Small group tour of New Zealand exploring Wine, Food and Landscapes

Escorted 18 day small group tour of New Zealand. Off the beaten track, for curious about history, culture and spirituality. For mature couples and solo travellers,

From $16,773CAD



  1. 1. Explore temperate rain forest in Waitakere including the Kauri tree habitat and the west coach beach of Karekare
  2. 2. See and learn about the Uenuku, one of the oldest Maori carvings in New Zealand
  3. 3. Explore Queen Charlotte sound on a 75-year old Kauri classic launch called “Tutanekai"
  4. 4. Spend days on the South Island, West Coast, Ponamu country with senior members of local Maori
Small group tour of New Zealand exploring Wine, Food and Landscapes itinerary

Departure Dates

Departure Date Price
04 November 2024

Ends 20 November 2024

$16,773 Twin

$18,496 Single

03 March 2025

Ends 19 March 2025

$18,029 Twin

$19,883 Single

03 November 2025

Ends 19 November 2025

$18,029 Twin

$19,883 Single


Small Group tour of New Zealand; Wine, Food and landscapes

Welcome to the Land of the Long White Cloud, Aoteroa or New Zealand. A country's gastronomy is a window on it's soul. High up in the Atlas mountains with the berbers it's one thing. In one of Paris's superb Brassieries, it's another. In New Zealand, it is so new and subject to so many influences, that the food scene is intensely exciting, vibrant, different. High quality food in New Zealand has in the last 20 years exploded into existence as New Zealander's have brought home things discovered in extensive travel overseas and as talented immigrants have brought their own perspectives to our very fresh and unsullied local produce. For a small group tour, this is the finest gastronomic journey, collectively we can develop and offer right now, filled with wonderful warm people, landscapes and influences from every part of the globe. Limited only by the duration of this particular small group tour. We begin this escorted small group tour for mature and senior travellers in Auckland.

Jean-Michel is Odyssey's program leader for this 18 day journey through the New Zealand landscape. This program takes in some stunning landscapes and amazing places but is not a regular tour of tourist stop after tourist stop. Whilst Odyssey Traveller small group tours of New Zealand and all around the world have a significant historical, cultural and environmental learning base this program is about wine, food, and landscapes and some excerpts from the New Zealand art movement.

On this program we start in Auckland and finish the tour in Queenstown. Visiting and exploring Auckland and surrounds to the west and the east and the harbour with a tour of Waiheke island. South it is Taupo, the Hawkes bay, Martinborough and Wellington. Cross Cook strait and onto Kaikoura, Oamaru, Pigroot and Queenstown for the finale.

The days itineraries have been thought out to allow you to enjoy, and saviour New Zealand. This is a country you may have visited once or many times, you have a curiosity about the certain feeling New Zealand offers. And this tour is one to allow you and your travelling companions as this program works well for that special celebration with a small group of friends. The program, a collection of well balanced days avoiding excessive eating and drinking but you and a chance to travel the length of New Zealand with some special experiences and learning as part of your journey.

Spiritual Concepts of the Maori and Food

The Maori conception of the spiritual nature of man is a matter of considerable interest. The Maori has ever recognized an immortal element in man, which styles the wairua. Indeed, Maori may be said to have held the theory of the tripartite nature of man—body, soul, and spirit being his tinana, mauri, and wairua. Within the Marae structure each member has an assigned speciality which gets called upon for special occasions.

Tom Loughlin and his family have long specialised in food gathering and preparation. A leading chef, search and rescue tracker, sika deer manager and hunting guide. Tom is your host for one of these days. The focus will be on the preparation and eating of a Hangi- a traditional meal cooked underground on hot rocks, but can include other aspects.

Tom writes "My philosophy at Kai Waho is a simple one, deliver the experience in a natural manner that is not normally for sale. The response is reflected in the positive reaction of the Manuhiri ‘Visitors’ the appetite for real ‘IS REAL’ and ‘This is just what we have been looking for’ is a common reflection. All of my personal experiences have been exactly this, creating an emotion, a memory that is still in me years after experience". Odyssey regards this an integral part of the experiences on this touring program.

