Silver Fern Holidays Reviews

4.90 Rating 58 Reviews
98 %
of reviewers recommend Silver Fern Holidays
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Silver Fern Holidays 5 star review on 8th June 2020
Paul Martin
Silver Fern Holidays 5 star review on 8th June 2020
Paul Martin
Silver Fern Holidays 5 star review on 8th June 2020
Paul Martin
Silver Fern Holidays 5 star review on 8th June 2020
Paul Martin
Silver Fern Holidays 5 star review on 8th June 2020
Paul Martin
Silver Fern Holidays 5 star review on 8th June 2020
Paul Martin
Silver Fern Holidays 5 star review on 8th June 2020
Paul Martin
Anonymous  // 01/01/2019
Having decided to visit New Zealand to celebrate my 60th, the next big decision was how do we go about planning it. We have never been ones for organised coach tours. I know some people enjoy touring in a group, but we much prefer the freedom and flexibility of going it alone. We needed a starting point, and after listening to our travel agent and reading many travel brochures we chose Silver Fern. After weeks of planning and seeking advice we eventually arrived at a workable itinerary. In short it consisted of a month to explore both islands. We were to fly into Auckland and tour the North Island for ten days first, then cross by ferry to the South Island for the remaining twenty, before finally flying home from Christchurch. We aimed for two and three day stopovers with just the odd one nighter where it could not be avoided. That equated to 15 hotels, and on paper, 3500km or 50 hours of driving.

Everyone was saying what a wonderful itinerary we had. But as we got closer to the holiday we had doubts we might have bitten off more than we could chew! However these were soon dispelled after the first couple of days when we realised just how well everything had been organised. Everything just fell perfectly into place, including the weather (not pre ordered!). The further we got into the tour the more confident we got and the more we enjoyed it. We do however realise we were fortunate to be in the right place when it came to the Christchurch tragedy. We were in the Abel Tasman National Park at the time and quite isolated from it all. And when the rains washed away the Franz Josef Bridge we had already moved south towards Invercargill. Had the rains arrived a little earlier we would have been trapped on the west side of the island. Hard to believe watching on the news a bridge being washed away that we had so recently walked and driven across.

It is difficult to pick out our best highlights as virtually everything was stunning. But for me, driving along the Ninety Mile beach, Ok, so it was in a tour coach, but it was still something special. And then, visiting a friend on her farm, who I had not seen for over thirty five years, now that was something really special.

All the accommodation was good (I have to say that because we chose most of them!). If I had to pick out our favourites it would have to be the Regent Boutique Hotel in Rotorua, and the Kimi Ora Eco Resort at Kaiteriteri. Although the Sofitel hotel in Wellington took some beating when it came to quality. With hind sight we should have listened to Silver Fern’s recommendation to go for the smaller establishments. The larger hotels tended to attract large coach parties which made for noisy meal times in the restaurants.

If we had a small gripe (and it was small), then it has to be directed towards Budget Car Hire. Somehow there was a mix up with the insurance which put us through a bit of grief at Picton. But apart from that we had a brilliant time, and definitely a holiday of a lifetime. Thank you Silver Fern.

Malcolm & Adriana
Posted 1 year ago
Hi Malcolm and Adriana,

Thank you very much for your detailed and helpful comments.

There is quite a lot to fit into a trip to New Zealand, and going it alone can be a bit daunting – especially when you want to get it right for a big celebration; of course, by its very nature, there are so many places to visit, but equally most people don’t want to be unpacking and repacking every day, so I am pleased we managed to get the right mix for you.

A complex itinerary such as yours does have many elements that need to be carefully worked through in order to help it run seamlessly, but there are some factors we can’t control, so I’m pleased that the bridge washout and Christchurch tragedy did not affect you directly.

We will of course feed back your comments to Budget, and continue to recommend smaller establishments to our travellers :) But, overall, a wonderful 60th, I hope, and thank you for travelling with us.

Posted 1 year ago
It was so helpful to have ideas what to do when in different places and what to look out for while travelling from place to place.
I felt at ease that if anything went wrong I had contact numbers.
They were excellent with all alterations made along the way when arranging the holiday.
Posted 1 year ago
Thank you for your comments Mrs Dobson,

We thoroughly enjoyed putting your trip together with Jo!

