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Robert United Kingdom
Really scenic and see a really rugged coastline. Quite a long drive out from Wellington but the scenery on the drive is also amazing.
This tour was wonderful. The lunch was great and the scenery breathtaking. Our driver was great and very knowledgable. The only troublesome thing was trying to figure out where to meet. First it was one spot then another. Good thing I was able to get my e-mail and see that the place had been changed to the train station.
This was an excellent tour, a lot of traveling to get to various areas of the tour but our driver/guide Paul was the best. It was as if we had a friend in Wellington taking us around for the day. We just had some confusion on the pick location but once that was out of the way our tour was perfect.
Perfect day. Our guide Brian was excellent, very knowledgable and definitely went the extra mile. We could not fault anything. The forest trip and seeing the seals at Cape Palliser was a real hi light. Brian's driving was very safe and comfortable. We thoroughly enjoyed his company. Ross and Julia Walker and Ross and Maxine Houltham.
Clare B United Arab Emirates
Such a good combination of sights, scenery, animals and alcohol! Our guide was great and we loved this trip!
Since I went in winter, I got a personal tour. Nobody else joined the tour! Nice day out, gorgeous weather but chilly. Be prepared for a long day of driving. The LOTR sites are all empty, with no sets, so not that exciting unless you're a Rings fan just for the thrill of being there. The guide's commentary was kinda lame, he just passed out books. Palliser Bay was most exciting, getting right up close to the seal colony among some cold wet rocks be careful! Saw large number of seals, lots of great photo ops. Beautiful scenery and totally worth it for this alone! The winery was OK, small and local, nothing to rave about really. No cheese/crackers to complement the wines. Finally saw Weta digital, just a small tourist spot, but it's fun if you're a Rings fan, cool souvenirs to buy, etc.
Note - there are some difficult walking areas on the LOTR tour, there's a swing bridge which is very narrow and sways nervously above a rushing river, wide enough for one person. Also, there's a Lighthouse at Palliser Bay that has 200 very steep stairs up a hillside. They're both optional but just FYI if nervous of heights. I went halfway took some nice photos. Too windy! Also, and this is true of all the tours I did, lunch sucked. Just a lame NZ sandwich which the tour pays for but still. Need more sustenance. Was starving by the time tour ended.
Also, if you go in winter get a Marmot hardshell and North Face softshell, and wear layers. You won't regret it! I'm so glad I had mine handy. Plus outdoor shoes, not tennies. Good grip soles.
Paul W USA
We had a great tour guide. The highlight of the tour was the intimate views of the fur seals at Palliser Bay. Check out this tour out soon before it is fully discovered.
Was an amazing experience, possibly a little pricey for what it was but i would recommend something like this.
We booked into this tour as we were not overly familiar with the LOTR movies so thought we should combine some LOTR sights with other more general sight seeing. We found the first half of the tour which concentrated on the LOTR shooting sights interesting. The fish and chips included lunch was also scrumptious. The second half of the tour involved travelling out to Palliser Bay and then a vineyard. This involved a lot of driving so we seemed to be in the car more than outside sightseeing, probably too much distance for a one day trip. Think the itinerary could be restructured to perhaps offer LOTR and then several options, for example there were some small towns we passed that may have been more interesting to browse in. Or perhaps several vineyards could be included. Our son took another Viator tour that focussed on just LOTR, based on his feedback, this seemed to be a lot more interesting and fun, and also tailored for people not familiar with LOTR movies. Our tour experience may also have been impacted by the fact there was just the two of us, we had expected there to be a small group.
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