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Our Guest Book - Tour Reviews from Recent Travellers

Offering honest, useful and relevant information is a key part our team philosophy. Feedback from our guests you'll find here is unedited. It might help you with planning your tour and deciding whether to enlist our help organising and booking it. Get in touch if you have any questions about specific feedback comments.

 

Enter your query to search guest feedback (for instance, you would enter 'Milford Sound' to see what guests have to say about it).

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.

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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.

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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!

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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).

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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.

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Our main disappointment was our accommodation in Auckland. they were not very inviting and the hotel was right next to the Auckland City Mission. It was very confronting for our young children and my elderly grandmother to continuously walk past the many homeless which surrounding the street of our hotel. They would approach us and ask for money and many were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. I would not recommend staying in this part of Auckland with a young family. Unfortunately due to the Cyclone we were quite restricted with what we could do, the weather was not kind to us as the start however we made the most of what we could.

Lee Lip Fong & Friends, Auckland to Christchurch 17 Day Highlights Tour, Travelled on 10th April 2017

Our group of 8 good friends went on the 17 days NZ tour in April arranged by New Zealand Self Drive Tours turned out to be a life time memory for all of us. I would give a thumbs up for their fantastic service, their excellent arrangement on the itinerary and accommodation were beyond our expectation.

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We have no hiccough on the car pick up and return as well. I would strongly recommend any of my friends to contact you all should they think of going to NZ. Special thanks to Annelise Redford for your kind and prompt attention whenever we needed you! In my Malaysian language "Banyak terima kasih" for such a beautiful holiday for all of us! This has marked another new page in my life!! Xie Xie!

Sally & Brad Veach, A Customised South Island Adventure, Travelled on 8th April 2017

Where do I begin? First of all, let’s just say I am a bit of a planner, so I was reluctant to have someone else plan my 30th wedding anniversary itinerary for me. As I was researching online all the different tour groups, I kept coming back to New Zealand Self Drive Tours. Some of the top reasons I decided to go with NZSDT is because I could change up the itinerary and pick what days, how long, and where I wanted to go. I saw that other tour companies weren’t as flexible. Secondly, all their impressive reviews over the internet from people who had used them to book their tours.

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Thirdly, it was a relief not to have to coordinate and search thru reviews to find 14 different places to stay throughout the South Island (all with their own cancellation fees, confirmations, availability and amenities) and also; knowing that if a problem came up, I wouldn’t have to have to figure it out on my own while on vacation. Lastly, I wouldn’t have to determine which car rental agency to choose and read all the fine print for hidden fees and insurance costs and on and on. NZSDT has it all covered. One fee covered all I needed including a GPS and auto insurance. Keeping all this in mind and knowing that in all my previous vacations, I have done all the planning on my own with no problems, I still took the step, released the control and went for it with Christina at New Zealand Self Drive Tours. I am so very thankful I did. From the first time I live chatted with Christina, I was very impressed by her helpfulness and willingness to listen to my needs. Since I am a planner, I asked a few hundred questions along the way and she never grew tired of me (well, at least not that I knew about!). Christina was patient, accommodating, kind, understanding, knowledgeable and professional. She was on top of whatever requests I had, whether it was through emails, phone calls or live chats. I loved the fact that I could live chat a quick question and they would immediately direct me to Christina, if she was available. When Christina was not available, anyone I dealt with was able to help me immediately. Even while we were on the trip, we had decided to try and stay an extra night at Mt. Cook and cancel a night in Dunedin. Christina was able to accommodate it smoothly in a matter of hours. I didn’t have to worry about a thing. I could just go on my way and enjoy our adventures. Another factor that impressed me about New Zealand Self Drive Tours was when I researched on my own and found some things to do Christina would welcome the opportunity to add new choices to their itineraries. The New Zealand Self Drive Tours website was extremely user friendly. I appreciated the different tabs in My Tour link, ie. Overview, Inclusions, Driving info, Costs & Pay, and Your Details. Clear and informative. No fine print. Upon arrival we received our packet, complete with a full bound itinerary, brochures and also a New Zealand Touring Atlas Book which was invaluable (even with our GPS). We spent 16 days on the South Island going all the way down to the Catlins. We chose the budget Motels itinerary and we were not disappointed in ANY of them. We were actually quite surprised at the quality of the places we stayed. Most of them had kitchenettes and an extra bedroom. They were just perfect for our needs. They were all very clean and the people were full of hospitality. Everything we saw and did was a 10+. We kayaked Okarito Lagoon thru Okarito Kayaks, glacier kayaked the Tasman Lake thru Southern Alps Guiding, took a smaller boat with Southern Discoveries on Milford Sound (no words to describe this place), went jet boat fishing on the Waiau River thru Fish Jet, and shot Class 5 rapids thru Rangitata Rafting. All past our expectations and all can be booked thru New Zealand Self Drive Tours. We fell in love with NZ and their people. We like to adventure out so we ended up going 1900 more kilometers than the itinerary of 2330 km! We got up early, headed out and ended up seeing everything we wanted rain or shine. EVERYWHERE we went we were not disappointed and EVERYTHING was a highlight for us. I am still going thru and cleaning up 9458 photo memories! In conclusion, I would be more than happy to connect with anyone who needs a recommendation for New Zealand Self Drive Tours. My heartfelt gratitude to Christina, for creating a dream of a lifetime trip for our 30th wedding anniversary. Sally & Brad

Gary & Denise McCarthy, 18 Day Taste of New Zealand, Travelled on 10th April 2017

Well it was a sensational holiday with everything going to plan. The pick up thru to the final drop off was so professional and hassle free. Our introduction to NZ was an eye opener and will definitely return and hopefully with some friends in tow. Once we left Auckland city the fields opened up and so did the welcome in Rotorua with all staff at various establishments happy and helpful. On to Napier after TC Cook blasted the east coast but life carried on and all where smiling.

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Napier was a interesting place with retro themes along the foreshore. Big drive to Wellington and now we know why its called the windy city as it was blustery when we arrived, which didn't detract from the whole scheme of things. An early morning cruise across Cook St into Picton was relaxing but didn't venture much outside as temps where a tad cool. Pleasant winery tour and accommodation in Blenheim. Huge drive thru to Christchurch due to East Coast road closed but the 'lost' scenic route was great and arriving to a majestic hotel being OGB, fantastic accommodation. weather wasn't on our side but we ventured out and investigated a city rebuilding. onwards to Lake Tekapo, what a jewel this place is and the sun was out so it just made you feel awestruck. locals friendly and easy to chat about everyting and nothing. local bar/ tavern accommodated our refreshments and meals a real homely feel. the observatory above Lake Tekapo is a must do which gives you massive panoramic views of the surrounding country side. little driving adventures were undertaken and got to see where locals camp and trout fish, brilliant place to relax/ visit. a slow drive to the majestic giant, Mt Cook, what a sight as you travel towards the snow capped mountain and once again a sunny day blessed us all the way. accommodation was great as we opened the curtain, there looking at us was splendid views of Mt Cook. leaving the following a change of scenery on the way to Queenstown with the autumn colours starting to expose themselves. he days spent in Queenstown and the surrounding areas was awesome. Milford Sound is a must but the only negative is the very long bus ride, maybe we should of paid the extra and flew back to Q, it didn't detract from the Sound's natural wonder be it a tad cold but braving it was worth every moment. sadly we then left and headed to Franz Josef which was an interesting drive as the west coast changes to sub-tropical. FJ was an interesting place, small but busy and the walk up to (close) the glacier was invigorating but it was a shame to hear how much the glacier has retracted and we didn't have the opportunity to walk on it unless you hired a helicopter. never the less it is still a great memory. form here we arrived at Greymouth where the vehicle was returned and we caught the train across to Christchurch. this produced some amazing sights and photo opportunities as we meandered through the mountains and down onto the Canterbury Plains. picked up at the station and delivered to our favourite place the OGB (the Heritage). spent 2.5 days here and the sun blessed us to which we took advantage and visited the botanical gardens, museum, tram rides, city walks and frequented eateries and shops, this place hums even though it looks like a war zone and construction is going on all around you, well worth visiting. finally we departed after what felt like forever and any less a stay would not of achieved an understanding of this lovely country which is only 3hrs max flying time away. our self drive gave us a lot and with Jane at the helm and sorting out best options and with my investigations I think we achieved one of our best drive holidays yet. next time we are going to look at going north of Auckland to investigate what wonders are up there....very satisfied and recommend this to anybody. Thanks once again Jane top job. Cheers Gary and Denise Forresters Beach NSW

Stephen & Lynda Collinson, It Just Doesn't Get Any Better South Island Experience, Travelled on 9th April 2017

Amazing holiday in the South Island NZ, beautifully organised, didn't have to worry about a thing. We don't know NZ that well, but had a rough idea of what we wanted to do, so just gave our consultant Shelley Ryder our arrival and departure dates, explained accommodation preferences, activities and sights we would like, a rough price guide and she came back with the perfect itinerary.

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No hitches, everything went smoothly with all bookings and connections, no worries at all. Fantastic B&B's booked everywhere, met some lovely people here, real NZ hospitality! A terrific holiday, and we will be back for the North Island, very soon!

Allan & Wendy Quadrio, Customised Return South Island Highlights, Travelled on 8th April 2017

The entire trip went according to the planned itinerary. The map book included in the initial package was very useful. All the accommodation was very good and more importantly clean with comfortable warm beds. The overnight stay of Doubtful Sound was most enjoyable, but you must advise people about the sandflies. Wanaka was beautiful and peaceful an well worth the couple of day stay over.

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Wendy especially enjoyed the Zipline in Queenstown. Hopefully you have some influence with the national parks people. If there is a shortfall in the tourist spectrum it is in the public toilet facilities, especially at Fox and Franz Josef where they are too few, smelly and dirty. Shelley, thanks for your organization of our trip. It all went very smoothly without a single hitch in regards to the arrangements you made. A very enjoyable holiday. Regards Allan and Wendy Quadrio

Henrik, Maria, Matilda & Jacob Junkrans, Customised Auckland to Christchurch Splendour Family Adventure, Travelled on 1st April 2017

Really good concept to get the vacation planned via New Zealand Self Drive Tours. The accommodations were ok, and the activities exactly what we asked for. I did a lot of the research myself but it was great to get help with the bookings and detailed planning.

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And all the people we interfaced with were very helpful, in particular the Hanmer Springs quad biking. The whale watching in Kaikoura was the peak (we were lucky with the weather). We had 11 days packed with activities and they all worked out as planned. Best vacation ever!

Frederick Abels & Jerome Pleysier, 27 Day New Zealand Discoverer, Travelled on 1st April 2017

We had an awesome trip discovering NZ on our 27-day self drive tour, set up by Jane. She did an awesome job. The motel accommodations she chose for us were more than we expected. Even though we spent 27 days in NZ, we could have easily spent another two weeks to include some of the sights we didn't see. It's just such a beautiful country. This of course leaves room for a return trip! T

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here were only a few minor things I think could have been handled better. I was under the assumption our car would be delivered to us on our 2nd day. I did not realize we would need to find our own transfer back to the airport to pick up our car. I think we should have been given the option to set up a transfer to the airport when we booked our trip, or have the car delivered directly to us. Luckily, I managed to set up a transfer (at an additional cost) with the gentleman who transferred us from the airport to our motel upon our arrival into Christchurch. It was a miner snag, but could have been set up better. Confusion at the beginning of a trip is unwelcomed. At several motels we were asked upon check-in if we were with 'Fine Tours'. Being unaware that this was the name of the actual company, I said 'no'. This caused a little confusion. I was under the impression I booked with NZ Self Drive Tours. It might be wise to inform your travelers of the 'Fine Tours' name...which appears nowhere in any of our paperwork. Again, just a very minor hic-up, but worth mentioning. When we arrived in Kaikoura, we found the motel we were booked at to be closed due to the earthquake back in November. Somehow this was not communicated to Jane. I called Jane for help and we were set up in another property in a very short time. This snag was handled fast and in a very professional manner. Jane re-booked us at a super nice property. This was a bit of a larger incident, but it was handled very well and we were pleased with the outcome. Would I book with New Zealand Self Drive Tours (a.k.a. 'Fine Tours') again? Definitely! All in all Jane did a fantastic job and we LOVED our trip. A small snafu just adds to the adventure of traveling. Thanks Jane for all your help and giving us an experience we'll remember for the rest of our lifetime! It was SUPER!

Jenny Shao, Greg, Douglas, Kyle and Lucas Mitchell, Tailored Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 31st March 2017

Thank you, Salli, for putting together our fantastic New Zealand holiday to the South Island! We appreciate your friendliness, professionalism and efficiency in putting together our 10-day self-drive tour itinerary. We had very little time (and knowledge) to research all the NZ destinations, activities and accommodations, so it was wonderful that you took on that task for us. All the accommodations you arranged were clean with all the amenities required (usually more than!) The motel proprietors were friendly and very helpful in providing local recommendations and tips.

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We particularly appreciate that you provided a suggested list of activities for each area that we visited but allowed us to pick and choose however much or little we wanted to do. You told us not to miss the Milford Sound cruise, and indeed, that was the absolute highlight of our trip! A couple of suggestion on things: 1. It would be nice to include distances with all the driving directions - for example, if a direction says "Head east on State Hwy 6" if would be nice to know how long we stay on Hwy 6 until the next instruction to "Turn left onto XYZ Road." 2. Some of the "driving distance and time" were underestimated. For example, Queenstown to Franz Josep Glacier (via Wanaka) took close to 6 hours instead of 4.4 hrs as listed (we didn't dilly dally and made only a quick lunch stop). Also, to drive comfortably and safely from Te Anau to Milford Sound really takes about 3 hours (would leave Te Anau *no later* than 7:30am for the 10:30am cruise). Aside from those few minor details, this was simply an amazing trip! You made the whole trip planning so effortless for us. And with everything pre-arranged by you, we were able to really focus on experiencing the beauty and the culture of New Zealand. Simply a fantastic trip with memories that will last a lifetime! Thank you, Salli!

Charles & Candace Black, 21 Day Discover New Zealand, Travelled on 30th March 2017

We had an amazing trip and we met so many wonderful and interesting people. Everything was so well planned out, all we needed to do was get in our rental car and go. New Zealand is so breathtakingly beautiful, pictures while wonderful, do not begin to capture the beauty. All I can say to anyone, if you can, go to New Zealand.

Suresh, Aparna, Megha & Kunal Narang, Customised Ultimate South Island Experience, Travelled on 28th March 2017

Had a good to great holiday. itinerary well organised. Most of the accommodations booked were of high standard. However, the accommodation at Punakaiki was average compared to accommodation at other places.

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Distances and travel time mentioned in the book were occasionally off. Lastly, I wish more details had been provided about the cave tour near Punakaiki. It was mentioned that the total tour would be of 2 hours duration - however, that refers only to the duration from entrance to the cave. What was not mentioned is that it takes another couple of hours to get to and from the cave entrance. The to and from journey to the cave entrance is quite arduous for the not young people. In future, perhaps this aspect can be clarified to prospective participants in this adventure. The 4WD adventure near Queenstown was off the beaten track, and wonderful. Please convey our appreciation to Andy.

Mary & Geoffrey Lee and Angelo & Bernice Falconieri, Behind The Scenes in New Zealand, Travelled on 30th March 2017

Hi Shelley, Well, back to the real world now, work etc, We had a wonderful time, Uncle from Auckland could not do enough for us, a real gentleman. Our mystery night was organised by us girls, whilst we were at Lake Tepako, We stayed at a B and B called Dalry Country House run by a wonderful couple, we went to the local pub for dinner that night. The B and B was 9 ks out of Hastings but was worth the drive.

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We changed the road trip a couple of times on the advice from the locals on what to see and where to go, found Paua ( abalone) at Invercargil, had to google how to cook it, was nice. We did a lot of touring at Wanaka, between wineries, War Birds, Puzzle House and also the Gypsie Caravans were there, quite colourful, we just ran non stop, our accommodation was lovely, including the ducks. the scenery was amazing, especially Arthurs Pass, found a lovely place for lunch, some how we escaped the bad weather, was ahead of it most of the time. we had to change vehicles at Christchurch because the hire company had us returning it on the 10th, that was a bummer as it took up some wasted time, wanted to see more of Christchurch. Queenstown was amazing, and so was our helicopter flight. Anyway, thankyou for organising such a wonderful experience for us, now to save up for our next holiday in two years time, South East Asia. Will recommend your company to our friends. Cheers Mary Lee

Sharon & Rod White, South to North 14 Day New Zealand Highlights, Travelled on 27th March 2017

We very much enjoyed our holiday in New Zealand. Highlights include: Milford Road coach trip and the plane ride back to Queenstown. The scenery on the South Island was spectacular, especially the Mount Cook National Park. Rotorua was an interesting place to see with the mud pools etc. The Maori Village was a bit touristy but they did a very good show and I learned about their culture. The Coromandel township was beautiful but we got caught on a road closure due to cyclone Debbie.

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This required a detour on a somewhat perilous drive through the mountains on a gravel road. We would have appreciated someone from New Zealand Self Drive Tours giving us a heads up on this as we were following their itinerary. The drive from Christchurch to Blenheim was very long due to #1 closure but we loved the Marlborough B and B. Lovely country setting, just the right location to relax. Not sure why we were booked on the afternoon ferry to the North Island. We could have easily made the morning ferry and this would have given us some time in Wellington. We enjoyed our short time in Christchurch but were not prepared for the earthquake devastation that still affects this city. It was disturbing but we are glad to have seen this as we better understand their situation. We really enjoyed meeting Catherine who now runs The Springs in Rotorua. She was very helpful with restaurant advice, what to see and do in Rotorua and even helped with weather forecasts and road conditions. She provides a hand drawn map of Rotorua which I will keep as a souvenir. When we asked for B and B the Springs and Marlborough B and B were the best and what we think of when B and B comes to mind. We like to meet the owner have a chat with locals. We did meet the owner of the Dairy when first checking in but not after this. Very positive experience and we would recommend to others.

Tan Chun Ghee, 8 Day Christchurch to Queenstown Exclusive Highlights, Travelled on 25th March 2017

Lauren helped us customise an 8-day itinerary driving from Christchurch to Queenstown and was very responsive throughout the process. The website is also fast and easy to use. The suggested accommodation, driving route, and attractions were carefully chosen and helped us make the most of our short time in beautiful NZ. It was a wonderful experience and everything went very smoothly thanks to Lauren's planning. We highly recommend this company.

Lora Banicevic & Jake Luschwitz, Iconic South Island Tour, Travelled on 21st March 2017

Dear Shelley, Thank you for helping us plan our honeymoon around the South Island of New Zealand! We were so busy with planning the wedding and greatly appreciated how simple it was to organise our trip through your company! You made the whole process straight forward and we didn’t have to worry about a thing.

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We thoroughly enjoyed our time in your beautiful country and were amazed by the scenery and some of the stunning accommodation available. Star gazing in the outdoor bathtubs at Tin Tub Luxury Lodge is a memory that Jake and I will treasure forever. We would not hesitate to recommend your company to anyone! Lora and Jake

Susanna & Bill Ross, 12 Day Northern Highlights, Travelled on 19th March 2017

We had a great holiday and everything was arranged just the way I envisioned it. So thanks! Couple of suggestions: 1. When I received my package in Wellington, most of the activities did not have vouchers and we did not have train tickets. I spoke with Shelley and she assured me they wouldn't be needed (and they weren't), but it would have been nice if the instructions had made that clear. 2. The hotel in Snells Beach was less than exciting. There wasn't anything exactly wrong with it, but it was easily the least interesting place we stayed. Loved the Waipoua Lodge! And all your suggestions about where to go and things to do were just perfect. I very much appreciated the road atlas--it was very helpful.

Shari & Howard Scher, New Zealand at a Glance, Travelled on 16th March 2017

Thank you Salli and everyone who helped make this a fabulous 'trip of a lifetime'. The B and B's and hotels were beyond terrific, the hospitality of all we met was perfection and the trip put together highlights that were just right. The only problem was our desire to spend more time in New Zealand. I guess we will simply have to return! I must add that Salli was amazing in terms of how fast she got back to us and how she was always patient, regardless of how many times we needed clarification. I highly recommend her services. Feel free to use the Schers for recommendations for others.

Jena Rueth and Linda Hanson, Auckland to Queenstown 14 Day Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 16th March 2017

We had a wonderful time! New Zealand is beautiful and the people very friendly. The cars for both islands were spacious and easy to drive. All of the hotels were excellent locations and several with spectacular views. We liked when we didn't have to pay to park or pay for internet. We especially feel that hotel guests shouldn't have to pay for internet. Our optional trips were all we hoped for and the pre-booked trips were more economical. My top 3 were Maori Village, Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary Night Tour and Whale Watch Kaikoura. The Glowworm cave was also a wonderful experience. Thank you Lauren for your advice, help, and kindness.

Steve and Bev Swartz, A Customised Grand New Zealand Experience, Travelled on 12th March 2017

My wife Bev and I had a thoroughly enjoyable time during our 18-day drive-around of NZ. Christian Brockie did a superb job of making all the arrangements for accommodation, hire car and activities - there were no 'surprises' except for the astounding beauty of the country that we experienced, on both north and south islands. From the opening Mitai Village evening in Auckland to the final visit to the Antarctic Centre in Christchurh and everything in between (including visits to three glaciers), we had an unbelievable time and would do it again! Steve Swartz

Donald Baulderstone, Customised 25 Day Length & Breadth - North to South of New Zealand, Travelled on 13th March 2017

Thanks for your arrangements,only the one hiccup, the tour of Auckland. Do you intend refunding the amount to me? The accommodation was brilliant, except for Wellington, which was my fault as I requested to be nearer the airport. Dunedin, Mount Cook,Christchurch,and Paihia were our favorites.

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Franz Josef, they gave us an older apartment,after we had unpacked, I complained to the Manager, and in fairness, he then offered an updated one, but we couldn't be bothered moving.He couldn't answer why we were not given the better one in the first place. We did call into your Wanaka office, but you were in Auckland. Once again thanks and I will certainly recommend you to any friends contemplating a NZ tour. Don Baulderstone.

Adrian & Julie Phillips, The Length & Breadth North to South, Travelled on 12th March 2017

Hi Laura, It's been a while since we came back but I'm finally getting round to sorting things out! I thought I'd send you some feedback: Firstly we had an absolutely amazing time, everything was wonderful and we have some lovely memories. I've just finished sorting through 7000 photos to make 2 photo books! We were very impressed with the quality of the accommodations considering this was your entry level property. 

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However some stood out for various reasons. Host of the holiday was Robin at the Red Tussock Motel Te Anau, he was such a character and we had a lovely fruit bowl in our room. He also went in and put the lights and heating on before we got back from our trip to Milford, so thoughtful and kind. He had a bird table so we spent quite a while watching the birds. Other stand out properties were: Aoraki Court Motel, Mount Cook, fabulous views of the glacier and a spa bath! Ocean View Chalets, Abel Tasman, again a fabulous ocean view and great deck for watching the sea and stars, lovely eco approach and amenities. Least favourite were: Albatross Motel Napier. It was on a very noisy main road, although there was a lovely view of the nature reserve. The cooking facilities were also rather basic. Blue Peaks Motel Queenstown, also right on the main road and rather noisy although the other facilities were fine. Camelot Motor Lodge Christchurch, rather run down and in poor condition throughout, though of course we appreciate the issues around Christchurch. As I've already said we were very impressed with the overall quality so this is being very picky! As to locations, being Nature and country lovers we obviously preferred those locations to the cities. The standout experience has to be the Doubtful Sound Cruise, we were so lucky to have wonderful weather, a dolphin pod bow surfing for ages and the best best time in the side fiord, awesome views and a most wonderful experience. Milford was also great and that road is an experience in itself. In fact the whole Fiord area was fab. The nature experiences around Dunedin too were wonderful, just seeing a penguin on the beach at Moreaki and all the seals and sea lions, just great at Katiki Point. We did a tour with Elm Wildlife Tours, which was fantastic. Abel Tasman was just lovely, we were quite tired by the time we got there and it was lovely just to have a breather for a couple of days. We took the water taxi up the coast and back again, lovely. Aoraki Mount Cook was wonderful, it was awesome driving up through the clouds from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo, the church on the lake was stunning. Walking to the glaciers was wonderful too. The Geothermal area around Rotorua was really interesting, we went to Oraki Korako, a bit off the beaten track and seemed less touristy than the other locations. We also walked around the lake and to the Maori Village, amazing to see the thermal vents in the middle of the street! We also loved Coromanel, birdwatching at Miranda and visiting the Thames School of Mines. Hot water beach was an interesting experience too! Auckland was great too and we walked up Rangitoto which was a great experience. We did the Hangi at Waitangi which was really interesting, would love to have had time to visit in the day but instead we did the Hole in the Rock cruise. We also visited Russell which was very quaint. Waipoua was majestic and rather moving, being in the presence of those huge Kauri. Least favourite location was Napier, not quite sure why but just didn’t feel it. We did do a wine tasting tour with Prinsy and had a lovely view from Te Mata. We also found Wellington a bit overwhelming, but enjoyed Te Papa. That brings me to another point, travelling times. We had driving guidance and sat nav to help but still found it much longer than estimated to get from place to place. We were obviously driving cautiously but still needed at least an hour longer than estimated. This affected our estimated arrival times and reduced time available to visit places. We did enjoy the driving and some of the great detours satnav took us on! We had great weather, considering all the stuff going on during our stay until the very end so our experience of the West Coast was restricted by the Cyclone! It looked stunning though and definitely an incentive to come back! We had our helihike cancelled due to the weather so we ended up leaving Frank Josef a day early and driving up to Greymouth where we visited the Pancake rocks in the pouring rain! So all in all we were delighted with the itinerary and all the organisation you put into getting everything to run so smoothly, we had no difficulties at all as we travelled round. Many thanks for all you help and assistance. Best wishes Julie Phillips

Cliff & Mary VanCott and Linda & Steve Healy, Northbound Navigator Christchurch to Auckland, Travelled on 9th March 2017

Hi Shelley! We had a GREAT trip, enjoyed it all wonderfully. Your aid and suggestions were tremendously helpful in making this a fantastic trip-of-a-lifetime. You did a FANTASTIC job and we are all very grateful! If we ever return, I'll be sure to contact you! The Milford Track was great we had no rain at all. The downside was very limited waterfall pictures... but we all agreed that was a small price to pay for warm and dry hiking! White puffy clouds and blue sky... the perfect weather for walking with a big pack on our back!

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We had a great time on the Penguin Place tour, we all drove up to the Albatross Center (maybe ten minutes away). They were not doing tours because the weather had turned bad earlier... but when we arrived, the clouds were parting and we spent an hour photographing as many as a dozen albatrosses which flew overhead! Linda and Steven are big birders so this was a huge plus for the trip. (They also returned later for a Blue Penguin tour while Mary and I stayed at the lodging to catch up on laundry and relax some.) Penguin Place was a good location because it saved us the nearly hour-long drive back into Dunedin after all the tours... VERY convenient. Basic beds in rooms with shared bathrooms and kitchen... but location was everything (and laundry too!) We would stay there again in an instant. One pleasant surprise was that you provided TWO sets of all documentation, one for Mary and I, the second for Linda and Steven. That was unexpected and appreciated a lot. Both couples have these remarkably helpful guides to refer to at night and also as reminders after the trip. The maps and your daily turn-by-turn directions were very helpful. Those, along with the GPS in the car made it quite easy for us to focus on enjoying the scenery instead of being worried about being lost. (One improvement to your turn-by-turn directions would be to add the DISTANCE, in either kilometers or miles, before the next turn. Without that we needed to either do Google map searches or else just keep watching for signs that might come in 2 minutes or 200 kilometers later. Adding something like "... in 23 kilometers turn left on Pilsbury road..." would make it much easier for the navigator!) We found your directions to be really well thought out and useful, and followed them almost exclusively. We did stray on our route from Dunedin to Wanaka in that we traveled further north on the coast to see the Moravi (sp?) Rocks (a bit disapointing) and then inland to the Elephant Rocks (VERY cool! ...well worth the drive). This still got us into Wanaka early enough to play at the Puzzling World's labyrnth for hours (Highly recommended!) and walk the town at our leisure. I believe all of our lodging choices were spot-on... the right mix of convenience and cost. We typically made breakfast and dinner in our rooms, so the kitchenettes were perfect. Being able to walk to many of the city's attractions was a big plus... and the people we met running the places were, without exception, pleasant warm and helpful. I would share with you that the hostel at Mt Cook worked very well. It IS a hostel, but we were able to get a single (crowded) room with four beds all to ourselves. We still had the kitchen so cooking worked well for us... but the biggest plus was location. The only alternative was the Hermitage, which exceeded our budget... or else we would lose hours driving to/from the next closest lodging in Twizel. I mention this in case you have future clients torn with that same delema... If they understand the limits of a hostel (and this one was very clean, pleasant and well-run) then they may be able to make the visit AND stay on site. (We had signed up for the Stargazing Tour, which doesn't end until hours after sunset. Being faced with an hour+ drive to Twizel afterwards would have made for a much too long day!) As for the activities we did... I found the Hike on Milford Track to be a life's dream come true. My Grandfather visited New Zealand some forty years ago and he loved it. He planted in me a desire to visit your homeland, something that I finally was able to do. The hike was something I learned of later hand have been hoping to do for years. Beautiful, challenging, remarkable scenery and a very well-run system for hikers to visit a uniquely stunning area... I highly recommend it! The tour at Penquin Place was perhaps the ONLY way we would have seen yellow-eyed penguins, and certainly not so close or convenient than if we'd struck out on our own. It's only a few kilometers from the Albatros Center, so very convenient to do both... and they do a Blue Penguin tour also.) The Black Water Rafting was FANTASTIC!! Mary pretty much kept it to herself... but she was scared. But she faced the fear and did it anyway... and had a blast! I was quite pleased too... they do a good job. Drifting on the underground stream in the inky blackness with only glowworms twinkling overhead was a remarkable experience I am SO glad was a part of our trip. One other activity added was the Driving Creek Railroad. I'll admit that I first thought it a hokey touristy distraction (one I toyed with bypassing for perhaps more exciting stuff) ... but it was marvelous! Made me envious of the life he lived "playing with trains"! Keep including this whenever you can... and if anyone is thinking about ignoring it... think again! It was a blast! Our tour of Hobbiton was rainy and wet... and wonderful! We are big fans so it really didn't matter much. They do provide umbrellas, and there's a bus ride to/from the site. I'd do it again tomorrow, it was that good. (We had also visited the Weta Cave in a tour while in Wellington... that added a lot to the overall story and enriched our Hobbitton tour much.) For any prospective client who is concerned about the inter-island ferry... It really IS that easy. Drop off the car at the Picton terminal, walk up to the boat, and enjoy the 2-3 hour cruise. Get off at the other end and the new car is there at the Wellington terminal waiting for you. Easy peasy! One other thing I'll mention that we found adding a lot to the trip was the vast collection of Farmer's Markets, Artist's Markets and festivals. We especially liked the Dunedin Farmer's Market, the Wanaka Artist's Market and ... the CubaDupa Street Festival in Wellington. Turns out we were in Wellington for that annual street fair and we enjoyed it tremendously. A serendipitous addition to that city's visit which was a real hoot! So... I think you can see that we liked our visit a lot! ... I hope that you also know that YOU helped make that happen and we're really grateful. Tell your boss that you did REAL GOOD and these clients were wonderfully well served. Thank you! Cliff

Stephanie Brooks, Ron Henze & Brenda Horner and Nina Gill, Customised Length & Breadth 36 Days South to North, Travelled on 8th March 2017

Fantastic accommodation, really appreciated having laundry in suite at the perfect time. Also appreciated the kitchenettes and barbecues... it was great to be able to cook "at home" rather than eating out constantly. And we felt like we saw most of the country without being too rushed.

Wendy McDonald & Colin Devenish, Customised New Zealand Discoverer North to South Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 7th March 2017

Colin and I would like to thank you Shelley for putting an incredible trip together for us. The accommodation was extremely clean and comfortable and hotel staff were very helpful. The ease of checking in, picking up cars and embarking onto the ferry and the Trans Alpine train was so well organized so thank you. Our trip was great from arriving in New Zealand to departing without any problems what so ever. We will certainly recommend your company to friends and family. Shelley thank you again for all your assistance. Colin and Wendy

William (Bill) & Ruth Ann Parker, Adventure to Middle Earth, Travelled on 5th March 2017

Dear Louise, Just wanted to thank you for the wonderful trip we enjoyed while in New Zealand. All of our contacts were made and we thoroughly enjoyed the time you arranged for us. We had an interesting time getting to Hobbiton because the GPS wouldn't hook up and connect to the satellite but a couple of people gave us accurate instructions and we arrived on time. We stopped at a travel store along the way and got hooked up with Budget Rent a Car at the Hamilton Airport who replaced it for us and from that time on everything was lovely. Appreciate all you did and if any of our acquaintances plan a trip there we'll be happy to refer them to you. William and RuthAnn Parker.

Drew & Tracy (Margaret) Rasmussen, Making the most of Aotearoa, Travelled on 3rd March 2017

Thanks to Shelley Ryder and the rest of the New Zealand Self Drive Tours crew, our recent two month trip to New Zealand was extraordinary. Shelley shaped an extensive itinerary for us focusing on what we wanted to see and do and arranging it with enough flexibility that we were able to take advantage of countless unplanned experiences along the way. The few glitches we did have were immediately taken care of by New Zealand Self Drive Tours. Without Shelley's help we could have missed so much of her wonderful country. Thank you, Shelley, and we look forward to working with you on our next adventure to New Zealand.

Nancy Kimbrell & Mario Larouche, A Customised Outdoor North Island Holiday, Travelled on 1st March 2017

We have had a great time. I think you have done a fabulous job. We loved everything except for the dolphin swim. That was overbooked and not our thing. I thought they were cruel to the dolphins. I cannot un recommend it enough. They were very nice and let us off at an island where we hiked and got the ferry back to town. Loved kiwi Dundee we have loved the places we stayed. Weather made us cancel pee jay white island tour & the boat tour we were supposed to be on yesterday in Rotorua. Thank you for keeping tabs on us and doing such a wonderful job Cheers Dr. Nancy Kimbrell, DC

Tim & Tanya Powys, A Customised 24 Day Grand Explorer, Travelled on 28th February 2017

Hi Christina, Thanks for providing us with a great self drive holiday. Our accommodation was great and all the activities we chose enhanced our knowledge of New Zealand. I would also like to thank you for arranging a couple of additional trips while we were on the road. I would highly recommend this company. The only fault I could raise was the time it took to collect our hire car in Picton. Budget cars need to priorities pre booked rentals instead of leaving us to wait over an hour to get our vehicle.

Tom Symington & Gerry George, A Customised North to South Self Drive Holiday, Travelled on 1st March 2017

Hi Christine, We’re finally back on schedule. We were very pleased with the arrangements you made for us. “Uncle” picked us up at the airport and drove us to the hotel. “Early check-in request” - no luck with that. You might want to advise future clients that if they can’t check in and freshen up until later in the day, they would do well to take the “Hop-on, hop-off” bus tour that gave us an excellent overview of Auckland. The last stop was the Sky Tower, and we still had an hour to put in so we went up to the top and enjoyed that experience.

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The Barclay Suites was very nice and met our needs. We took a taxi to Budget Rent-a-Car the next morning and Vivian was the lady who helped us out. She did an excellent job in preparing us for our venture out on the roads. We drove out of Auckland and headed for Pahia. It was nice to be able to head into a motel office and just give my name and receive confirmation that all was looked after. All of our accommodations were most acceptable. We very much enjoyed the tour to 90-Mile Beach that you arranged. Steve the driver from Keri-Keri was excellent, and the drive along the beach amazing – including the boogie board slide down the dune and the visit to the lighthouse at the northern tip of New Zealand. Another couple of days in Pahia would have been nice to really get to know the Bay of Islands would have been welcome, but our time constraints didn’t allow for that. The next day we drove to the Kauri forest and saw the large tree. The drive from Pahia was most interesting. Our GPS worked well, but it’s too bad that the indicators (names of streets et cetera) given in the itinerary didn’t mention any of the names of the towns we were passing through. The estuary before we turned south was spectacular. We had lunch in Dargaville, and then a long drive to Snell’s Beach. The drive the next day to Coramandel was very interesting. It wasn’t a problem getting through Auckland. We really enjoyed the tour to Driving Creek Pottery and the train ride up the mountain. It was a highlight for both of us. Once again, the accommodation was excellent. We never ran into a problem with the motels you booked. The drive the next day to Rotorua was quite long. We stopped at the hot water beach, but didn’t have a lot of time to enjoy it. (Our fault for not devoting more time to the North Island.) We found our motel quite easily. The tour to the Volcanic Valley (I forget the name) was most enjoyable, as was the boat ride. A worthwhile excursion. I tried booking a hingi dinner that evening, but managed to book the following evening. Fortunately the lady at the motel was able to call the people and arrange to have my VISA account refunded, as we had to head to Wellington the next day. That was a very long drive through the rain and Wellington was a little confusing for both the GPS and the two of us. We found the hotel, but the parking was not close by (but not that far away either). We had time for a walk along the harbour and a nice dinner at the Hummingbird Restaurant, but didn’t have time for the museum, your parliament building or other sightseeing. We were a little concerned about the car drop-off at Budget at the ferry dock the next morning. As it turned out, all of Budget’s parking stalls were full. An indication as to what to do in those circumstances would have been helpful. I.e. There is an overflow return location not too far away. The staff at the ferry terminal helped us with that, as the Budget counter isn’t open at that time of day. We kept the GPS, but should have kept the GPS holder as well. That should be specified to future clients. We picked up our car at Picton. The employee didn’t have time to check the car for any damage, so we carried on. We were able to see a wee bit of Blenheim that evening. Then the long drive down to Christchurch. We got there about 5:30 and Steve met us at six at the Budget counter to drive us to the Heartland Hotel. We had dinner in Marivale (sp?) at a Thai restaurant and a good evening before joining our Active Adventure Tour of the south island the next morning at the hotel. Thank you for everything Christine. As mentioned – no problems with any of the bookings you made for us. Tom

Laurie and David Pancoast, Customized New Zealand Driving Tour, Travelled on 1st March 2017

Hi Natalie, Well, we’re home – finally! Everything you arranged worked out perfectly. Our flights though went a bit sideways. We were delayed leaving Auckland so we missed our connection in Houston. Air New Zealand rerouted us through Detroit on Delta Airlines which also got delayed. The long and short of it is we didn’t arrive home until 3:00 AM our time! We had a wonderful trip and covered a lot of ground. We are so grateful to you for all the advice, coaching, suggestions and work you put into our adventure. And to top it all off, the weather in Milford Sound was awesome!

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Same for our walk on the Milford Track. All blue skies and sunshine. The naturalist on the Milford Sound cruise started by pointing out some of the things most visitors never see – mountain tops and blue sky. If you want, feel free to claim credit for the unusually fine weather. J Renting the car instead of taking the TranzAlpine train worked out well. Thanks again for helping us have an incredible trip through New Zealand. It was a joy to meet you in person. If you are ever in our neck of the woods, you are more than welcome to visit. Sincerely, Dave and Laurie

Shiraz & Fareeda Satchu, A Customised North and South Island Highlights Tour, Travelled on 21st February 2017

We had an incredible trip through your beautiful country, New Zealand. We were often blown away by the sheer beauty of the country. It was a truly memorable trip and a very fitting celebration of our golden anniversary year. Christina (Brockie), you did an excellent job in organising the whole itinerary, making very suitable suggestions and making all the reservations. We are most grateful for all your help. A trip such as this would have been very difficult to plan and organise without your very capable professional help.

