New Zealand Tour

October 13, 2023 – October 24, 2023

New Zealand

Join us for a spectacular trip of a lifetime to New Zealand

We never imagined when we took our first group to Greece that CMDA’s tours would become so popular! We now are doing five tours each year to Greece, Israel, Italy and last year CMDA added Turkey. On hundreds of post-trip surveys travelers were asked: “Where else would you like to go on a CMDA tour?” and the consistent answer has been New Zealand!

So here is your invitation to join Jody and me as well as Gene and Gay Rudd to make memories for a lifetime! I know we did when Gene and I were asked to speak at the New Zealand Christian Medical Fellowship national meeting some years ago. We rented an RV and spent a week on the north island, spoke at the conference and then flew to the South Island for another week.

Of the 75+ countries I’ve visited, New Zealand is my all-time favorite! The two islands combined are about the size of Colorado, but you won’t find more beautiful country with such a variety of topography—snow-capped mountains, coastal plains, volcanic areas, beaches, rivers, rain forests, fjords, glaciers and lakes. When we cruised down Milford Sound, there were waterfalls over 3,000 feet wide and 450 feet high. Niagara Falls pales in comparison. Many of New Zealand’s towns have their own character, depending on the origins of those who settled there. You will think you are in England when you visit Christchurch!

New Zealanders developed extreme sports like bungee jumping and zorbing (rolling down a hill inside a large plastic ball). They invented the jet boat, the tranquilizer gun, electric fences, stamp vending machines, and the electric gas pump, to name a few. Remember the fantastic vistas in the Lord of the Rings movie? You will see some of them in person.

As a bonus, you will enjoy the experience with your CMDA colleagues and have wonderful fellowship. Though this won’t be a biblical tour per se, Gene and I will be leading a time of worship and devotions each day.

Space is limited to 40 people. When we announced this tour in 2019 it filled up in forty-eight hours, so if you are interested, register to confirm your spot today. Additional questions, please contact Kim Hodge, at kim.hodge@cmda.org or (423) 844-1063.

We are going to have a great time! Come join us!!

Tour includes the following

  • Arrival transfer to hotel on Friday, October 13 at 2 p.m., 5 p.m., 7 p.m. Individual transfer at another time can be arranged for an additional cost.
  • Departure transfers as one group on Tuesday, October 24. If you plan your departure time prior to 12 noon, individual transfer can be arranged for an additional cost.
  • 11 Nights’ Accommodation as indicated on the detailed itinerary
  • Baggage assistance at each hotel
  • Domestic flight from Wellington to Queenstown
  • All Tour Admissions per the detailed itinerary:
    • Waitomo Glow-worm Caves Guided Tour
    • 2-hour Maori cultural experience
    • Private Te Puia experience, including steambox lunch
    • Private Hobbiton Banquet and guided movie set tour
    • 2- hour Art Deco guided walk
    • Te Papa 90-minute guided tour
    • Private Milford Sound cruise, including packed lunch
    • Walter Peak BBQ dinner
    • Tranz Alpine Train journey – Arthur’s Pass / Christchurch
  • Cooked 11 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, and 9 Dinners as indicated on the detailed itinerary. Unless otherwise noted breakfasts and dinners will be provided at hotels
  • Private Coach Charter in modern air-conditioned coach
  • Government-licensed tour guide throughout the tour
  • Tips to guides, drivers and hotel staff
  • International Travel Insurance (NOT FLIGHT CANCELATION or TRIP INTERRUPTION) from Wednesday, October 11 – Thursday, October 26, 2023 (allows for two extra day of travel at the beginning and end of the tour). Additional days are available for $7 per person per day. This coverage includes Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Medical Expenses, Disability Income, Emergency Medical Evacuation, Crisis Management, including the expense and coordination of a security evacuation, Personal Property, and General Liability.

Tour Package Does NOT Include

  • International flights or increased expensed related to travel interruptions
  • Airport baggage transfer
  • NZ International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy
  • Meals not specified in the detailed itinerary
  • Beverages during tour
  • Optional excursions
  • Personal expenses – most hotels will request an imprint of your credit card to cover any personal extras. If you do not have a credit card they may ask for a cash deposit.
  • Any costs incurred due to changes to NZ Government travel protocols
  • Expenses incurred for the diagnosis and care of medical concerns including COVID-19

Double Occupancy (per person)

  • CMDA Member and Spouse/Family $5,295
  • Non Member $5,395

Single Occupancy

  • CMDA Member $6,725
  • Non-Member $6,825

Cancelation Refund Schedule:

  • Before or on August 10, 2023 $400 per person
  • August 11 – 27, 2023 $1,600 per person
  • August 28 – September 10, 2023 $3,200 per person
  • On or after September 11 No Refund
  • No Refunds on any unused portions of itinerary.
  • No Refund for cancellation of additional hotel nights reserved for early arrival or delayed departure.

