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New Zealand

Discover New Zealand: Walking Clean and Green

Program No. 12346RJ
Walk and learn about New Zealand with experts, discovering this island nation’s passion for protecting their natural resources as you explore fjords, coastlines and Maori culture.
Length
22 days
Rating (4.9)
Activity Level
Starts at
9,049
Flights start at
1,650

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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jan 17 - Feb 7, 2023
Starting at
9,049
Jan 31 - Feb 21, 2023
Starting at
9,049
Feb 14 - Mar 7, 2023
Starting at
9,049
Mar 14 - Apr 4, 2023
Starting at
9,049
Oct 24 - Nov 14, 2023
Starting at
9,049
Jan 16 - Feb 6, 2024
Starting at
9,049
Jan 30 - Feb 20, 2024
Starting at
9,049
Feb 13 - Mar 5, 2024
Starting at
9,049
Mar 12 - Apr 2, 2024
Starting at
9,049
Oct 22 - Nov 12, 2024
Starting at
9,049
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jan 17 - Feb 7, 2023
Starting at
10,519
Jan 31 - Feb 21, 2023
Starting at
10,519
Feb 14 - Mar 7, 2023
Starting at
10,519
Mar 14 - Apr 4, 2023
Starting at
10,519
Oct 24 - Nov 14, 2023
Starting at
10,519
Jan 16 - Feb 6, 2024
Starting at
10,519
Jan 30 - Feb 20, 2024
Starting at
10,519
Feb 13 - Mar 5, 2024
Starting at
10,519
Mar 12 - Apr 2, 2024
Starting at
10,519
Oct 22 - Nov 12, 2024
Starting at
10,519

