Nowhere in the world can one find such a land as New Zealand for sheer beauty and scale. Volcanoes, glaciers, high mountains, fiords, tussock lands, and geothermal springs — the country is a treasure trove of natural wonders. Our trip will concentrate on the highlights of the South Island. The South Island has some of the most dramatic scenery in the world, with towering peaks, glaciers, majestic fiords, and pristine lakes. We’ll spend all of our time here, moving about to photograph the diverse landscape and changing colors of its breathtaking beauty.

Tour Highlights~Landscape and wildlife of New Zealand

  • [icon image=”fa-check”]The dramatic, moody and tempestuous West Coast
  • [icon image=”fa-check”]Hike through Mount Cook National Park and enjoy the spectacular views of the expansive glaciers in Hooker Valley
  • [icon image=”fa-check”]Capture the spirit of the captivating Moeraki Boulders
  • [icon image=”fa-check”]Magnificent Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park
  • [icon image=”fa-check”]Photograph a high country sheep station, a part of New Zealand’s economy and culture
  • [icon image=”fa-check”]Victorian architecture of Dunedin and Queenstown provide wonderful settings for night photography

[icon image=”fa-star”]For more information or to register contact Strabo Photo Tour Collection:  607-756-8676 www.phototc.com

ITINIERARY
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[acchead id=”” tab_id=”0″ class=”active”]March 13-14 – U.S. – Auckland[/acchead]
[accbody tab_id=”0″ in=”in”]Leave the U.S. today for New Zealand, flying across the Pacific. A day is lost en route as you cross the International Date Line. Flights need to be booked landing in Christchurch (CHC – South Island), and return from CHC. (meals on plane)

*Note: If you would like to depart earlier to rest and get over jet lag in Christchurch, Strabo will send recommendations in your first packet of pre-departure materials.[/accbody]
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[acchead id=”” tab_id=”1″ class=””]March 15 – Arthur’s Pass National Park[/acchead]
[accbody tab_id=”1″ in=””]After early morning arrival, we depart Christchurch to Arthur’s Pass National Park, passing across the Canterbury, ending with rugged mountain scenery of the Southern Alps Arthur’s Pass Wilderness Lodge is a breath-taking place where high, often snow-capped, mountains, and mountain beech forest blend with a high country sheep station breeding Merino sheep for the renowned Icebreaker merino clothing.. Overnight ARTHUR’S PASS WILDERNESS LODGE (L, D)[/accbody]
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[acchead id=”” tab_id=”2″ class=””]March 16 – Arthur’s Pass – Punakaiki[/acchead]
[accbody tab_id=”2″ in=””]We spend the morning in the lichen and moss festooned beech forest adjacent to the lodge before traveling along the coast, through the Paparoa National park, to Punikaiki. Visiting the famed Pancake Rocks this afternoon, we further explore this wonderful coast with a gentle walk along the Truman Track. Our stay tonight is in a dramatic coastal setting just south of Punakaiki, at PUNAKAIKI ROCKS HOTEL (B, L, D)[/accbody]
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[acchead id=”” tab_id=”3″ class=””]March 17 & 18 – Fox Glacier[/acchead]
[accbody tab_id=”3″ in=””]Ancient forest, bush clad lakes, glistening glaciers, and impetuous rivers make Westland an area of imposing beauty. This morning we will travel down the wild and wet West Coast on avenues framed by the green lushness of rainforest. In the afternoon we will visit the famous Franz Josef and Fox Glacier regions, perhaps with excellent views of Mt. Cook.

