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Kiwiana Panorama

(Christchurch to Auckland Summer)

4.6
236 reviews
00:00 / 00:00
young people walking towards a coastline
See full itinerary

The one that brings you to the heart of kiwi culture with hangi, spa, and wildlife galore…

Travel Style

In-Depth Explorer

Take your time and explore in-detail each destination on this trip. Find out more

  • 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

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

Kiwiana Panorama (Christchurch to Auckland Summer)

17 Inclusions

Experiences that are included with your trip

  • See the peak of Mt Cook from across the beautiful blue glacial Lake Ohau
  • See the historic Church of the Good Shepard
  • Stop at Lake Pukaki, Lake Tekapo & Geraldine
  • Experience rural NZ country life with a farm visit in Te Anau
  • Cruise the glassy waters of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Milford Sound
  • Stop at AJ Hackett's Kawarau Bridge
  • View a native greenstone carving demonstration in the goldrush town of Hokitika
  • Spectacular drive along the Kaikoura Coast & visit to a seal colony
  • Tuck into coffee and cake in one of Wellington's cafes, including a 'Heart parcels' brownie with proceeds going towards supporting the homeless
  • Join our 2019 Changemaker Parris Quinn in handing out 'Heart Parcels' food to Wellington's homeless (from Oct 2020 - selected departures)
  • Check out the cafe & restaurant scene in Wellington, voted the coolest little capital in the world
  • See more of the sights made famous in the "The Lord of the Rings"
  • See an active stratovolcano with Mt Ruapehu
  • Take a behind the scenes tour of the of a Kiwi conservation project at the Rainbow Springs Kiwi Encounter
  • See (and smell) Rotorua's bubbling geothermic mud pools
  • Experience a traditional Maori cultural performance and feast on a ground-smoked hangi dinner
  • Visit Hobbiton and take a guided tour of the set made famous by the "Lord of the Rings & Hobbit" movies

33 Free Time Add-Ons

Optional experiences that you can choose from and pay for on your trip

  • Grand Traverse Scenic Flight NZ$340
  • Cruise Fiordland National Park on a guided jet boat trip followed by an optional cycle ride
  • Be awed by the magical twinkle of the Te Anau glowworm caves NZ$98
  • Group Photograph NZ$19
  • Queenstown Wine Trail
  • Swing through the tree tops on a Ziptrek Zipline tour in Queenstown NZ$189
  • Enjoy dinner with unparallelled views at Queenstown's Skyline restaurant NZ$85
  • Canyon Swing NZ$215
  • Funyaks NZ$359
  • Take your happy hour in sub-zero temperatures at Queenstown's Ice Bar experience NZ$20
  • Canyon Fox NZ$150
  • Take the plunge on the world's OG bungy at Kawarau Bridge, Queenstown NZ$205
  • Jump off the third highest bungy platform in the world at AJ Hackett's Nevis Bungy in Queenstown NZ$275
  • Get a thrilling perspective of Queenstown's skyline with the famous AJ Hackett Ledge bungy NZ$205
  • Go all out with Thrillogy - 3 of Queenstown's world class bungy jumps including the historic Kawarau Bungy, the freestyle Ledge Bungy, and the hair-raising Nevis Bungy NZ$420
  • Take the swing of your life on the 300m Nevis Swing, one of the world's biggest canyon swings in Queenstown NZ$210
  • Get your adrenalin pumping with AJ Hackett's Ledge Swing with sweeping views of Queenstown NZ$165
  • Queenstown Adventurer Canyoning NZ$199
  • Take the plunge on the world's OG bungy at Kawarau Bridge, Queenstown NZ$205
  • Glacier Country Kayaks NZ$115
  • Across Country Quad Bikes NZ$160
  • Scenic Helicopter Flight and Glacier Landing From NZ$245
  • Helihike NZ$439
  • Carve your own pounamu (jade) pendant using traditional Māori methods with a master carver at Franz Josef
  • Boat and SUP the Kiwi Sanctuary
  • Wellington Dinner NZ$49
  • OGO Ball From NZ$35
  • Experience the rush of a Huka Falls Jet boat ride NZ$115
  • Go white water rafting down the crashing Kaituna River NZ$99
  • Hike the unique volcanic landscape of Mt Tarawera, Rotorua NZ$149
  • Explore native rainforest at dawn with breakfast & coffee followed by ziplining on a Contiki Exclusive Rotorua Rainforest Canopy tour NZ$149
  • Cook your kai (food) the traditional way over an active steam vent at Te Puia Maori Village, followed by a guided tour & hands-on weaving experience NZ$84
  • Get a multi-sensory icecream extravaganza with a Giapo Chef's Table icecream experience NZ$45

