Alistair Duncan & Maureen Hornak, South Island 24 Day Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 18th January 2019
Very pleasant touring the South Island. It seemed by going clockwise we were in much less traffic. Everything from motels to activities went off as planned. Selection of motels was very good, especially on the first half of the trip, a couple on the second half were a bit worn. Hope to get back to tour the North Island in 2020.
Jenny Morgan and Kristy Jordan, South Island Escape, travelled on 24th January 2019
I’m writing to you from the airport in Auckland on February 14. We’re heading back home to Denver this evening, after truly the best vacation of our lives. Thank you for all your work on our behalf. We couldn’t be happier with New Zealand Self Drive Tours and your work in particular. 100% of the details you arranged for us worked out wonderfully. We loved every place we stayed and every adventure we experienced. Each of your recommendations were fantastic for us. We are thrilled with the 3 weeks we spent in NZ. And so grateful for your help. We will be back. We hope you can keep our records open and active. We anticipate reaching out to you for help again in the future. Now, if you could just help us become New Zealand residents, we would be indebted to you forever :-). God bless you. And thank you very much.
Nick, Mary Beth and Bryan Adams, New Zealand North and South Adventure Holiday, Travelled on 20th January 2019
Fantastic vacation! Amanda D. did a phenomenal job of putting together a terrific itinerary. Details were well organized and easy to follow. We would definitely use NZ Self Driving Tours (and Amanda D.) again should we make another trek to New Zealand!
Andrea and Paul Jull, Customised Discover New Zealand Tour, travelled on 21st January 2019
What a fantastic trip! So many great highlights! We were so lucky, if the trip had been a few days later the weather would have totally changed the trip. We had beautiful sunny weather for both Doubtful Sound and the Franz Joseph heli-hike. Swimming with the dolphins was fantastic though a bit of confusion of whether lunch was included (it wasn’t). Thank you for your advice on planning this trip, you were a pleasure to work with! Now back reality, snow in Victoria, trees across the driveway and the furnace stopped working while we were away so the house is only 9 degrees! Oh well, we have some wonderful memories of New Zealand and hope to return soon!
Melissa, Maree Pearce & Bailey Wilde-Pearce, A Custom Family Fun North Island Tour, Travelled on 10th January 2019
Thank you for a wonderful itinerary Christina, you sure did assist us to have a lovely holiday that was stress-free. You planned everything perfectly, from short distances to pick up our hire car to making sure our itinerary had rest times. We were more than happy with everything you planned for us. The accommodation was perfect and most importantly lovely and clean, (we are super fussy and we couldn't fault the cleanliness). We appreciate the time, effort and energy you took in making sure every detail was perfect. Thank you once again, your friendly, helpful professional manner was very much appreciated. I would encourage friends and family to book through New Zealand Self Drive Tours!
Sue and Ken Vaughan, Ken & Sue's Incredible 15 Day Highlights of New Zealand, Travelled on 30th December 2018
First off, we had a marvelous time in New Zealand and appreciated both your efforts and those of your entire team. We needed to contact your office twice with questions. Both times we had our questions answered very quickly. We were glad the rental cars were automatics. It was awkward enough to drive on the wrong side of the street and have the driver on the wrong side of the car…if we had to learn to shift with our left hand on the narrow mountain roads we might have gotten into trouble. The way you put the book together was easy to follow. Having the Quick Reference of the Itinerary was extremely useful. We found the Driving Directions not to be very useful. It seemed to us that road signs were not very prevalent or obvious enough for us to read. The hotel rooms and breakfasts for the most part were great. The room in Dunedin was quite small and the snack for breakfast was very meager. Perhaps we were just spoiled with the wonderful breakfast buffets at the Scenic hotels. We also appreciated the in-room laundry facilities in both the Waldorf and the Garden Court Suites (the Garden Court Suites was especially convenient for our 3-night stay, since all the stores and sites to see were within walking distance). The Zealandia Twilight Walk was very interesting, but we think it would have been beneficial to visit it first during the day (to learn more about it and see more of what there was to see in the facility) and return for the night tour. The tour guide we had for our night tour was exceptional and very informative. We also highly recommend going to the International Antarctic Centre, especially if you like Blue Penguins. We got a private behind the scenes tour of the facility which was quite meaningful since we had gone to see the Albatross Center in Dunedin the previous day and stayed to watch the Blue Penguins come ashore at night. The ride in the Haagland Tracked vehicle was also fun to experience and learning about expeditions that take off from Christchurch to the Antarctic. We never ran out of things to do and see. As a matter of fact, we seemed to always run out of time. In retrospect we could easily have spent another week + traveling around. We did not have time to get to all the suggested stops, so we often had to prioritize what we went to see. Thanks again for making our New Zealand visit such a big success!
Gwen and Neil Blackshaw, The Customised South Island Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 10th January 2019
First of all we had a wonderful time in New Zealand and it met many of our expectations. We didn't start very well and I suggest that if someone is flying in then the first night should be at a reasonable hotel in Christchurch. We did not enjoy the Bella Vista! By the time we came back for the last night we knew what to expect. Didn't arrive until 7pm due to the late arrival of the Tranz Alpine express and we're leaving at 9:30am so it wasn't a problem. The first two days were especially as it was hot! We didn't really enjoy the other Bella Vista in Franz Josef either. Other than that the accommodation though mixed was quite acceptable. The one at Bealey Motel was very quirky but interesting! The last night before the train at Punakaiki was amazing and by far the best stay...we could have stayed a week. We enjoyed all the activities with the cruise on Milford Sound and the Tranx Alpine being highlights. We did a lot of walking and saw many fantastic sights. The other good one was an Albatross watching in Kaikoura. The car was very good although it only just fitted all our luggage in with the seats down. It would have been useless for four people but we got quite attached to it. We were very pleased with the paper work and all the bookings worked beautifully. There weren't any hiccups. All worked as it should and we were picked up and dropped off at the right time. Very dependable. We found the kiwis friendly and helpful throughout our stay and would happily come back again soon.
Jared, Neville and Carolyn Lieschke, A Taste of the South Self Drive Tour, travelled on 3rd January 2019
I just wanted to let you know that we all had a fantastic holiday in NZ! Narissa created a wonderful itinerary for us! We all loved every moment! Loved the Hertz 4WD, and the hotels were very comfortable, too! We loved Mount Cook, and The Earnslaw cruise! In fact every place we visited, we went on gorgeous walks and hikes! We all definitely plan to come back, next time we may select 2 or 3 towns and spend more time in each of this towns, exploring. Thank-you for your help!
Greg Storey, Greg's Customised 21 Day Discover New Zealand Tour!, Travelled on 8th January 2019
I was very pleased with the service I received in arranging my trip. Sarah Baumanis contacted me directly by phone to establish contact, and called me several times as we fine tuned my itinerary. This personal touch is different from my typical experience with travel agents in other countries, who typically just email back and forth. I was happy with the quality of all of the hotels she picked out. There was a mix up on one hotel reservation, which turned out to be the fault of the reservation agent at the hotel. They did a great job of making a change on the fly for one activity. I requested a change in date for an activity based on the weather forecast, and they came thru in meeting my request. This allowed me to enjoy that activity without getting rained on. Also, one tour provider had to change the time of one activity, and they did a great job of interfacing with that provider and letting me know of the time change ASAP. Sarah has extensive knowledge of New Zealand, and it is apparent she has traveled to many of the places that typically are desired by clients, and has taken many of the tours and done many of the activities, giving her the ability to provide expert feedback to clients that help them decide if that activity is right for them. I highly recommend New Zealand Self Drive Tours and New Zealand Fine Touring.
Peter West & Barbara Minney, Customised Discover New Zealand, Travelled on 13th December 2018
Overall the holiday ran smoothly, all reservations were correct, the itinerary worked well and we saw everything we had wanted to see. The motels were very good, and even the most basic was totally satisfactory. Very nice to tea/coffee facilities usually with fresh milk provided. Those with full cooking/washing facilities were much appreciated. As far as the locations were concerned they were excellent, we would have preferred not to have been in city centres as parking was expensive and access often difficult, This does not apply to Christchurch were parking is currently plentiful. The information supplied was accurate but needed more detail in the directions with distances. Without a Sat Nav we would have struggled. Great holiday.
Shirendra and Tara Lawrence, The Customised Auckland to Christchurch Explorer, Travelled on 6th January 2019
Overall it was a fantastic experience, and the arrangements made by yourselves were awesome. We did have reason during the trip to make contact with yourselves a couple of times, and the actions needed were addressed immediately. Thanks and we would be happy to recommend yourselves to friends - in fact we have already done that.
Ray & Dee Webb, Queenstown, Milford Sound & Te Anau Spectacular, Travelled on 15th January 2019
We have traveled around the world many times and experienced good and poor travel advice and service. Without doubt Nisse Perry at NZ Selfdrive Tours provided an outstanding service which we could simply not fault. Nisse's ability to package our tour to match our requirements was exceptional. Equally her constant communication with email phone and in writing was like dealing with a close friend. We would not hesitate to recommend Nisse to all wanting to travel this beautiful country. One negative we must reveal was the amount of time we allocated to the trip, it should have been twice as long - it was that good. Nisse was there when we made some stupid mistakes like rocking up to the airport without our passports and having to reschedule our trip by a day. Nisse took charge and all went so smoothly. We met with Nisse on the NZ trip for a brief chat and now regard her as a friend and look forward to engaging her on future trips. Thanks Nisse for a wonderful holiday and your genuine interest in our travels.
Brenda Ryan-Dejak, Frank Dejak with Charlie and Lynne Page, North Island Highlights, Travelled on 15th January 2019
Louise your planning and bookings worked beautifully. All reservations were without a hitch.
Reeta, Vijay, Joshua & Hosanna Kumar, Coast to Coast Family Adventure, Travelled on 23rd December 2018
I wanted to thank you and your tour company for booking such a memorable trip for us - the hotel rooms that was booked were excellent choices, the maps and places that were recommended to see were awesome and the activities included were tremendous - we had no issues at all and thoroughly enjoyed the trip. This has to be the best holiday we ever had and South Island is out of this world in terms of its natural beauty. I highly recommend you guys!
Karen, Hilton, Candace and Max Lees, Auckland to Christchurch 14 Day Highlights, Travelled on 4th January 2019
Thank you for coordinating such a wonderful holiday. We crammed so much in and the weather was perfect. All accommodation and activities were great and we could not fault our stay anywhere. It was unfortunate that we missed the Shotover Jet activity but it ended up being a good lay day. Instead we did an extra Canyon swing for the kids which they loved. We have done nothing but rave about the holiday and have marketed New Zealand Self Drive as the place to go for coordinating a trip to New Zealand. Hassel free and easy it was a holiday to remember. Thank you so very much for nursing us through the itinerary and making the process easy. Your knowledge and recommendations were spot-on and met every expectation.
Daniel J Brady and Kaela Gabrell, The Customised New Zealand Grand, Travelled on 30th December 2018
Our New Zealand customized tour was absolutely awesome. Everything that we wanted to do was included and went like clockwork. There was never a time while on the journey that we were interrupted for anything, you took care of all arrangements for rooms,cars and all other excursions that we wanted to see. Everything went so smoothly just like you planned it out for us. We were more than happy and amazed at how smooth it all went. The booklet that was included was also so well prepared that we were never in doubt as to driving directions or time that we had to be anywhere. You were so well planned and organized that we just were able to relax and enjoy all the New Zealand had to offer. Thank you so much!!
Kerry & Joseph Grauches, South Island Coastal Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 30th December 2018
It was a great experience for myself and my husband we will definitely be doing it again. Abby was absolutely amazing arranging our holiday always in touch with us as we live in Australia thank you very much New Zealand self drive tours
John & Margaret Granger, Top of the South Island Self Drive Loop, Travelled on 29th December 2018
We thought the balance of the self drive holiday you arranged for us was excellent. The accommodation was good, the tours you pre-booked were ones we needed to go on, the distance we needed to drive each day was not excessive, and the car was ideal for our purpose.
Bruce, Jodi, Brendan & Joseph Lavell, 14 Day Christchurch to Auckland Must Do Tour, Travelled on 20th December 2018
This was a phenomenal trip! (I don't want to spoil it by saying anything else!)
Stephen James Rink & Tobias Baumgartner, 26 Day Discover New Zealand, Travelled on 19th December 2018
Our trip to New Zealand was fantastic! It was truly the stuff of dreams. We were lucky enough to spend nearly a month there which didn't seem like enough! It made us realize how much we still want to do there! Most of the hotels were perfect, only the Bella Vista in Rotorua was a bit cramped, comparatively. Everything else was smooth and wonderful! I look forward to booking an additional trip with you soon!
Pam Stein & Alan Gorberg, Your New Zealand Adventure, Travelled on 17th December 2018
Hi! We had the best time on our trip. New Zealand is an amazing country and Heather and the team made is so easy for us. In addition, we enjoyed al the activities selected for us and wouldn't have changed anything. the only bad things was that our trip had to end...thank you for an experience of a lifetime!!!
Tim and Hannah Cory, South Island Summer Escape, Travelled on 16th December 2018
I just wanted to take a few lines to express our sincere thanks to those at New Zealand Self Drive Tours. We chose to concentrate on the South Island as most of our interests were in mountains, lakes, and glaciers. Unfortunately my wife was not able to make the trip as she struggles with long flights, so this was my biggest disappointment. So my travel companion was my daughter. To say she and I were not disappointed would be a big understatement. It was perhaps one of the best vacations I can ever remember taking. This was due to a couple of factors. First, the stunning diverse natural beauty that New Zealand has to offer is like none I've ever seen. Second, the travel suggestions and travel arrangements made for us by Tare and follow up by Amanda were spot on with our interests. their communication was clear and always timely should we have any questions. Every schedule and booking that was set up went off like clockwork. I turned out to be the biggest problem in that I couldn't go more than five kilometers without having to stop and take more photos, which made the drives from place-to-place a bit of a challenge for me. If time and budget would allow, the only thing I would change is to double the time I'd spend in your beautiful country. As a testament to your company's reliability, I spoke with one of our hotel operators and mentioned we were doing a Self-Drive. She said she'd been dealing with your company for years and has always been impressed with the precision and dependability of your tour arrangements. Thank you for your attention to detail and if I ever have another opportunity to visit, I won't hesitate to call again.