At a Glance

The sparsely populated but multicultural island nation of New Zealand takes pride in its “clean and green” environment. From grand glaciers, stunning fjords and sparkling lakes to majestic mountains, lush pasturelands and rich rainforests, experience New Zealand’s wealth of natural beauty on walks led by lively and knowledgeable local experts.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Walking up to six miles daily; uneven and hilly terrain.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Explore the world-famous Milford Sound by boat and foot.
  • Enjoy a morning of traditional Maori song, dance and customs.
  • Take a field trip to a family sheep farm to gain first-hand insight into farming in New Zealand.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
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.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Nigel Roberts
Nigel Roberts View biography
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.
Profile Image of Fiona Barker
Fiona Barker View biography
Fiona Barker is a graduate of both Victoria University and Harvard University, and teaches comparative politics at Victoria University. Prior to joining the staff at Victoria, she was a Jean Monnet Postdoctoral Scholar at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. Her research and teaching interests focus on topics such as nationalism, immigration and electoral reform in New Zealand. She has been a visiting fellow at various institutions including the University of Edinburgh and Université Québec à Montréal.
Profile Image of Ray Willett
Ray Willett View biography
Fiordland local, Ray Willett, will delight and enthuse with his tales of adventure and discovery on the Milford Track, known by many as the “finest walk in the world.” Since the 1950s, Ray has been leading adventurers along this noted path which makes its way through Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area, to Sutherland Falls, and along the Clinton River. In 2013, Ray trekked the entire length of the Milford Track in celebration of its 125th anniversary.
Profile Image of John Hellstrom
John Hellstrom View biography
Dr. John Hellstrom founded biosecurity in New Zealand, developed new systems for protecting native plants and agriculture from pests and disease, and established new standards for animal welfare. His proudest moment, however, was getting a native parrot on the cover of the biosecurity strategy booklet. John was previously Chief Veterinary officer for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. He was recently made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's Birthday honours list.
Profile Image of Richard Hunter
Richard Hunter View biography
Richard is a Maori elder and Justice of the Peace, well respected in Marlborough and the top of the South Island for his scientific work and held in high regard across many industries. He has led a wide range of scientific research and technical consultancy programs. Richard’s iwi affiliations are Ngati Kahungununu Rangitane and Ngati Maniapoto and he represents iwi on the Marlborough District Council. Richard is an authority on the Treaty of Waitangi and associated land claims and also the Maori crop of kumara.
Profile Image of Athol Parks
Athol Parks View biography
Athol Parks is a Dunedin-based writer who leads city walks in Dunedin. The walks showcase the city's history, architecture and urban renewal. His business, City Walks, was established in 2006. Formerly a sub-editor with The Southland Times Ltd., he has done freelance work and contributed notes to the Book Discussion Scheme. Athol is writing short fiction now, with the aim of finishing something and getting published.
Profile Image of Quentin Mitchell
Quentin Mitchell View biography
Quentin Mitchell is a qualified instructor in the outdoors with experience in the UK and New Zealand. He has worked at Outward Bound in New Zealand and continues to work in the area of youth development with the Spirit of New Zealand Trust. In retirement, he works part-time leading boating excursions. Quentin enjoys the outdoors, in particular, sailing, diving and skiing. He swims regularly and enjoys gardening and reading for relaxation. Both he and his wife, Rae, travel extensively.
Profile Image of Peter Brady
Peter Brady View biography
Pete Brady was born and bred in Wellington, New Zealand. His working careers have been in land surveying, backcountry leading, outdoor instructing at the NZ Outward Bound School and ranger in New Zealand National Parks and Reserves. Pete has extensive experience in risk assessment and managing groups in the outdoors. He has traveled extensively throughout New Zealand on foot, pushbike, horse-drawn wagon, kayak and motor vehicle. Pete's interests include his family, natural history, photography, surfing, running and transalpine tramping (hiking).
Profile Image of Rae Mitchell
Rae Mitchell View biography
Rae Mitchell grew up farming before her love of nature and the outdoors led her into tramping and alpine climbing around New Zealand. After university, she headed overseas focused on exploring the mountains of the world. She worked as an outdoor instructor while overseas, coming back to New Zealand eight years later to marry and raise a family. She is retired but is still tramping regularly, is a Search and Rescue member, does voluntary work for Department of Conservation and travels with her husband, Quentin.
Profile Image of Gerard Dunne
Gerard Dunne View biography
Gerard Dunne grew up running around the South Island with his family, school and venture group. He’s traveled extensively throughout New Zealand, hiked the nine DOC Great Walks, cycled, skied, camped, sailed, swum and skydived in various parts of the country, as well as overseas. He’s been lucky enough to visit seven continents as well as many of the South Pacific islands. After careers in information technologies and medical research, he now works as a volunteer with the Red Cross and others.
Profile Image of Russell Davie
Russell Davie View biography
Russell Davie is an ex-dairy farmer with a background in geology, geography, soil mineralogy and volcanology, with a particular interest in the Fiordland area, in and around Te Anau, where he now lives and the lake, which bears the same name.
Profile Image of Annie Telford
Annie Telford View biography
Annie Telford’s passion for sport and the outdoors has been hugely influential in her life and friendships. She completed a Bachelor of Leisure Studies degree and has had varied careers as a science technician, adventure tourism tutor, school sports administrator, new home consultant, and realtor. These have been balanced with travel, sport, and outdoor activities: namely squash, running, biking, kayaking, and tramping. Annie and her husband Bruce have a home in stunning Golden Bay but have chosen to semi-retire and live a nomadic lifestyle.
Profile Image of Pam Wood
Pam Wood has spent many years in Europe, travelling, having adventures, tramping in the French Pyrenees, and working in London as a housing officer for a local council’s social housing program. Since returning to New Zealand with her two children in 2006, she has been working in a beautiful small town as an administrator in an early childhood kindergarten and as a property manager for a number of holiday homes. Pam enjoys the great outdoors, tramping in national parks, biking, reading, and playing the ukulele.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Whale Rider
by Witi Ihimaera,
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’
An Angel at My Table (video)
by Janet Frame (Jane Campion)
An Angel at My Table is a 1990 New Zealand-Australian-British film directed by Jane Campion. The film is based on Janet Frame's three autobiographies, To the Is-Land (1982), An Angel at My Table (1984), and The Envoy from Mirror City (1984). An Angel at My Table is a dramatisation of the autobiographies of New Zealand author Janet Frame. Originally produced as a television miniseries, the film, as with Frame's autobiographies, is divided into three sections, with the lead role played by three different actresses who portray Frame at different stages of her life: Karen Fergusson (child), Alexia Keogh (adolescent) and Kerry Fox (adult).
The Hand Guide to the Birds of New Zealand
by Hugh Robertson & Barrie Heather
The revised compact edition of the classic field guide, featuring 74 color plates by Derek Onley. (Item no. NZL05)
The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Geology An introduction to rocks, minerals & fossils
by Jocelyn Thornton
This is the first field guide written for the general public and beginners in geology in New Zealand. Now fully revised and updated, it shows travellers in New Zealand something of the tremendous variety of our rocks, minerals and fossils and describes what to look for in many areas where rock formations are prominent. It covers the history of New Zealand from it's beginnings on the sea floor some 600 million years ago to it's present patchwork landscape of volcano, range and plain. The land was formed from many different layers of rock- volcanic flows, forest debris, ocean mud. All these have special characteristics, which are explained and illustrated to enable readers to find the layers and understand their origins and what they can tell us about the landscape of the past. The crystals that grew in the rocks and the remains of living creatures that were preserved are also illustrated and described. Written in simplified terms, it includes an introductory chapter on general geology, a geological time chart and quick reference maps of the North Island and the South Island for travellers.
The Piano (1993) Video
by Jane Campion
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 Metacritic.com 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
Once Were Warriors Video/CD
by Alan Duff
Once Were Warriors (film) Country New Zealand Language English (99 mins) Maori Once Were Warriors is a 1994 film based on New Zealand author Alan Duff's bestselling 1990 first novel. The film tells the story of an urban Māori family, the Hekes, and their problems with poverty, alcoholism and domestic violence, mostly brought on by family patriarch Jake. It was directed by Lee Tamahori, and stars Rena Owen and Temuera Morrison.
Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance
by Lloyd Jones
2008, PAPER, 276 PAGES, $12.00 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. (Item no. NZL101)
Boy (2010 film)
by Taika Waititi
Boy (2010 film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy(2010 film) It is out on DVD Waititi wanted to shoot the film where he grew up in Waihau Bay. It was a summer film but impossible to shoot in the height of summer due to the popularity of the area as a fishing and holiday destination. The film features the maize fields and the maize is harvested from late April. Boy was shot entirely in the area of Waihau Bay, New Zealand. James Rolleston was never actually intended to play the lead role of "Boy". Rolleston originally turned up on set for a costume fitting as an extra and after short deliberation the teen was offered the role.
Slipping Into Paradise, Why I Live in New Zealand
by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
2004, PAPER, 304 PAGES, $14.95 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. (Item no. NZL69)
The Luminaries
by Eleanor Catton
The Luminaries is the second novel by Eleanor Catton, published by Victoria University Press in August 2013 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. The book was described as "a dazzling feat of a novel" by The Observer.
The Penguin History of New Zealand
by Michael King
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.....
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22 days
21 nights
53 meals
19 B 17 L 17 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
In Transit to Program Continues, Crossing Int’l Dateline
In Flight

