Northern Choice (Auckland to Christchurch)

Tour Length
11 days
From
US$1565
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PRICE
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03 Jun 2017 13 Jun 2017 US$1579
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27 Jun 2017 07 Jul 2017 US$1579
05 Jul 2017 15 Jul 2017 US$1565
13 Jul 2017 23 Jul 2017 US$1565
21 Jul 2017 31 Jul 2017 US$1565
06 Aug 2017 16 Aug 2017 US$1565
22 Aug 2017 01 Sep 2017 US$1565
30 Aug 2017 09 Sep 2017 US$1565
07 Sep 2017 17 Sep 2017 US$1565
15 Sep 2017 25 Sep 2017 US$1565
23 Sep 2017 03 Oct 2017 US$1565

Important Notice:

Please note: Your hotel will be available to check into from 2pm on Day 1. Your trip will start in Auckland at 9:00am on Day 2 of your Itinerary.

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Overview Reviews
11 days
Accommodation:
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Tour Map

You will visit: North Island & South Island, including Auckland, Paihia, Waitomo, Rotorua, Taupo & Wellington

New Zealand's the land of stunning natural beauty, action-packed activities & laid back culture. Kick off this trip in the Bay of Islands & try some sand dune surfing! In the underground caves of Waitomo experience black water rafting before hitting Rotorua to try the 'Zorb' or skyline gondola & end the day relaxing in a Polynesian thermal pool. Take in a sunset cruise on Lake Taupo, brave the Rock'n Ropes course & head to the land of "The Lord of the Rings", Wellington. Finally, the good times must come to an end in Christchurch.

Top Offers & Trip Notes

Itinerary + Inclusions & ME Time Optionals

ME Time Optionals

ME Time optionals will take your trip to a whole new level with unforgettable experiences unique to the places you visit. See more, do more, live more & go home completely regret-free. Costs for these aren’t included in your tour cost & are payable to your Trip Manager in local currency.

Inclusions

On our trips we don't just take you to the destinations, we make sure you get under the skin of every place you visit. From amazing food & accommodation, to exclusive access to incredible experiences, with Contiki you'll get unbeatable value & a completely unique travel experience.

1 Arrive Auckland

Arrive in Auckland & check into the Mercure Hotel Auckland from 2:00pm. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore! Meet your fellow travelers & Tour Manager this evening.

Day 1: Hotel

2 Auckland to Paihia

Kia Ora! Meet up with your Contiki Crew in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest and most cosmopolitan city. Surrounded by volcanoes, islands and a stunning harbour, you’ll soon understand why this is the “City of Sails” and was once home to the America’s Cup.
This morning we’ll crossing the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge & take in the full-blown vistas of the harbour, Rangitoto, and other neighbouring volcanic islands on the way.
With a stop at Parry Kauri Park, there’s time to walk through this famous reserve and see many of New Zealand’s ancient Kauri (a native tree). Some of the Kauri are 50m high and over 1000 years old.
The final stop today is the small coastal town of Paihia. It’s the gateway to the Bay of Islands, one of New Zealand’s photogenic natural playgrounds.
Your Trip Manager will point out the colonial style Treaty House at Waitangi. This is where modern-era New Zealand was born when the British Crown and Maori signed a treaty in 1840. You’ll also find out about local Maori culture as you check out the Nga Puhi tribal lands.
Tonight, get to know the other Contiki travellers, Trip Manager and Driver over a typical ‘Kiwi’ dinner – fish 'n' chips – where you can eat outdoors under the night sky if the weather is good. After dinner, head out to a local music venue in Paihia with the group.

Day 2: Hotel Breakfast, Dinner

  • See the 'City of Sails' harbour made famous by the America's Cup
  • Cross Auckland's Harbour Bridge
  • Walk through native Kauri Forest
  • Check out Whangarei & Kawakawa's famous Hundertwasser toilets
  • Tuck into a true Kiwiana fish 'n' chips dinner
3 Paihia

With a full free day here, you’ll really get to enjoy the laid-back, natural beauty of the Bay of Islands. Chill out, or choose from loads of activities on offer here. There’s a catamaran cruise where you can stop off at remote islands, swim and feast on a tasty BBQ lunch. If you’re lucky, you’ll even spot some dolphins.

