The Big Tiki, Auckland to Christchurch, Until Oct 2022 - Sept 2023

The Big Tiki, Auckland to Christchurch, Until Oct 2022 - Sept 2023

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21 Days From

$4110

$3337

The Big Tiki, Auckland to Christchurch, Until Oct 2022 - Sept 2023

21 Days Starting in Auckland and ending in Christchurch (Nz)

Visiting: Auckland, Whangārei, Paihia, Rotorua, Huka Falls, Lake Taupo, Mount Ruapehu, Wellington, Picton, Kaikoura, Christchurch, Arthur's Pass, Hokitika, Franz Josef, Haast, Wanaka, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Te Anau, Kingston, Arrowtown, Lake Ohau, Lake Tekapo

Tour operator:

Contiki

Tour code:

NGZAD1M23

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Age range:

18-35

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
Interests:

Cultural, History

From:
$4110
$3337 Operator discount: -$616 Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$157 -19%

NB: Prices correct on 19-May-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

Geysers and glaciers. Maori settlements, mighty cities and majestic mountains. If NZ doesn't impress you with its diverse beauty, nothing will. Cruising from Auckland in the north to Christchurch in the South – with stop-offs in Rotorua, Wellington, Queenstown and more top class adventure spots along the way – this one is the ultimate adventure, offering up over 65 optional activities from whale watching to skydiving and beyond.

Highlights

  • 6 Dinner (D)

  • 19 Breakfast (B)

  • Auckland:

  • Auckland: See the 'City of Sails' harbour made famous by the America's Cup

  • Paihia: Fill up on a dinner of fish 'n' chips (Kiwi style) overlooking the Bay of Islands in Paihia. This is probably what heaven feels like.

  • Whangarei: Explore the Hundertwasser Art Center

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

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

  • Rotorua: Visit the New Zealand Kiwi Hatchery at Rainbow Springs near Rotorua and hear about their efforts to save New Zealand's adorable national bird

  • Mount Ruapehu: See an active stratovolcano with Mt Ruapeh

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Itinerary

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Day 1: Auckland To Paihia

Location: Auckland, Whangārei, Paihia

Accommodation: Bounty Motel (or similar)

Meals Included: Dinner

Welcome to the land of the long white cloud: New Zealand! Time to meet your Contiki crew and get ready for the adventures on the horizon. We'll cross Auckland's Harbor Bridge admiring the 'City of Sails' Harbor before starting our journey north to Paihia.
But first, a stop off at the stunning yacht marina in Whangarei. Here we'll check out the weird and wonderful Huderwassert art center, a unique architectural project dedicated to the ecological activist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. After lunch we'll hit the road again onwards to the Bay of Islands.
On arrival to the Bay of Islands 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. Tonight we'll feast like the locals as we enjoy a true Kiwiana fish'n'chips as we overlook the glittering Bay of Islands.

Day 2: Paihia

Location: Paihia

Accommodation: Bounty Motel (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

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

Location: Paihia, Auckland

Accommodation: Jucy Snooze (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast this morning, feeling full, salty and sun-kissed we wave goodbye to Paihia & sashay our way back down NZ in the direction of Auckland.
Arriving in Auckland we've got a array of awesome Free-Time Add-Ons to choose from. Adrenaline junkies, get ready for a bungee jump, climb over the iconic harbor 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?

Day 4: Auckland To Rotorua

Location: Auckland, Rotorua

Accommodation: Sudima Lake Rotorua (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

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 Rotorua.
Here in this natural wonderland, we'll start by visiting the world’s largest kiwi bird conservation project. We’ll watch the birds roam, stand in a human-sized kiwi burrow and even visit the incubation center where over 2,100 kiwi chicks have been born. Tonight, we’ll go heavier on culture with a traditional Māori dinner and performance (and you’ll also have the chance to get involved in the world-famous HAKA).

Day 5: Rotorua

Location: Rotorua

Accommodation: Sudima Lake Rotorua (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

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 6: Rotorua To Lake Taupo

Location: Rotorua, Huka Falls, Lake Taupo

Accommodation: Lakeland Resort Taupo (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

From Rotorua, we make our way to Lake Taupo, but not before a cheeky stop-off at the awesome 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.



We arrive at Lake Taupo, the largest freshwater lake in Australasia. Volcanic peak views & trout fishing will seamlessly slip us into quaint lake life. But don't be fooled by the seemingly still scenery - a skydive is on the menu if that adrenaline itch needs scratching.This evening we jump on a cruise on the lake to watch the sun set, go fishing and enjoy some eats with our Contiki fam.

