Waiheke Island

  • March 15, 2024–March 27, 2024

Tour status

This tour is now full. If you wish to join the wait list in case of a cancellation, you can do so via the Witte Travel website (choose the blue register/sign up button).


  • Auckland: views of volcanic peak Maungawhau and Hauraki Gulf; cruise to Waiheke Island 
  • Tauranga: Mount Maunganui coastal paths
  • Lord of the Rings movie set tour of Hobbiton to experience The Shire, plus an exclusive banquet lunch in the famous Mill House
  • Te Puia, the Māori Arts and Crafts Center and Geothermal Park, with Te Pō Indigenous Experience at the world famous Pātaka Kai Restaurant
  • Rotorua, the Maori cultural hub of New Zealand and also the central location for geysers and other geothermal attractions
  • Wellington: Te Papa National Museum (history); Weta Workshops, The Empire Theater, and possibly Lane Studios
  • Zealandia, the world’s first established conservation park within a city
  • Christchurch city tour plus Cathedral and Art Center
  • Lake Tekapo or another scenic site on the South Island

Tour leaders

Janel Curry holds a PhD in geography. She was a faculty member and dean at Calvin University prior to being provost at Gordon College. She has lived and done research in New Zealand and has led several study groups to the country on the topic of environmental sustainability. She currently serves as president of the American Scientific Affiliation. She has two married daughters and three grandchildren.

Debra Freeberg, former Calvin director of theatre and professor of communication, loves exploring different cultures and landscapes—and sharing them with others! She has led students and alumni groups to explore culture, faith, and arts in Scandinavia as well as Ireland, England, and Scotland. With Gary Schmidt, she also regularly leads a popular CALL Shakespeare trip to Stratford, Ontario.

As your tour hosts, Debra will share some info on New Zealand culture and landscape in films during your travels, while Janel will bring additional knowledge on geography and Maori culture to site visits.


The tour cost is $7,859 with double occupancy and $9,089 for single occupancy. Pricing is based on flights from Chicago with bus transfer provided from Grand Rapids; flights can be arranged from other cities for a small fee. 

Travel insurance is offered via TravelEx for an additional fee; review the TravelEx plan for details on pricing and coverage.


Registration is open via Witte Travel until December or whenever the tour is full. All registration is on a first-come basis as received by Witte. If you would like to receive a print copy of this tour brochure (PDF), please email alumni@calvin.edu with your name and address and we'll drop a copy in the mail.

Calvin tours are open to any friends of CALL and the Calvin Alumni Association who wish to travel with us. Explore other Calvin-sponsored tours, too.


Please register by Monday, March 4, 2024.

March 2024
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