Our very recent trip to New Zealand was very important to me, a "bucket list" dream for nearly twenty years. Months ago I interviewed a number of travel planners, and my decision to work with this company was the right one. Kate listened, suggested, modified and responded quickly during the planning process. The travel company willingly incorporated changes we requested when we received input from friends who have visited New Zealand, some many times. Our time in Melbourne, Australia was spent visiting a friend, so the agency only had arranged flights. We wanted this New Zealand "adventure" to include cities, trekking, specific "do not miss" tourist stops and varied transportation. Hence, we rode ferries, boats, trains, planes, had drivers, and drove ourselves. All the reservations with numerous people and places were accurate and on-time. One special activity (heli-hike of Franz Joseph Glacier) was cancelled due to weather, and I have been assured that fee will be refunded. All accommodations were first class: some hotels, some B&Bs, and some eco lodges. Planning was precise, all t's crossed and i's dotted. It was so well-done, all we could do was enjoy ourselves. It included such amazing variety and exceeded our expectations! I had thought this would be a one-time visit to New Zealand. We hope to visit there again.
It was an adventure from beginning to end. Auckland was a fine city, good vibes from people there. Waiheke Island was special, because we reconnected with friends and saw the most amazing sculpture park at Connell's Bay. I'll just list some more fun things: Waitomo Glow-Worm Caves; walking in Rotorua; trekking the coastal tracks in Abel Tasman; the train along the coast of the South island to Christchurch; Tranz Alpine train from Christchurch through the mountains to Greymouth; seeing wildlife--birds, seals, sea lions, penquins, whales, dolphins; learning about the flora and walking through rain forests and zillions of ferns; the boat ride in Milford Sound; the flight over the Southern Alps from Milford to Queenstown. The people everywhere were wonderful...friendly, helpful, unpretentious.
Spend more time in a few places, especially Abel Tasman and the Marlborough region. However, this trip was an exceptional introduction to New Zealand.
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