—What was our favorite part? All of it, absolutely all of it!
“We had the most amazing trip with Duncan. What was our favorite part? All of it, absolutely all of it. We wouldn't change a thing. Highlights that stand out for me (Brenda): the wildlife from the Fiordland Crested Penguins, Little Blues, and Yellow-eyed Penguins, to the 7 Kiwis we saw in the wild and everything in between. I also loved the scenery. All the many walks were unique and beautiful. The waterfalls were awe-inspiring. The jet boat rides were great. I loved the star-gazing in Queenstown and the behind the scenes tour in Franz Josef, seeing the recently hatched Kiwi Chicks. All of the accommodations were very nice. Some of the beds were a little smaller than our United States version of a queen size. Our meals were really good and we really enjoyed eating at the pub with the locals watching our 1st rugby match (New Zealand won). One of the favorite places we stayed was Ratanui Lodge and the Kowhai Lodge on Stewart Island. And of course, the Wilderness Lodge. But as I said, all the accommodations were really good and many with amazing views. The weather was beautiful for us 95% of the time and the rain never slowed us down. Ben's highlights include: the Ngarua Marble Cave (great tour), the Ship Creek Walk was just beautiful with our guide supplied by Wilderness Lodge (I think his name was John), the Eco World Aquarium, Pancake Rocks, and especially the Grove Scenic Reserve at Clifton with its giant boulders and beautiful grove of Nikau Palms and other plants (gorgeous). We were glad that we repeated the White Heron Sanctuary. Also we felt that the Charleston Cave was more of an adventure hike than a scenic cave hike. It was a lot of stooping over to get through the passages with very little time to appreciate the few formations (especially when compared to Ngarua Cave). All in all, this was by far the best trip to New Zealand that we have done. Thank you, Shelley, and New Zealand Fine Touring for putting this together for us. And we never want to visit New Zealand without Duncan - He is the BEST! ”
—Benjamin & Brenda Gooden, USA
—Fine Tours really made our 28 days holiday easy
“Fine Tours Erynn and Laura really made our 28 days holiday easy. Erynn suggested the routes the places to see along with the highlights in those areas as well as the places to stay. All we had to do was give them an idea of what we were interested in, the types of accommodation we would be happy with and they did the rest making all the bookings. If we had any queries Erynn would phone us and sort it and whilst we were there Laura was in contact and able to help with any issues that occurred. We had a great time and saw virtually all of which the North and South Islands have to see. I highly recommend them and our thanks to Erynn and Laura.”
—Stuart & June Robinson, GBR
—We had an enjoyable, wonderful, and unforgetable experience!
“Arrived on schedule, and it was very nice to be met at the airport by the driver to take us to the hotel room. The maps, itinerary, and other materials provided were very helpful and informative. Unfortunately, when we got to the hotel, our room was not yet ready and we were asked to wait a couple of hours. After almost 30 hours of travel, we just wanted to get cleaned up and a change of clothes. The hotel, upon prompting, did find us another similar room. The Rangitoto tour was excellent and very informative. We learned a good deal about New Zealand's geological history. Our ferry ride back to Auckland was 25 minutes late, so we missed our Whale and Dolphin Safari. It may have been a bit optimistic to plan the schedule that tight. (Thank you very much for getting us the refund on the safari.) We improvised for the rest of the afternoon and rode to the top of the Skytower. Wonderful sights all around the city!The Hamilton Gardens tour was very good, even in a light misty rain. The Waitomo Glowworm caves were an amazing sight. Lodging at the Kamahi Cottage was a truly wonderful experience. Beautiful and tranquil, with lovely gardens and gracious and helpful hosts. The Hobbiton Movie Set tour was everything we expected it to be -- walking through the shire to see Bilbo Baggins' hobbit hole and then to the Green Dragon Inn made for a very delightful afternoon. The B & B at the Redwoods in Rotorua was another great choice for lodging. Our host had some suggestions for local attractions -- the Redwood Tree Walk was close by and was an unexpected, and very pleasant way to explore another aspect of New Zealand. The Te Puia daytime and Tamaki Maori Village tour and dinner were excellent introductions to the early NZ culture. Food was delicious. The drive to Whakapapa Village and on to Wellington provided gorgeous scenery the entire distance. Accommodations at the Chateau Tongariro gave us breathtaking views of Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu. When we finally got to Wellington, the only difficulty we had was in parking the car. We discovered how limited the parking