Or you could use your free time to head off with some friends to learn about New Zealand’s settler history. Jump on a ferry out to New Zealand’s former capital, the pretty township of Russell. Grab an ice-cream, relax in its cute cafés and walk past some of the town’s historic cottages.

We also offer you the option of a day trip to Cape Reinga, New Zealand’s most northern point where the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean merge. Our Local Guide can tell you all about the Maori beliefs associated with this site. Then it’s off to the sand dunes of Ninety Mile beach and a drive through the Northland Region.

Lastly, for the adrenaline-junkies, there’s a chance to go parasailing – perfect for getting views of the awesome surrounding bay scenery.

Day 3: Hotel Breakfast

  • Kiwi Parasail
    NZ$115 (single) NZ$95 (tandem)
  • Horse Trek'n
    NZ$115 (half day), NZ$229 (full day)
  • Coastal Kayaks
    NZ$89(half day) NZ$139 (full day)
  • Carino Day Sailing
    NZ$125
  • Awesome Adventures Cape Rienga Trip
    NZ$119
  • Fish Spot X
    NZ$95
  • Dolphin Cruise
    NZ$109
  • Island Adventurer
    NZ$75
  • Day in the Bay Cruise
    NZ$149
  • Cape Rienga/Island Adventure Combo
    NZ$179
  • Hole in the Rock Cruise
    NZ$99
  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds Tour
    NZ$25
4 Paihia to Auckland

With our beach fix complete, it’s time to say goodbye to the paradise of Paihia & head back to the ‘City of Sails’, Auckland! On arrival, your expert Trip Manager will get you in the know with all the details you need to know (and more) on the country’s largest city. In the city, it’s time for new views, literally...you’ll get the guaranteed best views of Auckland with an included trip up the iconic Sky Tower. As the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest building, standing at 328m with views up to 80km into the distance including the Hauraki Gulf & Manukau harbour & volcanic landscape, mean you’re right where you need to be. Take in the views, walk on the glass platform (if you’re game) & frame up some shots as you soak up the scene. Back at ground level, you will have a chance to experience some of Auckland's great nightlife. Try K Road for some alternative vibes or Ponsonby hot spots like The Ponsonby Social Club, Chapel Bar or the Long Room for some cool beats & equally cool people, or Parnell for a taste of the true Auckland by night. the Long Room for some cool beats & equally cool people, or Parnell for a taste of the true Auckland by night.

Day 4: Hotel Breakfast

  • See the impressive city skyline & Sky Tower
  • Catch a 360° view of Auckland with a trip up the Sky Tower
  • Auckland Bungy
    NZ$160
  • Auckland Bridge Climb
    NZ$125
  • Bridge Climb and Bungy Combo
    NZ$210
  • Sky Tower Sky Jump
    NZ$225
  • Sky Tower Sky Walk
    NZ$145
  • Sky Jump and Sky Walk Combo
    NZ$290
  • America’s Cup Sailing
    NZ$99
5 Auckland to Waitomo

Today we drive through the lush farmlands of Waikato – an area that produces many of New Zealand’s best rugby players for the All Blacks.

Next up is Waitomo and the Waitomo Caves. Famous for their incredible limestone formations and glowworms, the caves are a stunning subterranean world. For adventure, you can head deeper into the caves in an optional activity and see them either on foot or by tubing down an underground river.

Tonight, it’s a true Kiwi BBQ dinner and a visit to a typical country pub. Kick back with your friends and some of the locals. Maybe try out the local beer – it’s good!

Day 5: Lodge Breakfast, Dinner

  • Enjoy a traditional Kiwi BBQ or pub dinner (seasonal)
  • Ruakuri Caves Tour
    NZ$69
  • Black Water Rafting
    NZ$129
  • Waitomo Caves Tour
    NZ$45
6 Waitomo to Rotorua

For some crazy ‘Kiwi ingenuity’, try our zorbing optional. It’s an activity where you get inside a huge plastic ball and roll down a 200m hill, either by yourself or with a friend.
Later, we pull into Rotorua, famous for its spurting geysers, boiling mud pools, hot springs and ‘interesting’ sulfur smell.
Rotorua is an important hub of Maori culture. To recognise this, we have an included authentic cultural experience, a fantastic Maori hāngi dinner and traditional dance concert. Some of the foods you can try from the hāngi are sweet potato and chicken cooked on hot rocks in an underground pit – just as they have been for centuries. Listen to stories, songs and chants while learning about ancient Maori mythology and beliefs.