Posted 1 year ago
Once we had decided to go on our 'bucket list' holiday to New Zealand, we then had to decide the best way to do the trip to suit what we had in mind. We saw the 3 week Tane Mahuta small group tour with Silver Fern Holidays in a Travel Bag Brochure, which appeared to tick most of our boxes.
Silver Fern were always quickly responsive and helpful to reply to any questions we had, both throughout the booking process and prior to our leaving on the tour.
Our tour guide, Clem was outstanding and was particularly helpful in suggesting possible places and activities that might interest us and took the time to find out about our particular hopes for the tour and what our interests are, so he could make the trip as relevant to us as he possibly could.
Clem was absolutely brilliant and helped to make our tour so special; both from him and from our travels we learned so much about New Zealand, it's geography, history, culture and many other things besides. What a stunning and friendly country it is too! This was despite our getting caught up in a Cyclone on the South Island, which meant we were unable to get to the Franz Josef Glacier!
The accommodation throughout was of a pleasingly good standard too. The whole trip really couldn't have been better and surpassed our expectations.
We wouldn't hesitate to recommend Leisure Time Tours (and Clem!) to anyone looking for a New Zealand trip.
Silver Fern Holidays 5 star review on 10th April 2019
Posted 1 year ago
Hi Deb,
Thank you for your feedback on your Small Group Journey; we agree – one of the best ways to see New Zealand’s scenery is to get out and see it! And meeting the locals is so important, too, to get under the skin of the country.

I have passed on your thanks to the team in NZ, and it’s great Clem was able to tailor the tour to your specific interests, and work around most of the bumps in the weather.

Do let us know if you ever plan to return!
Posted 1 year ago
I contacted John at short notice in December to arrange a complicated itinerary around South Island. He responded with a full proposal that matched my needs to the last detail. Just before my departure my wife fell and broke her hip so was unable to travel !
John modified my arrangements and I left as planned.
All the hotels and stops worked well and I even had a call from his local agent at 08.00 to in form me that a land slip had blocked the pass and offer me alternative options and accommodation to continue my trip.
First class service all round
Thank you
Justin Fleming .Past Chairman of ABTA
Posted 1 year ago
Thanks Justin

Trust the racing went as planned and Vivienne is recovering well.

We appreciate the 5 star rating from someone with significant Travel Industry experience!
Posted 1 year ago
We decided to book our holiday to New Zealand through Silver Fern after contacting several companies for quotes & itineraries. From the outset Laura couldn’t have been more helpful suggesting routes & ideas for the holiday. It takes a long time planning the holiday of a lifetime and although we changed our mind several times Laura was always on hand to try to accommodate our requests.

We had a fantastic holiday with everything going to plan . We stayed in a mixture of accommodation all of which were centrally located giving us the flexibility we required.

It was also reassuring to know that they were always aware of where we were and how things were going to the extend when we received an e-mail advising us to leave more time for driving to Fox Glacier as there had been a rock fall on the road & the reassuring e-mail we received about the Christchurch shootings.

Thanks to Laura and everyone at Silver Fern for a fantastic holiday.
Posted 1 year ago
Hi Angela and Alan,
Thank you for leaving us a review even though you must still be jetlagged!

As you say, planning your dream trip can sometimes result in some tricky decisions, but I think we managed to squeeze everything in in the end, including your extended break visiting your son in Wellington!

It can be unnerving if you are in a different country and there is a natural disaster or terrorist incident, so I am pleased we were able to reassure you and that your plans were not too disrupted.

Finally, thanks for your understanding about the stargazing, and the helicopter trip – we do try to put on good weather! But great that we could rearrange this so you still got a tour of the glaciers later in your trip, just from a different departure point.

Thanks once again for booking with us.

Posted 1 year ago
We first saw Silver Fern Holidays at their Olympia Travel Show presentation and their enthusiasm for and knowledge of New Zealand made them the natural choice to organise our trip. Our confidence was well placed as the holiday worked out perfectly, with reasonable time to explore each location and helpful hints in the personalised itinerary they provided on arrival in New Zealand. The itinerary itself was not just a cut and paste, but really adjusted to what we wanted to do - thanks Laura!

