New Zealand Testimonials and Pictures


Here are some interesting comments and pictures from a few "NEW KIWI'S"!!


Hi Mary, The trip to New Zealand was fabulous, we do wish we would have had more time, which you had told us about, but still it was awesome. Cindi

Rick Berndsen and Lori Nelson visited Australia and New Zealand on their vacation.  All their pictures were beautiful and sounds like they tried to see and do everything they could on this ADVENTURE!

Rick and Lori on their NZ adventure of a lifetime!

Imagine a baloon ride over the countryside!









Imagine visiting this beautiful waterfall and HOT AIR Ballooning in Australia/ New Zealand!!!  


Then hop on the Bush Buggy and visit Milford Sound!!!  These two are living the LIFE!


Go check out the waterfalls in Milford Sound!!! 

Milford Sound








Lori and Rick met some new friends on this trip, some with 2 legs and others with fur and fins!!   See our Australia page for more!   





Lori is holding a Kola bear from a city north of Auckland New Zealand and the one with me in front of the big tree is from a botanical garden in Christchurch.  We think BIG Rick sure looked really tiny compared to those big babies!!


A Fantastic Cruise from Sydney to Aukland!

Gayle, I just looked over my pictures of our trip to Australia and New Zealand and I would love to do it AGAIN!!!!   Cookie and Bob Brock on a cruise in Australia and New Zealand

New Zealand started with Princess Cruises going through the Fjordlands National Park.  What a fantastic place!!!  Waterfalls, rain forrests, views galore!!  It was so neat to view from the ship and then turn around and see the other side from our balcony all over again.
We missed Dunedin  (would have loved to see that!) because the ship wasn't able to stop in port because of high waves.   No worries, we were able to visit Christchurch which was my favorite place!!   We toured the bay around the city fantastic views- overlooks and all.   Then we stopped at the Anartica museum.  We didn't get to see the whole museum because it is an all day tour and we were short of time, but we made up for it by shopping for tons of souvenirs and good stuff for ourselves.   We saw the most beautiful gardens and homes and private school. It was quite emotional to see the beams from the New York World Trade Center.  It was a gift from the NY firefighters to New Zealand firefighter for a memorial to our lost men. Then we went to Tauranga which is a great beach town.  I would love to spend 2 or3 days there.  There we went to a Kiwi farm, hey who knew kiwi's (the fruit) were grown on trees! Then we went to a village of ancient islanders.  I think they are the Moriori tribe. Then off to see the Geisers which smelled like sulpher.  


It was all great!!!   I  would recommend going to New Zealand to everyone.  We didn't get to see much of Auckland since that was our last day of the cruise.  If I was going again I would stay in Auckland a few days and then going back to Sydney.  I definately would love to stay in Sydney again.   Everyone was so friendly and helpful there.  They were friendly the whole trip... from cab drivers to servers in restaurants to people on the street. 
 Mary- Here is the photo of my jump, I was jumping at 14,000 ft.  We were hour away from Auckland, New Zealand.  Karen

Hi Mary....we made it home safely.  It is amazing how 15 days can go so quickly.  All I can say is that it was an awesome journey!!!! 

Our only disappointment was the weather...unseasonable cool Feb- was only in the low 50's in Queenstown (when it was in the 80's the week before and scheduled to be in the 70's the day after we left).  Also, unfortunately our Milford Sound flight-cruise-flight was cancelled due to windy conditions on our last day.

There were many, many highlights which I would be happy to share with you, along with some thoughts for improvements for the next traveler.

Thanks again for organizing this trip . 


Honeymoon in New Zealand was Amazing!

Hi Mary,

I just wanted to write a quick thank you to you for all the work and answering of questions to you did to make our honeymoon a complete success!  It was absolutely wonderful and currently we are waiting for pictures to come back.  Once I go through them I will send you a couple of our favorites!

Thanks so much!

Ashley and Marc



Mt Cook Cadbury Chocolate is yummy!

4-wheeler ride just south of Kaikoura...our very favorite excursion of the whole trip!!  Check out the highlights from their honeymoon in NZ!!

 4-wheeler ride just south of Kaikoura...our very favorite excursion of the whole trip!!

- Mt. Eden in Auckland

- Park by Auckland Museum

 - Outside Auckland Museum

 - Walk on the beach in Paihia

 - Walk on beach in Paihia

 - Rotorua - Te Puia thermal village - Pohutu  Geyser

 - Huka Falls, Taupo

 - Napier

 - Misson Vineyard - Napier

 - 4-wheeler ride just south of Kaikoura...our very favorite excursion of the whole trip!!

- Real Journey's Day Cruise of Fjords

-Skipper's Canyon Jet Boat Ride out of Queenstown

If you want more...we have more.  Also if you want more options on activities that we did for future reference we would be happy to offer them up!!  Ashley 


Celebrity Cruise to Australia and New Zealand

Hi Nikki,


The cruise was top shelf all the way.  We were impressed with the ship, cleanliness of it and attentiveness of the staff wherever we went aboard the Solstice.  The food was outstanding both in the dining room and in the Oceanview Café (buffet area). 


