Thank you from Mary Jo Drew

Hi Karen,

My entire foodie trip in the Lands Down Under went off with nary a hitch. The business class flights were the best splurge I’ve given myself in years!

MEL - Downtown from Mary Jo Drew

Photo Credit to Mary Jo Drew

The Hotel Lindrum in Melbourne was well positioned with easy access to shopping and attractions.  The Lanes and Arcades tour is an absolute must for anyone visiting Melbourne for the first time. As our guide pointed out, by not knowing to look down the city’s narrow alleyways many Americans would walk right past them and miss out on so much vibrant local culture.

There is so much colorful history in Melbourne.  At our guide’s advice, I even stopped in and had a drink upstairs with the famous Chloe in her namesake bar across from Flinders Railway Station!  The Yarra Valley winery tour was great fun. I really enjoyed seeing the Chandon Estate and didn’t realize Chandon had a vineyard in Australia!

Hobart in Tasmania was a really nice respite after the hustle and bustle of Melbourne.  The Old Woolstore Hotel was so close to the downtown area and harbor that I was able to walk virtually the entire downtown during my stay.  My private tour and lunch at the Morilla Estate was fantastic though the artwork at MONA came as a bit of a shock!   The trip to Bruny Island was great.  The weather started out very rainy but by noon everything cleared out and I had a lovely day.

ZQN view from Mary Jo Drew

Photo Credit to Mary Jo Drew

And then came Queenstown in beautiful New Zealand. The Dairy may have been my favorite accommodation – had I not stopped at The Manse later!  The view, room, breakfasts and staff service were all superlative.  I also enjoyed the hot tub on the back deck – a great place to sip wine while enjoying the view!  Although the weather was on again, off again, I had mostly great weather for my wanderings about town, the public garden, and the narrow streets.  I also enjoyed great meals at a couple of unique tapas bars on Lake Wakatipu.  The Doubtful Sound trip was quite majestic, but as The Sound is so remote it was a very long day. The winery tour to Otago was great and the charcuterie lunch was quite good.

NPE - The Manse view from Mary Jo Drew

Photo Credit to Mary Jo Drew

Lastly came Hawkes Bay. I knew I was in for a treat when I saw the plane I’d be flying on the leg from Christchurch to Napier – a regional aircraft not unlike some I have been on in the Pacific Northwest!  After staying at The Manse and being totally spoiled by the fantastic accommodation, the pool, the drinks before dinner, Gary’s sumptuous meals, and his and Dietske’s hospitality, I can only say that I wish I had had spent more time there!  My guide on the winery tour had spent years in the business himself, and it showed in his insights into the various wineries and producers.  My tour of Napier with Gary on the last day of my trip certainly cemented my wish to spend more time in stunning Hawkes Bay.

The trip was spectacular and I will have great memories to share for years to come.  Thanks for all your help in making this happen!

Best wishes,

Mary Jo

Thank you from Marlies and Helmut Kraemer

Hi Karen,

The “Down-Under Travelers” of 2012 have now enjoyed a second trip with Australia 2000 Travel – this time to New Zealand! How can we really thank you for putting together another amazing journey for the Kraemers? The answer became apparent these past few weeks. We spent 5 incredible weeks in New Zealand (February 1 – March 8, 2014) and while the experience was a once in a lifetime, the retelling to friends is a special way of reliving the trip. And that is how we can really thank you. It is an ongoing experience with us every time we get the iPad out and share pictures and memories. And we see the looks on our friends’ faces…..first a bit of envy, then joy, and then….the question….who did you use for this amazing trip? Then we can return the favor and say, well of course, Karen at Australia 2000 Travel! It was also interesting that during our New Zealand travels we met other guests during our stops who upon hearing our itinerary asked that same famous question…..who was your agent? Again, the joy when we could share your information with them!

