new zealand

scenic journey of a lifetime

 Check it off your Bucket List!


New Zealand is a destination many wistfully dream about visiting.   “Aotearoa”, Land of the Long White Cloud as it is known to the Maori people of New Zealand, is a place of exquisite beauty, friendly people and a relaxed way of life that, for many visitors, feels like bygone days of decades past.

Join Carolyn and Rachel (a former resident of NZ) on a 13 day exploration of the “Top of the South Island”.  The trip will include a 4 day “tramp” along the stunning Queen Charlotte Track which follows the ridge of the Queen Charlotte Peninsula in the Marlborough Sounds.  Take in the local sights, gastronomic delights, arts and crafts, and Prize winning wine the Nelson region is famous for.  

Rachel will take us to many of her favorite haunts including remote and mystical places in Golden Bay and the West Coast.  The trip will begin and end in the city of Christchurch, a city whose skyline was dramatically changed in 2011 by a massive earthquake.  A city which  is undergoing an exciting rejuvenation both in architecture and spirit.

This trip will be limited to six travelers so sign up early!





Price: $4900.

precious spots: 6

13 days, 12 nights-March 18-30. 2017



 Day 1-2.  Arrive Christchurch.  Carolyn will drive us ( in our passenger van) to Hanmer Springs where we will stay for 2 nights allowing you time to relax and recoup in the thermal hot springs of this beautiful Alpine Village. Those who want to, can tramp! (day hike) 

Day 3:  Drive to Picton via the lovely seaside town of KaiKoura, home to numerous seal colonies and popular whale watching spot.  Lunch in Kaikoura.  Hike, whale watch or visit the seals- group choice! Overnight in Picton

 Day 4—7:  Queen Charlotte Track.  The Queen Charlotte Track offers a spectacular adventure through the Marlborough Sounds.  Walking through historic bays and along skyline ridges, witness unsurpassed views of Kenepuru and Queen Charlotte Sounds. Your luggage will meet us (via ferry) at the end of each day hike so you can relax in the lodges along the way, enjoying the local hospitality.

 Day 7-10: Accommodation in Tasman

 Day 8:  (Saturday) Nelson City. Nelson Market in the morning. In addition to fresh local produce, the market features the wares of many of the local artisans and craftsmen. Walk the “Centre of New Zealand” track.  Visit Hoglund Art Glass-International Glass Blowing Studio. Rachel is the former Gallery Manager and Tour guide here.  She will give us a private tour.  Spend our afternoon at the Waimea Estates Winery Café for a sampling of fine wine and cheeses. 

 Day 9: Explore the Arts and Crafts of the area.  Galleries and Artist’s Studio.  Picnic Lunch at  Nuedorf Winery.  yes, another delicious wine tasting!  Dinner at The Apple Shed in Mapua.   

 Day 10:  Golden Bay. Experience Pupu springs, (perhaps the cleanest water in the world) and visit Artist Sage Cox's studio at Paton's Rock. Mussel Inn for Lunch, Spend afternoon either walking or horseback riding on Whaririki Beach. Ride to Moteueka for real fruit ice cream at Toad Hall.

Day 11: Leave Nelson area.  Drive to the West Coast by way of Punakaiki. Visit Mia Tennant’s studio (a little further down the coast). Stop for lunch at the restaurant at Cape Foul Wind.  Stay overnight in Greymouth. 

Day 12:  Drive over the Southern Alps via Arthur’s Pass back to Christchurch.  Check into accommodation for last night in NZ (TBD).  

Day 13:  Christchurch-Visit the Antartic Centre ( Christchurch is the mustering and provisioning point for most Antarctic expeditions), Shopping at Restart Mall ( a shipping container mall constructed as the first recovery solution for businesses affected by the 2011 earthquake) on Cashel  St.  Fly out either this evening or the next day- your choice!

for more info on New Zealand, go to our favorite site:


What's included:

  • Private Transportation in an eight passenger van.  
  • All boutique lodging in  spectacular locations: Hanmer Sp[rings, Nelson, and the West Coast. 
  •  Healthy breakfasts daily
  •  Pack Lunch during the 4 day trek in Queen Charlotte
  • Ferry transport and Park pass for The Queen Charlotte Track
  • Hanmer thermal hot spring soak
  • visit to local winery for a  group tasting

My partner in this adventure is Rachel Bennet who lived with her New Zealand Husband Brian and their three children in Nelson, New Zealand for 7 years. She has a deep love for the area and has many happy memories of her time there.  Rachel enjoys sharing the numerous delights of her "second home" with visitors and looks forward to returning there permanently to be close to her two "kiwi" grandchildren. She has carefully designed these 13 days for a unique experience of astounding scenery, culinary delights, artisan shopping, and vineyard visits.