Thank you so much for planning and organizing our holiday of a life-time in NZ.
The people we have met and the places we have seen have been epic! We will take away many happy memories.
We would like to pass on our thanks and appreciation to the places we stayed.
The Sofitel was excellent. The staff were friendly and the room extremely comfortable – a great start to our trip. The conservation trip to TIritiri Matangi with 360 Discovery was very enjoyable and interesting – it was a new experience for us to learn about NZ’s birds and flora. Our guide, Alison, was a volunteer who kindly shared her knowledge and skills – which in observing wildlife were awesome. Hobbs Bay is magnificent and well worth seeing.
Next we went on our horse trek in Helensville – it was great to see NZ on horseback and to continue to develop our riding skills. Sadly, Julian had a fall and fractured his left ring finger. North Shore Hospital and the ACC were wonderful in helping and restoring Julian back to a good recovery. Admired Julian for his positive perspective and continuing with the trip and making this time even more special. Thank you to Rod, Georgie, and Bev for all your kindness and for sharing your wonderful horseriding skills with us and for Bev’s hospitality.
The Northern Explorer Train journey was wonderful. The staff were friendly and helpful. The views were amazing and the observation coach was well worth spending time on – the commentary was informative and helpful.
The accommodation At Home Wellington was excellent with a great view of the harbour, from our room. Again the staff really do welcome you and you feel at home.
Next we went onto the Interislander ferry – the day before our crossing the Cook Strait had high winds, with 11 metre waves, and crossings were cancelled. However, on the day we went across all was well! - and we enjoyed a lovely breakfast. The car hire from Hertz was very good. The Toyota Highlander is perfect for touring the South Island and extremely comfortable. We first travelled from Picton to Blenheim and stayed at Stonehaven, experiencing John’s wonderful knowledge of wine and Pauline’s wonderful cooking, a real home from home.
Next we travelled to Golden Bay and stayed at Ratanui Lodge – Steve and Pete make you feel very special. Pohara was so aesthetic. The seals were awesome at Golden Bay. Farewell Spit was a great experience and our guide Elaine a real character! Stopping at the Mussel Inn is a must. Here we experienced our first earthquake tremor – the wardrobe rattled and the windows shook.
At Charleston we stayed at Birds Ferry Lodge and experienced the relaxation of a hot tub and one of André’s massages. André also shared his expert knowledge of the sights to see, like Westport, the seal colony, and Cape Foulwind. Alison was a great host and cook. Thank you for sharing your horse riding experiences with us.
Mahitahi was epic with John’s wonderful tour and Jacqui’s wonderful hospitality. It was real bonus to meet Ross, Sue, Alex and Nan. Thank you for sharing with us. Bruce Bay was great with Fox Glacier and Franz Josef well worth a visit. Not to mention the wonderful beaches and salmon farm.
Wanaka was yet another treasure. Meg was a great host and to experience a flight in a Waco biplane and a horse riding lesson with Carol made our time in Wanaka very special. Thank you Karen for your wonderful cooking. The hot tub was great after a day of adventure. Riverrun is a real treasure. It was great to see a ski resort in action and bask in the beauty of the lakes and mountains.
Next we travelled on to Te Anau and stayed at Dunluce – which touched our hearts greatly with a link to our beloved Belfast. The accommodation is excellent with real Irish hospitality. The Fiordland cruise was epic with many beautiful sights. We tried new activities – the fishing and kayaking were very good. The crew were great – Marie and Sean’s knowledge was fantastic – and the hospitality excellent. The other guests were also a joy to meet and to share this time with. Also meeting Billy from Deep Cove, who shared many funny stories and knew so much about the Fiordlands made the trip even more special and memorable.
The Catlin’s were awesome. Fergus is an amazing guide who knows so much about penguins and conservation. Mary touched our hearts with her hospitality and singing. Thank you for introducing us to nature, glow worms, penguins, and swing bridges!, for sharing so many funny stories, and making the time we shared so special.
Lastly we travelled to Mount Lyford for our horse trek with Kate Tapley. This was a great experience. The treks were great and the horses excellent and it was good to learn so much about natural horsemanship, in the beauty of the mountains, lakes, and gorges.
We so enjoyed flying with Air Malaysia. The crew were very helpful and kind. We would like to say a big thank you to Chris for meeting and welcoming us at Auckland airport and for all your help and support. It has been a real joy to meet you.
Thank you to Rebecca and Paul for making our holiday so special.
From our hearts to yours, Thank you.
Julian & Sue Warner