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Northern Choice

(Wellington to Auckland - From Oct 2022)

4.6
127 reviews
00:00 / 00:00
 Kaikoura Kayaks Sunset Rear View Water Paddle Right Mountains

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

Travel Style

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  • Duration

    10 days

  • Places

    8 places

  • Meals

    9 Breakfasts, 3 Dinners

  • Transport Style

    Coach

  • Group Size

    Average 45 people

  • Team

    Expert Trip Manager, Driver and Local Guides

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

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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 in little San Fran of Wellington & concludes in the big smoke of Auckland.

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

Compare Trips Variations
  • Auckland to Christchurch - From Oct 2022

    Option 1

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

  • Auckland to Wellington - From Oct 2022

    Option 2

    This trip version is the same length, starting in Auckland and finishing in Wellington in summer

  • Christchurch to Auckland - From Oct 2022

    Option 3

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

  • Wellington to Auckland - From Oct 2022

    Option 4

    This trip version is the same length, but starts in Wellington and finishes in Auckland in summer

Map & Itinerary

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

DAY 1 - Wellington

Wellington

Wellington let's do this, and what better place to start than NZ's well-cultured capital. after checking in to our comfy digs for the evening, the afternoon is yours to start conquering the windy city. Coffee connoisseurs head straight to Cuba Street and hit up any of the local caffeine joints, or if the sun is shining, there's really nothing better than the waterfront and a crisp glass of NZ wine. This evening you'll meet up with the rest of the squad, pumped for the imminent adventure that awaits you.

DAY 2 - Wellington

Wellington

Ready to explore Wellington in all its glory? Today, we'll head to a local cafe and try the famed flat white coffee in its city of origin (sorry Australians). Caffeinated and refreshed, we'll take a trip to Zealandia, a 225-hectare (basically massive) eco-sanctuary that protects over 40 rare native wildlife species. Because Zealandia is fully fenced, you'll be able to walk alongside incredibly rare birds like the hihi and the takahē. Look out for the tuatara, a prehistoric reptile known as a 'living fossil', which can only be found in New Zealand!

DAY 3 - 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.

DAY 4 - 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. 

DAY 5 - 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. 

DAY 6 - 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 7 - Rotorua to Auckland

Rotorua

Ta-ra, Rotorua! We head to Auckland for lunchtime, where there's an array of awesome Free-Time Add-Ons to choose from.

Auckland

Adrenaline junkies, get ready for a bungee jump, climb over the iconic harbour bridge or sky jump off the Skywalk. For those who prefer to keep two feet on the ground, why not get your taste buds tingling with a multi-sensory icecream experience at Giapo Chef's Table?

DAY 8 - Auckland to Paihia via Parry Kauri Park

Auckland

We'll cross Aucklands Harbour Bridge admiring the 'City of Sails' harbour 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. 

DAY 9 - 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.

DAY 10 - Paihia to Auckland

Paihia

Feeling salty and sun-kissed we'll wave goodbye to beautiful Paihia & sashay our way back down NZ in the direction of Auckland.

Auckland

Our adventure comes to an end in Auckland today. Make sure you swap contact deets and start planning the next adventure. Anyone for 'Straya?

Top Experiences

9 included & 12 free time add-ons available to add later

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

    From NZ$95

    Paihia

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

    NZ$117

    Paihia

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

    Included

    Rotorua

Northern Choice (Wellington to Auckland - From Oct 2022)

9 Inclusions

Experiences that are included with your trip

  • 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
  • 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 overlooking the Bay of Islands in Paihia

12 Free Time Add-Ons

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

  • 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
  • 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

Where You'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.

127 Reviews

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4.6
127 independent reviews
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