Te Puia

Our adventure in New Zealand was magnificent!

26 Feb 2024

Our adventure in New Zealand was magnificent. Thank you so much for planning our once in a lifetime trip. Your care and service to us before and during the trip was superb; we truly appreciate the call to warn us that our ferry might be delayed, and for checking in prior to the trip about which car to hire. One piece that we wished for additional communication was finding the entrance to Alexis Motel & Apartments in Queenstown: there has been road construction for 2 years there and it took a detour over steep hills to find the garage.

I've prepared a review of each booking. Happy to share more details as needed. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would recommend the trip to anyone!


  1. Nesuto Stadium Apartment Hotel: great location, helpful front desk.
  2. B&B @ the Redwoods: our favorite stay on the North Island. Vivien (the host) is knowledgeable, helpful, and a delight. Great breakfast, too.
  3. Copthorne Hotel Oriental Bay Wellington: this hotel was OK. There was water damage on the ceiling in our room, but we had no issues.
  4. Kahutara PurePod: magical and breathtaking, our favorite stay of the trip. We met the owner of the farm and his puppies, had fun walking in the sheep paddock, and relaxed and soaked in the stunning views.
  5. Quest Cathedral Junction: we arrived for late night check-in, which was off-putting just because the garage was dark. We liked how the room overlooked the trolley and was in a central location.
  6. Hermitage Mt. Cook: beautiful location and hotel with a view of Mt. Cook and incredible dining experiences. We would definitely return here!
  7. Alexis Motel & Apartments: fun stay, reliable manager.


  1. Marquee Limousines: fabulous. We appreciated the black car service and enjoyed our conversation with our driver on Wednesday morning 22. November, Tanya.
  2. Europcar North Island: seamless car pickup, grateful for the automatic assists provided by the newer model.
  3. Interislander Ferry: it was delayed 3 hours, but you had called ahead to let us know so this was expected. Our only complaint was that this limited our time at the PurePod in Kaikoura.
  4. Europcar South Island: no complaints. Fewer automatic assists than the first car, but Peter was familiar with driving on the left side of the road by this time. :)


  1. Auckland Sea Kayaks - sunset tour to Rangitoto Island: beautiful views and a great meal. It was quite an arduous tramp in the rain but well worth it to see the bioluminescent waters.
  2. Hobbiton movie set tour: unforgettable! My favorite experience on the North Island.
  3. Te Puia - Te Po: otherworldly and magical, a real treat.
  4. Weta Workshop tour: really cool, fun, and learned a lot.
  5. Hassle Free Tours - Lord of the Rings Edoras tour: our favorite activity of the trip and a real treat. The views were unmatched and it was perfect for a Lord of the Rings superfan. The only negative comment is our driver picked up 2 hitchhikers and gave them the tour as well, before dropping them back off at a hostel. This made us and some of the other guests uncomfortable and it felt unfair that they enjoyed this amazing activity for no cost.
  6. Nomad Safaris - full day LOTR: fun 4WD adventure. Our specific tour guide was not the most enthusiastic but I think he was feeling ill.


Catherine & James Greene

Unites States of America
27 Feb 2019

First Light Travel did an amazing job preparing the itinerary for our visit to New Zealand. Traveling from Auckland to Queenstown, we were able to experience the highlights of the country in a comfortable, relaxed manner. The trip was completed without a hitch. I highly recommend First Light Travel for anyone planning to visit New Zealand.

Kia Ora  - We appreciate you!

Catherine & James Greene – Unites States of America


Mark and Christy Granger

21 Apr 2018

We would definitely recommend First Light Travel. We booked our trip to New Zealand with First Light. Shelley was great to work with through the whole process. Very responsive, even when we cancelled one of our accommodations at the last minute she helped us get our money back. We had a general idea of where we wanted to go for our two week trip, but Shelley gave us great advice on places to go, things to see and do, and more than anything, found us excellent accommodations.

Mark and Christy Granger - USA

Hiking Lake Wanaka

Mandi & Oliver Kiefer

Honululu USA
08 Apr 2015

We had a FABULOUS trip around New Zealand. Every activity we did was engaging, interesting and fun. Kasey did a phenomenal job of finding great companies to facilitate our excursions and organizing a trip that allowed us to see the most of New Zealand in our short timeframe. Thank you so much again for all of your great insight and help! -

Mandi & Oliver Kiefer - USA

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