New Zealand Natural Treasures Cruise

1 - 14 DECEMBER 2022
1 - 14 DECEMBER 2022
1 - 14 DECEMBER 2022
1 - 14 DECEMBER 2022
1 - 14 DECEMBER 2022
Tour Summary

Amaco Small Group Tours invites you to explore many of New Zealand’s natural treasures while cruising from Auckland to Dunedin onboard Le Soléal from 1 – 14 December 2022.

Surrounded by the blue waters of the Pacific, the twin islands of New Zealand offer an incredible mosaic of contrasting panoramas.

Your itinerary begins at the luxurious Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour Hotel… with a Welcome Networking Reception and Dinner. Conference sessions begin the next morning followed by lunch after which you’ll be transferred to Ponant’s elegant and refined five-star Le Soleal – your home for the next 12 nights.

Enjoy a sail-away party on board and then relax as the vessel repositions itself overnight.

Your adventure begins as you explore the many treasures of Rotorua from Tauranga: volcanoes, hot springs, geysers, rivers, gorges, and lakes that range in colour from deep blue to orange-tinged.

You will also sail to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, where will be able to learn more about the Maori people on a visit to the Te Papa Tongarewa National Museum.

In Picton, you will discover the Marlborough region, famous for its vineyards and its submerged valleys.

Your ship will then proceed to the east coast of the Southern Island. You will sail to the rocky peninsula of Kaikoura to admire New Zealand’s rich biodiversity.

Then the Banks Peninsula will reveal wonderful landscapes of lush hills and rugged coasts during your calls in the bays of Akaroa, an ancient flooded volcano crater. There you will experience a unique mix of Maori, French and European cultural heritage.

You’ll then chart a course south-west of the South Island to discover the magnificent Fiordland National Park, which is an integral part of the Te Wahipounamu, a UNESCO World Heritage area

In Dusky SoundDoubtful Sound and the better-known Milford Sound you will discover fjords shaped by successive glaciations, bordered by majestic cliffs.

You will then drop anchor near Ulva Island, one of the last remaining predator-free natural sanctuaries in New Zealand. Here, you will be able to observe numerous bird species and discover a remarkably well-preserved podocarp forest.

An additional 4 conference sessions will be slotted into the cruise during downtime. This ensures that you don’t miss out on any of the spectacular stops or activities offered during the cruise.

On your return to Dunedin, you’ll have the opportunity to stay there for a few nights or begin exploring other parts of the South Island including Queenstown. 

We hope you can join us as we travel along around New Zealand in December 2022. For your comfort and touring pleasure, we’ve limited the number of participants that can be a part of our conference to just 40 people. Register today or you will miss out!

Why Travel With Amaco Small Group Tours?

  • All Inclusive Travel Packages
  • Small Groups
  • Hand-picked Tours & Activities
  • 25+ Years Experience

Got a Question?

Do not hesitate to give us a call. One of our expert team is available and would be happy to answer any questions you have.

1300 668 149 or +61 3 9545 0906


Aukland to Dunedin


14 Days / 13 Nights

Value For Money

All Inclusive Cruise Package

Start & End Location

Start: Aukland, New Zealand’s North Island

Ends: Dunedin, New Zealand’s South Island

Start Date & Time

1st December 2022 @ 7:00pm

End Date & Time

14th December 2022 @ 9:00am

Registration Fees

Conference Participant: $995 pp
Non-Conference Participant: $795 pp

Travel Packages

Amaco Family Price (for previous Amaco Conference Participants): $8,995 pp*

Early Bird Price (if booked on or before 31 January 2022): $9,495 pp*

Standard Price (if booked on or after 1 February 2022): $9,995 pp*

Single Supplement (if travelling alone): On Application

* Pricing is based on 2 guests in a Superior Stateroom on Deck 3. The cost to upgrade to different category rooms are shown on the registration form. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to download the registration form.

