Reviews of A Relaxing New Zealand Journey – the South Island

Glaciers New Zealand

 Anthony Zangrilli and Emily Drapes

08 Jan 2019

Hi Shelley!

I have attached a couple to this email and will send more when I get to the computer. Feel free to use any and all of them. It was honestly the most magnificent holiday we have ever had! Also, we have already passed your information on! We were beyond impressed, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Warm wishes.

 Anthony Zangrilli and Emily Drapes - USA

Mt Cook

Adam & Marsha Rujan

02 Dec 2018

We had been to New Zealand a long time ago for business, but only had a few days to get a taste for this incredible country. We had an idea of what we wanted to do when we had the opportunity to return. Jo Taylor worked with us to craft an itinerary that really was spot on. The accommodations were places we would never have found on our own, and they thought of all the details regarding activities, itinerary, transfers, etc. Hiring Jo, and the First Light team was a great decision for us!

Adam & Marsha Rujan - USA


Dani & Ben Wehrle

25 Nov 2018

From the beginning Jo has been exceptional!! And she had to deal with planning a trip for 5 people, all who had never been to NZ, only having 8 days and of course wanting to see North and South!!! She had her hands full with us but handled it beautifully. Especially when our departure flight to get to NZ was cancelled, Jo helped us figure out which excursions to keep and which to let go and communicated with the excursion company to pick us up from the airport. Even throughout the journey, there were a few hiccups, none of which were the fault of Jo's, but she helped us and was very easy to communicate with. We all loved our trip and most definitely want to go back to NZ and would use First Light Travel again and Jo!!!!

Dani & Ben Wehrle - USA

Kayaking NZ

James (Rob), Linda, Robert & Adrienne McNeill

20 Jul 2018

Hi Kasey,  

We are about to board to leave for Fiji.  NZ was fantastic.  We were fortunate with weather in Abel Tasman.  Off season is nice as not crowded.  The kayaking was perfect as we lucked out with the tide and paddled into the lagoons on the way.    

Will miss NZ and leave with wonderful memories of your beautiful country.  

Thanks for your help in this!   Cheers, Rob. 

James (Rob), Linda, Robert & Adrienne McNeill - USA


Bob, Jake, & Lisa Langeslay-Glenn

Minnesota USA
23 Jun 2018

I’d never used a travel agent before but when we started to plan our trip from Midwest United States (Minnesota) to New Zealand we knew it would be the trip of a lifetime and wanted to get it right. We chose First Light Travel to help us and Rhodri Howell responded to my email. Rhodri answered all my questions quickly and made creating the itinerary and securing reservations easier than I ever dreamed it could be. Everything was very organized and laid out well for our self-drive tour. Rhodri was able to include the adventures we wanted combined with beautiful locations for our overnight stays. We had an amazing time and, when I asked my son and my husband which was their favorite activity, they said “everything!” And if that isn’t enough, my son has an allergy and requires a special diet which is a fact I only mentioned once in one of my first emails. Not thinking more about it, we were pleasantly surprised when the airlines and some of the hotel restaurants served allergen-free meals. We are very grateful and highly recommend Rhodri and First Light Travel for service above and beyond!

Bob, Jake, & Lisa Langeslay-Glenn – Minnesota USA

Abel Tasman Kayaking

Mitch Horn and Crew

29 Jan 2013

Hey Guys,

We had a trip of a lifetime, loved every minute. We really appreciated you looking out for us when that bridge washed out. A lot of other travelers were really left in the lurch but you guys were onto it and we were sorted – on our merry way.

Looking forward to doing it all again.

Mitch Horn and Crew (USA)

Montage of New Zealand Holiday Snaps

Laurie and Steve Landby

12 Dec 2013

We absolutely LOVED our trip!! We were so happy to have had your help, and everything went so smoothly! It was truly the trip of a lifetime, full of superlatives! Thank you so much for ALL you did to make it possible!

We ended up visiting Orakei Korako after our mud bath in Rotorua, and were really glad to have gone there: no crowds, and we could spend as much time as we wanted gawking and taking pictures. We even saw a fantail bird taking a spa!!

