New Zealand is well-known for the beauty of its landscapes and the friendliness of its people. We have a reputation for doing the right thing, even when nobody is watching. Learn how our nation cares for people and places. You will understand New Zealand and us better if you know the influence of Māori culture and language on New Zealand society. Learn through a local to respect and conserve our traditions, values and heritage. We offset your carbon footprint for you! Conserve and protect with us our wildlife and the environment.
Small-Group Tour with max 10 people with a professional local tour guide
Private guided tour 14 nights
Category: Active, Culture
Location: North & South Island
Departing/Finishing: Auckland to Queenstown
Accommodation: 4* to 5* quality hotels
Next Departure: 10.10.2022, 7.11.2022, 5.12.2022, 9.01.2023, 6.02.2023, 06.03.2023, 07.11.2023
Terms & Conditions
Our hand-selected hotels for this journey
Auckland - Sudima Auckland
Rotorua - Regent of Rotorua
Lake Aniwhenua - Kohutapu Lodge & Tribal Tours
Rangitikei River - Tarata Fishaway Lodge
Wellington - Bolton Hotel
Marlborough - Scenic Hotel Marlborough
Christchurch - Hotel Montreal
Late Tekapo Galaxy Boutique Hotel Tekapo
Wanaka - Edgewater Resort
Queenstown Kamana Lakehouse Hotel
....or similar (same quality)
Inclusions and Highlights:
Maximum Room Capacity
2 x Single or 1 x King/Queen (subject to availability)
Visa fees and requirements
Meals/beverages not stated in the itinerary
Travel insurance (Strongly recommended)
Inquire firstname.lastname@example.org Call: 021-890611 (Veronika)
LOCATION AND HIGHLIGHTS:
Day 1: Arrival Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau - 2 nights (dinner included)
Auckland is a multi-cultural hub of food and wine, music, art, and culture on New Zealand's North Island. Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is an urban oasis. It’s where sparkling waters and lush landscapes meet city sophistication. World-class shopping and phenomenal dining are never too far from harbours, islands, native bush and black-sand beaches. Meet and Greet tonight at a local restaurant, the food embassy for Aotearoa & the Pacific. Local homegrown food in the middle of the city.
Day 2: Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau - Waiheke Island Tour by a local Maori guide (lunch included)
Join us to view stunning Waiheke Island landscapes, learn about contemporary and traditional Māori art practices and experience internationally renowned boutique wineries and restaurants. At Big Aroha, we celebrate the journey of our ancestors, past and present. Spend a day with your local guide exploring Waiheke from a Māori perspective. Upon arrival, you will be greeted and welcomed as one of the family. Then your tour begins with an orientation of the Island, taking in stunning views of the Hauraki Gulf, Auckland City and the Pacific Ocean. Throughout the journey, you will hear legends of great canoes travelling to these shores, the land they encountered, and the amazing technology they used to work with the spirit of the land. A visit to our art studio will give an insight into our love for our culture and an opportunity to understand some of the forms and styles of art you will see around Aotearoa. Lunch is provided and you will have the opportunity to mix with the locals. A short beach walk and a trip up to the summit of Puke Atua will follow. At Big Aroha, we celebrate our love of art, and the people and places that make us who we are today.
Day 3: Auckland - Waitomo - Rotorua - 1 night (lunch, dinner included)
Family-run and locally owned, Caveworld has exclusive access to the Footwhistle Cave, a stunning limestone network beneath the rolling hills of Waitomo. Here you’ll discover a labyrinth of magnificent, undisturbed glow-worm displays. Better, we believe, than anywhere else in the world. In the afternoon, help us plant trees on one of our rural farms. Together with the local community, we help to reach the Governments goal trees by 2025. Offset your carbon and help restore our waterways. As Aroha Luxury New Zealand Tours, we have proposed that their sustainable tourism enterprise aims to negate any previous carbon emissions to reap positive environmental outcomes for New Zealand, alongside their local community.
