It was a trip of a lifetime. Everything about it - the planning process, the accommodations, the logistics, the itinerary, even the weather! was top notch. Our agent was very easy to work with. She responded promptly and answered all our questions completely, and made us feel at ease even though we are used to handling every last detail ourselves. We got a very detailed itinerary with restaurant recommendations to boot, and when we got to our hotel, a print-out with additional maps/vouchers/brochures was waiting for us. The hotel/B&Bs recommended were of very good quality, either centrally located, with excellent facilities, fantastic hosts, or all of the above. Everything went smoothly with the reservations and we were lucky that we had perfect weather on days when we had outdoor activities planned.
The adventure at Waitomo Caves was the highlight of the trip. It's one of the most exciting and adventurous things we've done, especially abseiling 300 ft down into a cave. Spending a few minutes in absolute silence with the glow worms was surreal, and felt like we had our own personal constellation. We also really enjoyed the Wanaka Nature Tour, with the boat trip and hike to the Muo Wahu Island, as well as the afternoon four wheel drive on a sheep farm. The views were amazing, and there was no one around for miles. The guides we had on both tours were very passionate about Wanaka and the environment, and had a lot of stories to tell. Of course, as a Lord of the Ring fan, the trip to Hobbiton was also memorable, and just unbelievable to see the movie come to life.
We would have spent more time in Wanaka, which was the original plan except that the hotel was not available. Our B&B for the Waitomo Cave portion was also a little farther than we would have liked as it took about an hour to get there. However, this was also due to the original B&B (closer to the caves) not being available and in the end we had a lovely time at the B&B we stayed at. We would also have wanted to spend more time in Wellington, as the Te Papa Museum is really a treasure trove and could easily take up more than half a day.
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