22 July, 2017

My Trip to New Zealand: Spiritual Tourism

Multi-colored thermal springs
Daily Spiritual Practice

While the flight to NZ is long, in winter there is only a two-hour time difference between California and NZ, so jet lag is minimal. A bigger shock is jumping from late fall to brilliant spring. On the flight we were introduced to NZ’s delicious passion-fruit flavored Sauvignon Blank. Each morning Dr. Edward Viljoen led us in a spiritual practice. These were typically connected with the day’s activities and deepened our appreciation.

History and Views

We started on the North Island in Auckland and Rotorua. A walk up Mt. Eden gave us a history and the opportunity to walk done into the grassy slopes of a volcano’s caldera. One highlight was a boat trip to Mt. Rangitoto with views of Auckland and a climb through native vegetation to the summit. Rotorua gave us the opportunities to walk through farmer’s markets, visit the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, see a Maori Cultural Performance, and dine at a Hangi.

At Home In Queenstown

Then we were on to the South Island, home of adventure sports – next time for us. Queenstown was our base and on our first day we hiked from Arrowtown up the mountains through waist-deep fragrant lupines. We took a ferry across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak, an operating sheep ranch and had a lovely dinner.

Perhaps the highlight of the tour was Milford Sound. The bus trip there stopped at breath taking sights of mountains mirrored in quiet streams, while watching flightless Kea parrots stroll the grounds. At the Sound we boarded a small cruise boat for an over-night stay near the entrance to the ocean. We kayaked around the Sound looking at penguins and fur seals. That night the gentle waves rocked us to sleep.

Returning to Queenstown we took a gondola up the mountains to the Skyline Restaurant for our farewell. We enjoyed the diversity of the group and as usual, made many new friends.

Dennis O., Verified Customer

Spirit Tour's next Spiritual Pilgrimage to Australia and New Zealand is this November 2017.  If you would like more information, click here.

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