Local guides in Food, Wine and Landscapes share their knowledge.

This small group tour will be accompanied by an Odyssey tour guide and are joined by expert local guides who will impart their knowledge about the places we will visit. Odyssey conducts educational tours designed for small groups of mature and senior travellers, focusing on history, culture, wildlife and other areas of particular interest where the trip is taking place. A small group tour is typically between 6 to 15 people. The cost of an Odyssey Traveller guided tour is inclusive of all entrances (unless otherwise indicated), tipping, and majority of the meals throughout the trip.

This particular tour has periods of free time built into the itinerary, allowing you explore some destinations at your own pace, and choose from a variety of available activities. This way, we make sure that there is something to enjoy for every kind of traveller.


New Zealand is well known for its network of boutique lodges and small charming hotels as well as traditional hotel style accommodation types. For this program we have selected accommodation that represents good value, is close to where we need to be, has some but not many amenities that the group need and has a good reputation for looking after travellers who are visiting and finally has rooms with terrific beds to sleep in after a day in the open air. We trust you enjoy the choices we have made that are above our usual choice of hotel to stay in.

Articles about the New Zealand published by Odyssey Traveller:

For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.

External articles to assist you on your visit to New Zealand:


17 days

Day 1 : Auckland

Accommodation: Heritage Hotel or similar

Haere mai ki Aotearoa – welcome to the Land of the Long White Cloud. Upon at arrival at Auckland International Airport you will meet your guide and transfer to your inner city hotel. New Zealand’s largest and most multicultural city. Auckland is an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen of islands. Auckland’s vast harbour, quiet islands and vibrant cityscape offer an exciting and accessible mix of urban, water and wildlife activities.

Welcome dinner is included tonight.

Day 2: Auckland

Accommodation: Heritage Hotel or similar

Today we have a tour of the Waitakere ranges and a west coast Auckland beach. We stop at a food producer on the way back to the city.

Karekare Beach on the West Coast is known for its natural beauty and isolation. Auckland’s West Coast is very different from the East. Dense rainforest, crashing surf, black sand, often wild weather combine to make this a very soulful, brooding, beautiful place. This is where The Piano was filmed. There are some very good bush and beach walks in the area, as well as an easily accessible waterfall.

This afternoon we have a talk on Contemporary New Zealand art at the Auckland Art gallery.

This evening we visit 3 restaurants for 3 starters…

Day 3: Auckland

Accommodation: Heritage Hotel or similar

Today the group heads North and up to the east coast and Matakana. The group takes in the coast, and some local food and wine places. There is a trip out to Mansion house and Governor Grey’s residence. Grey had a long association with Western Australia.

Day 4 : Auckland

Accommodation: Heritage Hotel or similar

The group takes a chartered yacht out into the Hauraki Gulf, head for Man o War Vineyard on Waiheke Island. There is a long lunch with tastings. The group sail back to to the Auckland CBD.
Group Dinner tonight will be somewhere special.

Day 5: Taupo

Accommodation: Hilton Taupo or equivalent.

Depart Auckland and travel South towards the beating heart of the North Island (Taupo).

We make a stop along the way at Te Awamutu Museum to view Uenuku. An important Tainui artefact. Uenuku is one of the oldest Maori carvings in New Zealand. This carving was made using only stone tools and depicts one of the traditional Maori gods or spirits, he is said to manifest as a rainbow. Uenuku has 4 spikes at the top & 3 gaps in between which are believed to represent the 7 colours of the rainbow. The spirit of Uenuku was said to be brought to New Zealand on the Tainui canoe & this carving, made from New Zealand totara, was made here to contain this spirit. The spirit, brought here in a stone, was said to have sat in top circular part of Uenuku.
The Great Lake Taupo region is ‘Nature’s Ultimate Playground’, centrally located in the middle of the North Island, it’s an adventure and sporting mecca and a nature-lover’s paradise. The region is one of New Zealand’s top tourist destinations with beautiful forests, volcanic mountains and the stunning Lake Taupo.

The group travel onto Mount Titiraupenga for a powhiri followed by a traditional picnic lunch.

Day 6: Awakiri

Accommodation: Tented accommodation at Awakiri.