Dr. David Stevens, MD, MA (Ethics) From 1981 to 1991, Dr. Stevens was a missionary doctor in Kenya where he helped to transform Tenwek Hospital into a premier mission healthcare outreach. He then became the medical director of Samaritan’s Purse, assisting mission hospitals and he started their outreach of sending medical relief teams into war and disaster zones.

In 1994, he became the CEO of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations and led its efforts to motivate, train and equip Christian healthcare professionals to glorify God for 25-years. Today CMDA ministers to students on 325 campuses and has over 19,000 members. It recruits, trains and helps sustain over 1,300 missionary physicians and dentists around the world and is the public policy voice for Christian professionals to the church, the media and the government.

After stepping down as CMDA’s CEO in 2019, he is focused on helping mission hospitals and is sought after to do speaking and training around the world. Dr. Stevens is a graduate of Asbury University, an AOA graduate of the University of Louisville School of Medicine, board certified in family practice and has a master’s degree in bioethics. He has been married to Jody for 48 years and they have three children and eight grandchildren. All three of his children are graduates of Asbury University and have been involved extensively in domestic and international missions.

 

Gene Rudd, MD. For 25 years Gene Rudd, MD served as senior vice president of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA). A specialist in obstetrics/gynecology, Dr. Rudd has experience in medical education and in rural healthcare. He has garnered several awards including the Gorgas Medal, presented by the U.S. government for the most significant achievement in preventive medicine. As a spokesman for Christian doctors in America, Dr. Rudd has received national media coverage, including appearances on National Public Radio, American Family Radio, and Salem Radio Network, as well as in Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, The Washington Post and People. He is co-author of Practice by the Book.

Dr. Rudd has also conducted international programs with Samaritan’s Purse/World Medical Mission, where he established the Christian Medical Mission of Russia. He directed the rehabilitation of the Central Hospital in Kigali, Rwanda. Dr. Rudd has also served in Belarus, Bosnia, Kazakhstan, and India.

Dr. Rudd’s experiences provide rich illustrations for inspirational and educational presentations. He has communicated what God is doing through Christian medicine by speaking at seminars, conferences, and churches.

Gene and his wife, Brenda Gay, have led numerous biblical tours for CMDA in Greece, Israel, Italy, Turkey and now New Zealand. They live in Bristol, Tennessee, and have four children and eleven grandchildren.

Friday, October 13, 2023 – Arriva Auckland, New Zealand
Kia Ora – welcome to New Zealand! After clearing customs and immigration at Auckland Airport, you will be met by your local tour driver.  The rest of the today at leisure to relax after your journey and to start to explore this cosmopolitan city.  Auckland is a vibrant cosmopolitan city with a busy nightlife, world-class restaurants, bush-clad mountain ranges and diverse neighbourhoods to explore.  The Waitemata Harbour is a mecca for sailors, and the popularity of sailing on the harbour has led to the affectionate term, ‘City of Sails’.  Enjoy a welcome dinner and overnight at Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour or similar (1 night). Dinner Included

Saturday, October 14 – Auckland / Waitomo / Rotorua
Departing Auckland travel south crossing the Bombay Hills through the dairy rich Waikato countryside we arrive at the famous Waitomo Caves.  Here a guide will take you underground to view the amazing limestone caves featuring stalagmites and stalactites, which have taken centuries to form.  Continue to walk down to an underground stream to board a small boat to view the glow-worm grotto – an underground cavern featuring millions of glow-worms.  From Waitomo you head to Maungatautari in the Waikato region.
Enjoy a guided cultural experience – learn about the history about Maungatautari, flora, fauna, birdlife, the establishment of Sanctuary Mountain and the pestproof fence and walk to birdwatching tower and the ‘clearing’ area nearby. Depart Sanctuary Mountain for nearby Pōhara Marae and enjoy a guided cultural experience including welcome and brief history of marae, presentation of medicinal plants and their uses, followed by a 2-course dinner at the Marae. Overnight at Pullman Rotorua Hotel or similar (2 nights). Breakfast and Dinner Included

