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I had always wanted to travel since graduating high school. it had been 6 years and i finally decided that i was going to. Except i wasn't planning on going to New Zealand. I was suppose to go to America. I took me a good 10 months to get some money saved but i still didn't have enough. So that's when I decided New Zealand would be ideal.
New Zealand was cheaper and closer to home (I'm an Aussie) and being my first overseas holiday i'm glad that i did choose NZ. The girls i had met before the tour started were really lovely and i couldn't wait to meet them. i had booked this tour back in Dec 2011 and had been counting down the months, weeks and days till the day had finally arrived. i thought the night before the tour started i would be the normal shy person when meeting new people. turns out i was wrong. it was great to have dinner with the group and it felt like we had known each other for ages.
Being over there, i came out of my shell and made new friends and did things i never thought i'd do. it was an INSANE trip. Our Tour Manager (Saul) was funny as hell and always gave the best advise on things to do, things to see and gave helpful tips on activities that were way too nerve racking to even consider doing.
people have asked me what my favourite part of New Zealand was and i can honestly say, all of it. it was the type of people that were in the group that made it that much more fun and interesting. i loved the fact that i didn't pay for a single room and opted for the share accommodation. share accommodation is a great way to get to know your friends. the bus rides were so much fun, listening to all different types of music, chatting away to all our new friends, taking photos from inside the bus, and of course sleeping.
i faced some of my fears being on this trip and had decided even before i went on Contiki that i would love to do most of the activities. the one that i had the most trouble doing was Bungy. our driver pumba was there with me until i jumped off the bridge (he walked up there with me until i was harnessed up) he gave me helpful advice and i thank him for that. i only did the 43m one but it was still a challenge. can't say that i enjoyed it otherwise i would be lying. i've done it once now and i'm never doing it again. i was hoping to do skydiving but that was the day after i did the bungy, and i was still getting flashbacks from it. so i pulled out.
Queenstown is definitely one of my favourite places in New Zealand. the nightlife was amazing. we had celebrated St Patrick's day in the Minus 5 bar and wore everything St Patrick's. Winnie's is the best place for Pizza. really fills you up and they are so delicious. our first night in Queenstown we had our group photo taken in front of the lake and had dinner up at skyline restaurant. amazing buffet!
Touring the Cadbury factory and the Speight's Ale House was awesome. this was our first night where we got to go out and have a good time. our first night was more of a relaxing night drinking and playing ping pong at our lodge.
we had so many good nights out and about in New Zealand. i ended up doing the splits on the bar in Wellington and got a free shot, but gave it to another contiki member (i don't drink much) this would have been the most clubbing/dancing i have done in a long time and i have never drunk this much in the my whole adulthood.
climbing the glacier was amazing! it was great to get inside ice caves and get photos and video of it all. i was on a high after that. it wasn't as cold as what i thought it would have been. i'm glad i chose the hike instead of the heli hike (more exercise haha)
bay of islands was also an amazing place to be. i para-sailed as soon as we arrived and decided to the combo of dolphin watching and sail cruise. it was a great way to end the tour. also did quad bike riding in Wellington and thought that was a blast. it's a bit hard to turn the quads but the track was better then the training track.
one thing i didn't like about the whole tour was the ferry ride from Picton to Wellington. we were on the ferry for 4hrs and it took us 3hrs to get there. it would have been better it wasn't 4mtr swells. felt so sick that day and we all couldn't walk properly while we were on the ferry. it was funny to see and to keep our minds occupied we played cards for most of it.
also if i had known earlier, i would have bought my own hairdryer as some places didn't have any or some weren't working.
i could go on about this, but i've already written enough to persuade any of you to do a NZ Contiki. i miss all my new found friends and i'm glad there is such thing as facebook otherwise my phonebill would be expensive.
Review written Apr 2012Read more reviews » Write a review