17 Jul 2015 - 25 Jul 2015
This is a trip that if you have the chance to do - DO IT! We started in Christchurch early and headed off to Lake Ohau... we had a large group of about 52 which was great! We made plenty of stops along the way at beautiful lakes and townships. Our Tour manager NICK was the absolute BEST I have not one bad word to day about him. He definitely made the trip what it was, he was so knowledgeable about the country and kept us all entertained along the way. Lake Ohau was breathtakingly beautiful and was a great location for the first night as the only thing there is the lodge. That night we had dinner and chilled out in the bar/ rooms and got to know everyone in a very relaxed atmosphere. The next day we loaded onto the bus and headed for Dunedin. Once again along the way we made plenty of scenic stops. We got to the hotel and had a few hours free time and met up again and went on a brewery tour, followed by a group dinner. While we were having dinner it had started snowing (which for us who have never seen snow was AMAZING!) we went out tonight and partied contiki style. Getting up the next morning and loading onto the bus was a struggle but we all did it. We were then en route to my favourite part of the tour QUEENSTOWN. Oh my gosh.. I cannot write enough about Queenstown. It is the quaintest, adventure packed, most picturesque little town you will ever visit. We stayed at the Tanoa Aspen which was up on the hill overlooking the township and "The Remarkables" mountain range. it was about a $14 taxi fare into town which was so worth it for the views. We stayed here for 4 nights which was the perfect amount of time. People were bungy jumping, canyon swinging, sky diving, luging, snowboarding constantly and everything was professionally booked and handled by our Tour manager which made it SUPER easy for everyone. I had been told when in Queenstown trying a Fergburger is a must - I now agree.. it was the best bloody burger I have every had in MY LIFE! it was very sad leaving Queenstown.. it was amazing seeing all the snow everywhere also. We left Queenstown and headed to Franz Josef which was a nice little town in the rainforest. Our accommodation was basic but was all we needed. The bar went off with us there and we all had a great time taking advantage of the cocktail specials. Unfortunately due to bad weather (which changed in a heartbeat) majority of the Optional activities involving the Glaciers were cancelled. Be prepared for many cancellations due to weather. As Nick our tour manager told us.. do get excited until you are actually doing the activity. After two nights in Franz Josef it was back to Christchurch which marked the end of our trip for all of us except 14 people who were continuing on to do the North Island. If you have the time and money I would recommend doing both islands as coming back and having to watch your "new friends" continue on without you sucks! haha but all in all it was a trip of a lifetime!! There was nothing that Contiki hadn't planned for. We had fun on the bus, our day song was perfect for the trip, the 51 "new friends" I made, made the trip what it was. I have made plenty of life long friends. Contiki you have done it again!!!!!!!! :)
Review written Aug 2015event 0.3
07 Jun 2015 - 15 Jun 2015
The landscape of the south island of New Zealand is unbelievably breathtaking. The accommodation is pretty good and the people on the trip were very good and I would recommend this trip!! I higly recommend this tour for anyone!!
Review written Jul 2015event 0.3
27 Apr 2015 - 07 May 2015
As someone who is a backpacker to the core, I was hesitant about how this would go... it ended up being one of the most eye-opening and life-changing travel experiences (and after backpacking more than 23 countries, that says a lot). I truly made friends for life. From the encouragement of my new friends to jump off every ledge/bridge/platform I could, to having a slew of people willing to join for a rainy day hike, to nights at bars or 26 of us in a hotel room laughing and drinking wine, this trip was my favorite travel experience to date. Oh, and did I mention that New Zealand is breathtakingly gorgeous?
The ME Time optionals are AWESOME and worth it. The Skyline dinner was worth it, because the tram ride up to the top is $30 alone (the dinner includes a return trip back up and the food is TO DIE FOR- BUFFET STYLE). All bungy jumping is a giant YES! The Canyon Swing might be more exhilarating than bungy jumping and each jump after your first is only $35. I took the flight to milford sound because I feel my limited time in a country was more valuable- absolutely worth every penny.
At Franz Josef, do the Tartare Tunnel Hike (be sure to bring a flashlight). Really cool to see the glow worms and feel like you're entering a horror movie like the descent (less scary, I promise).
I would do this trip again in a heartbeat.
