We have been telling New Zealand stories and organizing a lot of photos for the last few weeks. I thought I would drop you a line about our trip. We had a great time! We did everything scheduled for us and so much more. Here are just some random thoughts--I don't know if they will help anyone else or not.
Our New Zealand travel company took a list of things that we wanted to do and made a great trip for us. We did not want the packaged bus trip so many people do. We were interested in the nature tours, and seeing the natural beauty of the country. We were in New Zealand for 23 days and our travel agency booked all our tours and motels in advance. We were trying to work with another travel agency at the time we connected with this company. Our agent, who planned our trip was very efficient and got back to me quickly each time I emailed or called her. The trip was set up and sent to us for approval so quickly. I was waiting days and days to hear from the other travel agency. Our agent was very easy to work with and let us get everything taken care of with ease.
Again, it was a great trip. I think we enjoyed everything although we found that we did like the south island best and the National parks, hiking, waterfalls and beaches were truly amazing and often better that the planned tours. We had such a limited knowledge of the country it was great to have someone to do all the planning. We wished we could have seen even more.
The best things about our trip:
1. The Ohau Waterfall walk where all the seal pups were playing in the stream.
2. The sites in the Catlins area--Nugget PointLighthouse, Parakaunui Falls, Matai Falls, McLean Falls
3. Milford Sound Cruise and the area around there--Mirror Lake, The Chasm, Lake Marion, (Foridland National Park area)
4. The Haast area--Mt. Aspiring National Park--Thunder Creek Falls, Fantail falls, Blue Pools walk, and Roaring BillyFalls
5. Punakaiki pancake rocks and blowholes, Truman track
6. Kaikoura peninsula walkway
7. Taupo--Huka Falls area
8. Hobbiton Movie Set.
9. Area around Dunedin--Moeraki Boulders, Tunnel Beach, Larnach Castle, Penguin Place
10. Franz Josef--we wished we had done a glacier hike and not just the valley hike, but the valley hike was good.
The things we would change about our trip:
1. Farmstay in the Catlins--just not our style--the people were nice and the room was nice, but after a day of exploring we just wanted to relax and not visit with our host.
2. Driving in the cities--especially Auckland. We stayed in the city centers but most of those areas were just too busy and not really close to the things we wanted to do. In Christchurch the motel's street was under major construction and difficult to navigate--especially since this was our first experience with driving.
3. Motels where we had to pay $20--$25 for parking. We didn't even know that we needed a reservation in Auckland to park and ended up paying $48 to park at a public site overnight. We made reservations for the motel in Dunedin but still thought the cost was too much.
4. The Ferry--wished we had flown to the North Island. The Ferry just seemed like a wasted day.
5. Not getting an atlas until we arrived. This would have been very handy even as we were planning the trip.
6. The long long flights. It seemed like the last day in Auckland was a waste of time too. I guess the flights just leave in the evening but we mainly killed time waiting for our flight that became a 17 hour flight after we had to turn back to Auckland when someone had a medical emergency. I know this cannot be changed but you do have to be prepared for it--maybe upgrade on the plane.
7. We had requested a really nice place to stay on the 16th and we had the same standard room at a Bella Vista. We were celebrating a birthday.
8. The driving from Milford Sound to Queenstown. We should have spent a second night in TeAnau. This was the only time I think we had to drive after dark for quite some time and did not get in until after 8 pm.
9. The Lord of the Rings tour in Wellington. Tour guide was great and the Weta studios were okay, but the "see this tree was in the movie" was not really all that wonderful.
10. Having to move on to the next thing when we still wanted to see more in an area.
Each review is written by a verified traveler who was matched by Zicasso to the reviewed agency. Traveler must have purchased and traveled.
Zicasso matches you with the world’s best travel specialists.
Get Your Trip Planned
"This was exactly the trip I wanted!"
"Our agent was open, communicative, responsive and most helpful in coordinating one of our most memorable visits to any...
"Zicasso and this travel agency make you feel like you are the most important aspect of their business, and that is what true...
Copyright © 2021 Zicasso, Inc. All Rights Reserved. CST 2124858-50.
Headquarters: 650 Castro St., Suite 120-447,
Mountain View, CA 94041, USA