New Zealand

OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY AGRICULTURE TOUR
Contact Us
SAMPLE ITINERARY

Day One ARRIVE NEW ZEALAND

Arrive into Auckland International Airport where you will be met and transferred to your hotel..

PM See first hand why Auckland is known as the City of Sails as you enjoy a trip over the Harbour Bridge. Visit the famous Auckland landmark of Mount Eden, a dormant volcano whose summit offers excellent panoramic views of the city and harbours. From this fantastic vantage point you will see evidence of Auckland's volcanic history, the most significant being the youngest volcano of Rangitoto Island at the entrance to the Waitemata harbour.
The sightseeing tour also takes in the Auckland Domain, the city's oldest park which is situated on a 62,000 year old volcano. In addition to these natural features the city sights tour also takes in the trendy shopping area of Parnell Village with its historical buildings that have been transformed into boutiques, antique, craft and specialty shops. Your tour will then take you along the scenic waterfront route of Tamaki Drive before returning to Downtown Auckland where you will board your ferry for a harbour cruise.

Overnight in Auckland.
Twin & Multi Share Rooms
Room & Breakfast Included

Day Two AUCKLAND TO HAMILITON

Depart Auckland and travel via the Southern Motorway through the suburbs south of the city to the rich pasturelands of the Waikato.

BACKGROUND ON THE WAIKATO FARMING REGION

The Waikato is the fourth largest region in New Zealand covering 2,497,340 ha. It is a geographically diverse area encompassing the rugged Coromandel Peninsula, the fertile Hauraki Plains and those surrounding the Waikato River, the hilly west and King Country areas and the volcanic plateau in the south. The main centre of commerce is Hamilton (pop. 160,000), one hour South of Auckland, which serves a large agricultural hinterland and boasts the largest Agricultural Trade Show in the Southern hemisphere (Field days). Further South is the charming town of Cambridge, which together with Matamata is a centre for horse-breeding. The Waikato Region is largely flat, save for the impressive mountain Pirongia to the West and the Kaimai Range to the East, both offering excellent hiking and bush walks. Further South and West is the Waitomo region a massive limestone range that runs down the West Coast and boasts some of New Zealand's most accessible and impressive caves and potholes. Beyond this, out on the West Coast from Hamilton are the beautiful harbours, Kawhia and Raglan the latter ranking with some of the great surfing breaks in the world. These two harbour towns are home to the Waikato's alternative cultures, artist's and artisan's, and alternative therapy practitioners.
The Waikato has an ecological footprint of 1,048,860 ha. This represents 9.75 percent of New Zealand's total ecological footprint, the third largest of any region in New Zealand behind Auckland and Canterbury. The highly productive land of the Waikato is a major factor in explaining the relatively low ecological footprint for the Waikato (ie. it takes less Waikato land to produce the same amount of product). On the other hand, the Waikato is not a highly urban region, which would otherwise decrease its ecological footprint even further. According to the ecological footprint calculation, 1,048,860 ha of land is required to support consumption by the Waikato population. In contrast, there are 2,018,917 ha of useful land available, meaning that the Waikato has more than enough land to sustain its current level of consumption. In fact, the Waikato would need to increase its consumption 1.92 times before it would overshoot the availability of useful land. Overall, in net terms, this means the Waikato is ecologically self-sufficient and actually has an ecological surplus of 970,057 ha of useful land. This situation is typical of rural regions such as the Waikato.

Agricultural production, and more particularly dairy farming, is the driving force of the Waikato economy with approximately 1.7 million dairy cattle in the region. The contour, as well as the favourable climate and soils of the Waikato make it one of the most well suited areas in the world for dairy farming. Over the last decade there has been steady growth in dairy cow numbers with the region now having 37 percent of New Zealand's dairy herd. The processing of milk into a wide variety of value-added products is also critical to the Waikato economy. Most of this production of dairy products is focused on nine large factory sites that are by world standards technologically advanced and very efficient.
As well as dairy production, the Waikato region has nearly 2.7 million sheep, and 661,000 beef cattle. Sheep numbers are increasing in the Waikato region, although they are not at the peak numbers recorded in the 1980s. The Waikato remains the second largest region in terms of beef cattle numbers.

