Malcolm McPherson & Susan Dickens, Milford Sound Highlights Tour, Travelled on 13th March 2020
Wow what a trip I have travelled the world and this New Zealand trip is right at the top. People so friendly, country is sensational. Do TSS Earnshaw at Queenstown. Thank you Victoria excellent work.
Larry & Brenda Mueggenborg, North Island - Hobbits, Caves and Coast, Travelled on 11th March 2020
Our holiday in New Zealand was a 40th Wedding Anniversary present to ourselves. We sent Louise Barrett a list of our interests and she developed the perfect itinerary for us. The accommodations were exceptional. Each stop was planned to give us adequate time to drive there, get settled in, and attend our event. Unfortunately, the COVID 19 virus interrupted our plans and caused us to miss the last 2 days of our itinerary. Louise secured accommodations in Auckland for us so we could return home. Louise's efforts were above and beyond while we scrambled to change flights for return. NZ self-drive tours are an exceptional company and Louise is an exceptional agent. Her attention to details, and her caring for us and our holiday made this the best holiday either of us could remember. Since our holiday was cut short (through no fault of the company), we will be coming back to NZ, and you can rest assured we WILL be using NZ self-drive tours again. Thank you for an absolutely wonderful holiday and the individual attention you provided us.
Brent & Trisha Levetan, North to South Explorer, Travelled on 2nd March 2020
We had a wonderful trip! Many adventures and fun times during our travel from Auckland to Queenstown. We had not been to NZ before and not even sure about all the many areas and attractions available so we could not have made the itinerary and arrangements on our own. We're very appreciative to NZSDT for a memorable visit!
Sheilagh Hannah and Martin Harvey, Queenstown to Queenstown - South Island highlights, Travelled on 26th February 2020
Thank you for a great trip to the South Island of New Zealand. We had a great time and even the weather was good! What would we change - spend 2 nights at Akaroa - was a lovely place, it would have been nice to have time to explore the area more. Some days the length of journey ( when over say 2.5 hours) gave little time to sight see. We went to Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre and thought it was wonderful - something you may want to highlight to others. It is very well done.
Ray & Denaine Webb, Wanaka Exploring, Travelled on 25th February 2020
Chelsea and NZ are the perfect match - brilliant in all aspects of their offerings. My test with travel agents is simply - would you engage them again for your NZ holiday and would you recommend them to your friends. The answer is with out hesitation YES. The company offers what is missing so much in today's services - good old fashion caring. The new app that caries your itinerary and suggested trips are nothing short of brilliant. Go, Chelsea - you made our trip so memorable.
John and Mitzi Jimison, The North and South Lakes, Mountains and Glaciers, Travelled on 16th February 2020
What a beautiful country! And seeing it by car / train / boat was a terrific way to appreciate it. As I noted in an email, we wished we had more days in many of the places we visited, but we would not have skipped any of them to have more days in the others. Like the fabulous buffet we had at the sheep station on Lake Wakatipu, we could have made a full meal on any number of the options, but elected to sample them all, and we still believe that was the right decision. Our tour included a lot of driving, and much of it on roads requiring two hands on the steering wheel around blind mountain turns. But the landscapes that unfolded in front of us were varied in color and topography, but uniform in pristine natural beauty. If I had taken a multi-day video of the entire trip from the car, I believe I'd watch the whole thing from time to time. Coupled with the self-guided week we spent on the North Island, the eight days we spent pursuing the planned itinerary NZSDT organized made one of the best trips we've ever taken.
Stephen & Iona Crompton, Philip & Christine Terzo, Southern Lakes and Tranz Alpine Circuit, Travelled on 20th February 2020
Our overall experience was good and your input was very helpful and professional. With hindsight, we would probably have booked more time in some locations as it felt a bit rushed after travelling from location to location. We had issues at two of the accommodations. In Queenstown, we had to ask to move rooms for our second night. The first night our room was on the main road and there was terrible traffic noise throughout the night. We barely slept, but our second night we had a lake view, which was an added bonus, and accommodation was much quieter. The staff were reluctant to move us at first but we were very appreciative when they did. In Franz Josef, we were given a warm welcome by the staff. However, the room was not up to the standard of the other accommodation you organised. It smelt damp and musty and looked tired and in need of an update. The spare pillows in the wardrobe had pillowcases that were not fresh and were stained. It was also away from the main township which seemed to have superior motels and walking distance of restaurants etc. Our stand out accommodation was in Christchurch where we were fortunate to start and end our tour. Wonderful hosts and their accommodation was of exemplary standard. We would definitely use your company again and recommend you to others. We absolutely loved your beautiful country and hope to visit again with other members of our family.
Cher Yoon Kwong, Chew Toh Tseng and Siak Foo Khor, A Taste of the South, Travelled on 11th February 2020
Kia Ora Shelley! Many thanks for your patience and service in understanding our needs for the 8 days' tour package. Your prompt reply and follow up is excellent! I find this App very interactive and useful, however, I did not use much other than just a quick view when we were on the road, probably we aren't IT savy seniors :-) We definitely agreed that South Island is awesome, something unlike what we had seen in any parts of the world so far, miles and miles of scenic views. The whole landscape reminds me of the movie "Jurassic Park", huge mountains and wide flat landscape. The lakes are marvellous and tranquil. Your itinerary and routing were just fine, except we forgot that we had booked for the Glacier Explorers' Mt Cook. Well it's ok, just another reason to come back again. It was raining on Day 6 & 7 when we were driving to Franz Josef, hence we missed any activity. On the whole, it's a good trip and the App is a great help. Once again, Shelley, thanks for helping to put a memorable itinerary for the 3 of us. Cheers and have a great day!
James & Joye Hamilton and Walter Ullrich & Jane Magee, Ultimate Explorer Tour of New Zealand, Travelled on 15th February 2020
We were very happy with the itinerary Shelley Ryder prepared for us. Weather couldn't have been better. Some exceptions that may be helpful to future travellers: 1). Estimated driving times should be bumped up. Given season road construction delays and foreigners' unfamiliarity with travel conditions, it would be more realistic for times to be more than quoted. 2). Hotels booked outside of city centre (Wellington & Martinborough) were unfortunate as they required transportation. After a day of driving, it was a relief to leave the car parked in the lot. Public transportation was available in Wellington. It was ideal to be able to check in to the hotel and walk to available services. 3). Wellington was booked for 1 day and Martinborough was also booked for 1 day. If this similar itinerary was recommended, I would suggest skipping Martinborough and booking 2 days in Wellington. 4). It was a bumpy start when we arrived in Auckland as our arrival was early morning but we were unable to check into our room until after noon. The staff was as accommodating as they could be given the circumstances allowing us access to the pool area so we could shower and change clothes. But honestly, we desperately wanted to check in and catch some quality sleep. I would suggest reviewing this scenario with travellers so they clearly understand the situation and can make an educated decision. Minor tweaks. Otherwise, we enjoyed our time in New Zealand immensely. Awesome job Shelley.
Ajay & Aditi Ranade, Sanjay & Anjali Vaidya, Great Northern Land Tour, Travelled on 10th February 2020
Carefully designed tour to suit our requirements. Best selection of hotels with nearby shopping & restaurants spiced up our stay. This is our second tour & we really enjoyed. For us, a stay at Mt Tongariro can be avoided. Great tour with a great local company.
Robert & Beverley Robertson, Southern Coast and Stewart Island Nature Tour, Travelled on 9th February 2020
The whole trip was well planned, the accommodation met our expectations with the exception of the accommodation in Queenstown which you are aware of all in all we had a great time.We are still waiting for our refund for the cancelled Milford Sound trip.
Ginny & Al Simpson, Jamie & Bill Heard and Barb Fenton & Chuck Thornsvard, Jewels of the South, Travelled on 2nd February 2020
As you know, we just returned from our trip to NZ. It was absolutely fantastic and we were very thankful for the help and support of Jane and her group. New Zealanders are the most helpful, friendly and delightful people on the planet I think. I am looking at your itinerary and will add some thoughts/suggestions based on our experiences which I think might be helpful. Before I start that, let me say, we had no trouble navigating. The roads are well marked with reminders of which side of the road to drive on. Only tricky ones are the round-about which are traffic circles. I do recommend you watch the other drivers very carefully as I believe that will help. As I mentioned to Jeannie, a rain jacket is a must as well as layering. We were extremely lucky the rains hit on travel times but it can be cold, windy and rainy all at once. Now, let's talk sandflies (biting midges) They are serious irritants which have a tendency to attack between your fingers and toes (who thinks to put stuff there?) That are quite manageable. The non-DEET recommendation was Goodbye Sandfly. It works relatively well but is less than perfect. It uses Tea tree oil which has sort of a camphor smell and must be sprayed in your hand and rubbed on. There was a DEET roll on which was good and there is is a gel that takes away the itch if you need it. All the local drug stores are well equipped. Just ask. Queenstown is wonderful. We were recommended the Botswana Butchery for dinner and it did not disappoint. Reservations are a must and easy to arrange. There is a delightful park at the end of the harbour. Beautiful flowers and friendly ducks to feed and watch. I am not familiar with your hotel, but you will have a blast, I know. All the ATM's seemed to like our cards and you will need some cash. Flyfishing (or fish stalking as it was laughably called) is challenging. Al has written a blog on it. Al’s guide always provided lunch so not sure about your guides. Check before you go as most fishing days are long. Also, although tipping is routinely not expected unless there is an exceptional experience, fishing guides are different and do expect a tip. It ranges, but usually $40-70 NZ dollars per person per day. Al’s blog is on line at SimpsonFlyfishing.com I strongly recommend Steve and Travis read it. The wine tour was fun, our guide was delightful. But after the third winery, we were so over wined that I might just skip that if you have not already booked. We did order a case of wine to be shipped back to the states. Kinda pricey, but was truly wonderful wines. Splitting the cost between 3 couples made it doable. Just enjoy Queenstown! We did not stay at Lake Wanaka, but the road is so fabulous. Particularly on the way to Lake Moeraki. Many hikes along the way. Stop when road signs talk of Blue pools and waterfalls. Soo gorgeous! The Wilderness Lodge was probably one of our most favourite places on the whole trip. The owners, Jerry and his wife are incredible. Jerry is a former naturalist with the government and take advantage of every free walk and hike he gives. The glow worm and stargazing are unbelievable! He and his son offer free lectures at night regarding greenstone (Jade) and other topics. We did not go on their charged tours (one is kayaking) as they were a bit pricey. Food was unexpectedly delicious. AND they offer free laundry facilities! We took several of their hikes, including one down to the ocean. So beautiful! Franz Josef was one of our biggest disappointments. The weather has not been their friend this summer and only about 20% of the helicopter events have been completed. We were not lucky enough to have that event. Pancake rocks is just plain awesome! Pictures galore! There were gale force winds the day we were there. Literally blew me out of my flip flops. We loved every minute of it! Mount Cook is such an awesome place. I was prepared to be jaded having seen so many beautiful mountains along the way, but it is wonderful. The glacier boat ride is so awesome, Steve and Travis will be so jealous! You go out on this glacier made lake and boat among the icebergs. Can you say Titanic?!!!! Just wow! Needless to say….this is the trip of a lifetime. We loved it the first time and this time reminded us again of the simple beauty and lifestyle that is such a part of NZ. The culture is incredibly friendly, unspoiled and reminicient of a simpler life in the US.
Elaine & Ken Amos, Northbound Explorer Tour, Travelled on 3rd February 2020
Overall we really enjoyed our trip. Probably would have liked a full day in Christchurch instead of 2 part days. The day we arrived in Christchurch it was hot and the motel had no fans or air conditioning - a very uncomfortable night! The quality of the rental vehicles and the service was excellent overall but the pick up at Wellington was very L-O-N-G. It took quite a while to retrieve our luggage, which I guess is understandable, but when we went to pick up our vehicle there was a lengthy delay as there were 3 rental companies in one little shipping container!! The wait would have been 30 to 45 minutes. Generally, the accommodation was of a high standard and the staff looked after us very well. Many thanks Christine for assisting us with our travel plans and we will have no hesitation in recommending you to friends and family. On a side note, we stopped in Wanaka to catch up with my brother and sister-in-law who were staying there for a wedding. (We liked Wanaka very much and noticed that your office is there).
