New Zealand Geographical Tours
The best educational tours of New Zealand.
DAY 1: Depart Australia to Auckland. Upon arrival met by our New Zealand based partners. If time permits an initial sightseeing tour of Auckland will be conducted before settling into the nights accommodation. If the flight schedules mean a late arrival the sightseeing will be conducted the next morning, or split between the two days.
DAY 2: Auckland sightseeing will include an overall view from the top of one of the many extinct volcanoes that make up Auckland. ‘One Tree Hill’ is also significant in that it was the largest ‘Pa’ site (fortified Maori village) in New Zealand and the terracing used for both defensive systems and cultivation is still evident. Downtown including the new developments for the Americas cup and the Auckland Tower can be seen. On to Kelly Tarltons Underwater world and Antarctic Centre, where you can see one of the best exhibits in New Zealand. Live Emperor Penguins in a state of the art Antarctic environment and an exact replica of the interior of Scotts Hut. Depart Auckland and drive south to Rotorua where the group will be based for a few nights.
DAY 3: Today we start our exploration by visiting some of the major sights in Rotorua. Rainbow Springs for its display of not only the largest trout you will ever see, but a range of native New Zealand wildlife including a ‘Kiwi House’. On to Whakarewarewa Maori Cultural Centre for a comprehensive overview of Maori life including working demonstrations of Maori carving and crafts. The centre is based at the major thermal centre and so a guided walk of the thermal park includes mudpools and geysers, your first introduction to this unique power source. Included will be details on how the Maori utilised this power.
The remainder of the afternoon is free for activities and a swim in a thermal pool.
DAY 4: Today we journey back in time and drive by four wheel drive to the top of a Volcano – Mt Tawarewa. In 1886 this volcano erupted and destroyed the famed ‘pink terraces along with many Maori villages around its flanks. The eruption was so massive it left a 7Km split crater, the edge of which we can drive to. Our guides will detail both the geological and cultural importance of this mountain. Upon decent the group will visit one of the villages that was smothered, subsequently excavated and now forms the basis of an outdoor museum. Traditional buildings were preserved in ash, much the same as at Pompei. Back to base for another soak in the pools!
DAY 5: Depart Rotorua on route to Tongariro National Park. On the way a stop is made at the ………Thermal Park. Here you will see thermal activity of a very different nature to Whaka. This area is known as the ‘Artists Palat’ because of the range of sulphur based colours that can be seen. In addition you can see the largest easily accessible thermal mud-pool in the area. Next we arrive at Taupo and aside from seeing the largest lake in new Zealand we visit the Wairaki Thermal Power Station and see how this natural energy source is used in the modern world. Other important sights such as Huka Falls will be visited. Unfortunately the seismic research station has been closed to the public. Our journey continues around the shores of Lake Taupo where you learn about how this lake is the flooded crater of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history. We soon enter the National Park and our accommodation on the flanks of Mt Ruapehu. Balance of day free. Evening presentation/discussion about the National Park.
DAY 6: The big day! Subject to weather we will climb to the top of Mt Ruapehu and lunch by the crater lake. This is not a technical climb, just a long walk up hill – in fact you reach 9,000 ft (3,000 mtr) and the view affords you a grandstand to see the other volcanoes of Ngarahoe, Tongariro and in the distant East the prominent cone of Mt Egmont. Upon descending back to base the balance of the day is free. Should weather conditions eliminate the climb other activities in the National Park will be substituted.
DAY 7: Today does provide a second window of opportunity for the climb should weather have prevented the attempt the day before. This would make for a late arrival into Auckland.
Otherwise, after further park based activities in the morning we leave leave Tongariro National Park and travel to Waitomo Caves to see these famous limestone caves and their resident ‘glow worms’. Continue to Auckland. Overnight.
DAY 8: Time for that last NZ ice-cream. Depart Auckland back to Australia. Usually early flight departures.
MOUNTAINS FJORDS LAKES
The South Island of New Zealand is one place that is hard to describe unless you have been there. A compact area in which one can observe the most impressive examples of mountains, lakes, glaciers and fjords and the resultant flora and fauna that exists in this type of environment. Our two ‘centre stops’ allow us time to absorb the wonderful wilderness that makes the South Island a special part of this planet.
DAY 1: Depart Australia. Arrive Christchurch. Dependent upon arrival times of flights some sightseeing may be done now, or transfer to accommodation.
DAY 2: To our first ‘Alpine Centre’ where an introduction is made to New Zealands unique alpine environment.
DAY 3: Activity day.
DAY 4: Travel to the West Coast Glaciers.
DAY 5: A chance to walk on the glacier before heading south to Queenstown. On route you pass over the Haast Pass and drive past Lake Wanaka.
DAY 6: After today’s nature walk we head to Lake Manapouri in time to take the boat across the lake and then by transport vehicle to the education lodge at Doubtful Sound. You are now truly in the midst of some of the most spectacular scenery in the world and from this centre you can sample one of the worlds most remarkable wilderness’s.
DAY 7: Activity day.
DAY 8: Back across the lake and via Queenstown to our accommodation near Mt Cook.
DAY 9: Mt Cook area activities. Late afternoon departure to Christchurch.
DAY10: Time for some essential sightseeing in Christchurch. The Museum and Antarctic centre. Depart Christchurch. Depending upon the flight departure time more sightseeing can be included.
Feel free to contact us on 1800 337 031 for a free quote and itinerary.