Activity note: A day is “lost” due to crossing the International Dateline

DAY
3
Arrive Auckland, Coach to Rotorua, Welcome Lunch
Rotorua
L,D
Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Walking in Hamilton Gardens for approximately 1.5 hr; flat gravel paths. Road trip Auckland to Hamilton: 70 mi (113 km), 1 hr 40 min. Hamilton to Rotorua: 66 mi (106 km), 1 hr 30 min.

Morning: After claiming your luggage, wait inside the Arrivals area and meet our Group Leaders who will be holding a Road Scholar sign. When everyone has arrived, we will board a bus for the ride south from Auckland to Rotorua, with a stop-off at Hamilton Gardens for our Welcome Lunch.

Lunch: At Hamilton Gardens Café

Afternoon: We will wander at our leisure around the Hamilton Gardens, exploring a variety of themes. These include the Indian Char Bagh, Italian Renaissance, Japanese Contemplation, Chinese Scholars’, English Flower, Modernists, Tudor and Chinoiserie gardens. Also, themes such as fantasy, tropical, sustainable, herb, kitchen and the Te Parapara garden – New Zealand’s only traditional Maori heritage productive garden showcasing traditional practices, materials and ceremonies related to food production and storage. We will continue our journey south by coach, arriving at our hotel in Rotorua, where we will stay for the first three nights. Rotorua is New Zealand’s own geothermal paradise. This good-looking city is big on Maori culture and hospitality, where you can stand on active volcanoes, peer into massive craters and view boiling mud and erupting geysers. There is time to freshen up after check-in before gathering for our Orientation session. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. We will pre-order some meals so as to make the most of our time. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
4
Hongi’s Track, Okere Falls & Redwood Forest Walks
Rotorua
B,L,D
Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Hongi’s Track: 1.4 mi (2.2 km), 1 hr 30 min, one way; flat but uneven terrain; some roots. Okere Falls Track: 0.75 mi (1.2 km), 45 min one way; smooth dirt/gravel path. Redwood Forest walk: up to 3.1 mi (5 km), 1 hr 30 min, loop; smooth forest paths and/or dirt/gravel paths with zigzag undulations.

Breakfast: At the hotel

Morning: Board the coach for a walking field trip on historic Hongi’s Track at Lake Rotoiti and to Okere Falls, including a short introduction in the field on New Zealand’s native rainforest and bush flora.

Lunch: At a local café

Afternoon: Boarding the coach, we will travel back to Rotorua to The Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest for a walking field trip through one of the many forest paths. Enjoy the eclectic mix of towering exotic Redwood trees, familiar to all Americans, side-by-side with impressive endemic New Zealand tree ferns.