Sally Garcia & John Thornton, Coast to Coast self drive tour, Travelled on 8th February 2020
Absolutely fantastic. The trip was extremely well organised and Vicky was most helpful, friendly and professional. The properties exceeded our expectations, all of them being comfortable with charming hosts. A wonderful experience Thank you very much!
David & Charmaine Pope, South Island Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 3rd February 2020
Had a wonderful time. Most all the accommodations were excellent and well-positioned. Feedback and updates from you and the group were quick and on the mark. The suggested routes and itinerary were outstanding. Thanks for the experience.
Mrs Geraldine Jones, Ultimate North Island Explorer, Travelled on 7th February 2020
Thank you for all the help you gave me in organising my North Island tour. I had a wonderful time and am completely happy with all the arrangements. The lovely summer weather also helped of course. The motel accommodation all worked well and the car was the right size for one person travelling alone. I have lovely memories of your beautiful country.
David Field & Carolyn Mischer, Lakes, Mountains and Glaciers self drive tour, Travelled on 2nd February 2020
Louise was of great help every step of the way as we planned our trip. The trip itself was fantastic! Everything was well laid out and easy to use. My only complaint (and it is a minor one) is with the rental car. We thought we were going to get an SUV and we didn't. Also, we we're not prepared for the extra $50 fee when we turned it in because we were returning it to a different site than we picked it up from. All of your pricing was so inclusive, and your information so explicit, that you might want to include a mention of that return fee in the future. Thanks again for arranging a fabulous trip for us!
Tom & Cheri Fulcher, Ron & Dawn Fetty, New Zealand Grand Tour, Travelled on 7th February 2020
We had a delightful road trip (2 weeks) in February 2020 thanks to Nisse Perry and NZ Self-Drive Tours. Their reservations, maps, drivers who met us and the recommended activities were perfect for our wants and needs. Nisse kept in close contact with us throughout our planning process with both emails and phone calls. We couldn't have been more pleased with the service and attention she gave us. We would highly recommend this company for your visit to New Zealand!
Lee Riedinger & Mary Zuhr, South Island Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 3rd February 2020
We would like to thank you for the tour that you planned for us. Not only did it make our tour of the South Island fabulous but it also pointed us in the right direction to planning our tour of the North Island ourselves! One of our very few issues was that it was hard to stay on schedule because we were stopped so often by stunning vistas. We learned after a few days to use some restraint because your recommended stops were even better. All of the transfers, car rental services and places to stay worked out in a fabulous way! One unexpected and interesting occurrence was that we were sometimes upgraded from the reservation that you had made; an example is Havenz Punakaiki where we were upgraded to a beautiful 2 story house with the second-floor bedroom overlooking the ocean. Every single suggested activity was enjoyed immensely. One great example is The Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook adventure from the specially designed boat. Stunning memory!!! The zigzagging across the South Island worked out great and we now understand it (with the mountains and other geographic features). I must mention how well you helped us through the closure of Milford Sound due to flooding by changing us to Doubtful Sound which will remain one of the highlights of the trip! We feel very lucky to have stumbled upon your company and want to recommend it as being a fabulous company to work with. This trip will forever be one of the fondest memories of our lifetime!
Shlomo & Frida Hanael, Rina Buzaglo & Yoel Rand and Dalia & Eldad Ran, Iconic New Zealand, Travelled on 1st February 2020
As we begin our long travel home, we would like to thank you for the wonderful time we had in New Zealand. All of your arrangements worked nicely and timely. As I wrote before, the itinerary was very good and well balanced, the accommodation was as expected with some of them really WOW (the Warwick for one) and the car was very good and convenient (one comment though to Budget: from which museum did they take the GPS with the outdated, old, unfriendly user interface? In the age of GoogleMaps, Waze and Here on every smartphone, it was totally useless). So, thank you for the assistance and support and hopefully we’ll come again as we leave with a taste of “more”!
Ronald & Linda Chong, Auckland to Dunedin Explorer, Travelled on 31st January 2020
Shelley put our tour together seamlessly. She was so helpful for all our needs and questions. I give, her a 10.
David & Sandra Hopkin, The Majestic South, Travelled on 21st January 2020
I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for helping arrange a holiday of a lifetime in NZ. We have just returned having done your tour of the South Island, then some hot spots in the North Island including Waiheke Island and a superb Wine Tour. Followed by a cruise around Both NZ Islands ending up in Sydney. Your hotel choice was superb - some of the views from our hotel room were stunning, many times we said “Well done Abby” as we admired the coast or the mountains straight outside our room. The recommendations for walks top-notch, particularly enjoyed the Hooker Trail at Mt Cook. The organisation of the hire car was brilliant - all arrived on time. The drop-offs and transfers all worked well with the drivers being very punctual and friendly. I think it was the variety that surprised us the most, it was definitely a holiday that kept on giving, every day a new destination, new views and surprises. What a fantastic country, so unspoilt and thinly populated. The roads and the lack of traffic were a real shock to us, as we are used to manic UK roads. It was all exceptional, the clean air, the lovely clear water, just the whole experience was great and I can’t thank you enough for doing such a superb efficient job sorting it all out. The info pack was very comprehensive with good directions. It was a shame to leave.
Paul and Laura Denner, Ultimate Explorer Tour of New Zealand, Travelled on 16th January 2020
Good Afternoon/morning Louise, Well, what a wonderful holiday it was. It is hard to think of a single moment that we did not enjoy so a very big thank you to you for your assistance on arranging this 'ultimate tour'. From the moment we arrived and the driver was waiting at Auckland Airport for us until another driver returned us to Christchurch Airport all that could be controlled and organised went smoothly and well. From our telephone conversation and emails while we were in New Zealand you already know that the weather caused a few hiccups with the need to have certain trips cancelled, of these our greatest disappointment, was not to be able to undertake the Helihike as that would have been a fairly dramatic finale. Prior to coming to New Zealand, we had certain expectations as to what we could expect and I can confidently say that they were exceeded. Leaving British winter and arriving in the warmth and sunshine was wonderful. We had slight reservations about staying in motels as opposed to hotels, but overall the quality was very good and the greatest benefit was the proximity to the rooms that it was possible to park and hence reduce luggage carrying distance. We were pleased to be provided with fresh milk in every motel. We both know that we ate our way around New Zealand (!) but tried to balance this with considerable amounts of walking. We had some wonderful meals, thoroughly enjoying fresh seafood on many occasions. I carried a copy of Lonely Planet with me and almost without fail we found excellent cafes and restaurants, often in out of the way places. For 'livability' we thought that the Northland and Coromandel peninsula was glorious, however, the South Island scenery was stunning. While staying in Paihia we caught the ferry to Russel which was absolutely delightful and very much liked the area around Whitianga/Cooks Beach. Of special mention are a few things, firstly the plane flight/walk/sand surfing on the Cape Reinga trip which was a real highlight; despite much reservation, Laura thoroughly enjoyed the Canopy Tours trip while staying at Rotorua; while at Whitianga the boat trip was cancelled but then Ken the owner of the boat contacted us and said he could do an extra trip for the two of us at 7.30 am the next day and that was tremendous; the Hawkes Bay winery visit was once again effectively a private trip as it was only Jon the driver/guide and the two of us.....managed to sample 27 wines!! Green-shelled mussels at Havelock; seeing 3 different types of Albatross and Giant Petrels on the boat trip while staying in Dunedin; the skilful way in which Christchurch is being re-built. There is so much more I could say, but I am sure that you have heard this many times from Brits who have visited your lovely country and been so impressed with everything. Many thanks once again.
Ed, Marisel and Olivia Guntin, Discover New Zealand & Sydney Adventure, Travelled on 29th January 2020
We were thrilled with our New Zealand adventure. This was our first visit, and we were delighted with how easy it was to drive in both islands (great roads and easy to read signs/directions). The country's natural landscape is absolutely spectacular. The people were very kind and friendly. The country is a gem!
John & Penny Boyd and Maggie & Mike Thorne, South Island Luxury Extravaganza, Travelled on 23rd January 2020
Presumably you're reading this because you are considering a self driving vacation in NZ. That's what my wife & I, along with her sister & husband decided to do in January this year. The question was how best to maximise the time available? Armed with some knowledge of NZ & following some study of the latest Lonely Planet Guide, we decided on a 12 day tour of the Island, followed by a further week for just my wife & I in the Marlborough region. I was aware of companies that helped with this sort of thing & following the usual Google search & a few enquires, settled on New Zealand Self Drive Tours. Kasmira (Kaz) Banks took my call. I explained that I'd been through their website, looked at all the tours & while none of them quite suited, by editing a couple I thought we could get what we wanted....that was no problem. Next: not too much driving; 2-3 day stopovers (this is really important unless you're have to spend a lot of time on the road); a mix of accommodation...some upmarket, remainder boutique, even B&B, preferably not motels or chains; some organised activities but plenty of time to do our own thing & finally comprehensive notes. In just 10 days Kaz had all this sorted out & an excellent proposal in front of us - it took us just 24 hours to decide on going ahead. From then on the organisation was excellent, great support from the company & Kaz had really understood our requirements very well....so a BIG thank you to Kaz & her support team. We will use them again!
Patricia MacDonald & Brian Avery, A Customised New Zealand Essential Explorer, Travelled on 7th January 2020
Overall, the trip and arrangements were fantastic. We had to think hard on things to suggest for improvement, we only came up with a few: - XX was the "worst" place we stayed at. Very dated, poor breakfast. Host was lovely, but not up to par with the rest of the trip. - The details on our Milford Sound flight were incorrect. Luckily we phoned to confirm and had our pick up arrangements changed. - We were not aware a private room was an option on the Interislander, that would have been of interest to us. Thanks for everything, we will highly recommend NZ Self-driving tours!!!
Paul & Sue Taylor, Grand New Zealand Tour, Travelled on 10th January 2020
This was one of those "trips of a lifetime" for us so it was important that everything went smoothly. I must, therefore, congratulate New Zealand Self Drive Tours and Jane on the excellent organisation of our Grand New Zealand Tour. We may never be able to repeat this, but if we did I would be sure to use them again.
Zeev and Tzipora Langer, Ultimate Explorer Tour of New Zealand, Travelled on 27th January 2020
Our vacation in New Zealand was wonderful! We enjoyed driving from one place to another and stopping many times on the way for various activities. (mainly taking pictures…) We also met a friend in Auckland that we did not see 40 years! and it was like a dream, a once in a lifetime experience. If I will report on everything I will never finish so I will give marks about accommodation and activities. If you will have questions don't hesitate to ask (as you used to say). We stayed 4 days more in Christchurch, we enjoyed our time. We went to a Classical music concert at City hall, to the Botanic gardens, Punting, Antarctica, the train, Regent-street, River side, etc. etc. We took a day tour to Akaroa. We think it is a MUST and you can take the boat and see Seals, Dolphins and Penguins swimming. If in Christchurch you should add it to your plan.
Jamie & Jennifer Kay, Auckland to Queenstown Southbound Explorer, Travelled on 28th December 2019
The whole trip was fantastic from start to finish. Everything was planned to perfection, with great timings, clear instructions and perfect activities for what we requested. Having all this organised for us really made the trip so easy and enjoyable!
Rhona Bhuyan, South Island Spectacular, Travelled on 8th January 2020
We booked a last minute self driving tour with Nichole. She was very helpful, efficient and available for all our queries. The itinerary was well-planned, with many major tourist hotspots included. In addition, we loved the drivers who picked us up and and dropped us off at the airport. Sam from Odyssey Wine Tours in Queenstown was also very accommodating and very knowledgeable. The trip went without a snag, and we will definitely use this tour service again for NZ. We appreciate Nichole's help very much!
