Northern Choice (Wellington to Auckland)

Tour Length
11 days
From
US$1798
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Tour starts

Tour ends

 
 

Price

 
27 Sep 2014
09 Oct 2014
 
 
Sold out
 
29 Sep 2014
09 Oct 2014
Definite departure  
 
US$1798
 
05 Oct 2014
17 Oct 2014
Definite departure  
 
Sold out
 
07 Oct 2014
17 Oct 2014
Definite departure  
 
US$1834
 
23 Oct 2014
02 Nov 2014
Definite departure  
 
US$1834
 
08 Nov 2014
18 Nov 2014
Definite departure  
 
US$1834
 
24 Nov 2014
04 Dec 2014
Definite departure  
 
US$1874
 
02 Dec 2014
12 Dec 2014
Definite departure  
 
US$1874
 
14 Dec 2014
24 Dec 2014
Definite departure  
 
US$1874
 
18 Dec 2014
28 Dec 2014
Definite departure  
 
US$1884
 
30 Dec 2014
09 Jan 2015
Definite departure  
 
US$1884
 
03 Jan 2015
13 Jan 2015
Definite departure  
 
US$1884
 
07 Jan 2015
17 Jan 2015
Definite departure  
 
US$1884
 
11 Jan 2015
21 Jan 2015
Definite departure  
 
US$1874
 
15 Jan 2015
25 Jan 2015
Definite departure  
 
US$1874
 
19 Jan 2015
29 Jan 2015
Definite departure  
 
US$1874
 
23 Jan 2015
02 Feb 2015
Definite departure  
 
US$1874
 
27 Jan 2015
06 Feb 2015
Definite departure  
 
US$1874
 
31 Jan 2015
10 Feb 2015
 
 
US$1874
 
04 Feb 2015
14 Feb 2015
 
 
US$1874
 
08 Feb 2015
18 Feb 2015
 
 
US$1874
 
12 Feb 2015
22 Feb 2015
 
 
US$1874
 
16 Feb 2015
26 Feb 2015
 
 
US$1874
 
24 Feb 2015
06 Mar 2015
 
 
US$1874
 
04 Mar 2015
14 Mar 2015
 
 
US$1874
 
12 Mar 2015
22 Mar 2015
 
 
US$1874
 
20 Mar 2015
30 Mar 2015
 
 
US$1874
 
28 Mar 2015
07 Apr 2015
 
 
US$1874
 
13 Apr 2015
23 Apr 2015
 
 
US$1848
 
29 Apr 2015
09 May 2015
 
 
US$1848
 
07 May 2015
17 May 2015
 
 
US$1848
 
15 May 2015
25 May 2015
 
 
US$1848
 
31 May 2015
10 Jun 2015
 
 
US$1848
 
16 Jun 2015
26 Jun 2015
 
 
US$1848
 
02 Jul 2015
12 Jul 2015
 
 
US$1834
 
10 Jul 2015
20 Jul 2015
 
 
US$1834
 
18 Jul 2015
28 Jul 2015
 
 
US$1834
 
26 Jul 2015
05 Aug 2015
 
 
US$1834
 
03 Aug 2015
13 Aug 2015
 
 
US$1834
 
19 Aug 2015
29 Aug 2015
 
 
US$1834
 
04 Sep 2015
14 Sep 2015
 
 
US$1834
 
12 Sep 2015
22 Sep 2015
 
 
US$1834
 
20 Sep 2015
30 Sep 2015
 
 
US$1834
 
28 Sep 2015
08 Oct 2015
 
 
US$1834
 
06 Oct 2015
16 Oct 2015
 
 
US$1864

Important Notice:

Please note: Your hotel will be available to check into from 2pm on Day 1 & your trip will start at 6:00pm.

Overview Reviews
11 days
1 World Heritage Site visited
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Write a review!
Tour Map

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

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

Check into the Abel Tasman Hotel, then the rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore. Meet your fellow travelers & Tour Manager this evening.

Hotel

  • Optional Dinner
    NZ$29
2 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!

Hotel Breakfast

  • See more of the sights made famous in the "The Lord of the Rings"
  • Kapiti Quad Bikes
    NZ$165
  • Seal Coast Safaris
    NZ$109
  • Wairarapa Wine Escape
    NZ$179
  • Wellington Rover Rings Tours
    NZ$95/$169
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.

