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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 (4.73)
Program No. 22753RJ
Length
16 days
Starts at
6,099
Flights start at
1,300
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
6,099
Flights start at
1,300
Program No. 22753 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Oct 1 - Oct 16, 2021
Starting at
6,099
Nov 26 - Dec 11, 2021
Starting at
6,199
Dec 3 - Dec 18, 2021
Starting at
6,199
Jan 14 - Jan 29, 2022
Starting at
6,499
Jan 28 - Feb 12, 2022
Starting at
6,499
Mar 11 - Mar 26, 2022
Starting at
6,499
Sep 30 - Oct 15, 2022
Starting at
6,399
Oct 21 - Nov 5, 2022
Starting at
6,499
Nov 25 - Dec 10, 2022
Starting at
6,499
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Oct 1 - Oct 16, 2021
Starting at
6,999
Nov 26 - Dec 11, 2021
Starting at
7,299
Dec 3 - Dec 18, 2021
Starting at
7,299
Jan 14 - Jan 29, 2022
Starting at
7,499
Jan 28 - Feb 12, 2022
Starting at
7,499
Mar 11 - Mar 26, 2022
Starting at
7,599
Sep 30 - Oct 15, 2022
Starting at
7,299
Oct 21 - Nov 5, 2022
Starting at
7,599
Nov 25 - Dec 10, 2022
Starting at
7,599

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 10 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.
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 Sue Angus
Sue Angus worked for the Bank of New Zealand for 33 years, and is now enjoying semi-retirement. As a part-time teacher, she teaches English as a second language to Chinese, Korean and Japanese students. Sue’s interests include playing golf, competing in triathlons, cooking, gardening and travelling overseas with her husband.
Profile Image of Len Wilson
Len Wilson View biography
Len Wilson is a passionate world traveler who has been to more than 70 countries. He once worked his way from New Zealand to Philadelphia aboard a German container ship. He has taught history and social science in New Zealand secondary schools for almost 30 years, and has traveled with delegations of educators to China, South Korea and North Korea. Len holds a bachelor’s degree in History and International Politics, and believes that travel is the greatest educator.
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 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 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 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 the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences and a geologist at the National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Hamish channeled his expertise to write several popular books on New Zealand geology, and his passion for New Zealand, geology and learning have made him an exceptional long-time instructor for Road Scholar.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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
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.
Purakau: Maori Myths retold by Maori Writers
by Witi Ihimaera & Whiti Hereaka (editors)
A lively retelling of Purakau - Maori Myths - by contemporary Maori Writers.
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 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 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.
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.
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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