Castle Hill by Vovecka, PixabaySheep crossing road by Gene GoldbergLake Tekapo by Falco, PixbayL387-Aoraki Mt Cook National Park Canterbury by Rob SuisteCoastview Kaikoura by Alistair McLellan, PixabayWeka bird by Gene GoldbergMilford Sound by Gene GoldbergForest walk by Gene GoldbergEX22 Champagne Pool Rotorua by Graeme Murray NZ Tourism

New Zealand - Exploring the Land of the Long White Cloud

January 26 - February 9, 2023

Small group size limited to 11 participants

Co - Leaders - Gene Goldberg & Deirdre Butler

Aotearoa - that's the Maori name for New Zealand. It means Land of the Long White Cloud and is actually the chain of snow covered mountains of the North Island, forming the backbone of this California-sized land in the South Pacific. As seen from the sea, these mountains appear to be a long, white cloud, hovering forever above the land. Most of the Maori settled on North Island where agriculture was more feasible. Also in the North, one finds more geothermal areas; the thin crust of the earth allows steam to gush forth and forms amazing bubbling mud pits. South Island remains to this day more wild, the place one goes to get in touch with nature. For the Maori, it was also of old the source of greenstone, valued for its use in making both tools and jewelry. New Zealand is the last major landmass on Earth to be settled by humans, the Maori having arrived only about 850 years ago.

Come explore it with us. Our small group ( no more than 11 travelers) will visit geothermal areas and Maori cultural sites on North Island, and enjoy hiking and wildlife sites on South Island. Towering trees with strange looking leaves, odd animals and birds, unusual rock formations, a whale-watching cruise, hikes through forests, valleys, and mountain tundra, and more await the adventurous. See kiwis at a rescue shelter (did you know their eggs are ¼ the size of the mother bird?), walk on a small island and learn how it's been made rat-free, see the podocarp forests that helped scientists learn about tectonic plates (they're related to the forests in South America and southern Africa - how could that be?), take a boat ride looking for seals and sperm whales, drive across the Southern Alps, and take a cruise on the majestic Milford Sound.

“The endangered Kiwi is aptly New Zealand's icon. There is so much promise to lay a large egg but without the ability to get it off the ground.” Grant McLachlan

What's Included:

  • Lodging on twin-share basis

  • All meals from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 15 except for 1 dinner

  • On-trip transportation in private bus and public ferries

  • All National Park entrance fees

  • Maori evening experience

  • Whale watching cruise

  • Milford Sound cruise

  • Taiaroa Head cruise

  • All excursions per trip itinerary

  • Services of a full-time highly knowledgeable local naturalist guide

  • Full-time professional Big Round World trip leaders

  • Gratuities for local service providers

  • 4 pre - trip bulletins prior to departure with more detailed and specific information to help you prepare for your adventure

What's Not Included:

  • International travel to Auckland and from Dunedin and transfers to/from airports in New Zealand

  • Beverages with meals

  • One dinner in Kaikoura

  • Travel insurance

  • Tips for trip leaders are at your discretion

Trip Dates: January 26 - February 9, 2023 | 15 day trip

Small group size limited to 11 participants

Trip Price and Deposit: $7,200 per person | Deposit $1,800 per person

Remainder due September 13th, 2022

Price is based on double occupancy of rooms. Same gender roommate will be assigned to participants traveling solo. Single supplements are limited. Your non-refundable deposit will hold your reservation. Either pay on line (credit/ debit cards accepted) using our secure PayPal payment system or write a check, payable to “Big Round World”, and mail it to: PO Box 1337, Lyons, CO 80540.

How to Sign Up

  1. Complete the COVID-19 Vaccination Status Form

  2. Follow the next steps.