Cambridge is an affluent farming community in the Waikato which has its heart in the horse breeding industry. It has a wonderfully relaxed country atmosphere, with town planning and architectural design reminiscent of the English countryside from where it assumed its name. The racing industry (tri code) has a value added contribution to the GDP of $1.483 billion which is the same size as the fishing industry in New Zealand . Thoroughbred racing is responsible for 73% of this total. Each year the NZ racing industry generates more than $130 million in export sales. The New Zealand breeding industry consists of 200 stallions and 8,900 mares with a foal crop of approximately 4,700  most of which are found in the Waikato.
In the Central North Island there are 568,869 hectares of plantation forest. Most of these trees are planted in the Taupo District and the South Waikato. Plantation forests cover approximately 12 percent of the Waikato region and represent about a quarter of New Zealand's plantation forests. The income and jobs generated from forestry production and processing in the Waikato is very significant with about 1000 full-time workers being employed in forestry and logging. Pinus Radiata is the main crop as it matures at a much faster rate than in the northern hemisphere.

The Waikato has around 8,500 hectares in horticulture production, with about 2,500 hectares planted in fruit and around 6,000 hectares planted in vegetables. The main crops in the region are asparagus, blueberries, melons, onions and potatoes. The popularity in organic farming has proved a successful business model for many farmers who grow vegetables, raise chickens, or produce cheese from goats  all in a certifiable organic fashion. There are numerous deer farms raising deer for venison and velvet, and orcharding has been a viable business in the Waikato for over a hundred years. The region is the smallest grape growing region in New Zealand, with nine grape growers. The number of Waikato hectares producing wine is expected to remain stable until 2009.

Farmers are tackling environmental issues and skills shortages in the Waikato region. Environmental issues are prominent across the region. The conversion of land from forestry to pasture in South Waikato has gained momentum. Most of the land is for dairying, but there are a few farms converting to dry stock. These conversions are mainly adding neighbouring land to existing farms rather than new farms being developed. Waikato farmers report a reasonable supply of casual labour but there is a shortage of skilled workers such as fencers and shearers.
The Waikato region also contributes significantly to New Zealand's electricity generation and distribution infrastructure. Within the region there are 12 hydroelectric, one thermal (Huntly) and five geothermal power stations. This represents nearly three-quarters of the North Island's generation capacity.
Some of the issues facing the region include the issue of drench resistance by internal parasites as a major threat to further sustained progress. Despite this factor, there appears to be a mixed response by farmers on adopting preventative health planning and monitoring programmes. Farmers are also expressing a strong level of concern over the rising costs of production and for the first time in half a decade are questioning the value of some inputs. One example is how they intend to use nitrogen. While the higher stocked and more intensive farmers are unlikely to change practices, there is a large group trending towards more strategic nitrogen application planning. Unless there is a sustained improvement in product prices, and in particular lamb values, farmers are indicating they may consciously spend less on discretionary items such as fertiliser, casual labour, repairs and maintenance, and development/capital. Many farmers feel it is becoming increasingly difficult to squeeze any more production out of their system and, as such, indicate they will reduce costs to help balance the budget.
Despite some reports from the wool industry that prices are on the way to recovery, farmers are not expecting any vast improvements. With shearing now at 50 to 60 percent of the wool cheque, farmers have long since lost confidence in the wool industry. As much as possible, the intensive farmers are aiming to minimise the number of stock, especially lambs, they shear.
Environmental issues continue to rise in prominence across the region. Many farmers are using or considering using nutrient budgets, but are looking for their fertiliser programme advisors to lead this process. Farmers feel frustrated by the wide variation in the difference in expectation between rural and urban sectors. Farmers feel they have their feet firmly planted on the ground when it comes to land care management, but can do little to change the emotional interpretation of issues by many non-farming people.

Because of the close proximately of the agricultural region to the city of Hamilton the Waikato is the ideal study site. There is a huge diversification of farms and a great number of farmers who are willing to share their knowledge with visitors.

Stay in Hamilton Backpackers.
Multi Share Rooms
Room & Breakfast Included

Day Three AT HAMILTON
Farm study from one of the areas outlined above.

