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Spirit of New Zealand Overview
- 2012-04-01 - 2013-03-31
Travel in style through North and South New Zealand.
This is a comfort adventure like no other, focusing on the cultural heart and soul of New Zealand. Kick off your journey with a breathtaking encounter in the Waipoua Forest with the Maori. Learn how crafts and culture are being preserved at Te Papa, explore Queenstown and be blown away by the sheer beauty of the Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Fox Glacier and Milford Sound. You will leave New Zealand more captivated by this pristine and diverse country than ever before.
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Travel north to Matakohe and learn about Northland's pioneering past at the Kauri and Pioneer Museum. Visit the majestic Waipoua Forest to see the towering kauri tree, Tane Mahuta, and take a walk to the Four Sisters. Return to the forest in the evening for unique twilight encounter.
Travel to Paihia, gateway to the idyllic Bay of Islands. This national maritime park is home to 144 islands and has plenty of options for outdoor enthusiasts. Perhaps hike to Haruru Falls, go swimming with dolphins or visit Russell, New Zealand's oldest settlement. Enjoy a relaxing group dinner to recount tales of island adventures.
Shaped by the forces of the Pacific Ring of Fire, Rotorua is, quite literally, the North Island's hottest tourist spot. With bubbling mud pools, exploding geysers and surreal-coloured mineral terraces, the 'Sulphur City' and surrounding region never fails to impress. In free time, why not go rafting or mountain biking, hike an active volcano or visit a nearby Maori village.
Journey through green countryside, beautiful native bush and some of the largest alpine forests in the Southern Hemisphere. See the spectacular Huka Falls and tranquil Lake Taupo, the water-filled crater of an ancient volcano. Then, cross the vast, volcanic plateau of Tongariro National Park and spend the afternoon exploring one of the many walking trails.
There's plenty to do in the cosmopolitan capital city of Wellington. Visit Te Papa Tongarewa, the National Museum of New Zealand, then perhaps ride a cable car to the Botanic Gardens, taking in spectacular views of Wellington city and harbour.
Head by ferry from the North to South Island. Cross Cook Strait passing through the incredible Marlborough Sounds. Continue to Nelson, known for its wineries, breweries and artistic community.
Discover the regions lakes on the way to Punakaiki, nestled in the foothills of the Paparoa National Park. Its magnificent ocean-front location, with spectacular views of the wild West Coast beaches, makes this an enjoyable stop. Enjoy short walks along the coast and see why the Pancake Rocks earned their name.
Take in the incredible scenery along the coast on the way to Fox Glacier. The guided glacier trek begins on a path through ferns and regenerating, temperate rainforest. Stepping onto the ice, strap on crampons and pass through crevasses and ridges for spectacular views of the icefalls and lower glacier.
Have an adrenaline rush on a visit to Queenstown - a thrillseekers' mecca. Then change pace with a cruise on Lake Wakatipu, heading to the Colonel's Homestead for a night of high country hospitality.
Farewell Queenstown and take in the beauty of Fiordland National Park en route to magnificent Milford Sound. Soak up the spectacular surrounds on a cruise and perhaps spot fur seals, bottlenose dolphins and even a rare penguin. Spend the night in Te Anau.
Travel through incredible 'Lord of the Rings' scenery to arrive at Lake Ohau. Take a stroll around the lake or enjoy an early evening drink while overlooking the sunset silhouette of Mt Cook.
Be prepared for breathtaking views of Mt Cook across the clear, blue waters of Lake Pukaki before heading to Lake Tekapo. For a real treat, take an optional flight over the lakes to see the region from a different angle. Later, make tracks across the Canterbury Plains to finish this adventure in Christchurch.
What's included in this trip