Craig & Andrew Beyler, Lakes and Mountains Self Drive Tour, Travelled 02 February 2014
—We had a wonderful week touring the south island. You have a very beautiful country, very nice people, and great hospitality.
We had a wonderful week touring the south island. You have a very beautiful country, very nice people, and great hospitality.
We were glad we added the extra night in Dunedin to allow us to come to understand the peninsula better and do some additional tracking. We especially enjoyed one walk where we found ourselves on the beach with seals and sea lions.
I wish we had time to take the more southerly route to the west coast.
While nice enough, the drive to the west coast was long and primarily agricultural rather than scenic as I understand the more southerly route is.
The drive to Milford sound and the cruise were great! We stopped for some random walks in both directions and we found some really wonderful old growth forest areas with 2 meter plus trees, ferns, and mosses everywhere.
The sound was amazing and the tour company did a very good job.
The drive to Queenstown was long. Frankly, Queenstown was the least interesting part of the trip for us. The tour was just ok, though the people were very nice indeed. Queenstown was too much of a ski town for our tastes. We did get out of town to nearby areas with nice natural and historic sights, we stopped in an old mining town now tourist area where we had a nice walk and a great meal.
The glacier was very interesting and we had a good guide. My only regret was that there were too many people and some were really not up to the tour so they were a drag on the group.
Everywhere we went we found excellent walking paths and friendly people.
I was a bit disappointed that the drive to Greymouth had less coastal views than I had imagined. We would have made better use of the ones we had if we recognized how few there would be.
The train across the alps was amazing and a great end to the trip. I think Andrew took 1500 photos during our two weeks in NZ! Christchurch was nice but they are still very much in the early stages of recovery from the earthquake. It's a long road back to what it was. Yet Andrew had a great time hiking and biking while I did my symposium.
Overall, it was a great trip. Thx for your help and guidance. By the way the gps unit was helpful but by the end of the week it was very repetitive. We only used the cell phone to confirm reservations as called out in your instructions, but it was good to know we had it if we had needed it.
—Craig & Andrew Beyler, USA
1 February 2014