You can trust New Zealanders to come up with a tour for just about every specialty. Here are a few of them -- if you still haven't found what you're looking for after this, well, I just don't know what to do with you!
- Agritour, Palmerston North (tel. 06/354-9063; fax 06/354-9064; www.agritour.co.nz), arranges technical study tours visiting agribusinesses, research stations, orchards, and forests to suit your needs.
- American Wilderness Experience, a member of the GORPtravel family, 10055 Westmoor Dr., Ste. 215, Westminster, CO 80021 (tel. 800/444-0099 in the U.S., or 720/887-8500; www.gorptravel.com), arranges trips to the national parks and the World Heritage Area; they include walking, rafting, and wildlife observation.
- Backcountry Concepts, Christchurch (tel. 021/644-507; fax 03/302-8701; www.backcountry-nz.com), offers a wide range of fishing tours with stays in luxury accommodations, several raft-based options, and custom tours that include time with local artists, wine-tasting tours, shopping tours, and garden tours.
- Clean Green Photo Tours, Wanaka (www.cleangreen.co.nz), can arrange anything from a 2-hour instructional course to multiday excursions to Stewart Island, Fiordland, and even the unforgettable Sub-Antarctic Islands on board the 18m (59-ft.) ketch Talisker. Photographer Gilbery van Reenan shares his most beautiful, off-the-beaten-track locations.
- Fiordland Ecology Holidays, Manapouri (tel./fax 03/249-6600; www.fiordland.gen.nz), will take you away on its oceangoing yacht for 3 to 7 days of low-impact natural-history adventure in the remote areas of Fiordland. A maximum of 12 people can swim with seals and dolphins, go snorkeling and diving, and set out on bush walks. There are also berths available on scientific research trips.
- Mid-Life Adventures, Mount Roskill, Auckland (tel. 09/627-9683; fax 09/626-3607; firstname.lastname@example.org), has 13-day North or South Island adventures ready and waiting for those 35 and over.
- Nimbus Paragliding Adventure Tours, Christchurch (tel. 0800/111-611 in NZ; www.nimbusparagliding.co.nz), is just the ticket for you addicts who want to stay airborne. Grey Hamilton and his crew have three campervans, all the paragliding equipment, and the local knowledge. They'll personalize an itinerary that will take you to as many of the country's best paragliding sites as you can afford to visit.
- Red Carpet Tours, Auckland (tel. 09/410-6561; fax 09/410-6591; www.redcarpet-tours.com), takes The Lord of the Rings fans to Middle Earth and the sites of Peter Jackson's famous film trilogy.
- Southern Discovery Holidays, Greymouth (tel. 03/768-6649; fax 03/768-9149; www.nzholidayheaven.com), offers a 12-day Millionaires Tour, visiting the South Island's gold fields in search of gold; 14-day School Geography Study Tours on the South Island, which include adventure activities; Golden Age Holidays, which offer small groups of retired people a new approach to vacationing; plus a wide range of special-interest holidays, including photography, painting, gardens, farms, ornithology -- you name it, the staff will prepare it for you.
- Unimog 4WD Adventure Tours, Greymouth (offered by Southern Discovery Holidays; for contact information, see above), has serious 17-seat, 4WD vehicles that go places most people only dream about (or dread). It has great 5- and 14-day tours that take you into back areas around the South Island, throwing in other delights, such as guided walks, seal colonies, and mountain biking.
- Untapped Potential, P.O. Box 128-231, Remuera, Auckland (fax 09/524-0567; www.utp.co.nz), which is especially geared toward visiting sporting teams, takes you into the heart of New Zealand sporting culture by introducing you to grass-roots rugby.
- Wai-natur, Wairau Valley, Marlborough (tel. 03/572-2681; www.naturist.co.nz), is not so much a tour as a chance to get your clothes off and paddle a canoe, or swim in a spring-fed creek amid stunning scenery. Kay Hannam and Brian Williams have a clothes-free homestay and camping facility where you can relax completely.
- Navigator Tours, Auckland (tel. 09/817-1191; www.navigatortours.co.nz), is a specialist in organizing high-end indigenous Maori experiences that focus on real people, living real lives in fresh, innovative ways. Whether it be learning to make a hangi (earth oven), meeting a Maori professor for coffee, taking a ride in a waka (war canoe), or enjoying a forest walk or a visit to a marae, a Navigator experience is one you will never forget.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.