New Zealand: Great Barrier Island From An Insider's Perspective

Trip Overview

“Kia Ora!”! Join AdventureWomen on this February 2018 "insider's tour" and active adventure to New Zealand as you experience Summer in the the southern hemisphere! Home to some of the most dramatic, astounding and magnificent scenery anywhere on earth, you'll enjoy spectacular views accompanied by excellent food and delicious New Zealand wines in company of the uniquely friendly and hearty locals - known as Kiwis.

AdventureWomen co-owner, Judi Wineland and her family have been visiting New Zealand for the past 30 years, and have traveled to the far corners of the country to craft the perfect New Zealand women's trip for AdventureWomen. Come with us as we step into nature, pure, clean and beautiful. This is the perfect island destination for your next adventure travel vacation!

Start your New Zealand tour on the Great Barrier IslandAotea – a sanctuary that few travelers (or native New Zealanders) have ever set foot on. This rugged and remote island is part of the Gulf Marine Park, where the sea is filled with dolphins, whales, blue penguins, and orca, and sweeping white sand beaches give way to tidal creeks and wetlands. As you explore this remarkable island, you will swim, kayak, paddle board, surf, and walk to hot springs. You’ll even have a special lunch with local Kiwi women hosted at Judi’s NZ home!

Then we travel to Waiheke Island, where you’ll sip New Zealand's wines and explore local olive groves. Tantalizingly close to Auckland and blessed with its own warm, dry microclimate, blissful Waiheke Island has long been a favorite escape for city dwellers and visitors alike. Enjoy lunch at Peacock Sky Vineyard on your own where you will taste their estate-grown wines accompanied by sample-sized portions of chef-inspired dishes designed to enhance your appreciation of their wines; each tasting is designed to celebrate the intimate relationship between wine and food.

Head to New Zealand's South Island where the sheer majesty of New Zealand’s landscapes and the hospitality of the “Kiwi’s” continues on the South Island: Crystal clear lakes, striking land forms, soaring mountains, clean air, good energy, and a great sky for stargazing. Here, you’ll get an insider’s view of Wanaka, TeAnau, and Queenstown.

Spend two nights in Wanaka, the mecca for outdoor adventurers. The town of Wanaka is situated at the southern end of New Zealand’s fourth largest lake, Lake Wanaka, and is bedecked by the Southern Alps. It is the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park. If you love the great outdoors and you enjoyed exploring the Barrier, you’ll love the natural beauty of Wanaka. Kayak on Lake Wanaka, hike to the summit of the island (which is on the lake), enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch, and take a scenic boat cruise, relaxing on board.

If you are an Adventure Woman, you will love Queenstown. Surrounded by the magnificent Remarkables and framed by the meandering coves of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is considered to be the adventure capital of the world. Now is the time to do things you’ve never done before: bungee jump, skydive, zipline, or take a wild swing and enjoy views of Queenstown from atop the Skyline Gondola or choose to spend the afternoon relaxing at the Queenstown Gardens.

From Queenstown, follow the road to Te Anau as it winds around the gentle curves of Lake Wakatipu. The scenery here is stunning - lakeside vistas are framed by the rugged face of a magnificent mountain range appropriately named "The Remarkables". Easy rolling countryside soon leads you to the shores of Lake Te Anau, the biggest of the South Island’s many lakes. Wending your way deeper into the southern forests and beautiful farmlands, unique native birds such as the Kaka, Tui, Kea, and the Parakeet are plentiful.

Enjoy the world-renowned tracks of New Zealand's South Island. Heli-hike on the Kepler Track, walk part of the Routeburn Track, and stroll to the Giant Gate Waterfall on the Milford Track. Cap off your New Zealand adventure with a cruise in the Milford Sound where, waterfalls cascade hundreds of meters, ancient forests cling to mountains, and the world feels untouched by human life.