Kraemer #3 NZ Trip 2014

Our 5 week journey took us from Auckland to Queenstown with our overnights at some of the most beautiful places one can imagine. Though each were wonderful, Helmut and I had some favorites: EdenHouse in the Nelson region, Otahuna Lodge outside of Christchurch, Huka Lodge in the Taupo area, and both the Farm at Cape Kidnappers in Hawke’s Bay and Matakuri Lodge in Queenstown. And we should not forget Mollies in Auckland and Hapuku Lodge in Kaikoura! But a trip is not about lodges, it is about what one learns. We met such wonderful “Kiwis”, hospitable, kind, and fun-loving. We learned so much about New Zealand, its history, culture, and its life today both economically and politically. I have told so many friends that we attended the “University of New Zealand” for 5 weeks!

Kraemer #2 NZ Trip 2014

I must confess that I was a bit hesitant to travel to New Zealand because I am not a “sports” person and rather risk adverse to things that the locals find just plain fun-like jet boat rides and bungee jumping! But one need no athleticism to eat and drink one’s way through New Zealand….only stamina!! With an agro/aquaculture based economy one certainly has access to the best foods in the world. The concept of paddock to table is everywhere and we were in good food withdrawal for days upon our return! The wines…..shall we say most of the good wines remain “home” in New Zealand!

Kraemer NZ Trip 2014

Finally, the natural beauty of New Zealand, alone, is worth a trip. I have likened New Zealand to California on steroids…..ocean, mountains, desert, rainforests, volcanoes, tectonic plates…..you name it, it is there! And the animals….for all my days I will remember my “baby”…..Vortex, the kiwi bird, who has been so fortunate to be in a sanctuary at Cape Kidnappers and be able to grow up in safety in his natural habitat.

In a nutshell, New Zealand touched each one of our senses: our eyes took in the magnificent scenery, our ears heard the calls of native birds and the wind, our noses smelled the beautiful flowers and sheep, our taste buds burst with the amazing flavors of the foods we ate, and our hands touched and felt so much of the texture of this incredible world. All perfection…and because you helped to bring all of that into our lives by paying attention to every detail of our journey. That brings smiles of joy to our faces!

The three pictures say so much…….we enjoyed and we thank you, your US team, and the New Zealand team that made it all a beautiful reality for us!

Fondly…..Marlies and Helmut Kraemer

 

Thank you from return travelers Christine Riggle & Faith Gaudaen

Faith and I LOVED our trip. New Zealand was everything we remembered and more.

The Cottage on Waiheke Island was great. Gary and Katy were super nice. So nice they even gave us one of the fish that Gary was smoking when we arrived. We really enjoyed the catamaran charter with Phil and Maire. There wasn’t any air in the morning, but we island hopped until the air picked up and we had a nice sail back to Waiheke.

Christine Riggle & Faith Gaudaen Return Kiwi Adventure 2013 Tim and Janet of Baywicks were as nice as we remembered. Even though it was surprisingly cold during our cruise in Abel Tasman, the captain Rod Stewart still made the trip interesting and fun. We’d like to give a special shot out for Noel Kennedy, our guide in Golden Bay. He and Golden Bay, we think, were the highlight of the trip. We’re so glad you included it in the itinerary. It’s definitely an area we would like to go back to, if we have the chance.

Christine Riggle & Faith Gaudaen Return Kiwi Adventure image 2 2013Although we really enjoyed both of the B&Bs, finishing the trip at the Rees Hotel in Queenstown was very nice and relaxing. The unit even had a fireplace which we made liberal use of on another cold day. The changes at the Rees were a pleasant surprise–expansion of their concierge service and the shuttles to town. The dinner at True North was truly exceptional. Thank you so much for booking it. I’m not sure if we would have gone otherwise.

So we can’t say it enough how much we loved the trip and the people we met (and saw again). Thanks again for arranging another wonderful trip to NZ!

Cheers,

Christine and Faith

Thank you from Mike & Jess Wiley

Mike and I had such an amazing trip to New Zealand that we didn’t want to come home!

