The reviews and feedback found below are unedited. We pride ourselves on this feedback and hope that you will trust us to make your New Zealand dream a reality.
We knew very little about which sites to feature in our one week stay, so we trusted you to pick them and lead us along. In that regard, you did a great job. We asked for lots of nature, and you delivered. We asked for an extra day in Wellington and are so glad we did. We spent hours in the Te Papa museum and even found time to join a sea shanty sing-along in the local bar. Kaikoura turned too rainy for the whales, but that gave us a day for their museum and a drive around tour of the area. The train to and south from Kaikoura was a lot of fun and a great way to spend a few hours. The true gem for us was Mt. Cook and that area. They'd had a bush fire, earthquake, and knee-deep snow the week before, so we were gifted with white mountains and lots of sun. Spectacular. We had no idea it would be so awesome. The room at The Hermitage was great, with views. The stargazing was worth a try, but not good weather. But the glacier explorers event was our favorite single thing. Thank you for including that. Overall, we were so amazed with the friendly people wherever we went, the great food (our favorite meal of the month was the Zephyr Restaurant in Kaikoura), and helpful service. We've been telling people that we're glad we saved New Zealand for the last week after 3 weeks in Australia. Why? Because you did a great job of giving us lots of guidance and handling all the details, and because NZ is so spectacularly beautiful.
We wanted to take our trip of a lifetime and I am so glad we chose Fine Tours and Jannette to help us. There were a few things about our hopes that were unrealistic and Janette helped us accomplish all the things we wanted to do in what I would now call adorable manner. Good and kind people were there to transition us to the places we needed to go without ever overstepping their place and helping us accomplish what we had always hoped. THANK YOU JANETTE AND FINE TOURS
Dear Nichole, We had an absolutely fabulous time in New Zealand! All of the tour guides, drivers, and scheduled activities you arranged went so smoothly and everyone was so nice. We especially enjoyed the Geothermal Rotorua Tour with Elite Adventures. Trent, the owner, was our guide and it ended up being a private tour, just the three of us! He was incredibly knowledgeable and we learned so much. My daughter really enjoyed the Redwoods Treewalk and I was so glad you added it to the itinerary. The Polynesian Spa experience was awesome! The views were amazing and it was so relaxing. Every day we experienced something we had never experienced before. It made us want to return to New Zealand again one day to experience the South Island. Thank you so much for making this such an incredible family vacation. You made everything so easy from the start. I will definitely contact you again when we decide to visit next time. Aloha,Tammy, Brian and Reese
It was a great trip! Everything went off without a hitch.
I would recommend this trip to everyone. Petra put together a very comprehensive trip. Her recommendations were excellent and she always made herself available during my trip. Really, really a great experience. Thanks Petra!
We had a wonderful self-driving tour in New Zealand, thanks to Vickie and the Fine Touring Group. We knew what cities we wanted to visit, but needed help with hotels and directions and other suggestions. We couldn't have done the trip without your help- thank you!
I'm writing a much belated note of thanks and praise for Christina Brockie and the New Zealand 'trip of a lifetime' that she managed for us. Christina is the best. She worked with us through the Covid years, scheduling and rescheduling as conditions changed. All of our questions and concerns were always quickly addressed and friendly advice was given. Our accommodations exceeded our expectations and suggested activities and itineraries were exactly what we wanted. There are not enough superlatives to describe our experience. Thank you, Christina! I hope that we can work together again.
New Zealand Fine Touring stuck with us through the Pandemic years in the most professional fashion led by Christina Brockie. She worked with us booking and rebooking the Milford Track with Ultimate Hikes and making all the other changes to transportation, hotels, and other NZ tours. The New Zealand Fine Tours app also is the most comprehensive travel app I have ever seen. This trip in February / March 2023 turned out to be the trip of a lifetime for our group. Thank you New Zealand Fine Tours and Christina Brockie.
