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Northern Choice

(Auckland to Wellington Summer)

4.6
127 reviews
00:00 / 00:00
cassandragrapsas-2018-11-07-3069309987
See full itinerary

The one that brings you north island beauty spots, from geothermal springs to Lord of the Rings

Travel Style

In-Depth Explorer

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

  • Duration

    10 days

  • Places

    8 places

  • Meals

    3 Dinner, 9 Breakfast

  • Transport Style

    Coach

  • Group Size

    Average 45 people

  • Team

    Expert Trip Manager, Driver and Local Guides

  • International Flights

    Included

Auckland, Paihia, Rotorua, Lake Taupo, Mount Ruapehu, Wellington, Parry Kauri Park, Huka Falls

Northern Choice (Auckland to Wellington Summer)

13 Inclusions

Experiences that are included with your trip

  • See the 'City of Sails' harbour made famous by the America's Cup
  • Check out Whangarei & Kawakawa's famous Hundertwasser toilets
  • Get a dose of history with a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds Tour
  • Tuck into a true Kiwiana fish'n'chips dinner, seafood chowder or NZ Lamb salad overlooking the Bay of Islands in Paihia
  • Visit Hobbiton and take a guided tour of the set made famous by the "Lord of the Rings & Hobbit" movies
  • Experience a traditional Maori cultural performance and feast on a ground-smoked hangi dinner
  • See (and smell) Rotorua's bubbling geothermic mud pools
  • Take a behind the scenes tour of the of a Kiwi conservation project at the Rainbow Springs Kiwi Encounter
  • See an active stratovolcano with Mt Ruapehu
  • See more of the sights made famous in the "The Lord of the Rings"
  • 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

17 Free Time Add-Ons

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

  • Take a day trip to Cape Reinga at the very top of New Zealand's North Island NZ$117
  • Carino Day Sailing NZ$130
  • Discover the Bay NZ$149
  • Island Adventure Fast Boat NZ$78
  • Glide through NZ's Bay of Islands on a Parasailing experience in Paihia From NZ$95
  • Auckland Bungy NZ$165
  • Live life on the edge with a climb over Auckland's iconic harbour bridge NZ$130
  • Sky Walk Sky Jump NZ$225
  • Take a walk on the wild side with a Sky Walk around Auckland's 328m high Sky Tower NZ$150
  • Get a multi-sensory icecream extravaganza with a Giapo Chef's Table icecream experience NZ$45
  • 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
  • Chris Jolly Dinner & Party Cruise NZ$80
  • Take a leap over the lakeside town of Taupo with a tandem skydive From NZ$299
  • Experience the rush of a Huka Falls Jet boat ride NZ$115

Where I'll Stay?

Learn more about the accommodation available on this trip

  • 9 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

    8 nights in Hotel, 1 night in Contiki Special Stay

    Throughout your trip you’ll be getting your beauty sleep in comfy beds in cosy multi-share rooms. 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

Traditional Maori hāngi dinner & dance performance one minute, skyscrapers & city nightlife the next. This is the sort of diversity that will keep you on your toes and round the clock ecstatic on the Northern Choice. The adventure starts from the big smoke of Auckland & concludes in little San Fran of Wellington.

Buy With Confidence

  • Only $200 deposit to book

    Reserve your space now with a deposit, 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. via via

    Parry Kauri Park

  3. 2 2 nights

    Paihia

  4. 1 1 night

    Auckland

  5. 2 2 nights

    Rotorua

  6. via via

    Huka Falls

  7. 1 1 night

    Lake Taupo

  8. 1 1 night

    Mount Ruapehu

  9. 2 2 nights

    Wellington

+-1 more

DAY 1 - Auckland to Paihia via Parry Kauri Park

Auckland

Welcome to NZ globe trotters. Time to meet your wolf-pack and start salivating over the overflowing banquet of adventure we have up for grabs here in the land of the 'long white cloud'. We'll cross Aucklands Harbour Bridge admiring the 'City of Sails' habour before starting our journey north to Paihia. 

Parry Kauri Park

We'll waste no time exploring what this country is famed for - unfathomable nature. Ancient Kauri trees that stand up to 50 metres high and hold over 1000-years of history will delight a walk through the reserve of Parry Kauri Park.
-Walk through native Kauri Forest

Paihia

On arrival to the Bay of Island we're starting off with a dose of Kiwi history  on a guided tour at Waitangi Treaty grounds where in 1840 New Zealand officially became a nation of two communities. And because we like to give you that something extra, how about a free admission at the Treaty museum, in case  you  seek a bit more detail on Kiwi history. 

