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Lupines on the shore of Lake Tekapo

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As the temperatures drop, the adventure rises! No matter which cruise you choose, the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand will not disappoint. Your expedition will take you in the footsteps of explorers like Scott & Shackleton, as you witness some of the most dynamic wildlife on the planet. Considered by some to be the "Galapagos of the Southern Ocean" for its wealth of biodiversity, your cruise will take you to the UNESCO World Heritage sites of the Southern Islands, like Auckland Islands, the Snares, Campbell Island, and the Antipodes Islands. Each of these destinations hosts fascinating bird species, such as the Royal penguin, endemic parakeet species, and a variety of other birds, and also native mammals, like elephant and fur seals and sea lions. This also serves as the doorway to the frigid Antarctic.

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Follow in the footsteps of legendary explorers like Shackleton as you journey through the Subantarctic Islands aboard a luxurious cruise ship. Along the way, you will encounter a veritable rainbow of wildlife, including entire "penguin cities," an aviary of native and endemic bird species, and the lounging elephant seals. Your New Zealand excursion will bring you to the most popular and even some of the more hidden islands in this part of the South Pacific.
Here's Adventure Life's top New Zealand Islands for a Wildlife Cruise
  • The Snares – You will see millions of sooty shearwaters and petrels and also the famous crested penguin along the steep cliffs of this small chain.
  • Auckland Islands – Land and sea birds abound in these islands, which were formed by two long-extinct volcanoes and broken apart by glaciers. This is also home to a stunning 19 endemic invertebrate species. 
  • Macquarie Island – Here, you will see the exclusive breeding spot of the royal penguin, along with three other species of penguins.
  • Campbell Island – This ruggedly steep island forms an important part of the UNESCO protected area  of the southern islands, and with such biodiversity you will see why!
  • Antipodes IslandDespite being an isolated destination, the Antipodes host the endemic pitpit & snipe among other curious bird species.
New Zealand FAQs
Do I need a visa to travel to New Zealand?
Up to three months, you do not need a tourist visa, however your passport must have validity beyond three months from your departure date.

Is tipping customary in New Zealand?
For servers: 10-15 percent.
At hotels: You can give porters $1 per bag, the concierge $10-20 for a favor, and housekeeping around $1.
Guides & Drivers: Tip $5-20 based on if it was a private tour or ride or if they did a particularly wonderful job.
Tipping is a relatively new (and spreading) trend in New Zealand, so be discreet when offering the tips and expect that some might refuse it.

What is internet access like in New Zealand?
You will be able to connect to the internet at most hotels and maybe restaurants, but when you are on open water on a cruise or at a lodge there probably won't be an accessible signal.

Can I use my cell phone while in New Zealand?
If you purchase a local SIM chip for your smart phone, then you might get a signal while you are in the more developed regions of New Zealand, but once you are in the more isolated areas, it's not likely that you will get a signal.

Do I need power adapters?
New Zealand has 220-240v power and AS-3112 outlets (three flat slanted prongs), which means that if you have a 110v device that is not compatible with this, you will need both a plug adapter and a step-down converter.

What are the toilets like in New Zealand?
New Zealand has modern flushing toilets. If you are in a more isolated area, then you may encounter a latrine.

Can I drink the water in New Zealand?
Yes, New Zealand has safe tap water. There will also be bottled water available to you as well.

Are credit cards accepted in New Zealand? Will I be able to find ATMs?
You will be able to find ATMs and businesses that accept credit cards while you are in the more developed parts of New Zealand. Not so much in the more rural areas, but fortunately, your trip is all inclusive and there aren't that many things to purchase in these remote parts of the itinerary.

Should I purchase travel insurance?
Yes, purchasing travel insurance is a responsible way to travel on any vacation. Our associates, TravelGuard, have some great deals on the Once You're Booked page.
 

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