Parks of the World: New Zealand

At-A-Glance

Trip Dates:

October 25, 2015 through November 1, 2015

NPCA Member Price From

$4,995-$5,495 per person double occupancy; $1,400 single supplement.

Deposit

$1,000 per person

Book now
More info

Contact ParkScapes at 800.628.7275 or travel@npca.org

October 25-November 1, 2015

Anchored deep in the waters of the South Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is an unspoiled landscape of pristine, snow-capped mountains, rich Maori culture, deep and ancient forests, and scenic rural farmland. This journey takes you on a loop around the north end of the South Island, touching both beautiful coasts, rugged mountains, and the wild bush lands of the interior.

Your adventure begins in Tasman Bay, where you spend three days exploring the golden beaches, sculpted cliffs and lush vegetation of Abel Tasman National Park. Continue down the coast where your guide leads the way to the irregular chasms and ridges of the Pancake Rocks and introduces you to the million year old geology of the Punakaiki area. After a day of exploration, you stay in the spectacular Southern Alps for two wonderful days of walking and exploring from your base at a mountain lodge and backcountry sheep station set in the high country. Your final two days take you to Kaikoura, for fantastic whale-watching and an opportunity to spend time with an authentic Maori Tangata Whenua family. Get an unforgettable taste of New Zealand, off the beaten path!

For details about this trip, download the brochure (pdf)

Tour Highlights

National Parks

Following the model established by the United States in the early twentieth century, New Zealand has blazed its own trail in the public lands preservation arena. Enjoy a number of the prime examples that illustrate New Zealand’s commitment to preserving natural places for the enjoyment of all.

Cultural Experience

Immerse in the Maori culture throughout your trip but particularly during your final stay where you’ll get to connect directly with a Tangata Whenua family as they share more than 800 years of history and tradition.

Walking & Hiking

Beautiful treks through diverse landscapes, from coastal walks to mountain wilderness landscapes, this trip is brimming over with outstanding opportunities to experience that landscape by foot.

Unique Inns

Awaroa Lodge, situated along the coast, boasts stunning scenery in the heart of Abel Tasman National Park. Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass is an oasis of tranquility and comfort surrounded by mountains. Sail’s Motel is simple, peaceful, and offers warm hospitality.

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Tour Details

Arrive/Depart

Nelson, New Zealand

Length of Tour

8 days/7 nights

Pace

Moderately active, offering a choice of activities each day to suit different activity levels.

Price Includes

All accommodations, meals as noted (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner), ground transportation, entrance fees, professional guide services, park and other entrance fees, and miscellaneous program expenses.

Price Does Not Include

Roundtrip airfare to and from destination, gratuities for naturalist guides, alcoholic beverages, or personal expenses.

Payments/Cancellations

Space is confirmed by calling the NPCA at (800) 628-7275. A $1,000 per person deposit is due at registration. Final payment will be invoiced separately and is due 120 days prior to departure. Cancellation notice must be submitted in writing and is effective upon date of receipt. Cancellations up to 121 days prior are subject to a $500 per person cancellation fee. Cancellations 120-91 days prior to departure, 25% of the tour cost is forfeited; 90-61 days prior to departure, 50% of the tour cost is forfeited; 60 days or fewer prior to departure result in the loss of 100% of your total cost.

Travel Insurance

To protect yourself from the loss of deposit and cancellation fees, you are encouraged to purchase travel insurance. Information on a comprehensive travel insurance coverage plan will be included with trip confirmation packets.