Manohari, Jayantha, Navin and Dilan Abeysinghe, Customised Southern Icons Tour, Travelled on 18th December 2018
We are back in Sydney after our 10 day holiday in New Zealand South Island. We had a very enjoyable holiday. New Zealand South Island has such stunning scenery, and is so beautiful. Thank you very much for organising our itinerary for us and for booking our accommodation and vehicle. Everything worked well and all motels were comfortable. The only thing we couldn't do in what we planned to do was the helicopter ride in Franz Josef. All flights were cancelled that day due to bad weather. We enjoyed the two cruises in Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound. The weather could not have been better. We had perfect sunny days for these, and the scenery there was fantastic. From Queenstown we drove to Glenorchy and to Paradise, the drive was so scenic. On Christmas day we did the Key Summit Track in Te Anau, and there too you see stunning alpine scenery everywhere. We went to Invercargill and then to Dunedin and then to Mount Cook, as it was a nice sunny day we could see Mount Cook very clearly that day. We enjoyed New Zealand South Island very much and thank you very much for organisng the tour for us.
Bob & Nancy Gustin, Customised 14 Day Christchurch to Auckland Must Do Tour, Travelled on 7th December 2018
Each day we awoke was filled with wonder and fun. The beauty of NZ is astounding. So many scenic roads that take your breath away. NZFT was fantastic in guiding us and selecting most of our hotels. One bit of advice, don't wait til you're in your 80's to drive these roads; exciting as heck for us but can be a challenge with hairpin turns and narrow lanes. The time of year we picked (early December) turned out great and we missed the crowded tourist season. Seemed like great weather followed us everywhere - for example, when we arrived at Mt. Cook, the tourist office told us it had been locked in clouds for two weeks. The day we arrived it was blue sky and sunny!
Brian and Richelle Gist, The Customised Ultimate Tour of New Zealand, Travelled on 16th December 2018
We had an absolutely wonderful trip, and you found places that there is no way we would have found. The tours were exactly as expected, and we had a great trip. Congrats! We can’t wait to come back to NZ. Our trip was unbelievable. Thanks for everything.
Vimal Narayanan and family, Queenstown to Auckland 14 Day Highlights tour, travelled on 16th December 2018
I am writing to thank you for making a wonderful arrangement for our tour in the last two weeks of December 2018. Your country is beautiful and rich in culture and natural diversity. The Milford Sound and Mt Cook visits were out of this world. The train ride to Moana and lunch in the small restaurant - station house cafe was awesome. The Museum Te Papa was a rich education for us on the history and culture of your country. The drive through your country is in itself the biggest attraction - each turn of the wheel we were spellbound by the beauty of your land. Stopping at small shops to savor the local produce was wonderful. I can go on and on. The trip was flawless except that one episode in Wellington Ferry terminal which was out of your control. In the end, I think you and your team did a great job. I would recommend to my friend's to visit your beautiful country and experience the natural wonders of the unspoiled world out there. Keep it pristine. Wishing you and your company great success.
Goutham Balachandra and friends, Explore New Zealand's Incredible South Island, Travelled on 3rd December 2018
Nisse did an excellent job of preparing a self drive holiday which catered to our specific requirements. She was available on call to sort out little issues during our trip. The holiday was everything AND more than we had expected. Thanks
Jonathan & Nancy Shalev and Eliezer & Monica Kraus, South Island Discovery, Travelled on 11th November 2018
Thank you very much for organizing our tour of the Southern Island. All the arrangements and the choice of motels and tours were very good. We really enjoyed the trip. Also, your suggestions for short walks were very helpful. The only remark we have is that we almost missed the great site Nugget Point that wasn't mentioned in the program, which would have been a pity, as it was very close to Kaka point. Best wishes.
Jeff & Fran Young, Coast to Coast Family Adventure, Travelled on 24th November 2018
We had a wonderful time on our recent trip to New Zealand. We have been fortunate enough to travel to many destinations and my wife and I agreed that New Zealand is possibly the best location we have visited. Additionally, we have used several travel agencies over the years and our experience with New Zealand Self Drive Tours was excellent. Christina was wonderful to work with and she did an fantastic job setting everything up for us. We had high expectations for this trip and our expectations were exceeded. New Zealand is an incredibly beautiful and clean country. We also met the nicest people. Everyone was friendly and helpful. We have only great things to say about New Zealand. We will recommend New Zealand Self Drive Tours to anyone we know who will be planning a trip there. Thank you making our trip so enjoyable. We look forward to visiting again in the near future.
Joanna Au and Family, Revamped Customised South Island Top Spots, Travelled on 30th November 2018
We booked a self-drive tour to the South Islands for 12 days with NZ Self Drive Tours. Amanda was extremely helpful and patient even with the numerous iterations of the itinerary. The accommodations provided were awesome and able to cater to our needs. Activities which were provided and those suggested by Amanda were awesome. As this was our first self-drive trip in NZ, Amanda was thoughtful enough to suggest that we took the TranzAlpine down to Greymouth on Day 2 and then pick up our vehicle from Greymouth where we started on our wonderfully scenic drives. Thank you for the awesome suggestions. The trip has left many beautiful memories!
Pierre Thibaut & Axelle Ghiste, Customised New Zealand Tour , travelled on 6th November 2018
We want to thank you for the perfect job you have made arranging our trip in NZ. In summary: far Better than expected!
Jenny & Terrence Fay, A Customised Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self-Drive Tour, Travelled on 21st November 2018
I was VERY pleased with the service and support from Christina and the company. The only glitch we had was the rental car not being delivered .. thankfully we weren't in a hurry to depart! The number provided in the booklet was not direct to the Christchurch depot so that was an issue as we went on hold for over 20 minutes ! While one of us was on hold we instead rang your company and it was quickly sorted out. Everything else was just perfect and we would highly recommend this service. It made for a very stress free holiday. Thanks so much.. especially to Christina.
Gordon Chua Choon Hiong, Seng Chuan Tan & Eugene Chan, Tailored Northern Explorer Adventure, Travelled on 3rd December 2018
Thank you Laura. It was a wonderful trip overall. The weather wasn't kind on the 1st 2 days, but subsequently it got better. I love the Hobbiton movie set visit, the Waitomo Caves Exploration, the Maori cultural exchange, the Huka Fall jet ride, and the rare encounter with a Kiwi bird. The pace of the entire tour and car travel from town to town was awesome, lots of exploration opportunities and photo taking. New Zealand is such a beautiful country, and I would love to head to the south one more time in the near future. Thank you.
Diana and Heather Chase, Spectacular South Island, Travelled on 23rd November 2018
Thank you so much for all the arrangements you made for our holiday in NZ. It made everything so easy to pick up the car and just check in to our accommodation without any hitches. It was really very useful to have the NZ touring atlas and once we got the GPS talking to us (we took a while to figure the GPS out) we were reminded to 'obey all traffic regulations' i.e speed limits!! When we were in Dunedin we decided to take the train trip up the Taieri Gorge. We thoroughly enjoyed this and wondered whether you could include that in your suggested activities for visitors to that city. Needless to say we were thrilled to wake up to a blue sky on the morning of our heli-hike! That was an experience not to be missed! So really everything went swimmingly and we would recommend others take advantage of your services. We cannot thank you enough!!!
Mike & Carolyn McDowell, 21 Day South Island Highlights Tour, travelled on 8 November 2018
Our trip was a phenomenal experience, a ‘trip of a lifetime’. Usually the weeks leading up to a big international trip like this, I am a little anxious, hoping we make all our flight connections and all of our bookings are really booked, when we arrive in another country. Everything went smoothly, did not miss any flights, and all of our lodging and excursions were booked when we arrived. I always take a printout of all reservations with me as a back-up. All of our pick-ups and drop-offs were on time, very friendly, and helpful with luggage.Read more
We appreciated the fantastic room views we had at several of our lodgings, the Garden Court Suites in Queen town which was ‘out of this world’ spectacular, the Aoraki Court Motel with an unobstructed ‘to die for’ view of Mt. Cook right in front of our faces. Akaora Village Inn had a wonderful view overlooking the Akaora harbor, Anchor Inn Motel with a lovely view of the east coast with beautiful rock formations, the Ocean View Chalets nestled in a rainforest with a spectacular view looking out on the north coast, loved the view at the Hydrangea Cottage in a rainforest setting overlooking the ocean surf on the west coast. I would have loved spending an extra night at the Hydrangea Cottages, (we had only 1 night there), such a magical setting. It was nice having a living space at all our accommodations to relax in the evenings.
Everything we saw was absolutely gorgeous. Usually at the end of a trip we like to talk about what we each enjoyed the most from the trip, that was a real challenge this time, but we both finally agreed the Queenstown experience was the most treasured, as it is set in such a spectacular location, (even the airport is beautiful with surrounding mountains).We had such a delightful room view and the gondola ride to the top of Bob’s Peak, the view is ‘out of this world ‘on a sunny day. Luckily, we had sun both days we were in Queenstown. We did a wonderful 6 mile return hike to Hooker Lake at Mt Cook, after crossing 4 lengthy swing bridges twice, I overcame my fear of swing bridges. The winding drive down the ancient volcano of the Banks Peninsula and then Akaroa village at the bottom was quite unique and amazingly beautiful with all the greenery. We loved the west coast, very lush and tropical. The drive from Fox glacier back to Queenstown, our last full day on the trip, was spectacular. The sun was out and the azure blue lakes were absolutely gorgeous. The Crown Range Road drive from Wanaka to Queenstown was breathtaking. What a wonderful way to close the final full day of the trip.
The Atlas was a huge help as we are ‘map’ people. The detailed itinerary booklet was a huge help as well. Overall, we were super impressed with the organization of all the details of this trip. NZ Self Drive Tours does an outstanding job, highly reliable and professional. I will highly recommend your tour agency and your name to anyone I know asking for recommendation for a NZ self-drive travel agency.
Thanks so much for your service, attention to detail, and accommodating a lodging room view when possible with no additional charges. We are now reviewing our video and pictures, we saw so much!
Tina Naidu & Jatin Patel, North Island Adventure, Travelled on 18th November 2018
My husband and I were visiting New Zealand for the first time. We had 7 days to tour New Zealand as we spent some time in Australia visiting family prior to NZ. Louise helped us prepare an itinerary for our visit to New Zealand and I'm so glad I decided to do it this way as she took a lot of time to listen to the things that were important to us. It was also a reality check that we shouldn't be doing the north and south island in a 7 day period as it would feel rushed and we would lose out on the beauty this country has to offer. We decided that for the time period we had in NZ, it'll be better to visit North Island because we will definitely be back for the South Island. Louise and I exchanged several emails on what we wanted, what were our priorities, highlights, ideal time to spend in each city, etc. She gave some great recommendations and even though the skeleton of the trip was made by her, we were able to do a lot of other items on her list and also relax during our time there instead of rushing through each city. Everything was well organized and our trip went without a glitch. All the details from rentals to hotels to tours were easy to understand and well organized. I will definitely be planning another trip.
Robert Janelle, Saaskia Girdler & Priscilla Steele, Customised Ultimate North Island Tour, Travelled on 8th November 2018
We have just had our best ever NZ North Island experience. The best ever, most beautiful part of the world, very friendly kiwis people, & too much for us to see & do, still have not seen everything, just a small percentage of whats to offer on this great North Island experience. Had a nice beach swim at Goat Island, north of Auckland. Greatest holiday experience, great people, natural scenery.
Spencer & Katherine Maxcy, South Island Spectacular, Travelled on 16th November 2018
Great experience! This was by far the best trip I have ever been on. Louise knocked it out of the park. She was super helpful and was always a phone call away if anything came up. 5 star experience!
Leanne Thompson, Doreen & Angus Catchpole and Desmond Zanow, Fiords, Glaciers, Mountains and Beaches, Travelled on 19th November 2018
We had the best holiday and Jane did an amazing job of put everything together. We highly recommend her for anyone looking to book a self drive holiday in NZ.
Lesley & Thomas Madden, Revised 20 Day South Island Encounter, Travelled on 3rd November 2018
Our trip to New Zealand went like clockwork thanks to Jane who organised everything for us. We enjoyed this trip even more than our last visit to NZ. We cannot fault the arrangements made and all the bookings made were just as we expected. Thanks again.
Patricia & Peter Baker, The Length & Breadth 30 Days South to North, Travelled on 1st November 2018
Spending 4 weeks in New Zealand has been fantastic. All arrangements that were made were exactly as expected. Accommodation often was far above expectations. Every time we were to be met, there was the driver waiting for us even when the train from Greymouth was very late. I definitely recommend you asking for a quote and itinery for your next trip.
Kathy and Ronald Barker, Tina and Timothy McClelland, The Ultimate 30th Anniversary Celebrations, Travelled on 10th November 2018
Trip was amazing. Beautiful New Zealand could not have been a better place to vacation & celebrate. Narissa was very attentive to our wishes. She made good effort to communicate with me by email or phone. She gave good suggestions, ideas and advice. She was able to help us keep,within our budget too. It was nice to have a chaperone meet us at the airport to answer questions. The tour company was very responsive to our need and request while traveling.
Tom and Gale Tanger, The Customised Short Escape, Travelled on 29th October 2018
Everything was great as usual. All of the side trips worked well and were enjoyable. Thank you for a great trip on short notice.
Rob and Rita Poore, The Customised South Island Spectacular, Travelled on 31st October 2018
This was our first trip to New Zealand. We thoroughly enjoyed our customised South Island Spectacular, which was extremely well organised by Narissa. We felt that the planning process was good and we were fully involved in deciding which experiences appealed to us. We were also able to include a visit to our family in the itinerary, which made it even more special! All went very well, apart from a severe storm from the West Coast which caused the cancellation of our trip on the TranzScenic train to Christchurch, but we were able to retain our excellent Toyota Corolla thanks to good co-operation from Budget Car Hire and a quick phone call to the NZ Self Drive Tours office. We were pleased too, with the follow up by Narissa checking to ensure our safe travel. Now we have a good excuse (if we needed one!) to come back again! Thank you Narissa for all you did for us.
Srinivas and Sridevi Singaram, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Explorer, Travelled on 7th November 2018
We booked a 10 days/ 9 nights self drive tour of South Island and we did it this past November. It was one of the greatest holidays we have ever had. Driving was easy and fun and we didn’t find any difficulties with clear instructions right from the second you land. The only thing I felt we could have done better was getting a bigger car instead of the small Toyota Corolla. The booking process was easy and I spoke to Jane Zwerrenz over the phone before booking and she effectively tailored our itinerary according to our needs. You probably can save a little bit more if you book hotels directly, but all that hassle of searching for good priced hotels and locations were removed when we booked through these guys. We were happy with the accommodations provided everywhere especially in Queenstown and Mount Cook where we were given rooms with excellent views of the lakes and mountains. I definitely and strongly recommend New Zealand self drive tours for my friends and family .