Today we travel onto Awakari. We spend the day with Tom Loughlin. Awakiri is a special 5,000 acre piece of Maori land with a unique mix of Maori culture and some of the best foraging (trout fishing, sika deer hunting, eeling and plant foraging) in the world, let alone the country. Your guide and host for the day is a Search and Rescue tracker, Maori chef, crack shot and all around good bloke.

Jean-Michel has been working with Tom Loughlin for over ten years. In that time he has managed this 5,000 acre block of Maori land with conservation principles uppermost in his thinking. The local sika deer population has been managed together with leading conservationists resulting in one of the healthiest groupings of that deer in the world. Ditto with the barely touched trophy trout stream. The eel population (a long-time Maori staple) has always been healthy.

Prolonged time here will incorporate a Maori-centric view on best practice for managing land. It will include authentic Maori cuisine. It will include exploration of this special part of the world. And it can but does not necessarily need to include some of the best Sika deer hunting and trout fishing in the world.

Over the years, Tom has used this land to mentor youth as to the importance of Maori principles in conservation. And with our clients that has transferred naturally to teaching. We can use this backdrop to teach tracking; trapping; shooting; meat preparation; fishing; and cooking. On request we can of course extend this line-up.

And from Tom himself:

My philosophy at Kai Waho is a simple one, deliver the experience in a natural manner that is not normally for sale. The response is reflected in the positive reaction of the Manuhiri ‘Visitors’ the appetite for real ‘IS REAL’. This is just what we have been looking for’ is a common reflection. All of my personal experiences have been exactly this, creating an emotion, a memory that is still in me years after experience.

The Awakari Expedition as an opportunity to explore how important relationships and life’s values are. All key ingredients in ‘Te Ao Maori’ The Maori world. The Awakari Expedition is not only the tented camp where you will eventually arrive, but also the journey you take to get there, the range of activities as you make your way across Ngati Tuwharetoa tribal land, makes the whole journey itself the destination. A destination realised only when you join us and become one of us according to our tradition.

Day 7: Hawkes Bay

Accommodation: Stay one night at the Masonic Hotel, Hawkes Bay or equivalent.

Located at the foot of Te Mata Peak, the architecturally designed Giants Craggy range winery complex, offers a second-to-none visitor experience. Here the Cellar Door offers relaxed and intimate seated tastings, while our restaurant serves the best local and seasonal produce prepared.

We travel up onto Te Mata peak to enjoy a walk of up to an hour taking in the view, before travelling onto our accommodation for the night.

Day 8: Martinborough

Accommodation: Martinborough Hotel or equivalent.

Today we travel through the Wairapa to Martinborough. The journey is broken with the landscape that we travel through being broken up with some short walks and exploring of the region as we travel South.

In the afternoon there is local tasting of the wines and a talk on the history of the region. Group evening meal.

Day 9: travel to Wellington

Accommodation: QT or similar

It is a spectacular drive to Wellington from Martiborough. There will be opportunity to pause and explore along the way.

Tonight the group visits Hiakai for dinner.

Hiakai began in 2016 as a pop up series devoted to the exploration and development of Māori cooking techniques and ingredients. Māori were great innovators of food and land, developing their own style of earth cookery (hāngi) and successfully adapting plants and vegetables brought with them from Hawaiki to the much colder environment of Aotearoa. Over several centuries, these methods have been passed down, refined and still feed the hiakai people of Aotearoa today.

Since launching in 2016, Hiakai has established itself as a leading innovator in the New Zealand food scene. The sophisticated boundary-pushing menus created by Chef Monique Fiso are challenging the status quo of Māori food in New Zealand, while playing a leading role in keeping Māori food culture alive.

Hiakai has now opened as a bricks-and-mortar restaurant in Te Whanganui a Tara, the capital of Aotearoa.

Day 10: Wellington

Accommodation: QT or similar

Today, we explore Wellington, contemporary art scene with the possibility of meeting local artists as well as a Te papa museum and the city’s history are explored on foot with relevant local guides.