Day 6: Hotel Breakfast, Dinner

  • Guided tour of the 'Sulfur City', Rotorua
  • Traditional Maori hāngi dinner & dance performance
  • Ogo
    Ranges from NZ$35
  • Skyline Gondola and Luge Rides
    NZ$32
  • Rainbow Springs
    NZ$35
7 Rotorua

This morning, get an insider look at New Zealand’s unique Maori culture & history as we tour Rotorua’s famous Te Puia Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. You’ll learn all about the history of the Maori people, their customs & traditions, plus have the opportunity to ask questions & learn as much as possible about this amazing spot – it’s the perfect way to get in the know.
With the rest of the day free to explore the way you want, you can advantage of the city's awesome thermal environment & treat yourself to a spa treatment or massage. Our tip: With so much buzz around the amazing thermal mud treatments found here, we love picking up some products to take home as a gift (or for ourselves!). There are loads of other ways to spend your time too if adrenalin is more your thing, like getting views of the city from a gondola, then speeding down a hill on a luge, or getting a splash as you raft the Kaituna River – the options for things to keep you busy in Rotorua are endless.
Or, if chilling out is more of what you’re into, then or hit up a café for a flat white coffee or make tracks to the shops for a spending spree.

Day 7: Hotel Breakfast

  • Locally Guided Tour of Te Puia Maori Arts and Crafts Institute
  • Hobbiton Movie Set Tours
    NZ $110
  • Whakarewarewa Thermal Village
    NZ $35
  • Kaitiaki Rafting
    NZ$99, NZ$109
  • Rotorua Canopy Tours
    NZ$139
  • Mt. Tarawera Trek
    NZ$149
  • Agro Adventures
    NZ$95
8 Rotorua to Lake Taupo

On the way to Taupo, a visit to the raging Huka Falls will impress. Tonnes of water surge over these falls at a rate of 220,000 litres (58 000 gallons) per second.
It’s only a short drive today to the popular low-key resort town of Taupo. Here, there’s some of the best trout fishing in the country and some of the most amazing long-distance views of Tongariro National Park’s three volcanic peaks.
Cap off your day with our optional dinner cruise out on New Zealand’s largest lake – Lake Taupo - where you can also have a go at fishing!
Later, back on land, play some pool at one of Taupo’s lakeside bars.

Day 8: Hotel Breakfast

  • See Rotorua's bubbling geothermic mud pools
  • Visit the mighty Huka Falls
  • View Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake
  • Dinner / Party Cruise
    NZ$75
  • Hukafalls Jet
    NZ$115
  • Rock'n Ropes Adventure Course
    NZ$70
  • Taupo Bungy
    Bungy NZ$169, Swing NZ$119
  • Taupo Tandem Skydiving
    From NZ$249
9 Lake Taupo to Wellington

Spot the dramatic volcanic landscapes that were used as backdrops in "The Lord of the Rings" films today, when we drive past World Heritage-listed Tongariro National Park. The park is also home to the still active volcano, Mt. Ruapehu, which doubles as NZ’s biggest ski field.
Next stop – the capital city of Wellington. It’s the country’s political centre and cultural core with funky shops, fringe festivals, galleries, as well as a huge amount of cool café
s and bars.
Take in the sweeping views of pretty beaches, narrow streets, and weather-worn Victorian houses.
Tonight, enjoy an optional dinner with the group in the heart of the downtown area, which has a great, lively atmosphere and plenty of cutting edge restaurants and bars.

Day 9: Hotel Breakfast

  • Dramatic drive along the Desert Road, through the volcanic landscape made famous in "The Lord of the Rings"
  • See the active volcano Mt. Ruapehu
  • Orientation tour of Wellington
  • Optional Dinner
    NZ$29
10 Wellington

You’ve got a full day to discover Wellington – its compact centre is perfect for exploring on foot.

