Gardens, Wine & Wilderness: A Tour of New Zealand


January 7-29, 2023 Updated brochure and reservation form (includes pricing information) are now available.

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.

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.
  • Distinction Christchurch Hotel, ideally situated in the rejuvenated Cathedral Square in the heart of Christchurch.
  • 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.
  • Peppers Bluewater Resort Lake Tekapo, is set amongst the purest natural landscape, and in excellent proximity to the natural wonders of Mount Cook and the Mackenzie region.
  • Chateau Marlborough in Blenheim, the only 5-star hotel situated at the top of the South Island, great views, and pampered stay make this the perfect base for exploring this amazing region.
  • QT Wellington in Wellington, perched on the sparkling harbor the hotel interior hosts one of New Zealand’s most eccentric private art collections.
  • Scenic Hotel Te Pania in Napier, remarkable location on the edge of the beautiful Hawke’s Bay and just a stroll away from many attractions.
  • Pullman Rotorua, in the heart of the city and perfect base to explore the region’s geothermal paradise.


Reservation form

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