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Ksjscreen United States of ...
I thought 11 hours would be brutal, but it flew by. We had lousy weather and poor visibility, but Jackie made it so fun. The history and stories were great. Nice group we went with. 2 top highlights were riding on 90 mile beach and sand surfing. All in all it was a great trip.
Well organised. Informative driver - without information overload
Loved the short stop to see the kauri trees
Long day - although there are several stops, do bring extra drinks with you.
We really enjoyed most of the sites and events. The only negative was too much time spent on bus rides..
It was a rainy and foggy day when we went to Cape Reinga. Three busses of the same company drove there with slightly time-adjusted schedule to make sure that not all the people are at the same place. Driving along 90 Mile Beach was really fun, I'm always enjoying those 4WD along the beaches. Next stop was sandboarding. It's not really my thing but others had fun regardless of the wet sand. I found the sand dunes impressing. Cape Reinga was as expected the highlight of my trip. However, we only got to spend one hour there including walking time from the car park which is about 20 minutes each way. It was foggy but it gave the place something mystical and it was still possible to see where the Abel Tasman Sea and the pacific meet. The reason I am giving four and not five stars is because I don't like feeling rushed and I felt that the time at Cape Reinga was not enough. The Fish and Chips lunch was delicious and not greasy at all! I liked the walk in the Puketi Forest as well. Keep in mind it is a long day and it takes about four hours to get to Cape Reinga.
Our family thoroughly enjoyed this action packed holiday and especially recommend it to those who have a limited time to see highlights of the North Island. We were so impressed by the exquisite scenery, the kindness of the countrys people and the richness of the Maori culture. Our only issue with the 5-day tour was that we would have preferred more detail about our itinerary and how to coordinate with the tour operators. Although Viator organised the bus transportation, hotel accommodations, and individual tours, we were left to coordinate when/where for pickups etc. for tours and transportation to the next locations.
Overall the tour was good. The guides were knowledgeable, friendly and informative. Waitangi treaty grounds tour was rushed and at times the guides commentary was too fast. The Intercity bus trip from Auckland to Roturua had lots of stops and the driver was somewhat rude. After the conclusion of Hobitton tour - wait for the bus back to Auckland was the most disappointing. It was a open shelter - extremely windy, cold and there was heavy downpour while waiting for the delayed bus. We were dropped off without much info other than your connection will be here shortly. Calls to your tour center was also unhelpful. For the tour costs paid for a Superioir Gold package the shortcomings were extremely disappointing.
Warning, this 5 day tour consists of a lot of riding in tour bus, so much of the enjoyment depends on who you have as a bus driver or tour guide that day. The first 2 days of the tour was very good going north of Auckland to Bay of Islands and Cape Reinga. The 3rd day of tour was not enjoyable as it is just a whole day spent riding in 2 separate buses to Rotorua. The 4th day was good going to Waitomo Caves and Mauri village for dinner/show. The 5th day is pretty packed. For us, the tour operator screwed up and did not book our tour on the 5th day, so we were stuck in the hotel waiting all morning. This really bummed us out as we were looking forward to the fully packed 5th day activities, and we were very concerned about being able to get from Rotorua back to Auckland to catch our flight back to US the following day. It took a few hours of waiting for tour operator to get their act together and we eventually got rebooked for the 5th day afternoon tour to Hobbiton, but the mistake by the tour operator really tainted our experience. To make the experience worse, when we were offered the refund for their mistake a couple of week later, the refund came in ridiculously low. I had to contact Viator a couple of times before Viator offered a fair refund amount we asked for 20 back as 1 in 5 days was ruined.
What I learned:
1. Make sure that the tour operator book you for all 5 days reconfirm with tour operator if possible this can get difficult as you are on the move during the tour, so try to reconfirm before tour begins.
2. Viator seems like a reliable company as it did ultimately offer a fair refund, but only after I contacted them a couple of times.
3. New Zealand is a beautiful country with natural and cultural wonders.
Wonderful experiences everywhere we went. Definitely worth the price. The crew were very friendly and punctual. Would recommend it to anyone.
Brilliant trip, lots of varied experiences from sand dunes to Kauri giants, beach drive and excellent complimentary lunch. If you get the chance, take this trip.
We had already toured for two weeks the North and South islands and this trip ranked up at the top of the experiences we had.
This topography was not expected - how beautiful and if I would relocate to NZ this would be the region. Do It !!!!!
In theory, the tours were great- but.. After pick up from our hotel, we were instructed to walk up three blocks with our luggage to meet our connecting bus as it's faster. We assumed the pick up time would be reliant upon us getting transported the whole way despite saving time for the driver. Our driver had no idea who was looking after our itinerary after we arrived. Finally his company called another company and found that they were responsible for the next two days. Eventually our luggage was delivered to our hotel but they delivered the wrong bags.
Doing what: 3-Day Bay of Islands Trip from Auckland
I loved all the things we got to see and do. The only fall back is that most tours and trips did not come with food (which is fine) and did not leave enough time to get your own and started before hotel breakfast was available
very organized. packed with value. Great hotels. Clean buses well maintained with WIPI. . courteous bus drviers. Best land tour we have had.
Tour was a lot of fun. Sandboarding was a blast and the drive on the beach was very unique! It is a long trip to get there but there were enough stops to break it up.
Davedeeo United Kingdom
A tour packed full of information and sights. Whilst there was a lot to cover all the stops were of sufficient time whilst keeping on the move to ensure we got everything in. The fish and chips for early lunch were excellent. It was quite surprising to find that the 2WD coach was not significantly different from usual even though it was to drive down a stream bed on to the 90 mile beach.
Great tour,lovely lunch in nice setting,great drive along the beach and great fun sand boarding.
Our lady driver was lovely.
We all thoroughly enjoyed this trip. It was very well conducted and there was just enough time at each stop.
I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone visiting the Bay of Islands.
Excellent Coach Driver from both a comfort view and gave very interesting commentaries.
Would recommend this trip to all visitors to the Bay of Islands
As we left the rain was still falling but Paul assured us it would get better-and it did. We had a fabulous day-Paul was a great driver and kept us entertained all day with plenty of information and funny comments too. It was nice to have the faster coach at first before swapping to the beach vehicle.We had a good lunch-all ready for us- no delay as it was a buffet. We had plenty of time at each stop along the way. Paul gave us a very good lesson on how to use the sand boards so no-one had a problem. The walk out to Cape Reinga was stunning in the sunshine-the two seas met and the white horses were very visible-amazing. We enjoyed the detour to see the wild horses along the beach. Only thing that didn't quite work today was the view along the beach and out to the alternative hole in the rock as the spray was obscuring it a bit-no-one's fault! Our last stop at the chippie was great-and again the card system meant no long queue-but plenty of time to eat looking at the sun and sea. An excellent day enhanced by Paul-a very good guide. Thanks.
Great tour, very informative, fish and chip lunch was terrific. The run up the beach was interesting and fun when they turn in via a river bed. The real fun was the sandboarding, if you have the energy to walk up the sandhill you must give it a go.
Great tour would do it again well done
Great Tour have to say it was very organized. Always had are names and picked up on time.
All buses were great as they all had free wifi on board. All bus drivers were very informative and friendly. Highly recommend this trip all the activities are great
Great day - long but we did everything that was promised. Loved riding on the beach and sliding down the dunes! Our tour guide Tipianui did his very best to show us all a good time, and showed patience in herding the folks on and off the bus at our stops!
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