New Zealand Self Drive Tour Reviews

 

To make your New Zealand travel dreams come true you need the right team in your corner.

That’s where we come in! We’ve been helping travellers enjoy the very best of New Zealand since 2001 and have learned plenty of tricks which will help you have a hassle-free and super fun NZ self drive holiday.

 

Here’s what our guests have to say about First Light Travel.

We have over 1000 five star online reviews - We are the highest rated New Zealand based travel agent and we have been around for nearly a quarter century!

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Our adventure in New Zealand was magnificent!

5
Te Puia
Mt Cook
Dolphin Swim
Hobbiton
Mount Doom
USA

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!

Accommodations:

  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.

Travel:

  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. :)

Activities:

  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.

Throughout the journey, Gina ensured our safety, comfort, and satisfaction were top priorities.

5
Matamanoa Fiji sunset
Matamanoa Fiji Honeymoon
Helihike honeymoon
Tasman Glacier scenic flight
USA

My husband and I recently embarked on our dream honeymoon to New Zealand and Fiji, and we cannot express enough gratitude to Gina for curating an experience that surpassed all our expectations.

From the moment we began planning, Gina demonstrated an incredible understanding of our desires and crafted an itinerary that blended adventure, romance, and relaxation seamlessly. Our journey started in New Zealand, where we were treated to heart-pounding adventures like white water rafting, zip-lining, and even bungee jumping, balanced perfectly with moments of awe and wonder in a glow worm cave and an unforgettable helicopter glacier hike.

The attention to detail was evident in every choice of accommodation, each providing a unique and luxurious experience. The handpicked activities were not only thrilling but also allowed us to immerse ourselves in the breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand.

Upon our arrival in Fiji, the pace shifted to relaxation, and we were enchanted by the pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. Snorkeling in vibrant coral reefs and kayaking through serene lagoons provided the perfect contrast to the adrenaline-filled adventures in New Zealand.

What truly sets First Light Travel apart is their commitment to personalization. Every recommendation for dining and local experiences felt tailor-made for us, enhancing the cultural richness of each destination.

Throughout the journey, Gina ensured our safety, comfort, and satisfaction were top priorities. The seamless coordination of transfers and activities allowed us to focus on creating memories and enjoying the once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Our honeymoon was a testament to First Light Travel's expertise, passion, and dedication to delivering exceptional travel experiences. We wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone seeking a bespoke and unforgettable adventure.


We are so happy we booked our honeymoon with First Light Travel.

5
Kate Bauer quadbiking
Canada

We are so happy we booked our honeymoon with First Light Travel. They took all of the stress and guessing out of planning a two-week trip on the other side of the world, providing excellent activity suggestions and a very thorough itinerary. For anybody travelling to New Zealand for the first time, you will be in very good hands. Thank you for the trip of a lifetime!


Lani & Stone USA

5
At Hobbiton
Lani & Stone at Te Puia
Adventure time
beautiful day in the Bay
USA

We had a fantastic honeymoon thanks to Michelle! She worked with us to personalize it to our wants within budget. Michelle, was also great about making sure all vendors knew we were on our honeymoon. Most of our hotels had champagne waiting for us. We will definitely be turning to FirstLight again in the future!

Lani & Stone USA


Kathryn Zell & Johnathan Longo Honeymoon

5
Zell 1
Zell 2
Zell 3
USA

We just got back from our amazing 2 week honeymoon in New Zealand, organized by Daniel W. The whole trip was a dream, not only because NZ has been on the top of our "must-visit" list for ages, but also because Daniel made the whole process so seamless and easy. First Light travel really caters to everything you want, and makes planning a trip so, so easy! Daniel worked with us to create an itinerary that allowed us to ramble from the South Island to the North Island, seeing all the beautiful countryside by car, sprinkling in plenty of LoTR sightseeing for my husband and wine tours for me! In one instance we had to detour due to a road closure (winter weather) and Daniel called us to make sure we had found a way around and even offered additional directions. When plans unexpectedly changed, First Light and Daniel were there to help us navigate changes and make the necessary adjustments in our activities. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to be able to walk into a hotel or up to an information desk and know that all the arrangements and payments are already sorted and all you have to do is give your name, and boom! you're able to pick up your rental car, or checked in at a hotel or ready to go zip-lining, or rafting or on a 4x4 tour of the Edoras location set (we did all these things)! Overall, I would definitely work with First Light again and would recommend them to anyone traveling to the South Pacific.

