Just Got Back: New Zealand

Fiordland Navigator

Carolyn Gorski, Corporate & Leisure Travel Agent

 Where did you Just Get Back from? New Zealand – South Island

When were you in New Zealand? November 2016

Provide a 1-3 liner highlighting your experience: New Zealand is a country filled with breathtaking scenery, fresh air, and warm communities. It is also a place with more sheep than people! There is an outlet for every kind of traveler- adventure, fishing, cruises, hiking, foodies, and of course the wine!

Words to describe what you felt when you first arrived: Excited & joyous but at the same time concerned & nervous. The day we landed was the morning after the earthquake struck in the South Island.  The following day, we were supposed to drive through Kaikoura, the epicenter of the quake. Trent, from The Exclusive Travel Group, saved the day by re-coordinating our schedule to completely bypass the areas that were affected by the quake.

 Where did you stay?

The Scenic Hotel – Auckland

Hotel Montreal – Christchurch

The Classic Villa – Christchurch

Eichardt’s Private Hotel – Queenstown

Dock Bay Lodge – Te Anau

Real Journeys Overnight Cruise – Doubtful Sound

The Spire – Queenstown

With whom would you recommend staying at this hotel / resort?

The Scenic Hotel has a small kitchen, which is best suited for long stay travelers.

Hotel Montreal is great for couples and families- on a nice day you can play croquet on their greenery.

The Classic Villa is a boutique hotel with a warm feel as if you are a local- best suited for couples.

Eichardt’s has a friendly & sophisticated atmosphere with a great location for the outdoorsy travelers.

Dock Bay Lodge is perfect for more relaxed travelers and people making their way to Milford or Doubtful Sound. They prefer a quiet atmosphere with no young children.

Real Journeys Overnight Cruise is an amazing cruise that caters to couples, multi-generational families, and independent travelers. Amazing buffet dinner!

The Spire is a sister property to Eichardt’s, but a bit more modern.  Also- wonderful tub!

 Tempt us: Name the most special place you discovered on this trip:  Doubtful Sound in Fiordland National Park. We kayaked, saw fur seals, cruised with dolphins, sipped water from a waterfall, and had a moment of silence with nature listening to the birds & rushing waters. It was truly a magical place that everyone should experience.

What’s the best time of year to go in your opinion? I think spring is perfect because you get to experience both cold/rainy weather as well as sunny beautiful days. There is snow on the tops of the glaciers and the flowers are also blooming.

It truly is a sight to see!

Anything else to add? I feel as though this trip has given me a wealth of knowledge about New Zealand. I am grateful to have gotten the opportunity to learn more about the country by experiencing it firsthand.The Exclusive Travel Group did an outstanding job putting everything together!

*If you plan on driving around (they drive on the left side of the road) keep calm, always think left, and make sure to give way on the roundabouts!

If you’re interested in traveling to New Zealand, contact Carolyn at Carolyn.Gorski@altour.com or (310)597-4506

Lake Tekapo

Peter Lookout SheepKayak