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Grand Explorer--August 2012--Travel Journal

9 Feb 2013 Book-Thief said


I went on the Grand Explorer Contiki tour in August of 2012, and this is the blog I kept:

I'm happy to answer any questions either on here, in the comments on my blog, or through e-mail ( I hope this helps people who want to know what the tour is like (especially for a non-drinker) =D

  • Read the responses 4 responses so far
  • 6 Jan 2014 Tara89 said



    Thanks so much for your blog. I just finished reading all of it. I am planning on doing The Big Tiki (Auckland to Christchurch) in September this year. It sounds like the same tour just re named. I have a couple of questions if you don’t mind. Did you do most of the optionals? There looks like so many that you would have to pick and choose which ones you wanted to do. Do you recommend/ not recommend any in particular?

    Also, for activities like the glacier hike, do you have to bring your own hiking shoes and pants etc? Or can you hire them from the company that does to the tour?

    Thank you!

  • 6 Jan 2014 Book-Thief said


    I did a lot of the optionals. I mean, I was doing at least one pretty much every day. But yeah, you sometimes do have to choose between different ones, especially if one of them is like an all day thing. The one I didn’t do that sounded really fun was the black water rafting in Waitomo. I went during New Zealand’s winter, so I thought it would be too cold. And it WAS cold, but the people who went still seemed to have a lot of fun (I just did the walking/boat tour of the glow worm caves instead, which was still cool). Oh, and the people who did that thing on the four-wheelers (I think it was the day I did the LotR tour in Wellington?) said it was kind of slow and boring because everybody’s all in a row and you can’t go any faster than the person in front of you.

    But yeah, for the glacier hike, they give you hats, gloves, waterproof pants, boots, and the crampons and stuff, and I don’t think they even charged us for any of it. I was just wearing jeans and a hoodie, haha.

  • 8 Jan 2014 Dan said



    Awesome Blog! I’m going on the Big Tiki in July this year and I was just wondering how much spending money you took with you?

  • 9 Jan 2014 Book-Thief said


    I think I had about $400 in cash by the time I got to NZ (I did Australia first) and then used my card for dinners and to pay for my optionals. I never actually went to a single ATM while I was there, and I never cut into my traveler’s checks. But I also didn’t drink, so that cut down on my spending a lot compared to the people who did

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