Skip to main content

What’s it really like being a Contiki Trip Manager in New Zealand?

A group of people on a Contiki trip standing on top of a rock in a canyon.

For decades Contiki has connected young people through travel. But what about the people behind the adventures – Contiki’s famed Trip Managers? Travelling to exotic destinations, meeting new people and exploring the best that our planet has to offer – sounds like a pretty sweet gig, right? Well yeah, it totally is, but there’s heaps of hard work that the Contiki Trip Managers go through behind the scenes to ensure that every second of a Contiki trip pushes boundaries and evokes wonder.

We spoke with Cameron Steel – who’s been with Contiki since 2010 and a TM in New Zealand since 2016 – to find out what it’s really like being a Contiki Trip Manager.

The Hours

Being a Contiki trip manager means you need to feel at home on the open road.

‘You run about 12 trips a year which is about 216 days a year on the road.’

A group of people standing next to a bus.

The Best Parts

Staying true to the Contiki ethos, and how we feel about travel in general, Cameron reckons the best part of the job is ‘100% all of the people you meet along the way.’  Or more specifically ‘Seeing people do their first bungy jump or skydive. Or watching their eyes light up when they experience Hobbiton for the first time.’

A woman is standing in front of a hobbit house during her Contiki trip.

The Worst Parts

‘Saying goodbye to my crew at the end of the trip.’

Two Contiki Trip Managers standing in front of a bus with the words northbets on it.

Biggest misconception?

‘That it’s really easy… All of your hard work is done behind the scenes, so people don’t see that side of the job!’

Don’t worry Cameron, we appreciate you.


A group of people on a Contiki trip standing on top of a rock in a canyon.

Favourite part of New Zealand?

‘My favourite city is Wellington. Amazing food and just an awesome scene. Best smaller destination is Ohakune, a new spot this season on the North Island. It’s stunning, proper New Zealand wilderness – amazing snowboarding in the winter and bike riding in the summer.’

A Contiki Trip Manager is standing in front of a colorful store.

Favourite thing to eat in New Zealand?

‘If I’m not in one of Queenstown or Wellington’s amazing cafes eating cake, it has to be the traditional Maori Hungi feast at Mitai Marori village in Rotorua.’

A group of people enjoying donuts at a Contiki Trip Manager table.

Typical day on the road?

‘Run and gym, followed by getting my crew pumped for the day. Coffee and cake, see some beautiful New Zealand countryside – throw people off a bridge/plane/mountain – more cake – show the crew some amazing New Zealand night life.’

It’s a hard life, Cameron.

A Contiki Trip Manager is guiding a person up a wooden boardwalk on a hill.

Best part of showing off New Zealand?

‘The scenery is just mind-boggling, the adventure sports, Hobbiton… But the winner has to be the Maori culture. Kiwis are proud of our heritage and I love teaching people more about it.’

A group of Contiki travelers in a canoe on a river.

Biggest surprises about New Zealand?

‘Its beauty and the richness of Maori culture.’

A man is flying through the trees in a zip line on a Contiki Trip.

Job in three words?

‘Cake, mean, chur’