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Kiwiana Panorama

(Auckland to Christchurch Summer)

4.6
236 reviews
00:00 / 00:00
045nwzd2017

The one that packs 16 days full to the brim with NZ bucket list musts

Travel Style

In-Depth Explorer

Learn about our travel styles.

  • Duration

    16 days

  • Places

    20 places

  • Meals

    15 Breakfasts, 5 Dinners

  • Transport Style

    Coach

  • Group Size

    Average 45 people

  • Team

    Expert Trip Manager, Driver and Local Guides

Auckland, Rotorua, Lake Taupo, Mount Ruapehu, Wellington, Christchurch, Franz Josef Glacier, Queenstown, Te Anau, Lake Ohau, Huka Falls, Picton, Kaikoura, Arthurs Pass, Hokitika, Haast Pass, Wanaka, Milford Sound, Arrowtown, Lake Tekapo

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    Your Trip Host has designed every trip to be packed with incredible, local experiences, made even more amazing as you share it with other incredible 18-35 year old travelers.

About this trip

Feed your adrenaline cravings - relaxation is overrated! Hit Rotorua, 'Zorb' or luge then chill out in a Polynesian spa! Have a hāngi, cruise Lake Taupo then head to the adventure Capital of the World, Queenstown. Ever tried bungy jumping or canyon swinging? Now 's the time! Get into Queenstown's legendary nightlife before the good times end in Christchurch.

Book With Confidence

  • Only $200 deposit to book

    Reserve your space now with a deposit of only $200, pay the rest 45 days before departure

  • Pay over time, interest free

    Can't pay in full? We've got you covered with our Part Pay Program

  • No booking fee, no change fees

    Change your travel dates or even your trip for free

  • Financing available with UpLift

    Book now, pay later when you're eligible for Uplift

Trip Variation

Customize the itinerary of your trip depending on yours preferences

  • Auckland to Queenstown Winter

    Option 1

    This trip version is two days shorter and will take you from Auckland to Queenstown in winter

  • Auckland to Queenstown Summer

    Option 2

    This trip version is two days shorter and will take you from Auckland to Queenstown in summer

  • Queenstown to Auckland Winter

    Option 3

    This trip version is two days shorter and will take you from Queenstown to Auckland in winter

  • Queenstown to Auckland Summer

    Option 4

    This trip version is two days shorter and will take you from Queenstown to Auckland in summer

  • Auckland to Christchurch Summer

    Option 5

    This is the full version of the trip, starting in Auckland and finishing in Christchurch during summer

  • Auckland to Christchurch Winter

    Option 6

    This is the full version of the trip, starting in Auckland and finishing in Christchurch during winter

  • Christchurch to Auckland Summer

    Option 7

    This is the full version of the trip, starting in Christchurch and finishing in Auckland during summer

  • Christchurch to Auckland Winter

    Option 8

    This is the full version of the trip, starting in Christchurch and finishing in Auckland during winter

Map & Itinerary

  • Start location
  • End location
  • Trip day
  • Via location
  • River route
  • Plane route

DAY 1 - Auckland to Rotorua

Auckland

Laters 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, on route to Hobbiton Village. That's right, it wouldn't be a complete experience without a stop at the "Shire". 

Rotorua

When you catch your first whiff of that .. 'unusual' sulphur smell, you'll know we've arrived in Rotorua. Famed for its spurting geysers, boiling mud pools & hot springs, gondola and speeding luge rides, Rotorua is a natural wonderland, and then some.  Tonight the culture will sky rocket with a traditional Maori hāngi dinner & dance performance, and perhaps best of all, the chance to get involved in the world-famous HAKA. Tongues at the ready peeps.

DAY 2 - Rotorua

Rotorua

The day is yours to roam free in this geothermal paradise. Soak in a hot spring, go white water rafting or hike up a volcano. The options are limitless and the decisions are yours. We recommend the Rotorua Dawn Canopy Tour, exclusive to Contiki, where you'll watch the sun rise, eat some breakfast and drink coffee up in the towering trees as the birds make start their morning calls. Then, you'll get to soar 1200m through the forest on the ultimate zipline adventure.

DAY 3 - Rotorua to Lake Taupo via Huka Falls

Rotorua

Our Rotorua adventures are (almost) at an end, but not before we stop by the Rainbow Springs Nature Park, where you’ll get the chance to learn about New Zealand's national bird, kiwis. Like nice surprises? Here’s one for you - your included entrance fee goes towards the kiwi rehabilitation project, a Contiki sponsored initiative. Plus, as part of the project Treadright sponsors an incubator to hatch eggs, so every year we get naming rights to two new baby kiwis. Cute, huh?

