In a nod to the fictional adventurer Phileas Fogg, New Zealand travel experts have launched a new itinerary for guests to experience all 14 of the country’s diverse natural landscapes from the geo thermal landscape on the North Island to the fjords and petrified forests of the south coast – all in just 18 days.
New Zealand is renowned for its stunning scenery and dramatic landscapes, with many considering it to have one of the world’s most diverse range of landscapes, all condensed into a similar area of land than the UK.
The 14 Landscapes include:
• Temperate rainforest
• Beech and petrified forests
• Limestone caves
• Braided rivers
Travel experts at New Zealand In Depth have worked with partners and contacts in New Zealand to highlight the landscapes that span the country including geothermal formations, glaciers, volcanic, and coastal environments. Guests embarking on this adventure will also enter temperate rainforest, beech forest, and explore fiords and sounds. Other spectacular geological landscapes that finish the line-up include New Zealand’s finest lakes, mountains, limestone caves and braided rivers.
The new itinerary starts with a night in cosmopolitan Auckland, before heading to the world-famous Rotorua, a geothermal wonderland and Maori cultural heartland. Here guests will be treated to a visual feast of geothermal features such as volcanic crater lakes, spouting geysers, bubbling mud pools and hissing fumaroles. Guests will also experience genuine Maori hospitality in Whakarewarewa village and be treated to a cultural immersion at Te Puia, New Zealand’s Maori Arts and Crafts Institute.
From geothermal delights to almighty volcanoes of Tongariro National Park, where guests will experience the beauty of this landscape on a 19km guided walk of the Tongariro Crossing. As you trek this spectacular volcanic terrain you will encounter old lava flows, hot springs, crater lakes and be afforded stunning views of Mount Taranaki, Mount Ngauruhoe, the Kaimanawa Ranges, Lake Taupo and beyond.
The adventure continues to Motueka, famous for its pristine beaches, turquoise waters and limestone caves, it’s the perfect base to explore Abel Tasman National Park and the Golden Bay area.
Next stop Punakaiki, this dramatic landscape dates back 30 million years, with layered limestone forming the world-famous pancake rocks and coastal cliffs punctuated by booming blowholes.
From Water to ice in Glacier country. Here guests can choose to hop onboard a scenic flight that offers unparalleled aerial views of Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier as well as a snow landing high in the mountains or a Heli hike, where a helicopter will drop guests off at the top of the glacier for an up-close encounter with this natural wonder.
The next leg of the journey will take guests past temperate rainforest, waterfalls and braided rivers before arriving at the shores of Lake Wanaka. The perfect spot to simply relax and enjoy the mountain scenery.
Heading further south to explore the many treasures contained within the Fiordland National Park; the glow-worm caves, a three-hour cruise on the Milford Sound, where an underwater observatory allows a window into this spectacular world and finally an overnight cruise on the majestic Doubtful Sound.
On board the MV Southern Secret, guests will be able to kayak, fish for their own supper, enjoy the abundant nature including seals and dolphins as well as take in the breath-taking scenery, as waterfalls plunge into the sound from 2000ft cliffs above.
After a relaxing breakfast guests will take a ferry across to Stewart Island. Stewart Island is New Zealand’s third largest island and 85% of it forms Rakiura National Park – this is one of the few parts of New Zealand where it is possible to see kiwi in the wild.
Returning to the mainland, the final days include a stunning drive through The Catlins at the southern end of the South Island to view the petrified forests, with sightings of yellow eyed penguins and sea lions. Feeling more like the edge of the world as opposed to around the world!
Paul Carberry added “this really is a trip of a life time for nature lovers, adventurers and even budding geologists. All the wonders of New Zealand in 18 days without compromising on luxury and quality.”
The changing landscape itinerary starts from £3,200 per adult on a 3-4* self-catering/B&B basis, car hire, guided walk on Tongariro Crossing, cruises on Milford Sound, overnight on the Doubtful Sound, some meals and domestic flight from Taupo to Nelson all included, does not include international flights.