Explore the natural and cultural highlights of New Zealand's North and South Islands, including magnificent landscapes and geological features, meetings with the "Kiwi" people, and visits to museums and wineries.

Starting at: $7,874 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Landscape of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu  Typical New Zealand landscape with sheep farm  Wines of New Zealand. Credit: Chris McLennan/Tourism New Zealand  The city of Auckland. Credit: Tourism New Zealand  Maori artist working on traditional carving. Credit: Eric Lindberg/Tourism New Zealand  Maori woman with traditional tattoos. Credit: James Heremaia/Tourism New Zealand  Traditional Maori meeting house  Fence with traditional Maori design  Rotorua's Te Puia. Credit: Eric Lindberg/Tourism New Zealand  Spouting geysers, Rotorua. Credit: Chris McLennan/Tourism New Zealand  Geothermal area, Rotorua. Credit: Tourism New Zealand  The New Zealand Kiwi  Tasting cafe in Wellington. Credit: Tourism New Zealand  The Rose Garden at the Botanical Gardens, Christchurch  Looking out over Queenstown. Credit: Chris Sisarich/Tourism New Zealand  View of the dramatic Doubtful Sound  View of Doubtful Sound   Waterfalls in Fiordland National Park  Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, and the Remarkables  The excitement of the Shotover Jet, near Queenstown. Credit: Tourism New Zealand

Journey Through New Zealand

From Auckland to Queenstown

16 days from $7,874 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Explore the natural and cultural highlights of New Zealand's North and South Islands, including magnificent landscapes and geological features, meetings with the "Kiwi" people, and visits to museums and wineries.

or Call 855-330-1542

Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Grand Millennium Auckland

Auckland, New Zealand

The Grand Millennium Auckland sits in the heart of Auckland’s central business district, just a few blocks from Waitemata Harbour and a few minutes’ walk to the High Street shopping district and SkyCity casino. The bright, contemporary hotel features a soaring, light-filled lobby area, two restaurants and a bar; fitness center with indoor pool, steam room, and gym; complimentary Wi-Fi internet access; and laundry and dry cleaning services (for a fee). Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, coffee- and tea-making facilities, minibar, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Rotorua, New Zealand

Located just steps from Lake Rotorua and a short walk from the city center, the Millennium Hotel Rotorua offers an ideal home base from which to explore this vibrant small city. Amenities of this 227-room hotel include a restaurant, bar, pool, fitness center, spa, laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms feature private bath with hair dryer, coffee- and tea-making facilities, minibar, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Scenic Circle Te Pania Hotel

Napier, New Zealand

Napier hotels with Scenic Hotel Te Pania. Hawkes Bay is one of the first places in the world to see the light each day, and Scenic Hotel Te Pania in Napier enjoys a premium waterfront location on Marine Parade. The hotel's slender curved form echoes the shape of the bay, and guests enjoy sweeping views out over the water. A fresh, contemporary style hotel, Scenic Hotel Te Pania is just a short stroll from Napier's main art deco style street.

Number of nights: 1

Grand Mercure Wellington

Wellington, New Zealand

Conveniently located in New Zealand’s capital city, the Grand Mercure Wellington stands just a few blocks from the shops and restaurants of the bohemian Cuba Quarter. Hotel amenities include a restaurant with an open kitchen, bar, swimming pool, sauna, gym, laundry facilities (for a fee), weekday dry-cleaning services (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. Each of the 114 air-conditioned guest rooms has private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, ironing facilities, TV, phone, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and minibar.

Number of nights: 2



Rydges Latimer Square

Christchurch, New Zealand

The Rydges Latimer Christchurch sits directly adjacent to Christchurch’s central Latimer Square. Amenities of the 138-room hotel include a restaurant and bar/lounge, laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee), fitness center, and sauna. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, minibar, ironing facilities, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 1

Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

Situated on the edge of Westland Tai Poutini National Park, Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier is located just a few minutes from the glacier from which it takes its name. Hotel amenities include a restaurant, bar, self-serve laundry (for a fee), full spa with massage services (for a fee, located a two-minute walk from the hotel), hot tub, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. Guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

The Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Queenstown, New Zealand

The Millennium Hotel Queenstown sits on a hill in Queenstown, just minutes away from the town’s central shopping district.  Amenities include a restaurant, bar, fitness center, sauna, spa, and WiFi internet access (for a fee).  Each of the 220 air-conditioned guest rooms has private bath with hair dryer, minibar, safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 3

Activity Level

Activity Level 3: Moderate / Active


Expectations: Most trips will feature long touring days, many full-day excursions, and a full and active itinerary with a faster pace and longer distances. Some tours may have activities with higher intensity and more active choices/options. Excursions require standing and walking for extended periods of time over more difficult terrain (cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, limited or no access to elevators, muddy/slippery walking/hiking trails), and walking to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Specific itineraries may feature hiking, use of local transportation, extended overnight train travel, extensive use of Zodiac crafts or other smaller ship conveyances, or multiple internal plane rides. Some itineraries may require early morning departures and later evening returns. Travelers may be in remote and/or rugged regions, and may be touring at higher altitudes with steep ascents/descents. Leisure time may be limited (sometimes only in the later evenings). Certain tours feature more active excursions (such as moderate hiking, swimming, snorkeling, canoeing, bicycling, rafting, or kayaking), though another choice may be offered for an alternate skill level. Walking/hiking tours may feature up to six-mile walks/hikes.  

