Summer view of Lake Wakatipu and the road from Queenstown to Glenorchy.  Southern Alps mountains in the distance.
Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand: Summer view of Lake Wakatipu and the road from Queenstown to Glenorchy. Southern Alps mountains in the distance. © nzgmw2017/ iStockphoto

Insider Experiences by The Nature Conservancy

New Zealand's North and South Islands

A journey with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is to travel with a purpose, offering access to TNC scientists and the unique opportunity to experience how your support is impacting the landscape locally, and how those actions connect with our global conservation initiatives.


Get a behind-the-scenes look at how TNC is working hand-in-hand with New Zealand's local communities, indigenous groups and government officials to combine the best available science with traditional knowledge in order to test new conservation approaches that can be scaled here and around the world. In 2016, TNC launched a new campaign to help protect the nation's oceans and waterways, guided by Māori in applying the principle of Kaitiakitanga - an intricate cultural system founded on the belief that we are all guardians of nature not mere consumers of its bounty. See this work in action as you encounter New Zealand's unique culture, breathtaking scenery and some of the most impressive biodiversity on earth.

Dates: November 7 - 18, 2020

Price: $12,040 per person double occupancy, $13,970 per person single occupancy 

All prices based on a minimum of 8 travelers

Questions? Email us at


After flying into Auckland, your journey begins on the North Island at the Waitangi Treaty grounds. This is New Zealand’s most important historical site where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the British Crown and the indigenous Māori in 1840. Iwi (tribal) leaders will join the group for an introduction to the Māori’s world view and relationship with the natural world. Then, return south to Auckland to visit the Hauraki Gulf, where TNC is supporting shellfish restoration efforts and home to the beautiful Waiheke Island. Next, head to Hamilton and the Waikato River to witness the challenges posed by intensive agriculture and pollution to freshwater resources and learn about strategies to overcome them. Then travel south to Te Anau, known as the gateway to the Fiordland National Park and one of the most beautiful regions of the world. Here, journey over Wilmot Pass and make your way to Doubtful Sound where you'll spend a night aboard the Navigator cruise and wake up to the same view that greeted early Māori and European visitors. End your trip in the adventure capital of the world—Queenstown—where you may choose to hike part of the famous Routeburn track, kayak across Lake Wakatipu or sample regional wines while gazing at the city and the The Remarkables mountain range in the distance.

Jeweled gecko A rare jeweled gecko on the Otago Peninsula of New Zealand. © Cherie Palmer

Activity Highlights

  • Experience a Pōwhiri, a traditional Māori welcome ceremony involving speeches, dancing and singing.
  • Hike a portion of the famous Routeburn Track.
  • Sample famous seafood delicacies, such as green lipped mussels.
  • Search out unique wildlife, like the endangered yellow-eyed penguins.
  • Cruise through a cavern illuminated by glow worms in Te Anau.

Lodging Highlights

  • Enjoy panoramic views of Waitemata Harbour from the floor to ceiling windows of your room at the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour Hotel.
  • Spend a night in the Bay of Islands at the Copthorne Hotel & Resort, offering uninterrupted bay views while surrounded by 60 acres of subtropical gardens.
  • Experience the Distinction Te Anau Hotel overlooking the Fiordland ranges with a crisp glass of Marlborough’s sauvignon blanc.
  • Enjoy an overnight on the Navigator Cruise as you float through Doubtful Sound surrounded by cliffs and rare marine wildlife.

Travel Values

A journey with The Nature Conservancy is an immersive experience that offers unparalleled access to TNC experts and programs deep in the heart of the world’s most dramatic landscapes. Put your conservation values in action by seeing remote corners of the globe and engage in a behind-the-scenes view of conservation efforts that have a global impact.

Willow trees in the headwaters of Lake Wakatipu in the Queenstown Lakes District, New Zealand.
New Zealand Lake Wakatipu Willow trees on the headwaters of Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown Lake District. © iStockphoto

ACCESS: Travel with renowned TNC experts and local partners for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes experience. You won’t just see amazing pl­aces, you’ll see how you are helping to save them. 

IMPACT: See how your commitment to our planet and your passion for conservation are making a difference. You will see the wild places and the communities you are impacting. ­

KNOWLEDGE: Learn how we are applying the latest cutting-edge science to affect global change and drive conservation.

INSPIRATION: Immerse yourself in local cultures and awe-inspiring landscapes to foster your own connection to our world.  

GLOBALLY MINDED: Elevate your understanding of our work by seeing first-hand how TNC and our partners act locally and how we turn local results into global impact by scaling solutions that make a difference.