Jenny & Terrence Fay, A Customised Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self-Drive Tour, Travelled on 21st November 2018
I was VERY pleased with the service and support from Christina and the company. The only glitch we had was the rental car not being delivered .. thankfully we weren't in a hurry to depart! The number provided in the booklet was not direct to the Christchurch depot so that was an issue as we went on hold for over 20 minutes ! While one of us was on hold we instead rang your company and it was quickly sorted out. Everything else was just perfect and we would highly recommend this service. It made for a very stress free holiday. Thanks so much.. especially to Christina.
Diana and Heather Chase, Spectacular South Island, Travelled on 23rd November 2018
Thank you so much for all the arrangements you made for our holiday in NZ. It made everything so easy to pick up the car and just check in to our accommodation without any hitches. It was really very useful to have the NZ touring atlas and once we got the GPS talking to us (we took a while to figure the GPS out) we were reminded to 'obey all traffic regulations' i.e speed limits!! When we were in Dunedin we decided to take the train trip up the Taieri Gorge. We thoroughly enjoyed this and wondered whether you could include that in your suggested activities for visitors to that city. Needless to say we were thrilled to wake up to a blue sky on the morning of our heli-hike! That was an experience not to be missed! So really everything went swimmingly and we would recommend others take advantage of your services. We cannot thank you enough!!!
Mike & Carolyn McDowell, 21 Day South Island Highlights Tour, travelled on 8 November 2018
Our trip was a phenomenal experience, a ‘trip of a lifetime’. Usually the weeks leading up to a big international trip like this, I am a little anxious, hoping we make all our flight connections and all of our bookings are really booked, when we arrive in another country. Everything went smoothly, did not miss any flights, and all of our lodging and excursions were booked when we arrived. I always take a printout of all reservations with me as a back-up. All of our pick-ups and drop-offs were on time, very friendly, and helpful with luggage.Read more
We appreciated the fantastic room views we had at several of our lodgings, the Garden Court Suites in Queen town which was ‘out of this world’ spectacular, the Aoraki Court Motel with an unobstructed ‘to die for’ view of Mt. Cook right in front of our faces. Akaora Village Inn had a wonderful view overlooking the Akaora harbor, Anchor Inn Motel with a lovely view of the east coast with beautiful rock formations, the Ocean View Chalets nestled in a rainforest with a spectacular view looking out on the north coast, loved the view at the Hydrangea Cottage in a rainforest setting overlooking the ocean surf on the west coast. I would have loved spending an extra night at the Hydrangea Cottages, (we had only 1 night there), such a magical setting. It was nice having a living space at all our accommodations to relax in the evenings.
Everything we saw was absolutely gorgeous. Usually at the end of a trip we like to talk about what we each enjoyed the most from the trip, that was a real challenge this time, but we both finally agreed the Queenstown experience was the most treasured, as it is set in such a spectacular location, (even the airport is beautiful with surrounding mountains).We had such a delightful room view and the gondola ride to the top of Bob’s Peak, the view is ‘out of this world ‘on a sunny day. Luckily, we had sun both days we were in Queenstown. We did a wonderful 6 mile return hike to Hooker Lake at Mt Cook, after crossing 4 lengthy swing bridges twice, I overcame my fear of swing bridges. The winding drive down the ancient volcano of the Banks Peninsula and then Akaroa village at the bottom was quite unique and amazingly beautiful with all the greenery. We loved the west coast, very lush and tropical. The drive from Fox glacier back to Queenstown, our last full day on the trip, was spectacular. The sun was out and the azure blue lakes were absolutely gorgeous. The Crown Range Road drive from Wanaka to Queenstown was breathtaking. What a wonderful way to close the final full day of the trip.
The Atlas was a huge help as we are ‘map’ people. The detailed itinerary booklet was a huge help as well. Overall, we were super impressed with the organization of all the details of this trip. NZ Self Drive Tours does an outstanding job, highly reliable and professional. I will highly recommend your tour agency and your name to anyone I know asking for recommendation for a NZ self-drive travel agency.
Thanks so much for your service, attention to detail, and accommodating a lodging room view when possible with no additional charges. We are now reviewing our video and pictures, we saw so much!
Robert Janelle, Saaskia Girdler & Priscilla Steele, Customised Ultimate North Island Tour, Travelled on 8th November 2018
We have just had our best ever NZ North Island experience. The best ever, most beautiful part of the world, very friendly kiwis people, & too much for us to see & do, still have not seen everything, just a small percentage of whats to offer on this great North Island experience. Had a nice beach swim at Goat Island, north of Auckland. Greatest holiday experience, great people, natural scenery.
Spencer & Katherine Maxcy, South Island Spectacular, Travelled on 16th November 2018
Great experience! This was by far the best trip I have ever been on. Louise knocked it out of the park. She was super helpful and was always a phone call away if anything came up. 5 star experience!
Leanne Thompson, Doreen & Angus Catchpole and Desmond Zanow, Fiords, Glaciers, Mountains and Beaches, Travelled on 19th November 2018
We had the best holiday and Jane did an amazing job of put everything together. We highly recommend her for anyone looking to book a self drive holiday in NZ.
Lesley & Thomas Madden, Revised 20 Day South Island Encounter, Travelled on 3rd November 2018
Our trip to New Zealand went like clockwork thanks to Jane who organised everything for us. We enjoyed this trip even more than our last visit to NZ. We cannot fault the arrangements made and all the bookings made were just as we expected. Thanks again.
Patricia & Peter Baker, The Length & Breadth 30 Days South to North, Travelled on 1st November 2018
Spending 4 weeks in New Zealand has been fantastic. All arrangements that were made were exactly as expected. Accommodation often was far above expectations. Every time we were to be met, there was the driver waiting for us even when the train from Greymouth was very late. I definitely recommend you asking for a quote and itinery for your next trip.
Kathy and Ronald Barker, Tina and Timothy McClelland, The Ultimate 30th Anniversary Celebrations, Travelled on 10th November 2018
Trip was amazing. Beautiful New Zealand could not have been a better place to vacation & celebrate. Narissa was very attentive to our wishes. She made good effort to communicate with me by email or phone. She gave good suggestions, ideas and advice. She was able to help us keep,within our budget too. It was nice to have a chaperone meet us at the airport to answer questions. The tour company was very responsive to our need and request while traveling.
Tom and Gale Tanger, The Customised Short Escape, Travelled on 29th October 2018
Everything was great as usual. All of the side trips worked well and were enjoyable. Thank you for a great trip on short notice.
Rob and Rita Poore, The Customised South Island Spectacular, Travelled on 31st October 2018
This was our first trip to New Zealand. We thoroughly enjoyed our customised South Island Spectacular, which was extremely well organised by Narissa. We felt that the planning process was good and we were fully involved in deciding which experiences appealed to us. We were also able to include a visit to our family in the itinerary, which made it even more special! All went very well, apart from a severe storm from the West Coast which caused the cancellation of our trip on the TranzScenic train to Christchurch, but we were able to retain our excellent Toyota Corolla thanks to good co-operation from Budget Car Hire and a quick phone call to the NZ Self Drive Tours office. We were pleased too, with the follow up by Narissa checking to ensure our safe travel. Now we have a good excuse (if we needed one!) to come back again! Thank you Narissa for all you did for us.
Srinivas and Sridevi Singaram, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Explorer, Travelled on 7th November 2018
We booked a 10 days/ 9 nights self drive tour of South Island and we did it this past November. It was one of the greatest holidays we have ever had. Driving was easy and fun and we didn’t find any difficulties with clear instructions right from the second you land. The only thing I felt we could have done better was getting a bigger car instead of the small Toyota Corolla. The booking process was easy and I spoke to Jane Zwerrenz over the phone before booking and she effectively tailored our itinerary according to our needs. You probably can save a little bit more if you book hotels directly, but all that hassle of searching for good priced hotels and locations were removed when we booked through these guys. We were happy with the accommodations provided everywhere especially in Queenstown and Mount Cook where we were given rooms with excellent views of the lakes and mountains. I definitely and strongly recommend New Zealand self drive tours for my friends and family .
Tan and Wong, Wellington to Queenstown Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 12th November 2018
This was the first time we travel to New Zealand and we were very exited about the trip. The itinerary was well planned by Jess Pearson, our tour consultant. We were thinking of doing the North and South Island tour within 8 days but was not possible, so Jess suggested we skip the North Island and fly direct into Wellington from Auckland. We made some changes to the itinerary in between. Overall it was a wonderful trip and the best trip of my life. New Zealand is such a beautiful country and I am glad we made this trip there. This is the first time I see and touch snow in my life which was in Queenstown. If you are going to New Zealand for the first time and want to save all the hassle of planning, this is the place to go to book your holiday in New Zealand. Highly recommended.
Savvoula Kotsi & Michail Arvanitis, 9 Day Southern Icons Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 8th November 2018
Our contact with the agency was Louise Barrett. She was very helpful in helping us organising our trip to New Zealand. We worked closely together and we took into account her suggestions (especially those regarding driving travel distances and tours). Everything went according to plan. We have no complaints. Even when two of our planned activities were cancelled due to bad weather, they reimbursed us straight away. Overall great experience. Highly recommend the agency.
Swaraj, Aarathy, Vendant and Kriti Thampi, Christchurch to Auckland Must Do Tour, Travelled on 6th November 2018
An almost perfect holiday. Our tour was very well organised and everything worked perfectly. All the accommodation was good. We lost a day of sightseeing due to bad weather but Mount Cook more than made up for it. Thank you Louise.
David and Sandra Faneco, Robert and Margaret Graham, The Customised New Zealand Discoverer, Travelled on 23rd October 2018
Thank you so so much for our wonderful holiday in your beautiful country. Since getting back have hit the ground running. Everything about our trip was great - the accommodation, car hire, activities booked and suggested all worked like clockwork. Our accommodation everywhere was fantastic and with breakfast included was much appreciated. Having the GPS made getting around so much easier. We affectionately called it 'Mary'. She did try to take us off track a couple of times but we would have been lost without her. All of the included activities we thoroughly enjoyed plus we did quite a few of the suggested activities as well. Thank you again for all you and your teams assistance when we looked like being stranded in Queenstown after all the rain. Things worked out perfectly for us with the road reopening between Queenstown and Greymouth and also the train back on the track on the Sunday. We truly had a memorable time and hope to return sooner rather than later.
Robert Taisia, Krystal Paterson and Roman Taisia, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Family Tour, Travelled on 22nd September 2018
The itinerary that was prepared for us far exceeded our expectations. So much to see and so much to do. I didn't think we would be able to do so much in that time we had. Everyday there was something new to experience or something exciting to do. The hiking trails showed us some awe inspiring scenery and the landscape was magnificent. Dealing with team at NZ Self Drive Tours was very easy and they were always very helpful whenever I spoke with them. Kelly helped us to get our itinerary within our budget which was a great help and the fact that everything was paid for before we left for the trip made our time and transition from town to town seamless. It was nice to go on a holiday and not have to worry about accommodations, transport, activities. All in all it was well worth what we paid and we will definitely use them again when we an another holiday to NZ. The only drawback is that we were only there for 10 days. Next time we'll plan for a longer trip.
Kinanthi Ayu Fridayani, Your Pre-Marathon New Zealand Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 14th October 2018
New Zealand was my number one country that I wanted to visit. When I had the opportunity to go, I just had no idea where to start. I only know that Me and My Husband was going to do a self-drive tour and I stumbled upon this website. To be Honest the pop-up icon of "Got a question for us" was the most brilliant thing that they put because it definitely worked for me. I send them a question and immediately I got a response. Nisse was appointed to help me, and she was just Amazing! Her professionalism, knowledge, and willingness to serve was one of the key factors that helped me plan what was become my "dream come true" holiday. I didn't know how many revised itineraries we did because I kept on changing my mind, but Nisse was always patient and accommodating. Our trip was super smooth, all the bookings (Hotels, car, activities) were perfectly done. I was so happy with what she suggested for us like to spend at least one night in Wanaka (which is her hometown) because it was one of the towns I loved the most and where we had the best of times (best hike, great foods, lovely strolls along the lake). I highly recommend everyone who wants to plan their itinerary of a self-drive tour in South Island to book their service. I am a satisfied customer!
Fred and Mira Poscic, 10 Day Southern Icons, A Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 24th October 2018
Was just a great holiday, well put together. Thank you to Chelsea, she was just great.
Philip and Elisabeth, Customised Southern Highlights Tour, travelled on 8th October 2018
Thanks for all your hard work in putting together our recent NZ trip. It was awesome. All the accommodation places were spot on, recommended tours were wonderful, driving instructions and the information packages very informative, correct and up to date.
Tina and Steve Goldsmith, Marjorie and Tom Trulock, The Customised South Island Coastal Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 25th October 2018
Narissa- I will give you rave reviews wherever you need them! It was a fantastic trip, thanks to you.At the get go- they up graded our car which as it turned out we really needed. We traveled with more than we expected- bar and food etc. The Itinerary and the road atlas were wonderful. We had such a fabulous time. We toasted you a million times I am sure. You were just so right on! First off - all of the accommodations were great! You put us in the perfect places! And we loved having the apartment like set up. The Rainforrest Deluxe was phenomenal!!! and such a surprise, We wished we had enough tome to stay there longer! As you know we loved Mt Cook- one of our favorite places. The glacial tour was just so great.Read more
The hiking was wonderful and the movies in the alpine center about the rescue team and Sir Hillary etc were fascinating! Having all the info on our itinerary was great! Everyone was so helpful! And you were so right- we are all ready to move to Wanaka! So all worked out great. So once again thanks! whenever we come back we will contact you and highly recommend you to our pals. If you need references I will be happy to be one.
Kevin Park & Janice Crook, 21 Day Discover New Zealand, Travelled on 15th October 2018
We're back in the real world now. The holiday was fantastic. Everything went smoothly. The itinerary we chose lived up to our expectations, with a taste all New Zealand had to offer. The highlights are too many to list. Many thanks Laura for all your hard work and creating a bucket list holiday.
Steven & Sarah Rigsby, Making the Most of the North Island Tour, travelled on 17th October 2018
Shelley arranged a fabulous 7 day tour of the North Island for us at very short notice. She listened to what we wanted to do and arranged a tour around our dates. The tour itself, trips, accommodation and car hire all worked perfectly and we enjoyed it very much. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you.
Trudi and Andrew Rintoul, 15 day Christchurch to Auckland must do tour, travelled on 5th September 2018
Hope you are well. First of all thank you for organising our ‘Must-do Tour’. We have had a fantastic time! All the arrangements for collection at Christchurch, and all the pre-booked activities and tours were fantastic. The whole process was so simple - each one only required our surname to produce the tickets - all brilliantly efficient! We had a fantastic time and we were so lucky with the weather apart from the wind at Mount Cook and a wet Mitai Village evening, but it did nothing to spoil this fabulous trip. If I was repeating it, I would allow longer at some of the stops. Thanks again for all your help in making this a fabulous holiday for us.
Lorraine and Wade White, 22 Day Classic New Zealand Driving Tour Customized, Travelled on 9th October 2018
Overall we had a wonderful trip, the arrangements were well organized and ready for us upon arrival. Thanks again for your patience in working with us. It was a very enjoyable trip.
Steven & Raymond Smith, Auckland to Queenstown 15 Day Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 5th October 2018
We had the best time ever. Every corner is a WOW. New Zealand's roads are near perfect. The cars sat nav was very easy to use. The rental car was near new and very easy to drive. We need to return to NZ we have other places to explore. Thank you Jane for arranging our fly/drive holiday.
David & Lesley Wilson, Discover New Zealand, Travelled on 17th September 2018
Fantastic Itinerary and support from Louise. Thanks again for a great itinerary
Ian & Joan Walsh, Ian & Joan's South Island Adventure, Travelled on 1st October 2018
Thank you for a wonderful and perfectly organised holiday. From the moment we arrived in Christchurch and were met by private transfer driver Ross, to the very last day when taken back to the airport by Faith, everything was just perfect and fell into place. Your choices of accommodation were lovely in all areas, the locations just right and perfect for our needs. Everything was within easy reach. The car hire went without a hitch, with the Rav4 being just beautiful to drive. The pace organised by you suited us well especially with a few 2-3 day stopovers. The weather was favourable and I was lucky to get the chance to drive through falling snow. The whole trip was a wonderful experience travelling around your beautiful countryside, enjoying our organised tours amid such spectacular scenery. Many thanks again Laura for all your help.
Karen & Graham Reid, A Customised Boutique Northland Tour, Travelled on 15th October 2018
From our very first email exchange with Christina we knew that the arrangements for our NZ holiday were in good hands. She looked after our special needs and booked places and activities that were possible for us. We loved the booklet and maps we received which were easy to use and we didn't get lost. Thank you for taking such good care of us.