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Daily Itinerary

October 25: Nelson to Abel Tasman National Park

Your guides pick you up this morning to begin the day’s journey from Nelson, to Marahau, where the group will board a water taxi into Abel Tasman National Park. We’ll settle into our accommodations this afternoon and have short hikes in the area. Awaroa Lodge (L,D)

October 26: Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park is known for its golden coasts, dramatic cliffs and gin-clear water. Today we explore these beautiful beaches, traveling by water taxi to Torrent Bay. While on the water see the carved granite cliffs and look out for seal colonies that call this area home. Once at the bay our hikes wind along the coast through lush vegetation as we spend the day making our way to Bark Bay to catch our return water taxi. Dinner is back at the lodge tonight. Awaroa Lodge (B,L,D) 

October 27: Abel Tasman National Park

Today is another beautiful day of exploration in Abel Tasman. We walk or take a short water taxi depending on tidal times and explore the sandy beaches of Awaroa Bay. Here we see forest and sea merge together on this dramatic coast and we learn of the variety of plant life and unique ecology of the area. We also keep an eye out for the abundant species of forest birds, like the Bellbirds and Tui. Based on the low-tide times, we make our way back to the lodge for our final evening in the park. Awaroa Lodge (B,L,D) 

October 28: Abel Tasman National Park to Arthur's Pass

Today we begin our full day journey to Arthur’s Pass, stopping en route for lunch and a few short hikes. Discover the beauties and delights of this coastal region as we stop in Punakaiki, most famous for its Pancake Rocks which are limestone formations created by the layered deposition of marine creatures and mud 30 million years ago. Along with this stop, we may walk through rainforest or along a coastal track, explore an unspoiled beach, or discover local artisans at work. We end this day settling into the Wilderness Lodge in Arthur’s Pass. Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass (B,L,D) 

October 29: Arthur's Pass

The Wilderness Lodge is on its own 2,400 hectare nature reserve and high-country merino sheep farm, surrounded by the mountains of Arthur’s Pass National Park. Today you have your choice of guided activities such as canoeing, hiking, or even learning how to shear a wooly sheep. This evening join your guide for some star gazing in the luscious, dark, Southern Hemisphere skies. Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass (B,L,D) 

October 30: Arthur's Pass to Kaikoura

We make our way to Christchurch today in time for lunch and a chance to explore the city square on your own. There is much to see as a third of the city is preserved in gardens, parks and nature reserves. We continue the day as we make our way up the Eastern coast to Kaikoura where we will enjoy the last few days of our journey. Enjoy an evening stroll down one of the bush walkways featuring trees and plants that are found nowhere else in the world. Sails Motel (B,L,D)

October 31: Kaikoura

This morning’s whale-watching excursion offers some of the best cetacean sighting in the Southern Hemisphere! Giant sperm whales are year-round residents, and are the stars of the show. You may also see fur seals, dusky dolphins, the endangered wandering albatross, and orcas. This afternoon you have a chance to join in the Maori customs and learn their ways, weaving with the native harakeke (flax) plant, and learning a song written especially for you by one of your guides. Sails Motel (B, L, D) 

November 1: Kaikoura to Nelson

After breakfast we head back to Nelson and head for home in the afternoon or extend your stay with further explorations! (B)

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Pricing Details

NPCA Member Price From

$4,995-$5,495 per person double occupancy; $1,400 single supplement.

Deposit

$1,000 per person

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Map

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Special Note

NPCA requires individual arrivals the day before your trip begins, allowing the opportunity to adjust from your international flights and start with a full day on the first day of your tour. NPCA will advise on pre-departure lodging options in confirmation material.

Valid U.S. Passport Required

If you cannot join us for the NPCA departure there is an alternate departure date for this tour which is November 8-15, 2015.

If you choose to travel on an alternate departure date rest assure that 10% of your tour cost will still be donated to NPCA from Off the Beaten Path.

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Our Travel Partner

The National Parks Conservation association is delighted to be partnering with Off the Beaten Path (OBP) to bring you excellent, insider experiences in our cherished national parks. This well-respected travel company shares our love of national parks, and understands the significant role they play in safeguarding America’s most majestic landscapes. Off the Beaten Path also shares our travel philosophy of small group sizes and unique itineraries.

NPCA’s collaboration with Off the Beaten Path allows us to open up an even broader range of opportunities through which you can appreciate and enjoy your national parks. Off the Beaten Path is offering additional dates with similar kinds of experiences to the trip described in this official ParkScapes departure.

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Booking Info

To contact NPCA's ParkScapes program for questions or reservations please call 800-628-7275 or email travel@npca.org. You may also book directly online.

Book Now

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