Price Includes

  • 1 x night accommodation at Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour (1 Dec 2022)
  • 12 x nights accommodation on Ponant Le Soleal (2 - 14 December 2022)
  • 13 x Breakfasts, 12 x Lunches, 13 x Dinners
  • Rotorua Excursion (3 December 2022) *
  • Gisborne Steam Train Excursion (4 December 2022) *
  • Hawkes Bay & Maori Excursion (5 December 2022) *
  • Wellington City Highlights Tour (6 December 2022) *
  • Picton Visit (7 December 2022)
  • Kaikoura Visit (8 December 2022)
  • Akaroa Excursions (9 December 2022) *
  • Sailing Doubful & Dusky Sound (11 December 2022)
  • Milford Sound Sailing (12 December 2022)
  • Ulva Island Visit (13 December 2022)
  • * Optional Tours offered in these destinations at additional cost

Gold Amaco Standard Inclusions

  • Airport transfer as detailed in the itinerary for group arrivals and departures
  • Beverages service (wine, beer, soft drink and mineral water) with all included lunches and dinners
  • Services of specialist guides and naturalist throughout itinerary
  • All applicable entrance fees, taxes, gratuities and porterage throughout the itinerary
  • Amaco staff escort
  • Hassle free luggage management
  • Tips to guides and drivers

Price Excludes

  • Airfares to and from the conference
  • Items of a personal nature such as telephone calls, mini bar, room service, laundry and business communications
  • Meals and beverages not specified in the itinerary
  • Travel, optional tours & excursions not included in the itinerary
  • Travel Insurance

Day 1 (Thu 1 Dec 2022) Arrive in Auckland

After arriving in Auckland you will be met by Amaco staff and our local operators and transferred to our group hotel. Following check-in, you are free to relax in your room or begin enjoying the area surrounding the hotel.

Enjoy Networking Welcome Drinks at the hotel followed by a 3-course dinner. Here you will have the opportunity to meet other participants and their partners as well as your Amaco hosts.

Overnight: Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Hotel

Included Meals: Welcome Networking Drinks & Dinner

Day 2 (Fri 2 Dec 2022)Auckland & Embarkation

Conference Session 1 & 2 will take place this morning followed by a lunch at the hotel.

Following lunch, you will have some free time to explore Auckland before your transfer to Le Soleal at approximately 4:00pm. The remainder of the afternoon will is at leisure on board the vessel as you acquaint yourself with your new surroundings and meet the guides, crew and officers.

Depart Auckland at 7:00pm.

Enjoy your first dinner on board – with the option to enjoy an a la carte dinner in Gastronomic Restaurant or something less formal in Grill Restaurant. 

Overnight: Ponant Le Soleal

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 (Sat 3 Dec 2022)Tauranga

Located to the north of Rotorua, Tauranga stretches the length of the Bay of Plenty, sheltered from the ocean by the island of Matakana.

This coastal city boasts a flourishing economy thanks to its port and is a pleasant and pretty town with a peaceful, relaxed feel.

The seafront area is contemporary and lively, dotted with cafés and restaurants. The town centre reveals more picturesque charms, while the surrounding area is packed full of natural delights.

Travel on to the town of Rotorua to visit the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland: a fantastic opportunity to experience an absolutely exceptional geothermal phenomenon.

Overnight: Ponant Le Soleal

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Tours: Rotorua Thermal Wonderland (Duration 9 hours) or Rotorua: Volcanism & Geothermalism (Duration 9 hours)

Day 4 (Sun 4 Dec 2022)Gisborne

Gisborne, called “Gizzy” by the locals and Teoneroa by the Maori, is located to the north of a large bay surrounded by fertile hills and long, wild beaches that attract walkers and surfers.

At the southern end of the bay, the magnificent cliffs of Young Nick’s Head majestically keep watch over the ocean’s tides.

In Ngatapa, a few kilometres north of the city, the Eastwoodhill Arboretum stretches out over more than 130 hectares (320 acres) and is home to magnificent exotic and native plants. In the city, you can learn about Maori culture and the local history at the Tairawhiti Museum or enjoy some of the products of this rich farming region, renowned in particular for its Chardonnay.

