28 Jun 2016 - 17 Jul 2016
Wow! New Zealand is the definition of wanderlust, our tour team (s/o Kellie and Aaron!) are exceptional humans, the me time optionals are epic, and my fellow travelers are now family. The Big Tiki was an monumental experience and it's true I have #noregrets.
This trip infinitely exceeded my expectations. You read reviews of Contiki saying "you'll make so many friends" and they are 100% accurate. I now have an amazing group of people from all across the world I consider family. We visited some of the most beautiful locations I have ever experienced. I find myself at a loss for words when I describe them to others and photos do not do these places justice--you much experience NZ! The people of New Zealand are the friendliness, funniest, and most big-hearted people you will ever meet. Contiki NZ also offers a wide range of me time optionals, so there is something for everyone and if me time isn't for you, natural beauty is at your finger tips, experience it!
Best Advice #1: Considering NZ? Find a way to do the Big Tiki instead of a smaller trip. New Zealand is an amazing country and the north and south islands are so different--seeing just one island does not mean you've seen New Zealand. You may be sad when people leave the trip, but you'll be happy you get to stay and make new friends!
Best Advice #2: Adventure! New Zealand is an adventurer's paradise, so take advantage of it! Go skydiving, try strange foods, stay out with new friends later than normal, and don't forget to bungy jump! This was my favorite optional; bungy is seriously amazing...you are in its home country, so go for it!
As Kellie says...leave your New Zealand Contiki fat, poor, and happy. As we now say, if all else fails...#crawltokellie!
Review written Jul 2016event 0.3
13 Jan 2016 - 31 Jan 2016
This was my first solo trip overseas and it could not have been better. I went to some amazing places, tried some amazing food and participated in activities I would never have considered doing. But the highlight was the amazing new friends from all over the world that I made. They made this trip what it was. If you can do the full 19 days so you can experience New Zealand and all it has to offer. Try as many new things as you can and do as many metime optionals as you can. This trip really brings you out of your comfort zone and for the best!!!
Review written Feb 2016event 0.3
16 Dec 2015 - 03 Jan 2016
This was a whirlwind tour of everything you need to see on the North and South Islands. A perfect mix of big city fun and small town culture. The scenery was incredible , swim every chance you get. I highly recommend doing the whole 19 day tour instead of just the north or south island, it is 100% worth it and you meet a ton of people who hop on and off at different points along the way.
Do as many optionals as you can afford, the guides are great and will tell you which ones are the best. Highlights:Skydiving in Queenstown over the remarkables,seeing a eel while black water rafting in waitomo glow worm caves and scrumpy(just drink it, trust me).
Just do it and enjoy every moment. Trip of a lifetime
Review written Feb 2016event 0.3
08 Jul 2015 - 28 Jul 2015
This was my first Contiki tour. I had never heard of the company until my travel agent had suggested it to me. I was a little nervous at first because I am not the biggest partier and I am kind of a nerd for culture, history, and anything Tolkien. I decided to take the plunge and book my New Zealand adventure with Contiki. IT WAS THE BEST DECISION I COULD HAVE MADE! New Zealand is the most beautiful place I have ever had the pleasure of touring and it was made even better by travelling with other like minded adventure seekers in my own age bracket who also came to New Zealand to bungy jump and sky dive for the first time; to dance like a Hobbit at the site of Bilbo's 111th bday party in Hobbiton; to learn more about the Maori culture; and to live it up in the Minus 5 Ice Bar in Queenstown just like me. I could not have imagined comfortably doing all of this with a group of older adults in their 50's or 60's.
My tour manager, Soap, was extremely knowledgeable about everything New Zealand and I feel that by the time we reached our destination for the day everyone on the bus was more than prepared to explore the wonders New Zealand had to offer because of all the history and tips that he gave to us before we got there. He also organized everything flawlessly and the only thing I ever had to think about was making sure I was back to the bus on time.
