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.
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.
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.
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".
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 hangi 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
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.
Day 6 Rotorua to Auckland
It's time to leave Rotorua, taking one last look at the bubbling geothermic mud pools before we flee.
Arriving into Auckland marks the time to say goodbye to the wolf pack. NZ, you've been real.
Started by one man with big dreams in 1962, Contiki now offers over 300 trips to 6 continents for 18 to 35 year olds, with the mantra #NOREGRETS. It’s their way of life; it’s about changing your perspective on the world, walking in other’s shoes, witnessing different cultures, religions, and ways of living; it’s about living in the moment, pushing past your comfort zone, challenging yourself to do the things you never thought possible.
Contiki believe that travel is so much more than just ticking boxes and saying you were there. It’s not about doing things for the sake of doing them, or seeing things just because you should. For them, travel is all about experience. It’s the number of sunsets you’ve watched with best friends, the number of ancient landmarks you’ve visited, the number of times you’ve defied your comfort zone and done the extraordinary. So that’s what their trips are all about – the #NOREGRETS experiences that will make you, the traveller, richer than your wildest dreams.
Their incredible experiences encompass all interests and cultures – bathing in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, seeing the pyramids of Giza, walking the Great Wall of China, roadtrip along Route 66, watch the sunrise over Uluru, party in Las Vegas, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, zipline through the Costa Rica rainforest, see the Mona Lisa, fly over the Grand Canyon or cuddle a Koala. The cost of your trip ensures Contiki take care of all your travel arrangements, accommodation, breakfasts and dinners, organised activities, plenty of free time and optional ‘me’ time activities to put your own unique stamp on your travel experience.
Contiki cater to all travellers, whether you want to cram in as many destinations as possible and experience everything or stick in one region for a while for an in depth exploration to really get under the skin of the country, they have the trip for you and many other options in between. Choose a purely water-based adventure with their Sailing, Cruise and Beach holidays, or snowy travels with the Winter holidays and even purely camping accommodation to make the most of your holiday budget but still see and experience all your destination has to offer.
Contiki is a founding partner of TreadRight, a not-for-profit foundation established by The Travel Corporation in 2008 to encourage sustainable tourism within its family of amazing travel brands. The TreadRight Foundation acts as an older, wiser sibling to Contiki, guiding them down a more sustainable path. The TreadRight Foundation supports projects that help the environment, protect and conserve ecosystems, and benefit communities. The foundation, along with The Travel Corporation brands, has donated in excess of US$2 million towards international sustainable tourism projects - a figure that continues to rise.