is, but once we figured that out, it was manageable. The Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary Night tour was excellent! We got to see several native animals -- a kiwi or two, a tuatara, and several others -- which made for a very memorable evening. The next day we toured the Weta Workshop in Wellington (a recommendation from Vivian, our Redwoods B & B host) and got to see where some of the movie props were made for the Lord of the Rings movies and many others. Loved it! After dropping the rental car off at the Wellington airport, we flew back to Auckland and then back to the US. The rental car was great. The GPS option made getting around so much easier. The flight back to Auckland was delayed by weather for about an hour, so we were glad we had requested a bit more connection time. Overall, we want to thank you so much for putting this trip together. ”
—Bill and Vicky Cox, USA
—Incredibly helpful in arranging our itinerary
“Annelise was incredibly helpful in arranging our itinerary! It was really wonderful to get off of our flight and be met by a driver, provided all of our activity and accommodation details and confirmation numbers, and a phone! We very much enjoyed all of our activities and locations, with the exception of Waitomo. The hotel looked nothing like the pictures. It was horribly outdated and in need of upkeep. When we arrived at Waitomo, we realized there were several options for exploring the caves and would have like to have the ability to choose. The estimated activity time was two hours and we were out in less than 30 minutes. If we had to do it over again, we would have skipped Waitomo. The Bay of Islands, tall ship, and Cape Reinga air and land tour were by far our most treasured memories. Thank you for helping to make our anniversary trip a very special one! Judy and Allan Harless”
—Judy and Allan Harless, USA
—Gail and I loved our trip!
“Gail & I loved our trip. Great accommodation & it all worked smoothly. (This was Rob and Gail's fifth holiday with Fine Tours New Zealand) ”
—Friends of Rob Danby, AUS
—I could not thank you enough
“I could not thank you enough for organizing such a beautiful trip for us. We loved Auckland especially the Sofitel hotel, the gourmet wine tour and especially the Bay of islands tour. Everything went so well and we had such beautiful weather and ate the best food especially the green lipped mussels in a Belgian bistro in Downtown Auckland. Thanks again and we hope to visit the South island of NZ with you one day.”
—Thiet The & Hoan My Luu and Caroline Hao Tanaka, USA
—Our trip was simply superb.
“Our trip was simply superb. From the beginning to the end, it was ideal and exactly what we wanted. Our only disappointment was that it had to end! Thanks to everyone at Fine Tours New Zealand for an incredible trip!”
—Elaine & Alan Spitzer, USA
—Our trip was outstanding!
“First of all we had a great time in New Zealand. The hotels (we call them motels, unless they are over 3 floors), were terrific. The "mom and pop" ones were the best, the owners were so welcoming and accommodating, something we never see on the US. The 2 hotels, Auckland and Wellington, were nice as well and typical of large, quality hotels the world over. The trip was filled with adventure and beauty. It seemed everywhere we went was more beautiful than the last. I think it would be better if we had a couple more weeks to savor all NZ has, however, unfortunately we didn't. But I think the best was the people of NZ, everyone we encountered, no exceptions, was friendly, helpful and welcoming. Lastly, the planning was impeccable. From the pickup of our Van's to the train ride across the South Island. Everything was in order and having all the reservation info and numbers in our little books made check ins a breeze. So our trip was outstanding! We wish we had met you in person, to express our appreciation personally. One way I personally evaluate locations though the world is asking myself - would I live there? NZ - definitely! ”
—Kathy & John Steinbauer, Allen & Judy Carter, Karen & Bill de Blieux, Shirley & Carl Mikuletzky, Douglas & Janet Barksdale, Diane & Terry Lee, Deb Carter & Bud Samuels, USA
—The trip exceeded our expectations.
“Overall we had a very easy tour. The hotels all were very nice and the excursions were enjoyable and well worth exploring. We think we have done New Zealand well and the trip exceeded our expectations.”
—Bruce & Rene Herndon, USA
—We had a great time in New Zealand
“We had a great time in New Zealand. Beautiful country, very clean, people extremely friendly, and sheep everywhere. The mount cook helitour was fantastic and such an amazing experience- highly recommend it. And the doubtful sound day trip was also great. Driving worked out and the scenery breathtaking. 2 bedroom apt in Queenstown very good , actually preferred that to the Novotel where the room was really small. The Walter peak dinner excursion was delicious. Thanks for all your help.”
—Bernard, Sherri & Daniel Goldberg, CAN