Mike & Jessica Wiley

Everything from the airport pickup to Queenstown was beyond words. The stay on Waiheke Island was absolutely breathtaking and it was the PERFECT way to start our trip. Our accommodations were very nice and our hostess was very sweet! We loved the Lord of the Rings movie set and the various scenery that we saw across these beautiful islands. Nelson and the Able Tasman National Park was exquisite. We were really impressed at the conditions of the national park trails and how organized everything was. Christmas in Nelson and dinner at the Boat Shed Restaurant was fabulous. That was one of the best dinners we have ever had! The seafood was beyond perfection and I am very picky about seafood!!!! The drives to the Franz Josef Glacier and then to Queenstown were beautiful. Our pictures hardly capture the magnificence of the places we saw. The glacier hike was so much fun!!! We felt very safe with our guide and it was such a unique experience. Thank you for getting us a GPS with our car rentals! It was VERY helpful!

Our most favorite adventure was in Queenstown when we went to Glenorchy for the jet boat safari on the Dart River. We wanted to do it more than once. Even the bus ride to Glenorchy was breathtaking.

The food was great and the atmosphere everywhere we went was so hospitable and inviting! Everyone was very nice and gave us well wishes on our recent marriage. We would definitely go back and see some of the things that we didn’t get this time.

I have attached a couple of pictures from our trip. Thanks again for organizing this trip for us. It will truly be something we will never forget. We hope you all had a great start to the year and have continued blessings throughout the year.

Sincerely,

Jess Wiley

Thank you from Gerald Fuller & Siamak Gholami

Our two week Australia/New Zealand adventure experience was truly one of the finest vacations either of us has ever had. Karen and her Michigan office and international staffs executed a fine-tuned, action-packed, successive whirlwind that we slept dead 12 of the 14 return hour flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles. Exploring the north Sydney beaches on Harleys, flying low along the Sydney beaches in a sea plane, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, swimming in the Coral Sea with three sharks, sand boarding, New Zealand jet boating, paddling the Waka (Mori outrigger), gazing in awe walking the Milford Track, mountain biking down a 3,000 foot mountain to downtown Nelson, hiking the Abel Tasman and Heaphy Traks, climbing active volcanoes of New Zealand’s north island, and chartering 11 helicopters, 3 planes, and a sea plane are just some of the excitement included in Karen’s adventure itinerary.

Gerry Fuller & Siamak Gholami SYD (2)Now to the hotels. Wow! Park Hyatt in Sydney, Eichardt’s Private Hotel in Queenstown, Edenhouse near Nelson, Peppers Awaroa Lodge in Abel Tasman National Park are just a few of the perfectly suited for the experience and location we enjoyed. Even with walking/trekking, mountain biking, paddling a Waka, and climbing mountains, we still gained an average of 7.5 pounds each; enough said on the naturally nutritious, delicious, and extremely well-presented food.

Gerry Fuller & Siamak GholamiWe spent nearly two years working with Karen to get the trip we wanted. Gerald wanted to end his 60s with a bang and Siamak just lives life with a bang. Together we all pulled it together, but the nucleus was Karen and her staff. Thank you.

Gerald Fuller and Siamak Gholami

Thank you from David & Adrea Benkoff

Dear Karen,

We traveled to Australia anAdrea Benkoffd New Zealand for 3 ½ weeks on a spectacular tour tailored to our tastes. We hopscotched around Australia from Sydney to Cairns, Ayers Rock to Kangaroo Island. Every stop included personalized tours, wonderful people and terrific wildlife experiences. We even spent a day in Barossa wine country sampling from four wineries.

The scenery in New Zealand was picture postcard perfect. The expDavid Benkofferiences that Karen provided in Arthur’s Pass, Queenstown and Doubtful Sound highlighted the natural beauty and provided exciting activities such as a Jet Boat Ride, overnight cruise and sheep shearing. We toured with an Aboriginal and Maori guide and experienced their lifestyle first hand.