Review written May 2015event 0.3
03 Feb 2015 - 11 Feb 2015
There were so many great things about this trip - the scenery, accommodation, tour manager/driver, fellow travellers, included activities and meals..it completely exceeded my expectations. We were in the midst of beautiful lakes and locations right from day 1 - always something interesting so see on the journeys between the towns. I chose only a few optional activities, including bungy jumping, but there was always something to do - either by yourself or with the group. A hike through the Franz Josef Glacier Valley was a highlight, as well as a day trip to Milford Sound - a scenery junkie's delight. Made some great memories and great new friends, I'd recommend this trip to all.
Review written Feb 2015event 0.3
14 Jan 2015 - 22 Jan 2015
This Contiki was over and beyond anything I'd expected. I travelled mid January, it was great weather. It was the best scenery I've ever seen- I was never board on the bus because there was always something to look at.
I found white water rafting and heli hiking the best out of all of them. The accommodation is pretty good, I stayed with 3 other girls and we were only in there to sleep, get ready and drink. I would highly recommend this trip!! The landscape of the south island of New Zealand is unbelievably breathtaking, and if scenery isn't your thing there is Queenstown! Coming from Australia I found that most of the food and activities were on par with pricing here.
Review written Jan 2015event 0.3
09 Dec 2014 - 17 Dec 2014
I came on this trip wanting to do as much adrenaline packed activities as possible and i was not let down at all. As long as you can pay for it you can make this tour quite relaxing to next level crazy ! I higly recommend this tour for anyone, good times are to be had guranteed :D
Review written Dec 2014event 0.3
18 Jul 2014 - 26 Jul 2014
It was the best scenery I've ever seen in a while and actually enjoyed it. Even had fun having a tour around the Speights brewery and doing the shot over jet. The accommodation is pretty good and the people on the trip were very good and I would recommend this trip!!
Review written Aug 2014event 0.3
02 Jul 2014 - 10 Jul 2014
The landscape of the south island of New Zealand is unbelievably breathtaking, and if scenery isn't your thing there is Queenstown! A town in which you can sky dive, bungy jump, jet ski, horseback ride and much, much more. The tour guide and bus driver were great, all the tours for any 'me time' options were great, and all the locals were as friendly as can be. Would recommend for anyone thinking of an adventure holiday, or seeing a beautiful country that is still mostly untouched. Coming from Australia I found that most of the food and activities were on par with pricing here.
Review written Jul 2014event 0.3
04 Jan 2013 - 12 Jan 2013
I did this tour in Jan of this year and we had the best time! the included dinners were great along with the two optional dinner we could chose to do, I highly recommend both optional dinners just make sure you are hungry!
We unfortunately at the start of our tour did not have an 'official' contiki bus as they had all buses already on the road and it was peak season, but we did nab ourselves one in Queenstown.
Our TM Sarah was amazing, she went out of her way to help you and answer any silly questions we might of come up with, between her and Adam (our bus driver) they made the times on the bus between where we were going to great fun, whether it was Adam getting Sarah to play a song that he wanted to listen to or the first time we were introduced to our day song Everything's gonna be alright! The included Jetboat in Queenstown was great fun! I did the white water rafting on the shotover and also did Milford sound day trip while in Queenstown. We didn't make it to Franz Joseph on the day we were meant to given the bad weather and the road had been closed - it was the middle of summer and the weather took a turn to the south including we woke up one morning to snow on the remarkables in Queenstown.
We got to Franz and Fox glaciers the next day and the weather had improved enough that those who had booked the helicopter trips and hikes could go up onto the top of the Glaciers nothing like throwing a snowball on top of a glacier we did not get ot see franz as their was cloud cover in the valley but we still got ot see fox and land on top of it one of the highlights of my tour.
I really do not think I can praise our TM and driver high enough especially given I had been injured on the Monday in Queenstown, by the friday after already seeing a doctor who told me everything would be fine I gave my TM and driver a scare when my body went into shock, Sarah stayed with me while Adam waited for the Ambulance to arrive dressed in a coconut bra and grass skirt! Then Sarah came with me to the local medical centre while they got me all sorted out and dosed me up on painkillers along with giving me crutches (thankfully the trip was ending the following afternoon).
This trip can be as adventured packed or as alid back as you want it to be, our first night on tour left us speechless given our location we were in a ski lodge over looking lake Ohau.
Review written Jul 2013event 0.3