“When I started planning out trip to New Zealand I wanted to ensure that it included all the highlights of the North and South Island and was a good mix of touring and independence. This tour could not have been any better!1 I loved the small group size and the variety of daily activities. We also got to choose individual tours of our choice on specific days which was terrific.We covered so much of New Zealand and a definite highlight was our tour guide Ken who made our journeys truly awesome with his commentaries, humour and organization. We hiked through rain forest, learned about the Maori, saw glaciers, had a wine tasting , cruised the fjords and experienced the beauty of New Zealand. This trip went off without a hitch both before and during .It was a trip of a lifetime...one that we will never forget!”
“We think we are very lucky in every respect of our holiday in New Zealand. We were lucky to have friends who introduced us to John at Silver Fern. Following a visit to Southwell John put together pretty much exactly what we wanted over the six weeks we were away from home. After three splendid days in Singapore taking in the gardens in the Bay and Singapore slings in Raffles long bar we moved on to Auckland. This started a fantastic five weeks in New Zealand. John and Laura have a well tried basic itinerary using splendid hosts/accommodation which was tweaked to our wishes. The North Island in February was a wonderful tonic from the English winter and self driving from the Bay of Islands to Hobbiton to Wellington was a brilliant experience. Rotarua and Napier were highlights. The South Island is just beautiful and we loved Abel Tasmin and were so pleased that John included the train from Blenheim to Christchurch and then the Trans Alpine to Greymouth. Driving on to Fox Glacier with a helicopter up to the Glacier was really special. Then on to Wanaka with Suzie and Caroline as hosts was no let down with the recommended jet boat trip challenging the helicopter for the best experience. Queenstown and Mount Cook were fabulous as was overnight on Milford Sound. The next bit of being very lucky was the fact that in five weeks in New Zealand we had just one wet day and then we had a long drive day, other than that we had rain for the first half of the Trans Alpine journey which spoilt the views out of Christchurch. Almost every other day was sunny including views of Mount Cook with clear blue sky and the stars from the boat in Milford sound were fantastic. We were also fortunate to make friends with a couple who were on a similar road and train trip and stayed at quite a few of the same places that we did. Towards the end of or time in New Zealand we began to get concerned about getting home as the world was shutting down due to Covid-19 and this is where we were really lucky. We were very impressed with John keeping in touch with us when he was having difficulty checking on flights etc. We found the Singapore Airlines app brilliant which allowed us to check in and print our boarding passes and luggage tabs at the airports. Fortunately our flights went as scheduled with us arriving in Singapore 6 hours before compulsory quarantine began. We flew home a couple of days later which meant we left barely 24 hours before Changi airport closed and virtually all flights were cancelled. The worry rather spoilt the Singapore visit, although shops and restaurants were all open. We returned to England just in time for our own lockdown. Overall the holiday was great and we are so grateful that we went with Silver Fern as we felt that we mattered to them, which I guess is what most of their customers believe too.”
Posted 8 months ago
Hi Paul and Wendy,
Thank you so much for leaving us a review of your trip during such unusual times!
Your photos show a great snapshot of the “Best of New Zealand” and the variation you can see between North and South Islands – Art Deco, Hobbit Holes and Mountains – where else in the world can you see all these together! And what a great close up of the albatross!
Yes, you were so lucky with the weather, and of course it was a great weight off our minds that you were home on schedule and got through Singapore by the skin of your teeth!
I think you’ve hit the nail on the head – for me personally the top priority is that each of our travellers has their best possible trip – and thank you for recognising our efforts to ensure you were well looked after.
I do hope you’ll be able to share some more of your photos with friends and family in the near future, a great way to relive your trip.
“We had a wonderful introduction to New Zealand thanks to the insight from Silver Fern. Travelling independently by bus, ferry, train and car we saw varied and wonderful highlights of this fascinating country. Wineries on Waiheke Island, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Abel Tasman National Park and the stunning landscape across the South Island - impossible to choose a favourite. Silver Fern organised all our accommodation, transfers and travel beautifully so we could relax and enjoy our first taste of New Zealand. An extended stay due to COVID-19 was handled calmly and enabled by excellent on the ground relationships with hosts Caroline and Suzie at Criffel Peak View in Wanaka who accommodated us during lockdown. Although we couldn't complete the last few days of our itinerary, we have received refunds for the unused portion of arrangements. The overall package including a welcome stopover in Singapore on our way out was great value. Highly recommend Silver Fern to others who want to get to know New Zealand. Thanks to John, Laura, Caroline, Suzie, Wilsons (Abel Tasman) and all our hotel, guest house and event hosts who made it work despite the rapidly changing situation. Look forward to visiting again!”
