Family of Bhavesh Mori - Daya, Jaswanti, Anandi and Mantra Desai, Jahanvi and Arnav Mori, Customised Southern Alps to the Southern Lakes, Travelled on 2nd May 2018
It was really great holiday! Best service by Narissa.
Chris and Susan Griffiths, Gary and Joy Harvey, The Customised Dunedin, Queenstown, Milford Sound and the Glaciers - Premium, Travelled on 5th April 2018
Chris from Newcastle England 5th April to 12th April 2018 All the Motels were of a good standard, especially Blue Peaks Queenstown which seemed a newish apartment, and all pickups,whether private or tours, were well organised and on time which took all the stress out of the holiday break Everyone we met that was part of the organisation involved with the trip were very friendly and helpful which also made some of the long days pass a bit easier (special mention to Kim at Dunedin, who gave us a quick tour of Dunedin before dropping us at the motel, which meant later that day we didn't wander aimlessly around (and knew where Ed Sheeran’s mural was, and Bob who picked us up from the train to Queenstown and went out of his way to explain a lot on the way back). We all had a great time and even the weather was good for every tour we were on(even the dolphins came out to see us at Milford Sound).All in all well worth the experiance of seeing all the places visited and made a visit to the South Island a must. Finally I must give a really big thank you to Narissa Phillips who arranged all the tour online with me and even managed to put up with my geordie humour! Thanks so much to you all.
John Moore, 5 Day Southern Highlights, Travelled on 4th April 2018
Hi Laura The tour you put together for me was great. The timings and hotel bookings worked like clockwork. The sights I saw were all that I imagined and more. It did rain at Milford Sound but that added to the drama and the wonderful waterfalls that it caused were spectacular. The drivers on the buses varied from calm and informative to outrageously amusing which added to the fun. It was a packed schedule and maybe I would suggest to others that if they have more time use it to spread things out but otherwise it was a trip well worth the effort of the miles covered. So well done to you and your team and I hope to be back next year and will be in touch. Cheers John
Miranda Lai Ming Sin and Cliff Chi Kwan Tai, 8 Day Upper North Island Adventure, Travelled on 25th March 2018
Hi Natalie, Thanks all your arrangements for the 8-day tour. My husband and I feel very thankful and grateful that Thrifty Tours helped us arrange all the hotels and transportation. We appreciated very much. Great Sights tour is great. The tour to Cape Reinga and sandboard gave us a valuable experience. We will be sure to join Thrifty Tours next time when we go to the South Island. Thanks again all your help and arrangement. Miranda and Cliff
Emily Franco, Jase and Anna Baese, Auckland to Christchurch Ultimate Explorer including Wanaka, Travelled on 14th March 2018
Hi Joanna, I wanted to share what a fabulous time we had during our time in New Zealand and to thank you for your help both before and during our travels. All the activities you recommended were entertaining and your help in customizing our schedule allowed us to see everything we had hoped (although we quickly realized we could have spent months at each stop and not seen everything). While we felt like we packed in as many sights and activities as we could during our travels, we also had enough down time to take breath once in a while and just absorb the landscape and beauty of the country.Read more
Our buses, private transfers and connections were timed perfectly as well. Most showed up at the recommended early times so we stayed right on schedule. The hotels were all clean, comfortable and well kitted and we were even able to cook a few of our own meals. We did have a couple of suggestions for the next traveler, to make it easier for them to find their bearings and truly enjoy everything New Zealand has to offer. In Rotorua, we did not realize we had to get tickets at the Hobbiton Shop because up until that point we had only to tell the guides our name or give our reservation number. The bus was crowded and there was no real line so fans will want to know to get tickets as soon as they arrive for the bus. After that we learned to ask at every activity if we needed tickets or