Thoroughly enjoyed our Ultimate New Zealand trip. We were able to see so much on the 6 week tour. Thank you for your organization and support of this trip, Lydia.
We had a wonderful time in NZ. Loved every minute. Your itinerary and tours were excellent. Thanks again for arranging this memorable trip.
Shelley I can't say enough good things about our trip! You planned an excellent tour for us! From the beginning in Auckland to our final destination in Christchurch it was 5 star service! Our driver, Anne from Auckland to Rotorua was so knowledgeable, friendly, and totally awesome that she made our stay there so fun! Even though we missed the boat at Waimangu, (due to the walk was a bit longer than we thought!)! Our stay in Queenstown was beautiful with the first dusting of snow on the mountains! We then drove up the West Coast of the South Island and Wow! Spectacular! On the final leg of our journey was the train from Greymouth to Christchurch, totally worth it! Shelley, I want to thank you so much for the fantastic journey you planned for us. I would do it again in a heartbeat!
Well we finally made it after Covid lockdown, etc. Many thanks to Shelley for persevering with us through everything and setting up a truly exciting experience in the South Island. All of the accommodations excellent and in close proximity to the town centres. The Deluxe Tree Lodge at the Rainforest Retreat in Franz Joseph was our favorite. Sadly we missed out on the Helehike in Franz Joseph due to cloud cover but we had an amazing day doing a couple of the local trails. In all a very enjoyable holiday made even the more special for us in that we were able share it with our good friends from the US.
I personally can't say enough about the tour agency or Nichole! She was great, always communicated quickly and set up the trip of a lifetime. It helps we love the country, but she made it that much more special. We have, and continue to tell people about Nichole and your tour agency. She deserves a promotion! I/We want to come back and hope Nichole is part of the team!!!
We’ve finished the tour you put together for us and it was great! We wanted to thank you and report back what we saw and the experiences we had. I hope this isn’t too long, but as a former travel agent myself, I loved getting reports back from clients, and maybe our experiences will help others. We arrived 9 March and stayed with family in Auckland, then began our tour 12 March with our flight to Invercargill. We enjoyed lunch there at the airport before boarding the flight to Stewart Island. It went well, and the van picked us up on arrival and dropped us off in Oban. We called our holiday house manager to come get us. The house was lovely and roomy and right across the road from the beach. We loved it except it was too far and unsafe on a steep winding road to walk 1-2 km into Oban, but we managed with rides from locals and the one taxi on the island! I’m told we could have rented a car there too. Our property manager told us we should go to the quiz night (Sunday) at the pub at the South Seas hotel in town, so we did and had a great time meeting new friends! (We tied for 1st place of 21 teams!) Next day, we missed the ferry option going to Ulva island, but we did some forest hiking. The weather was cool and varied from sunny to light misting. Our scheduled bus tour with Rhys was delightful and very informative. He was a good guide and took us to a few beautiful overlooks and beaches. We really enjoyed seeing the island and would recommend it for adventurous travelers. It’s a unique place! You were correct about the rough ferry crossing—I had to keep myself calm because it was really bouncy! But thankfully we got across ok. The nice lady bus driver at Bluff took us to Invercargill to get our car. We got a very nice upgraded Hyundai Santa Fe. Since Randy is a motorcycle rider and fanatic, he went to see the Motorcycle Mecca museum in Invercargill. They have a really good cafe where we had lunch, then he went in the museum while I walked around the city & looked at shops. Got on the road that afternoon and had a beautiful drive to Dunedin. The road went through gorgeous scenery and the weather was perfect. We loved it! Arrived Dunedin at it 858 George St. at dark and our hotel host was so kind and helpful about things to see there. The hotel was an unusual type, but the suite was nice, clean, and comfortable. I was grateful we had a ground floor unit instead of having to carry our heavy luggage up to the second floor level. It was a nice place with very pleasant staff, but not very close to the city center. On our full day there, we drove out the Otago peninsula to the Albatross Centre. The roads were very hilly and winding but views were fantastic. The Albatross Centre was part museum, gift shop, and cafe, and was a very nice high quality place. We were pleasantly surprised to find two of our quiz night partners from Stewart Island were also there! Had lunch with them then