• New Zealand

Overview

Discover New Zealand, a haven for biodiversity & ecological studies. Journey from Auckland to the Otago Peninsula, known as the country’s wildlife capital. Stop along the way to immerse yourself in New Zealand’s vibrant Maori culture & unforgettable natural wonder.

Highlights

  • Mitai Maori Village – Give your students a hands-on experience learning about the culture &
  • customs of the Maori people
  • Waitomo Caves – Let glowworms light the way as your explore underground rivers & caves
  • Te Puia – Observe a variety of natural wonders & soak in the geothermal baths
  • Agrodome Farm Experience – See why New Zealand is famous for its agriculture techniques with a visit to a working farm
  • Glacier Valley Walk – Learn about the history & stories behind the Fox Glacier as you hike to the top for a stunning view

Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Auckland

Arrive in New Zealand, meet your guide & transfer to your hotel. Visit the Auckland town center for a brief orientation. Afterward, head to the Domain Wintergardens featuring two large greenhouses. Visit the Sea Life Aquarium to observe sharks & penguins.

Day 2: Auckland

Today, you’ll have the opportunity to observe marine life along the beach, hike through the rainforest & splash around in waterfalls.

Day 3: Rotorua

Depart for Rotorua. Along the way, visit the Waitomo Caves to canoe through the caves & underground 
rivers. The cave’s walls are naturally illuminated by thousands of glowworms – a spectacular sight. 

Afterward, check in to your accommodation before visiting Mitai Maori Village for an introduction to Maori culture. Enjoy captivating performances of traditional song & dance, including the “Haka” Maori war dance. Witness the preparation of an authentic, earth-cooked hangi meal & enjoy it for tonight’s dinner.

Day 4: Rotorua

This morning, transfer to Te Puia, a geothermal wonder created by volcanic activity. Observe bubbling mud pools, hot springs & geysers, including the famous Pohutu Geyser that reaches heights up to 90 feet. This afternoon, sit back & unwind with a soak in the luxurious Polynesian Spa.  

Day 5: Rotorua

Did you know that New Zealand has more sheep than people? Enjoy a visit to the Agrodome, located in the heart of a 350-acre working farm. Tour the farm where you’ll hand-feed a variety of animals, including: Romney sheep, cattle, deer, llamas, ostrich, pigs & alpacas. Watch a sheep-shearing demonstration before  visiting a fruit orchard & olive grove where you can taste fresh kiwi juice & honey. 

Day 6: Wellington

Today, it’s off to the nation’s capital, Wellington, recently named “the coolest little capital in the world” by Lonely Planet. There will be numerous stops to stretch as you drive to the southern-most city on the North Island.

Day 7: Wellington

Wellington is a very walkable city & features a beautiful waterfront promenade, sandy beaches & a harbor surrounded by hills dotted with colorful timber homes. Enjoy the area before a guided tour of New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa.

Day 8: Nelson

This morning, catch a ferry to Picton crossing between the North & South Islands of the Cook Strait. As you enter the Marlborough Sound, enjoy views of the Kaikoura Ranges in the distance. Afterward, travel to Nelson, a seaside city known for its local arts, crafts & galleries.

Day 9: Franz Josef

Travel to Franz Josef, a small, west-coast town. Remember to wear your hiking shoes as you set out for a Glacier Valley Walk (moderate level of difficulty). Learn about the history & legends of the glacier while enjoying the incredible scenery. 

Day 10: Queenstown

This morning, transfer to Queenstown – known as the adventure capital of New Zealand! Upon arrival, check in to your accommodation & enjoy the rest of the day familiarizing yourself with this lively city. 

Day 11: Queenstown

Enjoy a speedboat adventure across the waters of Shotover River. Feel the excitement & enjoy the beautiful, surrounding nature. Then, take it slow with a steam boat ride to Walter Peak, where you’ll enjoy a buffet-style carvery dinner.  

Day 12: Queenstown

Begin your morning with adventure! Featured activities include a scenic 4-wheel drive to see the area’s diverse landscapes & gold-panning. After lunch, enjoy leisure time before dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 13: Dunedin

Today, travel to Dunedin, a city which sits at the head of the Otago Harbor on the southeast coast. The area boasts a unique history, strong Scottish & Maori heritage as well as interesting Victorian & Edwardian architecture. It’s also home to colonies of albatross, sea lions & rare yellow-eyed penguins!

Day 14: Dunedin

Embark on a wildlife ecotour & spend the day spotting animals native to this area. Keep an eye out for wildlife like Hooker’s Sea lions, Blue Penguins, Fur Seals & others. Then, visit the Otago Museum, which houses more than 1.5 million objects from the natural, cultural & scientific history of New Zealand.

Day 15: Dunedin

After breakfast, check out of your hotel & enjoy some free time in town. Then, transfer to the airport for your flight home.