Gardens, Wine & Wilderness: A Tour of New Zealand


January 9-29, 2023 Updated brochure and reservation form (includes pricing information)will be available soon.

With AHS Host Rachel Muir and Tour Leader Richard Lyon of Garden Adventures, Ltd.

A Once-in-a-Lifetime Garden Travel Experience

From soaring peaks to lush rainforest, from gorgeous vineyards to carefully cultivated gardens, we are thrilled to once again offer the opportunity to experience the wonders of New Zealand. Please join us, as we visit some of the most spectacular places on earth while experiencing this special country’s unique culture and history.

Featuring a unique blend of destinations and culinary delights, this tour achieves a perfect balance between invigoration and relaxation and its Southern Hemisphere summer is a treat for winter-weary visitors.

Our AHS Host for the trip will be Rachel Muir, an environmental scientist and ecologist who over the course of a 40 year career worked for a variety of private firms and Federal agencies. Now retired, she spends her time writing, traveling, gardening, and teaching at the North Carolina Arboretum. Our Tour Leader is Richard Lyon a native Kiwi who practices landscape architecture in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Tour Highlights:

  • Brilliant gardens that reflect the unique flora of this amazing country, ranging from large, impressive botanic gardens to romantic and intimate gardens.
  • Insight into native New Zealand history and culture through museum visits.
  • Pristine nature, experienced through environments ranging from glacial lakes to rugged landscapes to rich coastal plains.
  • Adventurous activities that include a visit to Mount Cook, the highest peak in New Zealand; bungee jumping (as a spectator or, for the more daring, as a participant); and opportunities for helicopter rides, zip-lining, or jet boating.
  • An introduction to New Zealand’s wine culture through visits to several vineyards.
  • Delightful cities: Christchurch, called the Garden City; Auckland, blessed with beautiful parks and a lively waterfront; Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, with a wonderful cosmopolitan vibe; Queenstown, an alpine city with much to see and do.
  • Serene sailings that include a cruise of Doubtful Sound aboard the Fiordland Navigator and ferry sailings, including an unforgettable experience as the sun sets behind the Auckland skyline.

Top Rated Accommodations:

  • Stamford Plaza Hotel in Auckland, just a few minutes’ walk from lively Viaduct Harbour and the restaurant precinct and close to the city’s top theaters.
  • Copthorne Hotel Wellington Oriental Bay, overlooking stunning Wellington Harbour, the perfect base to explore that city.
  • Marlborough Vintners Hotel in Blenheim, in the heart of the Marlborough wine region, with views of vineyards and gardens.
  • Distinction Christchurch Hotel, ideally situated in the rejuvenated Cathedral Square in the heart of Christchurch.
  • The Hermitage Hotel, nestled in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and the perfect base for exploring the park’s natural wonders.
  • Distinction Dunedin Hotel, located in the vibrant Warehouse Precinct in the heart of Dunedin.
  • Novotel Queenstown Lakeside, a stunning lakefront location with a cosmopolitan town center and a world of activities nearby.

Brochure (coming soon)

Reservation form (coming soon)

For more information and to make reservations, please contact Susan Klejst, Vice President of Development at (703) 768-5700 ext. 127, or email Our fax number is (703) 768-8700.