College at Brockport NZ Tour 2017
New Zealand: International Study of Culture and Leisure
Examining New Zealand's history, culture, political and social systems, natural environment and their impact on leisure values and choices. Explore how nature and culture create and transform individual experiences. This tour involves travelling through the North and South Islands of New Zealand...check out the itinerary below!
Maori Pronounciation -
A couple of things which may help with pronounciation of Maori words and place names (by the time you leave NZ you'll be a pro!):
Day 1: Arrive in Auckland, New Zealand - 30 December 2016
Welcome to New Zealand! After clearing customs Cam (your Driver/Guide) will be waiting for you at the arrivals desk. After a quick head count and a visit to the cash machine to change US$ into NZ$, we'll load up the bus and for the City Centre. Auckland is commonly referred to as the "City of Sails" because it has more sail boats per person than anywhere else in the world. It is also the largest city in New Zealand which has approximately 1.5million people - this is more than the complete population of the South Island!
Your adventure starts straight away with a visit to Mount Eden - the tallest volcano out of the 50 volcanoes in the local area. The views from here will introduce you to a New Zealand's largest city and gateway to the nation. From here we will take a city sights tour and a visit to the Skytower, the highest tower in the Southern Hemisphere. Later we will check into our accommodation.
Day 2: Auckland - Whale Bay, Raglan - 31 December 2016
This morning it is time to head south, leaving New Zealand's largest city behind! We will stop in Hamilton City for lunch and a quick lunch. Once we're done in Hamilton, we're headed for the West Coast, because "Surf's UP!" - that's right, this is going to be your time to showcase your talent in balance! We have a group lesson planned right on the beach, with a stunning open view of the Tasman Sea & your feet in amongst the black sand, this is definitely a place you will remember your New Years Eve of 2016! Once done, we will relax "kiwi style" and see in the New Year of 2017!
Day 3: Whale Bay, Raglan - Rotorua - 01 January 2017
Today the coach will be waiting to take you to the geothermal capital of New Zealand - the land of boiling mud and steam.
We have one stop to make on the way - Hobbiton! Even if you are not a 'Lord of the Rings' or 'The Hobbit', this movie set and tour will still be enjoyable. The Shire has been maintained and looks just like it was in the movies, the staff are knowledgable and there may even be a drink at the end in the local pub - The Green Dragon.
This trip is approximately 1.5hours long and for those who are fans or have fans at home, the gift shop will be calling to you at the end! Then it is a short 45minute ride over to Rotorua to check in at our accommodation for the night.
Day 4: Rotorua - Murupara - 02 January 2017
Rotorua is famous for it's geothermal landscape. Geysers going off, boiling mud in the middle of town and steam vents everywhere you look, even coming out of the street! Cam will take you on a city tour along the lakefront, through the gardens and introduce you to the Maori culture which Rotorua is also famous for.
Fun Fact: Rotorua smells. Yip, that's right, it smells. Due to all of the sulphur from the geothermal activity there is a scent of what most recognise as rotten eggs. You become quite accustomed to it, so don't worry about bringing your nose plugs with you. Because of this smell many New Zealanders have nicknamed the city "Rotten-Rua" or due to it's high tourism profile, many of us call it "Vegas" or "Roto-Vegas".
This morning you will have free time until we need to leave at approximately 12.30pm.
Prepare to immerse yourself in Maori Culture today as we have a special treat instore and a very popular Brockport Stop. Dinner is included tonight - a traditional Maori Hangi (hung-ee) and it is one of our favourite dinners!! The rest of this evening is so special and all about whanau (far-no), the Maori word for family, that we'll just let you experience it, rather than write about it.
Day 5: Murupara - Taupo - 03 January 2017
Today we are travelling to Taupo, adrenaline capital of the North Island. We will stop in at the thundering Huka Falls (Huka = Foam) and then on to the Taupo Bungy for those who feel the need to jump off something! This is New Zealand's highest water touch bungy - you can get dunked right up to your ankles if you want - in fact, this bungy photo is of Amanda's brother, Shane, doing just that!
Did you know? Lake Taupo is actually the crater lake of a volcano. Due to a huge explosion in 181AD the mountain was destroyed, leaving a rather large hole in the ground which has since filled with water. There are written reports from 181AD that this explosion was so violent and large that the colour of the sky changed in China. This volcano is currently dormant.