Mary & James Kraft with Ronald and Sonja Mitchell, 21 day Classic New Zealand Driving Tour, Travelled on 8th January 2020
OUR TRIP WAS AMAZING! There really was not a thing that we would have changed, except to stay longer. Our trip was 3 weeks, it was a lot of driving, but we loved every minute. We saw so much of your beautiful country. We loved the people, the farm land, the food and the diversity. Your choice for accommodations was perfect, always with a view. We would recommend your company to anyone going to New Zealand. It was seamless, from the pick-up at the airport to the rental cars (GREAT cars!!!), to the ferry ride, excursions, train ride and then our final delivery to the airport. We couldn’t have asked for more. We also really like the app and found it very helpful. It was truly a trip of a lifetime. Thank you for all your input and coordination of details. We could never have done it without you!
Geoff and Jane Kilham, New Zealand Adventure, Travelled on 4th January 2020
We travelled through North and South Island in January 2020 for two weeks. We both wish we had gone for longer !! The standard of the hotels booked for us were excellent and the travel instructions clear. We found the booking process very easy and a good choice of activities were selected on our behalf. Our itinerary was adjusted to allow for a detour to visit a relative. Basically nothing was too much trouble for Rommy to ensure we had a perfect holiday. She even managed to book perfect sunshine for us !!
Herbert & Hjoerdis Stahl, New Zealand's Iconic South, Travelled on 28th December 2019
Our trip was wonderful. We loved the South Island, the locals we met, the places we went to. Every place we stayed overnight had its own charm, they were always all ready and waiting for us, never any complications with the reservations. Same for the pickup and drop-offs, the booked elements (trains, tours etc). Everything always went perfectly according to the schedule you provided (we only almost missed the train from Greymouth because we liked the Monteiths brewery lunch so much that we made it back to the train with 30 seconds to spare....). Of course, we were also lucky mostly with the weather, fantastic sunshine and not a cloud in the sky at Aoraki Mt Cook, the only one day where we stayed inside...the Doubtful Sound Cruise, but we met nice people so it didn't matter. And a downpour on our hike in Franz Josef that was so strong that the rain gear could not keep up. For us the nicest places we stayed were in Te Anau, we would have loved to stay an extra day in the bed and breakfast, and also the hotel in Kaikoura where Kelly the owner, her staff and the ambience of the place had us falling in love the moment we walked in. Your reactivity to the changes in the itinerary was perfect, and for us, the fact that we managed to see the Pancake Rocks twice (once at high tide) was very special. So there is nothing at all to criticize, everything was super. If there is one thing that can be improved (and I am not sure that is the right word) it was the fact that we got picked up at Christchurch airport, to be brought into town, to then have to take a taxi out the next morning to pick up the car. We could have picked up the car on arrival day instead of a pick up by a driver, or alternatively you could have organised a driver to take us there. But as I said, the trip was perfect so no worries. Thank you for your support and all the best.
Greg & Julie Hocking & Jacqueline Drysdale and Philip Proudfoot, Auckland to Wellington Highlights, Travelled on 26th December 2019
We loved our North Island holiday, we crammed a lot into one week but also had time to relax. So many highlights and the people were wonderful. We will be back in NZ in the future.
Mike and Annette Mrdak, North Island Scenic Highlights, Travelled on 30th December 2019
Thank you so much to the team from New Zealand self-drive tours for the organisation of our recent tour of the North Island. Rommy did a great job of listening to our interests and designing an itinerary to suit. Everything booked on our behalf was exactly what we would have chosen for ourselves. Hotels were perfect, recommended tours were spot on and pick up/drop off of hire car and to and from airports was seamless. Would recommend this service to anyone and will definitely use them again when we choose to tour the South Island.
Sue Hornby & Keith Sykes, Essential New Zealand Tour, Travelled on 15th December 2019
It was a fabulous trip, thanks to Shelley's hard work in helping us plan and organise everything. She really listened to and took account of, what I told her at the start about the types of places we did/didn't like to stay, restrictions on the types of activities we could do, locations we wanted to go to etc. Shelley went above and beyond to make sure the trip was exactly what we wanted and more.
Cavelyn, Warwick, Ben, Sam & Michael Jones, NZ Family Christmas Adventure Tour, Travelled on 16th December 2019
Fantastic family holiday organised in a short amount of time! Every detail attended to. Spot on with hotel bookings, itineraries etc.The app is fantastic to use & includes maps, dining suggestions etc. Highly recommend the team at NZ self drive tours. Total professionals!! Thank you.
Markus & Edith Linsi, Ultimate Explorer Tour of New Zealand, Travelled on 12th December 2019
Feedback on our Ultimate Explorer Tour of New Zealand, organized by New Zealand Self Drive Tours Wanaka/NZ • If you can spend a full month for vacation, the « Ultimate Explorer Tour » gives you a good opportunity to visit the best spots of New Zealand! • New Zealand Self Drive Tours offers also a lot of other good New Zealand tours, depending on the number of days you want to spend. • We had excellent support by New Zealand travel specialist Shelley Ryder regarding some tour changes we were asking during the booking phase. She always provided immediate feedbacks and proposals on our special requests. 😊😊 Also, during the journey, Shelley was always very helpful for any kind of question or issue! We always felt to be in good hands! 😊 • We really enjoyed all the included excursions, organized at each tour stop. It was a good combination of learning about the beautiful nature or the fascinating wildlife of this country! Our trip included about 24 different events, all perfectly organized and booked by NZ Self Drive Tours and there was only one day trip cancelled, the “Heli-Hike” in Franz Josef, due to bad weather conditions. NZ Self Drive Tours provided a full refund for this trip, just a few days later! • We were also delighted with the excellent choice of accommodations during the journey (we booked the option “Premium Motels”)! They all were very clean, provided comfy box spring beds, offered well-equipped kitchenettete to prepare breakfast and were always located to reach restaurants and shops at short walking distance. In all the motels the people in charge at the front desk provided helpful information regarding local restaurants and sightseeing. 😊 • We were surprised by the big culinary variety in New Zealand! In most of the places we stayed, we had the chance to eat at restaurants providing food from all over the world, served with a good glass of local wine, beer or cider! 😊 • NZ Self Drive Tours provided a comprehensive tour information package, consisting of a paper book with all the important details for each tour day, a detailed map book to find your way on the road and just recently they published an App for Apple and Android devices, in which you have your tour itinerary with all details available as well – even offline. 😊 • If you are looking for a well-organized trip or you don’t want to spend hours on searching for the best hotel, excursions or rental car deals yourself, we can highly recommend one of the organized tours, provided by New Zealand Self Drive Tours! You won’t be disappointed!
Dr Hester de Jager & Patronella De Jager, Southern Highlights Tour, Travelled on 26th November 2019
We had a wonderful and unforgettable tour on the South Island! The scenery is truly breathtaking. Everything was well organized and we feel that we were able to see a lot! We only wish we could spend a little more time at each stopover, but we know that we had a lot to fit in in just a few days. It was a pity that we missed out on the train ride and Glacier hot pools, but we understand that it was difficult circumstances and we were, in fact, lucky to get away before the really heavy rain got people stranded in Franz Josef! Thank you for organizing the car rental extension and refund for the stuff we missed. We will never forget this tour. It was really great! Thanks again
Peter Plottel & Rose Chau, Ultimate New Zealand Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 2nd November 2019
Sorry for this delayed response. We just wanted to thank you so much for all the help you gave us both when we were putting our itinerary together and while we were travelling throughout New Zealand. Apart from some changed plans towards the end of our trip, due to the effects of unforeseen weather events, everything went extremely smoothly. The standard of accommodation was generally very good, though less than perfect in a couple of places and far too luxurious in one or two other places. In fairness though, that was probably an availability issue because we did book the holiday only a few weeks before our departure.
Bradley & Brenda Craig, Essential Grand New Zealand Tour, Travelled on 1st November 2019
Thank you for planning an exquisite tour for us. You modified our itinerary and accommodations as we wished. The places we stayed were outstanding: comfortable, clean, picturesque. Our hosts were helpful and friendly. Our excursions and activities all surpassed expectations, especially the extra night we stayed on Milford Sound because of an avalanche. We appreciate your processing refunds for the few events that didn't materialize, as well as the prompt service and creative problem solving you employed when we needed it because of weather changes. We will highly recommend NZ Self-Driving Tours. Our trip to your lovely islands ever will be one of the highlights of all our travels.
Jamie & Jennifer Kay, Auckland to Queenstown Southbound Explorer, Travelled on 28th December 2019
Thanks for organising such a great trip for us!! It was truly memorable and the hotels and excursions you arranged for us were perfect!! A few things for future trips that we discovered: In Kaikoura, we did the 3-hour peninsula walk which was amazing and free to see seals up close and great views. Not that we were going to do them but the swim with dolphins books up 6 weeks in advance so good to notify anyone interested in that. The seal swim might be the same. The hotels are probably best being in town here too as there are no taxis easily accessed in the town. We did enjoy the longish walks though 😊 In Bay of Islands, the HMAS scuba dive is meant to be amazing too with the ability to swim through the shipwreck so I’d add that as an option. In Auckland, Wynyard is a great place to grab a meal and drink. For the clothing needed for activities, what’s listed is meant to be for winter so we probably overpacked but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. In Franz Josef, there is a really nice 90min hike to see the glacier up fairly close. Just a heads up that we needed to ask for the GPS for the south island car and it didn’t work. The company apologised when we returned the car and the petrol gauge was broken as it was completely full but said it wasn’t but they said they won’t charge us for those. That’s about it! Thanks again for all your help. You’ve made this one unforgettable trip for both me and mum.
Doug Mullins & Maria Callis, Ultimate Explorer Tour of New Zealand, Travelled on 26th December 2019
The trip was FABULOUS!!! Thank you for setting this up and getting the extra things that we wanted added in. I am definitely recommending your business to others.
Kiam Por, Hung Yang Brendon & Nurhayati Seah, Auckland to Christchurch Highlights Tour, Travelled on 30th November 2019
We came to NZ for the 1st time in the winter of 2003 when we had our honeymoon with a guided bus tour. We told ourselves we will want to come back again one day but with a driving tour to see this beautiful country and its wonderful people. Finally, after 17 years we came back to NZ but this time with our 16-year-old son. I am glad we've chosen New Zealand Self Drive Tours to plan & arranged our 15-day stay. From the day we landed till we flew back home, everything went on very smoothly i.e the car rental, accommodations, attractions & information. We will definitely come back to NZ again and definitely with NZ Self Drive Tours.
Kathryn Vandenberk & Giuseppe Mangano, LOTR Adventure, Travelled on 21st December 2019
We had a GREAT trip. Every reservation was in order, and the app provided on my phone was excellent. We followed it every day and had no problems with timing, directions or events. We loved our tour and quite a few of my Facebook friends now want to visit New Zealand as we did.
Robbie, Dani & Bonnie Wood, Family Getaway Tour, Travelled on 20th December 2019
We recently booked a 2 week holiday to NZ and had the most fantastic experience with New Zealand Self Drive Tours and the wonderful Skye Follas who went above and beyond to ensure our trip was absolutely perfect. Every step from rental cars at airports and ferries with baby seats fitted in advance to excellent accommodation (again with cots ready on arrival) was planned to perfection for us which ensured any misgivings we had about taking a 2-week driving tour with a 10 mth old were swiftly and comprehensively dispelled. We have already recommended these guys to multiple friends and have only been back for 2 weeks. I cannot speak highly enough of Skye and the team. Thank you for making our trip and Bonnie's first Christmas a really special one :)
Hu Hong and family, Taste of the South, Travelled on 21st December 2019
The family enjoyed the whole journey and activities very much. The lodging arrangement was great and locations were excellent. Everyone fell into love with New Zealand and we will certainly come back for more vacations. Thank you again for all the effort making our holiday a truly memorable experience.