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The only way to really appreciate the beauty of New Zealand is by road and self-driving is much, much better option than doing so by coach. We noticed this at every hotel with regimentation imposed on groups travelling by coach. We could come and go as we pleased, stop when we wanted to and have full control of our own schedule. We did all the activities you had booked for us. All the activities were definitely worth doing. The top three for us were Waitomo Glow Worms, the Tasman Glacier at Mt. Cook and Milford Sound cruise. However, the real joy of the whole trip was experiencing the beautiful country side, the lakes and the mountains as we drove along and stopping at lookout points. On a more mundane level, the availability of washrooms at the frequent rest stops was much appreciated!!!! Finally, the tour package. The documentation was very professional and we read the following days itinerary each evening. We referred to the atlas frequently. We will keep the whole package to remind us (together with photos) of the great trip we took down under. Thank you once again, Christina, and we will not hesitate to recommend you and New Zealand Self Drive Tours to our friends. Shiraz and Fareeda Satchu Toronto, Canada

Cornelis and Eveline Kolijn, North Island Explorer, Travelled on 20th February 2017

Kia Ora Hayley! Thank you so much for arranging this PERFECT Holiday! You were very responsive assembling our customized 21 - day North Island Adventure for Nature Lovers. Auckland was our start and end-point, a nice University city where we heard all tongues of the world, and also offering good restaurants. New Zealand deserves to be congratulated on its conservation efforts. Our Tongariro Northern Circuit was a delight and its wonders at the coast - The Kauri Forests, White Island (Active Volcano), Poor Night Islands (World Heritage - Snorkeling) and The Bay of Islands where we hiked across beautiful Urupukapuka Island - well worth the day we spent exploring it.

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The tours to White Island (Pee Jay) and Poor Night Islands (Perfect Day Ocean Cruise) were very professionally run, with high quality and safety standards. We were very pleased with all Motel accommodation, and the car - the Corolla being ideal for the winding roads. The Lighthouse Lookout and Waipoua Lodge were delightful - our only regret not being able to stay longer. Importantly, during our trip you checked in with us to check if all was going smoothly. New Zealand is an island of tranquility in these anxious times. We found the people of New Zealand very friendly and hotel and restaurant staff and tour operators very responsive. Yes, we have already made many recommendations to our friends! Cheers! Cornelis and Eveline.

Lal Silva, A Taste of the South Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 20th February 2017

Thoughrally enjoyable and well planned tour. Everything worked like clockwork from the time we landed in Christchurch to the time we returned the car. The motels were all expecting our arrival and the rooms were ready. All the motels were clean and well maintained with good cooking facilities for those who want to make light meals.

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The routes suggested in the itinerary were all scenic and covered some of the best sights in the South Island. The tours included in the price were very enjoyable too. I recommend this tour to anyone. Make sure you are a confident and competent driver. My next trip for will be a longer one with shorter drives between stops. Only downside was the cost of the tour which was considerably more than the advertised price and the considerable credit card charges did not help either

Marjorie Stearns, North Island Express, Travelled on 13th February 2017

Louise: We are now home in Milwaukee. We appreciate your assistance in planning a last minute visit to NZ for us! We enjoyed everything you planned for us. The suite at the Hamilton Novotel blew us away (not necessary--but enjoyed). Our ride to the airport came on time. We felt cared for! Loved the Eden Villa--wonderful welcoming experience. We kept our left over NZ currency to use on our next trip to NZ. We look forward to working with you on that itinerary! Many thanks! Marge and Jeff

Richard & Ginger de Neufville, Customised Wonders of the South Island, Travelled on 7th February 2017

Dear Shelley, my wife and I thank you for all the arrangements you made for our recent trip - no hitches at all. We also were lucky to enjoy a lot of good weather - essentially no rain to speak of - and absolutely clear views of Mt Cook and range. Some brief comments:

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Queenstown - Garden Court. Physically great facilities. Being on the main road into town just between two turns, however, the traffic is intense. You could/should focus on places off that road. Milford Sound overnight - clearly a highlight! Te Anau - Marakura Motel - great facilities, location, but hard to find - no sign and hidden amidst a holiday camp. Mt Cook facilities - Hermitage chalets no longer part of Hermitage - they have been passed off to the Motel complex (but no signs yet up, very confusing) Speargrass in Arrowtown - really nice, we really enjoyed our stay there (and away from Queenstown) I will recommend your services. Best! Richard

Ross & Robyn Bate, A Customised New Zealand Self Drive Holiday, Travelled on 3rd February 2017

Thank you Christina and New Zealand Self Drive Tours. In all 21 stops we were greeted with enthusiasm and smiles. Christina assisted with numerous suggestions of places to consider around New Zealand and all those that we visited or involved ourselves in worked in with great pleasure and hassle free. To have all accommodation and ferry's etc. pre booked made the entire tour much more enjoyable and without worry or concern. We had to alter some of our itinerary at late notice but that was no problem for Christina. Thank you again Christina for making our tour of New Zealand an extremely complete one and leaves us with a feeling of enormous contentment. Ross and Robyn Bate - Australia

David & Shelia Beecroft, Customed 22 Day North Island Explorer Tour, Travelled on 16th February 2017

Hello to the team at NZ Fine Touring now that we have been home in the UK for a week and re-adjusted to ‘real’ life we wanted to thank-you for providing a superb service in arranging our holiday personal touring itinerary. Every aspect arranged by yourselves – car hire, accommodation and activity bookings went entirely to plan, making for a carefree and enjoyable holiday.

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We know that our advisor Michelle has moved on but her help, advice and efficiency in getting everything arranged and booked was excellent. We will most certainly recommend your services to all friends and family thinking of visiting your wonderful country and, should we be lucky enough to make a third visit in the future, then we will certainly be back in touch. Many thanks once more and best regards, David & Sheila Beecroft -  Colchester, UK

Laurie, Allison & Andrew Boutilier & Janet Murphy, A Customised Discover New Zealand Holiday, Travelled on 16th February 2017

Christina Brockie organized our month long trip around New Zealand (Feb/Mar 2017) with our two kids. Using Self Drive Tours & Christina was the BEST idea for our vacation. We can't say enough good things about the service and support we received. Every place we stayed at was perfect and the attention to detail to make sure that we knew where we had to be made every day relaxing.

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Both my husband and I knew that this was going to be a trip of a lifetime with our kids but we were both blown away with how relaxed we were ourselves the whole time. We have travelled long distance for 1/2 the time and felt stressed about details and timelines and Christina just took all that off our shoulders. She kept us informed of changes and made adjustments to our plans on the fly as we decided on different locations or attractions. If you plan to go to NZ for ANY length of time, I can't say enough about the quality of service you will get with Christina and Self Drive Tours. If only they were all over the world. ;)

Walter & Mary Sheffield, The Winterless North, Travelled on 1st February 2017

Putting this tour together on such short notice was great. The document pack was well prepared and helpful. Lauren was great in following up once the trip was booked, making sure that we were able to get the document pack on short notice. Great customer service.

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A few notes - The Copthorn did not have a sea facing room. I am not sure if the rate is different, but if you were charged for a sea facing room, they did not have any left.  Also, the owners of the Lochiel Estate Vineyard Bed and Breakfast have the property for sale. They are retiring. Although our stay there was nice, I am not sure they are as "dedicated" to running the business as they are planing on retiring. No real complaint, except I was expecting that to be a bit more fun... no offer for a tasting or anything, just a place to stay. The facility is nice so no complaints in that regard. The remainder of the places we stayed were really enjoyable. Overall, a great trip, just too short, but that was our decision due to time constraints. We will return so we can see more of your beautiful country. Thank you, Walter and Mary

James & Vivienne Armstrong, 8 Day Northern Highlights, Travelled on 28th January 2017

Hi Michelle

We are just home from our 8 day North Island tour. What can we say everything was organised to the finest detail. Your second choice accommodation in Paihia was great. We had a room at the front with magnificent views of the bay. All our accommodation was first class and we had plenty of time to take in all the sights along the way. We have been singing your praises to anyone prepared to listen.

Thank you, thank you, thank you

Jim and Vivienne Armstrong

David & Bonnie Pascoe, 16 Day Northbound Scenic Explorer, Travelled on 10th February 2017

Jane, we wanted to thank you the advice, arrangements and execution were flawless. It did rain every single day we were there but will not hold you accountable for that ;)) Only negative observation is that Budget would not provide GPS at either location without $10/day charge! Hope you had not paid for that! All the accommodations met or exceeded our expectations and the people were charming. Ti Kouka was both funky and particularly beautiful.

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At Home Wellington has no parking. If had been a week day it would have been a major issue! If I had know there was an Intercontinental I would have grabbed it. The Hilton Auckland was perfect at the end and saved a lot of hassle and driving in town. We would not hesitate to use your services again and would recommend them to anyone. David and Bonnie

Don and Jan Jones, Customised Southern Highlights Tour, Travelled on 24th January 2017

My husband and I send a sincere thank you to our wonderful tour consultant, Shelley Ryder. She put together a package for us that could not have been more pleasant. Every step of the way was laid out for us, and the details made traveling in a foreign country effortless and friendly. We enjoy the independence of driving ourselves and being on our own, but having the details of motels, transfers, and car rentals taken care of saved me a lot of time and energy in the planning stage, and all of our accommodations were perfect.

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We only had six days on the South Island, we feel as if we were able to maximize our time seeing as much as possible without being rushed. We flew into Queenstown, toured Doubtful Sound, then drove over to the Southern Alps and the West Coast. From there we explored the area (including the glaciers) up to Greymouth where we caught the relaxing Trans Alpine train to Christchurch. We picked up another car to drive back down to Queenstown with several enchanting stops along the way including a most delightful farm stay at Glen Dene Station. My husband was able to fish on Lake Hawea and our hosts smoked one fish for an appetizer that evening. We thoroughly enjoyed our travel experience on the South Island and plan to come back (with Shelley's help) and do the same on the North Island. GPS, a wonderful atlas and pamphlets kept us informed and on track. Thank you again to Shelley and the NZ Self Drive Tours for a wonderfully planned trip. It would not have been the same without your excellent guidance and very personal touch!

Louise and Matthew Bennett, The Length & Breadth North to South, Travelled on 23rd January 2017

We had a really wonderful holiday and thought that the service we had from New Zealand Self Drive Tours and from Natalie in particular was excellent. The judgements about where to go, how long to stay in individual locations, where to stay, what we might be interested in doing and the information pack provided were all spot on.

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We appreciated the fact that you could adapt the standard 30 day tour to suit our specific needs and that you got in touch with us to calmly sort out an alternative when a fire meant we could no longer return to Christchurch on the train form Greymouth. We have been recommending the company to friends and acquaintances currently interested in a New Zealand holiday.

Richard Woerner & Deirdre Waarich, Tailored 23 Day Discover New Zealand, Travelled on 20th January 2017

We had a wonderful trip made easy by Laura and New Zealand Self Drive Tours. We did the B&B option and were delighted with all of our arrangements. We felt like we saw the entire country on our 23 day tour - the pace was perfect and the routing and tour guidance made it a fun and stress-free adventure. We did have a couple of changes to our itinerary due to an earthquake and a brush fire but Laura was on top of the situation and we adjusted seamlessly. Thanks for a wonderful experience.

Patricia and Mark Gidley, Northbound Navigator Christchurch to Auckland, Travelled on 16th January 2017

Thank You Hayley for giving us a fabulous tour of your beautiful homeland. You provided us with great maps and documentation to find our way with no worries. Our accommodations were great. I felt so blessed after the November earthquake that I didn't need to contact our 26 days of accommodation to find out if they were still operating. You provided the alternate route and accommodation since we couldn't visit Kaikoura.

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You kept us posted when the train was shut down while we were traveling because of the landslide. The additional tours you suggested were excellent and completed the story for each area. We will continue to highly recommend you for anyone visiting NZ. Sincere thanks and we wish you continued success.

John Huang & Michael McDonald, Customised South Island Explorer, Travelled on 9th January 2017

We spent a lovely 13 days in the south island of New Zealand through New Zealand Self Drive Tours, and would highly recommend this company to other travellers to New Zealand -- particularly those visiting for the first time. Starting from the planning stages, our consultant Shelley was so very helpful in figuring out how to best fit the highlights we were hoping to see, with a local's knowledge about realistic driving times, the quality of accommodations, etc.

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While we were in New Zealand, bad weather unfortunately cancelled some of our plans, but the company was efficient with refunds for activities that were cancelled, and Shelley was able to guide us through navigating past road closures that occurred due to unexpected storm damages. Now that we've been once, we know where we would probably like to stay and what we'd like to see in future trips to the South Island. However, having help to plan our first trip was truly invaluable, and again, I would highly recommend it!

Megan Ng, John, Christian and Megan Rei Tan, Customised Northern Explorer Family Adventure, Travelled on 31st December 2016

Planning a family trip to a country you've never visited before is no easy task. However, with the help of Ms Salli Smith, our holiday to New Zealand at the start of 2017 played out wonderfully and smoothly. Ms Smith was both very patient and helpful during the planning process and on top of that, friendly and prompt.

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Even when we ran into some problems on our end, she was understanding and we eventually worked out the slight hitch in our plans. It really was a pleasure working with her. The accommodations she sorted out for us were satisfactory - and some even more than just satisfactory - but still within our budget. Also, the tour booklet containing our itinerary, maps and driving routes proved to be useful during the trip. As such, with the assistance of Ms Smith, we were able to have a pleasant and unforgettable holiday to New Zealand. Thanks Megan

Karyn Whitlum and Greg Glenn, 25 Day Discover New Zealand, Travelled on 3rd January 2017

We had an absolutely marvellous time in New Zealand. We have already recommended New Zealand Self Drive Tours and our consultant Natalie DeCaro to friends. Natalie designed a perfect tour for us, meeting and often surpassing the goals we set for her.

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At one point we had thought we would have to cancel the tour due to a grave illness in our family. Natalie was most understanding and explained how she could maintain our tour even if we had to leave up to a year later. Our relief was overwhelming. As it turned out we were able to make the original schedule. Weather resulted in having to change 2 planned events but a phone call or 2 from Natalie corrected things most efficiently. We are delighted to meet Natalie when we passed through Wanaka. We are already thinking about a return visit to do some fly fishing and will definitely plan the tour with Natalie. Greg and Karyn

Sylvie Bretelle and Franck Picard, Auckland to Queenstown Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 23rd December 2016

Really enjoyable trip. We liked the accommodations the sites were absolutely awesome. Maybe, some smalls changes could have been made about the time spent at some locations.

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If we could make just a small remark, we were in Christchurch for new years eve. Just near our accommodation there was a French restaurant, however, booking was needed. If you have just said before, we could have booked. But it's really a small thing. There is to many things to do in NZ for those that like nature, hiking and so on. We also just missed the earthquake which occurred in Wellington just after our departure to the South Island. In conclusion really nice trip. And we have had almost a perfect weather. I'd like to apologise if my English is not perfect. Franck Picard

Kaarlo & Jen Hinkkala, Customised Auckland to Queenstown 14 Day Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 22nd December 2016

We had a nice trip to New Zealand. The trip booked by Salli was very seamless and well organised. We appreciated that she took care of our logistics for us and that she was also very responsive with communication with very prompt responses to any inquiries. It was also nice that Salli automatically took care of issues related to the earthquake that we would have had no idea what we needed to do differently as we didn't even know what was and wasn't open.

Appreciate the help. Kaarlo and Jen

Deanne, Gary & Courtney Baxter, The Essential North Island Tour, Travelled on 23rd December 2016

We had the most amazing holiday in New Zealand organised by NZ Self Drive Tours. As it was a first time visit for us, it was great having the booking and planning done for us. We found both Dan and Salli very responsive with communication and we had very prompt responses to any inquiries.

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We especially loved the suggestions of what extras to do. We especially loved the Bay Hole in the Rock Cruise and the Bus Tour to Cape Reinga (even though we mislaid 2 of our tourists !!) The float plane trip by Volcanic Air Safaris was spectacular as was the Rotorua Forest Canopy Tour. Make sure that you get vouchers from NZ Self Drive tours; as this was sometimes problematic with the tour operators. Unfortunately some of the accommodation was not great, and it would be a good idea to get some feedback/reviews of the places booked. But otherwise an awesome holiday and we loved that the New Zealand people are so passionate about their country. We would definitely recommend using NZ Self Drive tours to plan your holiday. Thank You

Harrie and Bianca Muhren-Vroegop, Customised 20 Day New Zealand Explorer, Travelled on 19th December 2016

Great service, excellent support with a personal touch. Superb hotel and activity recommendations (except for one but that was of no fault to NZ Self Drive Tours). We really like your concept and it beats sorting it all out by our-self's (competitive rates). Already recommend you to several of our colleagues and friends here on Sakhalin Island, Russia.

Sharon and Stephen Thorne, South Island Tour, Travelled on 9th January 2017

Thank you Natalie DeCaro, for your patience with us as we planned our trip to South Island, all the way from South Africa. We had to trust that all the arrangements would happen as planned, and we were not disappointed. At every stop along our route, we received a good reception, and we were very pleased with the extra activities that we included in the week long tour. I would definitely recommend you to friends/family who may be travelling in New Zealand in the future. Thank you. regards Sharon and Steve Thorne

Yuk Kam Wong, Kien Kwok Tommy Wong & Wilbur Hou Yiu Wong, Customised 14 Day New Zealand Grand Tour, Travelled on 24th December 2016

Thank you NZ Self Drive especially our consultant Shelley Ryder. She had given us a memorable trip. Both itinerary & accommodations she arranged was excellent. She not only arranged us a scenic drive, but also some activities to enjoy. The activities she suggested were fun. Shelley always responded to my enquiries/request very promptly. I highly recommend her to my friends or anyone who needs assistance planning their NZ trip. Thank you Shelly once again for your excellent services.

Gian Mario Enrigo & Elisa Vargiu, Taste of the South, Travelled on 18th December 2016

I would like to thank our tour consultant Jane Zwerrenz not only for putting together a great South Island tour, but also for how prompt and flexible she proved to be when we had to make last minute modifications along the way! Wonderful tour recommended to everybody! Gian Mario Enrigo & Elisa Vargiu

Johann Julius, Reinette, Laetitia, Johann Bernhard, Friedrich Rudolf Luttich, Belinda Mare & Alizma van Molendorff, Auckland to Queenstown 14 Day Wonders of New Zealand, Travelled on 23rd December 2016

Dear Shelley, Happy new year to you. I apologise that I took so long to get this email to you, but we only arrived back from our trip this morning and I'm finally able to sit down and get to all the admin. I would just like to say an absolutely huge THANK YOU to you for organising this trip and everything that you did for us! The trip was absolutely spectacular and ticked all the boxes with everyone. We had so many laughs and the activities were fantastic!

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My dad wasn't very fond of the canopy tours in Rotorua, because he hates heights, but even he completed it and smiled in the end. Everything that we did was loved by everyone, some more than others. I particularly loved the Mitai maori village, but everything was awesome. NZ definitely kept a piece of my heart and I want to return again. Our apartments were in top condition and clean and we had everything that we needed for self catering and my dad was particularly impressed with the BBQ (or braai as we call it in SA) facilities at some of the places. The accommodation staff were so helpful and friendly and were always eager to help when we asked. We also loved the fact that everything was so well organised in the file with all the ref numbers etc - that was such a huge help to us and the maps also helped a lot (my mom still believes that a paper map is better than a GPS so she sat with the atlas on her lap everyday). The distances we covered when we drove between places were adequate and we managed well (luckily there were lots of coffee stops next to the road for the family). The one thing we weren't really impressed with was Europcar. We didn't find them very helpful both in Auckland and Picton. In Auckland the GPS they gave us didn't work and it took them more than a hour to sort that out and give us another GPS. The lady that helped us even told us at some point that she doesn't know how they work anyway. After a hour we told them to rather just give us a Garmin, which they did, but it didn't have the holder that you can stick it in the window with so we had to improvise. Unfortunately we then missed the Driving Creek Railway train in Coromandel which we really wanted to do. In Picton we stood in a queue with many other boat passengers for more than 2 hours, only to hear they don't have a car for us, luckily after another 30 minutes they managed to get one for us. We didn't have any activities planned for the day, but the weather was cloudy and rainy so it became dark early and we couldn't stop along so many places as we hoped we could. However, the trip in general was absolutely fantastic and I would highly recommend you and your company to anyone that ever wants to go to NZ and when I do return one day (which I really believe I will) I will send you another email to plan something spectacular again. I can't thank you enough for this trip and tears were rolling down my cheek when our plane left the ground at Queenstown. I feel that words on this email don't do justice to how much we enjoyed every minute of every day in your country. You have such a beautiful country and your nature is phenomenal! We couldn't get enough of all the hikes and loved the fact that we could just stop at a place and take a quick 30 or 45 minute walk through the forest. The fact that there aren't any dangerous animals is definitely a plus and made the walking so much better. The colours of your nature are so vibrant and rich, you just want to take a trillion photos. Thank you again for everything x infinity and all the best for what's to come! Kind Regards Laetitia

Kevin Quigley and Susan and Fiona Flaherty, South Island Scenic Explorer, Travelled on 23rd December 2016

Hi Jane, Thanks. We had a blast on the bridge walk (it was indeed a Walk, with the Syndey Harbour bridge being more of a climb). We arrived in Aukland two hours early, no traffic on Saturday morning, so had two hours to kill. We just walked around the waterfront and had breakfast, very pleasant. After the walk, we were still at the airport by 12:30, again no traffic. The whole trip went like clockwork, never a reservation mix up anyplace. Very nice. And we had incredibly fine weather, total contrast to our last trip where we were mightily doused daily.

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On the driving times, we found them to be very low estimates. Even when we accounted for stops, we just never made the distances in the time stated. It seems like you would have had to drive at the speed limit of faster for every minute, which was never possible. This was no problem, as we were not in a hurry. Early on we kept seeing those billboards "New Zealand Roads Are Different" and "Allow More Time", and we did and it was all good. You might want to consider adding at least 30 minutes to most of these estimates. Also, we would have loved directions that show the distance to the next turn. We loved all the walks listed in our itinerary and did many of them, usually one or two a day of the shorter ones. We felt like with the driving times, we never would have had time for the longer walks. New Zealand was much as we remembered it from 1988. As soon as we retired, we plan to spend a lot more time there. So this was a wonderful trip and reaffirmation of how much we enjoyed NZ. Thanks for all the help. You all did a good job for us. Thanks again. We gave your contact info to a couple named Saudek, hope they call you. We actually went thru Wanaka twice, and it wasn't until after we left the second time that I remembered that, so we are sorry we did not stop to say hello. But of course our first pass was on Christmas Day (we took a slightly different route to get to the ultimate destination)( and I went swimming!) and you all would have been out for the holiday. We passed through the second time as stated in the itinerary, but just didn't think of it. Best, Susan

Philippe, Terilyn & Jaden Limondin and Kyle Suther, Auckland to Christchurch 11 Day Highlights Tour, Travelled on 23rd December 2016

Hi Salli, just wanted to follow-up with a personal thank you for helping coordinate our trip to New Zealand over the Xmas holiday period. We had a fantastic time, and really enjoyed each and every stay. The hotels/motels were excellent, and we really appreciate the small personal feel from several of them. The owners were great, and all costs were taken care of ahead of time. We especially enjoyed the rooms in Rotorua and Christchurch.

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One follow-up question, and one comment. The roundabout drive to Christchurch from Blenheim was absolutely grueling. Pretty, but grueling. Hopefully the direct route opens up soon, but we found it a very long day. Not sure if the feedback helps, but maybe finding a way to break that up or stay halfway rather than at Blenheim would help after the ferry. Anyways, we rate the trip 10/10 we really enjoyed the experience, and would certainly recommend you to any of our friends. Regards, Philippe & Terilyn Limondin

Richard Miller and Rosalyn Bayly, Your Customised New Zealand Tour, Travelled on 12th December 2016

Happy New Year Natalie, Wishing you the very best of health and happy days in 2017. It was super meeting you too; and being in your lovely town. Our visit to Rippon Winery was very productive albeit a knock in the pocket :-) We had a fabulous time again on the South Island thanks to your guidance and great planning. We certainly have a better understanding of distance, travel time, road conditions and many other facets of touring in New Zealand.

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There are so many place we just loved and would return in a hurry. Some places, very few indeed, that we did not take to but that could be bad timing or the fact that you spoiled us so much with the beautiful locations you selected for us in comparison. Many high lights: helicopter flight and glacier trek was awesome! Mount Cook, magnificent! West Coast roads, Arthur’s Pass, the ferry crossings - wow too many to mention. Although we list the bad here, we must reiterate that by far we had a fabulous time, so please take these as constructive criticism and not any reflection on the planning. We covered 3,400km by car; a bit too much in the time we allocated. We took thousands of photographs with many stops along the country roads adding much travel time, but it was worth it. The hotel in Christchurch (Heartland Hotel Cotswold) was a disappointment but nothing compared to that in Taupo (Suncourt Hotel.) The room was shoddy and more akin to a motel (has a feel of a truckers stop.) The room had fused light bulbs and was dingy. Although you organised a full breakfast we were refused orange juice (and all the other usual options like cereal!) The waiter said that it was not included when we questioned her admonishment of us. We felt very uncomfortable and decided not to spend the last night there, forgoing the cost (it was worth it.) On checkout I lodged my complaints with the duty manager, who failed to enquire as to the reason for our early departure. He gave only a cursory apology and then we had a very rude interjection from the restaurant manager where we had breakfast and dinner the previous evening. So a sour end to a glorious holiday! OK - enough of that. Next year, oops this year or even early 2018. We are thinking of a fjord boat trip (we saw one advertised on our previous trip that spends five to eight days cruising the South Island fjords) combined with a few nights in one location before moving on rather than a single night at each stop/location. A star rating - nah - you’ll be off the scale - top marks Natalie! Thank you! Blessings for 2017 and safe passage to Canada on your break. Kind regards, Richard & Rozz

Stephen & Bryn Gibbons and Bernadette Condren, A Customised 50th Birthday Celebration, Travelled on 4th December 2016

Hi Christina, As you know we are a media company looking at how we can make something positive business wise out of what is a very personal 50th birthday experience. Meeting at airport seamless despite late arrival. Service airport to hotel impeccable. Our room at the Sebel Viaduct Harbour was adequate, but deluxe one bedroom marina view turned out to be a quarter marina view from the sitting room, a slightly better view from the balcony, but no view from the bedroom other than the block opposite. Room was 211. There are lots of rooms directly facing the marina over several floors so I’m not sure what level of deluxe they must be.

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Your recommended visit to the sky tower was spot on and we had dinner booked independently which was superb. Sebel hotel position is excellent and we were delighted with all the externally-available facilities/restaurants etc. Hire car Rav4 from budget rent a car promised GPS on your schedule but the vehicle offered came without GPS, confirmed by the person behind the counter. As we were running slightly against time for heading south, I didn’t argue. I just wonder if GPS has been costed in when we didn’t get it (ended up using Google maps on iPhone). Your booking for us at Hobbiton movie set was seamless and we had a great time. It’s a genuine attraction and the staff were first-class. Princes Gate in Rotorua is very ordinary. First offering was an upper floor room without air con or ceiling fans, but standing fans available from the cupboards. Way too warm for comfort given there is a warning about flies if windows are left open. Business has just changed hands so there was work underway next to the lobby. Request for an air con room after realising first room was relatively airless was met with little resistance, but carpet in 42 was stained, shower curtain seams mouldy, bathroom furniture shabby and phone didn’t work. No way 4-star, though we got the heritage ambience. Saving grace was the on-site restaurant which served us with great food (service ditto) at dinner and breakfast. Restaurant staff wonderful. Polynesian spa recommendation spot on: we loved it. Teenager and I then did the Waimangu Volcanic Valley self-guided walk. Can highly recommend; not as busy as some of the other hugely popular attractions so could be a plus. And so to Queenstown. Flight arrangements from Rotorua superb and seamless; car hire in Queenstown ditto, but no GPS. This is not too much grief because as mentioned I use Google maps, but again has it been costed? Blue Peaks apartment 613 is just superb. Couldn’t be better. Great view (thank you). Helpful staff and, importantly, within easy reach of services etc. Can highly recommend, even after one night. OK. The resort was fabulous and the staff so professional and welcoming. I have seen a couple of negatives on Trip Advisor about the Maori welcome, but we loved it - it's all about going with the flow. I guess we were in such a wonderful frame of mind because of the drive from Queenstown (and a superb stay there at Blue Peaks - we'd go there again without hesitation) in excellent weather. We made a note to selves to stay in Wanaka for a spell next time - what a glorious spot. It was relatively early morning and the lake was shimmering in the sunlight. We parked up on the lake shore. Beautiful. Lunch at Haast, a coffee from a coffee cart parked next to a windswept stretch of beach close to Fox (and such a friendly person!) and then on to Franz Josef. Again blessed by the weather and the accommodation (thank you). The degustation dinners were superb both nights with a little preference from us for the second over the first. Our 13 year old even had a go and loved it. He and I did the glacier valley walk and then did the Fox walk later in the day while Bern made the most of a spa birthday present at the resort. She loved it. So did the Boy and I. What amazing scenery. We had the chance of a chopper trip but decided to save it until next time. On to Greymouth, and your travel estimates (admittedly good weather) were spot on. The Budget staff were superb and welcoming. What a train trip. The seats were great, the commentary first-class and hugely informative, the scenery stunning again. It made me want to do the Auckland-Wellington train trip next time. Christchurch. Greeting seamless, Rydges Latimer staff excellent and the accommodation spot on. The city? Wow! What spirit. Still so much to demolish/rebuild but there is such a defiant, winning confidence about the place. We walked the CBD and the gardens, saw the cardboard cathedral, wandered through the new mall etc etc. Such friendly people. We were a tad apprehensive because of recent (and less recent) events, but felt humbled to be part of the vibe. Pick up from hotel seamless again. The airport is good. And home. Thanks again, Christina. You made it what it was, which was just superb. I wouldn't hesitate to come back to you and your company - and best of all you have inspired us to see more of NZ. You have a magic country. You are blessed. We loved it. All the best for Christmas and 2017.

Ian & Lorraine Bates, The Southern Circle Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 1st December 2016

This was a most wonderful tour. Everything ran like clockwork - accommodation was excellent and we were expected at every place. We were picked up by chauffeur (even at 1 am) from the airport after our delayed flight, and every pickup by tour operators was on time. We had plenty of time to explore in our hire car between towns.

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The tours we had booked just got better as we went. The highlight was our overnight trip into Doubtful Sound - a magical place. The jet-boat trip was such fun, too. A thousand thank-you's, Laura, for your brilliant management of our bookings and for your help in compensating us for our missed glacier flight (due to weather). This was a holiday to remember, especially as it was our 50th wedding anniversary treat.

Peter & Carol Glynn, Southern Highlights 9 Day Tour, Travelled on 29th November 2016

As mentioned before trip was great. Weather was ideal, accommodation was excellent and hire car was good. Itinerary undertaken was great for our needs. In Christchurch we visited the Antartic centre close to the airport which was good. Mt Cook was beautiful as was Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki. Very much enjoyed Edmund Hillary Alpine centre. Loved the documentary on Everest.

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Dunedin lovely old town. Loved the architecture, botanical garden and climb of Baldwin street. Te Anau was a hidden gem a truly beautiful town, lovely lake and a great pub "moose".

Milford Sound cruise good except it rained and sand flies were very annoying. Queenstown truly beautiful. Gondola ride and Earnshaw cruise was excellent. Drive to Franz Josef was spectacular but disappointed the glacier trip was cancelled. Enjoyed train from Greymouth to Christchurch and enjoyed tram ride through Christchurch. In summary an excellent holiday.

Eric Chan & Christine Lim & Family, North to South 19 Day Highlights, Travelled on 25th November 2016

Hi Michelle, Our Self Drive Holiday in New Zealand was absolutely fantastic! The accommodations arranged for the family were spot on! I am so envious of you folks in NZ. You do have God's Backyard in your country. Its so scenic everywhere we went. We had to pinch ourselves a few times to make sure we were sober. Thanks a Million for your help in arranging such a wondrous itinerary. We will definitely be coming back again. Regards, Eric

Sree & Sukee Alavattam, New Zealand's Southern Secrets, Travelled on 22nd November 2016

Hi Jane, the trip was AMAZING and thank you for all your reservation help along the way. The hotels were nice but the bed & breakfast were the best. Sorry we could not stop over at Wanaka during our trip. At this point we are back in the US, a little tired from with our trip and working on the gazillion photos that I took. The natural beauty of New Zealand is unparalleled. People there are amazing and so is the landscape. Thanks for making it extra special for us. Cheers Sree and Sukee

Riffi and Rick OBrien, Auckland to Christchurch Highlights of New Zealand, Travelled on 7th November 2016

Kia Ora, Hayley.

We have been back for a month and still remember our trip to NZ with huge fondness. We are so happy that we used NZ Fine Touring for our arrangements. I could tell you and your associates are quite experienced, as you handled our “high maintenance” situations with calm and grace. And, we are very appreciative that you rearranged our tour after the earthquake. We love NZ - it truly is the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited. Thank you for your excellent service. If anyone asks, we would give you and NZ Fine Touring an A+. Thanks, again. Riffi OBrien

Clare Mckay and Ross Mandin, 9 Day North Island Explorer, Travelled on 26th November 2016

Ross and myself would like to send you the biggest thank you! to you and everyone at NZ self drive tours. As you know I wanted to surprise Ross with a "secret holiday" and I had some ideas where I wanted to be, I have always planned all my holidays personally because I felt that travel agents gave a generic experience at an inflated cost and thus was a little sceptical about the whole idea of using a touring company. Your team won me over from the start, the level of service and care taken was AMAZING. The support did not stop when I booked, I really felt cared for during the time between booking and leaving for NZ.

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From the time we arrived to left everything went off without a hitch. The gentleman who picked us up really set the mood, he was friendly, professional and just made us feel like we were on cloud 9. All the accommodation was fantastic (location and quality) and the car choice was fantastic (we named her Jade). All in all this holiday has been one of the best we have been on. A few suggestions * Craters on the moon Lake Taupo, was a fantastic little find we made, along with the Huka Honey Hive. I totally recommend these to anyone stopping over in Lake Taupo.

They are both very close the Huka fall jet boat. *The only time we got "lost" was on the day of the Hobbit movie set tour. We went to the I-site not the Shire Rest, and while the instruction did state the address of shire rest the blurb stated that the tours left from the i site and thus thought we had to be at the i-site to be driven up to the set (similar to the canopy tours, where you went to the main office before heading to the forest as a group). Maybe it was just us, but I would recommend a blurb explaining that you can hop on the bus at the i-site or shire rest. *There is free parking at the Auckland bridge climb and bungy main office (105 Curran St, Westhaven, Auckland 1010, New Zealand), I suggest writing this into the blurb to give people options. Once again, thank you so much! Clare & Ross

Chung Han, Chiew Yen, Pei Xuan Lorraine & Zheng Yang Justin Lai, Customised 8 Day Northern Highlights, Travelled on 21st November 2016

Hi Salli, Thank you for the great help in planning our family holiday to NZ. Very much appreciated your responsiveness, including booking our Hobbiton tickets at short notice and at a discounted rate. We had a great time and would warmly recommend others to consider New Zealand Self Drive Tours. Warm regards, Chung Han

Martin and Charmain Rickerd, Queenstown to Auckland 14 Day, Travelled on 21st November 2016

Hi Jane, We're back in England now, with many happy memories of our time in New Zealand. I want to thank you most warmly for your help in reorganising part of our itinerary during what must have been a very busy time for you. All the arrangements for the trip went very smoothly and the range of accommodation was great (the only unwelcome surprise was at the Hotel Ibis in Wellington, where parking is only available if pre-booked). So thank you, NZFT - we will recommend you. With best wishes, Martin and Charmain Rickerd

Mohd Kassim Mohd Hussain, Yasmin Abd Rahman & Mohamad Haris Roslan, A Customised South Island Holiday, Travelled on 22nd November 2016

Hi Christine, Thank you very much for the great arrangement and planning, the tour was fantastic. Accommodation very nice, especially the stay at Blue Peak Apartments in Queenstown. The tour itself was nicely planed, car rental, pick-ups at the Airports, Train station and Airport drops, Not a single hiccup or problem. I have to thank you for your advise, your patience , and your friendly and professional service. Best Regards, from us Kassim, Yasmin and Harris.

Peter & Wendy Hunter, 14 Day Christchurch to Auckland Must Do Tour, Travelled on 19th November 2016

Hello Louise

Well we are finally home after an exhausting but exhilarating holiday. The hotels were all wonderful and everyone was friendly and helpful. Organisation was fabulous, and although we were often asked if we had vouchers from our travel company, the mention of our surname resulted in a “Hi Peter and Wendy,” and we had no problems anywhere.

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Obviously situations beyond our control meant that there were disappointments along the way and we were wondering about refunds for missed trips.

The largest disappointment was of course the whale-watching trip from Kaikoura, but we also missed out on the Milford Sound fly-cruise-fly trip and the Mount Cook glacier trip.

Our TranzAlpine train trip on day one was delayed by 2-3 hours due to problems with the electrics. This involved waiting on board for an electrician to arrive, and during the course of the trip, an announcement was made, apologising for the problems and assuring us that everyone would be reimbursed 25% of the cost.

The drive to Nelson was a bit of a marathon but worth it in the end, and The Sails hotel was excellent. I gather you had probably not used them before, but they were friendly, helpful and the place was spotless and very luxurious and definitely to be recommended.

We loved the Canopy experience in Rotarua, and for Peter, who is very wobbly at heights but determined to “have a go” it was a very positive morning. The guys were excellent and very supportive. For a 70 year old I felt extremely proud of myself, even managing to fly the final Zipwire upside down, to cheers and support from the others so all in all, a great experience; As was the River Dart trip earlier in the holiday.

The weather was appalling with heavy mist and rain, and visibility very poor, but we had a blast! So all in all – Well done you! We enjoyed a brief “respite” with relatives in Auckland and from leaving them to drive to the airport, to walking in our front door, the journey was 40hours! A trip of a lifetime, and hopefully we may return to experience the things we missed. Thank you again for your efforts, we shall recommend you to anyone who might want to come to NZ.

Have a good Christmas and New Year, and we look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Kind regards and best wishes Wendy and Peter Hunter

Grant Raelene Bolton, Northbound 31 Day Adventure, Travelled on 14th November 2016

New Zealand Self Drive Tours provided us with a very memorable experience. The staff are great to deal with and we even had the opportunity to meet with them in person. We chose the 31 Northbound adventure which gave us the opportunity to have a great cultural experience,great hikes, unbelievable scenery. Accommodation and vehicle hire were awesome. We selected just about every tour option which kept us fully occupied .

