Yesterday was National Travel Advisor Day, but I'm sure you all knew that. We took it as a small opportunity to thank all our friends, clients and our host agency, Gifted Travel Network for all the support we have received over the last 4 years that has helped our business blossom.
There is nothing as rewarding for a travel advisor as receiving amazing, positive feedback even while your clients are on their trip, and this week we especially want to thank the Gomilla family who have generously given us permission to share their personal photos and just a few highlights of their very recent journey through the South Island of New Zealand. It is especially fulfilling when we can take our own travel experiences (we visited at the beginning of 2018) and amplify them to ensure that our clients journey is exactly what they desired.
We fell totally in love with New Zealand last year, but it's not really about the hotels and amenities. It's absolutely about the stunning natural beauty and the incredible warmth of the people. This is the first time we've had the idea for our ezine of focusing on a client trip, and definitely hope it won't be the last.
Top 5 client highlights on the South Island
1. Lake Wanaka
If you are a keen hiker, then the view below of Lake Wanaka is your reward for the near 10 mile day hike on Roy's Peak Track that ascends nearly 4,000 feet. Virtually the entire hike provides spectacular views from the ridgeline, which take in most of Lake Wanaka and the surrounding peaks, including Mount Aspiring.1
2. Milford Sound
I clearly remember our kayak guide in January 2018 telling us that we must visit Milford Sound 3 times. Once in the summer with clear blue skies (we luckily checked that box), once in the winter with snow and ice everywhere, and once after very heavy rain, because literally hundreds of 500ft high waterfalls magically appear. That is 3 times the height of Niagara Falls.
As you can see from the photo below taken at Milford Sound Lodge, the Gomilla family experienced that heavy rain, but I'm pretty sure this won't have been a disappointment.
3. Rob Roy Glacier
This is another wonderful hike if you are based in Wanaka and even I managed it, so let's just say it's not too strenuous with a gradual incline the entire way. The track follows Rob Roy Stream through a beech forest for the first half of the trek, where you can enjoy waterfalls and an absolute abundance of ferns and mosses. Then, at the tree line, the forest gives way to alpine vegetation and spectacular views of the hanging glaciers beneath Mount Rob Roy (below).
4. Central Otago Wineries
As you drive east out of Queenstown and head towards Cromwell, you will discover many small family run wineries that are an absolute delight to visit. It's certainly the most scenic wine region in New Zealand, and is well known for its Pinot Noir. Some of the best names to put on your radar - Terra Sancta, Two Paddocks, Shaky Bridge Wines and Peregrine. The rainbow below appeared at Scott Base Winery and their Cellar Door Space at the Base is a cosy and relaxed tasting room, positioned on the hillside of the vineyard with spectacular views overlooking the town of Cromwell, Lake Dunstan and the Pisa Range.
5. Aoraki Mount Cook National Park
Sealy Tarns Track is your path for a view like that below with Mt Cook in the background. It's a different type of hike as it's not very long, but is very steep, coming it at 3 1/2 miles round trip with 1,795 of elevation change. The route uses a string of staircases to ascend to spectacular, far-reaching views over Aoraki Mount Cook National Park and the Southern Alps. Bear in mind it's Fall season down in New Zealand so that snow will be starting to accumulate over the next month or so. Best time to experience New Zealand if you're a hiker? March/April and September/October.
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