Asheesh Shawel and Family, Auckland to Queenstown Self Drive tour, Travelled on 28th September 2018
We were first thinking of booking through Airbnb for our holidays but now I believe it was a good decision to book through you as you took care of everything e.g. accommodation, car hire, tickets etc. Our flight into Auckland, where we started our holidays, was at a godforsaken midnight hour and we were picked up from the airport straight to our hotel. This was really convenient as we didn't waste time in looking for a cab. The Itinerary was also well thought of. You asked us what we wanted to do (family with small kids) and you tailor made it to visit all the important places. I can't praise NZ enough as it is a gem of a place, beautiful and will stay fresh in our minds for the rest of our lives. I would definetely recommend it to anyone who is planning to visit NZ, these guys take the hassle out of the vacations. I also picked up a few local words, "Kia Ora Aotearoa" :)
David & Carlene Rogers, custom 21 day New Zealand itinerary, travelled on 20 September 2018
We had been told that New Zealand was a beautiful country, but with no info other than a Guide book, we had no idea what to see and do. Via various Google searches, we found New Zealand Self Drive Tours, which seemed exactly what we wanted. We liked being on our own, having the freedom to stop when and as long as we wanted, and take side trips as desired. It's a long air flight, so we decided to do as much as possible, and picked their 21-day recommendation - North and South Island.Read more
We loved the trip. The tour they set up for us was excellent- we felt we visited all there was to see. The days were not rushed. The scenery is spectacular. It was Spring when we visited (Sept/Oct). Everything was so green. Lots of shrubs/flowers blooming. Every town has a botanical garden. And great walking "treks". Our top likes were; Milford Sound- waterfalls, the blue penguins; the countryside dairy/sheep/deer farms - green grass fields up and down steep hills with snow capped mountains in the background, trimmed/tall hedges everywhere; Mt Eden cauldron, Te Papa Museum- Gallipoli Exhibit (free!); The Inte-Islander Ferry; wine district north of Christchurch; Dunedin: Otago Peninsula/sheep farms on the steep slopes; nesting birds in the cliffs; aviary with parrots; Antarctic Center; TranzAlpine train. All of our hotels were very good and we always walked to restaurants. Drivers to pick us up were always on time and friendly. Our agent, Laura answered our questions quickly. Her responsiveness was excellent.
Tony & Debra Tinkler, Gary & Sue Goulet, Coast to Coast Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 23rd September 2018
Would just like to say that we had a wonderful 13 day driving tour of the South Island. All accommodation was of a high standard and day to day process was uncomplicated and straightforward due to your planning. It allowed us to just arrive, collect our hire vehicle and enjoy our time in New Zealand. Thank you.
Neil & Angela Michel, Customised Ultimate Relaxing South Island Tour, Travelled on 24 September 2018
We are now back home after a wonderful 3 weeks in the South Island. Thank you for all your help, suggestions & recommendations – there was not one disappointment or hitch. This holiday had been cancelled for 5 years due to work & family matters – so was very important to us.Read more
Our top experiences:
- Invercargill – the accommodation was superb, the Transport & Motor Cycle Museums are world class & visiting E Hayes Hardware to see Burt Monroe’s bike, all came together to make it a special place.
- Notwithstanding the hard wrap Invercargill gets it is becoming definitely a place to visit
- The Doubtful Sound overnight cruise choice was very special – especially that Milford Sound road became blocked the day we would have visited due to heavy rain
- The Tasman Glacier Helicopter flight was special and together with the glacier lake boat experience was perfect
- Wanaka accommodation was excellent, along with the sausage rolls from the Dough Inn 😊, and the views of the lake were superb
- Our time at Marahau was very enjoyable – we booked a boat Eco-Tour and made a special connection with the owner
- The Tranz Alpine railway was just excellent
- A visit to Christchurch’s Museum to unexpectedly see a tribute to Ivan Mauger – a past boyhood hero, client and friend of mine
- The 2 BnB’s were delightful and rate highly with our memories.
Many thanks for all your hard work – very much appreciated.
Alex Will & Sue Jackson, Southern Wonders Explorer, Travelled on 23rd September 2018
We had the most beautiful, amazing trip on the South Island! Shelley organised everything perfectly, our accommodation locations were great and the views from them were spectacular just like I asked for. Everything ran like clockwork! She was always quick to answer questions, even the sillier ones even though we were in Australia. Highly recommend Shelley as your trip organiser and New Zealand Self Drive Tours as the company to organise your ideal trip through!
Davina & Grant Holthouse, Customised 25 Day Grand New Zealand self drive tour, Travelled on 2nd September 2018
Wow we had the most awesome 25 day New Zealand holiday. What an amazing and beautiful country. Thank you so much for organising everything. It most certainly took away the stress for us and we could just enjoy our holiday. All of our motels and apartments were very clean and comfortable and all with kitchenettes which were very handy. Thank you again. Regards Grant and Davina Holthouse.
Lynette & Alyn Cooper, Coralie Ericksen & Alison Rowe, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 16th September 2018
Thank you for the wonderful itinerary that you put together for us. Every step of our journey we were met with friendly and helpful people. The accommodation was fantastic and very central. We were fortunate to have beautiful weather on our trip which made our excursions enjoyable. Your booklet was very detailed and directions made it easy for us to find our way around. Will definitely contact you again should we come back to NZ.
Neil & Julie Chalcraft, A Customised Lord of the Rings Scenic Explorer, Travelled on 11th September 2018
We had a fantastic 3 weeks in New Zealand for our honeymoon organised by New Zealand Self Drive Tours. The process was quick and easy and a custom itinerary was set out for us. Everything from car hire, motels and half day and day tours were organised with no fuss so that it all went smoothly whilst we enjoyed our holiday. The itinerary was especially good as there was never too much driving to be done so we felt we saw and did a lot each day and really made the most of our time in the country. Overall really recommended. Thank you for an amazing 3 weeks
Thi Ngoc Thu (Mia) & friends, 10 Day Southern Explorer Christchurch to Queenstown, Travelled on 20th September 2018
Our trip for 9 days through the South Island of New Zealand was one of the most amazing journeys and experiences of our lives. My whole family made such wonderful memories thanks to NewZealand Self Drive Tours and we would especially like to thank Chelsea Lodge who helped us a lot in creating such an unforgetable trip. We cant be grateful enough as this was my parents first road trip and also their first time to New Zealand. This was also their wedding anniversary as well and everything was planned perfectly by Chelsea. We loved every single moment of this journey and we will try our best to visit New Zealand again! Thank you so much!
Trudi Mcleod, 10 day Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Tour, travelled on 4 September 2018
Just some feedback on my amazing 10day Fiords, Glaciers & Mountain holiday. The start of my adventure was set when I met my 'private transfer' driver Faith. Friendly, personable and easy to talk to. My accommodation throughout was comfortable and idyllically located. The vistas around each and every turn were awe inspiring. I was able to find my way around your beautiful South Island with the aid of my new friend GPS. We may have had some differences, like when she wanted me to 'travel on' when I wanted to stop and look at towns or views, but overall we managed to stay friends. As for my bucket list experiences. THEY WERE AWESOME!!!!Read more
The Gondola in Christchurch took my breath away. The views were stunning. Mt Cook was surreal. The colour of the water something I had never seen. The walking track and trestle bridges (a special kind of fear for me) were easily accessible. The night sky was like a million twinkle lights the stretched on forever. I do recommend the buffalo wings with a sparkling wine after all that 'nature'. Te Anau is so beautiful. Lakefront Lodge, the perfect resting place before the journey to Milford Sound. On the advice of a fellow traveller I took the bus to Milford Sound. The driver was able to show us many places I might otherwise have missed had I driven. I might also have been a little jittery driving through that teeny weeny tunnel! The journey through the sound was beyond description. An amazing experience. The Jet Boat ride was just what I needed to get the adrenaline pumping for my journey across the Crown Range. Again, with each kilometre travelled, the views and landscape were beyond compare. My first view of Fox Glacier had my heart pumping. Finally at 4.30 with the final weather report I got my wish. Soaring over the vast crevices, gliding along the pristine white ridge line of Franz Joseph and gently being placed on the same Glacier I saw through the forest earlier. Finding ocean on my way to Greymouth was something special. Handing my hire car back at the station made the whole process so easy.
The Trans Alpine Scenic Train journey together with the on board commentary, it was an extraordinary experience. Again the views were breath taking. The history of how the rail line was built, the tunnels that were built in a landscape that seemed unforgiving was mind boggling. All in all this was a trip of a lifetime for me. I travel alone, and as I 'age' I find the less I have worry about the more I enjoy the experience. The detailed book outlining every step of my journey was a godsend. The road map allowed further investigation of my surrounds. I have talked non stop (well I did stop sometimes) about the wonderful package you put together. The value for money, the ease of travelling the South Island. To be honest I have always hungered for a trip to Canada to see the Rockies and travel the Rocky Mountaineer. Distance and cost always hindering my efforts. In just 3 or so hours, I found all my dreams and expectations were met. Forget the Rockies, I found the Remarkables. I did travel to Scotland many moons ago and wanted to return. But I have seen the Fiords, the 'Lochs' on offer in NZ and for me it was all I needed. You have a beautiful country, friendly with some AWESOME sights and adventures. Thank you for making my 'late in life' travel so easy and enjoyable!
Stephen & Amanda Lyons, Ultimate North Island Explorer, Travelled on 1st September 2018
Fantastic New Zealand! We had used NZ Self Drive tours back in 2013 for a two week tour of the South Island. This was one of our most amazing experiences. So when considering a North Island tour, we went straight back to NZ Self Drive. We just completed the 21 day North Island Tour and although different to the South Island, the North Island has some amazing experiences. Bay of Islands (Hole in the Rock Cruise), Te Mata near Napier, Cape Palliser east of Wellington, Huka Falls, Piha Beach west of Auckland, Haruru Falls near Paihia, Hobbiton (amazing), Tane Mahuta (2000 year old Kauri tree), views of the Hokianga sand dunes, awesome fish and chips at the Mangonui Fish Shop, Wellington cable car, Shakespeare Cliff Lookout at Cooks Beach, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland at Rotorua, Te Papa museum in Wellington, and views of Mt Taranaki, just to name a few. A special mention to Christina, our travel consultant, who organised everything for us and was great when we wanted to alter some the itinerary. Would highly recommend NZ Self Drive and their amazing staff for anyone wishing to see the best that NZ has to offer.
Paul & Sharon Smith, 9 Day Auckland to Christchurch Essential Highlights, Travelled on 30th August 2018
Nisse Perry and the folks at New Zealand Self Drive Tours did a great job organizing our 10 day tour. All of the hotels and cars were first class and ready upon our arrival. We need to come back to take the volcanic flight that was grounded by the weather, though this also gave us the chance to make the inter-island crossing in a near gale. All in all, a very enjoyable time. We’d recommend Nisse and her company anytime and with confidence. Regards, Paul and Sharon.
Rajan , Leena & Preethi Mathew, North Island 5 Day Highlights, Travelled on 1st September 2018
We really enjoyed our trip. It was all organised perfectly. We enjoyed all of the activities and the accommodation was lovely. Would definitely do it again.
Jason Wakefield & Amelita Kelsey, Southern Highlights 9 Day Tour, Traveled on 25th June 2018
We had a great time on our 9 day South Island Tour. The service was great, and it was very helpful to be picked-up and delivered to the airport and train station as required. The itinerary was well-planned and that helped us to enjoy the trip without fear of getting lost. Highlights were the Shotover Jet boat in Queenstown, the Helicopter flight at Franz Josef, and the stunning Milford Sound cruise. Besides those highlights, it was just amazing to drive all around the South Island and see such wonderful scenery wherever we went. We were very happy with the accommodation each night, and thankful for the heating when in some of the colder places like Mt Cook Village. It's a holiday we highly recommend and we're already thinking about a North Island tour!
Vincent Sohs customised 21 Day Discover New Zealand tour, travelled June 2018
While it may be my first trip to NZ, I had a pleasant and wonderful experiences. The itineraries you planned made it possible for me to photograph most of NZ beautiful scenery. While it was raining at some of the attractions, I did managed to capture what I went for. There is a good chance I may want to make a second trip because some of the activities which I booked myself were cancelled at the last minutes because of weather. On the whole, it was a very good and exciting experience. Then again, without your detailed planning it would not have been possible.
Michael and Prue Freeman, The Southern Circle Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 20th April 2018
To the fantastic team at NZ Self Drive Tours ( Especially Natalie), thank you so much for making our holiday the most amazing experience ever! Literally the whole trip was an absolute dream. The accommodation suggestions were absolutely perfect for us (Wayne & Karen at Merivale Manor were awesome!). The car was excellent. And the tailored suggested places to visit in our package were spot on for us. We posted a lot of our experience on Instagram & we have been contacted by at least 20 of our friends & family who have been inspired to travel the South Island because of our photo's. We will be highly recommending you to everyone. Thanks again - we'll be in touch when we do the North Island (or maybe we'll just do a different trip to the South Island as we loved it so much!)
Doug and Lee Meikle, The Ultimate Discover New Zealand Tour, Travelled on 26th March 2018
From the first point of contact, through the itinerary planning with Narissa, we experienced the most wonderful and hassle free trip ever (all bookings were simple quick check ins, whether for cars, accommodation, tours or special interests). Combined with the wonders of NZ and the friendly locals, we had a holiday to remember. Would not hesitate to use NZ Self Drive Tours in the future or recommend them to friends and family.
Syed Rashid Putra, Olga and Sharifah, Customised Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 14th April 2018
Dear Joanna, we would like to thank you for arranging a very enjoyable tour of New Zealand's South Island. Everything went smoothly and according to plan. The hotels we stayed in, especially The Heritage Christchurch, were very clean, spacious and very comfortable. We will definitely recommend you and New Zealand Self Drive Tours to our friends when they visit New Zealand.
Ian and Daphne Taylor, Customized Discover New Zealand, Travelled on 12th March 2018
Thanks to New Zealand Self Drive Tours, we very much enjoyed our 31 days in New Zealand. From the time we first made contact with New Zealand Self Drive Tours and in particular Natalie DeCaro, we were very impressed with the quick and efficient responses to all of our requests and correspondence. Natalie was able to successfully work our itinerary around our primary request which was to attend the Warbirds over Wanaka air show. We were able to accept the initial itinerary with minimal alteration. The itinerary and our time in New Zealand went off without a hitch. All transfers were on time and efficient. All accommodation and other bookings were accepted exactly as arranged and as per the itinerary. We found all of the personalised information in the “Customised Discover New Zealand” bound booklet which was presented to us on our arrival in Auckland very helpful indeed. We have already and will have no hesitation in recommending the services of New Zealand Self Drive Tours to any of our friends who are thinking of making a holiday on the other side of The Tasman.
Susan Laughlin & Lowell Cooper, Customised Discover New Zealand, Travelled on 4th March 2018
I fussed for days and days trying to sort out a self-drive route for South Island. It finally occurred to me that getting a little help would be a smart idea. I started a chat on the Self Drive website and before I knew it, I was having a phone conversation. Within 24 hours I had in my hands a fabulous tour planned out that was much more logical and more adventure-laden than I could ever have planned myself. On the ground, the arrangements were excellent…not a single hitch. The hotels were chosen with care and I think we got the best rooms in each of the hotels booked for us. We were absolutely pleased with the service and the outcome provided by Self Drive Tours.
You won't be disappointed in the service| Mary and Richard DeSmidt | The Customised Discover New Zealand | Travelled on 27th March 2018
We just returned from our 3 week self driving tour of New Zealand. We had a fantastic trip! From beginning to end, New Zealand Self Driving Tours was spot on. We determined where we wanted to go, how much we wanted to spend and how long we could travel.Read more
With that information, New Zealand Self Driving Tours created an itinerary for us. We went over the itinerary and tweaked it a bit to accommodate our needs. We are in our 70s and we did not want to be busy everyday or drive long distances each day. This company customized our trip so that it was exactly what we wanted. From beginning to end, it was perfectly orchestrated. There was not a glitch to be found! Our lodgings were comfortable and conveniently located to access the sites that we wanted to see. The excursions that we booked through New Zealand Self Driving were top notch. All of our reservations were stress free. For us, it was good to book all this in advance. It was all paid for before we left on the trip. That made it so easy! Pretty much, we just needed to pay for food, gas, and souvenirs. We highly recommend New Zealand Self Driving Tours and Narissa Phipps. You won't be disappointed in the service. New Zealand is an incredible place to visit and it was enhanced by the ease of travel provided by this company.
The sights will live with us forever | Larry Kulick | Northbound Explorer Christchurch to Auckland Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 27th February 2018
Hi Lauren, We very much enjoyed our visit to your country. The sights will live with us forever. Christchurch - A city still recovering from the earthquake. The botanical gardens, Canterbury museum and the Antarctica Center and taking the City Tram were highlights.Read more
Novotel's staff and location were excellent. Mt. Cook Village - Spectacular drive by Lake Tekapo, Church of the Good Shepard, sheepdog statue. Took many pictures of Mt Cook on way to the Hermitage. So happy to get a room with a porch and A1 view. Best breakfast on trip. Dunedin - Train station, parks, architecture were highlights. The drive on the Otago Peninsula from Albatross Center back to Dunedin memorable. It was very warm and were disappointed with lack of AC at southern Cross hotel. Te Anau- So much to do there. Doesn't get any better than Distinction Hotel in Te Anau. Short walk to restaurants, scenic cruise and everything else. Milford Sound cruise on a sunny day was highlight of our tour. Queenstown - Amazing views from the Skyline Complex. Gondola, Luge and speedboat rides fun. Scenery on way to Glenorchy super. I would have paid extra to stay in downtown area. Waranka - Big festival in town. Many roads were closed. Did not see much of town. Edgewater is a beautiful resort. Management very helpful to us. Franz Joseph - Helicopter landing on Glacier special. Glacier pools were so so. Alpine Glacier motel disappointing. Trans Alpine Train - After doing all that driving on the west side of the South Island the scenery was nice but not exciting. Kaikoura - Wish I had more time there. The White Morph was so nice. The town was fun. The earthquake damage enormous. The seals plentiful.