Whether we had a private tour or joined with others, all the selected tour guides were personable, knowledgeable, and genuinely enjoyable to spend time with.

Australia 2000 made this the adventure of a lifetime.

Thanks, Adrea and David Benkoff

Thank you from The Robinet Family

Dear Karen,

We can’t thank you enough for putting together such a wonderful itinerary for us. Our trip to Australia and New Zealand was the trip of a lifetime and one that none of us will forget.

From Green Island to Ayers Rock to Sydney to Queenstown, we have memories of the most beautiful places we’ve ever seen. The adventures you chose for us were terrific.  From snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef to the Sounds of Silence dinner and camel ride at sunrise in Ayer’s Rock from Bridgeclimb, New Year’s Eve festivities and sailing on Sydney Harbour in Sydney to ziplining and bungy jumping in Queenstown, New Zealand, etc., everything was fantastic!

We’re already talking of going back! We booked this trip because we wanted to do a big family trip before our oldest son goes away to college. Thank you for exceeding our expectations. Australia and New Zealand truly are spectacular places to visit. The Aussie’s & Kiwi’s are wonderful too! They really know how to enjoy life and they made sure that we enjoyed it too. Thank you to you and your staff.

Sincerely,

The Robinet Family

Thank you from Dr. Gunta Wheeler

Hello Karen,

Our trip to Australia & New Zealand was absolutely a dream come true.

Sydney was everything you told us to expect. We thoroughly enjoyed our luxurious hotel and all of the wonderful tours planned for us, especially the small group city orientation tour. Our guide was totally awesome, he even brought us to the market so that we could do a bit of shopping and then to the Yacht Club for a fantastic lunch.

Lizard island was as we dreamed it would be “out of this world” with absolutely the best food and service. The weather was as we ordered, sunny when we needed it to be and cloudy when we had a slight sunburn. Adelaide, the wineries and Kangaroo Island were also just perfect.

Our favorite part of New Zealand was Queenstown. On arrival we enjoyed a hot springs spa treatment and then headed into town where we joined in a Bar Crawl at the Ice Bar. That was the best night ever. My friends were trying to remind me my age, but I could not care less.

I must tell you that there is a new restaurant in Queenstown called Flame Bar and Grill where the ribeye steak is to die for. Also the Irish pub, Pog Mahones Stone Grill, has the best cuisine next to Lizard Island. Our favorite tour was the jet boat ride on the Dart River. It was thrilling fun and we had the best captain. I have to admit that I am totally ready to drop everything and move to Queenstown if I am ever offered the opportunity.

We also thoroughly enjoyed our chartered boat tour in Nelson. The captain was great and the Tasman Sea was at its best with lots of sun and seals, penguins and very artistic jelly fish. We sun tanned, swam and enjoyed our lunch tremendously. A highlight of the day was the terrific driver who told all about the Nelson area and even stopped at the local market so that we could purchase fresh fruit.

WOW was as wow could be, we were shocked out of our pants, that Nelson has a magnificent museum. After visiting the museum our private guide took us to the wineries where we savored the best ever smoked salmon. Paired with a prized Chardonnay, the salmon was simply splendid. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed Nelson thanks to the tours and fantastic tour guides.

Now the toughest part is to get back to ordinary food and work. I truly feel that New Zealand is calling me to return as I felt so very much at home there.

Thank you so much for a truly glorious trip!

Dr. Gunta Wheeler

Thank you from Ronita & John

It was our 25th wedding anniversary and my 65th birthday and I had my eyes set on Australia and New Zealand. But what a headache I got trying to plan it solo. I lucked up on Karen at Australia 2000 and what a breeze it became.

It isn’t every day that you make plans and have an experience of ease and grace from a customer service perspective. And it isn’t every day that you find good people with a big heart like Karen and her staff that really care and bend over backwards to make your dreams come true.