Dhawal, Prini and Aarna Desai, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Tour, Travelled on 23rd December 2019
Travelled to South Island for the first time with the whole family. The itinerary planning done and accomodation provided were all up to the mark. Our customised itinerary was done by Chelsea and it was a memorable experience. The mountains of Mt Cook to the various activities in Queenstown, NZ is definitely a place to visit. Thank you Chelsea for taking all the efforts in making our holidays truly memorable.
Jesse Yang & Samantha Lee, Auckland to Queenstown Highlights Tour, Travelled on 23rd December 2019
My apologies for the delayed feedback regarding our NZ tour. I found our tour was wonderful...each city was thoughtfully picked and the route was well thought out and planned. We enjoyed every city on our tour. My feedback relates more to the hotel accommodations and breakfast. Most of the hotel rooms and breakfast were very lovely and we really enjoyed them except for the following: 1) The worst hotel was in Kaikoura. While we loved Kaikoura, the hotel was old, no AC, intermittent internet and the breakfast was at the cafe next door was the worst (toast or cold cereal). Also, the male owner was a jerk...we were told our room wasn’t ready for check-in so we decided to head into downtown since it was a 10 mins walk but before we headed out, we asked to use the restroom. We were told yes but after we used the restroom...the male owner tells us rudely that strangers aren’t allowed to use their restroom. Um...we just tried to check-in and you told us to use it. 2) the hotel in Queenstown needs to stop using the dry chemical shampoo to clean their carpets. The chemical smell is overpowering and does not leave the room. Our initial room was so bad, it triggered a migraine attack and I had to ask them to change our room. Their lobby was stunning and breakfast was one of the best but their rooms were small and very dated. It did not match the initial appearance or the feel of the hotel. 3) the hotel at Mt. cook needs to do a better job with training their front desk clerks. The initial clerk had no idea what she was doing. She was so inept that someone else had to step in and we were given a room that was assigned to someone else as when we used the key to open the door...there was already suitcases in the room. Other than those 3...all of the other hotels were great and the breakfast at these hotels were very lovely. Thanks for your help with our NZ tour. Jesse and I had a wonderful time.
Trotter Family, Kim's Family South Island Experience, Travelled on 23rd December 2018
Almost a year has passed since we visited New Zealand, and I'm only now getting around to writing a review and working on my scrapbook. New Zealand Self Drive Tours was absolutely amazing! With only weeks to go before our month in NZ over the busiest Christmas holiday, Nicole took us under her wing and got to work! We made many alterations to one of their offered tours, and before we knew it, we had our dream South Island trip. We were pleased to arrive in Christchurch to a great package of atlases, picture books, tickets and a grand itinerary that was perfectly organized. With Nicole's help, our trip was perfect from one end to the other. Thank you for making our trip of a lifetime a breeze! Ka Pai!!
Suhairi Sumarni, Sumarni Sarmin, Hatijah Hassan & Kherlienn Kherman, Family Fun North Island Tour, Travelled on 15th December 2019
We had the pleasure of booking our custom itinerary through Christina Brockie who was most helpful during the planning process, allowing us to customise the holiday exactly as we wanted it. As with all holidays, there were occasions we required clarification from the main office (due to unexpected events) who were always readily available and provided us with good and reliable advice. They even managed to accommodate our request to change one of the pick-up timings from our hotel. All in all, a hassle-free holiday so we could focus on the more important tasks of enjoying the scenery, local food and culture!
Ann & Uwe Dahlmann and Family, South Island Coastal Self Drive tour, Travelled on 18th December 2019
We had a wonderful trip. Victoria organized our round trip very well, everything went well. We would book with your agency again. Great job !
Wendy & Edward Peskin, Grand New Zealand Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 27th November 2019
We had a fantastic trip. New Zealand Self Drive Tours arranged all hotels, cars, ferry and many entrance fees. They also booked tours such as Glacier at Mt Cook and at Museums like Te Papa. Everything was wonderful. They were available to help with itinerary changes when landslide prevented our journey to the west coast of the South Island. I would highly recommend them.
Patricia Marina Sugondo & Sonny Suryanto, Northbound Explorer Tour, Travelled on 17th November 2019
This is our second trip with NZ Self Drive Tours. And we still think it is the best way to explore and enjoy NZ. Louise had helped us to make our journey easy and enjoyable. Accommodation arranged for us were wonderful and some were beyond expectation. We would recommend NZ self drive tours to anyone planning a road trip to NZ. Thank you, Louise!
Hong Wah Yuen and Chip Hwee Ng, Christchurch to Auckland Must Do Tour, Travelled on 25th November 2019
Just wanted to say we had an absolutely awesome time over in NZ and thank you so much for booking and organizing everything for us! The preparation and choice and timing of the whole tour was amazing and extremely easy. All the instructions were easy to follow and clear and we had no trouble reaching each of the destinations and planned outings. The only minor thing that we noted that might benefit future travellers, and I'm not sure if you are able to...but perhaps either a way to include the overnight parking for Auckland/Wellington into the package fee or advise that travellers would need to find their own parking? Wasn't a big issue, but we didn't realise this until we got to the places itself.
Linda & James Comb, Mary & Lyle Larson, The Natural Wonders Of The South Island New Zealand Tour, Travelled on 16th November 2019
We had a good trip! Couple things I would note, would not recommend staying in a location one night. I felt we move too much thus not getting to know the areas we stayed. I would recommend that your company try to limit the number of times a trip stays only 1 night. Drive times were a little longer than expected due to roads so would suggest that the drive times were a little longer than listed. Liked accommodations other than our first night in Christchurch but we changed our return to Christchurch to stay an extra night in Akaroa which was the right decision. Nicole was great to work with!
Wallace & Robyn Mills, South Island Coastal Self Drive tour, Travelled on 22nd November 2019
The trip was excellent. This time round we managed to get to the top of the Franz Josef Glacier, which was a wonderful experience. The flight in the helicopter allowed excellent views of the glacier and its surrounds. Even though it rained during our cruise on Milford Sound, the rain and the wind made for some spectacular views of waterfalls being blown sideways. Accommodation along the way was superb, no faults there. The trip was well organized and assistance was available at the end of a phone line. Many thanks to the team.
Linda, James, Mary and Lyle - The Natural Wonders Of The South Island New Zealand Tour
We had a good trip! Couple things I would note, would not recommend staying in a location one night. I felt we move too much thus not getting to know the areas we stayed. I would recommend that your company try to limit the number of times a trip stays only 1 night. Drive times were a little longer than expected due to roads, so would suggest that the drive times were a little longer than listed. Liked accommodations other than our first night in Christchurch but we changed our return to Christchurch to stay an extra night in Akaroa which was the right decision. Nicole was great to work with!
Michael & Helen - Northern Explorer to Southern Adventure Tour
We are now back in Cape Town following our month-long visit to Australia and New Zealand. Everything went according to plan and we were mostly able to do the things that we hoped to do, including the helicopter flight over the glaciers and snow landing thanks to a break in the weather in Franz Josef. The train journeys were excellent as was the ferry crossing on the Interislander. Your app is user-friendly and has loads of useful info. Overall the hotels were fine, other than the Scenic in Dunedin where we requested to change rooms which was dealt with immediately by the duty manager. The Scenic hotel in Franz Josef however was very nice. On reflection, the only thought we have is that our time in NZ was too short as there are places where I would have liked to add an extra day and parts where the driving distance was too long with so much to see on the way, e.g. Dunedin to Te Anau and Queenstown to Franz Josef. In all it would only have meant adding on an extra week. Our son and his girlfriend are on their way back from Queenstown today, after spending a week exploring the North Island, followed by a second week on the South Island where they concentrated their travel on the West Coast. They have shared some stunning photographs of the places they visited. Thank you for guiding us on our visit to New Zealand; we thoroughly enjoyed our adventure and greatly appreciate the effort you put into making it the success that it was. We would highly recommend your company's services.
Roberta Oswald, Betty Hrycyshyn & Elizabeth Johnston, Photography Bonanza around New Zealand Holiday, Travelled on 31st October 2019
We are back from our wonderful NZ trip. It was spectacular. You did a great job planning it. Everything ran smoothly and the accommodations were terrific, including Penguin Place! Please enjoy the video of the trip and have a wonderful Christmas.
Charles & Katherine Charalambous and Fiona & Keith Murray, Queenstown to Christchurch Food and Wine Tour, Travelled on 18th November 2019
Thank you Kasmira for your good work. Steve Simpson and yourself put it together nicely to make our holiday an enjoyable and memorable one. Our only regret was not experiencing Milford Sound because of the weather. Our group of 10 loved the South Island of New Zealand. Your program was well thought out and we grouped together and made the most of what was offered. Keep up the good work for we will return to enjoy more of your beautiful country.
Balasubramanian Family, Auckland to Christchurch Wonders of New Zealand Tour, Travelled on 8th November 2019
We had a wonderful time in New Zealand. Excellent itinerary, beautiful scenery, the central location of hotels/motels, comfortable accommodation, attractive add-ons. Lakes and waterfalls everywhere; sheep grazing green fields; oceans and boulders; snow-capped mountains; dolphins and seals. Top of the list -- Milford Sound overnighter, Franz Josef Helihike, Glow Worm Cave, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, Redwood Treewalk, Catlins Beach Resort, Punakaiki Beach Resort. Favourite City - Queenstown (with zipline activity) Others - Huka Falls River Cruise, Doubtful Sound, Penguin Conservation, Te Puia.
Richard and Margalit Buchta, Southern Coast and Stewart Island Nature Tour, Travelled on 7th November 2019
Great trip all around, all planned well. Additional night trip on Stewart Island to see kiwis was rained out, while glacier trip was cancelled due to bad weather. Enjoyed Queenstown and area which in hindsight could have been extended to see more. The accommodation was great although I had expected hotels with rooms with lake views in Te Anau and Queenstown.
Julie Williamson & Cary Payne, Auckland to Christchurch Highlights Tour, Travelled on 22nd November 2019
Jo, Cary and I just returned to Denver after a great trip around New Zealand. I wanted to thank you for encouraging us to stick with the Milford Sound tour. It was fantastic, even in the rain, and perhaps because of the rain- the waterfalls on the sound were just amazing. Trips and Tramps did a wonderful job as well. Our trip was amazing, and we had a great time. Thanks for being so responsive to all of our questions, and helping to reroute mid-way through. We were really glad to do the drive from Queenstown to Lake Tekapo instead of flying to Christchurch - it was a beautiful drive up there. Everything went well, and the days flew by!
David & Angela James, Auckland to Christchurch Highlights, Travelled on 5th November 2019
Thanks for organizing a great trip, we both thoroughly enjoyed our time in New Zealand and will hopefully return at some stage to explore the South Island.
Duncan & Donna Graham, Wellington, Walking and Wildlife Tour, Travelled on 9th November 2019
Shelley did a great job organizing our trip for us. The Te Papa museum has great exhibits and is a comfortable venue to explore. Although it was pouring rain for our first Tour to Matiu Somes Island we had a wonderful tour. Our guides were knowledgeable and we were able to spot a number of birds as we learned about the preservation efforts on the island. The ferry to Picton was a rough ride & quite foggy for most of it. We could tell it would be beautiful in better weather, but enjoyed the trip anyway.The drive to Abel Tasman was exciting but again very windy & wet. The Abel Tasman Marahau Lodge was beautiful - very private and well appointed. We were able to enjoy the sun on our private patio before walking a trail through the Park & enjoying good food at the Pizza Place. The cruise to Tonga Island Reserve was great - lots of dolphins & seals & finally warm sunshine. The hike back was vigorous but interesting. The west coast was stunning although the rain moved in again. Pancake rocks are extraordinary & we were able to get in a quick trip upon arrival & the next morning between the rain drops. The tree house was great, although we were loading & unloading in the pouring rain! The drive to Arthur's Pass was quite scenic. Our accommodation was on the outskirts of town so other than walking to & fro in wet cold weather, we didn't explore the trails. The drive to Kaikoura was stunning and our accommodation the best. We had an amazing view of the snow caps, rolling foreground & the sea from our window. It was a pleasant walk to the bustling town. Our whale watch was successful. We spotted our whale, watched him spout & dive and saw several albatross, dolphins & sea birds. Knowledgeable guides rounded out the trip. The drive to Christchurch was comfortable and we were able to return the car easily & sign in at the airport. All In all a great adventure hindered only by the rain, but we just carried on & enjoyed it regardless.