Personal trip highlights in a nutshell... Milford Sound, Bungy jumping, sky diving, and horseback riding in Queenstown, traditional Hangi and Haka dance in Rotoura, OGO Balls, Hobbition/Weta Workshop, Mt. Doom, helicopter ride over Franz Joseph and Fox glaciers, riding through the southern Alps, Ice Bar, kayaking in the Bay of Islands, and Waitangi Treaty grounds (lots of highlights!)
Do the Big Tiki as opposed to the other New Zealand options if you have the time and money. This tour showcases everything New Zealand has to offer and is a combination of all the other Kiwi tours combined. This means that travelers on the tour are always coming and going. The friendships formed on Contiki are strong and seeing people leave mid tour because they didn't sign up for the whole thing is hard.
Do as many of the Me Time optionals as you can... most of them are once I'm a lifetime opportunities: Hobbiton, helicopter over glaciers, Bungy jumping off the original bridge where the sport started, OGO ball ride, and cruising the stunning oasis that is the Milford Sound. If you think you want to try something but are hesitant throw your caution out the window... I mean when are you ever going to get this chance again.
Enjoy your adventure :)
Review written Sep 2015event 0.3
03 Feb 2015 - 21 Feb 2015
The Big Tiki was my first ever contiki, first time traveling (initially) alone and the first time I've visited New Zealand. I'm so glad I did it because it proved to entirely worth it and was so much fun. We got to see essentially all of NZ and see everything it has to offer; culture, adventure, astounding landscapes and seas, really good food and utterly friendly people no matter where you go. I don’t think anyone would regret ever going on this trip.
Firstly, if you’re a fellow Aussie and think you know anything about our little neighbor... you’re wrong. There is so much to NZ and it’s culture we don’t know and for me it was really amazing to see and learn about all its history and see the all the familiarities it does share with Australia but also all the small differences that make it its own place. Go visit NZ now!
I shared the same trip with Elise below and I utterly agree that Josh & Nick were the coolest guys to have guiding our tour. The bus always had awesome music playing, they always found great places to eat and they worked so hard to make sure we all had the best time and knew which optionals were really worth our time.
The trip is made up of urban and rural landscapes so it covers all bases for any kind of crowd. Chill or party hard in Auckland, Queenstown or Wellington. Adventure and do insane things everywhere else (Paihia, Rotoura, Lake Taupo, Frans Josef and Queentown again!). For any Tolkien fan Hobbiton will also prove to be so awesome. The more you watch friends do crazy things the more you want to as well. No matter where we all found ourselves, we were all constantly in awe of the landscapes. There is so much you can pack into doing when you visit this country.
I came home and literally just wanted to turn around and drag all my friends back to see more of New Zealand. So really just go and know if you do it via contiki, especially on this trip, that you will just have a blast.
Review written Mar 2015event 0.3
03 Feb 2015 - 21 Feb 2015
If you want an adventure, here ya go.
If you want to choose how you experience NZ, here ya go.
If you want to make friends from all over the world, here ya go!
From watching dolphin watching in Paihia to walking to the bottom of a glacier in Franz Josef . This Big Tiki does it all. Our tour manager Josh and driver Nick were awesome and made the trip so much fun & special (I highly recommend getting them!)
The accommodation varies, some places you got tv's. Others had no wifi...at all. The Rotorua hotel is... definitely.. something.
When in Queenstown is it a must to try their Ferg Burger (only $11, and is epic!) and to also try the Money shot- only a few bars do it. So get exploring and you'll have a blast in NZ
Honestly it is the best way to see what Kiwi land has to offer :D
Review written Mar 2015event 0.3
06 Jan 2015 - 24 Jan 2015
Thanks for a truly amazing, life changing experience.
Just wanted to give 5 big golden stars to you for such an incredible trip.
It was a great mix of partying, sight seeing, culture, friendship and experiences.
I have to say, I don't think I could have possibly seen so many things in so little time on any other tour... just incredible. I true life changer!
Review written Feb 2015event 0.3