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Trip Extensions

Sydney Stopover

Duration: 4 days

Sydney is a great place to spend more than just a day, whether you are looking for an exciting place to explore or hoping to just sit back and relax. Discover Sydney's unique dining, shopping, and recreational options in one of the world's most attra... read more

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.

Day 1: auckland / coromandel peninsula

Welcome to New Zealand!Welcome to New Zealand!

Upon arrival at the airport in Auckland, you will be met by your guide, who will then drive you south through picturesque farmland and coastal scenery to the beautiful, historic Coromandel Peninsula. Along the way, stop at the old goldmine town of Thames, the gateway to Coromandel, where the streets are lined with wooden houses and pubs dating from the 19th century.

After, climb over steep mountains, clad with dense rainforest, as you head to the Pacific coast of the peninsula with stops for photos along the way. From here, it is a short ride to the quiet coastal town nestled beside a crystal clear harbor and a lovely beach with many islands just off the coast. Upon arrival, get settled into your hotel, which is where you will stay for the next 2 nights.

Meals
Lunch
Lodging
Puka Park Lodge (or similar)

Day 2: coromandel peninsula

Follow the stunning coastFollow the stunning coast

Begin your exciting day with a walk though the rainforest. Follow forgotten paths to the incredibly scenic Puketui Valley, where you can visit goldmines, see glowworms in the old caves, and even visit an underground jail! Then follow the coast with its stunning views and white sandy beaches to Cooks Beach, named after Captain Cook, where he observed the transit of Mercury in 1769.

Your guides know and have loved this region since childhood, and will share their vast knowledge with you. A delightful picnic lunch will be enjoyed at one of your guide's favorite picnic spots. Tide permitting, you will stroll to the unique "Hotwater Beach," where you can dip your toes in the hot springs before returning to your hotel.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Puka Park Lodge (or similar)

Day 3: bay of plenty / rotorua

Open-air art in KatikatiOpen-air art in Katikati

Depart Coromandel in an ever-changing panorama of forests, mountains, beaches, and islands, and enter the Bay of Plenty, home to plantations of kiwi fruit, citrus, avocados, flowers, and deer farms. You will see the "mural town" of Katikati, with its open-air art on the area’s history, and visit a private working orchard growing kiwi fruit, avocados, and export flowers. After a delightful lunch, pass the lakes to Rotorua, a city built in the crater of a huge volcano. Your guide will give you an overview of this fascinating region before arriving at your hotel for the night.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Local hotel or bed & breakfast

Day 4: rotorua / christchurch

Beautiful Christchurch gardensBeautiful Christchurch gardens

Your morning is free to explore Rotorua before flying south to Christchurch, the "Garden City." After you are transferred to your hotel or bed & breakfast, sit back and enjoy the ambience of this very "English" city. Founded by English settlers in 1850, Christchurch became a city by Royal Charter in 1856, which makes it the oldest officially established city in New Zealand. It is sometimes said to be “more English than England.”

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Local hotel or bed & breakfast

Day 5: christchurch

Christchurch is a pedestrian-friendly townChristchurch is a pedestrian-friendly town

Today is a day to explore on your own. The peace, the open spaces, the lush colors and rich textures of a city, where a leisurely pace still prevails, never fail to capture the imagination.

Located on the east coast of the South Island, Christchurch is a city of contrasts. Officially known as the “Garden City,” Christchurch has over 3,000 hectares of parklands, which include Hagley Park and the famous Botanical Gardens. Located next to these gardens is the Christchurch Arts Centre, which is the hub of Christchurch art and the headquarters of many art, craft, and recreation associations and groups.

Christchurch is perfect for exploring on foot because it is attractive, fascinating, and flat! The central city is a particularly dynamic place, offering numerous opportunities to shop, sightsee, and socialize. And it’s surprisingly easy to get about. You can hop aboard one of the beautifully restored vintage trams, hire a bicycle, enjoy a punt on the Avon River, or simply stroll about on foot. The great variety of cafes and bars offer an excellent street-side vantage point from which to enjoy a glass or two of local wine, freshly brewed coffee, or an amazing array of international cuisine. There are also many fine restaurants to experience, perhaps as a prelude to a night’s entertainment at the theatre, cinema, nightclub, or the casino.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Local hotel or bed & breakfast

Day 6: canterbury plains / arthur's pass

Visit the beautiful Arthur's Pass region todayVisit the beautiful Arthur's Pass region today

Today, your guide will take you through Christchurch and on to the Port Hills, the flanks of one of the ancient extinct volcanoes that form the Banks Peninsula. From the hills there are spectacular views of the city, and the Kaikoura Range can be seen far to the north, while the Pacific Ocean sparkles to the east. To the south and west the vast Canterbury Plains stretch to the horizon, and in the distance, the Southern Alps beckon you to discover them.

