New Zealand: South Island and North Island
Discover the world's most stunningly diverse landscapes in the Paradise of the Pacific: from subtropical beaches and lush vineyards to geysers, mossy forests and dramatic fjords. Experience the native Maori culture, walk on a glacier in Mt. Cook, admire the waterfalls, geysers, the surreal green, the black sand beaches and the Lord of the Ring’s scenery.
The native Maori call it Aotearoa (the land of the long white cloud), and New Zealand has been called Gods' Land and the Paradise of the Pacific since the early 1800s. Its outlandishly surreal green, the undulating hills, jagged mountains, steep fjords, raging rivers, scenic beaches and active geysers leave visitors breathless time after time. Its thundering waterfalls, the tranquil lakes, the silent glaciers, the towering mountains, and the exhilarating nature stay with you forever. This "Lord of the Rings" scenery coincides with the vibrant Maori culture, superb organic food and great wines.
Maori are the indigenous people of Aotearoa, with a long and intriguing story. Based on oral records, archaeological finds and genetic analyses, historical treatises place the arrival of Maori in New Zealand in the 13th century AD. The origin of Maori has been traced to the islands of Eastern Polynesia, and their journey to New Zealand occurred in a number of epic waka (canoe) voyages over a significant period of time.
The Maori legend of how the Kiwi lost his wings is a well-known children's favorite in New Zealand, as well as an enchanting story about self-sacrifice and selfishness. When Tanemahuta noticed that the trees of the forest were dying, he asked for one of the birds to live on the ground to save the trees. Tui, Pukeko, and Pipiwharauroa did not want to go down and live on the forest floor, but Kiwi agreed, even though he would never see the light of day again, and he would lose his beautifully colored feathers and wings. His sacrifice also meant that his legs would grow thick and strong so he could survive on the cold, hard ground. The Kiwi's brave sacrifice has endeared it to locals and visitors alike, and it's the most well-known bird in New Zealand.
Rudyard Kipling called it the eighth Wonder of the World. It has been judged the world's top travel destination and is New Zealand's most famous tourist destination. Milford Sound (Piopiotahi in Maori) is a fjord in New Zealand's South Island, within Fiordland National Park and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site.
From robust reds to crisp whites and everything in between, New Zealand's wines are celebrated the world over for their distinct flavor and aroma, due to the unique sea climate and ideal growing conditions. New Zealand's coast is lined with unique, scenic wineries, where we'll sample a variety of vintages and pair these exceptional wines with the zesty, Pacific-style cuisine. New Zealand's most renown wine regions lie along the east coast from Northland to Otago, where the sea air allows grapes to develop a rich, full-bodied flavor and the perfect acidity for a flavorful wine. Whether you love a rich Merlot or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, you'll find your ideal wine here.
March 22 - 31, 2020
10 Days /9 Nights
Tour starts in Queenstown and ends in Auckland
$5,080 per person/double occupancy
$1,480 optional single supplement
$340 early arrival includes airport transfer, single or double
Includes all fees and taxes