Fine Tours New Zealand
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Call us FREE in New Zealand on 1855 277 3818
Tour Reviews (304)

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Tour Reviews

Tour review from Eberhard & Christina Pauck, SWE
Eberhard & Christina Pauck, Sweden, 30 day self drive tour, North and South Islands, February 2009

“Home again after a wonderful trip through New Zealand we will thank you for the excellent arrangements you prepared for us. A wonderful travel plan led us through the North and South Island. Every think functioned very well in all details and over our expectations. The hotel mixture was very good and so was all travel documentation with your tour description. The Kruse Audio Guide gave all background information even if the music repetition after all weeks was somewhat tiring. A silent key for listing without music would be a solution. Also a repetition key for the last message can be helpful for listeners from other countries than English spoken. Over all the Kruse was very helpful. The cell phone was nice to have under the trip and we have got some calls from home and did some reservations. Once again thank you for the professional job you did that gave us an unforgettable journey through your wonderful country. Best greetings”

—Eberhard & Christina Pauck, SWE

Tour review from Steve and Cecelia Ridlington, SGP
Steve & Cecilia Ridlington, 10 day self drive tour, North & South Islands, March 2009

“I have been meaning to write to you since our return from New Zealand to say thanks for organizing such a great trip. We really enjoyed the holiday and a large part is down to your team. From the time we had to shift the trip a few days until we returned to Singaporeit felt that no issue was too small to be dealt with and no problem to big to solve. Thanks very much indeed! I had only a few suggestions you might like to consider: - the drive from Rotorua to Wellington was very long - is there anywhere to stop over night in between? - we got into a bit of a panic in finding the Picton ferry terminal in Wellington. This was mainly because we did not know there was more than one ferry company, so the hotel staff directed us to the wrong one. I think it would be helpful to specifcally say in your notes that there is more than one company, so if asking for directions, be specific about the name. - the hotel in Blenheim was really not up to the standard of all the others. Our room was small, very hot, and no aircon. The location was not the best either. If there are other 4-star hotels in the area you might like to investigate. - finally and as you know, the car hire company seriously misled us about how much luggage the car could hold. However, you fixed that very well (thank-you) and I have no doubt at some cost to you. Thanks again for making the trip so great.”

—Steve and Cecelia Ridlington, SGP

Tour review from Mike Banks & Family, GBR
Mike, Fiona, Joseph, James, Kevin and Sai, UK and New Zealand, 6 day Self Drive Tours, South Island, February 2009

“We all had a wonderful holiday and would like to thank you. You took all the hassle out of organising a trip like this.The Kruse audio guide was great and really added to the driving parts of the holiday. We were all taken by the stories and legends that were on there, especially the boys. I just wish we had had more time for this part of our New Zealand journey. We did eventually hit some rain but it did not affect our enjoyment it may even have added to it as we were in a RAIN forest! My brother in law has been in NZ for 20 years and this is the first time he has been to the South Island - now he is a "convert" and will no doubt be back soon.”

—Mike Banks & Family, GBR

Tour review from Laura Watson, Dee Ann Johnson and Sharon Cripps, CAN
Laura Watson, Dee Ann Johnson and Sharon Cripps, Canada, 19 day self drive tour North and South Islands, January 2009

“ I would like to thank you for the excellent advice David, and looking after us so well while we were visiting New Zealand.  From accommodation choices, to   suggested activities, to maps and driving distances that were manageable - you were excellent.  From the time we arrived in Auckland on an early flight, Fine Tours was there for us.  "Uncle" was awesome - he made sure we had transport, and our travel material right away.  It was our fault that we didn't have the flight info corrected, so I really appreciate your assistance and ability to change plans "on a dime" to help us out.   The Abyss, Black Water Rafting in Waitomo was a highlight, and our 'day in the sky' in Queenstown.  From para-sailing, to para-gliding, to sky diving - all in the day we had to experience Queenstown - awesome!  Your accommodation choices for 3 singles travelling together were perfect!  Thank you for the pre-arrangements you made for extra beds at each of our stops.  It worked out so well.  And the Doubtful Sound overnight was amazing!  What a special, unique country you have, and it was our pleasure to spend a couple of weeks exploring.    We were disappointed we didn't get on the Heli-Hike at Franz Joseph, but that was our only cancellation,  and given some of the weather in the neighbourhood, that was pretty good.  The only 'glitch' we had, the Kruse thought we were done on our first stop at Christchurch, and never came back on.  We had enjoyed listening to the stories and history of the areas we were travelling in while it lasted.   I would highly recommend Fine Tours to anyone.  The self-drive for 3 Canadian women used to driving on the 'other' side of the car and the road, was no problem!  We were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get around, and everyone we met was so helpful and nice.  I can't wait to come back.  Thanks David - it was the trip of a lifetime for us, and we enjoyed every moment without any worries.  ”