not. Breakfasts were tricky because we left so early some days. I would advise travelers to plan ahead a day to have a breakfast snack to get them to the first tea break. Oh, and all our accommodations included milk, tea, and coffee. Several did not have a cook top, only a microwave and hot pot. The Great Sights and Real Journeys bus companies did a great job but we did wish there had been some sort of queue spot at each gathering point. It was rather chaotic getting luggage stowed and on the bus; some bus drivers were very clear about the process, others were not. On Day 7 we were actually picked up from the Aoraki Youth Hostel across the street from our accommodations at the Blue Peaks Lodge instead of having to walk up the hill with our luggage to the Aoraki Hermitage Hotel and we were told the bus stopped in both places – so that might be helpful for travelers to know depending on where they are staying. Encourage travelers to have a back-up plan if they have the Franz Joseph helicopter flight planned. They said they actually fly about 65% of the time because the weather is so unpredictable and no one should miss seeing the glacier, even if you can’t walk on it. We asked the front desk person at the hotel and they called to get us a spot on the Glacier bus. We were actually able to swim on the beach at Waiheke Island but had only brought our suits because the Captain from the dinner cruise the night before recommended it. Unfortunately a lot of the wineries were closed for private events (and we thought it better to start out early so arrived at 9:45 for the first bus only to find that none even opened until noon, which wasn’t clear from any of our guidebooks). Still, we had an amazing time and got to stroll through some lovely vineyards. Finally, we did not see a lot about the Auckland Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium but saw the Shark bus on our city tour and got curious. The penguins and the shark tunnel were just amazing – it should be on anyone’s to-do list! Thanks again Joanna! Emily, Jase, and Anna
Jeffrey & Jane Skelton, Customised Queenstown, Milford Sound and Glacier Highlights (Detour), Travelled on 29th January 2018
Hi, my name is Jeff Skelton and I have recently done one of your tours of the South Island with my wife Jane. Just a little note to ask you to say thank you from both of us, to one of your colleagues Emma Bradley. Emma has been superb from the start to finish of our holiday. She has been polite, efficient and professional throughout all my dealings with her and I would appreciate it, if you would pass on my thanks to her, for a job well done. I know, that if I do return for another visit I will certainly put your company and Emma at the top of my list. Even when the tour went a little awry at the end, due to the awful weather, Emma was still excellent at sorting out re-routes etc. Furthermore, she assisted me in sorting out my claim for travel disruption once we were back in the UK. Many thanks Jeff and Jane SKELTON Cheshire UK
Kedar and Pratima Vartak, Alpine Explorer, Travelled on 7th March 2018
Thanks to this nice young lady Kelly Hughes, my wife and I had a terrific tour of South Island from 7th to 11th March. The accommodations she found for us at Queenstown (in spite of a holiday rush) were lovely and comfortable. A good attention to detail was the feature of the entire bus tour. Thanks for a stress-free holiday Kelly. - Kedar and Pratima Vartak, Sharjah, UAE
Sheryl and Norma Musgrove, Glacier Wonder, Travelled on 6th February 2018
Hi Natalie Just a quick email to say what a wonderful time we had on our short 4 day tour. Motels were wonderful and staff lovely. An adventure going to Franz Josef, the bus broke down for 2 hours on the side of the road. We obviously missed our connection for the Glacier but the motel organised for the lady to pick us up later. I must say a big thank you to Anne from Glacier Shuttles. Once again thank you for organising. Regards Sheryl Kind Regards Sheryl Musgrove
Sabina Rubens, Customised Auckland to Christchurch Highlights Tour, Travelled on 5th January 2018
What an awesome holiday! NZ is fabulous to start with, but having Annelise book all the transfers and the pickups/dropoffs at airports made my life so much easier. Top 3 (this time): Rotorua, Napier and Wellington. You must see the glowworm caves and go to a hangi in Rotorua!
