------------ New Zealand 2005 Intinerary ------------

Sat. Oct. 15 LV Seattle (SEA) Alaska Air # 596 at 8:39 PM AR San Francisco (SFO) 10:39 PM
- overnight at Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport

Sunday Oct. 16 Lv SFO Air New Zealand # 7 9:45 PM arrive Auckland (Number 1 on the map.)
Tuesday Oct. 18 6:30AM (cross the dateline)
Visit Maritime and Auckland Museums.

- Tues. Oct. 18 overnight at Crowne Plaza, Auckland

Wed. Oct. 19 travel to Wellington, Quantas #4039 LV AKL 3 PM, AR WLG 4 PM
- Wed. night at James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor (Number 2 on the map.)
Visit Te Papa Museum.

- Thurs. Oct. 20 Wellington, James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

Fri. Oct. 21 Wellington to Christchurch, (Number 3 on the map.) Air New Zealand #457 LV WLG 4 PM, AR CHC 4:45 PM
- Friday night Elm Tree House B&B
Walk to Canterbury Museum, Botanic Gardens, and Cathedral.

- Sat. Oct. 22 Elm Tree House B&B

--- tour with International Expeditions ---

Day 3 * Sunday - Oct 23
Christchurch, on the east coast of New Zealand's South Island. We meet our guide and continue to the renowned Antarctic Visitors Center, the foremost museum depicting the history of Antarctica's exploration. In the afternoon, we tour Christchurch, "the most English city outside England," seeing the Cathedral, the Avon River, the Canterbury Museum and the Botanic Gardens. We then visit the nearby estuary to see shore birds, or we may walk in the Port Hills, which provide tremendous views of Christchurch. We return to our hotel, the Holiday Inn Christchurch, for a welcome dinner. (Meals Aloft, D)

Day 4 * Monday - Oct 24
This morning we depart for the seaside town of Kaikoura, (Number 4 on the map.)which has become famous for the number and variety of its seabirds -- enthusiasts come from all over the world to see albatross, shearwaters and petrels. We take a pelagic birding cruise to see birds which spend a majority of their lives at sea. We enjoy dinner at a local restaurant and transfer to the White Morph Inn, our home for the next two nights. (B,D)

Day 5 * Tuesday - Oct 25
Kaikoura is also famous for its whale watching, and this morning we take a cruise in search of some of the rarest species. Kaikoura is one of the few places in the world where there is a good chance of seeing sperm whales. This afternoon we visit a Maori settlement, including a visit to the "meeting house," significant to Maori culture as the roof ridge symbolized the backbone of a family and the rafters were the ribs. Dinner is on our own. (B)

Day 6 * Wednesday - Oct 26
Punakaiki Rocks (Paparoa National Park) (Number 5 on the map.)
We travel overland crossing from the East Coast to the West Coast, making scenic stops along the way as we cross the mountains through Lewis Pass. We arrive at Paparoa National Park and see the Pancake Rocks, a unique limestone formation that erosion has given the appearance of a stack of pancakes. Numerous blowholes provide a stunning geyser-like display. This region also has lush temperate rainforest, and our hotel, the Punakaiki Rocks Hotel, has beautiful views of the coast. (B,L,D)

Day 7 * Thursday - Oct 27
Punakaiki Rocks / Fox Glacier
This morning we take an easy hike through the temperate rain forest of Paparoa National Park. We continue south through Greymouth and Hokitika, known for artisans who work in jade, glass and gold. We then visit Westland National Park. We continue to Franz Josef Glacier and the Fox Glacier -- the largest of the 60 glaciers in the park. Transfer to the Te Weheka Inn, our accommodation for the next two nights. (B,D)

Day 8 * Friday - Oct 28
Fox Glacier
This morning we walk to Lake Matheson. We then travel to the Waiatoto River for a jetboat safari to the White Heron Reserve. We spend the night at Haast (B,L)

Day 9 * Saturday - Oct 29
Haast Pass / Queenstown (Number 6 on the map.)
This morning we depart for Queenstown via Haast Pass. We drive for miles along the edge of Lake Wanaka, one of New Zealand's largest lakes. We continue to a large high country sheep station where we have lunch overlooking Lake Hawea. This afternoon we arrive in Queenstown and transfer to our accommodation for the next two nights, Rydges Queenstown. Dinner tonight is on our own. (B,L)

Day 10 * Sunday - Oct 30
This morning we take a safari along the Dart River, where scenes from the "Lord of the Rings" films were shot. We return to Queensland and have a free afternoon to enjoy the city. This evening we break into small groups and enjoy dinner in the homes of local families, with a chance to learn about each other's lives and make new friends. (B,D)

Day 11 * Monday - Oct 31
Te Anau / Milford Sound (Number 7 on the map.)
In the morning we drive to lovely Te Anau, a resort town on the shores of Lake Te Anau that faces the park's snow-covered mountain ranges. We visit the Fiordland Visitor Centre to learn about the park, its history, flora and fauna. Lunch is on our own before we continue to renowned Milford Sound. We embark the Milford Mariner for an overnight cruise the full length of the sound. (B,D)

Day 12 * Tuesday - Nov 1
Invercargill / Stewart Island (Number 8 on the map.)
We disembark, drive to Te Anau and stop at the Wildlife Center to see captive takahes, highly endangered flightless birds endemic to New Zealand. We continue to Invercargill and visit the Southland Museum to see one of the world's oldest living reptiles, the tuatara, which has survived unchanged for more than 200 million years. In the afternoon we fly to Stewart Island, the southernmost of New Zealand's islands. After dinner, weather permitting, we look for kiwis in the wild. New Zealanders are often affectionately called "Kiwis." Spend the night at the South Sea Hotel. (B,D)

Day 13 * Wednesday - Nov 2
Stewart Island
This morning we take a guided walk on Ulva Island, an important bird nesting sanctuary with sooty shearwaters (muttonbirds) nesting in tremendous numbers. We also look for South Island kaka, wood pigeon, tomtit and kiwi. After dinner, we visit Ackers Point to look for sooty shearwaters and little blue penguins. The little blue (or fairy) penguin is among the world's smallest penguins. Return to the South Sea Hotel for the night. (B,L,D)

Day 14 * Thursday - Nov 3
We fly this morning to Invercargill and drive north to Dunedin, (Number 9 on the map.) stopping frequently for scenic photography and for wildlife. This afternoon, we visit the Otago Museum to see its tremendous collection of Polynesian and Maori artifacts. This evening we have dinner at our hotel, our home for the next two nights, the City Hotel. (B,D)

Day 15 ** Friday - Nov 4
This morning we have some free time to shop, explore Dunedin on our own or just relax. We then drive to Tairo Head on the Otago Peninsula, a very special place because of its populations of nesting royal albatross, who inhabit their nest sites for 300 days, and of the yellow-eyed penguin, the world's most endangered, with a population currently under 2,000 pairs. Seeing these penguins from observation blinds is a wonderful experience and is apt to be a highlight of the journey. Late this afternoon we return to Dunedin and cruise the harbor. We return to Dunedin and celebrate our New Zealand journey with a farewell dinner. (B,L,D)

Nov. 5 Dunedin to Auckland, (Number 10 on the map.) via Air New Zealand #450 LV DUD 11:20 AM AR AKL 2:00 PM
- Nov. 6 Auckland, Hyatt Regency Hotel
- Nov. 7 & 8 transfer via ferry to Giverny Inn on Waiheke Is.
Nov. 9 LV Auckland Air New Zealand # 8, 7PM AR SFO 10:15AM (same day)
Nov. 9 LV SFO Alaska Air # 591, 1:10 PM AR SEA 3:16 PM