Here in the southernmost part of New Zealand experts the story of remote Stewart Island and its settlement history. Hike deep into the rainforest to find fascinating flora and fauna. See playful seals and make a special excursion to the bird sanctuary island of Ulva.

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.

Hamilton: Motor inn. Turangi: Comfortable motor lodge. Methven: Alpine lodge and resort hotel with pool. Glenorchy: Lodge with mountain views. Stewart Island: Hotel beside Halfmoon Bay. Wellington: Modern hotel in the heart of the city.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Pauline Mahoney

A retired cardiac nurse, Pauline Mahoney is the true “heart” of this learning adventure in her role as Group Leader. An avid explorer, she has trekked extensively in New Zealand with her family, and has journeyed overseas to Nepal, India, Bhutan, South America, Turkey and Switzerland. In her free time, she enjoys looking after her extensive garden in Napier, as well as practicing yoga.
Brien Mahoney

Brien Mahoney, has had a lifetime of experience in hiking and mountain climbing. He is familiar with most of the major trails and climbs in New Zealand and has taken part in expeditions to the Andes in South America and to several sections of the Himalayas, includng Nepal and Bhutan. As a board member of the Outward Bound Trust — an organization founded by the Duke of Edinburgh — Brien also works to train young people in outdoor skills.
Nigel Roberts

Professor Nigel Roberts is a senior faculty member of the political science department at Victoria University, Wellington. He is an authority on the political and electoral systems of New Zealand and Scandinavia, and has served as a regular television commentator on these topics. Nigel is widely regarded as the top political commentator in New Zealand, and since 1987 has served as the election-night commentator for Television New Zealand.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hamilton Airport Motor Inn
  Invercargill, New Zealand 1 night
   Parklands Motor Lodge
  Turangi, New Zealand 4 nights
   Mountain Beech Lodge
  Methven, New Zealand 2 nights
   Methven Resort
  Methven, New Zealand 2 nights
   Mt Earnslaw Motel
  Glenorchy, New Zealand 5 nights
   South Sea Hotel
  Stewart Island, New Zealand 4 nights
   West Plaza Hotel
  Wellington, New Zealand 1 night
 Hamilton Airport Motor Inn
Type: Hotel
  Contact info: Airport Road
Hamilton,  2001 New Zealand
phone: +6478438412
  Room amenities: Queen bed and single bed telephone TV
  Facility amenities: Internet & wireless restaurant & bar swimming pool gym,sauna laundry
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: price subject to change Contact Hotel for reservations

 Parklands Motor Lodge
Type: Motel
  Description: Set in 7 acres of tranquil tree studded parkland. Over the last 10 years, owners and congenial hosts Craig Morey and Angela Jones have developed an engaging, convivial environment where visitors mingle with locals, anglers, and guides, providing a delectable taste of small town New Zealand life.
  Contact info: State Highway 1
Turangi,  NA New Zealand
phone: +6473867515
  Room amenities: TV , kitchen
  Facility amenities: Internet & wireless Swimming and Spa pools-sauna Restaurant and bar Laundry and drying room Fishing and rafting guides available
  Smoking allowed: No

 Mountain Beech Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: Our accommodation is distinctive - a beautifully restored cottage and a modern lodge. Both enhance the special qualities of our nature tours - gathering at the end of the day to enjoy delicious food in the Lodge, or reading a book in front of an open log fire in the peacefulness of Ross Cottage, a historic building registered with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Commitment to Conservation Our nature tours have a strong eco theme and suit active travellers with an interest in wildlife and conservation in New Zealand. The mix of natural history in our area is unique - so much so that it is under consideration for World Heritage Area status.
  Contact info: Staveley R.D.1
Ashburton,  8300 New Zealand
phone: +6433030880
  Smoking allowed: No

 Methven Resort
Type: Lodge
  Description: Set in the Mountain Village of Mt Hutt Methven,. Owner operated and Built in 1985
  Contact info: 51 Main Street
Methven 7730,   New Zealand
phone: +6433028724
  Facility amenities: internet & wireless Drying room,Laundry, bar & restaurant. Private spa & Sauna, 3 outside heated spa & 25 meter swimming pool
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Shower over a bath
  Elevators available: Yes

