Northern Choice (Christchurch to Auckland)

Tour Length
11 days
From
US$1535
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TOUR STARTS
TOUR ENDS
   
PRICE
  28 May 2016 07 Jun 2016 Definite departure   US$1815
  29 Jun 2016 09 Jul 2016 Definite departure US$1815
  07 Jul 2016 17 Jul 2016 Definite departure US$1795
  15 Jul 2016 25 Jul 2016 Definite departure US$1795
  23 Jul 2016 02 Aug 2016 Definite departure US$1795
  31 Jul 2016 10 Aug 2016 Definite departure US$1795
  16 Aug 2016 26 Aug 2016 Definite departure US$1795
  01 Sep 2016 11 Sep 2016 Definite departure US$1795
  09 Sep 2016 19 Sep 2016 Definite departure US$1795
  17 Sep 2016 27 Sep 2016 Definite departure US$1795
  25 Sep 2016 05 Oct 2016 Definite departure US$1795
  03 Oct 2016 13 Oct 2016 Definite departure US$1795
  19 Oct 2016 29 Oct 2016 Definite departure US$1535
27 Oct 2016 06 Nov 2016 US$1535
04 Nov 2016 14 Nov 2016 US$1535
12 Nov 2016 22 Nov 2016 US$1535
  20 Nov 2016 30 Nov 2016 Definite departure US$1575
  28 Nov 2016 08 Dec 2016 Definite departure US$1575
  06 Dec 2016 16 Dec 2016 Definite departure US$1575
10 Dec 2016 20 Dec 2016 US$1575
14 Dec 2016 24 Dec 2016 US$1575
18 Dec 2016 28 Dec 2016 US$1585
  22 Dec 2016 01 Jan 2017 Definite departure US$1585
  26 Dec 2016 05 Jan 2017 Definite departure US$1585
  30 Dec 2016 09 Jan 2017 Definite departure US$1585
  03 Jan 2017 13 Jan 2017 Definite departure US$1585
  07 Jan 2017 17 Jan 2017 Definite departure US$1585
  11 Jan 2017 21 Jan 2017 Definite departure US$1575
15 Jan 2017 25 Jan 2017 US$1575
19 Jan 2017 29 Jan 2017 US$1575
  23 Jan 2017 02 Feb 2017 Definite departure US$1575
27 Jan 2017 06 Feb 2017 US$1575
31 Jan 2017 10 Feb 2017 US$1575
  04 Feb 2017 14 Feb 2017 Definite departure US$1575
08 Feb 2017 18 Feb 2017 US$1575
12 Feb 2017 22 Feb 2017 Sold out
  20 Feb 2017 02 Mar 2017 Definite departure US$1575
28 Feb 2017 10 Mar 2017 US$1575
08 Mar 2017 18 Mar 2017 US$1575
16 Mar 2017 26 Mar 2017 US$1575
24 Mar 2017 03 Apr 2017 US$1575
09 Apr 2017 19 Apr 2017 US$1549
25 Apr 2017 05 May 2017 US$1549
03 May 2017 13 May 2017 US$1549
11 May 2017 21 May 2017 US$1549
27 May 2017 06 Jun 2017 US$1549
12 Jun 2017 22 Jun 2017 US$1549
28 Jun 2017 08 Jul 2017 US$1549
06 Jul 2017 16 Jul 2017 US$1535
14 Jul 2017 24 Jul 2017 US$1535
22 Jul 2017 01 Aug 2017 US$1535
30 Jul 2017 09 Aug 2017 US$1535
15 Aug 2017 25 Aug 2017 US$1535
31 Aug 2017 10 Sep 2017 US$1535
08 Sep 2017 18 Sep 2017 US$1535
16 Sep 2017 26 Sep 2017 US$1535
24 Sep 2017 04 Oct 2017 US$1535
02 Oct 2017 12 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 Christchurch at 7:00am 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 Wellington, Taupo, Rotorua, Waitomo, Paihia & Auckland

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

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 Christchurch

Arrive in Christchurch & check into the Ibis Hotel Christchurch from 2pm. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore then meet your fellow travelers & Tour Manager this evening.