Your countryside is picture book stunning. | John & Jennifer Perry | Mountains and Lakes South Island Family Tour | Travelled on 19th March 2018
Hi Erynn Mate how good was that trip. Many workmates, friends & family have asked me about this trip and I keep running out of superlatives. I can’t thank you enough. From the get go where you had to work within my budget to put this trip together. As soon as we left Christchurch for the inland scenic route we knew we were in for a treat.Read more
If we had the time between stops we would have been pulling over every 20 kilometres. Simply breathtaking. I’ll probably get carried away here but back to arriving in Christchurch and the proprietor of Merivale Manor Motel (Wayne) what a comedian and host. We’ve never been to the south island prior so we were taken with the old European influence of the buildings there in Christchurch and the transition it is making after earthquakes. Merivale Manor was very comfortable and I would stay there again if I got back to Christchurch. Your black satchel bag with everything you need in it for a road trip like this was fantastic so caringly put together. I knew with the work that went into what was in that bag our trip ahead was going to be a beauty. Simply too numerous to list all the magnificent highlights of this tour. Lake Tekapo is just stunning and so much fun. The hot pool springs I was in there for ages. On route to Lake Tekapo the landscape incredible with the mountains,gorges,the farms and the communities particularly Geraldine. Queenstown what a beautiful city. We loved the gondola ride and the steamship cruise to Walter Peak farm was great and the gourmet BBQ lunch was absolutely delightful. On the second morning it snowed and the Remarkables were a terrific sight full of powder on the peaks. We loved Cromwell with all the orchards & that magnificent Lake Dunstan. The drive to Dunedin was fabulous with great communities like Alexandra with the clock on the mountain side and Lawrence was a great pit stop as well. In Dunedin we went up to Signal Hill on the advice of a waiter at the octagon where we dined. It provided great views. That Otago Peninsula road is a bit hairy right beside the water but well worth it going out to see the Penguins. That is a wonderful facility for the penguins and the fur seals they share with. In conclusion We are grateful to you for providing a old couple of aussie battlers with a superb week. I have recommended you and your company to people I know should they consider a self drive holiday in your wonderful country. I will submit photos of our trip as soon as one of my boys come around to help me upload. The guest book entry falls into the same category. You take care and all the very best and thank you. Kindest Regards John & Jennifer Perry
NZ self-drive does all the work and then you can have all the fun | Suellen and Kenneth Slater | Customised Discover New Zealand | Travelled on 13th March 2018
Every part of the process went smoothly. Our agent was easy to work with and helped us customize our trip the way we wanted it. One of the easiest trips we’ve ever had, not a single snag.Read more
Well, one very minor snag actually was not getting the type of rental car we had reserved in Auckland. They gave us a sedan that was not to our liking but we did get the correct car when we went to the South Island. All our accommodations were excellent. Our absolute favorite was the McCormick House in Picton. Jeanne and Carl were lovely people and we enjoyed talking with them. Unfortunately is was a drizzly wet day while we were in Picton so we did not explore as much as we would have liked. I also think we had one of our best dinners in Picton as well. Carl recommended a place in town called LeCafe and it was excellent. A great find in a small town. The Manaku Lodge in Kaikoura was also a real highlight, wish we’d had 2 nights in Kaikoura. Not only was it in a beautiful location but clearly had the best breakfast. Most B&B’s in the US are known for their gourmet breakfasts. Most of the places we stayed in New Zealand where breakfast was offered, gave a choice of eggs or cereals in the morning. All quite fine but not at the level of most of the US B&B’s. The eggs benedict at the Manaku Lodge with salmon and real hollandaise was yummy. Having said all this I must say the view we had from the Hermitage at Mt Cook rivaled any found anywhere in the world. The view from our window was breathtaking and we were very fortunate the weather was clear on our first day. The highlight of the trip had to have been Milford Sound and Fiorland National Park. We ran out of ways to “wow”! Everywhere we went on the west coast it was spectacular. New Zealand had everything we love, mountains, beaches, open farmland, spectacular coastline, friendly people and I could go on and on. The Jet Boats in Queenstown are also at the top of our list. Quite the thrilling ride, didn’t want it to end. Queenstown was a bit of a surprise to us. The harbor is quite lovely but the town was more “honky tonk” than we expected, lots of bars and souvenir shops. The compactness was very nice and everything was an easy walk from our accommodations. The only thing we didn’t plan well was our first day in Auckland. We landed at 7am and had to wait until 3pm for our room. This meant a whole day of walking around the city when we were quite tired. Maybe our agent could have suggested some type of tour that would have used up that time without being too exhausting. Otherwise everything went very smoothly. We initially thought this was a once in a lifetime trip but we are already talking about where we want to go the next time we visit New Zealand. A spectacular country. I would recommend New Zealand self-drive tours without any reservations, in fact I have. I have friends who want to go to New Zealand next year and I told them NZ self-drive does all the work and then they can have all the fun.
Susan Coish and Michael Kerr, Customised 30 Day Ultimate Explorer Tour of New Zealand, Travelled on 11th March 2018
Our trip was great. Thank you for your ideas and your organization. The South Island was spectacular! Even more spectacular than the North Island! So many wonderful new sites around every curve in the road. We had lots of fun on our Safari ride outside of Queenstown and I loved Wanaka.Read more
We fit in many beautiful little and medium sized hikes everywhere. The museum in Wellington was a great hit. We were so taken by the Gallipoli exhibit. It was emotionally draining to complete but a fabulous exhibit. We also signed up for a 2 hour private tour and had a passionate guide. The harbor was lovely and WINDY! A great day! Michael and I bought a "chilly bin" when we arrived in New Zealand and prepared lunches and cooked breakfasts and dinners 80-90% of the time. Lots of money saved and it was likely healthier. We realized, at the end though, that we had missed out on some of the great New Zealand food! As I had expected, the New Zealanders were absolutely lovely. Our only exception was at the Oceans Resort in Whitianga. As I mentioned to you, the manager ??( woman) was nasty and rude. It really effected our experience in that location. She was quite dismissive about your company as well, telling us that it would be months before she would be paid. I considered that very unprofessional. When we asked for a record that our bill was complete, (had been covered) she printed a document that said "sent to debtors" and said 'I will NOT give you something that says you have paid up." As well, we received a lecture about opening the downstairs room door and placing our suitcases there. We had not been told that that was not also our space. She realized her new (and actually lovely employee) had forgotten to clarify that with us. The condo had 2 extra bedrooms downstairs. We did not need them but did not realize that we were not even to enter them . She did not ,then ,apologize for the unsettling and aggressive lecture ,but departed in a huff. I can assure you that I was polite and apologetic around our misunderstanding . Michael was upstairs when this all went on and he shocked by her aggressive angry tone. I can honestly say we did not have a single other experience like that in New Zealand. I have no problem if you wish to share my comments with the owners of the property and with your organization. This woman certainly was not one of the great ambassadors for NZD whom we enjoyed everywhere else!! I would never return to that location and I would advise my friends to look elsewhere. The woman who spoke with us about the Glacier Tour cancellation in Wanaka was lovely and apologetic. She mentioned that the refund was in the order of $295 per person. Please let us know when to look out for that. Two towns you sent us to they were not far from bigger cities were Oamarua VS Dunedin and Wanaka instead of Queen town. These were lovely places to stay and visit.Only one other piece of feed back. The manager( Irene) at the Red Tussock Motel in Te Anau,gave us a wonderful piece of advice. Rather than driving from Te Anau to Milford sound and risk getting hung up in what is now a pretty crazy parking situation ,she recommended that we take the bus there and back. It was well worth the extra cost. The bus driver gave an excellent guided talk. We made several stops that I suspect we would have driven by. There were people arriving by car who were stressed by the limited parking and had to park a 15-20 min walk away from the cruise. We were very happy to arrive on time ,see the sites and not have to struggle with parking. We were picked up at our Motel and had a most relaxing trip to Milford Sound. I think it is worth recommending to other clients ,especially if they have been driving a lot and would benefit from a driving break. Thank you once again for helping us on such short notice. I was charmed by the following places we stayed :Takatu lodge great meal ,lovely person hosting stunning setting .Oceans View Chalet,and Abel Tasman Park, Napier Pebble Beach Motor Inn was perfect ,good location very nice couple running it. Napier had a terrific vibe. I could easily have stayed much longer .Bolton Hotel in Wellington ,good location , fun staff . I really liked Wellington . We certainly covered great territory . If we had had more time I think we both agree that there were many places that would have captured or attention and admiration for 3-5 more days in any one of them. We will pass on the name of your service to our friends. Thank you again for your help and support putting together such a wonderful trip . Best wishes to you and your family , Sincerely , Susan and Michael
Thanks so much Erynn you were super helpful | James & Colleen Miller | Customised Christchurch to Auckland Must Do Tour | Travelled on 7th March 2018
Our trip to NZ was absolutely fantastic. This was due to two major factors...NZ is an indescribably beautiful place with great people and the assistance and guidance from Erynn Bell.Read more
Erynn set up things to allow for maximum utilization of our time. We saw and did so much plus stayed at some perfect hotels and lodges...of particular note Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel, City Life Wellington, Mt Cook Lodge and Waitomo Boutique. Too many highlights to mention them all, but a few personal do not misses...Glacier Explorers, Milford Sound Tour, Tei Puia, Bay of Islands cruise,..plus throw in some zip lining, jet boating and zorbing...you will not regret any of it. Thanks so much Erynn you were super helpful and wonderful to work with. We will recommend you to all that are headed your way and if we get the chance again you will be one of the first to know. Take care.
It truly was a perfect trip | Mike & Denice Connelly | Customised Grand New Zealand Experience Including the Milford Track | Travelled on 5th March 2018
My wife and I just concluded our month long trip to New Zealand. Shelley Ryder discussed our needs months prior to our trip and put together the perfect trip. She listened very well and accommodated our every need.Read more
Our hotel accommodation were perfect and the extra touch to meet our request for a few special places to stay were spot on. We also hiked the Milford Track and WOW, that was the highlight to the trip. It did help greatly that the weather was perfect our whole trip. I must also commend the country and people of New Zealand. They are very helpful, kind and pleasant. Their roadways are great and easy to drive, even on the left side. Also, there was NOT one hiccup to the trip. All our cars were where they needed to be at pick up, all taxi services were waiting as expected and reservations at all accommodations were perfect as well as the train and ferry. It truly was a perfect trip and much thanks to New Zealand Self Drive Tours and especially Shelley.
Your help, experience and advice made it better than if I had done it myself | Franklin and Stella Li | Auckland To Queenstown 15 Day Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 1st March 2018
Our trip was great. The evening cruise on the Earnslaw and the dinner buffet were wonderful as you described from your own experience. We wouldn't have gone without your strong recommendation.Read more
We enjoyed the Doubtful Sound outing and would recommend it though the bus ride at the beginning and end are long but the scenery is beautiful. Thanks for building in the included picnic lunch. We wondered whether to pack a lunch, plan to eat on the ship or something else but didn't have time to do anything specific with our late afternoon arrival in Queenstown and the Earnslaw getting pack to town about 9. When were given our tickets when boarding the bus, we saw a decision had been made for us. BTW the picnic lunch was excellent and ample. The airport pickup and drop offs went off without a hitch. Until I saw the delivered itinerary I didn't realize we already had transportation to the Christchurch airport included. The inter-island ferry went without a hitch. It rained the day of the ferry but the crossing enjoyable anyway. It was pouring in Picton and on the way to Kaikoura but it was cloudy the next morning. The sun came out as our whale watch boat left the dock at noon. We managed to see 4 sperm whales. Car pickup and drop off went well. Now I am a veteran of using GPS and driving over 1000 miles on the left side of the road. Would have never made it from Auckland to Waitomo or Waitomo to Roturua without GPS. All of the accommodations were very comfortable. The ones in Auckland and Queenstown in particular were very roomy; the one in Wellington was borderline cramped but more than adequate and the location was good, within a block or two of the main streets without any noise. The one is Queenstown was over the reception (though there was no noise from reception or the street traffic) on the second floor and afforded us a beautiful partial view of the lake over the tree tops. Never had a bad meal the whole trip. NZ wine gets deserved credit but the beers are GREAT too. You're a right-Te Papa is a great museum. All in all, a great trip and wonderful vacation. Your help, experience and advice made it better than if I had done it myself. Thanks for a great job! Frank
We were very pleased with ALL the arrangements | Mike & Sheila Trahan | Christchurch to Auckland Splendour | Travelled on 1st March 2018
My wife Sheila and I had been wanting to visit New Zealand for most of our 50 year marriage, and we finally accomplished that this past March, with the able assistance of Laura Davidson and your company. We contacted Laura at the suggestion of a friend, and asked her to plan and make all the arrangements for a self-driving tour of both the North and South Islands.Read more
We planned to spend 15 days over there and asked her to plan out a tour that would take us to some of the most desirable places to visit. Well, she did even more than that. When we arrived in Christchurch we were met at the airport with a complete and detailed itinerary for our entire trip. All lodging, transportation, car rentals, and special attractions had been arranged and paid for. It was a seamless trip and very convenient and pleasant to accomplish. We did have one "hitch" in the plans though. One of the last places we wanted to visit was being threatened by a cyclone the day we were supposed to be there, so we called Laura and told her we would skip that part of the trip. We asked her to arrange another night at the hotel in Auckland, so we could just finish up our trip there. She was able to get us a room and all went well. I can't say enough about how convenient and interesting this trip was. I would recommend New Zealand Fine Touring to anyone who wants to visit New Zealand. We were very pleased with ALL the arrangements. And, a special thanks to Laura Davidson, for the friendly, competent way she made all those arrangements for us. Sincerely, Mike and Sheila Trahan Dallas, Texas
Narissa, who made our New Zealand dream come true | Reatha and Neil Sorensen | The Customised Queenstown to Auckland Adventure Tour | Travelled on 28th February 2018
We thoroughly enjoyed our 3-week (2/28 - 3/20/2018) New Zealand adventure, expertly customized for us by Narissa. She really listened to what we told her as far as our budget, interests, and accommodation preferences.Read more
I will highly recommend New Zealand Self-Drive Tours and our "ace" agent Narissa, who made our New Zealand dream come true. Look forward to returning someday. Reatha and Neil Sorensen, Maui, Hawaii
Well planned, executed and enjoyable | Ken, Barb and Keryn Jones | The Customised Coast to Coast Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 24th February 2018
Narissa Phipps, thank you for arranging our self-drive holiday it was well planned, executed and enjoyable, all the accommodation arranged for us was excellent and hosts were perfect.Read more
Our only regret is that we did not have more time to explore out of the way points of interest in your wonderful country another 7 days would have been better on this trip to fully appreciate, it’s our fault, My wife says next time we come over we will take more time to explore the missed areas.
You will definitely hear from us in the future for all those arrangements and bookings | Kerry Weedon and Andrew Vella | Customised The Southern Circle Day Walks | Travelled on 26th February 2018
Hi Lauren, Well we are back home safe and sound. Just wanted to send you an email to say how much we appreciate everything you did for us with regards to our New Zealand holiday. We had the best holiday ever and enjoyed every activity and every second of driving through the south part of the South Island.Read more
You have an amazing and very beautiful country and all the people we spoke with were so friendly. We could not believe that as you kept driving more amazing views and countryside kept appearing round another corner, especially through the Caitlins. Absolutely everything was fantastic. All the accommodation was spacious, well positioned and great. We really appreciated you booking us into places that had kitchenette’s to allow us to have our own breakfasts, which not only saved us money, but ensured we were up, fed, and ready for some of our early activity bookings. We really appreciated you booking an apartment for us in Queenstown which meant we had our own washing machine & drier in our room. We hadn’t done any laundry since arriving, so was very grateful the facilities were in our room and we could wash everything at night while watching some Television before bed. We really enjoyed your home town Wanaka. We did the Rob Roy Walking Track and the Diamond Lake / Rocky Mountain Track which were both very different but amazing in there own way. Wanaka had the best grazing country to drive through on the way to the Tracks. We also really enjoyed the day walks on both the Milford & Routeburn Tracks. We are very keen to return to do the full 3 day guided walk on the Routeburn Track as well as some other activities at Queenstown. The fly fishing with Chris Dore was great, and I managed to land a Brown Trout which made the day very special. We have some fantastic photos from all our activities and driving. We had a wonderful time and have already discussed our next holiday to New Zealand to do the north part of the South Island. You will definitely hear from us in the future for all those arrangements and bookings, once I have done some research and saved more money over the rest of this year. Thanks again Lauren, and Take Care xx Kerry & Andrew
Thanks for making all the arrangements that made this adventure possible for us! | Marjorie & Jeffrey Stearns | Highlights of New Zealand | Travelled on 22nd February 2018
Our Self-Drive New Zealand Trip was PERFECT in every way! All the details for travel had been attended to by our agent, Louise. The accommodations were great, the directions helpful, the extra tours we planned were wonderful.Read more
It was so nice to be met at each hotel by people who were expecting us and knew our names. There was no need for vouchers--everything was on record! Our itinerary was ambitious and we drove a little more than 4000 km in four weeks. Can't imagine trying to see and get to know the country any other way! Thanks for making all the arrangements that made this adventure possible for us! Marge and Jeff
Fabulous way to visit a gorgeous country | Carol & Paul McCormick | A Customised Relaxed New Zealand Experience | Travelled on 18th February 2018
We couldn't be more pleased with the personalized itinerary prepared by Christina Brockie for us. Materials were expertly prepared for us to collect at our first hotel with phone numbers, confirmation numbers, addresses, and details about all lodging, car rentals, and excursions.Read more
Both islands were included at a pace that suited us (a relaxed tour) with multiple nights at lodgings rather than moving to a new place every day or so. Almost everyone of our locations for lodging included a washer/dryer which was extremely convenient. My favorites experiences: Waimangu Volcanic Valley walk - spectacular views, steamy hot water and exotic vegetation Hobbiton near Matamata - completely charming sets from the LotR movies and so so green wine tasting in the Marlborough region - OMG, their SAUVIGNON BLANC is the world's best! Pelorus Mail Boat - beautiful scenery and great, fun commentary from the captain ferry rides between the north and south islands - stunning views The water is pure, the air is clean, the stars (when visible) are spectacular. There are so very many places and experiences to enjoy in New Zealand. Next time, I want to include the Fjordland National Park, and stops at knitting sheds and shops on both islands. Thanks very much, Christina! Carol (& Paul) McCormick Sacramento, California, USA
Sheri Nielsen & Carla Cassity, Explore New Zealand, Travelled on 22nd February 2018
New Zealand is mother nature at her best.
