We're sorry that we can only give this travel agency 5 stars -- we'd have preferred 10 stars or more! What an awesome trip! It helps that New Zealand is probably the most beautiful place on the planet, but more importantly, our travel agency arranged our access to the country’s wonders so seamlessly.
We’re reasonably experienced travelers, used to charting our own course, but at first New Zealand seemed daunting. So far away, so much to see and do, that we couldn’t get our arms around the trip by ourselves… In addition, as avid Lord of the Rings fans, we wanted to see the parts of the country that figured so prominently in the LOTR movies, but we didn’t know where to start. Finally, we are enthusiastic foodies, wanting to learn about and enjoy the country’s finest cuisine. And, as an extra layer of challenge, all of this was to take place over the Christmas/New Years holidays -- yikes!
Our agent's orchestrated everything! They helped us decide what to see (and what not to see), so that we could prioritize among New Zealand’s many attractions. They arranged tours that took us behind the scenes for many of the LOTR venues. They sent us on adventures that were beautiful, thrilling, but tame enough for us city slickers to enjoy without being too terrified (no bungee jumping for this family!). Then, after our various day-long excursions, we were able to relax in lovely hotels and eat amazing food.
How did they know our tastes so well? Maybe magic, maybe the attentiveness and time that they devoted to working with us. At the outset of our relationship, they spent several hours talking with us about what we wanted to do and then planning an itinerary. For the next few months they worked on the reservations and other arrangements for all of our requests. Most of those communications took place by email, and they were very responsive all along the way. Right before we left, we had a ask-all-of-our-questions call with them, and they presented us with a detailed, day by day itinerary. By the time we left for our trip, we felt that everything had been taken care of, and all of our what-if worries had been anticipated.
We couldn’t ask for a better travel experience overall, or a better experience with a travel agent! Our sincere thanks to our travel agents and the whole team!
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It was an incredible trip in every way, planned and executed flawlessly by this travel agency. New Zealand is a spectacularly beautiful country that’s home to wonderfully hospitable people, plus blessed with delicious food and exceptional wines. Above and beyond that, though, were the extras that the travel agency arranged.
Perhaps the most striking parts of the trip were the private tours that our travel agency set up for us. We had a private tour of Hobbitown that was magical, with very informative and delightful guides. We had a private tour around Wellington with a focus on Lord of the Rings sites, including a backstage visit to the Weta Workshop. Just amazing! As part of our Wellington tour, we got to meet a local glassblower (my son is a glass artist) and spend time with him in his studio. We had an off-road tour of LOTR sites in Queenstown that was incredible.
All of the guides were personable, delightful, and veritable fountains of information. We’re not “tour types” generally, preferring to strike out on our own and explore, but every moment we spent with the private guides was extraordinary! We’re so grateful to our travel agency for setting up these opportunities to see such special parts of New Zealand, and for matching us up with the guides whose expertise fit so well with our family’s interests.
Eat more wonderful food? Not possible (we ate everything in sight, and everything was delicious). See more beautiful scenery? That will have to wait until next time.
Maybe we'd stay longer? But the time we spent there was so packed with wonder that we were ready to come home and "rest" after our vacation!
So like I said in the first line: nothing.
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