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Arthur’s Pass, New ZealandKea, Fox Glacier, New ZealandLake Wanaka, New ZealandMilford Sound, New Zealand Koru, Stewart Island, New ZealandYellow-eyed Penguin, Stewart Island, New ZealandRoyal Albatross, Dunedin, New Zealand
Colin McKie: Arthur’s Pass, Milford Sound Mitre Peak
Mark Tantrum: Royal Albatross

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12 Days / From $9695 (800) 543-8917 for Availability
Home Asia & Pacific New Zealand Nature Explorer

New Zealand Nature Explorer

A Small-Group Nature Adventure Amid the Scenic Splendors of the South Island
Among travelers who covet spectacular natural settings, New Zealand is legendary. We focus on the South Island, whose rugged coastline contains a land of topographic extremes, from seaside rain forests and volcano craters to jagged peaks, active glaciers and icy fjords. On this dramatic itinerary, we are immersed in nature at its showiest. Within the diverse landscapes we explore, we find intriguing and rare creatures such as Fiordland crested penguins and brown kiwis. We also experience the human side of New Zealand, equally renowned. We'll meet sheep farmers, learn about Maori culture, and find a bit of Scottish heritage in the South Pacific.

Trip Highlights

  • Aboard a private yacht, cruise the fjords of Milford Sound, where mists weave through glacial valleys and waterfalls pour from vertical peaks above
  • Enjoy an exclusive stay on wild, rarely visited Stewart Island, where our Expedition Leaders guide us in search of the famed brown kiwi
  • From secluded wilderness ecolodges, search for wildlife on guided rain forest hikes, paddle a mountain lake, and stargaze under some of the darkest skies on Earth
See More of Natural New Zealand, Off the Beaten Track
Most New Zealand tours focus on just a few popular highlights, like Milford Sound. While we’d never dream of skipping those notable draws, Nat Hab takes you farther into New Zealand’s remote reaches, for a Down Under nature odyssey you’ll have a hard time finding anywhere else. When you travel with us, you’ll enjoy rare experiences like these:
  1. Fly by Small Plane to Stewart Island to Look for Unique Wildlife
    Few travelers to New Zealand get to visit lushly forested Stewart Island. But we've included it, to offer the unusual chance to search for the endemic flightless brown kiwi bird on a guided night walk. This island is also a breeding and nesting site for one of the world’s rarest birds: the Fiordland crested penguin.
  2. Visit the Isolated Nature Sanctuary of Ulva Island
    Just minutes from Stewart Island lies the wild world of Ulva Island, a predator-free environment for rare and endangered birds such as the yellow-eyed penguin. Here, we explore pristine trails and beaches, observing bird species that no longer exist on the main islands. Not on your standard itinerary!
  3. Enjoy a Private Cruise in Milford Sound Aboard Our Chartered Yacht
    Most visitors to famed Milford Sound experience its scenic grandeur in crowded company, typically packed together on a large sightseeing boat. Not our guests! We charter our own small yacht for a quiet, private experience of this realm of incredible natural beauty, where it's just us, the wildlife, and the wonders beyond. 
  4. A Small-Group Nature Experience from Beginning to End
    NHA has always been committed to the principle that nature is best experienced in small groups. And unlike other travel providers, we don’t mean just on selected outings. For a full 12 days, you’ll travel in a group of no more than 12 people in a private mini-coach—no big tour buses for us! Few other companies come anywhere close to our small numbers, which means you have more intimate and authentic experiences, no matter where we go.
  5. Visit a Working Sheep Farm — Not a Tourist Set-Up
    It’s often said that New Zealand has more sheep than people, so you’ll want to get to know more about these famed residents. We visit an authentic working sheep farm to learn from our hosts about the roles these animals have played in the country’s history and about the significance they hold in the present. 
  6. Small Chartered Boats for Private Wildlife Viewing 
    Most companies send their groups on marine wildlife-watching excursions aboard large vessels shared with other passengers. With Nat Hab, you’ll cruise on several privately chartered small boats for a quiet, intimate experience of nature.
  7. Stay in Nature’s Most Dramatic Locations
    No cookie-cutter chain hotels for us. Although they range from simple to luxurious, all of our lodgings place us in the most striking natural places New Zealand has to offer. Sleep in a lodge tucked naturally into an open forest clearing, run by a family that traces its farming roots back to 1860. On the shores of Lake Wanaka, enjoy spectacular views of the lake and the magnificent Southern Alps. In every case, we choose our accommodations for their authenticity, history, cozy atmosphere and proximity to nature. 
  8. Your Naturalist Expedition Leader Is a New Zealand Native
    NHA has earned an international reputation for employing the highest-quality Expedition Leaders in the industry. Our guides average 15 years of experience and training, with additional resources and access to WWF’s top scientists. On this trip, you’ll also have the advantage of a native New Zealander as your guide, for a truly personalized interpretative experience. Read our Expedition Leader bios and traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
  9. Our Quality-Value Guarantee Ensures Your Outstanding Nature Adventure
    Natural Habitat Adventures is proud to offer our exclusive guarantee that clearly states that we will meet the high expectations we set forth in our promotional materials. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise for yourself!
  10. Feel Good About the Way You Travel
    We all care about the planet, and you can travel with us knowing that the emissions from your trip are 100-percent carbon-offset. NHA is the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company, a feature that is especially critical when considering that many of the species and habitats we observe on our trips are under substantial threat from our planet’s warming temperatures.
  11. Natural Habitat Adventures Is World Wildlife Fund’s Travel Partner
    Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our small-group nature adventures, World Wildlife Fund, the world’s leading environmental conservation organization, has named Natural Habitat its worldwide travel partner—a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!
Reading List
Longitude Books has created a custom comprehensive listing of New Zealand Nature Explorer travel books for this trip.

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