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Northern Choice (Auckland to Christchurch Winter - From Jul 2018)
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New Zealand's the land of stunning natural beauty, action-packed activities & laid back culture. Kick off this trip in the Bay of Islands & try some sand dune surfing! In the underground caves of Waitomo experience black water rafting before hitting Rotorua to try the 'Zorb' or skyline gondola & end the day relaxing in a Polynesian thermal pool. Take in a sunset cruise on Lake Taupo, brave the Rock'n Ropes course & head to the land of "The Lord of the Rings", Wellington. Finally, the good times must come to an end in Christchurch.

Australasia

Duration: 10 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Physical rating: Easy
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 167389
Starts: Auckland, New Zealand Finishes: Rotorua, New Zealand
You will visit
  • Auckland
  • Paihia
  • Rotorua
  • Mount Ruapehu
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Auckland to Paihia

Kia Ora! Meet up with your Contiki Crew in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest and most cosmopolitan city. Surrounded by volcanoes, islands and a stunning harbour, you’ll soon understand why this is the “City of Sails” and was once home to the America’s Cup. This morning we’ll crossing the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge & take in the full-blown vistas of the harbour, Rangitoto, and other neighbouring volcanic islands on the way. With a stop at Parry Kauri Park, there’s time to walk through this famous reserve and see many of New Zealand’s ancient Kauri (a native tree). Some of the Kauri are 50m high and over 1000 years old. The final stop today is the small coastal town of Paihia. It’s the gateway to the Bay of Islands, one of New Zealand’s photogenic natural playgrounds. Your Trip Manager will point out the colonial style Treaty House at Waitangi. This is where modern-era New Zealand was born when the British Crown and Maori signed a treaty in 1840. You’ll also find out about local Maori culture as you check out the Nga Puhi tribal lands. Tonight, get to know the other Contiki travellers, Trip Manager and Driver over a typical ‘Kiwi’ dinner – fish 'n' chips – where you can eat outdoors under the night sky if the weather is good. After dinner, head out to a local music venue in Paihia with the group.

02

Day 2: Paihia

With a full free day here, you’ll really get to enjoy the laid-back, natural beauty of the Bay of Islands. Chill out, or choose from loads of activities on offer here. There’s a catamaran cruise where you can stop off at remote islands, swim and feast on a tasty BBQ lunch. If you’re lucky, you’ll even spot some dolphins. Or you could use your free time to head off with some friends to learn about New Zealand’s settler history. Jump on a ferry out to New Zealand’s former capital, the pretty township of Russell. Grab an ice-cream, relax in its cute cafés and walk past some of the town’s historic cottages. We also offer you the option of a day trip to Cape Reinga, New Zealand’s most northern point where the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean merge. Our Local Guide can tell you all about the Maori beliefs associated with this site. Then it’s off to the sand dunes of Ninety Mile beach and a drive through the Northland Region. Lastly, for the adrenaline-junkies, there’s a chance to go parasailing – perfect for getting views of the awesome surrounding bay scenery.

03

Day 3: Paihia to Auckland

With our beach fix complete, it’s time to say goodbye to the paradise of Paihia & head back to the ‘City of Sails’, Auckland! On arrival, your expert Trip Manager will get you in the know with all the details you need to know (and more) on the country’s largest city. Walk on the glass platform (if you’re game) & frame up some shots as you soak up the scene. Back at ground level, you will have a chance to experience some of Auckland's great nightlife. Try K Road for some alternative vibes or Ponsonby hot spots like The Ponsonby Social Club, Chapel Bar or the Long Room for some cool beats & equally cool people, or Parnell for a taste of the true Auckland by night. the Long Room for some cool beats & equally cool people, or Parnell for a taste of the true Auckland by night.

04

Day 4: Auckland to Rotorua

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.

05

Day 5: Rotorua

This morning, get an insider look at New Zealand’s unique Maori culture & history as we tour Rotorua’s famous Te Puia Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. You’ll learn all about the history of the Maori people, their customs & traditions, plus have the opportunity to ask questions & learn as much as possible about this amazing spot – it’s the perfect way to get in the know. With the rest of the day free to explore the way you want, you can advantage of the city's awesome thermal environment & treat yourself to a spa treatment or massage. Our tip: With so much buzz around the amazing thermal mud treatments found here, we love picking up some products to take home as a gift (or for ourselves!). There are loads of other ways to spend your time too if adrenalin is more your thing, like getting views of the city from a gondola, then speeding down a hill on a luge, or getting a splash as you raft the Kaituna River – the options for things to keep you busy in Rotorua are endless. Or, if chilling out is more of what you’re into, then or hit up a café for a flat white coffee or make tracks to the shops for a spending spree.

06

Day 6: 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.

07

Day 7: Mount Ruapehu to Wellington

"Mt. 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."

08

Day 8: Wellington

You’ve got a full day to discover Wellington – its compact centre is perfect for exploring on foot. Walk alongside the harbour or visit the innovative Te Papa Museum for a look into New Zealand history and culture. You could take a walk around New Zealand’s political heart by visiting some of its government buildings. Take in the iconic ‘Beehive’ building & its distinctive shape, which was specially designed to cope in case of an earthquake. You could hang out on alternative Cuba Street, watch street performers or rummage through some of the surrounding retro stores. If you’re hungry, try out some of the great ethnic foods you can find in this multi-cultural city, like sushi, Thai, kebabs and Italian gelatos. For something different, learn about the age-old art of tattooing at the Tattoo Museum. From traditional Maori moko (face tattoos) through to colourful contemporary designs. There’s even a tattoo parlour on site if you’re game!

09

Day 9: Wellington to Christchurch

Jump on the Inter-Island ferry and leave the North Island behind. The South Island means a complete change of scenery with loads of wild nature. 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. You’ll also see some old wooden baches (New Zealand holiday houses) and boat jetties. After the cruise, it’s another jaw-dropping drive to Kaikoura, via Marlborough’s wine country. We travel on to the wild, rugged east coast and stop at a seal colony, before passing through Kaikoura. This seaside settlement is known for whales, dolphins and delicious, fresh crayfish sold from roadside vans. The coach cuts across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. Later it's time to say your farewells & swap email addresses as your tour ends this evening.

10

Day 10: Rotorua to Mount Ruapehu

“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 RAUPEHEU 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."

Inclusions:
      Accommodation
    • 9 nights multi-share accommodation: 7 nights in hotels, 2 nights Special Stopover Modern, air-conditioned coach with powerpoints for charging Hotel tips, local taxes & service charges
      Staff
    • Experienced & Professional Trip Manager & Driver team
    • Sightseeing tours of all major cities
      Food
    • 14 meals:
    • 10 breakfasts
    • 4 dinners
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Tour Highlights:
  • See the 'City of Sails' harbour made famous by the America's Cup
  • Cross Auckland's Harbour Bridge
  • Walk through native Kauri Forest
  • Check out Whangarei & Kawakawa's famous Hundertwasser toilets
  • Tuck into a true Kiwiana fish 'n' chips dinner
  • Locally Guided Tour of Te Puia Maori Arts and Crafts Institute
  • See more of the sights made famous in the "The Lord of the Rings"
  • Cruise the scenic Marlborough & Queen Charlotte Sounds
  • Spectacular drive along the Kaikoura Coast & visit to a seal colony
  • Drive through New Zealand's largest wine growing region