Just wanted to let you know that the holiday was a huge success - your recommendations of where to go, what to see and do, and who to stay with, were spot on every time and we are in no doubt that if we had arranged the trip ourselves we would have missed out on a lot. Can't thank you enough!
Highlights for us: finding kiwis in the wild by torchlight, seeing the southern stars at Mt John Observatory, jet-boating up the Dart, the various nature walks (particularly with Fergus, what a delightful man) and generally driving on open, almost deserted roads surrounded by endless spectacular scenery. Oh, and the seven whales plus numerous albatrosses, penguins, etc.
Lowlight: getting fined NZ$230 for speeding - those open roads are very tempting and take a long time to cover at under 110 kph!
We gather you know Mary and Fergus Sutherland well. We loved our stay with them. After the first day Mary disappeared to Dunedin for her season at the Fortune, but we tracked her down and went to see the show, which was very amusing. She'd invited us to meet her afterwards but it was a long drive back to the Kaimata Retreat and Mandy was nervous about the roads in the dark, so we sent a note of apology backstage. Fortunately, the next day we were sitting eating tapas at a pavement cafe in the Octagon when she walked up, so we were able to congratulate her on her performance after all.
Anyway, many thanks again. You can be sure we will call on you again if we decide we can face the rigours of the journey for another trip to the Antipodes.
Mike and Mandy Grocott