 

Main Attractions

  • Explore the Great Barrier Island, a remote area rarely even visited by New Zealanders, and an International Dark Sky Sanctuary.
  • Enjoy a lunch with local New Zealand women at Judi Wineland’s home on the Great Barrier Island
  • Swim, kayak, paddleboard, surf, and explore on foot throughout your trip
  • Walk segments of the dense forests of the Routeburn, Kepler, and Milford Tracks
  • Sip exceptional New Zealand wines with your new AdventureWomen friends

What You'll See and Do

  • Birding
  • Boat Cruise
  • Bungee Jumping
  • Cooking Class
  • Fishing
  • Handicrafts
  • Heli-Hiking
  • Hiking
  • Hot Springs
  • Kayaking
  • Local Delicacies
  • National Parks
  • Natural History
  • Paddleboarding
  • Sky Diving
  • Spa Element
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Tramping
  • Walking
  • Wine Tasting
  • Women-To-Women
  • Yoga Class
  • Ziplining

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

New Zealand: Great Barrier Island From An Insider's Perspective

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Monday, February 26 - Arrive on the Great Barrier Island
Great Barrier Island, also known by the Maori as Aotea, lies 60 miles off the coast of Auckland. As you fly from Auckland, there will be dolphins and whales below and the jagged mountains of the Barrier ahead. Beautiful white sandy beaches, regenerating native bush and forest, rare plants, and bird life are just some of what you will see on the island. The Barrier is off-the-grid for the 850 locals who collect rain water, use solar panels, and live off the land and sea, with supplements from the local store. Artists, Iyengar yogis, fishermen, and conservationists live here and are working together to protect this beautiful wild place.

After you clear customs you will be met and transferred via a walkway to the domestic terminal for your flight to the Great Barrier Island, one of New Zealand’s last wilderness areas. You have a strict weight limit for this flight, so pack carefully!

After you land, head to Medland’s Beach for the morning. Take a long walk along the ocean, go for a swim, and take a moment to reflect and relax after your long flights from the US.

Enjoy a leisurely lunch at a local restaurant. Visit the art gallery nearby.

This quaint and quirky museum has an extensive array of old photographs from the Island and a number of old artifacts.

Have a dinner and orientation with your group.
Dinner

Overnight: Tipi and Bob's Waterfront Lodge
http://www.waterfrontlodge.co.nz/

You know you’ve gotten away from it all when you’re relaxing on the deck looking out over breathtaking sea views, watching dolphins frolic in a sun-kissed sea. Enjoy fresh-from-the-ocean seafood and kick back in the bar.

 

 

Day 2

Tuesday, February 27 - Great Barrier Island
Far from traffic and city lights, Aotea is the ultimate place to get away from it all. The clear warm waters around the island are perfect for a swim or kayak, the lowland bush trails through beautiful coastal forests provide the perfect canopy for a gentle walk, and the local hospitality is evident during your exclusive visits on the Island.

Begin your morning with an array of activities to choose from: kayak, paddle board, or swim in the ocean, take a private yoga class with Linda Powers who studied under BSK Iyengar, or enjoy a massage or time in the sauna at the Cossum Park Retreat.

Walk to Judi’s home for a lunch with a group of local women. Karen, a conservationist who has dedicated her life to protecting the birds on the island will

tell you about her gallant efforts to save the Kaka parrots, Tuis, fantails, and wood pigeons that bedeck the forests throughout the Barrier. Local artists will also share their stories of life on the Barrier.

Head to the Kaitoke Hot Springs on foot. The walkways in New Zealand are famous for their architectural design, sturdiness, and beauty. This path follows an ancient shoreline traversing the Kaitoke wetlands and regenerating Kanuka forest. In this dense forest you will hear the call of the fantails, see the orchids, sun dew flowers, and native carnivorous plants, and end at the hot pools surrounded by the umbrella ferns.  Going into the hot pools is not for the faint of heart - these pools are hot and murky, but soothing for all bodies.