Tan and Wong, Wellington to Queenstown Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 12th November 2018
This was the first time we travel to New Zealand and we were very exited about the trip. The itinerary was well planned by Jess Pearson, our tour consultant. We were thinking of doing the North and South Island tour within 8 days but was not possible, so Jess suggested we skip the North Island and fly direct into Wellington from Auckland. We made some changes to the itinerary in between. Overall it was a wonderful trip and the best trip of my life. New Zealand is such a beautiful country and I am glad we made this trip there. This is the first time I see and touch snow in my life which was in Queenstown. If you are going to New Zealand for the first time and want to save all the hassle of planning, this is the place to go to book your holiday in New Zealand. Highly recommended.
Savvoula Kotsi & Michail Arvanitis, 9 Day Southern Icons Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 8th November 2018
Our contact with the agency was Louise Barrett. She was very helpful in helping us organising our trip to New Zealand. We worked closely together and we took into account her suggestions (especially those regarding driving travel distances and tours). Everything went according to plan. We have no complaints. Even when two of our planned activities were cancelled due to bad weather, they reimbursed us straight away. Overall great experience. Highly recommend the agency.
Swaraj, Aarathy, Vendant and Kriti Thampi, Christchurch to Auckland Must Do Tour, Travelled on 6th November 2018
An almost perfect holiday. Our tour was very well organised and everything worked perfectly. All the accommodation was good. We lost a day of sightseeing due to bad weather but Mount Cook more than made up for it. Thank you Louise.
David and Sandra Faneco, Robert and Margaret Graham, The Customised New Zealand Discoverer, Travelled on 23rd October 2018
Thank you so so much for our wonderful holiday in your beautiful country. Since getting back have hit the ground running. Everything about our trip was great - the accommodation, car hire, activities booked and suggested all worked like clockwork. Our accommodation everywhere was fantastic and with breakfast included was much appreciated. Having the GPS made getting around so much easier. We affectionately called it 'Mary'. She did try to take us off track a couple of times but we would have been lost without her. All of the included activities we thoroughly enjoyed plus we did quite a few of the suggested activities as well. Thank you again for all you and your teams assistance when we looked like being stranded in Queenstown after all the rain. Things worked out perfectly for us with the road reopening between Queenstown and Greymouth and also the train back on the track on the Sunday. We truly had a memorable time and hope to return sooner rather than later.
Robert Taisia, Krystal Paterson and Roman Taisia, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Family Tour, Travelled on 22nd September 2018
The itinerary that was prepared for us far exceeded our expectations. So much to see and so much to do. I didn't think we would be able to do so much in that time we had. Everyday there was something new to experience or something exciting to do. The hiking trails showed us some awe inspiring scenery and the landscape was magnificent. Dealing with team at NZ Self Drive Tours was very easy and they were always very helpful whenever I spoke with them. Kelly helped us to get our itinerary within our budget which was a great help and the fact that everything was paid for before we left for the trip made our time and transition from town to town seamless. It was nice to go on a holiday and not have to worry about accommodations, transport, activities. All in all it was well worth what we paid and we will definitely use them again when we an another holiday to NZ. The only drawback is that we were only there for 10 days. Next time we'll plan for a longer trip.
Kinanthi Ayu Fridayani, Your Pre-Marathon New Zealand Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 14th October 2018
New Zealand was my number one country that I wanted to visit. When I had the opportunity to go, I just had no idea where to start. I only know that Me and My Husband was going to do a self-drive tour and I stumbled upon this website. To be Honest the pop-up icon of "Got a question for us" was the most brilliant thing that they put because it definitely worked for me. I send them a question and immediately I got a response. Nisse was appointed to help me, and she was just Amazing! Her professionalism, knowledge, and willingness to serve was one of the key factors that helped me plan what was become my "dream come true" holiday. I didn't know how many revised itineraries we did because I kept on changing my mind, but Nisse was always patient and accommodating. Our trip was super smooth, all the bookings (Hotels, car, activities) were perfectly done. I was so happy with what she suggested for us like to spend at least one night in Wanaka (which is her hometown) because it was one of the towns I loved the most and where we had the best of times (best hike, great foods, lovely strolls along the lake). I highly recommend everyone who wants to plan their itinerary of a self-drive tour in South Island to book their service. I am a satisfied customer!
Fred and Mira Poscic, 10 Day Southern Icons, A Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 24th October 2018
Was just a great holiday, well put together. Thank you to Chelsea, she was just great.
Philip and Elisabeth, Customised Southern Highlights Tour, travelled on 8th October 2018
Thanks for all your hard work in putting together our recent NZ trip. It was awesome. All the accommodation places were spot on, recommended tours were wonderful, driving instructions and the information packages very informative, correct and up to date.
Tina and Steve Goldsmith, Marjorie and Tom Trulock, The Customised South Island Coastal Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 25th October 2018
Narissa- I will give you rave reviews wherever you need them! It was a fantastic trip, thanks to you.At the get go- they up graded our car which as it turned out we really needed. We traveled with more than we expected- bar and food etc. The Itinerary and the road atlas were wonderful. We had such a fabulous time. We toasted you a million times I am sure. You were just so right on! First off - all of the accommodations were great! You put us in the perfect places! And we loved having the apartment like set up. The Rainforrest Deluxe was phenomenal!!! and such a surprise, We wished we had enough tome to stay there longer! As you know we loved Mt Cook- one of our favorite places. The glacial tour was just so great.Read more
The hiking was wonderful and the movies in the alpine center about the rescue team and Sir Hillary etc were fascinating! Having all the info on our itinerary was great! Everyone was so helpful! And you were so right- we are all ready to move to Wanaka! So all worked out great. So once again thanks! whenever we come back we will contact you and highly recommend you to our pals. If you need references I will be happy to be one.
Kevin Park & Janice Crook, 21 Day Discover New Zealand, Travelled on 15th October 2018
We're back in the real world now. The holiday was fantastic. Everything went smoothly. The itinerary we chose lived up to our expectations, with a taste all New Zealand had to offer. The highlights are too many to list. Many thanks Laura for all your hard work and creating a bucket list holiday.
Steven & Sarah Rigsby, Making the Most of the North Island Tour, travelled on 17th October 2018
Shelley arranged a fabulous 7 day tour of the North Island for us at very short notice. She listened to what we wanted to do and arranged a tour around our dates. The tour itself, trips, accommodation and car hire all worked perfectly and we enjoyed it very much. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you.
Trudi and Andrew Rintoul, 15 day Christchurch to Auckland must do tour, travelled on 5th September 2018
Hope you are well. First of all thank you for organising our ‘Must-do Tour’. We have had a fantastic time! All the arrangements for collection at Christchurch, and all the pre-booked activities and tours were fantastic. The whole process was so simple - each one only required our surname to produce the tickets - all brilliantly efficient! We had a fantastic time and we were so lucky with the weather apart from the wind at Mount Cook and a wet Mitai Village evening, but it did nothing to spoil this fabulous trip. If I was repeating it, I would allow longer at some of the stops. Thanks again for all your help in making this a fabulous holiday for us.
Lorraine and Wade White, 22 Day Classic New Zealand Driving Tour Customized, Travelled on 9th October 2018
Overall we had a wonderful trip, the arrangements were well organized and ready for us upon arrival. Thanks again for your patience in working with us. It was a very enjoyable trip.
Steven & Raymond Smith, Auckland to Queenstown 15 Day Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 5th October 2018
We had the best time ever. Every corner is a WOW. New Zealand's roads are near perfect. The cars sat nav was very easy to use. The rental car was near new and very easy to drive. We need to return to NZ we have other places to explore. Thank you Jane for arranging our fly/drive holiday.
David & Lesley Wilson, Discover New Zealand, Travelled on 17th September 2018
Fantastic Itinerary and support from Louise. Thanks again for a great itinerary
Ian & Joan Walsh, Ian & Joan's South Island Adventure, Travelled on 1st October 2018
Thank you for a wonderful and perfectly organised holiday. From the moment we arrived in Christchurch and were met by private transfer driver Ross, to the very last day when taken back to the airport by Faith, everything was just perfect and fell into place. Your choices of accommodation were lovely in all areas, the locations just right and perfect for our needs. Everything was within easy reach. The car hire went without a hitch, with the Rav4 being just beautiful to drive. The pace organised by you suited us well especially with a few 2-3 day stopovers. The weather was favourable and I was lucky to get the chance to drive through falling snow. The whole trip was a wonderful experience travelling around your beautiful countryside, enjoying our organised tours amid such spectacular scenery. Many thanks again Laura for all your help.
Karen & Graham Reid, A Customised Boutique Northland Tour, Travelled on 15th October 2018
From our very first email exchange with Christina we knew that the arrangements for our NZ holiday were in good hands. She looked after our special needs and booked places and activities that were possible for us. We loved the booklet and maps we received which were easy to use and we didn't get lost. Thank you for taking such good care of us.
Asheesh Shawel and Family, Auckland to Queenstown Self Drive tour, Travelled on 28th September 2018
We were first thinking of booking through Airbnb for our holidays but now I believe it was a good decision to book through you as you took care of everything e.g. accommodation, car hire, tickets etc. Our flight into Auckland, where we started our holidays, was at a godforsaken midnight hour and we were picked up from the airport straight to our hotel. This was really convenient as we didn't waste time in looking for a cab. The Itinerary was also well thought of. You asked us what we wanted to do (family with small kids) and you tailor made it to visit all the important places. I can't praise NZ enough as it is a gem of a place, beautiful and will stay fresh in our minds for the rest of our lives. I would definetely recommend it to anyone who is planning to visit NZ, these guys take the hassle out of the vacations. I also picked up a few local words, "Kia Ora Aotearoa" :)
David & Carlene Rogers, custom 21 day New Zealand itinerary, travelled on 20 September 2018
We had been told that New Zealand was a beautiful country, but with no info other than a Guide book, we had no idea what to see and do. Via various Google searches, we found New Zealand Self Drive Tours, which seemed exactly what we wanted. We liked being on our own, having the freedom to stop when and as long as we wanted, and take side trips as desired. It's a long air flight, so we decided to do as much as possible, and picked their 21-day recommendation - North and South Island.Read more
We loved the trip. The tour they set up for us was excellent- we felt we visited all there was to see. The days were not rushed. The scenery is spectacular. It was Spring when we visited (Sept/Oct). Everything was so green. Lots of shrubs/flowers blooming. Every town has a botanical garden. And great walking "treks". Our top likes were; Milford Sound- waterfalls, the blue penguins; the countryside dairy/sheep/deer farms - green grass fields up and down steep hills with snow capped mountains in the background, trimmed/tall hedges everywhere; Mt Eden cauldron, Te Papa Museum- Gallipoli Exhibit (free!); The Inte-Islander Ferry; wine district north of Christchurch; Dunedin: Otago Peninsula/sheep farms on the steep slopes; nesting birds in the cliffs; aviary with parrots; Antarctic Center; TranzAlpine train. All of our hotels were very good and we always walked to restaurants. Drivers to pick us up were always on time and friendly. Our agent, Laura answered our questions quickly. Her responsiveness was excellent.
Tony & Debra Tinkler, Gary & Sue Goulet, Coast to Coast Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 23rd September 2018
Would just like to say that we had a wonderful 13 day driving tour of the South Island. All accommodation was of a high standard and day to day process was uncomplicated and straightforward due to your planning. It allowed us to just arrive, collect our hire vehicle and enjoy our time in New Zealand. Thank you.
Neil & Angela Michel, Customised Ultimate Relaxing South Island Tour, Travelled on 24 September 2018
We are now back home after a wonderful 3 weeks in the South Island. Thank you for all your help, suggestions & recommendations – there was not one disappointment or hitch. This holiday had been cancelled for 5 years due to work & family matters – so was very important to us.Read more
Our top experiences:
- Invercargill – the accommodation was superb, the Transport & Motor Cycle Museums are world class & visiting E Hayes Hardware to see Burt Monroe’s bike, all came together to make it a special place.
- Notwithstanding the hard wrap Invercargill gets it is becoming definitely a place to visit
- The Doubtful Sound overnight cruise choice was very special – especially that Milford Sound road became blocked the day we would have visited due to heavy rain
- The Tasman Glacier Helicopter flight was special and together with the glacier lake boat experience was perfect
- Wanaka accommodation was excellent, along with the sausage rolls from the Dough Inn 😊, and the views of the lake were superb
- Our time at Marahau was very enjoyable – we booked a boat Eco-Tour and made a special connection with the owner
- The Tranz Alpine railway was just excellent
- A visit to Christchurch’s Museum to unexpectedly see a tribute to Ivan Mauger – a past boyhood hero, client and friend of mine
- The 2 BnB’s were delightful and rate highly with our memories.
Many thanks for all your hard work – very much appreciated.
Alex Will & Sue Jackson, Southern Wonders Explorer, Travelled on 23rd September 2018
We had the most beautiful, amazing trip on the South Island! Shelley organised everything perfectly, our accommodation locations were great and the views from them were spectacular just like I asked for. Everything ran like clockwork! She was always quick to answer questions, even the sillier ones even though we were in Australia. Highly recommend Shelley as your trip organiser and New Zealand Self Drive Tours as the company to organise your ideal trip through!
Davina & Grant Holthouse, Customised 25 Day Grand New Zealand self drive tour, Travelled on 2nd September 2018
Wow we had the most awesome 25 day New Zealand holiday. What an amazing and beautiful country. Thank you so much for organising everything. It most certainly took away the stress for us and we could just enjoy our holiday. All of our motels and apartments were very clean and comfortable and all with kitchenettes which were very handy. Thank you again. Regards Grant and Davina Holthouse.
Lynette & Alyn Cooper, Coralie Ericksen & Alison Rowe, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 16th September 2018
Thank you for the wonderful itinerary that you put together for us. Every step of our journey we were met with friendly and helpful people. The accommodation was fantastic and very central. We were fortunate to have beautiful weather on our trip which made our excursions enjoyable. Your booklet was very detailed and directions made it easy for us to find our way around. Will definitely contact you again should we come back to NZ.