Overnight: Ponant Le Soleal

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Tour: Steam Train to Muriwai (Duration 3 hours)

Day 5 (Mon 5 Dec 2022)Napier

On the east coast of the North Island, south of Hawke’s Bay, you’ll find Napier.

Mostly destroyed by an earthquake in 1931, reviving from its ashes in less than two years, it grew into a magnificent Art Deco style city, very in-vogue at the time. With its pure lines mixed with traditional Maori designs, the singular New Zealand character of this city will intrigue you.

You’ll discover all this extraordinary architectural heritage as you take a stroll through the city. Famous for its vineyards, wine lovers will be able to taste some of the best wines from the region.

Overnight: Ponant Le Soleal

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Tour: Hawke’s Bay Wineries (Duration 4 hours) or Maori Experience (Duration 5hr 30min)

Day 6 (Tue 6 Dec 2022)Wellington

Crowned with gentle green hills, Wellington Harbour is located in the far south of the North Island.

This city offers a charming mix of traditional and modern cultures, bestowing on the New Zealand capital, a unique atmosphere, both friendly and avant-guard. Where some sites, like the large National Te Papa Tongarewa Museum, reflect the city’s Maori past, others, like the many cafés and restaurants, affirm the inhabitants’ incredible lust for life.

Overnight: Ponant Le Soleal

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Tours: Wellington City Sights (Duration 4 hours) or Around Wellington (Duration 3hr 30 mins)

Day 7 (Wed 7 Dec 2022)Picton

A must-see entry point to the South Island, Picton is a little coastal town girded by gentle hills, located on the south side of the Queen Charlotte inlet.

The cafés and restaurants which border the charming waterfront give a very lovely view of the fjord. You can also decide to get some height above sea level and walk in the surrounding areas. However, Picton is above all an opportunity to explore the unique Marlborough Sounds.

This interweaving of submerged valleys in this area has created numerous navigable routes, which are among the most beautiful natural wonders of New Zealand.

Overnight: Ponant Le Soleal

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Tours: Sheep Farm & Winery (Duration 7 hours) or Queen Charlotte Cruise & Walk (Duration 3.5 hours) or Queen Charlotte Sound Cruise & Tasting (Duration 4 hours)

Day 8 (Thu 8 Dec 2022)Kaikoura

Located on the South Island of New Zealand, the small town of Kaikōura stretches between the South Pacific and the snow-capped Kaikōura mountain chain, in the heart of a natural and preserved environment that is home to rich and varied wildlife.

The peninsular has spectacular limestone formations, and many marine mammals, such as whales, dolphins, seals and sea lions, as well as sea birds can be found near its shores.

Initially populated by the original Maori inhabitants for almost a thousand years, the rocky coastlines of Kaikōura then served as an observation post for whalers between the 18th century and the beginning of the 20th century.

Overnight: Ponant Le Soleal

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 (Fri 9 Dec 2022)Akaroa

Set on the east coast of South Island, Christchurch is New Zealand’s second-biggest city.

You can soak up its easy-going atmosphere in one of the many parks and gardens that give Christchurch its nickname “the garden city”, or dally a while in Cathedral Square to see how the city is transforming itself after the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.

Attractions such as the International Antarctic Centre and Christchurch Gondola ride are as popular as ever, while pop-up cafes, the Cardboard Cathedral and community art projects showcase the citizens’ resilience.

The beautiful port of Akaroa, where ships dock, is about 90-minute drive from Christchurch on the Banks Peninsula.

Overnight: Ponant Le Soleal

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Tours: Marine Life Observation Cruise (Duration 2 hours) or Manderley Farm Tour (Duration 3hr 30 min)

Day 10 (Sat 10 Dec 2022)At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre.

Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space.

As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Overnight: Ponant Le Soleal

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 11 (Sun 11 Dec 2022)Doubtful & Dusky Sound

Referred to as the Sound of Silence, there is a secluded serenity that surrounds Doubtful Sound in contrast with the better-known Milford Sound.

