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Reviews

Your Words – We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It’s the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you’re interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

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Reviews

Trekking in New Zealand

If you are reading this review because you are thinking of going on this Exodus trip, I have to say I’m quite jealous of you! If you decide to go you have an amazing holiday ahead of you. This is an opportunity to see some of the best this beautiful country has to offer in a relatively short period of time. Yes, it was exhausting because we packed so much in, but what a rollercoaster of fun and experience. And most days there was time to relax and recharge in the vehicle.

Most Inspirational Moment

Certainly there were the 'stars of the show' - trekking across the stunning Tongariro crossing, marvelling at the craters, volcanoes and emerald lakes; a drenching at the magnificent Milford Sound; the grandeur of Mount Cook. But there were inspirational moments every single day: staring in awe at the ancient Podocarp trees in Whinnaki forest; diving into the sea on arrival at Bark Bay, then waking up to the sun rise the next morning; watching the cheeky Takahe bird in the 'ballroom balcony' launching determined raids on our camp; the charming 'wee bookshop' in the middle of nowhere; delicious lunches by aqua blue lakes; cocktail hour in Queenstown. The list goes on and on. So many moments to cherish.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Our two guides, Justin in the North Island and Ali in the South were both great. They were fun, knowledgeable and clearly committed to ensuring we all had a good time. As well as guiding they did all the driving and some cooking and bag carrying too. They really did work very hard. Ali in the South was assisted for some of the time by Vince, who kept us entertained with his regular handstands!

Advice for Potential Travellers

There wasn't much time to explore Auckland or Christchurch at the start and finish of the tour so you may want to consider adding extra days in you have the time. I particularly wished I'd had more time at Auckland, as I would have liked to visit Waiheke Island, and the Hobbiton film set. I followed Exodus' and the trip note advice not to bring a bag with wheels, but most of my fellow travellers did have soft bags with wheels and this wasn't a problem at all at any stage. Wheels would have made my life a lot easier when travelling! If you decide to fly via America without breaking your journey, do leave plenty of time for your connecting flight. LA Airport was mad busy, and even though I had 3 hours between flights I nearly missed my connection. As everybody else has said, don't underestimate those pesky sandflies! Long sleeves and trousers, and the local repellent seems to be the way to go.

Suggestions

Pack your sense of childlike wonder, and enjoy every minute!

Trekking Delights Down Under

This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know a beautiful country and to enjoy probably the best one-day trek in the world, the Tongagriro Alpine Crossing. The scenery is incredibly varied, the walking is challenging at times but always enjoyable. The organisation of the entire trip was faultless and the guides were full of enthusiasm and knowledge. It’s an intense and busy three weeks, with a lot of travel involved between walks but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. The group were such fun, too, which made it all the better.

Most Inspirational Moment

I think seeing the astonishing volcanic vent in the Red Crater of Tongariro; it impressed by its size and awesome beauty. The waterfalls in Milford Sound, an optional trip on a very wet day, were majestic and mystical, too.

Thoughts on Group Leader

We had two main group leaders, Just on North Island and Ali, in the South. They were different characters but both had an infectious enthusiasm for the country, its flora and fauna, its birdlife and its culture. They were incredibly hard-working and made sure we had the best experience possible. Can't recommend them too highly.

Advice for Potential Travellers

It's a full-on trip and there is very little downtime.You need energy to cope with early starts and relatively late, hurried finishes every day. There's precious little time for washing clothes and other personal organisations tasks. It's a team effort, too, with food preparation and washing up, moving luggage into and out of the van, so be prepared to roll up your sleeves and muck in. The two nights wild camping means taking an extra rucksack and managing weight allowances carefully. The sandflies are an absolute pain so get the best bug spray possible as soon as you arrive in NZ (it's specially formulated). The accommodation is pretty good overall, only Queenstown was a bit basic. It's a long way to travel and if you can afford it, business class really helps ease the trip.

Suggestions

It was something of a trip of a lifetime for me and I'm very glad I went. We had such fun as a group. Most people were in their 50's/60's. The group size was 12, which we felt was perfect. It's not overly demanding walking, although the Tongariro day is big. Don't believe the trip notes and their estimate of distance and height gains - they are underestimated.

Trekking New Zealand

This was an excellent trip to genuinely experience a great variety of tracks in NZ. We were able to tick off 4 of 9 of the Great Walks. Two of them, Tongariro Northern Circuit & Abel Tasman, we had a longer closer look at. Those & the Siberia Valley at Mt Aspiring NP will be enduring memories. So many activities everyday with very little down time. A fair amount of time spent in the van getting from place to place but unavoidable. Flights from Wellington to Nelson by a small Cessna, helicopter ride into the Siberia Valley & numerous water taxis helped conserve our time. All in all a great trip!

Most Inspirational Moment

Many but probably completing tracks when absolutely exhausted or perilously returning down tracks in pelting rain & realizing I could conquer that fear.