Regrettably, the terrible shooting incident occurred in Christchurch just a few days before we were due to arrive there and it was really good to get an e-mail from John at Silver Fern a few hours later telling us that they were watching the situation and would let us know if this affected our trip. Thankfully our plans did not need to change, but we were grateful to know that Silver Fern were watching out for us.

Overall were were highly satisfied with the efficient and friendly service we received from Silver Fern and would not hesitate to recommend them.
Silver Fern Holidays 5 star review on 27th March 2019
Posted 1 year ago
Hi Chris and Margaret,

Thank you so much for your review – and what a great pic! 

The unprecedented tragedy in Christchurch shocked us all, and between the UK and NZ offices, we were quickly able to account for all our travellers and ensure their trips could continue as previously.

It was an absolute pleasure to tailor-make a holiday for you and I’m glad that everything went to plan.

Do let us know if any of your friends fancy visiting the Land of the Long White Cloud and I’ll see if I can put on the sunshine for them too!

Posted 1 year ago
We have no hesitation in recommending Silver Fern to anyone thinking of travelling to New Zealand. From the start, we had confidence that they were working hard to provide us with a memorable holiday. We asked them to provide us with a holiday during peak season at comparably short notice and we were completely satisfied. All accommodation was of a high standard - both hotels and bed and breakfasts; information regarding the distances between accommodation was realistic and helpful; hints of where to visit were appropriate; there has been good communication before and after our trip. Thank You, Laura and all the members of the team.
Posted 1 year ago
Dear David and Shirley,
Thank you very much for your compliments and feedback, both here online and in more detail by email.
It sounds like we managed to arrange a good mix of exploring and relaxing (and some enviable breakfasts!)
We’re so happy you had a good trip; I will of course also pass your comments on to our team in NZ and to all the places you mentioned made your trip that bit extra special.
Thanks once again for travelling with us.
Posted 1 year ago
From the time we disembarked from our cruise in Auckland until we returned to pick up our flight 2 weeks later everything went smoothly and efficiently. The advise that Silver Fern gave was spot on and the descriptions of the country side during our travels was extremely helpful. We met another couple who were using Silver Fern for the second time and they were most complimentary as we are. Thank you Silver Fern for for putting together an excellent itinerary we will definitely use you for our next visit to wonderful New Zealand.
Posted 1 year ago
Hi Richard and Nina,
We very much appreciate you taking the time to post your comments and to leave us a 5-star review!
I know exactly who you'll have bumped into during your trip and so pleased you had a good time.
There are certainly a number of people who return to NZ with us - despite many travellers assuring us this will be their first and only trip - such is the magic that NZ holds!
We look forward to planning your next trip so we'll hear from you then!
Posted 1 year ago
A really great trip is all the in planning and with Silver Fern's expertise and great customer service I managed to plan a holiday that proved to be the trip of a lifetime. Every element fell into place, the accommodation just what I liked, all the arrangements seamless. I couldn't have asked for more and I just had the best time from start to finish!
Posted 1 year ago
Hi Steph,
Thank you so much for leaving us a review.
It sounds like you all gelled as a group and we’re pleased to hear that your independent arrangements off the beaten track also worked well, with what sound like a lot of wildlife sightings!
I’m particularly glad you enjoyed the accommodations we discussed as you were visiting such beautiful places :)
Posted 1 year ago
Although th role Silver Fern took in my overall trip to New Zealand was verv small I was happy on the whole with the service provided.2 things I would like to mention. First of all it seemed a little pointless to have a driver from the zinternational terminal inAuckland to the domestic terminal when there is a perfectly easy to follow walkway provided which is very welcome after a 17 hour flight.
Secondly when I arrived in Auckland late in the evening in the pouring rain I had a long wait for the shuttle which was a bit stressful as it wasn’t really obvious where to wait.
Otherwise all good and hotel staff very friendly as they have been all over New Zealand.
Posted 1 year ago
Hi Sarah,

Thank you for submitting a review for us and we're glad to hear you had a good time.

I apologise that it was not explained to you by your agent that the reasoning behind the meet at the airport was to give you your travel documentation, rather than to transfer you between terminals. I will ensure we make this clearer in future correspondence.