 Mt Earnslaw Motel
Type: Motel
  Description: Glenorchy is the gateway to Mt Aspiring National Park, and several famous back country walking tracks including the Routeburn, Caples, Greenstone and Rees-Dart, as well as many popular local day walks. The Whakaari conservation area has opened up a whole new area close to Glenorchy, rich in history and accessible by horseback, mountain bike and on foot. Your hosts, Thor and Corrine, have been in the area since 1991 and take great pleasure in helping you to make the most of your stay. Besides the many walking tracks there are a lot of other activities to enjoy in the area. You can try your hand at fishing for trout and salmon in the rivers and the lake. Jet boat the amazing Dart River, or enjoy a fun yakking trip. There are also guided kayak trips, horse trekking, 4WD adventures or sky diving to name a few. You'll soon find out that one day is not enough. At the head of Lake Wakatipu, 49km and a 45min drive from Queenstown, the small township of Glenorchy is nestled in the midst of the most stunning natural scenery of the Southern Lakes. Visitors to the area have enjoyed the beautiful scenery and tranquil surroundings since it was first settled nearly 150 years ago. Glenorchy is a great base to explore this world heritage area.
  Contact info: 87 Oban Street
Glenorchy,  1001 New Zealand
phone: +6434426993
  Room amenities: Our studio units all have comfortable super king-size beds to ensure a great night's sleep. The fully equipped kitchens also have complimentary tea and coffee. Each unit has an ensuite bathroom, free-to-air satellite TV, La-Z-Boy chairs and heat pump air-conditioning for your comfort. Free WiFi internet cards are provided and laundry facilities are available. Units are all serviced daily. Another feature our visitors appreciate, are double-glazed windows and thick concrete slab walls to ensure there is minimal noise transference between units. These units are quiet.
  Facility amenities: About Us Mt Earnslaw Motel was built in 2000 to cater for visitors wanting an independent accommodation option. We offer a no frills accommodation option, that doesn't compromise quality and comfort, while still being affordable. Another feature our visitors appreciate, are double-glazed windows and thick concrete slab walls to ensure there is minimal noise transference between units. These units are quiet. Laundry and BBQ
  Smoking allowed: No

 South Sea Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: The South Sea Hotel is a Stewart Island icon, with a strong footing in Island life, both past and present. The hotel has a fully licensed bar, restaurant, hotel and motel accommodation. Situated in the middle of Halfmoon Bay, just a stones throw from the beach, the hotel is an ideal base for your Stewart Island holiday. The staff can advise you on local attractions and activities and help you with your booking. When you arrive onto the island, either by ferry or plane, the hotel is only a 3 minute walk away.
  Contact info: Main Road
Stewart Island
Bluff,  1002 New Zealand
phone: +6432191059
  Room amenities: Studio units- en-suite bathroom TV Telephone kitchen
  Facility amenities: Wifi internet Restaurant and bar Laundry
  Smoking allowed: No

 West Plaza Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: The West Plaza Hotel occupies the prime position for business or pleasure in Wellington. We're in easy walking distance of the major government departments, commercial offices, and conference and event centres of the CBD. Plus you're only a short walk from the premium shopping of Lambton Quay and the entertainment zones of Courtenay Place and the Cuba Quarter.
  Contact info: 110 Wakefield Strret
Wellington,  6001 New Zealand
phone: +64 4 473-1440
  Room amenities: SKY colour television with a wide range of channels Flat rate broadband wireless Internet access Direct dial ISD / STD telephone Work desk Mini-bar, coffee and tea making Automated wake-up call service Hairdryer Iron and ironing board Clock radio Heat detectors Electricity (240V 50Hz adapters available)
  Facility amenities: restaurant & bar Guest laundry available 7 days Dry-cleaning services (Mon-Fri, excluding Public Holidays) 24-hour reception 24-hour room service Safety deposit boxes at reception Foreign currency exchange Flat rate broadband wireless Internet access (charges may apply)
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: subject to change Available after program finishes

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Auckland Int Airport- Group Arrivals area 7:15 am You will be staying at Hamilton Airport Motor Inn that night.
  End of Program:
3:00 pm drop-off Wellington Airport You will be staying at West Plaza Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Passport- no visa required for US citizens
  Parking availability:
Not applicable to this program
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Public bus transport available but does not depart form airport.
To Start of Program
  Location:  In transit
  Transportation to site: Coach transport provided to first location Alternative transport by shuttle would cost approx $NZ 90
  From End of Program
  Location: In transit
  Transportation from site: Coach transport provided to departure airport from last location Alternative transport by shuttle would cost apporx $NZ30
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Elevation Note: The highest elevation (6000 feet) is on the Tongariro Crossing in Tongariro National Park.

