For my partner and me this was a 60th birthday/retirement trip. We have been with Exodus before so our expectations were high. We were not disappointed.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Hard call this one! We loved the Tongariro crossing - even though it was hard work we had a great sense of achievement at the end!
The scenery of NZ is some of the best we have experienced anywhere - stunning mountain ranges, steaming live volcanos, turquoise glacial lakes, getting up close and personal with icebergs at Atorea Mount Cook....
Watching a kiwi feeding from a couple of metres away ........
The sadness and optimism of Christchurch - we have our 'silence' as a group on the slpoes of Ben Lomond....
Kayaking up a lagoon in a scene which could have come from Jurassic Park.
- What did you think of your group leader?
We had 2 group leaders Geoff (Jif) and Clark - which was probably a good thing since 15 of us had to be kept under control! From their point of view it must have been better as they could share the driving.
We cannot fault these 2 people. Both are Kiwis and clearly love their country They are extremely knowledgeable about their country at a national and local level and always had a good story to tell.
They worked very hard to make the trip run smoothly and make sure that everyone in the party got the maximum from the experience.
They got the balance of organising and entertaining just right - booking meals ahead if need be and taking us to the best places for coffee etc. They entered 100% into the activities giving help and encouragement where needed but also recognising limitations. 'Jif's expression - 'it's all good' summed them up nicely.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
This trip did exactly what it says on the tin. Any travellers wishing to do a lot of walking would be better off on 'Trekking in New Zealand'. Those on our trip who would have liked a faster pace had to acknowledge that this was not the aim of this visit.
Bring plenty of sunscreen and insect repellant - the sun is stronger here than at home and we both got burned.
My partner was badly bitten by sandflies!
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
Visiting NZ was a wonderful experience. Long - very long - flights are worth it!
The excellent organisation of Adventure South - the 2 guides from this AS were a highlight of this trip. They even managed to lay on terrific weather!
The choice of accommodation - although limited by budget , this was always of a very good standard.
I have already recommended Exodus and this partcular trip to others.
In short, IT WAS FAB!