Exploring New Zealand
Exploring New Zealand
3.5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
About
Exploring New Zealand is a tours and transport company based in Port Chalmers, the port of Dunedin New Zealand. We offer tours to Orokonui Eco Sanctuary as well as city tours around Dunedin, during the cruise ship season.
Port Chalmers, New Zealand

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Tours and Tickets by Exploring New Zealand
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(2 reviews)
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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3.5
32 reviews
Excellent
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11
Average
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Terrible
5

Robyn
Adelaide, Australia1 contribution
Expect driver,great local knowledge and good way to see the important stuff!! Steepest Street, Botanical Gardens and historical building of note!
Written 20 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
exploringnz
Thank you for your review. I agree that the tour is a good way to see Dunedin!
Written 1 April 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Helen R
Beverley, UK8 contributions
Jan 2023
Decided to do this tour as we left the ship, saved the $10 each shuttle fare and the longgg queues for the shuttle both at port and on return.
Driver and tour guide Andrew worked hard sorting us all out and telling us facts about the city.
We had time in the Centre of Dunedin, as well as seeing the botanical gardens and Baldwin street,finishing off in the Museum.
If you wanted another Hour and a half in Dunedin you could wait for the next bus, but we headed back to port.
Written 4 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you. I feel I do work hard! My absolute priority is that customers have the best experience they can have within what it is economic for us to provide. I am glad you had a good day. It is good that people can know that a tour of Dunedin with the option to select a later return time is a reasonable alternative to cruise ship shuttles.
Written 5 February 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

BeverleyBlue
Beverley, UK138 contributions
We had no definite plans for Dunedin but when we walked off the ship and saw the Garden & City Tour advertised in the cruise terminal in Port Chalmers, it seemed to fit the bill for our one day in Dunedin. We're happy with doing walking tours but on this occasion some of the tourist trail sights are less easy to get to on foot so a tour which took in Baldwin Street, a viewing point above the city and the Botanical Gardens as well as city centre stops was just what we needed.

I note that some other reviews are critical of the buses but in life there are always compromises. Yes, we've been on newer tour buses (and it was warm at times as the AC was temperamental) but this company isn't setting its stall out to provide a luxury tour; you're getting taken from Port Chalmers (and back) and around Dunedin for $NZ50 per person. The cruise ship shuttle alone is $US10 per person so some "expectation management" is needed here.

Andrew gave an informative commentary as we went and we got back to the ship (missing the lengthy queue for the ship shuttle back from the Octagon!) feeling we'd had good value for money. Surprised there are so many other negative reviews (Aussies seem particularly hard in their reviews!) but I can only speak as we found.
Written 1 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your review. We are always trying to make the tours better for passengers and a lot of it is down to the actual loadings on the buses. A full bus might be less comfortable for people than a half full one bus and this season it has definitely been busier than 2020. The aircon on buses has been an issue for us in the extreme heat of the past few weeks where Dunedin has regularly been hotter than Sydney. The aircon works but it takes a while to cool down the buses and this older aircon works more on a 'fridge' model than instantly blasting huge amounts of cold air at people. We are also dong ten minute drives then getting out at an area rather than sitting in the bus for hours so the aircon often doesn't have time to work. The cruise ship shuttles can be more than $10US and there have been ships where the price has been equal to our tours! The reviews don't match the general customer sentiment as people often use it as a 'complaints page'. We are often taking more than 100 people a day we might get one review for every 500 passengers. Anyway, thank you for your kind and reasonable words I hope you enjoy cruises to out area in the future!
Written 5 February 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

trinamon
Sydney, Australia12 contributions
Jan 2023
Staff put us on the wrong bus, no sticker, didn't have our names checked so we were doing the City and Garden Tour instead of what we booked.

Reading the other reviews since then and I can see I should have been forewarned and booked another operator.

The bus was very dirty and smelled of smoke, the air conditioning didn't work and it was a hot day. Then the driver had a problem with the door and locked himself out of the bus with all the passengers IN the bus.

When I pointed out we were on the wrong tour and wanted to change to the other bus, Andrew put the blame on us. I also spoke to two other drivers who were not at all helpful. We asked to be taken back to the cruise ship at that stage and still had to wait 40 minutes for that to happen. We had wasted the only day we had in Dunedin.

After complaining to Andrew in an email, I was offered a PARTIAL REFUND, which I hoped would be at least half of the cost of our tour but it wasn't. Only 1/3 was refunded, which is why I decided to write this review.

