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New Zealand Encounters Introduction

New Zealand Encounters can assist you in the planning of your visit to New Zealand "Aotearoa". Our New Zealand Travel Planners believe that while the stunning landscapes of New Zealand can make for a great holiday, it is the people of this country that make for life-long memories of your time in our land of the Long White Cloud.

Instead of our New Zealand travel guide only promoting destinations or specific activities, we pride ourselves in also promoting our country's greatest asset; its people. Whether it is our Meet and Greet Representatives at your arrival airport, or the host at your accommodation, they will have one thing in common, a passion for looking after you and a commitment to giving the best of themselves.

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"Exclusive to New Zealand Encounters"

Our Locals and Landscapes Guides offer a unique perspective, have a contagious personality and are at one with their region.

Bay of Islands Exploration with Colwyn

Colwyn is a true local to the Bay of Islands. As a descendant from the area he has an in-depth knowledge that can never be learned from a book and has a passion for Maori culture and history which is prominent in Ipipiri (Bay of Islands). He was a local policeman, so be good or he will lock you up in the little historic Russell jail, and is now a civil marriage celebrant.

Colwyn has represented New Zealand in sports and truly enjoys sharing his two greatest passions with guests; Maori culture and fishing. He will quickly become a friend for life so leave him a space on the Christmas card list.

Hauraki Gulf Cruising with Chad

If we tried to list the yachting achievements of Chad's life there would be no room left to describe your day with him. Chad has spent a lifetime cruising on the Hauraki Gulf, racing classic yachts and exploring the north eastern coast of New Zealand. With all of his experiences he can tell you the stories of the gulf and more especially take you to interesting destinations in corners of the gulf not often visited by the regular boating public.

Lady Gay was built as a gentleman's luxury launch in 1935; she has recently come out of an extensive restoration and is now in magnificent condition, as you would expect a launch of that era to be. She is one of New Zealand's priceless maritime antiquities and is protected by the 1975 Antiquities Act of New Zealand.

Hauraki Gulf Cruising with Dee and Mike

Mike and Dee are true locals; having had a long association with the sea and the Hauraki Gulf in particular they are a great team together. Discover the Hauraki Gulf departing from Auckland's Viaduct with drinks and canapés as we head out of Auckland Harbour and towards the Hauraki Gulf. You will learn the history of the islands you past and their importance whilst taking in the many stunning vistas.

Enjoy Tiritiri Matangi without other visitors on the daily ferry, here you will see here some of New Zealand's most rare and endangered bird species that are not found anywhere else in NZ. As one of the many volunteers who have planted thousands of trees to reforest the island, Dee has been guiding here at Tiritiri Matangi for 20 years. She can give you a special insight to the flora and fauna of the island as well as the Maori history.

Bush and Beaches with Damien

Leave the bustle behind and explore the remote beauty of the Coromandel Peninsula with one of the region's greatest treasures, Damian. Born and raised on the Coromandel, he seems to mimic the region's landscapes.

The tranquillity and gentleness of the bush and the unpredictable nature of the ocean are mirrored in Damian's peaceful yet spontaneous personality. Hike to the giant kauri trees, learn the mystical uses of the native plants, lunch on a sandy white beach, soak at Hot Water Beach, meet the local artisans and fall in love with Damian's Coromandel.

Retracing the Journey to the Pink and White Terraces with Karen

Karen a gracious Maori Lady with a heart of gold and passion to keep alive today the culture of her tribe that once lived in the ancient Village of 'Te Ariki' the closest Village to where the Pink and White Terraces once stood and which were sadly lost to the Mount Tarawera eruption of 1886.

You will learn of the significance of Lake Tarawera and Maori traditions as you find yourself at Punaromia – The Tarawera Landing where you will board a boat and follow in the footsteps of our dear Kuia, Guide Sophia as you cross the lake to where the Pink and White Terraces once stood majestically on the waters edge.

On your return you will visit Pounamu Lodge with stunning views of Mt Tarawera and Lake, where you will partake in a gourmet lunch infused with Kai Maori – Maori herbs and foods that give you an experience in cultural cuisine.

After lunch you follow as Karen's forefathers did past Rotokakahi – The Green Lake and Tikitapu – The Blue Lake to the Whakarewarewa Forest where the Giant Redwood Trees reach for the skies. You then arrive at Whakarewarewa where Karen's family went to live after the eruption of Mount Tarawera and where her family still reside today.

Here you will witness first hand the geothermal pools and mud at work and how it sustains her family's way of life. You will see her Marae – Te Pakira – the wonderful carved Meeting House of the Village. You will be invited to join the master weaver and learn how to shape harakeke – flax into something useful that you can take away with you. Before you leave Karen's family will entertain you with the songs and dances of her tribe.

It Just Has To Be Huru!

Huru has been a guide in the Rotorua region for more than 20 years now and comes from a family line of Tourism Guides in this area. This handsome Maori man always wears a smile and has a great sense of humour.

You will learn of Maori traditions and visit a Maori Marae (meeting house), experience geothermal reserves and bubbling mud pools, hike through the spectacular Waimangu Volcanic Valley. After you will visit Huru's Village Te Whakarewarewatanga O Te Ope Taua A Wahiao, known as the Living Village.

You will learn the history of this village and be shown the traditional Hangi cooking method of the Maori people. You will be given some Hangi food that has been cooking for hours prior to your arrival for you to enjoy with your Picnic lunch.

Then a visit to Lake Tarawera to learn of the World Famous Pink Terraces, which where sadly lost in a Volcanic Eruption of 1886 that destroyed forever one of the 8th Wonders of the World. This area is the ancestral land of Huru's (tribe) and to spend a day in the company of this gracious man is an honour and day you will long remember for a lifetime.