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After the earthquake in November 2016 NZ Self Drive had to change our itinerary at very short notice, We were diverted from the coastal route via Kaikoura to the inland route via Hanmer Springs and Lewis Pass and we loved it. We will certainly be booking with NZ Self Drive when we return next year. We rate NZ Self Drive Five Star Grant and Raelene Bolton Perth WA

Deidre & Carl Briesch and Tienie & Rosa De Bruyn, Milford Sound Highlights Tour, Travelled on 14th November 2016

Hi Jane, We had a fabulous holiday thanks to your thoughtful arrangements on our behalf. We were very happy with the accommodation and it was lovely not to have to worry about any aspect of the trip, including the transfers from the train station and to the airport. Your itinerary took us to stunning parts of the country that we will treasure in our memories for years to come. In fact we decided to return to Queenstown and the West Coast as often as we are able in the future. Thank you for a most enjoyable and comfortable holiday. Deidre Briesch

Paul Clough & Fiona Burger, Customised Auckland to Queenstown 13 Day Ultimate Highlights, Travelled on 15th November 2016

Firstly, we would like to thank Shelley for putting together and seeing us through our holiday. The process was smooth and worry free, particularly given the fact that we landed in Auckland the day following the earthquake with part of our itinerary up in the air. Our holiday was absolutely wonderful, and even the cancellation of a few activities due to poor weather / natural disasters did not reduce our enjoyment one little bit. Your company offers a wonderful service and executes it professionally.

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You have asked for any thoughts / suggestions, but we only have a few that may not be highly useful, but we thought we had best put them down while we can think of them:

1) When we attended our heli-hike at Mt Cook the tour operator had a few issues confirming our payment. This was partly due to a communication issue on their part with their head office (it was sorted quickly following a few phone calls), however, perhaps including copies of the emails / voucher in the booklet that can be ripped out and handed over to the service provider could be helpful. A number of the places we visited needed to photocopy the booklet you put together as proof of our booking, etc. We had one voucher for the Queenstown gondola/luge event, but that was the only one.

2) The Quest serviced apartments in Wellington were fine, but their lack of parking facilities was a nuisance. We realise this is not unusual in a major city, but $30 for a park in a parking station several blocks away from the accommodation, and one where you could only enter and exit them once, was a little annoying. It was actually a better option to just pay the parking station directly given we stayed on a weekend and they offer better rates than the so-called "discount" Quest was offering. Perhaps putting a warning in the booklet about sorting out your parking ahead of time (the reception closes at 5pm so you can't organise the parking after that) would be really helpful. The location itself was great and very convenient for the ferry and Zealandia (the night tour was amazing by the way).

3) Not that this really is important for you, but the 4WD tour of Edoras (Lord of the Rings) tour from Christchurch was pretty poor. Even though they said we would be picked up from our hotel at 9am and returned by 5pm, we were not back until 7pm. The lunch was atrocious (and was not provided until after 3pm), no water was provided on the tour (and we were wedged in their vehicle for hours on end) and frankly we couldn't wait until the tour was over. If you ever encounter customers with medical conditions such as diabetes, etc. I would highly recommend that they avoid this tour. We have provided feedback to the tour operator, and your customers choose what they want to do, but this tour should be attended with caution.

Other random feedback about your service: - Tour booklet (physical copy): awesome and extremely handy - Customer service: excellent. Every enquiry put through to your team either via email or phone was dealt with quickly and kindly. Our change in itinerary due to the Kaikoura disaster led us to Hanmer Springs, and the motel your team organised was brilliant! At no stage were we stressed about any changes as we felt confident your team was all over it. Your service meant our holiday was stress-free, even in the face of events beyond anyone's control.

Uncle, our greeter at Auckland airport when we arrived was excellent. What a lovely gentleman and that simple service guiding us to the hire car desk and handing over the tour package was lovely. Thank you once again for organising our self-drive holiday; it was wonderful. We will highly recommend your service to anyone we meet thinking of a driving tour of New Zealand. This package provided the perfect holiday for us given it was our very first visit to New Zealand. We honestly feel like we had a holiday, not a whirlwind visit, and that is a testament to how well constructed the tour itinerary was. We hope your business is not slowed by the recent earthquake event, and wish your company all the best in the future. Kind regards, Paul and Fiona.

Beth Van Zant, Peter Keith & Craig Hunter, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 17th November 2016

From start to finish, our 10-day tour of the south island was amazing! The motels used were perfect for what we needed. Jane did a fantastic job in setting everything up. She went above and beyond by scheduling a north island tour for us that we inevitably had to cancel. I would use this service again in a heartbeat.

Jeff Hockley & Christopher Bryg, Customised Taste of the South, Travelled on 15th November 2016

Hi Salli

Thanks for your excellent tour arrangements – we had a great time – we both agreed that there was too much to do in the time but it was after all a 'taster' so now we know where to go to for a longer stay next time.

Some notes: Our pick-up driver at Christchurch airport was excellent – he even took us on a 30 minute tour of the city on the way to the hotel so we could orient ourselves, and see some of the awful devastation caused by the earthquake. He was very informative, and efficient – as he also was when he picked us up on the next morning for the train trip.

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Day 1:

Bella Vista Christchurch was quite nice – we had to wait over an hour or more to check in as there were police and special personnel trying to find accommodation for those affected by the big earthquake and landslides of the day before. We understood – some were distressed, so we just went for a walk and came back later.

Day 2:

Trans Alpine – good seats, tickets waiting for us. Sunny to start, miserable fog and rain in the middle, sunny at the end. Perfect.

Car hire efficient: we changed models from the one allocated. No problem with that.

Aspen Court Franz Joseph superb –we were upgraded to a two-bedroom unit with spa. Heaven.

Day 3:

Franz Josef to Queenstown via Wanaka – we took so long doing walks and sightseeing that we didn’t get to Wanaka until nearly 7 pm – no chance of a catch-up with you. Phoned ahead to Queenstown to say we would be late arriving – they left a key for us under the mat. No problem there.

Highview Apartments in Queenstown – really poor, and this was disappointing as it was the most expensive. Very tiny room, minimal facilities, and having to wash dishes in a bucket in the bath was a bit third world. And no parking. But we loved Queenstown and enjoyed our stay there.

Day 4:

Queenstown to Te Anau: lovely sunny day, superb scenery (you really have too much of it!), a bus trip to Milford (rain, rain, rain but that’s normal).

Bella Vista Te Anau really nice – comfy.

Day 5:

Te Anau to Dunedin – sunny, Cable Court Motel was good too – a long walk to the city centre, but that was OK with us.

Day 6:

Dunedin to Mt Cook – even better scenery if that was possible – brilliant sunny day –arrived late as usual.

Mt Cook Lodge unit was lovely with a view of the mountains outside the door. They misinformed us about meal times, so we almost missed out on dinner: had to plea to the manager to get some food. Worked, though!

Day 7:

Best day of all – superb sunny weather, long walk to Mt Cook – all the touristy stuff, which meant we arrived late as usual in Christchurch but we phoned ahead again, and they left a key for us.

Day 8:

Car return at the airport was efficient and quick. Please inform future clients that there is no petrol within 5 km of the airport – we thought we were in good time for our flight but had to go back into the city again to get petrol which was time we couldn't spare. Home again!

All your brochures, maps, contacts were excellent. We didn't really need a GPS in the car as signposting is very good. Needed it for Christchurch but it was really inefficient as it kept asking us to go down one-way streets the wrong way, or into streets which didn't exist. We coped.

Next time:

Longer stays in places as there is so much to do. Everything you said would happen, did happen – such a load off our minds. And you have way, way, way too much scenery. We would have made all our arrivals earlier if we didn't have to stop so much to admire the views. Thanks again - Jeff and Chris

Michael Lasher & Linda Wilhelm, Auckland to Christchurch 11 Day Splendour, Travelled on 13th November 2016

Hello Laura, I wanted to post a comment on your company’s website but didn’t see an option to do so. I also wanted to say thank you for the quick refund! We just wanted to say thank you for the most enjoyable trip we have ever had. All our accommodations and tours were nothing less than First Class. Although we were unable to go to Kaikoura because of the earthquake, our re-route to Hanmer Springs was wonderful. And we couldn’t have asked for a better person (Laura Davidson) to help us get through that hiccup in our trip. We absolutely loved the drive that started in Auckland and ended in Christchurch. This was definitely a great way to see the country and meet many wonderful Kiwis along the way. We are already talking about a return trip to New Zealand! Thank you again for everything! Linda Wilhelm and Mike Lasher

Joan & Gary Whitaker, Auckland to Christchurch 15 Day Explorer, Travelled on 4th November 2016

Michelle,

I can't thank you enough for planning and executing a flawless trip of the North and South islands. When I say everything was perfect, I mean it was spot on. If someone was to meet us at the airport or train station or pick us up from our hotel, they were right there every time. No question at all. The hotels you selected for us were perfect. Each had such lovely rooms for us. Sometimes they were so nice we didn't want to leave. The activities and tours you recommended were all wonderful.

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In addition, the trip was well paced. Even on days with a four hour or more drive was so enjoyable because the scenery is so beautiful. Regarding your staff, on the two occasions that we had questions and called your office, your staff was so kind and helpful. This was especially appreciated the day after the earthquake in Kaikoura. Since our return to the USA, we have told everyone that they should go to New Zealand AND they should contact  New Zealand Self Drive Tours to organise it for them. You guys are rock stars. Thanks again for making this the trip of a lifetime. Joan & Gary Whitaker

Peter Leafman and Margaret McDaniel, 22 Day Discover New Zealand, Travelled on 3rd November 2016

Hayley,

Margaret and I are back in the states, slowly recovering from a day and a half of travel to get here. Was all that time in a metal tube travelling at 36,000 feet worth it? Without a doubt! We both want to thank you for the excellent trip you arranged for us in New Zealand - it far exceeded our expectations. Your attention to detail and organisational skills exponentially added to the wonders and beauty of New Zealand. Plus your ability and willingness to make last minute changes made for an excellent ending to our journey; the extra day at Franz Josef along with a full day in Christchurch worked out perfectly.

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We were so happy to be able to meet you face to face, albeit under circumstances that we wish not to repeat (hopefully never to leave an item on an airplane again), it was just so good to put a face with a voice.

In our 22 day itinerary we both would have just two things we would do differently, one of which we discussed; 1) the Albatross Hotel, while nice, was not a great location, and 2) we both felt the nighttime tour of Zealandia was overrated - while our tour guide was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic there was really very little to see. A day time tour would most likely yield better viewing. Could have been the wet night we were there but not sure.

Regardless, we thoroughly enjoyed all the other excursions and glad we did the Queenstown TSS Earnslaw cruise and BBQ dinner which occurred on my birthday. While it was touristy, the boat ride was fun and the BBQ was excellent with the added bonus of the farm tour and sheep shearing demo - made for a great evening. Continued happiness in your life in Wanaka, and on the off chance Margaret can recover from the trauma of the earthquake (what's a trip to NZ without an earthquake?) maybe we'll see you sometime in the future. Happy holidays. Peter & Margaret

Ted & Marlene Coulis, South Island Adventure, Travelled on 20th October 2016

We were so lucky to find New Zealand Self Drive Tours as a resource for planning our once in a lifetime trip. Salli Smith was incredibly informative, knowledge and flexible creating an itinerary that specifically addressed our wish list. She made quick adjustments and offered many helpful suggestions of activities, routes and highlights in each city. As we learned more and did other research, Salli was incredibly responsive to our every request and question. She was also there for us during the trip when we had a few questions. The trip was outstanding and I wish New Zealand Self Drive Tours could plan all of our other trips! We would highly recommend them as a resource and if you're lucky enough to work with Salli, you'll be in great hands!

Sharifah Farah Alsree, Nur Afiqah Adulrahman Adil and Siti Raudhah Matasir, A Customised South Island Holiday, Travelled on 30th October 2016

Thank you for everything ! I must say it has been an amazing experience for us here in New Zealand. We went for the Christchurch gondola and took the tram on our last day here. In any case, I want to say that all the activities arranged and the motels booked for us was superb and beyond our expectation! Comfortable and close to places of interest and eateries. I must say that we loved Queenstown, Wanaka and Tekapo the most :) Thanks much for all the assistance Christina! You've been a great help and we really enjoyed this trip! Regards, Farah

Patricia & Kim Kasdorf, Customised 22 Days North to South Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 27th October 2016

My husband and I just returned from a fantastic 22-day self-drive vacation in New Zealand. Many thanks to Michelle and the New Zealand Self Drive team for helping us plan our trip. This was our first time in New Zealand and they gave wonderful recommendations on places to go and things to do and also made reservations for lodging, cars, ferries and activities.

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We were impressed that there was not a single glitch our entire trip except for the GPS dying about 3 days before trip end. We called the NZ Self-Drive office and they arranged for us to pick up a replacement at the nearest car rental office. We practically were met at the door with the new GPS and were in and out in 5 minutes.

We were asked many times on the trip what we had most enjoyed so far. It was impossible to say because we enjoyed everything we did ... seeing the magnificent Kauri trees in Waipoua Forest, taking tours of Hobbiton and several Lord of the Rings filming sites, visiting the thermal pools in Rotorua, International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch, the Tasman glacier boat ride at Mt. Cook, overnight cruise on Milford Sound and much more!

But maybe best of all was driving at our own pace, soaking up the beauty of the country and meeting friendly, helpful people along the way. We heard many compliments about NZ Self Drive Tours from the various business people they worked with to make our arrangements. We agree and will definitely call again to help plan our next trip to New Zealand.

Derek & Nancy Parker, Tailored New Zealand Tour, Travelled on 17th October 2016

Our trip went without a hitch, thanks to Laura Davidson, despite a major earthquake while we were in New Zealand. Fortunately, we were on the west coast when the quake occurred on the east coast. Although there was some concern about whether or not the train from Greymouth to Christchurch would be running, it turned out to be okay.

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Although all of our accommodations were good to great, I would say that our favorite stay was at the Fiordland Lodge at Te Anau. We spent three wonderful nights there. It's a spectacular building and the meals were outstanding, served by personable and more than competent staff. While there, we took the Milford Sound cruise on a beautiful sunny day and hiked through a beech forest on the Kepler Track on another day. Our time in New Zealand exceeded expectations, and we are reliving our memories as we share them with family and friends.

Wayne & Holly Lillico, Customised Cape to Capital Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 20th October 2016

Hi Louise,

We had a wonderful time on our trip & all the arrangements went smoothly Thanks for all your work. Hotels were good with cooking facilities in almost all. Only problem was the number of times we ended up in a handicap room (guess they thought it would help the old folks) Best lodging was in Whitianga & Wellington. Weakest was Christchurch for future planning. All in all excellent organising on your part next time we will choose a drier time of year.

Cheers Wayne

Gary & Patricia Nederveld, New Zealand Discoverer North to South Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 21st October 2016

Pat and I had a marvellous 22 day tour from Auckland south to Queenstown, thanks to Michelle who suggested activities and made arrangements to our preferences. We anticipated a terrific trip and learned to love New Zealand... people were very friendly, we learned a lot, and the seascapes and landscapes...breathtaking.

Gordon & Janet Kellett, A Customised Ultimate New Zealand Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 25th October 2016

Christina,

Our excursion in New Zealand was marvellous. From our welcome greeter at Auckland airport to our 5:30 AM transporter to the Christchurch airport, we found the people of New Zealand to be warm, open, friendly, helpful and kind. Every motel owner was welcoming and charming. Our favorite accommodation was Quest Central in Rotorua. Another favorite was Omau Settlers Landing at Cape Foulwind, which would be very nice in summer. We were there in the rain after being detoured by the earthquake. All other motels/hotels were very good. Our experiences varied, but each were rewarding to 70 year old tourists.

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Given my limitations of an arthritic knee, we did short hikes to see gardens, waterfalls, glaciers, and Mt. Cook. We strongly recommend the gondolas at Christchurch and Queesntown. My favorite excursion was Cape Kidnappers Gannet Beach Adventure. My wife's favorite was the Doubtful Sound trip, as we experienced a full rainbow over Lake Manapouri. We visited Auckland Museum which gave us a good introduction to Maori history and culture as well as Natural History of New Zealand. Later we toured TePapa, which is the best showplace of New Zealand museums. Unfortunately for us the Maori Marae was closed that day. We visited other small museums and found them informative: Waipu, Arrowtown, Kauri were the best. Your guide book on the self-drive tour with accompanying pamphlets was terrific. Each evening we would scout out the driving route for the next day and select the activities we wanted to do. We missed out on some of them due to need for a long or arduous hike (i.e. Cathedral Cove) or we felt were too expensive (i.e. Jet Boat ride). But, overall we felt we missed out on little. One additive piece you might consider adding: Today's major event at (city name) is .........! We found streets blocked and detours up at Oamaru due to the Victorian Festival. We also ran into a Marathon at Auckland and Napier causing traffic changes. In regard to your "Tour Driving Directions," we used the included New Zealand Touring Atlas as backup. It was very helpful. A few times we went off grid thinking we could take a shortcut. But, we found your guide directions to be the best routing with the least traffic. Unfortunately, your turn by turn directions do not give approximate distances between turns. They would vary between 1 block and 65 km. Occasional warning mileage would help the navigator. Lastly, we drove from Nelson to Havelock over Queen Charlotte Drive in the rain. On our return trip to Blenheim, at Havelock we chose to stay on State Highway 6. I had no desire to do the Queen Charlotte Drive a second time. The earthquake experience was memorable. We were glad to be in Blenheim and not Kaikoura. One day later and we would have been. For us the detour to Cape Foulwind and Arthur's Pass was a pleasant trip. Then finding out that you do keep tabs on us when Camelot Inn reported us missing. That was reassuring. Weather was detrimental on only three occasions. First, we did not see Abel Tasmen due to rain, wind and rough seas. Second, although we did get our tour of Ulva Island with Peter Tait (accomplished on arrival; was instructional and rewarding), the next day torrential rain fell. Third, we had a rainy day in Christchurch, but we were able to see the Botanical Garden and Tannery Mall. On arrival the afternoon before, we went to Willowbank Wildlife Reserve where we enjoyed seeing Kiwi and Kea. There are so many spectacular vistas to see. We started monitoring the atlas for marked lookouts to anticipate pulling off the highway. For us the very best drive was from Queenstown to Glenorchy/Paradise. Next best was a tie between the approach the Mt. Cook or the approach to Queenstown from the south. For a panoramic view we especially enjoyed going up atop of Mt. John near Lake Tekapo. But, just as mystically lovely was the Red Tussock Conservation area on Mossburn Five Rivers road with the tussocks waving in the wind. The rental car was perfect. It was seamless getting the car in Auckland, dropping off the car at the Interisland Ferry, picking up the car in Picton, and dropping the car off in Greymouth. Every EuropCar Rental agent was cheerful and helpful.

Lastly, we want to give Kudos to the Balmoral Lodge Motel receptionist for there gracious handling of the booking mistake. With your help, they were able to redirect us to the Tower Inn nearby. They went beyond expectations making sure we were taken care of.

Finally, we will strongly recommend your agency to all our friends interested in visiting New Zealand. As I daily posted on Facebook, several of my friends showed early interest in your company. I will be telling them about the many reasons to use you. If you have any specific questions, please don't hesitate to email your inquiries. I would be happy to answer them. Thank you for a splendid trip. Sincerely yours, Gordon Kellett

Rich Osiecki, Customised 27 Day South Island Encounter, Travelled on 24th October 2016

The lodgings throughout the trip were great - perhaps at a level a bit higher than I usually use but I’m not complaining. Peter and Iris were great hosts on Stewart Island, and I lucked out by having Peter one-on-one during the Ulva Island visit (where we did see a real, live, in-the-wild Kiwi.

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One down point is that The Quality Suites motel in Kaikoura suffered significantly from the quake (just based on my observations - I’m sure there will be an official assessment). Also enjoyed the 4WD Safari in Wanaka (pass the word on to them that George Scott was a proper host and good driver). We were in Kaikoura during the earthquake and enjoyed the warmth and efforts of NZers for what they provided for travellers stranded in Kaikoura and during the subsequent boat ride to Christchurch, as well as having a place to stay plus meals to enjoy upon arrival in Christchurch. The emergency services which became active after the quake were very effective, keeping a potentially bad situation very civilised and safe.

Kent Chen and Ooi Ling Leong, Auckland to Christchurch Highlights Tour, Travelled on 6th October 2016

6 Oct - 23 Oct 2016 (Awesome 18-day trip - North & South Island of NZ) First of all, we have to admit that we were so lucky and happy to have found this website when we first started to do some research on the road trip in NZ. As this was our honey moon trip after we got married in October 2016, we really hope this would be the best of the best travelling experience for both of us.

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Eventually, it turned out to be way awesome than what we expected. Jamiee was the personnel who we engaged when we started to enquire on the road trip and etc... She was really helpful and whenever we posted questions to her, she would respond to us promptly and patiently. The coolest thing was we could totally customise our tour and with the first scratch of draft tour/route that we sent to her, she did not change much and she tried her very best to accommodate all our requests pursuant to our budget and on top of that she would also recommend/propose which place to stay, which car rental agency to pick for, what else should we go etc..... We felt so relieved as this was our first time stepping in to NZ and we wouldn't want all these uncertainty to ruin our trip, worry not, she modified our draft while maintaining the tourist-must-go spots to save us all the hassles (by booking all the hotels/car rental/entrances to some tourist spots/transport etc...). Thereafter, upon finalising the itinerary, Salli came into the picture in which she was super nice and passionate in answering all our queries including the payment method. She also gave extra tips on how was the traffic condition, weather etc.... No regrets, we love our entire trip without any complaint and hesitation. The hotels they booked for us were way higher than our expectation (most of them were studio apartment/unit which come with a fully equipped pantry/kitchen) and the car (while being budgeted) was comfy and we were able to travel safely with 2 huge luggage. Simply because we made the right choice by engaging NZ Self Drive Tours (Don't get me wrong, when I said this, I didn't get any commission by promoting them, they were really helpful, in all ways). Eventually, I fell in love with NZ, every place, every scene and all the friendly people there. Though the price of the food was on the high side (perhaps only the tourist spots), the rest were awesome, unforgettable and awe-inspiring. Once again, thanks so much for the assistance which save us all the hassle. We enjoyed every piece of the journey and we will definitely come back to NZ again.

Doug, Ross, Bev & Donna Emek, Customised Auckland to Queenstown 21 Day Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 12th October 2016

Hi Shelley,

We just got home today after a wonderful trip to Hawaii and New Zealand. We wanted to thank you for all that you did to arrange our driving tour. Everything was perfect, from the pick-ups at the airport and train station, our accommodation, the trains and the activities we chose. Not a single hiccup or problem!

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We had a fantastic time and managed to add a few things in ourselves, including driving to see the Kauri trees after we left Paihia. As you know this was our second driving tour of New Zealand, and we’ve already decided we have to come back again as there is still more we want to see, and perhaps spend another day or two in several places, including Wanaka! What a beautiful place! Sorry we missed seeing you there when we dropped in at your office but we understand you were on vacation that week. We could also have spent another day or two in Paihia, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch, Franz Josef, Te Anau and Queenstown, and next time we would like to go to Dunedin and Invercargill.

Anyway, thanks again for everything. It was a great trip.

Best wishes, Doug & Bev Emek Ross & Donna Emek

Johann Schuster, 28 Day Discover New Zealand Tour, Travelled on 4th October 2016

Hi Jane

Thank you very much for your concern. The tour was fantastic. Accommodation very, very nice, real Gems, all the Heritage houses. The tour itself was nicely planed, car rental was well organised, and all the other bookings like Doubtful Sound etc properly booked. And what should I say about you? Although you destroyed us terribly in the last game (Rugby), I have to thank you for your advise, your patience , and your friendly and professional service.

Best Regards and Kia Ora Hans

Benoit Soucy and Dunja Schelper, Iconic North Island Tour, Travelled on 29th October 2016

We greatly enjoyed the entire trip. Everything was superbly organised and everybody was exceptionally nice. The accommodations were all luxurious and the breakfast options plentiful and very tasty. We particularly liked the Kamahi Cottage and its owner Elisabeth Cowan. She is a delightful and stimulating host with a great degree of knowledge.

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Unfortunately the quality lessened at our last stop, the Puka Park Resort. The breakfast buffet was clearly inferior and they demanded an unacceptable credit card surcharge. The most luxurious accommodation we had on our trip, namely the exceptional "Peppers on the Point" suite hotel we had in Rotorua. We had a spacious very modern, romantic suite with fireplace, all the amenities and a perfect outlook directly on Lake Rotorua, complete with outdoor Jacuzzi. The staff also was extremely nice. All was super and we were very pleased. Thank you very much for an unforgettable experience!

Coral, Phil & Tim Musgrave, Custom Family Tour for the Musgraves, Travelled on 10th October 2016

From the moment I contacted you to organise a complicated itinerary I knew I had chosen the right company. 4 weeks, 2 islands, trains, planes and automobiles. I provided dates and a list of things we wanted to do and you guys put it together. I could never had done this myself and I am used to booking independent travel.

 

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When we arrived at our first motel the package containing our itinerary, maps, vouchers and leaflets was waiting for us and it was so useful to have it all planned out for us, with estimated travel time and suggestions where to stop off en route. The cars provided were of a high spec and really comfortable, important when driving for along time and we are all tall.

The accommodation booked was without exception clean and comfortable. Hosts at all motels were helpful and friendly. Waipoua Lodge was amazing and really worth the treat. My only regret? We only had one night there.

The two train journeys with Kiwi Rail on the south island were awesome and the level of service from the staff at the station and on the train was second to none. Just so sorry that one is out of action post earthquake for a while. All pre booked activities were excellent, the Wilderness Jet Boat Safari will be the outstanding memory.

I am so glad we chose to use Real Journeys to visit Milford Sound as it is a long drive - rather than self drive. This way the designated driver got a rest and to see the awesome scenery. And Milford Sound is wow just wow even if it was a very long day trip.

Hobbiton was brilliant and top tip here, book the last day tour as you get the place to yourself unless you can get the evening banquet tour of course. I would not hesitate to recommend this New Zealand Self Drive Tours to anyone planning to self drive New Zealand

Ken O'Neill, South Island 23 Day Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 9th October 2016

Thanks to Hayley and all the staff at NZ Self Drive Tours for a wonderful 3 week holiday in the South Island. The car rental, accommodation and the optional tours were all ready for me when I arrived. A very well organised trip. Brilliant! Ken O'Neill

Tapan, Anubha, Susmit Bhowmik, Sylvia Zhang, Southern Lakes and Tranz Alpine 6 Day Circuit, Travelled on 9th October 2016

It was certainly an amazing trip. I do recommend everyone. Especially Shelley was wonderful. She did take care of all of our tantrums. Thank you for everything.

Katharin and Guy Kuhn, Northern Highlights, Travelled on 2nd October 2016

We had a good trip and enjoyed the well plan schedule provided. The only disappointment was not getting the HOBBIT Inn which we were much expect. But it was not caused by New Zealand Self Drive Tours. We recommend everyone to take a planned vacation as we did.

Randy & Pamela Lansing, Tailored Auckland to Queenstown Highlights, Travelled on 12th October 2016

Our trip to New Zealand was truly amazing. Laura Davidson did a great job in helping us plan our trip. The only thing I would recommend is that the driving instructions be a bit more thorough. You should give the distance between turns. Our GPS was outdated and had us literally going down farm paths. However, the wonderful atlas saved the day. It was truly the best holiday we have ever had and we would definitely recommend New Zealand self drive tours. Thank you!

William & Sharon Cattie, Customised Length & Breadth 35 Days North to South Tour, Travelled on 6th October 2016

Hi Shelley,

Thanks for taking time on your day off to meet with us near the end of our trip. As we mentioned then, everything had gone smoothly for the first 4 weeks of our trip and that continued for the final week. Before you set our itinerary, we discussed the types of hotels we preferred and all of your choices were of that kind of accommodation and very convenient locations. Everything went smoothly with all of the transportation-airport pickup/drop off, car pickup/drop off and TranzAlpine train.

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Scheduling the latter from Greymouth to Christchurch was a more interesting direction and something we would not have known by ourselves. We also enjoyed the intimacy of the Footwhistle Glowworm cave after seeing the large car parks for the larger venues. Also, suggesting we take an early cruise on Milford Sound avoided the crowds waiting to board in the afternoon. We feel like you helped us see much more of New Zealand than we would have if we planned the trip on our own as we usually do when travelling.

Anne and Stephen Little, Discover New Zealand Tour , Travelled on 22nd September 2016

Firstly, a huge thank you to Hayley for organising the trip, very prompt in responding, and had some great suggestions for activities. We were so impressed by how well things worked, from the initial greeting at Auckland, the accommodation, the selected tours and the ongoing support through the trip. The detailed itinerary was fantastic, just walked into the hotel reception or tour booking office with "the book" and never had any hassle - it all just worked. We had an awesome holiday, some great trips and sightseeing tours - many exceeded my expectations, saw a lot of wildlife, did a lot of walking, enjoyed seeing the natural beauty of NZ. I have passed on your details to friends who have expressed interest in touring NZ, and would not hesitate to contact you when we visit NZ next time. Thank you, Anne.

David & Esther Newcombe, Christichurch to Queenstown 16 Day Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 30th September 2016

We want to thank Michelle Chave for arranging the most amazing time for us in New Zealand’s South island. The rep was there to meet us with our tour package when we arrived in Christchurch. All the accommodations she recommended were perfect for us. We were greeted at each one and had no problems checking in. A highlight of the trip was Ulva Island. Peter Tait provided a superb 4 hour tour and was quite entertaining. His knowledge of the island made it quite fascinating.

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Doubtful Sound was another highlight. We saw a sea lion colony and a pod of dolphins. But the best part were all the cascades and waterfalls due to the rainy weather. It’s one place where you appreciate the rain! And of course the food and crew of the Fiordland Navigator were superb. Our last 4 days at the Millbrook Resort were a treat. It actually snowed the day after we arrived, making the mountains even more spectacular. Queenstown and Arrowtown were both fun. The day trip along Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy was spectacular. We highly recommend it. Our meal atop Queenstown’s Skyline Gondola was memorable. I’ve never seen such a buffet selection. And you can’t beat the view! The Rav 4 was an ideal vehicle for the South Island. It was comfortable and we never worried about dirt roads. The South Island is a truly beautiful place wherever you go. Thanks again Michell for helping us to have a carefree adventure. We would highly recommend you and New Zealand Fine Touring to anyone considering a visit to New Zealand. Cheers! Dave & Gina Newcombe

David & Craig Harrich, A Taste of the South Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 22nd October 2016

We finished our trip and overall we where very please with the accommodation. The only snag was on the first day. We were greeted at the airport and brought to our accommodation. But the next day we had to make our way back to the airport to pick up the car. It would have made much more sense to get the car on day 1. The only other issue was a one way car return charge. We picked up the car at Christchurch and returned the car at Greymouth. The care rental company tried to hit us for the $50.00 charge. I called NZSDT and they cleared up the discrepancy. All other aspects of the trip were wonderful and I would use this service again.

Linda and Cameron Lyon, Customised Southern Coast and Stewart Island Nature Tour, Travelled on 26th September 2016

Everything was very well executed in terms of the arrangements. The hotels were good and very comfortable and close to restaurants etc. the tours worked well. We especially liked the Stewart Island Lodge - it is very comfy and both hostesses were really warm and helpful. Wendy particularly went out of her way to make sure that we could leave the island which was problematic because of the fog! We both enjoyed our holiday very much. A big thank you to Salli for organising it. Linda Lyon

Erich Papai and Family, Ultimate New Zealand Self Drive Family Holiday, Travelled on 21st September 2016

Hi Hayley, We have spent the last 4 months travelling around the world, and the 42 days we have spent in New Zealand were just amazing. Everything from the first contact with you, planning our tailored made self drive tour until our flight back home worked perfectly. We enjoyed also very much the possibility of the "last minute" changes in our tour, where our second daughter joined us during her school holidays on her study exchange program. This was really a great time and we had so much fun that we will never forget. Thank you for the opportunity to get to know your beautiful country and for all the new experiences. It really was a once in life time holiday and except one day, we were lucky with the weather as well. Even though we have spent almost 1.5 months travelling around New Zealand, we will for sure come back, because there are so many places that just need more time to explore. One more time a big thank you. Erich, Daniela, Alexandra and Barbora

Kerri Hutchison and Alyssa Hutchison-Mitchell, Southern Explorer Christchurch to Queenstown, Travelled on 23rd September 2016

My 12 year old daughter and I had an amazing time. All the accommodation and pre booked tours were perfect. Every thing went to plan thanks to our consultant Shelley. The extensive literary made for an exciting, enjoyable and hassle fee holiday.

Bryce and Cassie Jensen, A Customised New Zealand Tour, Travelled on 13th September 2016

First of all Christina, thank you so much for organising all of our trip details. You were amazing and very quick to respond. Our trip was definitely the trip of a lifetime! We got all of our activities in without any weather interruptions! We really enjoyed all the scenery, other than the scary, sharp, curvy roads on the "wrong" side of the road throughout New Zealand! We were able to enjoy 3/8 of the great walks: Tongariro Alpine Crossing, The Kepler Track, and the Routeburn Track. We loved all three. We really didn't need a guide on the Routeburn since the trail was clearly defined, but it was great getting to meet another couples and learning a lot from our guide.

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The water is so clear and blue! It's so beautiful! I think our favorite areas were Mt. Cook, Milford Sound and Queenstown. In Mt. Cook, we hiked to the Hooker Valley Lake which was breathtaking! We didn't quite get enough after that so we hiked 2200 steps up to the Red Tarns for a magnificent view of the mountains and valleys! Milford Sound was stunning! We got lucky and had a beautiful sunny day! We are so glad we made the long trek! And we just loved the vibe of Queenstown! We would love to explore there a little more next time! We also really enjoyed hiking on the Franz Josef glacier. That was a cool experience! We can't wait to come back next time and take more time exploring the south island! Thanks again for the hard work!

Frances & Denis McFaul, 18 Day Cape to Capital New Zealand Tour, Travelled on 8th September 2016

Cape to Capital 18-day Tour. Our thanks to Jane whose meticulous planning ensured our trip went smoothly. Jane always promptly replied to our queries and double checked our plans with us. Having everything pre-booked made our travels so much easier. We didn’t have to worry about taking time out looking for accommodation or finding things to do. It was also really useful to be able to pay our trip in installments on line. It was lovely to have been met at the airport by “Uncle” who gave us a few tips for our stay in Auckland. Another surprise was a car upgrade from a Corolla to a diesel Ford Territory. This made for comfy and economical travel.

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We had no problems with any of our accommodation or tour bookings. We enjoyed all the planned day tours which included Auckland Harbour Cruise, Discover the Bay Hole in the Rock Cruise and our scenic flight to Cape Reinga, Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Driving Creek Railway and Potteries and Mitai Maori Village experience. The City Highlights Inspiration Half Day tour was also exceptional as we had our own guide for the morning tour. Unfortunately, the flight to Cape Reinga could not land due to wet ground. We weren’t surprised about this given the time of year (Sept) that we travelled. Overall the accommodation was excellent. The motel room in Tairua was considerably smaller than the other places we stayed. If staying longer than one night, we would suggest booking a larger room. In hindsight, as we are not very much into wines, we would have only stayed one night in Martinborough and had another night in Wellington. Our attempt to visit Cape Palliser from Martinborough was hampered by wet weather and washed out roads. It may be worth considering a winter and summer option for this leg of the journey. We appreciated the tour book containing detailed instructions of our itinerary and bookings. We didn’t really use the driving directions given. On a couple of occasions these seemed a little confusing. For example, when travelling to Snells Beach and Rotorua. The road atlas was our preferred map and was much used. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and would highly recommend your company to others. Frances and Denis McFaul

Jon & Lori Jacobs, Natural Highlights and Walks of New Zealand, Travelled on 15th September 2016

Thank you Shelley! We ventured from Port Angeles, WA, USA to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary exploring New Zealand on this self-drive road trip. We told her our desire to hike, be outdoors and stay in rustic accommodations. She set us up with an itinerary that was extremely memorable. We travelled through the major parts of both islands. Each destination was completely different and a surprise since we chose not to research the next location. We found our favorite eating experience. The "Mussel Pot" in Havelock. We would highly recommend booking this type of adventure. Shelley, many thanks! Jon & Lori Jacobs

Bruce & Sandra Estrin, 23 Day Discover New Zealand, Travelled on 1st September 2016

Thank you for a great time. Everything was set up beautifully. We really wish we were still there! Natalie did an excellent job for us in setting up accommodations, itineraries and assisting us in getting from one place to another.

George and Jill Phillips, 15 Day South Island Spectacular, Travelled on 3rd September 2016

Hi Charlie, Well we made it home safe and well. Thank you for putting together such a wonderful package, both my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. I don't believe there was any element that we did not like but we were disappointed in not enjoying any of the helicopter adventures because of unsuitable weather conditions. We did make up the time with other activities which were enjoyable as well. The whole part of the South island that we saw had us in awe of your beautiful island and we will certainly be returning some time in the future. Once again Charlie a Big Thank You George & Jill Phillips

Hewetson Family, 15 Day Family Highlights Tour, Travelled on 13th July 2016

We had a fantastic holiday - we loved New Zealand and all the arrangements worked without a hitch. We're looking forward to coming back sometime!

Lori Zucchino, Mark Maier and Dana and Evan Maier-Zucchino, Customised Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 3rd July 2016

Hi Charlie! I've been looking forward to writing this feedback to you about our trip because I LOVE reliving all the wonderful sites and experiences. I'll start with accommodations. We liked ALL of the accommodations that you booked for us! They were all spacious, clean and well-located. Unlike properties in the USA where website photos often exaggerate features, I found that the photos on the websites didn't do justice to the rooms. I was always positively surprised. Some specifics: We especially liked Punga Grove in Franz Josef. The location is lovely and the patio at the back of the apartment with lush rain forest growth was beautiful. We could look out our loft bedroom in the morning and see the snow-capped peaks! Another notable property was the Quest in Wellington. The building is charming and historic. The rooms have high ceilings and huge windows.