Neil & Julie Chalcraft, A Customised Lord of the Rings Scenic Explorer, Travelled on 11th September 2018
We had a fantastic 3 weeks in New Zealand for our honeymoon organised by New Zealand Self Drive Tours. The process was quick and easy and a custom itinerary was set out for us. Everything from car hire, motels and half day and day tours were organised with no fuss so that it all went smoothly whilst we enjoyed our holiday. The itinerary was especially good as there was never too much driving to be done so we felt we saw and did a lot each day and really made the most of our time in the country. Overall really recommended. Thank you for an amazing 3 weeks
Thi Ngoc Thu (Mia) & friends, 10 Day Southern Explorer Christchurch to Queenstown, Travelled on 20th September 2018
Our trip for 9 days through the South Island of New Zealand was one of the most amazing journeys and experiences of our lives. My whole family made such wonderful memories thanks to NewZealand Self Drive Tours and we would especially like to thank Chelsea Lodge who helped us a lot in creating such an unforgetable trip. We cant be grateful enough as this was my parents first road trip and also their first time to New Zealand. This was also their wedding anniversary as well and everything was planned perfectly by Chelsea. We loved every single moment of this journey and we will try our best to visit New Zealand again! Thank you so much!
Trudi Mcleod, 10 day Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Tour, travelled on 4 September 2018
Just some feedback on my amazing 10day Fiords, Glaciers & Mountain holiday. The start of my adventure was set when I met my 'private transfer' driver Faith. Friendly, personable and easy to talk to. My accommodation throughout was comfortable and idyllically located. The vistas around each and every turn were awe inspiring. I was able to find my way around your beautiful South Island with the aid of my new friend GPS. We may have had some differences, like when she wanted me to 'travel on' when I wanted to stop and look at towns or views, but overall we managed to stay friends. As for my bucket list experiences. THEY WERE AWESOME!!!!Read more
The Gondola in Christchurch took my breath away. The views were stunning. Mt Cook was surreal. The colour of the water something I had never seen. The walking track and trestle bridges (a special kind of fear for me) were easily accessible. The night sky was like a million twinkle lights the stretched on forever. I do recommend the buffalo wings with a sparkling wine after all that 'nature'. Te Anau is so beautiful. Lakefront Lodge, the perfect resting place before the journey to Milford Sound. On the advice of a fellow traveller I took the bus to Milford Sound. The driver was able to show us many places I might otherwise have missed had I driven. I might also have been a little jittery driving through that teeny weeny tunnel! The journey through the sound was beyond description. An amazing experience. The Jet Boat ride was just what I needed to get the adrenaline pumping for my journey across the Crown Range. Again, with each kilometre travelled, the views and landscape were beyond compare. My first view of Fox Glacier had my heart pumping. Finally at 4.30 with the final weather report I got my wish. Soaring over the vast crevices, gliding along the pristine white ridge line of Franz Joseph and gently being placed on the same Glacier I saw through the forest earlier. Finding ocean on my way to Greymouth was something special. Handing my hire car back at the station made the whole process so easy.
The Trans Alpine Scenic Train journey together with the on board commentary, it was an extraordinary experience. Again the views were breath taking. The history of how the rail line was built, the tunnels that were built in a landscape that seemed unforgiving was mind boggling. All in all this was a trip of a lifetime for me. I travel alone, and as I 'age' I find the less I have worry about the more I enjoy the experience. The detailed book outlining every step of my journey was a godsend. The road map allowed further investigation of my surrounds. I have talked non stop (well I did stop sometimes) about the wonderful package you put together. The value for money, the ease of travelling the South Island. To be honest I have always hungered for a trip to Canada to see the Rockies and travel the Rocky Mountaineer. Distance and cost always hindering my efforts. In just 3 or so hours, I found all my dreams and expectations were met. Forget the Rockies, I found the Remarkables. I did travel to Scotland many moons ago and wanted to return. But I have seen the Fiords, the 'Lochs' on offer in NZ and for me it was all I needed. You have a beautiful country, friendly with some AWESOME sights and adventures. Thank you for making my 'late in life' travel so easy and enjoyable!
Stephen & Amanda Lyons, Ultimate North Island Explorer, Travelled on 1st September 2018
Fantastic New Zealand! We had used NZ Self Drive tours back in 2013 for a two week tour of the South Island. This was one of our most amazing experiences. So when considering a North Island tour, we went straight back to NZ Self Drive. We just completed the 21 day North Island Tour and although different to the South Island, the North Island has some amazing experiences. Bay of Islands (Hole in the Rock Cruise), Te Mata near Napier, Cape Palliser east of Wellington, Huka Falls, Piha Beach west of Auckland, Haruru Falls near Paihia, Hobbiton (amazing), Tane Mahuta (2000 year old Kauri tree), views of the Hokianga sand dunes, awesome fish and chips at the Mangonui Fish Shop, Wellington cable car, Shakespeare Cliff Lookout at Cooks Beach, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland at Rotorua, Te Papa museum in Wellington, and views of Mt Taranaki, just to name a few. A special mention to Christina, our travel consultant, who organised everything for us and was great when we wanted to alter some the itinerary. Would highly recommend NZ Self Drive and their amazing staff for anyone wishing to see the best that NZ has to offer.
Paul & Sharon Smith, 9 Day Auckland to Christchurch Essential Highlights, Travelled on 30th August 2018
Nisse Perry and the folks at New Zealand Self Drive Tours did a great job organizing our 10 day tour. All of the hotels and cars were first class and ready upon our arrival. We need to come back to take the volcanic flight that was grounded by the weather, though this also gave us the chance to make the inter-island crossing in a near gale. All in all, a very enjoyable time. We’d recommend Nisse and her company anytime and with confidence. Regards, Paul and Sharon.
Rajan , Leena & Preethi Mathew, North Island 5 Day Highlights, Travelled on 1st September 2018
We really enjoyed our trip. It was all organised perfectly. We enjoyed all of the activities and the accommodation was lovely. Would definitely do it again.
Jason Wakefield & Amelita Kelsey, Southern Highlights 9 Day Tour, Traveled on 25th June 2018
We had a great time on our 9 day South Island Tour. The service was great, and it was very helpful to be picked-up and delivered to the airport and train station as required. The itinerary was well-planned and that helped us to enjoy the trip without fear of getting lost. Highlights were the Shotover Jet boat in Queenstown, the Helicopter flight at Franz Josef, and the stunning Milford Sound cruise. Besides those highlights, it was just amazing to drive all around the South Island and see such wonderful scenery wherever we went. We were very happy with the accommodation each night, and thankful for the heating when in some of the colder places like Mt Cook Village. It's a holiday we highly recommend and we're already thinking about a North Island tour!
Vincent Sohs customised 21 Day Discover New Zealand tour, travelled June 2018
While it may be my first trip to NZ, I had a pleasant and wonderful experiences. The itineraries you planned made it possible for me to photograph most of NZ beautiful scenery. While it was raining at some of the attractions, I did managed to capture what I went for. There is a good chance I may want to make a second trip because some of the activities which I booked myself were cancelled at the last minutes because of weather. On the whole, it was a very good and exciting experience. Then again, without your detailed planning it would not have been possible.
Michael and Prue Freeman, The Southern Circle Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 20th April 2018
To the fantastic team at NZ Self Drive Tours ( Especially Natalie), thank you so much for making our holiday the most amazing experience ever! Literally the whole trip was an absolute dream. The accommodation suggestions were absolutely perfect for us (Wayne & Karen at Merivale Manor were awesome!). The car was excellent. And the tailored suggested places to visit in our package were spot on for us. We posted a lot of our experience on Instagram & we have been contacted by at least 20 of our friends & family who have been inspired to travel the South Island because of our photo's. We will be highly recommending you to everyone. Thanks again - we'll be in touch when we do the North Island (or maybe we'll just do a different trip to the South Island as we loved it so much!)
Doug and Lee Meikle, The Ultimate Discover New Zealand Tour, Travelled on 26th March 2018
From the first point of contact, through the itinerary planning with Narissa, we experienced the most wonderful and hassle free trip ever (all bookings were simple quick check ins, whether for cars, accommodation, tours or special interests). Combined with the wonders of NZ and the friendly locals, we had a holiday to remember. Would not hesitate to use NZ Self Drive Tours in the future or recommend them to friends and family.
Syed Rashid Putra, Olga and Sharifah, Customised Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Tour, Travelled on 14th April 2018
Dear Joanna, we would like to thank you for arranging a very enjoyable tour of New Zealand's South Island. Everything went smoothly and according to plan. The hotels we stayed in, especially The Heritage Christchurch, were very clean, spacious and very comfortable. We will definitely recommend you and New Zealand Self Drive Tours to our friends when they visit New Zealand.
Ian and Daphne Taylor, Customized Discover New Zealand, Travelled on 12th March 2018
Thanks to New Zealand Self Drive Tours, we very much enjoyed our 31 days in New Zealand. From the time we first made contact with New Zealand Self Drive Tours and in particular Natalie DeCaro, we were very impressed with the quick and efficient responses to all of our requests and correspondence. Natalie was able to successfully work our itinerary around our primary request which was to attend the Warbirds over Wanaka air show. We were able to accept the initial itinerary with minimal alteration. The itinerary and our time in New Zealand went off without a hitch. All transfers were on time and efficient. All accommodation and other bookings were accepted exactly as arranged and as per the itinerary. We found all of the personalised information in the “Customised Discover New Zealand” bound booklet which was presented to us on our arrival in Auckland very helpful indeed. We have already and will have no hesitation in recommending the services of New Zealand Self Drive Tours to any of our friends who are thinking of making a holiday on the other side of The Tasman.
Susan Laughlin & Lowell Cooper, Customised Discover New Zealand, Travelled on 4th March 2018
I fussed for days and days trying to sort out a self-drive route for South Island. It finally occurred to me that getting a little help would be a smart idea. I started a chat on the Self Drive website and before I knew it, I was having a phone conversation. Within 24 hours I had in my hands a fabulous tour planned out that was much more logical and more adventure-laden than I could ever have planned myself. On the ground, the arrangements were excellent…not a single hitch. The hotels were chosen with care and I think we got the best rooms in each of the hotels booked for us. We were absolutely pleased with the service and the outcome provided by Self Drive Tours.
You won't be disappointed in the service| Mary and Richard DeSmidt | The Customised Discover New Zealand | Travelled on 27th March 2018
We just returned from our 3 week self driving tour of New Zealand. We had a fantastic trip! From beginning to end, New Zealand Self Driving Tours was spot on. We determined where we wanted to go, how much we wanted to spend and how long we could travel.Read more
With that information, New Zealand Self Driving Tours created an itinerary for us. We went over the itinerary and tweaked it a bit to accommodate our needs. We are in our 70s and we did not want to be busy everyday or drive long distances each day. This company customized our trip so that it was exactly what we wanted. From beginning to end, it was perfectly orchestrated. There was not a glitch to be found! Our lodgings were comfortable and conveniently located to access the sites that we wanted to see. The excursions that we booked through New Zealand Self Driving were top notch. All of our reservations were stress free. For us, it was good to book all this in advance. It was all paid for before we left on the trip. That made it so easy! Pretty much, we just needed to pay for food, gas, and souvenirs. We highly recommend New Zealand Self Driving Tours and Narissa Phipps. You won't be disappointed in the service. New Zealand is an incredible place to visit and it was enhanced by the ease of travel provided by this company.
The sights will live with us forever | Larry Kulick | Northbound Explorer Christchurch to Auckland Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 27th February 2018
Hi Lauren, We very much enjoyed our visit to your country. The sights will live with us forever. Christchurch - A city still recovering from the earthquake. The botanical gardens, Canterbury museum and the Antarctica Center and taking the City Tram were highlights.Read more
Novotel's staff and location were excellent. Mt. Cook Village - Spectacular drive by Lake Tekapo, Church of the Good Shepard, sheepdog statue. Took many pictures of Mt Cook on way to the Hermitage. So happy to get a room with a porch and A1 view. Best breakfast on trip. Dunedin - Train station, parks, architecture were highlights. The drive on the Otago Peninsula from Albatross Center back to Dunedin memorable. It was very warm and were disappointed with lack of AC at southern Cross hotel. Te Anau- So much to do there. Doesn't get any better than Distinction Hotel in Te Anau. Short walk to restaurants, scenic cruise and everything else. Milford Sound cruise on a sunny day was highlight of our tour. Queenstown - Amazing views from the Skyline Complex. Gondola, Luge and speedboat rides fun. Scenery on way to Glenorchy super. I would have paid extra to stay in downtown area. Waranka - Big festival in town. Many roads were closed. Did not see much of town. Edgewater is a beautiful resort. Management very helpful to us. Franz Joseph - Helicopter landing on Glacier special. Glacier pools were so so. Alpine Glacier motel disappointing. Trans Alpine Train - After doing all that driving on the west side of the South Island the scenery was nice but not exciting. Kaikoura - Wish I had more time there. The White Morph was so nice. The town was fun. The earthquake damage enormous. The seals plentiful.