Equipment Requirements: Hiking boots essential. Waterproof and windproof clothing. Woollen sweater, warm hat and gloves. Sun-hat, glasses and sunscreen. Walking poles are highly recommended Full list below
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 North America
(Monday, December 1)
 Afternoon: Board overnight flight from USA

Day 2: International Flight
(Tuesday, December 2)
 In Transit: Cross International Date Line

Day 3: Coach to Hamilton and visit Hamilton Gardens. Welcome Lunch. Walk River walkway and orientation
(Wednesday, December 3)

Note: River walkway is on paved path (approx 1.5 hrs 3km)

 Breakfast: Breakfast taken on airplane.
 Morning: Meet program leaders at airport. Board coach for transfer to Hamillton, Visit Hamilton Botanic Garden The themed gardens are exceptional and include a Maori heritage garden
 Lunch: Welcome Lunch at Hamilton restaurant
 Afternoon: Hamilton sits on the banks of the country's longest river the Waikato River. Hamilton started as a farming service town and has grown into a city with a university, research institutes and the beautiful Hamilton Gardens Walk along Waikoto River Walkway
 Dinner: After orientation a Light meal at motor inn
Accommodations: Hamilton Airport Motor Inn
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Coach to Turangi. Visit Glow-worm Caves, Volcanic Center and Huka Falls
(Thursday, December 4)

Note: Huka Falls walk on wellformed Path (45 mins 2km)

 Breakfast: Breakfast in Motel Dining room.
 Morning: Coach to Waitomo to view Glow-worm Caves. They include deep caverns, luminescent glowworms and amazing limestone formations
 Lunch: en route at Lava Glass View Glass blowing
 Afternoon: Continue coach journey to Turangi, with stop at Volcanic Centre for Lecture & view exhibits. Short walk to Huka Falls on the Waikato River. Arrive at Motor Lodge & check in. Turangi is situated next to the magnificent Tongoriro National Park ( World Heritage Site). Trout Fishing is Turangi's obsession and the Tongoriro is one of the most famous trout fishing rivers in the world
 Dinner: at Lodge
Accommodations: Parklands Motor Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Visit and walk in Tongariro National Park (World Heritage)
(Friday, December 5)

Note: Silica Springs and Taranaki Falls walks on wellformed loop tracks (2 hrs 6 km each)

 Breakfast: Breakfast in Lodge dining room.
 Morning: Coach to Whakapapa Village (Mt Ruapehu). Visit Whakapapa Visitor Centre. Walk to Silica Springs (2 hrs 6 km) Enjoy the peace and quiet as you hike over sub alpine vegetation and through native beech forest to these striking golden rapids, coloured yellow by silica deposits on the volcanic rock.
 Lunch: At mountain cafe
 Afternoon: Walk to Taranaki Falls which tumbles 20 m. over the edge of a large andesite lava flow which erupted from Mt. Ruapehu. Excellent mountain views(2 hrs 6km)
 Dinner: At Lodge
Accommodations: Parklands Motor Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Guided walk on Tongariro Alpine Crossing The Tongoriro National Park's dual world heritage status recognizes the important Maori cultural associations as well as its outstanding volcanic features
(Saturday, December 6)

Note: Climb from 1100 m to 1900 m and down to 750 m over steep Volcanic terrain Wellformed tracks, some scree, uneven footing and numerous steps (19.4 km 7-8 hrs) Option to Soda Springs and return (3 hrs approx 7.5 km return)

