Jane and Active Downunder turned our confusion about where and how to travel in New Zealand into order and clarity. Jane took our personal desires and intentions into account and created a diverse itinerary for us that met and exceeded them. This trip was a wonderful introduction to a very beautiful and special country. I look forward to a return trip.
K.Hearn, CA - Dec 09
Rob and I love traveling and are used to planning our own vacations, spending hours and hours selecting flights, accommodations and places to visit. Every year it gets a little harder to find the time to do the research needed to really make a good vacation. As soon as we started working with Jane at Active Downunder it was clear that this was going to be, not only the trip of a lifetime, but also the easiest vacation we had ever taken. Every detail of the trip was taken care of, and the week before we left we couldn’t quite believe that there wasn’t more to do - just the packing and getting to the airport! Jane was meticulous in planning every detail and ensuring we had all the information we needed, as well as keeping within our budget.
Our two week holiday on the south island was truly the trip of a lifetime. Every minute we spent in New Zealand was incredible, thanks to the attention to detail and care Jane took in planning our itinerary. The accommodations were outstanding; all of our hosts went out of their way to ensure we had everything we needed and that we always ate at the best place in town!
All the individualized day trips Jane arranged for us were perfectly suited to us, and still left us time to do some exploring on our own. Our overnight cruise on the Doubtful Sound was indescribably serene and peaceful; it is hard to do justice to such an incredible place. Jet boating down the Wilkins River after a fixed-wing flight through mountain peaks, and hanging glaciers, was such fun and so exhilarating! Jane made every aspect of our trip special -- our memories are going to stay with us for a very long time!
Dr. S Fincham-Gray, CA - May 09
I have always made my own travel arrangements in Europe and the United States, but realized that doing this for New Zealand was out of my realm. I found Jane Turner through a recommendation in the magazine Conde Nast and the Active Downunder website. Lucky for us! We consulted with Jane about the places we wanted to visit in the North and South Island - a seemingly impossible set of destinations - and she designed a custom itinerary for us. She took care of airline schedules and reservations, car rentals, the interisland ferry, an overnight to Doubtful Sound, and accommodations. She also suggested a mix of self-catering, B&B and resort hotels, which worked out wonderfully. We spent almost a month in New Zealand, having a wonderful time without any concerns about travel arrangements or bookings. Thank you Jane!!
K. Kirigin and C. Warren, CA – March 09
We have just returned from our fabulous trip to New Zealand. Our self-drive tour of the South Island was beautifully planned. Highlights included the overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound, a jet boat trip with a Maori decendent guide in Wanaka, hikes and kayaking in Arthur's Pass, and cruising on Queen Charlotte Sound.
What made the trip really special was staying at the wonderful small properties you chose for us, and getting to know the owners. Lime Tree Lodge in Wanaka and Maison Grange in Blenheim are gorgeous properties. The owners at each place provided us with information about activities and dining that only a local would know, and were gracious hosts from the wonderful breakfasts to great cocktails. At Lime Tree Lodge the staff even hung clothes I had hand washed out on the clothes line! The Wilderness Lodge in Arthur's Pass is also a very special place. The location and the accomodations are great, and we will long remember our hikes and kayaking with the owner/naturalist. Toward the end of our trip, after a long drive from Arthur's Pass to Blenheim, we relaxed in the pool at Maison Grange, and my husband said, "Bless Jane Turner". We thank you.
L. Aeschliman, NH - Jan 09
Our trip as planned for us by Active Downunder was absolutely stellar. Every nuance and detail was fully attended to. We were told by some of the B&B owners that you don't recommend a lodging unless you have first-hand knowledge from having stayed there. Your intimate knowledge of New Zealand was obvious to us as the trip unfolded. We had a great time! Thank you.
R Steele, GA - Jan 09
"The best single destination trip I have taken"
It is difficult to capture with words the amazing landscapes, seascapes, vistas, flora and fauna, hikes, and gracious hosting we were served up during the last many days. We have been fortunate to see a lot of the world but I cannot think of a "one destination" vacation that has matched the people and places of New Zealand. The land has a "wow" around every corner and the people are straightforward friendly without affectation.