Dinner: At a local craft beer bar and restaurant

Evening: At leisure

DAY
5
Geothermal area & Lake walks, Maori Cultural Concert
Rotorua
B,L,D
Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Blue Lake walk: up to 3 mi (5 km) partial loop; undulating; uneven terrain. Geothermal area walk: 0.62 mi (1 km); smooth asphalt paths.

Breakfast: At the hotel

Morning: We will travel by coach to the start of a walking field trip at Blue Lake (Tikitapu). This pleasant stroll almost circumnavigates this small lake, framed by pretty native bush and forestry. A collapsed volcanic crater, from above, the lake can look quite blue/aqua/turquoise in colour. This is due to a pumice and rhyolite bottom which the sun reflects up. If time permits following, travel by coach to the Mt Tarawera Lookout for local Maori legend interpretation.

Lunch: Take-away lunch from a local artisan bread café

Afternoon: We will board our bus for the short drive to Te Puia (Whakarewarewa), one of New Zealand’s premier Maori cultural and geothermal visitors’ centres. A local expert will lead us through the area, with commentary, describing early Maori life in the region, followed by a traditional Maori cultural performance. Visiting the recently-completed New Zealand Maori Art and Crafts Institute, we can observe students at work learning traditional arts, such as wood and bone carving and weaving, under the tutelage and guidance of master craftspeople.

Dinner: At a local restaurant

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
6
To Wellington via Huka Falls, Lake Taupo, Desert Road
Wellington
B,L,D
West Plaza Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Walking and standing during field trip. Road trip: 281 mi (453 km), 5 hr 45 min.

Breakfast: At the hotel

Morning: After check-out, we board the coach for an all-day drive to Wellington. Visit Waiotapu mud pools and spectacular Huka Falls. The drive south passes Lake Taupo (the largest lake in NZ), then traverses the famous Desert Road with spectacular views, if the weather permits, of the still-active volcanoes – Mts Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu.

Lunch: In a café en route

Afternoon: Continue by coach to Wellington, travelling south through the central part of the North Island, eventually reaching, and following, the western coastline and the Tasman Sea for the last hour or so, before entering the outskirts of the city. Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand and was chosen for its central location. One of the many enticing aspects of this exciting “little” city is its compact CBD – you can walk from one side to the other in 20 minutes. The waterfront is lined with immaculate parks, heritage buildings and museums. Wellington is dubbed the “creative and cultural capital of New Zealand” and in 2018, for the second year in a row, Wellington topped Deutsche Bank’s list of 50 cities with the best quality of life, beating Zurich, Copenhagen, Edinburgh and Vienna. On arrival we will settle in to our central city hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel

Evening: At leisure

DAY
7
Parliament Buildings Visit, Free Time
Wellington
B,D
West Plaza Hotel

Activity note: Walking up to 3.5 mi (6 km); paved city streets. Walking and standing during field trip.

Breakfast: At the hotel

Morning: We will go on a walking field trip with our Group Leaders along the picturesque Wellington waterfront, in the heart of the city, stopping off at Old St Pauls, a small heritage cathedral built from native timbers and rich in history. We will also visit New Zealand’s Parliament Buildings for an expert-led commentary and exploration.

Lunch: Own choice

Afternoon: Free time to explore Wellington. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Recommended, is a visit to Te Papa Tongarewa (National Museum and Art Gallery of New Zealand). Te Papa, situated right on the waterfront, is dedicated to preserving and presenting the taonga (treasures) of New Zealand’s peoples and to interpreting the country’s heritage for national and international audiences. Before dinner we will gather in the hotel for a lecture from a noted political scientist on New Zealand's government and parliamentary system.

Dinner: At the hotel

Evening: At leisure

DAY
8
Karori Wildlife Centre, Wellington Botanic Gardens
Wellington
B,L,D
West Plaza Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a cable car. Walk approximate total of 6 mi (10 km) to/from Zealandia & through the Botanic Gardens; paved city streets. Note: Extra walking is optional or alternative shuttle transport is available.

Breakfast: At the hotel

Morning: We will walk from the hotel to the Wellington Cable Car for a short ride uphill to Kelburn. From there, we walk to Zealandia (Karori Wildlife Sanctuary) for an expert-led exploration. Minutes from downtown Wellington, Zealandia is a safe haven for endangered native birds and other wildlife. The sanctuary is surrounded by a predator-proof fence, protecting wildlife within the forest as it gradually regenerates to its pre-human state, estimated to take 500 years!