Your countryside is picture book stunning. | John & Jennifer Perry | Mountains and Lakes South Island Family Tour | Travelled on 19th March 2018
Hi Erynn Mate how good was that trip. Many workmates, friends & family have asked me about this trip and I keep running out of superlatives. I can’t thank you enough. From the get go where you had to work within my budget to put this trip together. As soon as we left Christchurch for the inland scenic route we knew we were in for a treat.Read more
If we had the time between stops we would have been pulling over every 20 kilometres. Simply breathtaking. I’ll probably get carried away here but back to arriving in Christchurch and the proprietor of Merivale Manor Motel (Wayne) what a comedian and host. We’ve never been to the south island prior so we were taken with the old European influence of the buildings there in Christchurch and the transition it is making after earthquakes. Merivale Manor was very comfortable and I would stay there again if I got back to Christchurch. Your black satchel bag with everything you need in it for a road trip like this was fantastic so caringly put together. I knew with the work that went into what was in that bag our trip ahead was going to be a beauty. Simply too numerous to list all the magnificent highlights of this tour. Lake Tekapo is just stunning and so much fun. The hot pool springs I was in there for ages. On route to Lake Tekapo the landscape incredible with the mountains,gorges,the farms and the communities particularly Geraldine. Queenstown what a beautiful city. We loved the gondola ride and the steamship cruise to Walter Peak farm was great and the gourmet BBQ lunch was absolutely delightful. On the second morning it snowed and the Remarkables were a terrific sight full of powder on the peaks. We loved Cromwell with all the orchards & that magnificent Lake Dunstan. The drive to Dunedin was fabulous with great communities like Alexandra with the clock on the mountain side and Lawrence was a great pit stop as well. In Dunedin we went up to Signal Hill on the advice of a waiter at the octagon where we dined. It provided great views. That Otago Peninsula road is a bit hairy right beside the water but well worth it going out to see the Penguins. That is a wonderful facility for the penguins and the fur seals they share with. In conclusion We are grateful to you for providing a old couple of aussie battlers with a superb week. I have recommended you and your company to people I know should they consider a self drive holiday in your wonderful country. I will submit photos of our trip as soon as one of my boys come around to help me upload. The guest book entry falls into the same category. You take care and all the very best and thank you. Kindest Regards John & Jennifer Perry
NZ self-drive does all the work and then you can have all the fun | Suellen and Kenneth Slater | Customised Discover New Zealand | Travelled on 13th March 2018
Every part of the process went smoothly. Our agent was easy to work with and helped us customize our trip the way we wanted it. One of the easiest trips we’ve ever had, not a single snag.Read more
Well, one very minor snag actually was not getting the type of rental car we had reserved in Auckland. They gave us a sedan that was not to our liking but we did get the correct car when we went to the South Island. All our accommodations were excellent. Our absolute favorite was the McCormick House in Picton. Jeanne and Carl were lovely people and we enjoyed talking with them. Unfortunately is was a drizzly wet day while we were in Picton so we did not explore as much as we would have liked. I also think we had one of our best dinners in Picton as well. Carl recommended a place in town called LeCafe and it was excellent. A great find in a small town. The Manaku Lodge in Kaikoura was also a real highlight, wish we’d had 2 nights in Kaikoura. Not only was it in a beautiful location but clearly had the best breakfast. Most B&B’s in the US are known for their gourmet breakfasts. Most of the places we stayed in New Zealand where breakfast was offered, gave a choice of eggs or cereals in the morning. All quite fine but not at the level of most of the US B&B’s. The eggs benedict at the Manaku Lodge with salmon and real hollandaise was yummy. Having said all this I must say the view we had from the Hermitage at Mt Cook rivaled any found anywhere in the world. The view from our window was breathtaking and we were very fortunate the weather was clear on our first day. The highlight of the trip had to have been Milford Sound and Fiorland National Park. We ran out of ways to “wow”! Everywhere we went on the west coast it was spectacular. New Zealand had everything we love, mountains, beaches, open farmland, spectacular coastline, friendly people and I could go on and on. The Jet Boats in Queenstown are also at the top of our list. Quite the thrilling ride, didn’t want it to end. Queenstown was a bit of a surprise to us. The harbor is quite lovely but the town was more “honky tonk” than we expected, lots of bars and souvenir shops. The compactness was very nice and everything was an easy walk from our accommodations. The only thing we didn’t plan well was our first day in Auckland. We landed at 7am and had to wait until 3pm for our room. This meant a whole day of walking around the city when we were quite tired. Maybe our agent could have suggested some type of tour that would have used up that time without being too exhausting. Otherwise everything went very smoothly. We initially thought this was a once in a lifetime trip but we are already talking about where we want to go the next time we visit New Zealand. A spectacular country. I would recommend New Zealand self-drive tours without any reservations, in fact I have. I have friends who want to go to New Zealand next year and I told them NZ self-drive does all the work and then they can have all the fun.
Susan Coish and Michael Kerr, Customised 30 Day Ultimate Explorer Tour of New Zealand, Travelled on 11th March 2018
Our trip was great. Thank you for your ideas and your organization. The South Island was spectacular! Even more spectacular than the North Island! So many wonderful new sites around every curve in the road. We had lots of fun on our Safari ride outside of Queenstown and I loved Wanaka.Read more
We fit in many beautiful little and medium sized hikes everywhere. The museum in Wellington was a great hit. We were so taken by the Gallipoli exhibit. It was emotionally draining to complete but a fabulous exhibit. We also signed up for a 2 hour private tour and had a passionate guide. The harbor was lovely and WINDY! A great day! Michael and I bought a "chilly bin" when we arrived in New Zealand and prepared lunches and cooked breakfasts and dinners 80-90% of the time. Lots of money saved and it was likely healthier. We realized, at the end though, that we had missed out on some of the great New Zealand food! As I had expected, the New Zealanders were absolutely lovely. Our only exception was at the Oceans Resort in Whitianga. As I mentioned to you, the manager ??( woman) was nasty and rude. It really effected our experience in that location. She was quite dismissive about your company as well, telling us that it would be months before she would be paid. I considered that very unprofessional. When we asked for a record that our bill was complete, (had been covered) she printed a document that said "sent to debtors" and said 'I will NOT give you something that says you have paid up." As well, we received a lecture about opening the downstairs room door and placing our suitcases there. We had not been told that that was not also our space. She realized her new (and actually lovely employee) had forgotten to clarify that with us. The condo had 2 extra bedrooms downstairs. We did not need them but did not realize that we were not even to enter them . She did not ,then ,apologize for the unsettling and aggressive lecture ,but departed in a huff. I can assure you that I was polite and apologetic around our misunderstanding . Michael was upstairs when this all went on and he shocked by her aggressive angry tone. I can honestly say we did not have a single other experience like that in New Zealand. I have no problem if you wish to share my comments with the owners of the property and with your organization. This woman certainly was not one of the great ambassadors for NZD whom we enjoyed everywhere else!! I would never return to that location and I would advise my friends to look elsewhere. The woman who spoke with us about the Glacier Tour cancellation in Wanaka was lovely and apologetic. She mentioned that the refund was in the order of $295 per person. Please let us know when to look out for that. Two towns you sent us to they were not far from bigger cities were Oamarua VS Dunedin and Wanaka instead of Queen town. These were lovely places to stay and visit.Only one other piece of feed back. The manager( Irene) at the Red Tussock Motel in Te Anau,gave us a wonderful piece of advice. Rather than driving from Te Anau to Milford sound and risk getting hung up in what is now a pretty crazy parking situation ,she recommended that we take the bus there and back. It was well worth the extra cost. The bus driver gave an excellent guided talk. We made several stops that I suspect we would have driven by. There were people arriving by car who were stressed by the limited parking and had to park a 15-20 min walk away from the cruise. We were very happy to arrive on time ,see the sites and not have to struggle with parking. We were picked up at our Motel and had a most relaxing trip to Milford Sound. I think it is worth recommending to other clients ,especially if they have been driving a lot and would benefit from a driving break. Thank you once again for helping us on such short notice. I was charmed by the following places we stayed :Takatu lodge great meal ,lovely person hosting stunning setting .Oceans View Chalet,and Abel Tasman Park, Napier Pebble Beach Motor Inn was perfect ,good location very nice couple running it. Napier had a terrific vibe. I could easily have stayed much longer .Bolton Hotel in Wellington ,good location , fun staff . I really liked Wellington . We certainly covered great territory . If we had had more time I think we both agree that there were many places that would have captured or attention and admiration for 3-5 more days in any one of them. We will pass on the name of your service to our friends. Thank you again for your help and support putting together such a wonderful trip . Best wishes to you and your family , Sincerely , Susan and Michael
Thanks so much Erynn you were super helpful | James & Colleen Miller | Customised Christchurch to Auckland Must Do Tour | Travelled on 7th March 2018
Our trip to NZ was absolutely fantastic. This was due to two major factors...NZ is an indescribably beautiful place with great people and the assistance and guidance from Erynn Bell.Read more
Erynn set up things to allow for maximum utilization of our time. We saw and did so much plus stayed at some perfect hotels and lodges...of particular note Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel, City Life Wellington, Mt Cook Lodge and Waitomo Boutique. Too many highlights to mention them all, but a few personal do not misses...Glacier Explorers, Milford Sound Tour, Tei Puia, Bay of Islands cruise,..plus throw in some zip lining, jet boating and zorbing...you will not regret any of it. Thanks so much Erynn you were super helpful and wonderful to work with. We will recommend you to all that are headed your way and if we get the chance again you will be one of the first to know. Take care.
It truly was a perfect trip | Mike & Denice Connelly | Customised Grand New Zealand Experience Including the Milford Track | Travelled on 5th March 2018
My wife and I just concluded our month long trip to New Zealand. Shelley Ryder discussed our needs months prior to our trip and put together the perfect trip. She listened very well and accommodated our every need.Read more
Our hotel accommodation were perfect and the extra touch to meet our request for a few special places to stay were spot on. We also hiked the Milford Track and WOW, that was the highlight to the trip. It did help greatly that the weather was perfect our whole trip. I must also commend the country and people of New Zealand. They are very helpful, kind and pleasant. Their roadways are great and easy to drive, even on the left side. Also, there was NOT one hiccup to the trip. All our cars were where they needed to be at pick up, all taxi services were waiting as expected and reservations at all accommodations were perfect as well as the train and ferry. It truly was a perfect trip and much thanks to New Zealand Self Drive Tours and especially Shelley.
Your help, experience and advice made it better than if I had done it myself | Franklin and Stella Li | Auckland To Queenstown 15 Day Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 1st March 2018
Our trip was great. The evening cruise on the Earnslaw and the dinner buffet were wonderful as you described from your own experience. We wouldn't have gone without your strong recommendation.Read more
We enjoyed the Doubtful Sound outing and would recommend it though the bus ride at the beginning and end are long but the scenery is beautiful. Thanks for building in the included picnic lunch. We wondered whether to pack a lunch, plan to eat on the ship or something else but didn't have time to do anything specific with our late afternoon arrival in Queenstown and the Earnslaw getting pack to town about 9. When were given our tickets when boarding the bus, we saw a decision had been made for us. BTW the picnic lunch was excellent and ample. The airport pickup and drop offs went off without a hitch. Until I saw the delivered itinerary I didn't realize we already had transportation to the Christchurch airport included. The inter-island ferry went without a hitch. It rained the day of the ferry but the crossing enjoyable anyway. It was pouring in Picton and on the way to Kaikoura but it was cloudy the next morning. The sun came out as our whale watch boat left the dock at noon. We managed to see 4 sperm whales. Car pickup and drop off went well. Now I am a veteran of using GPS and driving over 1000 miles on the left side of the road. Would have never made it from Auckland to Waitomo or Waitomo to Roturua without GPS. All of the accommodations were very comfortable. The ones in Auckland and Queenstown in particular were very roomy; the one in Wellington was borderline cramped but more than adequate and the location was good, within a block or two of the main streets without any noise. The one is Queenstown was over the reception (though there was no noise from reception or the street traffic) on the second floor and afforded us a beautiful partial view of the lake over the tree tops. Never had a bad meal the whole trip. NZ wine gets deserved credit but the beers are GREAT too. You're a right-Te Papa is a great museum. All in all, a great trip and wonderful vacation. Your help, experience and advice made it better than if I had done it myself. Thanks for a great job! Frank
We were very pleased with ALL the arrangements | Mike & Sheila Trahan | Christchurch to Auckland Splendour | Travelled on 1st March 2018
My wife Sheila and I had been wanting to visit New Zealand for most of our 50 year marriage, and we finally accomplished that this past March, with the able assistance of Laura Davidson and your company. We contacted Laura at the suggestion of a friend, and asked her to plan and make all the arrangements for a self-driving tour of both the North and South Islands.Read more
We planned to spend 15 days over there and asked her to plan out a tour that would take us to some of the most desirable places to visit. Well, she did even more than that. When we arrived in Christchurch we were met at the airport with a complete and detailed itinerary for our entire trip. All lodging, transportation, car rentals, and special attractions had been arranged and paid for. It was a seamless trip and very convenient and pleasant to accomplish. We did have one "hitch" in the plans though. One of the last places we wanted to visit was being threatened by a cyclone the day we were supposed to be there, so we called Laura and told her we would skip that part of the trip. We asked her to arrange another night at the hotel in Auckland, so we could just finish up our trip there. She was able to get us a room and all went well. I can't say enough about how convenient and interesting this trip was. I would recommend New Zealand Fine Touring to anyone who wants to visit New Zealand. We were very pleased with ALL the arrangements. And, a special thanks to Laura Davidson, for the friendly, competent way she made all those arrangements for us. Sincerely, Mike and Sheila Trahan Dallas, Texas
Narissa, who made our New Zealand dream come true | Reatha and Neil Sorensen | The Customised Queenstown to Auckland Adventure Tour | Travelled on 28th February 2018
We thoroughly enjoyed our 3-week (2/28 - 3/20/2018) New Zealand adventure, expertly customized for us by Narissa. She really listened to what we told her as far as our budget, interests, and accommodation preferences.Read more
I will highly recommend New Zealand Self-Drive Tours and our "ace" agent Narissa, who made our New Zealand dream come true. Look forward to returning someday. Reatha and Neil Sorensen, Maui, Hawaii
Well planned, executed and enjoyable | Ken, Barb and Keryn Jones | The Customised Coast to Coast Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 24th February 2018
Narissa Phipps, thank you for arranging our self-drive holiday it was well planned, executed and enjoyable, all the accommodation arranged for us was excellent and hosts were perfect.Read more
Our only regret is that we did not have more time to explore out of the way points of interest in your wonderful country another 7 days would have been better on this trip to fully appreciate, it’s our fault, My wife says next time we come over we will take more time to explore the missed areas.