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The family-owned Fenton Court was the least "fashionable" of the properties but it was very clean and spacious. Also, the family (husband and wife) who own and operate the property were exceptionally service-oriented. They went out of their way on a few occasions to be of service. Almost all of the properties had very good to excellent service. The one exception to this was Blue Peaks in Queenstown. It wasn't just that they wouldn't give us a late checkout, in general they were rather disinterested in us and any inquiries we made. Also, they did not let us know that our hot water was limited to the internal tank. We ran laundry and showered on our first morning and Dana, the last person in the shower, had a freezing cold experience. It would have helped to know in advance. However, that is an excellent location with beautiful views of the surrounding snow-covered peaks. One final item. It's not necessary, but I really do enjoy coming back at the end of a long day of sight-seeing to a newly tidy room. Of course the motels, Fenton Court and Punga Grove did provide this service. I understand that being apartments, some of the properties do not offer this as part of their regular service. However, the Quest Apartments (Wellington & Christchurch) did provide the daily room refresh. The Waldorf in Auckland and Blue Peaks did not. At Blue Peaks we were required to take our trash to the dumpster on the morning we checked out. (That's OK, we take out the trash at home!) I hope this is a helpful review. Please don't focus on the few negative comments. The accommodations were great and definitely exceeded my expectations! A few words about our transportation services. Uncle, who picked us up at the Auckland Airport was great! Warm, friendly and accommodating. He patiently waited when we picked up Evan at his apartment. We went to see the rooms Evan lived in for 4 and a half months and took some pictures. Uncle was gracious and understanding. Karen, who picked us up at the airport in Christchurch and took us to the Trans Alpine train a couple days later was lovely, timely and helpful. Our coach drivers were safety-oriented, courteous and informative. They stopped for photo-taking, rest rooms and refreshments, often pointing out sites and describing features of the scenery and wildlife. Franz Josef to Queenstown was Chris & Ayoto. To and from Milford Sound was Simon. All went smoothly with the rental car. Convenient location to Waldorf Apartments. in Auckland and our agent, Viviane was helpful with advice and directions. Activities - WOW! We had so much fun and saw so many AMAZING sites! Day 1, Auckland: Evan showed us "his" sites, Campus, Albert Park, The Domain (lovely), Queen St. (busy & chaotic), view from Skytower was spectacular. Day 2, Auckland: Ferry to Rangitoto. Panoramic views of the city and surrounding waterways from the top! Lava caves were cool. Hike was reasonable. Day 3, Auckland: Walked through charming Parnell District and visited the museum in the Domain. Most interesting exhibits were the Maori and volcano displays. Day 4, Drive to Waitomo, Matamata & Rotorua: The Waitomo Glow Worm Caves were extraordinary! This was a highlight! Hobbiton was also super! The tour was excellent and tour guides knowledgeable and accommodating. We took lots of photos. The Feast after touring was incredible! Delicious and plentiful food served family style in the warm, beautifully appointed Green Dragon Inn. This was one of our very favorite days. Day 5, Rotorua: Wow, it smells like sulphur! Visited Hellsgate geothermal reserve and then got into the mud baths. We loved this too! It was fascinating and fun! Day 6, Rotorua: Walked along Rotorua lakeside and past the Bathhouse Museum; Gondola Ride with beautiful views from the top and fun luge ride. Later, boys tumbled around in an OGO "bubble!" Mark and I watched and laughed. Day 7, Drive from Rotorua to Taupo, lunch in Taupo then drive to Wellington: We stopped at Huka Falls to marvel at the massive amount of water and enjoyed lunch in the charming town of Taupo. Beautiful scenery through the countryside and along the lake. I drove on the left side for the first time! Day 8, Wellington: Lively city and we visited a friend living nearby in Hataitai. In the afternoon, we took the ferry around the harbor getting off at Days Bay to walk on the beach. Day 9, Wellington: Visited Weta Cave in the morning for an interesting, informative tour. In the afternoon, we drove up Mt. Victoria. Fabulous views of city, harbor and ocean! Finished the day with a walk through the Botanic Gardens. More views of the city, lovely greenery, sculptures, and fragrant flowers. Day 10, Wellington to Christchurch: After flight and settling into our new apartment, we went for lunch at the Restart Mall. It was great! Food booths with all types of food and shipping container stores. We loved this creative place! We took the tram tour and marvelled at the earthquake destruction and the amount of reconstruction currently underway. Day 11, Christchurch: We went for High Tea at the Casino. Yes, the Casino has an excellent High Tea! I was skeptical but it was highly recommended. It was in a lovely room and I think I had the best scone of my life. Also, High Tea was only $20 NZD! We would have paid twice that amount in the states. After tea, we explored the Avon River Walk & visited the Transitional Cathedral. The Cardboard Cathedral and the White Chair exhibit honoring those who died in the earthquake were very moving. Day 12, Tranz Alpine Train to Greymouth; Coach to Franz Josef: We had a bit of rain during the train ride -- good timing for rain. Spectacular scenery on both the train and the bus. It was a lot of travelling, but the scenery kept it fresh and rewarding. Day 13, Franz Josef Glacier: This was an AMAZING day! We had an epic thunder, lightning, and rain storm in the night. It poured, dropping more snow on the spectacular peaks surrounding us. The morning cleared and the sun came out for our guided hike. Ellie was a great guide and the hike to the glacier was another highlight for all of us. In the late afternoon we visited the Glacier Hot Pools. Lovely setting and relaxing, warm baths. It was a great way to end the day! Day 14, Coach to Queenstown: Another big travel day, but the sun came out to shine on the endless gorgeous scenery. We saw snow-covered Mt. Cook in the brilliant sunshine! Day 15, Queenstown: In the morning, we walked through the downtown shops while it drizzled on us. In the afternoon, we took the Nomad Safaris LOTR tour. Jenny, our tour guide explained that the weather was looking bad to see the sights and there is an alternate tour she can lead if the weather doesn't clear. As if on cue, the weather clears and we have an exceptional tour of all the surrounding LOTR sites with Jenny! This was another highlight for us fans of LOTR! Day 16, Queenstown to Milford Sound: Just when we think it can't get any better -- we go to Milford Sound. What can I say? A boat cruise down that spectacular fjord in the bright sunshine with snow-covered peaks and rushing waterfalls. Then, to top it off, a pod of dolphins play next to our boat. It doesn't get any better than this! Yes, it's a long, long drive. But, we slept on the coach ride home. Day 17, Queenstown: In the morning, we took the steamboat to Walter Peaks Farms. We actually had some rain during the sheep-shearing show, but happily we were under cover. Then we had tea and treats in the lovely farmhouse and the weather cleared, again(!). Feeding the animals after our tea time was another treat. I'd been wanting to get up close and personal with some sheep! We opted for the tea instead of the barbecue because the boys have decided to go bungy jumping for their last day in New Zealand! I'm brave enough to go and watch. We take the Gondola up and they jump from The Ledge. Wow, that was something to behold! I'm glad it's over and we do a few luge trips to unwind. Day 18, Queenstown to home: Happy to be going home, sad to be leaving. This is probably more than you wanted, but once I get started, I can't stop! It was such a great journey for all of us! I am very grateful that you followed up with me online by asking if you could give me a call. I know our trip was so much better because of your advice, guidance and preparations. You were always friendly, professional and easy to work with. THANK YOU! In a few years, I'm hoping we'll do a trip like this to Italy. If you switch jobs to Europe/Italy, please let me know. Or, maybe you have a friend there? I'm attaching a selection of photos of us that you could use in your promo materials. We have many beautiful landscape photos, but I know you can take those on your own, so this selection includes our smiling faces. best to you with gratitude, Lori

Margie, Jim & Jillian Kuntz, 15 Day Natural Encounter of New Zealand, Travelled on 2nd July 2016

Dear Shelley, many thanks for a fantastic trip! We were so impressed with the spectacular scenery of both islands. New Zealand is so clean and it is clear that your government puts tax dollars back into infrastructure, i.e. nice level roads, well maintained parks, good signage, etc. We were impressed! You somehow managed to fit all of our requests into a well thought out itinerary. We had time to rest, but were able to explore so much of the country! Our rental car was new and we never had a problem.

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Driving was easy on the well maintained roads. The GPS gave us trouble so we stopped using it and relied on the map you supplied! We loved our apartment in Queenstown, perfect location to town! The hike on Routeburn track was fabulous! It would be difficult to choose a favorite as everything we did was fantastic! We were surprised to have enjoyed Hobbiton as much as we did! We typically like to spend our time in nature, but it was a lot of fun, with excellent tour guides. Of course, we cannot say enough about Milford Sound and Franz Josef Glacier. I particularly loved our hike along Marian Creek to the falls! Abel Tasman area was breathtaking and we loved our accommodation as well. It was lovely to meet you and the staff in Wanaka. Your town was also a favorite, what a beautiful place to live! Thank you again for all of your efforts putting together this trip for us Shelley. By the way, could you send the photo of us in your office? Thanks Margie, Jim and Jillian Kuntz

Paul & Kerri Vico, The Southern Circuit Luxury Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 11th June 2016

Well we are back home and our holiday is now at an end. We had an amazing time and I must thank you for your faultless planning and organisation of our trip. Everything flowed brilliantly and all our bookings and tours were in place when we arrived at each destination. The car we received was brand new with only 20km on the clock...can't get much better than that, and all tours and pickups ran right on time. The staff at each place were really friendly and looked after us well. Of course Azur at Queenstown was amazing and I must admit we didn't want to leave and if we had to pick the best place, this would certainly be it. One thing you couldn't do for us was control the weather. We had some bad luck in Franz Joseph and they cancelled all helicopters. So you could contact Helicopter Line for us to arrange a refund it would be much appreciated. We've come home a little larger than when we left, compliments of some beautiful wine and food and brought home with us some amazing memories. Thank you once again, Regards Paul and Kerri Vico

Angelina Low and Hock Chye Tay, Customised 21 Day South Island Encounter, Travelled on 31st May 2016

Dear Natalie, So sorry to take so long to give our feedback. Have been really busy catching up with huge pile of work after being away for so long. Anyway, my husband and I wish to express our deepest thanks and appreciation for arranging such a wonderful holiday for us. As I mentioned before, this is the first time I did not have to do any arrangement and it's such a breeze to be able to leave everything to you. The pick-up at the airport was so nice. It warms our hearts to be met at the airport of a country we were visiting for the first time, especially after almost 10 hours in the plane. The hotels were great! especially Peppers Clearwater. We pampered ourselves silly. The Lakeview Suite was lovely. It was like a huge welcome hug on our first day in NZ. And to end the trip at this same hotel was unbelievably wonderful.

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Quay Room was so warm and romantic! But we wanted a kitchen. So, we upgraded ourselves to the Lakeside suite with a full kitchen. This is the best accommodation of all the holidays we've been. We got what we asked for - clean and comfortable and great view. And we got that and even better view. Thank you very, very much! Also, the vehicle we got was great! And to have it sent to us at the hotel - WOW! The itinerary was relaxed and just right for us. Oh, just a note on the time taken to travel from one place to another: The estimated time you gave was based on driving by locals I think. We took much longer. This was due to the winding roads, and unfamiliarity with the surroundings. At some points we were driving below 20km/hour, even though the speed limit was 35 or 45. But no worries, we had the GPS to guide us on the distance travelled. Oh the scenery was awesome! NZ has really, really lovely scenery. And of course that slowed us down further. Can you believe that we took 5 to 6 hours to travel the estimated 3 hours? We visited the Observatory at Lake Tekapo twice, to drink in the 360 degree view from the highland. The drive up and down gave us good practice for the upcoming winding mountain roads. Queenstown was OK for us. I did not know that it is such a busy place. Then driving along the highest roads in NZ was plain heaven! Wanaka - my favourite place of all. We wish we had arranged to stay there 5 nights, instead of 3. That's our kind of place to rest and relax. We walked from The Moorings to Edgewater Resort twice for lunch. Edgewater is a really great place to stay, too. The restaurant has delicious food. Oh, The Moorings has the most compact kitchen of all. I love that place, too. Franz Josef was another sweet surprise! Such a variety of food in such a little village. The walk to the glacier took us 2 hours, but the view was definitely worth it. Arthur's Pass was easier to drive than the other mountain roads. The Alpine Resort was small but surprisingly comfortable. We almost wanted to spend another night there. Well, all too quickly the holiday ended. We're back to reality. Well, we will definitely recommend New Zealand Self Drive Tours to anyone who is looking for help and advice for a self drive tour in NZ. The tour pack that you prepared for us and the customised itinerary was fantastic! It was really helpful and we depended on it all the way. Thank you so much once again. We look forward to another holiday in NZ and will contact you when we do.

Angela Suen & Karen Wong, A Customised South Island Wine Adventure, Travelled on 4th May 2016

We had a fantastic time in NZ and found that the itinerary was very well organised. Accommodation was great- we particularly enjoyed the view from our room at the hotel in Mt Cook. Argo tour was good fun as well. The pick up service was really helpful and drivers were very pleasant and professional. Milford sound cruise and the bus trip to and from would have to be the highlight of the trip- fantastic photo opportunities and wonderful guides. I really want to point out that your service was fantastic, Christina- with the limited time I have to organise our trip and lack of time to spend on the phone, it was really good to be able to organise things with you via email- your prompt replies and organisations skills were much appreciated so thank you very much for making it so easy for us! We look forward to returning to NZ again in the future- maybe check out north island and go back to south for the glaciers! Regards, Angela Suen

Jason Chan & Lynnett Ng, Customised Southern Highlights 10 Day Tour, Travelled on 25th March 2016

Hi Jane, it was a great trip! The car rental was handled seamlessly, the accommodations were great and spacious. We were suspicious of Motels, having only been introduced to them via shows like CSI. The only damper was that due to inclement weather, we were unable to go for the fox glacier helicopter ride. Will save that for the next time we visit!

Sarah Hogarth & Steven Trpenov, Queenstown to Auckland 13 Day Highlights, Travelled on 20th April 2016

AMAZING! I could not recommend it high enough. Everything ran seamlessly, the accommodation was beautiful, all the recommendations we did were great. It was such a relaxed and easy holiday. Michelle, our rep, did a fantastic job. Thank you so much! I've travelled a lot but this was the best holiday I've ever been on.

David Huffman & Karyn Newstead, Auckland to Queenstown Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 3rd April 2016

Our trip was very well organised and the atlas was beneficial, but we would have liked to have had our path highlighted. We should have bypassed Christchurch because it has not recovered from the 2011 earthquake and it was sad to see so much destruction. The hotels and in particular their views were wonderful. We were pleased with the side excursions we chose. Perfect time of year to go because the Fall colors were delightful. The car rental hand off went well and we were pleased with the cars. The GPS was very beneficial and could not have done without it. It was a comfortable way to travel - having an agent set up the trip and handle the details, but be on our own. Thank you Laura for your help to make this a wonderful vacation experience.

Martin and Kathy Smith, South Island 24 Day Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 22nd March 2016

Hi Michelle, Thank you for your email. We were both very impressed with all the organising of our tour, everything went like clockwork, the weather was a bit up and down but we did experience some beautiful days. We liked all our accommodation, it was great to be within walking distance of attractions and shops if we needed anything. Our favourite place was the Abel Tasman National Park, it is so beautiful, unspoiled , quiet and perfect for walking and boating, we had two lovely days there and our accommodation was lovely too. We had one sunny day on the Doubtful Sound cruise which was really nice but it was a miserable day on Milford Sound. Never mind, we enjoyed seeing it anyway. We were a bit disappointed to miss our whale watching cruise at Kaikori but the weather was not good and it was cancelled, we did wait to see if it improved later in the day but no luck. All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our whole trip. An added bonus was meeting my cousin and his wife for the first time in Dunedin. I thought Dunedin was a lovely city, full of many reminders of my homeland, Scotland. Thank you and all involved with the organisation and transport providers for our trip, it was amazing, great job. Regards, Martin and Kathy Smith

Maurice & Anne Fairweather and Family, Auckland to Queenstown 13 Day Highlights, Travelled on 10th October 2015

Rather belatedly - but better late than never. Agroup of 7 of us, all family, did a 12 day driving tour from Auckland to Queenstown (10/10-13/10/15) all arranged by Michelle. Not a budget trip but definitely brilliantly arranged by MICHELLE. From day 1 all requests and suggestions carefully and thoughtfully catered for (note average age 70!). Accommodation all in convenient or excellent locations, vehicles, both in North and South Island delivered in excellent condition, included tours - perfect. In a nutshell would highly recommend NZSD - and if pushed to give a mark out of 10 - perhaps a 10.5 Maurice & Anne, Perth Australia

Graeme, Anita, Willy and Sihan, 21 Day South Island Encounter, Travelled on 16th March 2016

Morning Hayley It's nice to be home again but our every thought is of the time we shared in the beautiful South Island with our friends. We are yet to touch base with reality and this feeling we have is just great and the memories live on.

I have downloaded my photos from the Sandisk and thought I would send to you a picture that we treasure for your desktop. It was taken at Milford Sound at around 10:00am before we departed on our cruise - it was just an amazing sight, still, overcast and Mitre Peak fully in view which seldom is experienced by travellers and just a whiff of low clouds here and there. When the boat went out into the sea and turned back, the weather changed, and it rained all the way back so we were privileged to see the waterfalls cascading down the slopes making our trip there perfect.

 

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The service you offer is excellent and everyone we have shown the black satchel with all the goodies inside is most impressed like we were upon receiving it. They all want the map booklet but they are not getting it. Anyone we know is intending to travel to NZ we will certainly recommend for them to contact you. Thanks for your assistance it was really appreciated.

Darwin & Veronica Robinson, 37 Day The Length & Breadth of New Zealand, Travelled on 14th February 2016

We were in New Zealand for almost six weeks and split our time equally between the North and South Islands. Being picked up in Auckland by "Uncle" started out trip off on the right foot as he was very encouraging, informative and made our first encounter with New Zealand a very welcoming experience. All of the bookings, car rentals, ferry, train and excursions were without incident and everything went just as planned. When we did contact the office to arrange a tour for us that we decided to do part way through the trip we found everyone helpful and once again everything worked without a hitch. We would definitely recommend NZFT and Jane and staff to be very helpful right from the planning to the end of our journey. The accommodations met our expectations, the car rental went flawlessly, the tours were all on time and scheduled as planned and we found the itinerary, road maps and travel guides that were provided very helpful throughout our trip. Thank-you for making our time in New Zealand enjoyable and for giving us a very relaxing, trouble free vacation Darwin and Veronica Robinson Feb-March 2016

Narayan S Vinodh & Sheela, Customised Wedding Anniversary Southern Highlights Southern Alps to Wellington, Travelled on 13th March 2016

Hello Shelley, We’re still in the US, but I thought I could take some time to give you a detailed feedback of our trip. I’ll make some general comments and give specific feedback about, accommodation, food, activities. So here goes: 1. Pick-ups: Handled very well. Very friendly, efficient people who picked us up and dropped us at Christchurch and Wellington. 2. Itinerary: Perfect. We got to see all the places we wanted to see and things we wanted to do in an unhurried way, with long stays where activities were scheduled and longer drives well spaced out. It was very relaxing, thoroughly enjoyable and the least stressful vacation we have had. Everything worked like clockwork, weather excepting in some places. In hindsight, if I were to tweak our itinerary, we would perhaps extend a day in Te Anau and do the drive through the Catlins to Dunedin.

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 3. Phones: Worked well throughout, though data was sketchy in many places. The fact that free wifi was available almost everywhere was a great boon. In fact free wifi was way better than the phone data in all places. 4. Car: The car was good, the built-in GPS functioned beautifully. Never felt the need for Google maps or a paper map. I faced only one problem at the first time I was going to fill gas – nowhere was it indicated (not on the fuel cap, nor in the documentation given by Europcar) whether the car takes petrol or diesel. However, I made a call to Europcar’s customer services who confirmed that it was petrol. 5. Laundry: this was a surprise for us. Almost every hotel/B&B had a free laundromat which made things so convenient. You should mention this in your booklet; it’s a great facility for travellers. Normally hotels charge an extortionate amount for laundry. 6. Documentation: You guys did a terrific job in putting all of the stuff together. The driving directions, hotel and activity details were comprehensive. A few suggestions: a. The only place where I had to rely on your driving directions and b. It would be helpful if you could include some suggestions of 7. Accommodation: Your choices were superb. We loved every one of them. Notable among them were – Elizas for their hospitality, Te Waonui for the food, Rees Hotel and Mount Cook Hermitage for the views, Dock Bay Lodge for everything and Bolton Hotel for the luxury. Specific shortcomings were: a. Te Waonui Lodge (Franz Josef) – the room was a bit far from the b. Dock Bay Lodge (Te Anau) – no laundry service (Awesome c. Fletcher Lodge (Dunedin) – no coffee maker in the room (one gets d. Classic Villa (Christchurch) – No coffee maker in the room, no 8. Food: Sheela did have an issue with food in some places, especially in Franz Josef, Te Anau and Mount Cook. While vegetarian options do exist on the menu, these were mostly salads which don’t make for a wholesome meal. Breakfast was good throughout; the Doubtful Sound overnight cruise served a fine selection of vegetarian dishes. Italian, Asian, Mexican and Indian restaurants at many places served reasonably good vegetarian fare. As I said earlier, please include suggestions of some restaurants in the booklet you give out. That would be really helpful. 9. Activities: We did almost everything we wanted to. The ones we missed due to bad weather were the heli ride at Franz Josef (we made up by doing it at Mount Cook) and the whale watching at Kaikoura. We also couldn’t do the Maori culture thing (because of late arrival into Christchurch) and the bus tour at Wellington (we got up late!). Apart from these, we did the adventure boat ride on the Shotover river and the gondola ride at Queenstown and a hike at Mount Cook on our own. I did the kayaking at Franz Josef on my own as Sheela’s shoulder was acting up. The Doubtful Sound cruise was a nice experience, though the weather was not the best one could have hoped for. In terms of what were the most memorable it was the heli ride and glacier landing, the hot air balloon, Milford walk, the kayaking and the Shotover river boat ride. 10. Hot Air Balloon: The only point I have on this activity is that after the balloon ride, the guests were asked to help fold the balloon and put it back inside its “tent”. This was hard work and I’m not sure if elderly guests would be able to do it. These guys must find some other way of getting it done. And that I would think is the feedback on our trip. In summary, it was a fantastic trip and you did an awesome job of putting it all together. I don’t think Sheela and I could have celebrated our silver anniversary any better. Thank you so much, Shelley. Please do let me know if I have missed out anything or you need specific comments about anything else. With best regards, Vinodh 16/April/2016

Harry and Linda Wistrand, 23 Day Discover New Zealand, Travelled on 9th March 2016

Natalie, the trip was great for us. Thanks for clearing up the GPS uncertainty at the Auckland Budget office so quickly, as well as changing our pickup time to go to the Christchurch airport. We loved New Zealand and the general itinerary and hope to return someday to revisit some sites and see others. All of the people assigned to meet us were prompt and especially friendly, the autos were ready as promised (except for the GPS mentioned above), and check in at all accommodations and tours were very easy. 

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Our feedback on a few items. 1. The hotel in Dunedin was not air-conditioned. We would have been fine with a fan except the room was over a parking lot where buses idled and their noise and fumes came into the room often. I'd suggest you have the hotel book your travellers in other parts of the hotel. 2. In the Bay of Islands, we hit a big Harley-Davidson weekend, especially at our hotel. They were outside our room with the motorcycles being ridden on the grass. The hotel staff did work to get them to stop. I'd suggest changing your itinerary to avoid those types of weekends (I'm sure the hotel could tell you, as it is an annual event). 3. Our driving instructions from Auckland to Rotorua indicated we were to backtrack north to Matakana and then head to Rotorua. We found the mistake and headed directly to Rotorua. 4. I would suggest, if possible, when a hotel charges for parking, include that in your total cost up front, as it would be one less thing to worry about. 5. Finally, in your driving instructions, it would be helpful to list distances between each turn. Sometimes we didn't know whether it was 400 meters or 60 kilometers, etc. before the next turn. Fortunately the GPS was great for that. All in all, it was a fabulous experience. Thanks for all your great help! I will enthusiastically recommend your company to any friends who will be visiting New Zealand (and that may be several after they saw our photos!).

Mark & Hilda Dimelow, 20 Day Discover New Zealand, Travelled on 27th January 2016

I had been planning the trip to New Zealand for some weeks but couldn't decide how best to cover the two islands in the 20 days we had available. A web search revealed 'New Zealand Self Drive Tours' so I rang at 11pm UK time, on the Toll-Free line, to ascertain if they could assist. Michelle answered the phone, we had a twenty minute chat about requirements and by the next morning there was an emailed itinerary which, with smallest of tweaks, was exactly what we wanted. We would like to thank Michelle and her colleagues for arranging a fab holiday, at relatively short notice, there wasn't a single hiccup and everywhere we stayed was as we'd hoped it would be. We also got lucky with the weather: 2 weeks in the South Island and no rain. I can whole heartedly recommend Michelle and her colleagues and we will certainly make use of their expertise again in the future. Thanks again and kind regards Mark & Hild

Ian Grace & Bernadette Edwards, Tailored Essential North Island Tour, Travelled on 18th March 2016

Dear Laura, Our trip to the North Island of New Zealand was brilliant from beginning (Wellington) to end (Auckland). All of the cultural performances you recommended were of a high standard and invaluable in order to understand better the beautiful Maori Culture and people. We were naturally disappointed that a couple of boat trips were cancelled by the one company however your effort to contact us, re-book alternatives and keep us informed were immaculate. Thank you so much for re-funding our money and for all your support in booking this trip and making it such a great 60th for my husband. We will book again in the future. Kind regards Bernadette and Ian

Linda & Russell Harke, Tailored Auckland to Queenstown 23 Day Self Driving Tour , Travelled on 4th March 2016

Before I go into any detail with respect to the actual holiday, it would be remiss of me not to say what a fabulous job Michelle did in arranging everything for us. Everything went of without a hitch. Every tour, every hotel, every car rental plus the ferry crossing! We never had that 'heart in the throat' feeling of what do we do now. We were always expected, always welcomed and never had to give more than our family name for our reservation to be quickly confirmed and verified. 

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Now to the details: Upon arriving in Auckland we were met at the airport and transferred quickly to our hotel. It would have been nice if we could have understood our driver a little better but English was not his first language although he made every attempt to answer our questions and was most friendly. The Heritage Hotel in Auckland was lovely and elegant and the breakfast the next morning was meticulously laid out and kept in pristine condition by the staff who seemed to take pride in making sure items were displayed in an appetising manner. From there to the car rental. I would not, ever, recommend Europcar to anyone. Extremely slow, very disorganised and understaffed. Lots and lots of not happy people waiting for their cars. From there our journey began. The Arcadia Lodge in Russell - quite lovely and great breakfasts, Snells Beach Motel - clean and comfortable, Buffalo Lodge in Coromandel Township - Evelyne is a most delightful person and the rural setting is lovely; be warned however, that the road in to her home is the most treacherous piece of vertical driving you will ever want to do and that is if you don't meet anyone coming the other direction! The tour of Driving Creek Railway was amazing, don't miss it! The Regal Palms in Rotorua was a great spot and the evening at the Mitai Maori Village was outstanding from the cultural demonstrations to the meal, it was all thoroughly enjoyable and did not have that 'touristy' feel to it. Pebble Beach Motel in Napier was probably our most favourite spot of all! Right across the street from the ocean, lovely room and a most interesting city. Take a city bus tour of the art deco building - great value and tons of info. Wellington was an overnight stop to catch the ferry and turned out to be a very interesting harbour city but would not recommend the Ibis Hotel - rooms are so small you almost need to go outside to change your mind! The ferry crossing was AWFUL and we arrived a little seasick in the driving rain to find Europcar car again understaffed and disorganised. This time the car we got was not even properly cleaned inside. The south island! Kaikoura was our first stop and the Anchor Inn was a clean and comfortable place to stay. Again, right across the street from the water. From here we made the drive to Akaroa. This may have been the one mistake in all our planning. It is beautiful, without a doubt, but the road into it is very narrow and very winding for the last 40 to 50 kilometres. This would not be too bad if you were to stay here for a few days but we had only one night and then had to face that road again! Our place at Le Voyageur Apartments was absolutely spartan and really quite tired looking. The kitchenette had 2 glasses, 2 cups, 2 spoons - you get my drift. We left wishing we had stayed in Christchurch rather than make the extra drive to Akaroa for just one night. Next up was Dunedin. What a great place! Next to Napier, this was a favourite of ours. Again, take the 2 hour city tour, you won't regret it! Then get out and walk! The Motel on York was the perfect spot. A lovely, well cared for motel within a five minute walk of the lovely historical area in the centre of the city. Te Anau is set in gorgeous country and our spot at Te Anau Lodge (an former convent) was quite lovely. The trip to the glow worm caves on Lake Te Anau is another not to be missed experience and very well presented. Our guide was an articulate young lady who really knew her stuff and made the whole tour a great treat. Finally, we ended our tour in Queenstown. The Heritage Hotel there needs to take some serious lessons from the Heritage in Auckland. We were there for three nights and the breakfast buffet was in less appetising condition day after day. Things were not kept refilled and things were left untidy and unappealing for long periods of time. Unless you are part of one of the big bus tours, do not stay at this hotel. Our final tour was a cruise on the TSS Earnshaw and supper and a farm demonstration at Walter Peak Station. This was our poorest choice in all our tours. It was very 'touristy' and the meal was just so-so. The boat ride was lovely however and the farm demo of sheep sheering and the working dogs was quite interesting. From here we made our return journey to Canada. We would never been able to see or do all the things we did without Michelle's help in all the planning and arranging. Folks we met along the way, who were doing their own tours, could not believe the level of detail in directions, maps and itineraries that we had been provided with. We will definitely recommend Michelle and New Zealand Self Drive Tours to anyone we know who wants to plan a trip to New Zealand. Hats off to you for a great job!

Ed & Nana Bancuk, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 17th February 2016

Our 10 day tour of Fiords,glaciers and mountains self drive tour was a very nice experience. Shelly Ryder Did a fine job ,to arrange the tour even we were late in making our arrangements due to a misunderstanding about the down payment for the trip. Still Shelly came thru, of course we had some change from our original plans. Still everything worked out fine. Any disappointment we had was for the breakfast at a couple hotels. The Queenstown house boutique hotel was excellent, the location and the breakfast was superb. Also, the Edgewater hotel in Wanaka. We would give it a 9 on a scale from 1 to 10. We wish we could have had more time there. We do not want to forget the Mt. Cook Hermitage hotel, another fine experience. Thank you Shelly for the nice arrangements, we hope to do it again south NZ is beautiful. ED & NANA

Nis, Mette, Kirstine and Cecilie Boysen, Northbound Family Explorer Christchurch to Auckland 17 Day Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 25th December 2015

We had Shelly from New Zealand Fine Touring arrange a wonderful 16 days self-driving round trip on the South Island for our family of five. In no time she put together the perfect itinerary, that included our must-see wishes, suggested numerous other en route highlights, respected our lodging- and driving distance preferences and gave us an unparalleled and delightful tour of the island.  

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Shelly arranged the domestic flights, the airport transfers, the big enough rental car, the motels and the agreed bookings. All to our total satisfaction; - something we could never have achieved on our own. And as we wanted to add a half day trip to Steward Island, Shelly organised this in five minutes. All it took was a phone call.

Danish:

Vi havde Shelly fra New Zealand Fine Touring til at arrangere en fantastisk kør-selv tur rundt på Sydøen for vores fem-personers familie. På ingen tid fik hun sammensat den perfekte tur-plan som omfattede hvad vi havde af ønsker, gav en masse andre tips om hvad der var værd at se. Som respekterede vores præferencer ang. hotelstandard og køre-afstande og alt i alt gav os en uovertruffet afslappet og skøn tur rundt på øen. Shelly tog sig af fly-bookings, lufthavn tranfers, dejlig stor udlejningsbil, overnatninger og diverse aftalte bookninger. Alt sammen meget tilfredsstillende og næsten umuligt at gøre selv.

German:

Shelly vom New Zealand Fine Touring hat eine sehr schöne 16 tägiges selbst-fahrer Tour auf dem Süd-Insel für unsere fünfköpfige Familie organisiert. In kürzeste Zeit setzte sie den perfekten Tourplan zusammen mit all unseren Wünschen und vielen zusätzlichen Vorschlägen und Sehenswürdigkeiten. Weitere Wünsche hinsichtlich Hotelstandards und Fahrabstände wurden berücksichtigt und alles in allem hatten wir eine unübertroffene interessante und entspannte Rundreise. Shelly organisierte Flüge, Transfers, Mietauto, Übernachtungen und diverse Reservierungen. Alles sehr zu unserer Zufriedenheit und bestimmt besser (und sicherlich auch günstiger) als wir es jemals selbst hätten organisieren können.

David & Erica Bleakley, Kevin Nettleton & Rhonda Pilgrim, Customised Ultimate New Zealand Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 9th February 2016

Michelle, The trip to NZ was very enjoyable. All the organisation was excellent with all accommodation, excursions and pickups happening on time with no hassles. Our accommodation was excellent with even the lower star ratings being more than acceptable. The provision of road maps was excellent with the backseat navigators being able to plan stops well ahead. Maybe the naming of intermediate towns in the driving instructions would have been of assistance but no real problem. Thank you for your efforts they went a long way to making the trip memorable.

John & Jeneva Hackney and James Lane, The Length & Breadth 30 Days North to South, Travelled on 17th February 2016

We enjoyed the trip, we discovered a beautiful country to tour and visit. Having all of the accommodations arranged made for no hassle upon arriving. The tours that we booked through NZ Self-Drive were all first rate, we especially enjoyed Abel Tasman Kayak and Hawk Bay Wineries. When we wanted to modify part of the trip NZ Tours was fast and responsive to our needs.

Lesley and Alan Morley, Southern Explorer Christchurch to Queenstown, Travelled on 8th March 2016

Hi Natalie Well what can I say but our trip was brilliant. Everything you organised was perfect, from our pick to our drop off.Our hotels and apartments were great especially Radford on the lake in Te Anau which was the highlight of the trip. I would definitely recommend New Zealand Self Drive to anyone going to New Zealand for the first time. Thanks again Alan & Lesley

Ken & Lynne Gellerman and Bill & Shelley Houser, Tailored Queenstown to Auckland Adventure Tour, Travelled on 20th February 2016

Laura--- you and the company did a fine job meeting our travel needs. People we encountered were pleasant, helpful and most of all on time and on task. This trip was a perfect combination of structured travel with room for all of our hikes between other scheduled activities. We are impressed and would recommend your services to others. The only thing we would change would be hotel for the night we fly out of Auckland. We left @ 9:00 pm and only had about 3 1/2 hours of hotel usage that day. We really enjoyed your country, it is so beautiful!

Robert & Barbara Westlake, New Zealand Tour for Robert and Batbara Westlake, Travelled on 29th January 2016

This was a magnificent trip. Planning was a fun process using the toll free telephone line. Natalie was so helpful and thoughtful that I was sorry when it was complete. As for the trip itself, it was exactly "as advertised" and extremely smooth in actual operation. All the reservations, telephone, lodging, cars, train and air were without error and ready for us without vouchers, reservation numbers or additional charges. Calls to the office once or twice during the five week trip were answered promptly and helpfully by knowing agents. We travelled from the Bay of Islands to Dunedin and Queenstown with an ease and confidence which greatly contributed to our enjoyment of New Zealand. Many Thanks to Natalie CeCaro and the staff of Self Drive New Zealand

Hazel Winstanley and Andrew Taylor, 21 Day Discover New Zealand, Travelled on 21st February 2016

We booked the 21 day Discover New Zealand for our honeymoon in Feb/March 2016. We had an absolutely fantastic time. Our trip was very well organised, communication was great and everything ran to plan and went very smoothly. Everything was extremely well organised. Accommodation was good, some was fantastic. We found the suggestions of things to do in the various places very useful. No problems with the car hire. Decent car and sat nav worked very well and found everywhere for us. Driving around New Zealand was very easy. Overall everything was great. Thank you for an amazing holiday!

Colin, Sandy, Benjamin & Samuel Timbrell, 14 Day Christchurch to Auckland Must Do Tour, Travelled on 6th February 2016

Louise was wonderful. We booked about 3 months in advance with fairly inflexible dates and we started off with another tour company. When we said we were thinking of doing the west coast of the south island they found it was fully booked & because we couldn't change our dates, wished us a good trip. We started the same scenario with Louise & when she came to the same conclusion, her response was - so let me give you some other options. What we ended up with was a wonderful customised 15-day 2 island family holiday with many suggestions & inclusions which we will remember for a long time. Thanks so much.

Tommy & Kimberly Hosea, Superior Auckland to Queenstown 14 Day Highlights, Travelled on 31st January 2016

Hi Shelley, I will respond here and then copy the response into the website. We are getting very close to welcoming our baby girl to the world. Kim is due in just 8 weeks! We are moved back to the US as the New Zealand trip was our last before leaving China. First of all, I want to thank you for all the help you provided during the booking process. You were awesome in understanding what we were looking for and matching that up with the fact the winery aspect of New Zealand wouldn't be a good thing during this trip to New Zealand.

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Also, your response time on the 3 issues we had was awesome and it was all quickly fixed with no impact to our travel. I feel that the trip was very well arranged from a visit standpoint and amount of time in each spot. All the lodging was very nice and we stayed in some types of lodging that we had not done before (The house in Christchurch) and was very fun to try new things, while maintaining the high level/quality feel of the each of the stays. My only suggestion for improvements would've came in Wellington and then between Mt. Cook and Queenstown. For Wellington, I would make the night tour an optional add on, vs being included as it really doesn't allow you to experience much of Wellington. You arrive in the mid afternoon on the ferry, get your car and then check in to hotel You really don't have time to get dinner before the night tour and don't really get to experience much of Wellington. Also, we loved both Queenstown and Mt. Cook. The Mt. Cook experience was amazing and we ended up doing a helicopter tour the morning we checked out before heading to Queenstown. Queenstown was also very cool and was nice and relaxing. For us, it would've been better to do 2 nights at Mt. Cook and 2 nights in Queenstown. Part of this probably had to do with the fact we couldn't do the jet boat tour and had an extra half day in Christchurch. Again, it is not a compliant as we loved our time in Queenstown (and the 800 I won at the casino ) and was relaxing to end the trip that way. We just felt an extra day in Mt. Cook vs. 3 days in Queenstown would've been great as well. Again, I just want to thank you for making our trip to New Zealand unforgettable. I have been to 32 countries and can say that New Zealand is my most favorite I have visited! Tommy

John & Raye Whiteside, 23 Day Grand New Zealand Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 3rd February 2016

We had an fabulous 23 day tour of both islands. Everything was so well organised including transfers, car rentals and tickets. The quality and locations of the accommodations were also very good. The itinerary was well thought out and enabled us to see a lot of New Zealand without excessive driving. That said, there was a lot more to see, but maybe that's for another time! The only slight annoyance was a long wait to pick up the Europcar rental car in Picton. Overall, an outstanding holiday, and we would recommend this company to anyone who is visiting New Zealand for the first time.

Jim and Karen Kirkland, Jim and Karen's New Zealand Tour, Travelled on 15th February 2016

Well I don't know were to start! We had the most amazing self drive tour of New Zealand North & South Islands organised by Natalie. We were totally happy with all places of interest, towns & cities to visit and the accommodation was all that we could expect. We would be more than happy to recommend your services to all family and friends. Sorry we missed meeting with you in Wanaka Natalie. Many thanks again for your help and patience with us.

Edward & Vicki Willis, Michael & Michelle Garven, Customised 15 Day Northbound Highlights Tour, Travelled on 21st February 2016

We completed our tour on 6 March and thoroughly enjoyed our time in NZ. The itinerary prepared for us allowed us to get a good appreciation of both islands in 15 days. The car rental arrangement was well organised as was the accommodation. I will recommend your services to any family or friends intending to tour NZ.

Vladimir & Mirela Elena Cristutiu, Customised 15 Day Auckland to Queenstown Highlights Tour, Travelled on 10th February 2016

Many thanks to all involved in the coordination our Self Drive Tour from North Island to the South Island. Jane Zwerrenz thanks a lot! It took more than one month to customise our tour to our needs, but the result have been amazing. From the moment we stepped off the place in Auckland till the day left from Queenstown we enjoyed magnificent areas in north Bay of islands, Rotorua, Kaikorua, to Milford Sounds and Queenstown in the South Island. Lots of other great places complete the tour. We were very pleased with the self-drive tour content prepared by the agency. Everything was taken care of from private transfers from the airport, to the hire car, prearranged accommodation and reference numbers for scheduled activities. The carefully planned trip gave us the necessary time to visit the surroundings. We had an excellent vacation. I would highly recommend this to others (already 2 friends of us are preparing there own tour). New Zealand is a beautiful place and this was an excellent way to see it! Thanks so much!

