We were very happy with nearly all of the planning by our South Pacific travel agency. As this was an action-oriented golf and wine trip, the following suggestions are being made for future travelers planning the same type of trip:
1) Never put anyone in the Deco Motor Lodge in Hawkes Bay - it was one of the worst motels/hotels I had ever stayed in. Additionally, make sure if accommodations have two+ floors without an elevator, that women with 7 bags weighing in excess of 300 pounds are not placed on the 2nd floor as we were. Also, it would have been nice to know that upon our arrival after golfing at Cape Kidnappers, that nothing would be open for dinner.
2) Marlborough and Hawkes Bay wine tours were amazing, both in terms of the guides + wineries experienced. The Central Otago tour was much more limited and we didn't get to experience nearly as much. Also, it would have been nice to have been provided with more details/information on the New Zealand wine regions/wineries we were to experience.
3) While we had selected golf courses to play based on internet research, it would have been nice to have someone confirm our selections. We stayed in Pahia (wonderful!) and drove 90 minutes north to play Carrington and it was an awful course.
4) We were very excited about our Mauri tour and Robert our guide was wonderful. However we spent the first hour touring a school (which was interesting but way too long) and with the entire tour ending up being 90 minutes longer than planned, we were late for our next private wine tour. Our guide had to wait for us to change clothes and we were really rushed.
All in all, it was a wonderful trip and these comments are intended to help this company with the next group of golfers/wine enthusiasts. My friends and I fell in love with New Zealand and can't wait to return!
Kauri Cliffs golf, wine tour and Queenstown. We also really enjoyed our tme in Bay of Islands.
Subsitutute Carrington golf course with another and spent one less day in Marlborough and one more day in Hawkes Bay. I would tell prospective travelers that while Marlborough is the more well-known wine region, they have limited varietals and few cellar doors compared to Hawkes Bay.
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