New Zealand Touring Holiday Reviews
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Sue and Greg Fisher, Custom 7 Day Highlights, Travelled on 29 March 2018
Great holiday, thanks to Brigett for organising the itinerary. Would highly recommend if you are a busy person, all the organisation is done for you.
Carl & Mutsumi Kawauchi, Queenstown, Milford Sound and Glacier Highlights, Travelled on 26 March 2018
We had a wonderful tour. Hit many of the highlights of this beautiful country. The accommodations were very nice. The bus rides were quite long but went fairly quickly as the passing scenery was so lovely. The only glitch was our last bus to catch the Trans Alpine train was delayed due to a fallen tree so we missed the train. The bus driver really tried his best to get to the train station in time but to no avail.
Helen & Rob Henry and John & Ruth Pollard, Tailored NZ Ultimate Must Do Adventure, Travelled on 6 March 2018
Hi Laura Ruth, John, Rob and I just want to say thank you for an amazing holiday. We can't quite believe how much we did and saw in our three weeks. The holiday was very well organised, everything went very smoothly and it was great to just stand outside the motel and be picked up and taken to where ever we were going! All the accommodation was very good, very clean and comfortable and the locations ideal. All the tour guides and coach drivers were very knowledgeable and helpful. We felt we had a good overview of New Zealand, it's people, history as well as the scenery. Watching the sunset on Mt Cook from our hotel window was a particular highlight. The balance of LOTR'S tours with everything else was perfect. We had the most amazing holiday and will certainly recommend your company to anyone thinking of going. Kind regards Helen
Terry & Cindy AmRhein, Customised Discover Tour, Travelled on 4 March 2018
Dear Emma, We returned home to Vermont, USA last Tuesday April 9. We traveled 26 straight hours getting home so we've been suffering from jet lag and are just now getting around to writing you this letter. I wanted to thank you for all your efforts in arranging our trip to New Zealand. As you can imagine, I was a little anxious about hiring someone half way around the world to arrange our trip. If Discover New Zealand turned out to be dishonest, I would have little recourse. Those worries were completely unfounded. Our trip was wonderful! All of our accommodations were ready and waiting for us when we arrived, all we had to do was tell the desk clerk that we were Terry and Cindy AmRhein and our room was ready.Read more
Same thing for all of our excursions and adventures, walk up to the ticket window and BANG, our tickets were immediately available. Our car and transportation arrangements were the same, the car was immediately available in Auckland, our boat ferry was ready in Wellington and our new car was ready and waiting in Picton on the south island. I especially enjoyed cruising around the Bay of Islands and going through the "Hole in the Rocks" and visiting the Botanical Gardens in Dunedin. Cindy enjoyed visiting Rotorua and seeing the filming location for "Lord of the Rings." I also I saw the "Southern Cross" for the first time ever in Rotorua. I have been wanting to see the South Cross since I was a kid. I know that setting up and making all the arrangements for our trip was not easy, even for a seasoned veteran such as yourself. If you make one mistake or miss only one reservation, it could make our trip much more difficult. But you didn't miss a thing and Cindy and I really appreciate your hard work. You made our trip a trip that we will always remember Thank you so very much Terry and Cindy AmRhein Bridport, Vermont, USA
Scott & Rachel LaFevre, 5 Day Waitomo, Rotorua and Hobbiton, Travelled on 19 March 2018
Thank You for a wonderful trip. Everything went as planned and we had a great trip with many awesome memories. We will be in contact soon for our next New Zealand adventure. Respectfully, Scott and Rachel.
Stephen Gough & Dianne Burns, Customised Auckland to Auckland Southern Explorer, Travelled on 17 March 2018
Shelley provided us with a individualised self drive itinerary for the 11 days we had in the South Island. Everything as outlined on the itinerary was spot on and we found the accommodation to be excellent. Cannot express our delight with this trip adequately enough and will certainly recommend you to our friends. Stephen and Dianne, Australia
Bradley & Vivian Motbey, 9 Day Southern Icons Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 12 March 2018
Hi Jane Thanks for arranging this. We found the arrangements well-paced and the directions were perfect. I would like to provide feedback on 2 of the accommodations for consideration. The Te Anau Distinction Luxmore Hotel was not up to scratch, it was old & dated. It was clean and right in the middle of town but it was a disappointment compared to the previous accommodation. The main issue was the shower was just awful, it could barely get the shampoo out of my hair (I don’t have much), the wife had much more trouble. The Rainforest Retreat in Franz Josef we approached with trepidation given it was the other altered accommodation, on arrival we were advised we had been upgraded to the deluxe lodges. These were by far the best accommodation we had on the trip. In summary we had a wonderful time and really enjoyed the beauty of the south island. I would have no hesitation recommending your organisation to anyone looking for a similar holiday. Brad
Janet & Lawrie Carr, North Island 13 Day Highlights, Travelled on 12 March 2018
Hi Jane Just letting you know we had a great time on our holiday in North Island. Everything went well and even the weather was kind to us with just a wet day at the beginning and end of our trip. The accommodation was fine with Quest in Rotorua and City Life in Wellington getting 5 stars from us.Read more
The Bella Vista in Napier was disappointing – rather a cramped and shabby room. Hire car arrangements were ok too and the sat nav was good in Auckland & Wellington but took us on the “scenic route” on our way to the Bay of Islands. All the “transfers” were on time with friendly and helpful drivers. The tours you organised for us were excellent and we would highly recommend them - Waitangi Treaty Grounds Guided Tour and Cultural Performance, Hobbiton Movie set tour and Rainbow Springs & Kiwi Encounter. The train trip from Wellington to Auckland was very relaxing and enjoyable. Other highlights for us were The Kauri Museum (Waipura Forest), The Redwoods at Rotorua, The Great War Exhibition at Wellington’s war memorial and Te Papa. Many thanks. Janet & Lawrie Carr Perth, West Australia
Kay & Michael Payan, Queenstown to Auckland Ultimate Explorer, Travelled on 8 March 2018
I can't say enough about the trip we planned together & the care you took of us while we visited your stunning country. All of the special "tours" you included were perfect. You went out of your way when we needed you. Thank you Discover New Zealand!
Stephen & Moira Ford, Northbound Christchurch to Auckland 18 Day Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 6 March 2018
Just to thank Shelley for her assistance in providing a great self drive tour. Excellent detailed information provided and GPS very handy. Lots of great memories from both Islands with the South Island being the most scenic. Best activity was the helicopter flight onto the glacier as we had a hot sunny day and when up in our tee shirts. Closely followed by Milford Sound despite the weather. We chose to fly from Christchurch to Wellington, which proved to be best way to link to the North island. The only one thing we would have changed is to instead travelled from Rotorua via Hobbiton direct to Auckland and not to Whiianga on the Coromandel. Peninsula. This would left us a day to travel to a resort North of Auckland before flying back to Australia.
Felicia & Everard La Faber, Bridget Bernadus & Ivy Edwards, A Customised North to South Island Explorer, Travelled on 5 March 2018
Hi Christina Brockie, Everard, Ivy, Bridget and myself would love to thank you for giving us a well planned 2 and half week holiday. From the time I discussed this holiday with you, you knew straight away what our requirements were and you delivered it. We are so grateful that your support, expertise, guidance, and your good nature as made it possible for us to have the best of New Zealand. The North Island we were inspired with the Maori culture, people their excellent attitude and my golly they know how to tell a story. The South Island was also very interesting and beautiful. We had an excellent standard of accommodation Every aspect of our itinerary went smoothly. The private transfers, connections, accommodation and even bus drivers we experienced in NZ were exceptional and exemplary. All in all it was a great vacation and again we like to express out thanks to you Christina for a job well done.
Jonathan & Shirley Thomas, Customised Northbound Explorer Christchurch to Auckland Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 4 March 2018
Hi Shelley. Home from what we kept describing as our amazing "trip of a lifetime". When I used that phrase for our holiday it there are a few factors implicit in it - never done this before; its bigger/longer/better than before; its more expensive than before; probably never do it again etc. Each of these were fulfilled 'in spades' so I could say that it is mission accomplished in every one of the factors - except the last one !!! We enjoyed NZ so much that I am sure that "we will be back". I must congratulate and thank you because your recommended locations, motels, timings and activities were spot on and suited us perfectly.Read more
We enjoyed the scenery on the long road trips as much as the destinations and activities - awesome. Just a few minor observations re accommodations etc- 1 I guess that Westport ( motel was fine ) was a stop-off on way to Nelson, would suggest a different half way point as it is not a very attractive town !!! 2 We called at Lake Taupo en-route to Rotorua and loved it, would loved to have stayed around there longer -for a day or so 3 The Otago peninsular is the prettiest place I have ever been to. It is like 'fine art', the 'detail' is superb. Its a "wow" around every corner and when you think that it cant be prettier the next scene is even better. 4 Milford Sound is 'big brush' awesome rugged beauty. The day we were there was a crystal clear day with only light breeze so we saw it with the best possible conditions and wanted to go back and see it again. 5 Te Anau and was another beautiful place with a fabulous Indian restaurant , could have stayed there longer. 6 Wellington is another amazing place, the city center is on the flat but most of the residential seems to be on the hills overlooking the town and marina. The Te Papa museum is one of the best I have ever been to for a cultural experience too. 7 Napier was also very enjoyable and would recommend the wine tasting at a Vineyard called "Mission" - about 10 kms for Napier. At $5 a head for 7 wines to taste and also a complementary boxed wine glass was also super value. They were very friendly and not at all specializing for the specialist wine tasters but oriented to Jo Public. 8 Rotorua. Definitely worth a full day at least. The Gondola, The hot steam and mud and cultural experience, the hot Spa experience and the evening of Authentic Maori culture and hangi meal are the 4 experience that we did , and all possible in one day.( go to the information center and you get 10% discounts on some of these ) Absolutely loved it and would do it again tomorrow with NZFT
John Turner & Nancy Stanford, Auckland to Queenstown 15 Day Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 1 March 2018
Most everything was just fine. The GPS with the car needed to be updated for some new road. Fortunately, we also use Google maps which knew about the new road. (Google maps also takes traffic into account. We got stuck in a jam outside Rotorua by following the GPS instead of Google maps.) It was good to have the same type car on both islands. Less figuring things out. We could find the Ibis in Wellington, but it is not at all clear how to get into it. Fortunately, we found a street space right outside and walked in. Also, weather in Wellington was awful. Not your fault, but quite a mess. We checked about laundry before we left. Turns out that most of the places we stayed had laundry facilities, so we didn't have to plan so carefully. Overall, well planned and a great trip.
Jeanne and Robert Carl, North to South Explorer Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 28 February 2018
We had an amazing vacation! Our tour adviser was easy to work with and so helpful. Favorites from our itinerary were Kaikoura whale watching and the TranzAlpine train. The driving is exhausting, but it's the best way to see the real New Zealand. Be aware the helicopter flights out to the glaciers in Franz Josef only truly go about 50% of the time. We lost an entire day trying to make flight after flight only to be cancelled each time. By the time our last flight was cancelled there wasn't enough time to hike if, and if we would have known that most flights don't happen, we would have just gone ahead and walked it and then had more time to do other things. Live and learn! New Zealand was such a great experience, and we appreciate all the help we received from Kelly planning our trip.