Fishing and Fun with Simon and Cath

Well it took some searching but we found them; a fishing guide and wife team who offers a pure New Zealand experience. Simon is a patient fishing guide and offers those necessary helpful tips for the first time angler yet knows the perfect locations, gear and tricks for the advanced angler.

Add to this a wife who is fun, cultured and an excellent cook and you have the perfect couple offering a genuine Kiwi experience. Choose to go fishing for either a day or a day and a half while the non-angler enjoys the lakefront lodge and its facilities. True kiwi hospitality.

Wine Indulgence with Geoff

One day long ago, it was suggested to Geoff that he write down the three things he enjoyed most in life, and then pursue it. Geoff wrote; New Zealand, Wine and People. Today he is living his passion by sharing with others the wines of the Hawke's Bay. From working in vineyards cleaning wine vats, to being honoured as the Cellar Door Personality of the Year, Geoff is truly passionate about all aspects of the industry.

Enjoy a day filled with all that is wine. Enjoy a private wine tasting, meet the wine makers, lunch amongst the vines and partake in an exclusive tasting from Geoff's private cellar. A truly delicious experience.

Art and Design in Picton with Peg

Like a magpie to silver, fibre artist Peg's eye is drawn to colour, and by chance, on a visit to Old St. Mary's Guesthouse in Blenheim we came across her work that adorns the walls there. We met Peg and could not resist the temptation of asking her to join our exclusive Locals and Landscapes Guides. With no hesitation she agreed and today we are pleased to offer the chance for our clients to enjoy a day with this gracious and fun-loving lady.

Being introduced to Peg for the first time is a joy, her zest for life and passion for the damask loom has her today, at the age of 90, working away daily in the design of new and interesting art. Peg will introduce you to damask weaving with a difference and show you the beautiful art that she creates. Peg has worked with World of Wearable Arts (WOW) and on their 10th anniversary was both an invited exhibitor and model.

On The Water with Pete and Takutai

Pete and Takutai have an intense connection with the Marlborough Sounds that has been nurtured through a lifetime of family stories, both Maori and Pakeha (European) and by living each day on its shore. Takutai, whose name in Maori means one with an affinity for the sea, and Pete, together on their historic boat Tutanekai, will share the mystery, history and beauty of the region with you.

Follow in Captain Cook's path, visit an island bird sanctuary, meet the characters who live (survive!) in this remote region and possibly catch a fish for dinner. An experience that steps back in time.

The Southern Alps by 4WD with Mark

“The honour of sharing the Southern Alps with its vast valleys, rivers and ever changing moods? Well, you can hardly call it a job”, Mark's response when asked to described his work. Mark was born and raised on a sheep, deer and crop farm in the Canterbury region outside Christchurch.

Mark began experiencing the Southern Alps and Canterbury high country as a child on family Sunday drives. These turned into more manly adventures as a teenager when he and his father went on hiking and four-wheel-drive trips, sometimes staying overnight in old musterer's huts in the middle of nowhere. “But the stars kept you company at night”.

The Highlights of Christchurch with Tony and Maree

Tony and Maree have been operating their Christchurch bed and breakfast, art gallery and guiding business in Christchurch for many years. They are passionate about the unique history, gardens and culture of this city. They both grew up in Christchurch, were educated there, and enjoy sharing their detailed knowledge in a most entertaining manner.

Maree has had experience as an art gallery director for over 25 years, and is regularly called upon by the art establishment for marketing advice, valuations, lectures to art groups, as well as historical and biographical consultation on New Zealand's foremost artists.

Tony has drawn together the most popular features of all of his touring experience and has combined it with Maree's art knowledge so together they can offer the ultimate Christchurch region art, garden and sights day trip.

West Coast Experience with Matt

Matt moved to “The Coast” 30 years ago—just for a couple of years but the people, the way of life and the awesome environment took hold and he stayed. A keen explorer of the history of the Maori and European settlers to the area, he knows the stories of the places and people, the trails they walked and the historic sites of the those who came before.

You'll be guided on walks that let you experience the amazing landscape while meeting some of the characters who battle a living from this challenging environment. A passionate advocate for the protection of the region's flora and fauna, he loves to share its unique qualities with visitors who venture to this remote and spectacular region.

Secrets of Fiordland with Ron

What can we say about Ron? He is the epitome of a genuine Kiwi guy. Casual, funny, knowledgeable and with a heart of gold. A day with Ron will allow you to see the wonder of Fiordland with a Local who will be proud to share with you his Landscapes. Your journey begins with a steamboat ride across Lake Wakatipu across to Walter Peak Farm where you enjoy a BBQ Lunch with Ron before setting of on your travels through the backcountry via four-wheel-drive to Fiordland. Visit hidden lakes and enjoy spectacular scenery. On day two enjoy a nature cruise on the Milford Sound with Ron as your guide.

On day three take a different route back to Queenstown through old gold mining towns and new boutique vineyards. Your time with Ron will be filled with the challenge of taking so many photographs from all you will see today.

Wildlife Wonders with Brian

Where passion and knowledge collide; that's Brian. He is passionate about sharing and protecting New Zealand's wildlife and he is knowledgeable on a broad expanse of subjects. On an experience with Brian you get the rare opportunity to visit a private farm where there is a yellow-eyed penguin colony, see the New Zealand fur seals, sea lions and endless birds including the royal albatross.

Visit the remote and wild Catlins then visit Stewart Island. There you have the ultimate opportunity to see our native bird, the kiwi in the wild. With Brian you just don't see wildlife, you will get to feel and understand them.

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