You will definitely hear from us in the future for all those arrangements and bookings | Kerry Weedon and Andrew Vella | Customised The Southern Circle Day Walks | Travelled on 26th February 2018
Hi Lauren, Well we are back home safe and sound. Just wanted to send you an email to say how much we appreciate everything you did for us with regards to our New Zealand holiday. We had the best holiday ever and enjoyed every activity and every second of driving through the south part of the South Island.Read more
You have an amazing and very beautiful country and all the people we spoke with were so friendly. We could not believe that as you kept driving more amazing views and countryside kept appearing round another corner, especially through the Caitlins. Absolutely everything was fantastic. All the accommodation was spacious, well positioned and great. We really appreciated you booking us into places that had kitchenette’s to allow us to have our own breakfasts, which not only saved us money, but ensured we were up, fed, and ready for some of our early activity bookings. We really appreciated you booking an apartment for us in Queenstown which meant we had our own washing machine & drier in our room. We hadn’t done any laundry since arriving, so was very grateful the facilities were in our room and we could wash everything at night while watching some Television before bed. We really enjoyed your home town Wanaka. We did the Rob Roy Walking Track and the Diamond Lake / Rocky Mountain Track which were both very different but amazing in there own way. Wanaka had the best grazing country to drive through on the way to the Tracks. We also really enjoyed the day walks on both the Milford & Routeburn Tracks. We are very keen to return to do the full 3 day guided walk on the Routeburn Track as well as some other activities at Queenstown. The fly fishing with Chris Dore was great, and I managed to land a Brown Trout which made the day very special. We have some fantastic photos from all our activities and driving. We had a wonderful time and have already discussed our next holiday to New Zealand to do the north part of the South Island. You will definitely hear from us in the future for all those arrangements and bookings, once I have done some research and saved more money over the rest of this year. Thanks again Lauren, and Take Care xx Kerry & Andrew
Thanks for making all the arrangements that made this adventure possible for us! | Marjorie & Jeffrey Stearns | Highlights of New Zealand | Travelled on 22nd February 2018
Our Self-Drive New Zealand Trip was PERFECT in every way! All the details for travel had been attended to by our agent, Louise. The accommodations were great, the directions helpful, the extra tours we planned were wonderful.Read more
It was so nice to be met at each hotel by people who were expecting us and knew our names. There was no need for vouchers--everything was on record! Our itinerary was ambitious and we drove a little more than 4000 km in four weeks. Can't imagine trying to see and get to know the country any other way! Thanks for making all the arrangements that made this adventure possible for us! Marge and Jeff
Fabulous way to visit a gorgeous country | Carol & Paul McCormick | A Customised Relaxed New Zealand Experience | Travelled on 18th February 2018
We couldn't be more pleased with the personalized itinerary prepared by Christina Brockie for us. Materials were expertly prepared for us to collect at our first hotel with phone numbers, confirmation numbers, addresses, and details about all lodging, car rentals, and excursions.Read more
Both islands were included at a pace that suited us (a relaxed tour) with multiple nights at lodgings rather than moving to a new place every day or so. Almost everyone of our locations for lodging included a washer/dryer which was extremely convenient. My favorites experiences: Waimangu Volcanic Valley walk - spectacular views, steamy hot water and exotic vegetation Hobbiton near Matamata - completely charming sets from the LotR movies and so so green wine tasting in the Marlborough region - OMG, their SAUVIGNON BLANC is the world's best! Pelorus Mail Boat - beautiful scenery and great, fun commentary from the captain ferry rides between the north and south islands - stunning views The water is pure, the air is clean, the stars (when visible) are spectacular. There are so very many places and experiences to enjoy in New Zealand. Next time, I want to include the Fjordland National Park, and stops at knitting sheds and shops on both islands. Thanks very much, Christina! Carol (& Paul) McCormick Sacramento, California, USA
Sheri Nielsen & Carla Cassity, Explore New Zealand, Travelled on 22nd February 2018
New Zealand is mother nature at her best.
We shall certainly recommend your company | Sandra & Peter Heaviside | A Customised North to South Island holiday | Travelled on 17th February 2018
We would like to thank you for planning and organising such an excellent trip for us to New Zealand, and for responding so promptly to all our queries and changes.Read more
We had an excellent time, even though the weather was against us at some points (torrential rain at Milford Sound and on the ferry to South Island), and the cyclone stopped us going to Kaikoura. But we still had some very sunny days too! That's New Zealand! We were very happy with the choice of good hotels and motels-and we especially liked the Pebble Beach Motor Inn at Napier-very well run and excellent breakfasts delivered each day to our room, -the warm welcome from our hosts at Blue Ridge Boutique Bed and Breakfast at Te Anau, and the views and service at the Hermitage Hotel. Some fantastic scenery which we will remember for always and we really enjoyed all the trips- especially the helicopter trip onto the glacier at Franz Josef, and the Queenstown gondola and luge were fun-though we didn’t manage all the 5 luge runs! Thank you also for processing the refund so quickly back to our card account. We shall certainly recommend your company as the way to really see and experience New Zealand. Again, many thanks. Best wishes Sandra and Peter Heaviside
Your availability and assistance was greatly appreciated | Ernest and Betty Mistr | South Island Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 17th February 2018
Betty and I had a wonderful time in New Zealand. Time went by way too quickly. The trip was everything I had dreamed of about New Zealand and more. The country is fantastically beautiful. All of the accommodations were great. I think Betty's favorite was in Milford Sound with the river running by and sitting the deck enjoying a bottle of wine.Read more
Our self drive trip was preceded by a cruise which allowed us to visit the coast from Dunedin to the Bay of Islands. The flight seeing around Aoraki and the Earth and Sky experience on Mt John were awesome. We added a flightseeing over Lake Wanaka with U-Fly which was fantastic. I learned about a person who would fly you in a P-51 Mustang in Wanaka, but unfortunately he was getting his plane ready for the upcoming Warbirds show(not sure I could have afforded it but would have been a unique experience). The weather in general was great considering we experienced Cyclone Gita. We missed the kayaking adventure in Abel Tasman but had driven to Kaiteriteri the day before and seen the beautiful beaches. Buller Gorge was beautiful. The Fiordland Navigator overnight in Doubtful Sound was incredible. There are no words to describe the beauty of Fiordland NP and how tiny you feel with the mountains rising into the clouds. Home two weeks and I already miss NZ. What changes would I make if doing this itinerary again, I think adding 2-3 extra days with the possibility of staying an extra day at a given location. The rain in Aoraki NP resulted in missing the chance to do some hikes I had in mind.(don't know how it would have worked to deal with the extra night accommodations without messing up other reservations.) (The day we left Marahau was beautiful and we might have been able to work in the kayaking adventure.) The roads were great in general. (Too many exceptional views with no where to stop for photos only drawback) Construction sometimes added travel time but was not a major factor. I rarely completed the segment in the estimated driving time due to stopping for photos, lunch stop, or to do a walk but in general the intervals were appropriate. The only other change to the itinerary would be to the drive from Franz Josef to Westport. We had previously spent the night in Punakaki and driven from Westport to Greymouth enroute to Arthurs Pass. Spending that night in Hokitika before taking the Tranzalpine from Greymouth might have been better? I had originally planned to drive down to Jackson Bay from Haast but had some concerns about getting assistance if I had trouble with auto and not knowing if the road was traveled enough to get help. All in all the trip more than met my expectations and was fantastic. You have a wonderful and beautiful country. The people of NZ were most friendly and gracious. I would end by saying thank you for your help with planning and arranging our trip. Thank everyone for help in navigating after Cyclone Gita and the closed roads. Your availability and assistance was greatly appreciated. Natalie-thank you again for all of your help.
Lauren Neville did a fantastic job designing our 23-day drive tour | Larry and Ellen Borger | Grand New Zealand Experience | Travelled on 13th February 2018
This is my review of New Zealand Self Drive Tours as arranged by Lauren Neville for the summer (Feb/Mar) of 2018 in NZ. Some background of what we wanted. We asked for a self drive, 23-day tour of both North and South Island of NZ with four star hotel accommodations along the entire route. We asked for a small suv to drive the tour. After arriving in Auckland, our first accommodation was at Sky City Hotel with a great room. We were here for 3 nights and had a wonderful time.Read more
On day 2, we picked up the car we had requested. One point to check on when picking up your car, make sure the GPS you pick up for directions has current software. Outside of Wellington and Christchurch, the GPS we had didn’t recognize the new roads. It kept directing us to turn off of the state highway and use back streets, streets that no longer had off-ramps off the highway. This was somewhat confusing and stressful. But we did get to all of our destinations using the GPS. Upon departing Auckland, we drove north as our itinerary suggested. We had no problems other than two Americans learning to drive on the left side of the road. We encountered our first road closure about 30 minutes from our second hotel. This is something one would need to consider when driving NZ. There may be road closures and many road maintenance delays while driving during their summer months. In our case, we had four road closure delays and detours, some as long as two hours. Also keep in mind that we flew in on the tail of a cyclone and this cyclone changed direction and came back to NZ, causing many of the road closures. At one point we had to contact NZ Self Drive Tours to determine what to do next. But we finally made our second hotel. This hotel was not a four-star accommodation, at best two-star. No air-conditioning, no screens on the windows or sliders, and it was really hot. They brought us a fan, but it was still very warm and uncomfortable. The room appeared well used. After two nights, we moved on to our 3rd hotel. This hotel (actually a motel) was also not a four-star accommodation. It was a very clean motel with a very nice host. But again, no screens on the sliding glass door or windows (still very warm), no elevator (we were on the second floor) and no air-conditioning. However, our host did provide us with an oscillating fan. This was in addition to all of the crickets that came in through the door and windows, landing on the bed and dropping from the window into the shower. Fortunately, we had only one night at this location. This completes the negative portion of my review. Now on our way to our 4th hotel and we finally had an accommodation as nice as the Sky City in Auckland. It was a very nice room in Rotorua, which we had for 2 nights. And from this point on, our accommodations were pretty much what we expected. After arriving on the South Island, all of our expectations were met. The car we picked up on South Island was nicer than the one provided to us on North Island. Although we still had road closures, detours, and many road maintenance delays, all went well with our accommodations. We thoroughly enjoyed our South Island tour. We even stopped by to meet our tour director, Lauren, in Wanaka. In summary, we really enjoyed our tour. Lauren Neville did a fantastic job designing our 23-day drive tour. The accommodations and excursions set up for us by Lauren, went extremely well. All reservations were ready and we had no unexpected surprises. Other than the exceptions noted above, the tour more than met our expectations. Lauren always responded to my questions and concerns before and during our tour. We would definitely recommend both Lauren and New Zealand Fine Touring for your self-drive tour of New Zealand. They both provided a wonderful experience to visit their beautiful country.
All in all, this trip was everything we had hoped it would be | Laurie and Thomas Rogers, David and Caroline Rowlands | The Customised Coast to Coast Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 10th February 2018
Narissa organised the most amazing trip for us, allowing us to get a really good overview of most of South Island in our two week self-drive tour.Read more
From our pick up at the airport in Christchurch until the time we dropped the car off at the airport for our flight home, everything went very smoothly and easily. The hire car was perfect for the four of us and our luggage and we travelled very comfortably and problem free for our entire two weeks. We had requested mid-range motels and check-in was a breeze! These were perfect for what we needed and we had comfortable nights in all of them. They were all within walking distance of a number of restaurants which made things very easy. Our favourite motel and village was Franz Josef which also has a wonderful variety of good restaurants. Narissa had pre-booked tours to Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound and there was no doubt, that these trips were the highlights of our tour. The other highlight of our trip was staying in Mount Cook village and seeing Mount Cook in all its snow-clad glory with a bright blue sky behind it. All in all, this trip was everything we had hoped it would be and I say a huge thanks to Narissa for having put it all together and organised it so well for us. Well done and thank you from the four of us.
We will definitely recommend you and your company to our friends and family. | Conrad, Brown, Renfrew | North to South 18 Day Explorer Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 8th February 2018
Erynn, On behalf of the entire group THANK YOU for all your help planning our trip! We had an AWESOME time enjoying your country.Read more
The weather was disappointing at times, but we may just have to go back to see the things we missed (especially TranzApline Railroad and Milford Sound) and some places we wished we had more time for. The people were so nice and helpful everywhere we went. The food was delicious and the activities we planned were wonderful. (It is hard to pick a favorite!) For the most part, the hotels were in great locations, clean, and very comfortable. The van was a great size and very economical on fuel. GPS was very helpful. Now, we get to sit down and relive the trip sorting and sharing our thousands on photos! Thanks again for your expertise and we will definitely recommend you and your company to our friends and family. Kia Ora! Gail, Rich, Wendy, Mark, Karen & Neil (left to right...sort of)
We shall certainly recommend your company | Sandra and Peter Heaviside | A Customised North to South Island holiday | Travelled February 2018
We would like to thank you for planning and organising such an excellent trip for us to New Zealand, and for responding so promptly to all our queries and changes.Read more
We had an excellent time, even though the weather was against us at some points (torrential rain at Milford Sound and on the ferry to South Island), and the cyclone stopped us going to Kaikoura. But we still had some very sunny days too! That's New Zealand! We were very happy with the choice of good hotels and motels-and we especially liked the Pebble Beach Motor Inn at Napier-very well run and excellent breakfasts delivered each day to our room, -the warm welcome from our hosts at Blue Ridge Boutique Bed and Breakfast at Te Anau, and the views and service at the Hermitage Hotel. Some fantastic scenery which we will remember for always and we really enjoyed all the trips- especially the helicopter trip onto the glacier at Franz Josef, and the Queenstown gondola and luge were fun-though we didn’t manage all the 5 luge runs! Thank you also for processing the refund so quickly back to our card account. We shall certainly recommend your company as the way to really see and experience New Zealand. Again, many thanks. Best wishes Sandra and Peter Heaviside
This was the trip I’ve been dreaming of | Jim and Paula Ream & Karen Sieber | Customised Outstanding New Zealand Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 20th January 2018
This was the trip I’ve been dreaming of for 45 years. Our B n B’s were hosted by wonderful people who gave us great advice about restaurants, places to go and local history.Read more
We had great experiences- from zip lines, kayak and the Redwoods of Rotorua at night. Can’t wait to return.
It was a wonderful experience | Bryan and Susan Goodyer | 21 Day Discover New Zealand | Travelled on 18th January 2018
We chose the 21 day North & South Island tour and we must say that it was a wonderful experience. Narissa did a great job in organising the tour. Everything went so smoothly.Read more
From picking up the car, accommodation and the train journey back to Christchurch from Greymouth. We would very much like to do another tour, maybe just North Island as we really didn't spend that much time there this time and it would be nice to see more of it. If we do, we will certainly use NZ Self Drive again.
THANK YOU for all your help planning our trip! | Neil & Karen Conrad, Rich & Gail Brown, Mark & Wendy Renfrew | North to South 18 Day Explorer Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 2nd February 2018
On behalf of the entire group THANK YOU for all your help planning our trip! We had an AWESOME time enjoying your country.
The weather was disappointing at times, but we may just have to go back to see the things we missed (especially TranzApline Railroad and Milford Sound) and some places we wished we had more time for. The people were so nice and helpful everywhere we went. The food was delicious and the activities we planned were wonderful. (It is hard to pick a favorite!) For the most part, the hotels were in great locations, clean, and very comfortable. The van was a great size and very economical on fuel. GPS was very helpful. Now, we get to sit down and relive the trip sorting and sharing our thousands on photos! Thanks again for your expertise and we will definitely recommend you and your company to our friends and family.
We were very satisfied with our journey | Carin Lyckeus, Hans and Nina Ahlin | Classic New Zealand Driving Tour | Travelled on 20th January 2018
We are now back in Sweden after a fantastic journey in your beautiful country. Thank you very much for your good planning that made our travelling easy and comfortable.