Posted 9 months ago
Dear Rachel and Matt,
Thank you so much for all your comments and for sending us some fab photos!
It was great to hear that our hard work paid off and your mix of self-drive and public transport by bus, boat, and train, worked so well and we were of course relieved you managed to visit so much of North and South Islands before your "extended stay"! And that you were able to spend it with the lovely Suzie and Caroline in Wanaka, who we know were more than happy to help out during such a strange time for us all.
We look forward to sending you to finish your itinerary in the near future!
“Our holiday to New Zealand was organised by Laura and John from Silver Fern Holidays. They listened to what we wanted and expected from our holiday organising it to fit, adding trips and days where they felt appropriate. They were very patient with us arranging the holiday we wanted.
The holiday itself went well with everything happing as planned. The trip to Milford Sound was especially exceptional although it’s difficult to pick out the best part from a great four week visit.
Unfortunately it all started to go wrong on our third week when Singapore cancelled all holidays there but Laura kept us informed and rearranged our flights home so we were able to carry on enjoying our time in new Zealand.
48 hours before we were due to fly home New Zealand went into Lockdown so we were stuck in Christchurch but John was able to sort out accommodation for us at very short notice so we were quite comfortable during our extra enforced 16 days in country. We were able to get flights home ourselves but Silver Fern continue to try and arrange our refunds in Singapore and from Singapore Airlines.
We hope in the months and years to come people will once again be able to enjoy holidays in this beautiful country and we would certainly recommend using Silver Fern to arrange it.
We have so many photographs from our holiday I couldn't pick a favourite but I may add to this review in the coming weeks when I sort through then all. If anyone reading this looks for a personal recommendation feel free to email”
Posted 10 months ago
Dear Neil, Morag, Meg and Ken,
Thank you so much for leaving us a review at a time when I'm sure you are still adjusting to a UK lockdown!
It's great that you were able to enjoy the majority of your trip before New Zealand enforced its restrictions on movement. We were certainly dealing with an unprecedented situation, and we're pleased we were able to organise some great accommodation for your extended stay!
Thank you for offering to recommend us - it really means a lot - and it goes without saying we are relieved you are now back home! Hopefully you have received your refund cheque in the post and we will be in touch shortly.
“Wow what a fabulous holiday, made very special by a dedicated team member who made recommendations for places to visit and a great places to stay. The whole trip was well worth the money and we couldn't fault the organisation which made it so easy for us to just get on and enjoy the fabulous experiences. We even had a booklet with distances, recommended timings and places to visit on route. Our accommodation and trip vouchers were packaged in an easy to manage pack. We met so many people doing similar things and heard a few complaints about where they were located and the quality of the accommodation. We can honestly say the choices put together on Silver Fern's recommendations were spot on. We had one small hiccup when a taxi didn't turn up but one email had it sorted and a cheque was waiting for us when we got home. A well deserved thank you to the team at Silver Fern.”
Posted 10 months ago
Dear Pam and Alan,
We're glad that you enjoyed the recommendations for your trip, and can only apologise once again for the taxi issue in Singapore.
“We were two nervous travellers embarking on the trip of a lifetime, with very little prior experience. Silver Fern were recommended to us by friends for their organisational skills, friendly personal service and great knowledge of New Zealand. They did not disappoint. From the initial enquiring phone call to the welcome home card, they provided a travel experience that far exceeded our expectations. Nothing was too much trouble and they always responded to any questions or queries we had during the planning and preparation stage. They also provided reassurance that they were only a phone call away when we were actually out there.
We had a truly amazing time touring the North and South islands using a self drive itinerary (plus some trains) that had been designed to deliver exactly what we had asked for. The accomodation was superb (I wish I had listened to John and had a few more personal experiences in the smaller B&B's as the welcome we received in those places was exceptional and provided us with some fabuous memories).
All in all Silver Fern helped us achieve a truly memorable adventure and we would thoroughly recommend them to provide an exceptional travel experience in what is a truly beautiful country. Thank you John and Laura - you are a credit to your industry!”
