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Botanical Discovery of New Zealand by Small Ship

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Explore the breathtaking sights of New Zealand.

Admire New Zealand's flora on your Botanica World Discoveries garden tour.

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12 days with a Botanical Guide exploring private gardens and enjoying spectacular natural New Zealand landscapes with the relaxation of having your floating hotel travel with you. This cruise suits both first and return travellers to New Zealand. View complete itinerary

Trip code: BTNZC12
Duration: 12 days
Accommodation: Hotels offering superior comfort
Journey: Auckland to Queenstown
Meals included: 31

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrive Auckland

Arrive Auckland and be transferred to your hotel for a welcome dinner to meet your fellow travellers and botanical guide.
Stay: Auckland, Crowne Plaza Hotel or similar
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Dinner

Day 2. Private Gardens north of Auckland, Embark Cruise

This morning we head north to visit private gardens in the Coatesville and Albany region. Meet the garden owners and share their gardening journey. Later this afternoon we arrive at our elegant small ship, the MS Caledonian Sky, your home for the next nine nights. Set sail on your journey as you enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Drinks and a dinner on board tonight.
Stay: Nine Nights: MS Caledonian Sky
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 3. Tauranga, Gardens & Wine

From our berth in Tauranga, you’ll explore the Bay of Plenty region and visit two gardens and again learn some of New Zealand’s gardening challenges and joys from the garden owners. We enjoy lunch at a local winery.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 4. White Island

This morning, arrive at the remote and volcanic White Island. Weather permitting, you’ll board a Zodiac and take a guided tour to explore New Zealand’s most active volcano, identifiable by the plume of steam continually spouting from its crater. The sights are surreal; the main crater with towering walls, steaming vents, glittering yellow sulphur crystals, bubbling mud pots and a spectacular steaming lake. Later, enjoy an afternoon at sea as we make our way to Napier.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 5. Napier – Art Deco Architecture

By the morning, your ship will have arrived in the beautiful, sunny town of Napier. Here, you’ll join a sightseeing tour of this affluent coastal city. Rebuilt after the devastating 1931 Hawkes Bay earthquake in the popular architectural style of the time, Napier’s amazing Art Deco facades and streetscapes are truly unique. You’ll also visit a private garden.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 6. Wellington, Private Garden

Situated at the southern stretch of New Zealand’s North Island, Wellington is often celebrated as the country’s creative, culinary and cultural capital. This afternoon we visit a delightful private garden in Upper Hutt and you can then explore Wellington on your own from our central berth.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 7. Akaroa Gardens

On the south east of the Banks Peninsula, Akaroa is a delightful village settled by the French. From here we will explore three fascinating and very different gardens with our botanical guide.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 8. Dunedin – Architecture & Gardens

This morning, you’ll dock in Dunedin. Known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’, Dunedin both boasts Victorian and Edwardian architecture, as well as picturesque landscapes that are surrounded by dramatic hills and rugged beaches. Join a guided tour of the city’s 19th century buildings and the beautiful botanical gardens, which contain over 6,800 plant species. The afternoon is at your leisure to explore this wonderful city.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 9. Stewart Island

After breakfast this morning, discover Stewart Island, New Zealand’s third-largest island and a wonderfully tranquil destination abundant with wildlife. Board a Zodiac and take in a morning on Ulva Island, enjoying a guided walk through dense native vegetation of the open island sanctuary with your Expedition Team. Known as Stewart Island’s ‘Jewel in the Crown’, the island is completely predator free for rare and endangered native birds. Land at Oban with the chance to wander amongst the shops and see the Rakiura Museum. Alternatively, join a drive to Observation Rock, which boasts views over Iona and Ulva Island and the pristine beaches of the east coast.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 10. Dusky & Doubtful Sounds – Natures Garden

The day today we explore the incredible fiords of the South West corner of the South Island. This area is rich in history, majestic scenery and wildlife and can only be described as ‘Nature’s Garden’. Only accessible by sea, it is the most remote region of New Zealand. Our Zodiacs allow us to explore this area rich in flora and fauna, prepare to feel humbled by the physical grandeur and powerful atmosphere both complex fiords exude.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 11. Milford Sound, Queenstown

This morning, wake in the spectacular Milford Sound. A simply breathtaking world-renowned natural wonder, Milford Sound is described by some as the eighth wonder of the world. With soaring cliffs rising from dark waters, and mammoth glaciers and mountain peaks painting the horizon, you’ll never want to close your eyes. Following breakfast this morning, disembark the MS Caledonian Sky for our spectacular alpine drive to picturesque Queenstown.
Stay: Queenstown, Hilton Hotel or similar
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 12. Queenstown Private Garden – Fly home

This morning we visit a beautiful private garden in spectacular setting before going to the airport for our flight home.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Trip Highlights

  • Enjoy private gardens visits & meet the owners
  • Learn about the places you visit from your local guides
  • Explore New Zealand’s most active volcano, White Island
  • Discover Art Deco Architecture in Napier
  • Dock in Wellington Harbour
  • Explore gardens on the Banks Peninsula
  • Learn about the Scottish Architecture of Dunedin
  • Walk through native bush on Stewart Island
  • Enjoy zodiac rides in remote & beautiful Dusky & Doubtful Sounds
  • Wonder at the spectacular scenery of Milford Sound
  • Spend an evening in picturesque Queenstown

Map

Included Experiences

  • All sightseeing as mentioned
  • Services of an Expedition Team, local guides & botanical guide
  • 31 Meals - 11 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches and 11 Dinners
  • 9 nights on board the MS Caledonia Sky small ship (100 guests)
  • 2 nights in 4 star hotels in Auckland and Queenstown
  • Airport transfers on first & last day
  • Port Taxes & gratuities
  • House wines, beer & soft drink with meals

Additional Information

Fitness level

  • This tour requires a medium level of fitness – Involves walking on uneven surfaces for more than one hour, multiple two night stay in one location with potential for unexpected changes to itineraries

Trip Notes

  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Prices are for land/cruise only. Flights not included

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