Day 11: Wellington

Accommodation: QT or similar

Leisure day to explore Wellington, the harbour area, galleries, coffee houses and museum should you wish. Odyssey’s leader will assist you with your planning for the day.

Day 12: Kaikoura

Accommodation: The White Morph

This small group departs Wellington early on the inter islander ferry for Kaikoura. Arriving in the afternoon there is a walk of the township and its history given.
Kaikoura’s environment is truly spectacular – the village is caught between the rugged Seaward Kaikoura Range and the Pacific Ocean. In winter the mountains are covered with snow, adding to the drama of the landscape. Kaikoura’s special talent is marine mammal encounters – whales, fur seals and dolphins live permanently in the coastal waters.
Tonight we dine as a group at the Hapuka kitchen.

We stay one night at the White Morph. Set on the Esplanade in iconic Kaikoura, The White Morph enjoys commanding views of the ocean right to the distant horizon and mountains, and gives you access to all of the region’s many experiences.

Day 13: Kaikoura to Oamaru

Accommodation: Pen Y Bryn Lodge or similar

Today is a travel day with breaks as we go South from Kaikoura to Oamaru. Key places of interest are explored on our journey.

Tonight we eat at Pen Y Bryn Lodge, where the Chef, is a master of any food style, so a custom food experience is offered.

Day 14: Central Otago to Queenstown

Accommodation: Novotel Queenstown or similar

Through the Pigroot – traditional high country merino hogget roast at Lauderdale on the way through to Queenstown.

Affectionately called ‘Central’ by those that know it well, Central Otago is New Zealand’s most inland region, located in the southern half of the South Island. Discover Central Otago, a region where you will find a stunning countryside, lakes, rivers and rolling farmland, vivid seasons and rocky, mountainous landscapes; friendly townships; a well-preserved gold heritage; award-winning wineries, recreational opportunities from fishing, mountain biking and the Central Otago Rail Trail to winter sports like curling and ice skating; and so much more.

This evening the group explore Queenstown including the Blue Kanu and rum bars.

Queenstown sits on the shore of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu among dramatic alpine ranges, it is known as the “adventure capital of the world”. From sky-diving to fine dining, this resort town offers something for everyone.
We stay 3 nights at a centrally located hotel with easy access to all that this premier four season lake and alpine resort has to offer.

Day 15: Queenstown

Accommodation: Novotel Queenstown or similar

Today the group has a jetboat ride followed by a picnic lunch up on the Makarora.

Jetboats were invented in New Zealand as a clever way of navigating the very shallow water we get on our South Island braided rivers. It is smooth, fast and very manoueverable. The boat takes you and your companions down the Makarora and up the Wilkin, showcasing some of the best jetboating terrain in the country – gravel banks, fast flowing rivers against a backdrop of Southern Alps, gin-clear water.

In afternoon we explore the region as a group with a trip to Wanaka then Arrowtown before returning to Queenstown in the afternoon for some free time before the evening meal.

Day 16: Queenstown

Accommodation: Novotel Queenstown or similar

Today we travel up to Amisfield for lunch.

Amisfield was established in 1988 and is a Central Otago based specialist producer of Pinot Noir and aromatic white wines, sourced from fruit grown on their Single Vineyard Estate, situated beneath the glacially sculptured Pisa mountain range. Vineyards are managed holistically through organic practices focused around nurturing Amisfield’s unique soils, vines and habitats – this combined with a rugged inland location and an extreme semi-continental climate, yields wines of remarkable purity, intensity and vibrancy. A state-of-the-art purpose built winery is the focal point of the vineyard and is designed to enable winemakers to craft wines with minimal intervention and as naturally as possible

Tonight we enjoy an evening at the Botswana Butchery for dinner.

Day 17: Queenstown

Tour concludes after breakfast.

Includes / Excludes

What’s included in our Tour

  • 16 nights accommodation.
  • 16 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 14 dinners.
  • Transport by modern and comfortable coach.
  • Entrances and sightseeing as specified.
  • Services of a Tour Leader for the duration of tour
  • Detailed Preparatory Information

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Return international airfare and departure taxes.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Items of a personal nature, such as telephone calls and laundry
Level 2 - Moderate

Participants must be able to carry their own luggage, climb and descend stairs, be in good health, mobile and able to participate in 3-5 hours of physical activity per day, the equivalent of walking / hiking up to 8 kilometers per day on uneven ground.