John & Eunsook Smucny, The Southern Circuit Self Drive Tour , Travelled on 15th February 2016

We had a great vacation. Saw and did a lot but in a very relaxed way. Everything worked well in terms of the car, motel, and tours that we went on. I would highly recommend this to others.

Yvonne, Barry and Lora Patterson, Customised Milford Sound Highlights Tour, Travelled on 26th February 2016

Many thanks to all involved in the coordination our self drive tour of the south island. Being able to customise our tour to our needs allowed us to spend some long awaited time with relatives in Invercargill. From the moment we stepped off the place in Christchurch till the day left, we were in awe of the beauty of the south island, the ease of travel and the friendly locals who went out of their way to help. Our holiday was stress free thanks to the folks at New Zealand Self Drive Tours. Everything was taken care of from private transfers to and from the airport, delivery of the hire car, prearranged accommodation and reference numbers for scheduled activities. We were able to travel at our own pace which allowed us to enjoy the best of what the south island has to offer. We enjoyed ourselves so much we're already planning our next trip.

Eric & Chantal de Vries, New Zealand Discoverer North to South Self Drive Tour , Travelled on 5th February 2016

We were very pleased with the self drive tour programme prepared by the agency. Everything in the schedule went smoothly, all on time, no delay and it was easy to do the programme as proposed. The carefully planned trip gave us the necessary time to visit the surroundings. Mostly a two day stay in each town was ideal. The hotels were very good, very well located and comfortable. In Rotorua we paid a nice visit to a Mauri village and also the vulcanite parc was very worthwhile visiting. The Milford Sound cruise was quite exceptional and anyway very beautiful. The transalpine train journey was an excellent way to close our stunning visit to New Zealand. Unfortunately the weather in both Mount Cook and Fanz Jozef did not permit to see and visit the glaciers there. We are very thankful to all people who contributed to the success of our trip and we recommend this beautiful tour to all those who want to visit this exceptional country.

Alexander H. and Merrilee MacWilliam, Updated Northbound Navigator Christchurch to Auckland, Travelled on 3rd February 2016

What a fabulous trip! New Zealand is a beautiful place and this was an excellent way to see it! Our trip was well planned and organised - no one was surprised to see us and our transfers were always there to greet us. We customised our trip to include Deco Days in Napier in late February and for us, it was a real highlight. Natalie and company did an outstanding job of providing a real world class experience for us. Thanks so much!

Bill & Judy Penniman, Revised 26 day Discover New Zealand for Judy and Bill, Travelled on 4th February 2016

Michelle, We enjoyed the trip very much. Thank you for putting it together. I do have some detailed comments and other musings; take them for what they are worth. First, the GPS in the car was a life-saver. We probably would not have gotten it if it had been up to us, but I'm so glad we had it. The driving directions and the road atlas were helpful, but it would have been much harder to find things with those alone. The driving directions would have been much more helpful if distances between various turns were indicated, as they are here with Mapquest. All the hotels were fine, though some were much nicer than others. Some also had more space than we needed. I assume you put us into what was available. The only real disappointment was that the Sea Spray Suites in Pahia did not have a swimming pool. A pool would have been nice, as the beach was not very user friendly (shallow, hard on the feet). The room with shared bath facilities on the boat in Doubtful Sound was not as bad as we had feared. A cabin would have been much nicer, but I assume none was available when we booked. Waipoua Lodge was fantastic, and something we would never have done on our own. In terms of what I would do differently based on what I now know and assuming availability of hotels was not an issue (this is not a criticism, but just my views that may be helpful in advising other people): I would spend more time in Abel Tasman National Park, and as close to the park as I could manage. Ideally, at least 3 nights in the park itself. I would have been happy to skip the night in Westport, but the hotel was very nice and my husband really liked the hike to the seal colony (we took the long route). Greymouth was not worth much, but I realise you only put us there because nothing was available in Franz Joseph. If I had known about it in time, I would have tried to go to the Oparara Valley. Is there anyplace to stay there? Franz Joseph would have been worth 2 days, had rooms been available. The rest of the South Island was wonderful. Mount Cook is worth at least another day (weather permitting). If I were to do it again, I would skip Auckland and the Far North. The Bay of the Islands was nice, as was the Waipoua Forest, but probably not worth the drive, all things considered. If we did go to Bay of the Islands, I would consider staying in Kerikeri. We stumbled onto Mapouri Beach which as absolutely fantastic. But again, there must be other wonderful beaches in the southern part of the North Island. I would also have skipped the Waitomo Caves (or spent more time in the area, so as do have time to do more things). We saw glow worms other places, and it was pretty far out of the way. We enjoyed Rotorua, even though it rained pretty much the entire time. All in all, we had a wonderful time. There is still so much we did not have time for. Thanks for your help. Judy

Alexander Nelles, Lord of the Rings Scenic Explorer, Travelled on 2nd February 2016

Hi Michelle, we really liked the tour and we’re still impressed by the perfect organisation of it. Everything was well prepared, all recommended places were great and the chosen accommodations were really very good. We liked all of them especially because we always had the best category in each hotel. Only the one at Mt. Cook we did not like so much because the room was not as clean as expected. Our favorites were the one in Queenstown, the one in Picton (what a view!) and of course the Hobbit Motel ;-) All activities were just perfect. We will definitely recommend you to our friends if they will ever come to NZ. Thank you so much and all the best for you, Edyta & Alex

Darren & Jennifer Sharp, Customised 14 Day North Island Discoverer, Travelled on 21st February 2016

Shelley, Thank you so much! You planned such a wonderful trip for us. We were able to make all of the stops for our tickets with time to spare and planning the three separate two night stays were great. We were able to relax a little and see more in those places. We would greatly recommend Self Drive Tours to anyone. From the personal meet and greet to the very end, it was wonderful. Thank you again for making this a trip of a lifetime. Darren and Jennifer Sharp

Gary & Rosanne Demby, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 6th February 2016

Rosanne and I had a fantastic NZ adventure. The accommodation was very good especially in Queenstown. The car was upgraded to a Captiva which was very good. The itinerary suited us very well. We had very good weather with no rain at Milford Sound. The operators of the Amore Motor Lodge and the Chinese guests were very friendly. The only hic-cup (nothing to do with NZFT) was with the Double decker bus in Christchurch. The first hour was very good. The second two hours were very disappointing. They changed the itinerary without telling us and took us to Deans Bush which is a five minute walk from the Amore motor lodge instead of Sumner Beach. Rosanne and I were very pleased that we used NZFT to organise our trip and will recommend you to our friends. Please find two photos attached. Thank you. Cheers, Gary Demby

Alan and Alison Thompson, Grand New Zealand Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 30th January 2016

Best holiday of our lives. The route and arrangements were excellent. The accommodation was at least good, and mostly excellent. We particularly liked the quirky high class B&B's, especially "The Factory" at Kaikoura - lovely people, lovely place to stay. We covered much of NZ, but in right sized chunks - we never felt tired of the journey, and we were always ready for the next place. Every day was filled with highlights. Very well done - very good planning and excellent execution.

Khiril Anuar Abu Bakar, Zanariah Denan & Family, Customised New Zealand Family Highlights from Hobbiton to Milford Sound, Travelled on 3rd December 2015

Hi, Shelley. My apology for the delay in providing feedback. Overall, we had a wonderful time in New Zealand and looking forward to visit again. The pace of the trip is just nice with combination of self-drive and tour. The selection of accommodations is excellent; all of them are comfortable. The trip was as I envisioned; I can tick all the boxes, especially on whale watching, Hobbiton, Hooker Valley, Milford Sound - but really disappointed that I got seasick and missed my planned crayfish lunch at Kaikoura. We also missed the pick-your-own cherry as it was not in season yet. Among the best surprises are the Wanaka visit (should have visit you) but I missed the damn tree, Hooker Valley tracks and Royal Albatross Centre. I will visit New Zealand again, and tried to cover what I've missed last time. Send my regards to your associates, Uncle Harding, tour guides in Auckland/Christchurch/Queenstown - they're all very good and helpful.

Donal Burns & Elizabeth Herrell, Custmised Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 31st January 2016

Excellent tour and great detail for driving and visiting different locations. All transfer personnel were friendly and helpful. Rooms were fine, some better than others. We really liked the Milford Sound fjord cruise and glowworm tour. The Alpine train ride was OK but did not live up to its advertising. Our rental car was in great shape and perfect for touring S. NZ.

John and Nanci Womersley, The Essence of New Zealand, Travelled on 27th January 2016

You and your company! John and I can't tell you how awesome this adventure was. New Zealand is an amazing country filled with wonderful people. We were talking earlier about what was our favourite spot/thing here and each place we were at has its own special place in our hearts. This has been seamless, stressless and the best vacation we have ever had. Natalie, from the awesome maps, directions and information about where we were going, and what to do along the way Thank you again, Nanci and John

Warwick, Cavelyn, Benjamin, Samuel and Michael Jones, The Essential North Island 14 Day Tour, Travelled on 6th January 2016

Everything was arranged to perfection making our holiday one of the most stress free and enjoyable family holidays ever. From airport arrival onward it was a smooth series of being met with our itinerary, booking references, maps etc, then transport to our first night accommodation. The next day we were picked up from the accommodation and taken to the car hire place. Off we went with our GPS, maps, and the NZ itinerary arranged for us, and had the time of our lives exploring the North island of New Zealand. All pre-arranged tours were booked accurately and were well suggested and most enjoyable. Accommodation was well planned and suited our family of five and the ages of our children. It is obvious that this tour company has a good relationship with all concerned with the tourist industry. It was a pleasant surprise to be upgraded on a couple of occasions (room & car type). A tour refund required at one point was attended to seamlessly. NZSD's attention to detail made the whole experience even more enjoyable. Thanks to Natalie and the team at NZSD. Warwick and Cavelyn Jones

Tuhy & Chita Party, Tailored Auckland to Queenstown 13 Day Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 27th December 2015

We had a great trip on a 13 day self drive tour. Michelle was great in helping us customise a couple of the 'standard' trips to suit our needs. Everything from the transfers, accommodations, activities booked, ferries, trains and automobiles went smoothly so we could focus on enjoying our holiday. The best review I can give is that we would use NZ Self Drive Tours again for our needs and will recommend them to others who are heading to NZ.

Jo & Andrew Patrick, 15 Day North Island Explorer, Travelled on 26th December 2015

Dear Jane, Happy New Year. We are just back from our lovely New Zealand holiday. I cannot tell you how much we enjoyed it. The program you put together for us was PERFECT. From the second we were picked up until the time we left, we enjoyed ourselves. We found the New Zealand people we met to be friendly and kind. The accommodation you booked was of a very good standard. The activities were great. I will go into them in more detail if you want more feedback, but on the whole they were just wonderful. Your advice, your listening skills (to work out what we wanted ), your attention to detail and your thoughtfulness (yes, particularly with your suggestion to not go all the way to Wellington), was all spot on. The highlights were the special activities - especially the bike ride, the Tongoriro hike and the Waitomo caves. We loved Okahune and the Tongoriro Chateaux was amazing. Who would have thought we could have experienced such luxury in the middle of no-where. I had one of the best meals of my life - in their dining room. Unforgettable. We saw 2016 in with style and have fallen in love with New Zealand. Thank you so much. Kind Regards, Jo and Andrew Patrick

Gary and Sheila Heatherington, Auckland to Christchurch 11 Day Splendour, Travelled on 27th January 2016

All travel arrangements went smoothly. Meet and greet, car pick up, and hotel bookings were as described. Quest Rotorua was especially good, and is recommended. Copthorne Auckland is customer unfriendly and should be avoided. Staff are fine, however Management have implemented an unworkable "free" internet policy that causes endless complaints to the front desk, and do not care despite negative reactions from many. (very limited download cap often times out in as little a six minutes a day). Avoid this place, the youth hostel would be preferable. Other hotels good but make little effort to cater to international visitors. Often no electric adapters provided and rooms lack international plugs. Christchurch as a whole is a hole. Not visitor ready. Very little progress made in the several years since the earthquake. Third world cities recover faster than this. Downtown resembles a war zone, with devastated buildings and empty sites all around. Skip it other than to exit through the modern and pleasant airport.

Fred Munro & Jennifer Rigby, Customised Northbound Navigator Christchurch to Auckland, Travelled on 19th December 2015

Hi Laura, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your team at New Zealand Fine Touring for the brilliant holiday package you put together for my partner Jenni and I. We enjoyed the holiday of a lifetime in what turned out to be a well thought out itinerary. The accommodation was excellent and the hire cars ran like a dream. You live in an incredibly beautiful part of the world with amazing scenery from the mountains to the sea and everything in between. The lakes and Flora of New Zealand are spectacular and I don’t think I have ever seen such beautiful roses as the ones that grow in New Zealand. The food was excellent and the people we met were so friendly and helpful. The contrast between the North and South Islands was remarkable with both islands unique in their own spectacular ways. Xmas day spent cruising The Milford Sound will live in my memory forever as well as the fantastic day I had celebrating my birthday in beautiful Queenstown. Our visit to a Maori Village in Rotorua as well as Whale Watching out of Kaikoura and a visit to where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed were among the numerous highlights of our trip. Every day was enjoyable whether it was spent on the road or relaxing in first class accommodation. The restaurants and Cafes were awesome. I had one of the best steaks I have ever eaten in the Café Affair in Nelson and an excellent fish dinner in the Le Chef Restaurant in Vulcan Lane Auckland. I took nearly 800 photos in New Zealand which I will save to DVD’s and bring out often to relive a great holiday. Once again thank you from the bottom of my heart for facilitating such a fantastic adventure holiday. Kiora and Haeremai New Zealand.

Darren, Lisa, Chloe and Harry Levy, Extended Auckland to Queenstown Family Adventure, Travelled on 24th December 2015

Firstly Shelley did a great job - very few hitches in a very tight and busy schedule Highlights were Tongariro Crossing with legend - expensive but made transport and trek very smooth; Franz Josef - quad bike tour and helicopter landing on glacier; sky diving at Glenorchy. No charge highlights were scenery in general, Routeburn summit hike, Hokitika gorge, blue lakes, mirror lakes, Cape Foulwind and Te Papa museum Great accommodation - Edgewater Wanaka, Nelson apartment, Blue Peaks Queenstown and Rocky Mountain Chalets Bad accommodation - Auckland, Wellington and Parklands Turangi - the Waitamo accommodation was definitely run down - novel but glad only 1 night. If I had a crystal ball pre-trip, would have skipped Waitamo (average) and replaced with 4 hour cave experience near Punakiki; would have gone from Rotorua to Taupo and done free hot pool instead of Hells Gate; would have spent longer in Wanaka; glad we did north island first as Queenstown great place to finish at and south island even more beautiful than north kind regards Darren

Helen and Lawrence Gray, The Length & Breadth 32 Days North to South Tour, Travelled on 24th December 2015

The expert itinerary meant that we got to see so much of this wonderful country, but 4 weeks is clearly not long enough! Will have to go back again sometime. I have summarised my thoughts on the trip at http://helengray.net/wise-turns-gray/new-zealand-dec-2015---jan/my-discovery-of-new-zealand.html, and will be adding webpages for each day of travel if anyone is interested to know what to look forward too!

Cho Wek Yeng, Yeong Yoon Hoi, Khoo Sze Ling, Yeong Loon Thye, Yeong Li Lynn and Teh Eng Sin, Amended Customised New Zealand Tour , Travelled on 17th December 2015

We are a family of six, and are blessed to be introduced to this website by a friend of mine. Our tour agent, Natalie, is a very helpful and pleasant agent, and served us from the day we planned the itinerary (somewhere in August 2015) till very last day in New Zealand (31 December 2015). I was surprised the agent called to arrange reservations from abroad! Kudos to Natalie who took the extra mile. When we arrived in Auckland (first leg), we were greeted by a cheerful personal pickup driver, arranged by Natalie. We were rather worried before that as by the time we retrieved our baggage and cleared Customs, it was well over 2am. The booking pack received from the driver was rather professional, the pack consist of extensive maps and leaflets for the whole of our journey, our travel and flight itineraries were printed and well bound, all kept in a nice professional looking bag. I was very amazed at their professional standards. Contiki and Trafalgar did not even provide us with such extensive information packs when we travelled to Europe. All our accommodations and activities' bookings were made in good order. We managed to get through our days as planned. Accommodations were superb, clean, and receptionists were very kind and helpful too. We had comfortable stays throughout our trip. Many thanks Natalie for helping us make dining reservations for super peak days. My elderly parents especially were satisfied with the trip and service we given. Once again, thank you Natalie and other agents along the way who helped us. We deeply appreciate your kind assistance. I will certainly recommend this tour to my friends and relatives.

Sonny & Patsy Suryanto, Coast to Coast Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 11th December 2015

We went for 14 days South Island Coast to Coast Self Drive Tour on December 2015. Found that everything were arranged perfectly. Pick up were on time, all check-in went smoothly, brand new car ( we booked for Toyota Rav 4 WD and got Nissan X-Trail 4 WD instead. But the car was brand new and everything works perfectly including the GPS, no complain). We like most of accommodation arranged for us, clean, very good location, friendly receptions especially George and Sally from 858 George Street Dunedin. We had a very pleasant stay. Except for a bit of disappointment at Mt. Cook where you need to pay for the wifi and all 3D movies were not showing due to repair - the roads, the facilities, the excursions, the people and the view all the way of our trips are just fantastic ! Recommended to anybody. We would definitely be back. The only thing gave us a bit of struggle was the unpredictable weather, summer but feels so freezing cold - cold weather turn into hot day within minutes. Really need to prepare your clothing well. Thank you Michelle Chave for arranging everything for us, giving us such a great time in NZ !

Hock Yee, Shia Lee, Pau Lynn and Pei Ern Tan, 22 Day Discover New Zealand Tour, Travelled on 7th December 2015

It has been a wonderful and fantastic 22 days of self drive tour, professionally organised by both Verity Gemmell and Shelley Bates of New Zealand Fine Tours. We travelled from Auckland through Cape Reinga up north and down south all the way to Invercargill and everyone in the family enjoyed every moment of the trip. Everything was perfectly organised and have no problem accessing our motel rooms when we arrived late at night. Our family and friends followed our trip via Facebook and will definitely recommend them to use NZFT for their future plans to visit New Zealand. Thank you.

Allison Yap, Alvin, Annette, Anzella, and Aletha Lee, 14 Day Christchurch to Auckland Must Do Tour, Travelled on 6th December 2015

I sent in my enquiry in August and Natalie,the tour consultant contacted me within the next 2 days. She had been responding to my enquiries promptly and provide me with info which I asked for even when I was in NZ. My family and I were worried as this was our 1st time to NZ. However with the service provided by New Zealand Self Drive Tours, our worries were unfounded. Everything was arranged, from where to go, how to go to where to stay, we went on a journey without any fuss. My family had enjoyed the trip so much and had a real good time. My kids want to go back to NZ again after all the exciting tour, superb accommodation and beautiful scenery sites recommended. Thank you Natalie and NZ Self Drive Tours for giving us such a wonderful holiday!

Sandra & Rosemarie Burkhardt, Southern Lakes and Tranz Alpine 6 Day Circuit, Travelled on 6th December 2015

NZ was absolute stunning. We had a fantastic time and its definitely on my do list to come back perhaps in winter to go skiing. Overall it was well organised and accommodations were located in good locations. Our favourite was the Camelot Motor Lodge. Very cosy rooms. The self drive is a great way to explore NZ. Thou the 6 day circuit was a bit short and rushed for us as there is so many places to see and things do on the way. So we did stop quite a lot. So its hard to take it all in and relax when you need to get to the next town. Our only major issues was to navigate the scenery route in the provided map with the GPS. The GPS wanted to follow the fastest route especially getting out of Christchurch. It would save time if favourite destinations address were already set up in the GPS instead us trying to search the correct one. Though overall it was fantastic and definitely recommend NZ touring to other people. Its easy and convenient to organise with the company. Thanks for an amazing holiday.

Abdullah Kasim, Fardidah Mohammad, Nuraisyah Zhafirah Abdullah, Muhammad Syazwan Abdullah, A Customised Auckland to Christchurch Highlights Tour, Travelled on 9th November 2015

It has been a wonderful 2-week journey in New Zealand. New Zealand is a beautiful country with many amazing scenery. The tour consultant Ms Christina Brockie was very helpful in arranging the trip and the itinerary was made flexible to meet our request. The arranging for rental transport for the journey was excellent and really helpful for our trip. The only surprise was while checking-in in Dunedin. The Victoria hotel was fully booked and luckily the hotel was made arrangement with Mercure Leisure Lodge for our stay. The proposed itinerary also allow us to include other activities. We've visited the famous Hobitton Village at Matamata even though it was not in the original itinerary. Overall, the trip was excellent and worth the money spent. My family and I really enjoyed the trip and now back home with wonderful memories. I really wish to thank Ms Christina Brockie for arranging the wonderful trip. Regards Abdullah

Dan Blocka and Frances Pillo-Blocka, A Taste of the South Luxury Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 4th November 2015

I wrote a blog post inspired by our NZ vacation: bit.ly/1HaBUeR Here is a segment of it here: I’m back. Back from Middle Earth, a driving tour that led me around New Zealand’s south island. I love getting away and being able to ponder life’s wonders. During that time my soul was doused with a triple dose of Mother Nature. Being able to witness the splendour of Mount Cook with a back splash of cirrus clouds, to crystal blue glacier lakes, fjords of Milford Sound on a mysteriously rainy day, an end-to-end rainbow with 2 pots of gold, the glory of spring flowers, to Fangorn’s Forest all connected by rolling hills and flatlands of farmland with flocks of sheep dotting the countryside from coast to coast to coast. Nothing could be finer, truly. Middle Earth? It felt like living a fairy tale. There and back again with Bilbo Baggins of sorts… As I reflect about what was most captivating aside from “nature in your face” was the (almost) absence of big corporate anything, met with warm and genuine hospitality of unpretentious New Zealanders. Rarely a logo, a billboard, a golden arch, a fancy handbag was sported with a casual, comfort and acceptance of being as you were whether at a gas station filling up or a dining room of a remote lodge. How refreshing. I relished listening to the silent whispers of nature whether a waterfall, sweet bird songs, the bark of a seal or wind rustled leaves. I collected souvenirs of rocks from the blue pools, some feathers of a red hawk and twigs of a grand Cypress tree found on the grounds of Larnarch’s Castle. How odd for me being a self proclaimed Material Girl, nothing seemed finer than those treasures I stashed in my suitcase…. There aren’t words to fully express the magnificence of it all as I mull over the jarring sumptuousness of my experience.

Caroline Jarrett, Tailored Cultural and Thermal North Island Experience, Travelled on 30th October 2015

I usually do my own research and bookings for holidays, but found it was hard to work out what would be practical for my short touring holiday after a conference. Shelley made it easy for me - chatting about what I wanted to do, and then delivering a great itinerary that matched my needs. The two Maori cultural tours that she suggested were superb and exactly what I wanted: a blend of history, tradition, and a glimpse into modern life with a Maori perspective. Highly recommended.

Ng Bee Kim, Yan Zhu Loh, Jeslyn Tian, Customised South Island Spectacular Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 30th October 2015

We had loads of fun during our stay in NZ! The arrangement by the company was flawless! They gives sincere recommendation and fast response to our booking! Even though I had booked and confirmed my trip just 2 week before we set off. The vehicle (Holden hatchback) arranged have served us well throughout the whole trip except that it's quite fuel exhausting. Accommodation was much better than we had expected with easy access to town area. The only disappointment was the GPS system. The system guided us a few times to some deserted area which eventually landed us in some private property area, after one hour of drive. Always have your phone Google map set and ready as second reference. Overall, We give 4.5 out of 5 for this fantastic trip! I will be back to NZ again! and definitely will book everything from this company!

Anne and Jim Hickey, Leonard and Elaine Beale, Christchurch to Auckland New Zealand Encounter, Travelled on 4th November 2015

Truly fabulous, stress free, as the amazing Natalie DeCaro went over and above in helping us with our, both island 21 day tour. Private transfer means you can ask a local - great. Love too that you receive a detailed itinerary personalised with your names. This included driving information and pointed out places of interest. Thinking of seeing New Zealand for a short time or a long time just let New Zealand Self Drive Tours help you plan. Anne, Jim, Leonard and Elaine

Bob and Jillian Youle, Custom Tour of New Zealand, Travelled on 19th October 2015

We are now safely back home after our tour. Everything went smoothly from the moment we arrived in Auckland, to our departure from Queenstown. Thank you for your assistance, especially the rescheduling after Jillian broke her leg last year. Kind Regards, Bob & Jill

Joe, Rhonda & Rachel Forner & Toby Rees, New Zealand Discoverer North to South Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 25th October 2015

Hi Louise Well the trip is over and we have all settled back into our home/work routine. The pity is that it all went so quickly. I want to firstly thank you for all your hard work in helping me put this amazing trip together, as I have already said and will probably say a few more times, it was wonderful and very much appreciated. We got to see and do so much and you made it so stress free by making all the arrangements. It all went so smoothly. Another thing which was so helpful and amazing was the satchel that you gave us. The brochures, the New Zealand Photo Album and especially the personalised itinerary were brilliant. You must of put in so much work and we really appreciate it as it made travelling through your lovely country so much easier. I can't stress enough how useful and helpful everything was. Thanks. In relation to the arrangements which you made on our behalf, we had no issues except in relation to the car at Auckland (which was the result of the car company, not your arrangements) which you fixed so quickly; everything else went great. There is only one thing I would like to raise and it relates to the accommodation at Taupo (Beechtree Suites). Maybe there was something wrong with the person at reception but she was not friendly and didn't want to help us with information or booking of a tour. She just told us to go to the information centre in the town. Also, the accommodation was not on the lake front which we would of liked as it is a beautiful spot (especially as we could see Mt Doom from there). We know that there is nothing you can do about the people but we felt strongly about this so I felt I had to let you know. All the other accommodation was great and we had no issues. Everyone else went out of their way to help us which made a big difference to the trip. I am so impressed with the way that you helped me that I have already recommended to people that they should use you as you made everything easy. I will keep recommending you to everyone that I hear is thinking of travelling to NZ. You are tops! All the activities that we undertook were also great and went smoothly, they were such fun. Except for the two that were cancelled of course. On that note are you able to tell me where the refunds are up to? Again I must thank you greatly for all your hard work which made it all so easy for me. We all so appreciate it. Thank you, thank you. Kindest regards Joe

Danny, Francine & Grace Crowley, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 28th June 2015

We recently completed an 11 day trip on the south island. I usually do all the bookings myself when planning a holiday, however heard good wraps about New Zealand Self Drive from friends. Natalie Decaro put together a package which included hire car, 4 star accommodation and the trans alpine train from Greymouth to Christchurch. It was that simple, everything went to plan. All the pick ups were on time, friendly and gave some good tips of what to see. The vehicle was brand new and came with snow chains, which we did use travelling from Queenstown to Wanaka. We first drove to Akaroa before driving to Lake Tekapo which is well worth the stop. Queenstown was fantastic which included a jet boat and multiple rides on the luge. Plenty of nice restaurants and bars to keep us happy at night. All in all the accommodation was very good, however we probably should have booked an apartment in Queenstown to have a bit more room and have a break from restaurants and cafes. New Zealand is perfect for driving. Good roads, not much traffic and scenery to die for. Thanks again, we will definitely be back.

Ray & Susan Pettis, Stephen & Katherine Watkins, New Zealand Natrual Discovery Tour (Queenstown to Auckland), Travelled on 10th May 2015

We found NZ Self drive tours after searching online for a company that would work with us to customise our trip. Our experience was very positive in every way! We were lucky to have Jane Zwerrenz assigned to work with us as we planned our day to day itinerary. Our time was limited to 12 days and Jane's knowledge and experience helped us maximise our time in New Zealand. Most accommodations were wonderful, all scheduled pick ups were timely and excursions arranged to perfection! We cannot thank Jane for enough for her patience with countless emails back and forth with questions and clarifications. Everything about our trip to New Zealand was made even better because of the expertise offered us by NZ Self Drive Tours. I am happy to speak to anyone who would like more information! Susan Pettis

America Oujevolk, Veronica Galas & Laura Dexter, Queenstown to Auckland Highlights Tour, Travelled on 4th May 2015

We have just returned from a 12 tour of the North and South Islands. Michelle and the other agents did a wonderful job of setting everything up, answering questions and building a tour that met our requirements. The hotels were above and beyond expectations and the locations well chosen. All the reservations were flawlessly set up and the trip went without a problem. I can honestly give NZ self drive tours 5 STARS. Use this company and you will have a wonderful, stress free vacation.

David and Susan Laurie, Customised Southern self drive tour, Travelled on 28th April 2015

Everything went beautifully, despite the incessant rain! Eliza's comfortable, welcoming and convenient. Hire car service friendly and prompt. Mt Cook Hermitage a overpriced for what you got. Adjoining village accommodation would have been as convenient but cheaper. Glacier Explorers very good. St Clair hotel Dunedin very comfortable, good adjoining restaurants. Enjoyed Blue Ridge Te Anau: friendly people! St Moritz Queenstown: given a room with no direct light, in under the hotel carport. Upgraded after one night at cost of $60/night to room with lake view. Spent a lot of time in Arrowtown: autumn colours, great theatre, general ambience: probably would have preferred to stay there. Fantastic golf at Jack's Point. Only had 2 rounds in all due to flooded courses. Dart River jet boat good fun, tho Shotover more exciting! Guided walk was excellent; great guide, nothing like tramping 18ks thru the bush in the rain! Seemed lots to do at both Hokitika and Punakaiki. Weather was foul, and trip got a bit rushed; got to Punakaiki at dusk, did blow holes at high tide at 7am, then back to Grey Mouth; perhaps another night at Punakaiki? Train was fun, and car was waiting at station. Hermitage a most interesting hotel. Thanks for all your planning! Cheers, David and Sue Laurie

Eva, Carlos and Karlo Garcia, Custom North to South Island Tour, Travelled on 11th April 2015

We loved and enjoyed our North to South driving tour. This is one of our memorable holiday. We loved every single thing we saw and there was nothing that we don't like. The itinerary that Michelle Slater did and organised for us was fantastic including accommodations. Score of 1-10 I gave her 9. Thank you very much and we will recommend your company to our relatives and friends. Well done! Eva, Carlos, and Karlo from Melbourne Victoria

Rachel Verry & Mary Conroy, South Island Spectacular Tour, Travelled on 4th April 2015

Thanks to Verity, our trip to New Zealand couldn't have been more perfect. It was so helpful to have everything taken care of for us once we arrived. Any questions we had or activities we wanted to add or change were quickly and easily taken care of. I could not imagine how much more difficult and less enjoyable this trip would have been to plan ourselves. The recommended activities were great; we especially loved our dinner cruise on the TSS Earnslaw which had amazing scenery and equally impressive food. We also went on the Shotover River Jet boat, a Milford Sound bus tour, and enjoyed the magnificent scenery from the Skyline Gondola as well as from the top of our hike up Queenstown Hill. We spent four days in Queenstown and it was the best part of our trip --there is so much to do, see, and eat. Our accommodation was just what we were looking for. Our car rental was even better than expected and the information we were provided with made travel quite easy. Even with our lower budget we got to see and do so much... Our only regret is that we didn't have more time! There is so much to see in beautiful New Zealand we both hope to return someday as it completely won us over--we were devastated to have to leave! Thank you for making a trip of a lifetime so special and unforgettable! -Rachel & Mary

Gavin & Amanda Ruckert, Customised 22 day Grand New Zealand self drive tour, Travelled on 8th April 2015

We travelled to New Zealand in April for a self drive tour around the country. Every motel, care hire, transfer and tour booking that was made by Shelley for our self drive went with a hitch and that made our holiday perfect. We would highly recommend anyone who wishes to do a self drive holiday in New Zealand they should contact this company and the tour which will be arranged will go as perfectly as ours did. Thank you again Shelley for all of the work you did for us. Cheers Gavin and Amanda (Australia)

Zhu Jingen Party, Autumn Photography Tour of New Zealand, Travelled on 9th April 2015

So quick time flies! Two months ago on the 8th of April we six Chinese started 17 days self drive Autumn Photography Tour of New Zealand. Thanks to Natalie DeCaro and Michelle Slater, our tour ended perfectly with everything as arranged. Ever since I got your company by surfing the internet, reading your website, I knew that I've found a right company to organise our tour. The past tour and our experience proved it. The itinerary was planned according to our interest and went exactly in all respects as planned. The rental car eight seater Hyundai I Max was just bigger enough to accommodate us 6 adults and all our luggage, 6 cases plus more. The accommodations were far better than our expectation, except Bella Vista Motel in Christchurch which has one bath room only. As we would be back again in Christchurch after one week, so I contacted Natalie asking if the accommodation could be changed, She immediately checked and later changed a good one for us with upgrade charge of NZD205, but without cancelling money. We appreciate the communications between us clients and the consultants are very smooth and your help are right at hand at any time throughout the tour which make us really feel at ease. We enjoyed our tour very much and the photos we took would be our eternal memories of beautiful New Zealand. It's a pity I didn't meet Natalie DeCaro when dropping in the NZ Self drive tours' office in Wanaka, I wish to thank her once again for all the things she have done for us and also my thanks should go to Michelle Slater who did all the planning work of our tour in nearly four months, but resigned from her position with New Zealand Fine Touring just before our tour going to be true, just as she said "after booking so many wonderful holidays here in New Zealand I have now decided it is time to take one of my own", I sincerely wish her all the best with happy holidays and same all the best to Natalie and NZ Self Drive Tours. Jingen Zhu

Deepak Chettri & Family, Auckland to Christchurch 13 day Splendour, Travelled on 1st April 2015

We had the most wonderful experience. The trip was very well planned and the services provided were outstanding. Accommodation and meals were excellent. We were not very lucky with the weather towards the end which made us miss a scenic helicopter flight to the glaciers. However, the arrangements made by Michelle Chave our consultant Travel agent was absolutely outstanding. All the staff were very friendly and helpful at NZSDT. We have no hesitation whatsoever to recommend this trip to anyone. Our 10 year old daughter enjoyed the most. This is a very family friendly tour, and excellent value for money. Our special thanks to Michelle Chave for her professional service. We will certainly be back. Deepak. Padma and Esara Chettri, Sudney, Australia

Neville & Sue Beelitz, Trevor & Carmel Wuttke, Ultimate Discover New Zealand 25 day Tour, Travelled on 30th March 2015

Hi Michelle. Thanking you for doing such a great job on organising our trip to New Zealand. We thoroughly enjoyed it and have some very fond memories of the trip. Unfortunately, we are back to reality now, however the photos etc we have brought back are constant reminders. It was a bit hard getting back into work mode after our time away. Sorry we missed you in Wanaka. Hoping you did not suffer too much from the earthquakes you have experienced recently. The 25 day itinerary was wonderful. It allowed us to have quite a bit of freedom of choice as to our daily activities as well as see some of the highlights New Zealand has to offer. It was a very manageable trip for us. You did a great job organising accommodation for us. The balance of apartment style and single rooms was good. The cars were good and provided us with enough room for our luggage. We loved the different opportunities your tour provided for us - cultural experiences, sight seeing, adventure opportunities, train, ferry, gondola, jet boat and helicopter rides etc. everything was booked and we had no issues with attending pre-booked tours or with our accommodation or car hire. Thank you so much. If we could do the same trip again, we would have liked to somehow include an extra day in Rotorua to allow us to see the town (we felt like we got there with only a bit of time before the Mitai Maori experience, and then to be out to see the Lady Knox Geisel the next morning, we felt pressed for time. However, in saying that we don't know what we would have compromised on and so pretty much conceded we would have had to add an extra day (which in hindsight maybe we could have but didn't know). The only other thing we were disappointed about what's missing out on the ice explorer tour due to bad weather. I understand this was out of our control, but if we had again an extra day without having to be in Greymouth the next day to catch the train, maybe we could have been able to do that the next day. When talking to the helicopter pilot, he said they probably only fly half the days of the year. Wondering if it would be feasible to allow 2 days for the bigger tours (3-4 hour ones) to allow for bad weather. In saying that though, I guess there is nothing to stop the weather form being bad for 2 days in a row, and Franz Josef is not that big a place to do a whole stack of too much else. Just some thoughts for adapting your tours for the future. In giving you that feedback though, we were very, very happy with your organisation, what we were offered, the choices available to us, the fantastic time we had. All credit to you. Thank you too for your patience with us in organising our time away, for refunding our tour, and for organising for us to spend 3 1/2 weeks in your beautiful country. Much appreciated. We certainly have a company to recommend to others. All the best Sue

Lyle & Ellen Macartney, 17 Day Explorer Tour of New Zealand, Travelled on 25th March 2015

Hi Michelle, Now that we are back home in Vermont I thought I would drop you a line to say how everything worked out. We had a fabulous time! Everything worked out perfectly with no glitches at any stage of the itinerary. New Zealand is certainly an ideal place to see by car. The hotels you chose were all up to our expectations and the number of included sites and events you included seemed to have been just right for the time we had. We just should have had an extra 3 or 4 days to take in all that NZ had to offer. To comment on a few of the things and people we did and met: 1. The Magical Scenery Cruise at Whitianga with Ken. He does a very nice job and the size of his craft was ideal to get the right experience. 2. Rotorua Forest Canopy Tour - now that was a risky event to have included for someone like my wife, but she ended up doing it and loving it. 3. Hawkes Bay Wine Experience - our tour guide John, did a very personable job. 4. Milford Sound Cruise and scenic flight - doing the flight back from the Sound was definitely the right choice! A lovely flight back that saved 4 hrs and gave us a wonderful and different view of the Sound and surrounding mountain ranges. Everyone who chose to take that route was very happy they did. 5. Europcar worked out flawlessly, both at origination, drop off in Wellington, pick up in Picton and at our final destination in Greymouth. We were about 3/4 of an hour north of Wanaka when I realised that we had just past through your home base. Sorry that we did not stop by your office to introduce ourselves. We could not have been happier with New Zealand Self Drive Tours and the services you provided. Please feel free to give my email to anyone thinking of using your services who would like to have references or who might just like to get a better idea of the self drive concept in New Zealand. Thanks again, and we will certainly recommend you to anyone we talk to who might be interested in seeing New Zealand. Lyle

Derek & Gwynnyth Williams, Customised South Island 23 day self drive tour, Travelled on 19th March 2015

We have been meaning to send you a note since we got back. We had an excellent trip and everything went very smoothly. We would be hard pressed to find fault with anything - except perhaps the weather some of the time! All the arrangements you made worked as promised, airport and train pick-ups, train, cruise and rental car delivery. We had a Hyundai SantFe as our vehicle and it too was excellent and a pleasure to drive - 4,000km was our total for the trip. The accommodation was all interesting, comfortable and well situated and the reception on arrival was very welcoming everywhere. I might add that the company's reputation with the motels we stayed at was very positive too! The documentation provided was very good and gave us excellent suggestions on things to do. We travel a lot and we were most impressed how easily the logistics all worked and we didn't have a mountain of vouchers to battle with either! So our congratulations to you and your company and we have already been recommending you. Regards Derek and Gwynnyth Williams

Kathy Powell & Stephen Griswold, Northbound Navigator Christchurch to Auckland, Travelled on 17th March 2015

Kathy Powell and Steve Griswold, 23 day tour, North Bound Navigator - Christchurch to Auckland, travelled March 17, 2015 What an awesome trip! Our first to New Zealand and a great way to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. We found NZ Self Drive Tours on the Internet and liked the idea of driving ourselves while having a local company reserve accommodations, transportation and some tours. Freedom to explore at our own pace without the hassles! And it all worked beautifully. Michelle Chave was great to work with, fielding our interests and questions promptly. Every accommodation and tour had our reservation when we arrived and was as described or better. Roomy rental cars (fit a 6 ft 4 inch man) with good gas mileage (kilometerage?), delivered to our motel or we picked up at the ferry terminal. Having a GPS was SO helpful along with the Photo Atlas and spiral notebook they gave us with our itinerary, driving instructions, maps and suggested points of interest. We followed those and added some of our own. All but one motel/hotel had a kitchenette so we could refrigerate food; fix breakfast or some light dinners. Internet access was a challenge as you usually were allowed only 250-500 MB/day free or had to pay for any access. City traffic was stressful but worth enduring to explore interesting sites. Returning cars in Greymouth was a challenge as there was no Europcar parking lot so you had to park on the street then go to their booth in the train station. We loved both Islands, especially the South. Wished we had stayed longer at Mt Cook, Kaikoura and Abel Tasman National Park and added a couple of B&Bs or a farm stay to interact more with locals. Day hikes were great. So cool to see our first yellow eyed penguin, kiwi, Pukeko, green lipped mussels, Tuatara and giant Kauri tree. Living near Yellowstone National Park in Montana we enjoyed seeing New Zealand’s thermal features at Rotarua. Fascinating to learn Maori history and culture at the Te Pappa museum in Wellington and at a Maori Hangi dinner in Rotarua. Driving on the left side went pretty well. Nice to start on the South Island where there is less traffic. Biggest challenges were narrow windy 2 lane roads and signalling accidentally with windshield wipers (turn signals and windshield wipers are reversed on Americans cars). We highly recommend New Zealand Self Drive Tours. A professional, friendly company that help you travel efficiently around the islands (little back tracking), offers reasonable travel distances between accommodations and gives you the assurance that there is a person you can contact if you need help.

