Lessons learned?

Four of us are on the Grand A/NZ tour, Mar 14 - Apr 02, 2024. We would love to hear from those who have been on this trip the things you wish you’d known in advance, or things you'd do differently? Appreciate any the lessons learned from others before we go. Thank you!


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    We did this trip in 2017 so there have likely been changes since we visited. This was one of our favorite trips. We arrived a day early and did a small group Great Ocean Road tour - it was a long day, but the scenery was beautiful and we were very glad we went. If we had had an additional day, we would have done the Phillip Island penguins trip too. Others on our tour did that and had a great time. In Wellington, we spent some time in the museum, Te Papa, with a local guide. We were then on our own and we left to find lunch and do some exploring in the area. In retrospect, I wish we had spent more time in the museum.

    This was a long trip for us in terms of the numbers of days. A few guests - including me - wore down toward the end of the trip. I did not do the excursions in Auckland - I think by then I was fighting a cold. So my other advice would be to take advantage of opportunities to rest. At Silky Oaks, we did not do the balloon trip - we have done those before and we decided we would just relax and enjoy the beautiful grounds. That ended up to be a good decision for us.

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    Wendy - I recommend that you read all of the posts on this forum regarding this tour, even the older ones. There is a lot of great information. That is what I did. I supplemented that with research on the hotels, and their locations, googled information on the company used for the Reef trip, and planned activities for free time, and ideas for included dinners. I felt very well prepared for the tour. My husband and I went in September of 2019, and our trip was outstanding.

    For September, we needed sufficient outerwear. Good shoes are always recommended.

    A few people in our group chose to bring large, wheeled carryon bags. Those bags were very difficult for some of them to manage on the steps up and down the charter flights.

    Cvc discusses Te Papa in Wellington. Our TD recommended staying there after the Tauck visit to view the Gallipoli exhibit. We did so, and it was really worth seeing. That afternoon, on our own, we visited the Weta Workshop. Great for Lord of the Rings fans. We bought tickets at the Visitors Center in town, and took the bus there and back.

    If you have any specific questions, I would be happy to try to help.

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    edited February 13

    I absolutely loved Te Papa! I spent the afternoon there on my own at the exhibits, but also bought several souvenirs/gifts in the gift shop there. Unfortunately, and unthinkingly, i bought a lovely corkscrew in a beautifully carved wooden case as a gift for my son -- and put it in my carry-on, because I wanted to keep all of my purchases together. Duh!! My son now has a lovely carved case, but no corkscrew!

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    edited February 13

    Enjoyed the tour but definitely not our most exciting by any means, despite that Shotover river experience. Want to visit New Zealand again, last try was thwarted by the Pandemic closure and we haven’t put it back on the agenda yet.

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    Wendy I went last year, I would definitely stay over in Wellington and book a tour so Hobbiton and the Glow Worm caves, the WETA exhibit in Wellington is interesting. Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island are lovely.

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