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, lead active lives, are comfortable participating in long days of activities, and expect some physical exertion. 

Reading List

Highly Recommended

New Zealand Wildlife: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Animals (A Pocket Naturalist Guide)
By: James Kavanagh, Waterford Press
The unique, dinosaur-like, tuatara is one of thousands of species of animals inhabiting the diverse ecosystems found throughout New Zealand, many endemic to the islands. This beautifully illustrated guide highlights over 140 familiar and unique species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes and butterflies/insects and includes a map featuring prominent wildlife-viewing areas. Laminated for durability, this lightweight, pocket-sized folding guide is an excellent source of portable information and ideal for field use by visitors and residents alike. Made in the USA.
Come On Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All: A New Zealand Story
By: Thompson, Christina
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: New Zealand
By: DK Travel
Visit Middle Earth and discover the land of the Kiwis when you travel to New Zealand. From Auckland to Poor Knights Island, this travel guide takes you straight to the best attractions this island nation has to offer.Filled with over 900 photographs and 65 detailed maps, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: New Zealand explores the country's Maori heritage, flora and fauna, beaches and national parks, focusing on the best scenic routes from which to explore the diverse New Zealand landscape—from the glistening glaciers on the West Coast to the surfers' paradise on Central North Island.DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: New Zealand features:   • Detailed itineraries and "don't-miss" destination highlights at a glance.    • Illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights.    • Floor plans and guided visitor information for major museums.    • Guided walking tours, local drink and dining specialties to try, things to do, and places to eat, drink, and shop by area.    • Area maps marked with sights.    • Detailed city maps include street finder indexes for easy navigation.    • Insights into history and culture to help you understand the stories behind the sights.    • Hotel and restaurant listings highlight DK Choice special recommendations. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: New Zealand truly shows you this region as no one else can.About the series: For more than two decades, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides have helped travelers experience the world through the history, art, architecture, and culture of their destinations. Expert travel writers and researchers provide independent editorial advice, recommendations, and reviews. With guidebooks to hundreds of places around the globe available in print and digital formats, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides show travelers how they can discover more.DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: the most maps, photographs, and illustrations of any guide.
New Zealand - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
By: Ljiljana Ortolja-Baird
Culture Smart! New Zealand offers insights into a country that is reflecting on its identity, having shed its colonial past and now moving from a bicultural society (Maori and European) toward a new multiculturalism. Despite the challenges ahead, New Zealand society is resilient, underpinned by the values of anti-materialism, tolerance, patience, and commonsense, and driven by a shared passion about being a Kiwi. Not by chance was New Zealand chosen to represent Tolkien’s ancient Middle-Earth in the film trilogy The Lord of the Rings. New Zealand is remote, and even sometimes inadvertently left off world maps. This remoteness might be one of its greatest assets. It is off the beaten track, with a wilderness of World Heritage national parks to explore—embracing ice-carved fiords, lakes, valleys, and towering mountains; lush lowland forests and limestone canyons. Set against this stunning background are the New Zealanders, who, not surprisingly, are passionate about their country and the quality of life it offers. Kiwis, as they are affectionately known, are friendly, helpful, and fiercely equalitarian.  All great companions for enjoying the prowess of the All Blacks rugby team in action!

