Cultural Highlights: New Zealand

Christchurch, New Zealand

Included Cultural Excursions:
  • Explore Quake City: A Special Exhibit Sponsored by the Canterbury Museum, Quake City has become one of Christchurch’s top attractions appealing to New Zealanders and international visitors alike.  The exhibit is built around the impact of the 2011 Canterbury earthquake and shares collected artifacts, stories, and how this natural event galvanized the city of Christchurch. 

  • Willowbank Wildlife Reserve First established in 1974 the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve guarantees you an opportunity to see one of New Zealand’s most unique creatures, the kiwi!  In addition to the kiwi, you will have the opportunity to learn more about New Zealand’s unique wildlife and the Maori culture.  After viewing the wildlife, the group will be treated to a Maori performance and enjoy a traditionally prepared hangi dinner.  A truly unique experience to be remembered! 
Suggestions for Independent Cultural Excursions:
  • Founded in 1870, the Canterbury Museum includes an extensive collection of artifacts from Antarctica expeditions, Maori cultural and art collections.  Centrally located the museum offers the visitor the ability to delve deep into New Zealand’s rich artistic and cultural history. 

  • Traveling nearly a full kilometer, the Christchurch Gondola takes you above the city of Christchurch for not-to-be missed panoramic views of the surrounding area of Christchurch.  At the end of this cable car ride experience, enjoy the views or go for a hike along one of the many trails. 

  • Set on a beautiful, sheltered harbor and overlooked by craggy volcanic hills, the Village of Akaroa is a quaint resort town that offers a great day-escape from Christchurch and the opportunity to enjoy the French-influenced town’s cafes, shops and an even take a harbor cruise to view the marine wildlife.

Auckland, New Zealand

Included Cultural Excursions:
  • Time will be spent enjoying Vaidcut Harbour, Auckland’s vibrant harbor. Previously the home to the world’s premier sailing race, The America’s Cup, the harbor and surrounding diverse neighborhoods feature some of Auckland’s best entertainment and shopping.
Suggestions for Independent Cultural Excursions:
  • Lord of the Rings Hobbiton Tour see the filming location for the Shire and home of the Hobbitts from J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous written works.  The locations featured in Peter Jackson’s film have been rebuilt and maintained so you may step into the world of the Middle Earth. 

  • Rotorua and Waitomo Glowworm Caves Day Tour Observe the magical glow worms and the rich cultural heritage of Rotorua.  Enjoy a traditional Maori cultural performance where ancient and modern stories are told through song, dance, poi and stick games.

  • Auckland’s Sky Tower At 328 metres, the Sky Tower is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand and offers views for up to 80 kilometres in every direction.  Prepare for breathtaking views!

Sydney, Australia – Optional Extension

Included Cultural Excursions:
  • Sydney Opera House is one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks and a symbol of Australia itself. It has been called one of the most distinctive architectural achievements of the 20th century. The Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts center, formally dedicated in 1973. It is the home of Opera Australia, the Sydney Symphony, the Sydney Theatre Company, and the Australian Ballet. Over 450 performances are presented in the Opera House every year.

  • Enjoy a view of Sydney like no other on the world famous Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb! On this guided experience under, inside, and on top of this iconic structure, you’ll earn the about its history, construction, and design, and then have the chance to ascend the bridge at night for an unparalleled and memorable experience!

  • The Rocks is the birthplace of modern-day Australia, and the site of Sydney’s original town settlement, founded in 1788. Earning its name from the area’s sandstone cliffs, it originally served as a camp for British convicts and their overseers. Located on the southern shore of Sydney Harbour, The Rocks features historic buildings, eateries, museums, art galleries, and excellent shopping. A blend of Sydney’s past and present, it is a popular destination for all visitors to Sydney.
Suggestions for Independent Cultural Excursions:
  • Taronga Zoo is home to over 2,600 individual animals, making it one of the largest zoos of its kind. Taronga is an Aboriginal word meaning “beautiful view.” In operation for nearly a century, the zoo features 340 species of animals found all over the world. And of course, you will see those native to Australia—kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, emus and more!

  • Circular Quay is located on Sydney Cove, at the foot of the central business district and the historic end of the city. A recreational hotspot, it features a bustling collection of pedestrian malls, parks, restaurants and walkways, as well as being a major transportation hub. Ferries leave every few minutes bound for different parts of the harbor. The quay offers amazing views of Harbour Bridge, and a short walk will take you to the Opera House, the Rocks, and the Royal Botanical Gardens.

  • The Royal Botanic Gardens are located on the shores of Sydney Harbour, right in the heart of the city. Founded in 1816, the Botanic Gardens are the oldest scientific institution in Australia. Over 45,000 plants, both native and exotic, can be found across the gardens’ 30 hectares.

  • Sydney Harbour is the focal point of the city, home to many of Australia’s most notable attractions, including Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay. It’s no surprise that Sydney is known as “The Harbour City!”Manly Ferry will take you on a scenic journey from Circular Quay to the suburb of Manly, New South Wales, a famous seaside resort most notable for its miles of pristine beaches.

  • A visit to Sydney Aquarium, located in Darling Harbor, is like a journey under the sea. Walk through underwater tunnels to observe over 600 aquatic species native to regions throughout Australia. View the largest Great Barrier Reef exhibit in the world, watch a crocodile feeding and get close to thousands of fish, penguins, and maybe even a shark!

  • The mile-long crescent shaped sand of Bondi Beach is one of the best-known beaches in the world. As the closest ocean beach to Sydney’s city center, it is a prime surfing and swimming spot for Australians and visitors alike.

  • The Blue Mountains derive their name from the fact that the gum trees release an oil into the air that reacts with the sunlight to produce a blue haze. The Blue Mountains lie in the center of a World Heritage Region; they comprise over 5,000 square miles of forest, much of it wilderness. You will find breathtaking views, lookouts, cascades and waterfalls in this bushwalker's paradise.




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