Huka Falls

220,000 litres (that's 58 000 gallons) of water gush over Huka Falls per second. Just let that sink in for a minute. Wild, right? Even wilder still is the Hukafalls Jet experience - a thrilling ride that will get you experiencing the full force of the falls and leave you with even more of a taste for adventure. A good thing really, given Lake Taupo is on the horizon. 

Lake Taupo

Volcanic peak views & trout fishing will seamlessly slip us into quaint lake life. But don't be fooled by the seemingly still scenery - a bungy jump or skydive are both on the menu if that adrenaline itch needs scratching.

DAY 4 - Lake Taupo to Mount Ruapehu

Lake Taupo

We drive through the central plateau to the southern end of  the Tongariro National Park, Ohakune is known as the aprés ski capital of the North Island. 
Today you have the option to go mountain biking along one of NZ's most picturesque track, "the Old Coach Rd". 

Mount Ruapehu

Tonight we stay in a heritage listed building built in 1913 which is now a vibrant modern ski lodge, located at the base of a volcano, Mt Ruapehu with views unlike any other you've seen.

DAY 5 - Mount Ruapehu to Wellington

Mount Ruapehu

These landscapes are unique and the sights will leave you breathless. On route to the windy capital Wellington where we'll show you the sights of this city.

Wellington

As much as we've been loving the nature time, the change of scenery to New Zealand's well-cultured capital will prove an utter delights. After an orientation through the narrow streets of Wellington a night on the town will be on the cards, plus an optional dinner to start the night off as we mean to go on. 

DAY 6 - Wellington

Wellington

The day is yours to explore Wellington! In the early evening we'll head to a local cafe and try the famed flat white coffee in its city of origin (sorry Australians). Then you'll have a free afternoon, or (from Oct 2020) we'll meet Parris Quinn our 2019 changemaker, and try some of her Heart Parcels brownies. Heart Parcels is a charity that Parris started to ensure Wellington's homeless have enough food to eat. Buy a delicious brownie here and the proceeds go straight towards feeding people living on the streets of Wellington. If it's a Monday night, you're welcome to join Paris as she hands out donations. It's inspiring stuff.

DAY 7 - Wellington to Christchurch

Wellington

So long north island! Today we're making tracks for your southern brother, darting across the Tasman via the Inter-Island ferry.

Picton

Our first port of call on the South Island will be Picton, the gateway to wine country. Sauv blanc, anyone?

Kaikoura

Our next drive takes us through Marlborough’s wine country along the rugged east coast. Arriving in Kaikoura will see us amongst a seaside settlement known for whales & dolphins, so the camera needs to be on 110% charge as we roll around the coast. We'll stop at a seal colony, where you'll struggle not to break into a collective 'cuuuute' as you watch these guys sunning themselves on the rocks.

Christchurch

Tonight we sleep well in Christchurch, drifting off to the pleasant memories of NZ's natural beauty that seasoned our day.

DAY 8 - Christchurch to Franz Josef

Christchurch

Christchurch, it was short and sweet, but with with ice age action on the horizon we gots to move on.

Arthurs Pass

Take in the beautiful scenery as we wind our way across the highest and most spectacular mountain pass across the Southern Alps.

Hokitika

In the gold rush town of Hokitika we'll watch authentic carvers get to work on green jade and take a look at traditional Maori art. Back on the coach we're coastline bound to one of the islands most jaw-droppingly beautiful spots...

Franz Josef Glacier

We'll pull up for the night in glorious Franz Josef, probably one of the most beautiful places you'll ever of clapped eyes on. A bold statement we know, but well deserved.

DAY 9 - Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier

This morning will be another big ol' tick off the list as we take to the ice of Franz Josef Glacier. We've got a heli ride over the glacier up for grabs, or the opportunity to carve your own Pounamu (jade) pendant, under the tuition of a Maori mastercraftsman. Pounamu is sacred to the Māori people, and this is a great way to learn about its cultural significance, while also creating a beautiful please of jewellery. An optional highlight today is a boat cruise across Lake Mapourika. But this ain't your ordinary boat cruise. You'll cruise up the glassy lake, framed by glaciers and mountains, before switching to a stand up paddle board and gliding along a narrow estuary. This takes you to your journey's destination, the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary, where you'll get to meet New Zealand's adorable but vulnerable national bird.

