New Zealand Adventure Travel Packages: Backroads Bike Tours, NOLS Courses, Nature Tours, and More!
Spend a semester in New Zealand with NOLS, explore the South Island on a Backroads Bike tour, or discover the country’s wild side on a nature tour with GeoEx
The Maoris call Mount Cook Aorangi, meaning cloud piercer. And in New Zealand, a lot happens in clouds.
The country’s highest peak, Mount Cook on the South Island, is encircled by thick forests and glacier-dotted fjords. Peaceful, clear lakes nestled in the high valleys mirror the clouds overhead, so floating across their glass-like surfaces in a kayak or canoe is like gliding through the clouds themselves.
But you won’t be the only cloud sojourner on your New Zealand trip. Almost seventy species of birds are found nowhere else in the world but here. Even the flightless, elusive kiwi is a New Zealander. These forest dwellers tend to run away when you come near, as if they, too, are just wisps of cloud.
As for terrestrial white fluff, your New Zealand adventure could include watching sheepshearers in action or hiking to the face of the Franz Josef Glacier. On the South Island’s West Coast, Franz Josef descends from the Southern Alps to less than 980 feet above sea level, amid the greenery and lushness of a temperate rain forest. You may pedal through more old-growth forests and over Mount Hercules to Westland Tai Poutini National Park, or tackle the challenging route to Fox Glacier. At Doubtful Sound, catch a ship for a voyage through rugged, deep-blue mountain peaks; thick, green rain forests; and deep, clear waters. This enclave holds unbelievable silence, unbroken serenity, and untouched wilderness.
If a visit to the North Island is part of your New Zealand tour package, you’ll travel the country’s culturally rich region. Tour the Bay of Islands by yacht, and you’ll enter into New Zealand’s history in the place where wars were fought, the Treaty of Waitangi — the nation’s founding document — was signed, and the first parliament was formed. In Rotorua, you can witness firsthand New Zealand’s turbulent geological past in the hot springs, bubbling mud pools, and soaring geysers.
These sorts of active waters aren’t the only ones you’ll find when you go to New Zealand. Even rivers climb their way up rugged terrain, turn, and then throw themselves off the cliffs to the sea. Clouds occasionally obscure the tops of such waterfalls; causing them to appear to be spouting fluid, where a bird pierced them.
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