New Zealand: Quest for the Kaitiakitanga (Adventures With Purpose)
From the original Maori settlers to present-day tourists, all who travel to New Zealand are awed by its natural beauty. The Maori concept of “Kaitiakitanga” sees humans as earthly guardians, assisting the Gods and ancestral spirits in protecting the environment and preserving cultural traditions. We’ll explore how this ancient practice of “caretaking” is finding new popularity across modern New Zealand in the form of ecotourism and sustainable practices.
Our journey takes us the length of the country, from the rugged Southern Alps to the remote tip of the North Island. Along the way, we hike through the iconic landscape of Mt. Aspiring National Park, ice climb on the Franz Josef Glacier and overnight in an environmentally friendly ecolodge. We whale watch in the seaside town of Kaikoura, the world’s first community to be benchmarked by Green Globe. Bicycling through windy Wellington, we discover a clean, green source of energy, and on Kapiti Island we find a resurgence of native birdlife, a testament to decades of careful management. The majesty of giant Kauri trees, the geothermal wonders of Orakei Korako, and the sand dunes of Hokianga Harbor drive home the astonishing natural diversity of this small country and the wisdom Kaitiakitanga.
Our New Zealand quest ends on the sacred site of Cape Reinga, where Maori believe their spirits rest before making a final journey into the afterlife.