Photos: Explore New Zealand

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  1. Kepler Track

    The 60 kilometer Kepler Track rewards serious hikers with full-strength high country scenery. The track leads to views of lakes Te Anau and Manapouri, the alpine grasslands of Jackson Peaks and spectacular U-shaped glacial valleys. Department of Conservation huts provide accommodation during the 4 day walk. (www.newzealand.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Water sport paradise

    With more than 15,000 kilometers of coastline, New Zealand is a water sport paradise. Sailing, swimming, diving and fishing are just some of the options for marine recreation. Or you could test yourself with one of the more extreme sports, like kite surfing and wave jumping. (www.newzealand.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Poor Knights

    The fish of the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve are famous for their friendly nature, and some of the subtropical species are found nowhere else in New Zealand. Spotted Black Groper, Mosaic Moray and Lord Howe Island Coralfish are a few of the local stars. Squadrons of stingrays can also be seen during the warmer months. (www.newzealand.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Milford Sound

    A couple paddles their kayaks while flanked by a dolphin in New Zealand's Milford Sound in the country's stunning fiordland. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. That's our bird!

    Unique to New Zealand, there are five kinds of kiwi - three closely related Brown kiwis, the Little Spotted Kiwi and the Great Spotted Kiwi. Nocturnal and flightless, the kiwi’s long slender bill has nostrils at the lower end, so that it can detect worms, insects and grubs. Despite its awkward appearance, a kiwi can outrun a human. (www.newzealand.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Mount Cook National Park

    Glaciers cover 40 percent of Mount Cook - or Aoraki National Park, as it is also known - and is New Zealand's top spot for spectacular alpine scenery, and is the country's highest mountain. All but one of its 29 peaks is over 3,000 meters, so the park has become New Zealand's mountain climbing mecca. Non-climbers can enjoy a selection of challenging alpine walks - from the one hour Red Tarns stair-climb to the relatively flat hike to Kea Point. (www.newzealand.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Preserving culture

    The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, in Wellington, preserves and presents the taonga (treasures) of New Zealand's people. Spectacular long-term exhibitions are enhanced by diverse short-term exhibitions and a captivating events program - performances, talks, lectures, entertainment and more. (www.newzealand.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Maori men

    Ethnic Maori men from Gisborne, New Zealand, take positions on the beach after the arrival by boat of elders from Cook Island, Wednesday, December 29, 1999, to join in Gisborne's millennium celebrations. History has been harsh to the indigenous Maori and Moriori of New Zealand, but their resurgent cultures were at center stage when the country became the first major nation to enter the new millennium. (David Guttenfelder / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Pure Middle-earth

    The fast running rivers of the Mount Aspiring National Park can be negotiated by jet boat and kayak, allowing visitors to discover the locations for the 'Lord of the Rings' Isengard, Lothlorien and Amon Hen. With not a manmade structure in sight in this remote wilderness, it’s easy to imagine yourself in 'Middle-earth'. (www.newzealand.com) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 11/10/2009 9:51:13 AM ET 2009-11-10T14:51:13

The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare on Air New Zealand to Auckland (returning from Christchurch), three nights at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Auckland, three nights at Holiday Inn City Centre Christchurch, breakfast daily, a flight between the two cities on Air New Zealand, hotel taxes, and fuel surcharges, from $1,499—plus about $99 in airport taxes.

When: May 5, 12, 19, 26, June 2, 2010; add $150 for April 7, 14, 21, 28; $200 for Feb. 17, 24, March 3, 10, 17, 24; $340 for June 9, 16, 23, 30, July 7, 14, 21, 28, Aug. 4, 11, 18, 25, Sept. 1.

Gateways: L.A.

The fine print: Does not include taxes of about $99 per person. Based on double occupancy; single supplement from $358. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: No deadline; based on availability.

Contact: Gate 1 Travel, 800/682-3333, gate1travel.com.

Why it's a deal: We priced this multicity itinerary (L.A. to Auckland, Auckland to Christchurch, Christchurch to L.A.) on Kayak for travel in early May and found a $1,171 fare (Air New Zealand). The hotels would cost about $500 per person for the six nights of accommodations. Booking independently, you would expect to pay about $1,671 per person. This package is $1,598 with all taxes included—a savings of $73, plus you have the added convenience of one-click booking.

More There are a few optional tours available, starting at $33 per person for a Christchurch city tour.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.

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