Auckland City is known as ‘The City of Sails’, and is an isthmus set amongst dormant volcanoes. Auckland is home to New Zealand’s largest urban population and growing rapidly.
This is our starting point of the New Zealand adventure, which takes place entirely in the North Island. This part of New Zealand is culturally diverse, packed full of wonderful geothermic features and other great adventures, just waiting to be discovered.
Here we orientate ourselves by sailing in the Manukau Harbour and by climbing a volcanic cone with a view. Then straight to the action of Caving, Huka Jet Boat, Geothermal Activity and then a soak in natural hot pools. Agriculture is a big deal in New Zealand, so we get into the action at the Agrodome to get up close to the animals commonly (and not so commonly) farmed here. High adrenaline activities are on the menu in the afternoon, including the Zorb or Ogo. Later, we embrace Maori culture and try our hand at Haka, Poi and flax weaving. The Lord of the Rings/Hobbit film set is a must see on this epic tour! We go from Maori cultural performance earlier on the day, to the real thing by staying on a marae. It is a steep but wonderful learning curve, and everyone will be formally welcomed onto this marae, which has spectacular carvings. The elders will tell us the stories of the people and the carvings and this is an opportunity for genuine exchange between two (or more) cultures. Preparation for our overnight expedition happens here. Team-work, physical strength and fitness will all play a part in our collective success.
The following day we get to dig our very own natural hot pool in the sand. Fishing, Mountain Biking and Surfing all follow. We make time for the creative activity of Bone Carving, as well as Paintball, Cathedral Cove Glass Bottom Boat Tour and Horse Trekking. Project Kiwi is also a feature of this day, which is explained below. Our last day takes us to a series of zip lines through trees to bring that trickle of adrenaline back to life once more!
A final dinner, high inside the Sky Tower, is a fitting way to conclude our adventure before you make your way back home from Auckland International Airport.
Project Kiwi looks after the treasure that is the North Island Brown Kiwi. A team of dedicated volunteers traps pest animals and works to ensure that the Kiwis in this region of New Zealand not only survive, but thrive. Students will learn about the project and also take part in planting native trees in this area to further encourage native birds to restore the earlier ecosystems that have been eroded due to extensive land clearing over a century ago.