Thoughts on Group Leader

We actually had 3 on this trip. All were good & had so very different personalities/styles.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Don’t take a lot of clothes as there are opportunities to wash them a few times along the way. They are dead serious about the weight limit on the flight from Wellington to Nelson. Take a break from the internet because wifi coverage is spotty & poor. The hotel in Queenstown is your best opportunity to download a few pics. Go with an open mind & try to complete the entire itinerary even if the weather is not the best.

Suggestions

Glad that the trip notes are now updated. The ones I worked off were copied just before the trip & were inaccurate. Not so sure that the single supplement is worth the money as there are only 6 nights where you actually have your room ensuite. Didn’t expect it in the huts or camping but was told I was to have it for 15 nights. I see in the the new trip notes that ensuite isn’t likely on nights 2,3,8,10 & 11.

Trekking New Zealand

This was an excellent trip to genuinely experience a great variety of tracks in NZ. We were able to tick off 4 of 9 of the Great Walks. Two of them, Tongariro Northern Circuit & Abel Tasman, we had a longer closer look at. Those & the Siberia Valley at Mt Aspiring NP will be enduring memories. So many activities everyday with very little down time. A fair amount of time spent in the van getting from place to place but unavoidable. Flights from Wellington to Nelson by a small Cessna, helicopter ride into the Siberia Valley & numerous water taxis helped conserve our time. All in all a great trip!

Most Inspirational Moment

Many but probably completing tracks when absolutely exhausted or perilously returning down tracks in pelting rain & realizing I could conquer that fear.

Thoughts on Group Leader

We actually had 3 on this trip. All were good & had so very different personalities/styles.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Don’t take a lot of clothes as there are opportunities to wash them a few times along the way. They are dead serious about the weight limit on the flight from Wellington to Nelson. Take a break from the internet because wifi coverage is spotty & poor. The hotel in Queenstown is your best opportunity to download a few pics. Go with an open mind & try to complete the entire itinerary even if the weather is not the best.

Suggestions

Glad that the trip notes are now updated. The ones I worked off were copied just before the trip & were inaccurate. Not so sure that the single supplement is worth the money as there are only 6 nights where you actually have your room ensuite. Didn’t expect it in the huts or camping but was told I was to have it for 15 nights. I see in the the new trip notes that ensuite isn’t likely on nights 2,3,8,10 & 11.

Trekking in New Zealand

A truly brilliant 3 week trip highlighting the best of North and South Island

Most Inspirational Moment

Too many to choose one. Highlights for me included the beautiful coast paths and beaches of Abel Tasman, helicopter to Siberia hut. The challenge of hiking to lake Crucible. Fantastic cruise on Milford Sound seeing dolphins swimming around the boat. The amazing Mount Cook National Park and everything in between

Thoughts on Group Leader

Kath on North Island is an experienced, professional guide with an easygoing style. She was ably assisted by Anne who was an intern. Chai on South Island is younger with a very different leadership style. To begin with felt he was at a slight disadvantage as we had all bonded well as a group and he had to get to know us. I definitely warmed to Chai as time went by. He is extremely passionate about New Zealand, its history and flora and fauna. Especially enjoyed his stories and his legendary "Hakka"

Advice for Potential Travellers

As previously documented this is a full on trip and you have to be organised with packing. Using several sizes of dry bags within your luggage helps. Get yourself fit as possible, preferably with plenty of hill climbing and descending practice. Breaking the outward journey in Dubai and extra night in Auckland helped with jet lag.

Suggestions

A fantastic trip with so much packed into 3 weeks. Go for it, you won't regret it

Newzealand trekking ( TLZ)

Excellent trip with varied iteniary with amazing landscapes

Most Inspirational Moment

lots...trek in Tongariro national park, Milford Sounds, Mt Cook trek, Helicopter and jet boat rides , etc

Thoughts on Group Leader

Both island leaders were good. But Justine in south Island was exceptional . As an Ex Ranger who had also trekked extensively in his young age , he was full of knowledge as well as being very practical.

Advice for Potential Travellers

JUST DO IT as they say in the advert ! Dont take excess clothes as opportunity to dress smart for evenings is limited since itenary is packed so most of us just wore our clean trekking gear. Also will need larger backpack for the couple of camping days because will need to carry spare clothes,sleeping bag and tent, and some food for cooking.

Suggestions

A long way away for us Brits but well worth it.

trekking new zealand

A very well put-together trip with a variety of really interesting experiences

Most Inspirational Moment

Seeing "Mount Doom" appear out of its cloud cap on the Tongariro crossing - on cue, during a snack break - and disappearing again the moment my wife had got her camera ready! Helicopter trip into Siberia valley....

Thoughts on Group Leader

Linda (north island) - lovely Lady - felt very safe in her capable hands Justin (South island) - a tireless bundle of energy, very knowledgeable and a great organiser.