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04 November 2024


Ends 20 November 2024 • 17 days

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$16,773 pp

By booking two travellers sharing a room you save $1900 per person.

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Prices are per person and valid until 30th December 2024.

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Make it a private tour

If you have a group of 6 friends or more you can book this tour as a private departure, with all the benefits of our small group tours.
Get in touch to find out more.

Easing your journey

Crossing international borders with restrictions

The list of requirements to travel internationally has changed and will continue to change for several years. Odyssey is here to assist you in managing your way through these requirements:

Pre-departure checklist for travelling across International borders.
Support over email or phone available 24/7 for any questions you have.

For more information see our Crossing international borders with restrictions page.

Book With Confidence

If less than 30 days before your tour starts you are unable to travel as a result of Government travel restrictions, Odyssey Traveller will assist you with a date change, provide you with a credit or process a refund for your booking less any non-recoverable costs.

See Terms and conditions for details.

Peace of Mind Travel

The safety of our travellers, tour leader, local guide and support staff has always been our top priority and with the new guidelines for public health and safety for keeping safe for destinations around the world, we’ve developed our plan to give you peace of mind when travelling with us.

See Peace of Mind Travel for details.

Reading List Download PDF

History and Traditions of the Maoris of the West Coast, North Island of New Zealand Prior to 1840

Stephenson Percy Smith

Excerpt from History and Traditions of the Maoris of the West Coast, North Island of New Zealand Prior to 1840

This history is much longer than perhaps suits the ordinary reader indeed, it is over a hundred pages more than was originally contemplated. But the amount of information collected will prove of interest to those living in the localities mentioned in after times; and it could never be collected again, for the old men who gave it have now passed on to Te Hono-i-wairua.

To others than members of the Polynesian Society it is right to say that the book has been published in the Society's Journal by instalments - it would otherwise never have appeared on account of the expense - and that the number of maps in it is due to the liberality of the Government, who had them drawn and printed at their expense.

About the Publisher

Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at

This 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.


New Zealand: People, Places and Events that Shaped the History of New Zealand

James Boyle

New Zealand is a country that has forever been admired for its beautiful landscapes – a wilderness that barely seems to be touched by humans. The populated areas are surrounded by forests, plains, rocky mountains – even beaches. All of this gives New Zealand that heavenly vibe.
However, the place we admire today has been heavily affected by its history. People who wanted to farm the land versus people who wanted to keep the land the way it is. A land that, despite the wars it had been through, has managed to hang on to its beauty.
Packed with colonization, war and expansion, the history of New Zealand is something everyone should know and study in this day and age.


The Penguin History of New Zealand

Michael King

New Zealand was the last country in the world to be discovered and settled by humankind. It was also the first to introduce full democracy. Between those events, and in the century that followed, the movements and conflicts of human history have been played out more intensively and more rapidly in New Zealand than anywhere else on Earth.

The Penguin History of New Zealand tells that story in all its colour and drama. The narrative that emerges is an inclusive one about men and women, Maori and Pakeha. It shows that British motives in colonising New Zealand were essentially humane; and that Maori, far from being passive victims of a 'fatal impact', coped heroically with colonisation and survived by selectively accepting and adapting what Western technology and culture had to offer.


Pounamu Pounamu

Witi Ihimaera

Pounamu Pounamu is classic Ihimaera. First published om 1972, it was immediately endorsed by Maori and Pakeha alike for its original stories that showed how important Maori identity is for all New Zealanders. As Katherine Mansfield did in her first collection In a German Pension (1911), and Janet Frame in The Lagoon (1951), Witi Ihimaera explores in Pounamu Pounamu what it is like to be a New Zealander - but from a Maori perspective. The seeds of Ihimaera's later works are first introduced in this ground-breaking collection: The Whale Rider in his story 'The Whale', The Rope of Man in 'Tangi', and the character of Simeon form Bulibasha, King of the Gypsies in 'One Summer Morning'; and the themes of aroha (love), whanaungatanga (kinship) and manaakitanga (supporting each other), which are so intergral to Ihimaera's work.