It isn’t every day that every desire in your imagination becomes a reality, as you take in the beauty of another country – the warm people, the ancient customs, the cuisine, the nature, the Great Barrier Reef, sacred land of Uluru, kangaroos, camels, and wild birds, Sydney, clear blue waters and Ferg’s burgers of Queenstown, the Wearable World of Art in Wellington, fine wineries of Nelson, art, music, green stone, the snow capped mountains. Yes, we did it all! And, I tell you we enjoyed every moment of our 25-day experience.

We owe every expression of awe and beauty to Karen. And so I say with deep gratitude, look no further, if this is your destination. You will never find more dedication, more experience and wisdom, more spirit than Australia 2000.

Ronita & John

Thank you from Bob & Susie Ufer

Beginning with a beautiful sail on Sydney Harbor and ending with the Sounds of Silence in Doubtful Sound this indeed was a fabulous holiday! Australia 2000 planned every detail to make our journey one that we will always treasure.

Whether arriving late into Auckland and having our ride waiting or simply getting to a destination with a ride waiting was the best. We met people that we will now have more Christmas cards to send and the accommodations were lovely. We already know we will return to the Punatapo Lodge in Queenstown, gorgeous land of the long white cloud.

Thank you Australia 2000!!

Susie and Bob Ufer

Autumn Splashed Arrowtown Fall Festival

Arrowtown
Photo Credit to edwin.11

Arrowtown, New Zealand, a charming historic gold mining town established in 1862, is now the location of the long running Arrowtown Autumn FestivalTaking place April 20 – 29, 2012, this family friendly event celebrates the magnificent colors of the season.

Located only 25 minutes northeast of Queenstown on the South Island, the Arrowtown Autumn Festival, now in its 28 year, attracts visitors wishing to experience the stunning scenery of autumn splashed red, orange and gold leaves.

Over 50 attractions are featured during the 10 day event and this diverse program offers something for everyone. Creative venues such as the wearable art fashion show, sculptor guided stone carving workshops and an evening with a master chef Brett McGregor are featured, as well as a good natured events such as the pub to pub challenge, guided historical walking tours and the opportunity to step back in time and do a little gold panning.

Include this fantastic fall event in your once in a lifetime journey to explore the GLORIOUS South PacificCall us today and we will weave all of your dreams into an unforgettable Down Under adventure!

 

September Newsletter

A Look at our September Newsletter.  To Subscribe, use the form in the right-hand column at the bottom.
Australia 2000 Travel Newsletter

G’day Mates!

Having just returned from the GLORIOUS South Pacific, I feel revitalized! How marvelous to have spent time with many old friends and to have made a number of new ones. Great to have found new means of exploring some of my favorite destinations and to have stayed in a variety of new and WONDERFUL accommodations! Such a joy and what a gift to be able to bring THE best accommodation and touring options to you, our clients. It is an extraordinary privilege to be given to opportunity to build and maintain personal relationships with the teams at our hand selected accommodations and with our tour guides throughout Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti & Fiji.

Such an opportunity occurred while staying at the EXQUISITE, recently opened Hilton Hotel in Queenstown on the shores of beautiful Lake Wakatipu. During a site inspection with sales manager, Kristie Macaulay, I was surprised by an unexpected tap on the shoulder and a friendly greeting from Bradley Moody, the Director of Sales for Hilton Hotels Australasia region who was visiting from Sydney, Australia. As true Aussies we lamented our lack of time to share a glass of good (in THIS instance) Kiwi wine and to wax lyrical about all things South Pacific. We agreed to remedy that on my next trip to Sydney destined for this coming December. A great recognition of the years spent building relationships with executives from our finest, handpicked accommodations.