I will also speak with our New Zealand office to request that clearer instructions are given for the shuttle, so thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Sending best wishes for a speedy recovery,
The team at Silver Fern
Posted 1 year ago
A huge ‘ THANK YOU’ to the Silverfern team who helped us to plan, and subsequently coordinate, our New Zealand adventure.
We had a wonderful time, enjoying scenic drives, mountain hikes, ice cold lake swims with a few other adventures thrown in for good measure.
We were impressed by all the accommodation, being especially wowed in Wanaka where we enjoyed a penthouse apartment overlooking the lake complete with a huge terrace, hot tub and barbecue.
To sum up, we enjoyed a stress free holiday thanks to your detailed organisation on our behalf.
Posted 1 year ago
Hi Nina and Steve,
So pleased to hear that the six of you had such a stress-free trip – although we’re not sure that many of our travellers would be braving a cold swim in NZ’s lakes!
Wouldn’t it be nice to be back in Wanaka now rather than the dreary January weather here?!
Thank you so much for your kind review.
Posted 1 year ago
Our 5 week trip to New Zealand was everything we were hoping for and the arrangements all worked out perfectly. Your suggestions on how to extend the trip and include the guided walks was exactly right for us and we had a great time.
Posted 1 year ago
Hi John and Denise,

Thank you so much for posting a 5 star review!

Great to chat earlier on today, and so pleased that each of the walks worked so well and that all of the transfers were where they should be when they should be!

As discussed, I'll be in touch in the New Year.

Merry Christmas!

Posted 1 year ago
Silver Fern provided us with a trip worth remembering! Visiting NZ was a bucket list trip for me, and with the help of Laura, all arrangements were done perfectly. Any request I had for slight changes prior to finalising our itinerary were met without hassle. Thank you very much!
Derick and Michelle
Posted 2 years ago
Dear Derick and Michelle,

Thank you so much for leaving us a review and happy to have left you with wonderful memories; we do try to be flexible to help tick as much off the bucket list as possible!

So pleased all the arrangements worked well and even the weather cooperated - cyclones aside!!

You're very welcome - I'm now off to NZ myself!

Posted 2 years ago
The Silver Fern Holidays team were very helpful and knowledgeable. They helped us plan a self-drive itinerary around the South and North islands that we'll remember for a lifetime. Thank you!
Posted 2 years ago
Hi Lauren, we're so pleased to hear that you had a wonderful time on your holiday. It was our pleasure to help you arrange such a fantastic break! Please do get in touch if you ever fancy heading back over the other side of the world again.
Posted 2 years ago
My parents have recently returned from a guided tour is New Zealand and we’re very disappointed with the standard of the accommodation which fell very short of what was described in the brochure. The brochure promised handpicked hotels, close to attractions and great view including alpine. The reality was somewhat different. Mass accommodation hotels which was often dirty, views of car parks/roads, so small they couldn’t open their suitcases in the room. The list goes on. The itinerary timings did not allow my parents opportunity to explore the places they stopped. The tour was very much whistle stop and again not as described in the brochure. Although after complaining they were afforded more time at some locations. The response my parents have received from Silver Fern has not been satisfactory and they are currently in arbitration. Unfortunately the accommodation and Silver Ferns response has taken the shine off what should have been a holiday of a life time.
Posted 2 years ago
We are very sorry you did not enjoy your holiday; most of our travellers have an amazing time with us in New Zealand.

As you know, we tried to resolve your issues whilst you were in New Zealand and I have subsequently written a detailed letter addressing your concerns.

However, since this appears to be an ongoing contention, I do not think it appropriate to make further comment on your daughter's review in a public forum.

John Lightwood , Director
Posted 2 years ago
Our 4 week visit to New Zealand to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary had been a year in the planning, and we have just returned, having had a wonderful time. Everything ran smoothly and there were no hiccups (apart from some rainy days, but as far as know Silver Fern cannot control that!).

Laura at Silver Fern helped us at every stage of the planning, adjusting our itinerary where we had been a little too ambitious in trying to see everything and providing some valuable local knowledge where necessary. She also responded quickly and professionally to our endless list of questions.

In NZ, we were met at the airport and given a folder bulging with information and maps, plus the all-important book containing tear-off vouchers for all the accommodation and activities/excursions. A very handy book indeed, and a great idea.