The owner-operated boutique properties on our itinerary were terrific, gracious, welcoming and comfortable. The owners at the Wilderness Lodge provided a lifetime memory with their Christmas morning hike and marshmallow roast up on the mountain. Maison Grange is right out of Architectural Digest and John and Robyn are as a welcoming duo as one will find. Peter at Cliff Edge produced two virtuoso dinners and the setting on the inland passage is very interesting viewing. Huntley House and the library/bar is very elegant. The other brilliant choice was Brian, as our guide for the five day west coast trip. He is the finest guide I have ever experienced. He is totally knoweledgeable on the NZ culture, history, topography, flora & fauna, wildlife and the hidden scenic treasures. On top of that he is very service focused. Just an outstanding selection. The White Island and Fox Glacier heli trips are life experiences!
Active Downunder provided the kind of unique personal travel experience that is only possible from consultants who know their destinations intimately. We found your NZ suppliers have respect for Active Downunder and are dedicated to providing your guests with a great experience. The trip was a wonderful total introduction to the New Zealand land, culture and hospitality.
L Shobe, AZ - Jan 09
Active Downunder planned our honeymoon to perfection. The itinerary allowed us to see much of New Zealand with great ease. The accommodations were great. This was the trip of a lifetime! It was by far the best trip I have ever taken.
B Rutledge, TX - Jan 09
Our trip to New Zealand absolutely exceeded our wildest expectations. There are truly not enough superlatives to describe what a wonderful experience it was, all thanks to the efforts of Jane Turner and her staff at Active Downunder. Jane's attention to detail is extraordinary and made a complicated international travel plan easier than planning a 3-day getaway to San Francisco. We were amazed at the caliber of accommodations that she arranged and very pleased with the pace of the trip. Her plan allowed us plenty of time for fun activities and allowed us to see a majority of the South Island in two weeks without feeling like we spent the whole time in the car. The activities arranged were fantastic – from spectacular sea-kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park to hiking on Fox Glacier. She also provided suggestions for side trips that allowed us to see some of New Zealand’s most breathtaking scenery that we might otherwise have missed out on. Our trip was completely customized to our desires and constraints. There is no way we could possibly have had the wonderful time we did without Active Downunder. New Zealand’s awe-inspiring natural scenery and friendly, outgoing people have made it a vacation destination to which we are now certain we will return just as soon as we can, and the outstanding service provided by Jane Turner has made it equally certain that we won’t be doing so without her help.
S Soltis, CA - Nov 08
Without a doubt we would recommend the Naturally New Zealand trip to anyone. It was so well organized, so many tours/activities that we would not have known about if we had traveled on our own. The itinerary allowed us so much freedom to have our own schedule and do everything at our own pace. The variety of lodgings made it special. This was probably the best trip we have ever taken - it was just wonderful!
C & J Englehorn, ID - Oct 08
Learn more about this package!
We had a fabulous trip and every bit of our logistics went off without a hitch. We especially enjoyed the local rugby game that Active Downunder arranged for us to attend. Treetops was fantastic – the staff did a great job for us, food was excellent, and the lodge and surroundings are surreal. The services provided by Active Downunder are top notch and I would gladly recommend them to any experienced or novice travelers.
G Carter, TX - Aug 08
Our trip to New Zealand was all we imagined it would be and more due to the preparatory work of Active Downunder. We enjoyed each day, filled with anticipation of the known and exciting when we found pearls to remember. The meals at the lodges were exquisite. And each lodge owner was professional and you felt like you were the only people there. Onto the South Island!
K Yamanaka, CA - May 08
Active Downunder does an amazing job. With this being our first big trip out of the country, we were pretty clueless. Jane held our hand and patiently worked through the haze for us. She targeted perfectly the right places & accommodations. The ease of using a detailed itinerary for each place that we went made a huge difference in our stress level for a 26 day trip. We would use her again in a heartbeat and strongly recommend anyone putting their trust in her & Active Downunder.
