Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to see New Zealand, especially the South Island. On my wish list were the Milford Track, Milford Sound, and the Southern Alps. I had the opportunity to visit last fall, when Goway helped me arrange the trip of a lifetime.
My biggest problem was time. I had been attending the Society of American Travel Writers conference in Wellington, on the North Island. Following the conference, I had only 5 nights before returning to the U.S., and the choices were agonizing. I consulted with friends who knew New Zealand well, and with Goway. We ultimately settled on two nights Queenstown, one night Te Anau, overnight return to Queenstown, a night at Mt. Cook, and a final overnight in Christchurch prior to connecting in Auckland for the return flight to Los Angeles.
Goway arranged my round trip flights from the North to South Island, all accommodations, a guided day hike on the Milford Track, a full-day Milford Sound trip and cruise, a Glowworm cave tour in Te Anau, motor coach transportation throughout, and private airport transfers. I’m happy to report that everything went like clockwork.
I learned the importance of having someone familiar with the destination do the planning, especially when it involved the logistics of coordinating activities and making connections on various modes of transportation. And, as a first-time visitor, the expertise of someone with “inside” knowledge was invaluable.
While the itinerary looks exhausting on paper, and while I did have a couple of early morning wake ups, I found that, rather than being tired, I was at once energized and relaxed. I can’t wait to return and see more of the South Island.
Future posts will highlight my various experiences during my 5-night South Island odyssey.