Walk alongside the harbour or visit the innovative Te Papa Museum for a look into New Zealand history and culture.

You could take a walk around New Zealand’s political heart by visiting some of its government buildings. Take in the iconic ‘Beehive’ building & its distinctive shape, which was specially designed to cope in case of an earthquake.

You could hang out on alternative Cuba Street, watch street performers or rummage through some of the surrounding retro stores. If you’re hungry, try out some of the great ethnic foods you can find in this multi-cultural city, like sushi, Thai, kebabs and Italian gelatos.

For something different, learn about the age-old art of tattooing at the Tattoo Museum. From traditional Maori moko (face tattoos) through to colourful contemporary designs. There’s even a tattoo parlour on site if you’re game!

Day 10: Hotel Breakfast

  • See more of the sights made famous in the "The Lord of the Rings"
  • Kapiti Quad Bikes
    NZ$165
  • Rover Rings half/full day Tour
    NZ$95/$189
  • Lord of the Rings Tour(s)
    NZ$95/$189
11 Wellington to Christchurch

Jump on the Inter-Island ferry and leave the North Island behind. The South Island means a complete change of scenery with loads of wild nature. Cruise through the gorgeous Marlborough Sounds, where thick forested peaks rise straight up from the sea. It’s a camera-friendly spot with picturesque inlets, remote coves and tiny beaches that dot the islands.

You’ll also see some old wooden baches (New Zealand holiday houses) and boat jetties. After the cruise, it’s another jaw-dropping drive to Kaikoura, via Marlborough’s wine country. We travel on to the wild, rugged east coast and stop at a seal colony, before passing through Kaikoura.

This seaside settlement is known for whales, dolphins and delicious, fresh crayfish sold from roadside vans. The coach cuts across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.

Day 11: Hotel Breakfast

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What's Included

All of this & more, included as standard on your trip.

Accommodation

  • 11 nights multi-share accommodation: 10 nights in hotels, 1 night in a lodge
  • Modern, air-conditioned coach with powerpoints for charging
  • Hotel tips, local taxes & service charges

Team

  • Experienced & Professional Trip Manager & Driver team
  • Sightseeing tours of all major cities

Food

  • 14 meals:
  • 11 breakfasts
  • 3 dinners

Inclusions

  • 1 World Heritage Site visited
  • See the 'City of Sails' harbour made famous by the America's Cup
  • Cross Auckland's Harbour Bridge
See More

Me Time

  • Kiwi Parasail
  • Horse Trek'n
  • Coastal Kayaks
  • Carino Day Sailing
  • Awesome Adventures Cape Rienga Trip
  • Fish Spot X
  • Dolphin Cruise
  • Island Adventurer
  • Day in the Bay Cruise
  • Cape Rienga/Island Adventure Combo
  • Hole in the Rock Cruise
  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds Tour
  • Auckland Bungy
  • Auckland Bridge Climb
  • Bridge Climb and Bungy Combo
  • Sky Tower Sky Jump
  • Sky Tower Sky Walk
  • Sky Jump and Sky Walk Combo
  • America’s Cup Sailing
  • Ruakuri Caves Tour
  • Black Water Rafting
  • Waitomo Caves Tour
  • Ogo
  • Skyline Gondola and Luge Rides
  • Rainbow Springs
  • Hobbiton Movie Set Tours
  • Whakarewarewa Thermal Village
  • Kaitiaki Rafting
  • Rotorua Canopy Tours
  • Mt. Tarawera Trek
  • Agro Adventures
  • Dinner / Party Cruise
  • Hukafalls Jet
  • Rock'n Ropes Adventure Course
  • Taupo Bungy
  • Taupo Tandem Skydiving
  • Optional Dinner
  • Kapiti Quad Bikes
  • Rover Rings half/full day Tour
  • Lord of the Rings Tour(s)
See More

On a budget?

  • The average cost per day for this tour is US$142
  • You only need a US$200 deposit to book and pay in full 45 days before you travel.
  • Pay in installments, with Contiki Easy Pay

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