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
    NZ $139
  • Rock'n Ropes Adventure Course
    NZ$65
  • Dinner / Party Cruise
    NZ$69
4 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’ sulphur 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 optional authentic cultural experience, complete with a fantastic Maori hangi and traditional dance concert. Some of the foods you can try from the hangi 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.

Hotel Breakfast,Dinner

  • Walk through the Wairakei 'Craters of the Moon'
  • Traditional Maori hāngi dinner & dance performance
  • Rainbow Springs
    NZ$35
  • Te Puia (Maori Arts & Crafts Institute)
    NZ$39
  • Kaitiaki Rafting
    NZ$95, NZ$109
  • Skyline Gondola and Luge Rides
    NZ$29
  • Ogo
    Ranges from NZ$25
5 Rotorua

This morning, get an insider look at New Zealand’s unique Maori culture & history as we tour Rotorua’s famous Ohinemutu Village with our expert local guide. 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.

Hotel Breakfast

  • Locally guided tour of Ohinemutu Village
  • Hobbiton
    NZ $99
  • Whakarewarewa Thermal Village
    NZ $29
  • Te Puia (Maori Arts & Crafts Institute)
    NZ$39
  • Kaitiaki Rafting
    NZ$95, NZ$109
  • NZone Skydiving
    9,000ft NZ$269, 12,000ft NZ$329, 15,000ft NZ$429
6 Rotorua to Waitomo

This morning, we stop at the Agrodome farm show for an interactive introduction into farming and agriculture, which is New Zealand’s main industry. You’ll see sheep-shearing and watch an impressive sheepdog demo. These dogs are highly-trained and skilled at controlling livestock.

We'll stop off for an included visit at Otorohanga's Kiwi House to check out New Zealand's national bird. This shy creature only comes out at night - the nocturnal enclosures at the Kiwi House mean you're guaranteed to see one. If you're lucky you'll also get to spot a tuatara - a true 'living fossil' reptile that pre-dates the dinosaurs!

Next up is Waitomo and the Waitomo Caves. Famous for their incredible limestone formations and glowworms, the caves are a stunning subterranean world. You’ll see the Glowworm Grotto, where the cave roof is covered with twinkling insects. 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!

Lodge Breakfast,Dinner

  • Visit the Agrodome to see the world-renowned Sheep Show
  • Entry to the Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park
  • Enjoy a traditional Kiwi BBQ or pub dinner (seasonal)
  • Waitomo Caves Tour
    NZ$45
  • Black Water Rafting
    NZ$115
  • Ruakuri Caves Tour
    NZ$62
7 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. A VIP pass at one of our favourite nightspots awaits tonight.

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
  • VIP entry to one of Auckland's hottest nightspots
8 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.

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
9 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.

It's your final night together on tour, so make it an evening to remember!

Hotel Breakfast

  • Kiwi Parasail
    NZ$99 (single) NZ$89 (tandem)
  • Explore NZ Combo
    NZ$119
  • Horse Trek'n
    NZ$115
  • Coastal Kayaks
    NZ$85(half day) NZ$115 (full day)
  • Carino Day Sailing
    NZ$119
  • Cape Brett Cruise
    NZ$89
  • Awesome Adventures
    NZ$115
  • Ocean Adventure 'Fastboat'
    NZ$89
  • Spot X Fishing Trip
    NZ$95
  • Dolphin Encounter
    NZ $89
10 Paihia to Auckland

Today we head back south to the City of Sails, Auckland.

Hotel Breakfast

11 Finish Auckland

Say a final farewell to your new friends as your trip ends this morning after breakfast.

Breakfast

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What's Included

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

Accommodation

  • 10 nights multi-share accommodation: 9 nights in hotels, 1 night in a lodge
  • An experienced & professional Tour Manager & Driver team
  • Modern, air-conditioned coach with powerpoints for charging
  • Sightseeing tours of all major cities
  • Hotel tips, local taxes & service charges

Team

Experienced & Professional Trip Manager & Driver team

Food

  • 13 meals:
  • 10 breakfasts
  • 3 dinners

Inclusions

  • See more of the sights made famous in the "The Lord of the Rings"
  • Dramatic drive along the Desert Road, through the volcanic landscape made famous in "The Lord of the Rings"
See More

Me Time

  • Optional Dinner
  • Kapiti Quad Bikes
See More

On a budget?

  • The average cost per day for this tour is US$163
  • 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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