—It was a great introduction to a beautiful and scenic country.
“The Fine Tours representative met us at Auckland airport and helped us get our car hire sorted. Driving in New Zealand was easy because of good roads and the lack of traffic! The driving directions were clear, and we were glad of the security of knowing that accommodation was booked and waiting for us. Our first stop, in Paihia in the Bay of Islands did not disappoint: lovely warm sunny weather and a state-of-the-art motel unit with a dishwasher! We loved the area and would return there if we visit again. Other favourite places on our itinerary included Lake Tekapo, Mount Cook village, Kaikoura and Queenstown. We are keen walkers and were able to do some hiking on a modest level. New Zealand really manage the environment well and paths were well laid out and marked. The drive from Queenstown to Franz Joseph, which promised to be long and arduous, turned out to be breathtaking as we drove beside Lake Wanaka and followed the road up the west coast in sparkling sunshine. Queenstown was such fun and the enthusiasm for adventure is quite infectious: had we had more time there we would have tried ever more daring activities! While we were keen to see lots of New Zealand we did find it quite hard sometimes to tear ourselves away from a place we liked, but we were nearly always delighted by the next place, with the possible exception of Rotorua, which we found unattractive and smelling strongly of sulphur! The motel units varied a lot, but were mostly of a good quality. It would be helpful to know in your information booklet, however, what level of cooking facilities there are: some places, such as Kaikoura had only a microwave, and although there was a BBQ, it would have helped us plan our self-catering a bit in advance to know what was in the unit. Similarly, the farmstay at Lake Tekapo included breakfast, but we didn't know till we got there that they would also provide an evening meal by prior arrangement. This would have been welcome, as the journey there was long and it is some distance from the village. The manager there was really welcoming, and it was a nice homely place to stay. All our organised trips ran smoothly:the ferry crossing from Wellington to Picton, the Milford Sound cruise, the Shotover Jetboat and the Heli-hike on Franz Joseph glacier were all worth doing. The train journey from Greymouth to Christchurch, on our penultimate day, was a relaxing, informative way to bring our trip to a close: there was commentary along the way and an outside viewing platform on the train which allowed us to get fresh air and take photos. We liked being in Christchurch, though were saddened to see the earthquake damage, which has made much of the city inaccessible. However the spirit of the people there is wonderful: indeed all the New Zealanders we met were friendly, welcoming and positive. They clearly take a pride in their country also: there was very little litter! We are glad we went with Fine Tours: it was a great introduction to a beautiful and scenic country.John and Susan MacKenzie”
—John & Susan MacKenzie
—We cannot fault this company because they are brilliant.
“We loved our trip to New Zealand. Although we had a lot of choice about things we wanted to see and do, after that Fine Tours New Zealand organised everything. From the time we landed until when the time we flew out, all our needs were anticipated and catered for. This meant that we had a very relaxing and enjoyable time. We cannot fault this company because they are brilliant.”
—Rory & Jeanette Blandford, AUS
—Really nice to just enjoy our trip while not worrying about the logistics.
“We wanted a memorable visit to New Zealand, and trusting Fine Tours to arrange it turned out to be a great decision. We had eighteen fabulous days, and were thrilled with every hotel and excursion that Fine Tours helped us select. It was really nice to just enjoy our trip while not worrying about the logistics. I still had to contend with driving on the wrong side of the road, but that added a few thrills that even a touring company can't provide!”
—Mark & Denise Nelson, USA
—The itinerary was just right ... not easily arranged without your valuable knowledge of NZ.
“Some Dictionary definitions of “FINE” are; of the highest quality, free from imperfections, excellent , admirable. Last week we returned from a “Fine Tours NZ Ltd” Self Drive 20 Day South Island National Parks Tour in our opinion they most certainly deserve to call their Company Fine Tours. I would have absolutely no hesitation in highly recommending this Company to intending travelers to NZ. To be honest we are a recently retired couple who take pleasure from our 4WD camping trips in Australia sometimes for months at a time. The freedom it gives us to do whatever we desire without any time restraints is wonderful. So initially we were apprehensive planning a fixed itinerary for our first overseas holiday. However, our doubts were set aside as Fine Tours delivered an exceptionally well planned itinerary which still allowed some flexibility. We had peace of mind that good accommodation was booked and paid ready for each night. Sure, there were many time restraints for tours etc. but overall we still had plenty of freedom to work around these bookings to sightsee, participate in other activities or just relax. It was easy. All our holiday was booked via internet with David Kettle who always promptly replied to our emails with sound advice. From the time we arrived to the time we left we could not fault the arrangements. At the Airport a friendly woman was there to greet us and drive us to our motel. The next morning right on time the rental car was delivered, almost new only 11,000km. The overall service provided was excellent. I was very impressed with the detailed copy of our itinerary complete with driving instructions, maps, points of interest and suggestions for daily activities. Informative supplied brochures and NZ book. No complaints about accommodation. We requested kitchen facilities. David delivered and we enjoyed everywhere we stayed. One host even upgraded us to an ocean view room , others late check-outs or early check-in. The voucher system worked well - no problem with any bookings. Some highlights we really enjoyed