Where I'll Stay?

Learn more about the accommodation available on this trip

  • 15 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

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

    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.

About this trip

It’s not called the adrenalin capital of the world for nothing! Dive into the thrills of the South Island - from Franz Josef Glacier to Queenstown's non-stop action, you’ll need loads of energy to keep you going! Continue the adrenaline rush as you head through "The Lord of the Rings" country to the North Island, packed with Maori culture, cruising on Lake Taupo & metropolitan Auckland. NZ's two small islands definitely packed full of adventure!

Buy With Confidence

  • Only $99 deposit to book*

    For a limited time, reserve your space now with a deposit of only $99, 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

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Financing available through Uplift


Flexible monthly payments, with low rates, instant decision and easy autopay repayment plans. To find out more, click here.

Map & Itinerary

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

Nights spent per location

  1. Christchurch

  2. via via

    Lake Tekapo

  3. 1 1 night

    Lake Ohau

  4. via via

    Arrowtown

  5. 1 1 night

    Te Anau

  6. via via

    Milford Sound

  7. 4 4 nights

    Queenstown

  8. via via

    Wanaka

  9. via via

    Haast Pass

  10. 2 2 nights

    Franz Josef Glacier

  11. via via

    Hokitika

  12. via via

    Arthurs Pass

  13. 1 1 night

    Christchurch

  14. via via

    Kaikoura

  15. via via

    Picton

  16. 2 2 nights

    Wellington

  17. 1 1 night

    Mount Ruapehu

  18. 1 1 night

    Lake Taupo

  19. via via

    Huka Falls

  20. 2 2 nights

    Rotorua

  21. Auckland

+11 more

DAY 1 - Christchurch to Lake Ohau via Lake Tekapo

Christchurch

Christchurch what's up? New Zealand's South Island is the home to adventure, adrenaline and good times and we're here to take it all on.

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.

Lake Ohau

Onto Lake Ohau, with its glorious views of Mt. Cook. Yet another swoon-worthy location where you'll have to pick that jaw up off the ground.

Stay

Lake Ohau Lodge (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See the peak of Mt Cook from across the beautiful blue glacial Lake Ohau

  • See the historic Church of the Good Shepard

  • Stop at Lake Pukaki Lake Tekapo and Geraldine

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Grand Traverse Scenic Flight

    NZ$340

DAY 2 - Lake Ohau to Te Anau via Arrowtown

Lake Ohau

Another day, another natural wonder to discover.

Arrowtown

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

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 exhilirating 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.

Stay

The Village Inn Hotel (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Experience rural NZ country life with a farm visit in Te Anau

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Cruise Fiordland National Park on a guided jet boat trip followed by an optional cycle ride

  • Be awed by the magical twinkle of the Te Anau glowworm caves

    NZ$98

DAY 3 - Te Anau to Queenstown via Milford Sound

Te Anau

It's time to 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. 

Queenstown

Later, we head to our home for the night in Queenstown.

Stay

Jucy Snooze Hotel (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Cruise the glassy waters of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Milford Sound

DAY 4 - 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.

Stay

Jucy Snooze Hotel (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Stop at AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Group Photograph

    NZ$19

  • Queenstown Wine Trail

DAY 5 - 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.

