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New Zealand

Adventure Recreation and Tourism

New Zealand: Adventure Recreation and Tourism

Program Description

This three and a half-week experiential program will explore adventure recreation and tourism through a tour around New Zealand’s South Island and Rotorua on the North Island. The program travels to many of the stunning national parks, forests, wildlife reserves, and coastlines of New Zealand to learn from knowledgeable local experts and practitioners, including professors at Lincoln University, the University of Canterbury and Otago University, government officials (e.g., Department of Conservation staff), iwi (Māori tribes), and scientific research bodies (e.g., Landcare Research).

The program begins with a day and a half in Rotorua, which is on the North Island of New Zealand. Rotorua is one of New Zealand’s core tourism attractions because of its geothermal activity, and it offers an array of adventure tourism opportunities. You will visit key tourism sites and talk with business owners and operators, who will introduce you to the New Zealand adventure tourism industry and to Māori culture. From here, you will fly to Christchurch on the South Island, one of the Lonely Planet’s Top 40 places to see in 2014 due to its innovative rebuild after a series of devastating earthquakes. You will help with the rebuild efforts through a service learning project in the Red Zone.

The rest of the program follows a circular route around the South Island, stopping at a diversity of ecosystems along the way. Field studies along the coastal areas of Kaikoura, where you can swim with a pod of wild dusky dolphins, and Abel Tasman National Park, where you will kayak and hike along golden sand beaches, offer lessons about the effects of tourism on the natural environment. The wild West Coast, where you will hike to a massive glacier running through temperate rainforest, and Queenstown, “the adventure capital of the world,” provide learning opportunities about recreational tourism and management practices. A bit further south in Fiordland National Park, one of the largest wilderness areas in the country, you will take a boat cruise under the sheer cliffs and massive waterfalls of the famous Milford Sound. The final portion of the journey culminates in Dunedin, a quaint university town with a vibrant arts and music scene.

Program Highlights

  • New Zealand is one of the most geographically diverse countries in the world with temperate rainforests, glaciers, golden sand beaches, deep fiords, alpine herb fields, and rugged coastlines. Since all of that natural beauty attracts an international tourism market, it is an ideal place to study our themes.
  • Swim with a pod of wild dolphins, and then watch them perform acrobatic flips and jumps from the viewing deck. If you are lucky, you may even see an orca or sperm whale.
  • Hike to a glacier that runs through lush, temperate rainforest.
  • Visit the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown, the best place on earth to study adventure tourism!
  • Stay overnight on a Māori marae (meeting house) to learn more about indigenous culture and traditions.

Program Itinerary

Check out a sample itinerary for this program.


Eligibility & Apply

No universities are currently running this program.

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