Sunday, October 15 – Rotorua, Matamata, Rotorua
This morning travel out to the Redwood Forest, for an easy walk through the breath-taking Californian Redwoods which were planted in 1901.   Then enjoy a guided tour of Te Puia. Your tour combines a premier Maori culture experience with an introduction to the magnificent geothermal activity in the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley.  Whilst in the valley see the boiling mud pools, steaming silica terraces, hot springs and geysers including the famous Pohutu Geyser which can erupt up to 30 metres high, depending on its mood.  Converge at the ngawha to see the ‘lifting’ of your lunch from the natural steam vent before enjoying lunch in an exclusive marquee overlooking Pōhutu geyser. Visit the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute where young Maori are learning the traditional carving and weaving skills of their ancestors.  Further highlights of the tour include Rotowhio Marae and Te Aronui a Rua, the sacred meeting house of Rotowhio Marae.This afternoon travel to Matamata to experience the real Middle-Earth with a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set, the bucolic setting for The Shire. In 1999 New Zealand filmmaker, Peter Jackson, transformed the green pastures of this Waikato sheep farm into The Shire, Middle-Earth, where Hobbits lived in peace in their Hobbit holes. During your guided tour, your guide will escort you through the ten-acre site recounting fascinating details of how the Hobbiton set was created. Hear stories from filming as you view the Hobbit holes, Green Dragon Inn, Mill and other structures. The tour includes a walk-up Bagshot Row to Bag End, to stand outside the most famous Hobbit hole in Middle-Earth. Following your tour, dinner is served at the ‘Green Dragon’ Inn. The Green Dragon featured in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy as the local meeting place for all the residents of Hobbiton. The inn also makes an appearance in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  Following dinner return to your Rotorua accommodation. Breakfast Lunch and Dinner Included

Monday, October 16 – Rotorua / Napier
Departing Rotorua, travel via New Zealand’s largest pine tree forests to Taupo. Enroute, you take a visit to the Wairakei Geothermal Steam Field. This was a world-first, generating electricity by tapping a natural steam field then channelling the steam to a nearby power generation plant. Continuing to view the mighty Huka Falls. Huka in Maori translates to “snow” as the water here has the appearance of snow falling as it is forced along from Lake Taupo through the falls on its journey along the Waikato River. This afternoon you continue to the ‘Fruit Bowl’ of New Zealand, Hawkes Bay – Napier.  The area is also one of New Zealand’s top grape growing regions, with some of the country’s best-known wines coming from the Hawke’s Bay.  This evening’s dinner is at the Mission Estate Winery.  French missionaries planted the first vines here in the mid-19th century: today award-winning wines are produced. Enjoy dinner in the restored seminary buildings that offer sweeping views of Napier. Overnight at Scenic Hotel Te Pania or similar (2 nights). Breakfast and Dinner Included

Tuesday, October 17 – Napier
This morning take a two-hour specialized guided Art Deco walk of Napier. Napier’s now famous Art Deco reputation was a result of the massive earthquake of February 1931 and the subsequent rebuilding of the city in the Art Deco style so popular in the 1930’s. Registering 7.9 on the Richter scale, the earthquake levelled almost all of the buildings in Napier and raised the seabed by 2.5 metres. This afternoon travel to one of the local vineyards for wine tasting and lunch. After lunch depart on a 4wd Gannet Safari. The coach traverses riverbeds, broad rolling pastures, through stands of native bush, steep gullies and breath-taking inclines. There is a stop on the way at a spectacular cliff top with panoramic views of Hawke’s Bay right to Mahia Peninsula. The amazing geology of the area can also be taken in. The 3-hour trip includes a commentary by the tour guide on the farming operation on Cape Kidnappers and an introduction to the gannets. Breakfast and Lunch Included with dinner on your own in the local community.

Wednesday, October 18 – Napier / Wellington (BD)
Travel through the rolling farmlands of Central Hawkes Bay and the Wairarapa and travel into the Manawatu Region and drive south through the towns of Levin and Otaki down the scenic Kapiti Coast into Wellington, the Capital City and Seat of Parliament.  On arrival visit Te Papa and join a guided tour for an overview of what makes New Zealand unique. Explore our diverse natural environment, Māori culture and taonga, and our art and colonial history. Discover this vibrant land, its dynamic culture, and the spirit of its people.  Then depart on an orientation tour of WWednesday, October 18 – Napier / Wellington (BD)
Travel through the rolling farmlands of Central Hawkes Bay and the Wairarapa and travel into the Manawatu Region and drive south through the towns of Levin and Otaki down the scenic Kapiti Coast into Wellington, the Capital City and Seat of Parliament.  On arrival visit Te Papa and join a guided tour for an overview of what makes New Zealand unique. Explore our diverse natural environment, Māori culture and taonga, and our art and colonial history. Discover this vibrant land, its dynamic culture, and the spirit of its people.  Then depart on an orientation tour of Wellington.  Enjoy harbor and hill views from some of the city’s most spectacular vantage points, as well as pass by many of Wellington’s most famous sights, landmarks and icons. Dinner and overnight at Sofitel Wellington Hotel & Resort or similar (1 night). Breakfast and Dinner Included