Lunch: At Rata Café within Zealandia

Afternoon: Leisurely return walk, retracing our steps back to Kelburn (or optional shuttle bus), then down through Wellington Botanic Gardens and Bolton Street Memorial Park to the city and back to the hotel. There is time to freshen up before an early dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Dinner: At a local restaurant

Evening: Optional visit to the nearby Circa Theatre for a live theatre stage show (additional cost). Prepare for check-out and transfer early in the morning.

DAY
9
Cook Strait Ferry to Picton, Kaipupu Point Sanctuary
Picton
B,L,D
Jasmine Court Motel

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus; on/off a ferry/boat. Cook Strait ferry crossing: 3 hr 30 min. Kaipupu Point walk: 1.8 mi (3 km); loop; packed clay track; some uphill, mostly level terrain.

Breakfast: A boxed breakfast to have in our hotel rooms before check-out or take with us to eat on the ferry.

Morning: We will check-out by 7.00 a.m. and transfer by shuttle bus to the ferry terminal, then take the scheduled ferry passenger service to Picton via Cook Strait and the Marlborough Sounds. The crossing from the North to the South Island is picturesque, featuring panoramic views of Wellington City and Harbour as we depart, dramatic rocky coastal shorelines and, once across Cook Strait, stunning, bush-clad hills and bays as we meander through the labyrinthine waterways of the Marlborough Sounds. There is plenty of opportunity to observe some of New Zealand’s many seabird species and look out for dolphins and whales. The Group Leaders will provide commentary and points of interest along the way. Picton, in the Queen Charlotte Sound of the Marlborough Sounds, is an important port town serving as the South Island terminal for the busy inter-island ferry service. Picton, and nearby Blenheim, are the major towns in the Marlborough region that is notable for the production of world-renowned Sauvignon Blanc wine and other varietals, as well as green-lipped mussels and high sunshine hours.

Lunch: At a café in Picton

Afternoon: Board vessel for short hop across to Kaipupu Point Sanctuary for a loop walk in this mainland island predator-free zone, through regenerating native forest vegetation and with glorious views out to the ocean and back towards Picton. Later in the afternoon, we will settle into our Picton hotel with time to freshen up before dinner.

Dinner: At a local restaurant

Evening: At leisure

DAY
10
Marlborough Sounds Cruise, Ship Cove, Queen Charlotte Track
Picton
B,L,D
Jasmine Court Motel

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus; on/off a boat. Queen Charlotte Track: 5.3 mi (8.5 km), 2 hr 30 min to 3 hr; undulating/hilly uneven terrain; firm clay; some roots.

Breakfast: At a local café

Morning: We wander down to the waterfront in time to board the vessel for its scheduled run that will take us on a full-day study cruise and walking field trip in the Marlborough Sounds with our Group Leaders. En route, we will stop at Ship Cove, the historic site where Captain James Cook, the English navigator who mapped New Zealand’s coastline, set up a base in 1769. We will have a short time ashore to soak in the ambience of the site and past historic events, taking in the information provided there. Then it's back on board for the short hop to our land base for the rest of the day. After drop-off at Resolution Bay, we begin our hike on the lush native bush-clad trail of the Queen Charlotte Track.

Lunch: Packed lunch in the field

Afternoon: We continue our hike on the Queen Charlotte Track with tantalising glimpses of the stunning Marlborough Sound’s waterways with its myriad of coves, inlets and bays. Entering Endeavour Inlet, we arrive at the home of Sounds locals, Dr John and his wife Judy Hellstrom. John, a retired veterinarian and noted biosecurity specialist, will provide a lecture on the history and geology of the Marlborough Sounds. Following a relaxing cup of tea or coffee, we are picked up by the mail-boat on its scenic route back to Picton.

Dinner: At a local restaurant

Evening: At leisure

DAY
11
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, Sheep Farm, Wine-Tasting.
Picton
B,L
Jasmine Court Motel

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Walking and standing during field trips.

Breakfast: At a local café

Morning: We meet our bus driver and board the coach for the short half-hour drive through to Blenheim, the main town in the Marlborough region. Our first stop is at the Marlborough Research Centre for a lecture by Richard Hunter, respected Maori elder, on the Treaty of Waitangi and Waitangi Tribunal. Following, we visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Museum for a docent-led commentary of its impressive exhibitions. “Knights of the Sky” presents the personal World War I collection of Sir Peter Jackson, Director of the “Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy, that includes aircraft, memorabilia, dioramas, and mannequins. “Dangerous Skies” is a World War II exhibition focusing on the war on the Eastern Front, the world’s only female flying aces, and the 588th Night Bombers, a Russian women’s regiment. It also includes aircraft as well as a stunning recreation of the Stalingrad experience produced by CGI graphics, lasers, lighting and sound effects. Next, we head west for the half-hour drive to visit a farm near Havelock.