Day 4: Rotorua - Waimangu - Lake Aniwhenua - 2 nights (lunch, dinner included)
Walk with us through one of the memorising geothermal areas at Waimangu Valley. Then, enjoy a boat cruise on this beautiful lake with its separate geothermal system, with the unusual thermal activity that can only be seen from our vessel during your boat cruise. Next, we travel deep into the native countryside to the edge of Te Urewera National Park to Lake Aniwhenua. Experience the powhiri (welcome ceremony). The Karanga (call of welcome) will cut through the air as the host tribe brings you safely onto the sacred grounds. Then, Haka powhiri (welcome haka) and whaikorero (speeches of welcome) delivered by our kaumatua (elders) will ensue, followed by waiata (songs of support for the lessons given).
Day 5: Lake Aniwhenua/Murupara (lunch, dinner included)
Discover history and culture are not yet touched by the hand of commercialism. Step back in time, and learn about life pre-European for the Ngati Manawa tribe as one of New Zealand’s only landlocked tribes, surrounded by nine other iwi – the tales of warfare, battle, revenge and survival will keep you on the edge of your seat. Help with the preparation of a Hangi meal. Typically, when we think of Maori food, we think of the hangi, a traditional form of cooking using the earth like an oven. The hangi includes meats, fish, kumara and wild vegetables, which have a distinctive combination of tastes of smoke and steam that has been baked underground in handmade baskets.
Day 6: Lake Aniwhenua - Tongariro National Park - Rangatikai River - 2 nights (dinner included)
Tongariro National Park is the oldest national park in New Zealand, located in the central North Island. UNESCO has acknowledged it as a World Heritage Site of mixed cultural and natural values. The mountain summits are of great significance to the local Māori. In 1886 to prevent the selling of the mountains to European settlers, the local Ngati Tuwharetoa iwi had the mountains surveyed in the Native Land Court and then set aside (whakatapua) as a reserve in the names of certain chiefs, one of whom was Te Heuheu Tukino IV (Horonuku), the most significant chief of the Māori Ngati Tuwharetoa iwi. Later the peaks of Mount Tongariro, Mount Ngauruhoe, and parts of Mount Ruapehu were conveyed to The Crown on 23 September 1887, on the condition that a protected area was established there. You are staying at a traditional private homestead.
Day 7: Rangatikai River (lunch, dinner included)
The Rangitikei River is one of New Zealand's longest, 185 kilometres long. Its headwaters are to the southeast of Lake Taupo in the Kaimanawa Ranges. We are departing from Tarata homestead, rafting through gentle rapids, crystal clear waters, vertical gorges and unbelievable scenery of the Rangitikei River. Discover a hidden waterfall and enjoy a BBQ picnic on the side of this beautiful river. With crystal clear waters, vertical gorges, and unbelievable scenery of the Rangitikei River. Later afternoon relax with the family and listen to their stories. Engage with the many farm animals or soak in an outdoor hot tub. Finally, end your day with a homecooked dinner at your"real" "kiwi" home.
Day 8: Rangitikei Valley - Wellington - 1 night (exlpore by yourslef)
Situated at the southern end of the North Island, Wellington was recently named "the coolest little capital in the world" by Lonely Planet. Nestled between a sparkling harbour and rolling green hills, New Zealand's capital city is renowned for its arts, heritage, culture and native beauty. Get an up-close look at the history of New Zealand during a guided tour of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa with an emphasis on Maori culture.
Day 9: Flight from Wellington/Te Whanganui-A-Tara to Marlborough Sounds - 1 night (lunch, dinner included)
The Marlborough Sounds encompass 1,500 km of coastline, bays, beaches and native forest. It is a place of incredible natural beauty, which needs to be seen to be believed. The country’s first known Polynesian settlement site was at Te Pokohiwi o Kupe/Wairau Bar in the late 1200sAD, with more being learned through ongoing archeological research and the people whose whakapapa (geneology) have been linked to these first arrivals. We can take you on a cruise of East Bay, the spiritual heartland of the Sounds for Maori. Then visit the remains of the Perano Whaling Station, an underwater rock called Wheke Rock, which Maori say is the remains of Te Wheke o Muturangi - the giant octopus that Kupe (the famous Maori explorer) chased from Hawaiki and killed at the entrance to Tory channel. Our kaupapa (ideals) are to foster kaitiakitanga (guardianship of the environment), encouraging people to take ownership and responsibility for it, not just here but wherever they live, and to regard themselves as authentic "Citizens of the World."
