Fine Tours New Zealand
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Call us FREE in New Zealand on 1855 277 3818
Tour Reviews (299)

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Tour Reviews

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

Tour review from Nirmala Balasubramanian, USA
Nimala Balsubramanian & family, USA. 19 day self drive tour, North & South Islands, December 2008

“When i sit back here, at home, and think about the last three weeks, they seemed to have whizzed past right by, leaving me wondering whether i ever got on board. A long awaited vacation gone too soon, but not without leaving behind wonderful memories of the Kiwi land.  As my nephew, being the first one in his group of friends to have made it to NZ, put it, "the New Zealand vacation was a dream come true". The accommodation, the arrangements, the information were all so well put together, adding to the charm of the beautiful country. Thanks for organizing such a memorable trip for us.  We've been click-happy and I will gladly send you some pictures soon.”

—Nirmala Balasubramanian, USA

Tour review from Bernadette and Mervyn Williams, ZAF
Bernadette & Mervin Williams, USA - 9 day self drive tour, South Island, October 2008

“"Dear Kerry and Dave, Thank you so much for planning and organizing our tour of the South Island New Zealand. We had a great time thanks to you both and found the accommodation first class as well as your help with maps cell phone and the gadget that talked us around all the beautiful places that we visited. I would recommend you highly to anyone wanting to organize their own private driving tour."”

—Bernadette and Mervyn Williams, ZAF

Tour review from June & Jim Tilton, USA
June & Jim Tilton, USA - 17 day self drive tour, North & South Islands, November 2008

“"Hi Kerry: Well we made it home and everything was perfect from start to finish. All the drivers showed up on time and were very helpful with all there information. We really liked having the cell phone and the Kruse navigation was really helpful. We always stopped at the points along the way that they talked about. It was helpful knowing what we were looking at. All the folklore added to the ambience.The only motels that we didn't like were the ones in Queenstown and Christchurch. The one in Queenstown really was bad. The unit was nice but the smell was so foul we kept looking under the bed to see if there was a poopy diaper lying there. We asked to change our room but the next room they showed us was equally as bad. They tried to convince us it was from peoples cooking but everytime we left and came back it really hit you. We had to go by so room freshener just to survive the stay. Unfortunately all the places we stayed one day were perfect and the two day ones were less appealing. The Camelot in Christchurch was clean and the owners quite friendly and helpful but the place is quite old and very dark and dingy. And a bit of a walk to town. My favorite part of the trip ended up being the hiking. If I knew what I was doing I would have preferred to stay another day in TeAnu and hike the Milford Sound or go to Doubtful sound or stay another day in Franz Joseph and hike up to the glaciers. The area is soooooo beautiful. We got really bad weather for the milford sound trip. Pouring rain but we got to see some fabulous waterfalls. It would have been nice to hike the next day there and then try to go to Doubtful Sound the third day and then maybe we could have at least one day with better weather. You never know these things. I was glad we decided to hike. The golf was fun at the beginning of our trip but I didn't need to golf the second week. There are so many beautiful places that it seemed silly to be playing golf. We really liked Kelvin Heights. It really has a great setting. Our flight home was uneventful except for the flight from Christchurch to Auckland. I didn't realize they considered that flight an international flight. I thought it was a domestic flight and then an international flight. They made us check in internationally so we really were pressed for time. We only got there 45mins before our flight. The plane had some electrical problems and so we taxied out of the gate only to return again and wait another hour. We did make our connecting flight and all our luggage arrived at home with us. We were really surprised due to the late check in. Anyway. I'm rambling. So I' ve enclosed a picture of us on our Routeburn Hike. I hope you get the attachment as my computer skills are a little suspect when it comes to attachments. Thanks again for everything."”

—June & Jim Tilton, USA

Tour review from Dean & Rebecca Schaffer, USA
Dean & Rebecca Schaffer, USA - 8 day self drive tour, South Island, October 2008

“"We spent 8 days touring the South Island for part of our Honeymoon. Thanks to David and Fine Tours New Zealand it was truly an amazing and once in a lifetime experience. Their organization, professionalism and knowledge allowed us to coordinate the perfect trip to enjoy as much of New Zealand in a short amount of time. They were also always available to help us when we wanted to alter our itinerary both before we arrived in New Zealand and while on the trip. New Zealand is one of the most spectacular places on earth that everyone should try to visit. I would highly recommend working with Fine Tours if anyone is ever planning on visiting New Zealand."”

—Dean & Rebecca Schaffer, USA