If weather permits, you will have photo opportunities at Lake Matheson – with morning reflections of the Southern Alps, or perhaps glacier viewpoints of Fox glacier or Franz Josef Glacier in Westland National Park. WESTHAVEN LODGE (B, L, D both days)[/accbody]
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[acchead id=”” tab_id=”4″ class=””]March 19 – Lake Wanaka[/acchead]
[accbody tab_id=”4″ in=””]Early this morning we will make a special journey to the famed Lake Moeraki and a walk to Munroe’s Beach. The landscape undergoes a dramatic change in coastal relief just south of Lake Moeraki, as we cross from the lush rain forests of the vast South- West New Zealand World Heritage Area to the arid tussock landscapes of Central Otago. Mountain lakes and dripping moss-clad beech forest will enthrall all this morning before crossing the Haast Pass, western gateway to Central Otago – a great fragmented schist plateau that now appears as a series of block mountain ranges. A region of climatic extremes, the dry core of New Zealand has much to offer the naturalist and photographer. We will stop along the shores of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. With its shimmering, bright blue waters, Lake Wanaka is one of the largest of the southern lakes. Overnight at WYNDHAM RESORT (B, L, D)[/accbody]
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[acchead id=”” tab_id=”5″ class=””]March 20 – Queenstown[/acchead]
[accbody tab_id=”5″ in=””]Arriving in Queenstown later this morning, you will have time for exploring on your own. Queenstown lies on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, the second largest of the southern glacial lakes. In the background is the remarkable mountain range. You can stroll through the waterfront area, visit the Government Tourist Gardens, and take a ride on the Skyline Gondola. Overnight KINGSGATE TERRACES HOTEL (B, L) (Lord of the Rings was filmed here)[/accbody]
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[acchead id=”” tab_id=”6″ class=””]March 21 & 22 – Te Anau & Milford Sound[/acchead]
[accbody tab_id=”6″ in=””]After travelling south alongside Lake Wakatipu, the road follows the upper Mataura Valley. In this valley are located several high country sheep stations, the backbone of the New Zealand wool industry.

This morning we experience the workings of such a station, enjoy watching the mustering, shearing and the renowned sheep dogs at work. This is no tourist farm, but a family-owned and run working farm. We shall also explore, by coach, the wonderful tussocklands of the upper Nevis Valley at the back of the farm, as we are guided by the farmer. Lunch will be served in the woolshed before continuing through to the Fiordland World Heritage Area.

At times stunning, at others awesome, and in places, even tranquil, this area encompasses New Zealand’s largest national park. Valleys gouged by glaciers and lakes nestled between range-upon- range of snow-capped mountains characterize the landscape. The next day starts with an early morning excursion on a cruise of Milford Sound, the northernmost fiord in Fiordland National Park, and offers the opportunity to see New Zealand fur seals, Fiordland crested penguins, and bottlenose dolphins, as well as absolutely remarkable scenery with waterfalls, rainforest and towering mountains. Milford Sound is regarded as one of the most beautiful fiords in the world — certainly the most famous. Kipling described it as the eighth wonder of the world. Majestic mountains rise vertically from the water’s edge to over a mile high, while thread-like waterfalls plunge from hidden valleys into the ebony waters below. DISTINCTION LUXMORE, TE ANAU (B, L, D both days)[/accbody]
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[acchead id=”” tab_id=”7″ class=””]March 23 – Dunedin[/acchead]
[accbody tab_id=”7″ in=””]Leaving the magnificent fiordland, we will drive across southern New Zealand to the coastal town of Dunedin, taking a break en route in Gore. This afternoon we will have time to explore Dunedin’s historic architecture. Overnight SOUTHERN CROSS HOTEL, DUNEDIN (B, L)[/accbody]
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[acchead id=”” tab_id=”8″ class=””]March 24 – Dunedin – Twizel [/acchead]
[accbody tab_id=”8″ in=””]Traveling north from Dunedin we will reach the Waitaki Valley and the Mackenzie Basin. Stopping off at Moeraki this morning to photograph the renowned Moeraki Boulders scattered through the inter-tidal zone on the beach. There may also be time to admire the enjoy the Victorian architecture in the port region of Oamaru, before turning inland and traveling passed the hydro lakes to Twizel. Overnight MACKENZIE COUNTRY INN, TWIZEL (B, L, D)[/accbody]
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[acchead id=”” tab_id=”9″ class=””]March 25 – Twizel – Christchurch[/acchead]
[accbody tab_id=”9″ in=””] We leave very early this morning and drive west to Mount Cook National Park, home of New Zealand’s tallest peak, reaching over 12,300 feet. We arrive at sunrise and have the day to enjoy and photograph the sheer majesty and grandeur of the place, the alpine vegetation, and the results of continuing glaciation with the Mueller and Hooker Glaciers. We will devote the morning to a two-and-a half-hour walk through the moraine of Hooker Valley, with magnificent views of the glaciers. We’ll have a picnic lunch at the park and use the afternoon for additional hikes and photography. This afternoon we continue our drive back to Christchurch. HOTEL RENDEZVOUS, CHRISTCHURCH (B, L, D)[/accbody]
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[acchead id=”” tab_id=”10″ class=””]March 26 – Christchurch – Home[/acchead]
[accbody tab_id=”10″ in=””]This morning there will be free time to photograph in Christchurch, departing for the airport in the afternoon (time to be announced). Fly back home today, likely having a connection through Auckland. (B)[/accbody]
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Note: This itinerary has been carefully constructed to assure participants the best New Zealand has to offer. However, should events arise that are beyond our control, itinerary, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.