Head to the local Irish pub after the hot springs for a New Zealand beer, a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, or a good Pinot Noir and dinner. Dinner is on your own.
Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: Tipi and Bob's Waterfront Lodge

Day 3

Wednesday, February 28 - Great Barrier Island
Travel across the length of the Barrier today, stopping to hike, to walk on the empty white sand beaches, and to visit the Island’s Organic Vegetable Farm, Okiwi Passion. Okiwi Passion operates on eight acres in the small northern settlement of Okiwi on the east coast of Great Barrier Island. They are very fortunate to have incredibly fertile alluvial soil with excellent structure, created by millennia of soil building in the Okiwi basin, and a very warm microclimate assisted by 30 year old bamboo shelterbelts (essential for the extraordinary winds on the Island).

Walk on the trails of the Glenfern Sanctuary after an informative talk on what they are doing to proctect the wildlife. Glenfern Sanctuary is a predator controlled forest, where threatened and endangered species are able to thrive once more. From its humble inception over 20 years ago, the epic story of Glenfern has evolved throughout the years to become a center of rare biodiversity and pride for this remote island community. Bordered by a predator-proof fence and the waters of the Hauraki Gulf, Glenfern is a very special place.

Board a private boat to travel along the rugged west coast, cruising around the Broken Island, looking for dolphins, whales, blue penguins, diving gannets, black petrels, and dropping a line in to fish for Snapper. Enjoy lunch on board.

Enjoy dinner on your own at Tipi and Bob’s tonight - maybe fish and chips from the afternoon’s catch!
Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: Tipi and Bob's Waterfront Lodge

Day 4

Thursday, March 1 - Great Barrier Island to Auckland
Tantalizingly close to Auckland and blessed with its own warm, dry microclimate, blissful Waiheke Island has long been a favorite escape for city dwellers and visitors alike.

Fly back to Auckland this morning.

After a 35 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland, arrive on Waiheke Island, which is filled with vineyards, olive groves, and artisan galleries.

Spend the day visiting world renowned vineyards and exploring the many art galleries on the island. Enjoy lunch at Peacock Sky Vineyard on your own where you will taste their estate-grown wines accompanied by sample-sized portions of chef-inspired dishes designed to enhance your appreciation of their wines; each tasting is designed to celebrate the intimate relationship between wine and food.

Return to Auckland, the City of Sails, home to 32 percent of the population. Check into your hotel and begin to explore the Viaduct Harbor, which is home to more than 30 bars and restaurants and a great place to just sit and relax and watch the ships go by. Enjoy dinner on your own this evening.
Breakfast

Overnight: Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbor
http://www.sofitel-auckland.com/

Relish in the sophisticated ambiance and exquisite surroundings of your elegant guest room or suite. Floor to ceiling windows allow an abundance of natural daylight while private Juliet balconies open up to the views of the city or the marina.

Day 5

Friday, March 2 - Auckland to Wanaka
Fly from Auckland to Queenstown and head to Wanaka, the mecca for outdoor adventurers, for the next two nights. The town of Wanaka is situated at the southern end of New Zealand’s fourth largest lake, Lake Wanaka, and is bedecked by the Southern Alps. It is the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park. If you love the great outdoors and you enjoyed exploring the Barrier, you’ll love the natural beauty of Wanaka. The sheer majesty of New Zealand’s landscapes and the hospitality of the Kiwis continues on the South Island: crystal clear lakes, striking landforms, soaring mountains, clean air, and a great sky for stargazing.

Fly to Queenstown this morning.

Stop along the way for a coffee and lunch on your own or visit the Cardrona Distillery for a tour.

Enjoy lunch along the way.

Check into your hotel and relax this evening. Enjoy dinner on your own at a local restaurant.
Breakfast

Overnight: Edgewater Hotel
https://www.edgewater.co.nz/

Step into Edgewater’s spacious guest rooms and you’ll be mesmerised by views of the magnificent Southern Alps, deep blue Lake Wanaka and the surrounding lush lawns.

Day 6

Saturday, March 3 - Wanaka
Visitors from around the world come to Wanaka for the energy, a feeling that sets Wanaka apart, and makes it an incredible base for outdoor activities. In the Maori language, Wanaka means “renewal of the soul”, just what you will enjoy during your stay here.