We would definitely recommend Silver Fern and would use them again, if we were lucky enough to return to beautiful New Zealand.
Posted 2 years ago
Julian and Phil,
It truly was a pleasure to organise something that bit different for you, and thank you for putting up with my lengthy suggestions and amendments!
What are the chances that Cyclones Gita and Hola would coincide with the Beast from the East?! But glad that for the most part, your travel plans were unaffected, even if you experienced a few bumps on your landing!
I’m really happy that you enjoyed such a special celebration, and that the documentation you received on arrival in NZ complimented the information you received on this side of the world.
Thank you for your kind words, and here’s to the next adventure!
PS Trust you didn’t see any police “wielding hairdryers”?!
Posted 2 years ago
The holiday provided with an excellent snapshot of the country. The scenery was magnificent and we really enjoyed the hikes. It was nice to meet lots of interesting people throughout our stay at the various accommodations. The holiday itinerary worked very well.
Posted 2 years ago
Hi Meg and Chris,
Thanks for booking with us, we’re glad you had a good trip overall and that the hikes worked well within the timeframe you had.
New Zealand is certainly one of those places – there’s no escaping the beautiful scenery – which seems to change around every corner.
Do let us know if you ever plan on returning and we'd be more than happy to put something together for you.
Posted 2 years ago
We have just returned from an amazing 6 week trip to New Zealand arranged by Silver Fern. From being met at Auckland airport with maps and a wealth of information to leaving our hire car at Christchurch it was a great trip. The range of accommodation was excellent and the extra trips booked up for us were all great. We saw sperm whale, 3 different types of dolphins, seals, penguins and albatross as well as loads of other beautiful birds. (Although the kiwi remained elusive!). We learned something of Maori culture and enjoyed a fantastic overnight trip on Milford Sound and a helicopter ride over the glaciers. We watched the sunset over beautiful Mount Cook and grieved at the devastation the earthquake had bought to Christchurch. Everyone was so friendly and efficient and we were sad that we would no longer be saying Kia Ora New Zealand.
Posted 2 years ago
Dear Alison and Barrie,
We appreciate you taking the time to leave us a review as well as to email us with further comments on your trip.
It’s great that you had the chance to get to know the real New Zealand, and its locals – we can only apologise we couldn’t find a kiwi for you! Perhaps next time..?
Thank you for travelling with Silver Fern,
Laura and the team
Posted 2 years ago
I have spoken to Laura at the office with a full review
Posted 2 years ago
Dear Geoff and Lyn,

Thank you so much for our five star rating and for the detailed feedback you provided by phone; I’m so pleased that you appreciated the mix of accommodations giving you your own space, as well as the opportunity to meet enthusiastic locals for that invaluable insider knowledge in Tairua, Wanaka, Fox, and your home away from home in Christchurch, amongst others!

We’d love to see any photos you took of the sunset at Oreti so please do send some on if you get the time.

Thanks also for the update about the Kaikoura road, we always try to make travellers aware of the current conditions; we’re hoping the repair work is completed sooner rather than later, but it is such a big job. I’ll also try to keep Mantra in mind when folks are visiting Arrowtown – alas I don’t think I’ll get the chance to visit in May but I’ll certainly call on Rebecca at Blue Ridge when I pass through Te Anau.

Thanks for travelling with us; I’ll be in touch again soon.
Posted 2 years ago
Friends recommended Silver Fern to us, and we, in turn, would not hesitate in recommending Silver Fern to anyone who wants a tailor-made, hassle free dream of an experience in New Zealand and Singapore.

John's knowledge of New Zealand is incredible and his recommendations about bases, accommodation, excursions and fun activities were all spot-on for us - and for our budget.

We covered both islands, taking in 10 areas, and the well-planned, detailed itinerary, which included driving times, accurate directions and precise arrangements for car hire, internal flights and transfers, ran like clockwork. Nothing was too much trouble for Silver Fern - even when circumstances dictated that we had to cancel everything and rebook it all later.

We have fantastic 60th birthday trip memories of our stay in New Zealand and Singapore. Every bit of it was special!

Thank you, Silver Fern! We will be back soon, asking you to organise another trip for us!
Posted 2 years ago
Hi Chris and Jan,
Thanks for your positive comments.
As you well know John can talk anyone’s ear off about New Zealand, and it’s great that we had ideas of budget and interests from you before we started preparing your route.
Looking forward to booking your next trip!
Posted 2 years ago
Silver Fern Holidays is rated 4.90 based on 58 reviews