Leave the city and start your journey west across the Canterbury Plains. Crossing Porter’s Pass, a dramatic landscape change occurs as you enter the high country, a tussock grass basin bounded by the Torlesse Mountains to the east and the Craigieburn Mountains to the west. Traveling through the Arthur's Pass region, pass glacial-formed lakes, the limestone formations of Castle Hill that dominate the landscape, and the wide expanse of the Waimakariri River.

Meals
Breakfast, Afternoon Tea, Dinner
Lodging
Arthur’s Pass Wilderness Lodge

Day 7: arthur's pass

Tour a high country sheep farmTour a high country sheep farm

This is a day to discover the real high country, a day where you can explore and learn about the alpine landscape, the plants and the animals, and take in the spectacular Southern Alps. A tour of the high country sheep farm that is part of the lodge will enable you to visit the woolshed, see a sheepdog demonstration, and help with the day-to-day activities. Walking, canoeing, and mountain bike riding are available, or perhaps you would rather just relax in the lounge and gaze at the surrounding peaks.

Meals
Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Dinner
Lodging
Arthur’s Pass Wilderness Lodge

Day 8: arthur's pass / hokitika / fox glacier

See the magical rainforestSee the magical rainforest

After breakfast, travel through the Arthur’s Pass National Park and depart Canterbury province for Westland (“The West Coast”). Originally used by the Maori to move greenstone from the west coast, and later as a link to the gold rush fields, this route reveals great mountain valleys. The road is a geographer's dream, making its way down the spectacular Otira Gorge.

Follow rivers that flow to the West Coast and observe the changes to the rainforest, including the many varieties of ferns that contribute to their character. Travel on a backcountry road, walk through old gold miners' tunnels, and be amazed at the tenacity of the miners in their quest for gold.

Visit Hokitika, once the capitol of Westland, a roaring gold mining town and also a place where the Maori sought their treasured greenstone (jade). Greenstone is a feature in the town’s bustling center of art and craft shops. As you journey south visit the Bushman's Centre, where you can meet some "coasters" in a village with a population of two! Heading farther south, see the West Coast bush and further evidence of the last Ice Age in the kettle lakes created by the melting ice sheets. Later, arrive at Fox Glacier, a truly amazing natural wonder!

Meals
Breakfast, Morning Tea, Afternoon Tea
Lodging
Franz Josef or Fox Glacier Lodge

Day 9: fox glacier / lake moeraki

Reflections on Lake MathesonReflections on Lake Matheson

Today you will explore the glaciated landscape of the Fox Glacier region. Choose between a guided walk to the terminal face of the Fox Glacier, to a glacier viewpoint to witness the glacier’s descent down the mountain into the rainforest, or a hike onto the actual glacier.

Alternatively, hop on a helicopter for a bird's-eye view of the Southern Alps, with a snow landing on the upper reaches of the glacier. (Please note that the optional glacial hike and helicopter trips are not included in the tour cost and are subject to the weather).

After lunch, take a beautiful and tranquil walk around the edge of Lake Matheson, where incredible reflections of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman can often be seen on the lake. Or, enjoy a drive through the lush rainforest to a remote beach on the Tasman Sea for views of the Alps. Here, you can also look for the rare Hectors dolphins.

From Fox Glacier, travel south to the Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge, an area of pristine rainforest and spectacular coastline, set in the heart of Te Wahi Pounamu, the southwest New Zealand World Heritage Area. This lodge is a Tourism Award Winner and provides a first-class wilderness experience.

Meals
Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Dinner
Lodging
Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge

Day 10: lake moeraki

Take a kayak out on Lake MoerakiTake a kayak out on Lake Moeraki

Few places in the world can match the unique natural setting of Lake Moeraki. Today, you'll explore this nature lover's paradise, with untouched lowland rainforests spread between pristine lakes and rivers that drain the snow-capped Southern Alps. This special place is home to breeding colonies of the rare Fiordland Crested penguin (seasonal), the Hectors dolphins, and numerous native birds.

