Learn about Māori history and culture and survey incredible natural wonders, from erupting geysers to mist-shrouded fjords, with unique local experiences at each stop.
An awe-inspiring journey
For those who have done it, traveling the length of New Zealand’s North and South Islands remains one of the most memorable trips of their travel career because of the many wonders of this stunning, spectacular country: its snowy alpine peaks, shimmering glaciers, steaming thermal pools, unusual plants and animals, lush rain forests and cosmopolitan cities.
We’ve arranged a full array of local experiences that will show you a New Zealand few travelers see, from privately guided tours of specially curated venues to winery tastings and discussions with regional experts. Bypass long drives flying aboard our private SAAB 340 to maximize our time exploring.
DatesJanuary 9–20, 2024
From $13,495 per person
Trip size24 participants
Minimum age18 years
A different kind of classroom
With renowned Stanford faculty and scholars leading the way, every Travel/Study trip is a one-of-a-kind educational experience.
Through his research, Professor McWilliams aims to better understand earth’s evolution, the rate of geological processes, and the history of important earth events such as volcanism, earthquakes, mass extinctions and global climate change.
“Mike's vast background was a major plus. He tied his knowledge of New Zealand to his technical expertise in a very effective way. I wish he had been teaching when I was going through Stanford.”
—Jon Erickson, ‘65
Exploring the North and South Islands by private aircraft
Journey from the North Island's Auckland down to Queenstown and Milford Sound on this comprehensive tour exploring New Zealand's many natural wonders and its dynamic Māori culture.
Auckland, New Zealand
Upon arrival in Auckland, transfer to our hotel for an early check-in. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before embarking on a walking tour of the central city of Auckland. Visit a variety of historic and contemporary buildings that house art spaces and learn about how public art is shaping the city. Gather for a welcome reception and dinner this evening.Accommodations:
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct HarbourIncluded meals: Lunch and dinner
Auckland, New Zealand
This morning take a privately guided tour of the Auckland War Memorial Museum, the guardian of the largest and most significant collection of Māori treasures in the world. At this quiet place of reflection, we see key symbols that link the spiritual past of the indigenous Māori to the present-day culture. After lunch learn what it takes to make, shape and become a professional rugby player at the All Blacks Experience. Hear the players’ stories and feel the passion behind the famous All Blacks haka before testing your rugby skills in a hands-on interactive zone. The rest of the day is free for independent exploration.Accommodations:
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct HarbourIncluded meals: Breakfast and lunch
Auckland/ Rotorua / Wellington
This morning we board our first private charter flight, from Auckland to Rotorua. Upon arrival in Rotorua, tour Te Puia, a place of rushing waters, steaming vents, boiling mud and spectacular geysers. Our local Māori hosts lead us on a privately guided tour of Ohinemutu, an ancient Māori village where descendants of the original inhabitants still live today. In the late afternoon, we board our aircraft and fly to Wellington.Accommodations:
Intercontinental WellingtonIncluded meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Head to the “Beehive,” New Zealand’s Parliament Building, to hear about the New Zealand government and the innovative technology used to quake-proof the city’s historic buildings. Then visit the Alexander Turnbull Library, which opened its doors to the people of New Zealand on June 28, 1920 and is now a division of the National Library of New Zealand. The library holds New Zealand's three national documents as part of the heritage collections, including the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand, Treaty of Waitangi, and Women's Suffrage Petition. After lunch visit the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa for a guided tour. Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon and evening at leisure.Accommodations:
Intercontinental WellingtonIncluded meals: Breakfast and lunch
Wellington / Blenheim
This morning, reboard our aircraft for a flight to Blenheim. On arrival, visit a stunning Marlborough property to enjoy lunch showcasing local produce. This afternoon visit Mahi Wines for wine tasting and a behind-the-scenes look at their approach to the winemaking process during a tour of their barrel hall and cave cellar. Enjoy dinner at leisure this evening.Accommodations:
Scenic Hotel MarlboroughIncluded meals: Breakfast and lunch
Blenheim / Marlborough Sounds
This morning tour the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, which contains an impressive collection of aircraft and rare memorabilia in a mix of static displays and flyable planes. Have lunch at a local winery before driving to Picton to embark on a cruise of the Marlborough Sounds. Learn about aquaculture in the sounds as we cruise near a salmon farm and appreciate the verdant scenery while sampling some fabulous seafood and a superb Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.Accommodations:
Scenic Hotel MarlboroughIncluded meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Blenheim / Christchurch
Board our coach for a scenic drive to Christchurch, learning along the way about the major engineering that has been done to reopen the harbor, rails and roads after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake on the coast of Kaikoura in November 2016. Stop in Kaikoura to enjoy lunch and take a walk in the coastal town, viewing the aftermath of the earthquake, before returning to the coach to continue on to Christchurch. Stop along the way at a working farm to see sheep dogs in action and learn about New Zealand's farming systems and current conservation efforts.Accommodations:
Hotel MontrealIncluded meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
After breakfast embark on a guided walking tour of the city. See firsthand some of the areas affected by the devastating earthquakes and learn how Christchurch is rebuilding and preserving some of its iconic buildings. End with a punt along the tranquil Avon River. After lunch take a guided walking tour of the Botanic Gardens. This afternoon visit Quake City, a special exhibition from Canterbury Museum charting the aftermaths of the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes through stories of heroism, hope and loss.Accommodations:
Hotel MontrealIncluded meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Christchurch / Queenstown
Board our private aircraft this morning for our flight to Queenstown. Upon arrival, travel to Arrowtown, a historic gold mining town, established in 1862 during the height of the Otago Gold Rush. Then head to the Shotover River for a thrilling ride on the Shotover Jet through the deep canyon.Accommodations:
Hotel St MoritzIncluded meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Queenstown / Milford Sound
Depart for Milford Sound on a caravan of helicopters, experiencing the stunning fjord from the air (weather depending). Upon arrival board a private-charter boat for a cruise around the sheer cliffs, massive waterfalls and rainforest while you keep a look out for wildlife like seals and dolphins.Accommodations:
Hotel St MoritzIncluded meals: Breakfast and lunch
This morning visit the Kiwi Birdlife Park, devoted to helping conserve New Zealand’s native fauna through advocacy, captive breeding and rehabilitation. Observe the park’s unique endangered wildlife on a guided tour led by an experienced park zoologist, during which we’ll enjoy a private kiwi feeding and a live conservation show. The afternoon is free for personal exploration. Gather this evening for a farewell reception and dinner.Accommodations:
Hotel St MoritzIncluded meals: Breakfast and dinner
Queenstown / Home
Transfer to the airport for flights home, crossing the international date line en route and arriving back in the U.S. on the same day.Included meal: Breakfast
Start preparing for the trip of a lifetime
From top to bottom, we’ve taken care of all the details, so you can enjoy a no-stress, worry-free travel experience.
“The whole trip was very thoughtfully put together. It was only possible to see as much of the country as we did by having a private plane.”
— Marv Pollack, MBA ’77
Secure your spot today
The price of your trip covers a comprehensive educational program in addition to meals, accommodations, tours and excursions. Continue reading for a full list of what’s included.
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