Not to lose focus, Kristie and I resumed our site inspection of the Hilton’s grounds, hotel rooms, restaurants and glorious spa. Set by the tranquil shores of Lake Wakatipu, and in the heart of Kawarau Village, featuring a majestic mountain backdrop, The Hilton provides the perfect base to explore the area’s natural attractions. Located five minutes from Queenstown Airport and a fifteen minutes drive or ten minute water taxi ride from the center of Queenstown we agreed that the Hilton is the ideal accommodation to access to all that Queenstown has to offer.

While staying at the Hilton the choice of restaurants abounds. Guests can enjoy the hotel’s signature restaurant, Wakatipu Grill that reflects the best of New Zealand’s culinary heritage. Expertly helmed by renowned Chef Peter Thornley, the cuisine is inspiring, with provocative takes on New Zealand flavors. Vast windows, an open kitchen and rotisserie, along with two circular slate fireplaces, lend even more drama to this magnificent space. From the bar visitors are tempted by yet another captivating perspective of the lake, or an exceptional vintage, the 1000-strong wine cellar has a keen focus on Otago’s best winemakers. Perhaps linger on the generous terrace where the elements combine to spectacular effect: the lake’s indigo depths, the clear air and a decadent outdoor fire pit.

After a hard days adventuring guests often gather in the flamboyant and ever-changing Kawarau Hotel Lobby Bar. While mingling at the bar they enjoy expertly mixed cocktails, a selection of cold beers and a variety of premium spirits, or sink into a comfy booth with friends, to share a tantalizing snack platter and enjoy an occasional live DJ set.

For me the site inspection concluded with THE MOST rejuvenating massage therapy where the masseuse used a variety of aboriginal oils and herbs to create a relaxing hour of blissful indulgence. One that set me on track for the next adventure…zip trekking and The Doubtful Sound…

~Karen

From the Blog
This month we have been blogging New Zealand.  Here is a look at what we have been covering:

As always, I thank you for supporting Australia 2000 Travel and look forward to sharing more of my recent adventures with you in the coming months.

Thank you so much for your support! It is referrals from clients like you that help us keep doing what we so love to do.

Karen Hardy Hodgson
Toll Free Phone within USA: 1 800 875 4530
Phone: ++1 248 647 4530
Email: karen@australia2000-travel.com
Personal service and attention to every travel detail!

Occasionally one hears of an unusual and unique business where the relationship is harmonious from the beginning. Where quality is the only measure of success. Where everyone emerges from the experience fully satisfied with the end result. Australia 2000 Travel Ltd., in Birmingham Michigan, is such a business.

Matakauri Lodge, New Zealand, Selected for Conde Nast Hot List

Matakauri Lodge, a luxury lodge, located on the South Island of New Zealand, has been honored on the Conde Nast Hot List of accommodation for 2011.

Having wowed discerning guests with their two outstanding North Island properties, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Julian Robertson and family have opened their third luxury lodge on the shores of sparkling Lake Wakatipu on the South Island. Just minutes from Queenstown, Matakauri Lodge is wonderfully positioned on a knoll flanked by a pine forest, overlooking the glacial lake.  read entire article

Offering luxurious accommodation, fine dining, superb service and stunning panoramic views, Matakauri Lodge, nestled in native bush overlooking Lake Wakatipu is one of the world’s most private and serene vacation retreats. Located only a short distance from Queenstown, the alpine wonderland of New Zealand, Matakauri lodge is the perfect jumping off point for adventurous travelers or those simply seeking luxurious rejuvenation.

The Luxurious Hilton Hotel in Queenstown, New Zealand

While on her yearly quest to visit hand selected accommodation and explore new tours and experiences for our clients, Karen Hardy Hodgson, the owner and president of Australia 2000 Travel, had the opportunity to stay at the luxurious Hilton Hotel in Queenstown.

