Fine Tours New Zealand
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Tour Reviews (281)

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Tour Reviews

Tour review from Robyn, David and Ira Mabel, USA
Robyn, David and Ira Mabel, USA, 26 day self drive tour, Auckland to Dunedin, December 2009

—Review: 26 day self drive tour in New Zealand

“ David, we've been back for a little over a week and I apologize that it's taken me this long to thank you for the great trip that you arranged for us. We enjoyed every minute of our visit to your country. All of the arrangements, except for a couple of minor snafus with Europcar, went smoothly. All of the details that you thought to include (cell phone, Kruze, GPS, maps and brochures, etc.) were wonderful. These things made our travels from place to place relaxing and extremely enjoyable and left us with nothing more major to decide than where to eat and what to see. And, as a result, we were able to see and do just about everything. Our hotels/motels/bed and breakfasts were excellent. The hosts at all of these places couldn't have been nicer. We enjoyed listening to Kruze although my son who did most of the driving expressed that he would have appreciated more lively music at some points instead of mostly calming classical music. Unfortunately, when we had to downsize our car in Greymouth to a Ford Focus, there was only one outlet and we chose to use the GPS. So we weren't able to listen to Mr. Kruze from that point on. Our visit to New Zealand has to rank as one of our most, if not the most, fantastic vacations that we've taken. And we will recommend your company to everyone we know if they're planning a trip down under. Thank you very much. Robyn”

—Robyn, David and Ira Mabel, USA

Tour review from Bruce and June Knight
Bruce and June Knight, USA, 11 Day self drive tour, Southern Alps & Southern Lakes, December 2009

“Number 1, you were exactly right when you said we needed more time. I'd like to thank you as well as everyone that was involved in putting this together for us. It was first class service all the way through. Great and outstanding job everyone had done. We loved it so well that eventually we intend to return in the future, this time for a much longer time span, we missed so much due to the time constraints. Again thank you all. Have a great New Year to all. Bruce & June ”

—Bruce and June Knight

Tour review from Stephen and Anne Tall, USA
Stephen and Ann Tall, USA, 13 day self drive tour, South Island Coast to Coast, December 2009

“We are back from the trip and had a great time. Thanks for arranging everything, even at the last minute. The car rental company didn't have the car we reserved (that's nothing new) but other than that everything went exactly according to plan. All the hoteliers were friendly and helpful, especially at the Camelot Motor Lodge, the Motel on York and the Lakefront Lodge. The room we had at Garden Court had an excellent lake view. The A2B drivers were all friendly and prompt and the provided map book with the route outlined was a pleasant surprise. We would definitely recommend Fine Tours to any of our friends who might think of doing the same kind of trip. Thanks again, Steve & Anne. ”

—Stephen and Anne Tall, USA

Tour review from James and Paula Pritchett
James and Paula Pritchett, 17 day self drive tour, Auckland to the Southern Alps, September 2009

“ David, Kerry, All Just wanted you to know that everything went amazingly well. There was not a single hangup, detail lost, or even a hint of an issue along the entire way. I am most impressed. You certainly did a wonderful job of arranging everything for us. Rest assured that we will recommend your services at any opportunity. At Great Ponsonby we met another of your tour clients. They are from San Francisco and this is their first trip with you. We shared all of our successes with them. The Kruse was a very nice touch and should be continued. There is quite a lot of work in putting a system like that together. It made a lot of difference in our ability to understand the area and to know when to be on the lookout for an upcoming sight. All of the hotel and B&B choices were great. No where could we find fault with anything. This, of course, prompts me to ask what other tour opportunities do you have? we are anxious to travel to other places during the next year and would love to find out if you can provide assistance outside of New Zealand. Sincerely, Jim”

—James and Paula Pritchett

Tour review from Pierre Dubois and Lyne Bonin, CAN
Pierre Dubois and Lyne Bonin, Canada, 7 day self drive tour, November 2009