Do They Speak English Down There?

Susan C. Tunney

Read how one family transformed a fantasy into reality when they traded in their San Diego lifestyle to move to rural New Zealand along with the challenges it presented adapting to a new culture. From duct tape to #8 wire, its been one helluva journey.



Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland, city of Sails is part of a Small group tour of New Zealand for mature and senior travellers with your partner or as a solo traveller. Explore and learn about Rotorua, Wellington or Te Anau whilst you are visiting.

6 Apr 20 · 2 mins read
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Questions About New Zealand

Enjoy one of our small group tours of New Zealand for mature and senior travellers with your partner or as a solo traveller. Explore Rotorua, visit Hawke's bay and learn about wine, or Wellington or take a walk in the Fiordland National park.

7 Apr 20 · 2 mins read
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senior travel

Advice for Mature-Aged Solo Travellers

Advice for solo travellers seeking advice on holidays for solo travellers over 50. Odyssey has been offering small group tours for mature and senior travellers all around the world since 1983.

11 Nov 19 · 8 mins read
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Queenstown, Otago, New Zealand

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown is a resort town on the South Island of New Zealand. Built on the lakeshore of Lake Wakatipu, the town provides amazing views having the Remarkables Mountain Range as its background.

16 Apr 20 · 2 mins read
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Volcanic Cone - Mount Eden

Definitive Guide to Auckland, New Zealand

Definitive Guide to Auckland, New Zealand Few cities are as geographically blessed as Auckland. While New Zealand’s largest city might be home to almost a third of the country’s total population, nature is never far…

9 Jul 20 · 15 mins read
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Fur seal

Kaikoura, New Zealand

Kaikoura, New Zealand Perched spectacularly between the mountains and the sea, the small town of Kaikoura, New Zealand offers incredible opportunities for marine wildlife spotting. Kaikoura is on the South Island of New Zealand, around…

28 May 20 · 5 mins read
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Questions about New Zealand for senior travellers

Questions About New Zealand for senior travellers Odyssey Traveller specialises in crafting unforgettable experiences for senior and mature-aged travellers interested in learning as a couple or as a solo traveller when they travel. Providing adventure…

23 Jul 20 · 2 mins read
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The Maori, New Zealand

The Maori, New Zealand

Explore the history and rich heritage of the Maori people, the first and original inhabitants of New Zealand. Odyssey offers small group tours for mature and senior travellers, couples, and solo travelers to sites across New Zealand.

10 Nov 20 · 5 mins read
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Martinborough New Zealand

New Zealand Wine - a Story

Small group tour of New Zealand visit Chardonnay producing wineries in Gisborne, the Hawke's Bay region and Napier, famed for its Bordeaux blend reds, and in the quaint village of Martinborough, Wairarapa. Escorted educational tours for mature and senior couples and solo travellers.

5 Dec 20 · 7 mins read
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The McLean Family, shaping New Zealand landscapes

The McLean Family, shaping New Zealand landscapes

Article explaining the colonial development of sheep farming in the South island of New Zealand. Supporting our escorted small group tour for mature and seniors travellers of the South island that explores gold and sheep down south. Learn about Christchurch and Dunedin on this tour for couples and solo travellers.

2 Feb 21 · 13 mins read
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Panorama from the top of Rimutaka Hill (Upper Hill, New Zealand)

The Wairarapa

Wairarapa, famed for its Pinot Noir and other wines. Learn more as part of escorted tour for mature and senior travellers as a couple or solo traveller about the region its people, landscape and history.

17 Nov 20 · 5 mins read
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Emerald Lakes
20 May 20 · 7 mins read
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Aerial view of Wellington Cit

Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington is the capital of New Zealand, and the administrative centre of Wellington region, located on the south part of the North Island between Cook Strait and the Remutaka Range.

30 Apr 20 · 3 mins read
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What to see on the North Island of New Zealand?

