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22753
New Zealand

A New Zealand Odyssey: Indigenous Culture & Natural Beauty

Explore the unique story of New Zealand as you learn of its distinctive natural environment and rich Maori and European history from local experts.
Rating (4.71)
Program No. 22753RJ
Length
16 days
Starts at
6,499
Flights start at
1,450
New Zealand

A New Zealand Odyssey: Indigenous Culture & Natural Beauty

Explore the unique story of New Zealand as you learn of its distinctive natural environment and rich Maori and European history from local experts.
Length
16 days
Starts at
6,499
Flights start at
1,450
Length
16 days
Rating (4.71)
Starts at
6,499
Flights start at
1,450
Program No. 22753RJ

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To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

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Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Nov 25 - Dec 10, 2022
Starting at
6,499
Dec 2 - Dec 17, 2022
Starting at
6,499
Jan 13 - Jan 28, 2023
Starting at
6,999
Jan 27 - Feb 11, 2023
Starting at
6,999
Feb 10 - Feb 25, 2023
Starting at
6,999
Mar 3 - Mar 18, 2023
Starting at
6,999
Mar 17 - Apr 1, 2023
Starting at
6,999
Apr 7 - Apr 22, 2023
Starting at
6,699
Sep 29 - Oct 14, 2023
Starting at
6,699
Oct 20 - Nov 4, 2023
Starting at
6,999
Nov 10 - Nov 25, 2023
Starting at
6,999
Dec 1 - Dec 16, 2023
Starting at
6,999
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Nov 25 - Dec 10, 2022
Starting at
7,599
Dec 2 - Dec 17, 2022
Starting at
7,599
Jan 13 - Jan 28, 2023
Starting at
8,149
Jan 27 - Feb 11, 2023
Starting at
8,149
Feb 10 - Feb 25, 2023
Starting at
8,149
Mar 3 - Mar 18, 2023
Starting at
8,149
Mar 17 - Apr 1, 2023
Starting at
8,149
Apr 7 - Apr 22, 2023
Starting at
7,749
Sep 29 - Oct 14, 2023
Starting at
7,749
Oct 20 - Nov 4, 2023
Starting at
8,149
Nov 10 - Nov 25, 2023
Starting at
8,149
Dec 1 - Dec 16, 2023
Starting at
8,149

At a Glance

Absorb the beauty of “the land of the long white cloud,” as Aotearoa, the Maori name for New Zealand, is commonly translated. Delve into the story of this island nation’s indigenous Maori people. Examine the natural environments of both the North and South Islands: descend into a pristine volcanic valley, stand alongside bubbling mudpools and meet New Zealand’s national bird, the kiwi. Sail the beautiful waters of Lake Wakatipu, enjoy stunning vistas of Queenstown and much more.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to three hours a day over varied terrain. Elevations up to 3,100 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…

  • Learn from experts about New Zealand’s settlement by Maori and Europeans.
  • Witness bubbling mudpools in a volcanic park.
  • Experience the majestic Piopiotahi Milford Sound.

General Notes

For a similar program with greater opportunity for independent exploration (including free days in both Auckland and Queenstown), please view program 22090.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Michael Deaker
Michael Deaker has lived most of his life in southern New Zealand, and is a member of the Otago Regional Council. He has a master’s degree in geography and a diploma in teaching, and has served as a high school principal, a teachers’ college lecturer and an inspector of secondary schools. He was a manager in the New Zealand Ministry of Education and became the Director of Communications for the Ministry before becoming an independent consultant. Michael has also been a journalist in print and broadcast media for over 40 years.

