10 Day Guide to South Island New Zealand with Contiki

10 Day Guide to South Island New Zealand with Contiki

We had an amazing time and the Contiki New Zealand Sweet as South tour was a great way for us to get a taste of New Zealand.  They have definitely whet our appetite for more!  If you want to visit New Zealand but have a limited amount of time (1 week versus 1 month), I would highly recommend going on a contiki tour. After the tour, Jacob and I have already decided that we want to go back for a month and explore on our own!  Here’s a recap of our trip to New Zealand (you can click on the day or photo to see the full blog post with more photos & specific tips):

OUR 10 DAY GUIDE TO SOUTH ISLAND NEW ZEALAND with contiki

BEFORE TOUR: EXPLORING CHRISTCHURCH & WILLOWBANK WILDLIFE RESERVE

what to do in christchurch | how to spend 48 hours in christchurch, rebirth of christchurch
fallow deer willowbank wildlife reserve christchurch new zealand | travel photos

DAY 1 CHRISTCHURCH TO LAKE OHAU

Stops at Cookie Time, Geraldine, Lake Tekapo, the Church of the Good Shepherd, & Lake Pukaki

Enjoying the beer and the view at Lake Ohau Lodge New Zealand | 10 Day Guide to South Island New Zealand with Contiki.

DAY 2 OHAU TO DUNEDIN

Stops at Benmore Dam, Oamaru, Moeraki Boulders, & Baldwin Street (world’s steepest street!)
Dunedin Railway Station

DAY 3 DUNEDIN TO QUEENSTOWN

Stops in Cromwell, Kawarau Bridge original bungy, & Arrowtown.

view of queenstown from skyline restaurant | 10 Day Guide to South Island New Zealand with Contiki.

DAY 4 QUEENSTOWN AND THE LEDGE BUNGY

Also included Shotover Jet, the famous Fergburger, the Skyline Luge, and a McDonalds Happy Meal.

the ledge bungy | 10 Day Guide to South Island New Zealand with Contiki.

DAY 5 DAY TRIP TO MILFORD SOUND

Afterwards, there was pizza at the Cow for dinner and drinks at Minus 5 Ice Bar in Queenstown.

Milford Sound Mountains | 10 Day Guide to South Island New Zealand with Contiki.

DAY 6 DAY TRIP ON THE DART RIVER WILDERNESS SAFARI

Dart River Wilderness Safari & Jetboats | 10 Day Guide to South Island New Zealand with Contiki.

DAY 7 QUEENSTOWN TO FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER

Stops in Wanaka’s Puzzling World, Blue Pools, & Thunder Creek Falls.

Wanaka’s Puzzling World | 10 Day Guide to South Island New Zealand with Contiki.

DAY 8 GLACIER HIKING ON FOX GLACIER (THE FOX TROT)

Glacier hiking on fox glacier new zealand

DAY 9 FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER TO CHRISTCHURCH

Stops in Hokitika, Castle Hill (Narnia), & Springfield.

Castle hill narnia | 10 Day Guide to South Island New Zealand with Contiki.

DAY 10 CHRISTCHURCH

We said our goodbyes and headed home. We made some great friends along the way in New Zealand, and we hope they will visit us soon & vice versa!

New Contiki Friends for Life! | Day 9 New Zealand Sweet as South Contiki Tour | Franz Josef Glacier to Christchurch | A Guide to South Island
10 Day Guide to South Island New Zealand with Contiki.

Farewell New Zealand, we will see you again soon!

General Tips (each individual post has specific tips for each day):

  • Ask for a hairdryer from the receptionist if not provided in your hotel rooms
  • If you ask for Lemonade = Sprite in New Zealand
  • Breakfast is always included. It’s sometimes continental or hot. Also a few dinners are included
  • Cash and credit are both accepted
  • Tipping is optional in NZ. If service is exceptional you can do 10-15%. On taxi drives you can just round up the total for exceptional service. When we first arrived we tipped like typical americans, so I’m sure we made a few people feel very happy or insulted.
  • Recommended amount for tipping the contiki tour driver and tour guide is NZD 3 per person per day (6 NZD per day for both).
  • 2 degrees simcard has a very good value for calling home
  • Bring a water bottle (wish I brought this collapsible one that I had)
  • Good souvenirs are pinot gris and sauvignon blancs, woodcarvings, and the native greenstone.

Have you been to New Zealand?
Is it on your bucket list?

xoxo estherJacob

Thank you Contiki for hosting our trip. All photos, text, and opinions are our own.
Thank you for supporting the brands that make Local Adventurer possible.

This Post Has 8 Comments

    1. Hi Laura. Thanks so much for reading!! :D

      Hmm I would say NZ was one of our pricier trips. Even flights out there were extremely expensive. This is the tour we took to get our feet wet with south island: http://www.contiki.com/destinations/new-zealand/tours/370-sweet-as-south

      I think it’s the best way to see and do the most.

      We saved on food because I didn’t really think the food was particularly amazing but splurged on all the activities. I figured it’s the extreme sports capital on the world, and how many times are you going to go and try all those extreme sports in the extreme sports capital in the world? :) When are you thinking of going?

    1. Hi Caroline! :) What part of NZ did you end up going to? I only went a week, and I feel like I needed to be there a month to see everything!

  1. You guys come to NZ :D That is awesome :) I’m surprised you didn’t check out the Cadbury (chocolate) factory while you were in Dunedin. It looks as though you came to Dunedin at the right time of year though :) did you see much of the student culture in your one day in the city?

    1. we didn’t see many students when we were there. I think we were just way too tired to go, so we wanted to just relax instead. But when other people got back, we were definitely jealous because they had such a good time and brought back chocolates we had never seen. :)

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