The trip was well-paced and for the most part we stayed in very comfortable hotels with breathtaking views. New Zealand is gorgeous and beautiful and the trip did justice to all aspects (mountains, glaciers, lakes, forests, beaches, farms, and more). The mini coach not only had comfortable seats and air-conditioning, but was just the right size for us to get quick access everywhere. The guide was knowledgeable, friendly, helpful, and extremely caring.
1. Tasman Glacier and Terminal Lake Cruise at Mt. Cook. The boat ride was more of a speedboat rather than a cruise. The views were fabulous despite the fact that the glaciers are melting and receding. 2. Abel Tasman National Park. We were able to enjoy New Zealand's black sand beach as well as the golden sands beach and the white beach. The water was crystal clear and we were able to appreciate the stingrays up close. The views from the hike were so pristine and picturesque. 3. Group on the coach. We made friends with some amazing people from other parts of North America and England. Everyone was friendly, patient and considerate to each other and so willing to share information about the optional activities that they had experienced. 4. Our guide. She was so flexible and ensured that all our optional activities were confirmed. She accommodated all our needs and was very understanding, helpful, and empathetic, when I had misplaced my cellphone! She had a good sense of humor and kept the candy jar full!! I loved the books that she had on board for us to borrow. She knew a lot about all the little towns that we passed and offered useful suggestions on what to see, do, where to shop, eat, etc.
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