12346
New Zealand
Discover New Zealand: Walking Clean and Green
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.
Rating (4.84)
Program No. 12346RJ
Length
22 days
Starts at
5,899
Flights start at
1,450
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22 days
21 nights
54 meals
19 B 17 L 18 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
International Flight
In Flight
DAY
3
Coach to Rotorua, Welcome Lunch at Hamilton Restaurant
Rotorua
L,D
Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Activity note: Walk around Hamilton Gardens

Breakfast: On flight

Morning: Arrive Auckland International Airport and meet with Group Leaders. Board coach to Rotorua with stop at Hamilton for lunch and visit to Hamilton Gardens following. The themed gardens are exceptional and include a Maori heritage garden.

Lunch: Welcome Lunch at Hamilton cafe

Afternoon: Arrive in Rotorua, 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 see boiling mud and erupting geysers. Settle into hotel & Orientation.

Dinner: At hotel

DAY
4
Hongi's Track & Okere Falls walks, Bathhouse Museum visit
Rotorua
B,L,D
Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Activity note: Historic Hongi's Track - 1.5hrs, 2.2km one way. Okere Falls Track - 45mins, 1.2km one way. Afternoon walk – approx. 2hrs.

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: Board coach for walking field trip on Hongi's Track at Lake Rotoiti and to Okere Falls, including a short introductory lecture on New Zealand's native rainforest and bush flora.

Lunch: At Okere Falls Cafe

Afternoon: Guided tour of Rotorua Museum and Bathhouse Building, followed by walk around Government Gardens including Sculpture walk.

Dinner: At local restaurant

DAY
5
Rainbow Mt walk, Maori Cultural Concert & thermal area walk
Rotorua
B,L,D
Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Activity note: Rainbow Mountain Summit track - uphill climb 2.5hrs loop, 5km. Optional Crater Lake walk - 15mins one way

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: Guided walk on Rainbow Mountain Summit track with views of two craters and walk past coloured and steaming ridges. From the summit, there are amazing 360-degree views of Rotorua's lakes and Mt Tarawera, the volcano responsible for one of New Zealand's largest historic eruptions in 1886.

Lunch: At local cafe

Afternoon: Coach to Te Puia (Whakarewarewa), one of New Zealand's premier Maori cultural and geothermal visitors' centres. Participants will enjoy a traditional Maori cultural performance and guided tour of the thermal area and NZ Maori Art and Crafts Institute.

Dinner: At local restaurant

DAY
6
Coach to Wellington, via Huka Falls and Volcanic Plateau
Wellington
B,L,D
Travelodge Hotel Wellington

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: Board coach for all-day trip to Wellington. Visit Volcanic Centre and spectacular Huka Falls. The drive south passes Lake Taupo (the largest lake in NZ), and through the famous Desert Road with spectacular views of the still active volcanoes - Mts Tongariro, Ngauruhoe & Ruapehu.

Lunch: In cafe en route to Wellington

Afternoon: Arrive in Wellington and settle into the centrally located hotel. 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".

Dinner: At hotel

DAY
7
Guided tour of Parliament Buildings
Wellington
B,D
Travelodge Hotel Wellington

Activity note: Afternoon free time

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: Walk on Wellington's picturesque waterfront followed by guided tour of Parliament Buildings.

Lunch: Own choice

Afternoon: Free time to explore Wellington. Recommended, is a visit to Te Papa Tongarewa (national museum and art gallery of New Zealand). Te Papa 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 there will be a lecture on the Politics & Economy of New Zealand.

Dinner: At hotel

DAY
8
Wellington Botanic Gardens, visit Matiu/Somes Island
Wellington
B,L,D
Travelodge Hotel Wellington

Activity note: Walk to Cable Car for ride, then through Wellington Botanic Gardens – 1.5hrs downhill. Guided walk on Matiu/Somes Island, to summit and gun installation – 1.5hrs on well-formed track.

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: Walk to Cable car for ride to Kelburn. Walk downhill through Wellington Botanic Gardens then through Bolton Street Memorial Park.

Lunch: Packed lunch in the field

Afternoon: Take scheduled ferry to Matiu/Somes Island, situated in the middle of Wellington’s stunning harbour. Visitors can wander amidst native plant and bird life while tracing the island’s extraordinary history – formerly an enemy alien internment camp and quarantine station, the island was also once home to Maori and has two pa sites. Animals have been quarantined on Matiu/Somes Island officially since 1889, and by 1908 the island was considered New Zealand’s principal animal quarantine station.

Dinner: At local restaurant

Evening: Optional visit to the Circa Theatre for show (additional cost)

DAY
9
Cook Strait ferry to Picton, vineyard visit, Blenheim
Blenheim
B,L,D
Chateau Marlborough

Activity note: Walk on gently-undulating gravel vineyard roads – 2hrs, up to 7km

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: Board coach for ferry terminal and depart on scheduled ferry passenger service for Picton on South Island, via Cook Strait and Marlborough Sounds. Upon arrival, board coach for short drive to Blenheim. The town of Blenheim is situated in the heart of the Marlborough district, noted for the production of world-renowned Sauvignon Blanc wine and other varietals, as well as green-lipped mussels. Blenheim has very high sunshine hours.