back to town. Looked around a bit in downtown Dunedin, and enjoyed seeing the old buildings. Next day we had a good flight to Christchurch. Our cab driver was waiting in the baggage area holding a sign with our names. He took us to the Rydges hotel, which was very nice. Our room wasn’t ready until 3:00, so we walked around and got familiar again on our third time there! They have built up a lot since we last saw it. We enjoyed seeing the newer things, like the Margaret Mahy playground, the Riverside Market, and the Quake museum. We had a very amazing coincidence occur in the hallway of our floor. A man walked by who I recognized as our former Florida US Senator Bill Nelson who is the current head of our NASA space program! We had a nice chat— how unlikely was that to bump into each other! Had dinner with old friends at our hotel’s Bloody Mary’s restaurant that night which was very good. Early next morning, our cab arrived and delivered us to the train station where we met and sat with our two friends from Seattle. They had taken advice from our Auckland family and had visited Hanmer Springs and Kaikoura and really enjoyed both. Our train journey was a real highlight and we all loved it! We had perfect weather and great views along the way. The ferry crossing went well and we had a smooth ride. We were lucky to have had an easy trip as we heard several ferries had been cancelled recently. Our taxi wasn’t there on our arrival so we called Blue Bubble to have one sent and it came in 5 minutes. There were several cabs around so probably just a mix-up. We had a great suite at CityLife hotel-very comfortable and a great location. In the morning we met our friends and rode the tram up to the top of the hill and enjoyed the walk down through the gardens on a warm sunny day. Lunch at the Picnic cafe there was great, with wonderful food and atmosphere. That afternoon we walked to the Te Papa museum—we all really enjoyed it and wished we had more time. The Gallipoli exhibit was incredible. Next morning we had a nice conversation with our taxi driver and a pleasant flight back to Auckland. This is where our tour ended, but the trip continued. We were set to go to Australia but Randy’s visa did not come, so we went with Plan B. We rented a car and drove up to Whangarei, which was beautiful! We loved all the art and natural beauty. Drove to Whangarei Heads and Ocean Beach—so lovely. Next day we explored all the art museums especially the Hundertwasser—so cool! Then we went to the Whangārei Quarry Gardens and Whangarei Falls, which were beautiful. We loved being in NZ for the third time and hope to come back again. I’m sure our friends will want to go once we tell them how awesome it is, and we will refer them to you if they would like to plan a tour. If we can help by posting any comments or fill out a survey, we’d be happy to. Thanks again for your guidance!
Fantastic trip! The arrangements were perfect and went smoothly. All the bookings went as planned and we had a thoroughly wonderful experience. Having an in-country host to make detailed plans for us and to be available as we traveled really made things easy and gave us peace of mind. This was the second trip arranged by Shelley and she did an outstanding job!
Well, we are home and unpacked, sadly. We had a fantastic time, thanks to you and your company. Shelley, our tour advisor was so wonderful, patient, informative and accommodating. She addressed our concerns, was thorough in details and necessary information, put us at ease and paved the way for a safe and memorable vacation. I wish we could have met her. All went quite smoothly. The desk clerk at the M Social hotel in Auckland kept trying to charge us for the room and valet parking. After looking into our account, at check in and out, he determined that all was well.
Hi Chelsea, Thank you for the wonderful travel experience you prepared for us for our first visit to New Zealand. It was truly magical and exceeded all of our expectations. Working with you these past several years has been wonderful. As you know we booked our original trip with you prior to the COVID epidemic and had to cancel that trip and put all of our travel plans on hold. During this stressful time, you would still reach out to us periodically to give us updates on what was going on in NZ with regard to travel. When NZ opened up, we rebooked with a different itinerary. Our entire experience from the moment we were greeted at the airport to our final minute leaving went perfectly. I was so impressed that all of the excursions had our information, and everything was just so easy, no mess no fuss. Our accommodations were all lovely. I recommended you to my son Nick and he is now traveling through NZ on an itinerary for his family during their spring break. From the pictures they are sending, it looks like they are having an equally great time. Many, many thanks again! I hope to return someday soon. You and New Zealand Fine Touring are the BEST!
