Austin Skiers

new zealand

October 13 - 24, 2020
Texas Ski Council Fall Expedition

We're going to the Land Down Under for Quite an Adventure!

100% Pure New Zealand: A Welcoming Journey Video

Australia (Pre-Trip)/New Zealand/Fiji (Post-Trip)

New Zealand is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean, located in the south westernmost part of Polynesia. New Zealand is a remote land and one of the last sizable territories suitable for habitation to be populated and settled. It lies more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km) southeast of Australia, which is its nearest neighbor. The country comprises two main islands—the North and South islands—and a number of small islands, some of them hundreds of miles from the main group. The capital city is Wellington and the largest urban area Auckland, which is where we will fly into and the countries largest port. We will spend the first part of our trip here. Both cities are located on the North Island.

New Zealand is a land of great contrasts and diversity.  Here you will find active volcanoes, spectacular caves, deep glacier lakes, verdant valleys, dazzling fjords, long sandy beaches, and the spectacular snowcapped peaks of the Southern Alps on the South Island—all contribute to New Zealand’s scenic beauty. New Zealand also has a unique array of vegetation and animal life, much of which developed during the country’s prolonged isolation. It is the sole home, for example, of the long-beaked, flightless kiwi - the ubiquitous nickname for New Zealanders.


We will fly from Houston to Auckland via Air New Zealand and will transfer from Auckland Airport to our hotel with a driver/guide. We will be staying for 2 nights in Auckland  at the 4 Star Hotel Grand Millennium.

The hotel is located in the city center. It’s located near some of the city’s finest dining, shopping and entertainment venues. Also nearby are landmark venues e.g. The Civic, Auckland Town Hall and Aotea Square, the city's largest outdoor civic space where you can relax and often attend local events. It’s a 452 stylish hotel with a smart design, chic decor, floor to ceiling windows for natural light and modern amenities. It has many quality facilities you can take advantage of during your stay, whether it’s enjoying a swim in the heated indoor pool or savouring a delicious teppanyaki meal at Katsura Japanese Restaurant.

We will be provided fully-cooked breakfast daily at the hotel.

During our transfer from the airport to our hotel we will have a 1/2 day city tour. We will also spend a full day touring Waiheke Island by boat and bus that will include lunch and a wine tasting (round trip transfer included).

Rotorua is world famous for its geothermal landscape and rich Māori culture. Te Puia, Tamaki Māori Village and Mitai Māori Village all offer a wide range of cultural experiences, from traditional welcomes by Māori warriors to flax weaving, paddling a waka (Māori war canoe) and traditional earth-cooked meals, known as "hangi."

We will travel. via private motor coach with a driver/guide from Auckland to Rotorua. We will have a tour of "Lord of the Rings" "Hobbiton Village - lunch will be served in route.

Hobbiton, Matamata, New Zealand is one of the most successful movie sagas Lord Of The Rings was mainly filmed in New Zealand, whose rich nature offers a variety of differing sites. Hobbiton was a set, built for the movie. However, after the filming was finished somebody got the idea to leave this Hobbit village as the tourist attraction - aren't we glad they did!

We will spend 2 nights in Rotorua at the 4-Star Hotel Millennium - fully-cooked breakfast daily included. We will have an evening "Maori Experience" and dinner in the Rotorua Maori Cultural Center.

The “Maori Experience” is a hangi (earth oven feast) coupled with a song-and-dance performance. The hangi is the traditional Maori method of cooking. A large pit is filled with a wood fire topped by stones; when the stones are heated through, baskets of food are placed on top and covered with damp cloths. Earth is then shoveled over to create a natural oven. After about 3 hours, dinner is unveiled, with intermingling flavors of various foods lightly touched by wood smoke. Not all hangi are this authentic—indeed, many hotel hangi are now steamed for health and safety requirements.

Queenstown: After 2 nights in Rotorua we will transfer to the airport b y private motor coash with a driver/guide. We will fly from Auckland to Queenstown via domestic New Zealand air and transferred via the airport (round-trip) and our hotel via private motor coach with a driver/guide. We will stay 5 nights at the 4-Star Novotel Lakeside Hotel . Our stay will include a fully-cooked breakfast daily. All rooms are equipped with coffee/tea makers (see website for more details). The hotel property is located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu in the midst of the local fine dining precinct,and just 15-minutes from the airport.

We will have a welcome dinner buffet at the Skyline Gondola with wine, beer, soft drinks and the TSC Welcome Party.

