Explore New Zealand’s magnificent landscape and fascinating culture with MPR News Host Kerri Miller. From bush hikes to bike paths; from boat rides in ice-carved fjords to walks around mirror-like lakes, you’ll be immersed in New Zealand’s South Island’s beautiful geography and unique biosystems including Milford Sound which Rudyard Kipling dubbed “the eighth wonder of the world.” Make your way through the rugged beauty of the Rangitata Valley which served as “Middle Earth” filming site for many Lord of the Rings movies. You’ll even have the opportunity to turn your adventure up a notch with optional glacier walk. Kerri’s curated book list and discussions over delicious meals are the perfect way to unwind from your daily adventures. Escape the cold days of winter with Minnesota Public Radio in New Zealand next January!
Kerri’s Book and Film List for The Trip:
•The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera. This Maori novel was made into a highly acclaimed movie and then translated into English. We’ll discuss both the film & the novel.
•To the Is-land by Janet Frame. This is the first volume in an autobiography by one of New Zealand’s most prolific writers. She was born on the South Island and fell in love with poetry. Memoir delves deep into an imagination that developed in the lush landscape of southwestern New Zealand.
•Oracles and Miracles by Stevan Eldred Grigg. Bestselling novel about two twins growing up in Christchurch in the 1930s and 1940s. Underprivileged but imaginative, they live in a kind of dreamscape. This book is often required reading for New Zealand students
•A History of Silence by Lloyd Jones. Memoir about the earthquake in Christchurch and Jones’ disintegrating family
•New Zealand as a setting for films including “The Piano,” “Once We Were Warriors” and “Lord of the Rings”
•Extra Credit: The Trial of the Cannibal Dog by Anne Salmond: Tells the story of Captain Cook’s adventures
Please note - this trip has an adventurous activity level taking guests off the beaten path to immerse you in the beauty of the region. Explore New Zealand with Kerri Miller involves advanced walking, hiking, many stairs and uphill/downhill passages. This trip is suitable for reasonably fit first-time hikers, but the trip will be made more enjoyable by a certain degree of personal fitness and an adventurous spirit. Visit publicradiocustomtravel.org for full trip itinerary and details or speak with an Earthbound Expeditions consultant at 1-800-723-8454.
Kerri Miller is host of the MPR News and Talking Volumes. She has won numerous awards including the Society of Professional Journalists National Achievement Award, Minnesota Broadcasters Award, the Associated Press Award and a Gracie award from the Association of Women in Radio and Television. This is Kerri’s sixth time hosting a literary adventure for public radio listeners.
Day 1 & 2: Fly to New Zealand
Day 3: Arrive in Christchurch
Welcome to New Zealand! Enjoy a delicious welcome dinner with your host Kerri Miller and meet your Kiwi guide for a full trip orientation.
Day 4: Depart for Franz Josef Glacier – Christchurch – Hokitika – Franz Josef
Experience the South Island’s striking natural landscape on Tranz Alpine train (yes, the Kiwi’s spell it with a “zed”!) over the stunning Arthur’s Pass to the historic gold mining town of Greymouth. This afternoon we’ll make a stop in the cool little town of Hokitika then head to Franz Josef, a quaint little town squashed between the Tasman Sea and the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. Overnight in Franz Josef Lodging surrounded by forest.
Day 5: Franz Josef Exploration Day
Enjoy a free day to explore the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. Navigate the maze of ice and explore the incredible landscape on a Franz Josef Glacier hike with a guide (at your own expense). There are also heaps of bush hikes available in the region. Overnight in a Franz Josef Lodge.
Day 6: Franz Josef – Lake Matheson – Makarona - Wanaka
We’ll depart Franz Josef in the morning and head to Lake Matheson for a walk around the amazing mirror-like lake. We’ll make a stop at Fox Glacier and then travel through the mountainous Haast Pass and Makarona with plenty of photo stops along the way. We’ll pass by beautiful Lake Hawea and arrive in Wanaka by late afternoon. Sleep in Wanaka.