“Hello Kerry, We had a very nice trip, very well organized. Everything went according to plan including the nice weather that you scheduled. We had blue skies to visit the Milford fjord, I think that is a feat in it self. It was nice to be greeted at the Auckland airport to switch to the domestic flight. The hotels/restaurant were all very nice. We got a free room upgrade in Te Anau with a view on the lake. We did not know if our rooms included the view. We had it almost every where except in Queenstown. It was very nice to have the cell phone and cost estimates to make calls. Seeing that it was inexpensive and that we had not used it, on the last day we made 5 or 6 short calls to familly and friends staying well within our 50$ budget... ”

—Pierre Dubois and Lyne Bonin, CAN

Tour review from Manni and Gordon Knight, CAN
Manni and Gordon Knight, Canada, 19 day self drive tour, North and South Islands, November 2009

“Good Morning David, We posted the mobile from Christchurch from the post office near the Heritage Hotel. There should be loads of time on the mobile because we did not use the phone very much, approximately more than $35.00. We had made prearrangements with our son to stay in touch via email and/or calls, he made using a prepaid cheapie phone card from Canada. The other reason for the loads of time was we wanted to ensure we had phone time available for any emergencies that might crop up. You were quite right about telecom costs as I saw a woman frantically feed the payphone with coinage at Greymouth and the posted hotel charges for local calls. Having a mobile at our disposal was a real blessing and comfort. I don’t know if you send out surveys to your clients for their customer experience but I am in the process of writing about the good and the few glitches that happened along the way that were either resolved by us or by you. Overall, David and Kerry, Fine Tours did a wonderful job of introducing their country to first time visitors. We were told a number of times by fellow travellers that we could have probably made our own arrangements for less expense, but they forgot to include value in terms of enjoyment vs. money out. We avoided having many of their frustrations i.e. hotel arrangements, getting lost (GPS and wonderful maps) and it was good to know we knew someone in NZ who we could contact in the event of an emergency. Fine Tours made our holiday an adventure of a lifetime and that is what we hoped for and experienced. Thank you. FYI - We were fortunate we did not get jet lag as we managed some sleep on the overnight flight sitting in the cheapie economy. The first activity we did upon our arrival in Auckland was tramp (yes walk) up to the top of Rangitito Island and back with our new “American friends” introduced to us by Gerry. What a strange way to spend your first day in Auckland, tramp up a dormant volcano after being in transit for 26 hours. But, as we were later to learn, this is a typical Kiwi – they are very physically active people and they always are on the move because it is so beautiful in New Zealand. We had 16 days of brilliant sunshine out 19 days and this included Milford Sound and Franz Josef. Go out and enjoy a few moments with your daughter. Merry Christmas from Manni and Gord Knight ”

—Manni and Gordon Knight, CAN

Tour review from Maureen and Tom McMullen, USA
Maureen and Tom McMullen, California, USA, 16 day Self Drive tour North and South Islands, October 2009

“As you know we got back yesterday from NZ though it was hard to leave & we hope to return in the not too distant future now that we have an idea of what it has to offer.  The views were magnificent & the people are wonderful & we had a great time.   We loved the Great Ponsonby & it was the perfect place to start our trip, Eliza's was wonderful & so friendly we would have loved to stay a few more days with Ann & Harold.  We are so glad we stayed in the Dock Bay as the views were amazing, actually the whole place is to die for & Dawn, Mark & Diane were such lovely people.  Westwood lodge was so modern & the helicopter trip we took there was amazing.  With your help & expertise we saw a lot & stayed in many wonderful places.  The exception was the Heritage on our last night/day in Auckland it was awful if it hadn't been so late & we hadn't been so tired we would not have stayed in that room.  The carpet was stained, the paintwork was shabby and needed touch-up, the armoire was so warped that the door wouldn't close & the room decor itself was depressing, it overlooked the restaurant & was obviously in the old part of the hotel.  We did tell the front desk when we were checking out, they didn't seem that bothered but we told them they should have a manager look at the room because it reflected very badly on their hotel.  When we checked in there was confusion about our booking & the late check out seemed to be one hour later but we did eventually get the room until late afternoon.  Had we stayed there on our first night instead of the Great Ponsonby it would not have been a good first impression of the country & I wish we had stayed with them on our last night too.Thanks for your help with everything the pick ups, voucher system worked really well & it was so nice to know we had places to stay along the way.  The help & advice from our hosts along the way was invaluable.You made our first trip to NZ a great experience; we've already recommended Fine Tours to others and will do so whenever we get a chance.Thanks again, Maureen & Tom”