Lieutenant James Cook named ‘Doubtful Harbour’ in 1770 as he was uncertain if it was navigable under sail. Doubtful Sound is the deepest of the fiords with a maximum depth of 421 m. It contains three distinct ‘arms’ and several outstanding waterfalls in the area from Deep Cove to the open ocean.

Your ship will spend time navigating around Secretary Island through both Thompson and Doubtful Sounds. You will enjoy the spectacular scenery from the outer decks.

In the afternoon, the ship heads to Dusky Sound – one of the most isolated fjords in Fiordland National Park.

This huge, protected natural zone situated in the south-west quarter of New Zealand’s South Island is listed as UNESCO World Heritage. The sheer cliffs, waterfalls, shimmering lakes and primitive forests here are each more beautiful than the next. These spectacular landscapes sculpted by successive glaciations are a source of endless wonder.

In 1773, the British navigator James Cook spent a few weeks at Dusky Sound, as demonstrated by a plaque that can be seen at Astronomer’s Point. During your sailing, observe the richness of the local wildlife: cormorants, seagulls, New Zealand fur seals, but also Fiordland crested penguins, a rare and endemic species.

Overnight: Ponant Le Soleal

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12 (Mon 12 Dec 2022)Milford Sound

Milford Sound fjord is among one of the most beautiful natural sites in New Zealand.

So much beauty will quite simply take your breath away. Located on the south-west coast of South Island, in the Fiordland National Park, this sumptuous inlet carved out by glaciers advances over at least 15 kilometres inland, in the Southern Alps.

Majestic cliffs seem to surge out of the dark waters, rising several hundred metres high: an abrupt relief from where impressive waterfalls cascade.

Overnight: Ponant Le Soleal

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13 (Tue 13 Dec 2022)Ulva Island

Ulva Island (Te Wharawhara) is the largest of 20 islands within Paterson Inlet, Stewart Island, with an area of approx. 270 hectares.

The island has never been logged and was declared pest-free in 1997, becoming one of the few predator-free sanctuaries in New Zealand.

The island is now a haven for many species of birds and plants that are rare or have died out, on the mainland of New Zealand. Bird species regularly encountered include the flightless Stewart Island Weka, South Island saddleback, yellowhead and Stewart Island robin.

Ulva Island is not only a bird enthusiast’s paradise, it is also one of the few offshore islands with a largely undisturbed podocarp forest. Well-maintained tracks offer easy walking for most people providing a unique opportunity to see rare birds and plants at close quarters in a safe environment.

Overnight: Ponant Le Soleal

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14 (Wed 14 Dec 2022)Dunedin

Dunedin is New Zealand’s oldest city and is often referred to as the Edinburgh of New Zealand.

This city of the south wears its Scottish heritage with pride. The city contains some of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian architecture in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Silverpeaks hinterland to the North West provides a picturesque backdrop and The Otago Peninsula, which lies within the city boundaries, has internationally renowned wildlife reserves, including the only mainland breeding colony of Northern Royal Albatross.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Travel Options & Extensions

Given everything that has happened in the travel industry of late – you’re correct to be vigilant about where you spend your travel dollar.

Amaco is not only a member of AFTA, the Australian Federation of Travel Agents but we are also ATAS Travel Accredited. This means we have met strict industry financial, operational, and management standards and criteria. Only the best industry agents achieve this accreditation meaning that you can travel with us knowing that you’re in safe and very capable hands.

With over 25 years’ experience in planning and running conferences, we understand that participants often want to add additional travel destinations and adventures either before or after the all-inclusive packages we provide.

Other operators might discourage you from doing this. Sometimes, it’s because of the added complexity it creates and at other times they’ll try to talk you out of it simply because they don’t have capable or experienced consultants with the breadth and depth of the consultants we employ.

We encourage all participants to make the most of the time away. This might mean departing earlier than the rest of the group and visiting other destinations before meeting up with the main group at the conference or staying on at the conclusion and doing some additional travel.

Either way – our consultants are perfectly positioned to assist you with making these arrangements and will do all the hard work for you – seamlessly combining your personalised itinerary with the group program.