Day 7: Wanaka Bike Ride - Queenstown
After breakfast, we’ll head out to cycle some of New Zealand’s most beautiful bike paths along the lakeshore. Then we’ll cruise down to the famous A.J. Hackett bungy site, where you can take the plunge – if you dare (at your own expense). Then it’s on the “Adventure Capitol of the World”, Queenstown. Queenstown offers the opportunity for an optional big (make that huge) night out with plenty of excellent restaurants, pubs and live music. Overnight Queenstown.
Day 8: Queenstown Shotover Jet Boat Ride
This morning, prepare yourself for the ultimate jet boating experience! We’ll head to the stunning Shotover Canyons and enjoy a breathtaking, adrenaline-filled white-water ride down the river on the Shotover Jet. Spend the afternoon enjoy free time at your leisure to unwind and enjoy the city. Perhaps your up for a hike? From trails perfect for a stroll, to challenging up-hill hikes, Queenstown offers a wide range of walking tracks and trails. If you enjoy biking, there are various cycling tours to give you access to some of the best trails and views in town, or just hire a bicycle, electric bike or mountain bike and explore on your own (at your own expense). Or perhaps have a lazy lunch lake side. The choice is yours! Overnight in Queenstown.
Day 9: Milford Sound Day Trip
Today we’ll take a day trip to breathtaking Fiordland National Park, one of New Zealand’s most beautiful locations with stunning ice-carved fiords, waterfalls, valleys, lakes and mount scenery. Within Fiordland, we will visit Milord Sound, dubbed by Rudyard Kipling as the eighth Wonder of the World. Keep an eye out for fur seals, penguins and bottlenose dolphins! In the evening we will return to Queensland.
Day 10: Queenstown Free Day
With so much to do and discover in Queenstown, you could easily spend a week exploring the city. Optional activities include: zip-line tours, canyoning, skiing, skydiving and hikes with amazing views. If you are looking for day trips to the surrounding areas, this may the perfect opportunity with opportunities for horseback riding, kayaking, and biking in wineries, all between 1-1 1/2 hours outside of Queenstown. All activities at your own expense today. Overnight in Queenstown.
Day 11: Queenstown – Aoraki/Mt. Cook
We will depart Queenstown at 8:30 am and head over to the Lindis Pass through the beautiful Mackenzie Country and past Lake Pukaki, the head north to our amazing stop at the base of New Zealand’s high mountain Aoraki/Mt. Cook, arriving in the early afternoon so there’s time for scenic walks. Overnight at an alpine lodge.
Day 12: Mt. Cook – Rangitata
After breakfast, we’ll make our way through the fantastic landscape that may seem familiar to you – Rangitata was a major filming site for the Lord of the Rings movies. We will head to the turquoise Lake Tekapo, where we you may choose your own adventure of ice skating, snow tubing or a swim at the hot springs (optional and at your own expense). We will arrive in Geraldine in the early afternoon, and then continue on to spend the night in Rangitata Peel Forest at one of Canterbury’s original sheep stations and enjoy a beautiful farewell dinner.
Day 13: Farewell New Zealand – Optional Post Trip Extension to Australia Begins
This morning we’ll depart early to make our way across the Canterbury plains to Christchurch, arriving at the Christchurch International Airport for your flight back to home or continue to Sydney Australia on the optional post-tour extension.
Day 13 – 15: OPTIONAL - Australia Post-Trip Extension – Transfer to Sydney
Today you will board a flight on Air New Zealand *for guests on the group flight. You’ll spend four days and three nights in a 4-star hotel in Sydney Australia. This is post-trip is a great opportunity for those who have always wanted to explore this amazing city on your own. Sleep in Sydney three nights.
Day 16: Farewell Australia
This morning we’ll pack up and head to the airport for your flight back to the USA where you will arrive home with a lifetime of memories!