Lunch: Packed lunch during farm visit

Afternoon: By coach, to a nearby working family sheep and cattle farm for an informative, in-depth talk by the farming couple on their various livestock practices. We will see a sheep-shearing demonstration, be impressed by working dogs displaying their skills herding sheep in obedience to a complex array of whistle signals and commands. This visit is usually a program highlight. Next, we drive back towards Blenheim, stopping at the Vines Village for a wine/gin/beer tasting experience for those who wish to partake. Otherwise, enjoy the cafe or explore this interesting artisan hub with native gardens, pond, and plenty to see and do. In the late afternoon, we will head by coach back to Picton.

Dinner: Own choice

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
12
To Greymouth via Reefton, West Coast
Greymouth
B,L,D
Bella Vista Motel Greymouth

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Road trip Blenheim to Greymouth: 201 mi (324 km), 4 hr 15 min. Walk in Reefton township: 0.75 mi (1.2 km); paved streets. Walking and standing during field trip.

Breakfast: At a local café

Morning: After checking-out of the hotel, we will board the coach for an all-day trip south-west to Greymouth on the West Coast. There will be a stop-off at St Arnaud, Lake Rotoiti, with magnificent mountain and lake views and sightings of New Zealand’s endemic long-finned eel. We continue on to historic Reefton, a quaint little town, charmingly redolent of its gold-mining past.

Lunch: At a local café in Reefton

Afternoon: After lunch, we join a local expert for a heritage walk through the town, learning, amongst other things, that it was the first town in the Southern Hemisphere to switch on electricity. Continuing by coach, we arrive in Greymouth, named for its location at the mouth of the Grey River. It is the West Coast’s largest town, renowned for its gold and coal-mining past, and we settle into our motel.

Dinner: At local restaurant

Evening: At leisure

DAY
13
Punakaiki Pancake Rocks, Truman Track, Pororari River Walk
Greymouth
B,L,D
Bella Vista Motel Greymouth

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Pancakes Rocks and Blowholes walk: 0.75 mi (1.2 km) loop; paved paths; some steps. Truman Track: 0.75 mi (1.2 km) out and back; well-formed terrain; some steps down to beach/view point. Pororari River Track: 4.3 mi (7 km) out and back; firm clay; uneven terrain; some roots; steps. Optional Pororari/Punakaiki Track: 6.8 mi (11 km) uphill over low saddle; loop; firm clay; uneven terrain; some roots; steps.

Breakfast: At a local café

Morning: Board the coach for the scenic coastal drive north to Punakaiki for a walking field trip to view the unusual and spectacular coastal geological formations of the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Then we wander down a short track through lush sub-tropical native bush to a viewpoint overlooking a rugged and dramatic West Coast beach.

Lunch: Packed lunch during field trip

Afternoon: We board the coach again to the start of a walking field trip which meanders along the edge of the Pororari River, through groves of stunning nikau (the only palm tree indigenous to New Zealand) and keeping a look out for sightings of the rare blue duck (whio) in the swiftly-flowing current. There is an option to return the same way or to cross over a low saddle and follow the Punakaiki River down and back to the coach.

Dinner: At a local restaurant

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
14
To Fox Glacier village/Weheka via Hokitika, Treetops Walkway
Fox Glacier village/Weheka
B,L,D
Lake Matheson Motel

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Stroll around Hokitika township or on beach at own pace. Treetops walk: 0.75 mi (1.2 km) on an aerial walkway; easy. Road trip Greymouth to Fox Glacier village/Weheka: 122 mi (196 km), 2 hr 45 min.

Breakfast: At a local café

Morning: After check-out, we board the coach for the drive south to Fox Glacier village/Weheka with a stop en route at Hokitika. This small town, also rich in gold-mining history, is renowned for its pounamu (the Maori name for New Zealand’s own greenstone or jade), sourced from the headwaters of nearby rivers. We will have an opportunity to visit workshops and watch master craftspeople creating exquisite jewellery and carvings from this beautiful stone. Before lunch, we visit Treetops where, as we traverse an aerial walkway, we can view the native rainforest in a unique way by looking down on it from above.

Lunch: At Treetops

Afternoon: We continue our journey following the coastline south to Fox Glacier village/Weheka and settle into our local motel. Fox Glacier village/Weheka and Franz Josef village/Waiau (14 mi north-east) are each named for their nearby glaciers that descend from the top of the Southern Alps, cutting through dramatic glacial valleys into rainforest close to sea level. A New Zealand World Heritage area, Westland National Park has some of New Zealand’s highest peaks including the highest, Aoraki/Mt Cook. A unique and spectacularly scenic spot, Fox Glacier village/Weheka is the perfect base for a myriad of adventure, entertainment and sightseeing attractions.