Natasha Cooper, 7 Day Alpine Express, Travelled on 16th December 2017
Hi Lauren, Thanks so much for your efforts in arranging my 7 day trip of the South Island. I had a blast! From the first enquiry I made to Thrifty, I was able to enjoy the trip without worrying over logistics. Connections were prompt and all accommodation of a high standard and well located. The itinerary was clear with no surprises or hidden costs. I found there was a great balance of packing in lots of wonderful sights and experiences without feeling rushed.Read more
The trans alpine train and the day trip to Milford Sound with flight back to Queenstown were highlights! Particular shout-out to Richard from the glacier tours. Richard, on finding I hadn’t yet checked into the hotel due to the bus being delayed into Franz-Josef, looked out for the likely bus and found me at an entirely different bus stop as we made our way into town. He gave me the option to hop straight onto his tour or go back to the hotel for a later collection. I opted for the former and was able to have more time at the glacier and beat the rain. Totally above and beyond, and much appreciated! I will definitely be recommending you to any family or friends heading that way Thanks and regards, Natasha
Jenivar Alexander, Queenstown to Christchurch Highlights, Travelled on 10th November 2017
I found Thrifty Tours in a web search and within minutes of me sending a message, Joanna called and helped turn my dream trip into reality! I have been so impressed by the guidance, flexibility, responsiveness, knowledge, friendly manner and how focused Joanna was in considering all my needs and to opening the door to so many experiences that I had not even considered. I could not be happier with my trip of a life time and THANK YOU SO MUCH for being so fantastic and helpful. I loved my trip and cannot recommend Thrifty Tours more. And if you are lucky enough to build your trip with Joanna, you will not only have someone taking care of all the details but also someone who will care about you and make your NZ dreams come true!
Dave & Morag Denver, Custom Bay of Islands Leisurely, Travelled on 13th November 2017
Hello Erynn, We were delighted with the tour package that you put together for us to the Bay of Islands and Cape Reinga. Everything worked exactly to plan. The coach drivers were all very good and informative. The Kingsgate Hotel was very well placed and met all our requirements although it can get a little bit busy at breakfast if you arrive at the same time as a large tour group! I was also very impressed with the personal service given by yourself, Erynn, from the initial phone call which you made to me in England right through to the final emails containing our tour documents. I am more than happy for you to publish any of the above. Thank you very much and Happy New Year. Dave
Peter & Joyce Jay, Ian & Christine Dinwiddie, Customised 18 Day New Zealand Vista, Travelled on 22nd November 2017
Thrifty Tours provided us with a wonderful holiday. It was very well planned and any variations in itinerary we requested were made. At every arrival we were met as arranged, even if we had been delayed. At every stop we were always met with a friendly welcome. We stayed in motels that had been recommended by Thrifty Tours and they were all of very good quality. Three places we stayed were exceptional: Regal Palms, Rotorua; Picton Waterfront Apartments, Picton; and ‘858’ on George Street in Dunedin.Read more
Our transport was provided by various companies whose drivers were friendly and informative and if they were making good time would provide short additional stops at sites of good photographic opportunity. One company, Iconic, was exceptional – our driver on the first day was John who seemed to be well-informed about almost everything on our journey from Mount Cook to Dunedin. He took us on little detours to places he suggested might be of interest. He made a long journey a great experience. The following day we were picked up at lunchtime as arranged and because our driver knew the coach we were taking to Te Anau was running a little late, he gave us an impromptu tour of some areas of Dunedin we hadn’t seen. This company, Iconic, is to be highly recommended. All too quickly our 16-day tour passed; our once in a lifetime trip was a joy, completely free of worry as everything was taken care of by Thrifty Tours.