Yes… not a problem. We understand that people may have a preferred Travel Agent they want to use and we don’t have any issues with you doing so. We’ll advise you of suggested arrival and departure times to allow you to make use of our group transfers.

That said though… we do have experienced consultants who are ready and waiting to help… even if that means just giving you a comparison price – nothing wrong with some competition.

We do ask for a copy of your itinerary so that we can double-check it to ensure that it fits with our program and group itinerary.

One word of warning, however, when booking flights independently – as the non-ticketing Agent we’re not notified of any changes or cancellations to your booking. If anything changes with your booking, it will be up to your agent to contact you and then for you to contact us.

It is also worth pointing out that even though we’ll have experienced staff members escorting the group during the conference, as the non-ticketing Agent we are unable to make contact or deal with the airline on your behalf.


We used to include flights in our travel package but found that in many cases the fares were more expensive than the best available daily fares or were not applicable for people who were looking to extend pre or post the main conference travel dates.

We also felt it was unfair on you, as a participant, to unknowingly pay a premium for a more flexible group fare when you are already committed to attending the conference.

By not including the airfare in the package, you are able to work with one of our experienced and knowledgeable Travel Consultants to arrange flights on any airline and from any destination depending on your preferences…. including the class of travel.


In short….. Yes!

You’re encouraged to talk to our experienced travel consultants to learn more about the options open to you either before or after the conference itineraries. We will gladly work with you to put together a personalised itinerary that can include as much or as little as you want.

We believe it is important for your own peace of mind to know that our consultants are all employed directly by Amaco Small Group Tours and are located in our office.

We don’t subcontract out the travel to a third party which means you can be comfortable knowing that whatever arrangements you make through Amaco will be tied together with the conference program to make one continuous, seamless travel itinerary. We’ll put as much care and effort into your extension as we put into the planning of the conference.

Whether it is simply booking some airport transfers with a couple of nights accommodation through to more elaborate arrangements we are perfectly positioned to incorporate any individual travel plans into your overall conference itinerary.

Email or call us so we can put together your perfect itinerary.


Much has been said about the value of travel insurance – especially given the broad-based exclusion policies many underwriters have in place which protects them from claims resulting from pandemics and epidemics.

Amaco provides travel insurance from some of the most reputable companies in the industry including Cover-More and nib-SureSave – and always at competitive rates. Over the last few months, there have been a number of enhancements to the policies available which many of the credit card policies do not include.

Please call our office and we will gladly work with you to obtain a quote from any or all of our insurance suppliers.


Amaco is an Accredited Education Provider for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian College of Rural & Remote Medicine.

Each conference we run includes an education syllabus that assists GP’s, pharmacists and health professionals to improve the quality of care they provide to patients and customers while at the same time providing them with the opportunity to travel to and experience new and exciting destinations.

Our conference will allow delegates the opportunity to earn CPD points based on the content and time in session. As has been the case with past conferences, we will work closely with participants affiliated with other associations to ensure that they receive maximum recognition for attending the conference.

The content of the education sessions will be relevant to GPs, Medical Specialists, Pharmacists, Dentists, Nurses and other health providers. We encourage all attendees to register for the conference sessions.

The Education Committee for the New Zealand Natural Treasures Cruise will be selected in the coming months with final conference topics to be chosen based on the feedback from our previous conference attendees and with input from the RACGP, ACRRM and Medical Journals. Suitable speakers will be approached based on the topics selected.

Subject to final accreditation, the New Zealand Natural Treasures Cruise will include an Education Activity (formerly Category 2 Activity) affording delegates the opportunity to earn between 16 – 20 points.

ACRRM members can also expect the education program to be accredited and to earn CPD points. RACGP and ACRRM accreditation will be applied for under the triennium 2020 to 2022.

As has been the case in the past, Amaco will work with pharmacy bodies and those affiliated with other associations to ensure that they receive maximum recognition for attending the conference.

We welcome applications from potential presenters and encourage anyone interested to contact us to obtain further information.

Register To Attend