Steer clear of this company if you are cruising into Dunedin!
Written 14 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello. Thank you for your review. I also wish you had booked another operator. From the start of the tour you kept on complaining that you were on the "wrong bus" and the "wrong tour". No matter how many times I said this wasn't the case you kept on insisting that it was. You were on the tour that you booked and other passengers that booked the same tour as you were on that bus. However you decided to leave the tour early and go back to the ship. Because of this I decided to give you a refund for the portion of the tour that you did not complete and that was the money that you got back. It wasn't half because you completed more than half of the tour that you booked. I hope you are better able to understand what you have booked in the future. Also the bus wasn't dirty, it didn't smell of smoke and the air-conditioning did work. I did have problem with the door that day and that problem is now fixed.
Written 31 January 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Leanne E
Auckland, New Zealand3 contributions
A bit if a mix up with the day & a delayed start, but Andrew (tour guide) turned up & showed us around. Andrew was very informative, felt safe on the road & he made the day enjoyable.
Written 9 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for review. Sometimes, perhaps often this season there can be delays and issues here and there. I am glad you had an enjoyable day.
Written 31 January 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jo C
12 contributions
This was so disappointing! We were collected from the cruise ship shuttle and dumped in the city. It was Boxing Day so I expected some things to be closed but the tour guide was useless as far as telling us what would be open. He kept saying things like "there is a cafe around the corner but I don't know if it will be open - it is Boxing Day after all". It's your JOB to tell us what's open!! Make a few calls beforehand to be able to give us informed choices. His guided tour of the Botanic Gardens was pathetic, just reading from the info boards on each aviary. He wasn't very friendly either. The 2nd half was equally disappointing. It was just a very long driving tour with one quick photo op. Maybe they weren't ready for the cruise ships arrival but a lot of improvement is needed.
Written 30 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for your review. Public holidays can be a challenge because many of the things that we go to may not be open on those days. Basically on Boxing Day hardly anything will be open. I am not sure who the guide was on your tour. I don't know what you did on the second half of the tour. Sometimes weather conditions can limit where it makes sense to stop but on the Nature and City tour there should normally be at least three stops on that part of the tour.
Written 31 January 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Connector589267
1 contribution
Dec 2022
Well I would have to say this was one of the most disorganised tours I have ever been on. 2 phone calls later we found door 2 where we were suppose to assemble. Tour finally started - weather in morning came in so no scenic views (not the tour guides fault but no plan B of course) like leaving that part of that part of the tour until later!

Left us in the centre of the city for 30mins twiddling our thumbs for more paying customers.

Then rocked up to the art gallery - whoops closed for Boxing Day!- no checking off course!

Then rocked up to the train museum - whoops closed also! No checking again by tour operators.

Highlight was first church and fresh cherries - then 25 mins for coffee (gulped it down).

Then afternoon tour waited for 2 paying guests who sat on front bus waiting for us where we were behind 20mins later. We backed tracked And saw the same roads 3 times that day!

Wayne was very informative but seemed to drive like a mad man to our next destination. Scenery was lovely then we were whisked back to the dock with 15mins to spare.

Overall, closed venues, disorganisation, no niceties e.g cheese tasting or local delicacies - no value adds.

Unless they get their scheduling “right” - wouldn’t recommend booking through either trip advisor or theses guys again.
Written 25 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your review and sorry for my delay in replying to it. I didn't get any notification of these reviews so I didn't know it was there till now. Anyway it was disorganised at that time. partly due to a lack of staff on a public holiday. I now have someone 'full time' in the cruise ship terminal to avoid that issue. So the first thing to understand is that Boxing Day is not a normal day because almost everything is closed. The centre of the city is normally a very busy and interesting place but less so on a public holiday. We don't go to the Art Gallery specifically, so I don't know why that was mentioned in this case. Actually the Museum was open on this day but we told people it was closed due to me presuming it was closed, as it was closed on Christmas Eve which isn't even a public holiday. By the time I found out it was open it was too late. It sounds like you did have some local delicacies - fresh cherries that they were selling by the roadside. Please understand though that this tour is not in a price range that would permit me to offer a wide range of local delicacies. We are always working to improve the tour and how we operate so feedback like this is useful even if it was an atypical day. The biggest issue we face of course is not knowing how many people will book on the tour on any particular day and so having to account for a range of possibilities.
Written 31 January 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Daniel L
1 contribution
Nov 2022
Excellent for budget travellers. We did trip from Christchurch to Timaru, Queenstown, Milford Sound, West coast, Franz Josef, Hokitika and back to Christchurch again.
Written 22 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for review. You were a lovely group to have. I hope to see you again some time.
Written 31 January 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ko Kaung
Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar1 contribution
Nov 2022
We went to the South island for 7 days, from Christchurch to Twizel, then Queenstown and Milford sound and finally Okarito. The driver Andrew is patient and helpful.
Written 21 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Petrina
1 contribution
Nov 2022
Andrew was very flexible with the many stops we wanted to do. He had a lot of knowledge of the area and was happy to share interesting facts. We would definitely use Exploring NZ next time we're down South.
Written 21 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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EXPLORING NEW ZEALAND (Port Chalmers) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go