Also Recommended

Middle-earth Landscapes: Locations in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Film Trilogies by Ian Brodie (2016-03-24)
By: Ian Brodie
Beginner's Maori (Beginner's (Foreign Language))
By: K. T. Harawira
The Beginner's Series is designed to meet the bilingual needs of the traveling businessperson, tourist, and student. These language lessons cover such common situations as: passing through customs, checking into a hotel, placing phone calls, going to the post office, and extending and accepting invitations. First learn about the country's history and culture, acquaint yourself with social customs, restaurant practices, and transportation systems. Then learn basic language skills, including vocabulary, grammar, and useful phrases that will have you communicating with natives and moving about feeely. Clear, easy to use, and insightful, the Beginner's Series will introduce you to the languages of the world.
Fairness and Freedom: A History of Two Open Societies: New Zealand and the United States
By: David Hackett Fischer
Fairness and Freedom compares the history of two open societies--New Zealand and the United States--with much in common. Both have democratic polities, mixed-enterprise economies, individuated societies, pluralist cultures, and a deep concern for human rights and the rule of law. But all of these elements take different forms, because constellations of value are far apart. The dream of living free is America's Polaris; fairness and natural justice are New Zealand's Southern Cross. Fischer asks why these similar countries went different ways. Both were founded by English-speaking colonists, but at different times and with disparate purposes. They lived in the first and second British Empires, which operated in very different ways. Indians and Maori were important agents of change, but to different ends. On the American frontier and in New Zealand's Bush, material possibilities and moral choices were not the same. Fischer takes the same comparative approach to parallel processes of nation-building and immigration, women's rights and racial wrongs, reform causes and conservative responses, war-fighting and peace-making, and global engagement in our own time--with similar results. On another level, this book expands Fischer's past work on liberty and freedom. It is the first book to be published on the history of fairness. And it also poses new questions in the old tradition of history and moral philosophy. Is it possible to be both fair and free? In a vast array of evidence, Fischer finds that the strengths of these great values are needed to correct their weaknesses. As many societies seek to become more open--never twice in the same way, an understanding of our differences is the only path to peace.
Maori Tattooing (Dover Pictorial Archives)
By: H. G. Robley
Originally published in 1896, this classic of ethnography was assembled by a skilled illustrator who first encountered Maori tattoo art during his military service in New Zealand. Maori tattooing (moko) consists of a complex design of marks, made in ink and incised into the skin, that communicate the bearer's genealogy, tribal affiliation, and spirituality. This well-illustrated volume summarizes all previous accounts of moko and encompasses many of Robley's own observations. He relates how moko first became known to Europeans and discusses the distinctions between men and women's moko, patterns and designs, moko in legend and song, and the practice of mokomokai: the preservation of the heads of Maori ancestors. Features 180 black-and-white illustrations.
A River Rules My Kitchen
By: Tony Smith
A Taste of New Zealand From The Mountains To The Sea. 'I am truly at peace when wandering up a river with a fly rod.' Join chef and outdoorsman tony Smith as he follows a New Zealand river from the headwaters in the iconic High Country, down to the foothills and plains and on to the magnificent coast, and explore the amazing variety of food, game and produce he catches, hunts and cooks along the way. With recipes as ravishing as the landscapes that inspired them, A River Rules My Kitchen is the culmination of a culinary journey into the heartland of a wild and beautiful country.
Slipping into Paradise: Why I Live in New Zealand
By: Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
In the tradition of Under the Tuscan Sun and A Year in Provence, here is Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson’s ode to his personal paradise–his adopted home, New Zealand. After living in California, why did Masson settle– out of all the places on earth–in such a faraway land? It turns out that while visiting a beautiful sandy beach just fifteen minutes from bustling Auckland, Masson and his family were utterly seduced by the exotic locale. There was little deliberation. This place, surrounded by lush forest on a bay dotted with volcanic islands, would be their new home.Masson takes readers on a remarkable journey to another world, as he and his family “slip into” the paradise that is New Zealand. For anyone who has ever dreamed of finding utopia, Masson reveals a country where neighbors talk to one another and provide a sense of real community–rarely, outside of the big cities, locking their doors–and where politics are as mellow as the weather. New Zealand is also a land of spectacular scenery, made even more famous for being the shooting location for the Lord of the Rings films. The flora is plentiful. Mangroves, banana plants, papaya trees, and more than ten thousand species of ferns grow wild and freely. The fauna is benign. There are no snakes, tarantulas, or scorpions. Children can walk to school barefoot without a care– there is nothing to sting them, bite them, or give them a rash. In the blue waters near the lush coastline, dolphins and orcas abound. While describing his love affair with the country and his affinity for its citizens, Masson reflects on the meaning of home, the importance of acting on intuition, and what happens when we lose our connection to the place we live in. Responding to an impulse, Masson reveals, he realized a dream.Featuring a its glossary of phrases used by New Zealanders and important Maori words, as well as the author’s recommended travel itinerary, Slipping into Paradise is ideal for anyone planning a visit to this exquisite land. Full of photographs, delightful anecdotes, and little-known facts (jogging, for example, was invented in New Zealand), Slipping into Paradise is also a book for those who fantasize about dramatically changing their lives–and who imagine something better for themselves. Jeffrey Masson’s message: New Zealand awaits.From the Hardcover edition.
Captain Cook: Master of the Seas