Posted 10 months ago
Dear Penny and Brian,
Thank you for listening to your friends and for travelling with us!
It was absolutely not a problem answering your questions before departure, and the NZ team would have been more than happy to do the same whilst you were away, if necessary!
B&Bs in New Zealand are certainly not the same as they are in the UK, but at least you got to experience some of them for yourselves, to contribute to your ultimate trip.
It really is beautiful! Thank you so much for your kind words, they really are appreciated, and do take care of yourselves.
“We had a 28 day self-drive tour with two days in Singapore, a week in North Island and the remainder in South Island. It included trips on the Coastal Pacific and TranzAlpine trains. The accommodation was a good mixture of hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs all of which were excellent. A real highlight was spending a weekend in Napier during the Art Deco festival. The whole holiday went without a hitch and the information supplied was excellent. We met some lovely people on the trip and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Well done Silver Fern et al.”
Posted 10 months ago
Hi Steve and Mandy,
Great pic!! Especially during these unique times, it certainly evokes a sense of freedom and the enormity of New Zealand's landscapes!!
I'm really pleased you enjoyed the Art Deco festival as I know that wasn't part of your original must-sees.
Excellent news that all ran smoothly - and thank you for travelling with us :)
“If you are hoping to visit New Zealand when this current surreal situation ends, we can thoroughly recommend using Silver Fern. We received friendly advice and support from the first phone call onwards and efficient organisation throughput. We opted for the small group Kauri tour of both islands which certainly lived up to it's description of 'very special'. Our superb guide, Ken, went out of his way to adapt and add to the itinerary and his insightful knowledge of each area and unfailing good humour, ensured we had the best possible experience of such a wonderful country. The tour covered all the highlights we had hoped to see and more, in the company of likeminded, sociable people but still provided some time for independent exploration. It was a great mix of activities in stunning diverse landscapes, in a land of welcoming, friendly people.”
Posted 11 months ago
Dear Jean and Peter
Thank you so much for your kind words - and naturally we are pleased you got home safe and sound!
It's great that you appreciated the mix of activities as well as some time to explore on your own.
Our Hamilton staff are working remotely at the moment as the current New Zealand situation echoes that of the UK, but have passed on your thanks to Ken.
We hope to be sending travellers to New Zealand again very soon so that they can experience the beauty of its scenery and kindness of its people in person.
“A great trip of the South Island - small group of like-minded people with Ken as our tour leader running the show with humour and knowledge. Particularly recommend doing the homestead night as really learnt about the challenges for farmers in NZ - and also learnt how to make the perfect pavlova, an unexpected bonus. I chose this trip because of it offering a choice of trips including just the South Island (as had previously been to the northlands) but may well come back and do the North Island and if I do will be with Silver Fern, The customer service I received was outstanding - particularly as I was returning in the middle of lockdowns. Even though they must have had many higher priorities, they did spend time and energy seeing if a flight change could be made and checking up that my flight back worked.”
Posted 11 months ago
Thank you so much for your review (and the photo) - and really pleased that you liked the homestay in particular.
We would be more than happy to take you travelling again, once restrictions are removed, of course! And of course we were very relieved that you arrived safely home after your holiday.
Do take care and hope to hear from you next time you plan a trip!
“I returned from my trip to New Zealand just a week ago. I found it to be all that I had hoped and, as a solo traveller, was delighted to be part of a small group that was friendly and sociable.
The itinerary covered all the places I wanted to see on both the islands plus extras. I agree with other comments that I've read about Ken Miller, our driver and tour manager. His knowledge and informative narration brought aspects of New Zealand to us that would have been missed on a self-drive tour. He deserves a special thanks for making our visit so memorable!
The accommodation was varied and of a good standard, although the Ashburton hotel was not a favourite. I would so loved to have by-passed this and to have spent 2 nights in Christchurch instead.
I'd like to give particular thanks to Laura for helping to arrange all of this last year and for answering my questions and persevering with my LOTR enquiries!
I would be very happy to recommend Silver Fern to anyone thinking of travel to New Zealand.
Lastly, as I type this in the current difficult national circumstances, I feel that my most abiding memory is of the welcoming, hospitable and kindly nature of the Kiwis. A memory to be treasured as much as the scenery!”