Head out on Lake Wanaka in kayaks today, with Mt. Aspiring Park towering over you. You will paddle through some of the region’s most iconic, remote, and beautiful landscapes as you head to ’Mou Waho island. Walk to the summit of the island to find a true natural wonder of the region, a secret of the great walks of Wanaka - a lake on an island on a lake. Head back to the beach for a gourmet picnic lunch. To top it all off, take a scenic boat cruise back to Wanaka, relaxing on board this afternoon.

Relax and enjoy dinner this evening.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Edgewater Hotel
https://www.edgewater.co.nz/

Step into Edgewater’s spacious guest rooms and you’ll be mesmerised by views of the magnificent Southern Alps, deep blue Lake Wanaka and the surrounding lush lawns.

Day 7

Sunday, March 4 - Wanaka to Queenstown
If you are an Adventure Woman, you will love Queenstown. Surrounded by the magnificent Remarkables and framed by the meandering coves of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is considered to be the Adventure capital of the world.

Before heading out of Wanaka, stop at the Hoglund Art Glass Gallery and Shop. Glass artists Ola and Marie welcome visitors to their new gallery showing paintings, blown glass, and fused glass jewellery. It is set amongst wineries and vineyards in the midst of the tranquil Central Otago countryside. Their art is internationally renowned and sought after by both public and private collectors - it is hard to leave without a Dichroic glass pendant.

Now is the time to do things you’ve never done before: bungee jump, skydive, zipline, or take a wild swing and enjoy views of Queenstown from atop the Skyline Gondola. You could also spend the afternoon at the Queenstown Gardens. Late this afternoon, head back to your luxurious hotel in the center of town on Lake Wakitipu.

Enjoy dinner on your own this evening.
Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
http://www.novotel.com/gb/hotel-5308-novotel-queenstown-lakeside/index.shtml

Centrally located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, treat yourself to tranquility at Novotel Queenstown Lakeside. Start your day fresh with a breath of mountain air on your balcony and a delicious buffet breakfast in the airy restaurant. Your welcoming room awaits you to soak up Queenstown’s natural beauty at the end of a great day at Novotel.

Day 8

Monday, March 5 - Queenstown to Te Anau
The township sits on the edge of Lake Te Anau, lying on the border of Fiordland National Park and Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. The night sky here is famous. The Maori used it not only to navigate to the island but also made astronomy and star lore a part of their culture and daily lives.

From Queenstown, follow the road to Te Anau as it winds around the gentle curves of Lake Wakatipu.

The scenery here is stunning - lakeside vistas are framed by the rugged face of a magnificent mountain range appropriately named The Remarkables. Easy rolling countryside soon leads you to the shores of Lake Te Anau, the biggest of the South Island’s many lakes. On the western side, the long arms of the lake disappear into the looming, densely forested Murchison Mountains.

Lunch is on your own along the way.

Wending your way deeper into the southern forests and beautiful farmlands. Unique native birds such as the Kaka, Tui, Kea, and the Parakeet are plentiful. A trip to New Zealand must include a visit to a working farm. Often the farms run ewes, hinds (deer), cattle, and a handful of Scottish Highland Cattle along with hens and working farm dogs. Enjoy a ride around the farm with plenty of opportunities to ask questions. Enjoy tea at the farm.

Enjoy dinner with the group this evening.
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight: Distinction Te Anau Hotel
http://www.distinctionhotelsteanau.co.nz/

Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas offers chic, elegant accommodation for the perfect Fiordland getaway. Surrounded by extensive, colourful gardens and overlooking spectacular Lake Te Anau and the Fiordland ranges, this hotel sets the tone for your stay in one of the world’s most breathtaking regions.

Day 9

Tuesday, March 6 - Te Anau
Unlike many other multi-day walks, which evolved from Maori greenstone trails or pioneer exploration routes, the Kepler Track was custom-made - built for pleasure, rather than necessity.