Visits can be made to wild and remote beaches, and activities include guided walks to get close to the wildlife, to learn about the forest, and to experience amazing scenery. Or, if you prefer, take a canoe or kayak out on the tranquil lake or just relax in the lodge.

Meals
Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Dinner
Lodging
Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge

Day 11: ship creek / wanaka / arrowtown

Crown Point, the highest paved mountain pass near ArrowtownCrown Point, the highest paved mountain pass near Arrowtown

Say goodbye to Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge and head out for Wanaka and Arrowtown. Along the way enjoy stops at Ship Creek (where there is a good chance of seeing the rare Hectors dolphin playing beyond the surf), a swamp forest with ancient "dinosaur" trees, a coastal lagoon, and a remote beach where you can search for greenstone.

Continue east, following the Haast Highway, and observe how the landscape again changes dramatically as the road climbs over the Haast Pass from the dense rainforest of the west coast to the drier tussock lands of Otago. On the way, there are short walks to see waterfalls, and if there has been recent rainfall, the Haast River passing through the gorge (known as the Gates of Haast) can be truly spectacular.

Shortly after the Haast Pass, the road skirts along the banks of the headwaters of Lake Wanaka, makes a slight turn and rises over a ridge, and voila—Lake Hawea is before you. The road follows the shoreline of this lake until you reach Wanaka, a quiet mountain resort on the shores of Lake Wanaka. From here, head over the rugged and remote Crown Range, the site of gold diggings in the 1860s. Arrive in Arrowtown and visit the old Chinese gold miners' settlement. It is then a short drive to your Queenstown accommodation.

Meals
Breakfast, Morning Tea, Afternoon Tea
Lodging
Millbrook Country Resort (or similar)

Day 12: queenstown

Magnificent Queenstown cityscapeMagnificent Queenstown cityscape

Today is a free day to experience some of the many activities that Queenstown has to offer. Your guide will be available to advise and assist with transfers to the venues and activities of your choice. Options include:

  • Enjoy a relaxing cruise on the old steamship Earnslaw, the lady of the lake.
  • Try an exhilarating jetboat trip through the Shotover Canyon.
  • Bungee jump at the Kawarau Bridge, the first bungee jumping site in the world.
  • Visit wineries and arts and crafts studios trail around the district. 
  • Take a ride up the gondola, with spectacular views of the mountains known as the Remarkables.
  • Climb up Queenstown Hill for wonderful views of the city.
  • Enjoy a leisurely stroll around a remote and beautiful glacial lake.
  • Or take in some golf, shopping, or even horseback riding. 
Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Millbrook Country Resort (or similar)

Day 13: milford sound excursion

Milford Sound is a feast for the eyesMilford Sound is a feast for the eyes

The road to Milford Sound through the Fjordland National Park is absolutely breathtaking with its sheer U-shaped glaciated valleys, waterfalls, and lush, temperate rainforests. The Homer Tunnel, entry to the Cleddau Valley and Milford Sound, is a tribute to the engineers' skills in the 1930s.

Explore the fjord on a cruise before heading back to Queenstown. Catch a glimpse of the extremely rare Takahe, a flightless bird, at a sanctuary in Te Anau, and take a short walk to see waterfalls, alpine views, and lakes. Optional activities include a return to Queenstown by scenic flight or perhaps a private helicopter charter, which can include a snow landing in the mountains (not included in tour cost).

Meals
Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea
Lodging
Millbrook Country Resort (or similar)

Day 14: onward or extension

Consider an extension to SydneyConsider an extension to Sydney

After breakfast, you will have time for some last minute shopping or to experience that final adventure before you bid farewell to New Zealand. Not ready to go home? Consider an extension to see other parts of New Zealand, or a visit to Sydney, Australia. 

Meals
Breakfast

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$9,195
Air from Rotorua to Christchurch not included
Single Supplement:
$2,295
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Privately on Request

Need to Know

PLEASE NOTE: Prices may fluctuate based on the exchange rate between the U.S. Dollar and the New Zealand Dollar.