Chris, Glenn Harvey & Donna Matsuda, 24 day New Zealand Natural Highlights self drive tour, Travelled on 5th March 2015

This March my husband, his sister and I travelled for 24 days through New Zealand and I want to share our experience. We worked with Shelley Bates and New Zealand Self Drive Tours and I would highly recommend them. Shelly took our wish list, shared her own ideas and then put together a plan that went smoothly and was more than we hoped for. From the time we arrived in Auckland until we flew out of Christchurch all our arrangements were at least what we expected and often much more. Upon arrival we received a very helpful packet with our daily itinerary and maps that we used. We also received a picture atlas that is a great keepsake. We opted for the motel units and this worked well for us. We could have a light breakfast before heading out for the day and then a light meal in the room at the end of a long, active day. The kitchens all had basic cooking needs covered and most had some additional items. I was able to cook simple meals or heat left overs and serve them with no difficulty. The one item that was missing in all but one of the kitchens was paper towels but I just picked up some rolls of my own and carried them with us. We had no difficulty finding a grocery store and we had a cooler that we used to take essentials with us like butter and wine. All of our units met our expectations and several of them far exceeded them especially when it came to location and view. As for driving, it did not take too long to learn to stay on the left. We did not run into heavy traffic anywhere. In our arrival packet we received driving directions but we didn’t necessarily us them because we had a GPS and felt comfortable heading off the beaten path to see things we had read about. The roads are well marked and we didn’t worry about getting lost. They are also in very good condition and, although they were winding in many areas, we did not have any problems. By driving ourselves, we had the freedom to set our own pace; to stop whenever we wanted and we did this often. We found quaint coffee shops, nice wineries, scenic lunch stops, and most importantly scenic spots/walks that we could take advantage of. Things you cannot do on a bus tour or if you fly from place to place. We certainly saw more of NZ this way and it was well worth it. Along with Shelley, we planned a trip from the North Island to the South Island. We visited all the major spots like Milford Sound, Mt. Cook, the TranzAlpine Railway, Queenstown, Rotorua, Kaikoura, Napier and so much more. She helped us make reservations for fishing, kayaking, hiking and then made suggestions for other activities that we could do on our own. I won’t go into everything we did because that is such an individual thing and we did too much to list but I will say we enjoyed everything we did and it was all well tailored to our interests. Our highlights included the Franz Josef Glacier Helihike, the Routeburn Track Encounter Guided Day Walk, and an ocean fishing trip with Epic Charter. We may well go back to New Zealand and we would certainly work with Shelley again. Our only regret is we only planned 24 days, we would have loved to have another 2 weeks.

Harvey Bernstein, The Bernstein Family's South Island Tour , Travelled on 18th March 2015

We had two weeks to tour the South Island of New Zealand, and if you know anything about New Zealand you know it is basically one road that loops around the country with some of the most beautiful and amazing landscape, with each town and stop being totally different than the last. We travelled from a town on the east coast to see whales, to Mt Cook - the highest peak in New Zealand, to the adventure city of Queenstown where my sons did a bungy jump from the bridge where commercial bungy jumping all started, to glowworm caves, to the fjords of Milford Sound like in Norway to the Southern Alps and their glaciers to taking a train across the southern island of New Zealand. Who could possibly plan the logistics to make it all possible in two weeks except New Zealand Fine Touring and its highly qualified staff like Natalie DeCaro. To tour the South Island of New Zealand you really need to do the full circle around the island. The challenge is it is such a beautiful country that you have to plan the miles you drive each day and know you have a place to stay each evening. Imagine trying to figure out how many hours and miles you need to drive each day and where you will stay. Unless you have an expert like Natalie DeCaro who works for the firm New Zealand Fine Touring Ltd doing the planning for you it is almost impossible. Even arranging a rental SUV that uses diesel fuel makes the journey easier and cheaper. In a country like New Zealand every stop is more beautiful than the next. Each drive is more beautiful than the day before. Each town is like being in a different country. And if the weather shifts and your plans for a whale watch or star gazing are impacted, knowing you can pick up your cell phone and call Natalie or someone else at the Tour company to help you figure out your choices or worst case even get a refund on a planned attraction. I can't recommend New Zealand Fine Touring any more highly. They were great to deal with and made our family vacation the best ever. It was like we had our own personal tour group guiding us every step of the way.

John & Jill Ortner, Customised Auckland to Christchurch hiking explorer, Travelled on 4th March 2015

We just returned from a three week tour of the North and South Islands arranged for us by Michelle Slater. It was a dream trip that went like clockwork. Every hotel, car rental, special tour feature and arranged hike exceeded our expectations. There can not be a better way to visit and travel in New Zealand than to use this travel agency to arrange everything. We feel really fortunate to have had such friendly expertise at our service. Thank you, Michelle, for a wonderful, memorable holiday. "No Worries" should be your company motto. Jill and John Ortner Hamburg, NY USA

Liz Wintzi & Peg Cutts, Customised Southern Circuit self drive tour, Travelled on 5th March 2015

Hi Shelley, just wanted to thank you for putting together such a fantastic holiday for us. The accommodation was great and car was better than expected. We had a great time and will certainly use your company again. Many thanks . Peg and Liz

Margaret and Paul Taylor, Auckland to Christchurch Highlights , Travelled on 10th March 2015

Hello Michelle, this is Paul and Margaret Taylor here and we just want to thank you and you team for such a memorable amazing trip we had on both North and South Islands, the hole in the rock tour with Explora was out of this world they where fantastic, the accommodation was really good all the way through, in Rotorua loved the spa in our room, what a treat. We couldn't believe our luck when we went to pick up the car on both islands and they upgraded us, we were very, very happy with that had a lot more room, the pace of the trip was good but each day I would say to my husband if only we had one more day ha ha. At least I have seen both islands and will come back and spend three weeks on the south island, the whole island is out of this world, I loved Kaikoura - what a special place unfortunately the whale watch cruise was cancelled so have to go back and do that one again, would love to go back to Franz Josef and do the heli hike as our trip got cancelled due to cloud cover there's nothing you can do about that but so disappointing I called to let you know (still waiting for our refund) it was great to have our last night in Paparoa national park it was the icing on the cake such a stunning interesting place once again the accommodation was superb, the drive back through Arthur's Pass was breath taking we stopped for a BBQ lunch there. The accommodation was always easy to find as we entered each town, and it was nice to see each day where we where going on the map the distance that was very handy and all the interesting sights to see on the way. The big book you gave us i will treasure thank you so much, we enjoyed our tour very, very much and will be back for more but do some different accommodation next time maybe bed n breakfast? bye for now Margaret and Paul.

Maciek & Mary Stolarski, Customised Length & Breadth 32 day North to South, Travelled on 9th February 2015

What a truly outstanding holiday we have had. It was our special retirement celebration and totally lived up to all our expectations. everything arranged for us ran smoothly and made it such a joy not to have to worry about anything - from being met by a lovely friendly face on our arrival, through to the very end of the trip. cars were always ready and two were above the standard we had paid for. All the accommodation was ready and waiting for us with perfect locations, views and standards. The outstanding motel would have to be our 2 nights in Rotorua, but Coromandel and Abel Tasman stood out for the friendliness of the hosts. The itinerary worked out perfectly and the photographic map book was such a helpful addition, providing us with ideas of things/places we wanted to see as well as having such useful detailed maps. We can't wait to go again!

Maysae Kew, Greg Heng & Vance Heng, Auckland to Christchurch Family Adventure , Travelled on 1st March 2015

NZ is truly a scenic and lovely country with friendly people. The itinerary was very well planned and organised. There is ample time from one town to another. Accommodations that were booked for us are clean, with friendly helpful hosts and central to most tourist attractions and amenities. Thank you Laura for the effort. Really appreciate it. Thank you New Zealand for flying flags at half mast at public buildings today to mark the funeral of our founding father Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.

David & Lorraine Locker, Customised North to South Island Tour, Travelled on 25th February 2015

We had a 3 week self drive holiday in new Zealand - one week in the North Island and 2 weeks in the South Island. Our brief was "visits to most places, good to very good apartment accommodation, very little walking, no helicopters and no tiger moths", in other words "not to much adventure - although the jet boat ride at Queenstown was great". Everything was just fine. We certainly got very good accommodation, and in most places we had a "room with a view". We were upgraded on both islands by Europcar. The roads are good, the people are friendly, meals are priced at about Australian prices. (Bottles of wine at restaurants were a little pricey. Buy some in Countdown and have a glass or two, then go out for dinner). It would not be fair to write negative comments about anything, because you would have to get down to the level of "the sand flies on the West Coast of the South Island, which in the context of a holiday is a pretty trivial complaint" The highlight of the trip was the scenery, the Milford Sound and the many lovely, yes lovely, places that we visited. (Favourite "big" towns - Dunedin and Wellington. Favourite "little" towns - Napier and Te Anau) I liked the way that Michelle Slater was always there as a "back up". Indeed we did contact Michelle twice to add something to our itinerary. I am sure in an adverse situation e.g. car breakdown, it would be comforting to know that Michelle "will fix it". I also liked the all encompassing holiday price, so you didn't really know, for instance, how much the "you beaut" accommodation at Queenstown cost (it was very, very beautiful). New Zealand Fine Touring are a very professional organisation, their planning was meticulous. However, from "go to whoa" you develop a rapport with your consultant, and that is really nice. Triple A is a very high rating, but this company and Michelle deserve this. I always read reviews, but never write reviews - so this is a first. On this occasion, this company and our consultant deserve a big "pat on the back". On my experience I would, without reservation, recommend New Zealand Fine Touring. Thanks for a great holiday.

Murray & Robyn Campbell, North Island Explorer Tour , Travelled on 9th March 2015

Our tour was well organised, accommodation suitable - thank you. For future reference, we would suggest the following: We reversed your suggested route for going to and from the Bay of Islands because you had us returning on the longest drive - via the west coast - on the same day we had to drive through Auckland (peak traffic), return car to airport and back to hotel. Even going via the east coast, it was dark before we got to the hotel. Quite a few hours difference between the two routes. We would also suggest you include info on the Kauri Museum at Matakohe, en route via west to Bay of Isles, which is the best dedicated museum we have seen both sides of the equator! Allow at least two hours. (Description on this page differs from one we received.) Bay of Islands Hole in the Rock tour. You advised we ring and confirm the day before, which we did. However when we arrived at the boat they were quite rude about us not having tickets. Thank you, too for the beautiful tourist book of NZ. Sadly, it was too large and heavy for air luggage and we had to leave it behind. The GPS on our car was very basic, not including many towns. It was also set in German! Suggest visitors take their own. Thanks again, Verity.

Michael Shimanski & Bennie Lunsford II, Custom South to North New Zealand Tour, Travelled on 18th February 2015

We had a wonderful late summer tour of the South and North islands. The temperatures in the South were mild and warm in the North with mostly sunny days and starlit nights. With the combination of driving, the train and ferry, the photo opportunities were unbelievable. What a beautiful country with clean air, pristine countryside and oceans. Thank you, Michelle, for setting up a perfect 15-day tour. Mike and Bennie, USA

Slyvia Frank & Elizabeth Winsche, Customised New Zealand Self DriveTour, Travelled on 6th April 2015

We had a good time but it could have been a great time if the driving directions were better - using street names only caused problems and a GPS would have been helpful. Leaving the airport car park for example the road is not signed so we already had to guess The maps was not useful at all. We tried to cover too much distance and really two nights at fewer destinations would have made for a more pleasant trip. We had no time in Auckland whatsoever and had to squeeze in Napier early in the morning before driving to Auckland. Because it is dark by 6:00 at this time of year you want to be at your hotel before the sun sets and that means sightseeing really can only be done in the daytime.

James Mulligan & Mary Ann Flanagan Mulligan and Paul & Joanna Hemenway, City to Mountains, Auckland to Queenstown self drive tour, Travelled on 22nd February 2015

My wife Mary Ann our two friends Paul and Joanna and I have recently returned from a vacation in New Zealand which was booked and put together without any hitches or hiccups by fabulous, delightful Shelley Bates. From being met at the airport in Auckland by "Uncle Harvey" to dropping off our rental car at Queenstown airport every facet of our itinerary went as planned. We had made changes in our original itinerary and Shelley was on top of everything! My experiences as a traveller have shown me that you can expect a glitch or two along the way in your travels, but that was certainly NOT the case with NZFT and Shelley Bates. We were lucky enough to meet with Shelley and her colleague Michelle as our itinerary took us through Wanaka where the NZFT office is located. We were fortunate to be able to take them out for dinner after their work day was done to thank them, but you just can't thank them enough! If you are considering visiting this incredibly beautiful country, by all means contact Shelley and I guarantee you'll be so happy that you did! A short note to the New Zealand Fine Tours management team - that Shelley is somebody special! She's a keeper!

Anna Foshay, 23 day Discover New Zealand, Travelled on 2nd March 2015

Visiting New Zealand had been a dream of mine for a number of years, which I was finally able to realise in March 2015. It was everything I dreamed it would be from the beautiful scenery, amazing day trips to the wonderful people I met along the way. I highly recommend visiting New Zealand through the Self Drive Tours company. They work very closely with you to design a route and activities that meet your specific needs. For me it was to hike and see as many natural wonders as possible. I quickly realised there is so much to see in New Zealand I could be there for 6 months and still not see everything! With the careful planning however, I was able to create a trip where I saw some of the major tourist attractions as well as able to get off the beaten path. Every B&B I stayed in were unique and wonderful. I had never stayed in B&Bs before and was very impressed with the comfort, cleanliness, atmosphere and warm welcome I received from every host/hostess. Having pre-planned my rooms took a lot of pressure off and gave me a piece of mind each day. A couple of times when I was running late I was met at the door by the owner concerned that I was OK - let me tell you when you're travelling on your own, this makes a big difference! A special thanks to Michelle who took great care of me. She responded to all my questions in a very timely manner (and believe me I had lots) and created a route that took all my interests into consideration. Thanks for the memories. Anna Foshay

Jean & Richard Jones, Northbound 36 day Adventure, Travelled on 23rd January 2015

We would like to thank you for your impressive planning and superb choice of accommodation venues. Everything went extremely smoothly and the high quality of all the apartments made our stays in all the places very comfortable. We thoroughly enjoyed all the trips and visits and are so glad that you recommended such a wide range of experiences. We both said that had it been left to us to book things as we arrived in each place we would definitely not have done anything like as much as we did. We are delighted that we booked through your company and would like to extend our thanks to everyone who was involved in the planning of our holiday.shall definitely recommend your company to any of our friends still to visit your lovely country.

Leslie Moy, Mary Feeherry & Eric DeWeaver, North to South Island 14 Day Tour , Travelled on 14th February 2015

The tour company took all the pain out of planning the trip and let us keep all the fun. Verity was very responsive to all our questions and changes. Uncle Harding - the driver in Aukland was exceptionally helpful and informative. Since we went over the Chinese New Year celebration, there were lots of other tourists. Having reservations to popular tours was very helpful. We were travelling with an elderly person. Next time I would make sure to request ground floor apartments (most American hotels have elevators). That might be something for your tour company to keep in mind. In Te Anau the hotel personnel were very helpful with suggestion about mosquitoes. They also had the best breakfasts. The other breakfasts - especially Wellington was very basic - no fresh or canned fruit. Thanks again for a wonderful trip, Leslie, Eric, & Mary

Mario Peter & Connie Scontrino, Customised Auckland to Queenstown 14 day Self Drive Experience, Travelled on 6th February 2015

Shelley Bates prepared a grand tour of the North Island and the South Island. The trip exceeded our expectations! We highly recommend New Zealand Self Drive Tours.

Pete & Sara Jane Smith, North to South Explorer self drive tour, Travelled on 9th February 2015

Hi, We are barely a week back from our 16 day North and South Explorer self-drive tour, and are already planning our return in 2018! All we can say is that the trip was perfect! From the initial contact to the airport pickup to the motels to the excursions, it was handled professionally by Michelle and her team. We never hit any kind of a snag – always had the motel rooms ready / tours booked / pickup and meetings on time. The woman at Thermal Springs even guessed who we were! Rooms were over the top for the price, and make us feel at home. Our only regret was not booking the Whale Tour in Kaikoura or the Heli Hike at Franz Josef. We decided to book the Whale one on our own, but it was cancelled due to weather. We replaced it with the Glacier Excursion at Mt. Cook – a must do! Looked at the Internet when we got back and we realised we should have done the Heli Hike as well. Next time! Kudos to all the motels for the accommodations we had. It just kept getting better and better as our tour extended. Our only disappointment was the Waldorf Stadium Apartments, review on Trip Advisor. Best of breed was Anchor Inn, Garden Court and Punga Grove. Beyond that subtle speed bump, it was a trip we will always remember. Next time? We plan on 12 to 14 days on just the South Island, with 2 t 3 days at each location. More time for hiking and exploring. Specials thanks to the entire team at Self Drive Tours New Zealand! Pete and Sara Smith Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA =========================== Hi, We thought you would enjoy seeing the photos we took -- full Monty was over 1,500 -- this one is just 200 :} Click on the link, then the play icon. Hover over the middle-right of the screen to click forward, or middle-left to scroll back. https://plus.google.com/111994955869631056841/stories/30509544-a051-3620-817f-af23e1e7d8fe14bb734cedb?authkey=CLL86ajA06fYCw

John & Alison Currah, 28 day Grand New Zealand Tour, Travelled on 5th February 2015

Dear Michelle, We would like to thank you and NZ Self-drive Tours for a fantastic trip. From our pick up at Auckland airport to the hotel bookings, trip reservations and final transport to the airport at Christchurch, everything ran like clockwork. We have been impressed by the whole service; the booking was easy and you were very helpful and accommodating in tailoring the trip to our requirements and making minor adjustments on several occasions. Even though you are on the other side of the world contact was speedy. Rest assured, we will be recommending you to friends and family. The documents and literature you supplied were comprehensive, very useful and with a professional finish. Hotels and motels booked were generally of a high standard with good facilities. Both hire cars were new (one brand new) and a perfect size for our needs. All booking references were accurate and recognised wherever we went. The only criticism we would have is that the driving directions, although full, were over-complicated and would have been more useful with major towns throughout the route mentioned rather than just road names. It was not easy to work out where on the route planner we were and usually we referred to the more detailed maps of our destinations or a large map we had purchased before the trip. New Zealand was awesome in the true meaning of the word from the friendly people, to the clean towns and countryside, spectacular scenery and the wondrous wildlife. We had a month to remember. We are not on Facebook but kept a record of our trip with selected photos on a blog at nztour2015.blogspot.co.uk if you are interested. Once again many thanks for all your help with the organisation. All the best, John and Alison Currah

Philip & Rose Dickinson, Auckland to Christchurch Explorer Tour, Travelled on 27th January 2015

Thank you for organising such a super holiday in New Zealand. Everything worked out just fine and the car and all the hotels were most acceptable.

Jim Lovell & Lesa Lammers, 11 day Christchurch to Auckland Essential Highlights, Travelled on 29th January 2015

we had a great trip in this wonderful country We just didn't have enough time to do all we wanted to do. The excursions that you set up were great! and the hotels were great And the food: I am having lamb and green lip mussel withdrawals! We had two small issues: The hand held GPS was not the best in the world - we found it hard to operate. the car that we had in the north island had a built in GPS and it was great. The other issue was that we arrived at the rental car return in Auckland at around 5:40 and it was closed and there was absolutely no place to park the car so we had to wait until the next day to turn it in

Frank and Janet McAleer, North to South Island Highlights Including Scenic Trains, Travelled on 17th February 2015

we had a great time in New Zealand (NZ). Everything went well, lifts were there, cars ready to pick us up, and the hotels were good too. A couple of things to consider: 1.I had no idea what size car a Toyota Corolla was, we do not have them in the UK. We were fortunate that we were given a Hyundai 35i which we learned later was an upgrade at Auckland which was a good size, and we could fit our 2 big cases in the boot. The car we got in Christchurch was a Holden Trax LTZ which we felt was a bit small. We had to fold down the back seats to get all our luggage in, but we managed and the car was fine.The point we are making is that the vehicle does need to take 2 big cases and 2 smaller ones especially for those people who have travelled some distance as we had, the option to upgrade should be available if possible. It is not a big point but one worth considering. 2. When we asked for a second night in Wellington we know the cricket world cup was on and that many rooms were booked. We were offered another room at the Wellesley Boutique Hotel for our additional night, and then we had to change to the room we had booked for the original night. The room for the extra night was stated as a single room by the hotel, we queried this with Karen Buckingham asking if it was a double room. She informed us that she had been in touch with the hotel and that it had been confirmed that the ''single room'' had a double bed in it. She did offer to look for alternative accommodation, but based on the fact that she had confirmed that the room had a double bed we agreed to have it for that one night, and then change to our previously booked room for the next night. The ''single room'' was in fact a single room with a double bed in it, fine accept that when we got our luggage into the room, there was no room to move and we had to take it in turns to open our cases. We put the air-conditioning unit on, because we couldn't open the window because it was sealed, and all the AC unit did was re-circulate the air inside the room with no cooling effect. We did inform the hotel of this the next morning. It was the most uncomfortable night we spent during our entire holiday, hot, sweaty and cramped. It is the only real criticism we have of the trip, the rest was just great, but I think we were mislead into accepting this inferior room. We had booked a helicopter flight to the glaciers at Franz Josef unfortunately the weather conditions was poor on the day that we were due to fly however, the helicopter company squeezed us in the next morning, but due to the weather we had a shortened flight. We were told that we had to inform you of the shortened flight and that you would seek a partial refund from the company on our behalf and refund it to us. We hope this is the case. We had a marvellous time and have some great photos, and memories of our trip to NZ. Thank you for organising such a great trip for us. Best wishes Frank & Jan McAleer

Roger & Claudia Howard, Greg Potts & Susan Vaughan, The Essential New Zealand, Travelled on 17th January 2015

We just came back from a 28 day driving tour arranged by Michelle Chave. Michelle did a great job customising our trip. We just did a cost comparison and realise that we "got a great deal" booking through New Zealand Self Drive Tour. Thanks! Claudia and Roger from Ottawa, Canada

Lester and JoAnn Tengan, Customised Auckland to Queenstown 15 day self drive tour, Travelled on 27th January 2015

Thank you Laura for arranging a fantastic itinerary for our 15 day self drive tour from Auckland to Queenstown. Rental cars were great and accommodations exceeded our expectations. Routes enabled us to see "tourist sites" and had the flexibility to see the countryside. This trip rates as one of our top vacations to date. Thank you again, we really appreciate your effort.

Jeff Davis & Michael Ziskind, Naturally New Zealand 12 day self drive Adventure, Travelled on 4th January 2015

We just completed a 12 day tour of both Islands. It was one of the best vacations ever. Shelley Bates did a fabulous job of customising the tour based on our preferences for both activities and for lodging and also arranged for us to hit the highlights of both islands within our much too short time frame. She did a great job of screening the large number of activities (hikes, tours, jet boat rides etc.) offered and directed us only to the best and most high quality ones at each location. My only regret is that we did not schedule more time for this incredible vacation.

John Eckersley & Lilian Barton, A Taste of the South Island, Travelled on 2nd January 2015

We had a great trip and are planning a return when we have more time. The itinerary you organised for us gave us a quick snapshot of what NZ has to offer and left us wanting more. The accommodation was all very good as were driving times each day. The trip to Milford sound was particularly good as our coach driver (Keith) was very knowledgeable about the landscape and points of interest, delivered with a dry sense of humour lost on some of the other passengers! All in all a well organised dash around South Island. Thank you

Don & Hazel Cooper-Williams and Sylvia Willemse, Taste of the South self drive tour , Travelled on 31st December 2014

Dear Michelle, We returned from New Zealand on Wednesday evening. I would like to thank you and your company, so much. As the driver said, "this company dots the i's and crosses the t's. We were surprised by the thoroughness of the paper-work and found all the driving instructions so clear. The choice of b&b/ hotel, was excellent. We had a wonderful trip. The weather at Franz Joseph was not conducive to flying in the helicopter as there was too much low cloud, we did manage to walk to the Sentinel rock, so saw some of the glacier. Otherwise the weather was perfect every day. The earthquake prevented us from using the train, but we saw so much while driving. We will definitely be returning and will use N.Z Self drive tours again.

Greg, Joanne Wilson and Family, Auckland to Christchurch New Zealand Family Adventure, Travelled on 16th December 2014

Hi Shelley A very belated but massive thank you for arranging our fantastic two week tour of New Zealand. Thank for your patience in accommodating all of our various requests. You obviously have extensive knowledge and experience of the New Zealand tourist industry. I don't know how you managed to arrange our Xmas dinner at The Skyline in Queenstown, but it was superb. All the recommended activities were worth it with our highlight being the Glacier Helicopter Flight along with Hobbiton - every booking ran smoothly. Everything from rental cars, accommodation and food was of a very high standard. As for New Zealand - what a place. You New Zealanders are rightfully proud of your beautiful country. The only problem we found was that we could have spent twice as long at each destination! A very sincere Thank You and keep up the good work. The Wilson Family from Belfast Xmas 2014

Sanjay, Monali & Siddharth Dam, New Zealand Explorer tour, Travelled on 24th December 2014

Hi Michelle, thank you for putting together a wonderful itinerary together. Everything was well coordinated and we did not have to flounder any where for lack of details or information. We appreciate and acknowledge your eye for details and for all the information provided in the kit that worked out to be very helpful. I appreciate your patience in taking us through the journey right from the formative stages till the time the Itinerary took its final form. Please convey our thanks and gratitude to all the individuals that were involved in making our NZ visit a truly memorable one. Thanks, Sanjay

Abdali Alwazeer and Family, Auckland to Queenstown explorer tour, Travelled on 2nd December 2014

Dear Michelle, Thank you Michelle and New Zealand Self Drive Tours from me, Abdali Alwazeer, my wife Najah Ghareeb and my son Yusuf Alwazeer for organising this fantastic tour for us. Our tour was to three towns, Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown. We enjoyed exploring the area by driving through the country. The hotels are very good except Waldorf Stadium Apartments which didn't give us Internet access and charged us for cleaning the rooms and parking. The other two hotels, Amore Motor Lodge in Christchurch and Garden Court Suites and Apartments in Queenstown were very good. Garden Court Suites and Apartments in Queenstown is exceptions which is more spacious and contains two bathrooms. Rented Cars were very comfortable and new. We enjoyed driving 4WD through the green fields of everywhere we went in New Zealand. I just want to quote my wife who said New Zealand is like God Paradise on Earth, in Arabic (New Zealand hea jannat Allah fee Elardh ). We really enjoyed the two weeks that we spent touring these three towns. We encouraged our friend to visit New Zealand using a self drive car. Merry xmas & happy new year.

Diane & Roy Lobley, New Zealand explorer tour, Travelled on 8th December 2014

Having just returned from our NZ touring holiday , I had to upload our feedback to the website as we were so impressed with the service we received from New Zealand Self Drive Tours . From the moment we booked and even prior they were completely professional and tailored our trip to exactly what we had wanted. Everything ran like clockwork the pick ups / drop offs and the organised tours. The hotels that were chosen were all high quality with friendly and helpful staff. I would highly recommend to anyone looking to book a trip to NZ

Norhayati Group, Auckland to Christchurch Highlights Tour, Travelled on 1st December 2014

Thank you NZ Fine Touring for making the arrangements for our first self-drive tour to be almost hassle-free. It was indeed a fabulous trip for us, with breathtaking views every mile of our drive. Upon arrival at the airport in Auckland, we were warmly greeted for the hotel transfer which started our trip on the right note. It would have been a bonus if the driver could have shared more about NZ along the way. Hotels booked were generally comfortable & accessible to amenities/ attractions. Checking in was smooth as most hotels were easily able to retrieve our booking; with the exception of Copthorne hotel in Auckland. Best reception received at Sudima Lake Resort in Rotorua, followed by Ibis Hotel in Christchurch. Car rental was also a breeze on both islands, with superb service in Picton. Routes suggested enabled us to drive at a good pace with several scenic pit stops. Use of GPS was more accurate as compared to the suggested driving directions printed in the welcome package, though. Places we visited were all enjoyable, especially Hobbiton, Agrodome & Te Puia. We also decided to take up your recommendation for the Gondola & Tram rides in Christchurch and even added the River Avon punting. With such a memorable experience, we would definitely consult NZ Self-Drive Tours in the future. In fact, we have recommended the company to our friends planning to visit NZ in 2015. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Tam Ly & Edward Martelii, South Island Adventure , Travelled on 29th November 2014

We had an amazing experience and time in New Zealand. Our tour consultant, Verity Gemmell was a delight to work with and was very accommodating with our schedule and preferences. Would highly recommend Self Drive Tours to assist with planning your trip to New Zealand - took the stress of planning and was a relaxed experience the whole way through. Thanks again Verity!

Haslizawati Hashim, Mohd Azmir Ahmad & Amir Asyraf Mohd Azmir, Auckland to Christchurch highlights tour, Travelled on 23rd November 2014

New Zealand was amazing! Thank you Michelle and the NZ Self Drive Tour team for arranging the most unforgettable trip for us. We really had a great time. The journey went very well according to itinerary. Both cars were excellent, accommodations were exceeding our expectation and we loved Mitai Maori and the breathtaking Milford Sound so much.We will definitely recommend your company to friends and family. Thank you again for your outstanding work. Regards Haslizawati,Mohd Azmir and Amir Asyraf

Patrick & Teresa Quinn, New Zealand Explorer tour, Travelled on 9th November 2014

Enter your story here...It was an excellent trip, well organised a few hitches nothing major and sorted out by your company without fuss. Staff in hotels and car hire companies very helpful. Weather was wonderful, scenery excellent. The welcome pack supplied by your company contained everything we needed for touring. We intend to return to New Zealand in the near future travelling to areas we have not visited and not trying to cram everything in one go. We would be delighted to use the services of your company on our next trip. Regards, Teresa & Pat Quinn, Dublin, Ireland.

Esther Phua, Chuan Lim Ang, Siew Eng Toh, Hee Eng Low & Family, South Island Family Loop, Travelled on 30th November 2014

A big thank you to the team at New Zealand Fine Touring for planning a great holiday for us at the South Island. Whale-watching, riding on the TranzAlpine, Milford Sound Cruise at Te Anau, Dart-Boating near Lake Wanaka, Mount Cook glacier experience and taking the Luge at Queenstown - our schedule was clockwork perfect. Accommodation was well-planned and drives well-documented. We will be back... Esther and Chuan Lim with family of 3 teenage girls, 2 elderly parents, December 2014.

David & Anne Smith, Auckland to Christchurch North & South Highlights, Travelled on 18th October 2014

My wife's mother moved to the UK just before the second world war. When researching her family history she discovered that her family arrived in New Zealand before the treaty of Waitangi. They arrived on what is now Petone beach on the Cuba and Adelaide.New Zealand Fine Touring amended their standard tour to enable us to visit the areas that were settled by her family.Everything that was arranged worked perfectly. Our rentals were upgraded free of charge by Europecar on both North and South Island. Two of the Motels also upgraded our rooms. In Roturua we ended up with a Hot Tub on the balcony. I cannot praise this company more for their attention to detail. Every single activity went ahead on schedule with great success. The highlight was the ski landing on the Tasman Glacier. The flight was also upgraded free of charge to include a landing on the Franz Josef glacier as well as an extended tour of the mountains including the Fox glacier. Communications with Michelle were always promptly answered and it was a [leasure to meet her and the team when we dropped into the office at Wanaka during our tour. We loved it so much my wife is sorting out her citizenship and we intend to come back for an extended stay.

Brandi Meyer, South Island Explorer tour, Travelled on 4th November 2014

I've always wanted to go visit New Zealand, your self drive tour option made my dreams become reality with ease. I was able to be on my own time table and enjoy the activities that require more than one person to attend by arranging me into groups that were also looking for adventure. Anytime I visit New Zealand, I'm going to use this same format of travelling. I was completely relaxed while also receiving the adrenaline rush I was looking for! Thanks again!

Peter & Paula Barton, 22 day South Island Grand Tour, Travelled on 15th October 2014

Our self drive tour was a huge success The whole 22 days were perfectly timed which enabled us to see the entire South Island at a leisurely pace. We also got to places that we would have missed on our own. We would thoroughly recommend your company to anyone visiting this beautiful country. Peter & Paula Barton Brisbane Australia

John Cowan, Custom South to North Island Scenic Driving Tour, Travelled on 24th July 2014

My wife and I want to especially thank Michelle for all the work she did making our tour a once in a life time event. We did a custom South to North island tour of 15 days during July of 2014. We started planning with Michelle a couple of months in advance and she worked very had to make everything perfect. When the Ferry company cancelled our ferry while we were in Christchurch she contacted us and made sure that the arrangements were changes so that we could make the transit without a problem. Both cars were great and having the GPS was really nice as it helped us see things we might have missed otherwise. The hotels were all good with a couple being truly outstanding. Everything went as planned except the winter weather which cooperated for the most part. A couple of notes for people planning trips that we found out. First you cannot go as far driving in a day in New Zealand as you can else where in the world (especially the Western USA). I over planned a few days and the drives were much to long due to the slower speeds you have to drive because of the winding roads. I am use to the wide open freeways in the USA where you can go much further in a day. The best days were those of about 300 KM or so. When it gets to 400 KM or higher the days turned out to be really long and we did not have time to explore at the destination. Second most of the hotels were in the central business district of the city you are in. This is a good/bad thing. You are within walking distance of food and other things in town, but you also have to drive into downtown to get to your hotel. Those comments are just mine to pass on to others. In a number of the hotels we were the only guests or less than 5 guests in the facility. The two B&B's booked for us were outstanding (Split Apple and Matakana Country Lodge) making the trip all the more memorable. I can easily say that without booking through New Zealand Self Drive Tours our tour would not have been nearly as nice and we would not have seen as much as we did with there help. They are worth it to make a great tour of New Zealand. Thanks again Michelle, you did an OUTSTANDING job. John Cowan

Seshu, Radhika, Aishwarya & Akhilesh, New Zealand explorer tour, Travelled on 30th December 2014

Thank you Verity for organising a very good stress free trip. We did not have any issues at the accommodations or locations and really enjoyed our trip. Maybe the accommodation at a couple of places could be better. Camelot was lacking air conditioning on a very hot night and there was very little privacy. But overall, we had one of the best family trips ever. Regardless I have recommended you to my Friend Dr Asif Ashraff who has received a quote and should be going ahead . Good luck guys

Peter & Paula Barton, 22 day South Island Grand Tour, Travelled on 15th October 2014

Our self drive tour was a huge success The whole 22 days were perfectly timed which enabled us to see the entire South Island at a leisurely pace. We also got to places that we would have missed on our own. We would thoroughly your company to anyone visiting this beautiful country. Peter & Paula Barton Brisbane Australia 18/11/14

Harry and Jamie Mainzer, New Zealand Highlights , Travelled on 28th October 2014

My wife and I recently returned from our first visit to your wonderful country. We had an amazing time and can't thank you enough for your help in planning our adventure! Normally, I do the research and plan our vacations, but I thought I'd give your company a try and see how your itinerary compared to what I was putting together. First off, I have to say that I was impressed that I wasn't given a "high pressure" sales pitch - I was able to bounce ideas off of Karen, who told me where I was on point and where I should probably change my plans. She was spot on! We decided to go with your company and I'm so glad we did. The arrangements and details were solid and the peace of mind that your company was there to back us up (which we leaned on when the weather turned sour for one of our planned tours) helped make this one of the most enjoyable vacations we have ever taken. Thanks again!

Patrick & Lee-Anne Ledru, 16 day South Island Natural Discovery self drive tour, Travelled on 25th September 2014

We booked a 16 days tour with NZ Self Drive Tours and we have been more than satisfied by the experience. We felt that everything has been done to make sure we had an excellent trip. We will keep fond memories of our trip, too many to describe there but we particularly enjoyed the Doubtful Sound overnight cruise. A must! We had only the disappointment to miss the helicopter flight at Franz Joseph Glacier due to bad weather. It will be for the next time. A special thank-you to Michelle who have been looking after us all the time and has been only a phone call away when needed. If “word of mouth” advertising works, we will surely contribute! Patrick & Lee-Anne

Justine Teggelove & Michelle MacDonald, Southern Alps & Southern Lakes Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 19th September 2014

We had the most wonderful holiday driving around the South Island. Shelley had arranged everything, so all we had to do was turn up! The accommodation, tours, hire car and transport were fantastic. As everything was so well organised, it meant we were able to relax and truly enjoy the wonderful delights of New Zealand. Thank you Shelley for making our holiday so enjoyable. Justine and Michelle

Ines Scholl & Christian Subner, Custom Northbound Explorer - Christchurch to Auckland Tour, Travelled on 31st August 2014

We enjoyed our tour it was great! Our Feedback in German would be: "Wir würden immer wieder mit New Zealand Fine Touring fahren, alles hat perfekt geklappt! Danke"

Yang & Ruiying Wang, Xin Wen & Chuqi Jiang, Auckland to Christchurch 10 day Splendour, Travelled on 29th September 2014

I owe Michelle a big thank for her kind arrangements of our little trip from Auckland to Christchurch! I was running on a limited time and budget, and Michelle helped to choose the one best suitable to me. Upon our arrival, everything goes exactly as the itinerary said (except the Kaikoura Whale Watch, which is cancelled due to bad sea weather), and the voucher book proves to be of most convenience to us wherever we go! Accommodations are up to our expectation, the suggested activities are fun, and I really enjoyed our ride across the country. Again, thank you, Michelle, and I shall definitely go back to visit this amazing country again!

