Wonderful trip to New Zealand
We’re just back (Dec 2023) from a trip that included a three week self-drive, mostly through New Zealand’s South Island, organized by First Light Travel. For many years, while travelling the world, we’ve wanted to explore New Zealand. And we couldn’t be more pleased with the results from First Light, especially Danielle, our travel advisor there. In fact, they exceeded our expectations! It was a perfect trip for we 70-year-olds to celebrate our 45th anniversary.
Danielle began our interaction by asking what we enjoy, activity-wise, and what type of accommodations we prefer. So, right out-of-the-gate, this was clearly going in the direction we wanted: a trip customized to our wishes, and not a cookie-cutter itinerary or a check-list of activities.
Danielle is a great listener, very patient, is easy to get ahold of, and a joy to work with. A draft plan was created from that first conference call (which was the response to our emailed contact point). We reviewed it, changed some of our wishes, partly from the great alternatives tabled for us to consider and the opportunity to do more specific research. We started our planning over a year in advance, so this allowed this itinerary to evolve over time and the subsequent calls we had.
The final itinerary was very detailed, including contact phone numbers and vouchers for each activity and hotel. Since many of the activities that we chose were weather-dependent, such as boat trips, a hot air balloon ride, and a helicopter trip, we needed to call and confirm beforehand. One of those numbers went to a recorded message indicating it was out of service. So I simply called First Light Travel’s emergency line and they took care of it for me in a matter of a few minutes.
We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of our trip. The drive, the scenery and activities were wonderful. Yes, weather affected two of our excursions, but First Light tracked these and issued a refund for the missed ones within a week of the completion of our trip. And it was fun to run into another Canadian couple, at the Clay Cliffs, whose trip had also been arranged by Danielle.