While the South Island gets most of the attention thanks to Franz Josef Glacier, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Christchurch and more, the North Island has just as much to offer. You can learn about the volcanic and geothermal activity of the island and the Maori culture. Destinations worth a visit are the beautiful Bay of Islands and Cape Reinga up north with the Waitangi treaty grounds, Auckland and its volcanic islands, such as Waiheke Island and Rangitoto Island, Rotorua, Tongariro, the Waitomo glowworm caves, the Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay and Wellington.

Some of the main cities of the North Island are Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier, Rotorua, Hastings and Gisborne.

How Maui fished up the North Island?

Maui is a very important demigod in the Maori mythology. One day he overheard his four brothers that they wanted to leave him behind while going fishing. Maui made a fishhook from a magical ancestral jawbone and hid in the brothers’ canoe. When they were far out on the sea, Maui revealed himself, and threw the magical fishhook in the sea while chanting powerful incantations. The hook caught fast, and with the help of his brothers Maui brought the fish to the surface. He then begged them to wait until he had appeased to Tangaroa, the god of the sea, but the brothers did not listen and started to carve out pieces for themselves, forming the many mountains, valleys, lakes, rivers and coastlines of the island.

Crossing from the North Island to the South Island

If you want to cross from the North to the South Island, you either have to fly or take the ferry across the Cook Strait. The Interislander ferry operates between Wellington and Picton since 1962, and it takes about 3-3.5 hours to complete the crossing. The ferry route is one of the great journeys of New Zealand. On your journey, marvel at the beauty of Marlborough Sounds, the north coast of the South Island, which is made up of 1500 kilometres of sunken river valleys.

Which one is bigger, the North or the South Island?

The South Island. The North Island’s area is 113,729 square kilometres (43,911 sq mi), making it the world’s 14th largest island. With 150,437 square kilometres (58,084 sq mi), the South Island is the 12th largest.

North Island vs South Island population?

The population of New Zealand is around 4.9 million people, and according to the latest census, 76% lives on the North Island, equalling about 3.7 million people, while the South Island accounts for 23%, and the rest of the 600 islands for 1%. This means the North Island is the smaller but more populous island between the two main islands.

Initially Pakeha (European New Zealanders) settled on the South Island, and it wasn’t until 1911 that the population of the North Island overtook the South Island (56% vs 44%). The drift north still continues, with Auckland, the biggest economic hub of the country being the main driver of the change.

Why book a walking holiday to New Zealand?

New Zealand is home to some of the world’s most spectacular scenery, and there’s no better way to explore than by walking. Walking tours get you away from freeways, cities, and suburbs and into the heart of the pristine wilderness of New Zealand.

New Zealand offers a range of walks and hikes for different fitness levels, spanning from easy beach walks to the nine Great Walks, multi-day treks through some of the country’s most spectacular scenery.

What do you need to bring to enjoy short walks in New Zealand?

Essentials include hat, sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes, warm clothing, a water bottle and a camera! For more suggestions, take a look at our list of things to bring on an Odyssey walking tour.

We also have a number of packing guides:

How fit do you have to be to enjoy short walks in New Zealand?

Our walking tour of New Zealand is rated as Level 3 – Moderate to Challenging on our fitness scale. For more information on our fitness levels click here.

Our Level 3 guidelines suggest that:

Participants must be in excellent health, extremely mobile and live an active lifestyle. Program activities may include up to 6 hours of continuous strenuous, moderate-to-fast paced activities per day on varied terrain.

What is the best time to visit New Zealand?

If you enjoy the many outdoor activities available, such as hiking and mountain biking, you should visit New Zealand during the summer months of December to March, which brings long, bright and sunny days and temperatures of 16°C to 24°C. If you are a winter sports fan, you should visit from June to the first week in October, Though temperatures in the mountains are cold; once you get away from there, the winters are relatively short and mild.

Which New Zealand glacier to visit?

There are many stunning glaciers in New Zealand. There are few places in the world you can easily access glaciers at low altitudes and New Zealand is one of them. There are over 3,000 glaciers in New Zealand. The South Island’s West Coast is home to New Zealand’s two most famous glaciersFox and Franz Josef. It’s an easy walk to the terminal faces of both glaciers. Or, if you’re adventurous, then a helicopter ride or a guided ice walk are simply unforgettable experiences.

