How Does a Garden Grow in New Zealand?


Garden enthusiasts are invited to visit the gardens and landscapes of New Zealand on a 21-day tour that departs Los Angeles Jan. 9.

Richard Lyon, a landscape architect practicing in Pennsylvania, will host the "Gardens, Wine and Wilderness" tour, which includes cultural and historic sites. New Zealand's excellent growing conditions free local gardeners to grow plants from around the world. Private gardens visited show a blend of European and indigenous landscaping.

Participants will also sample the food and wines of New Zealand. The tour features a farm stay; a shearing demonstration at a sheep station in the Southern Alps; wine-tasting at boutique vineyards; and New Zealand's geothermal North Island, with its spouting geysers and mud pits.

Cost: $6,485 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare, hotels, all meals and sightseeing.

Contact: Garden Adventures; telephone (877) 323-3300. Ask for Richard Lyon.

Indonesia: Bali

Orange House Tours of Seattle is offering a gentle adventure for sailing enthusiasts this fall in Indonesia. From Oct. 1 to 13, the "Magical Bali Tour" visits some of the remote islands east of Bali as part of a cruise on the luxury schooner Caterina.

This new 110-foot vessel has air-conditioned cabins and a chef to prepare meals for 15 guests. The tour begins on Bali, and then the group flies to the island of Sumba for four days to board the schooner. Participants will see examples of double ikat weaving and visit historic tombs and monuments. The schooner, which the group will call home for seven days, next sails through the Nusa Tenggara Islands, visiting Komodo, Rinca, Sumbawa and Lombok.

Cost: $2,750 per person, including domestic air fare, escort, hotels, all meals, land excursions and the cruise. International air fare is not included.

Contact: Orange House Tours; tel. (888) 529-9677. Ask for Suzan Gallup.

Scotland: Castles

Walk through history on a tour of Scotland Oct. 27 to Nov. 8 to see rolling hills, waterfalls, scenic vistas and castles, blended with the music, food and lifestyle of the Scottish people. Guests visit castles (including the cliff-top ruins of Findlater and Edinburgh), watch Scottish sheepherding and falconry, and visit the Glenfiddich Distillery. Guides will introduce their longtime friends and share their favorite spots with guests.

Cost: $2,195 per person, double occupancy, including accommodations at pub-style inns and classic country lodges, airport transfers in Glasgow, ground transportation, entrance fees, daily breakfast and some meals. Air fare to Scotland is not included.

Contact: The Gurnham Group; tel. (800) 475-0004.

Mexico: Thanksgiving

A Thanksgiving trip to colonial Mexico is being offered by Global Adventures beginning Nov. 21. The 11-day tour starts in Guadalajara. Guests will stay at the Hotel de Mendoza in Guadalajara for four nights and attend a performance of the Ballet Folklorico de Guadalajara. Next they will travel to San Miguel and Lake Chapala. Sightseeing includes tours of Guadalajara, Guanajuato, Queretaro and Dolores Hidalgo, a visit to a tequila factory and walking tours of San Miguel de Allende and Ajijic.

Cost: $935 per person, double occupancy, including hotels, two meals daily, Thanksgiving dinner and sightseeing. Air fare is extra.

Contact: Global Adventures, (800) 347-9468.

China: New Year

Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit on a Hong Kong Chinese New Year tour with a choice of departures--Feb. 11, 12, 13 or 14.

In Hong Kong, participants are met and transferred to their hotel. The next morning a Hong Kong Island tour is scheduled, which includes the Victoria Peak Tram and a sampan ride at Aberdeen. Guests will have free time for shopping or optional excursions during their stay. The highlight will be watching the Chinese New Year Parade along the Tsimshatsui Waterfront from reserved VIP bleacher seats. The theme is "We Are Hong Kong--City of Life."

Cost: $968 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, five nights in a deluxe hotel, sightseeing, transfers, full American breakfast daily, baggage handling, all service charges and taxes, and subway and ferry passes. Extra nights in Hong Kong are available as well as an add-on to Bangkok and Singapore for six nights (three nights in each city) for $568, including air fare, full American breakfast daily, transfers and a half-day tour in each city.

Contact: Suzanne at Joan Irvine Travel; tel. (949) 645-7171.

Germany: Markets

A trip to Germany to see the Christmas markets (decorated booths in the town square selling Christmas ornaments and handcrafted gifts) is available from Space Age Travel Nov. 28 to Dec. 4. The tour includes visits to Stuttgart, which has the largest market in Germany, and the medieval town of Rothenburg to shop in the Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas shop, which offers ornaments, Steiff bears, nutcrackers and music boxes. Other shops sell Bavarian arts and crafts, German china and crystal, grandfather clocks and Hummel figurines. There will also be visits to Munich to see the toy museum; its Christmas market, with the largest Christmas tree in Germany; and choral concerts. Then it's on to Ludwigsburg and its baroque palace, Christmas market and porcelain factory.

The trip will include city tours, visits to historic palaces, a lesson in baking Swabian cookies and a coffee-tea party at a local home in Stuttgart.

Cost: $1,575 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, six nights' hotel accommodations in Stuttgart, airport transfers, buffet breakfast daily, two dinners, ground transportation and entrance fees. The tour is limited to 20 participants.

Contact: Myrl Garment, Space Age Travel; tel. (310) 540-1277.

Louisiana: Cajun

Get a taste of Cajun culture while trekking through the wilds of the Louisiana Bayou on the "New Orleans and the Heart of Dixie" tour from American Orient Express. The luxury five-day train excursion starts in New Orleans and makes stops at the Louisiana Bayou and Baton Rouge, and at Natchez and Vicksburg, Miss. Tours leave on various dates in November and December.

Cost: from $1,990 per person, double occupancy, including superior-class sleeper, meals on the train and sightseeing. Air fare to New Orleans is extra.

Contact: American Orient Express; tel. (888) 759-3944.

The Times is not responsible for changes in prices, dates or itineraries. These should be confirmed with cruise lines, travel agents or tour operators.

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