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Ship's Creek, NZ

Kayaking at Mapourika

Trip Highlights

Days 1-2 Travel day; cross date line.... Day 3 Arrival in Christchurch, easy walk in Gore Bay... Day 4 Swim with dolphins... Day 5 Hike in Lewis Pass, Soak in hot pools... Day 6 Strolling around Constant Bay... Day 7 Walk to view Pancake Rocks, hike in Paparoa National Park... Day 8 Optional - hike on Franz Josef Glacier or helicopter around Mt. Cook... Day 9 Sea kayak Okarito Lagoon, hike to Okarito Trig... Day 10 Easy hike around Hapuku Estuary... Day 11 Hike of Mt. Iron, stroll around Arrowtown... Day 12 Cruise Doubtful Sound... Days 13-15 Hike Routeburn Track... Day 16 Depart Queenstown for Christchurch or Auckland, back to U.S.

Accommodations: 13 nights lodging

Wild New Zealand,
The South Island

Routeburn Track, Kayak Scenic Wetlands, Cruise Doubtful Sound, Swim with Dolphins

Wild New Zealand provides the best of South Island activities at a relaxed and enjoyable pace. Challenge yourself as you snorkel with dolphins, kayak on a lagoon with awesome views of Mt Cook, cruise a beautiful sound and trek on the Routeburn Track, one of National Geographic's Top 10 Hikes of the World. There are also options to hike on a glacier in a temperate rainforest or take a scenic flight around Mt Cook. You'll also learn about the native Maori culture and enjoy time to shop for beautifully crafted greenstone in Hokitika, see historic buildings and shops in Arrowtown and play in Queenstown, the "adventure capital of the world". The hardest challenge you'll face will be leaving this remarkable country.

The Maori name for New Zealand is Aotearoa, meaning Land of the Long White Cloud. Carved by water, buckled by earthquakes and scorched by volcanoes, this is a land of time gone by where forces continue to shape the island nation. Wildlife here evolved for eons in total isolation, resulting in a country where the birds ruled, the bat is the only native land mammal, and much of the fauna is endemic (found only in New Zealand) including the flightless Kiwi and the ancient Tuatara reptile. New Zealand is to home to three World Heritage Areas; you'll visit the Te Wahipounamu Heritage Area, encompassing Westland, Mount Cook, Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks.

Don't forget the people! Kiwis are world famous for their laid-back approach, sense of humor and friendly nature-traits that are truly contagious. Popular Call of the Wild guide Celine Stokowski and her New Zealand husband Tony Thrupp will show us the way as only locals can. They have both worked on the Franz Josef Glacier for years and hiked hundreds of New Zealand trail miles. Come and experience the best of Wild New Zealand.

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