Lunch: At cafe on outskirts of Blenheim

Afternoon: Visit Yealands Estate Winery for a short film on the viticulture industry and their award-winning environmentally-friendly and pioneering approach to energy sustainability. There is wine tasting for those who wish to partake, and all will enjoy a walk on groomed vineyard roads, on rolling hills with magnificent cliff-top views over the ocean. Among many conservation initiatives there are wetland areas with extensive birdlife, miniature sheep and pigs, and even music among the vines!

Dinner: At hotel

DAY
10
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, visit working sheep farm
Blenheim
B,L,D
Chateau Marlborough

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: Visit Omaka Aviation Heritage Museum for a guided tour of World War I and II exhibitions, featuring stunning sets and static displays by Sir Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop, of Lord of the Rings fame.

Lunch: At local cafe

Afternoon: Coach to working family sheep and cattle farm for sheep shearing demonstration, impressive displays of working dogs mustering, and enjoy informative and interactive lecture by farmer.

Dinner: At hotel

DAY
11
Boat trip on Marlborough Sounds, bird sanctuary, bush walk
Blenheim
B,L,D
Chateau Marlborough

Activity note: Walk on Motuara Island to summit, 1hr loop. Walk on Queen Charlotte Track, 2.5hrs

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: Board chartered vessel for all-day cruise and walking field trip in the Marlborough Sounds. En route, visit Motuara Island, a predator-free bird sanctuary, and Ship Cove, the historic site where Captain James Cook, the English navigator who mapped New Zealand’s coastline, set up a base in 1769.

Lunch: Packed lunch in the field

Afternoon: Walk on the Queen Charlotte Track in regenerating native bush and with magnificent sea views. Dr John Hellstrom, will provide a lecture on the history and geology of the Marlborough Sounds.

Dinner: Hosted by local residents at private home and garden

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

Activity note: Heritage town walk in Reefton en route to Greymouth

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: Board coach for all-day trip to Greymouth via Lewis Pass, with stop en route at Reefton for lunch.

Lunch: At Reefton cafe

Afternoon: After lunch, enjoy Reefton Heritage Walk and learn about its significant history, including being the first town in the Southern Hemisphere to switch on electricity. Continue on to Greymouth, West Coast's largest town and renowned for its gold-mining past, settle into motel.

Dinner: At local cafe

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

Activity note: Pancake Rocks & Blowholes Walk on paved paths with some steps – 20mins, 1.1km loop. Truman Track, steps down to beach – 30mins loop. Pororari River Track – 2hrs, 7km loop on well-formed trail or Punakaiki/Pororari Track – 3hrs, 11km loop.

Breakfast: At local cafe

Morning: Board coach to Punakaiki for field trip to view unusual and spectacular coastal geological formations of Pancake Rocks & Blowholes. Walk down Truman Track to rugged West Coast beach.

Lunch: Packed lunch in the field

Afternoon: Coach to Pororari River for guided river-side walk through groves of lush nikau (the only palm tree indigenous to NZ). Look out for sightings of the rare blue duck (whio) in the swiftly-flowing current.

Dinner: At local restaurant

DAY
14
To Franz Josef village via Hokitika and Treetops Walkway
Franz Josef village/Waiau
B,L,D
Alpine Glacier Motel

Activity note: Explore historic Hokitika on foot, and walk on aerial Treetops Walkway - 1hr

Breakfast: At local cafe

Morning: Coach to Franz Josef village/Waiau with stop en route at Hokitika, which is famous for pounamu, commonly known as greenstone or New Zealand jade. An opportunity to view and shop for exquisite jewellery and sculpture work, made by the local community of master craftspeople and artists.

Lunch: At Treetops Cafe en route

Afternoon: View lush native rainforest canopy in a unique way by looking down from above on an aerial Treetop Walkway. Continue by coach to Franz Josef village/Waiau, settle into motel.

Dinner: At local restaurant

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

Activity note: Walk on well-formed path to Lake Matheson jetty – 40mins loop or lake circuit - 1.5hrs, 2.6km. Walk to Fox Glacier viewpoint – 1.5hrs, 2.6km loop.

Breakfast: At local cafe

Morning: Walk to jetty and return, or full circuit of Lake Matheson to view famous mirrored reflections of Aoraki/Mt Cook and Mt Tasman. Then by coach to Westland Glacier National Park for riverbed walk and short climb to rocky point to view face of Fox Glacier. Part of the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area, the glacier descends from the top of the Southern Alps, cutting through dramatic glacial valleys into rainforest 300m above sea level.

Lunch: At local cafe

Afternoon: Resume journey south, passing small lakes and native beech forest. Traverse Haast Pass (Main Divide of the Southern Alps) to enter the province of Otago, passing Lake Hawea to Wanaka. Settle into hotel in Wanaka, on the shores of NZ’s fourth largest lake (of the same name), formed by glacial erosion.

