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Mississippians Invited to New Zealand Trip


Beth Stapleton

Situated in the Southwest Pacific Ocean, New Zealand beckons travelers with its waterfalls, Glowworm caves, and the majestic Aoraki/Mount Cook that stands 12,218 feet tall.

Fiordland National Park, hiking, fishing for salmon, and much more await visitors in “The Land of Adventure” located 2,582 miles from Australia. The journey to New Zealand from Mississippi extends a little more than 7,900 miles. Mississippi College professor Beth Stapleton will guide the tour of 32 Mississippians on the scenic trip in May 2019.

“The highlight for many will be the tour of Hobbiton,” Stapleton said. It’s noted as the location for the filming of the 2001 fantasy action movie “Lord of the Rings” starring Cate Blanchett and Elijah Wood. For others making plans to see New Zealand it will be visits to a glacier or stops in major cities that will make the adventure worth every penny.

“We try to alternate trips between Europe and the rest of the world,” says Stapleton, who chairs the MC Department of Modern Languages. “This is a new destination to explore.”

In recent years, Stapleton brings experience when it comes to joining MC faculty, staff, students and members of the metro Jackson community on travels to countries like Italy. The annual trips are sponsored by the MC Office of Continuing Education.

What was dubbed MC’s Spring Break tour will switch to May. But the deadline to enroll with a deposit will be October 1, 2018. The departure date for the “Discover New Zealand” tour will be May 14, 2019 with the return set for May 24. The journey is open to all MC students, faculty, staff, alumni and community friends. Participants have the option of selecting college courses for credit

Enrollees can receive up to four credit hours, but they must attend MC classes before the trip each Tuesday, starting March 19 and continuing through April 23. There will be one Sunday session on April 28. The trip begins with an overnight flight from Jackson- Wiley Evers International Airport to Houston, Texas and then onto Auckland, New Zealand.

There’s an incredible amount of things to do and see in New Zealand- from the uncrowded beaches, rural countryside and forests to cities like Christchurch as well as Queenstown. Stops at New Zealand’s most famous glaciers are a must-see experience. The Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers plunge far down into the rain forest.

The trip’s cost is $4,300 per person in a double room. Single rooms will cost an additional $700. A non-refundable deposit of $600 is due by October 1 to reserve spots. Additional payments of $1,850 each are due November 30 and February 1. Deposits are now being accepted.

Make checks payable to Mississippi College. Deposits should be sent to the MC Office of Continuing Education, Box 4031, Mississippi College, Box 4031, Clinton, Mississippi 39058.