Our short time in Sydney was wonderful.  Great weather gave us lots of opportunity to explore.  The Holiday Inn Old Town Hotel at The Rocks is highly recommended.  Just 2 blocks from the cruise ship dock and the Rocks area is alive and busy with food and shopping, street fair, train station, ferry station and the view from the hotel rooftop of the Opera house and Harbor bridge was stunning!  We booked a private full day tour with Your Sydney Guide to the Blue Mountains.  We highly recommend them as a private tour company.  We had an amazing day in the blue mountains.  I’ve attached a picture of the 4 of us taken by Alex our guide on an out of the way overlook most tourists don’t get to see.  We also did our own day “ferry” tour using the ferry system to the taronga zoo, Watsons bay and Manly beach. 


The ocean sail across the Tasman Sea was uneventful as seas were only moderate.  Our overnight excursion from Milford Sound to Queenstown was spectacular!  The attached picture of Laurie and me was taken at Milford Sound and you can see the ship leaving the sound in the far distance.  The entire land excursion was one breathtaking view after another.  Delicious food at local restaurants along the way, a wonderful hotel in Queenstown, a winery tour and stop at the bungy jumping bridge.  Everything was great.  The evening cruise on the Ernslaw steamship to dinner and return with piano sing-along made for a great ending to a spectacular day.  Though the tour was expensive we were VERY glad we booked it as it was worth every penny!


Shore excursions:

Sadly our swim with the dolphins excursion was cancelled due to 15ft waves on the ocean that day – Celebrity was right there to refund our money in full!

Wellington Quad bike tour was a true highlight of the trip.  Riding an ATV up and down the mountains with stunning views everywhere was amazing!  We even crossed a river.  We commented that everyone had a giant grin in their faces as they navigated the ATV’s up and down the trails.  Great attention to safety and training to make sure everyone was comfortable navigating the ATV over the rough terrain.  While clearly not for everyone this tour was great for us and anyone adventurous!  Book early like we did because its only one group per day and only 12 on the tour. 

Wineries of Hawkes bay was relaxing and nice to visit the wineries.  A fair amount of bus riding though.

Kayaking lake Rotoiti to the glow warm cave was great.  Wonderful tour company with great guides.  Nice shore lunch and time to relax in the sulfur hot pools.  Again not for everyone – over 2 hours of kayaking in tandem kayaks.  We loved it!

Bay of Islands paddle boarding and river cruise.  Amazing! Saw lots of wildlife up close and we got to paddle board up to a waterfall.  Lunch on the river made for another great adventure.  Also not for everyone but lots of fun. 


New Zealand after the cruise.

 Driving on the left was fine and I adapted quickly.  Budget left a nice “how we drive in New Zealand” booklet on the seat of the car.  Very helpful so you understand speed limits, one lane bridges and how to use them and other tips.  Just a few pages of reading before we left the car lot.  They also had a sticker on the dash in front of the driver that said “keep left”.  Other than the timing of the rental “mostly our fault not knowing how quickly we’d get off the ship” the car rental was easy.


Cotswold Cottage our B&B in Thames is highly recommended.  Adriene and Garth were amazing hosts in a gorgeous setting.  Beautifully prepared breakfast and wonderful room not to mention meeting guests from other countries(Germany and UK) who were also staying there.


Driving around the Coromandel Peninsula from Thames was stunning.  Some of New Zealand’s best scenery.  Ocean drive roads right on the waters edge, winding roads through farm country to spectacular mountain vistas, Fabulous hikes to beautiful beaches.  We visited the hot water beach after the tide went out where you dig a hole in the sand and the hot geothermal water bubbles up to provide your own personal hot tub.  Garth provided us with a “spade” to dig with. 


We had an amazing time for the entire trip!


Australia and New Zealand should be on everyone’s travel list!



Doug and Laurie


New Zealand isn't just for BUCKET LISTS!  Go back again and again.  I know you missed something when you were there!
 Gayle loved her trip to New Zealand

I loved my second trip to New Zealand.  Imagine both these pictures taken in one day. 

Read on for some more 
NZ pics and reviews by Gayle.








Mary Malsch our KIWI Specialist in New Zealand


Our own Mary Malsch from First Choice Travel and Cruise was lucky enough to experience a trip of a lifetime in New Zealand!

Mary loving her New Zealand Adventure Mary is ready for the boat!

Ask Mary all about her passion...New Zealand and Australia!! 

New Zealand is her passion!






Mary and the TRAVEL2 rep Judy Sweet laugh about the
adventure and great times while in New Zealand.




Check out more packages and information about NEW ZEALAND!



Please contact our Australia and New Zealand Specialists at First Choice Travel and Cruise.   ,  (Our Australia & New Zealand Specialist) and ,  for Gayle. 

(Gayle specializes in Tahiti, New Zealand, COOK ISLANDS AND FIJI) Sara specializes inTahiti and New Zealand, Gesica is a New Zealand Specialist.
 262-542-5955 OR 1-800-896-4360


See AUSTRALIA for more Aussie info and customer KIWI comments.