Clear your schedule for New Zealand NOW – from Auckland to Waitomo and everything in between. Cross the Harbour Bridge, create your own kayaking adventure, swim with the dolphins and see the ‘Hole in the Rock’ while fast boating through the islands! Glimpse real glowworms while black water rafting the Waitomo caves. Plus, for you culture vultures, trek through the native Kauri Forest and take in the Tribal Lands of Nga Puhi Maori. You’ll have a day to chill out in the thermal pools of Rotorua too!
|Accommodations:|| Resort, Lodge, Hotel
as per itinerary
|Meals:|| Dinner, Breakfast, Breakfast, Dinner
as per itinerary
|Sightseeing:||North Island, including Bay of Islands, Waitomo, Rotorua & Auckland|
|Transportation:||Modern, air-conditioned coach|
Fly over the international date line on your way to New Zealand.
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 see the Sky Tower downtown, before crossing 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 50ms 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 show you 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, Tour Manager and Driver over a typical ‘Kiwi’ dinner – a BBQ – 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.
A day of adventure and fun. The day is yours to enjoy the overwhelming beauty of the Bay of Islands. How about a Catamaran cruise through the “Hole-in-the-Rock”, maybe sail to a deserted island for lunch, perhaps travel along Ninety Mile Beach to Cape Reinga at “lands end”.
Southbound, we stop in Auckland for a lunch, before driving on 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 glow-worms, the caves are a stunning subterranean world. You’ll see the Glow-worm 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 a pizza 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!
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. Later, we pull into 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.
Jump on board a transfer coach this morning and cruise back through the Waikato countryside to Auckland, where the tour ends in the afternoon. Say goodbye to your new friends. Please note: This transfer from Rotorua to Auckland is not operated by Contiki, but by a third party operator.
Say a final farewell to your new friends as your trip ends this morning after breakfast.
All these highlights along with city sightseeing are included in your tour price!