—Our South Island driving tour and transfer up to Tauranga was most enjoyable.
“Our South Island driving tour and transfer up to Tauranga was most enjoyable. It was well-planned by Fine Tours and we had no trouble finding our way or staying on schedule. The accommodations were all very pleasing, especially the Hapuku Lodge and Treehouses, just North of Kaikoura. Our suite there was luxurious and they have a wonderful chef. We can recommend Fine Tours N.Z.”
—Mr John & Mrs Linda Drapeau, USA
—All the activity bookings etc. went as planned and we were treated very well throughout our entire trip
“Thanks very much to Michelle and all at New Zealand Fine Touring for organising our holiday. We very much enjoyed seeing New Zealand, the weather was perfect and everything went as smoothly as possible. Michelle was very accommodating when doing the initial planning and got the whole trip sorted at quite short notice. The private transfers to/from the airport were an excellent way to start and end the journey. The itinerary package was comprehensive and the Kruse GPS unit was a great way to learn more about the areas we passed through. All the activity bookings etc. went as planned and we were treated very well throughout our entire trip. The accommodation was mostly very good. We especially enjoyed the George in Christchurch where the food was excellent and the service absolutely top notch.”
—Daniel Mead & Lisa Edhouse, AUS
—We had so much fun working with Shelley on the perfect itinerary
“We just want to thank Fine Tours for their attention to detail as we spent 28 days exploring the North and South Islands. We had so much fun working with Shelley on the perfect itinerary for everything we wanted to accomplish. We booked our first trip to NZ in 2013 through Fine Tours and we were so impressed (with the country and Fine Tours) that we decided to return in 2014. All of the accommodations were great, in beautiful locations and many of them had kitchenettes and laundry facilities. We were away from home for 2 months so these features were really important to us. We were especially impressed with Shelley’s responsiveness as we customized our itinerary and we were able to change things right up to the last minute. I highly recommend Fine Tours New Zealand to anyone that is traveling to NZ and is somewhat unfamiliar with the country. In fact, we will be returning in 2015 and, of course, will be booking our perfect trip with the help of Fine Tours.”
—Jeanne & Mario Lucciarini, USA
—Fine Tours NZ also provides a lot of added value in terms of information, tools and support
“We had a wonderful 23-day trip around New Zealand, and really appreciated Michelle’s assistance in organizing everything for us, particularly as we were a bit last-minute in getting it booked, so weren’t up to the task of trying to do it all ourselves. Fine Tours NZ also provides a lot of added value in terms of information, tools and support; I’m glad we used them and would recommend to others, even if you usually make your own arrangements as we do. The website was very helpful in identifying our interests and desired activities, and is a brilliant way to get started. We were able to customize our itinerary and in most cases went with the accommodations suggested by Michelle, with only a couple of modifications based on our research. We were very pleased with everywhere we stayed; as promised on the website, they were all in good locations which I think is key. The Bolton in Wellington was the most out of the way, being a good walk to most of the restaurants and waterfront, but only by a few blocks – and it was a lovely hotel. Our favorite was Fletcher Lodge in Dunedin. Generally, Michelle understood what sort of accommodations we were looking for and was able to quickly recommend and book what we wanted, saving us hours of effort. Detailed reviews for each property are on Trip Advisor. We pre-booked activities for the first couple days of our trip, which was great as we didn’t have to think about it. The wine tour was perfect, and we got very lucky with the weather for our day at Milford Sound. A fellow passenger said she’d spent a lot of time researching all the tour companies that go to Milford before picking this one; I felt fortunate we were able to rely on FTNZ to do all that for us! At the other end of our trip, we didn’t pre-book the Americas Cup sail in Auckland, as we wanted to be flexible regarding the weather, which turned out to be a good idea since it was so windy that it was cancelled the first two days we were there. Being met at the airport on arrival in Queenstown, with a bag full of materials for our trip, was a great way to start. The full-color road atlas was wonderful, and so helpful as we were driving around the country, even more than the bound copy of our itinerary and driving instructions for each leg of the trip. Having all the brochures about the cities we were visiting, and the cuisine guide, was also a nice touch. The provided cell phone with airtime credit was also good to have, as we were able to give an emergency contact number to our family before we left (although thankfully no one used it!) and it was handy for making local calls – or if we’d needed to call back to the US, at the same rate as local calls, surprisingly. I did bring an unlocked smartphone and bought a NZ SIM card so we would have internet access, which I highly recommend – for only $20 I was able to check maps and other info while we were driving, as well as access e-mail, even when WiFi was unavailable or not working well (our one frustration with New Zealand). The Kruse Travel Guide GPS system is a great idea, although the technology seems to be in need of an update. Our first unit was almost unusable as the touchscreen was going bad. I called Michelle (thanks again for the phone!) and she immediately arranged to have a replacement unit sent to our next destination – great customer service, and so nice to have that kind of support. The second unit was much better. As a GPS, it is a very rudimentary system, lacking many of the features one might be accustomed to, such as the ability to see an overview of the route, time/distance to destination, or save addresses. And sometimes it seemed to be sending us in a questionable or wrong direction – heading from Queenstown to Dunedin, I questioned a turn and checked Google Maps, then we stopped to ask a local and she turned us around and pointed us back in the direction Google Maps indicated, rather than continuing to follow the Kruse directions. Perhaps we would have gotten there eventually but it seemed like a much longer backroad route. Most of the time, however, it was very useful, and certainly much better than not having a GPS – I would just recommend supplementing it with printed maps and/or a smartphone to be sure. And the travel guide commentary was a unique and special benefit; it really added to our overall experience to listen to bits of local history and Maori legends as we drove.”