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GENERAL INFORMATION

Land Cost: $4995* per person

The trip cost is based upon 8 or more paying participants, with a maximum of 12. There will be a small group surcharge of $400 if 6-7 paying participants. *The trip price is based upon the prevailing exchange rate between US and NZ dollars, and is subject to change (positive or negative), should there be a wide fluctuation.

Single room supplement: $945 (available on first-come, first-served basis, not guaranteed).

International Air Fare:  International  air needs to be booked  round trip Christchurch  (CHC). Strabo Tours would be pleased  to  assist  you  in  obtaining  airfare  information.  Contact  us  at  (607)  756-8676  for assistance.

The Land Cost Includes:

  • [icon image=”fa-check”]All ground transportation while in New Zealand.
  • [icon image=”fa-check”]All hotel and  lodge  accommodations,  based  upon  two  people  sharing  a room.  Single rooms may be available at a supplementary cost, but are not guaranteed.
  • [icon image=”fa-check”]All meals, as specified in the itinerary. (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner).
  • [icon image=”fa-check”]Services of a driver-guide during the tour.
  • [icon image=”fa-check”]Admission costs and park fees and permits for activities as indicated in the itinerary.
  • [icon image=”fa-check”]All porterage fees, meal tips, service charges and hotel taxes; Goods and Services Tax, currently 12.5%.
  • [icon image=”fa-check”]Extensive predeparture information and services.

Not Included: International airfare and tax, airport tax, foreign airport taxes; passport and visa fees; excess baggage charges; personal medical or travel insurance; meals not specified in the  itinerary;  any  activities  not  specified  in the tour  itinerary,  or those  activities  listed  as optional;  optional  tips to guides  and service  personnel;  film and processing;  all items  of a personal nature, such as laundry, medical expenses, room service, beverages (coffee and tea are usually provided with meals).

DEPOSITS, CANCELLATIONS, AND REFUNDS

A deposit of $500 per person is required. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 90 days before the departure date. Space is subject to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due.

If a passenger wishes to cancel they must send notification in writing to: Strabo International Tour, Co., P.O. Box 580, Dryden, NY 13053, fax 208-545-4119. At the time we receive your notification, the following per person charges apply:

  • [icon image=”fa-check”]121 days or more before departure: $100 cancellation fee.
  • [icon image=”fa-check”]91-120 days before departure: $300 cancellation fee, plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation.
  • [icon image=”fa-check”]31-90 days before departure: $500 minimum cancellation fee, plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation. Fees may range from 25% to 100% of tour costs.
  • [icon image=”fa-check”]30 days or less before departure or anytime after departure: NO REFUND.

Refunds for services that are voluntarily not used by you cannot be made.

INSURANCE

Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas.

We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out insurance on your trip. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short your trip for any reason, you will lose part or all of the sum you’ve invested in it (see the section “Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds” in the trip brochure).

Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.

There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, please read carefully the enclosed pamphlet, which outlines their program of trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance. Trained agents are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call the toll free number in their brochure. It is to your advantage to apply for insurance at the earliest possible time, so don’t delay in making a decision.

WHAT TO EXPECT: TRIP FOCUS, ACTIVITIES, AND ACCOMMODATIONS

This trip is designed to show you New Zealand’s natural wonders with the focus on photography. We use local guides in each location, who have a wealth of information to share. Where possible, we favor lodges and smaller hotels and motels located close to natural areas, rather than larger tourist hotels located in shopping or resort areas. Accommodations are not always luxurious, but they are comfortable and clean. Meals consist of hearty buffet-style breakfasts and lunches, and either buffet dinners or set menus, usually with a choice of two or more entrees and desserts.

The trip is not strenuous and anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to take part in most activities. There will be long flights to and from New Zealand with many hours in the air. The change in time zones will add to the general travel fatigue. We will frequently hike trails ranging from easy to moderate. Some hotels do not have elevators.

Although health services are good, in some areas medical care may be several hours away. If you have any special needs or if you have any physical condition that might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo International with your concerns (607-756-8676).

[icon image=”fa-star”]For more information or to register contact Strabo Photo Tour Collection:  607-756-8676 www.phototc.com