—Laura Watson, Dee Ann Johnson and Sharon Cripps, CAN

Tour review from Lee, Mal, Connor & Angus Hawkins, AUS
Lee and Mal Hawkins & family, Australia, 13 day Self Drive tour, South Island, January 2009

“Just wanted to send you a quick email to thank you for the wonderful arrangements you made on our behalf - it made our trip go so well - and we fitted so much in (perhaps a little too much in retrospect). However, wonderful holiday and I will certainly be recommending your service to others. Just one thing I wanted to mention - the only accommodation which we were not happy with - was Queenstown - very very very noisy and the rooms were very hot. We barely slept the whole time we were there - which put a bit of a damper on the was well appointed but the location next to the busiest road in town - made it terribly noisy - particularly at night. Just thought you may like to know for future bookings with families.”

—Lee, Mal, Connor & Angus Hawkins, AUS

Tour review from Juan, Ann, Andrew and Dave
Juan Santamarina, USA, 9 day self drive tour, South Island, December 2008-January 2009

“Again, many thanks for setting up our New Zealand trip and also for putting me in touch with Daria in Australia.  Everything worked perfectly and the trip was wonderful. Some highlights: It was great knowing that you were available at all times to organize things (like the change from airplane to helicopter at Franz Joseph). The Kruse system was actually quite fun to have!  We turned it on and listened to it the entire time we were driving.  Nice stories, commentary, etc. Having the NZ phone was great.  You could easily get in touch with us and vice versa. We loved Queenstown and especially the Remarkables Lodge--fantastic rooms, setting, hosts, and food!  It was clearly a highlight for us.  And having the helicopter fetch us at the Lodge made that piece even better. The helicopter from from Remarkables to Milford was fantastic...and the pilot was exceptional.  By that I mean that he was not only a good and safe pilot but a wonderful and very friendly person. The Westwood Lodge, while less upscale than Remarkables or Grasmere was very nice.  The breakfasts were REALLY OUTSTANDING and the hosts were very, very nice.  The man (I forget his name) was especially nice and outgoing. The Quad bikes were very fun and our guide was great.  First rate operation. The Grasmere rooms we had with the living room/fireplace in between were SUPERB!  The food there, host Tom, etc. were fabulous.  It was clearly a highlight of the trip as well.  I wish we could have spent even more time there. The only disappointing part of the trip was the helicopter at Franz Joseph.  As our friend Dave put it, it was kind of a "fast food" approach to things--we were just flight number 30 of the day...  Not a great value I thought but we were there and since the plane wasn't going it was the best option.  For the future, I would use the helicopter and pilot that the Westwood man recommended to us.  It's a local and smaller operation, the heli can fetch you at the hotel, and I'm sure all that would make all the difference in the world. Anyway, it was great.  I've passed your name around to friends already so I'm sure you'll be getting some new business in the future.  ”

—Juan, Ann, Andrew and Dave

Tour review from Joanna and Jean-Jacques Camus, GBR
Joanna and Jean-Jacques Camus, 19 day self drive tour, North & South Islands, December 2008 - January 2009

“We have now returned from our 3 week holiday in New Zealand and I would just like to say thank you to Fine Tours NZ. Everything worked perfectly and without a hitch and we had the most amazing time. Now I can't wait to come back again. The hotels and bed and breakfasts that were picked could not have been better and all the people - both at the accommodations and elsewhere - were extremely friendly and welcoming. The weather was mostly warm and sunny, particularly the last week between Christmas and New Year. In Roturua a slightly stormy morning meant that our floatplane trip had to be postponed for a day. However this gave us the opportunity to visit Te Puia and Hell's Gate, where we saw geysers and had a mud bath - both activities that were totally new and exciting for us. We particularly enjoyed the Kruse commentary and had it on all the time. The only slight hitch was when we arrived at Auckland as we were very tired and jaded and didn't declare that we had walking boots with us by mistake. Consequently we were fined $200 on entry. Perhaps you could emphasise to other customers that this happens. Fortunately I was just awake enough to hear them announce 'no fruit' so was able to quickly eat a satsuma that would otherwise have cost us another $200! We did find there was quite a lot of driving - on slow and windy roads, compared with what we are used to. I know this was really our fault for trying to see too much in a short space of time but perhaps next time we will take more internal flights. Thanks again for a really brilliant holiday. I have been telling everyone about your firm!”