Posted 11 months ago
Great that the group was welcoming and sounds like you all had a lot of fun!
We have passed your thanks on to Ken - I think he has itchy feet at the moment!
I was more than happy to help with your Lord of the Rings enquiries and great that we could tick so much off your list of things to see :)
Thank you so much for the recommendation and I can't wait to be sending more people to NZ soon!
“We had an amazing time on our tour. From the point of booking we had a very individual experience. The tour itself included a small group of like minded people, a knowledgeable and professional tour guide and a great itinerary that included all the things we wanted to see and more. The personalised pre tour packs sent out before hand were very helpful with tips and guidance on our holiday. A very special holiday.”
Posted 11 months ago
Thank you so much for your review - it sounds like a really great bunch.
Great to know the documentation we sent you before your tour was of help and that you enjoyed your holiday.
“We have just returned from our four week trip to New Zealand with a stopover in Singapore going out. We have had an excellent holiday. The accommodation we stayed in during the trip was varied, but consistently of a good and in most cases very good standard. The itinerary enabled us to see nearly all the popular sights travellers to New Zealand are keen to see. We were blessed with very good weather on nearly every day. All in all it was an excellent trip with superb organisation thanks to Laura and her colleagues at Silver Fern.”
Posted 11 months ago
Thank you so much for your review - and very happy that you enjoyed your trip :)
“We asked Silverfern to organise our trip to NZ after friends recommended them. Both Laura and John were very helpful throughout and gave helpful advice and answered any questions we had quickly. The whole trip was organised seamlessly from meeting us at Auckland airport to returning our hire car at Christchurch airport 5 weeks later. One or two minor issues (not of Silverfern’s making) were sorted out by their agents in NZ with little fuss. We had a great mix of pleasing ourselves interspaced with a few “must do” planned events. We would certainly recommend Silverfern to anyone contemplating a similar trip.”
Posted 11 months ago
Thank you both for your review and your follow up email, and great that the team in NZ were able to assist with the lost docs etc!
And thank you for your recommendation - we do try our best! Do let us know if you ever consider going back and we'll be more than happy to assist :)
“We (my wife and I) were planning to attend a family wedding in New Zealand and combine this with a holiday as I was also celebrating a significant birthday. I had already booked our flights and worked out an outline itinerary when a friend to whom I mentioned our plans - a very experienced traveller - recommended Silver Fern to me and send me his itinerary, saying "Silver Fern did it all for us - a great service." The South Island section of his tour (which was quite similar to the 'South Island Spectacular' tour on the Silver Fern website) fitted closely with what we were planning to do.
So I contacted Silver Fern with our dates, my outline plan and the mention of our friend's itinerary. John at Silver Fern responded promptly and efficiently and very soon we had agreed and confirmed our own travel arrangements. NZ is an expensive country, we were going there in their summer high season and we had never been there before. I am sure it was money well spent to get the advantage of the Silver Fern's knowledge for this holiday. It would have been silly, knowing nothing about NZ, it being so far away and with the risk of mistakes when one is only there for a short time, to attempt to DIY.
Once we got there, we were very satisfied with the quality of the accommodation and other arrangements Silver Fern had made for us. The written information provided was practical and just right - not too little, not too much - and their local contact staff were also good.
Most everything worked out well on our trip - very good weather in Doubtful Sound and perfect photography conditions at Matheson Lake were special highlights - but not everything one plans works out. In our case it wasn't possible to drive to Milford Sound because an exceptional deluge had washed out the road before we arrived. What one needs in such a case is quality support. The local rep warned us when we landed that there was a risk that the road wouldn't be reopened in time for our planned visit and then followed up with a confirmation and alternative suggestions a few days before we were due to be there. Silver Fern arranged a refund without any prompting either. So an excellent quality of service before and throughout the trip. Thank you very much - and I am very happy to recommend Silver Fern to others.”
Posted 1 year ago
Thank you so much for writing us such a glowing review, it's always a welcome challenge for us to put together an itinerary for special occasions, and we're pleased that it all went so well.
Thank you for your understanding and patience with the Milford situation, and we're glad that the New Zealand office were able to get in touch to advise of the rearrangements.
