New Zealand - North to South
New Zealand, Trek & Walk, 19 days - from £3,695 (land only) - from €4,995 (land only) - from $6,120 (land only)
By: Wendy Bisiker, London, UK
It was a brilliant holiday which gave an overall flavour of NZ combined with lovely walks which both delighted and at times challenged. The group size & composition added to the overall enjoyment of the trip. It was excellent value for money. Our guides Brent and Rosco were excellent and complemented each others' skill sets. Brent's expert botanical knowledge blended well with Rosco's overall knowledge of NZ and easy communication. They taught us so much about NZ landscapes, culture & history and they showed perceptive understanding of all sensitive issues. We enjoyed their company, good will and humour. They are both consummate professionals, making flexible and sensible decisions at all times including when the weather was not great. The variety of things to do and see combined with serious walking was particularly enjoyable. For me (in order) the highlights were: 1. Rex Simpson hut experience. 2. Abel Tasmin walk and boat ride. 3. Nydia Hike and On the Track Lodge (despite rain!) 4. Milford Sound day (despite weather!)5. Thermal area Wai-O- Tapu 5. General- meals(both picnics & evening meals & Hangi). It exceeded all expectations as the tour was so well organised, comfortable (including in the bus with snacks, books to read, stories by Brent & Rosco to delight and inform and lots of toilet stops!). I have travelled with other Adventure Companies on many occasions and KE really combines rugged adventure with high levels of comfort which makes the holiday excellent value for money
By: Sue Nichol, Yorkshire, UK
I enjoy visiting the Keswick office - staff are always welcoming & helpful. All accommodation was wonderful - the best I've had on a KE trip. Likewise the food - Rossco always had a 'snack basket' in the van, his picnic lunches were great, & when we ate out he chose a variety of good restaurants. He discussed all aspects of the trip with us. Rossco was the best guide I have ever had. he was experienced, professional, a great cook, worked incredibly long hours for us & was always cheerful. He would do anything to ensure we had the best holiday possible & we learnt so much about New Zealand from him.
This was my 6th trip with KE - they get better & better! 'FINTISTIC' TRIP. Many thanks for facilitating it.
By: Tom Stenhouse, Cumbria, UK
Need to stress the importance of clean walking boots, as in no dirt at all. It means delays at customs in NZ. Otherwise all preliminaries were excellent.
This was a fantastic holiday, helped by continuous sunshine throughout the whole of the 3 weeks. The accommodation was of a very high standard.
The guides, Brent and Josh were excellent. Brent with his knowledge of natural history and Josh who was constantly aware of our groups needs. Their ability to manage a group and achieve harmony and flexibility in the itinerary, taking advantage of good weather and breaking up long journeys, with short and interesting walks, was excellent.
The itinerary was excellent with different levels of walks in terms of difficulty and duration. The people are friendly and always willing to help. The country was very clean with little rubbish or graffiti. The cost of meals and drinks were equivalent to this country.
I was overwhelmed with the scenery, very much like the Lake District, but bigger mountains, lakes and forests. The views and walks were stunning. An overall excellent experience.
By: Gwen Helen Lewis, Powys, UK
I loved all of it. It was packed full and some walks were tough, we swam and we saw so many fantastic places.
Our guide was exceptionally good. He was very informative and as an ex forester and conservation man he made sense of it all. He was fit, intelligent, very good company and very good natured. All in all first class!
Some accommodation was exceptionally good - Wanaka and Tekapo. Most were very good and about two fairly basic but ok. I went on the trip to get an over view of NZ with good walking and this trip did this very well.
By: Pauline Bibby, Wigton, UK
This really was an amazing trip; one of the best I have done with anyone. Obviously good weather played its part, but the itinerary was well constructed and our guide Craig's in depth knowledge of forestry, environmental issues and New Zealand culture made it very special.
By: Graeme Wilson, Keswick, Cumbria
The trip leader was excellent, he was enthusiastic, hard working, knowledgable etc. He gave 100% from the start to the finish of the holiday.
This holiday was brilliant, it would be hard to pick a 'best day' because they were all good. By the end of the holiday I felt that I couldn't have seen or done anything else in the time I had. Throughout the holiday I was looked after weith much care and attention.
By: Katherine Burt, Hampshire, UK
Accommodation in the majority was of a high standard and very comfortable. Pleased with all the accommodation. Obviously the mountain hut was basic, which was to be expected.
I cannot recommend highly enough the work and enthusiasm of Brent and Josh, our guides. They worked very hard, and made the trip very enjoyable for everyone. They paced our walks very well, and provided support for all abilities of walker, including helping those who were slower up and down the mountains. The food that Brent and Josh was of a very high standard. I was particularly impressed with the picnic lunches they prepared for us whilst we were out and about. They had very good local knowledge and their love of New Zealand gave us a wonderful in sight.
I enjoyed my holiday in New Zealand immensely and I am still raving about it back home now, and I will still be talking about it for a long time into the future. The beautiful scenery and excellent weather obviously helped make the holiday enjoyable and breathtaking in places. (We ran out of different words to say for 'wow' every time we turned a corner and saw a spectacular site.) But I believe that the efficiency and good organisation of the trip by the guides, and the fun we had as a group probably was the best part of my holiday.
By: Wendy Bisiker, London, UK
It was a brilliant holiday which gave an overall flavour of NZ combined with lovely walks which both delighted and at times challenged.The group size & compostion added to the overall enjoyment of the trip.It was excellent value for money. Both Brent and Rosco were excellent and complemented each others'skill sets.Brent's expert botanical knowledge blended well with Rosco's overall knowledge of NZ and easy communication. They taught us so much about NZ landscapes,culture & history and they showed perceptive understanding of all sensitive issues.We enjoyed their company, good will and humour.They are both consummate professionals, making flexible and sensible decisions at all times including when the weather was imclementWe were really impressed with the quality of the accommodation (except in Roturua).Food was wonderful including the breakfasts and meals prepared by Rosco and Brent.
By: Geraldine O'mahoney, London, UK
Staff very helpful when I rang with queries and followed up specific queries like where and when I'd be able to buy Flora/ tree guides on arrival.
Great itinerary- varied and interesting. Highlight was the overnight Ericas Peak- wonderful, remote yet manageable in terms of walking. This trip was amazing value for money. I hadn't expected the accommodation to be of such a high standard- roomy and well appointed motels with their own kitchens for cups of tea etc.
best guides ever and I've been on a lot of guided holidays. Efficient, knowledgeable, unstinting in their care, professional. Brent in particular was outstanding in his breadth of knowledge . I love Botany and to be travelling with a specialist was an extraordinary privilege which the whole group responded to. He had an encyclopoedic knowledge of natural history and conservation issues and made even the rainiest of rainy forest walks a joy by pointing out every tiny fern and lichen on the way with interesting commentary on its place in NZ's unique ecology. He brought a real depth and sense of wonder to the trip. Rosc o was wonderful in a different way- ever vigilant of our abilities or lack of! on the treks and swiftly responsive to what each individual needed.