Daryl & Rosemary Wilkinson, Ultimate New Zealand Extravaganza, Travelled on 25 February 2018
Kia Ora Jane. The whole holiday was pretty much perfect. Your organisation (verb not noun) made it so for us. Even when the weather was lousy, (the day of the Milford Sound tour) it was perfect. Gale force winds pelting rain that forced other companies boats to turn back only made the waterfalls that much more spectacular. The sun came out once we turned around so we got the best of everything. How do you organise the weather so well? The spacing between accommodations was spot on. Plenty of time to reach the next day's place. Split Apple Lodge was the pick of all the accommodation. Cannot speak highly enough of it. Being greeted at our car as we arrived by the owner, freshly homemade morning and afternoon tea laid on, really made to feel at home, even with a full lodge of guests. Nothing was too much trouble.Read more
We probably had 1 too many free days at Queenstown. Side trips to Arrowtown & Glenorchy filled in the time well. Parking at St Moritz was $35 a night but wouldnt have wanted to stay anywhere where parking was not available. The proximity to town was great but the hill to climb back was hard. A quality hotel but probably would have preferred the Novotel (if they had parking available). Parking in Wellington was not available at the Ibis (limited number of spaces). Prob need to confirm requirement for a space in the booking: ditto at Auckland & Rotorua but less of a problem there. Have attached a copy of one page of directions from the welcome pack. Dont know what 2,3,4,5 on the map mean. The street directions were not at all helpful. Next to no street signs in all of NZ. With the quality of the supplied Road Atlas and in car navigation a list of towns and map reference numbers would be much much better. All of the bookings made for activities , accommodation, car were seemless. thankyou. Pickup & drop off services were fantastic. Made us feel super special. The highlight of the trip (for me) was the passion/ enthusiasm of the people showing us their little part of the world. Particularly Hokianga Twilight encounter, Kiwi Dundee tour, Hobbiton, Mitai Maori, Zealandia, Otago Peninsula (albatross, penguin, seal), Stewart Island. (Stewart Island should be a compulsory addition to all your tours. The only other thing (minor) to make it better would be a warning of the high fuel prices (and how to shop or where to buy fuel to take advantage of any discounts. (and where prices are likely to be extra high (Queenstown, Wanarka) so car can be filled up earlier. And what to do when you come across road closures without warning. (how do you find out what is going on, potential alternative routes etc. on the road internet not always available. On way to Napier from Rotorua got all the way to Lake Taupo before finding S5 closed (that day due to slip). Not knowing what else to do went back to Rotorua, Gisborne and down coast to Napier, getting in at 9pm (& then found that the road was opened a few hours after we left Taupo. adding 450km and 6+ hours to the day) Didn't get to enjoy / see anything of Napier. Rosemary doesn't want me to say that I didn't like the accommodation at Invercargill (but i will anyway) Had run in with the ("rude") staff over their use of all 3 washers & dryers in the Guest laundry till after 6pm doing housekeeping towels etc. the only not happy experience of the whole 6 weeks. The refund from Franz Joseph came thru ok. Still sorting out the fraud on credit card so although I've been told the Budget refund is there cannot yet confirm that. Thank you once again. great service, would not do it any other way. Ta Daryl & Rosemary Wilkinson.
Edwin Keith, Custom 6 Day Glacier, Queenstown and Milford Sound Highlights, Travelled on 28 February 2018
Erynn, Some "out loud thoughts" that I thought might be useful as you advise other Americans in our age range (65-70). Don't expect complaints from us. First, and foremost, your country is spectacular and the people very hospitable. We loved our visit and appreciate your assistance in planning and coordinating it! Some other thoughts ... We loved the "skycouch" on Air NZ! On our previous trips to Australia we've gotten little sleep and have arrived in a mental fog. This time we both got 7-8 hrs. sleep. The skycouch was worth every extra penny, and it wasn't dear at all. If we hadn't done that, we would've needed a die to decompress before beginning the tour. The Vodafone sim card would've been a nice touch, but as we discussed by email, we should've worked that out with our US carrier ahead of time. When we were on Wifi (and, as you know, most buses and the train had it, as did the hotels and most restaurants) and used airplane mode, we could make Wifi calls and texts and not have to pay exorbitant international rates.Read more
We realized soon into the trip that we tried to squeeze too much into a short time. (We knowingly did this to ourselves. The "whirlwind" trip was a compromise between Susan and me; I wanted to see the glacier, Milford Sound, and Mt. Cook, while Susan wanted to maximise our friends' in Australia.) The long bus rides wore us out. I'm not sure where I would've broken it up ... maybe a night at Mt. Cook. (Interesting choice since, as the photo below will show, the top half of Mt. Cook was covered by a thick gray cloud when we were there! ) The Hermitage Hotel looked very nice; the buffet there was very good. There were obviously more things to do and see at both Christchurch and Queenstown than we had time to do. The TranzAlpine train was fantastic! Comfortable travel, beautiful scenery, and tasty tucker. The hotels where we stayed were all nice and conveniently located, and the staff were helpful. This was especially true of Wayne at Merivale Manor ... he's a one man Welcome Wagon for NZ! And there was what we call a magnolia (the state flower of our home state of Mississippi) blooming just outside our room (see photo below). How thoughtful! The SuperShuttle drivers were always courteous and on time. Most of the tour bus drivers were also. Restaurants: We ate dinner both nights in Christchurch at No. 4 Pub on Wayne's recommendation ... they give a 10% discount to Merivale Manor guests. Good menu and service. It's also an easy 10 min. walk from Merivale Manor. Your suggestion for Snakebite in Franz Josef was a good one ... convenient to hotel, good food, and good prices. Rata was a great choice for our anniversary dinner! It's a bit pricey, but the food and service are superb ... perfect for a special occasion. Oh, and a suggestion for any of your future customers who stay in the Garden Ct. Suites: Just across the street at the Milennium Hotel there's a very nice bar and restaurant. On our long day (to Milford Sound and back) we wanted something quick and easy and had excellent fish and chips and drinks in the bar (and watched the Crusaders' rugby on TV). Oh, and we gave the drinks/dessert at the Stratosfare a miss ... not enough energy to ride the gondola after dinner and climb back up that long hill. I think it's good for international travellers to give themselves 3 hours entering and leaving the country. That's what we had done in Australia, and that gave us plenty of time in NZ too. 2 hours would be an absolute minimum, and having that extra hour in case of any unexpected issues was a comfort to me, even though sitting around an airport is not the most enjoyable thing for a traveller to do. It would probably helpful to forewarn visitors that the West Coast and Alps road have lots of changes in elevation and curves. If someone gets car sick anywhere, it could be a worry on those long trips on the hilly, winding roads. Susan hadn't thought of that and hadn't taken a Dramamine before our leg from Greymouth to Franz Josef, and she felt pretty "icky" during the latter stages of that leg. The GinTins that were in our bag for Milford were helpful after that! I've done a blog on the trip for our family and close friends, and I told them that I plan to recommend to the Prime Minister that she change the name of NZ from "Land of the Thin White Cloud" to "Land of the Thick Gray Cloud." We had rain from just S of Greymouth to Franz Josef, Milford, and Mt. Cook. (But the cloud obviously isn't indigenous to NZ since it has followed us to NSW too!) And there was a definite upside to the rain -- the waterfalls on the road to Milford and in the Sound proper were just spectacular. If we think of anything else of any significance, we'll pass it along, for what it's worth. Again, thanks for all you did for us. It was a wonderful trip, and we hope to be back and stay longer. Eddie Keith P.S. Do you organise trips to Stewart Island? I'd never heard of it before our trip, but saw some brochures that looked very intriguing.
Graham & Barbara Valentine, 21 Day Northbound Encounter, Travelled on 26 February 2018
We had a great holiday in New Zealand. We had discussed with Louise what we were hoping to see and do and she put together an itinerary that exceeded our expectations. We were able to see and experience so much, as well as meeting lots of interesting people. I particularly enjoyed the hotels that were selected for us, they were all high quality but each one had something special which just added to the vacation. All the arrangements worked like clockwork so we could just focus on enjoying and experiencing this amazing country.
Eddie & Susan Keith, Custom 6 day Glacier, Queenstown and Milford Sound highlights, Travelled on 28th February 2018
Erynn,I hope you're well and that you have a relaxing weekend. Since we arrived in Australia on Monday, I have been intending to send you an email with some feedback and thoughts on our trip to New Zealand ... just "out loud thoughts" that I thought might be useful as you advise other Americans in our age range (65-70). Don't expect complaints from us. First, and foremost, your country is spectacular and the people very hospitable. We loved our visit and appreciate your assistance in planning and coordinating it! Some other thoughts ..Read more
We loved the "skycouch" on Air NZ! On our previous trips to Australia we've gotten little sleep and have arrived in a mental fog. This time we both got 7-8 hrs. sleep. The skycouch was worth every extra penny, and it wasn't dear at all. If we hadn't done that, we would've needed a die to decompress before beginning the tour. The Vodafone sim card would've been a nice touch, but as we discussed by email, we should've worked that out with our US carrier ahead of time. When we were on Wifi (and, as you know, most buses and the train had it, as did the hotels and most restaurants) and used airplane mode, we could make Wifi calls and texts and not have to pay exorbitant international rates. We realized soon into the trip that we tried to squeeze too much into a short time. (We knowingly did this to ourselves. The "whirlwind" trip was a compromise between Susan and me; I wanted to see the glacier, Milford Sound, and Mt. Cook, while Susan wanted to maximise our friends' in Australia.) The long bus rides wore us out. I'm not sure where I would've broken it up ... maybe a night at Mt. Cook. (Interesting choice since, as the photo below will show, the top half of Mt. Cook was covered by a thick gray cloud when we were there! ) The Hermitage Hotel looked very nice; the buffet there was very good. There were obviously more things to do and see at both Christchurch and Queenstown than we had time to do. The TranzAlpine train was fantastic! Comfortable travel, beautiful scenery, and tasty tucker. The hotels where we stayed were all nice and conveniently located, and the staff were helpful. This was especially true of Wayne at Merivale Manor ... he's a one man Welcome Wagon for NZ! And there was what we call a magnolia (the state flower of our home state of Mississippi) blooming just outside our room (see photo below). How thoughtful! The SuperShuttle drivers were always courteous and on time. Most of the tour bus drivers were also. Restaurants: We ate dinner both nights in Christchurch at No. 4 Pub on Wayne's recommendation ... they give a 10% discount to Merivale Manor guests. Good menu and service. It's also an easy 10 min. walk from Merivale Manor. Your suggestion for Snakebite in Franz Josef was a good one ... convenient to hotel, good food, and good prices. Rata was a great choice for our anniversary dinner! It's a bit pricey, but the food and service are superb ... perfect for a special occasion. Oh, and a suggestion for any of your future customers who stay in the Garden Ct. Suites: Just across the street at the Milennium Hotel there's a very nice bar and restaurant. On our long day (to Milford Sound and back) we wanted something quick and easy and had excellent fish and chips and drinks in the bar (and watched the Crusaders' rugby on TV). Oh, and we gave the drinks/dessert at the Stratosfare a miss ... not enough energy to ride the gondola after dinner and climb back up that long hill. I think it's good for international travellers to give themselves 3 hours entering and leaving the country. That's what we had done in Australia, and that gave us plenty of time in NZ too. 2 hours would be an absolute minimum, and having that extra hour in case of any unexpected issues was a comfort to me, even though sitting around an airport is not the most enjoyable thing for a traveller to do. It would probably helpful to forewarn visitors that the West Coast and Alps road have lots of changes in elevation and curves. If someone gets car sick anywhere, it could be a worry on those long trips on the hilly, winding roads. Susan hadn't thought of that and hadn't taken a Dramamine before our leg from Greymouth to Franz Josef, and she felt pretty "icky" during the latter stages of that leg. The GinTins that were in our bag for Milford were helpful after that! I've done a blog on the trip for our family and close friends, and I told them that I plan to recommend to the Prime Minister that she change the name of NZ from "Land of the Thin White Cloud" to "Land of the Thick Gray Cloud." We had rain from just S of Greymouth to Franz Josef, Milford, and Mt. Cook. (But the cloud obviously isn't indigenous to NZ since it has followed us to NSW too!) And there was a definite upside to the rain -- the waterfalls on the road to Milford and in the Sound proper were just spectacular. If we think of anything else of any significance, we'll pass it along, for what it's worth. Again, thanks for all you did for us. It was a wonderful trip, and we hope to be back and stay longer. Eddie Keith
Peggy Panichelli, 10 Day Contrast Tour, Travelled 22nd February 2018
Hi Erynn, I just wanted to let you know that our vacation was incredible. What a beautiful country. We would go back in a heartbeat. I changed the batteries in my camera four times in ten days. Our guide, Marty, was absolutely wonderful. How he kept 48 people entertained all day, everyday for 10 days, is beyond me. When we come back, we want Marty again. We loved every inch of your country. It was a vacation of a lifetime. Thank you again, Erynn. Peggy Panichelli
John and Philippa Fitch, The Customised Grand New Zealand Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 9 February 2018
We worked with Narissa to put together a package which would work for us, she did an excellent job making suggestions and working with our thoughts. The package we received on arrival was also excellent, giving both an overview and detail. We felt this was a great company to work with in visiting New Zealand, no concerns about "where will we stay tonight or will it be OK" strongly recommend to anyone else wanting to make a self drive visit to NZ. John & Philippa.