 Breakfast: Breakfast in Lodge dining room.
 Morning: Coach to Mangatepopo Valley for all-day guided hike on Tongariro Alpine Crossing (7-8 hours19.4 km) on mountains. The traverse of the stark and spectacular terrain is one of the most fascinating treks in the country Option to Soda Springs and return (3 hrs approx 7.5 km return)
 Lunch: Packed lunch in the field
 Afternoon: Continue hike to coach pick-up area & return to Lodge
 Dinner: At Lodge
Accommodations: Parklands Motor Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Free Morning. Visit to National Trout Center Walk around Lake Rotopounamu
(Sunday, December 7)

Note: Rotopounamu walk ( 2 hrs 5 km) on wellformed track

 Breakfast: Breakfast in Lodge dining room.
 Morning: FREE MORNING Optional visit to Tokaanau thermal pools for soak (own cost) and short walk around thermal area, fly fishing, rafting, river walk or cycle
 Lunch: At Cafe
 Afternoon: Guided Walk of Trout Centre. Walk- Lake Rotopounamu. Rotopounamu/Greenstone Lake nestles on the side of Mt Pihanga. This beautiful lake is a special favourite of tree lovers, birdwatchers, walkers and swimmers.
 Dinner: At Hotel
Accommodations: Parklands Motor Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Geothermal Visit - Flight to South Island
(Monday, December 8)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in Resort dining room.
 Morning: Coach to Rotorua. Visit Te Puia Geothermal area and experience a Maori cultural program
 Lunch: Lunch at Te Puia
 Afternoon: Flight to Christchurch Coach to Staveley A small village situated in the foothills of the Southern Alps undrneath Mt Somers and adjacent to large tracts of pristine native forest. .
 Dinner: At Local Home
Accommodations: Mountain Beech Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: All-day Hike on Mt. Somers Foothills trail.
(Tuesday, December 9)

Note: Mt Somers track varies from flat easy sections to a couple of steeper pitches The track is wellformed but rough underfoot in places. (5 hrs 10 km return)

 Breakfast: Breakfast at Lodge.
 Morning: Coach to start of Mt. Somers Foothills Trail for all-day walk. Coalminers track to Woolshed Creek Hut (5 hrs 10 km return), an optional extension 1 1/2 hrs to Trifalls). Follow the old coal miners trail through regenerating beech forest out onto sub alpine vegetation with outstanding views towards the Arrowsmith range and Lake Heron
 Lunch: Packed lunch in the field with lecture by botanist.
 Afternoon: Complete hike & return to Lodge.
 Dinner: At local home
Accommodations: Mountain Beech Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Guided Walks at Mt. Potts (Lord of Rings Film Site) and river walk.
(Wednesday, December 10)

Note: Mt Sunday Walk includes a small river crossing of Deep Creek (instruction given) (sandals required) Climb 30 mins 100 m. vertical gain

 Breakfast: Breakfast at Lodge.
 Morning: Coach to Mt. Potts. with a stop at Lake Clearwater Guided walk to Mt Sunday (Lord of the Rings location, Edoras) (2 hrs 3-4 km return)
 Lunch: In the field (packed lunch)
 Afternoon: Walk into Glacial Kettle Tarn Return via Mt Somers Village to Methven Just 1 hour from Christchurch Methven is a combination of rural New Zealand and a busy Ski Town. It is also a popular summer resort Braided rivers are a feature of this area with salmon fishing and nearby Mt Somers offers Birdwatching and Hiking
 Dinner: At the Lodge
Accommodations: Methven Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Field trip to Sheep Farm. Bush Walk.
(Thursday, December 11)

Note: Walk on well formed trail with numerous steps (1hr 2-3 km)

 Breakfast: Breakfast at Lodge.
 Morning: Coach to local sheep farm to experience farming activities. Lecture on local geology at Staveley museum
 Lunch: At local home
 Afternoon: Walk to Sharplin Falls on Mt. Somers through virgin native bush
 Dinner: At local Cafe
Accommodations: Methven Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Coach transfer to Glenorchy via Lake Tekapo and Queenstown.
(Friday, December 12)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at Lodge.
 Morning: Board coach for journey to Glenorchy via Tekapo to view church and the collie dog and to view Mt. Cook
 Lunch: At Omarama en route.
 Afternoon: Continue coach journeyvia Lake Wakatipu, with brief 1hr stop at Queenstown. Glenorchy is set among towering mountains, beech forest and flowing rivers, this is also the start point for many walking tracks including the renowned Routeburn track. Many scenes for the Lord of the Rings movie were shot around here
 Dinner: At Glenorchy Lodge
Accommodations: Mt Earnslaw Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Field trips to Greenstone Valley & Lake Rere
(Saturday, December 13)

