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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!
Our driver, Robin, was very knowledgable, friendly and helpful. The pick-up was punctual and Robin kept all passengers on schedule so we arrived back in Paihia at the advertised time. The timing between rest breaks / food stops was well paced, I would definitely recommend this tour.
We went on a particularly hot day and better air conditioning on the bus would have been appreciated.
The bus was 30 mins late for picking up and no explanation given. The air con wasn't working properly at first. The start of the trip was further delayed by the driver liasing with the office to sort out a problem with another passenger.
The driver was very enthusiastic and informative about all local culture and customs. It was a long day, but i would still recommend this trip as the sights at the cape were stunning. One of our party did the sandboarding and found it very enjoyable.
Fabulous! Each day was different and with a different company. However it was well organized and a lot of fun. I loved doing 3 days instead of just one so we could slow down and take in the sights in Pahia. We thought it was too much to do in just one day. 90 mile Beach and going to the light house in Cape Regina were the highlights for us.
Doing what: 3-Day Bay of Islands Trip from Auckland
Thoroughly enjoyed the whole trip - very well organised and our pilot Dan was extremely good and informative throughout. Would recommend this as a must for anybody wishing to see the wonderful landscape in its entirity of the Bay of Islands. Trip was nicely broken up by some fun features and a welcome cup of coffee!
Such a great trip. Knowledgeable driver/guide. A lot sucked into one day.
All the reservations, connections and transports worked.
The places visited were nice and very interesting.
An absolutely impressing tour - the only disadvantage: due to big distances sometimes simply to much driving. But all the visits on the tour: just grandious! Will go back to some places one time, that is for sure.
Everything went off without a hitch. Accommodation was very good.
Bear in mind that this is essentially two tour packages--one based from Paihia, the other based from Rotorua, that are stapled together by a day-long journey on the regular Intercity Bus. In other words, instead of being on a comfortable tour couch with an entertaining and knowledgeable driver who stops at scenic locales along the route, you waste one day of your vacation on crowded mass transit that stops in the least scenic part of every town, spending 9 hours on a journey that should only take 5.
With the exception of Day 3, all of the tour activities handled primarily by Great Sights New Zealand were quite enjoyable and professionally done. The drivers handled the logistics of luggage transport very well my bags were waiting in my hotel room when I arrived after the cruise on Day 1, although there were a couple of occasions where there wasn't enough time between activities to eat lunch is only provided on one day. Great Sights seems to hire guides with big personalities and long memories, so you end up learning a lot about NZ.
Of all the activities, the Bay of Islands boat tour was the most enjoyable and unexpected treat. The bay is beautiful and while we didn't see any dolphins, we did see orca, which I was assured is even better! The final day felt a bit rushed, with three tours around Rotorua in the morning and then the Hobbiton set in the afternoon. I would have happily skipped the sheep-shearing demonstration for more time to relax at the Green Dragon Inn in Hobbiton which features a very mellow cat asleep by the fireplace.
One last note: Rotorua STINKS. The volcanic activity responsible for its hotsprings also means the entire town, inside and out, smells of rotten eggs. I never got used to it, and spent most of my stay breathing through my mouth. If you go to the hot springs not included, be sure to wash your swimsuit before packing, or the smell will get on everything.
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