Day 7: Lake Taupo To Ruapehu

Location: Lake Taupo, Mount Ruapehu

Accommodation: Kings Ohakune (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

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". 


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.

Day 8: Mount Ruapehu To Wellington

Location: Mount Ruapehu, Wellington

Accommodation: Mercure Wellington Abel Tasman (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

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 delight. After an orientation through the narrow streets of Wellington, and a chance to explore the great food scene, a night on the town will be on the cards.

Day 9: Wellington

Location: Wellington

Accommodation: Mercure Wellington Abel Tasman (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

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 10: Wellington To Kaikoura

Location: Wellington, Picton, Kaikoura

Accommodation: Sudima Kaikoura (Or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

So long north island! Today we're making tracks for your southern brother, darting across the Cook Strait 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?



Kaikoura is known for its marine life (among many other things), so keep your eyes peeled for whales, dolphins and seals – which we’ll check out along the way. Next up, we'll visit Kaikoura Wildlife Rescue to meet Sabrina Leucht, a local biologist who’ll teach us about local wildlife, the threats they face and how we can make a difference. Tonight, we’ll check into our seafront hotel for some dinner.

Day 11: Kaikoura

Location: Kaikoura

Accommodation: Sudima Kaikoura (Or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

We all love a free day - especially one spent in beautiful Kaikoura! We recommend taking a whale watching tour, where you'll have the opportunity to see giant sperm whales in action, as well cute seals and dusky dolphins. Other free time add-ons include a thrilling helicopter ride over the Kaikoura Peninsula, a kayak trip across the coastline, and more. We'll stay another night in Kaikoura after an action-packed day, before heading to Christchurch tomorrow morning.

Day 12: Kaikoura To Christchurch

Location: Kaikoura, Christchurch

Accommodation: The Breakfree on Cashel (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

We're onto our next destination, so long Kaikoura! 
We'll arrive in Christchurch by lunch-time, where we'll take an inspiring tour of the city that was totally rebuilt after the Christchurch earthquake. Look out for the Cardboard Cathedral, the only cathedral in the world to be built mostly from plain old cardboard!

Day 13: Christchurch To Franz Josef Glacier

Location: Christchurch, Arthur's Pass, Hokitika, Franz Josef

Accommodation: Rainforest Retreat (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

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 meet with a local Māori guide who’ll teach us all about pounamu on a unique tour. We’ll learn about the history of the illustrious green stones (which the South Island is named after) and its connection with the Māori people. Back on the coach, we're coastline bound to one of the island’s most jaw-droppingly beautiful spots (and that’s saying something…)




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 14: Franz Josef Glacier

Location: Franz Josef

Accommodation: Rainforest Retreat (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

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 jewelery.

Day 15: Franz Josef Glacier To Queenstown

Location: Franz Josef, Haast, Wanaka, Queenstown

Accommodation: Jucy Snooze (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

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 - Queenstown. We hit the ground running because tonight you can choose to jump on a gondola, to wine & dine atop of the highest restaurant in Queenstown, Skyline. What a way to start our time here! Rest up tonight - the next few days are going to be BIG.

Day 16: Queenstown

Location: Queenstown

Accommodation: Jucy Snooze (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

Today is yours to get acquainted with Queenstown and spend some time mulling over the activities up for grabs in the next two days. First stop is the legendary Kawarau Bungy Bridge, get your morning adrenaline hit with a heart pounding jump at the world home of the bungy. Later, take a stroll around beautiful Queenstown, nestled in the Southern Alps this stunning town has plenty to offer other than adventure activities.

Day 17: Queenstown

Location: Queenstown

Accommodation: Jucy Snooze (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

It's times like this that you really start to work out what sort of traveler you are. And human for that matter. You might be the one trailing through wine country and exploring wine cellars and caves, or you may be that guy that crams in a bungy jump and ziplining & still craves more. It's your holiday - run wild as you see fit.