Note: Walk on wellformed trail with some short elevations and descents (5-6 hrs 13 km)

 Breakfast: Breakfast at Lodge.
 Morning: Coach to Greenstone Valley for walk in beech forest following the Greenstone river renowned for its clear water and trout fishing
 Lunch: In the field.
 Afternoon: Return via Lake Rere and Elfin Bay with magnificent views of Lake Wakatipu and Mt Earslaw (5-6 hrs 13 km)
 Dinner: At local cafe
Accommodations: Mt Earnslaw Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Walking field trip to Invincible Gold Mine
(Sunday, December 14)

Note: Uphill walk on wellformed trail (3-4 hrs approx. 7 km return)

 Breakfast: Breakfast in the Lodge dining room.
 Morning: Field trip to Invincible Goldmine in Rees Valley Outstanding views of Mt Earnslaw and Rees Valley (3-4 hrs approx. 7 km)
 Lunch: In the field
 Dinner: Coach to Kinloch Lodge for dinner.
Accommodations: Mt Earnslaw Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Routeburn Track Hike traverses through part of the South West New Zealand World Heritage Site
(Monday, December 15)

Note: Routeburn Shelter to Routeburn Flats hut on wellformed easy graded track (13 km 4-5 hrs return). Routeburn Flats Hut to Routeburn Falls Hut (2.3 km 1 hr) steady climb through beech forest with excellent views of the valley below and the magnificent Routeburn Falls (7 hrs 17.6 km return)

 Breakfast: Breakfast at local cafe
 Morning: Coach to start of celebrated Routeburn Track. Hike up to Routeburn Falls & return. (7 hrs 17.6 km) Optional Routeburn Flats (13 km 4-5 hrs) The Routeburn Track - a 32 km, 2-4 day track weaves through beech-forested valleys and alongside clear green rivers and glistening alpine lakes
 Lunch: In the field
 Afternoon: On the Track
 Dinner: At the lodge
Accommodations: Mt Earnslaw Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Visit to Paradise (Lord of Rings site) Free Afternoon (optional Jet Boating, extra cost)
(Tuesday, December 16)

Note: Walk around Paradise property through a narrow Virgin forest track and over wider wellformed tracks (approx. 2 hrs)

 Breakfast: Breakfast in Lodge dining room.
 Morning: Coach visit to Paradise Valley & sites of Lord of the Rings filming. Lecture on the history of the property and the Paradise Trust
 Lunch: Own choice- .
 Afternoon: FREE AFTERNOON (Jet boating on the Dart river, optional extra, own expense)
 Dinner: At local cafe Followed by lecture on New Zealand history and systems
Accommodations: Mt Earnslaw Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 17: Free time in Queenstown. Visit Wildlife Center. Coach to Bluff. Ferry ride to Stewart Island
(Wednesday, December 17)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in Lodge dining room.
 Morning: Coach to Queenstown. Some free time. (1.5 Hrs) Visit Wildlife Centre view native birds.
 Lunch: Free choice,
 Afternoon: Coach to Invercargill & Bluff. Board ferry for Scheduled trip to Stewart Island (NZ's third island) Stewart Island's main settlement is Oban, at Halfmoon Bay. The islands bird life is one of the main draw cards In Maori legend, Stewart Island is known as the anchor of Maui;s canoe (the South Island) from which he fished the North Island out of the sea.Arrive at Half-Moon Bay & check in to Hotel.
 Dinner: At South Sea Hotel
Accommodations: South Sea Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 18: Walking field trip to Ackers Point lighthouse and Golden Bay .
(Thursday, December 18)

Note: Walking along Island roads and well formed tracks. Along the Golden Bay track there are numerous steps (5hrs 10-12 km)