Opened in 1988, the track was carefully planned to show walkers all the best features of Fiordland - moss-draped beech forest, prolific bird life, tussock high country, huge mountain ranges, cascading waterfalls, vast glacier-carved valleys, luxuriant river flats, and limestone formations. Vast tussock-covered ridgelines and spectacular alpine vistas contrast with peaceful lakeside and valley beech forest in this wilderness area.

Departing from Te Anau Airport, your day will start with a wonderful scenic flight over Lake Manapouri and the Fiordland Mountains. Land at Mount Luxmore and enjoy glorious panoramic views during a picnic lunch. After lunch, visit the Luxmore caves before beginning the hike down the Kepler track to Lake Te Anau. Finish by walking back to Te Anau township via the lakeside walking track.

Dinner is on your own this evening.
Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: Distinction Te Anau Hotel

Day 10

Wednesday, March 7 - Te Anau
Experience what is considered one of the nicests walks in the world as you retrace the steps of early explorers on the world-renowed Milford Track. Walk along valleys carved by glaciers, wander through ancient rainforests, and admire cascading waterfalls.

Go on a 7-mile walk on the Milford Track this morning to the Giant Gate Waterfall. Enjoy a picnic lunch in this spectacular setting along the way.

Experience this majestic landscape from the water. This two-hour boat cruise in Milford Sound will give you a different perspective on the area.

Enjoy dinner after an exciting day exploring this remarkable landscape.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Distinction Te Anau Hotel

Day 11

Thursday, March 8 - Te Anau to Queenstown
The Routeburn Track is a world-renowned hiking track on the South Island of New Zealand. The track is usually completed by starting on the Queenstown side of the Southern Alps, at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, and finishing on the Te Anau side, at the Divide, a few miles from the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound.

Explore the Routeburn Track on a guided walk. In New Zealand, you go “tramping” instead of hiking. This adventure is complete with a scenic picnic lunch.

Drive to Queenstown. Check in to your hotel and enjoy the afternoon on your own.

Enjoy a farewell dinner this evening and celebrate the end of an exceptional trip.
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight: Novotel Queenstown Lakeside

Day 12

Friday, March 9 - Queenstown and Depart
Enjoy one last morning in Queenstown before departing for the US.

Say goodbye to your new AdventureWomen friends as you transfer to the airport in Queenstown for your flights home.
Breakfast

 

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

New Zealand: Great Barrier Island From An Insider's Perspective

Traveling to New Zealand



Traveling to New Zealand

Arrive: Arrive in Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) on February 26, 2018 before 7:00am. We recommend Air New Zealand.

Depart: Depart Queenstown, New Zealand (ZQN) on March 9, 2018

We are happy to help you make your flight and travel arrangements. Please contact us at:

(800) 804-8686 or (617) 544-9393
email: info@adventurewomen.com

If you’d like to do anything prior to or following the AdventureWomen trip, we’d be delighted to help you arrange any trip extensions you’re interested in.

Note: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible booking last-minute registrants, we must release hotel rooms two to three months prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

Passports and Visas

Citizens of the United States must have a passport valid for six months beyond your travel dates with at least two blank facing pages. If you do not have a passport, please apply now!

Health Considerations

Make an appointment with a travel clinic. There are no immunization requirements for travel to New Zealand, however your local travel clinic may have recommendations for you based on your age, health, and past vaccination history.

For more health information, go to www.cdc.gov/travel and navigate to the page about New Zealand.

Money

The currency of New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar. As of May, 2017, US$1 = NZD 1.45. ATMs are accessible in major cities, but not on Great Barrier Island. Credit cards are generally accepted, but you should have a Visa or Mastercard with a security chip.

Suggested Gratuities:

  • Guide: $8-10 per day
  • Driver: $5-8 per day

Tipping is not required at restaurants.

How To Register

Call the AdventureWomen office at (800) 804-8686 to determine space availability and register for this trip. We can complete your registration, including taking your credit card deposit over the phone. As a courtesy, we can hold your space for five days while you are making personal and travel arrangements.