We will take a steam ship cruise across the Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw with a BBQ dinner at the Walter Peak Colonel's Estate. It’s one of the best ways to see Queenstown’s surrounding landscape aboard the iconic century-old coal fired steamship. The leisurely 90 minute cruise across Lake Wakatipu showcases some of Queenstown’s spectacular alpine scenery while offering you plenty of time to explore a piece of Queenstown’s living history – the 106 year old TSS Earnslaw.

The TSS Earnslaw is an integral part of Queenstown’s pioneering history and to this day a Queenstown icon.

She was commissioned by New Zealand Railways to service the communities around Lake Wakatipu. Launched on October 18, 1812. Known as The Lady of the Lake, she provided an essential link between the isolated farming communities along the lake and the outside world.  At 48 metres long, she was the biggest boat on the lake and carried passengers, sheep, cattle, mail and supplies.

Return Trip:
Have having a fun-filled and adventuresome time in New Zealand its time to come home OR extend on to Fiji (post-trip) We will be transferred to the Queenstown Airport via private bus with a driver/guide. The return air between Queenstown and Auckland will be on Air New Zealand domestic. We will board our flight to Houston via Air New Zealand.

Pre-Trip to Australia - 2 Options


What would a write up for a trip to Australia be without starting out with a pic of a Koala Bear? Check out this National Geographic brief video on them. If you didn't already know they're an arboreal herbivorous marsupial not a bear. The koala is found in coastal areas of the mainland's eastern and southern regions, inhabiting Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia.

Option 1 (Sydney Only)

We fly into Auckland from the US then on to Sydney via Air New Zealand then transfer to hotel with orientation tour enroute. It includes 3 nights at the 4-Star Holiday Inn Old Sydney. There will be breakfast daily at the hotel. Includes a Sydney Harbour Coffee Cruise. Additional itinerary items to be announced. Transfer to Sydney Airport included with driver/guide. Return flight to Auckland on Air New Zealand.

Option 2 (Cairns & Sydney)
We fly into Auckland from the US then on to Cairns via Virgin Australia and transfer with driver/guide between Cairns Airport and hotel. Return flight to Auckland on Air New Zealand. We will have 3 nights accommodations in Cairns at the 4-Star Pullman Cairns International Hotel. Breakfast will be provided daily at the hotel. Transfer from hotel to Cairns airport included. We fly from Cairns to Sydney via Air New Zealand.

We will have a Full Day cruise to the Great Barrier Reef that includes lunch. There will also be a Full Day tour to Kuranda Rain Forest and National Park with BBQ lunch. We will also enjoy a Sydney Harbour Coffee Cruise.

The Great Barrier Reef  (GBR) is the worlds most extensive coral reef system – it is globally outstanding and a significant entity. Practically the entire ecosystem was inscribed as World Heritage in 1981, covering an area of 348,000 square kilometres or 216,247 miles and extending across a contiguous latitudinal range of 14o (10oS to 24oS). The GBR includes extensive cross-shelf diversity, stretching from the low water mark along the mainland coast up to 250 kilometres (155 miles) offshore. This wide depth range includes vast shallow inshore areas, mid-shelf and outer reefs, and beyond the continental shelf to oceanic waters over 2,000 metres (1,242’) deep.

Within the GBR there are some 2,500 individual reefs of varying sizes and shapes, and over 900 islands, ranging from small sandy cays and larger vegetated cays, to large rugged continental islands rising, in one instance, over 1,100 metres (684’) above sea level. Collectively these landscapes and seascapes provide some of the most spectacular maritime scenery in the world.

Post Trip - Fiji 

Welcome to the Republic of Fiji located in the South Pacific about 1,300 miles Northeast of New Zealand's North Island. The capital of Fiji is Suvu, which also serves as the country's principal cruise ship port. About 3/4 of Fijians live on Viti Levu's coast, either in Suvu or in smaller urban centres such as Nadi—where tourism is the major local industry or Lautoka, where the sugar-cane industry is paramount.

Fiji has one of the most developed economies in the Pacific thanks to its abundant forest, mineral, and fish resources. Its currency is the Fijian dollar, and its main sources of foreign exchange are its tourist industry, remittances from Fijians working, and bottled water exports. It has a population of almost 900,000, the local currency is the Fiji dollar and the official language is English.

Almost half of Fiji’s total area remains forested, while dry grasslands are found in western areas of the large islands. Coconut palms are common in coastal areas, and almost all tropical fruits and vegetables can be grown. Much of the shoreline is composed of reefs and rocks, while mangrove swamps are found on eastern coasts. There are few white-sand swimming beaches and, because of the encircling reef, little surf. Most animals, including pigs, dogs, cattle, and a few horses, are domesticated.