Day 10: Marlborough - Kaikoura - Christchurch/Ōtautahi - 1 night
The Wairau Bar is a most significant site in the archaeology of Marlborough, and also the Pacific. It is the place where the ancestors of Maori today rest. These are the earliest known graves in the country. The guardians of the site are Rangitane iwi. Due to the foresight of Rangitane, and their work with archaeologists and scientists, we have had an explosion of information in recent years. These insights are shared in this exhibition. Kaikoura is a base for wildlife experiences of all kinds – it’s also a great place to eat crayfish (in the Maori language, 'kai' means food, 'koura' means crayfish). An easy two-hour drive north of Christchurch, Kaikoura makes for a great day trip or a fun stop on your way to Marlborough. Kaikoura's environment is truly spectacular – the village is caught between the rugged Seaward Kaikoura Ranges and the Pacific Ocean. Take a guided wildlife kayak tour. Experience the excitement of watching seals ducking, weaving and diving around your kayak. Have chance encounters with dolphins, penguins and albatross! In the afternoon, we end up in Christchurch, where you have time to explore the new inner city.
Day 11: Christchurch - Canterbury - Lake Tekapo - 2 nights (dinner included)
Experience the excitement of paddling a hand-crafted waka down the River Avon, and learn about the importance of the waka to Māori culture. Enjoy early stories of Canterbury's Ngāi Tahu iwi and the earliest European settlers and the positive things they achieved building the city of Christchurch together. Then, late at night, we take you stargazing. Māori people of New Zealand had extensive knowledge of the night sky. The movements of constellations, the heliacal rising of stars, the arrival of comets, the phases of the moon, and many other astronomical phenomena were noted and examined by them. This detailed astronomical knowledge resulted in Māori having a precise understanding of the seasons and helped the ancestors of the Māori people to navigate the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean.
Day 12: Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park (dinner included)
Lake Tekapo gets its intense milky-turquoise colour from the fine rock flour (ground by glaciers) suspended in the water. On the shores of the lake, you'll see the beautiful Church of the Good Shepherd, where the altar window frames a perfect view of the Southern Alps beyond the lake. The church was built in 1935 for the pioneer families of the Mackenzie district and is still used as a place of worship. Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is home to the highest mountains and the longest glaciers. Aoraki is also part of the Te Waipounamu - South Westland World Heritage Site. It is alpine in the purest sense - with skyscraping peaks, glaciers and permanent snowfields, all set under a star-studded sky. Although it encompasses 23 mountain peaks over 3000 metres high, this park is very accessible. Discover with us or by yourself some of the stunning walks in the area.
Day 13: Mt Cook - Central Otago - Wanaka - 1 night (lunch, dinner included) Last day with your guide
Words fail to describe how utterly spectacular this adventure through West Wanaka High Country Station is. Participation in predator control conservation projects, yarns about farming life, and fascinating local history will leave a deep and lasting connection with the land. One of the most authentic adventures Wanaka has to offer. We are responsible for clearing and re-baiting traps, which we undertake with our guests on every safari serving as a great “hands-on” platform to educate people about the plight of our native birds—a further commitment to the Kaitiakitanga or guardianship of NZ as a whole. The critical primary objectives of the project are to protect the lower and mid-altitude important ecosystems by sustaining a healthy environment and maintaining and increasing the population of the significant native species within those ecosystems, with a focus on avifauna.
Day 14: Wanaka - Queenstown/Tāhuna (lunch included)
The name “Wānaka” is a South Island variant of the word “wānanga” which refers to ancient schools of learning. In these schools, Kāi Tahu tohuka (men of learning) would be taught whakapapa (genealogies) which stretched back to over a hundred generations and karakia (incantations) for innumerable situations. With your local host enjoy some of the region's finest wine while learning about the local history.
Queenstown sits on the shore of crystal-clear Lake Wakatipu amidst dramatic mountain ranges; this stunning location will blow you away. Queenstown is suited to all kinds of adventures – especially throughout summer. Queenstown has transformed into a sophisticated cosmopolitan town, tucked into a picturesque bay on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, beneath majestic mountains. There’s a permanent buzz in downtown Queenstown, where you’ll find a fantastic choice of restaurants, a lively bar scene and excellent shopping. (Optional visit Piopiotahi/Milford Sounds in Fiordland National Park - extra charge: Scenic flight - Piopiotahi is a fiord in the southwest of New Zealand's South Island within Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site.
Day 15: Queenstown departure
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