Stay in Hamilton Backpackers.
Multi Share Rooms
Room & Breakfast Included

Day Four AT HAMILTON
Farm study from one of the areas outlined above.

Stay in Hamilton Backpackers.
Multi Share Rooms
Room & Breakfast Included

Day Five AT HAMILTON
Farm study from one of the areas outlined above.

Stay in Hamilton Backpackers.
Multi Share Rooms
Room & Breakfast Included

Day Six HAMILTON TO WAITOMO

Depart Hamilton in the morning and continue south to the limestone area of Waitomo. Enjoy a guided tour through the long galleries and lofty chambers of the World Famous Glow worm Caves. Your tour continues with a boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto, illuminated by thousands of tiny lights from the glow worms suspended from the cave ceiling.
Continue to Rotorua by coach arriving mid afternoon.
Stay in Rotorua Backpackers
Multi Share Rooms
Room & Breakfast Included

Day Seven AT ROTORUA  DAY OF SIGHTS AND FUN!

Visitors from around the world have been coming to Rotorua since the 1880s. The city is best known for its thermal activity with geysers, mud pools, hot pools and steam vents providing spectacular sights. Thermal waters are used to treat ailments as well as provide bathing and relaxation.
Depart your accommodation and visit the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, here young Maori carvers are taught the skills of their ancestors,  a guided tour shows you traditional crafts of flax weaving, wood and jade carving. Following this you will see pools of bubbling mud, spouting geysers, silica terraces and steam pouring out of vents at your feet, After visiting the reserve it is off to Rainbow Springs for a guided tour of the freshwater springs full of rainbow and brown trout (underwater gallery for viewing) in their various stages of development. Located at Rainbow Springs is the Kiwi Encounter where you can see conservation in action. Kiwi eggs are raised at this facility and the birds returned to the wild once they are strong enough to compete with the predators. Kiwi Encounter is taking a positive step to protect the Kiwi and increase its numbers in the wild.
Also included is the Agrodome Show  a "must see" entertaining stage show starring sheep shearing, live sheep auction, cow milking (you try it!), feeding cute cuddly baby lambs and an outdoors sheep dog trial. This richly informative show gives you an animated insight into New Zealand farming.

Return to the hotel by 12.30 with the rest of the day at leisure.

You might like to consider some of the following options on your own&..

￘ Visit Hells Gate with its steaming vents and boiling cauldrons.
￘ The Buried Village  the site of the 1886 Mount Tarawera eruption.
￘ The Polynesian Pools for a soak in the rejuvenating hot thermal waters.
￘ Off Road New Zealand for a self drive trip through mudholes and down cliffs!
￘ Ride the gondola to the summit of the Skyline and luge down the mountainside.

Stay in Rotorua Backpackers
Multi Share Rooms
Room & Breakfast Included

Day Eight AT ROTORUA  AN INTRODUCTION TO MAORI

This morning you will be picked up from your accommodation by a guide from a local Maori tribe. You will be introduced to the customs and culture of the people and shown how the traditions are incorporated in their daily life
Learn a little about their arts and crafts and perhaps even a fearsome Haka or poi dance.

This evening, attend a Maori hangi (feast.). The food is cooked in the traditional Maori manner by natural steam in a pit in the earth. A wide selection of foods is generally provided including wild pork, lamb and seafoods. Dinner will be followed by a Maori Cultural performance, which includes many traditional action songs.

Stay in Rotorua Backpackers
Multi Share Rooms
Room & Breakfast Included

Day Nine ROTORUA to AUCKLAND and DEPART.
At the required time you will travel back to Auckland direct to the International Airport in time for your flight.

TOUR ENDS
Operates in May. Based on minimum of 20 passengers.
Projected per person tour price from Oklahoma City: $3,450.00.

Price is subject to change due to currency changes and availability of features outlined. Prepared by: Bobbi Hansen, Sunflower Travel/ANZ Tours, 1223 N. Rock Road, Bldg. G, Suite 200, Wichita, KS 67206 tel: 316 634 1700 fax: 316 634 1700 e-mail: bhansen@sunflowertravel.com