Barry & Jan Johnson, Customised 12 Day Southern Spotlight, Travelled on 2nd December 2017
Hey Shelley, we have been meaning to get back to you on the fantastic trip that you planned for us. We couldn't have asked for a more perfectly paced adventure. All the arrangements were right on the money. We especially appreciated your prompt attention when the bus failed to pick us up at Mt Cook. It is difficult to pick out one activity that was our favorite but I must say that from now on when I think of your beautiful country, I will remember how wonderful everyone was to us. That certainly adds to the picturesque nature of your island. We would really like to thank you for your attention to detail and consideration when arranging our trip. We will definitely recommend your services to anyone we know who plans on going to New Zealand. We give you 5 stars!! Thanks again and hoping you have a happy and healthy New Year. Jan and Barry Johnson
Rumiaty Vrbas, Custom Fabulous New Zealand Tour, Travelled on 3rd December 2017
Hi Alarna, We had a wonderful time in NZ. Everything was well done. Probably only one little thing, the hotel in Rotorua do not offer free Wi-Fi in the room, and only 30 minutes free Wi-Fi in the lobby. Other than that, everything else was perfect. I will absolutely give you a star rating on Google. I don't have Facebook. I will also send some photos to Tracey. Thank you for your help in making our vacation a memorable one. Best wishes to you too, and Merry Christmas! Mimie
Peter & Joyce Jay, Ian & Christine Dinwiddie, Customised 18 Day New Zealand Vista, Travelled on 22nd November 2017
An unbelievable trip around an amazing country - so many memories that we will remember for many years. The arrangements made by Annelise and Thrifty were absolutely perfect. The various accommodation on our travels were lovely and perfectly located. The coach travel was ideal, regular breaks and, more often than not, we were both informed and suitably entertained by the drivers. We were so impressed that each time we arrived at a new location someone was waiting to deliver us to our next accomation. It would have been impossible to have made theses arrangements without the benefit of Thrify Tours - Many thanks indeed.
Clara Saminathan and party, Customised Southern Scenes, Travelled on 13th November 2017
Dear Dionne, On behalf of my friends ,, I would like to extend our thanks and gratitude towards yourself, Sara and to your management. Your company has honoured our request and we found it worthy and honest in its dealings with customers. My friends are also pleased. We will recommend your tours to anyone we know who are keen on New Zealand touring. Thank You and best regards. From Clara Saminathan
Berenice Watson, A Customised Historical South Island, Travelled on 28th November 2017
Dear Christina, Just a note to thank you for the wonderful holiday you arranged for me in New Zealand. I was thrilled with all you had been able to bring together for my trip and feel I know a lot more about New Zealand and it's history now and have seen the beauty also. I particularly loved Queenstown for is beauty with the lake and the Remarkable mountains, and also Dunedin and as my ancestors are from Scotland, I was able to progress my research through various places I visited there and bought a few books also which will be wonderful.Read more
The tours you arranged of Larnach Castle and Olverston House were quite remarkable and enjoyed immensely, also the tour in the red double decker bus to the main sights of the University, the famous station, botanical gardens and other sites of interest was a wonderful way of seeing all this city had to offer and I enjoyed it all very much. The accommodation everywhere was close enough to walk to the places I needed to see and very comfortable too. The whole trip was perfect so thank you once again for everything. Now home safe and sound, I hold very fond memories of New Zealand. Best Wishes, Berenice Watson
Nandkishor Sinari, Bharati Sinari and Rekha Kamat, Customised 10 Day Southern Scenic Wonders, Travelled on 12th November 2017
Firstly great great thanks to Annelise for all the patience she has had with me. I remember starting to talk to her somewhere in Jul but by the time i literally finalized the trip it was Oct. Hats of to Annelise for hand holding me all throughout. Also for responding promptly to all my stupid questions.Read more
Really love her for all that special thanks and regards to the team, to take care of these guys especially on their way to Milford sound and shifting them instantly to an emergency center. Overall big thumbs up to the whole team for arranging everything so well. Loved the hotels ,transportation ;it was luxury for the price. Just two suggestions (It's like picking a needle from the hay) 1. Breakfast could be slightly better (I know it depends on the hotel. but could pass on the suggestion to them) 2. Within the price paid, i think a few more sightseeing could have been covered TRULY MADLY DEEPLY APPRECIATE THE ENTIRE TEAM AND EFFORT BEHIND Cheers Raksha!!