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

Profile Image of Michael Deaker
Michael Deaker View biography
Michael Deaker has lived most of his life in southern New Zealand, and is a member of the Otago Regional Council. He has a master’s degree in geography and a diploma in teaching, and has served as a high school principal, a teachers’ college lecturer and an inspector of secondary schools. He was a manager in the New Zealand Ministry of Education and became the Director of Communications for the Ministry before becoming an independent consultant. Michael has also been a journalist in print and broadcast media for over 40 years.
Profile Image of Hamish Campbell
Hamish Campbell View biography
Hamish Campbell earned a Ph.D. in paleontology from Cambridge University, and went on to serve as a senior scientist at GNS Science — the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences — in Wellington, New Zealand, and as geologist at the National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Hamish channeled his expertise to write several popular books on New Zealand geology. His passion for New Zealand, geology and learning have made him an exceptional long-time instructor for Road Scholar.
Profile Image of Albert Sword
Albert Sword View biography
The fields of photography, musical theatre, writing and travel have all been professional interests for Albert Sword. He has run his own photographic studio, specialising in portraiture, and taught photography at university level in Auckland. He has toured with the New Zealand musical theater group Operatunity, performing works ranging from Gilbert and Sullivan to Broadway shows. Albert has also taught writing and travelled all over the world, including a four-month voyage around the Pacific on a 50-foot yacht.
Profile Image of Fergus Sutherland
Fergus Sutherland View biography
Fergus Sutherland lives in the Catlins region of New Zealand’s South Island. He is an award-winning conservationist who has run Catlins Wildlife Trackers Ecotours with his wife Mary for 25 years. He holds a master’s degree in geology from the University of Otago as well as a teaching diploma. Fergus was chairman of a local branch of New Zealand’s Forest and Bird Protection Society for ten years and has worked in soil conservation. His interests include painting, photography, hiking, writing and house restoration.
Profile Image of Margaret Copland
Margaret Copland View biography
Margaret Copland is a graduate of the University of Canterbury and the Christchurch College of Education. As a historian, she has enjoyed researching the stories of the early Canterbury immigrants, which she will share with us in her capacity as the Te Puna Ora storyteller. Margaret is an experienced history teacher and she has been a heritage storyteller and local historian for 20 years. Her original stories have been researched and developed to create 13 characters who bring New Zealand history to life.
Profile Image of Robbie Selwyn
Robbie Selwyn View biography
A native of Wellington, Robbie Selwyn graduated with a commerce degree from Victoria University, and worked for ExxonMobil in financial, corporate planning and marketing roles. His career allowed him the wonderful opportunity to live and work in various locations around the world, fueling his interest in travel and international culture. An active golfer, Robbie is married and has two children and five grandchildren.
Profile Image of Alison Broad
Alison Broad View biography
Alison Broad lives in Southland and has a Master’s degree from the University of Otago, where she studied Rural Community Learning. She has since been involved in community projects and capacity building and is currently a member of the Southland Conservation Board, trustee of a community-led development organization and an executive member of a community education group. Alison has also served as New Zealand’s National Commissioner for Education for UNESCO and was responsible for many wilderness-based domestic programs offered by the Southland Institute of Technology.
Profile Image of Heather Robertson
Heather Valetta Robertson View biography
Heather Robertson grew up in Auckland, then spent a year in Upstate New York as a Rotary Exchange student before moving to New Zealand’s South Island. Heather has had a 35-year career in mental health, having trained as a child and adolescent psychotherapist. In recent years she has also worked with adults in a residential setting. Now, she and her husband enjoy traveling to out of the way places such as the Marquesas, the Hebrides and the Shetlands.
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 Bill Rout
Bill Rout moved from the South Auckland/Waikato area to live in the Catlins on the East Coast of Southland in 2012 after having spent many years tramping, hitchhiking and cycling around the South Island. Bill is a former primary school teacher, technical writer and workplace trainer. He has also worked as a disc jockey at a roller skating rink, surf-lifesaving lifeguard and a violence prevention facilitator. He currently works part-time as a therapist and volunteers as an ambulance officer.
Profile Image of Kate McMillan
Kate McMillan View biography
Kate McMillan is an associate professor in comparative politics and head of the political science and international relations program at Victoria University of Wellington. Her research and teaching focuses on immigration politics, media politics and citizenship politics, with a particular focus on New Zealand and its region. Kate grew up in Christchurch but has spent much of her adult life in Wellington, with stints also living and working in Melbourne, London, San Diego and Lund.
Profile Image of Steve Garland
Steve Garland View biography
Steve Garland is a born and bred Cantabrian whose family has had a significant connection to the early settlement of Christchurch. He is a graduate of the University of Canterbury with an M.A. (Hons) in History. He is a retired teacher who taught History and Social Studies at a boys' secondary school in Christchurch for 42 years. He was also actively involved in organizing and coaching school sport and has a wide range of sporting interests from cricket and rugby to golf and sailing.
Profile Image of Mark Sheehan
Mark Sheehan View biography
Mark Sheehan was raised in rural Nelson and has family links to Christchurch and Murchison in the upper South Island. A life-long educator, he never tires of learning new things, meeting people, and exploring different perspectives. He holds degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. levels as well as a teaching diploma. Mark worked as a history teacher and museum educator, and for the last 20 years until his retirement, was a history lecturer at Victoria University Faculty of Education. He is a passionate traveler.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New Zealand Wildlife
by Julian Fitter
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. Fitter (Wildlife of the Galapagos) and Tui de Roy, who contributed many of the photographs, also collaborated on Albatross, Their World, Their Ways.
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.
Purakau: Maori Myths retold by Maori Writers
by Witi Ihimaera & Whiti Hereaka (editors)
A lively retelling of Purakau - Maori Myths - by contemporary Maori Writers.
Zealandia: The Valley That Changed A Nation
by Jim Lynch
In 1990 James Lynch QSM conceived the idea of urban conservation through a plan to `Bring the Birds back to Wellington'. Two years later he came up with the daring concept of community conservation. His visionary 1992 proposal for the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary (now Zealandia) imagined a predator-fenced, community-driven eco-sanctuary, populated with endangered species and located 2 km from the Wellington CBD. 30 years later Zealandia is a resounding success and Wellington has been transformed into an international showcase of urban conservation. Inspired by Zealandia, eco-sanctuaries proliferated around the nation. This is Jim's account of how Zealandia became a reality and changed a city and a nation. An uplifting account of daring innovation, and of the determination of an ever-expanding community that built a jewel that will be treasured by generations yet to be born.





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