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North Island Off-Grid

NEW TRIP No reviews yet

The one that lets you experience the North Island like a local, for an authentic & unplugged discovery of heritage sites, surf towns & Maori culture

Travel Style

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  • Duration

    7 days

  • Places

    5 places

  • Meals

    4 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 2 Dinners

  • Transport Style

    Coach, Ferry & Boat

  • Group Size

    Average 20 people

  • Average Group Age

    18 - 35 year olds

  • Team

    Trip Manager & Driver

Auckland, Raglan, Rotorua, Blue Duck Station, Wellington

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    STEP 1

    Pick your destination & book

    Picking where to go out of 150 countries worldwide is the hardest part. Booking is easy with complete flexibility, & confidence that your money is secure.

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    STEP 2

    Book 7 hotels, try figuring out public transport in a foreign language, get into an argument with your taxi driver, lose your passp…

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    STEP 2

    Turn up to your dream trip

    Everything has been sorted for you. Cool, convenient accom, smooth transport from place to place - plus a bunch of meals and travel experiences all locked in.

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    STEP 3

    Have the time of your life

    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

Want to experience New Zealand's North Island like a local? This adventure brings you into New Zealand's wilderness, with unforgettable local experiences every single day. Take jet boat tours, learn to surf, hike up volcanoes, learn the ways of the  Māori tribe in Rotorua and stargaze to your heart's content - and that's a small sample of the adventures awaiting you. This is the North Island unplugged, and it's utterly unforgettable. 

Book 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

Map & Itinerary

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

Nights spent per location

  1. Auckland

  2. 1 1 night


  3. 2 2 nights


  4. 2 2 nights

    Blue Duck Station

  5. 1 1 night


DAY 1 - Auckland to Raglan


Welcome to Auckland! We'll meet and greet in New Zealand's largest city today, before setting off on our first adventure.


Surf's up! Welcome to the laid-back town of Raglan, set along the mesmerising Manu Bay. As well as an easy-going surf culture and word-class swells, Raglan is a tight-knit and eco-conscious community. The people who live here champion numerous green initiatives to ensure the town has an environmental impact, and we'll learn how the residents keep green before hitting the waves. You can do as the locals do and opt for some surf lessons, or if you're after something a bit different, Stand Up Paddle Boarding is a great way to explore the coast with a bit more stability. As the evening draws in, we'll have the option to end our first day in style, with a cruise and dinner while we watch the sunset along the bay. NZ - you've stolen our hearts already, and we're just getting started.


Sunset Motel


  • Master the waves with a surf lesson at the chilled surf town of Raglan

  • Take a Stand-Up Paddle Board Tour along the coast of Raglan

  • Take a sunset dinner cruise along the bay of Raglan

DAY 2 - Raglan to Rotorua


See ya, Raglan; what a cool little town you are. Don't be too sad, though - we're headed onto Rotorua next.


When you catch your first whiff of that .. 'unusual' sulphur smell, you'll know we've arrived in Rotorua. Famed for its spurting geysers, bubbling hot springs and lush canopies, Rotorua is a natural wonderland, and then some. It's also home to the Ngāti Whakaue Māori tribe, who will be our hosts for the next two nights. That's right, this is the first Special Stay of our trip, a traditional lakeside Marae, which is a traditional, ornately carved Māori home. Our hosts will make use feel welcome as they teach us Tikanga and Kawa, their customs and protocols. We'll then help them in the preparation of the steam Hangi (dinner) as they tell stories around the kitchen table. After a meal, we'll learn about Māori spirituality and healing practises, before the moment you've been waiting for. Yep, put on your best war face, as you're about to learn a haka! After showing you the ropes, our hosts will show us how it's done with their own cultural performance. Pinch yourself, it doesn't get much more authentic than this.


Marae (Special Stay)


  • Learn about Tikanga and Kawa, Māori customs and protocols of the marae, in Rotorua

  • Help prepare a Māori hangi feast while listening to traditional stories around the table

  • Learn Wairua and Rongoa Māori /Romiromi, Māori spirituality and traditional healing practices, during your stay at the marae

  • Discover traditional Maori performing arts and learn a haka and a waiata at Ohinemutu marae followed by a cultural performance

DAY 3 - Rotorua


The day is yours to roam free in this remarkable landscape. If you're feeling active, hike up volcanic Mt Tarawera or go White Water Rafting in the Kaituna River. Alternatively, you can take a Pounamu (jade) carving lesson with a local Māori master craftsman. This stone is sacred to the Māori people, and as well as being an incredible cultural experience, you get a beautiful piece of jewellery at the end of it. Another optional highlight today is the Rotorua canopy tour. This will see you rise with the dawn and watch the sunset from a platform high up in the trees. After a coffee and some breakfast, you'll then harness up and soar through the treetops on your zipline. It's an enthralling way to experience Rotorua's stunning scenery. In this natural playground, the options are limitless and the decisions are yours.