Dinner: At a local restaurant

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer early in the morning.

DAY
15
To Wanaka via Fox Glacier View, Lake Matheson Walk
Wanaka
B,L,D
Wanaka Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Lake Matheson walk: 0.75 mi (1.2 km) out and back; well-formed, gently undulating; or full lake circuit: 1.5 mi (2.6 km). Road trip Fox Glacier village/Weheka to Wanaka: 163 mi (262 km), 3 hr 30 min.

Breakfast: At a local café

Morning: Starting from outside our breakfast venue, we embark on a walking field trip, either to the jetty and back or the full circuit of the lake. Lake Matheson is world-famous for its stunning mirrored reflections of Aoraki/Mt Cook and Mt Tasman, on a clear windless day. We will also travel by coach to the best viewpoint of the dramatic Fox Glacier descending out of the mountain range in the distance.

Lunch: At a café en route

Afternoon: We resume our journey south, through native beech forests and past small lakes. Traversing the Haast Pass (Main Divide of the Southern Alps), we observe the vegetation changing dramatically as we enter the drier and more open countryside of the province of Otago, passing Lake Hawea to Wanaka, where we settle into our hotel. Wanaka, on the shores of New Zealand’s fourth largest lake (of the same name) is a popular holiday playground in both summer and winter and particularly noted for its glorious autumn colours and lake and mountain vistas.

Dinner: At the hotel

Evening: At leisure

DAY
16
Mt Iron Walk, Farm Visit & Lunch at Glendhu Bay
Wanaka
B,L,D
Wanaka Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Mt Iron walk: 2.8 mi (4.5 km) loop; uphill; hard clay path; open terrain. Waterfall Creek walk: 1.2 mi (2 km) one way; well-formed flat track along lake shore.

Breakfast: At the hotel

Morning: We take the coach to the start of our walking field trip on Mt Iron, where we are rewarded with 360-degree panoramic views of Lake Wanaka and the surrounding mountain ranges. Following a short time to freshen up back at the hotel, we board the coach again for the drive around the lake to Glendhu Bay for lunch at the private home on a working sheep station. Prior to lunch, we enjoy a stroll around the mature English-style garden with our host providing commentary.

Lunch: At a private home

Afternoon: Our coach drops us off to wander, at our own pace, along the shoreline of Lake Wanaka and back to the township. For the rest of the afternoon, we enjoy some free time to further explore this pretty little lakeside town.

Dinner: At a local restaurant

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
17
To Te Anau via Queenstown, Milford Track Presentation
Te Anau
B,D

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Free time in Queenstown; walking and standing during field trips. Road trip Wanaka to Te Anau: 141 mi (227 km), 3 hr.

Breakfast: At the hotel

Morning: Following check-out, we board the coach for our drive to Te Anau. Our journey follows the Clutha River and passes Lake Dunstan and the relocated town of Cromwell, through the Kawarau Gorge to Queenstown. Here, for the rest of the morning and over lunchtime, there is free time to explore what interests us most in New Zealand’s most famous tourist town. There’s also an opportunity to visit the Kiwi Birdlife Park (optional, additional cost) to see our iconic nocturnal bird, the kiwi, and other species endemic to New Zealand, up close.

Lunch: At Queenstown - own choice

Afternoon: Farewelling Queenstown, situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by The Remarkables and other majestic mountain ranges, we continue our journey south along the lake shore into the rich farming province of Southland to Te Anau, also located beside a lake (of the same name), and settle into our hotel. The economy of Te Anau, a town with a small resident population, revolves around a thriving tourism and accommodation industry, as it is the gateway to the world-famous Milford Sound.

Dinner: At the hotel

Evening: After dinner, we cross the road to the local Fiordland National Park Visitors Centre for a delightfully quaint presentation by local identity Ray Willett, on his time spent on the “Early Days on the Milford Track”.

DAY
18
Kepler Track Walk, Free Time
Te Anau
B,L

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Kepler Track walk: up to 7.5 mi (12 km), 4 hr, out and back; mostly flat/gently undulating; well-formed; some roots. Optional shorter walk on same track.

Breakfast: At a local café

Morning: We are transported by coach to the start of our walking field trip on the Kepler Track, one of New Zealand’s “Great Walks”. A particularly beautiful tract of beech forest, mosses and ground ferns with an airy magical atmosphere, it follows the Waiau River terrace to Moturau Hut, situated on the Lake Manapouri shoreline and with panoramic views.

