Places
Popular Trips

We are open 24/7 in case you’d like to speak to a travel specialist.

Give us a call at 1-866-266-8454

The Big Tiki

(Auckland to Queenstown - Until Sept 2022)

4.8
218 reviews
00:00 / 00:00
people white water rafting in New Zealand

The one that unearths the best of NZ, covering both islands in 19 unforgettable days

Travel Style

In-Depth Explorer

Learn about our travel styles.

  • Duration

    17 days

  • Places

    17 places

  • Meals

    16 Breakfasts, 5 Dinners

  • Transport Style

    Coach

  • Group Size

    Average 45 people

  • Team

    Expert Trip Manager, Driver and Local Guides

Auckland, Paihia, Rotorua, Mount Ruapehu, Wellington, Christchurch, Franz Josef Glacier, Queenstown, Parry Kauri Park, Huka Falls, Lake Taupo, Picton, Kaikoura, Arthurs Pass, Hokitika, Haast Pass, Wanaka

How Contiki works

  • us-homepage-icon-location

    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.

  • us-homepage-icon-no

    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…

  • us-homepage-icon-list

    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.

  • us-homepage-icon-happy

    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

Geysers, glaciers, mountains, Maori settlements, cool cities and cooler mountain climbs: if New Zealand in winter doesn't impress you, best check your pulse. The winter Big Tiki from Auckland to Queenstown soaks it all up and offers an astounding list of over 65 optional activities to ramp up your trip. Anyone brave enough for the Nevis swing?

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
  • End Of Year Sale

    Auckland to Queenstown - Until Sept 2022

    Option 1

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

  • End Of Year Sale

    Queenstown to Auckland - Until Sept 2022

    Option 2

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

  • End Of Year Sale

    Auckland to Christchurch - Until Sept 2022

    Option 3

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

  • End Of Year Sale

    Christchurch to Auckland - Until Sept 2022

    Option 4

    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 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. 

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.

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.

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.

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, but we recommend the exhilarating Rotorua Canopy Tour, an optional where you'll watch the sun rise 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 6 - Rotorua to Mount Ruapehu via Huka Falls and Lake Taupo

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 used 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

We'll break up our journey today with a nature jaunt to gorgeous glassy Lake Taupo.

Mount Ruapehu

Then it's on to Mt Ruapehu for some powder riding fun. Whether you consider yourself a pro, or perhaps just an aspiring ski enthusiast, this is the perfect place for you to ‘slide’ into new adventures. And yes we do make excellent puns.

DAY 7 - Mount Ruapehu

Mount Ruapehu

Known as the après-ski capital of the North island, Ohakune is a tranquil town with utterly unreal views. 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 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. 

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.

DAY 10 - 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 11 - 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 12 - 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 13 - 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 14 - 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. To get you warmed up, we'll be treating you to an exhilirating Shotover Jet experience (until Sep 2018), so throw those hands in the air as you fly through narrow Shotover canyons at speeds of up to 85 kph.

DAY 15 - 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 16 - 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 17 - Queenstown

Queenstown

This morning our adventure comes to an end (sob). Hug it out with your new bff's, with plans no doubt in place for Contiki 2.0. NZ, you've been real.

Where You'll Stay

Learn more about the accommodation available on this trip

  • 16 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

    8 nights in Hotel, 2 nights in Contiki Special Stay, 6 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.

218 Reviews

powered by feefo logo
4.8
218 independent reviews
powered by feefo logo
Star rating
5
183
4
23
3
7
2
3
1
2

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions group

Our Brochures

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.

Download Brochure
contiki-usa-can-brochure-cover-2022
contiki-worldwide-brochure-cover-2022