Exploring New Zealand

  • South Island
  • Wine regions of Marlborough & Otago
  • Arthur’s Pass in the Southern Alps
  • Queenstown
  • Milford Sound


February 24 – March 10, 2025


  • Beautiful inns / multi-night stays throughout the trip
  • Local culinary specialties; delicious local wines
  • Geographic variety: semi-arid Marlborough; the southern Alps; the balmy West Coast; the lakes, mountains, and fjords of Southland
  • The ultimate explorers vibe

Trip Description

It’s time for a return to one of Earth’s greatest blends of nurtured scenic beauty, enlightened living, fascinating layers of culture and history, and relatively few people or commercialism.  Welcome to New Zealand – known by the native Maori as Aotearoa.  Our primary adventure will be a long embrace of the South Island.  We’ll stay in outstanding lodges (multi-night stays throughout the trip) – known for their hospitality and locations that showcase stunning geography, local nature highlights, and local history and culture.  We’ll begin our adventure in Marlborough – one of the world’s great wine-producing regions, exploring from our base in a 19th century estate home-turned-inn.  We’ll then drive through Arthur’s Pass in the Southern Alps, and along the lush west coast, bordering the Tasman Sea (Pacific Ocean).  Features of our “central adventure” will include life on a sheep station, high peaks and rivers, unique flora and fauna (and experts to tell about it), and delicious local food and drink.  We’ll emerge in Otago (another important wine region), and the world’s adventure sports capital – Queenstown.  We’ll relocate once more – to the scenic “outpost” of Te Anau:  jumping off point for a visit to Milford Sound.  We’ll fly from Queenstown back to Auckland, just ahead of our international flights home.

What's Included

  • Comfortable ground transportation (including yes, by train!)
  • Accommodation for 12 nights
  • Breakfast, 6 lunches and 8 dinners
  • All activities / admissions per the itinerary
  • Guide and concierge service throughout the trip

Trip Price

$9,383 / person (double occupancy; single supplement, $2,395)

What's Not Included

Price does not include airfare, alcohol, other meals, optional activities, or optional trip insurance.

I highly recommend Explore Up Close. Not only did we enjoy some beautiful cities and landscapes, we learned so much history. They are memory makers!
If you want first-class service within a small group of traveling companions that you can really get to know, then definitely consider Explore Up Close.

Trip insurance safeguards your travel investment, your belongings, and most importantly, you. Trip insurance is required for all international trips, in the event you have to cancel or leave a trip for any reason. Please note, all trip participants should wait for confirmation from Explore Up Close that the trip has the minimum sign-up required to be a “go” before purchasing travel insurance or airline tickets. Please confirm with Explore Up Close before making any additional travel arrangements.

Once you have received confirmation from Explore Up Close, we recommend contacting a travel insurance provider directly to request a quote and compare pricing and features. You can find other providers that may fit your needs at www.insuremytrip.com, or we can gladly connect you with our travel agent.

Please note, all trip participants should wait for confirmation from Explore Up Close that the trip has the minimum sign-up required to be a “go” before purchasing airline tickets.

Explore Up Close will provide a recommended flight itinerary for your consideration, which is intended as a helpful suggestion. We encourage travelers to choose airfare depending on their personal preferences, as some travelers may prefer to travel independently and meet at our destination, or may wish to extend their travels at the beginning or end of the trip. Our travel agent is available to assist you with booking flights and trip insurance.

Again, please confirm with Explore Up Close before purchasing your airline tickets or making additional travel arrangements!

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