On the other side of the Southern Alps, the Tasman Glacier is the largest in New Zealand. The Tasman Glacier has a beautiful terminal lake. It’s a short walk to view the glacier.

Doubtful Sound or Milford Sound?

Both Milford and Doubtful Sound are located in Fiordland National Park on New Zealand’s South Island. Milford Sound sits to the north of Fiordland and is the last fiord in the national park. Doubtful Sound, on the other hand, is located much further south and is roughly in the middle of Fiordland National Park. Milford Sound is easily the most visited place in Fiordland National Park and arguably the most beautiful and offers the widest range of experiences out of the two fiords. This makes Milford an easy front runner for those who love to personalize their experience and make it one the whole family will love. Doubtful Sound is a rather untouched paradise that’s off the beaten path. It’s an adventurous journey and one you’ll share with fewer people.

What to do in Auckland?

Auckland is a bustling urban city, that also offers beautiful lush native rainforests, golden sand beaches, rolling hills of wine country, hiking trails, picturesque country gardens, unspoilt forest and tranquil bays to explore. Auckland region is dotted with 48 volcanic cones which provide spectacular panoramic views of the city and harbour. Auckland is also famous for its shopping, nightlife and diverse range of cafes and restaurants. Don’t forget to go north to visit the amazing Bay of Islands. The Bay of Islands consists of 144 islands between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula.

What to do in Wellington?

Wellington is a small and creative city with a mix of culture, history, nature and cuisine and surrounded by nature.

There are many museums, art galleries and theatre shows that make up the city’s pulsing cultural scene. If you’re into the outdoors, you can relax at Oriental Bay, Wellington’s golden-sand inner-city beach and delve into the Wellington has action-packed adventure activities like mountain biking and sea-water kayaking, as well as beautiful walks around the harbour and surrounding hills. Try the visually Ride the cable

New Zealand’s national museum, or Te Papa, as it’s colloquially known, means ‘our place’ and is one of the best interactive museums in the world.

What to do in Rotorua?

Rotorua is renowned for its geothermal activity and Maori culture. In Te Puia’s Whakarewarewa Valley, there are bubbling mud pools and the 30m-tall Pohutu Geyser, which erupts many times daily. It’s also home to a living Maori village and the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. Besides exploring the geothermal hot pools, you can:

  • Ride world-class mountain bike trails.
  • Swim in natural hot springs.
  • Walk among natural springs and river trails.

What to do in Christchurch?

Christchurch, known for its English heritage, is the most walkable city in New Zealand. The city is constantly evolving, always giving locals and visitors something new to explore. After the devastating earthquakes in 2011, Christchurch was rebuilt as a more creative and funky urban centre. Wander through the streets admiring the colourful murals that tell stories of the city’s resilience and indomitable spirit.

The Hooker Valley Track, in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, is one of the finest half-day walks in the region. You’ll get to spot the peak of New Zealand’s tallest mountain, Mount Cook, across a glacial lake scattered with icebergs.

Visit Castle Hill, 80min north-west of Christchurch, famous for beautiful landscapes and being declared by the Dalai Lama as a ‘spiritual centre of the universe”.

Take a day trip to Kaikoura, 180 km north of Christchurch, many New Zealanders number one most beautiful place in their country.

What do things cost in New Zealand?

You should plan to spend around NZ$185 ($129) per day on your vacation in New Zealand, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travellers have spent, on average, NZ$41 ($29) on meals for one day and NZ$27 ($19) on local transportation.

What to do in Queenstown?

Queenstown is famous for offering adventure and adrenaline. Surrounded by towering mountains, positioned on the edge of a lake,

Queenstown sits on the shore of Lake Wakatipu among dramatic alpine ranges.

There’s skiing from winter right through to spring, and activities such as bungy jumping, sky diving, canyon swinging, jet boating, horse trekking and river rafting all year round.

If hardcore adventure isn’t your thing, there are plenty of mellow options available. Experience one of the many walking and hiking trails, sightseeing tours or indulge yourself with spa treatments, boutique shopping and excellent food and wine.

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