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2019 NC State Study Tour to New Zealand

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New Zealand banner

Images from Wikipedia, from left: Lake  Wakatipu, New Zealand map, Aoraki Mount Cook

NC State Extension Gardener

International Study Program

March 1 – March 14, 2019

Browse through a Photo Album of our Educational Adventure

Enjoy the images and videos posted on our Facebook site

We had an unforgettable experience in one of the most beautiful places on earth – Aotearoa New Zealand!

We explored the gardens, culture, and natural beauty of both the North and South Islands. This active tour included plenty of walking and outdoor activity but no strenuous hiking. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience exploring the plants and gardens of New Zealand!


(Airfare is not included)

silver tree fern

The silver tree fern (Cyathea dealbata) is a national emblem of New Zealand. CC-BY-SA 4.0

  • Register:  $6,585/person double occupancy. Includes hotels, entrance fees to all attractions, and most meals.
  • Only NC EMGVs and their travel companions may register before September 1, 2018. If there are slots available after September 1st, EMGVs across the country may register.
  • $1,750 upgrade to single occupancy
  • $1,000 deposit holds your reservation with balance due 90 days before travel
  • For more info, contact Kari Laudano at (573) 303-2872 or email at
  • Download registration form

Review Detailed Itinerary and Registration Form

Download New Zealand Study Tour map

New Zealand, Auckland BG

Aloe and other tropical plants thrive at Auckland Botanic Gardens. Image by Chester Nichols.

March 2019 Schedule


We will visit Ayrlies Garden, one of the most celebrated private gardens in New Zealand.


We will visit Totara Waters Garden, the private garden of Jocelyn Coyle, and the Auckland Botanic Gardens, home to over 10,000 plant species.


We will visit to the impressive Hamilton Gardens, which tell the story of gardens through a series of five garden collections. This evening you will visit the Tamaki Maori Village and be treated to a traditional Hangi (feast) and Maori Concert and evening of ceremonial rituals, powerful cultural performance, and storytelling.


Enjoy a guided walk through the Government Gardens, taking in the buildings, battles and historic places of these magnificent grounds, followed by a visit to Te Puia – The New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and the boiling mud pools, steaming silica terraces, hot springs and geysers of the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley. Walk along the 23 suspension bridges and view the 116 year old Redwoods on the 553-meter Treewalk.


We will fly (price included in the package) to the South Island of New Zealand and visit the Dunedin Botanic Garden for a guided tour.


Tour of Larnach Castle and the 14 hectares of gardens and grounds followed by a wildlife tour at Taiaroa Heads on the Otago Peninsula. We may see the world’s rarest penguins, the yellow-eyed Hoiho, and Koroa, also known as the little blue penguins, along with the New Zealand fur seals and the Stewart Island Shags.


Visit Wylde Willows Garden before crossing the south island to Te Anau. Optional tour to the Anau Glow Worm Caves (cost not included in tour price).


Depart for Manapouri and an overnight cruise of Doubtful Sound deep in Fiordland National Park.


Explore Queenstown.


Visit Stoneridge Chapel and Water Garden, the private home and gardens of celebrated artist, DaVella Gore. Visit historic Arrowtown – a quaint shops and historic remains from the Gold Rush days. Next visit Gibbston Valley Winery, New Zealand’s largest and most innovative wine cave for a wine tasting. This evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the steamer TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station to dine at the Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant.


Depart Queenstown and travel north over Lindis Pass into the Mackenzie Country passing the shores of Lake Pukaki to Mt Cook Village in the heart of the Southern Alps – and home to New Zealand’s tallest peak – Aoraki Mt Cook. Optional helicopter ride (extra cost). Enjoy a magical star gazing experience.


Visit local gardens around Ashburton and Longbeach.


Peacock Fountain, Christchurch Botanic Gardens
CC BY-SA 3.0


Visit Ohinetahi, the famous private garden of Sir Miles Warren located on Banks Peninsula; the Giants’ House and terraced gardens. Explore the French settlement of Akaroa; and the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.


Sadly, all great trips must come to an end. Flights should be arranged back to the States departing from Christchurch. We are happy to arrange optional excursions for anyone interested. Safe travels home!

Hosted by

  • Charlotte Glen, NC State Extension Master Gardener Program Coordinator

Tour coordinated in part by Hidden Treasures Tours. For more information, contact Kari Laudano at:

What to Pack

    • Sunscreen is a must. NZ has a high UV index so even if it feels chilly the rays will still be intense. Bring sunburn treatment medication if you have particularly sensitive skin.
    • Sunglasses
    • Hat if desired
    • Standard toiletries and medication (pack medication and glasses in your carry-on)
    • Camera
    • Phone (set up an international plan on your cell phone if you intend to use it)
    • Credit cards and cash (Mastercard and Visa are most widely accepted)
    • Chargers for phone, computer, camera, iPad, etc.
    • Electrical converter and Electrical adapter
    • Bug spray
    • Thin, rainproof jacket that you can easily layer over your outfit or a poncho.
    • Fleece jacket, sweater, or other lightweight jacket for chilly mornings and evenings.
    • T-shirts take up less room in your luggage. Pack several t-shirts so you are comfortable on warm days and then can easily cover them with a few of your heavier items.
    • Although the weather may be warm enough some days to warrant shorts, most days you will be more comfortable in pants. Many of our guests love the comfortable zip-off trousers since they can go from pants to shorts in a matter of seconds. They also save space in your luggage and many repel water. North Face, LL Bean, and REI are a few popular brands.
    • Two pairs of comfortable walking shoes in case one pair gets overly muddy or wet.
    • Bathing suit and flip flops
  • Journal if you enjoy taking notes or writing

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews from Previous NC EMGV Travel Study participants:

  • Absolutely Phenomenal” “The trip was amazing in every way!”
  • “The best and most fun activities ever! Well planned and executed. . . really hard to choose a best because each outing was so much fun.” “
  • “Wonderful! Great learning experience!”
  • “Couldn’t be happier. A wonderful experience. Took just over 1,000 photos”

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