We had a great trip. Our agent was very accessible by phone which was important since our itinerary was changed half way through the trip. We were pleased with all of our accommodations and most of our activities. I really liked having the itinerary clearly printed out with the flights and confirmation numbers. Most of our issues with the trip had to do with the airlines changing schedules. We would have preferred to fly with Air New Zealand or just about any other carrier than United. Unfortunately, we just couldn't seem to make that work and we had to call the airlines on several occasions to make changes. I think United is the absolute worst even compared to other airlines in this country.
Definitely the heli-hike in Wanaka. Of course, we had stellar weather so that helped. Plus we were the only ones on that particular trip. Even so, it was legendary and I would highly recommend requesting the guide for other clients. We also really liked Queenstown. We were prepared to be disappointed because others had told us that it was too populated but we liked the "vibe" and really loved it there.
We were not crazy about Te Anou itself. It was a lot nicer to be closer to the trip to Milford sound so I think we needed to be there at least one night. The lodge was beautiful also. I was limited on time but if I had one more night, it would have been great to go back up to Queenstown, return the car, and just take a shuttle into the airport.
I enjoyed the glacier heli-hike in Franz Joseph but I wouldn't have "had to do it" if you know what I mean. Everything is touristy but that seemed even more so with them following the same path and the large group of people. The other thing I wouldn't have had to do was the Dart River funyak. Again, we enjoyed it but we have done some stellar kayaking trips in the past so we are probably spoiled. It was cool to go into the chasm but it was only a few minutes of the trip and it was crammed with people.
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