Anita & Tom Medina, Spectacular New Zealand Highlights Trip, Travelled on 7th November 2019
Nichole designed a fabulous trip for us and included so many nice details we wouldn't have thought of. We had such a fabulous time and would love to return someday. We highly recommended your company to friends. Thank you for the wonderful experience in New Zealand!
Ravi Shah and family, Milford Sound Highlights Tour, Travelled on 11th November 2019
Hey Chelsea, Thank you for arranging a wonderful trip. Everything was perfect and the family had a ball. Really appreciate all the effort you put in down to the minutest detail.
Ravi Shah and family, Milford Sound Highlights Tour, Travelled on 11th November 2019
Thank you, Chelsea, for helping us organise an amazing tour. All the arrangements were perfect given that we had some very specific requirement. You were also able to accommodate our dates, especially during the busy period. Thanks once again for being prompt in your responses and clear in your comms. What made it even easier was your ability to understand our needs and dealt with them in a friendly manner.
Theresa Machin & Family, Spectacular New Zealand Highlights Trip, Travelled on 5th November 2019
Hi Nichole. I want to let you know how delighted we are with the arrangements you made for us. Everything went without a glitch We so enjoyed all the accommodations that you booked for us- they were perfect amounts of space and privacy. Of exceptional notation are the managers, Kerry, at Vinters Retreat, and Matt at Merivale Manor. They went beyond for us- our daughter left her wallet in the Wellington hotel, only realizing she forgot it once we had boarded the ferry to cross to the South Island. The front desk at Wellington arranged for the courier pick up- we naively suggested it be delivered to Vinters Retreat- as we were there for two nights- not appreciating the travel/courier implications. Kerry kindly assured us that she "would handle it for us" and she arranged to have it redirected to Christchurch When we arrived at Merivale Manor, we learned that Matt had travelled to the airport to pick up the couriered wallet so as to ensure that our daughter had it. Their service was exceptional. Also, Kerry upgraded our room arrangements to a three-bedroom unit, figuring that by Day 5 they might like their own bed and their own room. Our girls were thrilled and so appreciated her thoughtfulness. Our wine tour was by van, as weather was rainy- our guide, Kaya, was so knowledgeable, and so lovely to spend a day in her company We so appreciated the Milford Sound bus excursion- a great break from driving in our car. The car was very roomy, and lots of room for our luggage. Car rental was hassle-free picking up and returning I can't say enough about how pleased we are with all the arrangements you so thoughtfully made. We so enjoyed all our excursions Our trip is one of our lifetime highlights, thanks to your commitment to quality service, and upheld by the accommodations you selected for us. The scenery of New Zealand is exceptional- unsurpassed by the warmth and hospitality we experienced from your services. We have wonderful memories to cherish.
Susan Peterson & Cathy Porter, North Island Adventure, Travelled on 31st October 2019
Thank you so much for a wonderful experience in New Zealand and with your service. Everything was perfect so well organised and exactly what we wanted. The only downfall was our stay at wellington the room was not 100% clean, also no parking there. It was a great position, but Abel Tasman round the corner would have been a better choice. Thank you again for a job well done, I have told everyone of your wonderful service and would not hesitate to call you again on my next trip.
Susan & Colin Wales, Elspeth Lowes, North to South Explorer Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 1st November 2019
Thanks, Kasmira for all your arrangements for our trip! We were pleasantly surprised by the standard of the hotels that you had booked, we didn't expect 4-star treatment and even had an upgrade to the penthouse for our second stay in Auckland! Unfortunately, the app would not work on my phone so we missed some of the detailed info there and, in retrospect, we should have opted for longer stays in fewer places as the amount of driving became too much. Maybe that is something you could mention to older clients like ourselves. Highlights were: the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Lake Taupo and environs, Hamner Springs, Lake Tekapo and having a lovely clear day as we approached Mt Cook. Special thanks to Louise who helped Colin arrange a motel close to the Timaru Hospital following my accident at Mt Cook, to the Heritage Hotels guides and staff and to the NZ Health Services for such good care!! Will send you some of my stand-out pics, we certainly enjoyed the wide variety of beautiful scenery and interesting experiences.
Ed & Deborah Gray, Auckland to Queenstown - From The Worlds Fastest Indian to Auckland Americas Cup Boating, Travelled on 17th October 2019
Abby, our trip through your country will be on our minds for the rest of our lives. Around every corner was something new for us to marvel. This was our 35 anniversary of marriage. On our 25th we went to Hawaii, but we both have agreed that New Zealand is Hawaii on steroids. The addition that we made to Invercargill was great, my motorcycle friends back home are already jealous that I have photos of the Worlds Fastest Indian. Transition from North to South Island went smoothly (except for a windy and rough crossing). Cars were great, great fuel mileage. Most hotels we stayed in were outstanding, especially the Chateau Marlborough Now for a couple of negatives, for your guests I think reserved parking at hotels should be included. A hotel change in Queenstown I think is in order. There was no lift to our floor, so baggage had to be carried to our room. Abby I hope my short story helps you and your company to continue to provide great memories for your clients. Again thank you.👍👍👍👍👍👍
Sheryl & Paul Gray, Kerri & Gregory Crawford, Customised South Island Coastal Tour, Travelled on 25th October 2019
Our trip was expertly arranged and I will have no hesitation in recommending it in the future. Communication was excellent and delivered in a timely manner every time. Thank you for organising this trip and allowing us to share your beautiful south island with magnificent vistas everywhere. A trip to remember.
Larry & Linda Lawrence, North to South Explorer Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 24th October 2019
We had a great time with New Zealand Self Drive (NZFT) assistance, however, we had a few incidents that were, in the end, handled very professionally and to our total satisfaction. Ms Amy Ellis, General Manager, listened to our concerns and rectified each very smoothly and quickly. We have nothing but the highest regard for her intervention in the incidents which could have marred the trip we have planned and looked forward to for several years. Also, the ladies we dealt with on the phones and chat with were helpful. NZFT is fortunate to have Amy Ellis.
Jack and Peggy Cahill, Customised South Island Natural Discovery Tour, Travelled on 24th October 2019
Memories of our amazing trip to New Zealand will be forever in our hearts, and part of that great experience included your care and your professionalism. Jack and I sincerely thank you for being available to us in every detail. The trip was so easy, in great part, because of you, allowing us to enjoy every moment. We thank you. Please know we shall smile whenever we think of you.
John & Roz Frogley, A Taste of the South Tour, Travelled on 23rd October 2019
Nicole, thank you for your recent email regarding our trip. Roz and I had a great time touring the South Island of NZ, particularly because of the attention to detail with the itinerary you prepared for us. As it was a special occasion for us, being our golden wedding anniversary, we were absolutely thrilled with the surprise extras you had arranged at nearly every nights stay. From a lovely room upgrade at the Distinction Hotel in Christchurch on our first night, next a magnificent anniversary meal at the Hermitage at Mount Cook which was a wonderful and very meaningful surprise; so thank you so much for this Nicole. We then found an anniversary treat arranged by the management of the Millennium Hotel in Queenstown waiting for us on our arrival there - this consisted of a special dessert tray which we enjoyed. Another highlight was the dinner cruise to Walter Peak Station on the SS Earnslaw. We were greeted by staff there who had been informed of our 50th anniversary and so, they looked after us incredibly well. We met with a lovely greeting of, 'so here you are at last - we have been waiting for you both'; as we had had to reschedule from the previous evening due to the avalanche at Milford Sound. We were shown to a table for two and provided with a couple of glasses of champagne. Then our two hostesses kept coming back and making us feel very special on the night. It was a lovely dinner and the entertainment provided by the sheep shearing and the exhibition put on by the sheep dogs was fabulous. On our last night, Nadine at the Distinction Hotel in Christchurch (again) arranged a surprise anniversary dessert treat for us in the restaurant. So, wonderful memories of our special anniversary - and that is not forgetting all of the marvellous scenery which New Zealand can boast about. The car selected by you was perfect for our tour and it behaved very well in some rough weather which we encountered, but then again it is the rugged west coast of the South Island and we know it can have inclement weather; it didn't spoil anything for us though. The two times our itinerary had to be changed or, rescheduled was not too great a hardship. The road was cleared in time for us to embark upon our cruise at Milford Sound and we had a great time there. Overall Nicole we really cannot thank you enough for the care and attention you and your other colleagues have shown to us before and during our time in New Zealand. It is a great credit to you all that even through adversity (such as the two avalanches) a wonderful holiday can be secured. Thank you all again - we will certainly be recommending you and your service to anyone we speak to into the future.
Jerry & Libby Hubbard, The Natural Wonders Of New Zealand, Travelled on 23rd October 2019
Nichole White, with New Zealand Self-drive Tours, did an amazing job preparing an 18 day trip of a lifetime that took my wife & me from Auckland to Queenstown, with many stops in between. I highly recommend the self driving tour that was smartly planned and flexible so we could deviate from the schedule when we wanted. The entire country is beautiful and the New Zealand people are wonderful - very nice and go out of their way to help. The New Zealand Self-Drive Tour App was very helpful, particularly for our schedule that kept us on the go. The App is easy to access with your daily planner clearly laid out, including maps and quick links to many special things of interest along the way. This vacation exceeded all expectations, due largely to Nichole White, who did not miss a detail.
George & Leah Bemis, Discover New Zealand Tour Customised for George & Leah, Travelled on 21st October 2019
An excellent trip and again very much enjoyed our stay in New Zealand. Looking forward to returning to your country as it is a favorite place of mine to return too.
Mark Wensrich, 17 Day Christchurch to Auckland Must Do Tour, Travelled on 18th October 2019
A vacation it took me a lifetime to save up for, and the vacation of a lifetime. I felt at home in New Zealand.
Charles & Nora Harris, Nathan and Sarah Gillispie, Making the Most of Explorer New Zealand (3 star), Travelled on 12th December 2019
Great job on picking chauffeurs, places to stay and allowing plenty of time to drive and site see. We really enjoyed all the unique places we stayed in. Our favourite was especially the Havenz Punakaiki on a cliff and the Church Hahei Cabins in the gardens. As a suggestion, we would have enjoyed cooking at the Havenz Punakaiki so perhaps you can suggest picking up food along the way. There aren’t very good restaurants available. It was also nice to have lodged with Nathan and Sarah in a shared living space for each of the holidays. Appreciated your suggestions for other activities and sites to see. The wine tour was excellent and a lot of fun. The doubtful sound tour was terrific and we had good weather. So glad we did Doubtful sound rather than Milford Sound. Lots of buses full of tourists went to Milford. Overall great experience. First time I used a travel service. Usually, I arrange all of the trips so I was septic and you did a great job. Thank you!
