Complex Australian/New Zealand trip
Sep 25 - Oct 10, 2023
We had long-planned a trip to New Zealand with a "stopover" at Uluru in Australia. Needless to say, a complicated and long itinerary! Usually I make my own plans, but had never been to these places so used KimKim on recommendation of a friend. Connie was terrific....we went over what we wanted to see and she had several suggestions throughout. This was less than a 3 week trip and we're not exactly young, so knew it would be grueling and Connie helped smooth it out. She also was great in contacting me to go over details, and in modifying the itinerary to fit specific needs.
We made all air arrangements, but one of the things that was really helpful was KimKim/Connie's arranging for most airport transfers...that was very handy.
Loved everyplace we went. If I had to single anything out I'd say Milford Sound on South Island, New Zealand. Amazing wild place. We did the overnight boat tour and while moored in a safe harbor a tremendous storm hit. This made it impossible for tour in the morning, to Tas Sea. We had to stay moored for several hours...but worth it...the rain, thunder, lightning was tremendous and the wallfalls, due to heavy rain, were amazing.
The other places we visited were also great, and Connie did a terrific job in selecting these and having a few "free" days...I'd say we got a great perspective on New Zealand.
All places visited were great. A few minor issues were: 1.for one long day long trip to Kings Canyon "near" Ulluru, we did not realize we'd be picked up before 5:00am and that we'd be driving ca. 700 km in one day! That was a bit much, but worth it...but a long time on a bus.... 2. New Zealand North Island crater walk....a bit more difficult than I thought it would be and 3. hotel on North Island at Grand Mercure--very interesting and nice place, but access (esp. at night) a bit difficult..parking was in a lot quite a steep distance from the "villas," and lighting/signage was not great. 4. times were missing on a few tours, but readily resolved upon contacting Connie.
I only cite these for thoroughness, not as criticisms!
Thus, this was a terrific trip. Highly recommend KimKim and Connie.
Very nice low key hotel....in a very remote place. Great breakfast!
basic overnighter for airport....it was fine
Probably the nicest and most convenient hotel on the entire trip
see review comments....great fun
very upscale and modern; weird bathroom layout!
Great 50s vibe..but black carpet!!!! Well done though--refurbished motel
very interesting concept with "villas"...showing it's age a bit though! all parking in a large lot and steep incline to get to villas unless you ask for golf cart. Not well lit at night, but that's likely intentional!
very funky place...smaller than we thought...it's more of a b&b..great breakfast
great quick tour; barbecue dinner was great. too little time at cultural centre though
very long (700km or so) "day trip" but worth it....king's canyon was great....we opted for the easier hike on the bottom!
great time, terrific buffet (las vegas standards!)
highlight of trip see earlier comments...unable to complete due to severe storm, which required us to be moored at overnight spot for several hours...but worth it...the storm was incredible!
wonderful train trip...relatively short; very nice that the guide drove us back, using a somewhat different route. He (hugh I think) was great!
great intro to gysers and maori culture; well done
very impressive tour to volcano edge.
no where near as "tacky" as i thought it would be...great experience! Well organized.
this was a self drive portion...great, but windy, roads...and some closed due to earlier flooding