Jennifer & Gerasime Monopolis, 11 Day Southern Icons, Travelled on 8 February 2018
Hi Louise, thanks for organizing a great trip. We really enjoyed it. Everything was very well organized. We appreciated all the transfers being handled so well. The buses and drivers were great. The individual who drove us from Mt Cook to Dunedin was an excellent guide.Read more
We didn't like the Camelot Motel in Christchurch. It was clean enough but old and not of the same standard as other places. You might consider looking for another motel. The motel at Mt Cook was very nice but the absence of breakfast was a problem and not understandable because the facility has a restaurant open for dinner. This is a problem in this location because the only alternative is to walk up the road to the Hermitage and not everyone is interested in doing that. I appreciated the quick refund on the canceled Dart River boat ride. Thanks again. We had fun.
Georgia Radford & Liam Carter, New Zealand Adventure, Travelled on 4 February 2018
We would like to thank Emma for organising such a fantastic and unique trip for us. The activities she provided covered everything that we asked for and more, it was great to experience Maori culture and it isn't something we would've necessarily thought of unless suggested. Accomodation was located perfectly to suit our needs, as our primary mode of transport was on foot. We wish we could've had more time to explore your rich and cultured country.
Susan Ricketts, Customised Middle Earth Discovered, Travelled on 1 February 2018
Last fall I decided to make a dream trip to New Zealand become a reality. While researching online for a tour, I came across Discover New Zealand. Emma Bradley replied to my inquiry and was extremely helpful in answering my questions and customizing a tour. After explaining what I wanted to experience, she created a Middle Earth tour that went beyond my expectations. Arranging for personal meet and greet drivers alleviated stress about traveling from place to place. I would say that each driver was friendly yet laid-back. Each driver certainly made me feel welcome.Read more
In Auckland the Scenic Hotel entrance was under construction. The hotel seemed rather overpriced but that might be because of its central location to downtown. I was able to find a SIM card for my unlocked cell phone at a nearby convenience store. I didn't know what to expect on the bus tour from Auckland to Rotorua on the first day, but it was definitely a fun-filled day of activities focused on Maori culture and New Zealand farming. The bus driver was very entertaining and educational in explaining the sights along the way. Also, the accommodation at Bella Vista Rotorua was comfortable, and the hotel managers were friendly and helpful in arranging for a taxi for the next day. Unfortunately, the nearest places for finding food were a convenience store (known as a dairy in NZ) and a small restaurant across the street. The next morning was spent at Hobbiton, an amazing place! Our tour guide who grew up in the area was quite knowledgeable, patiently answered questions, and even took our photos as we posed in the Hobbiton doorways. I wish the tour lasted longer than 2 hours, by the way. The next day the bus arrived earlier than scheduled, so I was able to get to the Ibis Hotel Wellington in time before meeting with friends that evening. They showed me around the waterfront before we went to dinner. Early the next morning a guide picked me up at the hotel to begin the Lord of the Rings by Rover tour. Our small group of 5 interacted a great deal with our tour guide as he tirelessly drove us to various locations--Mount Victoria, Miramar, the Weta Cave, the Hutt River, Harcourt Park and Kaitoke Regional Park. His explanation of the movie scene sites, his direction for our re-enactments, and his behind-the-scenes stories certainly made the day an unforgettable experience. My accommodation at Ibis Hotel Wellington was centrally located, so on my last day in Wellington, I rode the Wellington Cable Car to go explore the Botanic Garden. I bought a round-trip cable car ticket but learned at the top of the hill I could have returned by walking down. I also enjoyed learning more about New Zealand history at Te Papa Museum. Because I was there on February 6, a national holiday, it was hard to find a reasonably-priced restaurant that was open after 5 PM in the downtown area. I ended up eating at McDonalds. I had heard that there were gigantic replicas of Lord of the Rings characters in the Wellington Airport, so I eagerly looked for them before flying from Wellington to Queenstown. I saw giant eagles and Smaug the dragon as I headed to my departure gate, but I wish I had explored the airport more. In Queenstown I stayed at the Blue Peaks Lodge which overlooked the shopping area around Lake Wakatipu. My accommodation was more like a small apartment than a hotel. It was nice to have a kitchenette to make my own breakfast. Because I was in walking distance of the shopping area, restaurants and grocery stores were easily accessible. I didn’t go to Queenstown for the adrenalin-racing activities, but there were other fun activities to do. The TSS Earnslaw cruise to the Walter Peak Homestead, the gourmet BBQ dinner, and the farm tour were simply amazing. The next day he scenery I saw while riding to Milford Sound was just stunningly beautiful and seeing seals sunbathing on the rocks and dolphins swimming in front of the ship was really special. Also, the off-road Nomad Safaris 'Safari of the Scenes' Wakatipu Basin tour was an incredible adventure around Queenstown and Arrowtown. Jenny, the tour driver, made it a true 4-wheel drive experience with her daredevil driving skills while pointing out Lord of the Rings movie sites. The highlight of the bus trip from Queenstown to Christchurch was seeing Mt. Cook National Park and Lake Pukaki. They were surreal in color and beauty. If I were to return, I would like to explore that area more and go trekking. I spent my last day in Christchurch. I purposely arranged for a night flight so that I could go to church in Christchurch. Before leaving for New Zealand, I emailed a pastor who is in the same church denomination as mine. I attended church that morning and his wife invited me to their home for lunch afterwards. It was a real treat to experience their hospitality. Overall, I was very pleased with my customized Middle Earth tour. Thank you, Emma, for making my first visit to New Zealand so amazing and special. I hope to visit again some day!
Stuart and Carole Haxton, New Zealand Luxury Experience, Travelled on 24th January 2018
Well, after 8 weeks of absolute heaven, here we are back in cold and grey England!. I just had to write to you, to say a huge thank you from Carole and I, for the absolutely stunning tour you arranged for us. The whole tour was perfectly planned, and it was a pleasure to follow the routes you had laid out. Every hotel was stunning in it's own way (with the exception of Ponsonby, as we know), and everyone was so friendly and helpful. We enjoyed every day of driving that was planned, with each distance being perfect for an enjoyable drive on you beautiful roads. We could never have planned anything as good as you did, from here in U.K.,many,many thanks. Every event that you planned for us was a joy. After the lugeing in Queenstown, I was hooked, and had to do it all again in Rotorua.
Unfortunately, my bravado got the better of me, and I crashed into the side wall of the track, and gave my elbow a severe grazing and a good bone bruise to remind me of the adventure!. Now fully recovered. Carole really enjoyed the whale watching that she did on your advice. I stayed on terra firma, as the sea was a bit too severe for me that day. Good photo's of the whales and dolphins were taken, and Carole has now ticked that off from her 'bucket list'. The ferry crossing was fantastic- smooth all the way, and the journey along Marlborough sound has to be one of the finest boat trips that anybody could take. Our own part of the adventure to Rarotonga was my dream come true. A beautiful South Seas paradise, 4 hours from Auckland. I wish I had booked a longer stay than the 5 days we did, but it was pure heaven. To jump out of bed in the morning, jump into swim shorts, and run down a beautiful white coral beach into a lukewarm lagoon is indescribable!. I truly believe I have found my 'I want to be here forever' place on this planet, and Carole has fallen for it also. We are shaking our money tree to see what falls, and hope to spend more time there, and in your beautiful country. Well Joanna, I think you can tell that you have given us the vacation of a lifetime. I'm sure it would not have been anything like as enjoyable in a campervan!, and we have to thank both yourself and your company for arranging our dream vacation to such a perfect standard. It was so nice to meet you when we were in Wanaka, to be able to thank you personally for the part of the trip that we had completed and thoroughly enjoyed. We hope to see you again in the future ( we thought we might come and swim the length of your lake!!). With our undying appreciation to you, Warmest regards, Stuart and Carole Haxton.
Stuart & Carole Haxton, New Zealand Luxury Experience, Travelled on 24 January 2018
Hi Joanna, Well, after 8 weeks of absolute heaven, here we are back in cold and grey England!. I just had to write to you, to say a huge thank you from Carole and I, for the absolutely stunning tour you arranged for us. The whole tour was perfectly planned, and it was a pleasure to follow the routes you had laid out. Every hotel was stunning in it's own way (with the exception of Ponsonby, as we know), and everyone was so friendly and helpful. We enjoyed every day of driving that was planned, with each distance being perfect for an enjoyable drive on you beautiful roads. We could never have planned anything as good as you did, from here in U.K.,many,many thanks. Every event that you planned for us was a joy.Read more
After the lugeing in Queenstown, I was hooked, and had to do it all again in Rotorua. Unfortunately, my bravado got the better of me, and I crashed into the side wall of the track, and gave my elbow a severe grazing and a good bone bruise to remind me of the adventure!. Now fully recovered. Carole really enjoyed the whale watching that she did on your advice. I stayed on terra firma, as the sea was a bit too severe for me that day. Good photo's of the whales and dolphins were taken, and Carole has now ticked that off from her 'bucket list'. The ferry crossing was fantastic- smooth all the way, and the journey along Marlborough sound has to be one of the finest boat trips that anybody could take. Our own part of the adventure to Rarotonga was my dream come true. A beautiful South Seas paradise, 4 hours from Auckland. I wish I had booked a longer stay than the 5 days we did, but it was pure heaven. To jump out of bed in the morning, jump into swim shorts, and run down a beautiful white coral beach into a lukewarm lagoon is indescribable!. I truly believe I have found my 'I want to be here forever' place on this planet, and Carole has fallen for it also. We are shaking our money tree to see what falls, and hope to spend more time there, and in your beautiful country. Well Joanna, I think you can tell that you have given us the vacation of a lifetime. I'm sure it would not have been anything like as enjoyable in a campervan!, and we have to thank both yourself and your company for arranging our dream vacation to such a perfect standard. It was so nice to meet you when we were in Wanaka, to be able to thank you personally for the part of the trip that we had completed and thoroughly enjoyed. We hope to see you again in the future ( we thought we might come and swim the length of your lake!!). With our undying appreciation to you, Warmest regards, Stuart and Carole Haxton.
Theresa and Ken Bergsman, Lilly and Jeff Huth, Customized Discover New Zealand Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 23 February 2018
We thoroughly enjoyed our Discover New Zealand Tour. Natalie was extremely helpful and we were very pleased with the accommodations and the tours. We would highly recommend Discovery New Zealand to our friends.
Ai Cheen Kang, Customised Auckland to Wellington Tour, Travelled on 5 January 2018
The holiday was great. Prior to booking, I just specified my requirements and Emma did the rest. We got maps (may no longer be as useful now we have Google maps etc) and detailed directions to get from one place to another. The personalised booklet was very helpful. The service was great! Just a couple of minor things where improvement is needed. The information in the booklet is not up to date (e.g. it tells us to wait somewhere for a bus pickup, but the bus was somewhere else), or sometimes confusing (one email says something which is then contradicted by something else). Also, the 2 bedroom serviced apartments we booked did not have separate beds in 1 of the bedroom - even though I had requested for it (My husband and I were travelling with my adult son and adult daughter). The hotels were happy to rectify the situation by supplying us a roll away bed. These are just minor annoyances. I would happily recommend Discover New Zealand to anyone.