Lunch: Packed lunch during field trip

Afternoon: Our return walk is by the same route and, on our arrival back in Te Anau, we have free time enjoying rest and relaxation or further exploration of the town for the remainder of the afternoon and evening. Recommended is a wander along the lake edge to visit the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary to view the rare flightless takahe and other endangered species, and the Fiordland National Park Visitors Centre is well worth a visit for the informative displays. You may choose to take an optional Lake Te Anau boat trip excursion to Te Ana-au Glow-worm Caves (additional cost).

Dinner: Own choice

Evening: At leisure

DAY
19
Milford Sound Cruise, Lake Gunn Walk
Te Anau
B,L,D

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus; on/off a boat. Lake Gunn Nature Walk: 1 mi (1.6 km) loop; well-formed track; flat.

Breakfast: At a local café

Morning: After an early breakfast, we board the coach for an all-day field trip to Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park, with short walks en route. Later in the morning, we embark on a cruise, with commentary, by a scheduled service on the world-famous Milford Sound. Known for the towering Mitre Peak, plus rainforests and waterfalls like the Stirling and Bowen Falls, which plummet down its sheer sides, the fiord is home to fur seal colonies, penguins and dolphins.

Lunch: Boxed lunch onboard the vessel

Afternoon: On our return journey back to Te Anau, we stop for a short walk in the Lake Gunn Nature Reserve, where we enjoy the ancient red beech forest with weird moss-covered stumps and ground ferns. Pre-dinner, we gather up for a short film at the local cinema “Atu Whenua - Shadowlands”, a panoramic journey, taken from the air, portraying the majesty and splendour of immense and isolated Fiordland, over all four seasons.

Dinner: At a local restaurant

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
20
To Balclutha via Gore, Geology Lecture
Balclutha
B,L,D
Rosebank Lodge

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Road trip Te Anau to Balclutha: 130 mi (210 km), 2 hr 30 min. Walking and standing during field trips.

Breakfast: At a local café

Morning: After check-out and before departing Te Anau, we have a lecture by a local expert about the unusual geology of the area, which contains New Zealand’s oldest known plutonic (igneous) rocks. There are also large areas of metamorphosed sedimentary rocks that are closely related to the rocks of Northwest Nelson. Following, we board our coach for the drive to Balclutha.

Lunch: At a café en route

Afternoon: Continue by coach to Balclutha with a stop in Gore to visit the Hokonui Museum and learn about “moonshine”, harking back to earlier, less law-abiding times, or the Eastern Southland Gallery, a major provincial art gallery with an eclectic and significant collection of exhibits from across the world. We arrive in Balclutha and settle into our Lodge. Balclutha, a small rural town off the beaten tourist track, is a fishing paradise for brown trout and salmon in the Clutha River, and is the gateway to the increasingly popular Catlins Coast.

Dinner: At the lodge

Evening: At leisure

DAY
21
Explore the Catlins Coast
Balclutha
B,L,D
Rosebank Lodge

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Several short walks of 0.75 mi (1.2 km) duration; well-formed bush tracks to waterfalls and along beaches; flat terrain; some roots.

Breakfast: At the lodge

Morning: We depart by coach for an all-day field trip in the Catlins, an area on the south-east coast, where we pass through rural heartland to ancient podocarp forests, overlook rugged and dramatic coastlines and walk along native bush tracks to hidden lakes and waterfalls.

Lunch: At a local café

Afternoon: We take a short walk to Nugget Point/Tokata Lighthouse (one of New Zealand’s oldest – 1869) on a dramatic headland with soaring rugged Pacific Ocean views, and sightings of fur seals and seabirds. Before dinner, we gather for an informal time of program review and feedback, recalling the highlights of our time together.

Dinner: Farewell Dinner at the lodge

Evening: At leisure. Final pack and prepare for check-out in the morning and our flights home or continuation of personal travel plans.

DAY
22
To Dunedin, City Walk, Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Road trip Balclutha to Dunedin: 50 mi (80 km), 1 hr. Walking and standing during field trips. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers.

Breakfast: At the lodge

Morning: After check-out, we will board the coach for our drive north to Dunedin, where we explore the central city on foot with a local expert, who will share his extensive knowledge of one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian heritage cities in the Southern Hemisphere and its strong Scottish Presbyterian history. Our program concludes at 12.00 pm at the end of this walk.

Lunch: Own choice

Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore Dunedin city at your leisure. At 3.00 p.m. we will transfer by coach from the central city to Dunedin Airport for international check-in. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.