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New Zealand Panorama | Southbound | Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Operator
Contiki
Days
16
From
USD $2,961
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Dates & Prices

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Oct 06, 2024
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Oct 14, 2024
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Oct 29, 2024
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Nov 22, 2024
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Nov 15, 2024
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Nov 30, 2024
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Nov 23, 2024
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Dec 08, 2024
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Dec 01, 2024
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Dec 16, 2024
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Mar 06, 2025
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Mar 22, 2025
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Apr 23, 2025
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May 25, 2025
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May 26, 2025
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Jun 10, 2025
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Jun 24, 2025
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Jun 23, 2025
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Jul 08, 2025
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Jul 22, 2025
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Jul 29, 2025
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Aug 12, 2025
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Sep 02, 2025
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Sep 16, 2025
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Sep 30, 2025
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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Ready for the ultimate 2 week adrenaline rush? Eat with the M?ori in Rotorua, hike up an active volcano, cruise on Lake Taup? and head to the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown. Ever tried bungy jumping, sky diving, canyon swinging? Now's your chance.

  1. Day 1
    T?maki Makaurau (Auckland) to Rotorua
    All aboard the Contiki bus! Starting in Auckland, we'll drive through the lush farmlands of Waikato, an area that produces many of New Zealand's best Rugby players for the All Blacks. We'll visit the world’s largest kiwi bird conservation project, watch the birds roam, stand in a human-sized kiwi burrow and even visit the incubation centre where over 2,100 kiwi chicks have been born. Tonight, we’ll enjoy a traditional M?ori dinner and performance (you’ll also have the chance to get involved in the world-famous HAKA).Accommodation: Sudima Lake Rotorua (or similar)
    Meals:   Dinner
  2. Day 2
    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. 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.Accommodation: Sudima Lake Rotorua (or similar)
    Meals:   Breakfast
  3. Day 3
    Rotorua to Taup? Nui a Kiwa (Lake Taup?) via Huka Falls
    From Rotorua, we make our way to Lake Taup?, 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 Taup? is on the horizon. We arrive at Lake Taup?, 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.Accommodation: Lakeland Resort Taup? (or similar)
    Meals:   Breakfast
  4. Day 4
    Taup? Nui a Kiwa (Lake Taup?) to Ruapehu (Mount Ruapehu)
    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.Accommodation: Kings Ohakune (or similar)
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  5. Day 5
    Ruapehu (Mount Ruapehu) to Te Whanganui a Tara (Wellington)
    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.Accommodation: Mercure Wellington Abel Tasman (or similar)
    Meals:   Breakfast
  6. Day 6
    Te Whanganui a Tara (Wellington)
    Ready to explore Wellington in all its glory? Today, why not 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 takah?. Look out for the tuatara, a prehistoric reptile known as a 'living fossil', which can only be found in New Zealand!Accommodation: Mercure Wellington Abel Tasman (or similar)
    Meals:   Breakfast
  7. Day 7
    Te Whanganui a Tara (Wellington) to Kaik?ura via Waitohi (Picton)
    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? Kaik?ura 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 Kaik?ura 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 a relaxing evening.Accommodation: Sudima Kaik?ura (or similar)
    Meals:   Breakfast
  8. Day 8
    Kaik?ura
    We all love a free day - especially one spent in beautiful Kaik?ura! 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 Kaik?ura Peninsula, a kayak trip across the coastline, Quadbiking through Glenstrae Farm, and more. We'll stay another night in Kaikoura after an action-packed day, before heading to Christchurch tomorrow morning.Accommodation: Sudima Kaik?ura (or similar)
    Meals:   Breakfast
  9. Day 9
    Kaik?ura to ?tautahi (Christchurch)
    We're onto our next destination, so long Kaik?ura!  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!Accommodation: The Breakfree on Cashel (or similar)
    Meals:   Breakfast
  10. Day 10
    ?tautahi (Christchurch) to K? Roimata o Hine Hukatere (Franz Josef) via Hokitika and Arthur's Pass
    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 M?ori 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 M?ori 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.Accommodation: Rainforest Retreat (or similar)
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  11. Day 11
    K? Roimata o Hine Hukatere (Franz Josef)
    This morning 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 M?ori mastercraftsman. Pounamu is sacred to the M?ori people, and this is a great way to learn about its cultural significance, while also creating a beautiful please of jewellery.Accommodation: Rainforest Retreat (or similar)
    Meals:   Breakfast
  12. Day 12
    K? Roimata o Hine Hukatere (Franz Josef) to T?huna (Queenstown) via Tioripatea (Haast) and W?naka
    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 W?naka, 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. 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. Tonight you can choose to jump on a gondola and 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.Accommodation: Lylo (or similar)
    Meals:   Breakfast
  13. Day 13
    T?huna (Queenstown)
    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. 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. Tonight you can choose to jump on a gondola and 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.Accommodation: Lylo (or similar)
    Meals:   Breakfast
  14. Day 14
    T?huna (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 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. Please note: If you're here during ski season, you can opt for an exclusive Ski day-trip to Cardrona. Check out ‘Dates & Pricing’ to see these "Special Departures".Accommodation: Lylo (or similar)
    Meals:   Breakfast
  15. Day 15
    T?huna (Queenstown)
    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.Accommodation: Lylo (or similar)
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  16. Day 16
    T?huna (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.
    Meals:   Breakfast