- Hosted by Kerri Miller, News Host, Minnesota Public Radio
- Pre-Trip Dinner at MPR Headquarters in downtown St. Paul
- Expert Earthbound Expedition Kiwi Guide
- Transport by first class coach
- Ten nights accommodations
- All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
- Airport transfers in New Zealand (for those arriving with the group flight)
- Porterage (1 piece per person)
- Trans- Alpine train journey from Christchurch to Arthur’s Pass
- Bicycle rental in Wanaka
- Milford Sound cruise through Southern Alps
- Shotover Jet Boat Ride
- All sightseeing and attractions listed in your itinerary
- Gratuities for your divers and guides
Pricing and Terms
11 Days/10 Nights LAND (please add 2 days when including air travel)
$5,799 per person double occupancy (land only)
$1,199 Single Supplement (waived if you are willing to share and a roommate is found)
Group flight departs on January 17, 2020 Trip begins in Christchurch on January 19, 2020
Trip ends in Christchurch on January 29, 2020 Group Air Option - includes domestic flight New Zealand from Minneapolis/St. Paul for $ (TBD)
Air New Zealand including post-tour extension to Sydney$ (TBD)
Prices for groups will be released by Air NZ 10 months prior to departure
Reserve by June 1, 2020 and save $50. Pay your final balance by check and save $100. MPR Reserve by June 1, 2020 and save $50.
SYDNEY AUSTRALIA POST-TRIP EXTENSION
4 DAYS/3 NIGHTS
January 29 – February 1, 2020
$1,495 per person double occupancy (includes air ticket from New Zealand)
$375 single supplement
Air transport on Air New Zealand * for guests on the group flight
Airport transfers and city orientation upon arrival in Sydney
Three nights accommodation in a centrally located 4-star hotel
Evening dinner cruise on Sydney Harbor
POST -TOUR EXCLUDES
Any items not mentioned above
Note about the post-tour extension: Sydney is a stunning and safe world-class city. This means it can be easily explored on your own. The post-tour has been created for your convenience and is perfect for those travelers who have always wanted to visit Sydney and don’t mind doing a bit of exploring on their own.
Final Notes: For travelers who would like to spend more time in Australia, please note that Air New Zealand is charging a $200.00 USD deviation fee. In addition, you will need to purchase any extra activities, meals, entrances, transport and hotel nights. Please contact the Earthbound Expeditions office if you wish to stay in Australia longer.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Packing: We’ll be hopping scenic trains and planes on this journey. This means that at times you will be moving and carrying your bag both onto the train or bus. We suggest that you pack light and utilize wheeled luggage. Porters are available at the hotels, but not on the trains or buses.
Physical requirements: In order to make the most of your trip, you should be able to walk independently for one to two miles, often over uneven cobblestones and be able to stand for a period of time during walking or museum tours or visits to other sights. You must also be able to maneuver luggage onto trains and busses (see above).
Luggage: You should be able to comfortably manage your luggage through airports and while boarding a train. Porters are generally available to assist you at hotels only. Some of the castles, hotels and country inns we utilize do not have porters, but most of our lodgings are equipped with elevators. The key is to not over-pack.
Concerts, Festival and Events: If for any reason the organizers of a schedule concert, festival or event cancel or postpone a planned activity with little or no notice, Earthbound Expeditions will do its utmost to secure a similar event or secure another concert(s). Strikes, unscheduled delays, lack of funds and acts of God are beyond the control of Earthbound Expeditions. Cancellation of an event, festival or concert is not cause for refund.
Hosted Journeys: If a host or special guests is unable to attend as planned, Earthbound Expeditions will do its utmost to find another host who has similar interests, talents and expertise. The inability of a host to participate in a tour is not grounds for a full or partial refund.
Need more information?Call us: (1) 800-723-8454 Earthbound Expeditions is open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Contact us! Complete our contact form and one of our travel consultants will contact you to answer your questions and help you complete your reservation.