Thursday, October 19 – Wellington / Queenstown
This morning fly to Queenstown (domestic flight included).Surrounded by majestic mountains and set on the shores of crystal-clear Lake Wakatipu, the natural beauty and the unique energy of the Queenstown region create the perfect backdrop for a holiday full of adventure, exploration or relaxation. On arrival in Queenstown meet your South Island coach driver and transfer to your hotel.  The afternoon and evening is at leisure to sample some of Queenstown’s excellent cafés, restaurants and bars. Overnight at The Rees Hotel or similar (3 nights). Breakfast Included

Friday, October 20 – Milford Sound Day Excursion
A very early start this morning, as you depart Queenstown, traveling along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through the rolling countryside to Te Anau – a picturesque town on the eastern shore of Lake Te Anau, the largest lake in the South Island in FiordFriday, October 20 – Milford Sound Day Excursion
A very early start this morning, as you depart Queenstown, traveling along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through the rolling countryside to Te Anau – a picturesque town on the eastern shore of Lake Te Anau, the largest lake in the South Island in Fiordland National Park.   At Te Anau stop for breakfast before continuing to Milford Sound – the road from Te Anau to Milford Sound is incredibly scenic. On reaching Milford Sound, enjoy a private cruise of the fiord in a purpose-built vessel offering excellent viewing of waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife with large windows, spacious decks and comfortable lounges. Includes picnic box lunch. Following the cruise, return to Queenstown, arriving late evening. Dinner at the hotel tonight. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included

Saturday, October 21 – Queenstown
Day at leisure to enjoy the many activities and attractions available in the area.This evening take a local steam ship, the TSS Earnslaw across stunning Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm where you will enjoy a farm tour, including seeing the legendary New Zealand sheepdogs, and a delicious gourmet BBQ dinner.  A dining experience that’s unlike any other in Queenstown, disembark at Walter Peak where you will be escorted through the lakeside gardens to the recently refurbished Colonel’s Homestead. Relax in the unique ambience in front of a roaring open fire and soak in the views from this stunning lakeside setting while the chefs prepare a gourmet BBQ on the outdoor grill. The night-time cruise home is magical – join in the camaraderie of a sing-a-long with the ship’s pianist on the return journey. Breakfast and Dinner Included

Sunday, October 22 – Queenstown / Franz Josef
Travel across the fruit-growing Central Otago region, around the shores of glacial Lakes Wanaka and Hawea then into the rugged beauty of the Haast Pass as you travel through the Southern Alps.  Continue up the West Coast past wild beaches, over mountain streams, through native rainforest and past bush-fringed lakes to Franz Josef Glacier. On arrival, time is available for optional scenic flights, (additional cost) before continuing onto your accommodation for the night. Dinner and overnight at Te Waonui Forest Retreat or similar (1 night). Breakfast and Dinner Included

Monday, October 23 – Franz Josef / Arthurs Pass / Christchurch
Travel north from Franz Josef on State Highway 6 and the native rainforest of the Westland National Park then across farmlands with the Southern Alps rising steeply to the east and vistas of the Tasman Sea to the west.  At Hokitika you may like to visit the Greenstone studios where jade stone is crafted into jewelry and ornaments of both modern and traditional design.  Continue along the coast and then inland to Arthur’s Pass to board the famous Tranz Alpine to Christchurch. Enjoy thrilling vistas over deep gorges along one of the most specMonday, October 23 – Franz Josef / Arthurs Pass / Christchurch
Travel north from Franz Josef on State Highway 6 and the native rainforest of the Westland National Park then across farmlands with the Southern Alps rising steeply to the east and vistas of the Tasman Sea to the west.  At Hokitika you may like to visit the Greenstone studios where jade stone is crafted into jewelry and ornaments of both modern and traditional design.  Continue along the coast and then inland to Arthur’s Pass to board the famous Tranz Alpine to Christchurch. Enjoy thrilling vistas over deep gorges along one of the most spectacular train journeys in the world. Travel alongside the ice fed Waimakariri River and traverse the mighty Southern Alps where chiselled alpine landscape will take your breath away at every turn. Upon arrival at the station in Christchurch (approx. 7.00pm) you will be transferred to Fable Christchurch Hotel or similar for farewell dinner and overnight. Breakfast and Dinner Included

Tuesday, October 24 – Depart New Zealand
This morning attend a prayer service at the Transitional Cathedral (Cardboard Cathedral) – the world’s only cathedral made substantially of cardboard. The original Cathedral was badly damaged in the Christchurch earthquake in February 2011. The destruction of several landmark historic buildings has led to the development of new city plans, a bold public art program and innovative use of space.  You will then be transferred from the hotel to Christchurch International Airport for your flight back home.