New Zealand Trip Report – February/March 2013
I recently received a great trip report from a client who has just come back from New Zealand. I love to share these so you can hear from the perspective of a traveler how these trips go and the things that stood out for them. Thank you to Barbara for taking the time to send us your feedback.
Subject: Our NZ trip!
First off, let me say that our trip was SPECTACULAR! All of the travel went without a hiccup! The drivers in Auckland (Tim) and Wellington (Kevin) were great! They were fun, and very knowledgeable of NZ – the area and the history.
All of the B&B’s we stayed in were beautiful! They were all very different and fantastic in their own way, as were the owners. All really lovely people, very welcoming and helpful. The B&B’s were beautifully situated – every one had a gorgeous view – the rooms were lovely and spotless.
All of our activities – hikes, etc. – were really great! Our guide on the South Island hikes, Errol, was really good. We spent the day with him in the Queenstown area on a couple of different hikes. Then we went on to Te Anau and had a hike scheduled on the Kepler Track a couple days after we left Queenstown.
We came home with hundreds of pictures and lots of great memories. The Kiwis are really great people, very open and warm, and helpful. I think they are very proud of their country and its natural beauty.
Here are some highlights:
Taupo – we did the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (the up and back version, since the last half of it is still closed due to volcanic activity), which was a real challenge and worth every minute! That evening, we went back to Acacia Cliffs Lodge and Rick made a fabulous dinner for us…. What a way to end a terrific day!
Ferry from Wellington to Picton (South Island) – absolutely beautiful on a sunny, warm, CALM day! We stayed a couple nights at the Marlborough B&B – homemade bread and grilled nectarines at breakfast.. WOW!
Driving in general – beautiful scenery and roads with lots of switchbacks and hairpin turns. You couldn’t go fast if you wanted to, so we just got to appreciate the scenery while driving. Around every corner was another “Wow”!
Wine-tasting in Blenheim – Wither Hills was great. We also had lunch at the Herzog Vineyard and Bistro – a 4-star experience!
Lake Moeraki – On one of the days we were there, we were the only people at the lodge. We got to do a private hike with Gerry, the owner and a highly respected ecologist in NZ. We hiked a trail that he cut through the rainforest about 20 years ago… incredible!
Queenstown – very funky! Great tramp on the Routeburn Track with Errol.
Overnight on the boat in Doubtful Sound – absolutely stunning!
I could go on and on……. Thank you so much for working with us to make this a truly memorable trip!