New Zealand, December 2014/January 2015
Departs December 29, 2014, (19 days in New Zealand)
Leader: Mark Hanger
Cost: in the region of £4,700 (single room supplement applies).
Optional four-day extension to Stewart Island and Dunedin.
This tour offers the chance to visit some of New Zealand’s most spectacular habitats with expert naturalist guides. It represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for travellers because the guides will take you to areas where public access is normally restricted.
The tour is on the South Island, where the mountains themselves are magnificent, but you will also enjoy exploring beach forests, coastline and beautiful lakes. There’s even the opportunity to take to the ocean to see sperm whales and albatrosses.
Picture: Ranunculus insignis
The native flora of New Zealand is rich and unique, having evolved in isolation for millions of years. No fewer than 80 per cent of New Zealand’s native plants and trees are endemic. Although few have showy flowers, the variety of foliage colour, texture and shape is remarkable.
Areas visited on the tour will include Mount Arthur, the beautiful lakes Rotoiti and Rotoroa, Blackbirch, the Clarence Valley with its abundance of gentians, Mount St Patrick, Mount Hutt, Peel Forest Park, Mount Cook National Park and its spectacular Hooker Valley, the Hollyford Valley and the Gertrude Cirque, which has arguably one of the finest accessible communities of alpine plants in the Southern Hemisphere.
You will be delighted by species of Ranunculus, Celmisia, Aciphylla, Raoulia, Donatia, Ourisia, Swainsona and many more.
There are several optional extras on this tour, such a sightseeing flight over the mountains and a four-day extension.
Picture: Ourisia macrocarpa