Anne Hynes and Cal Clark, 8 Day Northern Highlights Tour, Travelled on 21st October 2019
I wanted to let you know we had a fabulous trip! New Zealand is so beautiful and the people are so wonderful and helpful as well! When we arrived, our driver was waiting for us just as planned, and when we got the hotel they had a room available for us and it was an executive upgrade! At the end of our trip with NZ touring we then ended up staying at CityLife for the remainder of our stay as well- It is a wonderful hotel with great service and such a handy location! ( Luckily we missed the downtown fire issue) . Everything else with the driving tour went just as planned, all our activities in the itinerary were amazing and our motel stays/ breakfasts were great too! We loved that most of them were “suite” style with separate bedroom, living and dining areas! Some of our favourite things were the first-night harbour dinner cruise – we actually went sailing on a sailboat for this – totally unexpected and amazing! Bay of Islands is a wonderful place to be, I actually could have used another day there – beautiful! ( As FYI, we never did get to the Waitangi Treaty grounds, our own choice, as we needed some rest!) The Redwoods Night Lights Treewalk is actually above ground up in the trees – everyone needs to do this! And the Waiheke wine tour and dinner was my personal favourite. All in all, Cal and I would like to personally thank you for the time you took to set up all of this for us and making changes to suit our needs. And you really came through for us on our trip when we had to switch our reservation nights for Redwood/Maori events – that really saved us and we were so glad not to miss either of them! Along our travels, whenever we talked to people we let them know about New Zealand Self Drive Tours, New Zealand Fine Touring, and how helpful you were in setting up our trip! Fun fact – we really loved that at every hotel there was a carton of milk waiting for us to have with our tea – it is a nice touch! And I also wanted to ask if New Zealanders drink milk?… whenever we asked for cold milk as a beverage this seemed to be an odd request – lol!
Patricia Seymour & Joy Enever, The Wonders of the South Island, Travelled on 15th October 2019
We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday in NZ. The only slight criticism was the helicopter ride.. for the price was not worth it. The day was very inclement (not unusual) however, disappointed we didn't fly over the mountains with snow-capped summits, instead landed for 10 minutes on a hill close by, spent 10 minutes there, and straight back to the airport... I guess if we had cancelled they would miss out on their $'s. Our accommodation was fantastic... thankyou. Overall, a great job...thank you all.
Jenny & Gregory Quilliam, Coast to Coast Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 16th October 2019
Our trip was excellent, with the meticulous organisation by Louise. Enquiries were responded to very promptly. Accommodation included some interesting and historical sites, with uniformly helpful hosts. We will be signing up for a similar driving tour of the North Island later next year. Many thanks for a great driving holiday.
Kerrie Davis & Julie Connor, South Island Grand Tour, Travelled 12th October 2019
Just wanted to thank you for your assistance during our Self Drive tour of New Zealand. The itinerary and paperwork provided were absolutely fantastic and everything worked so well. Thank you for contacting us about the change to the train trip from Greymouth to Christchurch. If you are still in touch with Abby, it would be great if you could thank her for preparing such a fantastic itinerary for us. We feel we saw so much of the south island in our 23 days. We look forward to returning to New Zealand in the future.
Diane & Peter Williamson, 21 Day Discover New Zealand Holiday, Travelled on 20th September 2019
We had an amazing holiday due to Jane’s great work with our bookings, from our pick up at Auckland airport to our drop off at Christchurch airport. The accommodation, hire cars & transfers ran like clockwork. Spectacular scenery & friendly locals made the trip memorable. A highlight was the Mitai Maori experience at Rotorua. It was unfortunate that the fishing trip at Queenstown was cancelled at last minute due to lack of participants as this was something Peter was really looking forward to. We loved New Zealand and would thoroughly recommend booking through Jane and the wonderful staff at New Zealand Self Drive Tours. They look at your interests & what sort of holiday you are looking for and make an itinerary with suggested activities. A phone call to them anywhere along the way with any questions were quickly responded to and nothing was too much trouble for them. We had a fantastic trip and look forward to returning and exploring some areas we missed.
Nolan & Tara Berg, South Island Day Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 26th September 2019
Nicole, we very much enjoyed our New Zealand trip. We had a wonderful time, made lots of memories, and took over 1500 photos to remember our trip of a lifetime. We did endure a bit of rain during our stay, but as we were mostly prepared for that, we still saw and did most of what we had planned, although we did get a bit wet a couple of times. Our only regret was not taking more time for this trip, like another month! While a great overview of the south island, it does require a bit of driving on some days. We especially enjoyed multiple days stays in one location where there was plenty of opportunities to explore. I've decided we will have to return and do more thorough research in several areas again someday. We have been asked by our family and friends "Which stop was you favourite". We have been unable to come up with one favourite, more like 10 or 15. A beautiful part of the world we felt very fortunate to visit. We thank you very much for the coordination of the entire trip, including transfer from the airport, rental car and of course, all the accommodations. We also appreciate your update and coordination of the change that was made to drop the train trip after the rail closure. All the accommodations except for one, we would highly recommend. We appreciated the personal touches and quality of the chosen accommodations. The only accommodation we did not feel was in the same category as all the others was the Charles Court Motel in Greymouth. While adequate, we, unfortunately, had been spoiled by all the other accommodations and just felt this one didn't meet the same standard. The appearance is a bit tired. Since we ended up driving back to Christchurch the last day, if I had planned ahead, I may have requested we stay again in Arthurs Pass. Thanks Nicole for coordinating a wonderful experience. One we will never forget.
Ahmad Zaidi Hatta & Norsabrina Razak, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 7th October 2019
Our greatest holiday so far. The well-prepared and tailor made trip was great and hassle-free. It was quite a relax journey although we drove almost 2,200 km which took us from Christchurch, Akaroa, Lake Tekapo, Aoraki Mt Cook, Te Anau, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Wanaka, Franz Josef Glacier and Greymouth. The trip also took us on board the Tranzalpine train from Arthur's Pass to Christchurch. Our consultant, Nicole was ready at hand to accomodate any last minute changes to the plan such as the heavy rain at Te Anau glow worm cave and train derailment at Greymouth. We wished we spent more time at Aoraki Mt Cook and Wanaka. Nevertheless, it was smooth as all arrangements were well laid out and planned. Thank you very much from both of us for making this trip one of our best holidays so far.
Chris & Lynette Rasmussen, Contrasting Landscapes of the South Island Tour, Travelled on 14th September 2019
We had a wonderful 26 day holiday which was organised by Nisse Perry. Our holiday which was our 4th amended plan after adding days/day trips and changing things to sort our travel plans around air flights. Nisse did a fantastic job planning our trip based on our requirements and was a pleasure to work with by phone or Emails, even with an overnight cruise change just before starting our trip. The handed over Travel Package had our day to day itinerary, additional suggestions for each day, travel map book, motel/car rental info with local contact info for all parts of our holiday. We have no hesitation recommending Self Drive Tours. We hope to return to New Zealand one day and will use NZ Self Drive Tours in the future. Thanks
Dilip Chari, Dhruva Narasimhan & Families, Auckland to Christchurch Essential Highlights Holiday, Travelled on 28th September 2019
Our 12 days North + South Island Tour was amazing, loaded with the activities and paced perfectly and we enjoyed every minute, experiencing the phenomenal New Zealand scenery. Everything was laid out appropriately and the journeys were spot on. All the accommodation was centrally located making it easy for us to explore the place, and we really liked our stays at Rotorua, Mt. Cook, Franz-Josef and Kaikoura. There were absolutely no problems with our tour. Everything went as planned, except for the U-fly in Wanaka, which was unavoidable, given maintenance-related. Shelley was a great help answering all of our many questions during the planning stages and helped to facilitate a special trip for us. We recommend NZ Self Drive Tours. Thank you, Shelley, for providing very clear instructions and all the information we needed for a wonderful and perfectly organised holiday.
Eamonn & Deirdre Mahony, Auckland to Christchurch Highlights, Travelled on 15th September 2019
We had the holiday of a lifetime all made better by the fabulous job that Jane did organizing every detail from being collected from airports and train stations to booking every hotel, ship and train and giving us great directions of where we stayed and things to do at that location. It took all the pressure away from us and we could enjoy every day of our holiday with no worries. Thanks again Jane for the fabulous job you did to make our holiday one to remember.
Melanie & Keith Rozairo, David Stralow, Leanne Campbell, The Southern Circuit, Travelled on 29th September 2019
I would like to sincerely thank Chelsea for the amazing holiday that she organised for us. From the picking up of the car, accommodation check-in and booked activities everything flowed smoothly. Everyone we dealt with was helpful, courteous and friendly. We appreciate all the detailed information, maps and local knowledge. We enjoyed this beautiful country so much and highly recommend NewZeland Self Drive Tours
Gail & Max Hart, Taste of the South Island tour, travelled on 21st September 2019
Kasmira, Max and I would like to express our appreciation for the excellent service we received with regard to the organising of our recent tour. Every part of the tour was spot on including the accommodation. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and will definitely be returning to New Zealand in the future when we get the chance. Obviously we were disappointed at missing the Milford Sound and Mt Cook cruises but realise these things can't be helped. Once again thanks again for your professionalism.
Michael & Marion Imer, Family Fun North Island Tour, Travelled on 21st September 2019
Rommy was wonderful! Everything arranged as we wanted, flawless execution. Great travel company to deal with - prompt and efficient in all aspects. Highly recommended.
Eamonn & Deirdre Mahony, Auckland to Christchurch Highlights, Travelled on 15th September 2019
Well, we are back home, working and into our daily routine. We want to thank you for the amazing amount of work you put into making our holiday one to always remember. We were delighted to have a taxi waiting for us when we arrived in Auckland with the lovely bag full of all the details of our trip. You thought of everything. We loved all the hotels we stayed in and our extra night on the farm was perfect. I kept the book you made out for us on my lap every day and we did some of the things you suggested to do along the way. We were blessed with the weather which showed off your fabulous scenery at its best. The trip from the north to the south island was also beautiful. Everything was fabulous and so well organized. Thanks to you and your team for a once in a lifetime holiday.
Melanie Sailer and Linda Johnson, North Island Highlights Tour, Travelled on 8th September 2019
The trip was amazing! Everything was laid out really well and the tours were spot on! Working with Sissy was easy and she was very accommodating! The guides were great! One recommendation would be on the driving directions to outline to estimated times to get from one point to the next. The distances were listed but not the amount of time it would take (estimate of course). While easy enough to find out after plugging it into an app, having it on the trip book would make the planning a bit quicker. Otherwise everything was amazing! North Island is truly a land of beauty and diversity!
Vishwak Vajendar & Shubha Arehole, Auckland to Queenstown Honeymoon Tour, Travelled on 6th September 2019
It was our Honeymoon trip and we had a wonderful time in New Zealand. Right from the beginning of making am enquiry till I took my flight back, it was very smooth and flawless. All the information I needed was provided to me way earlier (Digital and Printed copy) or upon landing which helped me plan accordingly. So happy that we chose NZ Self drive tours for our trip and there was never a single moment of regret. Nicole Andrews, who helped me in putting this together with NZ Self Drive Tours, is a very friendly person I have ever talked to. She did a fantastic job in getting to know what my needs are and build a trip based on my requirements. I highly recommend NZ Self Drive Tours if any one plans to have a self drive tour in NZ.