This is also the place to do a skydive at the cheapest place in New Zealand and the Southern Hemisphere - well recommended and a favourite of Amanda's. If skydive is a bit too extreme ask Cam for more activities available to you - there are heaps! Everything here is at your own expense, so if you want some indicative pricing please feel free to contact us in advance to ask.
Day 6: Taupo - 04 January 2017
Today is a free day! Enjoy your time off exploring! If you would like to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, this is the place to do it - it is New Zealand's best one day walk and you will not be disappointed as you hike 19.4kilometres (12miles) over a relatively awake volcanic field (don't worry - we're not talking about ash and lava!). We will be taking bookings for this earlier in the trip as the bus to the mountains departs quite early. If you are participating in the Crossing you will also have the chance to scale Mount Ngauruhoe - also known as Mount Doom from Lord of The Rings!
Don't feel like hiking? Sweet as, Lake Taupo is an amazing lake to sit at the shores of, to kayak or take a boat trip on. How about trout fishing? The Huka Falls walk is great, or maybe you'd like to get a little souvenir shopping done after a morning sleep in?
Day 7: Taupo - Wellington - 05 January 2017
Today we head to Wellington, where we will travel over the Desert Road and if we are lucky we will stop for some photos of the mountains belonging to Tongariro National Park, including the infamous Mount Ngauruhoe "Mount Doom" from Lord of the Rings. We will arrive into Windy Wellington in the afternoon where Cam will take you for a city tour.
Why "Windy Wellington"? Wellington is one of the windiest places in New Zealand. Due to the location at the end of the North Island the wind is pushed between here and the top of the South Island creating a wind tunnel. The great thing about this means that there is hardly ever any air pollution. Wellingtonians are constantly searching for umbrellas which do not blow inside out and have learnt to tie their hair up or wear a well fitted hat on the windiest of days!
Wellington is New Zealand's capital city, although it didn't always used to be. Previouly it was in the far north at Russell - a small village which was the main stop on the shipping route for American and Eurpoean ships in the early 1800s. In 1841 Auckland became the Capital City and then eventually Wellington was named the Capital in 1865 after long debate
Day 8: Wellington - 06 January 2017
Today we will explore New Zealand's Capital City walking in the Government Gardens, learning at Te Papa (our National Museum) and a taking a guided tour of Parliament House - also known as the Beehive (see pic above). While politics may not always be the most interesting subject for some, here you can learn about New Zealand's Parliamentary processes for comparison to those you know in America and learn the differences between our two nations.
The evening is free for you to enjoy in the "Coolest Little Capital in the World".
Day 9: Wellington - Picton - Nelson - 07 January 2017
It's an early start today so we can check-in at the Interislander Ferry for our voyage over the Cook Strait - the channel of water separating the two main islands of New Zealand. Leaving the North Island behind, our 3.5hour journery has us venture into what many South Islanders commonly refer to as "The Mainland". This is a great scenic journey so make sure you have your cameras. You might even see dolphins!
Once you arrive in Picton, Cam will be waiting outside the ferry terminal for you all to climb onboard. We will travel for a couple of hours, headed for Nelson. Nelson is well known for it's sunshine hours and relaxed atmosphere and vibes. It is also the doorstep to the Abel Tasman National Park, which is a great place to spend tomorrow if you love beautiful scenery, hiking/walking and the ocean!
Day 10: Nelson - 08 January 2017
A free day today - you may get up early to explore the Abel Tasman National Park, or you may like to stay in Nelson City and explore all that it has to offer. Perhaps you may go in search for the absolute mid-point of New Zealand or visit a local brewery or vineyard for a guided tour - the choice is yours!
Day 11: Nelson - Punakaiki - 09 January 2017
It's a day of adventure, followed by relaxing in the New Zealand Rainforest at a unique location tonight, Punakaiki! We will be leaving Nelson early today to ensure that we arrive in Charleston within plenty of time to check in to do some Black Water Rafting! The Brockport 2016 group all participated in this activity and it was so great that we though we better include it again! Get ready to lie back in an inner tube and float through underground caves in the dark. The current will gently take you along under a 'sky' of glow worms, and will bring you back out into daylight where at a faster pace you will go down the river under NZ native rainforest.