We experienced a lot and it was really interesting and the people were very kind and helpful. Of course I feel sorry about that my beloved husband never got possibility to make this journey that he looked forward to very much. Hans, Nina and I myself were very satisfied with our journey. Best regards, Carin Lyckéus
We really enjoyed our holiday and would like to see more of NZ | John Granger, Treasures of the North | Travelled on 4th January 2018
Hi Lauren, We really enjoyed our holiday and would like to see more of NZ in a year or so. Next time we will contact your first, before we plan anything else, so it will be easier for you to plan for us.
The problem is working out how much time to spend driving (= how much of NZ you see) and how much time to enjoy the lovely places you do see. We really enjoyed The Bay of Islands and the day we had there without any travel. That was probably out best day. But pleased also to have seen Thames, the Coromandel region, and Rotorua. We found the Swordfish Club at Paihia a wonderful place to eat and talk to locals, we had a fabulous view from the verandah where we ate looking over the Bay. Next time we will probably ask to spend two nights at where ever we stay. The accommodation was all good. No air conditioning at Rotorua but we are accustomed to the heat, and is was not too hot leaving the motel door open all night. Maybe thats not best practice! You are welcome to put this on face book or where ever tourists write a review. Thanks Lauren for you planning of this holiday. John
Thank you for arranging everything, it was absolutely amazing | Mirjam, Marco William, Daniel & Senna Piet | Customised Queenstown to Auckland Adventure Tour| Travelled on 14th December 2017
We had a great trip in NZ, thank you for arranging everything, it was absolutely amazing. I saw we got the refund from the cancelled cruise, thanks for that too. I didn't see this on the list ; Waiheke Island Explorer Hop On Hop Off Tour.
When we came there the lady said the agency booked for 4 adults and she changed it to 2 adults, 1 kid and 1 (free) infant. The refund would go through the booking agency. Don't see it on your list, do you know what happened here? Thanks, Mirjam Piët
This trip surpassed any and all of my expectations | Kevin Halow and Carolyn Parkos, New Zealand Grand Tour | Travelled on 22nd November 2017
I have done many trips over the years, this was truly the most memorable. Salli Smith was an incredible agent. New Zealand has been on my bucket list for over a decade. This trip surpassed any and all of my expectations.
Salli tailored the trip to meet our needs and even made a last minute change for us without a problem. She was readily available once we were in country to help us with anything that we needed. Throughout the trip, we did not have one glitch; not one! It was like some toned down version of the "Amazing Race". You show up, get an itinerary, car, GPS, and Map and you are off. It was an awesome way to see the islands. Everywhere we went, we were expect whether it was at our lodging or our scheduled activity. The lodging was first class, the people were warm and inviting, the food was excellent, the activities were very fun, the scenery was spectacular, and, most importantly, the trip was relaxing; what vacation should be!! I cannot wait to go again, and when I do, I will only use this company!!
We had an amazing time in New Zealand | Lorraine Pan Baker, Chris & Poppy Baker, Explore the North Island | Travelled on 11th November 2017
We had an amazing time in New Zealand and want to thank you so much for all of your hard work. I really wanted to sit down and tell you about our amazing trip.
Auckland: Love the hotel. That location is amazing, and the setup is so perfect for our family. We were able to walk to the waterfront and walk to the sky tower so easily. There were also two amazing food courts so close by that basically let both of us eat exactly what we wanted. I’m sure you know the names, but I can’t remember them right now. The large room with extra space, kitchen and laundry was fantastic. The train ride to Wellington was so beautiful. Amazing views and great amenities. There were some rough points for Poppy, being partially confined for such a long time. I think if I was advising another family, I would suggest waiting until the kiddo is a little older like 4 or 5 before doing the full train ride. Luckily, she was able to get a good nap in and we spent more time in the dining car where she had a little more freedom, so the afternoon went much more smoothly. Much easier than driving and more beautiful than flying. Wellington: Another amazing location for the hotel. We got to the hotel so late, and were a little hangry for food. Luckily, the hotel recommended a Chinese restaurant around the corner (I want to say it was called the Pearl or something like that). It sounded a little sketchy, but was honestly the best meal of the entire trip (minus the Chinese banquet Lorraine’s family was hosting, but that’s not a fair comparison ;)). Anybody who goes to Wellington has to eat at this restaurant. We only wish that we had had more time to spend in Wellington. Definitely will come back if we ever make it back to New Zealand. We took a quick cruise through the Te Papa gift shop, and it looks so intriguing. I think Poppy wouldn’t have been able to tolerate the museum at this age anyway, but definitely looks like a super cool museum. Zealandia: so gorgeous. Still can’t believe how many birds we saw, and just the scope of the space.Also good to get out and stretch our legs. The drive: (This is Chris) So first time driving on the left side of the road but I LOVE driving. There was a mountain pass on this section that might be one of the best driving roads in the world. Napier: another town we really wish we could have spent more time in. By far, the best accommodations of the entire trip. We could’ve spent a week at this one hotel, taking advantage of all the amenities and being right next to Hawkes Bay. Seriously… That hotel was amazing… Chris has an affinity for one soap in the world made by this company called CO Bigelow. It’s in some high end hotels and the little hotel pack costs $60. Needless to say they had it and he was delighted. Cape Kidnappers: This was super fun. I’m not sure that Poppy got much out of the tractor ride, but she definitely got a good nap. But, I think that she liked the birds, and we met another family with a little 3 year old girl, who was super fascinated by Poppy. Chris and Lorraine definitely enjoyed the ride and learning about the geology and history of the area. Oh, and we saw a super cute seal pup on the way back. Rotorua: Accommodations: Egh.. the hotel was ok. The “spa” tub was HUGE but really noisy and not a jet tub so not massaging so we didn’t use it. The room didn’t have AC and it was a bit warm at times. The sulphur smell was not awesome. Getting to restaurants was a little further than would have been awesome. Te-puia: Very Cool. The guide was awesome. The hot springs were very cool to see. It felt like a very New Zealand activity and was great to see the culture up close. Agrodome: Lorraine and Poppy loved it. Chris grew up near farms so seeing them with sheep for the first time was cool. One note if Americans come you might warn them that this will cause some difficulties at customs “visiting a farm”. Glowworm cave: REALLY cool and those things are NASTY.. :) Poppy was way to young for this one. Maybe 5 or so would be better.. Crying in a cave sounds cool though. Wedding stuff Paihia: Hotel here was in a decent location. Walk to downtown and to a beach. Room was decent. We really loved the area and could spend more time here as well. We enjoyed the hole in the rock boat trip. The beach, that we can’t remember the name of it (Chris claims it’s uru pukapuka), where we had lunch was amazing. We could also have spent a week at this beach it was so beautiful and isolated. The motel was also in a great location. Walking distance to a great playground (despite the naked kid on the slide), beach, restaurants and a countdown. Auckland: We also managed to go to the Tarlton aquarium and the zoo. The zoo is amazing. Really one of the best. They were also in the process of moving an orangutan into a new dwelling and the orangutan in the silver cage was not happy about it, which made interesting watching for the grownups of our group. Overall: We cannot thank you enough for all of your amazing work. We would never have seen and done as much as we did without all of your prep work. We are so grateful. The only thing that would have been helpful for us was to have some restaurant recommendations, as we were often arriving very close to dinner/bedtimes, which made finding restaurants close calls. But, overall, bravo! Thank you and happy holidays, Lorraine, Poppy and Chris Baker
Thank you New Zealand Self Drive Tours | Jessica Dang & Shanil Singh, South Island Coastal Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 9th December 2017
We had a great time in South Island. The itinerary was well designed and had all the major attractions we wanted to see.
Milford Sound was incredibly beautiful and it was also great to visit Abel Tasman National Park and Marlborough Sound. The motels were very comfortable and some of them had fantastic views. Thank you New Zealand Self Drive Tours.
We had an AMAZING time! | Leticia Steffen, Jim Ivery, Isabel Ivery, Lord of the Rings Scenic Explorer | Travelled on 10th December 2017
Thank you for planning out our fabulous self drive tour through New Zealand. We had an AMAZING time! You did a fantastic job planning out a variety of activities that we all enjoyedRead more
,and we really felt like we got to know a lot of different aspects about the country. We were very grateful to be able to see so much in just two weeks, and even though it was a busy itinerary, we wouldn't have wanted it any other way for our first trip to New Zealand. We'll have so many memories to last a lifetime and great stories to share! Thanks again for all the work you put into planning the itinerary. It was perfect! Take care, Leticia, Jim and Isabel
Everything ran smoothly and beautifully | Peter & Narelle Palmer, Customised Coast to Coast Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 20th December 2017
We have been back in Briz for a couple of days now, and I'm sorry we didn't get the chance straight away to tell you what a wonderful N.Z. holiday it has been.Read more
Everything ran smoothly and beautifully, due in no small part I am sure to your impeccable organization, along with the wonderful people, without exception, who transported us, accommodated us, took us on tour and generally looked after us so attentively for our whole stay in your beautiful country. (Plunged into grandparent duties the minute we got off the plane! Yes, I think they might have missed us a bit :-)) Also please forgive us for neglecting to tell you sooner how very much we appreciated your kind gift waiting on our table on Christmas night - so unexpected, it was the perfect accompaniment to the fare we prepared on Christmas night - that wonderful New Zealand lamb fillet, cheeses, fresh veg (picked up in Dunedin), and delectable Christmas cake (courtesy of the most amazing little cafe at Kurow). And the best Pinot we'd had since we had been in New Zealand (and we'd had already some pretty good ones!). It was just the icing on the cake to make our Christmas day perfect ... having traveled the Southern Scenic Route most of the day, spending generous time at Curio Bay, I was already in 7th heaven! We did also want to say particularly how much we appreciated your efforts to find us the loveliest places to stay, with the most amazing views to wake up to in the mornings - we have photographs of breakfasts set in the most stunning contexts (the humble kitchen table backed by the most amazing landscapes)... every place different and each with their own particular take on New Zealand hospitality. Just gob-smacked in Mt Cook, stunned by the warmth of welcome at Christchurch and that beautiful, precious Christmas tree (Merivale) reminding us of the joys of the season, and blown away by by the quaint and beautifully restored nostalgia of the Edgewater at Te Anau - I can honestly say it was an absolute joy to prepare those Tautapere sausages on that solid, original (I suspect) 1950s range, and to see all those authentic and original kitchen fittings restored to their inherent lustre & purpose. We might have complained a bit about getting the luggage up the stairs, but it was certainly worth the effort (I can say that as Peter was the one who insisted on carrying up the heavy ones, lol). Congratulations on even managing to get the weather to perform for us! I can't believe it was only really fully rainy for one day (Franz Josef) - and even here we managed to squeeze in the twin helicopter flight early the next morning, while the sun momentarily shone over those particular mountaintops for us! Arriving in Greymouth early was definitely very advisable (rush hour it seems comes at 1pm). Other flights and commitments worked a treat too - everything went ahead as planned or contemplated - the bi-plane flight at Twizel I think should be on more people's itineraries - it was just stunning and exciting and we were lucky enough to have experienced the best weather that season apparently. Chose the 25 minute Lakes/Lord of the Rings battlefield circuit and the water colour, views etc were just breath-taking. We found the pilot to be very professional, knowledgable, reliable and most interesting to talk to. Doubtful Sound just lovely (if a little compromised by the huge volume of people needing to be transported and looked after too, naturally as one would expect at Christmas time). And very excited to have been able to see the fur seals, little blue penguins in their burrows and those splendid albatross soaring above the cliffs and bobbing in the water on the Monarch tour, also conducted very well, very professionally, and quite a profound experience as the mist rolled in. It seems everything just aligned for us ... as we arrived at Lake Tekapo and hopped out in our excitement to take photos of that reflective water with the moody skies and mists, we realised that a wedding shoot was in progress over on one of the far shores ... yet another of those 'wow' moments to add to the already spectacular nature of the experience and photographs. I must say how grateful we were for the late check in opportunities in summer too - not having to be at a destination till 7 or 8ish, and the long summer days enabled us to fit in so much more than we otherwise might have (we are not experienced summer travelers, having usually only holidayed in shoulder season here to enable hiking in comfort, without the crowds too). Even the hikes that we anticipated were managed without a hitch. Again, the Hooker Valley track, though spectacular, was very busy - but still well worth the effort. So many 'wow' moments. I think the ultimate one being arrival at the glacier face and our picnic high on a rock overlooking that spectacular lake. So glad we could manage this one and also Key Summit - I can see why they say if you only have time to do one walk in the South Island it should be this one. Another one of those magic 'picnic on a rock on top of the world' experiences which we will never forget. Very pleased also to be able to drive the Corolla (rather than a 'similar' car) - it performed like a trooper, never missed a beat and had pretty much everything we needed in the way of technology and comfort. Also, thank you so much for including great specific instructions and points of interest in the itinerary, but also particularly for that detailed road atlas - I am a map reader of old, and feel quite disoriented with sat-nav as the only means of navigation. A great thought and much appreciated (and it did save us from a few dodgy sat-nav shortcuts down the odd country lane with the odd un-crossable creek/river too!). Always a good idea to second-guess one's sat-nav, in retrospect! So finally, thank you once again, from the bottom of our hearts, for organizing such a fabulous, jam-packed, beautifully performing South Island holiday, and throwing in such gorgeous weather as well! You seemed to second-guess everything that would delight us and ensure that we had the most wonderful, unforgettable holiday ever! Cheers and all our thanks and good wishes, Peter & Narelle Palmer :-):-)
Our trip to New Zealand exceeded our expectations | Steve & Trudy Sampson and Ray Van Doorn, Customised Discover New Zealand Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 24th November 2017
Our trip to New Zealand exceeded our expectations. The scenery is amazing and the people of New Zealand are friendly and helpful. There are too many highlights to provide a complete listRead more
which included: - Snorkeling and exploring the Poor Knights Islands through Perfect Day Ocean Cruise - Exploring Hobbiton at sunset and enjoying dinner in “The Shire” - Floating on an inner tube in the Waitomo Caves in the dark with the magical lights of glow worms - We were surprised by the majesty of the North Island Volcanic Plateau - Enjoyed a calm sunny day and admired the beauty of crossing from Wellington to Picton on the Interislander Ferry - Taking a water taxi to be dropped off and explore the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park - Driving through Lewis Pass to Kaikoura - Being awe struck in seeing and hearing a magnificent Sperm Whale off Kaikoura - Seeing the amazing Botanic Gardens in both Christchurch and Dunedin - We were really moved by the “personal stories” that we heard at the Christchurch Earthquake Museum - Driving up Mt John to the Canterbury University Oberservatory and seeing the panoramic views on our way to Mt. Cook National Park - Seeing the Stars while staying at Mount Cook and waking up to a Rainbow across the mountains - Seeing the hundreds of waterfalls on a rainy day cruise of Milford Sound - Taking the excursion to see Doubtful Sound which turned out to be a beautiful sunny day - Our best dinner by far occurred through the TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak (including gourmet BBQ Dinner and farm tour) and we were stunned by an amazing sunset as we returned to Queenstown on our steamship - Taking the Gondola to see Queenstown from a mountain peak and watching the hang gliders - Driving to Glenorchy and seeing the mountains that were featured in Lord of the Rings - The mountain scenery, rain forests, Blue Pools and aterfalls on our drive from Wanaka to Franz Josef - Walking up to the Franz Josef Glacier shortly after dawn and watching the sun rise on the Glacier and Mountain walls - Exploring Okarito Lagoon on kayaks and seeing close-up a majestic White Heron - We enjoyed stopping in quaint towns like Warkworth, Bull, and Hokitika to walk around and enjoy tea and/or a meal - Travelling coast to coast (Greymouth to Christchurch) on the Tranz Alpine Scenic train was breathtaking - Being Canadians, we found the meals to be quite expensive (double what we pay in Canada) and we were fortunate that most of our motel rooms/apartments were equipped with kitchens so we could make ourselves many breakfasts and dinners. We liked the local Boutique Motel Rooms that were chosen for us. - We were there for 26 days and had a rental car for 24 days. It surprised us that we drove 5000 kilometres. The windy two lane country roads with many one lane bridges makes getting around much slower than you would think. We were too ambitious in trying to cover as much as we did on both the North and South Islands. - What was especially nice was being picked up from Auckland Airport, from Christchurch Train Station and being dropped off at Christchurch Airport - all the drivers were quite friendly, helpful and on time so we always felt well looked after We will be recommending New Zealand Self Drive Tours and in particular our travel agent, Shelley Ryder, to our friends and family who are planning to visit New Zealand.