We shall certainly recommend your company | Sandra & Peter Heaviside | A Customised North to South Island holiday | Travelled on 17th February 2018
We would like to thank you for planning and organising such an excellent trip for us to New Zealand, and for responding so promptly to all our queries and changes.Read more
We had an excellent time, even though the weather was against us at some points (torrential rain at Milford Sound and on the ferry to South Island), and the cyclone stopped us going to Kaikoura. But we still had some very sunny days too! That's New Zealand! We were very happy with the choice of good hotels and motels-and we especially liked the Pebble Beach Motor Inn at Napier-very well run and excellent breakfasts delivered each day to our room, -the warm welcome from our hosts at Blue Ridge Boutique Bed and Breakfast at Te Anau, and the views and service at the Hermitage Hotel. Some fantastic scenery which we will remember for always and we really enjoyed all the trips- especially the helicopter trip onto the glacier at Franz Josef, and the Queenstown gondola and luge were fun-though we didn’t manage all the 5 luge runs! Thank you also for processing the refund so quickly back to our card account. We shall certainly recommend your company as the way to really see and experience New Zealand. Again, many thanks. Best wishes Sandra and Peter Heaviside
Your availability and assistance was greatly appreciated | Ernest and Betty Mistr | South Island Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 17th February 2018
Betty and I had a wonderful time in New Zealand. Time went by way too quickly. The trip was everything I had dreamed of about New Zealand and more. The country is fantastically beautiful. All of the accommodations were great. I think Betty's favorite was in Milford Sound with the river running by and sitting the deck enjoying a bottle of wine.Read more
Our self drive trip was preceded by a cruise which allowed us to visit the coast from Dunedin to the Bay of Islands. The flight seeing around Aoraki and the Earth and Sky experience on Mt John were awesome. We added a flightseeing over Lake Wanaka with U-Fly which was fantastic. I learned about a person who would fly you in a P-51 Mustang in Wanaka, but unfortunately he was getting his plane ready for the upcoming Warbirds show(not sure I could have afforded it but would have been a unique experience). The weather in general was great considering we experienced Cyclone Gita. We missed the kayaking adventure in Abel Tasman but had driven to Kaiteriteri the day before and seen the beautiful beaches. Buller Gorge was beautiful. The Fiordland Navigator overnight in Doubtful Sound was incredible. There are no words to describe the beauty of Fiordland NP and how tiny you feel with the mountains rising into the clouds. Home two weeks and I already miss NZ. What changes would I make if doing this itinerary again, I think adding 2-3 extra days with the possibility of staying an extra day at a given location. The rain in Aoraki NP resulted in missing the chance to do some hikes I had in mind.(don't know how it would have worked to deal with the extra night accommodations without messing up other reservations.) (The day we left Marahau was beautiful and we might have been able to work in the kayaking adventure.) The roads were great in general. (Too many exceptional views with no where to stop for photos only drawback) Construction sometimes added travel time but was not a major factor. I rarely completed the segment in the estimated driving time due to stopping for photos, lunch stop, or to do a walk but in general the intervals were appropriate. The only other change to the itinerary would be to the drive from Franz Josef to Westport. We had previously spent the night in Punakaki and driven from Westport to Greymouth enroute to Arthurs Pass. Spending that night in Hokitika before taking the Tranzalpine from Greymouth might have been better? I had originally planned to drive down to Jackson Bay from Haast but had some concerns about getting assistance if I had trouble with auto and not knowing if the road was traveled enough to get help. All in all the trip more than met my expectations and was fantastic. You have a wonderful and beautiful country. The people of NZ were most friendly and gracious. I would end by saying thank you for your help with planning and arranging our trip. Thank everyone for help in navigating after Cyclone Gita and the closed roads. Your availability and assistance was greatly appreciated. Natalie-thank you again for all of your help.
Lauren Neville did a fantastic job designing our 23-day drive tour | Larry and Ellen Borger | Grand New Zealand Experience | Travelled on 13th February 2018
This is my review of New Zealand Self Drive Tours as arranged by Lauren Neville for the summer (Feb/Mar) of 2018 in NZ. Some background of what we wanted. We asked for a self drive, 23-day tour of both North and South Island of NZ with four star hotel accommodations along the entire route. We asked for a small suv to drive the tour. After arriving in Auckland, our first accommodation was at Sky City Hotel with a great room. We were here for 3 nights and had a wonderful time.Read more
On day 2, we picked up the car we had requested. One point to check on when picking up your car, make sure the GPS you pick up for directions has current software. Outside of Wellington and Christchurch, the GPS we had didn’t recognize the new roads. It kept directing us to turn off of the state highway and use back streets, streets that no longer had off-ramps off the highway. This was somewhat confusing and stressful. But we did get to all of our destinations using the GPS. Upon departing Auckland, we drove north as our itinerary suggested. We had no problems other than two Americans learning to drive on the left side of the road. We encountered our first road closure about 30 minutes from our second hotel. This is something one would need to consider when driving NZ. There may be road closures and many road maintenance delays while driving during their summer months. In our case, we had four road closure delays and detours, some as long as two hours. Also keep in mind that we flew in on the tail of a cyclone and this cyclone changed direction and came back to NZ, causing many of the road closures. At one point we had to contact NZ Self Drive Tours to determine what to do next. But we finally made our second hotel. This hotel was not a four-star accommodation, at best two-star. No air-conditioning, no screens on the windows or sliders, and it was really hot. They brought us a fan, but it was still very warm and uncomfortable. The room appeared well used. After two nights, we moved on to our 3rd hotel. This hotel (actually a motel) was also not a four-star accommodation. It was a very clean motel with a very nice host. But again, no screens on the sliding glass door or windows (still very warm), no elevator (we were on the second floor) and no air-conditioning. However, our host did provide us with an oscillating fan. This was in addition to all of the crickets that came in through the door and windows, landing on the bed and dropping from the window into the shower. Fortunately, we had only one night at this location. This completes the negative portion of my review. Now on our way to our 4th hotel and we finally had an accommodation as nice as the Sky City in Auckland. It was a very nice room in Rotorua, which we had for 2 nights. And from this point on, our accommodations were pretty much what we expected. After arriving on the South Island, all of our expectations were met. The car we picked up on South Island was nicer than the one provided to us on North Island. Although we still had road closures, detours, and many road maintenance delays, all went well with our accommodations. We thoroughly enjoyed our South Island tour. We even stopped by to meet our tour director, Lauren, in Wanaka. In summary, we really enjoyed our tour. Lauren Neville did a fantastic job designing our 23-day drive tour. The accommodations and excursions set up for us by Lauren, went extremely well. All reservations were ready and we had no unexpected surprises. Other than the exceptions noted above, the tour more than met our expectations. Lauren always responded to my questions and concerns before and during our tour. We would definitely recommend both Lauren and New Zealand Fine Touring for your self-drive tour of New Zealand. They both provided a wonderful experience to visit their beautiful country.
All in all, this trip was everything we had hoped it would be | Laurie and Thomas Rogers, David and Caroline Rowlands | The Customised Coast to Coast Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 10th February 2018
Narissa organised the most amazing trip for us, allowing us to get a really good overview of most of South Island in our two week self-drive tour.Read more
From our pick up at the airport in Christchurch until the time we dropped the car off at the airport for our flight home, everything went very smoothly and easily. The hire car was perfect for the four of us and our luggage and we travelled very comfortably and problem free for our entire two weeks. We had requested mid-range motels and check-in was a breeze! These were perfect for what we needed and we had comfortable nights in all of them. They were all within walking distance of a number of restaurants which made things very easy. Our favourite motel and village was Franz Josef which also has a wonderful variety of good restaurants. Narissa had pre-booked tours to Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound and there was no doubt, that these trips were the highlights of our tour. The other highlight of our trip was staying in Mount Cook village and seeing Mount Cook in all its snow-clad glory with a bright blue sky behind it. All in all, this trip was everything we had hoped it would be and I say a huge thanks to Narissa for having put it all together and organised it so well for us. Well done and thank you from the four of us.
We will definitely recommend you and your company to our friends and family. | Conrad, Brown, Renfrew | North to South 18 Day Explorer Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 8th February 2018
Erynn, On behalf of the entire group THANK YOU for all your help planning our trip! We had an AWESOME time enjoying your country.Read more
The weather was disappointing at times, but we may just have to go back to see the things we missed (especially TranzApline Railroad and Milford Sound) and some places we wished we had more time for. The people were so nice and helpful everywhere we went. The food was delicious and the activities we planned were wonderful. (It is hard to pick a favorite!) For the most part, the hotels were in great locations, clean, and very comfortable. The van was a great size and very economical on fuel. GPS was very helpful. Now, we get to sit down and relive the trip sorting and sharing our thousands on photos! Thanks again for your expertise and we will definitely recommend you and your company to our friends and family. Kia Ora! Gail, Rich, Wendy, Mark, Karen & Neil (left to right...sort of)
We shall certainly recommend your company | Sandra and Peter Heaviside | A Customised North to South Island holiday | Travelled February 2018
We would like to thank you for planning and organising such an excellent trip for us to New Zealand, and for responding so promptly to all our queries and changes.Read more
We had an excellent time, even though the weather was against us at some points (torrential rain at Milford Sound and on the ferry to South Island), and the cyclone stopped us going to Kaikoura. But we still had some very sunny days too! That's New Zealand! We were very happy with the choice of good hotels and motels-and we especially liked the Pebble Beach Motor Inn at Napier-very well run and excellent breakfasts delivered each day to our room, -the warm welcome from our hosts at Blue Ridge Boutique Bed and Breakfast at Te Anau, and the views and service at the Hermitage Hotel. Some fantastic scenery which we will remember for always and we really enjoyed all the trips- especially the helicopter trip onto the glacier at Franz Josef, and the Queenstown gondola and luge were fun-though we didn’t manage all the 5 luge runs! Thank you also for processing the refund so quickly back to our card account. We shall certainly recommend your company as the way to really see and experience New Zealand. Again, many thanks. Best wishes Sandra and Peter Heaviside
This was the trip I’ve been dreaming of | Jim and Paula Ream & Karen Sieber | Customised Outstanding New Zealand Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 20th January 2018
This was the trip I’ve been dreaming of for 45 years. Our B n B’s were hosted by wonderful people who gave us great advice about restaurants, places to go and local history.Read more
We had great experiences- from zip lines, kayak and the Redwoods of Rotorua at night. Can’t wait to return.
It was a wonderful experience | Bryan and Susan Goodyer | 21 Day Discover New Zealand | Travelled on 18th January 2018
We chose the 21 day North & South Island tour and we must say that it was a wonderful experience. Narissa did a great job in organising the tour. Everything went so smoothly.Read more
From picking up the car, accommodation and the train journey back to Christchurch from Greymouth. We would very much like to do another tour, maybe just North Island as we really didn't spend that much time there this time and it would be nice to see more of it. If we do, we will certainly use NZ Self Drive again.
THANK YOU for all your help planning our trip! | Neil & Karen Conrad, Rich & Gail Brown, Mark & Wendy Renfrew | North to South 18 Day Explorer Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 2nd February 2018
On behalf of the entire group THANK YOU for all your help planning our trip! We had an AWESOME time enjoying your country.
The weather was disappointing at times, but we may just have to go back to see the things we missed (especially TranzApline Railroad and Milford Sound) and some places we wished we had more time for. The people were so nice and helpful everywhere we went. The food was delicious and the activities we planned were wonderful. (It is hard to pick a favorite!) For the most part, the hotels were in great locations, clean, and very comfortable. The van was a great size and very economical on fuel. GPS was very helpful. Now, we get to sit down and relive the trip sorting and sharing our thousands on photos! Thanks again for your expertise and we will definitely recommend you and your company to our friends and family.
We were very satisfied with our journey | Carin Lyckeus, Hans and Nina Ahlin | Classic New Zealand Driving Tour | Travelled on 20th January 2018
We are now back in Sweden after a fantastic journey in your beautiful country. Thank you very much for your good planning that made our travelling easy and comfortable.
We experienced a lot and it was really interesting and the people were very kind and helpful. Of course I feel sorry about that my beloved husband never got possibility to make this journey that he looked forward to very much. Hans, Nina and I myself were very satisfied with our journey. Best regards, Carin Lyckéus
We really enjoyed our holiday and would like to see more of NZ | John Granger, Treasures of the North | Travelled on 4th January 2018
Hi Lauren, We really enjoyed our holiday and would like to see more of NZ in a year or so. Next time we will contact your first, before we plan anything else, so it will be easier for you to plan for us.
The problem is working out how much time to spend driving (= how much of NZ you see) and how much time to enjoy the lovely places you do see. We really enjoyed The Bay of Islands and the day we had there without any travel. That was probably out best day. But pleased also to have seen Thames, the Coromandel region, and Rotorua. We found the Swordfish Club at Paihia a wonderful place to eat and talk to locals, we had a fabulous view from the verandah where we ate looking over the Bay. Next time we will probably ask to spend two nights at where ever we stay. The accommodation was all good. No air conditioning at Rotorua but we are accustomed to the heat, and is was not too hot leaving the motel door open all night. Maybe thats not best practice! You are welcome to put this on face book or where ever tourists write a review. Thanks Lauren for you planning of this holiday. John
Thank you for arranging everything, it was absolutely amazing | Mirjam, Marco William, Daniel & Senna Piet | Customised Queenstown to Auckland Adventure Tour| Travelled on 14th December 2017
We had a great trip in NZ, thank you for arranging everything, it was absolutely amazing. I saw we got the refund from the cancelled cruise, thanks for that too. I didn't see this on the list ; Waiheke Island Explorer Hop On Hop Off Tour.
When we came there the lady said the agency booked for 4 adults and she changed it to 2 adults, 1 kid and 1 (free) infant. The refund would go through the booking agency. Don't see it on your list, do you know what happened here? Thanks, Mirjam Piët
This trip surpassed any and all of my expectations | Kevin Halow and Carolyn Parkos, New Zealand Grand Tour | Travelled on 22nd November 2017
I have done many trips over the years, this was truly the most memorable. Salli Smith was an incredible agent. New Zealand has been on my bucket list for over a decade. This trip surpassed any and all of my expectations.
Salli tailored the trip to meet our needs and even made a last minute change for us without a problem. She was readily available once we were in country to help us with anything that we needed. Throughout the trip, we did not have one glitch; not one! It was like some toned down version of the "Amazing Race". You show up, get an itinerary, car, GPS, and Map and you are off. It was an awesome way to see the islands. Everywhere we went, we were expect whether it was at our lodging or our scheduled activity. The lodging was first class, the people were warm and inviting, the food was excellent, the activities were very fun, the scenery was spectacular, and, most importantly, the trip was relaxing; what vacation should be!! I cannot wait to go again, and when I do, I will only use this company!!
We had an amazing time in New Zealand | Lorraine Pan Baker, Chris & Poppy Baker, Explore the North Island | Travelled on 11th November 2017
We had an amazing time in New Zealand and want to thank you so much for all of your hard work. I really wanted to sit down and tell you about our amazing trip.