—Maureen and Tom McMullen, USA

Tour review from Kathleen & Mitchell Cheeseman, USA
Kathleen and Mitchell Cheeseman, Virginia, USA, 27 day self drive tour, North and South Islands

“This is a belated, short thank you note and recommendation for FTNZ.   You may remember that I first contacted you in late 2007 for a trip my husband and I wanted to take in March/April of 2009.  Most folks think I’m nuts that I start planning that far out, but you were more than willing to start working with me.  We did some work – then it appeared I wouldn’t be able to take the trip.  I promised you that I would contact you when my financial situation changed and I was able to take the trip.   Sure enough situations do change, and when I recontacted you in around Sept of 2008, you were able to pick back up where we left off and put together a trip in roughly the same time period that was original envisioned that was amazingly suited to our interests, desires, and price range.    In particular, this insane planner, appreciated your superb logistical support which allowed me to focus on planning the sights we wanted to see and the time frames we wanted spend – while you dealt with the details of accommodations and various other reservations.   Even with 20-20 hindsight there are very few changes I’d recommend to someone else who had the same interests (lots of history and nature at a leisurely pace in nice B&Bs).   I have recommended you to others since I’ve been back and will continue to do so.  Thanks again”

—Kathleen & Mitchell Cheeseman, USA

Tour review from Janice and Lew Watson, AUS
Jan and Lew Watson, Brisbane, Australia, 8 day self drive tour South Island, July 2009

“David,  Just a short note to say "thank you".  Our trip to NZ was the best and more than we could have hoped for.  Apparently the best snow for 5 years!!! what is this about global warming?  The reason we went was to see snow and that we did. It was absolutely beautiful and where there was no snow the scenery was awesome.  What a lovely country you have.  Why are you all over here? We have successfully introduced a monster into our family because the grandboys took to snowboarding like ducks to water.  They just have to finance it now!!! The kruse was a bonus, we enjoyed having it and was interested in the history of the places (very aggressive lot eh?). The phone we could probably done without as we didn't need to use it much. Anyway thanks again, we have already recommended you to others.”

—Janice and Lew Watson, AUS

Tour review from Joan & Richard Hannah, USA
Richard and Joan Hannah, Salem, MA, USA, 17 day self drive tour, North Island, April 2009

“We have been back to the United Sates for a little over a month--still basking in the afterglow of our wonderful visit to your country.  We had a wonderful trip--thanks to New Zealand Fine Tours.We arrived in Auckland at about 6:00 am after a very long series of flights from Boston, Massachusetts, USA.  Your charming representative met us, took us to the car rental counter, and sent us on our way with superb maps, books and Kruse.  These amenities were invaluable for our visit in New Zealand. We wish to  comment on the Bed and Breakfast stops that you set up for us: Spectacular!We headed off on a pleasant Sunday drive stopping for breakfast in Hamilton.  We found the tours at Waitomo Caves excellent.  Then on to Liz and Evan Cowan’s Kamahi Cottage--a magnificent bed and breakfast.  Liz prepared a wonderful dinner for us that she served at Kamahi Cottage. What a treat!  Liz and Evan came by later to visit with us on the porch of the cottage.  Breakfast the next morning at their spacious dining room was excellent and followed by fine advice for our upcoming travels.  They are gracious hosts indeed.Later on we spent two nights at the Clover Downs Estate.  Lynn and Lloyd were our hosts.  We were near Rotorua which is a fine place to visit and we thoroughly enjoyed the history and charm of the region.  Even so, we  continue to linger as we look at the pictures taken from the Clover Downs Estate farm tour.  Lloyd spent a lot of time with us as we toured his place and learned about New Zealand agriculture, forests, sheep, border collies, deer, cattle, ostriches and more.  Another high point!A bit later on we stopped at the Saltings, Maureen and Terry hosts. Gorgeous B & B and setting, another excellent  breakfast and delightful host and hostess.The itinerary, maps, Kruse and arrangements for our seventeen day visit to North Island contributed to a truly memorable vacation.Thanks for your kind attention to our particular requests for our visit to New Zealand.  A memorable seventeen days.”

—Joan & Richard Hannah, USA