Coastal New Zealand: Auckland to Milford Sound

Coastal New Zealand: Auckland to Milford Sound

From AUD $24,630


New Zealand’s unparalleled natural beauty beckons with soaring peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and swathes of unpopulated white-sand beaches. Traveling through scenic fjords, bays, and sounds, witness plunging waterfalls and an abundance of whales, dolphins, and fur seals drawn by sparkling waters rich with marine life. The last country to be inhabited by humans and isolated for 85 million years, New Zealand boasts flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world. Among its 300 species of birds are the world’s smallest penguin, a colony of 20,000 gannets, and the magnificent royal albatross, with an impressive 10-foot wingspan.

Trip Name
Coastal New Zealand: Auckland to Milford Sound
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition Length: 103 metres Passenger Capacity: 102 (in 53 cabins) Built: 2003 / Refurbished 2014 Engineered for maximum comfort and safety, Orion is equipped with the latest technology including large retractable stabilizers, sonar, radar, and an ice-strengthened hull. A shallow draft plus bow and stern thrusters provide the convenience of being able to maneuver close to shore. 14 Zodiacs ensure quick disembarkation and offer the ideal transport for up-close exploration. National Geographic Orion meets strict specifications for environmental protection and the on board waste management systems meet the stringent Antarctic operational standards enabling us to travel to the most pristine environments. A host of advanced design features and technology ensures sustainable marine environmental practices. National Geographic Orion accommodates 102 guests in 53 cabins, including several with balconies. She is spacious and modern, with a variety of public rooms that offer panoramic views of the passing landscape. Friendly and informal, Orion fosters a welcoming atmosphere where like-minded guests share in exceptional experiences and enrichment. Her public rooms include a dramatic window-lined main lounge, as well as an observation lounge and library perched at the very top of the ship, with plentiful observation decks. The spacious lounge is the heart of our expedition community, and is suited for spirited cocktail hours, informative presentations and our nightly tradition of Recap. In addition, a dedicated theater provides a unique setting for specialist presentations or films and slideshows. Both the main dining room and outside buffet easily accommodate all guests at once for open seating dining. On selected nights, weather permitting, our dining room menu is also available on the outside deck. While Orion interiors are elegant, life aboard is always casual, with no need for formal clothing. And you’ll find shipboard services like laundry, in-room cabled internet, and public-area wifi.