Auckland: Love the hotel. That location is amazing, and the setup is so perfect for our family. We were able to walk to the waterfront and walk to the sky tower so easily. There were also two amazing food courts so close by that basically let both of us eat exactly what we wanted. I’m sure you know the names, but I can’t remember them right now. The large room with extra space, kitchen and laundry was fantastic. The train ride to Wellington was so beautiful. Amazing views and great amenities. There were some rough points for Poppy, being partially confined for such a long time. I think if I was advising another family, I would suggest waiting until the kiddo is a little older like 4 or 5 before doing the full train ride. Luckily, she was able to get a good nap in and we spent more time in the dining car where she had a little more freedom, so the afternoon went much more smoothly. Much easier than driving and more beautiful than flying. Wellington: Another amazing location for the hotel. We got to the hotel so late, and were a little hangry for food. Luckily, the hotel recommended a Chinese restaurant around the corner (I want to say it was called the Pearl or something like that). It sounded a little sketchy, but was honestly the best meal of the entire trip (minus the Chinese banquet Lorraine’s family was hosting, but that’s not a fair comparison ;)). Anybody who goes to Wellington has to eat at this restaurant. We only wish that we had had more time to spend in Wellington. Definitely will come back if we ever make it back to New Zealand. We took a quick cruise through the Te Papa gift shop, and it looks so intriguing. I think Poppy wouldn’t have been able to tolerate the museum at this age anyway, but definitely looks like a super cool museum. Zealandia: so gorgeous. Still can’t believe how many birds we saw, and just the scope of the space.Also good to get out and stretch our legs. The drive: (This is Chris) So first time driving on the left side of the road but I LOVE driving. There was a mountain pass on this section that might be one of the best driving roads in the world. Napier: another town we really wish we could have spent more time in. By far, the best accommodations of the entire trip. We could’ve spent a week at this one hotel, taking advantage of all the amenities and being right next to Hawkes Bay. Seriously… That hotel was amazing… Chris has an affinity for one soap in the world made by this company called CO Bigelow. It’s in some high end hotels and the little hotel pack costs $60. Needless to say they had it and he was delighted. Cape Kidnappers: This was super fun. I’m not sure that Poppy got much out of the tractor ride, but she definitely got a good nap. But, I think that she liked the birds, and we met another family with a little 3 year old girl, who was super fascinated by Poppy. Chris and Lorraine definitely enjoyed the ride and learning about the geology and history of the area. Oh, and we saw a super cute seal pup on the way back. Rotorua: Accommodations: Egh.. the hotel was ok. The “spa” tub was HUGE but really noisy and not a jet tub so not massaging so we didn’t use it. The room didn’t have AC and it was a bit warm at times. The sulphur smell was not awesome. Getting to restaurants was a little further than would have been awesome. Te-puia: Very Cool. The guide was awesome. The hot springs were very cool to see. It felt like a very New Zealand activity and was great to see the culture up close. Agrodome: Lorraine and Poppy loved it. Chris grew up near farms so seeing them with sheep for the first time was cool. One note if Americans come you might warn them that this will cause some difficulties at customs “visiting a farm”. Glowworm cave: REALLY cool and those things are NASTY.. :) Poppy was way to young for this one. Maybe 5 or so would be better.. Crying in a cave sounds cool though. Wedding stuff Paihia: Hotel here was in a decent location. Walk to downtown and to a beach. Room was decent. We really loved the area and could spend more time here as well. We enjoyed the hole in the rock boat trip. The beach, that we can’t remember the name of it (Chris claims it’s uru pukapuka), where we had lunch was amazing. We could also have spent a week at this beach it was so beautiful and isolated. The motel was also in a great location. Walking distance to a great playground (despite the naked kid on the slide), beach, restaurants and a countdown. Auckland: We also managed to go to the Tarlton aquarium and the zoo. The zoo is amazing. Really one of the best. They were also in the process of moving an orangutan into a new dwelling and the orangutan in the silver cage was not happy about it, which made interesting watching for the grownups of our group. Overall: We cannot thank you enough for all of your amazing work. We would never have seen and done as much as we did without all of your prep work. We are so grateful. The only thing that would have been helpful for us was to have some restaurant recommendations, as we were often arriving very close to dinner/bedtimes, which made finding restaurants close calls. But, overall, bravo! Thank you and happy holidays, Lorraine, Poppy and Chris Baker
Thank you New Zealand Self Drive Tours | Jessica Dang & Shanil Singh, South Island Coastal Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 9th December 2017
We had a great time in South Island. The itinerary was well designed and had all the major attractions we wanted to see.
Milford Sound was incredibly beautiful and it was also great to visit Abel Tasman National Park and Marlborough Sound. The motels were very comfortable and some of them had fantastic views. Thank you New Zealand Self Drive Tours.
We had an AMAZING time! | Leticia Steffen, Jim Ivery, Isabel Ivery, Lord of the Rings Scenic Explorer | Travelled on 10th December 2017
Thank you for planning out our fabulous self drive tour through New Zealand. We had an AMAZING time! You did a fantastic job planning out a variety of activities that we all enjoyedRead more
,and we really felt like we got to know a lot of different aspects about the country. We were very grateful to be able to see so much in just two weeks, and even though it was a busy itinerary, we wouldn't have wanted it any other way for our first trip to New Zealand. We'll have so many memories to last a lifetime and great stories to share! Thanks again for all the work you put into planning the itinerary. It was perfect! Take care, Leticia, Jim and Isabel
Everything ran smoothly and beautifully | Peter & Narelle Palmer, Customised Coast to Coast Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 20th December 2017
We have been back in Briz for a couple of days now, and I'm sorry we didn't get the chance straight away to tell you what a wonderful N.Z. holiday it has been.Read more
Everything ran smoothly and beautifully, due in no small part I am sure to your impeccable organization, along with the wonderful people, without exception, who transported us, accommodated us, took us on tour and generally looked after us so attentively for our whole stay in your beautiful country. (Plunged into grandparent duties the minute we got off the plane! Yes, I think they might have missed us a bit :-)) Also please forgive us for neglecting to tell you sooner how very much we appreciated your kind gift waiting on our table on Christmas night - so unexpected, it was the perfect accompaniment to the fare we prepared on Christmas night - that wonderful New Zealand lamb fillet, cheeses, fresh veg (picked up in Dunedin), and delectable Christmas cake (courtesy of the most amazing little cafe at Kurow). And the best Pinot we'd had since we had been in New Zealand (and we'd had already some pretty good ones!). It was just the icing on the cake to make our Christmas day perfect ... having traveled the Southern Scenic Route most of the day, spending generous time at Curio Bay, I was already in 7th heaven! We did also want to say particularly how much we appreciated your efforts to find us the loveliest places to stay, with the most amazing views to wake up to in the mornings - we have photographs of breakfasts set in the most stunning contexts (the humble kitchen table backed by the most amazing landscapes)... every place different and each with their own particular take on New Zealand hospitality. Just gob-smacked in Mt Cook, stunned by the warmth of welcome at Christchurch and that beautiful, precious Christmas tree (Merivale) reminding us of the joys of the season, and blown away by by the quaint and beautifully restored nostalgia of the Edgewater at Te Anau - I can honestly say it was an absolute joy to prepare those Tautapere sausages on that solid, original (I suspect) 1950s range, and to see all those authentic and original kitchen fittings restored to their inherent lustre & purpose. We might have complained a bit about getting the luggage up the stairs, but it was certainly worth the effort (I can say that as Peter was the one who insisted on carrying up the heavy ones, lol). Congratulations on even managing to get the weather to perform for us! I can't believe it was only really fully rainy for one day (Franz Josef) - and even here we managed to squeeze in the twin helicopter flight early the next morning, while the sun momentarily shone over those particular mountaintops for us! Arriving in Greymouth early was definitely very advisable (rush hour it seems comes at 1pm). Other flights and commitments worked a treat too - everything went ahead as planned or contemplated - the bi-plane flight at Twizel I think should be on more people's itineraries - it was just stunning and exciting and we were lucky enough to have experienced the best weather that season apparently. Chose the 25 minute Lakes/Lord of the Rings battlefield circuit and the water colour, views etc were just breath-taking. We found the pilot to be very professional, knowledgable, reliable and most interesting to talk to. Doubtful Sound just lovely (if a little compromised by the huge volume of people needing to be transported and looked after too, naturally as one would expect at Christmas time). And very excited to have been able to see the fur seals, little blue penguins in their burrows and those splendid albatross soaring above the cliffs and bobbing in the water on the Monarch tour, also conducted very well, very professionally, and quite a profound experience as the mist rolled in. It seems everything just aligned for us ... as we arrived at Lake Tekapo and hopped out in our excitement to take photos of that reflective water with the moody skies and mists, we realised that a wedding shoot was in progress over on one of the far shores ... yet another of those 'wow' moments to add to the already spectacular nature of the experience and photographs. I must say how grateful we were for the late check in opportunities in summer too - not having to be at a destination till 7 or 8ish, and the long summer days enabled us to fit in so much more than we otherwise might have (we are not experienced summer travelers, having usually only holidayed in shoulder season here to enable hiking in comfort, without the crowds too). Even the hikes that we anticipated were managed without a hitch. Again, the Hooker Valley track, though spectacular, was very busy - but still well worth the effort. So many 'wow' moments. I think the ultimate one being arrival at the glacier face and our picnic high on a rock overlooking that spectacular lake. So glad we could manage this one and also Key Summit - I can see why they say if you only have time to do one walk in the South Island it should be this one. Another one of those magic 'picnic on a rock on top of the world' experiences which we will never forget. Very pleased also to be able to drive the Corolla (rather than a 'similar' car) - it performed like a trooper, never missed a beat and had pretty much everything we needed in the way of technology and comfort. Also, thank you so much for including great specific instructions and points of interest in the itinerary, but also particularly for that detailed road atlas - I am a map reader of old, and feel quite disoriented with sat-nav as the only means of navigation. A great thought and much appreciated (and it did save us from a few dodgy sat-nav shortcuts down the odd country lane with the odd un-crossable creek/river too!). Always a good idea to second-guess one's sat-nav, in retrospect! So finally, thank you once again, from the bottom of our hearts, for organizing such a fabulous, jam-packed, beautifully performing South Island holiday, and throwing in such gorgeous weather as well! You seemed to second-guess everything that would delight us and ensure that we had the most wonderful, unforgettable holiday ever! Cheers and all our thanks and good wishes, Peter & Narelle Palmer :-):-)
Our trip to New Zealand exceeded our expectations | Steve & Trudy Sampson and Ray Van Doorn, Customised Discover New Zealand Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 24th November 2017
Our trip to New Zealand exceeded our expectations. The scenery is amazing and the people of New Zealand are friendly and helpful. There are too many highlights to provide a complete listRead more
which included: - Snorkeling and exploring the Poor Knights Islands through Perfect Day Ocean Cruise - Exploring Hobbiton at sunset and enjoying dinner in “The Shire” - Floating on an inner tube in the Waitomo Caves in the dark with the magical lights of glow worms - We were surprised by the majesty of the North Island Volcanic Plateau - Enjoyed a calm sunny day and admired the beauty of crossing from Wellington to Picton on the Interislander Ferry - Taking a water taxi to be dropped off and explore the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park - Driving through Lewis Pass to Kaikoura - Being awe struck in seeing and hearing a magnificent Sperm Whale off Kaikoura - Seeing the amazing Botanic Gardens in both Christchurch and Dunedin - We were really moved by the “personal stories” that we heard at the Christchurch Earthquake Museum - Driving up Mt John to the Canterbury University Oberservatory and seeing the panoramic views on our way to Mt. Cook National Park - Seeing the Stars while staying at Mount Cook and waking up to a Rainbow across the mountains - Seeing the hundreds of waterfalls on a rainy day cruise of Milford Sound - Taking the excursion to see Doubtful Sound which turned out to be a beautiful sunny day - Our best dinner by far occurred through the TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak (including gourmet BBQ Dinner and farm tour) and we were stunned by an amazing sunset as we returned to Queenstown on our steamship - Taking the Gondola to see Queenstown from a mountain peak and watching the hang gliders - Driving to Glenorchy and seeing the mountains that were featured in Lord of the Rings - The mountain scenery, rain forests, Blue Pools and aterfalls on our drive from Wanaka to Franz Josef - Walking up to the Franz Josef Glacier shortly after dawn and watching the sun rise on the Glacier and Mountain walls - Exploring Okarito Lagoon on kayaks and seeing close-up a majestic White Heron - We enjoyed stopping in quaint towns like Warkworth, Bull, and Hokitika to walk around and enjoy tea and/or a meal - Travelling coast to coast (Greymouth to Christchurch) on the Tranz Alpine Scenic train was breathtaking - Being Canadians, we found the meals to be quite expensive (double what we pay in Canada) and we were fortunate that most of our motel rooms/apartments were equipped with kitchens so we could make ourselves many breakfasts and dinners. We liked the local Boutique Motel Rooms that were chosen for us. - We were there for 26 days and had a rental car for 24 days. It surprised us that we drove 5000 kilometres. The windy two lane country roads with many one lane bridges makes getting around much slower than you would think. We were too ambitious in trying to cover as much as we did on both the North and South Islands. - What was especially nice was being picked up from Auckland Airport, from Christchurch Train Station and being dropped off at Christchurch Airport - all the drivers were quite friendly, helpful and on time so we always felt well looked after We will be recommending New Zealand Self Drive Tours and in particular our travel agent, Shelley Ryder, to our friends and family who are planning to visit New Zealand.
We would happily do it again! | Peter and Mary Shively, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 28th December 2017
Many thanks to Natalie and the NZSD team for helping make our amazing New Zealand holiday possible! From the start, Natalie worked diligently to understand what we wanted out of our trip and did an awesome job putting together a great itinerary.
We planned our trip with relatively short lead-time, which made Natalie's job tougher and forced us to make a few trade-offs. Through this process, Natalie did a wonderful job communicating the decisions we needed to make and providing helpful guidance on pros/cons of each option. And of course, the actual trip was perfect: accommodations (mostly motels) were very nice, driving plan was well laid out, and excursions (Doubtful Sound overnight is a must!) were amazing. Overall, it was a treat to work with Natalie planning our trip. We would happily do it again!
Wonderful organisation and we will surely recommend you to others | Elizabeth Spencer, Adam Cecchini, Luca Grandjacquet & Miriam Kalnins, A Taste of the South Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 2nd January 2018
The nz trip went very well. As my son looked out of the plane window as we left he muttered “I’ll be back!” I turned out to be the weakest link between the four of us.
My legs gave up on mt cook and never really recovered. Apart from the hiccup at the arrival everything else went smoothly. Even the rough ‘lodge’ on night two was fine as we all slept well. The Hotel in Queenstown was excellent. All of our events went well. Going through Te Anau I discovered that my son had a passion for glow worms! Luckily for him he managed to photograph them near the hotel in Fox Glacier. As it was raining he got drenched but I have never seen him happier! It was a rush to get the train in Greymouth but we managed in the end. I have heard from Miriam since they returned and they enjoyed the north island as well. All in all, a great trip ! Our thanks go to you and your colleagues for the wonderful organisation and we will surely recommend you to others! Thanks a lot! Beth Spencer
Everything went smoothly & according to the itinerary | Susan Cheung & Darrel, Dean & Dana Freeman, Auckland to Queenstown Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 17th December 2017
It has been a week since we left New Zealand and I'm still in mourning over our departure, desperately trying to keep the vacation feeling.
New Zealand is AMAZING and I am so jealous that you live there! Everything went smoothly and according to the itinerary. The devil is in the details as you know and there were a couple of hiccups, but overall the trip was great! The challenge now is trying to save money again so that we can do the trip again. It is either that or having to find a job there and relocating! I'm so glad that you wrote since I've been meaning to but I've been too caught up with work. Your email served as a good reminder and motivator. I tried the link below but it does not seem to work anymore so I'm going to provide the feedback to you via this email instead. First off, this section is a no-brainer. You should be proud of your work and our trip is a result of your hard-work and WONDERFUL support and assistance to us. Not sure how I measure against other clients, but I certainly peppered you with sufficient questions which you were able to address and/or took care of in a timely manner. Anyone should be very lucky to get you as their travel agent and we were very blessed to be assigned to you, given your patience and flexibility. I felt that you took our requests/responses to heart and, where not possible, you took the time to let us know accordingly. There was true empathy on your part with the clients which is so necessary in your line of work. I felt from the communication we have together you understood where we were coming from and thus able to "tailor" a trip together to our liking and wallet-size. Second, because of you, the activities, transportation and accommodations were all great. We found them - Bella Vistas, Terrance, Rydges, etc. - perfect for our taste and comfort. Of course, there are lodging which have more stars (and more costs) but the chosen were great for us and we would use again in a heartbeat! One negative comment. When we are arrived at the Skotel Resort, we were assigned the standard rooms instead of the superior rooms which apparently they ran out of at the time of our stay. I want to say that we were charged for two nights in the superior rooms, but instead were given the standard rooms instead which in the end were fine but they were definitely the standard rooms. Finally, absolutely, I would refer your travel agency and you, of course. I really enjoy our correspondences and you are AWESOME, Joanna. Please feel free to use the above and do not hesitate to ask should you have any questions. Thanks again for all your support and assistance to us, Joanna. Susan
We thoroughly enjoyed our self-drive tour | Lim Chee Hwee, Kit May Mak and Wei Shuen Lim, The Essential South Island 9 Day Tour | Travelled on 22nd December 2017
We thoroughly enjoyed our self-drive Essential South Island 9 day tour planned by Natalie DeCaro.
We had the opportunity to see the beautiful landscapes in the South Island coupled with exhilarating experiences like bungy jumping from Kawarau Bridge, heli-hiking up Franz Josef glacier, and watching 3 sperm whales up close!
Definitely would recommend to my relatives & friends | Allan Chong, Customised Great Northern Land Itinerary, Travelled on 16th October 2017
Just back from our holiday in North New Zealand. Had a wonderful experience thanks to your recommendations and planning for this self drive trip.
Everything went smoothly! Will definitely recommend my relatives and friends to get in touch with you should they contemplate a holiday in New Zealand. Thanks.
