Magnificent New Zealand

blue lake in nature with snowy mountains in New Zealand

Nature went Large with New Zealand.

Embark on a naturalist-guided overnight cruise deep into Milford Sound which reveals some of the world’s most stunning scenery. Experience a working sheep station homestead by taking a cruise on a turn-of-the-century steamer. Travel by 4WD through Middle Earth, the awe-inspiring filming location for The Lord of the Rings films. Take a thrilling jet boat ride through the Shotover River’s spectacular rocky gorges. Enjoy farm-to-table dining and wine tasting on vineyard estates on the South Island. Discover Christchurch’s English ambiance and Gothic landmarks and tour the city’s Botanic Gardens, built in 1863 within a loop of the gently flowing Avon River.

Day One -Three | Discover Queenstown and Middle Earth

Enjoy a morning excursion to Glenorchy situated at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu between towering mountain ranges and old beech forests. Taking in these majestic landscapes with skilled professional drivers in comfortable 4WD vehicles, you’ll have plenty of time to visit several sites featured in the Lord of the Rings films.

From Queenstown, you can take the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak, nearly 1,500 feet above the lake and Queenstown. In addition to offering breathtaking views of Coronet Peak, the Remarkables, Walter and Cecil Peaks, as well as Queenstown, this cable car ascent is the steepest in the Southern Hemisphere. An unforgettable afternoon adventure awaits you on the picturesque Shotover River as you enjoy a thrill-seeking jet boat ride.

Add-On Activities
  • The Queenstown Countryside | Discover some of New Zealand’s indigenous wildlife at the Kiwi Bird Park, including the Brown Kiwi, Tuatara Lizard, and colorful Rainbow Lorikeet.

  • Historic Arrowtown | This charming leafy town was founded during the Gold Rush and lies beneath the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River. Wander along Buckingham Street with its heritage buildings and old miners’ cottages – many of which have been converted into galleries, shops, and cafes.

  • Steam Cruise + Dinner | Board a turn-of-the-century steamer, for a cruise across beautiful Lake Wakatipu. Enjoy fine New Zealand wine and a delightful lakeside dinner while watching highly trained sheep dogs in action.

Day Four | Milford Sound Excursion

Drive along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and pass through the amazing Homer Tunnel that opened in 1953. Enjoy an overnight cruise aboard the comfortable Milford Mariner as you travel through the spectacular glacier-carved Eglington Valley into Fiordland National Park.

Throughout Milford Sound, expert naturalists will explain the geology and history of the region and answer your questions. Upon arrival, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the fjord’s waterfalls, rainforests, and soaring mountain peaks. If you have sharp eyes, you may even spot seals and dolphins. While anchored in a sheltered area, you can join us for an excursion in our tender or by kayak with our naturalist guides. In the evening, relax in the company of fellow passengers or hit the deck to observe the constellations of the Southern Sky.

purple flowers in the milford sound in new zealand
Play Video
Watch | Milford Sound New Zealand

Milford Sound is located in Fiordland National Park, on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s the country’s most famous tourist destination. Milford sound also known as the 8th wonder of the world.

Day Five | Te Anau to Clyde

Step off ship and travel to the Punanga Manu o Te Anau Bird Sanctuary. Located on the shores of Lake Te Anau, this is a great spot to observe native birds that are otherwise hard to find in their native habitats. The sanctuary is home to colorful forest parrots, warblers, paradise shelducks, fantails and bellbirds, as well as the rare, flightless Takahe, once thought to be extinct on the South Island. Tour the Sanctuary and learn about their captive breeding and rehabilitation programs, which aim to reintroduce healthy birds to the wild. Spend the afternoon exploring Kawarau Valley, home to the famous Bungy Bridge, which launched the worldwide bungee jumping craze in 1988.

Play Video
Wandering around Te Anau

Beautiful timelapse footage of Te Anau on New Zealand’s South Island, which is the gateway to Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound. Te Anau Lake is home to abundant trout and endangered flightless takah birds.

Day Six | Explore Central Otago

With fruit orchards, waterways and rolling hills, Central Otago is one of New Zealand’s loveliest and most bountiful agricultural areas. Explore Cromwell, a charming and historic town founded during the Gold Rush days of the 1800’s, at a lively farmers market. Visit a local orchard to sample the region’s bounty. At a nearby vineyard estate, you can take a guided tour, taste wine, and enjoy lunch.

Gold seekers and adventurers flocked to this region during New Zealand’s first major gold rush in the mid-1800s. You will learn about this colorful chapter of the island’s history on anafternoon’s tour at the Goldfields Mining Center. Along the Kawarau Gorge, you can see the land laid bare by ground sluicing and follow paths to the mine shafts excavated more than a century ago.

Play Video

Watch | What makes Central Otago wine special?

Day Seven | Mt. Cook

The first stop of the day will be the Maori Point Vineyard. With a picturesque mountain backdrop, we’ll visit a wine estate and learn about the viticulture traditions of Central Otago, one of New Zealand’s premier wine regions. The award-winning wines will be paired with locally produced products, including dried fruits, nuts, pâté, artisanal cheese and freshly baked bread.

Travel through Lindis Pass, 3,800 feet above sea level, and you’ll come to the Mackenzie Basin – a land of powder blue lakes and open grasslands set against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks. Upon reaching Aoraki Mt. Cook National Park, you’ll fly over New Zealand’s highest peak on a thrilling flightseeing adventure. There is no ambient light at the Aoraki MacKenzie International Dark Sky Reserve after dinner, making it a perfect place to view the Southern Constellations.

Day Eight | Canterbury Plains to the Garden City

Christchurch has a delightful, very English ambience thanks to its lovely parks and handsome Gothic buildings. By contrast, Shigeru Ban’s cardboard cathedral is a marvel of 21st-century design and ingenuity, made of paper tubes, re-purposed shipping containers, and a lightweight outer skin. In addition to its architectural landmarks, a visit to the Botanic Gardens, founded in 1863, will provide you with a chance to view one of the oldest English oaks in the nation. In just a few short years, this humble beginning has grown into a lush garden with mature trees, expansive lawns, and 10 unique gardens, all set within a loop of the Avon River.

lake, mountain with snow cap in new zealand

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