Day 18: Queenstown

Location: Queenstown

Accommodation: Jucy Snooze (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

With our last day in adrenalin city edging closer, this is the time to push yourself to the limits and jump over any mental barriers you've put up around yourself. Embrace the spirit of adventure 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 19: Queenstown To Te Anau

Location: Queenstown, Milford Sound, Te Anau

Accommodation: The Village Inn Hotel (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

Alright, it's time to return our adrenaline levels to a normal level and make tracks to the spectacular natural wonder of Milford Sound. Welcome to New Zealand's most stunning attraction, with a magical combination of mountain peaks, forest-clad cliffs and deep dark waters. We take an included cruise of the fiord and experience the beauty of this pristine destination by boat, the best way to see Milford Sound in all its glory. Arriving in the stunning lakeside town of Te Anau, why not opt to take a guided jet boat trip to explore the Fiordland National Park. From Te Anau through Lake Manapouri, it's a pretty exhilirating way to soak up the scenery. Prefer to keep you feet (or wheels) on dry land. You can also take a trip to the ethereal glow worm caves (woaahhh) or simply cycle the gorgeous trails through native bush.

Day 20: Te Anau To Lake Ohau

Location: Te Anau, Kingston, Arrowtown, Lake Ohau

Accommodation: Lake Ohau Lodge (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

So long, Te Anau. It's been fun. Our first stop today is Kingston for an authentic and important NZ farm experience. Where a charity helps local girls to learn practical farming skills and gain qualifications. Contiki makes a donation on behalf of every traveler who visits the farm, so you can help more NZ women and girls plough through barriers and get ahead in their ‘field’ just by turning up.  Next, the arrow points to Arrowtown - a historic gold mining town where we'll tuck into a gold standard lunch. For our last night, we'll go out with a bang. Or perhaps a splash. Sketchbooks at the ready folks - we'll spend our final night by Lake Ohau, with a spectacular view of Mt Cook in the distance!

Day 21: Lake Ohau To Christchurch

Location: Lake Ohau, Lake Tekapo, Christchurch

We’ll kick off our final day with a visit to the glacier-fed Lake Tekapo, admiring the crystal clear water. Next, it's time for a Dark Sky experience - a multimedia exhibition that combines stargazing, science and traditional Māori astronomy. Here we'll learn how the Māori people would use the stars to help aid their harvests, plus why reducing light pollution is so important. And then the adventure ends in Christchurch. Sure, there'll be some sadness, but that's normal when awesome things end. And this has been more than awesome. On a brighter note, the memories will put a smile on your face for years to come.

Check out our Q&As

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    In 1961, a guy called John Anderson founded Contiki in New Zealand. Whilst later bought by The Travel Corporation, the tour company had already been using the name ‘Contiki’ since its inception.

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    Contiki trips are designed & operated exclusively for those aged 18-35 years. Your travelling companions will be like-minded adventurers within that age range. The age range is adhered to strictly.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® is our commitment to protect people, wildlife and the incredible planet we all share. Powered by The TreadRight Foundation, a non-profit organisation and Contiki’s guiding hand when it comes to making travel matter.

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    All documentation will be sent via email around 21 days prior to your trip departure. You can also access information on your trip by signing up to My Contiki via the top right icon of the homepage.

Reviews of this operator

Trusted Customer  

Northern Choice plus Kaikoura

16-Jan-2023

The trip ran so smoothly and was well organised! The extra add ons were amazing and all the services were spot on. Food places were reasonable. I'm definitely booking my next contiki trip again soon!

Feefo Trusted Reviews
Sophie  

Exceptional customer service

14-Jan-2023

Contiki were exceptional in providing customer service. They provided me with lots of information and were quick in responding to all my questions. I found that they were super helpful.

Feefo Trusted Reviews
Trusted Customer  

First time traveling with Contiki. Highly recommend! You’ll have a blast

17-Jan-2023

First time traveling internationally since Covid and glad I spent the trip with Contiki. The travel, lodging, meals, activities everything was planned effortlessly. Going to Greece in may with contiki. Highly recommend

Feefo Trusted Reviews
Trusted Customer  

Amazing trip. Made great friends and memories. Can’t wait for my next trip

15-Jan-2023

I had 24 people on my contiki and I think it was the perfect number, we all got to know each other well and got along great. Our tour guide was fun and knowledgeable, the hotels were nice and in great locations.

Feefo Trusted Reviews
Tanner Stokes  

My amazing trip to Africa

13-Jan-2023

Sherif was an excellent tour guide. He was extremely knowledgeable about every single small detail at each site that we visited. In addition to his great service, he has a glowing spirit that made me feel like I had family with me the entire trip. Anything that I was concerned about, he always had an answer and was there to help. I truly enjoyed my experience and will purchase a tour with him in the future

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Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Contiki allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform contiki, 60 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Contiki requires a minimum deposit of 200 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of contiki charges.

    Up to 61 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 25% of booking price.

    At 21 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 7 days before tour starts: Forfeit 75% of booking price.

    At 1 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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