Thank you for putting together exactly the right tour for us | Beverly Conover, Catherine Sinfield and Frankie Berman, Christchurch to Auckland Must Do Tour | Travelled on 1st October 2017
Just wanted to thank you for putting together exactly the right tour for us in New Zealand – it could not have been more perfect. You gave us exactly what we asked for – not too little, not too much.
The bus tour in Christchurch was eye-opening and we appreciated the way the driver was so passionate about his city and its recovery. The Merivale Manor was out of this world and Wayne and Karen could not have been better hosts. The garden tour was beautiful and what a treasure to have in the middle of their city. Franz Josef was amazing and good exercise and Aspen Court was great. Queenstown was so picturesque and we got to see you! Milford Sound was beautiful and we loved the apartment we had at Blue Peak apartments. We never did get to see Mt. Cook because of the fog, but the scenery was gorgeous. The ride from Christchurch to Picton was a bit grueling because of all the roadworks, but the scenery was fabulous. I have to say the accommodations at Aldan Lodge Motel in Picton were not even close to the standards of the other places we stayed, but the young couple who are running it were very pleasant. (To be fair, we weren’t actually in the main lodge, but a back building that was a bit tired with the bathroom off the kitchen.) The ferry from Picton to Wellington was a real highlight – beautiful and peaceful. City Life Wellington was a bit hard to find (as the GPS didn’t recognize the address) but once found, it was terrific. We LOVED Rotarua. We went to Wai O Tapu and were intrigued by the colorful thermal pools and the Geyser. The Kiwi encounter was great and the Mitai Maori Village was fabulous. Loved the Quest Rotarua Central as well. The Hobbiton tour was also a highlight. We didn’t expect to enjoy it nearly as much as we did, as none of us are particularly Lord ot the Rings or Hobbit fans. The enthusiasm of the tour guide was contagious in one of the most beautiful settings imaginable. The Hamilton Garden tour was fabulous and the Picnic Basket they prepared for us was incredible. Cathie enjoyed catching up with her old schoolmate in Hamilton and then we were off to Auckland. All in all, it was just a GREAT experience. New Zealand is truly a gorgeous country with the most friendly people. We so enjoyed meeting you in Queenstown and appreciate your literally going the extra mile for us! (Hope you enjoyed your birthday) Please pass along our kudos to your bosses and co-workers. We won’t hesitate to recommend your company to our friends. Thanks again for everything. Hugs, Bev, Cathie and Frankie
Couldn't be happier with the services provided | Blaire Miller, Caroline Richardson and Wim & Carin van Acker, New Zealand Highlights | Travelled on 3rd September 2017
We worked with Laura to organize a two-week active hiking trip on both islands for the four of us (one couple and mom/daughter ages 55-75). From the pick up at the airport to rental car to daily motel lodgings, all went very smoothly.
Laura provided us excellent options including emergency insurance and with my research on some other interesting options she found out how we could do those too. From the pick up at the airport to rental car to daily motel lodgings (2 bed/one bath/kitchen/living room options), all went very smoothly. All of the lodging was conveniently located near city centers with great food options and mostly quite up to date. Only one lodging had limited wifi options in Christ Church. We drove some good distances between regions which were gorgeous drives (SUV 4WD and garmin was a must!) and flew between the islands (watch carryon restrictions). Some of our highlights included Doubtful Sound overnight ship excursion-(#1 experience), hiking on White Island live volcano, hiking on Mount Cook in a foot of fresh snow, all-day wine touring in Queenstown region (loved the group upscale tour), Rotorua hiking in the geothermal regions and Mauri dinner show (also had a wonderful reception in a Mauri visitors house in town), Waikomo caves and Kiwi santuary, bungee jumping in Queenstown, Antarctica Museum at Christchurch airport, thermal spas in various locations after long hikes, amazing food at every meal (gluten free options everywhere) including country cafes in the middle of the mountain routes! Used Tripadvisor for dinner options in each region-all great! Good weatherproof gear was essential in early Spring, but we had only one day where it was a monsoon pour, so were able to experience so many diverse experiences. Been to 40+ countries and this is one of my top 3 all-time favorites! Thank you New Zealand Self Drive Tours and Laura for making it one of our top touring experiences-couldn't be happier with the services provided!!! Cheers, Blaire
Our trip was fantastic | Mike & Theresa Aldous, Customised Northbound Holiday, Travelled on 14th November 2017
Our trip was fantastic and the planning and help that was provided was excellent. Thanks Christina!
You’ve been our Kiwi angel! | Wendy, Ng Tiong, Edward, Susan LYE, Southern Explorer: Fiords, Mountains & Glaciers | Travelled on 9th December 2017
I would very much like to thank Joanna for her assistance and recommendations as I embarked on my epic self drive tour to South New Zealand for 12 days.Read more
The challenge was taking my elderly parents along as they do have physical limitations. Joanna was prompt in her responses when I came with questions and her assurance that the trip would be enjoyable and not physically exhausting for my parents totally got me sold. Even when I was travelling and needed her help to make a dinner reservation, she went beyond and above, taking the initiative to settle for me despite being cut-off due to lost connection when I was up in the mountains. She even enlisted her colleague, Kelly, to follow up with me on a weekend to make all the arrangement. I was deeply touched as the dinner would make a great closure for our trip in Queenstown coupled with sumptuous food and a spectacular view to behold. A wonderful way to immortalise our unforgettable road trip. Thank you Joanna for everything. You’ve been our Kiwi angel! Happy New Year Joanna and have a blessed year ahead. :) Best regards, wendy
Thanks for the great planning & itinerary | Janet & Michael Seigle, 22 Day New Zealand Showcase | Travelled on 25th November 2017
So nice to finally say thank you for planning our 3 week adventure. Each time that we checked into our next hotel was such a pleasure as everything was so organized and the reservations were perfect with beautiful rooms great locations and breakfast included.Read more
The itinerary folder that you provided was so helpful and detailed that we looked forward to where the next days adventure would lead us. Fun excursions as we enjoyed the waitomo caves. Very fun, from just gearing up into the wet suits helmets and boots. The guides make it very safe, informative and it was thrilling even though dark scary and cold water!! We loved both private kayak tours. Two great girl guides who were very eager to make our day fun. Bike excursion also just perfect. It ended up being just the two of us so a private great ride throughout the station seeing sheep and beautiful country scenic hills and great views with lakes and a nice boat ride. very enjoyable. We even ended up with 2 of our hotel rooms that had washer and dryer in room. And 3 hotels with laundry facilities that we also used as well. Lots of clean clothes were brought home so that was nice. And your country has such good food I must say. We ate at White and Wong and whitebait in Wellington and many great restaurants in Nelson. And we tried pies and pavlova all the pineapple lumps and fish and licorice. Very enjoyable. We learned so much at the treaty grounds and as well at the hangi dinner in Rotorua. We even went mountain bike riding for 2 hours and made my way up to the intermediate course. so proud!! We of course went tramping everywhere. Even in fiordland on the way up to mitford sound. I thought I was in a movie or something as it was so beautiful. Hiking at Mt cook was great to see the glacier and all. I would not recommend the stargazing as it was not that greatly organized. Other than that all went well. People are so friendly in New Zealand. And mountains everywhere, sheep and great food and nice roads even though they are not that wide and windy!! thanks for the great planning and itinerary. best Janet
We have a wonderful time in Aotearoa | Ziggy & Leila Iglewski, Southern Explorer Queenstown to Christchurch | Travelled on 29th October 2017
With that one exception we have a wonderful time in Aotearoa. We just fell in love with this country and people. You deserve a a great round of applause for making it possible. We’re definitely planning to come back in future to soak in the beauty of nature, environment, vegetation, food and an exceptional people hospitality. Thank you again with warm regards, Ziggy
Thanks for the well planned itinerary | David & Anoja Devaranjan, Highlights of New Zealand, Travelled on 24th October 2017
Just want to say THANK YOU for making our trip so wonderful. We could not have experienced all of this without you (8 days to see all the great sights in both south and north islands) - just felt I needed to say thanks for the well planned itinerary, information and recommendations. The last minute addition to stay in Mount Cook and the Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook tour that was the high point in our trip. THANK YOU. David & Anoja
It was a great visit to New Zealand | Gordon and Gabriella Bonn, New Zealand Highlights, Travelled on 21st October 2017
This is Gabriella writing. As Gordon mentioned, it was a great visit to New Zealand. What a beautiful country you live in!
I expect you probably don’t have a chance to visit all of the properties we were booked in so I thought I’d quickly mention a few things about them. Grand Mercure (Auckland and Wellington). Modern nicely appointed hotels and rooms. The rooms were somewhat small, but modern and new. Breakfasts were ample and delicious. Both locations were good. The Princess Gate Hotel (Rotorua): The only one I didn’t like at all, although the location was fine. Listed as a historic hotel, that means it’s old. The floors were squeaky, sound carried from the hallways, the rooms had had a bathroom added, which meant the bathroom was squeezed in and really small, and while the room had 12 foot ceilings, the bottom of the mirrors were attached at the 5 foot height. I am only 5 feet tall, so I couldn’t even see my head! You may wish to reconsider this hotel unless your clients say I love old and squeaky. And of course the entire town smells like Sulphur so of course the hotel did too – it permeated the place. Scenic Hotel Te Pania (Napier): Fairly modern and just fine. It had on site laundry facilities which was helpful. Breakfast were less ample than at the Mercure, but totally acceptable. Location quite good, right across from the shore. Vintners Retreat (Blenheim – Marlborough): Basically a ranch style duplex house, with two bedrooms and two baths, a full kitchen, living room and laundry in the garage. In a somewhat isolated location, but since we had a vehicle, not a problem. More space than we needed, but a nice variation to our hotel room stays and having another laundry facility was a bonus as well. They brought a bagged breakfast to the refrigerator in the room so we were not limited as to the time of partaking of breakfast. The food was extensive, especially for a continental breakfast (although perhaps in NZ continental merely means not cooked on site?). There was granola, fruit, yoghurt, juice, milk and muffin. Merivale Manor Motel (Christchurch). Friendly owners, pleasant, relatively small modern room . There was a two burner stove (no oven which we didn’t expect or need in any case) and small fridge. Continental breakfast was two slices of bread (which we picked up at the front office), various cereals, milk, jams. The location was on a busy street and wasn’t close to downtown, but since we had a car it didn’t prove to be a problem. As well it was near several restaurants and a small mall which was convenient. They had big front windows to the rooms, so we had to keep the curtains drawn as it felt like we were in a fishbowl otherwise. Franz Josef Oasis Hotel [you called it “Lodge”, but that name was nowhere to be seen] (Franz Josef): Located outside of town, but not a problem. Weirdest thing was, no closets! Apparently, from what the very nice manager said, most people only stay one night and thus no closets. There was a restaurant on site which was a gem, really excellent, however very few customers and the second night we were there, it was closed without explanation. Breakfast, while called continental, was varied with boiled eggs, various juices, fruit, a variety of breads, jams and jellies. Having a laundry facility on site was helpful. Sofitel (Queenstown): Having the luxury room was a special treat. The view to the snow laden mountain was stunning. The breakfast buffet was ample and delicious. The location suited us fine as we could walk everywhere we wished to go. It was fun being able to go to La Club as it gave us a chance to meet and talk with other guests. You might wish to alter the estimated times for the drives – there was so much road construction during one of the segments (Blenheim to Christchurch) that while estimated at 5.5 hours our trip took nearly 9 hours. We counted 32 stops along the way for construction crews. Several of the other segments took longer than the estimated time. Avis car rental left something to be desired. Our first pick-up was on Labour Day in Auckland and the office had only two staff working while there were many clients. It took over an hour to pick up our car. And you know about the mix-up in Greymouth where they had no car for us. Was it just bad luck that these things happened or is Avis like that? Gordon indicated he received your email about the refunds for the cancelled helicopter and hot air balloon flights. Thanks. A disappointment but weather is not negotiable. All in all a great trip. Thanks for your planning and assistance. Wishing you most happy holidays as a newly wed!! Gabriella
I will definitely recommend you and your company | Ton Vandehee & Steven Nieto, No Other Tour Like It | Off the Beaten Track in New Zealand | Travelled on 5th November 2017
Steve and I can't thank you enough for putting this unforgettable 13 day trip from Auckland to Queenstown together for us.Read more
What I valued the most was your listening ear while putting the trip together so we really got to experience what we wanted and it allowed us to implement some bike and hike tours. You really know your business. Followed through and was there immediately to help and correct an issue with the rental car company while touring. I will definitely recommend you and your company to my friends and family and for future clients; rest assure she has everything under control when you are enjoying the spectacular countryside of New Zealand. Thanks again Erynn! Ton
Totally awesome vacation | Helene Pierard and Stephane Audet, Auckland to Christchurch Customised Wonders of New Zealand | Travelled on 3rd November 2017
Thank you for preparing and organizing this fabulous trip for us. Everything was perfectly orchestrated and well outlined. The activities were well balanced with the driving and the quality of the activities and tours was very good. I would not hesitate to recommend New Zealand Self Drive Tours. Well done. Totally awesome vacation. Thanks again.
We really enjoyed the whole experience | Annette & Bernie Steinecke, A Customised Ultimate Discover New Zealand Tour, Travelled on 21st October 2017
Our experience with NZ self drive tours was second to none. Christina Brockie organised our itinerary. She was very helpful with any enquiries we had.
She found out what we wanted to see and experience and added a few extra days at our request. From the time we were met at the airport, our hire cars and our accomodation couldn’t be faulted. The only accomodation we weren’t happy about was our hotel room in Rotorua. The Bella Vista room was tiny and well below par compared to all our other accomodation. All the included activities were excellent and were certainly worth seeing and experiencing. Some of the other suggested activities were also well worth doing. Our travel distances and time allowances for travel each day were very helpful. The maps were very easy to follow. We really enjoyed the whole experience and would certainly recommend this way of seeing NZ to others.
Frank Yap & Kim Cheng Khor, Customised New Zealand Naturally 14 Day Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 17th November 2017
Overall is an amazing journey to tour the whole New Zealand. It is an accomplishment and enjoyable but it is also rather tiring driving almost 4-6 hours everyday.Read more
Given a choice, I would rather the driving part be shorter with more stops and extra private time to explore more tourist attraction areas. I would highly recommend Rotorua, Lake Taupo, Kaikoura, Mount Cook and Queenstown to be provided with extra day of stay. I wish the rest of the long journey can be replaced by a tour bus or short distance flight, as driving a long way is tiring while we would like to relax as much as we could during a holiday. I love the cleanliness, fresh air and scenic places, but too many farm lands(like 70-80% of the journey) making the journey becoming a bit boring. I would strongly recommend Mitai Maori Village, Kaituna White Water Rafting, Kaikoura Whale watching, Mount Cook tracking, Queenstown activities. The road instruction is good but it is cumbersome(I wonder how many of your customers make use of it), I think it can be improved as most people are more used to using Waze and Google Maps tracking, perhaps include the google locations of key attraction area, or important places would be great. The GPS navigation tool seems not very user friendly and keys are less responsive than a handphone. My feedback is rather bald, and direct. Hope it helps.
I cannot wait to come and visit NZ again | Sage & Andy Way, Auckland to Christchurch Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 3rd November 2017
Salli was amazing to work with! She made the entire process very easy and knew exactly what types of activities my husband and I wanted to do!Read more
I highly suggest visiting White Island, absolutely breath taking. Our tour guide/pilot was informative and fun. My only negative of the entire trip was the Heartland Hotel Cotswold in Christchurch. The hotel was very questionable, the bathroom had mold and the bed was very uncomfortable. In need of an update and a deep clean but the staff was very friendly!! I can not wait to come and visit NZ again, hopefully longer next time!
Thank you for the exhilarating tour of New Zealand | Dileep Yadav, Sanjaya, Rajeev & Mohana Kulkarni, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 27th November 2017
A big thank you for the exhilarating tour of New Zealand. I & Mohana thoroughly enjoyed our stay & appreciate your effort in preparing a wonderful itinerary for our tour. The only disconcerting note was our stay at Bella Vista , Wanaka, where the bedroom, for the couple, was in the living room. Thank you once again. Best wishes, Dr Rajeev Kulkarni
Thank you New Zealand Self Drive Tours SO MUCH | Deborah & Martin Walker, Customised Christchurch to Auckland Must Do Tour, Travelled on 10th November 2017
We had reserved our trip about 10 months in advance, with Salli Smith, and were very pleased with the detail, and attention she took with our plans and suggestions.Read more
We looked at some of their basic tours, took some suggestions from family and friends that have visited the islands, and tweaked the trip a bit. We asked for a variety of accommodations, mostly modest, but occasionally an upgrade. We are able to walk several miles, but were not looking for long hikes with suggested excursions. The accommodations were positioned next to the activity we wanted to do in the cities, or by a bus stop, or within our walking comfort range. We chose the self-drive tour and did not find that a problem, even with the left-hand side of the road focus. We were also blessed with incredible weather for November. All the accommodation and excursion phone numbers and reservation numbers were emailed to us before the trip, so that we could let others know where we were and how to get in touch with us. Salli was always accessible by phone or email, and her responses were as soon as the working day started in New Zealand. So here’s a summary of our activities and places we stayed……..
Day 1 Friday 10th November 2017.
