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Our Guide To Contiki Tours

Contiki are a huge international company who started out way back in the 60s and now offer 18 to 35-year-olds tours around the globe including a vast number in New Zealand. Whether you are looking for furious partying or something rather more slow-paced and tranquil Contiki can probably deliver. Some of their trips focus on either just the North or the South Island but there are plenty which take in both.

Contiki are a huge international company who started out way back in the 60s and now offer 18 to 35-year-olds tours around the globe including a vast number in New Zealand.

Aimed at the 'young, wild and free', the Contiki tour menu includes everything from short breaks to epic-type options and is broken down into different categories. There are 5 'Short Trips and Festivals', 1 ski option and more than 20 each of their 'In-depth Explorer' and 'Discoverer' tours.

The short trips cover set music festival and cultural events as well as party points in the calendar such as New Year or Christmas. The 'In-depth Explorer' options are for those who want lots of activities but also free time while the 'Discoverer' is a non-stop, crammed-to-the-hilt something-of-everything kind of tour which can cover multiple countries.

Whether you are looking for furious partying or something rather more slow-paced and tranquil Contiki can probably deliver. Some of their trips focus on either just the North or the South Island but there are plenty which take in both.

The type of accommodation you will be offered by Contiki Tours totally depends on the type of trip you opt into but is quite often hotels and lodges with a fair smattering of camping, especially for the festival options.

For those with a conscience it is good to know Contiki has a responsible tourism policy in place called 'Contiki Cares' and includes a fair number of environmental and social projects.

Group sizes

Typically speaking this is not a small-group policy company but quite how many others will be sharing your chosen trip with you depends on which you choose and how fully booked it is.

Tour trip lengths

Trips offered vary in length from 3 to 20 days.

What is included

Again, quite what will be included as part of your package price very much depends on which trip you go on. The standards for all the options are accommodation, transport (in luxury coaches with AC or heating, WiFi and power-points), breakfast and usually at least a couple of freebie activities or experiences.

Here are a couple of examples of other typical inclusions for specific trips:

In-depth Explorer – a traditional Maori hangi dinner and other freebies such as entry to the Skytower, Kauri Park, a Maori cultural show and a visit to a seal colony.

Discoverer – some dinners supplied by way of barbecues or fish and chips, freebies such as a Shotover jet experience, geothermal pools and a Speights Brewery tour.

Short trips – luxury camping, some barbecue or pizza dinners, VIP festival admissions and entry to VIP festival bars.

Optional activities available

The chance to customise your trip with add-ons is extensive with Contiki Tours to say the least. What can you do? Well, it would be far easier to least what you can't do; for example on one Discoverer trip there is a list of more than 70 possible activities and experiences – from bungy to boating on Milford Sound and from wild partying to wine tasting – it's all here.

Pros and Cons

  • A large international company
  • Contiki has age limits – under 18s and over 35s are not included.
  • The vast majority of trip options take in the most famous sites and tourist destinations although some stray off the beaten path a little more.
  • Possibly more add-on activities than you are likely to find with any other company.
  • Some freebie inclusions in package prices.
  • Lots of free time which Contiki call 'ME Time'.
  • Tour groups tend to be on the larger side.
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