Traveling to new countries and discovering new places are the richest experiences one can live. As you all saw from my Instagram pictures, I recently traveled to New Zealand – 15 000km away from home. Not only was it my first trip on the opposite side of the world, it was also my very first solo trip. I impulsively booked my tour and my plane tickets after feeling the urge to have a change of scenery and to take a break of my everyday life. I was looking for a place I have never been before and that would completely deconnect me from my reality. That is when I thought of New Zealand. A few of my friends already visited this country before and all told me they absolutely loved it. My choice was easily made! Also, being a Lord of the Rings fan, I simply had to go 😉
The idea of traveling alone to a new continent was definitely exciting and scary. After talking to a few of my family members and my friends about my traveling options, I decided to look at travel agencies with guided and planed tours. This is when I discovered Contiki. For those who are not familiar with Contiki, it is a travel agency for 18-35 years old travel enthusiasts. They offer travel tours and plans all over the world. What is also amazing is that you can choose the amount of days you want to travel and the types of tour you would like to have.
The lovely team at Contiki very generously gave me a discount code for all you travelers! You can use the code: PPCARIELLE and save 100$ of your next trip.
The Contiki tour I personally chose was the Sweet As South 10-days tour, starting at Christchurch and ending at Wellington. This particular tour was perfect for me as I traveling with a group of my age range and meeting new people. What interested me even more was the fact that I was also able to relax and fully enjoy the trip without thinking about all the travel logistics. All the transportation and lodging accommodations were included. These types of tours are the best way to experience and discover Southern New Zealand, especially if you have a tight vacation schedule such as I did.
To my surprise, the great majority of our group members were solo travelers. It was amazing to meet people from all over the world. I made amazing friends from the UK, India, Japan and Australia! Our tour guide Boyd and driver Pat were amazing and incredibly friendly. This trip could have not been better without the Contiki family I had.
In only a week and a half, we were able to visit so many incredible cities and do extraordinary activities. Without any further ado, here is what I have been doing during my 10 days trip. The only regret I have is to not have enjoyed this amazing trip more than I did. Time flew by so incredibly fast. I wish I could relive every single moment of this beautiful trip!
Day 1 – Christchurch
We departed from Christchurch after having a little walk in the city to head to the beautiful Lake Tekapo and Lake Ohau. This was my very first tête à tête with New Zealand breathtaking landscapes. I cannot express how gorgeous the view was. I felt as if I was living in a dream. The mountains, the lakes, the landscapes… everything was larger than life. We stayed at a beautiful lodge that had the perfect view on Mount Cook and on the river. Quite a lot of people from our group braved the freezing cold water which I very happily stayed away from. We had a lovely group dinner and we all enjoyed a few drinks in front of the most spectacular view as you can see from the pictures!
Day 2 – Lake Ohau to Dunedin
We said goodbye to the beautiful scenery before heading to Dunedin, known as the student city. We had a little stop at Moeraki to look at the massive boulders on the beach. Dunedin is an incredible town. It also has one of the biggest Cadbury factory and having the biggest sweet tooth in the world, I obviously had to do the tour. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures or to film during our little visit but they made sure to treat us well giving us quite a lot chocolate bars. Later that day, we had the opportunity to take a tour of the iconic Speight’s Brewery where we tasted their brews!
Day 3 – Dunedin to Queenstown
We started Day 3 with a climb on Baldwin Street, the world’s steepest street. I thought I was in shape until I was mid-way. That was to say the least the most unforgettable morning workout I ever had. We then headed out to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world. We were going to spend the 4 most amazing days of the entire trip. If you are into bungee jumping, Canyon swings, skydiving, zip lining and much more, you definitely have to stop to Queenstown.
Our very first evening in Queenstown was highlighted by the most beautiful Sky Line dinner I have had. We took a gondola up to the restaurant and had the perfect view on the city! A delicious buffet was served where we all ate a little more than we should have. The dessert tables were to die for. I have never felt so full in my entire life. We then hopped in a little bar before all resting before starting our most crazy 4 days of the entire trip.
Make sure to stay tuned for my second part of Discovering New Zealand! You will know all about my skydiving experience as well as my horse trekking, Glacier helicopter ride and landing – and much more. Again, Contiki was kind enough to give me a discount code for you guys:
CODE: PPCARIELLE to save 100$ of your next trip!
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