 Breakfast: Breakfast at Hotel.
 Morning: Video at Visitors Centre. Walking field trip to Ackers Point Lighthouse
 Lunch: Packed lunch in the field
 Afternoon: Walking field trip to Golden Bay, Observation Rock and Fushia walk (5hrs 10-12 km)
 Dinner: At the Hotel
Accommodations: South Sea Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: All-day hike to Port William
(Friday, December 19)

Note: Walk along Island roads wellformed tracks and along beaches

 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel Dining room.
 Morning: Guided All-day hike to Port William. (5 hrs 12km) Rakiura National Park opened in 2002 and is the 14th of New Zealand's national parks. The park covers about 157,000 hectares and makes up about 85 percent of Stewart Island/Rakiura. Although the island lies only 30 kilometres south west of Bluff, between latitudes 46 and 47 degrees south, it exudes a charm of a world on its own. The sunrises and sunsets in soft southern light are amazing. Visitors can explore pristine beaches, sheltered inlets, and coastal forest, and see seals, penguins, kiwi, weka and many other birds. There are also opportunities for hunting, fishing, boating, cruises and scenic flights. Return by Scheduled boat service
 Lunch: Packed lunch in the field
 Dinner: At hotel
Accommodations: South Sea Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: Boat trip to Ulva Island Bird Sanctuary. Free Afternoon
(Saturday, December 20)

Note: Ulva Island walking on wellformed tracks 1.5-2 hrs

 Breakfast: Breakfast in Hotel dining room
 Morning: Boat trip by scheduled service to view seabirds and seals with commentary. Visit Ulva Island (perdator-free Wildlife Sanctuary) for self guided exploration
 Lunch: Own choice-
 Afternoon: FREE AFTERNOON for Sea Kayaking, bird watching, submarine, and further exploration
 Dinner: Dinner in restaurant.
Accommodations: South Sea Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 21: Return by ferry to South Island. Bluff Hill walk Fly to Wellington Lecture on Politics and Economy
(Sunday, December 21)

Note: Walk downhill from Bluff Hill and around the coast on wellformed track (1.5 hrs, 5 km)

 Breakfast: At hotel
 Morning: Ferry to Bluff Bluff Hill Walk Lookout and walk to Lands-End (1.5 hrs, 5 km)
 Lunch: At Lands-End
 Afternoon: Flight to Wellington Lecture on Politics and Economy
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner
Accommodations: West Plaza Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 22: City Walk.Guided tour of New Zealand Parliament Buildings. Visit Te Papa Museum Departure
(Monday, December 22)

Note: Take Cable Car and walk down through Botanic Gardens and along waterfront on paved paths

 Breakfast: At hotel
 Morning: City Walk, Cable car, Walk down through Botanic Garden. Guided tour and lecture at New Zealand Parliament Buildings. Continue city walk along Waterfront
 Lunch: Lunch at cafe
 Afternoon: Visit Te Papa Museum and/or free time to explore Wellington Transport to Wellington Airport for international check in to Auckland and 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 Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand

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A Personal Kiwi-Yankee Dictionary

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A Traveller's History of New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands

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An Angel at My Table (video)

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Author: Taika Waititi

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Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All

Author: Christina Thompson

Description: In this endearing, offbeat memoir, anthropologist Thompson effortlessly alternates tales of mostly disastrous early encounters with the Maori and the story of the love of her life, Seven, the Maori she married.


Author: Samuel Butler, Peter Mudford (Introduction)

Description: Butler's classic Victorian novel inspired by his experiences in 1860s New Zealand. A satirical account of a journey to an upside-down country at the end of the world, where sick people are thrown in jail and murderers are taken to the hospital.

Eyewitness Guide New Zealand

Author: Eyewitness Guides

Description: This superb illustrated guide features color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region overview of attractions.

Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance

Author: Lloyd Jones

Description: Dancing between New Zealand and Buenos Aires and ranging over decades, tango is the leitmotif of this earlier novel by Lloyd Jones, published here for the first time, author of Mister Pip. Like Mr. Pip, this compact, seductive novel concerns the power of storytelling.

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

Author: James Belich

Description: A social history of 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.