Menankutty & Arshad Party, Central Highlights self drive tour, Travelled on 13th September 2014

The whole arrangement was excellent, Thank you very much NZ SELF DRIVE Tour for great experience that I had during my recent visit to New Zealand. Special thanks goes to Ms Verity Gemmell for a very prompt service and accommodating my request in small changes my the itinerary. We would surely recommend our relatives and friends to contact NZ Self Drive Tour should they wish to visit New Zealand in the future. Thank you again from me and my wife for the great experience in New Zealand. Regards. SULAIMAN MENANKUTTY - Malaysia.

Yolanda, Carlos and Miguel Sepulveda, Custom Family Tour in New Zealand, Travelled on 11th July 2014

Hello Michelle, I just want to say thanks for the trip you organised for us. NZ is great, and I enjoyed it very much, everything on time, great quality in the hotels, tours, services and you have a great country, I hope someday will have the opportunity to visit in summer. Thanks again!

Steve Mckenna & Tim Tyson, Customised 13 day Southern Highlights, Travelled on 9th July 2014

We had an incredible vacation! New Zealand has now replaced Norway as our favorite country on earth, and that was quite an accomplishment. The country was beautiful and the itinerary close to perfect. And the hotels! They were all good, but several were truly stunning. One highlight was the stunning restaurant at Whare Kea, where we had the luck of being on the only guests, as the chef made a 5 course meal just for us, on our 10th anniversary! We could not have planned it any better. The Matakauri Lodge also deserves special mention as a stunning place, with exceptional facilities, setting and service.

Patrick Charles, Christine and Meg O'Mahony, Coast to Coast self drive tour, Travelled on 23rd May 2014

We have not long returned from our NZ holiday to the South Island. Shelley did a fantastic job organising our itinerary. In the beginning I thought maybe it was better to plan our own holiday but I am very glad we decided to go with this option. Everything was so easy from the moment we landed at Christchurch airport with a driver to meet us. Our hire car was dropped to our motel which also made things incredibly easy. The standard of accommodation was extremely good. The Amore in Christchurch deserves a particular mention for the amazing service we received and the motel in Dunedin (858 on George) was also really lovely. The only accommodation I was disappointed with was Mt. Cook as our room was very much in need of a refurbishment and the a la carte restaurant was particularly underwhelming given the price. Mt. Cook itself however was stunning especially as it snowed the day we arrived. All the activities you suggested were fantastic. We especially enjoyed the Dart River Wilderness Safari in Queenstown and the wildlife cruise of the Otago Peninsular from Dunedin. We experienced heavy snow at the beginning of our trip and Shelley did a great job keeping us up to date with road closures etc. I have already recommended your services to my friends and family should they be planning a trip to NZ.

Lynn Mathot & Family, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains self drive tour , Travelled on 18th April 2014

What a wonderful holiday! Having someone else do all the hard work to arrange our holiday was well worth it. All my questions and concerns were answered quickly. I made changes to the itinerary and that was never a problem. The itinerary for the 10 day Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive covered all the highlights. We booked an extra night at Mt Cook on the recommendation of Shelley and were not disappointed (a must see). The standard of accommodation was high and always conveniently located. The family agrees - a truly exceptional holiday! Thank you!

Allan & Lynn Kross, Discover New Zealand Tour, Travelled on 21st May 2014

Hi Michelle, Just a quick note to say a very big thank you for all your help with our very first over seas trip for both Lyn and I. We had a ball the whole time, even though due to the weather a couple of the exertions were either cancelled or altered slightly. Having the freedom of self driving through the South Island of New Zealand was great We seen New Zealand at its best and worst (weather wise) and enjoyed all of it. Seeing it snow at Queenstown was probably the biggest highlight, could not have timed it better. Anyway, thank you again, we will be back to have a look at the North Island and do the South during summer also, see you then.

David Whittick & Janet Taillon and Vard & Rita Whittick, Ultimate New Zealand 36 days South to North, Travelled on 27th March 2014

Hi Shelley. First, Thank You for arranging such a wonderful tour of NZ. We would absolutely recommend your company to our friends & fellow travellers. Overall rating 4.9 out of 5 stars. You, of course, are a 10 out of 10. You were always there to answer our many questions, accommodated our route changes, understanding about our concerns, helpful when we thought we might have to return home early. All the accommodations were great, some much better than expected, except for Christchurch which was a great location, old, well worn, but serviceable. It is slim pickings in Christchurch and certainly having the least best first made the following accommodations better & better as we went along. The tours were all great; tour operators were all timely and first class. Would be nice to be able to book the kayaking trips through you the day before since weather was an major issue at more than one location. Although the heli-hike on Franz J was expensive, we are very glad we did it on your recommendation, it's now a highlight of our trip. The trip plan was excellent except for our stay at Tutukaka. It was not an interesting town and out of the way. If we had thought it through better we would have opted for another day in Bay of Islands or Auckland. We liked that we could review our trip plan on your internet site and check out the accommodations you recommended before we paid. The custom day by day tour book we got on arrival was excellent and so was the map book with pictures. Using the map book, we deviated from your route several times to take in a cheese factory here or a winery there. At the start of our planning we thought we could do all this online until we saw all the many types and locations of accommodations. Second option, just do it "on the fly", so if we want to change locations or leave a day early we could. WRONG! We met a few travellers who were attempting this and they were very unhappy at the time, using lots of energy and finding poor accommodations in not the best locations. We definitely made the right choice booking through NZ Self Drive, you are experts with all the best locations, local knowledge, and even better rates than booking online. Booking the car, train & ferry travel through you also saved us time and $'s. Thanks again for making our NZ trip very special. Janet T, Dave, Vard & Rita Whittick

Najua Zamri Party, South Island highlights Tour, Travelled on 28th April 2014

Thank you for your excellent service. Our journey went smoothly and get to meet with your friendly counterpart. My family and I had a really great time exploring New Zealand. Although 6 days were not enough but we were thankful to get the opportunity to witness your beautiful country. We will definitely come back. I personally will recommend your agency to friends and families who wish to visit New Zealand. Regards, Najua

Michael & Nancy Sipko, 8 day Southern Lakes to Southern Alps Explorer, Travelled on 19th April 2014

Nancy & Michael had a wonderful time. We wish we had more days to spend in the country. We enjoyed all of are lodging stays. Every one was nice. Shelley was very helpful and set up a great tour for us. If we ever go back to New Zealand we would use you people again. Thanks for everything All the best, Michael and Nancy Sipko

Peter & Roslyn McDonald, Customised Essential South Island Tour, Travelled on 4th May 2014

We decided on our tour of NZ South Island at very short notice. We contacted NZ Self Drive Tours and they very quickly put together a package for us that met our needs for our available time. Our experience was fantastic, everything that was promised was delivered on time and without fuss. The activities planned were first rate and our accommodation fantastic. We would recommend NZ Self Drive Tours to any one wanting to take the fuss out of organising their own trip - cheers Peter & Roslyn

Srinivasan Kannan & Family, North to South Self Drive Family Experience, Travelled on 17th April 2014

From the time we landed at Auckland till we boarded our flight from Christchurch, the arrangements were simply impeccable. Shelley Bates, who was my travel consultant, went the extra mile to ensure all arrangements including hotels, car and pre-booked activities were adequately taken care of. And what an awesome place to visit....lots of places (especially in Europe) will take one's breath away but never have I seen a whole country that's beautiful, welcoming and makes you feel that this is perhaps the place to settle down. Hats off to Shelley and colleagues for presenting us with the most memorable vacation experience.

George & Lorraine Farrell, Gary & Karen Kennedy, Northbound Navigator Christchurch to Auckland, Travelled on 6th March 2014

Thank you Shelley for arranging such a memorable NZ holiday. We saw so much amazing scenery and had some great adventures, including whale watching, white water rafting, para-sailing, luges, ziplines, Dart river funyaks, Hiking Glaciers, glow worm caves, numerous scenic cruises and National Park hiking. So much amazing scenery too numerous to detail but including Milford Sound, Queenstown, majestic mountain scenery everywhere including snow-capped mountains, waterfalls and amazing thermal areas. Your assistance in planning and level of detail and helpful suggestions was invaluable. The level of accommodation and hire cars you arranged were exactly what we wanted and the GPS guide to each accommodation made them so easy to find. Thank you again for doing such a fantastic job, we would highly recommend you and NZ Self Drive Tours.

Jeff & Paula Jurinak, Queenstown & Fiordland National Park Experience, Travelled on 31st March 2014

We used New Zealand Self Drive tours to book South Island vacations in March 2013 and April 2014. In both instances, the trips went very smoothly. The logistics and bookings all delivered as expected. The booked hotels were fine for our purposes. The tour operators showed up on time or were expecting us when we showed up. In all, there were no hassles with logistics and bookings to distract from having an absolutely wonderful time in an absolutely brilliant part of the world. We used the same consultant, Shelley Bates (Ryder) to help us to organise both trips. She was very willing to customise our arrangements to fit our interests and schedule. Her recommendations for stops and activities were spot on. I absolutely do not hesitate to recommend this company to the attention of future customers. If you are considering a self-drive tour of New Zealand, give them a call. I have tried to lodge a similar review on Trip Advisor, but apparently "tour operators" is not a recognised category on that site. Jeff Jurinak

Jon Rix, South Island Lord of the Rings Scenic Explorer , Travelled on 23rd February 2014

One of the best holidays i've ever had! I spent three weeks in NZ, and every day was absolutely fantastic. Shelley was great at organising my itinerary, accommodation and car hire. She was also very patient as I was messing the itinerary about with trying to fit different things in and see my friends in the North Island! It was a great help to have someone with local knowledge who could recommend tours and places to visit when I had trouble deciding myself! All in all, I had no problems with any of the tours and the car hire went without a hitch. Every place I stayed was amazing, and the accommodation was perfect. It's hard to pick one highlight out from the whole trip, but The Hermitage at Mt Cook is a stunning location. And a perfect base for walking around the area. Very happy with that recommendation! Will certainly visit there again! I'd also like to say that the Welcome Pack provided by NZ Self Drive Tours was brilliant, and greatly appreciated! Many thanks for helping me organise this amazing trip, i'm already planning what i'd like to see on my next visit to NZ!

Steven Ferronato & Susan Sato, Discover New Zealand 24 Day Tour, Travelled on 9th March 2014

Sorry it has taken me some time to get back to you, but things have been hectic here, trying to sell our house. Any way: Thank goodness we had the GPS. It was a wonderful life saver. The written driving directions were too detailed and confusing. Simply directing us by road/highway number would have been easier than a new instruction each time the road name changed. The mobile phone proved helpful. Rental auto pick up/drop off and hotel check-in went smoothly with the voucher system, as did all the excursions. The lodgings were fine, overall, but there was variation. By far and away the best was Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge. We had very personal service from the owner, as there were only 2 other guests two of the three days/nights. It was a special treat. The least impressive lodging were the two Copthorne facilities. I suggest ALL the lodgings get on board with free, unlimited WI-FI for their guests. Great Ponsonby Art Hotel was cute. Great birding (Gannets) at Muriwai Beach. We enjoyed the Waitomo Glow worms and all the excursions in Rotorua, even though there is the sulfur aroma there. I picked up a virus in Rotorua and cancelled Rosco kayak trip as a result, which turned out to be a good thing, as it would have been way too much for us after the rainy Milford Sound cruise. Great gourmet dinner at Breckinridge Lodge. Thanks for booking us there. Wellington is a picturesque city. Our LOTR tour guide there did a much better job than the one we had in Queenstown. Luckily we were tipped off to reserve parking at Ibis in Wellington. They had very few spaces. Not sure what we would have done without the reservation. Kaikoura was spectacular. We saw Sperm whale and a large fleet of dolphins and sea lions. In fact all the wildlife excursions were great. Kudos to the yellow-eyed penguin reserve. Our hostess at Eliza's Manor in Christchurch was quite motherly...a joy to meet her. She took good care of us. Mount Cook was out and spectacular on our drive there, but by evening the clouds rolled in, so no stargazing that night there. We saw Mounts Cook and Franz Josef on the drive to Greymouth, along with their glaciers, however. Unplanned excitement occurred while at Lake Moerkaki. We got word of a bad guy suspected of murdering a woman and then abducting to foreign female hitchhikers, was on his way towards us from Franz Josef. We learned later that Franz Josef town was locked down and the bad guy later captured. I could go on. We had a great time. No bad experiences. Te Anau lodging was great, too. Dunedin picturesque. Great intro to New Zealand, which we found to be similar in many ways to the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington here in the States. Thanks for planning such a great trip and arranging all the great lodging (Copthornes aside). Take care.

Julie Morris, Susan & Alan Miller, The Length & Breadth 30 days North to South, Travelled on 28th October 2014

I spent the most fabulous month touring the north and south islands of New Zealand with 2 friends, all of us over a certain age! We requested various destinations and sites to visit, all if possible with apartment accommodation allowing us flexibility in eating arrangements. I cannot recommend New Zealand Self drive tours highly enough for the consideration and attention to detail that went ,into the planning of our tour. The accommodation was exactly what we needed and in some cases exceeded expectations, specifically The Chateau Tongariro and Kahami Cottage, Otorohanga. Included in our itinerary were 9 trips as requested by us and included in the cost of our trip. One aspect we found particularly helpful was to be met at the airport on arrival and taken to the first hotel and at other locations as the need arose and on our final day to take us to Christchurch airport for the flight home. This took so much worry out of our trip and the staff we met couldn't have been more helpful. The only fly in the ointment occurred through the hire-car firm as the vehicles we had selected both on the north and south islands were not the ones we found on arrival and were only made available after my friends husband "had a few words"! The travel pack we were given on arrival was a great help with so much information of the areas we were to visit. We did have a problem with the Google driving directions but the beautiful photo atlas, also included, more than made up for this with added info on sites to visit en-route and countless photo opportunities. This did however make some of our journeys considerably longer! The atlas also made a wonderful souvenir of our holiday and helped me remember where all my photos were taken! I would recommend the company to anyone planning a similar holiday and would love to come back and visit some of the places we didn't have time to see, when I have raided my pension and got my new hip! Regards to Shelley and the team Julie Morris

Mr & Mrs John & Cilla Evans, Customised New Zealand Panorama, Travelled on 31st January 2014

We had a great time. Brilliant organising by Shelley. We started our trip in Singapore and then on to Sydney. Then arrived in New Zealand Auckland. Our pick up guy was very good and friendly. The accommodation in Auckland was excellent. As was all the accommodation with 2 exceptions, one being the IBIS in Rotorua, they seemed to squeeze 2 king size beds in to one room, which made it very squashed and no need for more than 2 nights here. The other was the IBIS in Nelson, too far from the town, ok if you have time for the beach. These are the only negatives. All our pre booked trips were really good. The trip along ninety mile beach and the Abel Tasman was good. The sand surfing was good fun. The visit to the visit amber site could be missed out and longer spent on the beach trip ( depending on the tide). All of the boat trips were excellent, Milford sound, whale watching, we also did Tasman Glacier that was just fantastic. Even though the weather was not good that day. Mount Cook and the accommodation there was once again very good. But remind people to take supplies as it is a long drive back to get any as there is no where to get any thing. I could go on for ever but I have to say it was an amazing trip. I would only suggest that when we were in places like Paihia and Kaikoura which had beautiful beaches blue, blue sea, and warm. But because we were trying to see so much we did not allow our selves enough time. Akaroa a small town was a beautiful place again a nice beach, we did our trip to see dolphins etc and this again was brilliant. All of the glaciers were amazing and worrying at the same time when you see the rate at which it is receding, but this is history. Dunedin this was a city that I feel we could have missed out, because it is a university city we did arrive as what we know as freshers week and as our accommodation was right in the student area we were subject to a lot of noise, broken glass etc, which is apparently quiet normal for this period of time, but were told that the students do settle down after a couple of weeks. So this may be a city that you avoid during this period. The trip on the Trans Alpine train from Greymouth to Christchurch should and could have been good but the weather for the previous day and the day we travelled was awful left Greymouth in sunshine, but the weather got worse. We were unable to enjoy the views, on a good day it would be amazing. Christchurch what can you say you have to admire the people of the city and how well they are doing. The container city is amazing well done to who ever thought of this. Our visit to see family in Hokitika was very good, see great niece and nephew was really good as this is the first time we have seen them, as they were both born in NZ.On a personal note I think we need not have spent so much time in Hokitika as our relations were both working. We did visit Pancake rocks this was amazing, we also went to Hokitika Gorge which was good but be aware of the sand flies as they do bite. From a personal point of view, I wish we had spent less time to Hokitika and a few more days on North Island and other areas where the beautiful beaches were. All in all a brilliant trip, very well organised. Our thanks to Shelley

James and Jean Barron, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains self drive tour, Travelled on 24th February 2014

the whole tour was just brilliant. All the arrangements worked perfectly and your itinerary matched our needs very well. Our accommodation each night was of a very good standard. We would certainly recommend you to friends.

Tom and Jeanne Steen & Mary Naud, Custom Southern Alps & Southern Lakes Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 24th February 2014

New Zealand was beautiful. Your tour was perfect for us. We were met at the airport by a very nice lady who took us to our hotel and explained our tour packet and answered all our questions. The next morning our rental car was delivered to us and we began our amazing trip. We loved Mount Cook, Milford Sound, Queenstown, and the wonderful wineries. Thank you, Michelle, for making changes for our hotels, and sending the vouchers. We were very impressed with New Zealand Self Drive Tours and all your help. We have already passed your name on to a relative who is very interested in your tours. Thanks again, Tom and Jeanne Steen

Douglas Moggach & Alison Perry, Beach, Culture and Wildlife 10 day Experience, Travelled on 17th March 2014

Shelley was extremely helpful and prompt in setting up our tour and suggesting various options. We had a fabulous time, and would recommend your services without hesitations. Just a few comments: 1. The driving instructions were both too detailed and not detailed enough. Too detailed because they listed various road names for Highway 1, for example, that we rarely ever saw along the way. Not detailed enough because besides distances, it would be useful to have place names along the way, such as Warkworth etc. "Upon reaching Warkworth at km. 65, you will turn left into...." Would be a useful kind of comment. 2. In one case, at the end of our trip, the directions to reach our hotel near the Auckland airport were incorrect, as they would have had us travelling into downtown Auckland before turning back toward the airport. Fortunately we detected this in time and followed our own directions! 3. One annoyance: most hotel properties at which we stayed did not provide free internet. I had thought that all charges aside from meals, petrol etc. were included, and I was unhappy to have to pay additional amounts for internet access, though often 20 minutes were provided free; this however was insufficient. Some proprieties did offer us free internet for the duration of our stay, and for that I was grateful. I would have preferred to know of this practice in advance, or to have internet included in the package. 4. While the initial Auckland property at which we stayed (Heritage) was quite adequate, I would have preferred a room with a view of the city instead of an inside courtyard. I had assumed that we had booked early enough to secure such a room. And I'm not certain why the room we did occupy was described as superior. On a positive note, the Puhoi and Rotorua properties were outstanding. The Cream trip was delightful in Pahia, though the accommodation there was a bit tired. I will send additional feedback as I think of it. Thank you once again. We loved our trip.

Aloysius Chan & Catherine Lau, Auckland to Queenstown 14 day self drive tour , Travelled on 6th April 2014

I’d like to express our gratitude to David and yourself for arranging such a wonderful trip for us. The self-drive experience in New Zealand was remarkable. I and my wife, we all thoroughly enjoyed it, thanks largely to your fantastic and detailed information pack. The instructions on getting to the various locations were such that there was no way we could get lost. Hotels was excellent too and so with the excursion tours as suggested in your programme itinerary. Our journey went very well as arrangement like hotels, car rental and excursion tours that been arranged went smoothly without any hitch. Thanks for making this trip a memorable event for us.

Jen Pfitzner & Anne Ross, Discover New Zealand Tour, Travelled on 22nd March 2014

Had a great time. Appreciated not having to toil up stairs except for Wellington where the lift stopped the flight before ours, but that was not difficult. Our only concern was the car we collected at Auckland. It hadn't been cleaned out - cigarette butts and food crumbs on the floor. Not too sure that it was completely full of petrol but the worst bit was the fact that after a while we realised the rear door could not be locked. A nice policeman also checked it for us. We handed it in early as we were reluctant to keep luggage in it. However, the lad at the Europcar desk at the interislander terminal was very helpful and even drove us back to the hotel. Could have stayed a lot longer, so much to see and do. As on a previous trip Shelley organised a great holiday which was borne out of the attention to detail and planning. Cheers, Jen

Hannah Goodwin & Laurence Porter, Custom Leisurely Tour of New Zealand, Travelled on 5th February 2014

We had a fantastic time thanks to your organisation. We were very impressed with the standard of the accommodation and the few tours that we selected. We'd recommend your group to any family/friends that might travel to NZ in the future. Thanks for all the help and the attention to the detail.

Victoria Raymond & Marco Mitic, 13 Day Coast to Coast Self Drive, Travelled on 27th February 2014

We fully recommend the self drive tour, we loved our tour. There was no stress, everything was organised and we didn't have to worry about anything!

Vladimir, Rachel, Milan & Talia Debelak, Auckland to Christchurch 11 Day Highlights, Travelled on 2nd March 2014

Excellent, all perfectly done. Regards Vladimir Debelak

David & Danae Jenkins, The Southern Circuit self drive tour, Travelled on 31st March 2014

Dear Michelle, Thanks so much for fixing the refund. The afternoon we were booked for the flight was really the only negative experience we had on the whole trip. We were booked to arrive a the helicopter office at 1610 & when I rang at 1400 the fellow said to come at 1630. We went for a walk to find the office and walked in at 1500 just to confirm that's where we had to go. The fellow said to come back at 1630 and the lady sitting next to him said "Won't that be a bit late?" He said "No, it will be alright" and a look exchanged between them. Anyway when we arrived at 1630 we were told sorry all the flights are over for the day as the weather is closing in. As you can imagine we were pretty upset as we would have expected they would have seen that weather coming when we were there at 1500. So we asked if they were flying in the morning & they said, not till 1000hrs. When we rang your office and got the advice to try across the road that was great as the fellows there were much more pleasant and told us to come at 0800 and we booked in to fly if the weather was good. And it was, so we were very happy. We just didn't think the attitude was right from the original company and would recommend the competitor across the road as much better in their attitude & service. Apart from that the trip was excellent. Everything went according to plan, the accommodation was great, the cruise & TSS Ernslaw brilliant & the car went well. We will certainly be recommending your company & services. The south island of New Zealand is a spectacular place, we ran out of superlatives to describe it. Thanks again, Danae & David Jenkins

Lynette & Jeffrey Spence, Auckland to Queenstown self drive tour, Travelled on 5th April 2014

The rental car company (Europcar) refused to pick us up for delivery of our rental car as promised d/t the Auckland triathlon being held during our stay. It took several phone calls, but we were able to finally secure a vehicle. NZFT was responsive and did assist with the mix up. They also did reimburse us for the taxi fare back to the airport but it was a bit of a disappointing start to the holiday. The accommodations that they had arranged were all wonderful. Wishing we'd had better weather to enjoy our beach views in Napier at the Pebble Beach Motor Inn and the Anchor Inn in Kaikoura -unfortunately the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Ita made themselves a nuisance for most of our stay (totally out of NZFT's control :-) ) - we however carried on and explored this beautiful country and met wonderful people. NZFT also provided detailed step by step instructions to get from place to place which was helpful. I would use NZFT again to assist in arranging a holiday to NZ. For some of our pictures, you can visit their FB page. Lynette - Florida USA

Doug & Janette Brimmell, South Island Coastal Self Drive tour, Travelled on 21st March 2014

Hi Michelle, Jeanette and I really enjoyed our trip, the beauty of the South Island is at times breathtaking. Probably due to maturing years (70 this year) we didn’t jump on board a jet boat or do a bungy jump, but we did do the comet ride across the Buller Gorge. We found all the accommodation excellent, although, the motel in Franz Josef Glacier must have no sound insulation in the walls, our adjacent neighbours were a little noisy. I was really impressed with the roads, they were excellent, when required, they were well sign posted. The road maintenance crews do a magnificent job in the, at times, difficult terrain. The itinerary, driving instructions and maps were very helpful. The hire car sat. nav. was helpful in confirming speed limits, road names and designations. We were happy we chose the Ford Territory SUV, it was most suited for the trip. ( And that’s coming from a Holden man) We were fortunate to have had excellent weather for the two weeks and our photos. are stunning, particularly, Milford Sound and Queenstown area. The people we met were most friendly and helpful. Thank you for a well planned trip, we have been left with some excellent memories and photos of the South Island. For a stress free holiday on the South Island, we would have no hesitation in recommending New Zealand Self Drive Tours plan the trip. regards, Doug. and Jeanette.

Cornelia Boyle, Gary Anderson, Diane Weil, Tom Weil, Discover New Zealand Tour, Travelled on 25th March 2014

Thank you New Zealand Self-Drive for a wonderful trip to the South Island. The materials you sent us were perfect and loaded with the info, directions, and drive times we needed for a hassle-free trip. We encourage everyone to see Christchurch, even though it is still in re-build mode. The people are fantastic. Eliza's Bed and Breakfast was worth the trip alone. Ann and Harold are wonderful hosts, and everything is within walking distance. Do not miss the botanical gardens. Mount Cook was awe-inspiring. Star gazing was great. Book a view room in the Aoraki wing at the Hermitage Hotel. You won't be disappointed. Queenstown was great fun, with something for everyone. We did the gondola (outstanding views) and the luge ride (thrilling if you are 10 years old; otherwise pretty tame). The paragliding off the top was unbelievable . . . well worth it. Milford Sound with Real Journeys is a must-do. We decided to take the tour rather than drive. Glad we did. It is really a long way unless you decide to stay in Te Anau. The west coast was rugged and beautiful. We could have spent a few more days there hiking and exploring Franz Josef, Hokitika and Greymouth before catching the scenic train back to Christchurch. The only bump we encountered is we ordered the Kruze GPS system for our car, and it never showed up and we never heard from them. New Zealand Self Drive made sure we were refunded right away. Thank you Michelle for a perfect trip!

Greg & Kaye Devine, North to South 18 day Explorer self drive tour, Travelled on 18th March 2014

Our tour of both North and South Islands was most enjoyable. It was well planned with a good standard of accommodation. Things ran smoothly with respect to travel and the arrangements to pick and drop off our pre booked rental car. Fly drive suited us as we could explore where & when we wanted. We prepared our own breakfasts in our studio accommodation, sometimes making sandwiches for lunch & sampling haute cuisine when the regional food source just begged to be tried. New Zealand has such variety in scenery, climate, and types of activity it is a great place to visit.

Charles & Suzanne Gartzke, Gartzke Party New Zealand Holiday, Travelled on 15th March 2014

Hi Michelle, Well, where can i start? The trip was very much the most enjoyable of our lives! Everything from the beginning to the end was perfectly planned by you and we are so grateful. Thank you for changing our plans in Queenstown. The weather was on our side for Milford Sound and it was majestic, we even got to enjoy a flight back (which couldn’t have been done the day we had planned). The wine tours were so great, informative and delicious. I would recommend both for everyone interested. If we were in Blenheim again, we would rent bikes and go on wine tours. Hobbiton was right up our alley and we had a lot of fun. Just to let you know-- we are the people that wore our Elvish cloaks, stylishly sewn by our daughter Noelle. Rotorua was our favorite B and B, it is too bad that Brian and Val are closing up shop! They were delightful! That being said our other B and B’s were incredible-each one! loved our accommodations in Wellington and wish we could have planned longer- it looked like such a nice city to explore. The only thing that cancelled on us because of weather was our Heli-flight. Bummer but we enjoyed our hikes along the Fox and Frans Joseph Glaciers. Mt Cook is incredible! We took our most favorite hike there to the glacier. We were so impressed with the warm welcome and general niceness of New Zealanders. They are much like the people here in the mid west of the USA. We will be back because there is so much more to explore. We kept thinking, this is a place we could live (but we know this is almost impossible). I hope you realise how lucky you are to live in such a beautiful place. Every turn brings another postcard picture. Every path a new adventure. Thanks to you and New Zealand Fine Touring, for sharing your beautiful country and people. We loved it! Sue Gartzke

Paul & Sandra Grace, A Taste of the South self drive tour , Travelled on 21st March 2014

We had heard so much about New Zealand, our expectations were high. Our expectations were exceeded. We were able to relax, take in the most amazing scenery and enjoy the warmth and friendliness of the New Zealand people. All the arrangements made for us by New Zealand Self Drive Tours went without a single hitch. Michelle Chave was very friendly, efficient and professional in our many discussions from what to wear to what was the best mobile phone provider. From our experience no travel trip completes without a small problem. Well this one completed without any problems or issues. Largely due to the work that Michelle and New Zealand self drive did before our arrival. All of the accommodation was to a high standard and fully met our requirements. We received a sat nav with our car; this was useful in finding our way out of Christchurch. After that it was not really needed. It predicted that our first trip from Christchurch to Mount Cook , a distance of 329kms would take just under 5 hours. In fact it took a little over 8 hours, the roads were great the weather for driving was great. The problem was the scenery; we had to keep stopping to take it in! The people are very friendly and helpful. A stop for fuel resulted in directions from the garage owner to Mount John observatory overlooking Lake Tekapo. A great stop for a coffee and something to eat. We able to fully enjoy our tour of the south island due to the arrangements and advise fro New Zealand Self drive tours. Who are only as good as the folk they employ and in Michelle Chave they have an excellent professional. Many Thanks. Paul and Sandie Grace. PS forgot to mention the wonderful photo atlas provided in the travel pack, which also contained detailed driving instructions and maps.

Maureen and Martin Whitehead, Maureen and Martin Whitehead, Travelled on 19th February 2014

Thanks to everyone at New Zealand Self Drive tours and in particular Michelle. We have had a wonderful holiday exploring North and South Islands. This is the second time we have booked with you and both times have been excellent. The detailed knowledge that you have, the tailor made itineraries you provide , the speed of response and the impeccable organisation of the whole trip are all First Class. We stayed at some lovely places, at the North Island accommodation in small motels we met some great owners. All of them were very helpful and welcoming. Kamahi Cottage was outstanding. South Island, the accommodation was larger hotels and they too were excellent. The cars provided were new and very comfortable for long road trips. Driving instructions provided assume use of a sat nav, which we didn't have but we did manage okay. We had a great time and have no hesitation in recommending you to our friends. Thanks once again from Martin and Maureen Whitehead

Bobby & Sirigunya Ferrell, Auckland to Auckland 9 day Luxury, Travelled on 1st March 2014

Well planned trip with excellent luxury accommodations. Recommended tours to Hole in the Rock, Mitai Maori Village and Maori Rock Carving cruise aboard the Barbary were very enjoyable. Peppers on the Point in Rotorua was our favorite accommodation. For anyone taking a self driving tour recommend renting a GPS (only $11 per day). Just be sure it is set to English language before leaving the rental car counter Consider a visit to Hobbiton if you enjoyed the Lord of the Rings movies.

Eric & Alison Lovie, Queenstown to Auckland 16 day Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 5th March 2014

If you want to see NZ I would definitely recommend this company. Everything was so easy and the voucher system worked beautifully.They put in the perfect amount of trips and gave us a lovely mix of places to stay. The drives were all easily managed and beautifully scenic. I enjoyed reading the extra information and deciding what to see along the way. It was also good having paid before travelling so less cash needed on holiday. If you are debating whether to do it or not GO FOR IT.

Chiang & Rainton Party, Custom North and South Island Tour, Travelled on 23rd January 2014

We are very pleased with the prompt response from Michelle Slater - our tour consultant, after our initial internet query. She did an excellent job in arranging our custom tour - car rentals and hotel accommodations. The icing on the cake is the custom tour brochure that Michelle had prepared - step by step directions in color - the best to date from any tour organiser. We had a minor problem with one of our hotels and Michelle got on it right away - excellent service, courteous and prompt. I certain would recommend NZFT to all my friends. We enjoyed our tour very much and look forward to returning to NZ in the future. Thanks Michelle for excellent job. Dave Chiang

Graham and Claire West, Auckland to Christchurch Wine Region Explorer, Travelled 25th January 2014

We would like to give you a great big thank you for organising our holiday. Faced with so much choice, and not a lot of knowledge about your country, we left it in your capable hands .   The itinerary was excellent, especially the facilities in the hotels, as were the directions, although we had a GPS it was good to cross check.
 

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We especially enjoyed the "things to look out for on the way" between destinations that you included.  Every day was a great adventure and there was not one thing we did not enjoy, although Christchurch was an eye opener as there is still so much to do to get the city back on its feet.
The walk in the forest at Rotorua was very good and I must say our guide was an excellent chef, creating a fabulous lunch on a primus stove - although he gave us far too much to eat. Plus the hot springs and the waterfall he took us to was stunning.  We enjoyed all three wine tours and were quite the experts by the time we  had finished swirling and sniffing and tasting - although we did agree that we do not like a Riesling.
 
The 2 highlights were Mount Cook, just to look at the glacier in sparkling sunshine- it was beautiful, the bonus was opening the bedroom curtains  in the morning and it was there in front of you.  The other was The Tiger Moth flight, and the lunch was good too.  Claire does not like heights, or flying, but thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this excursion and we would definitely love to do it again!  Can't say whether it was good value for money though as we didn't see the cost but we both loved it.
 
We loved your beautiful country, especially Queenstown and Wanaka and would hope to come back to visit again
We have been telling everybody here in Singapore about your company so hopefully you may get a booking or two.
Once again thank you for making this the best holiday we have had in years
 
Regards
Graham

Robert & Marsha McMurray, Auckland to Christchurch 19 day Wonders of New Zealand, Travelled on 19th February 2014

The trip was everything we expected and more. All accommodations and travel arrangements worked out well. There were absolutely no major hitches. The car and driving went smooth. So far Europcar was great to work with. We really enjoyed the Split Apple Lodge and the Murrells' Grand View House.

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The weakest accommodation was the Bay Plaza Hotel in Wellington. The lobby was great but the room actually had broken windows. One small glitch was the driving directions to the Pavilions Hotel in Christchurch which were very vague and we had to stop at the AA to figure out. But that was really minor. If we come back to New Zealand we would definitely book with you again.

James & Ruth Griffeth and Robert Glen & Charlotte McLeay, Custom 10 day North Island self drive tour, Travelled on 16th January 2014

We found the overall self driving tour to be a great way to see New Zealand. Driving on the "other side of the road" proved to be easier than we thought. Saw many interesting sites and we enjoyed the tours that were arranged for us. We especially enjoyed the B&B's on our trip as we felt we got to experience N.Z.

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On a more personal level. Things that we would suggest you look at would be - the driving instructions included in our tour package. Initially we received two sets of driving instructions. We later found out that one was incomplete and this led to some confusion when driving. We would also suggest that when listing the route that you include Highway numbers, possibly mention only the names of towns/cities that you drive through. Only give street names and cross streets when getting close to final destination. We found that we were getting names of streets in towns that were not relevant because were we far away from our final destination. The first night in the Auckland Hotel, after we got the rooms size straightened out, was great. However, on our last night our room was not what we requested. Frankly, at this point in time, although we did mention it to the front desk, we were too tired to make a room switch. We were disappointed that they had not followed through with our request for a corner room with a queen bed. Aside from this the other hotels that we stayed in were very much to our liking. We loved our time in N.Z. and would consider going back and possibly arranging another tour with your services. Thank you, Shelly.

Kenneth and Rita Sangster, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Tour, Travelled 18th February 2014

Arrangements you made were first class all round - even the late changes we made in Auckland.  We have already passed on your name and contact details to two other couples thinking of doing something similar later this year or early next year.

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Something you should be aware of - the one glitch we did have, nothing to do with your booking was at the George Hotel in Christchurch on our second stay - we checked in quite late about 7.00 pm from the train and were given a very small room at the rear of the hotel next to the lift and the restaurant kitchen exhaust duct. There was an exchange of words with a very defensive receptionist who was adamant that this was an executive room and stated that none of their rooms were as described on your voucher.  I asked to see the manager but was told he was not available. I had intended to continue the 'discussion' in the morning but later that evening an envelope was passed under the door offering an apology and a refund of the night's charge. I should also mention that we were unable to get dinner before 9.30 in the hotel as the restaurant was fully booked. Found a great Italian a $6 taxi ride away though.

Honor was satisfied but I do not think the George should demote earlier bookings as they did - otherwise a great hotel but could become a victim of its own success.

To repeat we were delighted by all of your arrangements and are thoroughly recommending your firm to others Please pass on our thanks to all involved - it was a pleasure dealing with you.

Kind regards

Ken and Rita Sangster

Jennifer & David Morritt, New Zealand 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration Tour, Travelled on 31st January 2014

Hi Kerry We had a wonderful time in New Zealand all the arrangements went perfectly. Only problem was my fault when we arrived in Picton the car was only put in my name but the following day we drove back to sort it out and spent a lovely day walking the track along Queen Charlotte sound - excellent.

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The Hollyford Track was fantastic can't recommend highly enough if you have not done it you should it is well worth the money. We went to the wonderful cinema in Wanaka - what a treat and the walking tracks were great. We looked for your office in Wanaka but failed to find it but thanks for arranging a great trip. Only complaint was Browns hotel in Queenstown where they were very nice but the fridge in our room was so noisy it kept us awake and we couldn't find the plug to pull out, also the view was of a roof and chimney stack of adjoining property so a bit disappointing still only one night or we would have asked for a transfer. Anyway many thanks. Kind regards Jennifer & David Morritt

James & Ruth Griffeth and Robert Glen & Charlotte McLeay, Custom 10 day North Island self drive tour, Travelled on 16th January 2014

We were very happy with your responses to our requests, emails and the way we were handled. The accommodations ranged from very good to exceptional. Exceptional were the Copthorne Hotel at the Bay of Islands (exceptional view) and the Waipoua Lodge. Activities were good. We had a great vacation and we thank you for that.

Anthea and Peter Leslie, Customised North to South Tour, Travelled 11 February 2014

Dear Michelle,

We had a wonderful holiday and were overjoyed with the beauty of New Zealand and for the service your company provided. As far as the itinerary was concerned  everything ran like clockwork, times, distances and routes worked well especially as we were concerned that we might have tried to fit too much in.



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All accommodation was of a very high standard and we found no faults with the quality of what was provided (not one chipped cup or dead spider!), excellent and so clean throughout. Staff were of a very high quality and friendly, as though we were long lost friends!

However a few notes for your future customers:

Quest Hotel, Wellington. The room facilities were of a high standard however it was far too hot and very airless and stuffy and without air conditioning which left us with two options. We either closed the windows  or we left the windows open (still hot) and suffered the considerable outside nightly noise. We tried both and had no sleep at all - not good. Parking cost $29 not $10-15, and no reparking allowed unless one paid  a further $29 each time we went out. We believe now that there is free street parking after 6pm, worth checking?