BARB KERLE, 11 Day New Zealand Southbound Explorer, Travelled on 7th November 2017
Joanna It was all too short, was most amazing time and I am now a Hobbit convert. Starting to watch the dvd’s. I meet some amazing people, some were with same group and we crossed paths a few times. Weather was grand and finished with 5days in Wellington or just up the beach from. You could not have arranged anything to suit me better I will be back Thanks again for such a great trip planned to perfection Accommodation and the bus drivers were so grand and went out of way to show us extra things and even recommended things to do at night (local knowledge) Thanks again Barb
Sharifa Munira & Wanyi Lee, Southern Alps to the Southern Lakes, Travelled on 16th October 2017
Hi Laura, The holiday was great with exceptions of a few minor things. Our first heartland accomodation was two single beds instead of the queen bed stated. No one picked us up to Clearbook service apartment. It was alright though, as it was a short walk from where the bus dropped us off. We got there by asking a few friendly people. But otherwise, all is great! It was well plan and very beautiful!!! Thank you Laura and we will be sure to recommend you if anyone is going to New Zealand! Warmest Regards, Sharifa & Wanyi
Maggie Campbell, The Scenic South Island, Travelled on 16th October 2017
Hi Louise I am now safely back in Auckland after the most fantastic trip ever! I can't thank you enough for arranging such a great trip and everything worked like clockwork. I even got upgraded at the Wellington hotel to an executive suite with my own lounge/diner, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom, complete with washing machine and tumble dryer - shame I couldn't stay longer!Read more
The flight to Milford Sound remained the highlight and my stay at Mount Cook was second, but I did enjoy everything. The weather was very kind to me and the only rainy days I had were on the two train journeys. Otherwise it was sun most of the time and sometimes even too hot. It is much cooler in Auckland today. If any of my friends come to New Zealand in the future any I will definitely recommend you to arrange their trips. With very best wishes Maggie
Ellen Tang Qui Huan, Southern Alps and Lakes Loop, Travelled on 10th September 2017
Hi Heather, Thank you so much for arranging such amazing tour for us in New Zealand. We enjoyed our 1 week stay there and most of the transfers to activities planned were all smooth.
Kaye Scinocco, Kaye's Southern Spotlight Tour, Travelled on 11th September 2017
Hi ladies I just want to thank you for arranging my fabulous tour of NZ. It was truly wonderful. I will certainly recommend your company to my friends and family and would not hesitate to book with you again. Kindest regards Kaye Scinocco
Felix Poschadel & Georgina James, 7 Day Southern Alps to the Southern Lakes, Travelled on 18th July 2017
Hello Erynn, Thank you very much :) Also thank you for your fast and uncomplicated help at all times! We enjoyed our tour a lot, my personal highlight was The cruise on Milford sound where we got to see dolphins :) Kindly, Georgina and Felix
Else Wolf, Customised 6 Day South Island Highlights, Travelled on 11th July 2017
Hi Alarna, Thank you for arranging my tour. I really appreciated that all the connections were seamless. On the whole there was little time to be and do things when we got to our destinations. We were twice in Queenstown but always in the dark. I guess I could have figured that out, if I had studied the itenary beforehand.Read more
On our trip to Mt. Cook the second snow chain did not fit after trying get it on for nearly two hours. So we went with one chain. After some time our driver took it off, because it meant that driving so slow, but then the bus really slid off the road while we were having our lunch. Poor Mark! However, I think the company should be responsible for snow chains to fit for a trip to Mt. Cook. When I go picked up in Dunedin the driver told me about a night tour to see albratoss and penguins. When I came to book such a tour they had left long ago. So that was a bit disappointing. Otherwise there were many good experiences. I did not fill in the questionaire from Thrifty Tours because I could not evaluate all this in terms of numbers. Best regards, Else
Leia Landro, Best of the North, Travelled on 15th May 2017
The Best of the North tour was everything I was hoping for. I had some really amazing experiences, and my tour agent - Alarna Dwyer - was very responsive and easy to work with. Would definitely recommend to others!
Gemma Leatham, Customised Tranz Alpine and West Coast Glaciers to Queenstown, Travelled on 25th May 2017
Hi Annelise, Sorry for the delay in reply! We absolutely loved our time touring the South Island. We got into Franz Josef about half an hour before dark so we got to do about 10 minutes of the walk, we still enjoyed the view. Then when we got back to our hotel there was a complimentary hummer to take us out for dinner! Queenstown was a huge highlight of our trip, it is up there on our list of favourite places in the world and we can't wait to go back and spend more time exploring. We caught a helicopter up to the snow which was amazing! We couldn't fault our journey and it's all thanks to you for organising it all and squeezing so much into the short time frame. Thanks Gemma