We also followed your suggestion and booked a hiking/kayaking trip in the Abel Tasman--it was a glorious day….and I ended up with 17 sandfly bites on ONE foot to take home as a souvenir (And that was WITH bug repellent!!),

New Zealand is so full of fascinating plants and bird-life. Every walk was a little different. We managed to make 4 day treks on the Great Walks: Abel Tasman, Routeburn, Kepler and The Tongariro Crossing!! We accomplished that on my birthday, what an incredible experience! One of the highlights for sure!

Thanks to your help, we had the perfect balance between planned activities and free time, travel and staying in one spot, adventure and wine-tasting. It was such a gift knowing that our accommodations were all booked and that we didn't have to worry about finding a place to stay in each new town.

I couldn't begin to say what the "best" part of the trip was, it was all so wonderful. One highlight was our cruise on Milford Sound, as well as the drive to and from. I've always wanted to see a fiord, and this exceeded my expectations.

Thanks so much and have a wonderful holiday season!

Laurie and Steve Landby


Janet Gaffney

16 Jan 2014

The trip that First Light Travel planned was definitely the adventure of a lifetime for my niece and me. It was so reassuring to have the activities, lodging, and some dinners-reserved in advance. The summary itinerary with notes about directions and confirming phone calls made it all easy. The overnight cruise on the Doubtful Sound was definitely the top rated activity by both of us! We began to call the coupons "golden tickets". Each time we pulled one out, people responded with extra enthusiasm and said things like, "No need to stand in line, come this way." It was an unexpected bonus! I have added some places to which I look forward to returning and new activities to add to my repertoire.

Janet Gaffney - USA

West Coast New Zealand

Wendy and George Schnapp

29 Oct 2015

Dear Amelia, We had an incredible holiday! This was the trip of a lifetime. All of the accommodations and activities that you booked for us were fantastic. The service could not have been better and your restaurant suggestions were delicious. We can't wait to come back and will absolutely have you do all of the bookings again. I have been telling everyone I know who may travel to New Zealand that they must book through Amelia at First Light Travel!

Wendy and George Schnapp - USA

Ho Ho Ho

Hans and the rest of the Sjoquist family

06 Jan 2016

Hi Jo, Thanks and Happy New Year!  I want you to know that our trip was such a success – we just can’t find enough superlatives to describe how well the trip arrangements went. We kept referring to how smooth all the rental car, flights and lodgings were. We had no issues whatsoever, and we kept talking about how great your service had been in helping us plan this wonderful trip. All the hotels were great, especially the Punakaiki Resort and the Trelawn Place – they were just beautiful in their own right both in terms of the location, the views but also the quality of the lodgings. DeBretts was also great and all the other places more than met our expectations as well. The “grande finale” as in the overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound was a fantastic success. Great boat with very knowledgeable and service oriented crew, great food as well as the beautiful scenery – as someone said “breathtaking serenity”. We had many dolphins play next to the boat, and we saw a huge seal colony as well, and we even went for a swim in the sound.

New Zealand is definitely one of, if not the most beautiful country on earth. Everywhere we went, there were beautiful vistas of snow clad mountains, and beautiful blue waters with golden beaches. We skydived, we bungy jumped (did Nevis outside of Queenstown – the highest in NZ with 134 meters, my three sons, one sons girlfriend and even I did it, believe it or not!). We kayaked in beautiful sunny and warm weather in Abel Tasman, we did the Tongariro crossing (more strenuous than I had expected, especially going downhill at the end – my knees were killing me, but it was well worth it), we totally enjoyed the hell-glacier tour, again in beautiful weather (ca 25 degrees in the village and a clear blue sky, even in the afternoon which the guide said was unusual. I did it in shorts!). The glowworm caves and river rafting was also a great experience – again great weather. That was maybe the most fantastic part of our trip, we had such great weather throughout. Only a couple of hours of clouds during the Tongariro Crossing and a cloudy and colder day during our bunny jump as well as rain our last day in Auckland – other than that just clear blue skies and 20-25 degrees!

We will definitely recommend you and your company to anyone we know will want to travel to New Zealand. I’m also going to attempt to get a review for you on TripAdvisor if possible.

Thanks again for all your help to make this trip an unforgettable experience!

All the best,

Hans and the rest of the Sjoquist family - USA

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