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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.
22 days
Rating (4.91)
Activity Level
Starts at
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DATES & starting prices
Oct 24 - Nov 14, 2023
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Jan 16 - Feb 6, 2024
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Jan 30 - Feb 20, 2024
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Feb 13 - Mar 5, 2024
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Mar 12 - Apr 2, 2024
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Oct 22 - Nov 12, 2024
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DATES & starting prices
Oct 24 - Nov 14, 2023
Starting at
Jan 16 - Feb 6, 2024
Starting at
Jan 30 - Feb 20, 2024
Starting at
Feb 13 - Mar 5, 2024
Starting at
Mar 12 - Apr 2, 2024
Starting at
Oct 22 - Nov 12, 2024
Starting at

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 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 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 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.....
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 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.
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)
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
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)
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.
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)
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 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’
12 Reviews
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4.91 Average
(5) Review left 12/05/2022

Terrific program with cultural and historical activities along with the nature walks in different landscapes.

(5) Review left 11/19/2022

What an adventure to fulfill a lifelong dream! Our three weeks were filled with exceptional hikes and educational opportunities while being balanced with some enjoyable downtime. The leaders provided a great experience while navigating the newly-opened post-pandemic of a wonderful country. The sights and people of New Zealand are spectacular. I recommend this three week immersion vacation highly!

(5) Review left 11/19/2022

This trip is absolutely your best option for a first visit to New Zealand. It hits the high spots(Mt. Iron), the hot spots(a geyser and mud pits), and the sweet spots(Kapiti ice cream). We were extremely satisfied with everything about this trip. Our guides were awesome. The hikes, meals, and accommodations were exceptional. The islands are spectacularly beautiful. We just can’t say enough good things about this adventure and what a great time we had hanging out with the Kiwis!

(5) Review left 11/16/2022

This was a wonderful experience, with great guides, and a variety of activities that accommodated everyone. We saw so much of this beautiful, friendly country.

(5) Review left 2/05/2020

This was a great overview of both New Zealand islands. We saw mountains, Milford Sound, hiked on unique forested tracks, and saw so much beauty. Learned about the Maori culture and language. This trip met all of my expectations!

(4) Review left 11/19/2019

This is a group oriented, educationally & physically active program so if you want to go off on your own or stay in your room, just stay hone.

(5) Review left 4/17/2019

The sights and sounds of New Zealand will amaze anyone who ventures there.

(5) Review left 3/31/2019

This program helped fulfill a life-long dream. I am so glad we chose Road Scholar to see New Zealand. There is no way to experience every aspect of this land in only three weeks but this program gave us a mix of cultural, geological, and biological history that was quite satisfying. Days with longer walks were followed by days of less vigorous activity. The longer drives necessary to cover the distances between the major sites were broken up by stops to walk or tour interesting places along the way. We enjoyed our time interacting with and learning from our terrific leaders and bus drivers as well as our fellow participants.

This reviewer did not give a star rating. Review left 3/09/2019

This was a wonderful trip in every way. The country is beautiful in so many ways. We were very happy to be with our very congenial fellow participants, our excellent Road Scholar guides and our two very special bus drivers! The planning that went into the trip worked out beautifully in every detail, nice hotels, terrific food - including even three visits for meals in New Zealanders' homes. RS even arranged for perfect weather and some very special views. I mention our bus drivers: Don (North Island) and Carl (South Island) both fit in to our activities, were gracious, interesting, and added much to our enjoyment of the country. Our Road Scholar guides were very knowledgeable, interesting, and fun to be with. They shepherded us with ease and gave us a real feeling for the country. Our thanks to both of them! It was a job well done! I would heartily recommend this tour to anyone! Bob Weaver

(5) Review left 3/03/2019

This was our third Road Scholar tour. Each experience has exceeded our expectations. The New Zealand trip is exceptional and a must do.

(5) Review left 2/26/2019

TRAMPING THROUGH PARADISE. Hiking Clean and Green through New Zealand was a wonderful and continuous adventure. Stunning landscapes and seascapes abounded. Tramping through a myriad of different environments while learning about the geology, botany and wildlife and building up an appetite for hearty New Zealand meals couldn't have been more enjoyable. Tramping was seasoned with informative lectures and home visits for up close and personal Kiwi experiences. At the end, we were ready to do it all over again. Kia Ora!

(5) Review left 2/26/2019

What an amazing 20 some days of tramping in New Zealand's glorious countryside. Excellent leaders, congenial and competent fellow participants, and overwhelmingly friendly and welcoming Kiwis! Most impressed with what appears to be very genuine efforts to recognize and value the rich Maori culture - special moments included Kepler Track hike and Milford Sound. Having the opportunity to connect visit a sheep farm and lunch with a NZ family only accentuated our experience of the Kiwi's as warm, welcoming, and of course, athletic people. Only improvement would be better WiFi in some of the hotels -- we recognize that some hotels were in fairly remote areas but one would think that Wellington and Blenheim would have better access! (This is a small issue in context of entire program though!) One final shout out to our bus drivers (Don in the North Island and Karl in the South Island) who not only provided us with safe travel, were truly engaged as part of our group - with sharing of stories, experiences, hikes and much more. And finally, a thank you to one of our more silent co-travelers, Freed Gag who quietly greeted us each time we boarded or exited our coach! What an amazing trip -- Thank you to all who made it such an exceptional experience! Ma Tae Wa

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