The Hilton Hotel, Queenstown, New Zealand

Set by the tranquil shores of the Lake Wakatipu, and in the heart of Kawarau Village, featuring a majestic mountain backdrop, The Hilton provides the perfect base to explore the area’s natural attractions. Located five minutes from Queenstown Airport and a fifteen minutes drive or ten minute water taxi ride from the center of Queenstown, the Hilton is the ideal accommodation with access to all that Queenstown has to offer.

While staying in Queenstown the choice of restaurants abounds. Enjoy the hotel’s signature restaurant, Wakatipu Grill, that reflects the best of New Zealand’s culinary heritage. Expertly helmed by renowned Chef Peter Thornley, the cuisine is inspiring, with provocative takes on New Zealand flavors. Vast windows, an open kitchen and rotisserie, along with two circular slate fireplaces, lend even more drama to this magnificent space. In the bar, be tempted by yet another captivating perspective of the lake, or an exceptional vintage – the 1000-strong wine cellar has a keen focus on Otago’s best winemakers. Linger on the generous terrace where the elements combine to spectacular effect: the lake’s indigo depths, the clear air and a decadent outdoor fire pit.

Perhaps head to Queenstown’s new place to meet after a hard days’ adventuring – the flamboyant and ever-changing Kawarau Hotel Lobby Bar. Mingle at the bar, where you can enjoy expertly mixed cocktails, a selection of cold beers and a variety of premium spirits, or sink into a comfy booth with friends, to share a tantalizing snack platter and enjoy an occasional live DJ set.

Queenstown, New Zealand

Be spoilt for choice with a wide selection of New Zealand and international wines, available by the bottle or the glass in the stylish Cru Wine Bar and Lounge. Set in the Hilton’s lobby area, this relaxed lounge features a cozy fireplace and floor to ceiling windows overlooking the courtyard and Wakatipu Lake. For the perfect ending to your day, savor a single malt on the outdoor terrace or order a tapas to accompany your favorite drink.

 

 

New Zealand Spectacular Golf Tour

DAY 1: Arrive in Auckland, New Zealand. City Orientation Tour
DAY 2: Golf at Formosa Country Club
DAY 3: Golf at Gulf Harbour. Private Cruise to Waiheke Island
DAY 4: Fly to Queenstown. Wine Tasting in Blenheim
DAY 5: Milford Sound Helicopter Flight. Hiking and Lunch at a Sheep Station
DAY 6: Golf at Millbrook Resort
DAY 7: At Leisure in Queenstown
DAY 8: Fly to Wellington. Arts, Culture and History Tour
DAY 9: James Bond Day
DAY 10: Fly to Napier. City Tour and Wine Tasting. Golf at Cape Kidnappers Golf Club
DAY 11: Coach to Taupo. Golf at Wairakei International Golf Course
DAY 12: Golf at Taupo Centennial. Cruise on Lake Taupo
DAY 13: Fly to Bay of Islands. Golf at Kauri Cliffs
DAY 14: Cruise on Bay of Islands
DAY 15: Fly to USA

19 Day Elegant New Zealand Discovery Tour

Day 1 Arrive in Auckland. Fly to Waiheke Island
Day 2 Private discovery tour on Waiheke Island
Day 3 Fly to Taupo
Day 4 Private touring in Taupo
Day 5 Private transfer to Napier
Day 6 Private touring in Hawkes Bay
Day 7 Private guided touring to Palliser Bay
Day 8 At leisure in Palliser Bay
Day 9 Private transfer to Wellington
Day 10 Gourmet walking tour. Touring on private Maori marae
Day 11 Fly to Nelson
Day 12 Helicopter tour to Farewell Spit
Day 13 At leisure in Nelson
Day 14 Full day private touring in Nelson Region
Day 15 Fly to Queenstown
Day 16 Helicopter Milford Sound & Jetboat Dart River Tour
Day 17 Fly fishing or spa treatment
Day 18 Fly to Auckland. Private City Tour
Day 19 Depart New Zealand

[Read more…]

