Waterfalls, nightclubs, geothermic mud pools, mountains, skylines, if NZ doesn't impress you, best check your pulse. The Big Tiki from Auckland to Christchurch soaks it all up and offers an astounding list of over 70 optional activities to ramp up your trip. Skydiving anyone?
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.
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
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.
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 ME Time experiences on offer - tomorrow we head back to the big city vibes.
Feeling salty and sun-kissed we wave goodbye to Paihia & sashay our way back down NZ in the direction of Auckland, eager to carry on seeing what else this fine country has in store. Ask your Trip Manager for a bit of intel on the local lingo around here, sure to be the best way to make you feel right at home amongst the Kiwi crowd.
Thought we’d “done Auckland” already? Oh hell no. Today is all about discovering yet more of this energetic city, starting with a free night to explore Auckland’s great nightlife.
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".
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.
The day is yours to roam free. Soak in a hotspring, go white water rafting, take a canopy tour of hike up a volcano – the options are limitless and the decisions are yours.
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?
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.
We'll break up our journey today with a nature jaunt to gorgeous glassy Lake Taupo.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Galleries, cafes, shops, street performers, vintage markets -Wellington you're spoiling us. Stroll the eclectic Cuba Street, grab some sushi & pop by the Tattoo Museum where Maori moko face tattoos and modern ink collide, or hop on a quad bike to get down and dirty.
So long north island! Today we're making tracks for your southern brother, darting across the Tasman via the Inter-Island ferry.
Our first port of call on the South Island will be Picton, the gateway to wine country. Sauv blanc, anyone?
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.
Tonight we sleep well in Christchurch, drifting off to the pleasant memories of NZ's natural beauty that seasoned our day.
Christchurch, it was short and sweet, but with with ice age action on the horizon we gots to move on.
Take in the beautiful scenery as we wind our way across the highest and most spectacular mountain pass across the Southern Alps.
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...
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.
This morning will be another big ol' tick off the list as we take to the ice of Franz Josef Glacier. Want to double tick the list in gold sparkly pen? We've got a heli ride over the glacier up for grabs for an ultra special experience. Satisfaction levels on high, tonight will be topped off with story swapping and crew drinks at the local. Be sure to breathe in that fresh alpine air - doesn't it feel good.
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.
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.
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.
Welcome to the adventure capital of the world. Rest up tonight - the next few days are going to be BIG.
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, so throw those hands in the air as you fly through narrow Shotover canyons at speeds of up to 85 kph.
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.
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.
Alright, it's time to return our adrenalin levels to a normal and make tracks to the student town of Dunedin. But before we do, bridge bungy jump, anyone?
As the student hub, Dunedin always impresses travellers, and for those from the UK you'll notice a distinct Scottish throwback. Take a tour of the iconic Speight's Brewery, where tasting their brews is simply good manners.
Before we farewell Dunedin we'll head to the base of Baldwin Street, the world's steepest street, for a look at the mind boggling angle. Seriously, living on this street would give you major vertigo.
A trip to the south wouldn't be complete without a stop at Moeraki for a look at the massive boulders located right on the beach. Climb on top, take a pic, and learn about the Maori history here.
We'll pull into historic Oamaru to stretch travel tired legs, taking in the cute old buildings, many of which are made out of the towns own white Oamaru stone. Grab an L & P to drink (just ask a local where to find it) before hitting the road again.
Our overnight stop is a lodge by one of the South Islands stunning lakes, Lake Ohau. This spot is something of an Instagram celeb so make the most of it. Get an early night tonight, that glassy lake will be beckoning us bright and early tomorrow, our last full morning as a squad.
It's our last day but don't get sad, we're sure plans for Contiki 2.0 are already well underway. Kick start the day and end the trip on a high with a spectacular optional glacier flight over Mt. Cook for all new views of the country's highest mountain.
Later, we'll stop off to see the inense milky blue waters of glacially-fed Lake Tekapo, before travelling back through the MacKenzie Country to our final destination.
Much of this beautiful city was destroyed in 2011 as well as lives lost when a 6.3 magnitude earthquake shattered everything, yet today Christchurch is experiencing a resurgence to it's former glory. As we pull in (insert sad face) there's sure to be some sadness, but memories of your New Zealand adventure will put smiles on faces for many years to come.
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Trip Name: The Big Tiki
Duration: 19 Days
From Price: $3,645
Supplier Tour ID: 7.29A/220358
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