Day 1 - DAY 1: Auckland, New Zealand
Arrive in Auckland, where we check in to our hotel.Join us for a welcome briefing this evening to meetyour fellow travelers.
Day 2 - DAY 2: Auckland/Embark
Have breakfast at the hotel before joining a tour ofthis vibrant city center. We’ll stop for lunch middaybefore embarking National Geographic Orion inthe late afternoon. (B,L,D)
Day 3 - DAY 3: Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands is an area encompassing morethan 140 subtropical islands, boasting anabundance of wildlife and fascinating history. Visitthe Waitangi Treaty Grounds, a place ofimmeasurable cultural, spiritual, and historicalsignificance, and learn of the historical events forwhich these grounds are remembered. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - DAY 4-5: Great Barrier Island/Exploring Coastal NZ
Stretch your legs today as we explore GreatBarrier Island on exploratory walks and hikes. Aswe continue south along the North Island’s verdantcoast, we let nature guide us as your Captain andExpedition Leader choose our next site forexploration. (B,L,D)
Day 5 - DAY 6: Gisborne
Discover rural life at a 110-year old New Zealandhomestead and witness the daily process of sheepherding and sheering. Take in the greenery of alocal arboretum, and cap the day off with a winerytour and tasting. (B,L,D)
Day 6 - DAY 7: Napier
Spend the morning getting to know Napier, the ArtDeco capital of New Zealand. Choose to discoverthe city’s unique architecture on an art tour orleave the city behind and join us on a GannetSafari Tour where we’ll have close encounters at alarge Australasian gannet colony. (B,L,D)
Day 7 - DAY 8: Exploring New Zealand’s South Island
Today will be exploratory in nature as we discoverthe many hidden islands and treasures on thenorthern side of New Zealand’s South Island.(B,L,D)
Day 8 - DAY 9: Kaikoura
In Maori, Kaikoura translates to ‘meal of crayfish.’The region’s abundance of crayfish and nutrientrich marine system draw impressive quantities ofwhales, dolphins, and fur seals to its waters.Today we’ll venture out in search of variousresident and migratory marine mammals as wellas the impressive albatross. (B,L,D)
Day 9 - DAY 10: Dunedin
Known for its Victorian and Edwardian architectureand boasting the world’s only mainland albatrosscolony, Dunedin sits on the verdant southeastcoast of New Zealand’s South Island. Discover theworld’s smallest penguin, the little blue penguin,and its endangered cousin, the yellow-eyedpenguin, on an excursion to the beaches of theOtago Peninsula. Visit the fragrant DunedinBotanic Gardens, and explore the OtagoMuseum’s exhibits on nature, culture and science.(B,L,D)
Day 10 - DAY 11: Stewart Island
Stewart Island, known in Maori as Te Punga o TeWaka a Maui, is positioned firmly at the heart ofMaori mythology. Today we’ll explore the island’srare native birdlife as well as it’s well preservedpodocarp forest. In the afternoon, discover StewartIsland’s nearby neighbor, Ulva Island, where we’llhike with naturalists to discover its unspoiledrainforest. (B,L,D)
Day 11 - DAY 12-13: Dusky Sound & Doubtful Sound
Over the course of two days we will exploreFiordland National Park, home to fourteenindividual fiords. Here we’ll discover hundredsmeter high waterfalls, snowcapped peaks, andwe’ll hope for a glimpse of Doubtful Sound’sresident bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, andpenguins. (B,L,D)
Day 12 - DAY 14: Milford Sound/Disembark/Queenstown/Home
Have breakfast aboard the ship beforedisembarking and transferring to Queenstown forflights home. (B)
Day 13 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change. Your expedition may be traveling over the International Date Line, so please confirm departure and arrival dates with an Expedition Specialist before booking your flights.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
03-02-202316-02-2023AUD $24,630Category 1
03-02-202316-02-2023AUD $26,240Category 2
03-02-202316-02-2023AUD $28,990Category 3
03-02-202316-02-2023AUD $35,350Category 4
03-02-202316-02-2023AUD $36,930Category 1 Solo
03-02-202316-02-2023AUD $40,040Category 5
03-02-202316-02-2023AUD $43,490Category 3 Solo
03-02-202316-02-2023AUD $46,880Category 6
15-02-202328-02-2023AUD $28,990Category 3
15-02-202328-02-2023AUD $35,350Category 4
15-02-202328-02-2023AUD $36,930Category 1 Solo
15-02-202328-02-2023AUD $40,040Category 5
15-02-202328-02-2023AUD $43,490Category 3 Solo
15-02-202328-02-2023AUD $46,880Category 6
15-02-202328-02-2023AUD $24,630Category 1
15-02-202328-02-2023AUD $26,240Category 2
08-11-202321-11-2023AUD $24,630Category 1
08-11-202321-11-2023AUD $26,240Category 2
08-11-202321-11-2023AUD $28,990Category 3
08-11-202321-11-2023AUD $35,350Category 4
08-11-202321-11-2023AUD $36,930Category 1 Solo
08-11-202321-11-2023AUD $40,040Category 5
08-11-202321-11-2023AUD $43,490Category 3 Solo
08-11-202321-11-2023AUD $46,880Category 6
20-11-202303-12-2023AUD $24,630Category 1
20-11-202303-12-2023AUD $26,240Category 2
20-11-202303-12-2023AUD $28,990Category 3
20-11-202303-12-2023AUD $35,350Category 4
20-11-202303-12-2023AUD $36,930Category 1 Solo
20-11-202303-12-2023AUD $40,040Category 5
20-11-202303-12-2023AUD $43,490Category 3 Solo
20-11-202303-12-2023AUD $46,880Category 6
05-01-202418-01-2024AUD $24,630Category 1
05-01-202418-01-2024AUD $26,240Category 2
05-01-202418-01-2024AUD $28,990Category 3
05-01-202418-01-2024AUD $35,350Category 4
05-01-202418-01-2024AUD $36,930Category 1 Solo
05-01-202418-01-2024AUD $40,040Category 5
05-01-202418-01-2024AUD $43,490Category 3 Solo
05-01-202418-01-2024AUD $46,880Category 6
19-01-202401-02-2024AUD $24,630Category 1
19-01-202401-02-2024AUD $26,240Category 2
19-01-202401-02-2024AUD $28,990Category 3
19-01-202401-02-2024AUD $35,350Category 4
19-01-202401-02-2024AUD $36,930Category 1 Solo
19-01-202401-02-2024AUD $40,040Category 5
19-01-202401-02-2024AUD $43,490Category 3 Solo
19-01-202401-02-2024AUD $46,880Category 6


    • On guided walks through a rare podocarp forest, a rainforest, botanical gardens, and arboretums, learn about the country’s fascinating plant life
    • Visit sites important to Maori history and culture, Napier’s well-preserved art deco city center, and cosmopolitan Auckland, “the City of Sails”
    • New Zealand’s celebrated wines and culinary specialties add to the many pleasures of this inspiring expedition