Karen & Kieran O'Dwyer, A Customised Queenstown, Milford Sound and Glacier Highlights, Travelled on 21 February 2018
Our trip to New Zealand's south island was wonderful. It is a beautiful country, the people were very nice and the sights were amazing...mountains, lakes, glaciers. So happy Christina recommended an extra day in Queenstown, there is so much to see and do. Thank you, Christina, for making our vacation one to remember!
Martin and Hilary Gibbons, The Wonders of the South Tour, Travelled on 4 February 2018
Well done Narissa - We would like to thank you for arranging our wonderful holiday in New Zealand. Every booking went according to plan, with an excellent standard of accommodation , and activities. New Zealand is a lovely country, far quieter than the UK, with fantastic scenery. We would definitely recommend to our friends and others New Zealand for a holiday, and you, Discover New Zealand to make the arrangements. Best wishes - Martin and Hilary Gibbons
Stanley and Lynnette Griffith, Classic New Zealand Driving Tour, Travelled on 8 February 2018
Kelly, was an awesome representative to work with. We procrastinated so long in making plans that I contacted Discover New Zealand and over the chat line we were introduced to Kelly. We were going to arrive in New Zealand in three weeks--that's pressure. She put together an itinerary of the places we had time to visit in the matter of a couple days and it could not have worked more smoothly. All pertinent information was in a packet and then we just walked up to the booked events and advised we had a reservation and we were on our way. We especially enjoyed Milford Sound with the cascading waterfalls and a special treat of yellow crested penguins on a rock. Some of the side trips such as the blue pools and the beach after crossing the longest swinging bridge in New Zealand were a joy. I don't like bridges but I made it!! Everything had it's own joy and beauty. Thank you Kelly.
David & Lorraine Allen, Customised North to South Explorer Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 16 February 2018
Thank you Shelley Ryder for helping us to arrange our (16) day self drive holiday to both the North & South Islands of New Zealand. We found Shelley to be fun to deal with & very professional, adapting our tour to meet our requirements. With a mix of accommodation including special evenings in spa rooms and B&B with us looking forward to every new town to experience. We are still talking & laughing about the night that Cyclone Gita stuffed up our night in Kaikoura by blocking State Highway 1, then having to sleep in McDonalds car park until we could find alternate accommodation around 4:00am in Christchurch. Our highlights were Mitai Maori Village, Christchurch Gondola, Waitomo Glow-worm caves & a cruise on Milford Sound. We would highly recommend "Discover New Zealand". Well done & Thanks again Shelley. From David & Rainy
Marilyn and Roger Kruger, Christchurch to Queenstown Explorer, Travelled on 5 February 2018
Hello, Narissa! Just wanted to send a note to tell you how much we appreciated all the arrangements you made for our trip to New Zealand. Everything went without a hitch! All the pickups and transfers, and the drivers were all so congenial and informative. It made everything so easy, knowing all was taken care of. We could truly spend our time enjoying the country and learning the traditions. We especially enjoyed the Elm Wildlife tour in Dunedin. Spectacular! Highly recommend! All the hotel accommodations worked out fine too. The walk from the Bella Vista Christchurch into town centre provided a chance to see things on the way, that we might have otherwise missed. And to think you booked everything for the first week and then booked the very end of our 2nd week with hotel & transportation to the airport, around a bike tour in between! Again, thank you so much for all the arrangements. If we have friends traveling your way, we will definitely recommend!
Kath & Peter Gribben and John Beattie & Sue Rouse, 11 Day Explore New Zealand, Travelled on 31 January 2018
We would like to thank everyone at Discover New Zealand for making our holiday so good. Every day we were met and had a wonderful tour of this amazing country. The organisation of our tour was as good as it gets. Coaches were comfortable and the chatty drivers so informative. New Zealand people were so friendly. A great experience. Thank you. John and Sue
Michael Newman & Zlata, Stevan and Jaruska Komaromi, 9 Day Southern Icons Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 6 February 2018
Hi Jane, arrived home yesterday after a fabulous time and thank you for a very well organised trip. The accommodation was fabulous and within walking distance of great restaurants. Chen was very helpful and friendly at Amore in Christchurch and allowed us to stay until we were picked up. Just a brilliant time and we are already planning for the North Island with you next March. Thank you for making our experience so wonderful. Mick, Zlata, Steven & Jaruska
Janet and Bob Bianchetta, Customized North and South Island Adventure, Travelled on 22 January 2018
Hi Natalie, We really wish we were back in NZ! We've received snow every day since our return and have received over 18" this past week. In all seriousness though, we wanted to let you know that we had a fantastic time on our New Zealand adventure. We know things ended rather chaotically with Cyclone Fehi and we appreciate you trying to navigate some challenging logistics for us to make our return flight home! We cannot say enough good things about Pete and Sue from Aspen Court. Their accommodations were quite comfortable, impeccably clean, but it was their generator that was a HUGE hit! They made a difficult situation easy and did it with calm and confidence. Hopefully, one day we can return and actually do the hikes we planned, although we were very fortunate to hike to the glacier the night before the cyclone hit. Naturally, we were taken by all the stunningly beautiful landscape, but even more impressive was the welcoming feeling from the Kiwis. Having a friendly face greet us in each location really set the tone for the stay. So kudos to you for lining up some great drivers! So despite a couple of travel hiccups (diversions due to the cyclone and a driver that didn't pick us up), everything went off without a hitch. So thanks for coordinating a great adventure! Thanks again, Natalie! Best regards, Janet
Rita & David Angus, Customised Queenstown, Milford Sound and Glacier Highlights, Travelled on 20 January 2018
Hi, We have returned home from a holiday put together initially by Laura, and followed through by Dionne. We just want to say what a great time we have had, and especially the services you booked on our behalf, (as first time travelers, very appreciated) which have done you and New Zealand proud. From our airport transfers, to accommodations, to coach captains and tour guides, all were very friendly, knowledgeable and a pleasure to travel with. One thing that we would like to raise is the difference we found between the Intercity / Great Sights coaches and the Real Journeys Coach to Milford Sound. They were all luxurious, but we found the Real Journeys coach configuration a little constricting in the leg room area. Apart from this, once again we enjoyed all aspects of our holiday, and will be coming back for an extended period when we are able to. Once again, thank you, and please pass on our thanks to all parties involved. Kind Regards, . . Rita Angus
Alison & John Lawrence, Customised South Island Explorer, Travelled on 6 January 2018
We are now back home in England with snow and freezing temperatures. What a change from the Sydney and Melbourne temperatures we were having just before we flew home. Alarna, we thoroughly enjoyed our New Zealand trip. What made it especially good was that the itinerary you made for us showed the South Island at its best. Our only mistake was not to asking for an extra day in Dunedin. All your arrangements went like clockwork. Not a single hitch and escorts always on time. All the bookings just as you itemised. So thank you for your hard work making our holiday go so smoothly. We have already recommended you to two other people planning individual tours. Yours, Alison Lawrence
Christian Bulalacao & Raquel Cabatac, 9 Day Southern Scenic Wonders, Travelled on 3 January 2018
Our feedback is a little late but we'd like to thank Emma Bradley and the people at Discover New Zealand for making awesome holiday itineraries! We traveled to the South Island for 9 days and we literally just packed our bags and flew to Christchurch. The rest of the trip went smoothly and our itinerary allowed us to enjoy good weather (there was a typhoon but our itinerary was reversed so we avoided the rain until our last day). We had enough time to explore each city and even got a chance to do some hiking. All the accommodations they booked are great and saved us from going crazy trying to book last minute. We would definitely recommend this to friends and family visiting New Zealand!
Cindy, Michael, Morgan Orlando, Customised South Island Highlights Tour, Travelled on 5 January 2018
Other than Mother Nature giving us a hard time, our trip to New Zealand was wonderful. The help that we got from everyone at Discover New Zealand was excellent. Our trip was arranged by Annelise (who is no longer with the company) she was so sweet & informative and helped to give us everything we wanted to do in only a week. After she left, we dealt with Kelly, who was equally sweet & helpful! My husband, daughter & I were trying to see and do as much as we could in a weeks time & told Annalise that we didn't care as much about the accommodations as we did about what we got to see & do. We were pleasantly surprised at the wonderful accommodations that we had. Every place was clean, close to where we wanted to be, and had very helpful & friendly staff. They were all happy to provide us with anything we possibly needed as well as pointing us to some very great restaurants & sightseeing! Kelly was very accommodating when our dolphin trip was cancelled because of weather & booked us into another activity. She also helped to calm us when mother nature struck again cancelling our trans alpine train ride because of a rock slide. We are very pleased with our entire trip and met some very nice people & have made some incredible memories. We would happily recommend Discover New Zealand! Thanks for the great time! The Orlando's
Alison and Craig Jennings, 14 Day New Zealand Grand, Travelled on 3 January 2018
Thank you Lauren for organising our holiday. We had an amazing time and we plan to come back and spend more time in a number of places. Having everything pre-booked and paid for made our holiday very relaxing. We were even able to transfer our helicopter flight to Queenstown, when the weather stopped flights in Franz Joseph. The accommodation was amazing and luxurious and we enjoyed meeting the hosts and many international guests. There was only one hotel that we feel did not come up to the standard of all the others- The Country Hotel in Napier. The staff were lovely but the bathroom needed some maintenance and the bed was not comfortable. The Budget rental cars were great and the pick up and drop offs are very convenient. Thanks again, Alison and Craig Jennings
Jason, Michael, Margaret, Yew Thor, Yew Buay, Catherine, Yiu Huat and Amanda Tan, Alice Toh and Audrey Lee, A Customised 9 Day Southern Scenic Wonders Tour, Travelled on 16 December 2017
When we were considering booking this 9 days South Island tour package with Discover New Zealand, we were filled with worries and doubts. As everything were done on-line, we kept asking if this is a scam websites !! After few on-line chats (and probably one telephone conversation) with the agent Salli Smith we felt better and proceeded with the booking. Honestly, we felt we were so lucky to have Salli as our agent. She took every effort to ensure our needs and expectation were met. As our excitement grew closer to the tour dates, we kept her busy with questions and questions. On reflection we have to say a big "Thank You" to Salli for answering all our questions and seeing to our needs being met with a mountain of patience. We received top-grade service ! Unfortunately, on day of arrival at CHC airport, we waited for quite awhile to be picked up. The driver had a playcard displaying a name so wrongly that we were not able to identify him and went in and out of the airport looking for our driver. Fortunately, he was a great gentleman ! Overall, we have great fun and looking forward to another booking with Discover New Zealand !!
Cynthia and Anthony Atkinson, Milford Sound Spectacular, Travelled on 22 December 2017
The organisation of this lovely tour by Natalie was perfect. Everything ran smoothly because of detail in the organising. We booked quite close to the holiday period , but despite this we had good accommodation everywhere. The last night in the Ibis was the only little let down. It was adequate and the room was clean, but parking was off site and people at desk not very helpful, and aesthetically I reported to desk on leaving that there was blocked putrid drain on veranda outside our room with socks floating about! The rest was great!
Gary and Penny Mansell, Lakes, Mountains and Glaciers Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 22 December 2017
Spent a wonderful nine days in and around South Island of New Zealand last month. The tour was very organized and we were both impressed with the work done behind the scene by our great organizer Salli Smith. Milford Sound was one particular highlight of our trip to NZ and mustn't be missed. That aspect of our holiday was a fantastic experience and one that we will remember for years to come. The private transfers, connections, accommodation and even bus drivers we experienced in NZ were exceptional and exemplary. Well done Discover New Zealand team and thank you for our great holiday. Gary and Penny Mansell. South Australia.