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Inclusions

Dining Summary

  • 4 Dinner (D)
  • 15 Breakfast (B)

FAQs

  • Christchurch: Southbound trips start in Auckland and end in Queenstown. Northbound trips start in Queenstown and finish in Auckland.

Included Experience

  • Rotorua: A traditional M?ori cultural performance, topped off with a traditional M?ori feast... this ought to satisfy even the keenest of culture vultures.
  • Rotorua: Wait til you see 'em. Wait til you smell 'em. These geothermic mudpools are a thing to behold.
  • Huka Falls: Huka falls is a jaw-jutting display of natural hydro power. Here you'll see 220,000 litres of water tumble over the waterfall... per second that is(!)
  • Mount Ruapehu: Today we'll check out Mt Ruapehu, an active stratovolcano elevated almost 2,800 metres into the air!
  • Mount Ruapehu: See even more of the sights made famous by "The Lord of the Rings."
  • Kaik?ura: We'll take a spectacular drive along the Kaik?ura Coast, and pay a visit to a nearby seal colony. Yup, it's a coastal cuteness overload.
  • Arthur's Pass: Check out the village that has been a haven for mountain climbers for over a century. Better keep your camera ready and eyes peeled - because this is spot where you might be able to get a glimpse of rare alpine parrots AKA Keas.
  • W?naka: A lake town with views for days, surrounded by beech forests, alpine lakes, and wilderness glaciers.

Make Travel Matter®

  • Rotorua: On this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, we'll head to National Kiwi Hatchery near Rotorua to learn all about the locals' efforts to protect New Zealand's adorable national bird.
  • Kaik?ura: On this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, we'll meet eco-warrior Sabrina Leucht, who has dedicated many years of her life to helping New Zealand's injured native birds... and is now working to establish the region's first wildlife hospital.
  • Hokitika: The South Island is known for Pounamu (in fact, it’s even named after the stuff.) Today in Hokitika, we’ll meet with a local M?ori Guide, who’ll tell us all about the connection between the illustrious greenstone and the M?ori people. After that, we’ll go and check some out for ourselves.

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Contiki Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
3.9
Accommodations
3.8
Itinerary
4
Professional Staff
4.2
Repeat with Operator
3.9
Value for Money
3.8

Ratings based off 66 reviews about Contiki Tours - currently showing 4 reviews with comments only

Prepare to spend more than usual on a Contiki tour.

We were lucky that the group of people with were good, but it was a large group tour and did have some of the downfalls of a trip of that nature, like frequent breaks for the bathroom, difficulty when eating out together, and getting things on and off the coach. The trip was still great and a good value for the money.

It was a good value and the experiences included were worth it. The only part that wasn't the best were the accommodations as it was hit and miss. Half of the hotels on the trip were okay, and the other half were really nice.

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