Explore a world of lush fiords, vibrant cities and friendly Kiwis on our small-group tour. Travel from subtropical North Island to generally cooler South Island while being guided by experienced guides with luxurious accommodations – you won’t miss any natural marvels on this unforgettable journey.
Start in Auckland, a city built upon fifty dormant volcanoes surrounded by two harbors. Discover historic neighborhoods and landmarks like St. Patrick Cathedral and Ferry Building before discovering The Domain, a sprawling urban park.
1. Lighthouse of Alexandria
On a thrilling New Zealand tour, uncover an array of natural and cultural wonders. From volcanic landscapes and glaciers, fjords, rainforests and vineyards – this charming country has it all! Sample local wines while learning about Maori culture while witnessing incredible feats of nature including the flightless kiwi bird!
Explore pristine coastlines and picturesque lakes while sailing Queen Charlotte Sound across Cook Strait to Wellington – a capital known for its bustling art and cultural scene. Make time for a city tour at Te Papa museum before touring parliament house!
Napier, commonly referred to as an Art Deco city, showcases some of the world’s best examples of this architectural style. Rotorua offers breathtaking thermal valley scenery complete with bubbling mud pools, geysers, and boiling streams of water – and experience Maori culture through traditional hangi feasts at Te Puia!
Visit the stunning Bibliotheca Alexandrina on the Corniche Road to witness this breathtaking library, whose lighthouse (Pharos) once counted among Egypt’s Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Additionally, make sure you visit Fort Qaitbey, an impressive 15th-century seafront fort where classical Egyptian architecture meets with some vestiges from Greco-Roman history.
2. Hanging Gardens of Babylon
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and remains one of history’s greatest mysteries, untraceable nearly three millennia after they are thought to have been constructed. While remnants have been found of many structures like Great Pyramid, Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Colossus of Rhodes, Mausoleums of Halicarnassus etc; still remains as one of its great architectural feats in existence today.
Berossus, a 3rd century BCE Babylonian priest, first recorded gardens during his description. These early gardens were described by Berossus as being above ground level gardens watered by streams from elevated sources that fed into them directly, creating an abundance of lush, green plants cultivated above ground. These streams also provided irrigation to maintain lush soil conditions throughout.
Historian Strabo, writing during the 1st century BCE, describes gardens extensively. He noted how these were filled with exotic trees and plants arranged tiered to resemble mountains; part of a palace complex; while not detailing their exact location he noted how much effort went into their creation.
3. Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and an UNESCO-listed site, stands as one of seven wonders of ancient world. Constructed as Khufu’s tomb during Egypt’s fourth Dynasty Old Kingdom period during construction of Giza Necropolis.
How the Egyptians managed to build pyramids is still unknown, although scholars have various theories as to their construction. One possibility suggests ramps were utilized, while others think ancient builders may have utilized water power for lifting heavy stones.
What we know for sure is that pyramids were constructed by thousands of masons, engineers and architects – not slaves – and their village has provided insight into their work on these massive monuments. Unfortunately though, over centuries of looting and damage the pyramids have suffered greatly, and modern Egyptologists are fighting hard to preserve these iconic sites against urban expansion and preservation efforts. It’s worth visiting to marvel at these impressive landmarks while learning more about their construction over 4,500 years ago!
4. Temple of Artemis
New Zealand’s South Island offers visitors numerous natural treasures. Cruise Auckland Harbor and browse an impressive collection of Maori and Polynesian artifacts at Auckland Museum; take a guided tour through one of Napier’s authentic Art Deco city centers; discover New Zealand culture at Te Papa National Museum and Parliament House in Wellington; cruise Auckland’s shimmering harbor for more sightseeing; then venture onwards to Wellington where Te Papa National Museum houses an extraordinary collection.
Rotorua offers visitors an unforgettable thermal valley full of bubbling mud pools and stunning geysers at Te Puia, while experiencing Maori culture through traditional hangi feasts at Tamaki Maori Village or visiting Rainbow Springs Nature Park with its native flora and fauna – such as New Zealand’s iconic kiwi bird!
Experience Dunedin – known as ‘Edinburgh of the South’- and Larnach Castle on an excursion. Learn about its tragic and scandalous history during a guided tour, then discover more of South Island’s natural wonders with a scenic flight over Lakes Tekapo and Twizel, Fiordland National Park with waterfalls, ancient escarpments and dolphins as well as Franz Josef Glacier at World Heritage-listed Franz Josef Glacier and Doubtful Sound catamaran cruise.
5. Lighthouse of New Zealand
Lighthouses captivate people everywhere and it comes as no surprise that New Zealand, with its entire coastline bordered by water, is home to an abundance of lighthouses. From Cape Reinga in the North Island to Waipapa in the Deep South these stunning structures aid maritime navigation along its shorelines.
Tiritiri Matangi Lighthouse not only stands as an architectural beauty, but is also one of the world’s most successful community-led conservation efforts. Home to flourishing native bird populations – such as rare species such as Kakako and Takahe – these birds were saved from imminent extinction thanks to an army of dedicated volunteers.
Akaroa’s impressive six-sided lighthouse is another sight worth seeing during any road trip down south. Perched proudly on Cemetery Point guarding Akaroa Port and often mentioned among New Zealanders’ favourite landmarks, Nugget Point Lighthouse located in The Catlins is another stunning lighthouse that should not be missed – one that sits proudly atop Cemetery Point guarding its marvelous port and serving as an important reminder. Finally, Nugget Point Lighthouse in The Catlins sits perched atop rocks that separate the sea- making it one of New Zealand’s most captivating lighthouses – not to be missed while sunrise here will take your breath away and is also great place for searching out Royal Spoonbills, NZ Fur Seals or shags!