Joseph OConnor and Andrea Petz, The Customised Coast to Coast Adventure, Travelled on 19 December 2017
We had a wonderful tour. Every aspect of our itinerary went smoothly. From first pick, up we were greeted warmly by our driver who gave us a booklet with our schedule and multiple pamphlets for information. Everyone we came into contact with was helpful and excited to talk about their town. Even the bus drivers on the intercity coaches shared tons of information about the sights we were seeing and their country. We liked this itinerary because we were kept busy without feeling rushed. There was a reasonable balance of early morning rises for transfers and activities and mornings where we could sleep in and take it easy. All of our accommodations were modern, comfortable, and within walking distance to downtown restaurants and shops. Our tour activities allowed us to see some beautiful sights. We particularly liked the Lake at Te Anau and the boat ride through Milford Sound. Queenstown was a fun town with tons of life. Make sure you do the jet boat tours and funyaks. It is a one-of-a-kind experience. The highlight had to be the Franz Joseph Glacier and the Helihike. We had some amazing views and pictures. It is a must see! We enjoyed the last leg of our trip on the Trans-Alpine Railway. It was very comfortable we enjoyed the views as we made our way back to Christchurch. Narissa was very helpful to us every step of the way. She answered our questions and put together our package even though we were a bit late in the planning process. We highly recommend Discover New Zealand. Thank you, Joe and Andrea
Bob & Sue Bidwell, South Island Scenic Explorer, Travelled on 24 November 2017
Thanks to Shelley R's help we truly enjoyed our independent week in the South Island in late November. All of her recommendations were great and all accommodations were comfortable and conveniently located. While we had some concerns regarding dropping off a rental car in Christchurch and picking up another in Greymouth, these were for naught. The arrangements worked perfectly. Of course, the scenery was beautiful and the museums were terrific! We particularly enjoyed two meals during the week; lunch at Fleur's Place near the Moraki Boulders and dinner at the Curator's Cottage which is walking distance from the Orari B and B in Christchurch. The best breakfast choice during our three weeks in NZ was the carmelized bananna pancakes at the Run 76 Cafe at Lake Tekapo. We highly recommend the Bubbly Grape Wine Tour in the Blenheim area. Our group of six visited five or six very different wineries, tasting some wonderful wines, plus a chocolate factory with truffles to die for. We offer a couple of comments regarding the driving part of our trip. The roads on the south island are basically good two lane roads and the winding mountain roads are what you would expect in any mountain area. There was a fair amount of construction on the drive from Greymouth to Blenheim and this slowed our progress. We would suggest allowing more driving time than the GPS indicates. A note to persons accustomed to driving on the right with the driver on the left, try to pick up your car when you are headed out of the city. Finally, if you are an AAA member in the US and contact the NZ AA when you arrive, you are eligible for the gas price discount afforded to NZ AA members
Marcel Durocher, Waitomo, Rotorua and Hobbiton 3 day tour, Travelled on 22 December 2017
Hello Kelly, We completed a three day tour in the central part of the North Island just before Christmas 2017. The coach tour was very well organized and the different coach drivers were familiar with the natural and cultural histories of places along the route and provided interesting commentaries on the points of interest along the coach routes. The holel accommodation in Rotorua was good. The glow worms in the cave at Waitomo were impressive. It was also very interesting to learn something about the Maori culture during our stay in Rotorua and to visit a few of New Zealand's famous geothermal areas. Thank you for helping us organize this three day tour of the central part of the North Island and a five day tour of the South Island on very short notice. All in all it was a great vacation. In summary I would like to say THANK YOU for a job well done. Marcel Durocher
Marcel Durocher, 5 Day Southern Highlights Including Milford Sound, Travelled on 16 December 2017
Everything was very well organized and went very smoothly. We had a really good tour. The motel accommodations were good. All of the coach tours were very interesting.The drivers were quite knowledgeable about the natural and cultural history of places along the coach route. The scenery in the south island was spectacular especially in the Milford Sound area. The dramatic change in the vegetation on both sides of the divide in the Southern Alps was also amazing.The only thing that was somewhat disappointing was not being able to see the Franz Josef glacier up close. After a 1 hour hike we could only get to within~800 meters of the glacier. Thank you very much for helping us organize this tour. Marcel Durocher
Samolewski Przemyslaw, Updated Customized New Zealand Driving Tour, Travelled on 5 November 2017
Itinerary prepared by You showed us fascinating diversity of NZ All of us enjoyed all accomodations and addditional atractions. We are very impressed of NZ people their opening and hospitality. Ofcourse we missed fantastic nature meetings with penguins, kiwi and dolphins We hope to beback very soon in Your homeland. And of course You and Your company will be always first option for us and our friends to preapre unforgettable KIWI EXPERIENCE Thank You for best ever holidays Przemyslaw Samolewski
Somnath and Mohuya Gupta, The Customised 15 Day New Zealand Grand, Travelled on 27 December 2017
Many thanks from us for arranging this wonderful driving holiday combining the North and South Island. Everything was arranged with a clockwork like precision, and every accomodation was so good and as expected. Highly recommended and I will definitely recommend you/your organisation for any NZ trip to our friends/relatives in future. Thanking you, Regards Somnath & Mohuya
James Kenny, Andrea Hurley, Rhys & Hannah Kenny, Family Fun North Island Tour, Travelled on 1 January 2018
Thank you Shelley for organising our family fun North Island Tour. Your friendly approach, great communication skills and professionalism made booking our first overseas family holiday very easy. It was wonderful to be able to adapt the tour to suit us and to catch up with friends in Tauranga while we were there. The accommodation was fabulous and very comfortable for the four of us during the trip. Similarly the hire car was very comfortable and the Navman made finding our way around very easy.Read more
We collected our tour document pack at the Heartland Hotel and found lots of useful maps and brochures as well as our detailed itinerary with travel routes, times and suggested sights for each day. The highlights of our holiday were: Tauranga - seeing the Strand, waka, Te Kahui Matariki and the Hairy Maclairy statues. These were a wonderful surprise! I am an early childhood teacher working with libraries in Brisbane and love the Hairy Maclairy stories - I am a big Lynley Dodd fan. Rotorua - the children especially liked Rotorua because of the accommodation (it was huge and the owners were very welcoming and friendly) and our tours to the Maiti Maori Village, Rainbow Springs and the Agrodome. We enjoyed looking at the hot springs at Kuirau Park in between showers of rain. On our way to Lake Taupo we stopped at Lava Glass which the children found fascinating - we watched glass blowing however we were unable to see the glass garden because of the miserably wet weather. We also stopped at Huka falls which were raging after a couple of days of wet weather. Another huge highlight was Hobbiton at Matamata. This was quite a big day for us travel wise but we loved staying at Whitianga, the accommodation was good and at the last minute I managed to book a glass bottom boat trip for the family before continuing on to Auckland. This was another huge highlight - an amazing coastline and beautiful scenery, coves caves and cliffs along the Coromandel Peninsular . Hannah and I even had a snorkle with the fish in the crystal clear ocean. While in Aukland we saw some sights on the harbour and went for a look at the wonderful view of Auckland at Skytower. We were also very excited to see the Bansky exhibition at the Aotea Centre while we were there. The four of us had a wonderful experience while on holiday and I believe the itinerary cost was great value for money. We managed to see quite a lot of the North Island in seven days however I think we would like to return and spend a little longer next time. Thanks again for all of your work organising our holiday for us! I have been telling all of our friends and my work colleagues about our holiday and the wonderful service you provide. Until next time. Warm regards Andrea
Raymond and Barbara, New Zealand Highlights, Travelled on 20 December 2017
We had a great time in New Zealand for the trip arranged by Natalie DeCaro for the Christmas. Though we started planning in September, we underestimated the peak time for December in New Zealand with many hotel / accommodation already quite full. With great support from Natalie, we managed to visit and stay in all the cities and towns we wanted. All the activities were so well organized that we have full program every day but not exhausted. Natalie even arranged an additional xmas dinner in Mt. Cook that marked the highlight of the trip. It was such a wonderful travel experience. Thank you Natalie. We will definitely recommend you and Discover New Zeland to others who want to visit New Zealand.
Ruth Conroy and Mick McDonald, Natural Wonders Tour, Travelled on 17 December 2017
Mick and I would like to thank you for organising our wonderful holiday. You have a beautiful country and with your well planned Self Drive Itinerary, we were able to explore this with comfort and ease. Your provided list of optional extra activities allowed us to find adventure or just travel at our own leisure throughout our 15 day visit.
Miguel Barboza & Maria Kim, Land of the Hobbit Meets Bay of Islands, Travelled on 5 October 2017
We had a wonderful time in NZ: saying that your country is amazing is not enough, there are no words to describe the fantastic experiences and landscapes we witnessed. Thanks for all the great service from you and the company that you two represent, and the guidance and help to make our vacations such an incredible experience!!! Now we can fully understand what Kia Ora means, seeing from its true meaning in such a beautiful country and wonderful people. Best regards, Miguel Barboza and María José Kim Pura Vida!
Vicky Tremblay, Best of the North, Travelled on 7 October 2017
I recently got back from a 2-week trip to New Zealand, organized by Joanna. I was very impressed with the service! She took the time to call me and ask about my preferences, made sure I had plenty of time to review the package she created for me, and answered all my questions through email. From the minute my plane landed to the day I left, everything was planned for me; accomodations were fantastic and well situated, the tours were interesting and the sights were incredible! She really knows her stuff. I had an amazing time in New Zealand, and I definitely recommend Discover New Zealand to anyone who is looking for a great time without the stress. I hope I can come back some day, and visit the South Island! Vicky, Canada
Jeremy and Anne Cooper, The Length & Breadth North to South, Travelled on 21 September 2017
We are starting to settle into our family routines again and Anne goes back to work at our church in 2 weeks time. I wanted to write to say again a big thank you for organising our trip to New Zealand. In particular your delivery of a carefully planned itinerary to meet our needs of longer stop overs at each leg of the journey and selection not only of wonderful places to stay but also managing to secure the best rooms available to fit our desire for comfort and views. Surely a demonstration of extensive knowledge, contacts and prepared to make the extra effort to ensure our well being. We also enjoyed meeting up with you in Wanaka.
Jocelyn Ramos, Customised Fabulous New Zealand, Travelled on 5 November 2017
The North and South Island tour that I had was really awesome. My travel specialist Laura Havill did indeed make my holiday a memorable one. She organized it just the way that I like it. I was very much comfortable and relaxed on the accommodations that I have, it was just like I was at home. I was able to explore most of what New Zealand has to offer in just a limited time frame. The sights are really fantastic. The activities, all worthwhile. Will definitely do this tour again. To Laura and the whole staff of Discover New Zealand, thank you very much for this wonderful holiday. Looking forward to arranging another adventure in New Zealand with you guys.
Judy West and Butch Harviston, Highlights of Both the North and South Islands, Travelled on 20 October 2017
We are so thankful we found Discover New Zealand! We had an absolutely wonderful trip. You took care of the small details:breakfast, hotel pickups and delivers ) and the large: airplane flights, Great Sites tours, Hobbiton, Rotorua Canopy tour, Bay of Islands, Milford Sound, Tranzalpine Train, car rentals and so much else. Every day was filled with new surprises and beautiful scenery. Thank you for helping us create an amazing adventure. (And a shout out to our Great Sites drivers Stuart (Christchurch to Queenstown) and Kenny (Milford Sound). Judy and Butch
Muhammad Amir Bin Abas, Yusof Zainol, Siti Nurhudah Abdull Rahim, Customised Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 1 November 2017
Thank you for your help arranging my trip here in NZ. It was an enjoyable experience & journey. The whole scenery during our roadtrip & accomodation was superb. I would love to come back again and recommend my friends and family to book this awesome package. 110% satisfied!