“We were on the same trip as Wendi + Paul and Margaret and totally agree with all the positive things they have written. Special mention for Ken Miller, he was excellent. We didn't go to the Ashburton hotel because we chose the homestay alternative and that was one of the highlights of our holiday, Gary and Sheryl Harrison were wonderful hosts. Thanks also to Silver Fern for unexpectedly collecting us at the airport, two hours before the tour began, at the end of our 6 days/5 nights nightmare journey from the UK.”
Posted 1 year ago
Dear Maggie and Graham,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write us a review,
We were of course disappointed that you were stuck en route to New Zealand due to the floods in Dubai, but so very pleased you arrived just in the nick of time and we were able to amend arrangements slightly to ensure you were safely collected and joining the rest of the group for the start of the tour, rather than having to revert to Plan B, or Plan C!
We will pass your thanks on to Ken, and to Gary and Sheryl.
“Very full on, but we feel we saw most things. Our driver/ tour manager Ken Miller, was excellent, he really made the holiday special, and went above and beyond what we expected. The only slight critiscism was the overnight stop at Ashburton. The hotel rooms were damp and below standard, there was nothing to do stuck out of town. We felt it would have been much better to go straight to Christchurch, which would have given us much needed more time in Christchurch.”
Posted 1 year ago
We are so pleased you managed to cram so much in, and I will of course pass your thanks on to Ken.
Thank you for your honesty about the Ashburton hotel; our team in New Zealand will be looking into this for us.
“Thank you to everyone involved in the UK and in your New Zealand office for arranging our trip nothing was too much trouble for anyone to deal with. It was amazing and we are so glad we finally achieved my long held dream. Everything was so will organised you can do as much as they recommend or if price is an issue do what is affordable. Two trips were curtailed due to weather and we received a refund on our return - totally unexpected as you can’t control the weather! I would definitely recommend this company for their knowledge, friendliness and service. You cannot go wrong.”
Posted 1 year ago
Dear Ann and Paul,
Thank you so much for your great review and for your additional thanks/photos by email - we are so pleased to have been able to arrange your "best holiday ever".
Glad that our knowledge was of use and it was really lovely chatting with you :)
“We have recently returned from a four week trip to New Zealand organised by Barbara in Southwell. The whole holiday went perfectly. We travelled from Queenstown in the south up to the Bay of Islands in the north using a variety of motels, b and b's and hotels some of which we would never have looked at, but they proved to be the perfect choice with fabulous accommodation and hospitality. The transfers worked faultlessly. The information we were provided with on arrival was superb and gave us knowledge of all of or destinations as well as directions. The attention to detail was incredible. We would highly recommend anyone to use Silver Fern.”
Posted 1 year ago
Dear Mr and Mrs Davis,
Thank you for rating our service five star, and thank you for your recommendation.
We love the photo!
We do hope to see you again soon.
The Silver Fern team
“We have just returned from a six week trip to New Zealand with stop overs in Hong Kong and Singapore. This was our holiday of a lifetime organized by John and his team at Silver Fern.
The whole thing was ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!
Our accommodation was varied and excellent and all our trips and transfers went like clockwork.
Even when a cyclone caused road closures Silver Fern came to the rescue. The rest of our holiday was sunny!
We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Silver Fern.”
Posted 1 year ago
Thanks to you both for our 5 star rating!
Great to hear you had such a good time and will be recommending us in future!
“We’ve recently returned from our holiday in New Zealand celebrating our Ruby Wedding anniversary which exceeded anything we could have hoped for.. All hotels, transfers,trips and services were brilliant. Our arrangements were tailored to our needs even down to supplying a personalised travel document with vouchers for every stop and a short summary of all places we visited ..a great touch we thought.
Even when we had disruptions due to torrential rain and a bridge being washed away the reps in New Zealand rearranged thing for us to continue without any fuss.We have already been compensated for extra costs incurred which is another worry dealt with, and no problems. Would definitely recommend anyone thinking of having a holiday here to consider using Silver Fern and talk to John or one of his team to tailor your travel.
To summarise is one word..Excellent.
Tony and Caroline Plane”
Posted 1 year ago
Dear Tony and Caroline,
Thank you so much for leaving us a review. We are very pleased that you enjoyed your special trip, and that we were able to rearrange elements at the last minute to include additional treats, and avoid less desirable weather patterns! Just think – all that rain certainly improves the waterfalls!
With best wishes from all at Silver Fern