We loved Palm Beach at Raglan even though the provisions were rather dated.

Brinkley Resort Methven, studio with kitchenette, room was excellent but the area was an out of season ski resort so Bar & Restaurant closed and the village not much better , although 4 Square in village was excellent and with a deli counter, a life saver! Not an ideal summer stop over.

White Morph Inn  Kaikoura, was really fantastic. Sadly for them the restaurant had had a fire and was closed but the recommended eating places in the village were very good.

Terrace Motel Franz Josef. This was our last stay with the car so we had decided in advance to sort our luggage out on arrival. We therefore moved into our room, removed everything in the car into the room and while Anthea used the laundry I went and bought food for our evening meal. On my return from the village we realised that although the accommodation was a Motel the room had no cooking facilities (rings or microwave) or kitchen sink, while fridge, cutlery, plates etc were provided, so we were unable to cook. We approached the manager who said that it was a hotel studio which therefore did not provide cooking facilities but we could, at a cost, be upgraded as he had vacancies. We explained that everywhere we had stayed, studios, motels etc had such facilities and our information stated that such facilities were provided and that we did not want to move as we had already occupied the room and emptied our cases and the car as it was our last day with the car.

The room meant that any food washing up had to be done in the bathroom sink, a planning and health issue? The whole issue was daft as the room, if redesigned , could well accommodate kitchenette facilities and the manager could well have offered us a microwave to over come our situation. His attitude was that Franz Josef was a Premier Resort in NZ and because it was not a ski resort and seasonal, prices were higher than elsewhere and that might be the reason why we were booked into a lower priced accommodation. This rubbed me up the wrong way as we had not set a price limit to the accommodation we had asked for. We would not recommend this place.

All other places we would highly recommend and in many cases were well above our expectations.

In the area of road routes we found your information and road signage was excellent however the scenic route from Kalkoura to Methven is badly signposted where certain 'T' junctions lacked signs and a compass proved useful! The route to Raglan , I think due to road works, missed a Raglan sign at a main 'T' but we got there!

Please do not take the above as complaints but feed back as we had a wonderful time and we will certainly pass on your details to any friends who might wish to tour NZ.

Yours sincerely, Peter & Anthea Leslie

Alison Press and Henry Olden, A Taste of the South Self Drive Tour - Reversed, Travelled 16 February 2014

We had the best holiday of our lives.  Naturally this was due to the beautiful country side and we were blessed with near perfect weather. I am also very happy with absolutely every aspect of the tour, accommodation and activities that were arranged for us everything went off without a hitch.


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All accommodation was clean and tidy and at the majority of motels the staff were wonderfully friendly and helpful. I would highly recommend your service to anybody who visits your beautiful country. We would even do this trip again. 

Regards

Alison & Jim

Liz, Tom and Louise Grantham, 8 Day Grantham Family Self Drive Tour, Travelled 16th December 2013

Hi Michelle
Sorry I haven't been in touch earlier, we were just blown away by South Island. Louise says everything was sweet with her! Thank you for all your help it was reassuring to know there was someone that could help us if there were any problems. We just need to save now to do a more in depth tour of the South Island!
Many thanks
Tony ,Liz & Louise Grantham

Deborah & Allan Boivin, Custome 21 day North to South, Travelled 2nd February 2014

We had an amazing trip! First of all, all of the pre-arranged pick-ups and drop-offs went off very smoothly. We never had to wait and were treated most courteously by great drivers.

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Next, the hotels ranged from good to fabulous!

The Auckland Heritage hotel was a little" faded" but non the less reasonable.

The standouts were the hotel in Kaikoura: The Hapuku Lodge and Treehouses, the Hermitage hotel in Mt. Cook village, and the George Hotel in Christchurch. Wonderful stays!

The cars provided for us were excellent. One was brand new!

We found the information you provided in our "booklet " was excellent. We used your information as well as that of "The Lonely Planet to plan our tours. We actually took a side trip to Hanmer Springs as you mentioned it being a great detour. We loved it! Also, we took the Scenic Coastal route, at your suggestion, from Dunedin to Invercargill and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The one negative were the maps and directions you provided. I called them "GPS maps" and found them very frustrating.No cities mentioned. No towns mentioned. Just street names which were not always easily identifiable. We resorted to using "International Travel Maps" of New Zealand, and when we approached a city center, we used "The Lonely Planet" that had many maps of city centers to help us find our way.

We will definitely recommend your company to others - just work on your maps!     Sincerely,  Allan Deborah Boivin

Elizabeth & Christopher Hookway, 24 Day Grand Explorer, Travelled on 24th January 2014

Dear Kerry, yes, we got home safely and had a wonderful (albeit tiring) holiday. New Zealand is a wonderful country and has a lot to offer. We encountered many English people there and agreed that we were lucky to escape the awful weather in the British Isles. We were very satisfied with your company, everything went like clockwork. The hotels were mostly great, I should specifically praise the one in Auckland, where accidentally I left my eye-drops that I need to treat my glaucoma in the fridge, and when I phoned them they immediately dispatched them to the next but one hotel where the package was waiting for me on arrival. Fantastic service.

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There were only 2 that did not live up to our expectations: the one in the Bay of Islands was in a great location, but the bar and the restaurant were a bit like a Butlins holiday camp. We also had problems with the one by the Franz Josef glacier, the food and the service in the restaurant was not great, obviously they had problems in the kitchen, however the manager on our departure apologized and refunded the price of both meals, so the hotel's response was great. ( thanks to the manager) Suggestions. 1. There is so much to see and do round Rotorua, another night there would have been great. 2. The drive from Nelson to Akaroa was very long and tiring, and we had no time to stop in Kaikoura and go whale-watching. Perhaps a night there would allow that. 3. We arrived in Christchurch late in the evening and had to have a 3 am wake-up call to catch a 5 am transfer to the airport. Therefore we did not see much of Christchurch, and the hotel was so nice it would have been nice to stay another night. Of course you can not see everything in New Zealand, and we saw a lot, and I appreciate that time was a limiting factor. One serious problem: the driving instruction. Please have a look at these given out. They are so confusing! Driving from one place to another we got 1.5 pages of instructions, telling us to drive 0.3 kilometers and then go here or there, where in fact we were staying on the same road, and the whole instruction could have been given in a few lines, like stay on road number ... For ... Kilometers, and eventually turn left/right on to road number ... Towards ..... If you carry on a particular road number you do not need to be told to go on the same road each time a turning comes, you only need to be told of the actual road number towards whatever town that you actually have to turn to. I ask you when you are driving who does actually look at their kilometer clock and check every 0.3 kilometers? Also, we could not work out what it meant when the instruction said: (just one example) starting from 3 go east on Napier Road. Starting from what 3? What were all these numbers? We got lost so many times, so when we talked to other English people they said they were automatically given GPS in their cars and had no problem whatsoever. We do not normally need a GPS but what we need is clear driving instructions. It looked like the ones we received were downloaded from Google or some other website and each day a maximum half a page instruction would have been much more sufficient. Please take the time to read one of these instructions that are handed out and try to see it with the eyes of someone coming from a foreign country. Seriously, it did not spoil the holiday, but I think it is useful for you to get feedback from your foreign customers is useful to you, as something that is obvious for a native of New Zealand might not be for people from other parts of the world. All in all the feedback from us is very positive and we thank your company for a fantastic holiday and we shall certainly recommend the same to our friends. Kind regards: Elizabeth

Alexandra & Otto Abrahamsson, 15 day New Zealand Highlights, Travelled on 9th February 2014

In 15 days we did both South and North Island. The travel planning we did together with Shelly, who is a good listener and give the best advice so our trip was a tailor made success for us. We had focus on nature, wine and convenient accommodations with walking distance to restaurants. The highlights were everything!

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But if I have to mention something, I have to say to do bicycle tours in the wine areas, both in Otago and Renwick, is a great way to explore the vineyards and area. And a nice and different way to see the landscape is to do the Tiger Moth Flight in Wanaka. Beautiful lake and nature and what an adventure – felt you were part of the movie “Top Gun”! Even if we didn’t had the best weather when we did the boat trip in Milford Sound – we saw dolphins! That made my day! All accommodations we stayed at were cleaned, great located and had great hospitality. The most charming place were the Walnut Block Cottages in Blenheim. Arriving to this new built cottage towards the afternoon and finding the farm's Sauvignon Blanc well chilled in the fridge and just sitting back and enjoy the view over the vineyard, mountains and the walnut tree is an unforgettable memory. The cottage is spacious, of high standard and extremely well planned. There is even a Weber standing outside ready to use. We liked the way the breakfast was arranged. All the thing we needed were already in place so we could enjoy the breakfast at our own pace without either having to buy in advance or set a time. We made a detour, after read in the great atlas that was provided by the New Zealand Self Drive Tour, to Orakei Korako. Well organised boat services takes you quickly to the thermal springs where you can stroll around on a prepared foot path. A lot less busy than most of the other sites in the area but just as impressive. Next time I hope we will have more time to spend and then we will do more hiking and I just have to visit Akaroa and I am curious about the little city Dunedin. And one more time, Shelly did a great job. Everything went smooth and no mistakes! I am impressed and so thankful that my dream came true.

Melanie Wartenberg & Hugh Burke, Custom Auckland to Queenstown Tranz Alpine 12 day highlights, Travelled on 22nd December 2013

We wanted to thank Shelley and the team for arranging this wonderful trip for us and for looking after us so well when we were 'on the road'. It really was a 'Holiday of a lifetime'. Our favorite bits were probably the Hike at Fox Glacier and Eliza Manor Hotel in Christchurch. Although the stunning views around Lake Wanaka were breathtaking! We saw some incredible landscapes, lakes and skies on this trip - NZ was certainly everything we expected it to be!

Scott and Joan Haldeman, New Zealand Grand Explorer, Travelled 17th January 2014

Hi Shelly,

We planned a 5 week tour of New Zealand and did an Internet search for a tour company. Shelly from New Zealand Self Drive Tours answered immediately. She suggested an itinerary and had a wonderful tour planned. After a few minor suggestions we accepted the tour. Everything was done efficiently and quickly.

 


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The tour was amazing. The accommodations were excellent and we can say without reserve that we did not have a single bad accommodation experience. The accommodations were primarily in high quality bed and breakfasts and lodges, many of which had amazing chefs for dinner and breakfast. All were friendly. A couple gave us upgrades to full suites. Every week we were booked into apartment complexes that would allow us to wash clothes and relax quietly. All were excellent.

We asked for a couple of changes in the Itinerary during the tour and these were arranged rapidly and very efficiently with accommodations that were as good as those which had been booked much earlier.

We were scheduled on a number of tours and special site visits such as the White Island and the Bay of island boat tour as well as the helicopter ride to Fox Glacier. There were all wonderful experiences that we may not have considered on our own.

The highlights were the Milford Trail 5 day hike and the Deep Abyss tour in the Waitomo caves.

Overall we had one of the best vacations of our lives and we travel a lot. We cannot speak more highly of the tour arranged by Shelley or the service that we received. We would recommend New Zealand Self Drive Tours and especially Shelley to anyone considering a tour of New Zealand.

Scott and Joan.

Ian and Marion Reid, Northbound New Zealand Adventures, Travelled January 4th 2014

Shelly - Good to hear from you I have been meaning to contact you with our comments since we returned to the UK on the 12th February - so your prompter is timely.  Overall we had a very good and enjoyable trip and subject only to the few comments noted below were satisfied with all the arrangements which were clear and precise and helpful.

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Your own input was great and at all times you responded promptly and helped make the holiday great - your help and the trouble you took to arrange the three doctors appointments for me to have my INR checked was appreciated and worked well within the overall itinerary.

Yes we did cancel the Dune Riders day trip the main reason being with a long days driving down to Auckland scheduled for the following day we did not think that spending hours on a bus travelling the 400 kilometers involved would be the best use off our limited remaining time in NZ - we actually spent the day in Russell and caught a display by the NZ Royal Navy band, we visited the church and the catholic printing press for bibles which proved when combined with the lovely sunshine that day to make for a very pleasant day. Thank you for posting the credit to my credit card.

A few general comments which you may find useful, as follows

a) We found the "Google" type driving instructions useful for the first/last few kilometers when locating our motel for the night but in general terms not meaningful to try to follow street names and a succession of short distance measures for the journey. I know we had map details with the associated photos in the NZ photo atlas you gave us but we found that by purchasing two maps (North and South island) - the Kiwi maps - pathfinder range  - cost $9 each  - to provide all the information we needed and they were very easy to follow and navigate from.

b) We found the standard of accommodation offered good and without exception clean. The only two negative comments we have are - (1) The poorest motel in terms of how it was equipped and located was in our view the Bella Tuscany on Kennedy Napier  - it was small, minimally equipped, and in the wrong location for easy access to Napier town -6km to the sea front with only some basic supermarkets and limited takeaways in reasonable walking  distance no restaurants/pubs were within walking distance - there appeared to be plenty of motels close to and on the sea front which all showed vacancies at the time of our visit so we were a bit puzzled as to why the Bella Tuscany was chosen. (2) The Edgewater Motel at Te Anau needs refurbishment if we compare it with the standard of the other accommodation we visited  - loose wiring under the TV and "odd" connections to the cooker etc but the location and extent of the facilities was good. (3) To balance the above comments the best accommodation we had was in our view the Clearbrook Motel and Serviced Apartments at Wanaka! Which were excellently equipped and located.

c) Two places we enjoyed and felt that your briefing notes did not do justice to were Arrowtown and Russell - this inevitably is a very subjective view and your notes do refer to both locations - we spent a full day at both and found the respective museums and points of interest in both very good and a lovely river walk at Arrowtown - it undoubtedly help that each day we spent at those locations were in glorious sunshine!

Overall we had an excellent tour and will have no hesitation in recommending your organisation to friends etc we tried your 24 back up service twice and received a call back on both occasions within minutes of my call so that system works and is reassuring.

It was good to meet you when we called into your office on the 16th January (six weeks ago already!) and I hope that we did not embarrass you in any way - I had thought that there must be a nice person behind our trail of E mails and it was good to be proved correct.

Our thanks for your efforts on our behalf the above comments are meant to be helpful I hope you find them so. If we should plan a visit to NZ in future we would certainly contact you.

Best wishes

Regards

Ian Reid

Peter & Karen Fitzroy, Custom 15 day South Island Self Drive Highlights, Travelled on 6th January 2014

We had a fantastic time, and only wish we had another couple of weeks. The service and professionalism of all who contributed to our trip can not be underrated. Standouts were the glacier (snow in summer!) and Queenstown, the TSS Earnshaw and Oamaru and the glow worms and Milford Sound and the wine and the food and the friendly people. Loved it all

Roisin, Kay Cullen & Adam Jefferiss, North to South 14 day tour, Travelled on 9th February 2014

Thank you arranging a wonderful holiday; we had an incredibly enjoyable 2 weeks with only 1 bad day of weather. The accommodation was what we expected and provided exactly what we needed.

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The tour enabled us to see as much of both islands as possible in the 2 weeks we had there. The Northern Explorer Scenic train was a wonderful way to see the North Island; wonderful way to see so much of the island in a relaxing way. Other highlights were the Whale Watching at Kaikoura, a Lord of the Rings trip to Edoras( Mt Sunday), the Penguin Place in Dunedin and the TranzAlpine train from Greymouth to Christchurch. The transfers organised were perfect; we never had to wait and the people were very friendly, especially Uncle who met us at the airport in Auckland. The photo Atlas you provided with the tour information and vouchers (which made everything so easy and painless) was really helpful; it allowed us to chose places to stop and explore whilst driving around the south island and was a good way to see more detail about where we were driving. All in all a fantastic tour, brilliant people who arranged everything for us and I would use the company again if/when i come back to New Zealand

Ken & Sandra Janes, Ultimate New Zealand self drive tour, Travelled on 13th January 2014

My wife and I just returned from a wonderful one month trip to New Zealand. Thanks to the staff at NZ Self Drive Tours our trip went off perfectly. The choices of accommodations were just right for us and gave us a chance to meet the most interesting people.

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Working with NZFT gave us the flexibility to choose the activities we wanted while in NZ and let us tailor the trip to meet our needs. It was a great trip and I would recommend NZFT to anyone visiting NZ.

Jorge Morfin & Family, North & South Family Highlights, Travelled on 21st January 2014

We spend a good time in NZ, the tour was very good organised, on time, friendly and exactly what we wanted to see. Thank you Shelley

Fauziah Ali & Family, Queenstown to Auckland highlights, Travelled on 30th January 2014

Dear Jessica, everything went well, the hotels were great especially Quest Rotorua - very clean and beautiful and Colin was very helpful and actually waited for us to check-in! I must say New Zealand is a very, very beautiful and amazing country.

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Would love to visit again! Just one flaw, though, it would be great if the van came with a GPS, unfortunately we had to rent the GPS from Europcar. Thank you again Jessica for arranging everything. FAUZIAH ALI

Joel Zaleschuk & Rochelle Caron, Customised Southern Circuit Luxury Self Drive Tour, Travelled 6th February 2014

Hi Michelle,

Thank you for the opportunity to provide you with some feedback on my recent trip to New Zealand. Overall, I would suggest that this was one of the best, and most well organised trips my wife and I have ever been on.

 

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Your website is one of the best I have seen for this type of touring. That combined with your ability to customise your offerings made the experience something special.

Highlights:

1) The ski plane tour around Mt. Cook with the glacier landing. This was a unique experience that was well worth the time and money

2) Dart River Safari. Also wonderful. We had some inclement weather that day but it did not detract from the fun of jet boating. We also added on some jet boating on the Shot over River in Queenstown as well. Not to be missed!

3) The Glow worm caves in Te Anau were one of our favorites too.

To be skipped:

1) The eco tour around the Otago Peninsula was a little slow for us. We would probably have preferred to do our own driving on the Peninsula that day and move at our own pace. The tour was nearly 10-hours in length which made for a long day.

Accommodation:

All of the accommodation met or exceeded our expectations! To be honest, we often felt like we had the best room in the hotel. The one exception was in Queenstown where we were given a room that faced a busy highway. We elected to upgrade for a modest fee to take a room with a view of the Lake which was much quieter.

Again, please note that I really had to stretch to find negative comments.

One thing we really enjoyed was the car service to/from the airport and from the train station. Also, having the car rental company meet us at the hotel was very convenient. These were extra touches that made a big difference to our peace of mind on the trip.

Overall, I would strongly recommend New Zealand Fine Touring to anyone looking to vacation in New Zealand (and I already have).

I wish you continued success in your operations and look forward to my next trip to New Zealand when I will use your company again.

All the best.

Sallie & Richard Walker, New Zealand Discovery Tour, Travelled on 14th January 2014

Arrived safe in Charlotte last night. Just wanted to send a quick thank-you for all of the fine work you do in organising these trips. Everything went so smoothly and all of the folks we dealt with had nothing but praise for your company.

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We left New Zealand feeling that we had seen the best part of both islands and have a real understanding and love for your country. New Zealand rocks! My husband is a beekeeper and was especially enchanted with the honey cafes and the beehives we saw all over the country. I couldn't get over the absolute beauty of the country, the openness and kindness of the people and the enchanting small towns where we stayed many nights. Thanks so much. Sallie Walker

Steven and Patricia Cuellar, 26 Day Discover New Zealand, Travelled eth January 2014

Hi Jessica,

Our trip was unbelievably wonderful.  We fully intended to visit you in Wanaka, but in the excitement of the trip, we totally forgot!   

We can't thank you enough for the wonderful trip. 

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We have been telling everyone we know about you and how great it was.  At several of our B&Bs other guests would ask questions and we would tell them about your company.  Many times we ended up going back to our room to retrieve our guide book from you and sharing it with guests.   Often they would have suggestions as to where to eat or something, and they would make little notes on pages for us.  

Everything went like clockwork (I don't know if that's a saying you have, but here in USA, it means it was perfectly timed.).  The drivers you chose always picked us up promptly, and were so very courteous and friendly as they took us to our destinations.  The hosts and

hostesses were exceptionally gracious and helpful.  The food they offered to us was always very good.  We look back at our pictures and have the very best memories of everyone.  The accommodations seemed to get better and better as the trip progressed.  I didn't think it was possible, but that's just how it seemed to us.  We lucked out with the weather, and that may have contributed to our fantastic experiences, but everything you planned for us was beyond our expectations.  

I hope that your bosses appreciate the great job you are all doing.  We couldn't have been more impressed with your company.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts... again, not sure if that's an expression you are familiar with, but it is a very sincere THANK YOU!

Patricia and Steve Cuellar

Bruce Mackie and Andrew Leung, North Island Explorer Tour, Travelled 31st January 2014

Hi Jessica and thanks for the feedback invitation.

Nearly everything went very well thanks, but there were a couple of little hiccups which caused mild concern and wasted an hour or so of time. 

These were firstly, when we arrived at Auckland the man was there to meet us, but his sign was turned round the wrong way, so there were other people's names on it (ours was on the reverse side.)  It wasn't a big deal and the guy who met us was very pleasant and helpful - but next time he might make sure his sign has the right names on.

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The other thing was that we were told we would be met at the Auckland airport hotel by someone from Europcar, but after waiting over half an hour in reception nobody came and I called someone at your office (was it you?) to find out what was going on.  Another half hour passed and still we were waiting.  While standing up I noticed the Europcar office across from the hotel in the terminal building and walked over.  We picked up the car after that but the point is we were told we would be met at the hotel but Europcar don't provide that service apparently - customers have to go to the office itself.  Again, no big deal, but we had got up early to make sure we were in reception to meet the Europcar rep., and then wasted over an hour before we left the airport.

So, altogether a fine experience and well organised apart from those two little glitches - easy to sort, I think.

Thanks too for the little briefcase, directions and souvenir map book, which we appreciated.

Thanks again for asking how things went - we had a great time.

Best regards,

Bruce.

Jackie Thomson, The Ultimate Length and Breadth 34 Day Tour, Travelled 5th January 2014

Hi Jessica,Well yes, it's all over now I've been back 2 weeks tomorrow and it all feels like a dream now in more ways than one. I'd be happy to submit the following feedback.

OUTSTANDING! My husband Alan and I had been trying to plan our holiday of a lifetime in NZ for over 10 years. With my 50th and his 60th looming in Jan 2014and May.



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2014 respectively we really needed to get a wiggle on to book it in the latter half of 2013. Finally after much argument and debate we decided to use a tour company to organise it for us. After a lot of research we eventually decided upon NZ Fine Tours. From the minute we contacted them we received an immediate, efficient, professional and courteous service.We were both amazed by rapid and very well understood needs of us by them.

Within a few days we received an almost perfect 34 day itinerary. We wanted to change just a couple of things which were no problem at all. The booking was paid along with the deposit and then eventually the final balance 6 weeks before we were due to travel on 3 Jan 2014.

However, the unthinkable happened on 27 Nov 2013. My husband Alan, suddenly without warning, passed away. Apart from the obvious shock and all things attributed to the passing of your  soul mate, best friend and partner for 25 years, I was left in turmoil about what I was going to do about our holiday of a lifetime in NZ. Alan had wanted to visit NZ since he was a young boy. And I was torn between going or staying. According to the terms of NZ Fine Tours I was out of the cancellation policy period. Of course I had travel insurance but I really did not know what to do. I contacted NZ Fine Tours literally a couple of weeks before we were due to travel. I explained ( in a very confused and teary state) to Jessica my contact there. Her approach to me was exactly what I needed. Caring, level headed and above all sensitive. She immediately offered flexibility and understanding. I will never be able to thank her enough for this at a time when I really needed it. I decided, in the end and after much soul searching, to go but it meant many changes to the itinerary and the excursions that Alan and I had previously booked. At every step of the way during this period, Jessica conducted herself in the most professional way. Nothing was too much trouble. Even sending me the odd email here and there to just see how I was. So after many changes, all efficiently and sensitively dealt with, I was on my way on 3 Jan 2014.

The trip itself was outstanding. Everything was so slickly and efficiently organised. NZ itself was everything and more that I thought it was going to be. Obviously my trip was challenging to me personally, but not in anyway for any other reason.

For the purposes of effective feedback there were just a few things I would like raise but they are given in the context that they in no way detracted from the most fabulous holiday I have ever had.

GPS System

Overall, the system worked OK. I thoroughly enjoyed the commentary of the country. I feel I really learned a lot about the country in a way it would not have done had this aspect of the system was not present. However, the actual GPS side of things were somewhat lacking. On several occasions I was taken on non sealed roads often taking me on long and on one occasion very, very scary detours to my destination. Furthermore, I am of the absolute belief that the system had not been updated for some time as it did not recognised some of the roads I was on (in that  the roads this happened on were relatively new roads). As I mentioned, the detours it took me on really did add significant time to the destinations, averaging an extra 2/3 hours! The very, very scary one was on my way to Snells Beach when it took me on a single track in the middle of a forest with u bend sheer cliff sides to my right. This although in itself was quite scary, but it was the huge logging trucks coming in the opposite direction to me at speed that made it extremely dangerous and scary. I have never been so terrified on a road before. This detour took me 1 hour 45 mins on top of the scheduled journey time. One other aspect of feedback for the GPS system was the repetitiveness of the background music played. Bearing in mind I was using the system for 33 days. The loop of the music was replayed ever 2/3 hours so you can imagine how many times I heard the same music. Of course I could have turned the background music on but the system does not allow you to have a normal music station on at the same time as using the GPS system.

The Accommodation

I felt the overall standard of the accommodation was fabulous with the exception of 2/3. These being Motel on York Dunedin and Martinborough. The 3rd was that at Tairua. I'd like to feedback on each one separately.

Motel on York - Dunedin

I was not impressed with this place immediately I arrived in reception.

The woman on the counter was abrupt bordering on rude who clearly felt I was disturbing her. She stated that she was only looking after the place and if I had any complaints I shouldn't bother her. I was given my key to my room ( I'm sorry I can't remember the room number) and was quite shocked with not only the standard of the room but also the smell. It smelled of damp and wet dog. The standard of cleanliness the kitchen and bathroom areas was also poor. In fairness I was not enamoured with Dunedin as a destination anyway. I contacted NZ FT and asked to change my booking there from 2 to 1 night and to extend my next destination at Kaka Point by an extra night. This was done with immediate, professional efficiently by Jessica.

Martinborough

Whilst the room was nice, it too smelled of damp but it was the numerous cockroaches that I could hear scampering around during the night which left my skin crawling. I killed several of them ( 2 of which were on my bed). I didn't sleep a wink that night. Every time I turned the light on several scampered away. It was disgusting. I raised it with reception the following morning as was informed that it the room had been sprayed and unfortunately that's what happened when you stay in the country. Not the type of response I was hoping for.

Tiarua.

This is not so much a complaint but more of an observation. The location of the place was perfect but the room were so dated and in no way to the standard to which I had become accustomed to during the trip. The room was small, which was not in itself a huge problem but the decor, furnishings, kitchen and bathroom areas were little more than very, very basic with the fridge smaller than the one I use for camping. Perhaps just an update of bed linen, curtains and kitchen equipment along with a fresh lick of paint could make a huge difference.

Apart form the points above, I have absolutely no other 'developmental'

feedback to give.

I had an outstanding time, despite my circumstances and I will be forever grateful and thankful that we picked NZFT our our tour company. I was so impressed by the services of the company I have recommended them to two of our friends already who are looking to travel to NZin late 2014/ early 2015.

So, thank you Jessica and the rest of the team at NZFT for all your hard work, patience and professionalism.

Very best regards

Jackie xx

Mario Scarperi and Ester Camesasca, Auckland to Queenstown 14 day Self Drive Tour, Travelled 22 January 2014

Hello Michelle,

excuse my late answer, but we are very busy in Australia travelling and making different activities. Our New Zealand Holiday was unforgettable, perfectly organised and in very nice accommodations.


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You did a great work, thank you so much! Australia to our opinion is not so beautiful as New Zealand, but nevertheless very interesting.

Thank you again and kind regards,

Ester and Mario

Phyl and Micheal Clisby, Tours of the North, Travelled 04 February 2014

thank you for making our holiday so pleasant and easy.

All the services that you arranged for us were just great - the accommodation and the car (upgraded) - and we think you must have had a hand in the weather, too.  It was perfect.

We will certainly recommend you and your Company to our friends.

Thanks once again.

Regards - Phyl and Michael Clisby

Kimberley, Ross and Alyssa Kanaley, North Island Hobbiton/Waitomo Short Break, Travelled 2 February 2014

Hi Michelle,

On behalf of Ross, Alyssa and myself I would like to say a big thank you for your suggestions and organisation of our short trip.



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It was fantastic to be met at the airport and transferred to our accommodation, at that late hour, especially when we had no idea where were going. Speaking of accommodation, we liked that they were varied whilst still being “4 star”.
Redwood Lodge was a particular surprise, as it was a homely Bed & Breakfast where we got treated like family rather than just a guest. Here Julie told us about the area and suggested that we visit “Hairy Feet”, www.hairyfeetwaitomo.co.nz  where the troll and campfire scenes in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" were filmed. As the reason for our trip had a ‘Hobbit’ tilt, this unexpected experience made it all the more exciting.
The map book was a nice surprise and a great keepsake. I was able to follow the overview of our trip in it, but when it got down to the finer details of accommodation addresses etc your detailed directional log came in handy. I admit that we did take a GPS, pre programmed with all the addresses, and we did really on that a lot more than the written directions, only because it gave audible directions.
The locations that you suggested were, in some cases, somewhere we would not have visited unless you had suggested them, but they were entertaining, enjoyable, and all the more memorable because of the surprise.
We have no doubt that when we come to explore NZ again, maybe the South Island, that we will seek your assistance, and will eagerly recommend that our friends do the same.
 
Thanks again
Kimberley Kanaley

Candis and Paul Ritchie, Auckland to Christchurch 17 day Highlights Tour, Travelled 20 January 2014

We absolutely fell in love with your country and 17 days was not long enough!  Paul and I would like to thank you and your company for an amazing vacation! We were so impressed with the DETAILED copy of our itinerary with driving instructions and the wonderful New Zealand Photo Atlas and Guide book, which will make a lovely keepsake and help us plan for our next vacation in NZ.


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You met our needs completely and really understood the things Paul and I were interested in. We wanted to see as much of New Zealand as we could and utilize our time smartly. 

The personal touches of being picked up at the airport and train station was great! Our drivers had signs clearly visible and were professionally dressed and wore name tags. You thought of everything we would need and it was nice not to have to worry about those details. Our accommodations were unbelievable and our host and hostess went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable and providing us with restaurant selections and activity information. WOW!

Some feedback:

1) We arrived fairly late in Auckland after 9:00pm. Our driver contacted Jerry at the Great in saying he had picked up Mr and Mrs Ritchie. Immediately Jerry wanted to know if we were hungry and would we be needing some restaurant menus. We just wanted a sandwich and was surprised when he said not to worry it would be in our room when we arrived! Wow not only was it there Jerry knocked on our door once we got settled in and brought us to the guest lounge for a glass of wine!

2) Peppers on the Point (stunning.)

3) Waitoma Glow Worm Caves (loved it)

4) Mitai Maori Village dinner and show (awesome)

5) Would NOT RECOMMEND Rainbow Springs Beauty by Night. Very disappointed. The Kiwi encounter was lame. It was not the only purpose-built kiwi conservation centre in New Zealand.  We did get the opportunity to take a behind the scene look into a very dark small enclosure but with the size of the group ( over 20) I didn't see any Kiwis. Paul did for three seconds. I recommend the Kiwi Encounter in Queenstown or at Franz Josef Glacier.

6) Tongariro Crossing guided hike with Chris is a must! I am glad you advised us to call the day ahead because our pick up time was actually an hour earlier than what was on the itinerary. An active Volcano WOW! LOVED IT Chris was thoughtful and genuine. Making sure we were comfortable. Our lunch was top notch and we even had a hot beverage and chocolate.

7) Wellington cable tram ($7.00 return). It is a quick ride with one stop. Nice view but only worth doing if you wanted to go to the Botanical Gardens.

8) Bolton Hotel Wellington is very nice and close to the Ferry Terminal with gas station so you could fill your rental prior to getting on the Ferry. However the underground parking right beside the hotel was NASTY! It smelt horrific, was filthy and dark. I would encourage the $30 valet parking.

9) Loved Christchurch. The quake museum and the cargo containers turned into stores and restaurants was fantastic. Ann gave a a different more scenic route to get to Oamaru which had stunning scenery! Along the coastline we did stop at a look out and saw hundreds of seals lying out on the rocks with their babies. Oh what fun. The baby seals had their own little swimming pool and they were leaping and having a blast. Seeing them in their natural habitat up and close was one of my highlights of our trip.

10) Oamaru is a quaint town and we loved the unique Oamaru Stone buildings but wished we knew the buildings closed between 4 or 5. In hindsight we spent more time than expected in Christchurch, oh well. The Oamaru Creek Bed and Breakfast was okay. My least favorite. It is a heritage old home but unlike the others the host and hostess didn't go out of their way.

11) Dunedin incredible. We drove along the Otago Coastline love it. Moeraki Boulders a MUST.

12) Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise  Although the weather Gods were not in our favor being a rain Forest  (cloudy and rainy)  it was one of the best highlights of our trip. Extremely well organised for beginning to end. We saw dolphins and seals and waterfalls and birds. Crew were fantastic and the food plentiful and tasty. RECOMMEND HIGHLY!  We were introduced to SAND FLIES. Ha ha 

13) Wanaka Springs Lodge HIGHLY RECOMMEND Glynnis and John went beyond our wildest expectations. We had happy hour with beverages and appetizers and wonderful conversation.

14) So glad we did the TranzAlpine Scenic train. 

Anyway I think I talked the ear off you. Once again THANK YOU so much for making our trip a dream of a lifetime.

Sincerely

Candis and Paul

 

Ken & Jingmei Zhang, Jing Li Zhang and Li Yang Grand New Zealand Tour, Travelled 22 January 2014

New Zealand Fine Touring offered very helpful info, and excellent arrangement; that also saved us a lot of time and energy or even trouble.

 


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The package they handed to us at airport including hotel and events voucher booklet, detailed road map, and compliment us with a nice photo book of New Zealand— I found out later all of pictures in the book are much better than my pictures or even more beautiful than the actual places we visited L  

Our tour consultant Jessica always replied our e-mail or phone call right away even on Christmas Eve,  and kindly answered all of questions.

 The only thing disappointed is Kruse GPS--- It couldn’t handle the main job- Navigation—It is like the first generation GPS. The touch screen doesn’t work or response at all, we had to use a pen to knock the screen. It is pretty slow, and always “Recalculating”. Doesn’t have “Favorites” function to memorize Hotel or places we need to save?! POI doesn’t have a lot famous sightseeing places to select. As it gave wrong direction and wasted us a lot of time, finally we gave up and sent it back on  Day 5.

I understand it offers info and history around your current location, but how can you enjoy your “Navigator” guided you 3 times back and force through Auckland Harbour Bridge, and keep telling you same story “the bridge was built in 19xx……”?!  in between it also told us “Re-calculate”.

 After all, we honestly appreciate and highly recommend New Zealand Fine Touring’s performance and service.

Best regards;

Ken     

 

Angela Mislowsky and Scott Cook, Auckland to Christchurch 14 Day Highlights, Travelled on 25th January 2014

We can't thank you enough for helping us plan a wonderful honeymoon. I was a little wary to use an "outside" USA company but your company was very easy to deal with and we were even 'assigned' Michelle who was great and answered all our questions promptly.

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We wanted some structure but a lot of freedom and that was exactly what we got. The books, maps and guides provided upon arrival were very useful. 2 weeks was not enough and we would love to come back again. We were sad to go and 'tear out our last voucher' but had an experience we will never forget. THANK YOU!

Anura Malawaraarachchi, Mr Berty Fernando & Families, 15 day family hightlights tour including Milford Sound, travelled 25 December 2013

Dear Shelley,

Sorry to take long time to reply. We had a great time in New Zealand. Everything went smoothly from the moment we land until we came home. It could not have been so by chance, but surely due to suggestions and arrangement you have made during our tour design phase.

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Below are some of our comments.

Meet and greet: Uncle Harding was very funny and excellent person for the job.

To find food on Christmas day evening in Auckland was not that hard. There were plenty of small stalls operated by Chinese and Indian Nationals, but of cause if we wanted to have Christmas dinner in a formal way we must have booked.

Hire car arrangement on day 2, morning was all well organised. No hassles at all.

Matamata movie tour is great.

Rotorua Royal palms accommodation was the best of all. We felt we should have stayed another day. Out of our original plan we did Te Po Maori Evening with Kiwi centre combo tour which was very entertaining. Once again they were suggested by you earlier but we thought too much at that time.

One of very few drawbacks of the tour was the Wellington accommodation. It was probably not suitable for guests with a car as car parking was a big hassle. We had to park in a Wilson parking nearby and following day morning was in sort of a car queue to reverse to the lobby to load our luggage. I was imagining how hard it would have been if it was a weekday. Lucky for us we were there on a Sunday.

At Wellington Perry station, to park the car in Europcar car park was a hassle as the car park was full. We were panic a little then somebody said “park anywhere, they will find the car”. We did that and of cause they must have found it because we did not get a bill in our Credit card. Please talk to Europcar and include bit more instructions in your tour information.

In Picton Berty was given a sedan which was not roomy for 5 people and luggage. We refused it and they said they haven’t got a similar car what we have booked. After they gave us 12 seater van which Berty accepted, but during the tour in some areas in south Island we wished if we had a four wheel drive because the van was too slow.

Kaikoura whale watch is must for any visitor. The boat crew was so helpful for people get sea sickness and they made it feel normal. I haven’t seen such an helpful crew anywhere in the world so far. So if anyone thinks they want to see whales but scared of sea sickness, doesn’t worry, join this tour you will not be disappointed.  We saw two sperm whales and by luck a pod of killer whales. The commitment of the crew to show us another whale after we seen the first one whales was unbelievable.

Our Christchurch accommodation was excellent too. Camelot managers were the best of all. They were so helpful.

The person took us back to the airport was very nice and friendly.

All of the South Island is so beautiful. Generally in New Zealand we never got bored while driving because the scenery is so beautiful and they change so quickly along the road. Again I should mention your tour planning must get credit for it. You knew how far we could drive per a day and each day was arranged so that we do not get too tired and having a good accommodation at the end of the each day also helped.

I think GPS navigation unit is a must for the car. I brought it from Australia with NZ maps cost as same as I would hire one from the car hire company. You may encourage your clients to do the same as I did because I noticed in Picton another family who had booked GPS did not get one. Europcar said sorry they do not have one because the car supposed to be returned with the GPS had not come yet. Local managers at the car hire company cannot do anything.

So finally thank you so much for making our NZ tour so memorable. On few occasions you cared of us much above our expectations. I have already recommended you to few of our friends already. There is a big Sri Lankan community in Victoria. Hopefully you may here from few.

Regards

Anura

Louise, Mike and Josh, Bridges Family Adventure, Travelled 21 December 2013

Hi Shelley,  Happy New Year to you too.  We all had a fabulous time in New Zealand, we were very impressed with the tour you arranged for us, all the accommodation was excellent and the directions were spot on, we would definitely recommend you to our friends if they were planning a similar trip.