Sharon Cook & Bonnie Schlank, Outstanding New Zealand, Travelled on 5 November 2017
Thank you so much for all your work in putting together our travel plans. Bonnie and I had a wonderful time in New Zealand. Everything went perfectly smoothly with friendly and knowledgable drivers arriving promptly at each location. Our tour guides and bus drivers were outstanding. I’m a frequent traveller and this was one of the best holidays of my life. You live in a beautiful country and your expert planning allowed us to see and experience as much of New Zealand as possible in the brief two weeks that we visited. I will be sharing my experience with Discover New Zealand on Trip Advisor, along with recommending your services to everyone I talk with about our fantastic journey. It’s been wonderful working with you. If you ever have the opportunity to visit the East coast of the United States, I hope that you’ll stop by Chapel Hill, North Carolina for a visit. Blessings, Sharon Cook
Venkat Srikanth, Auckland and Wellington Tour, Travelled on 11 November 2017
The tour was amazing. We didn't want to leave New Zealand. Kids had a great time too. The experience was pleasant and no hassles. Thank you Discover New Zealand and Joanna for arranging everything. We will come back next year to discover south island :)
Ms Emma Donnelly, Kiwi Elves, Travelled on 1 November 2017
We had a wonderful time on our 3 week honeymoon organized by Discover New Zealand and did not want to come home! One of the main reasons we picked this itinerary was to see as much Lord of the Rings locations and tours as possible. Hobbiton was one of our favorite places! We enjoyed every tour included but we did add on a lot of activities because we wanted to see as much as possible.
We want to go back to Tongariro to do the Alpine Crossing: it was too windy for us when we were there. However there are so many hiking trails we were occupied for the full day anyway. We loved the Skyline Gondola and luge in both Rotorua and Queenstown. Our only hiccup was one rental car agency had our dates mixed up, but they fixed it and had a car for us within an hour. We did have one car break down, but we had no issues getting a tow and replacement by mid morning the next day. All of our hotels were clean, and all staff were friendly and helpful. Another favorite part of our trip was an add on helicopter tour of Franz Josef glacier - one of a kind view! We loved the Trails of Middle Earth location tour in Queenstown, and if you can't get enough LOTR (like us) we also added on another tour in Twizel - we highly recommend it, especially the twilight tour (OneRingTours) Lake Tekapo is another location we want to return and spend more time in - Mantra is beautiful, we wished we stayed more nights, especially for the Dark Sky Reserve - we've never seen so many stars! Olga of Discover New Zealand really listened to us about our requests and when and where we wanted to spend our time. She made sure we understood the itinerary and route we would be taking and walked us through how to easily make payments. We never wanted to leave each city we visited, but we always found the next location to be just as exciting and fun! Thanks for helping us organize the perfect honeymoon!
Brinley and Pamela Jones & Peter and Elizabeth Maddern, North to South 19 Day Explorer Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 16 November 2017
Natalie Many thanks for all your help with the wonderful holiday we had recently in your beautiful country. Your organisation was perfect from start to finish with your paperwork, maps and leaflets making it so easy for us. We were happy with all our accommodation. It is very hard to pick out a highlight as everywhere offered something different. We seemed to cram so much in that the time flew! We are now in Australia and will be spending Christmas in Adelaide at friends after travelling around the country. I forgot to mention that you even managed to organise lovely weather for us. Thanks again Bryn, Pam, Pete and Elizabeth
Nigel & Jane Young, Tailored North Island Spectacular, Travelled on 12 November 2017
Fabulous holiday in a beautiful country. All pre booked arrangements worked faultlessly and accommodation was of the highest standards. Specific highlights were Bay of Islands (especially ‘hole in the rock’ boat trip), 90 mile beach drive and Gannet tour in Napier. Disappointing were Waitomo and Rotarua as, although they are amazing places, they have become much more commercialised since our first trip there 20 years ago. I would not rush to go back to either place. Overall though a great holiday very well organised by Discover NewZealand.
Karen South and Peggy Daniel, City to Mountains, Auckland to Queenstown 16 Day Tour, Travelled on 13 November 2017
Overall, the self-drive tour was as described. The accommodations provided were generally as described and all accommodations and tour providers had our registration information so they all went smoothly. The tours we purchased provided what was promised (whales, penguins, kiwis, etc.). It was a very tight timeframe for all that we saw so we did not have the luxury of a lot of sightseeing in any one city, but we went for an overall view of New Zealand and we certainly got that! Gorgeous scenery and great people! Thanks to all who made are visit so enjoyable!
Julie & James Runstrom, 12 Day Glaciers and Overnight Fiordland, Travelled on 25 November 2017
We booked a 10 day South NZ tour through Christina and couldn't be happier with our vacation. Our trip was meticulously planned down to all the hotels, and pick-ups.
Chay Keng Fai, Foong Kiew Lye & Wei Hong Oliver Chay, 4 Day Glacier, Queenstown and Milford Sound Highlights, Travelled on 22 November 2017
I had a wonderful trip organised by Discover New Zealand and will recommend to my friends for their trip to New Zealand. Definitely engage them again for my next trip to New Zealand.
Tom & Diane Dickinson, Discover the Nature Wonders of the South Island, Travelled on 26 November 2017
This was a wonderful introduction to a great variety of sites on the South Island of New Zealand! We really appreciated the attention to detail that Shelley put into designing this for us. It was challenging to try to see and do as much as we did, but we would not have cut anything out. We certainly have some great ideas where to visit and spend more time when we return!
We were very pleased with the accommodations selected. All were wonderful and each had a different character. We hesitate to choose a favorite as they all had unique charms. The only one that had any negatives to speak of was the boutique hotel in Queenstown. Although very unique and striking, it was a bit noisy as it was on a busy street and the parking was problematic for us. Since this was more of a city experience than any of the others, this has to be taken into consideration. Our accommodation in Christchurch was in the city center, but was more of a Bed and Breakfast experience and very quiet. Everyone was very hospitable and helpful, the smaller B & B type lodgings had a more personal touch as can be expected. When we return, this is the type of lodging we will select. One of us was the driver and the other the navigator. The driver was new to driving on the left, but had little difficulty getting used to it with the nice Toyota Corolla (with trunk, not hatchback, which was nice) and reminders to keep left. We did not fully anticipate that driving the roads would take as much time as it did. This was partly due to unfamiliarity at first but just to reiterate that the roads are mostly two lane and only when they were straight were we able to go the speed limit comfortably. On the plus side, the scenery is fantastic. The stretch to Picton had road construction and a diversion of traffic from the coastal highway. We were a bit nervous about the time to get from Queenstown to Milford Sound as we saw warnings that it could be very slow going. We had no problem on the day we traveled, but it is worth a warning regarding the potential slowness if you have a particular deadline (as we did). The New Zealand drivers are very courteous, no problem there. We did have our front end bumper scratched at some point, probably by a fellow tourist in a parking lot. The navigator found the GPS in the car to be very useful. The directions in the book were helpful, but could have been more helpful if distances (a bit more detail) were given. The pre-planned activities were all well chosen and except for the flyover of Mount Cook (which was cancelled due to weather) we had good weather for all. Good food also, everywhere we went, with a lovely New Zealand twist on things. Thanks to Shelley and Discover New Zealand for their assistance in planning a great experience for us in New Zealand. As we watch the snow falling back here in the states, we dream of: Delightful walks around the Arboretum and downtown in Christchurch. Enyouing the great breakfast at our wonderful lodgings. Walking the forest track around the town of Hanmer Springs. Soaking in the variety of hot springs at Hanmer Hot Springs as rain clouds gathered above us. Wonderful home cooked dinner enjoying the company and view across Okiwa Bay to the rest of Queen Charlotte Sound. Walking the Queen Charlotte Sound track, listening to the birds, watching the activity on the water. Eating green mussels for the first time in Havelock. Admiring the spiffy town of Nelson. Marveling at the view and surroundings at our lodge on the top of the hill. Kayaking in the beautiful, warm water at Abel Tasman, admiring the rocks and seals. Walking a beautiful nature trail in Arthur's Pass, learning about the native flora and fauna. Admiring the outstanding features of the western coastland such as the unique Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki. Helicoptering to the glacier, drinking glacier water, hiking with crampons. Walking to the viewpoint over Okarito lagoon, enjoying the fabulous view. Walks around Queenstown, on the lakes, on the stream at Arrowtown Admiring incredible beauty of the Milford Sound area. Viewing waterfalls and other sights in Milford Sound; experiencing the swells of the Tasman sea Kayaking from the boat in Milford Sound. Early rise on boat in Milford Sound to enjoy quiet and sunrise. Peaceful views and walks around Te Anau. Driving up the Otago peninsula to the Larnach castle, marveling at the views in every direction and the twisty, barely two lane, road. Relaxing while taking in the views from our perfect room at the Camp Estate of Larnach Castle. Admiring the amazing renovated Castle, one of a kind in New Zealand. Enjoying the wonderful gardens and grounds of the castle. Enjoying a fine dinner at the castle with interesting company. A morning visit to Dunedin, visiting the University just after graduation with picture taking of grads and proud parents. Immersed in the wildlife experiences and viewing of the Otago peninsula. First from the boat, then from land (the albatross nesting) and finally the nature preserve where we saw seals up close and the yellow eyed penguins coming back from gathering food to their nests. Wonderful, hospitable, people, rightly proud of their country!
Jo Lindsay Aspiras, Waitomo, Rotorua and Hobbiton 3 Day Experience, Travelled on 26 October 2017
I had wonderful time with this tour. Definitely will recommend this team to my family and friends and sure will I use this for my next travel in NZ :) The activities were perfect and allows me to meet new people. Since the group is small, it is more enjoyable and we didn't have to wait to loads of people during the tour. Accommodation is also few steps away from the shops and restaurants. Thanks too to Erynn Bell for helping me tailor this tour for me :) Great Job!
Duncan & Marina Black, The Winterless North, Travelled on 18 October 2017
Dear Laura Thank you for all of the arrangments, What a lovely place New Zealand is, I have fallen in love with both the country and people. we stopped at many more places along the way and took in some breathtaking countryside. Two out of the four accommodations were brilliant, with the first one not far behind, I would recommend all of these, especially Waipoua Lodge to anyone.Read more
the last one Lochiel Estate Vineyard was disappointing, we were lucky that we were the only ones stopping, as if all the rooms had been in use, the area would have been cramped. however, it was just a room, and the rest of the Journey more than made up for this. All of you arrangements made the tour very easy for us. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for this. It was an unforgettable experience, and we realize that we need now to come back to the south Island.
Sasha, Ayal, Thayanaigee, Priyanka Naidoo & Carl & Ayla Bufe, Auckland to Christchurch Splendour, Travelled on 15 October 2017
Thank you for arranging a great trip. The accommodation, vehicle and recommendations were excellent. Particularly impressed with The Wharf in Tauranga, The Dome Penthouse in Napier and Vitners Retreat in Blenheim. We were fortunate to have great weather and a trouble free trip. Brilliant service from your attentive staff - Laura H.
Dinesh, Shakila, Chalana, Meshan and Shanil Perera, North to South 14 Day Family Wonder, Travelled on 7 October 2017
Excellent itinerary arranged for our family of five adults. Catered to our different interests, and provided enough rest & relaxation time despite a busy schedule covering both North & South islands in 2 weeks. Accommodation nearly always exceeded our expectations and comfortably suited a family of 5.Read more
Activities included, most notably Walter Peak dinner cruise and the Milford Sound Cruise were excellent. We highly recommend planning your trip with Discover New Zealand- nothing but the best service!
Miguel Barboza & Maria Kim, Land of the Hobbit Meets Bay of Islands, Travelled on 5 October 2017
The most lovely vacation in the most wonderful country we've ever visited!! We enjoyed our time in New Zealand on every step of our itinerary, which was very well organized, we would definitely recommend Discover New Zealand and its excellent staff for an unforgettable journey!!
