We found travel to be smooth and easy, all of our flights connected fine and our rental cars worked out fine. We went without a GPS and didn’t have much trouble navigating.
It’s hard to pick highlights from the trip because we had a great time all around! I would say we especially enjoyed the Waimangu volcanic valley and Wai-o-Tapu thermal wonderland, the Polynesian Spa, the Queen Charlotte Track, and Queenstown. The geothermal sites were fantastic, and we’re glad we went to both, they were different experiences. The lakeside pools at the spa were an amazing way to relax after our long flight, and very picturesque.
We loved the scenic hike of the Queen Charlotte Track, as well as the accommodations along the way. Furneaux and Mahana were gorgeous with very friendly staff and great food, it was a pleasure to hike all day then arrive for a good meal and a warm fire. Queenstown was a great way to end our trip with a longer stay. On our free days there we ended up taking the Skyline Gondola up the mountain and doing the luge ride, walking in the gardens, and doing a horseback ride at Dart Stables in Glenorchy. I have to say Doubtful Sound was also a highlight…and the TranzAlpine train ride, we had perfect weather for…see, it’s hard to pick! I think the only thing I haven’t mentioned is Franz Josef and the glacier hike. The glacier itself was a lot of fun, but it was a little disorganized until we got onto the ice– our guide was new and the group was larger than they were prepared for, I think. Glenfern Villas was adorable, we loved the full kitchen.
The only thing on our itinerary that we wouldn’t rave about was the Te Po hangi feast– the food and performances weren’t that great. That said, the geyser at the end of it was probably the best geyser we saw. Feel free to ask any questions about other specifics I haven’t mentioned, obviously we enjoy talking about our trip! Jill, you put together a great itinerary for us, and everywhere we went it was easy to hand in our vouchers for tickets, rooms, etc.
–Cynthia & Nathan
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