Maori Tattooing

Author: H.G. Robley

Description: A new unabridged edition of the classic, illustrated sourcebook on Maori tattooing (moko), first published in 1896. The author pays scrupulous attention to the intricate patterns, design and cultural meaning of traditional Maori tattoos.

New Zealand Map

Author: National Geographic

Description: This handy, double-sided map includes an index and insets of the Sub-Antarctic islands.

New Zealand Through Time, An Illustrated Journey Through 83 Million Years of Natural History

Author: Ronald Cometti

Description: Step back in time in this illustrated miscellany, featuring dozens of full-color paintings of giant moa, mixosaurus, and other splendid extinct creatures.

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.

New Zealand, A Natural History

Author: Tui De Roy, Mark Jones

Description: Having relocated many years ago to the beaches of Golden Bay on the North Island, Tui and Mark present the wildlife, habitats and splendor of their homeland in this photographic celebration.

Once Were Warriors

Author: Alan Duff

Description: This controversial best-selling novel follows the fate of a Maori woman in what appears to be modern-day Auckland, an insightful 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, 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 travelogue, Masson (who wrote a series of books on the emotional lives of animals) combines his travels and tales with history, riffs on the kiwis, nature and society.

Southern Exposure

Author: Chris Duff

Description: Subtitled "A Solo Sea Kayaking Journey Around New Zealand's South Island."


Author: Katherine Mansfield

Description: The three marvelous, long stories in this collection constitute the beginnings of a novel based on Mansfield's childhood in Wellington.

The Bone People

Author: Keri Hulme

Description: Set on the South Island, this powerful novel brings together three troubled individuals who represent Maori and European traditions in contemporary New Zealand.

The Earth Machine, The Science of a Dynamic Planet

Author: James D. Webster, Edmond A. Mathez

Description: An informative, illustrated overview of the earth and its fiery origins by curators of the American Museum of Natural History's Hall of Planet Earth.

The Future Eaters, An Ecological History of the Australasian Lands and People

Author: Tim F. Flannery

Description: An engaging ecological history of Australasia, focusing on human impact on local environments and animal populations in the recent geologic past.

The Hand Guide to the Birds of New Zealand

Author: Barrie Heather

Description: The revised compact edition of the classic field guide, featuring 74 color plates by Derek Onley.

The Hand Guide to the Birds of New Zealand

Author: Hugh Robertson & Barrie Heather

Description: The revised compact edition of the classic field guide, featuring 74 color plates by Derek Onley. (Item no. NZL05)

The Happy Isles of Oceania

Author: Paul Theroux

Description: The peripatetic author flies off to Australia and New Zealand with a kayak and ends up exploring much of Melanesia and Polynesia, including Tonga, Fiji and the Marquesas in this wickedly funny, wide-ranging tale.

The Luminaries

Author: Eleanor Catton

Description: The Luminaries is the second novel by Eleanor Catton,[1] published by Victoria University Press in August 2013[2] and Granta and Granta on 5 September 2013. On 15 October it was announced as the winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize. It is the longest book (at 832 pages), and she the youngest author (at age 28), ever to win the award.[3] The book was described as "a dazzling feat of a novel" by The Observer.[4] It is unusual for being organized

The Penguin History of New Zealand

Author: Michael King

Description: The Narrative that emerges is an exclusive one about men and women, Maori and Pakeha. It shows that The British motives in colonizing New Zealand were essentially humane.....

The Piano (1993) Video

Author: Jane Campion

Description: 121 min - Drama | Romance - 12 November 1993 (USA) 7.5 Your rating: -/10 Ratings: 7.5/10 from 36,516 users Metascore: 89/100 Reviews: 215 user | 66 critic | 20 from A mute woman along with her young daughter, and her prized piano, are sent to 1850s New Zealand for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, and she's soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation. Director: Jane Campion Writer: Jane Campion Stars: Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel and Sam Neill

The Whale Rider

Author: Witi Ihimaera,

Description: The Whale Rider (1987) was written in New York and Cape Cod in the space of three weeks. A magical, mythical work about a young girl whose relationship with a whale ensures the salvation of her village, it is, says Ihimaera, the work of his ‘that the Maori community accepts best’

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