Article for mature and senior travellers visiting New Zealand and in particular the South island. Techtonic activity is always close and this article shares some information with the reader joining a small group tour as a couple or solo traveller.
New Zealand Small Group Tour
Odyssey offers easy, convenient, and relaxed escorted .across New Zealand. We explore New Zealand's fairy-tale natural beauty, its ancient landscapes its World Heritage Sites, and famous cities, all with some truly all waiting to be explored on one of Odyssey’s small group
NOTE; This program may be run in reverse, that is from the South island to the North island. Please contact Odyssey to confirm tour direction.
This New Zealand small group tour for senior and mature travellers will guide travellers through the landscapes of both the North Island and the South island as well as having an opportunity to observe the native wildlife in the national park network and learn about the history of this incredible island country. Travellers on this tour of New Zealand observe the landscape of the North island shaped by Volcanism, from the basalt volcanic cones that dominate Auckland to the geothermal activity including boiling mud in Rotorua. Leaving Rotorua this guided tour travels through landscapes of sharp hills covered in native bush or pasture south to Wellington to take the interislander ferry to the South island. The hard spine of Southern Alps that dominate the South island soon appear after we leave Picton. The Southern alps dominate, hiding the travellers view through to the west coast, only a few passes such as Arthurs pass, Haast pass and Franz Josef allow you through to other side of the South island and the Tasman sea. For the traveller in the South island, the scenic sights are numerous and appear to be on a grander scale from the Abel Tasman National park or Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and Fjordland National park.
The arrival of the Europeans dominated by British settlers in New Zealand set in motion a startling and ultimately largely successful co-existence with the Maori people that we will see and experience on this educational trip. The traditional owners of the land and immigrants had to come to terms with fiercely disparate environments and climates, from the subtropical north to the alpine south. This is the route we will follow on this tour, moving from the North Island to the South Island, as we track the Maori people from the dawn of history to the present time.
On this 17-day New Zealand tour, mature and senior travellers taking this trip will experience the best of both the North and the South Island. We will begin the tour of New Zealand in Auckland in the North Island, moving south to Rotorua and to the island’s southern tip Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. In South Island, we visit Christchurch, moving south to Dunedin and then Queenstown where the tour will conclude.
This small group tour will be accompanied by an Odyssey Program Leader and local guides who will impart their knowledge about the places we will visit on the trip. Odyssey conducts educational tours with small groups of mature and senior travellers, focusing on history, culture and architecture. Group size is typically between 6 to 12 people. The cost of the tour is inclusive of all entrances (unless otherwise indicated), tipping, and majority of the meals.
This particular tour of New Zealand has periods of free time built into the itinerary, allowing you to explore some destinations at your own pace, and choose from a variety of available activities. This way, we make sure that there is something to enjoy for every kind of traveller.
New Zealand Small Group Tour for seniors; Itinerary & Highlights
New Zealand (Maori name: Aotearoa) is an island country with a total land area of 268,000 square kilometres (103,500 sq. mi) in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It is one of the most southernmost countries in the world, about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific islands of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. The country has two main islands: The North Island (Te Ika-a-Māui) and the South Island (Te Waipounamu), and about 600 smaller islands.
This Seniors small group tour of New Zealand starts in the North Island in Auckland where we start with a day tour of the city including "Tamaki Drive" out to Mission bay, and Mt Eden. We take a guided tour of the Auckland War memorial museum to gain an understanding of New Zealand culture and geographical presence in the South Pacific.
We then head south to Rotorua. The group has a guided tour of Te Puia Thermal Reserve, the centre of Maori culture and a site of incredible geological activity. We spend time exploring some of the many attractions of Rotorua, including the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and its many traditional villages, before enjoying a traditional Maori performance and getting to know the Maori culture.
Moving South, we stop at the Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley an active geo-thermal park. The Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley was once known as Mount Tarawera. We continue onto Lake Taupo, a massive lake created by a volcanic eruption to arrive for a night in the Tongariro National park. In Wellington, we will enjoy a guided walking tour of New Zealand’s capital city, finishing at Te Papa Museum on the waterfront.
Taking the Cook Strait interislander ferry to the South Island, we travel from Wellington to Christchurch. This is a relaxing three-hour journey that will take you through New Zealand’s breathtaking scenery and landmarks, stopping en route at the beautiful coastal town of Kaikoura for lunch.
We spend two nights in Christchurch, with one day spent with a local tour guide and another day free. An interesting sight nearby is the rock formations of Castle Hill, described by the Dalai Lama as one of the 'spiritual centres of the universe'. We then head to Dunedin to explore and learn about a city designed in Edinburgh, Scotland.... On our way to Dunedin we pause in Oamaru to explore Oamaru’s quirky Victorian Precinct, famous for its Steampunk playground and restored buildings.
From Dunedin this small group tour travels to Te Anau for a night. A small settlement next to the Fiordland National Park, (Fjordland National park) part of UNESCO World Heritage site, Te Wāhipounamu. After overnighting, we take a journey up to see Milford Sound, a drowned glacial valley created in the last ice age! The afternoon we drive around to Queenstown. We spend our last full day in Queenstown, with a local guides.
If you would like to learn more about New Zealand, check out our country profile. For more details about this tour, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.
USA/Canada visitors; Please call the 1-877-770-0446 Toll Free number
Articles about New Zealand published by Odyssey Traveller
- Questions About New Zealand
- Definitive Guide to Auckland, New Zealand
- Foundations for democracy in New Zealand: 900s - 1945
For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.