Day 1: Hotel

2 Christchurch to Wellington

Kia Ora! Meet up with your Contiki Crew this morning and head off on a jaw-dropping drive up to the top of the South Island today. The coach cuts across the Canterbury Plains to Kaikoura. This seaside settlement is known for whales, dolphins and delicious, fresh crayfish sold from roadside vans. We’ll stop at a seal colony before travelling up the wild, rugged east coast and the wine country of Marlborough. Jump on the Inter-Island ferry and leave the South Island behind. 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. We dock in the capital city of Wellington – the country’s political centre and cultural core with funky shops, fringe festivals, galleries, as well as a huge amount of cool cafes and bars. Take the time to say your farewells & and swap contact details with your new travel buddies as your tour ends this afternoon in Wellington.

Day 2: Hotel Breakfast

  • Spectacular drive along the Kaikoura Coast & visit to a seal colony
  • Drive through New Zealand's largest wine growing region
3 Wellington to Lake Taupo

Spot the dramatic volcanic landscapes today that were used as backdrops in "The Lord of the Rings", 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.

Continue on 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 have a go at fishing!

Later, back on land, play some pool at one of Taupo’s lakeside bars.

Day 3: 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
  • View Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake
  • Taupo Bungy
    Bungy NZ$169, Swing NZ$119
  • Rock'n Ropes Adventure Course
    NZ$70
  • Dinner / Party Cruise
    NZ$75
  • Taupo Tandem Skydiving
    From NZ$249
4 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 4: 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
5 Lake Taupo to Rotorua

On the way out of 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 a short drive to Rotorua, famous for its spurting geysers, boiling mud pools, hot springs and ‘interesting’ sulfur smell.

For some crazy ‘Kiwi ingenuity’, try an optional called zorbing. 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.

Rotorua is an important hub of Maori culture. To recognise this, we have an included authentic cultural experience, complete with a fantastic Maori hangi 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 5: Hotel Breakfast, Dinner

  • Visit the mighty Huka Falls
  • Guided tour of the 'Sulfur City', Rotorua
  • See Rotorua's bubbling geothermic mud pools
  • Traditional Maori hāngi dinner & dance performance
  • Hukafalls Jet
    NZ$115
  • Ogo
    Ranges from NZ$35
  • Skyline Gondola and Luge Rides
    NZ$32
6 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 6: 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
7 Rotorua to Waitomo

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

Day 7: Lodge Breakfast, Dinner

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

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 - before arriving in Auckland.
As New Zealand’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, Auckland is 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. Here we'll show you the city spots on an included sightseeing tour before heading up the iconic Sky Tower.
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 Aucklands 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.

Day 8: Hotel Breakfast

  • See the 'City of Sails' harbour made famous by the America's Cup
  • Catch a 360° view of Auckland with a trip up the Sky Tower
9 Auckland to Paihia

This morning we’ll cross the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge. There are 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 Tour 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 you'll get to experience 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 9: Hotel Breakfast, Dinner

  • 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
10 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 10: 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
11 Paihia to Auckland

Head back south to Auckland today, where your tour winds up in the city centre mid-afternoon.

Day 11: 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
  • Spectacular drive along the Kaikoura Coast & visit to a seal colony
  • Drive through New Zealand's largest wine growing region
See More

Me Time

  • Taupo Bungy
  • Rock'n Ropes Adventure Course
  • Dinner / Party Cruise
  • Taupo Tandem Skydiving
  • Kapiti Quad Bikes
  • Rover Rings half/full day Tour
  • Lord of the Rings Tour(s)
  • Hukafalls Jet
  • Ogo
  • Skyline Gondola and Luge Rides
  • Hobbiton Movie Set Tours
  • Whakarewarewa Thermal Village
  • Kaitiaki Rafting
  • Rotorua Canopy Tours
  • Mt. Tarawera Trek
  • Agro Adventures
  • Waitomo Caves Tour
  • Black Water Rafting
  • Ruakuri Caves Tour
  • 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
See More

On a budget?

  • The average cost per day for this tour is US$139
  • 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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