11 Days, 8 Nights in Auckland and Queenstown
starting at $1599.00 pp Double Occupancy
Auckland is the ‘City of Sails’ and offers pretty much close to every activity that you could wish for: from high-speed America’s Cup racing yacht to a casual cruise on the harbor. Beyond the city you will find islands like Waiheke, known for their local artists and wineries!
Queenstown is New Zealand’s outdoor adventure playground offering jet-boating, bungy jumping, and heli-skiing set against a stunning backdrop of lake and mountains.
- Round-trip airfare on Air New Zealand from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Auckland and Queenstown
- Four nights Auckland, choice of hotel grade
- Four nights Queenstown, choice of hotel grade
- US/foreign taxes & fees including Sept 11 Security Fee
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New Zealand is a country of stunning and diverse natural beauty: jagged mountains, rolling pasture land, steep fiords, pristine trout-filled lakes, raging rivers, scenic beaches, and active volcanic zones. These islands are one of Earth’s most peculiar bio regions, inhabited by flightless birds seen nowhere else such as a nocturnal, burrowing parrot called the kakapo and kiwi. Kiwi are not only one of the national symbols – the others being the silver fern leaf and koru – but also the name New Zealanders usually call themselves.
New Zealand has been called “God’s own country” and the “Paradise of the Pacific” since the early 1800s.
Consisting of two main islands – imaginatively named North Island and South Island and many smaller ones in the South Pacific Ocean, this archipelago lies roughly 1,600km (1,000 mi) south east of Australia.
New Zealand is the fifth largest wholly island nation on earth, its land area surpassed only by Australia, Indonesia, Japan and the Phillipines; NZ’s maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is fifteen times larger, being exceeded only by Australia in the preceding list.
Consequently and with a population of nearly 4.5 million in a country larger than the United Kingdom, many areas are sparsely settled.
Be sure to allow sufficient time to travel in New Zealand. Distances are larger than you probably think and many roads wind along the coast and through mountain ranges (particularly on the South Island). It’s rewarding to tour for three or four weeks on each of the main islands, although you can certainly see some of the highlights in far less time.
Australians often call NZ “The Shaky Isles” because of frequent seismic activity. Lying on the margin of the two colliding tectonic plates (the Pacific and Indo-Australian), earthquakes are common, particularly in the south west of the South Island and in the central North Island, and the North Island’s scenery is marked by several active and dormant volcanic cones. The largest lake, Lake Taupodrained by NZ’s longest river, the Waikato River, lies in a caldera created by a super-volcanic eruption which occurred approximately 26,500 years ago. The volcano underneath is considered dormant rather than extinct.
Recording more than 14,000 earthquakes a year (with only about 150 usually felt) schoolchildren regularly undertake earthquake drills as in Japan.
Auckland, with a population of around 1.5 million people, is the largest city in Polynesia. Indeed, many small pacific nations, such as the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau, have more of their national population living in Metro Auckland than in their home islands! (NZ Government Statistics.) This makes for some interesting shopping and ethnic eating opportunities. However, if you want the true New Zealand experience spend as little time as possible in Auckland as it is very different to the rest of the country.