Marae (Special Stay)


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


  • Hike the unique volcanic landscape of Mt Tarawera, Rotorua


  • Go white water rafting down the crashing Kaituna River

  • Explore native rainforest at dawn with breakfast & coffee followed by ziplining on a Contiki Exclusive Rotorua Rainforest Canopy tour (from Oct 2020)

  • Visit a Māori master pounamu (jade) carver in Rotorua & learn how to carve your own masterpiece

DAY 4 - Rotorua to Blue Duck Station


Leaving Rotorua behind, we'll stop off at the Treadright-supported New Zealand Kiwi hatchery, where we'll meet New Zealand's adorable but vulnerable national animal. We'll learn all about the incredible conservation effort being made for New Zealand's native birds, and also get the cuteness overload when we see some of the chicks. Then, staying on theme, we're headed to Blue Duck Station.

Blue Duck Station

Another day, another Special Stay! Blue Duck station is nestled in the wilderness of the Ruapehu District, surrounded by Whanganui National Park. The site aims to conserve New Zealand's endangered wildlife, particularly its birdlife. Some of the kiwis we met earlier are released into the area surrounding the Station. Tonight, we'll enjoy an included farm to plate dinner, with produce harvested on the farm and meat that's been hunted in the surrounding bush. It's as sustainable as it gets, and it's utterly delicious.


Blue Duck Station (Special Stay)


  • Depart Ohinemutu with a traditional Poroporoaki, Māori farewell ceremony

  • Visit the New Zealand Kiwi Hatchery at Rainbow Springs near Rotorua and hear about their efforts to save New Zealand's adorable national bird

  • Take a lunch stop in the North Island's lakeside resort town of Taupo

  • Enjoy a fresh & sustainably-sourced farm-to-table feast at the spectacular Blue Duck Station

DAY 5 - Blue Duck Station

Blue Duck Station

Rise and shine, we've got endless options for an adventure filled day today. With over 5,000 acres of tracked land, the land surrounding the station is perfect for hiking or horse trekking, as you traverse bush canopies, pine forests and mountain passes. You could kayak the Whanganui river (with a return journey by Jet Boat for the sake of your tired arms), or maybe take a bush safari. On this adventure you'll learn what the Blue Duck station is all about as you hear about their conservation work and even kayak to the Kaiwhakauka falls in summer - eyes peeled for the blue duck itself! In the evening, there's an option to try the Chef's Table fine dining experience. Under the summer night's sky, framed by Mt Ruapehu, you'll enjoy a 10 course degustation menu, with every ingredient sourced from the local land.


Blue Duck Station (Special Stay)


  • Explore the hiking trails at Blue Duck Station, along the banks of both the Whanganui and Retaruke Rivers


  • Take a half day horseriding adventure through pine forests and mountains near Blue Duck Station

  • Kayak from Whakahoro into Whanganui National Park and get picked up by jet boat later the same day

  • Take a Blue Duck Station ATV bush safari and hear about the amazing conservation work on this breathtaking landscape

  • Enjoy a unique Chef's Table 10-course fine dining experience under the night sky in Tongariro

DAY 6 - Blue Duck Station to Wellington

Blue Duck Station

We're headed out of the wilderness today and into the compact cultural hub of Wellington.


With its stunning hook-shaped harbour and vibrant food scene, Wellington is a city like no other. After getting acquainted with the place with an included city tour, we'll visit the National Museum of Te Papa, before heading into town to explore the food & nightlife scene.


Abel Tasman Hotel


  • Get a guided city tour of the captivating cultural hub of Wellington

  • Visit Te Papa Museum and learn about New Zealand's rich indigenous & colonial heritage

DAY 7 - Wellington


This morning our adventure comes to an end (sob). Hug it out with your New Zealand crew. We're sad to say goodbye, but memories of what we've experienced will put stupid grins on our faces for years to come.

Short on time?

This trip can be booked in smaller or bigger sections, so you can pick your dream adventure, tailored for you

Where You'll Stay

Learn more about the accommodation available on this trip

  • contiki-destinations-nz-traditional-maori-marae

    Traditional Maori Marae

    Rotorua , New Zealand

    Ever wanted to learn a haka? This ornately carved Māori marae (home & meeting place for a Māori community) is as authentic as it gets. Prepare a hāngi dinner with your hosts and uncover a culture of rich traditions.

    2 nights

  • contiki-destinations-nz-blue-duck-station

    Blue Duck Station

    Ruapehu, New Zealand

    Chase some waterfalls or explore on horseback this beautiful farm in the wilderness of Ruapehu

    2 nights

  • 6 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

    2 nights in Hotel, 2 nights in Special Stay - Marae, 2 nights in Special Stay - Blue Duck Station

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We believe that travelling solo, shouldn't mean having to pay more. On many of our hand-crafted itineraries, you can enjoy up to 100%* off our standard single supplement free.

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