During our 16 days in New Zealand, we had a mixture of weather with some very warm days and some cool and rainy days, but the rain, while disappointing, didn’t stop or reduce our enjoyment of this spectacular country.

We had visited New Zealand some 32 years ago on our honeymoon and were not sure what we would find on our return this time.  Certainly some cities have grown but generally the countryside and the friendly people do not seen to have changed that much.  The scenery in all of the places that we visited was spectacular and while we had some memories of them, it was like re-discovering these places anew.

We were very fortunate to be able to share the past 16 days with Sandy’s sister, Maria, and her husband Dennis and we all were delighted and excited to see new places and do new things together.  We were also fortunate that our tour guide, coach driver and the other people in our group were all friendly and enthusiastic.

During our time we travelled by aeroplane, harbour ferry, hop on and off bus, coach bus, small luxury cruise boat, amphibious vehicle, inter-island vehicular ferry, jet-boat, gondola and lake cruise boat as well as doing a lot of walking.

It is hard to choose some highlights/favourites, because we enjoyed our tour so much, but some of the things that really stand out were:

Our walk around the top of the Sky Tower in Auckland in brilliant sunshine

Our overnight cruise on the Ipipiri in the Bay of Islands, despite the fact that it rained the whole time

Our “duck” tour of the Lakes of Rotorua – spectacular scenery in perfect weather

Our Jet Boat ride, including some 360 degree spins and great scenery, and

Our gondola ride and dinner at the Skyline Restaurant in Queenstown

On the first day of the tour on the coach, Maria and Dennis sat behind us and we were able to chat about things as we drove along.  Disappointingly, as a result of the seat rotation system that was used on a daily basis, we never got to sit anywhere near each other on the coach for the rest of the tour. However, we made up for this when we stopped for breaks or went exploring, and always spent the evenings together,

We continue to be impressed with the organization and activities that just “happen” – luggage being collected from our rooms and magically appearing at the next destination in our room; entry into large sites like the Agrodome and the Glow Worm Caves without having to spend long periods of time in queues lining up for tickets; being escorted by local guides who gave us lots of interesting information and being given recommendations about where good cafes and restaurants could be found.

Our 16 days in New Zealand with Maria and Dennis has been a wonderful experience and we have made many happy memories to last forever.


  1. Maria says:

    Couldn’t have summed it up better ourselves….ditto for absolutely everything you have said….Dennis and I have had an absolutely brilliant holiday, loved every bit of our “first coach tour experience” and have wonderful memories of not only all the beautiful places we visited but also our time spent together. xoxo

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