Christina, you planned an absolutely AMAZING trip for our family. It was just the right amount of sight seeing and planned activities along with time to explore on our own. Every place we stayed at was fantastic, except the XXX which was just ok. It was fine but definitely not as beautiful or luxurious as the other hotels. You listened to everything we wanted and did an outstanding job. We felt that you listened to all of our wants and needs. You or someone from your office was always available to answer questions in a very timely manner. We appreciated your availability. We highly recommend you and your company. Thank you for planning a trip of a lifetime for us!
Our New Zealand tour with Fine Tours New Zealand was excellent. Our contact agent Shelley Ryder put together a wonderful itinerary taking into account our ages, capabilities and needs. We are reasonably fit 70yos and Shelley checked in with us about various activities, like Underground Caving, kayaking and the Helihike I had ticked, to explain what was involved. We were able to easily fine tune a few experiences when we got there just with a phone call to their NZ number. We loved the “app” which gave detailed explanations about our itinerary, the hotels, towns, sights. We referred to it constantly.Every hotel and activity was top class. The tour was seamless, no hiccups at all. I would highly recommend Shelley and Fine Tours New Zealand to anyone thinking of visiting this gorgeous place.
If we were to pick one word to describe our experience with Chelsea Lodge and Fine Tours New Zealand, that word would be EXCEPTIONAL! We began working with Chelsea in 2019 planning a January 2021 trip. Needless to say, all plans were placed on hold with the onset of the Covid pandemic. Chelsea persevered and reassured us along the way that it would be “ALL GOOD”. She was indeed correct. What started, as a 3 week tour of New Zealand, gradually expanded (due to our additions) to 54 days and 3510 miles of driving covering North, South, and Stewart Islands. Chelsea helped plan an extraordinary customized adventure for us that not only met our expectations, but exceeded them! Communication from Chelsea and Fine Tours New Zealand was superb throughout the planning and implementation process. All the places we stayed were unique and wonderful. The distances driven on any given day were well thought out and not fatiguing. The car rentals on North and South Islands along with all Ferry transfers between Islands went without a hitch. We feel that Fine Tours New Zealand’s Mobile App with our itinerary was invaluable. This is a well thought out App providing town and lodging names including how many nights. It contained contact phone numbers and reservation/reference numbers for all lodging and excursions. There was a mountain of information regarding history, geography, culture, flora and fauna of the area we would be visiting, how many miles to the next destination and what we might see along the way. It also supplied some restaurant recommendations and additional attractions at our destinations. Chelsea provided excellent suggestions along with the costs of varying activities in the towns and villages at our destinations. All we had to do when planning, was select from her suggested list of activities in which we wished to participate and she took care of scheduling them before and during the trip. If a problem or time change arose, Chelsea or someone else at Fine Tours would email or text us, therefore we did not encounter any glitches for the 2 months that we were there. If we read about something else that we wanted to do during the planning process, or even during the trip, we just let Chelsea know and she would make the reservations for us. The App was instantly updated. We cannot strongly emphasize enough how easy and stress free this made our adventure knowing that Chelsea or someone else at Fine Tours New Zealand was available to help us, even in case of an emergency. In 54 days, we only had one activity modified and one cancelled due to weather and received prompt refunds from Fine Tours New Zealand for both changes. We have already recommended Fine Tours New Zealand, and specifically Chelsea, to our family and friends. Given the high likelihood that we will return to this wonderful country someday, Chelsea and Fine Tours New Zealand will be our first call.