By: McLynn, Frank
The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific
By: Paul Theroux
In one of his most exotic and breathtaking journeys, the intrepid traveler Paul Theroux ventures to the South Pacific, exploring fifty-one islands by collapsible kayak. Beginning in New Zealand's rain forests and ultimately coming to shore thousands of miles away in Hawaii, Theroux paddles alone over isolated atolls, through dirty harbors and shark-filled waters, and along treacherous coastlines. This exhilarating tropical epic is full of disarming observations and high adventure.
The Luminaries
By: Eleanor Catton
The bestselling, Man Booker Prize-winning novel hailed as "a true achievement. Catton has built a lively parody of a 19th-century novel, and in so doing created a novel for the 21st, something utterly new. The pages fly."--New York Times Book ReviewIt is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to stake his claim in New Zealand's booming gold rush. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: a wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous cache of gold has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky.Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bust, THE LUMINARIES is at once a fiendishly clever ghost story, a gripping page-turner, and a thrilling novelistic achievement. It richly confirms that Eleanor Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international literary firmament.
The Bone People: A Novel
By: Keri Hulme
In a tower on the New Zealand sea lives Kerewin Holmes, part Maori, part European, an artist estranged from her art, a woman in exile from her family. One night her solitude is disrupted by a visitor—a speechless, mercurial boy named Simon, who tries to steal from her and then repays her with his most precious possession. As Kerewin succumbs to Simon's feral charm, she also falls under the spell of his Maori foster father Joe, who rescued the boy from a shipwreck and now treats him with an unsettling mixture of tenderness and brutality. Out of this unorthodox trinity Keri Hulme has created what is at once a mystery, a love story, and an ambitious exploration of the zone where Maori and European New Zealand meet, clash, and sometimes merge.Winner of both a Booker Prize and Pegasus Prize for Literature, The Bone People is a work of unfettered wordplay and mesmerizing emotional complexity.
Stories (Vintage Classics)
By: Katherine Mansfield
Although Katherine Mansfield was closely associated with D.H. Lawrence and something of a rival of Virginia Woolf, her stories suggest someone writing in a different era and in a vastly different English. Her language is as transparent as clean glass, yet hovers on the edge of poetry. Her characters are passionate men and women swaddled in English reserve -- and sometimes briefly breaking through. And her genius is to pinpoint those unacknowledged and almost imperceptible moments in which those people's relationships -- with one another and themselves -- change forever. This collection includes such masterpieces as "Prelude," "At the Bay" "Bliss," "The Man Without a Temperament" and "The Garden Party" and has a new introduction by Jeffrey Meyers.
Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises
By: Mark Carwardine
Authoritative text, detailed illustrations, and a systematic approach make DK's Smithsonian Handbook of Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises the most comprehensive and concise pocket guide to cetaceans. With more than 900 illustrations, this visual recognition guide is designed to make identification as simple and accurate as possible.This book is one of a series covering plants, animals, and other natural phenomena from around the world and is published in association with the Smithsonian Institution.
A Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand (Princeton Pocket Guides)
By: Julian Fitter, Don Merton
New Zealand is commonly described as "the land of birds." Now, there is an easy-to-use guide for all those interested in this country's remarkable bird population. A Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand contains over 600 stunning photographs of the more than 350 bird species likely to be seen in this area of the world. Comprehensive and compact, the book includes full descriptions of all native species and regular visitors, distribution maps and measurements, key information on national parks, and useful information on ongoing conservation efforts in the country. Filled with handy tips for nature enthusiasts wanting to make the most of their trip, this is the only bird guide that anyone exploring this region will need.600+ color photographs feature more than 350 bird species with full descriptions Distribution maps and measurements Key information on national parks helps readers find the best spots for bird sightings Useful information on conservation efforts Guidelines on sensible behavior for encountering nature at its best
Tutira the Story of a New Zealand Sheep Station (Classic Reprint)
By: H. Guthrie-Smith
Excerpt from Tutira the Story of a New Zealand Sheep StationSo vast and so rapid have been the alterations which have occurred in New Zealand during the past forty years, that even those who, like myself, have noted them day by day, find it difficult to connect past and present - the pleasant past so completely obliterated, the changeful present so full of possibility. These alterations are not traceable merely in the fauna, avifauna, and flora of the Dominion, nor are they only to be noted on the physical surface of the countryside: more profound, they permeate the whole outlook in regard to agriculture, stock-raising, and land tenure.The story of Tutira is the record of such change noted on one sheep-station in one province. Should its pages be found to contain matter of any permanent interest, it will be owing to the fact that the life portrayed has for ever vanished, the conditions sketched passed away beyond recall. A virgin countryside cannot be restocked; the vicissitudes of its pioneers cannot be re-enacted; its invasion by alien plants, animals, and birds cannot be repeated; its ancient vegetation cannot be resuscitated, - the words terra incognita have been expunged from the map of little New Zealand.About the PublisherForgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.comThis book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Laminated)
The rise and fall of the Southern Alps
By: Glen Coates
From Gondwana to the Ice Age: The geology of New Zealand over the last 100 million years
By: Bradshaw, John, Laird, Malcolm
A Portrait of New Zealand
By: Worrall, Jill
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.