This evening we will check in at our unique rainforest accommodation for the night and then take a short walk down to the West Coast beach to watch the sun set over the Tasman Sea.
Day 12: Punakaiki - Greymouth - Christchurch - 10 January 2017
Today we head from the West Coast to the East Coast, but to give you a wee break from being in the bus, the majority of your day will be in a train! The TranzAlpine Train will depart from Greymouth (just south of Punakaiki) after lunch. On this train journey you will traverse the mighty Southern Alps and come out into an entirely different scenery of the Canterbury Plains. There is a reason that this train journey ranks highly amongst the top 15 of the world! The bus will meet you at the train station and transport you through to our accommodation for the next 2 nights.
Day 13: Christchurch - 11 January 2017
Today we're exploring Christchurch City. Some things you may like to think about; Christchurch Art Gallery, the Botanic Gardens, shopping at the Shipping Container Shopping Mall, Canterbury Museum and a tour around Christchurch City to see the impact of recent earthquakes. The previously closed off "Red Zone" has been reopened for traffic and pedestrians.
Christchurch has become well known world-wide due to devestating earthquakes. The first major earthquake was on 4 September 2010 which after months of aftershocks was followed by the devastating, fatal, earthquake on 22 February 2011 which took 185 lives. The February earthquake caused widespread damage across Christchurch, especially in the central city and eastern suburbs, with damage exacerbated by buildings and infrastructure already being weakened by the 4 September 2010 earthquake and its aftershocks. Significant liquefaction affected the eastern suburbs, producing around 400,000 tonnes of silt. The earthquake was reported to be felt across the South Island and the lower and central North Island. Many places within the city centre still remains cordoned off while they slowly and carefully remove all damaged infrastructure. To read more about this, visit here or an online NZ newspaper with current articles.
Aftershocks still continue to this day, however we see no reason not to visit this beautiful city - we stress that we would not go here if it was not safe. Instead, let us all show Christchurch some support! You will note that Cantabrians are strong minded people and with their courage and determination they continue to rebuild their city, bigger and better than ever before!
This afternoon we will head out to Willowbank Wildlife Park for a guided Kiwi tour - nothing like meeting our iconic national bird!
Day 14: Christchurch - Mount Cook - 12 January 2017
Today we're headed for the highest peak in New Zealand - Aoraki, Mount Cook. Our accommodation tonight will be at Mount Cook Village - and if the weather is right, Aoraki stands proudly above you. At 3754 metres tall she is the highest point in New Zealand and was essentially the training ground for Sir Edmund Hillary before he was the first person in the world, along with his sherpa Tenzing Norgay, to reach the top of Mt Everest. Here in the village you will be able to explore the Sir Edmund Hillary Center which has continuous running educational videos in it's multi-faceted theatre with domed screens and 3-D presentations about it's various aspects of New Zealand's sky.
Day 15: Mount Cook - Queenstown - 13 January 2017
This morning everyone can take their time hiking the Hooker trail. There are hanging bridges along glacier fed streams until you reach the bottom of Mt Cook. You will see pieces of ice from the glacier floating in the lake and love the beautiful blue colour that all of the South Island glacier fed lakes are.
Then it's off to the adrenaline capital of New Zealand, Queenstown! Prepare to jump of high ledges and cable cars, speed through narrow canyons at high speeds on tiny jet boats and more!
Day 16: Queenstown - 14 January 2017
It's a free day today!
Queenstown is packed with activities that are all within walking distance. Queenstown is also a great place to get some souvenir shopping done with a multitude of items to pick from! Tonight you may want to consider a Ferg Burger for your dinner - check them out using Google, yum! (Oh, and it's customary to take a photo of yourself with your burger...see Google Images!)
We have a stunning location to dine at tonight, after partaking in a wee adrenaline rush of luging! We always look forward to our final evening of reminiscing together - no matter how sad we get that the trip is coming to an end, the memories we take away are amazing and stay with us forever!
Day 17: Queenstown - Auckland - USA - 15 January 2017
Today we load your bags up for the last time and take you to the airport this morning, but you will have time for some last minute shopping as well as any last purchases from the supermarket, like Cheezels, Tim Tams, Cookie Time Cookies and more goodies you have discovered!