We had a fantastic trip! You really took care of everything – all of the vouchers and instructions were very easy to follow and we didn’t have to worry about anything.
We really enjoyed the planned activities – even though the weather didn’t cooperate in Nelson, Bruce at Wilsons Abel Tasman was great about offering us additional choices. The drive between Nelson and Kaiterteri was beautiful! The hike we ended up doing was fun and we really liked exploring the Abel Tasman area. Plus, one of the boat guides, Chris, was so friendly and fun to talk with.
The mussel tour ended up being really fun as well, particularly because our guide (he called himself Aussie) was hilarious!! It rained like crazy that day as well, but the boat was comfortable and we still learned quite a bit and ate very well. It was fun eating the mussels and simply throwing the shells overboard – hee! It was probably good that we had that planned for such a rainy day, because it gave us something to do when we might not have had many choices besides. Havelock was such a charming little place, too!
Lochmara Lodge ended up being our favorite – what a unique place. If I were to change anything I might have added more time to spend there. The weather was great and we had a lot to do. Best of all, though, are the people who work there. We had great fun chatting with Ken the site manager, and Chef John, the artist-in-residence, and all of the girls at the lodge. We were absolutely delighted by the bird feeding and all of their efforts in wildlife conservation. Honestly, we both felt such an emotional connection to this place that it was extremely difficult to leave. I hope to go back one day because we just loved it!!
The Zest food tour in Wellington was really great. That was a fun way to see parts of the city we might have otherwise overlooked. We enjoyed spending time with our guide, Helen, and learned a lot.
You were right about Millar Road… we kept joking that a house that size in New Zealand is all we’d need to be happy… (as long as it came with all of the luxurious appointments and a vineyard, of course, HA!). I was really surprised by how good NZ white wine is and we had such a good time visiting various vineyards. With everything being so close, it was easy to drive around and experience a lot. I ate the most delicious clam dish at Craggy Range’s onsite restaurant… it was expensive but that place served my favorite meal of the trip. So good!
If we had more time, we probably would have stayed a week at Lochmara and a week at Millar Rd, with the same amount of time in Wellington, and maybe a day extra in Nelson to explore more of Abel Tasman. I would have also liked more time to visit the vineyards in Marlborough… maybe next time!!
Overall, the trip was perfectly organized… we really didn’t worry about a thing and we must compliment you for really excellent service.
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