Magderie Nel, 7 Day Alpine Express, Travelled on 29 September 2017
I had a magical time in New Zealand. Christina helped me book a great tour that accommodated all my needs as a lone traveler. I stayed in motels, but the accommodation was excellent, especially the room I got at Punga Grove Motel in Franz Joseph. The coach tours were extremely comfortable.Read more
Some of the buses had wi-fi (Thrifty Tours) and they were always on time, sometimes even early, picking me up directly from my motel. The sights and tours were also well organized with knowledgeable tour guides. I learned a wealth of knowledge about an entire country in only one week. It's been amazing and I hope to come again.
Anna Nolan, New Zealand Vista, Travelled on 27 September 2017
I really enjoyed my holiday in New Zealand. Waiheke Island was beautiful and I got to have dinner with friends who lived there. The team at Tawa Lodge were ever so friendly and helpful. All my tours and transfers were seamless and easy. I will definitely be contacting you when next I travel to NZ.
Sue & Roger and Melanie & Gary, Coast to Coast Family Adventure, Travelled on 25 September 2017
Shelley organised an amazing trip for the 4 of us. My husband and I have had many trips to New Zealand before and really thought we had a good idea of what to expect but we were blown out of the water by the excellence of the accommodation and the attention to detail of the daily guides to driving. The choice of places to visit along with the entrance tickets and suggestions of extra places we might like to see showed a real knowledge of each town we visited.Read more
The only concern was in Queenstown where our accommodation was in a building site and very noisy. The girl who booked us in (her office was about 200 metres away) pretended she didn't know there was work going on. Perhaps if she had informed us when we arrived to pick up the key we wouldn't have been so surprised. The good news is it was a great apartment which should by now not be in a building site as all work should be finished. There was no way Shelley would have known that they would start working there a week before we arrived. A wonderful trip and great value for money
Sarah Spangler, 10 Day Southern National Parks, Travelled on 16 September 2017
Had a wonderful time all together and felt as though I extensively saw the majority of highlights of the Southeren island. This was my first time traveling independently. I felt completely safe and had no confusion as to where to be and when to follow my intinerary!
Lisa Lam and Gordon Ho, Customised Waitomo, Rotorua and Hobbiton Experience, Travelled on 17 September 2017
The tour was well organized and made our life a lot easier. Annelise provided excellent customer service. The tour was really fun. Will highly recommend this tour to my friends.
Michael Gorman & Rick Hawkins, 10 Day Southern Icons, Travelled on 4 September 2017
Shelley, It's hard for me to believe how fast it all went as well; nevertheless, Rick and I have taken away wonderful memories of the adventure. I really did want to thank you for setting up what amounted to an amazing trip - the arrangements were excellent and your help during the trip - adjustments owing to bad weather and your help on recovery of the lost camera - were so appreciated - and professional.Read more
We enjoyed ourselves - it was the "taste of New Zealand" we were interested in. No worries on recommending New Zealand Fine Touring. The scenery (and people!) everywhere were fantastic. Some of my most enjoyable moments included the day spent out on Otago peninsula, the trip out to Doubtful Sound and the Dart River adventure. We had many other memorable moments as well. Sincerely, Mike Gorman
Karina, Snowy Cendrica, Jesslyn Chance and Riady Lukman, 5 Day Waitomo, Rotorua and Hobbiton, Travelled on 31 August 2017
Lauren has been very helpful prior, during and even after my trip. She's very responsive and quick in her reply. She also has good suggestions on tour/itinerary. Had an awesome time in NZ! Thank you :)
Wayne Yan, 10 Day Glaciers and Overnight Fiordland, Travelled on 28 August 2017
Excellent arrangements made by Discover New Zealand. From activities planning, to accommodation and transport, the travel agents have all of them well covered and tailor made. I have had a great time in the South Island for 10 days without any troubles. I had enjoyed my stay very much. Definitely would recommend this travel agency to my friends and family who wish to visit New Zealand!
Sarah Strand & Gary Dunham, A Customised Waitomo, Rotorua and Hobbiton Experience, Travelled on 12 August 2017
We started our honeymoon with four days in New Zealand, and wanted help with planning what to do in a short amount of time. Christina asked important questions to tailor activities specifically to us. It was clearly not just a cookie-cutter tour. We had an amazing combination of wine tasting, parks, zip lining, and general sightseeing and the price was very reasonable.Read more
Christina had a solution to everything. For example: We wanted to try zip lining on the first day, but if our flight was delayed we would have missed the ferry to get there. Immediately she came up with wine tasting on the island where we wanted to zip line, and a zip line later in Rotorua. We had an amazing time in New Zealand and cannot wait to go back. We will definitely be calling Christina when that time comes!
Catherine, Engato, Natividad Uy, 5 Day Southern Alps to the Southern Lakes, Travelled on 9 August 2017
Emma did a great job booking us our tour on such EXTREMELY short notice. New Zealand is stunning!
Tuan Minh, Thanh Tuan, Kiet Tuan & Phong Tuan To and Thuong Thi Dao, A Customised Southern Circuit Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 3 August 2017
Our experience with Discover New Zealand, especially through Erynn, has been great. Despite having only communicated through emails, the whole trip has been really smooth with little issues. Even during the trip, Erynn had been responsive with her emails and updated us with new information. The itinerary and driving legs were perfect as it allows time to both travels between destinations and explores the surroundings. We did not have to worry about any bookings since everything was already sorted. Yet, there was plenty of freedom for activities. There's nothing to complain about at all. We had an absolutely amazing time.
Jason Gaynor & Marissa Baker, 9 Day Southern Scenes, Travelled on 28 July 2017
Overall, everything worked out well. Erynn was immaculately patient with answering my gazillion questions throughout the planning and booking process, so that was greatly appreciated. The descriptions provided about the various activities in the itinerary were also extremely helpful while planning. Some other companies we initially considered would just list activities, but provide no information beyond that, so the way your company constructed and presented the itinerary was definitely one of the reasons we chose to use your services.Read more
That being said, it was confusing at times because the descriptions you provided weren't necessarily season-specific. The best example that comes to mind was the description of the Milford area and mentioning it might be possible to do a day hike on the Milford Track (even though it's closed in the winter). However, the confusion on my end was pretty short-lived, and we got everything sorted out. As for the trip itself, everything went great overall, but there are a few things I wanted to point out. First, maybe we missed the mention of this, but it might be helpful to make it abundantly clear that the reservation numbers in the booklet you provide will essentially serve as your "tickets" for the various buses and activities, and that tickets either won't be issued in advance, or they'll be issued upon arriving at the various activities. We initially thought we were missing our bus and activity tickets (other than for the gondola/luge in Queenstown which had actual tickets), and felt like we were taking a leap of faith by assuming the companies had all of our information. It turns out they did have our information, but for at least the first day or so we were a bit confused by the process. My other "just a heads up" is in regards to Te Anau. As we learned on Day 3, at least half of the businesses in town are either closed on Sundays or for the winter in general. That's obviously beyond your control, so I'm not complaining about that, but I just figured I would bring that to your attention in case it wasn't a known thing and future travelers ever have questions about things to do in Te Anau. Also, the hikes "from and around Te Anau" weren't all that close to Te Anau. I don't think any of them were actually within walking distance of town, and so we would have needed to find a cab or something to get to them. The last thing about Te Anau was that our pick-up time (17:40) wasn't correct. We were walking back to our hotel around 17:00, and a van actually stopped and asked if were Jason and Marrissa because he had our luggage (to take to our bus). He said the time we were given by your company was incorrect. I don't recall what time he said it was supposed to be, but he said he had been driving around town trying to find us. I guess that was the silver lining of most businesses being closed that day because there weren't many people milling about, so fortunately he found us. So, I'm not sure if he was just early or if your company gave us the wrong time, but it's something you may want to look into. Again, everything worked out fine, and despite some of the feedback I'm giving here, your company arranged an amazing vacation and I will sing your praises all day long on social media and to my friends. Also, for what it's worth, the weather was amazing most of the time we were there so all of our activities went off without any real hitches. I know I can't technically credit your company for this, but it certainly helped make for a wonderful time in New Zealand. Thanks again for everything!
Megan Nutt, 8 Day Southern Discovery (Fly & Coach from Auckland), Travelled on 11 July 2017
A trip that was efficiently organised from picking me up from the airport to dropping me back there. Very flexible in adapting to my needs through the bad weather which impacted my trip. Extremely approachable- I could phone and email any time and it felt like chatting to someone I knew and nothing was too much trouble. I recommend this company and would not hesitate to travel with them again.
Francois Emond, Bay of Islands and Cape Reinga 3 Day Experience, Travelled on 12 July 2017
My trip to NZ was one of the best I've done over the last few years. All the trip was well planned and well done. I have no regrets doing business with Discover New Zealand. I would warmly tell all my friends to to the same and I would redo it again.
Glenda Kraemer, Luke Highfield & Kierra Davies, 9 Day Winter Highlights, Travelled on 10 July 2017
Hi Jane I cannot explain how amazing our holiday was, what a BEAUTIFUL country!! I have the most incredible photos to look back on (and brag to others) and the best memories of unbelievable experiences. We honestly took full advantage and saw so much, we were exhausted by the time we got home after all the sightseeing and experiencing. I have to say that the night at the Hermitage was absolutely stunning! The snow storm was a cherry-on-top of staying in such beautiful surroundings, and learning to put snow chains on will not be forgotten.Read more
The turquoise colour of the water in the rivers and lakes is spectacular, I have never seen 'un-photoshopped' scenes like this. Queenstown was so unexpected, what an amazing city, so much going on that we struggled to sit still. Also experienced an Ice Bar for the first time ever, what a fun and also freezing experience. Kierra absolutely loved the snow and we almost couldn't get her to come inside, she also loved ski school (I think the hot chocolate helped entice her) and definitely did much better than Luke and I on the slopes :) One thing I learnt that wasn't expected is that New Zealand make (BY FAR) the best pies I have had anywhere else in the world, not sure what the secret is but I would travel back for the pies. I could go on-and-on about so many things. Overall we ate way too much and slept way too little, and don't regret a thing! Will be on a diet (no pies) for a while now. Thank you so so much for all your help and recommendations, we feel so lucky to have been able to experience such an incredible country the way we did and I hope that one day I can send my parents to do the same, it is definitely a place for everyone's bucket list. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Glenda
Walter Griao and Kelly Campos Misawa, Customised North Island Highlihgts Tour, Travelled on 8 July 2017
Dear Annalise Thanks to you we had an amazing time, wonderful experiences and gorgeous pictures in every place we visited in New Zealand. Next time we are Looking forward to exploring the South Island so we will be counting on you to do our next trip to New Zealand !!! Kings regards Kelly
Mae Yoong Tan, Chin Boon and Yu Wey Lim, Auckland to Christchurch Ultimate Explorer, Travelled on 3 July 2017
We were utterly impressed with our tour specialist Salli Smith's arrangements and prompt communication with us. The tour was tailored and customized flawlessly according to our request. The coach drivers, both Intercity and Great Sights were mostly friendly, helpful and enthusiastic in delivering commentaries throughout our journey. Withal to that, all pick-ups were on time without any significant delay in schedule. We had a great time from North Island to South Island. The scenery along the coach rides were certainly breathtaking and spectacular. The accommodation arranged for the entire span of the trip met our expectations.Read more
Overall, the entire tour went smoothly without any hitch or hassle. We also had a great time for most of optional tours and activities that were arranged for us, with the most irrefutable and memorable ones being Franz Josef Glacier Heli-hike, Milford Sound Cruise and Queenstown Gondola to Bob's Peak. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude and special thanks to Salli Smith and New Zealand Fine Touring for the professional and fantastic arrangements. We will definitely recommend New Zealand Fine Touring to our friends and relatives.
