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New Zealand

New Zealand’s Best: Natural Marvels and Cultural Heritage

Program No. 22090RJ
With nearly one-third of its land dedicated to national parks, New Zealand is ideal for exploring natural treasures like harbors, fjords, and snow-capped mountains.
Length
12 days
Rating (4.94)
Activity Level
Starts at
4,249
Flights start at
1,725

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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 21 - Apr 1, 2023
Starting at
4,249
Sep 26 - Oct 7, 2023
Starting at
4,249
Oct 17 - Oct 28, 2023
Starting at
4,249
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding Oct. 27, 2023 departure of “Discover A Land Down Under: Melbourne, Adelaide & Sydney” (#22091) and we’ll pay your airfare from Queenstown to Melbourne, in addition to the one hotel night required in Melbourne between programs.

DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Mar 21 - Apr 1, 2023
Starting at
5,229
Sep 26 - Oct 7, 2023
Starting at
5,229
Oct 17 - Oct 28, 2023
Starting at
5,229
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding Oct. 27, 2023 departure of “Discover A Land Down Under: Melbourne, Adelaide & Sydney” (#22091) and we’ll pay your airfare from Queenstown to Melbourne, in addition to the one hotel night required in Melbourne between programs.

At a Glance

Pristine volcanic harbors. Snow-capped mountain peaks. Ink-black night skies ablaze with brilliant stars. These are just a few of the treasures visitors seek on journeys to New Zealand. On our journey from Auckland to Queenstown, complete with full free days to explore on your own, experience Maori traditions first-hand, learn local history on expert-led field trips and embrace the awe-inspiring power of nature — evident in every view of the mountains and lakes that surround you.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to three miles daily over varied terrain. Elevations up to 3,200 feet.
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…

  • Experience traditional Maori customs.
  • Stargaze in the Mackenzie Basin, home to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, located in New Zealand's only International Dark Sky Reserve.
  • Witness spectacular landscapes during a study cruise.

General Notes

Program includes independent time (including free days in Auckland and Queenstown) to explore independently, and has several meals on your own. Group Leaders will provide directions for self-directed excursions. Suggestions for free-time activities provided in preparatory materials.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Richard Knill
Richard Knill founded a company that set up and provided staging and seating for one-off sporting and cultural events around New Zealand. He was heavily involved in events such as the America's Cup in Auckland which led to working on temporary staging and seating for the Sydney Olympics and the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. After selling the company and enjoying semi-rural retirement, Richard was enticed back to further develop the company providing assistance with the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

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

Profile Image of Richard Knill
Richard Knill View biography
Richard Knill founded a company that set up and provided staging and seating for one-off sporting and cultural events around New Zealand. He was heavily involved in events such as the America's Cup in Auckland which led to working on temporary staging and seating for the Sydney Olympics and the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. After selling the company and enjoying semi-rural retirement, Richard was enticed back to further develop the company providing assistance with the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Profile Image of Hazel Petrie
Hazel Petrie View biography
Hazel Petrie is an Honorary Research Fellow in the University of Auckland Department of History. She has a and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Maori Studies, a Master of Arts in History, and a Ph.D. in Maori Studies, all from the University of Auckland. Her published books include “Chiefs of Industry: Maori Tribal Enterprise in Early Colonial New Zealand” that was a finalist in the New Zealand Book Awards, and “Outcasts of the Gods?: The Struggle Over Slavery in Maori New Zealand.”
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.
Whale Rider
by Witi Ihimaera
A magical, mythical novella about a young Maori girl and her relationship with a whale, that ultimately saves her village. Based loosely on Ihimaera’s youth in a Maori village.
The Luminaries
by Eleanor Catton
It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky. The Luminaries, an extraordinary work of fiction, was the Man Booker prize winner in 2013.
The Meaning of Trees
by Robert Vennell
Robert Vennel is the manager of Auckland Museum's natural science collection. In this book, sub-titled "The History & Usage of New Zealand's Native Pants", he tells the story of plants and people in Aotearoa New Zealand. In addition to outlining indigenous bush kai (food), Vennell also investigates New Zealand's native plants in terms of their value for suitability for carving, weaving and rongoa (medicinal uses). He looks at traditional Maori usage of the forest and how it put sustainability above all else as well as how European settlers had to change their way of thinking when confronted with vastly different vegetation.
Mauri Ora: Wisdom from the Maori World
by Peter Alsop & Te Rau Kupenga
Pearls of wisdom - whakatauki - have been gifted from generation to generation as an intrinsic part of the Maori world. Mauri Ora links whakatauki to key personal virtues identified across cultures and generations.
The Penguin History of New Zealand
by Michael King
This bestselling book is arguably the definitive contemporary reference to the history of New Zealand. New Zealand was the last country in the world to be discovered and settled by humankind. It was also the first to introduce full democracy. Between those events, and in the century that followed the franchise, the movements and conflicts of human history have been played out more intensively and more rapidly in New Zealand than anywhere else on Earth. The Penguin History of New Zealand tells that story in all its colour and drama. The narrative that emerges is an inclusive one about men and women, Maori and Pakeha. It shows that British motives in colonising New Zealand were essentially humane; and that Maori, far from being passive victims of a 'fatal impact', coped heroically with colonisation and survived by selectively accepting and adapting what Western technology and culture had to offer.
Stories
by Katherine Mansfield
This collection includes three marvelous, long pieces which together constitute the beginnings of an unfinished novel based on Mansfield's childhood in Wellington, New Zealand in the 1890s.
The Bone People
by Keri Hulme
Set in modern-day South Island, this lyrical novel brings together three troubled individuals who represent New Zealand’s varied Maori and European traditions. Winner of the 1985 Booker Prize.
New Zealand: A Natural History
by Tui De Roy & Mark Jones
The authors, both naturalists and photographers, present the wildlife, habitats and splendour of their adopted homeland in this pictorial celebration.
A Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand
by Julian Fitter
Comprehensive and compact, this Princeton Pocket Guide by longtime resident Julian Fitter and Don Merton at New Zealand's Department of Conservation features 600 color photographs. With range maps, descriptions and excellent introductory chapters on conservation efforts and key national parks for bird watching
Purakau: Maori Myths retold by Maori Writers
by Witi Ihimaera & Whiti Hereaka (editors)
A lively retelling of Purakau - Maori Myths - by contemporary Maori Writers.
The Book Of Fame
by Lloyd Jones
In August 1905 a party of young men set sail for England. Among them were ordinary farmers and bootmakers, a miner and a bank clerk. Together they made up the All Blacks, an unknown rugby team from New Zealand. And they had come to show the world what they could do. What they didn't know was that they were bound for fame. In this melding of true history and imagination, Lloyd Jones has recreated an unforgettable journey from innocence to celebrity.





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