Steve, Delwyn & Jacob Craig, Southern Explorer Tour Christchurch to Christchurch, Travelled on 1st September 2019
Overall we are very happy with the package we were provided with, I would no hesitation recommending you to my friends , all of the accomodation was very good , the views at mt Cook from our balcony were exceptional, the standout motel was at Franz Joseph Glacier, very high quality and service, The vehicle supplied a Toyota Highlander was a solid performer, perhaps slightly bigger than expected but very comfortable , we enjoyed everyday with lots to see with the possible exception of day 3 from MT Cook, very limited things worth stopping for , But one average day out of 11 great days is exceptional...thanks
Gil, Marie Yvonne & Noah Sanchez, Auckland to Christchurch Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 18th August 2019
We took a 10 Day self-drive tour this August '2019, that started in Auckland and ended in ChristChurch . Christina Brockie was our travel advisor, working with her was a breeze and a pleasure. On our arrival at Auckland, we were met by their representative at the airport who then brought us to our hotel and handed over our travel package. The package contained our itinerary, hotel/car rental info and local contact info of the New Zealand Self Tours team. They also compiled everything into a booklet broken down by day plus some suggestion of side trips and activities for the place we were to visit. All the accommodation for the most part was to our expectation, a couple of the Hotels (Wellington and Marlborough) were really nice. All the hotels were very clean and centrally located making it easy for us to explore the place. Our room in Sudima Lake in Rotorua was dated and needed an update. The rental car provided was through EuropCar, the SUVs were new. On the way to the South Island, we dropped our SUV in Wellington to grab the ferry on arrival we went to EuropCar and the SUV was ready for pickup. Easy in and out. Even though it was winter season in NZ, it was mild for the most part. So, we were able to spend a lot of time outside. The good thing about traveling off season, is that we did not have to fight the crowds. If we had a couple more days to spare, we would have made our way to Queensland from ChristChurch. We have done several self-drive tours in the past in other countries and this is the format we enjoy. It allows get around on our own schedule, explore place that are off the beaten path (i.e. Waiheke, Tamaki Maori Village, Akaroa) and get some feeling of the local culture. Using New Zealand Self Drive Tours, certainly hit the mark.
John & Gina Reid, The Wonders Of The North Island - Off-The-Beaten Track, Travelled on 6th August 2019
Hi Nichole John and I had a wonderful holiday, just what we wanted and everything flowed seamlessly! All our hosts and their accommodation were spot on and so friendly as well. The trip itself was perfect with heaps of great scenery, walks and drives; we came home so relaxed that all our friends remarked on it! Thank you very much.
Sean Patrick, Mandy (Bee Lian), Fynn Patrick, Anna Mae Jermyn & Koh Xiu Ming, Customised North Island 10 Day Family Highlights, Travelled on 2nd August 2019
Shelley has been great in planning for both our trip to NZ. She is especially helpful when we have a little accident with the car and love the quick response from her and the office. My kids especially enjoy the Hobbit tour (the dinner was fantastic) and glow worms cave. All the accommodations are well planned too. View at the Castaways Resort is breathtaking but not impress with their only restaurant there. Foods are a little on the expensive side, service was great but we end up smelling like BBQ when we walk out. Especially love the little booklet prepared by Shelley. Very clear instructions and has all the information we need. Overall, we had a wonderful vacation. Thank you Shelley.
David & Dawn Tesarowski, The Natural Wonders Of New Zealand - North & South Island Adventure, Travelled on 23rd July 2019
We were extremely pleased with the tour arranged for us by Nicole White. The cars, accommodations and excursions were terrific and we enjoyed them all. From our first contact to the last, Nicole was the ultimate professional and engaging. Communications were timely and we were informed of any change to schedule with as much notice as possible, e.g. name change for a hotel, weather-related cancellation of a tour. We wholeheartedly recommend New Zealand Self Drive Tours.
Jeannette Vinke and the Ahsan family, Christchurch to Christchurch 14 Day Highlights, Travelled on 29th June 2019
Chelsea did a fantastic job. We had a great holiday, and very relaxing as all was organised perfectly. Thank you!
Anne Woo & Michael Withington, 11 Day Christchurch to Auckland Essential Highlights, Travelled on 30th June 2019
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and had an amazing time. We were lucky to have such good weather too. The itinerary was well organized. Everything went very smoothly. The car (Toyota Corolla) we got in South Island was noticeably superior than the car (Holden) we got in North Island. The hotels were well chosen. The best ones were the Rees Hotel (clean, modern room with a great view and friendly service) and M Social (very slick and comfortable room). The Millennium Hotel in Rotorua was disappointing (the bathroom looked tired and the heating wasn't working properly). The highlights of the trip were the Mount Cook Observatory, Milford Sound cruise, the helicopter ride and the Hobbiton tour. Thank you for arranging such a wonderful trip!
Brittany Arnott and Adam Strauss, 15 Day New Zealand Grand, Travelled on 29th June 2019
We chose the fourteen day New Zealand grand tour and added an extra day in Rotorua. This trip was a fantastic way to see the sights of both of the islands in an extremely fast-paced way, cover as much ground as possible and spend loads of time on the road experiencing the phenomenal New Zealand scenery. What I will say is if we were to do another NZ Self-Drive, we would spend closer to a month just to really get the most out of each unique place we were visiting. I think that the long drive times were perfectly fine for us as we’re both young and adventurous, but anybody older than us may struggle with doing the longer driving legs with only one registered driver (you can’t hire a car on a probationary license in NZ). The accommodation chosen (motel/hotel 3-4 stars) were above and beyond expectation. In several of the accommodations (notably in Te Anau and Dunedin) we were provided with upgraded rooms, and everybody we dealt with at each facility were extremely friendly and helpful. The exception to this was the accommodation at the Mercure Resort Queenstown, which I found to be subpar for a four star hotel with a world-renowned reputation. Accommodation highlights were definitely Punga Grove Motels and Suites (seriously - don’t sleep on Franz Josef. It was literally my trip highlight) and the Nautilus in Napier. As for hire cars, we were sorted out by Europcar and met with professionalism and efficiency in all three locations we dealt with - Auckland, Picton and Christchurch. Throughout the entire booking process; from choosing an itinerary, to finalising and booking, to arrival and departures procedures were handled by Chelsea at New Zealand Self-Drive Tours. I genuinely feel as though Chelsea went above and beyond to put my mind at ease and ensure that every step in our trip was planned meticulously - as I am a fastidious person, this suited me very well. The activities and recommendations provided by Chelsea were great suggestions. If we were to do this again, I would add in some of these activities as part of the booking process to ensure that we were doing things in the most cost effective way possible. We would 100% choose this company to travel with again. Everything was planned perfectly, and Chelsea was beyond fantastic. Thanks a million!
Russell & Catherine Johnston, New Zealand's Contrasts, Travelled on 20th June 2019
Hi Jane, What a wonderful trip. Everything went smoothly as promised. Our accommodation was top notch and we do not have anything negative to say. We appreciate all the time and effort that you put into making our holiday first rate and we would have no hesitation in recommending your company to all our family and friends. Thank you once again.
Dawn & Clifford Smith, North to South Island Explorer, Travelled on 21st June 2019
We had the most amazing self drive tour of New Zealand. Nisse helped us with the planning and we could not have been happier. We spent 15 days driving through the North and South Islands and was not disappointed. We saw so much beautiful scenery and we were able to stop when wanted to, go off the beaten track and just experience New Zealand like a local. The people of New Zealand are so friendly that you never felt like a tourist. Our favorite scheduled activity through our self drive was the Whale watching tours and the Milford Sound Cruise. Our favorite stop that we found off the beaten path was the Glenorchy Animal Farm where we were able to feed the sheep and alpacas and many other domestic farm animals. My husband is sold on the self drive tours now. I highly recommend NZ Self Drive Tours and our tour specialist Nisse.
Katharina Franck, Top of the South Island Explorer, Travelled on 19th June 2019
Brilliant trip. Very well organized and a great selection of hotels to stay in along the way. Thanks.
Doug & Jordan Akin, South Island Outdoor Spectacular, Travelled on 27th May 2019
Hi Laura, We had a great trip. Thanks for everything. The customer service from your company was great! Regarding the the specifics of the trip, the hotels were generally very good. Locations of all were excellent, all attractions were very walkable from each hotel. The walls of the hotel in Wanaka were a little thin - we could hear our neighbors pretty well, but the view from the room was SPECTACULAR! Probably our favorite place to stay was at Mt. Cook. The hotel there was great. We loved the night sky there too! I don't know if this was planned, but the route was good, saving, in my opinion, the best for last which was the Milford Sound cruise. The weather didn't cooperate fully, we had to reschedule the heli-hike. But that may have been in our favor because I think the Mt Cook heli-hike was probably better than the Franz Joseph heli-hike. That was one of the highlights of the trip along with Milford Sound and hiking up Iron Mountain and Roy's Peak. It was a little disappointing to miss the train trip, but the weather was to blame for that. And we got to keep the car and make the trip over Arthur's pass at our own pass. Arthur's pass was spectacular too. Also, the jet boat tour up the lake was just ok. But it was a good way to start the trip because the trip was like a crescendo - generally it just got better and better until Milford sound. The snow on top of the mountain at Queenstown prevented us from getting to the summit, but we knew that there was a chance of a lot of snow. Generally, I think the timing wasn't bad for the trip - except for the rain! We could tell that it was a downtime for most of the hotels which left the towns uncrowded. To sum - it was a great trip, your service was great and we were very impressed that EVERYTHING in your control went according to plan. Thank you very much! If we return, and we certainly would like to, we will use your company. Thank you very much Laura for everything!
Jeffrey Hay and Friends, 21 Day Discover New Zealand, Travelled on 6th May 2019
Thanks for a fantastic holiday!
Peter & Megan Burke and David & Carolyn Le Lievre, Customised 24 Day Discover New Zealand, Travelled on 20th April 2019
Shelley you did a wonderful on our second tour booked through NZ Self Drive Tours. You took us to places we would never have found on our own which were delightful with a sense of discovery. Loved Bay of Islands, Nelson and Clyde.
George & Rosemary Ruban, The Essential South Island 9 day Tour, Travelled on 13th May 2019
Overall, the trip was magnificent. Accommodation, car, itinerary were all great. However, a couple of comments that might make an improvement. 1. Having our hire car dropped off at 9am in Christchurch and having to be at Aoraki Mt Cook by 1.30 pm was a very tight schedule, given road works and unfamiliarity with the car and the roads. It was a rush and there was no time to see some of the sights on the way. An earlier drop off would make it easier. (In the end, our planned activity was cancelled, so it was a rush for nothing.) 2. The day trip to Doubtful Sound was too long. Two hours in the bus, another hour across the lake, another hour in another bus, to get to the cruise for 3 hours, then the whole thing in reverse was trying. Twelve hours in total! Doubtful Sound is beautiful.... perhaps an overnight stay on the Sound would be more rewarding if it can be worked into the itinerary. We really enjoyed the scenery, the friendly people, boutique accommodation, fantastic wine and food and fresh air. The highlight was the helihiking on Franz Josef Glacier. Unforgettable! We were dodging bad weather a lot of the time, but the sun shined on us on that day. Brilliant! Thanks for organising our trip.
William McCarvill, Jane Bell, Judy Maurer & Donald Maurer, The Natural Wonders Of The South Island New Zealand, Travelled on 30th April 2019
All arrangements worked perfectly. The Toyota fit all of us and baggage including wheelchair comfortably. The Kingsgate motel in Te Anau was a bit worn. Doubtful Sound was a nice overnight. Needed more time in each place to really get to know it.
Arch and Peggy Payne, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Adventure, travelled on 5th May 2019
Our South Island driving tour was an excellent adventure! Every arrangement you made for us worked perfectly. I especially appreciated your ability to “reverse” our tour plan -- and re-set every reservation — when we learned that the Trans-Alpine train would be cancelled at the start of our trip. All of the hotel and excursion reservations went off without a hitch. We enjoyed excellent weather throughout the trip, except for one rainy day in Franz Joseph, and were able to complete all of the scheduled events. As I am sure you’ve heard before, “we will be back” and plan to spend a good deal more time experiencing NZ. We made the most of our 10 days, but that is nowhere near enough time to see and do everything available on the South Island. Thanks for all of your help!
Kacey Kurimura, The Southern Circuit Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 29th April 2019
Thank you for an amazing trip! Your staff was so friendly and helpful! All of the hotels were really nice and had very friendly staff too. It was really nice to only have to take care of my flights and have everything else taken care of. Thanks for making my first trip to New Zealand an amazing experience. I can't wait to come back. I will definitely recommend your company to my friends that want to go to New Zealand. Thanks again for ecerything.
