From October to November of this past fall (2016), Jeddy and I embarked on a month-long trip to New Zealand. Having scored our return flights for $700 ea. (CDN) through YYCDeals site, we opted to splurge a little and take part in a Contiki tour for 3 weeks during our time there. While I was apprehensive at first as I have never done a large group tour before, it ended up being the experience of a lifetime. Contiki caters to tourists between the ages of 18-35, so Jeddy got in just under the wire. He had done a Contiki a few years back in Thailand for his best friend’s stag and highly recommended we try it together as a couple.

We arrived in Auckland and rented a car mid-October. Oh geez, the driving in a right-hand drive car on the left-hand side of the road sure threw me for a loop.. but we travelled safely and managed to have a great time showing ourselves (me, Jeddy and Mae) around the Northern part of the North Island, even making it to the farthest most Northern tip of the country, Cape Reinga. It was a stunning road trip.

Our first week was spent self-exploring and we visited the Waitomo Caves (glow worms) for some blackwater rafting and caving. We also went to Sheep World and the Sand Dunes for some boogie boarding.

We met up with our Contiki Group during our second week and began our Country-wide tour. We visited the rest of the North Island, and then took the ferry down to ‘Lord of the Rings Land’ as we knew it, the South Island.

The South Island is majestic, treacherous and overwhelmingly breathtaking in it’s natural beauty. The mountains are steep, the hillsides are lush and the ocean is revitalizing. As lively as the North Island (and Auckland) was with people and activity, the South Island took the cake for the display of splendour you’d expect from a country as reputable as New Zealand.

We met some amazing people and made some phenomenal memories while here – it was definitely a trip of a lifetime and we have added a return trip to our ‘bucket list redos’.