New Zealand is unlike any other location on the planet. Far enough away to feel otherworldly, yet populated by one of the friendliest peoples on the planet, New Zealand is the best of the old and new world. The joys of New Zealand are boundless: unrivaled landscapes, a powerful Maori culture, easy going locals, fabulous foods and a distinct spirituality. A Wonder Voyage Pilgrimage to New Zealand will immerse you in Kiwi culture.
For many, New Zealand seems far away but it is closer than you think. We will explore the North or South Island or both- it’s your choice. Our time will be spent with locals who will teach us what it means to be a Kiwi. Imagine a day of awe-inspiring hiking or an exploration into the New Zealand Prayer book that changed the world. This Pilgrimage to New Zealand will leave you wanting more. Register for your Pilgrimage to New Zealand today!
- Ponder the beauty of God’s creation in the Redwoods of Whakarewarewa Forest.
- Discover the history of the New Zealand Prayer Book.
- Walk through Hobbiton in Middle Earth.
- Soak in the Wai-O-Tapu thermal springs.
- Worship with a Maori community.
Every Wonder Voyage itinerary (mission trip and/or pilgrimage) is personalized to the desires, direction and personality of each group. This itinerary is only a description of the kind of journey we can create for your unique team.
- Day 1 – Nau mai ki Aotearoa
“Nau mai ki Aotearoa!” (Welcome to New Zealand!) You will begin your time in New Zealand in the most southern city of the North Island, Wellington. Your first stop is Te Papa Tongarewa (the Treasure Box). This museum will ground your team in Maori culture and NZ history. Many surprises await. An afternoon visit to the eco-sanctuary of Zealandia will introduce you to the diversity of this nation’s natural beauty. Your birdseye view will set you up for a lively evening discussion at our Wellington home for the next couple of nights. May we all become honorary Kiwis in the next few days.
- Day 2 – Middle Earth Magic
One of the magnetic draws of NZ are the numerous filming locations for the Lord of the Rings. You will quickly realize that you are surrounded by the awe-inspiring vistas of Middle Earth. Half of your day will be spent exploring the Weta Cave and Studios, where every bit of the onscreen magic had its genesis. Orcs, Hobbits and Elves. Oh my! We’ll start our journey to discover Anglican history in NZ while exploring the ultra-cool downtown of Wellington. We’ll end our evening asking the Lord of the Earth to open our eyes to the adventures that await.
- Day 3 – Haere Te Tai Tokerau
Today we “haere te tai tokerau” (travel north). There will be a few surprises in store as we head to the region of Taranaki. There will be a few Middle Earth stops before we visit the Putiki Church with its magnificent interior of Maori carvings and “tukutuku” (wall coverings). Spending time with the community and learning about Maori culture and from those who attend the church will be a highlight for your team. After settling into our new lodging we’ll explore the region around the sacred Mt. Taranaki which looms in the background.
- Day 4 – Takutai Whakamiharo
“Takutai whakamiharo” (coastal wonders) are on the agenda today. As we are deep in the region of Taranaki, known as the Texas of New Zealand, we will be in constant view of Mt. Taranaki. In the morning, we’ll tackle the White Cliffs Walkway for mesmerizing views of the coast and mountains. After a stop at the Hill of the Chiefs, we will drive to the looming Mt. Taranaki. Legend states it was once a god who was forced out of a tribe of northern volcanoes. We will head to the top for a view like no other.
- Day 5 – The Forgotten World Highway
We will head into central NZ today, but to get there we must take the Forgotten World Highway. This winding drive will take us through mountains, near waterfalls, fortified villages and ancient mines. Beauty and mystery await. At the end of the FWH, we will head to active Mt Doom, where Frodo destroyed the One Ring. We will stay near Lake Taupo, the largest lake in NZ and our location for the next two days. Only halfway through with so many adventures left…
- Day 6 – Taupo
At the mid-point of our journey, we’ll take a day to rest. We will be surrounded by natural wonders that beg to be explored. On this day of rest, we will come to dramatic waterfalls, walk through craters, and enjoy the geothermic awe and healing waters of a local mountain spa. Today will be a day to let the mind, spirit, and body rejuvenate. May we be filled and healed by the Living Waters while resting in natural waters.
- Day 7 – Uton Herian Holbytlas
You will discover how New Zealand became Director Peter Jackson’s perfect stand-in for the Middle Earth that Tolkien envisioned in his fantasy masterpieces. Part of what drew you to NZ are innumerable eye-popping locations. Our day will revolve around two Tolkien-worthy adventures. First, a deep dive into the world of the Dwarves in the Waitomo Caves, where glow-worm mystery awaits. Then, the afternoon will be spent in a visit to the Shire’s Hobbiton just as it is seen in the films. “Uton herian Holbytlas!” (Let us praise Hobbits!)
- Day 8 – Tai ki Tai
A vital aspect of pilgrimage is the long walk. We are going to experience the city in a very different way today by taking the long walk from “tai ki tai” (coast to coast). On our walk, we will meet a wide variety of people, visit local landmarks, climb Eden, participate in a Eucharist at an Anglican Cathedral, and uncover a number of surprises. The way of the Kiwi pilgrim will become alive in us.
- Day 9 – Waitakere Ranges
The city of Auckland is surrounded by water, mountains, volcanoes, forests, beaches, and great dunes. We’ll spend the day exploring these natural gifts. We’ll begin in the western Waitakere Ranges, where we will seek the few remaining giant trees that survive in the mountain rainforest. Then we will head to the wildly beautiful black sand beaches of the Tasman Sea ending at the Te Henga Walkway. Our evening will be spent in celebration and fellowship as we discuss all that has occurred on our adventures this week.
- Day 10 – Poroporoaki Aotearoa
This will be a voyage that will forever leave an imprint on our lives. We will depart by saying this blessing from the New Zealand Book of Prayer: Draw your Church together, O God, into one great company of disciples, together following our Lord Jesus Christ, into every walk of life, together serving him in his mission to the world, and together witnessing to his love on every continent and island. “Poroporoaki Aotearoa.” (Farewell New Zealand)
Legacy in New Zealand
- *This is the base cost of the trip. Your cost may differ depending on housing, activities, etc.