Julie O'Neill, The Essential South Island, Travelled on 23rd April 2019
A big thanks to Nichole for the fabulous itinerary and the precision booking of my activities, everything went like clockwork (weather allowing). The trip was seamless and having the timings of activities and travel time was super helpful. Overall with the single lane (but good) roads and stopping for amazing photos I added 60-90 minutes onto every journey and it worked well. Also having the car allowed me include other notable places into the mix including Glenorchy (from Queenstown) and Akaroa (from Christchurch). Traveling solo means having a defined route (and reliable contact; Nichole) were important to me and ensured I had a fully loaded experience (with backup if ever needed). Accommodation was a good standard and in great locations (I had booked motels) with call outs to the Mount Cook and Hanmer Springs stays which were both pretty spectacular. There were too many highlights to mention however the inclusion of Kaikoura for whale watching definitely provided the final high on an amazing trip. Can’t wait to come back and do it again (yes it was that good!). Self drive was for me the best way to do it and Nichole with her obvious passion for this wonderful country ensured I had the best experience.....bravo!
Zulkifly Johari, Zurhea Chung Abdullah, Dinesh Gill & Pay Fern Chew, The Southern Circuit Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 26th April 2019
Thank you very much for the arrangements and preparations. We had a fabulous time - all the arrangements made from the moment we were picked up at the airport on arrival to the final day of our vacation when we were dropped off at the airport - was just fantastic. We had no issues at all, the rental car, the accommodations, the drive instructions, tours... everything was great. We could not have asked for a better planned holiday. Huge thanks to Laura Davidson for patiently working the details with us, and coming up with a holiday that suited us perfectly. It was everything and more than we had expected or hoped for. New Zealand is truly a most beautiful country, some of the sights literally took my breath away. I will certainly plan to be back to see more of it. Thank you once again for all the preparation and arrangements.
Rich Reilly & Elaine Warmuth, Queenstown to Auckland Explorer, Travelled on 11th April 2019
The entire tour was great!! Most of your suggestions exceeded our expectations, and the weather certainly cooperated. Your prompt refund for the cancelled sailing cruise is greatly appreciated, and we would suggest you add "She's A Lady" to your list of sailing options in Paihia. Captain David did sail on our planned date. Kia Ora
Aniruddha, Lilian Jessie & Layla Kadambini Paul, Southern Lakes, Milford Sound and Glacier Scenic Explorer, Travelled on 21st April 2019
Shelley Ryder of New Zealand Self Drive Tours organised the perfect vacation for us! She took time to understand our preferences (we were a family with a 10 year old daughter), which were quite varied - adventure and outdoorsy stuff for my daughter and me, and fine dining, nice hotels and great scenery for my wife. All the hotels we stayed in were top notch and the rooms thoughtfully selected for a family of 3. The sit down set menu dinner at Te Waonui was special. The activities that she recommended - jet boarding, Milford sound excursion, bungee jumping, helicopter landing on glaciers - were amazing. But above all, it was her commitment to her customers - us - that won us over. We requested for a last minute change, that too on Anzac day which is a public holiday, and she went out of her way to accommodate our request. That's amazing commitment. This company came to us as a recommendation and I'm so glad to say that it lived up to the recommendation and more. I'll be happy to pay it forward....
Craig Hill, Deborah Carroll & Regan Hill, Southern Highlights Tour, Travelled on 19th April 2019
Thankyou so much for helping my family and I have a fantastic experience in New Zealand. Everything went perfectly and we had a wonderful time. Will definitely use you guys again and have already recommended you to three other families!
Susan and Herbert Graf, Auckland to Christchurch Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 15th April 2019
My husband and I were met at Auckland airport and without delay we were taken to the Sofitel Viaduct Harbour. We were very impressed with the high quality of the accommodation and very relieved when we were shown to our room straight away at 6am! Later in the day we visited the harbour district and walked in to the city centre where we visited the Art Gallery and the Sky Tower. That night we went on the Harbour Dinner Cruise where we met great staff and a diverse group of people of differing nationalities. Fortunately the weather was mild and the sea smooth so that we could enjoy the food and drink. The next day we were very happy to get an upgrade on our rental vehicle and then proceeded out of Auckland toward Rotorua. We enjoyed the trip very much - the countryside was beautiful and the driving conditions were excellent.Read more
We took a diversion toward the Corimandel Peninsula but stopped at Thames which we found to be a very friendly, pretty town. From there we continued to Rotorua via Tauranga. We loved Peppers on the Point: a great location, very friendly and informative staff( we loved Matt), excellent room, superb dinner and breakfast, and there were donkeys and sheep to feed! We would go back there in a heartbeat! Thank you so much! We ate at Peppers the first night, the next day we went to see The Lady Knox geyser and the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Area then later we were picked up and taken to the Mitai Maori Village for a cultural performance and hungi. We were told by the ladies at Peppers that the seafood chowder was too good to miss. We enjoyed the music, the singing and the haka's. The weather was warm, the scenery perfect and we really loved Rotorua. The next day we drove south to Napier with breathtaking scenery along the way. We stopped at the Huka Falls which were amazing although we didn't feel inclined to get close up in the jet boat that just skirted around the edge of the drop. Further on the Ahimanawa Range was incredible - we would have liked more safe places to stop and look at the view! We loved Napier although it was colder with few people out and about on the waterfront. The town was lovely - so neat and well laid out, the art deco buildings beautiful and as always, friendly people. We walked the waterfront, visited the Community Arts Centre, walked around town and found a small Art and Crafts shop that had lots of inspiring pieces for me as an amateur potter. The room at the Masonic lodge was nice and we had the best coffee there. We ate at an awesome Indian Restaurant called Rasoi and had the best Indian food ever! Again the scenery to Wellington was amazing - post card perfect! We stopped at Masterton for coffee but being Good Friday there were not too many places open. We later drove through Greytown which was very vibrant with lots shops open and beautiful architecture along the main street. Wellington was colder and windy, as you would expect, but very quiet. Our suite at the Bolton Hotel was very nice in a good location close to the harbor and Parliament House. We nearly missed our Weta Workshop Tour as our phones had not updated the location of the tourist bureau but a quick phone call to the tour operator sent us in the right direction. The guide who drove the bus was very informative with lots of interesting facts about Wellington, Miramar and Peter Jackson. We enjoyed the trip very much however the tour was disappointing in that we watched a film and then were guided through a series of rooms which held displays of costumes and weapons etc. They were all great to see but I would imagine that many people would think that the tour would include the actual workshops and seeing the people who work there. It's completely understandable that we don't have access but a bit disappointing. That night we went to Zealandia on a night tour and saw a Kiwi, Tui, Takahe, glow worms, an eel, shags and our favourite Nocturnal Duck and babies. We loved it - a great place to learn about the wildlife. The next day we boarded the ferry and travelled to Picton - it rained all the way but the sea was calm and we had a seat at the front of the ferry and could enjoy the trip. Blenheim was quaint but most places were closed on Easter Sunday. The motel was very retro and well kept with very modern amenities. We ate at a lovely café in town with good produce an ongoing theme in all we ate. The drive south to Kaikoura was great, we saw some seals, but it rained all the way and during our stay. It was a lovely town where we stayed at the very nice Kaikoura Boutique Hotel on the waterfront, ate wonderful fish and chips at a local pub and wore our new raincoats for a walk around the town. We stopped, on the way to Christchurch, at Gore Beach - the day was sunny but chilly with only one person in the surf. It looked a great place to holiday. Again the scenery was superb all the way to Christchurch. We stayed at the terrific Orari B & B which was across the road from the Art Gallery and 100m from the Botanical Gardens and the Museum. Very friendly staff at the B & B, great food at the Thai restaurant we found close by and a lovely city to visit. We flew back to Auckland the next day and again had a room at the Sofitel. Thank you so much for the superb job of organizing our trip. The accommodation was excellent, especially Peppers on the Point, and the itinerary was worked out and presently in a perfectly easy to read manner. The accompanying atlas and brochures were also very handy. We really appreciate the time and effort you have taken. It would have been a very hard thing for us to do ourselves. We will let you do it again! Perhaps to the Bay of Islands. Kind regards, Susan and Herb Graf
Paul & Rebecca Clark, Auckland to Christchurch 12 Day Splendour, Travelled on 14th April 2019
Thank you to Jane for preparing our holiday so well. It was our first time travelling in New Zealand, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. All our reservations for accommodation, activities, car hire and ferry were correct and easy to obtain. All we needed to do was to show up at the right time and enjoy! In the planning process, Jane did a great job in arranging everything we asked, and if there was a variation, she contacted us promptly with alternatives that worked. All my email correspondence with her was handed in a very professional and timely manner and it took all the stress out of the bookings! We appreciated all the extra information on activities that we could do, various sights along the way to look at, and what each accommodation place provided in terms of parking, laundry facilities and kitchenettes. The best accommodation was at Hanmer Springs, but all places were adequate. When we next travel in New Zealand, we are sure to use this company again.
Roy Ong and friends, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains, Travelled on 13th April 2019
Dear Chelsea, Thank you very much for planning our holiday. We had a very wonderful time driving & enjoying the sights in NZ. Check in was a breeze for all the accommodation you arranged & the staff were helpful & friendly too. Staff at Mt Cook & Kim at Lakefront lodge gave us a very warm welcome. The activities booked were spot on too. We even managed to change the date for the cruise at Queenstown. We really enjoyed some excellent food & services along the way. Rob who pick us at the airport welcome us like friends & provided with us with a brief about Christchurch & gave some suggestions as well. Steve who send us off on the last day was also very friendly & helpful and managed to pick us earlier when requested. Overall it was an excellent holiday & I would not hesitate to recommend your services to all. Once again, thank you very much.
Heather Marshall & Suzanne Wilson, Your customised Southern Highlights Tour, Travelled on 12th April 2019
Thank you for organising our Southern Highlights Tour. We both had a wonderful time and it was fantastic to have our accommodation booked and activities paid for before we departed. All the accommodation was excellent except for the motel in Invercargill, Tower Lodge Motel. The accommodation was suitable for our needs but we could hear everything in the next door room. That is the only complaint I have for the whole trip. The book that we were given at the beginning of our trip was extremely useful and detailed our itinerary, activities and reservation details. We knew that we had some tight time frames in our itinerary for the activities we wanted to do but you accommodated all our requests and with the flexibility to include other activities that we had not booked. Highlights of the trip was the Glacier Explorers boat trip at Mt Cook and the accommodation. The view of the mountains from our room at Aoraki Court Motel was spectacular. There is so much to see and do. There were many firsts for me as I had never been to the bottom of the south island or to the west coast; the glow worm caves at Te Anau; the helicopter ride over Franz Josef glacier; visiting Stewart Island; the skyline gondola ride and spectacular views over Queenstown and buffet dinner (which had just about everything you could wish for); the quaintness of Arrowtown. Thank you again for helping to make this such a memorable holiday for both of us.
Kaye Cooper & Becki Hyde, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 1st April 2019
We had an awesome trip, everything was arranged perfectly and the accommodation was great. Despite the disappointment of not being able to catch the train from Greymouth back to Christchurch our diversion to Dunedin was most enjoyable Thanks again for arranging everything so well and we will certainly recommend visiting the lovely South Island of New Zealand.
John Noiseux & Nicholas Piasecki, Extended Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains, Travelled on 25th March 2019
Thank you soo much for coordinating our trip. Laura was so helpful - and I’m sure there were a lot of folks needing some adjustments to their itineraries after the west coast bridge washed out - but she was right in it - helping rebook accommodations - providing suggestions. Super awesome to work with! The accommodations that we were connected up with were all very nice. And it was the perfect rental vehicle for the terrain we were on - I would have gotten a smaller car and we would have regretted it over and over. Laura’s advice for spending an extra day we had to fill in Wanaka added one of our favorite hikes of the whole trip. And she was so right about stayin in Punakaiki instead of Greymouth. It was our first time Not completely planning our own trip and we are both so glad we let you guys do it. Thank you so much and all the best!