We would happily do it again! | Peter and Mary Shively, Fiords, Glaciers and Mountains Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 28th December 2017
Many thanks to Natalie and the NZSD team for helping make our amazing New Zealand holiday possible! From the start, Natalie worked diligently to understand what we wanted out of our trip and did an awesome job putting together a great itinerary.
We planned our trip with relatively short lead-time, which made Natalie's job tougher and forced us to make a few trade-offs. Through this process, Natalie did a wonderful job communicating the decisions we needed to make and providing helpful guidance on pros/cons of each option. And of course, the actual trip was perfect: accommodations (mostly motels) were very nice, driving plan was well laid out, and excursions (Doubtful Sound overnight is a must!) were amazing. Overall, it was a treat to work with Natalie planning our trip. We would happily do it again!
Wonderful organisation and we will surely recommend you to others | Elizabeth Spencer, Adam Cecchini, Luca Grandjacquet & Miriam Kalnins, A Taste of the South Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 2nd January 2018
The nz trip went very well. As my son looked out of the plane window as we left he muttered “I’ll be back!” I turned out to be the weakest link between the four of us.
My legs gave up on mt cook and never really recovered. Apart from the hiccup at the arrival everything else went smoothly. Even the rough ‘lodge’ on night two was fine as we all slept well. The Hotel in Queenstown was excellent. All of our events went well. Going through Te Anau I discovered that my son had a passion for glow worms! Luckily for him he managed to photograph them near the hotel in Fox Glacier. As it was raining he got drenched but I have never seen him happier! It was a rush to get the train in Greymouth but we managed in the end. I have heard from Miriam since they returned and they enjoyed the north island as well. All in all, a great trip ! Our thanks go to you and your colleagues for the wonderful organisation and we will surely recommend you to others! Thanks a lot! Beth Spencer
Everything went smoothly & according to the itinerary | Susan Cheung & Darrel, Dean & Dana Freeman, Auckland to Queenstown Self Drive Tour | Travelled on 17th December 2017
It has been a week since we left New Zealand and I'm still in mourning over our departure, desperately trying to keep the vacation feeling.
New Zealand is AMAZING and I am so jealous that you live there! Everything went smoothly and according to the itinerary. The devil is in the details as you know and there were a couple of hiccups, but overall the trip was great! The challenge now is trying to save money again so that we can do the trip again. It is either that or having to find a job there and relocating! I'm so glad that you wrote since I've been meaning to but I've been too caught up with work. Your email served as a good reminder and motivator. I tried the link below but it does not seem to work anymore so I'm going to provide the feedback to you via this email instead. First off, this section is a no-brainer. You should be proud of your work and our trip is a result of your hard-work and WONDERFUL support and assistance to us. Not sure how I measure against other clients, but I certainly peppered you with sufficient questions which you were able to address and/or took care of in a timely manner. Anyone should be very lucky to get you as their travel agent and we were very blessed to be assigned to you, given your patience and flexibility. I felt that you took our requests/responses to heart and, where not possible, you took the time to let us know accordingly. There was true empathy on your part with the clients which is so necessary in your line of work. I felt from the communication we have together you understood where we were coming from and thus able to "tailor" a trip together to our liking and wallet-size. Second, because of you, the activities, transportation and accommodations were all great. We found them - Bella Vistas, Terrance, Rydges, etc. - perfect for our taste and comfort. Of course, there are lodging which have more stars (and more costs) but the chosen were great for us and we would use again in a heartbeat! One negative comment. When we are arrived at the Skotel Resort, we were assigned the standard rooms instead of the superior rooms which apparently they ran out of at the time of our stay. I want to say that we were charged for two nights in the superior rooms, but instead were given the standard rooms instead which in the end were fine but they were definitely the standard rooms. Finally, absolutely, I would refer your travel agency and you, of course. I really enjoy our correspondences and you are AWESOME, Joanna. Please feel free to use the above and do not hesitate to ask should you have any questions. Thanks again for all your support and assistance to us, Joanna. Susan
We thoroughly enjoyed our self-drive tour | Lim Chee Hwee, Kit May Mak and Wei Shuen Lim, The Essential South Island 9 Day Tour | Travelled on 22nd December 2017
We thoroughly enjoyed our self-drive Essential South Island 9 day tour planned by Natalie DeCaro.
We had the opportunity to see the beautiful landscapes in the South Island coupled with exhilarating experiences like bungy jumping from Kawarau Bridge, heli-hiking up Franz Josef glacier, and watching 3 sperm whales up close!
Definitely would recommend to my relatives & friends | Allan Chong, Customised Great Northern Land Itinerary, Travelled on 16th October 2017
Just back from our holiday in North New Zealand. Had a wonderful experience thanks to your recommendations and planning for this self drive trip.
Everything went smoothly! Will definitely recommend my relatives and friends to get in touch with you should they contemplate a holiday in New Zealand. Thanks.
Thank you for putting together exactly the right tour for us | Beverly Conover, Catherine Sinfield and Frankie Berman, Christchurch to Auckland Must Do Tour | Travelled on 1st October 2017
Just wanted to thank you for putting together exactly the right tour for us in New Zealand – it could not have been more perfect. You gave us exactly what we asked for – not too little, not too much.
The bus tour in Christchurch was eye-opening and we appreciated the way the driver was so passionate about his city and its recovery. The Merivale Manor was out of this world and Wayne and Karen could not have been better hosts. The garden tour was beautiful and what a treasure to have in the middle of their city. Franz Josef was amazing and good exercise and Aspen Court was great. Queenstown was so picturesque and we got to see you! Milford Sound was beautiful and we loved the apartment we had at Blue Peak apartments. We never did get to see Mt. Cook because of the fog, but the scenery was gorgeous. The ride from Christchurch to Picton was a bit grueling because of all the roadworks, but the scenery was fabulous. I have to say the accommodations at Aldan Lodge Motel in Picton were not even close to the standards of the other places we stayed, but the young couple who are running it were very pleasant. (To be fair, we weren’t actually in the main lodge, but a back building that was a bit tired with the bathroom off the kitchen.) The ferry from Picton to Wellington was a real highlight – beautiful and peaceful. City Life Wellington was a bit hard to find (as the GPS didn’t recognize the address) but once found, it was terrific. We LOVED Rotarua. We went to Wai O Tapu and were intrigued by the colorful thermal pools and the Geyser. The Kiwi encounter was great and the Mitai Maori Village was fabulous. Loved the Quest Rotarua Central as well. The Hobbiton tour was also a highlight. We didn’t expect to enjoy it nearly as much as we did, as none of us are particularly Lord ot the Rings or Hobbit fans. The enthusiasm of the tour guide was contagious in one of the most beautiful settings imaginable. The Hamilton Garden tour was fabulous and the Picnic Basket they prepared for us was incredible. Cathie enjoyed catching up with her old schoolmate in Hamilton and then we were off to Auckland. All in all, it was just a GREAT experience. New Zealand is truly a gorgeous country with the most friendly people. We so enjoyed meeting you in Queenstown and appreciate your literally going the extra mile for us! (Hope you enjoyed your birthday) Please pass along our kudos to your bosses and co-workers. We won’t hesitate to recommend your company to our friends. Thanks again for everything. Hugs, Bev, Cathie and Frankie
Couldn't be happier with the services provided | Blaire Miller, Caroline Richardson and Wim & Carin van Acker, New Zealand Highlights | Travelled on 3rd September 2017
We worked with Laura to organize a two-week active hiking trip on both islands for the four of us (one couple and mom/daughter ages 55-75). From the pick up at the airport to rental car to daily motel lodgings, all went very smoothly.
Laura provided us excellent options including emergency insurance and with my research on some other interesting options she found out how we could do those too. From the pick up at the airport to rental car to daily motel lodgings (2 bed/one bath/kitchen/living room options), all went very smoothly. All of the lodging was conveniently located near city centers with great food options and mostly quite up to date. Only one lodging had limited wifi options in Christ Church. We drove some good distances between regions which were gorgeous drives (SUV 4WD and garmin was a must!) and flew between the islands (watch carryon restrictions). Some of our highlights included Doubtful Sound overnight ship excursion-(#1 experience), hiking on White Island live volcano, hiking on Mount Cook in a foot of fresh snow, all-day wine touring in Queenstown region (loved the group upscale tour), Rotorua hiking in the geothermal regions and Mauri dinner show (also had a wonderful reception in a Mauri visitors house in town), Waikomo caves and Kiwi santuary, bungee jumping in Queenstown, Antarctica Museum at Christchurch airport, thermal spas in various locations after long hikes, amazing food at every meal (gluten free options everywhere) including country cafes in the middle of the mountain routes! Used Tripadvisor for dinner options in each region-all great! Good weatherproof gear was essential in early Spring, but we had only one day where it was a monsoon pour, so were able to experience so many diverse experiences. Been to 40+ countries and this is one of my top 3 all-time favorites! Thank you New Zealand Self Drive Tours and Laura for making it one of our top touring experiences-couldn't be happier with the services provided!!! Cheers, Blaire
Our trip was fantastic | Mike & Theresa Aldous, Customised Northbound Holiday, Travelled on 14th November 2017
Our trip was fantastic and the planning and help that was provided was excellent. Thanks Christina!
You’ve been our Kiwi angel! | Wendy, Ng Tiong, Edward, Susan LYE, Southern Explorer: Fiords, Mountains & Glaciers | Travelled on 9th December 2017
I would very much like to thank Joanna for her assistance and recommendations as I embarked on my epic self drive tour to South New Zealand for 12 days.Read more
The challenge was taking my elderly parents along as they do have physical limitations. Joanna was prompt in her responses when I came with questions and her assurance that the trip would be enjoyable and not physically exhausting for my parents totally got me sold. Even when I was travelling and needed her help to make a dinner reservation, she went beyond and above, taking the initiative to settle for me despite being cut-off due to lost connection when I was up in the mountains. She even enlisted her colleague, Kelly, to follow up with me on a weekend to make all the arrangement. I was deeply touched as the dinner would make a great closure for our trip in Queenstown coupled with sumptuous food and a spectacular view to behold. A wonderful way to immortalise our unforgettable road trip. Thank you Joanna for everything. You’ve been our Kiwi angel! Happy New Year Joanna and have a blessed year ahead. :) Best regards, wendy
Thanks for the great planning & itinerary | Janet & Michael Seigle, 22 Day New Zealand Showcase | Travelled on 25th November 2017
So nice to finally say thank you for planning our 3 week adventure. Each time that we checked into our next hotel was such a pleasure as everything was so organized and the reservations were perfect with beautiful rooms great locations and breakfast included.Read more
The itinerary folder that you provided was so helpful and detailed that we looked forward to where the next days adventure would lead us. Fun excursions as we enjoyed the waitomo caves. Very fun, from just gearing up into the wet suits helmets and boots. The guides make it very safe, informative and it was thrilling even though dark scary and cold water!! We loved both private kayak tours. Two great girl guides who were very eager to make our day fun. Bike excursion also just perfect. It ended up being just the two of us so a private great ride throughout the station seeing sheep and beautiful country scenic hills and great views with lakes and a nice boat ride. very enjoyable. We even ended up with 2 of our hotel rooms that had washer and dryer in room. And 3 hotels with laundry facilities that we also used as well. Lots of clean clothes were brought home so that was nice. And your country has such good food I must say. We ate at White and Wong and whitebait in Wellington and many great restaurants in Nelson. And we tried pies and pavlova all the pineapple lumps and fish and licorice. Very enjoyable. We learned so much at the treaty grounds and as well at the hangi dinner in Rotorua. We even went mountain bike riding for 2 hours and made my way up to the intermediate course. so proud!! We of course went tramping everywhere. Even in fiordland on the way up to mitford sound. I thought I was in a movie or something as it was so beautiful. Hiking at Mt cook was great to see the glacier and all. I would not recommend the stargazing as it was not that greatly organized. Other than that all went well. People are so friendly in New Zealand. And mountains everywhere, sheep and great food and nice roads even though they are not that wide and windy!! thanks for the great planning and itinerary. best Janet
We have a wonderful time in Aotearoa | Ziggy & Leila Iglewski, Southern Explorer Queenstown to Christchurch | Travelled on 29th October 2017
With that one exception we have a wonderful time in Aotearoa. We just fell in love with this country and people. You deserve a a great round of applause for making it possible. We’re definitely planning to come back in future to soak in the beauty of nature, environment, vegetation, food and an exceptional people hospitality. Thank you again with warm regards, Ziggy