New Zealand

New Zealand's Wildlife & Wilderness

Highlights

Unspoilt wilderness - Unique native flora and fauna - Pristine rainforests - Rare birds - Stunning landscapes

Outline Itinerary

Day
1. Arrive Auckland.
2. To Coromandel.
3. Guided nature walk.
4. To Rotorua. Visit Mokoia Island.
5. Guided bushwalk and river rafting trip.
6. Nature walk in Whirinaki Forest.
7. ToKapiti Island.
8. Ferry to Picton.
9. Nature cruise and walk.
10 To Riwaki Valley.
11-13. Guided bird watching excursions.
14. To Westland.
15. Visit to white heron sanctuary.
16. To Lake Moeraki via Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers.
17. Guided nature activies.
18. To Queenstown.
19. Guided bird watching walk.
20. Scenic flight to Milford Sound and nature cruise.
21. To Stewart Island.
22. Guided nature & bird watching and twilight kiwi spotting tour.
23. Guided nature activities.
24. To Catlins.
25. Short guided nature walk & to Dunedin.
26. Guided nature activities, penguins & albatross.
27. Fly to Auckland for your international flight home.

Cost

This suggested itinerary is just an example of possibilities available for trips to New Zealand. Price is dependant on season, standard of accommodation and length of stay. Please contact us for a tailor made itinerary.

Departure Dates

Year round. Best time to travel is October to April.

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Description

From the lush rolling hills and rainforests of North Island to the rugged landscapes and soaring mountain ranges of South Island, New Zealand offers some of the world's most dramatic and beautiful landscapes and is home to an amazing array of wildlife.

Intriguing Maori culture, unique arts and crafts, award winning wineries and geothermal activity are all reasons to travel to this awe inspiring country but as one of the Earth's last countries to be settled by humans, New Zealand evolved as a land with no predators and the result of this is a land of outstanding wilderness and unique wildlife.

Your journey begins in Auckland, the City of Sails, before venturing to the Coromandel. Discover the pristine rainforests home to ancient Kauri, Rimu and Rata trees and see glow worms in historic gold caves. Mokoia Island, New Zealand's largest inland wildlife sanctuary, home to the kiwi and saddleback, can be found in the geothermal heartland of Rotorua and your tour here is further complemented by the knowledge and culture of the Maori people. Experience the abundant and diverse birdlife of the Whirinaki Rainforest including the North Island kaka, both red and yellow -crowned kakariki and kereru. You can also raft the beautiful Rangitaiki River.

Closer to Wellington genuine Maori hospitality awaits on Kapiti Island. Here you have the rare opportunity to see the little spotted kiwi in its natural habitat. Extinct in the wild on the mainland, this is an opportunity not to be missed and is sure to be a highlight of your trip. Your North Island experience ends with an evening sailing across the Cook Strait, cruising through the beautiful Marlborough Sounds before arriving in Picton, gateway to the Sounds.

Follow in the footsteps of Captain Cook with a cruise to the historic scenic reserve of Ship Cove. Keep an eye out for sea birds along the way and back on dry land walk the premier section of the Queen Charlotte Track through stunning podocarp and beech forest to Endeavour Inlet. From the lookout along the way you will be able to retrace your steps with views stretching as far north as Kapiti Island. As your journey continues we have allowed some time for rest and relaxation at a unique property in the Riwaka Valley. Set in 50 acres of native bush and bordering two national parks you are surrounding by pristine nature and tranquillity and although you won't need to venture far to observe a plethora of birdlife such as the kea, pukeko and tui, we have included 3 different day trips to landscapes ranging from the mountains of the Kahurangi to the stunning coastlines of the Abel Tasman and the wetlands of Farewell Spit.

As you journey south along the rugged West Coast a dramatically different New Zealand emerges. Designated a world heritage area this region boasts 5 of New Zealand's 14 national parks and almost 600km of coastline blanketed in temperate coastal forest and sculpted by the wild Tasman Sea. Be amazed by the mighty Pancake Rocks and Blowholes, visit white heron and fur seal colonies, look out for dolphins and penguins and marvel at some of nature's natural wonders such as Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers before reaching your destination which is a true nature lover's paradise in a unique wilderness setting. From here you can paddle canoes along the Moeraki River, see Fiordland crested penguins and New Zealand fur seals; and take a night walk to witness the incredible southern sky.

On to the alpine resort of Queenstown and instead of the adrenaline fuelled activities that usually attract, opt instead for a guided walk that combines the very best of native flora and fauna with magnificent lake and mountain views and take to the skies for a breathtaking Milford Sound experience.

Stewart Island offers prolific birdlife and a peaceful sanctuary away from the modern world. Spend a few days here and immerse yourself in nature with trips to Ulva Island and Rakiura National Park. A highlight of your time here will be the rare opportunity to view kiwi in their natural habitat on a twilight tour. Back on the mainland, more dramatic coastlines enhance your journey though one of New Zealand's lesser known yet most outstanding regions, The Catlins. The beaches, estuaries and headlands here are home to sea lions, seals, penguins and other abundant birdlife, all of which can be experienced on a guided walk in Curio and Porpoise Bay where you will also discover more about the diverse history of the area and Curio Bay's 180 million year old petrified forest.

Your final destination is the Otago Peninsula. Steeped in natural history and an exciting haven for wildlife, this region boasts the only mainland northern royal albatross colony in the world. You will have the opportunity to visit the colony or head out on the water on a wildlife cruise for the chance to see dolphins, sea lions and a fascinating array of rarely seen ocean birds including other species of albatross, penguins and marine mammals in their natural environment. You will also learn a little more about the yellow-eyed penguins on a sunrise trip to a remote beach where New Zealand fur seals and sea lions also reside.

Throughout New Zealand you will stay in a variety of accommodations from boutique bed and breakfasts to nature lodges. The only similarity between each is the genuine Kiwi welcome and friendly hospitality you will encounter.

Inspired? To read more about this itinerary, or for us to design your own unique holiday contact us …

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