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“Spectacular Cruise Excursion -- Multi-day Land Tour: Dunedin to Milford Sound”
Review of Awesome Tours

Awesome Tours
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Awesome Tours is a privately owned and operated small group tour business providing local scheduled tours, tailor made personalized multi day tours and shore excursion tours to meet your needs. These can include areas such as Milford Sound, Queenstown, West Coast, Mt Cook or the entire South Island. Day tours from Dunedin can include areas such as the Catlins and Moeraki Boulders and the Otago Peninsula. We provide small group scheduled and private shore excursion tours for cruise passengers while in Dunedin including pickup/return from/to Port, Key City Sights, Natures Wonders Argo Wildlife tours ( Yellow Eyed Penguins, NZ Fur Seals and much more) Natures Wonders authentic Sheep Shed experience, Larnach Castle and the Royal Albatross Colony.We look forward to being of service to you.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Our Cruise Excursion was titled: Multi-day Adventures -- Queenstown – Dunedin/Milford

This excursion would better be titled: “Fiordland National Park, World Heritage Excursion.” This is the destination that matters and what justifies taking two days off our extraordinary ship. It’s all about doing the stunning drive through the soaring mountains and valleys on the west side of the South Island. Before deciding to do this, there are things to consider that I have not seen in other reviews. First, you should understand the “big picture” logistically to help set your expectations. This is a two-day excursion for one key reason: it is all about getting to the Queenstown hotel so that you are positioned, on the next morning, for “the main event,” the drive through this spectacular park. The “activity level” is described as moderate, which is fair enough; it is the endurance that requires a bit of stamina. This is a very long day as you leave the ship at Dunedin at 7am and do not end things, if you follow the full plan, until after midnight. Many in our group found the excursion quite extended and taxing. The trip from Dunedin to Queenstown is very well narrated and quite interesting in its own right. When you arrive at Queenstown, you check into your hotel around 5pm and are invited to go off and see the town on your own for a few hours. Then you board a steamship “TSS Earnslaw” at about 8pm and cross Lake Wakatipu taking about 50 minutes to arrive at a “gourmet BBQ dinner” followed by a sheep shearing & sheep dog herding demonstration. I would recommend skipping it all after check-in and just enjoy the evening, on your own, at the hotel. The steamship, which is over 100 years old, was okay but was “touristy” and the sheep events are certainly characteristic of New Zealand, but not uniquely New Zealand, like the rest of the overland tour is. The second day started at the hotel about 9am and ended with re-boarding our cruise ship at about 5pm in Milford Sound. This was the drive was through the World-Heritage-listed Fiordland National Park with stunning beauty that must be seen. Whatever you may have been told, it is difficult to overstate descriptions of this wonderful park. Photography just does not capture this (but, of course, take pictures anyway). Towering peaks, plunging valleys and many hanging glaciers are just a sampling of the sights. Finally, to be considered for your decision to take this trip, there are other “costs,” beyond the excursion fee. These include that you miss what the ship is doing while you are away for two days, which, for us, included cruising the Fjords of Dusky & Doubtful Sounds. So, you miss the days and meals on the ship, which, of course, you also paid for but are now redundant. The “gourmet” meal on the excursion was nice but not nicer that what the ship offers with better trained staff. The final opportunity cost is whatever other one-day excursion, out and back from Dunedin, you might have experienced otherwise. The bottom line is that there is really no other way to see these incredible sights without making a separate journey to New Zealand and I was delighted to have the experience.

Thank Jeff P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 9 of 146 reviews

Reviewed 11 August 2017

Liked. Dunedin in all its splendor. I never hear anything but good. People. Places. The natural world. Fine southern city and environs. Nice people. Good value.

Thank williamjohnson1994
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2017

I have booked many tours through Awesome tours now for the American exchange students that I host. Mark is highly committed to making the experience as customised to the group as possible. Every tour comes with Mark and his mind blowing knowledge and history of the sites as well as his incredible sense of humour (dropping in a lot of dad jokes here and there). Our tour today involving Nature Wonders was the highlight for many of the students, seeing a sheep being shorn, riding on the Argo's around the farm, being up close and personal with seal pups and seeing all the hard work that Perry and his family have put into the conservation of Penguin beach. Today will not be forgotten by the students for a very long time. I would 100% recommend anyone wanting to book tours around the South Island to do it through Awesome Tours, because you will be in for an Awesome experience!

1  Thank Kelsey P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
awesometoursnz, Owner at Awesome Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 3 July 2017

Hi Kelsey - thank you so much for your kind words of appreciation and support, they are very much appreciated. I had a great time with you guys as well, sorry about all the Dad jokes, I'll have to work on those! When we get to meet such nice young people it makes our job so much easier and one I can enjoy too. I look forward to our next tour.
Cheers Mark

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Reviewed 26 June 2017

The day tour we went to was tailored according to our needs, in terms of budget and timing, and every single location we were offered was worth it: Baldwin Street and a bit of a city highlights tour, the Otago Peninsula, and royal albatross colony. Nature's wonders was by far the best, including seals, penguins, a sheep shed experience and a wonderful lookout to the peninsula.

Mark, our tour guide, is an excellent tour guide, he knows a lot about the local wildlife, the city's history and has a great sense of humor, which makes the tour much more enjoyable. I would totally recommend Awesome Tours for a great experience in town!

Thank Axell P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
awesometoursnz, Owner at Awesome Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 3 July 2017

Hi Axell, thank you for your kind words of appreciation and support, they are very much appreciated. I really had a great time with you guys as well. When I get to meet such nice young people it makes my job so much easier and one I can enjoy too. I trust your trip home went well too.
If you are ever back this way, please do make contact.
Cheers Mark

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Reviewed 27 March 2017 via mobile

Mark has done two tours for us, both consisting of the Albatross colony and Nature's Wonders. What makes Mark's tours so special is his almost encyclopedic knowledge of everything Dunedin and his narration during the journey and his ability to answer random questions made the journey a pleasure. Very highly recommended.

Thank Lyn T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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