14 Day Classic New Zealand Discovery Tour

Day 1 Arrive Christchurch. Private City Tour of Christchurch
Day 2 Private Tour to Akaroa
Day 3 TranzAlpine Express to Arthurs Pass
Day 4 At Arthurs Pass
Day 5 Private tour to Hokitika & Punakaiki
Day 6 Private Touring to Franz Josef. Light aircraft flight over the glaciers
Day 7 Private touring to Queenstown
Day 8 Dart River Lord of the Rings Tour
Day 9 At leisure in Queenstown
Day 10 Overnight Doubtful Sound Cruise
Day 11 Glowworm Caves Tour. Return to Queenstown
Day 12 Fly to Auckland. Private city tour of Auckland
Day 13 Private tour with Maori guide
Day 14 Depart New Zealand

[Read more…]

10 Day Luxury New Zealand Discovery Tour

Featuring

  • Canterbury Country Estate
  • Kaikoura
  • Christchurch
  • Queenstown
  • Dart River Cruise
  • Milford Sound
  • Auckland

IN BRIEF
Day 1 Arrive in Christchurch / Transfer to luxury country lodge
Day 2 4X4 Discovery Tour
Day 3 Whale Watching Tour / Transfer to Christchurch
Day 4 City Tour of Christchurch.
Day 5 Fly to Queenstown
Day 6 Lord of the Rings Tour – Dart River and Milford Sound
Day 7 At leisure in Queenstown
Day 8 Fly to Auckland / Private City Tour
Day 9 Private Touring with a Maori Guide
Day 10 Depart New Zealand

[Read more…]

Thank You from the Luginbills

Karen and Hillary,

Our second trip from Australia 2000 was as sensational as the first. In January, we visited Fiji and New Zealand; and as was the case for our trip to Australia in 2007, it was expertly planned and went off without a hitch. The diversity of the vacation was ideal. There were so many highlights that one cannot be singled out. Each day was an adventure.

On the island of Nukubati, the lap of luxury awaited us. We toasted sundown with campaign at sunset, viewed the undersea world snorkeling on the pristine reefs, ate gourmet food at every meal cooked from fresh island ingredients, and had every whim taken care of by an excellent staff.

After a totally relaxing week, New Zealand beckoned from top to bottom, north to south. We arrived to our own limo in Auckland and after a grand couple of day’s visit, we were off to Waitomo to do Black water rafting. Since hiking is our thing, Karen had us walk the Tongaririo Crossing, an amazing 7 hour trek across a volcano with some of the most amazing scenery to be seen.

The South island proved to be as dramatic and varied as the North island of New Zealand. A three day 28 mile hike along the Abel Tasman coastal trail was followed by sipping wine in Marlborough. Next we had a spectacular drive to Kaikoura where whale watching was no fluke. Christchurch was a bustling city between earthquakes (no big ones when we were there) and off to Queenstown, a must see vacation wonderland, where we just might have seen Gandalf and Frodo. Finally but definitely worth waiting for was a two day trip to Fiordland National Park where the scenery was so awe inspiring that it could have only been created by our Lord.

Every aspect of our trip was taken care of. All we had to do was follow the customized, fully complete itinerary and have FUN doing it.

Ron and Barb Luginbill

Traveled to Fiji and New Zealand January 2011

Thanks from Debbie and Mike

Hi Karen & Hillary,

We are still talking to everyone we see about our incredible trip to New Zealand and Australia. We were met upon arrival in Auckland, Queenstown, Sydney and Cairns by your fun and interesting local guides who delivered us to our fabulous hotels/apartments as well as providing us with your detailed itinerary that included vouchers for our total convenience.

Karen grasped the personality and needs of Mike and I perfectly. The unique and spectacular journey to New Zealand took us to the Waiheke Island with fabulous visits to wineries, artist’s studios, and a taste of the local cuisine. However, we fell totally in love with Queenstown with its view of the Remarkables and our exciting ride up the Dart River.

[Read more…]