DAY 10 - Franz Josef Glacier to Queenstown

Franz Josef Glacier

Armed with a new found appreciation for frozen water, we'll hop back on the coach & start making our way to Queenstown, making a few cheeky stops along the way.

Haast Pass

Our first piece of NZ eye-candy comes in the form of Haast Pass, beautified by ancient rainforests, small glaciers and waterfalls. Note how the scenery changes as we roll towards Queenstown through the Southern Alps and region of Otago.

Wanaka

Intermitting our scenic drive we'll stop for lunch in Wanaka, a pretty ski resort town situated on a lake front and dwarfed by mountains. This town is fast becoming one of NZ's most popular spots, and a trip to the 'Dough Bin' for a luscious pie should be high on the list today.

Queenstown

Welcome to the adventure capital of the world. Rest up tonight - the next few days are going to be BIG.

DAY 11 - Queenstown

Queenstown

Today is yours to get acquainted with Queenstown and spend some time mulling over the activities up for grabs in the next two days. First stop is the legendary Kawarau Bungy Bridge, get your morning adrenaline hit with a heart pounding jump at the world home of the bungy. Later, take a stroll around beautiful Queenstown, nestled in the Southern Alps this stunning town has plenty to offer other than adventure activities.

DAY 12 - Queenstown

Queenstown

It's times like this that you really start to work out what sort of traveller you are. And human for that matter. You might be the one trailing through wine country and doing a spot of horse back riding, or you may be that guy that crams in a bungy jump, a skydive and a heliraft & still craves more. It's your holiday - run wild as you see fit.

DAY 13 - Queenstown

Queenstown

With our last day in adrenalin city ahead of us, this is the time to push yourself to the limits and hurl over any mental barriers you've put up around yourself. Jump into #NOREGRETS spirit and conquer those niggling fears once and for all. For those who did their dash yesterday, a day staying mellow and enjoying this beautiful region will prove more than sufficient.

DAY 14 - Queenstown to Te Anau via Milford Sound

Queenstown

Alright, it's time to return our adrenaline levels to a normal level and make tracks to the spectacular natural wonder of Milford Sound. 

Milford Sound

Welcome to New Zealand's most stunning attraction, with a magical combination of mountain peaks, forest-clad cliffs and deep dark waters. We take an included cruise of the fiord and experience the beauty of this pristine destination by boat, the best way to see Milford Sound in all its glory.

Te Anau

Arriving in the stunning lakeside town of Te Anau, why not take a guided jet boat trip to Fiordland National Park? From Te Anau through lake Manapouri, it's an exhilarating way to soak up the scenery. You can also take a trip to the ethereal glow worm caves or simply cycle the gorgeous trails through native bush.

DAY 15 - Te Anau to Lake Ohau

Te Anau

Departing Te Anau we will make a stop at a true Kiwi farm experience, to discover how country life really looks like in this corner of the world. Anyone up for sheep shearing or milking a cow?!

Arrowtown

We make a quick stop for lunch in this historic gold mining town before heading onto Lake Ohau. 

Lake Ohau

We will stop by a farm to experience true country NZ life. Envisage - Horse back farmers, mustering sheep using dogs. Following that we travel to Arrowtown for a lunch stop then onto Lake Ohau.

DAY 16 - Lake Ohau to Christchurch via Lake Tekapo

Lake Ohau

It's our last day, let's end it on a high!

Lake Tekapo

We'll stop off to see the intense milky blue waters of glacially-fed Lake Tekapo. Here (from October 2020) we'll also get to enjoy an unforgettable Dark Sky experience, an interactive multimedia exhibition that mixes stargazing, science and traditional Māori astronomy, teaching us how the Māori people used to use stars to harvest food, and about the importance of reducing light pollution.

Christchurch

Onto Christchurch and there's sure to be some sadness. But don't worry - memories  will put smiles on faces for many years to come.

Where You'll Stay

Learn more about the accommodation available on this trip

  • 15 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

    7 nights in Hotel, 1 night in Contiki Special Stay, 7 nights in Lodge

    Throughout your trip you’ll be getting your beauty sleep in cosy, warm beds in multi-share rooms, plus the chance to stay in funky sleeping pods that can be completely enclosed for sleeping and chilling out. Your accommodation will always be located in the heart of the action, with communal areas for you and your new best friends to relax and socialise.

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