Stay

Jucy Snooze Hotel (or similar)

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Swing through the tree tops on a Ziptrek Zipline tour in Queenstown

    NZ$189

  • Enjoy dinner with unparallelled views at Queenstown's Skyline restaurant

    NZ$85

  • Canyon Swing

    NZ$215

  • Funyaks

    NZ$359

  • Take your happy hour in sub-zero temperatures at Queenstown's Ice Bar experience

    NZ$20

  • Canyon Fox

    NZ$150

DAY 6 - 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.

Stay

Jucy Snooze Hotel (or similar)

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Take the plunge on the world's OG bungy at Kawarau Bridge, Queenstown

    NZ$205

  • Jump off the third highest bungy platform in the world at AJ Hackett's Nevis Bungy in Queenstown

    NZ$275

  • Get a thrilling perspective of Queenstown's skyline with the famous AJ Hackett Ledge bungy

    NZ$205

  • Go all out with Thrillogy - 3 of Queenstown's world class bungy jumps including the historic Kawarau Bungy, the freestyle Ledge Bungy, and the hair-raising Nevis Bungy

    NZ$420

  • Take the swing of your life on the 300m Nevis Swing, one of the world's biggest canyon swings in Queenstown

    NZ$210

  • Get your adrenalin pumping with AJ Hackett's Ledge Swing with sweeping views of Queenstown

    NZ$165

  • Queenstown Adventurer Canyoning

    NZ$199

DAY 7 - Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier via Wanaka & Haast Pass

Queenstown

Time to return our adrenalin levels to normal and make tracks to the wild (and often wet) West Coast and it's towering glaciers. But before we do, bridge bungy jump, anyone?

Wanaka

Enjoying 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.

Haast Pass

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

Franz Josef Glacier

Playing host tonight is the town of Franz Josef, home to some of NZ's finest natural beauty with bushlands and glaciers that almost reach the sea. Tomorrow we'll be out and about making the most of it - who's excited?

Stay

Rainforest Retreat (or similar)

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Take the plunge on the world's OG bungy at Kawarau Bridge, Queenstown

    NZ$205

DAY 8 - 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.

Stay

Rainforest Retreat (or similar)

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Glacier Country Kayaks

    NZ$115

  • Across Country Quad Bikes

    NZ$160

  • Scenic Helicopter Flight and Glacier Landing

    From NZ$245

  • Heli Hike

    NZ$439

  • Carve your own pounamu (jade) pendant using traditional Māori methods with a master carver

  • Boat and SUP the Kiwi Sanctuary

DAY 9 - Franz Josef Glacier to Christchurch via Hokitika & Arther's Pass

Franz Josef Glacier

Armed with a new found appreciation for frozen water, we hop back on the coach & start making our way back to Christchurch.

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...

Arthurs Pass

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

Christchurch

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

Stay

The Breakfree on Cashel Hotel (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • View a native greenstone carving demonstration in the goldrush town of Hokitika

DAY 10 - Christchurch to Wellington via Kaikoura & Picton

Christchurch

It’s another jaw-dropping drive up to the top of the South Island today. The coach cuts across the Canterbury Plains to Kaikoura.

Kaikoura

Arriving in Kaikoura will see us amongst a seaside settlement known for whales & dolphins, so have those cameras at the ready 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.

Picton

Our next drive takes us 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.

Wellington

We dock in the capital city of Wellington, where no doubt New Zealand's well-cultured capital will prove an utter delight. After an orientation through the narrow streets 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.

Stay

Mercure Abel Tasman Hotel (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Spectacular drive along the Kaikoura Coast and visit to a seal colony

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Wellington Dinner

    NZ$49

DAY 11 - 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.

