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Suggested Tour Operators for a 14-day Trip to New Zealand & Australia?

Suggested Tour Operators for a 14-day Trip to New Zealand & Australia?

Feb 3rd, 2010, 08:22 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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Suggested Tour Operators for a 14-day Trip to New Zealand & Australia?

I'm looking for a tour operator who can give the best possible tour for the best possible price of these two wonderful countries for my group. I can book my own group airfare, so I'm just looking who could be recommended as a reputable tour operator to accomplish my goal. I don't mind if they are Australia based or New Zealand based. I am planning on getting my church singles group together for this tour and will have at least 16 to 24 interested in going.

Also, is there an "off-season" when the prices are generally cheaper?

Any suggestions would be appreciated!
ptadin is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 09:02 PM
  #2  
 
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Ptadin,

It really depends on your group demographics - if this is an upscale, spendy kind of group, then I'd recommend Tauck Tours.

If this is a kind of "middle of the road" group, then I'd recommend AAT Kings. They've been around for ages and do an excellent job. If you need a contact person, let me know via email and I'd be happy to put you in touch with a contact person.

Regards,

Melodie
Certified Aussie & Kiwi Specialist
wlzmatilida is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 11:33 AM
  #3  
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Hello Molodie,

Thanks for your info.! This is a singles group (avg. age 35) who want economy over upscale. So, I'm trying to do pre-planning as much as possible to thread this needle in a haystack to I can find a "best bargain" out there for this group. I will look at ATT Kings website and see what they have to offer. Thanks again!

Peter
ptadin is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 03:59 PM
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I can't help you with a tour operator, but if you only have two weeks, you really only have 12 days to see things. I would choose either Australia or New Zealand, but not try to cram both into your limited time. As an example, we spent 10 days on the North Island of New Zealand in April 2004, and while we got to see most of what we wanted to see in that amount of time, we had no time for the South Island.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Feb 4th, 2010, 09:10 PM
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Hi Again Ptadin!

Now that you've told me they're singles, I'm not so sure AAT Kings is a good recommendation (or any other major tour company) as this is more of a demographic of people and their 40's and up (with emphasis on the "up"). That said, they'd be at the upper level of something like Contiki tours, (18 - 35) which is low budget, hostel type accomodation, which, in my experience, most 35 yr olds have filed that under "been there, done that, want something a little bit better".

Regards,

Melodie
Certified Aussie & Kiwi Specialist
wlzmatilida is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 12:37 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
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This seems so totally off the wall, but have you considered making this an "active" vacation--hiking or biking--for your group? I'm doing my own New Zealand biking reservations right now--have not yet decided which operator--and was searching for reviews of biking tours, so "tour" brought your post up. I noticed your demographics (avg age 35) and thought: if your group had never done something like this, it would be REALLY interesting.

No matter what, I'd give VBT a call and see what they could do for the group. I know that with them, one person automatically gets 50% off--and you could certainly spread that discount through the group.

Reason why I suggested VBT over the other biking/hiking tour operators we've experienced is that they offer really cheap air packages and extensions with their stuff, and I think they offer the most inclusives overall. Their hotels aren't great compared to companies like DuVine or Backroads but certainly are not bad.

I've traveled with VBT twice (done DuVine once, Backroads either 9 or 10 trips, some others one or two trips), but haven't taken their air packages because our family members just coming from too many directions to make it worth our while--we're better off trying to coordinate our own routes/fflyer points.

If you are not acquainted with "active vacation" style traveling, the guides take care of your itinerary, your accomodation, safety, most meals,etc. They give you a map and route guides in the morning, and you're off to make the day your own. Most companies offer flexibility on their daily routes to take care of bikers ranging from "slug" to "olympic" in style. That means that even though you are on a group trip, you are ALWAYS more or less on your own vacation and in charge of your own happiness.

Three members of my family are "olympic" most days on the road and I'm a happy "slug" three days out of five. I can stop biking at mile ten and do something else while they beat themselves cycling straight uphill somewhere for around 60 miles, and we're all happy.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Feb 26th, 2010, 03:10 PM
  #7  
 
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Another suggestion for active travel would be REI Adventures http://www.rei.com/adventures/ or Active New Zealand
http://www.activenewzealand.com/ . Would probably give the nod to REI but both of them would probably work with you to organize your own departure. Sierra Club also runs budget trips - you might look at them.
KensingtonGirl is offline  
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