Dinner: At local restaurant

DAY
16
Guided walk on Mt Iron, farm visit and lunch at Glendhu Bay
Wanaka
B,L,D
Wanaka Hotel

Activity note: Mt Iron is an uphill loop track - 2 hrs, 4.5km. From Waterfall Creek, walk along shoreline or on well-formed track around edge of Lake Wanaka - 1hr, 2km.

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: Guided walk to summit of Mt Iron for 360’ panoramic views of Lake Wanaka and surrounding area. Board coach for visit to private home on working sheep station at Glendhu Bay, on the shores of Lake Wanaka. Enjoy tour by host of beautiful mature garden.

Lunch: In courtyard garden of private home

Afternoon: Guided walk along shoreline of Lake Wanaka from Waterfall Creek back to township, then enjoy free time to explore Wanaka.

Dinner: At local restaurant

DAY
17
To Te Anau via Queenstown, The Milford Track Lecture
Te Anau
B,D
Arran Motel

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: Board coach for trip to Te Anau. The journey follows the Clutha River and passes Lake Dunstan and the relocated town of Cromwell, through the Kawarau Gorge to Queenstown, where there is free time to explore New Zealand’s famous tourist town. Includes an optional visit to Kiwi Birdlife Park (additional cost).

Lunch: At Queenstown - own choice

Afternoon: Continue on to Te Anau, arrive and settle into hotel. Te Anau lies beside the sparkling blue waters of Lake Te Anau, the largest lake in Australasia by fresh water volume, and also the gateway to world-famous Milford Sound.

Dinner: At local restaurant

Evening: Lecture: "Early Days on the Milford Track" by local identity, Ray Willett.

DAY
18
Kepler Track walk, Conservation Centre & Bird Sanctuary
Te Anau
B,L
Arran Motel

Activity note: The well-formed track follows the Waiau River terrace, crosses a wetland and through beech forest to Moturau Hut - 4hrs, 12km loop.

Breakfast: At local cafe

Morning: Transport by coach to start of guided walk on the Kepler Track, following the Waiau River terrace through stunning beech forest and lush ferns to Moturau Hut, situated on Lake Manapouri shoreline and with panoramic views.

Lunch: Packed lunch in field

Afternoon: Free time during the late afternoon to visit the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary to view rare flightless takahe and other endangered species, and the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre to view exhibits.

Dinner: Own choice

Evening: Optional Lake Te Anau boat trip excursion to Te Ana-au Glow-Worm Caves (additional cost).

DAY
19
Visit Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park
Te Anau
B,L,D
Arran Motel

Activity note: Lake Gunn Nature Walk – 45mins, 1.4km loop

Breakfast: At local cafe

Morning: Board coach for all-day field trip to Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park, with short walks en route. Embark on cruise (with commentary) by scheduled service on world-famous Milford Sound.

Lunch: Boxed lunch on-board the vessel

Afternoon: Return by coach to Te Anau with stop at Cascade Creek for Lake Gunn Nature Walk en route. Pre-dinner, enjoy short film at local cinema: Atu Whenua – Shadowlands.

Dinner: At local restaurant

DAY
20
Visit specialty farm holding, coach to Balclutha
Balclutha
B,L,D
Rosebank Lodge

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: Coach to picturesque 50-acre farm, focused on producing specialty fibres from rare breeds of gotland pelt sheep, silver angora goats and alpacas. Enjoy a spinning demonstration and close encounters with farmyard animals – hens, pigs, milking cow and more. Board coach to Balclutha.

Lunch: At Five Rivers Cafe

Afternoon: Continue by coach to Balclutha with a stop at Gore to visit Hokonui Museum or Eastern Southland Gallery, a major provincial art gallery. Arrive at Balclutha and settle into Lodge. Balclutha, the main centre of the Clutha district, is a fishing paradise for brown trout and salmon in the Clutha River. Balclutha is also known for its six-arched bridge and is the gateway to the Catlins Coast.

Dinner: At Lodge

DAY
21
Pristine forest & rugged coastal area of The Catlins
Balclutha
B,L,D
Rosebank Lodge

Activity note: Short walks in forests, to waterfalls and along beaches. Walk to Nugget Point/Tokata Lighthouse - 20mins loop

Breakfast: At Lodge

Morning: Depart by coach for all-day field trip in The Catlins area, including guided visits in native forest, to waterfalls and along golden beaches.

Lunch: At local cafe

Afternoon: Visit beach settlement of Kaka Point and short walk to Nugget Point/Tokata Lighthouse (one of NZ’s oldest, 1869) on dramatic headland with soaring rugged Pacific Ocean views, and sightings of fur seals and seabirds.

Dinner: Farewell function: pre-dinner drinks and tour review, followed by dinner at Lodge

DAY
22
Coach to Dunedin, Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Leisurely walk through Dunedin Botanic Gardens and city streets

Breakfast: At Lodge

Morning: Coach to Dunedin for guided tour of Dunedin by coach and on foot. A chance to see outstanding heritage buildings and, weather permitting, the world-class Botanic Gardens. A city of strong Scottish origins, Dunedin is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian heritage cities in the Southern Hemisphere.

Lunch: Own choice

Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore Dunedin. Coach transport leaves the central city at 3:30 p.m. to Dunedin Airport for international check-in. Program concludes.






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