Stay

The Kingsgate Hotel (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See the City of Sails harbour made famous by the Americas Cup

  • Check out Whangarei and Kawakawas famous Hundertwasser toilets

  • Get a dose of history with a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds Tour

  • Tuck into a true Kiwiana fish'n'chips dinner, seafood chowder or NZ Lamb salad overlooking the Bay of Islands in Paihia

DAY 2 - Paihia

Paihia

Whether it's parasailing or a fast boat ride - today's (idyllic) list of optionals reads like a who's who of adventure. This area is filled with natural beauty and is sure to inspire your inner wild child. Make the most of the Free Time Add-On experiences on offer - tomorrow we head back to the big city vibes.

Stay

The Kingsgate Hotel (or similar)

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Take a day trip to Cape Reinga at the very top of New Zealand's North Island

    NZ$117

  • Carino Day Sailing

    NZ$130

  • Discover the Bay

    NZ$149

  • Island Adventure Fast Boat

    NZ$78

  • Glide through NZ's Bay of Islands on a Parasailing experience in Paihia

    From NZ$95

DAY 3 - Paihia to Auckland

Paihia

This morning we'll tuck into breakfast supplied by the Eat My Lunch - every meal purchases a lunch which is delivered to schools for kids in need.

Auckland

Then, feeling full, salty and sun-kissed we wave goodbye to Paihia & sashay our way back down NZ in the direction of Auckland. We'll say sad goodbyes, but there are always more adventures around the corner.

Stay

President Hotel (or similar)

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Auckland Bungy

    NZ$165

  • Live life on the edge with a climb over Auckland's iconic harbour bridge

    NZ$130

  • Sky Walk Sky Jump

    NZ$225

  • Take a walk on the wild side with a Sky Walk around Auckland's 328m high Sky Tower

    NZ$150

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

    NZ$45

DAY 4 - 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.

Stay

The Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

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

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

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

DAY 5 - 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 6 - 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.

Stay

Lakeland Hotel (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

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

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Chris Jolly Dinner & Party Cruise

    NZ$80

  • Take a leap over the lakeside town of Taupo with a tandem skydive

    From NZ$299

  • Experience the rush of a Huka Falls Jet boat ride

    NZ$115

DAY 7 - 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.

Stay

Kings Hotel Ohakune

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See an active stratovolcano with Mt Ruapehu

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

DAY 8 - 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. 

Stay

Mercure Abel Tasman Hotel (or similar)

DAY 9 - 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 10 - End Wellington

Wellington

Today marks the end of our adventure (sob) as our trip comes to an end after brekkie. NZ - you've been real.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions group

Are flights included in my trip?

International flights to/from the destination your trip starts and ends in are not included in the cost of the trip, and must be purchased separately. You can book these independently if you want to shop around for the best quote, or through your travel agent.

Any flights you take during your Contiki are included in the cost of your trip. On certain Australian trips we use planes to get you from A to B as quickly as possible, and all of this is included.

What documents do I need to travel?

Depending on your nationality, you may require visas to enter Australia & New Zealand. You are fully responsible for obtaining all necessary visas prior to the departure of your trip. Contiki is not legally permitted to knowingly allow anybody who does not have a valid visa (if required) to join a trip. Visa & other entry & exit conditions such as currency, arrival/ departure taxes, customs & quarantine regulations change regularly, so make sure you stay up-to-date before you travel. See here for more info: https://www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/immigration-and-visas
https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/options/visit
It is also essential that you have any necessary vaccinations & comply with all laws of the countries visited.

What are the luggage restrictions?

On our Australia & New Zealand trips, you can bring one bag or suitcase of 73cm x 50cm x 25cm (29” x 20” x 10”), with a max weight of 20kg (44lbs) plus one piece of hand luggage suitable as a carry-on for flights.

What do the Contiki team do?

People are at the heart of everything we do, and our team is what makes our trips the best. Our worldwide On-Road Team, locally based staff & network of Local Guides are all extensively trained & widely travelled, & are the best in the business. But we know it’s not just about training, it’s about passion & our team have it in their blood. 
Your Trip Manager is like your walking, talking guidebook – just for you. They plan your itinerary every day, organise your food and accomodation and book your Free Time Add ons, and because they know everything about where you’re going, you will too. Your Drivers are the experts on getting you from A to B efficiently and safely in Australia & New Zealand. They know their way around like the back of their hands & they’ll drop you at your door & unload your bags for you. Local Guides provide specialist knowledge when you need it, like when you’re journeying into the bush, and will always help you avoid the tourist traps.

How do I redeem the % off deal?

Our great deals and offers are only in market for a limited time are subject to pay in full deadlines. If you cannot pay in full by the specified date shown alongside the offer/deal you can still  lock in the trip date of your choice at our Standard Price where normal payment terms of pay in full 45 days prior to your trip departing apply.  Visit the deals page for the full terms & conditions. Discounts apply to the land portion of your trip price only (this excludes taxes, included flight costs, extra accommodation & optional activities. Your trip price does not include the costs of international flights that start or end your trip).