Duration:
14 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●●●●○
(see full descriptions)
Deluxe wilderness lodges
Activity Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Mild hiking and walking, with options for more vigorous activities.
Group Size:
4-6
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

New Zealand

Please note that this trip operates under different payment and cancellation policies than those described in our complete Terms & Conditions as noted on our website and elsewhere. Please review the complete Terms & Conditions prior to submitting a deposit. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Payment and Deposit Schedule​

Please note: Prices on this trip may fluctuate based on the exchange rate between the US Dollar and the New Zealand Dollar. Deposit schedule: $500 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. A second deposit of $1,000 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure. Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted on our website and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Airfare
We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your reservation, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

From the Bird's Word Blog

Visit New Zealand and the Must-See Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Thinking about the Deluxe Wilderness Explorer trip for your guided tour in New Zealand? It's a great starting point for a custom itinerary, and one recommended addition is this must-…

Enjoy views of Queenstown
Enjoy views of Queenstown
The natural beauty of New Zealand is breathtaking
The natural beauty of New Zealand is breathtaking
Rainbows are a frequent sight
Rainbows are a frequent sight
See where the foothills plunge into the water
See where the foothills plunge into the water
Meet some cute new friends
Meet some cute new friends
Travel through Arthur's Pass
Travel through Arthur's Pass
Milford Sound is a magnificent sight
Milford Sound is a magnificent sight
Spend some time in the rainforest
Spend some time in the rainforest
Vibrant and colorful flora
Vibrant and colorful flora
Amazing rock formations abound
Amazing rock formations abound

Deluxe Wilderness Explorer

Explore North and South with a superb guide, staying in the finest ecolodges

overview

If you leave no stone unturned when you travel, then the Deluxe Wilderness Explorer was designed just for you. Over the course of this two-week excursion, your guides will help you discover everything that makes New Zealand’s North and South Islands gems of the South Pacific.

After stepping off the plane in Auckland, your guide will take you from the most densely populated urban area in the country to the more remote Coromandel Peninsula, where gold mines, steep cliffs, and subtropical rain forests await you. If hiking and exploring this somewhat rugged terrain tires you out, rejuvenate by soaking your feet in the bubbling mud pools of Rotorua.

Then, experience the relative hustle and bustle of Christchurch, a historically rich city. Maybe you want to wander along the Avon River, or tour the famous Botanical Gardens. When you’ve had your fill of city life, you will trade the big buildings and throngs of people for glaciers, mountains, and the sights of Lake Moeraki.

Queenstown, sometimes referred to as the “Adventure Capital of the World,” is your next stop.  Here you will have the opportunity to do a wide variety of activities, including hiking, jet boating, mountain biking, fishing, or, for those who want to take it easy, shopping. Conclude your explorations at Milford Sound, the highlight of Fiordland National Park. The glaciated valleys, lush rain forests, and jaw-dropping alpine views will resound as deep and lingering notes in the chorus of memories from this powerful journey.

itinerary

See Trip Extensions
View Map

overview

If you leave no stone unturned when you travel, then the Deluxe Wilderness Explorer was designed just for you. Over the course of this two-week excursion, your guides will help you discover everything that makes New Zealand’s North and South Islands gems of the South Pacific.

After stepping off the plane in Auckland, your guide will take you from the most densely populated urban area in the country to the more remote Coromandel Peninsula, where gold mines, steep cliffs, and subtropical rain forests await you. If hiking and exploring this somewhat rugged terrain tires you out, rejuvenate by soaking your feet in the bubbling mud pools of Rotorua.

Then, experience the relative hustle and bustle of Christchurch, a historically rich city. Maybe you want to wander along the Avon River, or tour the famous Botanical Gardens. When you’ve had your fill of city life, you will trade the big buildings and throngs of people for glaciers, mountains, and the sights of Lake Moeraki.

Queenstown, sometimes referred to as the “Adventure Capital of the World,” is your next stop.  Here you will have the opportunity to do a wide variety of activities, including hiking, jet boating, mountain biking, fishing, or, for those who want to take it easy, shopping. Conclude your explorations at Milford Sound, the highlight of Fiordland National Park. The glaciated valleys, lush rain forests, and jaw-dropping alpine views will resound as deep and lingering notes in the chorus of memories from this powerful journey.

Continue to detailed itinerary...

itinerary

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.
  • Day 1: auckland / coromandel peninsula
    Welcome to New Zealand!Welcome to New Zealand!

    Upon arrival at the airport in Auckland, you will be met by your guide, who will then drive you south through picturesque farmland and coastal scenery to the beautiful, historic Coromandel Peninsula. Along the way, stop at the old goldmine town of Thames, the gateway to Coromandel, where the streets are lined with wooden houses and pubs dating from the 19th century.