Stay

Mercure Abel Tasman Hotel (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Tuck into coffee and cake in one of Wellington's cafes, including a 'Heart parcels' brownie with proceeds going towards supporting the homeless

  • Join our 2019 Changemaker Parris Quinn in handing out 'Heart Parcels' food to Wellington's homeless (from Oct 2020 - selected departures)

  • Check out the cafe & restaurant scene in Wellington, voted the coolest little capital in the world

DAY 12 - Wellington to Mount Ruapehu

Wellington

We wave goodbye to Wellington and its beautiful scenery and we prepare ourselves for our next adventure – and trust us, this one is bucket-list worthy.

Mount Ruapehu

Known as the après-ski capital of the North island, Ohakune is a tranquil town with stupendous view.  Today you have the option to go mountain biking along one of NZ's most picturesque track, "the Old Coach Rd" or spend the day bettering your skills on the slopes or generally treating yourself to all the snowy based activities on offer, then tonight snuggle down in our Special Stay ski lodge, located in prime position at the base of Mt. Ruapehu.

Stay

Kings Hotel Ohakune

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See more of the sights made famous in the The Lord of the Rings

  • See an active stratovolcano with Mt Ruapehu

DAY 13 - Mount Ruapehu to Lake Taupo

Mount Ruapehu

Wake up in the spectacular surroundings of Mt. Ruapehu with the epic views of the volcano, and you have the option this morning to go mountain biking along one of NZ's most picturesque track, "the Old Coach Rd" before we head to Taupo. 

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. 

Stay

Lakeland Hotel (or similar)

DAY 14 - Lake Taupo to Rotorua via Huka Falls

Lake Taupo

As we leave Lake Taupo keep an eye out for even more recognisable ‘The Lord of the Rings’ backdrops.

Huka Falls

220,000 litres (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 Huka Falls 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. 

Rotorua

When you catch your first whiff of that… ‘unusual’ sulphur smell, you’ll know we’ve arrived in Rotorua. Upon arrival in Rotorua we get to learn some fascinating info on NZ's national birds, as well as watch new lives hatch right in front of our eyes! How impressed are you right now? Soak in a hotspring, go skydiving or take a canopy tour - there's plenty of time for you to make the best of this town.  Tonight we enjoy a Maori dance performance and feast on a Hāngi dinner that is sweetly roasted in the ground. 

Stay

The Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Take a behind the scenes tour of the of a Kiwi conservation project at the Rainbow Springs Kiwi Encounter

  • See (and smell) Rotorua's bubbling geothermic mud pools

  • Experience a traditional Maori cultural performance and feast on a ground-smoked hangi dinner

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Ogo Ball

    From NZ$35

  • Experience the rush of a Huka Falls Jet boat ride

    NZ$115

DAY 15 - 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. If you're travelling after October 2020, 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.

Stay

The Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua (or similar)

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Go white water rafting down the crashing Kaituna River

    NZ$99

  • Hike the unique volcanic landscape of Mt Tarawera, Rotorua

    NZ$149

  • Explore native rainforest at dawn with breakfast & coffee followed by ziplining on a Contiki Exclusive Rotorua Rainforest Canopy tour

    NZ$149

  • Cook your kai (food) the traditional way over an active steam vent at Te Puia Maori Village, followed by a guided tour & hands-on weaving experience

    NZ$84

DAY 16 - Rotorua to Auckland

Rotorua

Famed for its spurting geysers, boiling mud pools & hot springs, gondola and speeding luge rides, Rotorua is a natural wonderland and then some. But don't let the allure of this place consume you, for there's a fun stop at Hobbiton village we must complete. Join us at our short visit at the land of 'Lord of the Rings',  before we head to Auckland. That's right, it wouldn't be a complete experience without a stop at the "Shire". 

Auckland

This is it! And what an adventure we've had. Say your goodbyes to your new-found family as your trip ends on arrival here in Auckland. New Zealand, we’ll never forgot you.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Visit Hobbiton and take a guided tour of the set made famous by the "Lord of the Rings & Hobbit" movies

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Get a multi-sensory icecream extravaganza with a Giapo Chef's Table icecream experience

    NZ$45

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