If you prefer, you can register online by clicking "Sign Up for this Trip" on the trip page.

Please be sure to read the AdventureWomen policies before registering!

Forms and Final Payment

Once you book, you will need to fill out and return to AdventureWomen:

  • Information Form
  • Booking Conditions Form
  • Copy of Flight Information
  • Copy of Issuing Page of Passport (photo page)

Final payment is due to AdventureWomen in a cash form (check, money order, or wire transfer) on or before November 28, 2017.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

New Zealand: Great Barrier Island From An Insider's Perspective

Included

  • All hotel accommodations throughout the trip
  • All meals as listed in the itinerary
  • All ground transportation
  • Fully-guided sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary
  • Guides throughout the trip
  • One AdventureWomen Associate

Not Included

  • International airfare to and from New Zealand
  • Optional activities as listed in the itinerary
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Fees for passports, visas, or immunizations
  • Cost of hospitalization or evacuation
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities for guides and drivers

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

New Zealand: Great Barrier Island From An Insider's Perspective

What to Bring

New Zealand has a fairly laid-back outdoor lifestyle. When you pack for New Zealand, you should be prepared for hot weather during the day, cool temperatures in the morning and evenings, windy days and potentially wet days too. This is true any time of year. Layering is important.

There is a strict weight limit for your luggage on your internal flights. Your checked bag and carry on combined cannot weigh more than 39lbs.

Clothing and Gear:

  • Duffel bag or small suitcase
  • Daypack
  • Rain cover for daypack
  • Medium-weight, waterproof hiking boots (make sure they are broken in!)
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Water shoes/sandals
  • 4-5 pairs hiking socks
  • 2-3 short sleeve shirts (quick dry recommended)
  • 2-3 long sleeve shirts (quick dry recommended)
  • 1 medium weight fleece sweater/jacket for cool evenings
  • 1-2 pairs of pants
  • 1-2 pairs of shorts
  • 1-2 sets of nicer clothes for dinner
  • 1-2 bathing suits
  • Gore-Tex jacket
  • Gore-Tex pants
  • Hat for sun protection
  • 5-7 pairs underwear
  • 2-4 sports bras
  • Sleepwear
  • Small, quick-dry towel

AdventureWomen Essentials:

  • Travel documents (passport, airline tickets, money)
  • 2-3 spare passport photos (in case of lost passport)
  • Write down/print out travel insurance number
  • Locks for your suitcase/duffel bag
  • Travel alarm clock with spare batteries
  • Headlamp or small flashlight with spare batteries
  • Binoculars (8x40/42 models are excellent choices; center focus models are easiest)
  • Digital camera, memory cards, battery charger
  • Power adapters
  • Sunglasses, case, and strap
  • Spare glasses, contact lenses, cleaner, saline, etc.
  • Money belt or neck pouch
  • Your AdventureWomen insulated bottle (good for hot or cold drinks!)
  • Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Hand wipes/hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Soap, shampoo, and conditioner
  • Small packet of tissues
  • Tampons and panty liners (avoid plastic applicators)
  • Earplugs: We recommend Mack’s Pillow Soft White Moldable Silicone Snore Proof Earplugs. Available at most drugstores or at www.earplugstore.com
  • Assortment of stuff sacks and Ziploc bags
  • 1-2 bandanas/Buff
  • Reading material/journal and pens

Personal First Aid Kit:

  • Prescription medicine you usually take (in original containers)
  • Personal epi pen (if you need one, don’t forget to pack it!)
  • Bandages, Gauze, Ace bandage, blister prevention
  • Antiseptic wipes/spray
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Cotton-tipped applicators
  • Oral rehydration tablets/packets
  • Antidiarrheal medication
  • Mild laxative
  • Antacid
  • Cold remedies
  • Ibuprofen/acetaminophen
  • Eye drops
  • Tweezers, scissors (travel size), safety pins

If you prefer to buy a complete kit, we recommend the Smart Travel first aid kit.


If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.