    After, climb over steep mountains, clad with dense rainforest, as you head to the Pacific coast of the peninsula with stops for photos along the way. From here, it is a short ride to the quiet coastal town nestled beside a crystal clear harbor and a lovely beach with many islands just off the coast. Upon arrival, get settled into your hotel, which is where you will stay for the next 2 nights.

    Meals
    Lunch
    Lodging
    Puka Park Lodge (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: coromandel peninsula
    Follow the stunning coastFollow the stunning coast

    Begin your exciting day with a walk though the rainforest. Follow forgotten paths to the incredibly scenic Puketui Valley, where you can visit goldmines, see glowworms in the old caves, and even visit an underground jail! Then follow the coast with its stunning views and white sandy beaches to Cooks Beach, named after Captain Cook, where he observed the transit of Mercury in 1769.

    Your guides know and have loved this region since childhood, and will share their vast knowledge with you. A delightful picnic lunch will be enjoyed at one of your guide's favorite picnic spots. Tide permitting, you will stroll to the unique "Hotwater Beach," where you can dip your toes in the hot springs before returning to your hotel.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Puka Park Lodge (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: bay of plenty / rotorua
    Open-air art in KatikatiOpen-air art in Katikati

    Depart Coromandel in an ever-changing panorama of forests, mountains, beaches, and islands, and enter the Bay of Plenty, home to plantations of kiwi fruit, citrus, avocados, flowers, and deer farms. You will see the "mural town" of Katikati, with its open-air art on the area’s history, and visit a private working orchard growing kiwi fruit, avocados, and export flowers. After a delightful lunch, pass the lakes to Rotorua, a city built in the crater of a huge volcano. Your guide will give you an overview of this fascinating region before arriving at your hotel for the night.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Local hotel or bed & breakfast
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: rotorua / christchurch
    Beautiful Christchurch gardensBeautiful Christchurch gardens

    Your morning is free to explore Rotorua before flying south to Christchurch, the "Garden City." After you are transferred to your hotel or bed & breakfast, sit back and enjoy the ambience of this very "English" city. Founded by English settlers in 1850, Christchurch became a city by Royal Charter in 1856, which makes it the oldest officially established city in New Zealand. It is sometimes said to be “more English than England.”

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Local hotel or bed & breakfast
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: christchurch
    Christchurch is a pedestrian-friendly townChristchurch is a pedestrian-friendly town

    Today is a day to explore on your own. The peace, the open spaces, the lush colors and rich textures of a city, where a leisurely pace still prevails, never fail to capture the imagination.

    Located on the east coast of the South Island, Christchurch is a city of contrasts. Officially known as the “Garden City,” Christchurch has over 3,000 hectares of parklands, which include Hagley Park and the famous Botanical Gardens. Located next to these gardens is the Christchurch Arts Centre, which is the hub of Christchurch art and the headquarters of many art, craft, and recreation associations and groups.

    Christchurch is perfect for exploring on foot because it is attractive, fascinating, and flat! The central city is a particularly dynamic place, offering numerous opportunities to shop, sightsee, and socialize. And it’s surprisingly easy to get about. You can hop aboard one of the beautifully restored vintage trams, hire a bicycle, enjoy a punt on the Avon River, or simply stroll about on foot. The great variety of cafes and bars offer an excellent street-side vantage point from which to enjoy a glass or two of local wine, freshly brewed coffee, or an amazing array of international cuisine. There are also many fine restaurants to experience, perhaps as a prelude to a night’s entertainment at the theatre, cinema, nightclub, or the casino.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Local hotel or bed & breakfast
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: canterbury plains / arthur's pass
    Visit the beautiful Arthur's Pass region todayVisit the beautiful Arthur's Pass region today

    Today, your guide will take you through Christchurch and on to the Port Hills, the flanks of one of the ancient extinct volcanoes that form the Banks Peninsula. From the hills there are spectacular views of the city, and the Kaikoura Range can be seen far to the north, while the Pacific Ocean sparkles to the east. To the south and west the vast Canterbury Plains stretch to the horizon, and in the distance, the Southern Alps beckon you to discover them.