—Donna & Gary Brooks, USA
—Put together an excellent itinerary for us covering both North and South Islands.
“Just back from a lovely month in this beautiful country and very happy with the organization, help and support provided by"Fine Touring". It's always difficult deciding where to go and what to see to make the most of your time in a new location but this company put together an excellent itinerary for us covering both North and South islands. Also importantly the accommodation selected for us was superb - mostly small boutique places where nothing was too much trouble and standard of accommodation was exceptional. We were very impressed with the cleanliness of the country and the friendliness of the people. In Rotorua we were standing outside a supermarket waiting for a rain storm to ease when we were offered a lift back to our hotel by a lady we had never met. Lovely just driving around this beautiful country but take advantage of some of the trips offered by Fine Tours and you will have a holiday of a lifetime! Our highlight was a helicopter trip landing on a glacier just after a snowfall - awesome! Would recommend Fine Tours as a responsible professional company who will be there for you not only in the organisation but also importantly during your time in New Zealand.”
—Stephen and Janet Banfield, GBR
—We loved our short trip to the North Island. All very organized, and complete
“We loved our short trip to the north island. All very organized, and complete, we had enough time to veer off the main road and enjoy some scenery close by. The hotels were fine, next time would love to stay at Huka lodge. Uncle Harding was right on time, such a great welcome to your beautiful country. Many thanks for the great atlas. We will return.”
—Richard & Betty O'Harren, USA
—Everything arranged by FTNZ went off perfectly from the airport pick-up to the final return of our rental car.
“We just returned from a three week vacation organized by Fine Tours New Zealand. It was an amazing experience. We chose to stay primarily at B&B's all of which we found to be wonderful places to stay. I would recommend three in particular. If you go through Rotorua, I would encourage you to stay with Christine at Doolan's Country Retreat. She has a beautiful place and was a terrific host. If you stay in Nelson, stay at the Baywick Inn. IT's a very nice place in a good location. The owners were also very helpful. If you are going to Queenstown, and I can't imagine any trip to New Zealand without at least a few days there, stay with Kim at The Turret, right across from Lake Hayes. She was very helpful with dinner recommendations and other site seeing options. We also would highly recommend The Westwood resort in Franz Josef. A feature that FTNZ provided that was a very pleasant surprise was the Kruse GPS system. It obviously gave directions well but it also told very interesting stories about the history of areas as you passed through along with interesting Maori legends. They also provided a cell phone that made it easy to make local calls for reservations and to confirm activities, plus nice to have in case of an emergency. Activities we would recommend would be Waihiki Island wine tasting tour, river rafting in Rotorua (thrilling), you have to attend a Maori traditional dinner somewhere and the one in Rotorua is a good one, Abel Tasman kayaking, Franz Josef helicopter, and you have to bungy jump in Queenstown, along with the Shotover jet boat and rafting tour. Everything arranged by FTNZ went off perfectly from the airport pick-up to the final return of our rental car. They also were very quick to respond to activities that were cancelled and find alternatives or give credit back. We were 100% satisfied and look forward to using them again when we return to see some of the places we missed on this one. By the way, I would have added an extra day at many of our stops if I did it over again.”
—Rob & Patti Penrod, USA
—Everything worked out well from the super hired car to the terrific accommodation.
“Dear Jessica and all at Fine Tours, Many thanks for organising a great trip. Everything worked out well from the super hired car to the terrific accommodation. It was lovely to be chauffeured from and to the airport, as well as being picked up from the station after the Trans Alpine ride back into Christchurch. We were lucky to have perfect weather most of the time so we saw your beautiful country at its very best. We would certainly recommend your company to anyone planning a trip to NZ. Thanks to all involved in providing us with such a lovely holiday. Julie & Richard Moxley”
—Richard & Julie Moxley, GBR
—Would have no hesitation in recommending fine Tours to any first time travelers.
“ We are very pleased to provide some feedback . We particularly liked the B & B in Kerikeri, good position & well placed for touring the area with a friendly host. The motel accommodation in Napier exceeded expectations , very large room, great position & the owners , again , very helpful & welcoming.On our return visit to Trinity Wharf , Tauranga , we thought the hotel better than our last visit and got some free wifi . Room very nice overlooking the water . Taupo hotel OK . Good public areas but thought room was rather small . Again nice position overlooking the lake . Uncle met us promptly from the ship and was helpful & friendly . Also many thanks for the use of the mobile , just a small point , the phone battery needed completely charging on receipt . Thank you personally Shelley for arranging our tour so efficiently , you were most helpful and accommodating . Everything worked perfectly . As you know we have used Fine Tours before and would do so again and would have no hesitation in recommending fine Tours to any first time travelers. Best wishes , Richard & Alyson ”
—Richard & Alyson Wise, GBR
—We had a wonderful week touring the south island. You have a very beautiful country, very nice people, and great hospitality.
“ Shelley, 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. Thx Craig ”
—Craig & Andrew Beyler, USA