General Itinerary (more to come)

We will fly out of Queensland to Fiji on Air New Zealand via Auckland. There will be a welcoming"Lei" greeting at the airport. We will be transferred from the airport (Nadi) to our hotel with a driver/guide. Our accommodations will be a 4-Star Sheraton Denarau Resort where we will be staying for 4 nights. Breakfast will be served daily at the hotel. We will be transferred to the airport after a late check out as our flight will depart for LAX at 9:40pm on Air Fiji with continuing service to Houston.


You must be a current Austin Skiers member to join a trip.

NOTE: AIR PRICES are based on 2019 prices and are SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Read Austin Skiers Trip Cancel Policy


Payment schedule: $600 deposit due at registration. 

 1st payment 1/15/20: $800

2nd payment 4/16/20: $2,000

Final Payment 7/14/20: Balance due

Cancellation Fees:

After registration: $50pp

After 7/15/20: 30% fee

No refunds after 9/10/20

NOTE: If you would like to pay via credit card for 1st, 2nd, and/or final payment contact Jackie for steps. 

Trip Chair: Jackie Bayly

Assistant Trip Chair: Sylvia Blair

ALL PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGE - depending on air and exchange rate adjustments

New Zealand: Base Trip (Oct 13-24) $4,500 per person Includes air, ground transfers, 9 nts hotel (double occupancy) w/breakfast.

Single Supplement - New Zealand Base Trip: Add $1,425. Single room 9 nts hotel, transfers, w/breakfast. Cost total = $5,925

Ground Only - New Zealand BASE Trip: $2,800 No air, 9 nts hotel w/breakfast, double occupancy, transfers provided only if arrival/departure times sync exactly w/group. 


(Prices are in addition to the BASE TRIP costs mentioned above):

(All hotels provide full breakfast daily. Prices include air/bus travel within each country, tours, meals, as mentioned in description.)

 New Zealand is the BASE TRIP for all trip participants - 9 hotel nights

(Oct 13- 24) 2-Auckland, 2-Rotorua, 5-Queenstown:

$4,500 pp (Plus add ons below)

Sydney + NZ BASE - 12 hotel nts

(Oct 10-24) 3 nts Sidney + 9 nts NZ

Double Occupancy - Add $1,060

Single Supp - Add $1,485

Cairns + Sydney+ NZ BASE

15 hotel nights

(Oct 7-24) 3-Cairns, 3-Sydney, 9-NZ

Double Occupancy - Add $2,159

Single Supp - Add $2,629

NZ BASE+Fiji - 13 hotel nts

(Oct 13-28) 9 nts NZ, 4 nts Fiji

Double Occupancy - Add

Single Supp - Add

Sydney+NZ BASE+Fiji - 16 hotel nts

(Oct 10-28) 3-Sydney, 9-NZ, 4-Fiji

Double Occupancy - Add

Single Supp -  Add

Cairns+Sydney+NZ BASE

(Oct 7-24) 3-Cairns, 3-Sydney, 9-NZ

Double Occupancy - Add

Single Supp - Add

Cairns+Sydney+NZ BASE+Fiji

19 hotel nights

(Oct 7-28) 3-Cairns, 3-Sydney, 9-NZ, 4-Fiji

Double Occupancy - Add

Single Supp - Add

Detailed itinerary to be communicated ( 3 nights in Sydney, 3 nights in Cairns) 
Price per person: Double $2,159/Single Supplement $740

Post Trip Extension: Fiji
(Oct 24-28)

Detailed itinerary to be communicated ( 4 nights in FIJI).
Price per person: Double $760 to $977/  Single Supplement $428 to $648. (Price varies by price of room) 


Air Upgrade Charges ( **only to the trans-pacific Flights per person and depends on availability) 

1 person on couch $1,210pp (One way) **
2 persons on couch $675pp (One way)**
Premium economy $1,630pp (One way)**
Business Premier $5,275 pp (Round Trip)**

$600 DEPOSIT REQUIRED to register. 


* If you choose to pay your trip via credit card tell your trip chair so that an invoice can be generated via PayPal. (A 3% merchant fee will be applied.) 

*A passport is required for this trip.  You will need your passport number and expiration date to register. It needs to be VALID 6 months beyond the return date of the tour.

Families can register together to receive 1 invoice: At the bottom of the registration form, click "Add Guest" to register your family member`

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