    Leave the city and start your journey west across the Canterbury Plains. Crossing Porter’s Pass, a dramatic landscape change occurs as you enter the high country, a tussock grass basin bounded by the Torlesse Mountains to the east and the Craigieburn Mountains to the west. Traveling through the Arthur's Pass region, pass glacial-formed lakes, the limestone formations of Castle Hill that dominate the landscape, and the wide expanse of the Waimakariri River.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Afternoon Tea, Dinner
    Lodging
    Arthur’s Pass Wilderness Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: arthur's pass
    Tour a high country sheep farmTour a high country sheep farm

    This is a day to discover the real high country, a day where you can explore and learn about the alpine landscape, the plants and the animals, and take in the spectacular Southern Alps. A tour of the high country sheep farm that is part of the lodge will enable you to visit the woolshed, see a sheepdog demonstration, and help with the day-to-day activities. Walking, canoeing, and mountain bike riding are available, or perhaps you would rather just relax in the lounge and gaze at the surrounding peaks.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Dinner
    Lodging
    Arthur’s Pass Wilderness Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: arthur's pass / hokitika / fox glacier
    See the magical rainforestSee the magical rainforest

    After breakfast, travel through the Arthur’s Pass National Park and depart Canterbury province for Westland (“The West Coast”). Originally used by the Maori to move greenstone from the west coast, and later as a link to the gold rush fields, this route reveals great mountain valleys. The road is a geographer's dream, making its way down the spectacular Otira Gorge.

    Follow rivers that flow to the West Coast and observe the changes to the rainforest, including the many varieties of ferns that contribute to their character. Travel on a backcountry road, walk through old gold miners' tunnels, and be amazed at the tenacity of the miners in their quest for gold.

    Visit Hokitika, once the capitol of Westland, a roaring gold mining town and also a place where the Maori sought their treasured greenstone (jade). Greenstone is a feature in the town’s bustling center of art and craft shops. As you journey south visit the Bushman's Centre, where you can meet some "coasters" in a village with a population of two! Heading farther south, see the West Coast bush and further evidence of the last Ice Age in the kettle lakes created by the melting ice sheets. Later, arrive at Fox Glacier, a truly amazing natural wonder!

    Meals
    Breakfast, Morning Tea, Afternoon Tea
    Lodging
    Franz Josef or Fox Glacier Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: fox glacier / lake moeraki
    Reflections on Lake MathesonReflections on Lake Matheson

    Today you will explore the glaciated landscape of the Fox Glacier region. Choose between a guided walk to the terminal face of the Fox Glacier, to a glacier viewpoint to witness the glacier’s descent down the mountain into the rainforest, or a hike onto the actual glacier.

    Alternatively, hop on a helicopter for a bird's-eye view of the Southern Alps, with a snow landing on the upper reaches of the glacier. (Please note that the optional glacial hike and helicopter trips are not included in the tour cost and are subject to the weather).

    After lunch, take a beautiful and tranquil walk around the edge of Lake Matheson, where incredible reflections of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman can often be seen on the lake. Or, enjoy a drive through the lush rainforest to a remote beach on the Tasman Sea for views of the Alps. Here, you can also look for the rare Hectors dolphins.

    From Fox Glacier, travel south to the Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge, an area of pristine rainforest and spectacular coastline, set in the heart of Te Wahi Pounamu, the southwest New Zealand World Heritage Area. This lodge is a Tourism Award Winner and provides a first-class wilderness experience.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Dinner
    Lodging
    Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: lake moeraki
    Take a kayak out on Lake MoerakiTake a kayak out on Lake Moeraki

    Few places in the world can match the unique natural setting of Lake Moeraki. Today, you'll explore this nature lover's paradise, with untouched lowland rainforests spread between pristine lakes and rivers that drain the snow-capped Southern Alps. This special place is home to breeding colonies of the rare Fiordland Crested penguin (seasonal), the Hectors dolphins, and numerous native birds.

    Visits can be made to wild and remote beaches, and activities include guided walks to get close to the wildlife, to learn about the forest, and to experience amazing scenery. Or, if you prefer, take a canoe or kayak out on the tranquil lake or just relax in the lodge.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Dinner
    Lodging
    Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: ship creek / wanaka / arrowtown
    Crown Point, the highest paved mountain pass near ArrowtownCrown Point, the highest paved mountain pass near Arrowtown

    Say goodbye to Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge and head out for Wanaka and Arrowtown. Along the way enjoy stops at Ship Creek (where there is a good chance of seeing the rare Hectors dolphin playing beyond the surf), a swamp forest with ancient "dinosaur" trees, a coastal lagoon, and a remote beach where you can search for greenstone.