Kathryn Zell & Johnathan Longo - USA


Paul Morimoto and Kelli Zmiarovich's Honeymoon

5
Honeymoon
Hawaii

We only had ten days to spend in New Zealand for our belated honeymoon and Kasey did an amazing job of getting everything we wanted to see and do in, without making if feel like we would need a vacation after our vacation. We plan to visit again, and will absolutely use First Light Travel again! 

Paul Morimoto and Kelli Zmiarovich - Hawaii


Martin Kocian and Sharon Boons Honeymoon

5
Hooneymoon
Czech Republic

First Light Travel did a great job planning our 5 week honeymoon to New Zealand! Our advisor, Michelle was very knowledgeable and helpful in creating a tailored itinerary for us. We had a wonderful time and when the unexpected happened - we were booked for the White Island Volcano tour 1 week after the tragic eruption happened – First Light refunded any cancelled activities and had an alternative itinerary ready.

Thank you for making our honeymoon exceptional! Would highly recommend to anyone looking to tour NZ!

Martin Kocian and Sharon Boon – Czech Republic


Sook Fern Mok and Ken Wong's Honeymoon

5
New Zealand Holiday
Singapore

We had a lovely honeymoon to New Zealand in October 2019 planned by Melissa, your senior travel consultant. From the get go, she was very responsive and accurate with information. This made planning and booking such an ease. We simply let her know which activities we wanted to attend and what kind of accommodation we wanted, and she planned an entire itinerary for us. We made some tweaks along the way, and she was always happy to accommodate for that. We loved our final itinerary! What I found great about First Light was that it took the hassle of planning itineraries and booking out of our hands and into the company's capable hands. This freed us of time and allowed us to really look forward to our trip. The final itinerary that was given had everything we needed to know i.e. address, telephone numbers, places to see in a city etc. when we didn't have any activities planned on that day. We also really appreciated the pickups (generally from our place of accommodation) the activities had. The hosts at our B&Bs were very warm and inviting and we were made to feel at home immediately,

There were a few activities that were cancelled due to bad weather that were one of the highlights of our trip, so that was disappointing. We really hope to be able to go back and do these activities once more! The photo we have is of us feeding Villa Walton's (in Matamata) baby orphan lambs. The owner kindly allowed us to do the morning feeding, which was exciting!

Thank you, First Light Travel, for a wonderful honeymoon. We will cherish these memories for a long time to come!

Sook and Fern Mok - Singapore

 


Kerri & John Makekau's Honeymoon

5
Kerri & John Makekau
USA

First Light Travel knows exactly what they’re doing! They were amazing through the whole planning process and there were no issues arriving to New Zealand. We had the best honeymoon traveling all over New Zealand and had no worries thanks to First Light Travel. From the excursions to the cute bed and breakfasts to the transportation set up, First Light Travel did an amazing job handling it all!

Kerri & John Makekau - USA


Sarah Futernick and Matthew Peven's Honeymoon

5
New Zealand Honeynoon
USA

My husband and I debated for months where we should go for our honeymoon, but after our first call with Toni from First Light Travel, it became clear to us that New Zealand was the right choice. From the very beginning, Toni was friendly, informative, and just incredibly helpful. We quickly learned that New Zealand had so much to offer, with locations and excursions that fit perfectly with our personalities and desired trip. Toni took the time to listen to our preferences, understand our time frame, and respect our budget. We made a few tweaks to our itinerary, but it didn't take much work at all to craft the perfect 2 week excursion.

While the planning process itself was noteworthy, our actually trip exceeded our expectations in every way. Travel was not only easy, but enjoyable. Ever taxi, transfer, booking and reservation went smoothly and on time. Every hotel was stayed at was friendly and accommodating, and the materials prepared by First Light (and given to us upon arrival) provided just the right amount of detail to make sure our trip went off without any issue. We fell in love with New Zealand, and it's with thanks to First Light Travel for making sure we made the most of our time in such a beautiful country. We really couldn't be any happier with our experience!

Sarah Futernick and Matthew Peven - USA

 



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