were viewing the pup seals at North Kaikoura, relaxing at Hanmer Springs, an Abel Tasman Aqua Taxi cruise and walk, unique pancake rocks, a Franz Josef Glacier hike and later the thermal pools, Kiwi Haka Show, a great buffet meal with spectacular views over Queenstown. Just in the first 9 days – lots more to come. David booked two Real Journeys cruises . We were impressed by their organizational skills and friendly, efficient staff. We enjoyed the Doubtful Sound Overnight cruise remote wilderness experience , the cabin was larger than expected and food was delicious. The friendly Captain allowed us into the wheelhouse and was willing to answer our questions. This cruise is a great way to spend 24 hours. On the eve of our Milford Sound Cruise we became aware that snow was forecast so at late notice we rang Real Journeys (on mobile provided by Fine Tours – Thanks) and with no hassle booked a coach from Te Anua. We relaxed and enjoyed the commentary and the beautiful scenery in the snow instead of worrying about chains, etc. We did not expect snow in November so the Milford Sound cruise was really more scenic and the recent rains had the waterfalls running well. Another great day enjoyed on the waterways of NZ. Just a few more highlights Stewart Island (2 nights). The hosts were friendly and Peter Tait’s Ulva Island nature walk was a great experience. If you like a train journey I can recommend taking a very scenic trip from Dunedin Railway Station to Taieri Gorge and return (4hrs). To try and cut a long story short I’ll just mention one more highlight. At Mt Cook we booked a Glacier Explorers boat trip on Tasman Lake. Very well managed by the tour guides, informative and well worth the visit to get up close to icebergs. I overheard one tourist say everywhere you go NZ has the wow factor ! Just what I was thinking at the time. From what you have already read there is probably no need to sum up our holiday and tell you it was fantastic. We loved the relaxed South Island and the beautiful scenery. Well done Fine Tours. The itinerary was just right, including the distances driven each day, the points of interest we viewed, the activities we participated in, the accommodation, etc. not easily arranged without your valuable knowledge of NZ. Apart from the holiday feedback I would like say to potential travelers to NZ that another plus for us was the website. It was mind boggling searching the internet until I discovered the Fine Tours website. I instantly gave up trying to organize it myself. I selected a holiday that I thought we would enjoy at a cost within our budget. David was able to modify this tour slightly to meet our desires. The beauty of Fine Tours was that David somehow manages to fit all these wonderful options into your tour at a price you are happy to spend overall without needing to know the actual costs of any individual item. If we did we perhaps would tighten our belts and miss out on some wonderful options. Congratulations and a big thank you from Ron and Kay. Hope to contact you at another time to visit the North Island. ”
—Kay and Ron Locke, AUS
—Itinerary was well planned and accomodations were better than expected.
“Overall we had a nice trip,sceneries were breathtaking, the itinerary was well planned and accomodations were better than expected. The local tours and meals were on the expensive side due to NZ's relatively high standard of living though.”
—Cheng Piw Lau and family
—Would recommend every aspect of the tour, and the use of Fine Tours, to anyone.
“Toured the South Island from 27th Dec 2011 to 7th Jan 2012 and had a brilliant time. Many thanks to Fine Tours for some spot on organisation; all of the accommodation was super though the best was undoubtedly in Wanaka. We thoroughly enjoyed every day, but the best was the Siberia Experience from Makarora. The flight was excellent; the walk beautiful and the final jet boat ride exhilarating. Would recommend every aspect of the tour, and the use of Fine Tours, to anyone. ”
—Jon & Jane Binner
—Thanks to Kerry for the help in organising the trip.
“We had a great time in NZ Nth Island from 26 Nov to 8 Dec 2011. Thanks to Kerry for the help in organising the trip, the accomodation and his patience in answering our queries. The phone provided was really useful for communication between 2 cars and for booking of activities. All of the accomodation we stayed at were up to expectation. We enjoyed our stay at Tarata Fishaway (Taihape)the most. The view at the Tree House is fantastic and the host (Stephen & Trudi) were friendly and helpful. We had a wonderful time with Stephen rafting down the river.”
—Koh Bee Bee and Family, SGP
—Thank you, Fine Tours for taking the hassle out of the planning of the trip for us
“The tour was superbly arranged down to the finest detail. The B&Bs we stayed at were all wonderful and the hosts were very friendly and attentive. The Kruse navigation system in the hired car was a great idea. The route that was planned for us, was well thought out and we saw many splendid sights. We did not know that New Zealand is so breathtakingly beautiful. Thank you, fine tours for taking the hassle out of the planning of the trip for us and for doing such a professional job. I definitely recommend this company to anyone wanting to visit New Zealand.”
—Finzel and Alan Martin
—Your organisation of a very brief stay was without fault.
“Paul and I enjoyed our trip to the South Island immensely. Your organisation of a very brief stay was without fault. Your staff who greeted us at Christchurch airport were so welcoming and informative. Picking up the hire car at Greymouth went well and I would recommend the Kruse GPS to everyone. The standard of accommodation was very good. Our hosts at Camelot Motor Lodge in Christchurch were fabulous and very attentive. The apartment at Garden Court in Queenstown had the most spectacular views over the lake and the Remarkables. Thank you and we will be back. Regards Jane and Paul Healey.”
—Paul & Jane Healey, AUS
—The little extras ... made the trip effortless.
“Very well organised and flexible tour. The little extras such as sat nav, guide books for each area and NZ mobile phone (with credit) made the trip effortless. Would happily recommend to friends.”
—David Hickey and Michael Hoult, GBR