Private transfer from Christchurch airport to your accommodation - The representative was at the airport on time, took us on a small tour of the city, and gave us our documentation packet and borrowed cell phone. He did not explain anything about the packet, but that was not necessary, as everything was laid out in an excellent manner. We received a road atlas, brochures on each area we were going to visit, step-by-step directions to each location, vouchers for some of the activities and all the reservation numbers and information for each accommodation and excursions. My suggestion for the tour company in editing future additions for this part of the itinerary package, would be to add the mileage between roads, instead of just naming the next road that comes up. Even though the roads are rural, it makes a difference in unfamiliar territory, if the next road is 50 meters or 50 miles away. Accommodation Terra Vive Luxury Suites and Apartments (Room type: studio) This is a modest accommodation, which has a kitchenette, and a washer/dryer in the room, a big plus. Very nice manager on site, who greets you with a little basket of goodies. The room is clean, and the bed comfy. Most of the hotels had instant coffee and tea, hot water kettle, and milk in the refrigerator. Christchurch’s attractions are spread out all over the city, so there really isn’t one specific location to walk to everything, but this motel was about 20 minutes’ walk from the large attractions: Botanical garden, Cardboard cathedral, Cathedral square, etc.
Day 2 Saturday 11th November 2017
Explore Christchurch City - We walked about 3 miles this morning to the Botanical Gardens (very nice); the Cardboard Cathedral (very interesting) and Cathedral Square to see the progress they are making in reconstructing the earthquake damage. Great exercise after our long plane trip yesterday.
Waipara Valley Wine Trail with Lunch - We felt this tour was a good value. We ate lunch at the first winery, and then visited 3 others. We were glad we did not decide on a full day tour. After your third winery….well, unless you’re looking for that perfect bottle to take home with you, an afternoon is enough.
Day 3 Sunday 12th November 2017
Private transfer hotel to Christchurch train station - the driver was on time, and not only took us up to the station, but took our bags back to the luggage area for us, so that we could stand in line to get our tickets.
Tranz Alpine Scenic Train Christchurch to Greymouth - SO glad we chose this aspect of the trip. Awesome scenery. They have snacks and beverages on the car and very large windows to take photos.
Collect your rental car – Other than the half hour wait to get to the Budget car desk, the ladies behind the counter were very thorough in helping us understand the conditions of the rental, the road navigation, and other tips for driving in New Zealand. We were really impressed with the insurance that was already on the car, and chose not to add additional insurance. The GPS navigational system worked ok. The suction cup to hold it to the car’s surface did not work, but that wasn’t a big deal, just annoying. The bigger deal was when it tried to take us through a weigh station. There are different settings on it: Easy, Fast, and Shortest trip. It was set on “easy”, which was fine, but often it did not match up with the suggested trip route in our navigation package. “No worries”, however, if the tour company would ask the car rental places when they last updated their GPS systems, it would be a good thing, as around the west coast of the North island, near Wellington, there has been a lot of new construction, and the GPS was more lost than we were.
Greymouth to Franz Josef – We chose to take a detour to the Hokitka Gorge, which was a bit hard to find, but the swing bridge and views were worth the extra 1 ½ hours.
Accommodation Aspen Court Franz Josef (Room type: 1 x executive studio) Nice, clean accommodations, right across from the glacier valley walk tour center. The restaurants in the small town do not look impressive from the outside, but great food. The Blue Ice Café had great food. The Landing was fair.
Day 4 Monday 13th November 2017
Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk – Great hike, and great guide. Not sure it was worth the money, however, when you see the trail for free, right next to you. But as with most guided tours, we learned a lot of information about the glacier and did get a little closer than the general public. We did not take advantage of the hot pools.
Day 5 Tuesday 14th November 2017
Franz Josef to Queenstown (via Wanaka) – Easily the most beautiful part of our driving trip. So glad we were driving on our own to be able to stop wherever we wanted. We stopped at Fox Glacier outlook (very tiny view from the carpark, and Lake Matheson, a short drive down the road. On the coast, we stopped at Bruce Bay and Knight’s Point. Through the Haast Pass, there are three waterfalls, all beautiful and different. Then the swing bridge at the Blue Pools. Lots of photo stops on the way to Wanaka, where we stopped in to see our tour organizer, Salli. She had suggested taking the Crown Ridge Road to Queenstown, which was an excellent suggestion for the views alone.
Accommodation Garden Court Suites and Apartments (Room type: 1 bedroom courtyard apartment) Very nice, clean apartment with a pretty view of the lake. Parking is in a separate stall under the apartments. Queenstown was the largest city to drive in so far on our trip, and actually what we liked best about this location, was the easy way to drive to the apartment as well as to leave the city on a Friday morning in traffic. Walking around and looking at some of the alternatives would not have been fun. The streets are very hilly, and parking at a premium, so we elected to walk everywhere.
Day 6 Wednesday 15th November 2017
Experience the wonders of Queenstown – We walked around Queenstown, since our flight for the Milford Sound Excursion had to be cancelled for today due to the weather. We opted to sign up for the same excursion the next day and hope for the best. When it was officially cancelled, it took about 2 hours to rebook everyone and return us back to the hotel.
Spent the day at Kiwi Park (a lot of money but better than many of the other options in New Zealand, as this one had other animals, shows and walkways. Then we went to the wharf and watched all the wonderful water sports, and then to Queenstown Gardens.
Skyline Gondola and Buffet Dinner – We opted to take a taxi to the restaurant and walk back, since back meant downhill…..The ride up was fun, the meal itself very good and the views fantastic. It is a very noisy place, however, so you don’t go there for a romantic meal. But it is fun nevertheless.
Day 7 Thursday 16th November 2017
Milford Fly-Cruise-Fly & Dart River Safari – This excursion was by far our most expensive and the most worthwhile. The weather allowed us an early takeoff for the Sound, with wonderful views. The cruise was on a boat that had drinks on board, but we opted to have a picnic lunch ready for us. They gave it to us by 9:30 am, so we had all morning to snack. The cruise was very pretty and we were glad that we had choses to see the Sound by air and sea, not drive 6 hours to get here. (Be aware that many come prepared to get wet on the bow of the boat as it goes under a waterfall.) The flight to Glenorchy was even prettier as the cloud cover was gone. Our boat crew picked us up and bussed us first for a small hike through the national park and them on to the Dart River, where we donned our vest gear and thoroughly enjoyed the fast-paced ride on the shallow river. Bus ride home was fine, as we were so tired, it didn’t make any difference
Day 8 Friday 17th November 2017
Queenstown to Mt. Cook National Park – First we stopped at the Kawarau Bridge to see the bungee jumpers. They don’t start jumping until 9:30, but they have a café, so we had breakfast until they were ready. So glad we stopped as it was lots of fun to watch. Lots of beautiful views to Mt. Cook.
Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook – Our “nature trail to the lake” turned out to be a gravel trail you had to take to get there….not exactly a tour guided trail. Then the “cruise the lake” was a small boat that did indeed take you close to some icebergs. Not as close to the glacier as we had expected, but it made sense for safety reasons. We would do it again, but it would have been better knowing what to expect.
Accommodation Mt Cook Lodge & Motels (Room type: 1 x motel studio) This was the smallest of our accommodations, although clean, and comfortable. Our apartment was in the back of the main complex, and had a hostel, or community “feel”. Mt. Cook is a little tourist village that has four or five accommodations, and a couple of restaurants in the middle of nowhere, so you will be eating there. Plan on getting gas before you arrive, as the gas pump there is a bit pricey. The most expensive hotel, is where you are collected for your excursions, and has two of the three dining options, so you can’t help but compare where you are staying to this. That being said, we may have booked the same location, in order to save money for something else on the trip.
Day 9 Saturday 18th November 2017
Mt. Cook National Park to Christchurch – Four hours of beautiful views, looking forward to catching up on our emails, and doing laundry.
Accommodation Terra Vive Luxury Suites and Apartments
Day 10 Sunday 19th November 2017
Christchurch to Kaikoura – We were fortunate to travel on a day when the road was open to Kaikoura. Drove first to Seal Point, although the seals were somewhere else that month, but still a must-see.
Whale Watch Kaikoura – Second best excursion on our trip. With the construction on the roads, we knew by going here, we would have a 7 hour drive the next day to Picton, but it was so worth it. The excursion allowed us to see four whales close to the boat.
Accommodation Waves on Esplanade (Room type: 1 x 1 bedroom) Bearutiful accommodations…definitely a step-up. Large and spacious with a beautiful ocean view.
Day 11 Monday 20th November 2017
Kaikoura to Picton via Murchison – With all the road construction it was an 8 hour trip, but we did stop off at New Zealand’s longest swing bridge for a break. The views along the trip really allowed us to see New Zealand, and we felt like we were able to explore a lot more than just the touristy places. The area of Blenheim had wineries as far as the eye could see.
Accommodation Harbour View Motel (Room type: 1 x deluxe room (top level)) Also very nice accommodations. The only thing I would recommend was that anyone who wants to drive up to the reception area, not drive a stick shift. The road is straight up!
Day 12 Tuesday 21st November 2017
Interislander ferry Picton to Wellington – No problems in returning our car. Just left our papers in the outside drop box, and kept our GPS for the car on the next island. A very fun trip. The ferry is huge, with a café, so great snacking here.
Collect your rental car – Had no problems in line this time. Very smooth transaction.
Wellington Cable Car – Enjoyed the ride, the walk through the Botanical Gardens, The Wellington Museum and the Queen’s Wharf for dinner.
Accommodation City Life Wellington (Room type: 1 x 1 bedroom executive suite) The suite was awesome. Our nicest accommodation of the trip. Tourists need to be aware though, that when the GPS says you are at the entrance of the hotel, it means you go up a little path that looks like a service alley. The entrance is really hidden behind a wall. We parked on the street and kept walking around to find the entrance. Your final parking space will be in a parking garage for $15 a day. Also, when they advertise “free internet”, they mean a limited amount, which doesn’t take long to use up. No worries, but it’s nice to know that ahead of time. You can always buy more time, if you choose. Our tour company noted on our itinerary, for which hotels we would pay for parking. There were only two, but I really appreciated knowing this ahead of time. There were several hotels on the itinerary which indicated paid internet, but all of the hotels had free internet, albeit, some faster than others.
Day 13 Wednesday 22nd November 2017
Wellington to Waitomo – The areas around Plimmerton, Paekakariki and Paraparaumu had a lot of new construction, so our GPS was lost a lot, and once tried to take us through a weigh station. Having the Budget Car Rental Company update the GPS would be good, although with all the new construction, that may not be possible. Again the views along this route were beautiful. After checking into our B&B we walked about 5 minutes to the Ruakuri Bushwalk, which is “one of the 10 best walks in New Zealand”. It was lovely.
Accommodation Waitomo Caves Guest Lodge (Room type: studio unit (includes continental breakfast) This little Bed and Breakfast was charming. The manager greeted us with ½ little story of their town and the surrounding things we could do. The breakfast the next morning was fruit/cereal/croissants/toast/yogurt and coffee with homemade jams. Reviews on the TripAdvisor website are not all impressed, but we found this place nice, comfortable, and clean and we recommend it.
Day 14 Thursday 23rd November 2017
Spellbound Glowworm and Cave Tour – Another favorite excursion! We chose the Spellbound tour which offers two caves, one dry and the other with the glowworm experience and we were not disappointed.
Waitomo to Rotorua – Two hour trip with beautiful views. Spent the evening enjoying the night market and eat street.
Accommodation Quest Rotorua Central (Room type: 1 bedroom apartment) – This hotel’s entrance is located on what appears to be a pedestrian mall. The city of Rotorua is experimenting with “share” areas for cars and pedestrians. Once you figure it out, it’s fine, but again, we parked the car and walked to the entrance to figure out where to check in.
Day 15 Friday 24th November 2017
Rotorua Forest Canopy Tours – Another favorite excursion! The zip-lining was frequent, and swing bridges are included, as well as nature walk. We have been zip-lining in longer lines in Costa Rica, but thoroughly enjoyed this experience because of the diversity.
Exploring Rotorua seacoast – Walked around the seacoast thermal and spa areas. Great exercise and fun walk.
Day 16 Saturday 25th November 2017
Wei-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland – Another favorite excursion! The name of the place sounds hokey, but the area is spectacular. You drive separately to the geyser in the morning, and then back to the wonderland area for a walk at your own pace. Two thumbs up.
Tamaki Maori Village cultural tour and dinner – and yet another fun evening. Timely pick-up and visit to the village, show and dinner. Please let tourists know, however, that you will be standing for an hour for the greeting and walking around the village, before sitting for the show, and then another 20 minutes before dinner. So you will end up eating around 8pm. It was fine for us, but for people who cannot stand for that period of time, they might want to take a fold-up stool for more comfort.
Day 17 Sunday 26th November 2017
Rotorua to Auckland – Nice drive until we met up with a Christmas parade in the center of Auckland near the street of our hotel. We drove for over an hour trying to figure a way to the hotel with all the blocked streets. The hotel said their street was open, but it had been closed by the traffic officers. So one of us sat at a McDonald’s, where we parked, and the other walked to the hotel to check in. They ended up giving us a room upgrade, but it would have been nice to have been notified that the roads were to be busy that day, and we would have just come later in the afternoon.
Auckland Sky Tower Admission - Fun
Accommodation Waldorf Stadium Apartments (Room type: 1 x 1 bedroom apartment) Very nice accommodations, once we got in Parking was in a garage down the road.
Day 18 Monday 27th November 2017
Walking around Auckland – Visited the Auckland Art museum and park. Drive to airport was a little squirrely, as the GPS took us on a scenic route, but fine. So we have been to Germany, Spain, England, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Africa, Galapagos Islands, China and Tibet, Hawaii, Alaska, Portugal, Scotland…………………..and this was one of our most memorable trips. Thank you, Salli Smith and thank you New Zealand Self Drive Tours SO MUCH for all the organization, advice, help and patience in helping us make this a memorable experience.
We really enjoyed the whole trip | Eldhose John and Divya Varkey, Auckland to Queenstown 11 Day Highlights | Travelled on 5th November 2017
Hi Salli, Thanks for the help & assistance provided for our tour. Yeah, though we had a slight hiccup on the first day with the GPS, we managed it without the GPS and google maps is just good enough. It was a great and we really enjoyed the whole trip. New Zealand is beautiful and amazing. The people are awesome too - friendly & very helpful. Regards, Eldhose John
This is a “five star” company and a group of wonderful people | Jeff & Kristi Sprowls, Customised Wonders of New Zealand Anniversary Adventure, Travelled on 3rd November 2017
In August 2017 my wife and I decided we would like to take a trip to New Zealand for our 30th anniversary. Our anniversary was in November so to say the least we did not allow ourselves much time. After some research we reached out to Shelley Ryder at New Zealand Self Drive Tours and this proved to be the perfect decision. Shelley setup a call with us immediately and spent well over an hour with us helping her learn how best to plan for us. She then put together an awesome itinerary for us for the two weeks we had set aside.Read more
Since we had never been to New Zealand before we leaned heavily on Shelley for advice and direction in planning out the itinerary and agenda which in the end was the best trip we have ever experienced. We had some great excursions included and even with one being cancelled due to weather, we were immediately booked on an alternate excursion which ended up being a wonderful experience. All our accommodations were excellent and we are giving all of them “5 stars” on Trip Advisor. Shelley set us up on Waiheke Island for three days around our actually anniversary date and directed us to a wonderful dinner spot. Everything that was put into our detailed agenda happened just like it was listed, from drivers meeting us for pick-ups to shuttles picking us up for the excursions. I could write a lot more but let me just say this, if you are considering a trip to New Zealand you will do yourself a big favor by calling Shelley and the great team at New Zealand Self Drive Tours. This is a “five star” company and a group of wonderful people
It was the tour of a life time for us | William & Jumi Atun van Dongen, Auckland to Christchurch 22 Day Highlights | Travelled on 11th November 2017
We would like to thank you for an amazing arrangement of our holiday to your beautiful country New Zealand dated 11 November – 2 December 2017 with visits to the Northern as well as the Southern Island.
Without your professional advice and arrangements, we would not have enjoyed our holiday so much, and our trip would not be wonderful. It was a tour of a life time for us. All your bookings for hotels, attractions cars were excellent, only the hotel Scenic at Auckland was below our expectation. Because of your arrangement was obvious as you were able to provide introductions to the best accommodations and all the attractions we wanted to visit. Again, thank you very much. We hope to be able travelling to New Zealand by your tours again. Yours sincerely, William and Atoen van Dongen
Would book through NZ Self Drive Tours again in a heartbeat | Tammy & Mersha Sanne, Customised Grand Explorer of New Zealand | Travelled on 29th November 2017
Booked a 17 day self drive tour in New Zealand and had a fabulous time. Everything went off without a hitch, was very organized and would book through NZ Self Drive Tours again in a heartbeat.
We had a spectacular trip | Marc Friedman and Laurel Friedmann, Luxury New Zealand Driving Tour | Travelled on 21st November 2017
We had a spectacular trip that was planned by Salli Smith. Salli listened closely to all our our desires and planned the trip accordingly. It went through three itierations and Salli was uniformly responsive and courteous throughout the entire process, responding almost instantaneously to our questions before and during the trip as they arose. My only complaint is that I didn't fully appreciate the amount of driving I would need to do but this was not Salli's fault.
