Iain & Francesca Leslie, Auckland to Queenstown Tailored 13 Day Tour, Travelled on 25 July 2015
—We had a fantastic time in New Zealand, everything was brilliantly organised.
Hi Michelle Thanks for your note. We had a fantastic time in New Zealand, everything was brilliantly organised, thank you so much for sorting it all out.
All the accommodation we stayed in was great for what we needed. The best one in terms of amenities and the room itself was probably the Regal Palms in Rotorua. All the others were great too but this one stood out. In Rotorua we visited Te Puia as suggested. The guide was great and told us a lot about Maori history and culture and the geothermal features were fascinating.
We also visited Whakarewarewa living village. Here we didn't take a tour but just wandered around ourselves and had lunch in the cafe. We visited Wai-O-Tapu between Rotorua and Lake Taupo where we saw the Lady Knox Geyser and took one of the walks around the park. This place was really spectacular in terms of the volcanic and geothermal features.
At Taupo we visited the Huka Falls which were good. We just did this on foot as with a three year old in tow the jet boat rides weren't going to work. It was a beautiful day so we got some great views of the falls. We took Jacob swimming to the thermally heated AC Baths (the local council pools) - these were great for kids! We also visited the Craters of the Moon. To be honest this was a bit disappointing in comparison to the other geothermal parks we had already seen. I think if we had gone here first our impression would be different but having been to Te Puia and Wai-O-Tapu I think we had already seen some pretty impressive stuff.
We all loved Napier. From here we drove out to a local winery, Black Barn, that had been recommended by a friend.We had an excellent wine tasting and lunch. Everyone here was really friendly and I would recommend it as a safe bet for anyone who doesn't have time to tour around a number of vineyards. Jacob loved the play grounds along the boardwalk - again a really good facility for kids. We spent some time wandering around the city and popped in to the museum and shop where the ladies gave us a lot of information about the history of the city.
Queenstown was just great fun. We all loved the town itself but especially loved going skiing. Both Frankie and I are fairly advanced skiers but with living in Singapore we hadn't skied for a while so both The Remarkables and Coronet Peak had just enough terrain to ease us back in to it. This biggest thing for us here though was the Skiwi Club that we booked Jacob in to. He did one day at The Remarkables and two days at Coronet Peak, both were just fantastic with him. He came away each day absolutely exhausted having had the best time - he is still talking about it and how much he loves skiing.
It goes without saying that the mountain scenery around Queenstown is just breathtaking. We feel very lucky to have been able to spend a few days in such beautiful surroundings.
Both cars we had for our trip were great but I'm not sure Eurocar put a lot of thought into which to allocate for each place. In the north island we had a Mitsubishi Outlander which was 4WD and in the south island a Toyota Rav4 which was 2WD. Both were perfect cars but it would have made much more sense to have had the 4WD in the south and the 2WD in the north. It's a really small point and I know the rental company just allocate what they have in the class you book. I just wanted to let you know about it in case you are able to influence them for future tours. To be honest I wouldn't even have thought of it if they had given us a 2WD in both places it was just because we got a 4WD in the north that it occurred to me.
All in all though it was a fantastic trip and brilliantly organized by you - thank you very much. Kind regards Iain
—Iain & Francesca Leslie, SGP
25 July 2015