New Zealand

Faculty: David J. Martínez and Jay Miller
Class meeting time: Mondays from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Trip Dates: May, 2024

A view of a tree and the ocean


This trip will include the north and south islands of New Zealand. This course will cover outdoors/adventure sports, cultural engagement, and examination of the unique flora, fauna, and geography of the destination. During the classroom portion of this course, we will cover materials associated with the activities, sites and experiences in order to provide a base of knowledge and understanding prior to departing for the trip.

New Zealand offers a distinctive ecosystem with plants and animals unique to the islands while also being composed of some of the most breathtaking scenery of any country in the world. The islands boast a plethora of adventure sports and outdoor activities that we will explore. This will include, but is not limited to, street luge, bungee jumping, Black Water Rafting, skydiving and hiking.

Culturally, we will examine the Maori people, the influence of Western culture, and other regional influences through visits to Maori cultural sites, various museums, Hobbiton and other Lord of the Rings/Hobbit motion picture sites, and many more. Finally, we will explore the local geography, including the majestic Milford Sound, the glaciers at the base of Mt. Cook and Franz Josef, the volcanoes of Tongariro National Park, and the caves at Waitomo.

This will be an active trip, including several hikes. Thus you will need to be in good condition to participate in this trip.

Tentative Itinerary

Day 1-3 Fly from Portland to Christchurch; visit Cathedral Square, Canterbury Museum and Gardens
Day 4 Christchurch: Antarctica Museum
Day 5 Travel to Mt. Cook, Lake Pukaki and Tasman Glacier
Day 6 Travel to Queenstown and explore the town
Day 7 Queenstown: Jet boat rides, parasailing, hang gliding, steamship, hiking, horseback riding
Day 8 Day trip to Milford Sound: Boat trip on the Sound
Day 9 Franz Josef Glacier: Glacier trekking
Day 10 Westport: Glacier trekking
Day 11 Nelson: Inter-islander ferry (South Island)
Day 12 Wellington: Inter-islander ferry (North Island), New Zealand/Te Papa Tongarewa & Zealandia Museum, government buildings
Day 13 Wellington: Weta Caves and other Lord of the Rings sites
Day 14 Tongariro National Park: Hiking around volcanoes
Day 15 Rotorua: Lake Taupo, Huka Falls, Geothermal power plant (bungee jumping opportunity), Maori Institute
Day 16 Rotorua: Te Puia Cultural Center, Agrodome, Hangi (Maori meal), Anglican Church, hot springs
Day 17 Hamilton: Hobbiton movie set, elementary school
Day 18 Waitomo: Waitomo glowworm caves, Black Water rafting (rafting through a cave)
Day 19 Auckland: Whitianga, Mercury Bay, Thames
Day 20 Auckland: Downtown Auckland (bungee jumping opportunity), Auckland museum, harbor trip, Auckland Zoo
Day 21 Return to Portland