—Joanna and Jean-Jacques Camus, GBR

Tour review from Andrew, Jane, Ashleigh and Matthew Smith, ZAF
Jane, Andrew, Ashleigh and Matthew Smith, South Africa. 11 days self drive tour, North & South Islands, December 2008

“We arrived home safely after a wonderful holiday in New Zealand. We really enjoyed the tour you had mapped out for us. The South Island is stunningly beautiful!! Queenstown is probably our family's favourite place. We would love to come again and have more time in the area. It was wonderful to have our route and accommodation all mapped out and planned for us. It made for a stress free holiday, as touring vacations can often be quite stressful. It was also such a bonus to have our road map highlighted with each day's route - we didn't even have to work out which road to take. You really seem to know what the foreign traveller needs! The accommodation booked for us was also great. To have transfers arranged for the days we did not have a car meant we did not have to worry about arranging a taxi to get to our hotel or the train station. The Kruse commentary was great as we learnt not only about the sights we were seeing, but a bit about New Zealand's history and culture. This added so much more to our experience. We were dissappointed not to be able to do the helitour on the Franz Josef glacier due to bad weather, so we will have to come back to see that.Thanks again for a great tour.”

—Andrew, Jane, Ashleigh and Matthew Smith, ZAF

Tour review from Martin & Barbara LeWinter and Michael & Carol Sesnowitz, USA
Martin & Barbara Le Winter and Michael & Carol Sesnowitz, USA. 17 day self drive tour, North & South Islands, December 2008 -January 2009

“We just returned home today. The only significant problem during our entire trip was our very last flight from Newark airport in the New York area to our home in Vermont. It was cancelled due to weather, necessitating a one night stay at the airport Marriott. We are used to this in winter time. With the exception of that slight rental car glitch in Picton all went very smoothly during our time in New Zealand. We all loved your country and look forward to returning in future - I'm sure you hear this all the time. Thanks for arranging a wonderful itinerary. In addition to the specific stops along the way we were especially pleased with your B&B selections. If we had to pick one that was the very best it would be the Pepper Tree in Blenhiem. An exquisite spot with wonderful hosts.”

—Martin & Barbara LeWinter and Michael & Carol Sesnowitz, USA

Tour review from Valerie, Dale and Christopher Martini , USA
Val, Dale and Chris Martini, Las Vegas, USA. 12 day self drive tour, South Island, November 2008

“ I will try and keep this fairly short but just want to let you know about all the positives from our trip last month. Our 1st 2 nights at the Crowne Plaza were fabulous. The rooms, staff and breakfast buffet were A++++. I have to rate this breakfast buffet the best of them all! We ate all other meals in town so did not try their in-house restaurants. Our stay at the Hermitage Hotel at Mt Cook was good but we had an unusually long dinner wait. I mentioned this to the receptionist but never received an explanation as to why such a long wait. The chalets were clean and tidy and the staff very accommodating. The Luxmore Hotel in Te Anau was incredible. We had the triple room which was perfect for the 3 of us. The breakfast buffet was nice but not as good as the other hotels. The staff, location and cleanliness were superb and I would highly recommend this hotel. As Claire recommended the Doubtful Sound Cruise, we were glad she did. Real Journeys did a fine job and had a friendly and knowledgeable staff. We did Milford Sound the very next day on our own and it was awesome due to the heavy rainfall which provided hundreds of waterfalls (more than normal). I preferred Doubtful Sound due to the remoteness but Milford Sound was worth seeing as well. The Millennium Hotel in Queenstown was super too but they had us booked for November 2009 but they said it was a computer error and upgraded us. Bella assisted us with our tour plans and couldn't possibly do more. Great location but a definite climb up the hill back from town. Our stay at the Franz Josef Glacier Country Retreat was phenomenal (except for the cancellation of our heli- hike). Loved everything about this accommodation but it was a good few minutes out of town. Pleasant staff, very very clean and my 2nd favorite breakfast. The staff here was more than accommodating in every regard and thanks to the wonderful staff , they located a camera lens that we left behind and notified Fine Tours New Zealand. This gesture could happen in the US but I just don't think it would be likely. The car rental company was A+ and the cell phone was useful in calling hotels for late arrival. But best of all, thanks to the staff at Finetours for making our holiday a memorable one! We will have to return for our Franz Josef HELI - HIKE! ”

—Valerie, Dale and Christopher Martini , USA