No hesitation recommending NZ Self Drive Tours to my family and friends | Keith and Ros West, Boutique Northland Tour, Travelled on 18th October 2017
Once contact was made we found New Zealand Self Drive Tours in particular Natalie DeCaro very helpful and co-operative to any changes that we may have requested and was of great assistance in arranging additional tours days.Read more
Everything went to plan as per the itinerary. The document pack was excellent informative with easy to follow instructions . No problems were encountered . Excellent accommodation. Very enjoyable 10 days and have no hesitation recommending NZ Self Drive Tours to my family and friends.
The customised itinerary just made it so easy for us | Darren & Trish Lloyd, Customised Christchurch to Auckland Northbound Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 29th September 2017
We had a wonderful holiday in New Zealand it was such a beautiful country to visit. We were very happy with our tour that was arranged specifically for us. We would highly recommend this tour company to anyone considering visiting New Zealand.Read more
We knew some of the things we wanted to do before we went, but some of the suggested activities were well worth doing. For example the glacier explorers tour at Mt Cook was one of the most amazing experiences we have ever had. We were particularly impressed with the accommodation choices. Whilst it was a mix of 3&4 star motels, the rooms that we were allocated were quite often in a prime position. Every motel we stayed at the staff we friendly and welcoming and happy to assist us. If anything we would have spent more time on the South Island and possibly only the South Island with a separate trip back to the North Island at a later date. The driving directions were very easy to follow and the customised itinerary just made it so easy for us. Every motel or activity that had been booked, we had no issues checking in. We had a family death a couple of days before departing for our holiday and nearly had to postpone or cancel and Shelley was extremely supportive and offered some options for us to consider. She contacted the staff at our motel in Christchurch and they were very sympathetic and gave us a small gift to welcome us there. It was very much appreciated. We would highly recommend this tour company to anyone considering visiting New Zealand.
Thanks for a great holiday | Wendy and Murray Robertson, Ultimate New Zealand Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 25th September 2017
Hi Natalie. We would like to thank you for the wonderful organisation of our recent 38 day Ultimate New Zealand Self Drive Tour. We had an amazing time exploring both islands of your beautiful country.Read more
The itinerary, car hire, accommodation, transfers and included tours exceeded expectation. The detailed information we received upon our arrival was very helpful and meant we didn't have to think about a thing. This was one of the easiest and most relaxed holidays we have ever had due to knowing that everything was organised and already in place for us. Thanks for the great holiday! Wendy and Murray Robertson.
I really appreciate NZ Self Drive's patience | Smitha Bhat, Nariyandada Gopalakrishna & Pramath Ram, Christchurch to Auckland Must Do Tour, Travelled on 25th September 2017
I mailed NZ self-drive tours with an enquiry and our requirements. Within the next 2 days, I got a call from one of their staff, an utterly sweet, efficient, helpful person called Joanna Bullus.Read more
This will be a long and fairly detailed review of the self-drive holiday we enjoyed in October, arranged via New Zealand Self Drive Tours. Planning: after checking the website, reading up a bit about New Zealand and deciding what our family would enjoy, I mailed NZ self-drive tours with an enquiry and our requirements. Within the next 2 days, I got a call from one of their staff, an utterly sweet, efficient, helpful person called Joanna Bullus. She got some details about our family, figured out what we would enjoy, made some suggestions, and mailed back in the next 2 days with a detailed itinerary. We mailed back and forth a couple of times until the plan was finalised. I had so many questions and concerns, and I really appreciate Joanna's patience. The payment was made in advance, online, by credit card. Trip: I normally make reservations for our many trips myself, and this was the first time I booked the trip through an agency. There were many advantages to doing so, however. Our car rental included GPS and insurance, the motels booked were centrally located, and very comfortable indeed, and the attractions were tailored to our family interests. Another huge plus: Our air tour of Milford Sound from Queenstown was cancelled due to bad weather. It took just one phone call to Joanna - she tweaked the schedule to arrange some activities on the day of the cancelled tour and arranged a coach tour of Milford Sound on another day. Post-trip: Refunds due to any cancellations reached me promptly. Driving in New Zealand: very comfortable, and not intimidating at all. They drive on the left side of the road, like us Indians, roads were very good, and not crowded ( except a HUGE traffic jam on the way to Auckland). Directions are clear, and the GPS was a great help. Other drivers on the road are courteous. Drivers licenses from India ( and I guess other countries too) are valid if they are in Engish. Tips: One suggestion would be to focus less on activities which are weather dependent - flights, for example - as the weather is notoriously fickle. VERY IMPORTANT: carry nothing edible from home - no pickles, ready to eat meals, preserves, fruit - because if caught, you will have to pay a fine of 400 dollars.
You have given us excitement to want to come back | Margaret & John Carson, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 21st September 2017
Hello Christina, we would recommend your company to friends and family as you have catered for our requirements and helped shape our holiday in to being a great first trip to New Zealand.Read more
We had a great holiday on the South Island. There was a small problem at the car hire depot with the information on their computer but the staff resolved it. The best accommodation was at Te Anau, Lakeside lodges. They were very luxurious and the owners were very welcoming and told us about local places to visit. The Milford sound cruise was a little disappointing. We were held up at the pass due to a storm and arrived late for our cruise. Instead of letting us wait till the next two and a half hour cruise they put us on a one hour cruise but gave us buffet lunch. A lot of people were late due to the weather the night before. We understand that delays can happen and we did enjoy the cruise but felt a little cheated as we went to the mouth of the sound and turned back in. We were very great full for all the work you put into our holiday as it made a great trip and knowing that everything was pre paid and organised helped us relax. Having a chauffeur waiting for us at the airport and on our return train journey added to our excellent experience, we felt like stars! We would recommend staying at Mt Cook more than one night as there were lots of walking tracks but as we were only staying the one night we could not take advantage. We would recommend your company as you have catered for our requirements and helped shape our holiday in to being a great first trip to New Zealand. Thank you far all your help and input to achieve a fantastic first trip and an excitement to make us want to come back to see more. John and Margaret Carson
You managed to really create something special for us | Cristea Family, North Island Road Trip, Travelled on 16th September 2017
Hi we have just completed a 15 day driving tour designed by yourselves around the North Island. We were delighted by how smoothly everything went. After a couple of emails between us you managed to really create something special for us.Read more
We were very happy with the accommodation select for us, it was a nice blend of hotel and apartments. Everywhere we traveled and stayed there was not a hitch and that was due to your work not ours. We were incredibly busy leading up to the trip and were totally reliant on your itinerary and paperwork. Thank you for your effort, we would recommend your services to all. Warm Regards, Marie and Michael Cristea, Ineke and Brian Willmann
We had the best time. It was so easy. | Andrew Stacy & Kathryn Ebsworth, Christchurch to Queenstown Exclusive Highlights, Travelled on 5th September 2017
Hi Laura Again we would live to thank you for organising our honeymoon. We had the best time. It was so easy. There was no problems with the car when checking in anywhere. All of the accommodation far exceeded our expectations.Read more
And the staff at Arthur's Pass, Lime Tree Lodge and Azur were the most helpful, warm, accommodating people. They all made us feel at home and were so lovely to chat to. And Aspen Court took me by surprise. I've never stayed in a motel before but it was better than many hotels I've stayed in. It was so modern, clean and breakfast arrived on time both days. It was great to cook our own dinner one night too. We did almost get stuck at Arthur's Pass due to snow and we didn't have chains in the rental car however the weather just seemed to clear up anywhere we travelled. Thanks again. Kathryn Ebsworth and Andrew Stacy.
We would have no hesitation in using your company again | Alistair and Calum Parsons, North to South Explorer Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 25th August 2017
Dear Sara, Writing to say thank you for all the arrangements you put in place for our visit. We had a brilliant time visiting New Zealand for the first time and it was easy and a pleasure to tour the country which in no small part was due to the bookings and advice you organised and gave.Read more
It has simply wetted our appetite to return in the future. We would have no hesitation in using your company again and I would highly recommend you to friends and family. Thank you! Regards, Alistair and Calum Parsons
I would recommended others to use NZ Self Drive | Jennifer Bowen, Madison Kean & Alexandria Kean, Tailored Coast to Coast Highlights, Travelled on 29th June 2017
The itinerary given to us on day 1 was extremely helpful for navigating from place to place. The countryside was so beautiful & something we will never forget. I would definitely recommend others to visit NZ & use New Zealand Self Drive.Read more
All 3 of us really enjoyed our NZ trip!
Bruce & Dorothy Ross, 14 Day New Zealand Grand Tour, Travelled on 27th May 2017
Hi Louise I would just like to say thank you for creating such a wonderful experience for us. As you can imagine, from our perspective, there is the opportunity to get information wrong and ideas confused, however you created the perfect trip.Read more
All the inclusions were spectacular.There was not a hiccup during the entire holiday, with everything where and when it was meant to be, and the choices of accommodation were well received by my wife. She says thank you. Once again, thank you for your great team effort. Regards Bruce Ross
Walt & Lori Gartner, Lord of the Rings Scenic Explorer, Travelled on 5th June 2017
We greatly enjoyed our Lord of the Rings Scenic Tour! All accommodations were excellent and there were no issues with any reservations (hotels and/or tours). Touring during the winter turned out to be great as crowds were never an issue.
On two occasions, we had private tours which allowed the tour guides to spend more time to talk about the surrounding areas (not just LOTR). One addition to our tour package that was the highlight of our trip was the whale watching in Kaikoura – we had three sightings, the weather was beautiful, and the ocean was calm. All in all, a trip we will remember the rest of our lives (in over 4000 pictures). Laura Davidson did a great job setting up the trip and even rerouted/rearranged our trip to account for the closure of Highway 1 due to earthquake damage. We highly recommend the LOTR self-driving tour for anyone who has seen LOTR and The Hobbit. You’ll quickly see why New Zealand was chosen as the location for Middle Earth plus you’ll get to see the country at your own pace. There’s no way you’ll see everything in two weeks but you will see enough to feel that you got your money’s worth. We highly recommend going with New Zealand Self Drive Tours – you will not regret going with them either.
Thanks for a wonderful trip to New Zealand! | Debra & Bob Bullen | A Customised New Zealand Explorer Reversed | Travelled on 5th February 2018
We spent 19 days touring both the south and north island of New Zealand in February 2018. Christina Brockie was a fantastic travel agent who assisted us with our self drive holiday. Her attention to detail and suggestions as to what we should see within our time frame was very helpful.Read more
Also, Christina would call us in Canada several times during the planning stages which made it much easier than just corresponding by e-mail. The instructions/material we received upon arrival was excellent and very easy to follow with detailed information on the accommodation, sights worth seeing in each place and driving instructions. Highlights of our trip, which were pre-booked by Christina, were the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves, bus tour to Milford Sound, Mitai Maori Village, Hot Water Beach and Waimangu Volcanic Valley Walk. Every part of our trip went very smoothly including being picked up at the airport, check-in to our accommodation, activities we had pre-paid, two internal flights, one train trip, and the picking up and dropping off our rental car on each of the islands. The accommodation was very good to excellent with the exception of the hotel in Rotorua (Tuscany Villas Rotorua). This hotel needed to be air conditioned as it was 27 degrees with only a patio door for ventilation and no other windows in the room for a cross breeze. The hotel in Rotorua was the only hotel which was very strict about checking in before 2:00 and was the least welcoming. Each of our rooms had a microwave, fridge, two burners and half of the rooms even had a full stove. The hotel in Rotorua had only a microwave and fridge. We travelled 2800 km which was very ambitious within our time frame as the roads in New Zealand are very narrow and twisty with no shoulders. A couple of our driving days were over 400 kms which was over 5 hours of driving which made for a very tiring and long day so I would recommend shortening the driving distance between places if at all possible. Thanks for a wonderful trip to New Zealand! Debby and Bob Bullen, Ontario Canada
Paul Eiseman, 15 Day Explorer Tour of New Zealand, Travelled on 18th May 2017
Hi Lauren, We 're back home, already reminiscing of our wonderful adventure. Everything went smoothly, with not one mishap. Even the weather fully cooperated. Thank you so much for your assistance in making our New Zealand trip one we shall fondly remember. We'll gladly recommend you and your company to any friends who want to experience your beautiful country. All the best, Paul and Fred
Tom, Kristen & Katherine Skipper, Custom 16 Day LOTR, Wine & Scenery Spectacular, Travelled on 12th May 2017
We recently enjoyed a wonderful two-week driving tour of New Zealand. Erynn did an excellent job with the arrangements and was extremely easy to work with, incorporating all of our requests for additions and changes in the schedule and contacting us quickly when we asked for more information. My wife and I travelled with our adult daughter, so we were concerned about appropriate accommodations. Erynn was able to book us into apartment hotels that had two bedrooms, which worked out great.Read more
All the apartments were nicely appointed and within walking distance to town centers. If you're thinking of going to New Zealand in the fall, don't hesitate. The weather is perfect: Autumn leaves and snow-capped mountains, warm days and cool nights, and no crowds. And while it can be rainy, we were lucky and only had two days with rain during our entire trip. The key to packing is to bring layers, as we often were in short sleeves during the day and adding sweaters and jackets by nightfall (especially at Mt. Cook and in Queenstown). We didn't want to do the entire LOTR tour, but were very glad we included a visit to Hobbiton in Matamata, The Hairy Feet Tour near Piopio, and the WETA studios tour in Wellington. We also did the half day LOTR location tour in Wellington, which was fun, but not essential. Because the main highway on the South Island was still under repair from damage caused by the 2016 earthquake, we spent a lot more time driving than we had anticipated. The trip from Blenheim to Kaikoura, which is usually a 90 minute drive, was a seven hour journey across the island and back. It was tiring, but the scenery is so beautiful, it's almost worth the extra time in the car. Almost. For us, every stop on our tour was well worth the time and effort. The only real disappointment for us was Christchurch. Even though it's been more than six years since the earthquake that devastated the city, the center remains a boarded up, fenced-off, under-construction mess. Reading the local papers, we understand discussion are still in place as to whether to restore the Cathedral or replace it with a more modern design has completely stymied the restoration effort. A real shame. We had one small snafu with a hotel booking, but Erynn fixed everything while we were having breakfast. Otherwise, the trip could not have been better. Having New Zealand Self Drive Tours take care of all the arrangements made for a stress-free vacation. Thanks, Erynn!
Leticia Benitez, Emily Wolf & Aniekan Udowana, A Customised Christchurch to Queenstown Holiday, Travelled on 7th May 2017
Christina did a fantastic job planning our holiday! We appreciated her suggestions for activities and agreed to almost all. The printed out itinerary, driving directions and map were incredibly helpful and we consulted the additional information for suggestions for additional activities or restaurants. We had a fantastic holiday and would highly recommend this travel company and Christina to anyone considering a South Island driving tour!Read more
Black water rafting just was not for us but we thoroughly enjoyed the cave tour. We also enjoyed the scenic train! Everything worked out smoothly during our trip. We were very pleased that every hotel or attraction we went to just needed our names to pull up the reservation, especially at the Greymouth rental car counter. All of our accommodations worked well and we would recommend them to others.
Steve Mckenna & Tim Tyson, Customised Auckland to Queenstown Southbound Explorer, Travelled on 29th June 2017
Great trip! In terms of lodging, Matakauri Lodge was of course was the best, but the others were all very good as well. The Wellington hotel's in room laundry facilities were a HUGE help mid trip. The Waters' self cook breakfast facilities were a distinct step below the other ones, and we were late arriving there because we thought the Waters would be closer to the ferry terminal than it was. In terms of the itinerary, it was great, though I think we could easily have spent another full day in the Rotorua area (the Waimangu Valley was terrific and took a full day for us, so we could have seen more there).
We would also recommend having a car on Waiheke Island (we got one there and used it a lot), and the cars on the South Island were smaller and less practical than the one on the North Island. Finally, the GPS in the car was out of date; we used Navigon on our phone and it worked much better. But the overall trip and holiday was STUNNING. This is just to indicate our minor points of comment. We had a superb time and thank you so much for all your help!
Claudia Hunter and Melanie Rausch, Customised Queenstown to Auckland 11 Day Highlights, Travelled on 27th April 2017
Our fabulous trip to NZ was such a success! We appreciate all the planning, details and super suggestions. We had such a fun time, did so much and loved every minute of your beautiful country! Our highlights were Mt Cook and the Glass bottom boat tour! The Coromandal Coast is magnificent! All the hotels were wonderful, friendly and so clean! Thank you again for all the brilliant work to make our trip seamless and exactly what we wanted. Melanie & Claudia from Cambridge, MA
Thierry Defrene, Customised Lakes, Mountains and Glaciers Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 23rd April 2017
Hi Lauren, Sorry for only getting back to you now. We have been delighted by our trip in NZ and organising it through your services couldn’t have been easier. Very straight forward to start with, you understood our needs perfectly and the content and itinerary were just perfect. I have already provided your company details to one of my colleagues who is thinking of visiting NZ as well. Only one regret, but you could have done nothing about it is that South Island is so amasing and beautiful that we wish we could have done a bit more and stayed in some places longer, sad we only had 8 days... Best regards, Thierry Defrène.
Kristie, Bill, Alanna & Joshua Miles, Bruce & Mercedes Drummond & Mercedes Silvan, A Customised Northern Explorer Family Adventure, Travelled on 10th April 2017
Our overall experience was pretty positive and we enjoyed our family holiday. Thank you Christina for your work with our trip, your itinerary was very easy to follow. Hobbiton was brilliant and definitely one the highlights for the kids. We loved Rotorua and Wellington.Read more