Advice for Potential Travellers

Expect to go up to waist deep on the river crossings after any rain!

Suggestions

Thoroughly recommend this holiday,but if we were to travel to NZ again, we would break the journey with an overnight stop (or two) en route -maybe in Dubai.

TREKKING IN NEW ZEALAND

A great way to see and do a LOT!

Most Inspirational Moment

What to choose! Camping on the beach at Abel Tasman was beautiful, big sky, stunning sunset and dawn. The Red quarry on the Tongariro crossing was the most amazing sight, the colours in the rocks unlike anything I've ever seen, then there was Lake Crucible, the refelction of the glacier so clear and sharp. I guess if I had to choose one, the sky dive over Queenstown was the most spectacular experience, we were blessed with a clear, bright day, making the views quite magical.

Thoughts on Group Leader

Both guides were brilliant, Graham on North Island and Chris on South. They both delivered beyond the expectations and were extremely knowlegable and passionate about their country. Changing the itinerary at short notice due to adverse weather was much appreciated and made for a very enjoyable final day. Chris's Dad, supplier of delicious birthday cakes, much appreciated too.

Advice for Potential Travellers

This is a very full on trip, you need to be quite organised packing and unpacking every  night. It is absolutely worth the long flight and a fantasitc way to see a lot of New Zealand and I would do advise doing all the activities and options on offer, it's that kind of place!

Suggestions

Hiking New Zealand were fab hosts and could not have done more to ensure the best possible experience.

TREKKING IN NEW ZEALAND

A well-organised, varied and very enjoyable trip with great leaders and nice group members which did what it said on the tin.  A good mix of travel and walking and other outdoor activities – a perfect first taste of NZ.

Most Inspirational Moment

Difficult to say - the immediate immersion into the relaxed NZ vibe after the stresses of the UK pre-Christmas rush, the amazing volcanic landscapes round Rotorua, fabulous lake-side accommodation at Lake Taupo, the bizarre lunar landscape on the Tongariro crossing, the remote windswept beaches of the west coast of South Island, the lush greenery and deep inlets of Fjordland, the majesty of (unfortunately mist-shrouded) Mount Cook - the list goes on.   

Thoughts on Group Leader

Graham and Chris (respective group leaders for North and South Island parts of the trip) were both very capable and efficient as well as being friendly, impeturbable and very knowledgeable about the flora and fauna and history of NZ.  They worked really hard to ensure we had the best holiday possible and to facilitate group members contributing as well ot the experience. I really don't think they could have done any more than they did and indeed they exceeded our expectations e.g. Chris invited us to his house for a buffet lunch on Christmas Day.  

Advice for Potential Travellers

If you want to get a general overview of New Zealand in as short a time as realistically possible, with a bit of walking and other outdoor activities throughout, I can highly recommend this trip.

Suggestions

I understand that Exodus is thinking about changing the local agent, Trek New Zealand.  From my experience Trek New Zealand provide a really excellent service which leads to satisfied clients who will therefore be more inclined to go on other Exodus trips.  So changing the local agent could prove to be a false economy.      

TREKKING IN NEW ZEALAND

An absolutely brilliant three weeks in the most wonderful country. Everything as described in the trip notes, and more. 

Most Inspirational Moment

Difficult to decide, but some of the highlights were the trip up to Abel Tasman NP, including camping on the beach - watching the sun set across the water, then seeing the southern night sky in all its glory; the helicopter flight in Mt Aspiring NP and the next day a very welcome lift back down the final stretch of river by jet boat, after a 7 hour hike; the stupendous scenery around Mt Cook; and paragliding from 1400m up in Queenstown. And not forgetting rainforests, thermal springs, kiwis, active volcanoes, glaciers and fjords... 

Thoughts on Group Leader

On North Island leader Kath - what a character! Really knowledgeable and upbeat even in the face of 50mph winds, hail, sleet and snow on the Tongariro crossing.Chris - great guy too. Arranged for the sun to shine the entire two weeks on South Island and even managed to produce home made scones when we arrived! 

Advice for Potential Travellers

UK citizens need an ESTA visa if transitting via the US (return flight was via Los Angeles) - the Exodus office didn't know this for sure. Anyway it's easy to obtain online - I did it while in NZ.The weather in NZ (see earlier comment above) really can be "all four seasons in a day" - temperatures we encountered varied from freezing to 30 degrees - pack accordingly but try to travel as light as possible as you'll constantly be packing and repacking.

Suggestions

Despite the long walks I don't think I lost weight - the Kiwis like to serve generous portions of food. Great bunch of people in our group - we even won the Mt Cook pub quiz! At the beginning, I did wonder what I'd got myself into when I found out I was sharing with a guy who'd bagged all the Monros in Scotland and been up Everest (hi Pete!) but, as a not particularly fit 54 year old, I had a blast.In conclusion, if you are at all considering this trip, just go for it!