    Continue east, following the Haast Highway, and observe how the landscape again changes dramatically as the road climbs over the Haast Pass from the dense rainforest of the west coast to the drier tussock lands of Otago. On the way, there are short walks to see waterfalls, and if there has been recent rainfall, the Haast River passing through the gorge (known as the Gates of Haast) can be truly spectacular.

    Shortly after the Haast Pass, the road skirts along the banks of the headwaters of Lake Wanaka, makes a slight turn and rises over a ridge, and voila—Lake Hawea is before you. The road follows the shoreline of this lake until you reach Wanaka, a quiet mountain resort on the shores of Lake Wanaka. From here, head over the rugged and remote Crown Range, the site of gold diggings in the 1860s. Arrive in Arrowtown and visit the old Chinese gold miners' settlement. It is then a short drive to your Queenstown accommodation.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Morning Tea, Afternoon Tea
    Lodging
    Millbrook Country Resort (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 12: queenstown
    Magnificent Queenstown cityscapeMagnificent Queenstown cityscape

    Today is a free day to experience some of the many activities that Queenstown has to offer. Your guide will be available to advise and assist with transfers to the venues and activities of your choice. Options include:

    • Enjoy a relaxing cruise on the old steamship Earnslaw, the lady of the lake.
    • Try an exhilarating jetboat trip through the Shotover Canyon.
    • Bungee jump at the Kawarau Bridge, the first bungee jumping site in the world.
    • Visit wineries and arts and crafts studios trail around the district. 
    • Take a ride up the gondola, with spectacular views of the mountains known as the Remarkables.
    • Climb up Queenstown Hill for wonderful views of the city.
    • Enjoy a leisurely stroll around a remote and beautiful glacial lake.
    • Or take in some golf, shopping, or even horseback riding. 
    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Millbrook Country Resort (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 13: milford sound excursion
    Milford Sound is a feast for the eyesMilford Sound is a feast for the eyes

    The road to Milford Sound through the Fjordland National Park is absolutely breathtaking with its sheer U-shaped glaciated valleys, waterfalls, and lush, temperate rainforests. The Homer Tunnel, entry to the Cleddau Valley and Milford Sound, is a tribute to the engineers' skills in the 1930s.

    Explore the fjord on a cruise before heading back to Queenstown. Catch a glimpse of the extremely rare Takahe, a flightless bird, at a sanctuary in Te Anau, and take a short walk to see waterfalls, alpine views, and lakes. Optional activities include a return to Queenstown by scenic flight or perhaps a private helicopter charter, which can include a snow landing in the mountains (not included in tour cost).

    Meals
    Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea
    Lodging
    Millbrook Country Resort (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 14: onward or extension
    Consider an extension to SydneyConsider an extension to Sydney

    After breakfast, you will have time for some last minute shopping or to experience that final adventure before you bid farewell to New Zealand. Not ready to go home? Consider an extension to see other parts of New Zealand, or a visit to Sydney, Australia. 

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Show on a map

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$9,195
Air from Rotorua to Christchurch not included
Single Supplement:
$2,295
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Privately on Request

Need to Know

PLEASE NOTE: Prices may fluctuate based on the exchange rate between the U.S. Dollar and the New Zealand Dollar.

Duration:
14 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●●●●○
(see full descriptions)
Deluxe wilderness lodges
Activity Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Mild hiking and walking, with options for more vigorous activities.
Group Size:
4-6
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

New Zealand

Please note that this trip operates under different payment and cancellation policies than those described in our complete Terms & Conditions as noted on our website and elsewhere. Please review the complete Terms & Conditions prior to submitting a deposit. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Payment and Deposit Schedule​

Please note: Prices on this trip may fluctuate based on the exchange rate between the US Dollar and the New Zealand Dollar. Deposit schedule: $500 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. A second deposit of $1,000 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure. Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted on our website and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Airfare
We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your reservation, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Sydney Stopover

Duration: 4 days

Sydney is a great place to spend more than just a day, whether you are looking for an exciting place to explore or hoping to just sit back and relax. Discover Sydney's unique dining, shopping, and recreational options in one of the world's most attra... read more

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× comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
× activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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