Sherry Wang, Alpine Explorer, Travelled on 27 June 2017
Sara has been very helpful prior, during and even after my trip. She's very responsive and quick in her reply. She also has good suggestions on tour/itinerary. Had an awesome time in NZ! Thank you :)
Gina Justice and Kenneth Giuliani, Customised 8 Day Upper North Island Adventure, Travelled on 25 June 2017
Hi Annelise, Just a quick note to share that my husband and I had the BEST time in New Zealand!! Everything went perfectly!! We have not stopped talking about our trip and now we are huge advocates of traveling to NZ to our family, friends and co-workers. I'm thinking we have convinced a few people already - didn't take much effort though, they saw our pictures on Facebook - ha. Thanks for all the help, I know it was all last minute. Thanks again. Gina
Vincent Camacho & Eugene Santos, Luxury Auckland to Wellington 9 Day Highlights, Travelled on 20 June 2017
This was one of if not the best vacations ever. Erynn and the Discover New Zealand crew took the stress of planning this vacation and allowed us just sit back relax and enjoy the time we had in NZ. Erynn took note of what we wanted to do and how we wanted to spend our time and created an itinerary that met every expectation. The accommodations she selected were top notch and out of this world. We are not sure we could of found the luxury accommodations she did. Erynn clearly understood what we were looking for to celebrate 50 years of being alive.
And when the weather did not cooperate for one of the tour packages -- Discover New Zealand was there to assist on alternatives. We truly appreciated the care and attention to details that Erynn took to make this a truly stress free and enjoyable experience. We will be back to trek the South Island.
Robin Lush, Your New Zealand Scenic Highlights Tour, Travelled on 23 June 2017
I cannot recommend more highly the trip that Kelly planned for my two weeks around both islands. Everything was stunningly beautiful and I was so lucky with the weather, literally cloudless blue skies every day. Kelly was able to customize and change the trip to suit my requirements. I found the commentaries on the Inter City coaches most helpful giving me a great background to the country. The motels were excellent so do not worry about accommodation as they all had free wifi and cooking facilities if you didn't want to eat out. Just do not forget a camera and battery charger as you will need one, I also took a laptop so I could download the pictures on a daily basis.
Mathew Lunec & Katherine Meyer, A Customised 14 Day New Zealand Grand Tour, Travelled on 17 June 2017
Thanks to Christina, who was exceptionally helpful in putting together our itinerary. She was able to bespoke it to our needs and everything was hassle free. We had a great time in NZ, accommodation was just right and also the driving distances were very manageable. We thoroughly recommend Christina and Discover New Zealand
Robert Hargreaves, Auckland to Christchurch Ultimate Explorer, Travelled on 17 June 2017
Hi Natalie, just a few lines to thank you for the wonderful holiday you put together for me. I knew I would be testing my luck trying to take in all the beautiful sights on offer on the South Island in late June early July but as luck would have it I had terrific clear days to take in all of the magnificent visual sights. All the bookings went very smoothly and I didn't experience any hic-ups which went a long way towards enjoying the holiday. Thank you once again, and I would have no problems in recommending you personally and your company to my friends and family on their trips to beautiful NZ. Regards Bob.
Robin Lush, Your New Zealand Scenic Highlights Tour, Travelled on 23 June 2017
Hi Kelly Just to give you some feedback which might help other travellers. Bella Vista Rotorua had free wifi has SKY TV Totara Lodge Trentham had free wifi has SKY TV Aldan Lodge Picton had free wifi but no Sky TV yet Bella Vista Christchurch had free wifi has SKY TV Blue Peaks Lodge Queenstown has free wifi has SKY TV Punga Grove Franz Joseph has free wifi but reception in the area is awful so doesn't matter where you are, has SKY TV I would pick the Ibis for Christchurch as it is a better location in the town centre rather than the Bella Vista which is a 20 minute walk into town. There is only one close restaurant for the Bella Vista, a perfectly good one two blocks away, but there is a lot more choice if you are at the Ibis and the hotel prices are the same. Length of time in each place for purely sightseeing I would suggest Auckland 2 full days Rotorua. For me it worked well the way you had it stopping on the way Wellington 2 full days Christchurch 1 full day Queenstown. If you do not want to do extreme sports like jet boating,ski-ing, bungee jumping then probably 2 days minimum. Walking is a little icy uphill/downhill at the moment. By the way the Ben Lomond walk is a 5 hour round trip and at the moment there is snow and ice on the trail so suggest people wear walking shoes/boots at this time of the year and not trainers. Summer time it will be easier. If they want to do other activities away from the cities than that is extra time. Overall thoughts if there were better motels than Bella Vista I would go for them, they are a bit more basic than the ones in Queenstown, Lower Hutt and Franz Joseph, they have a lot more space in the room. Just another thought, whilst the Trans Alpine was great, it didn't have the same effect at the end of the trip because one had already seen more spectacular scenery. What I would do is reverse the journey from Christchurch so you see it before Queenstown and Mt Cook, if that fits your schedule. Again not sure if the train on Sunday is a good idea, there were 10 middle aged Kiwis who wanted the whole carriage to hear every word for over 4 hours which only got worse with the alcohol. Regardless of that you did a great job, I had a wonderful time. If you want to ask me any questions please feel free to do so. Many thanks Robin
Kurtis Krug, Kurt & Kim's Anniversary Adventure, Travelled on 13 June 2017
My wife and I spent 10 days on touring the south island and had a wonderful time for our 25th wedding anniversary. The activities were a lot of fun; a jeep tour out of Queenstown, a cruise of Doubtful Sound, a spectacular dinner with a view at the Stratosfare Restaurant (Get the premium seating, it is so worth it). The highlight of the trip was the twin glacier helicopter flight in Franz Josef, amazing. The driving was easy, we had a RAV 4 with GPS, perfect for the two of us.
There was wonderful scenic views everywhere we went. Sarah our travel assistant was fantastic and very quick to respond to any changes we requested. I would highly recommend booking with Discover New Zealand they were great !!!!.
Laura Mcstravick Lyons, Waitomo, Hobbiton and Rotorua Te Puia Evening Experience, Travelled on 15 June 2017
Dear Discover New Zealand, I am still talking to family & friends about my wonderful trip to New Zealand, initially I was over for business and had two days to spare. I've always wanted to not only visit NZ but learn more about the culture and embrace everything it had to offer. I managed to also get tickets to see The All Blacks play in Auckland. But I knew I needed to try my best to explore a little more. I contacted Discover New Zealand given I was extremely busy and worried I wouldn't have time to plan my trip (being a full time working mother), I also didn't really know what I wanted to experience. But then I was introduced to Joanna Bulluss!! What a star she is. . . after recommending a few options, she really got me excited to the point I wanted to squeeze in more within the two day window I had.
I was a little worried about how tight it was going to be from one event to the next but Joanna had organised it all beautifully. On my first night the last event I went to was Te Po (Indigenous Evening Experience) and when I walked outside I was just about to ring a taxi when a private driver tapped me on the shoulder and told me that Joanna had organised him to pick me up!!! I was not only amazed at her organisation skills but how caring she was ensuring that I was looked after! I was very thankful as I wont lie I was by myself and it was pretty dark so having my 'guardian travel agent' be looking out for me at all times was just heart warming. Even though it was only for two days I had the time of my life and everyone couldn't believe how much I was able to fit in during the time I had - all thanks to Joanna!!! Therefore, I can't recommend Discover New Zealand enough especially Joanna Bullus whether it be for some activities to do while traveling for business or maybe your a mum like me and you want to have a quick adventure! I can't wait for my next mini adventure. Thank you so much Joanna for looking after me. Best wishes, Laura
Danny Li, A Customised Southern Icons Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 13 May 2017
Christina Brockie of Discover New Zealand was a true vacation planning professional. She was knowledgeable about the New Zealand geography, favorite places to visit and fun activities to do. The trip plan she developed for me was well thought out, thorough and meticulous. While we were planning for the trip, she was enthusiastic and patient despite seemingly endless questions and changes from me. She gave me sound advice on potential financial liability on a rental vehicle and how to manage it. I had all the necessary travel information in the documentation which she sent me the first day I arrived at Christchurch.
Not only she had developed a great trip for me, but she and her colleagues also were just as eager to step in and offer assistance when things did not go exactly as planned after the trip had begun. I have had a wonderful and truly memorable vacation in New Zealand, and Christina was instrumental in making that happen. Discover New Zealand is truly fortunate to have Christina because she is knowledgeable, highly motivated and passionate in her work. Here are some comments specific about the trip. The accommodation was generally good except for Econ Lodge Canterbury Court, Christchurch. The reason was because the room was cold due to insufficient heating. The accommodation at Geraldine was a pleasant surprise as it was arranged at the last minute due to an unplanned event. I loved its whirlpool and the room’s European style. Picking up and dropping off at Christchurch Airport was a nice touch. Of all the activities, I think I liked the Twin Glaciers scenic helicopter ride the most, followed by the Milford Sound cruise, and then the Shotover Jet boat ride. I was totally mesmerized by the Lord of the Rings landscape around Te Anau. I think a couple of events , the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves and the TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak, would be more interesting if both activities could be scheduled when there is still daylight. Since both activities involved travelling by boat first and because it was already dark by the time I got into the boat, I couldn’t see the scenery along the way. However, I also understood the tight trip schedule probably had prevented you from setting them up during the day. The gourmet dinner was just fabulous. All in all, it was an excellent trip and thank you Christina for your great effort!
Liv Marcolongo - New Zealand Holiday Adventure
Just a short message to let you know that our New Zealand holiday was fabulous. Thank you very much for your exemplary organization. I could not find any fault with it. It was exactly what we wanted. As a travel manager of old I could not have done any better myself. When we tell people about all out meets and greets and how special we were made to feel they are amazed. If we would have driven ourselves I don’t think we would have had the same experience. If our health holds up we plan to go again in a few years and will definitely contact you again.
Many thanks and regards to you all. Liv Marcolongo.
Brett & Louise Furniss - Customised Southern Highlights Tour (Incl. Milford Sound)
I have recently had the pleasure of booking a tour with Heather.I would like to let you know how pleasant she has made the whole experience. She was efficient, courteous and extremely helpful, despite my occasional obtuseness.I commend her very highly, she is a wonderful asset for your team.If all New Zealanders are similar we are in for a wonderful time when we come touring.RegardsBrett Furniss
Kathy Walsh, Customised Discover New Zealand Tour. Travelled February 2017
We have returned from our wonderful vacation in New Zealand. Everything that your company arranged went exactly as planned. We so appreciate all that you did to make this dream vacation come true. We love New Zealand and hope to return some day. We will be recommending Discover New Zealand to everyone who is interested in travelling to your country. Thanks so much, Kathy Walsh.
I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to you and your staff of your company for making excellent arrangements for our holiday trip in the South Island of NZ. We had a great time. Everything was very well organised and we had no problems anywhere. We would visit sometime again and will certainly use your services and recommend you to our friends as they travel to NZ any time. You have a beautiful country and we enjoyed seeing it.
Susan and Jennifer Towlin, Sweden
We fell in love with the real New Zealand you offered us just by getting from one place to another.
Trevor Morris, England
A memorable experience which will stay with us forever.
Kaushik Banerjee, India
We really loved the holiday and your marvellous country. We will definitely be back.
David and Jean Rawson, Ireland
Every day was different from the one before. We felt like we had ten separate mini-holidays in one.
Charles and Barbara Emerald, USA
Organising this holiday was about as easy as it could get. We liked the flexibility, met wonderful people and had all our questions answered.
Robert Lyon, England
We could not fault our last trip with you, so we decided to repeat the experience again – and it was even better.
Heather McGrath, Australia
Very well organised, pick up times were spot on. Great stuff all the staff and drivers. I would highly recommend your company to anyone I know coming to New Zealand.
Amanda Ladide, USA
Your delivery of documents and voucher system was great and so well organised – to the very finest detail. A really enjoyable trip that all went like clock work. Thanks everybody involved!
Briar Benbow, Australia
This tour was great, well planned and all went very smoothly.
Mary and Reg Wild, Australia
We had a very good holiday in your beautiful country – Thank you.