T & D Erbstoesser, CA - Mar 08
We were delighted with the scheduling of our trip, the quality and the variety of activities and accommodation. All of our lodging and locations were special. Our hosts were gracious and very helpful in providing information that we needed to make the most of our stay. They were also all proud of their association with Active Downunder. You have a great knowledge and a keen sense of your customers' interests and needs. The trip was most memorable - thanks very much!
W & P Burns, MN - Feb 08
Following your itinerary was like following a treasure map with wonderful surprises at every turn! The pace was perfect, one day where it was right then two days interspersed. The owners of the B & B's were incredible - It was hard leaving each place because of their hospitality and attention to our every need. Our guide, Allen, for the Marlborough wine tour & Greenshell Mussel cruise was loaded with personality and jokes and it couldn't have been a better day. We had picture-perfect weather when we took the Heli walk on Fox Glacier, and for our Doubtful Sound excursion (calm waters with playful dolphins and penguins). All in all, you did an outstanding job and were well thought of with each of our owners. The relationships you have developed greatly enhanced our experiences in New Zealand. It was a most amazing, incredible, memorable trip. We wanted to drive from the North to the South & catch as much as we could in the time there--you accomplished this for us and took the stress factor out.
Judy & Ed Hoerster, IL - Feb 08
This was our honeymoon, a trip you want to remember forever. Well, it was that and more. Our agent, Jane Turner was the best!!! She gave us a questionaire about what we wanted to do, what level of accomodations, interests, etc. Well, we wouldn't have changed a thing, it was perfect. In fact we felt everyday was more fun than the last. All of our activities were timed perfectly -- a feat that could only be accomplished by one from New Zealand. A true highlight was the surfing that Jane arranged with a local instructor in Kaikoura. A great experience, and what a location - sapphire blue water and beautiful mountains, who could ask more anything more. It was one of the best days of surf in years! Thanks for all the memories!!!
J. Simandl, NY - Feb 08
New Zealand is an amazing place with wonderful people. Jane Turner and Active Downunder really helped us plan a trip to show us more of New Zealand than we would have hoped to on our own. She really knows how to combine an independent, active vacation with luxury! We loved the small inns that we stayed at where the personal touch was a nice antedote to large hotels. When we had guides, they were genuinely friendly and interested in showing you New Zealand. What a wonderful trip!
J. Law Courter MD - CA - Feb 08
We would like to thank you for the wonderful trip you put together for us. Everything worked seamlessly, the weather was great, the Kiwis great, and we are convinced that your expertise is what brought it all together. Our Queenstown accommodation was a wonderful choice. We loved our room with a view. We did our Routeburn Day walk with Peter, the owner of Guided Nature Walks and we can't say enough good things about him and the day we spent with him. The Miharotia in Kaikoura was perfect - Polly was a great hostess and the accomodations were superb. We did see whales, seals, and dolphins and got to eat Crayfish. It was a great mix of B&B's, lodges, and hotels. Having all the tours booked made everything so simple. We are thinking this was just a "probe" into your beautiful country and we are already planning to make a return visit and see Abel Tasman, Napier, wine country, etc. Thanks again!
R & J Steele, Feb 08
This was our second trip planned with Active Downunder. We loved it! It was just what we wanted -- relaxing, interesting, convivial, and beautiful. We'll be back.
J & E Redish, MD - Feb 08
We wanted this trip to be a special one (to celebrate our 45th anniversary) and it certainly was. Working with Jane and Active Downunder made the planning simple and stress free. She listened to all our wishes and she met and exceeded them. Every place we stayed was thrilled with her professional attitude and attention to detail, as were we. They spoke of her as a friend, and I think we got better service because she had done her job so well. We never could have replicated this on our own. It was the best trip we've ever had - and we've had lots of them. Many, many thanks!
Polly & Fred Watts, VI - Jan 08