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“A Remarkably Fine Tour”

Private Discovery Day Tours
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US$131.17*
and up
High Country Discovery Tour from Queenstown
Ranked #6 of 15 things to do in Glenorchy
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Discover the Paradise Valley dwarfed by Mount Earnslaw, in the heart of Middle Earth 4WD to 1680 feet above sea level on Mount Alfred and soak in the views over Diamond Lake and the Dart River Valley. Mount Earnslaw Station is an Organic Certified sheep and beef cattle farm set in this unique scenic environment. Small groups experience this unique property with exclusive excess, LOTR movie location sights included.
Pelkie, Michigan
2 reviews
“A Remarkably Fine Tour”
Reviewed 22 April 2014

A three-day private tour guided by Charles Fraser, the owner of Private Discovery Tours,
established the basis for most of the rest of our stay in New Zealand. As retired foresters, we were primarily interested in the New Zealand native forest. But access was made a bit challenging by my game leg, which limited my mobility. Charles responded brilliantly, and designed the prefect tour for us, providing an amazingly enjoyable and complete (given the limited time he had to do so) introduction to the native forests of the Catlins and Fiordland. What we learned from Charles in just three days gave us a sound background for beginning to understand the native forests as we continued our travels across New Zealand. His tour added immeasurably to the enjoyment of the rest of our stay in New Zealand. Charles was an ideal guide. The tour was perfect. We give Private Discovery Tours and Charles Fraser the highest possible recommendations.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank DrREDohrenwend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rdthound, Owner at Private Discovery Day Tours, responded to this review, 23 April 2014
Good to hear from you Robert, I think I learnt more about our unique native trees from you over the 3 days. It was a pleasure to guide you through Central Otago, the Catlins region then to Milford Sound showing you the diversity from east coast rainforest to west coast rainforest and the dry Central Otago region.
Thank you for your comments, Charles.
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84 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Durango, Colorado
Level Contributor
74 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“A very special trip!”
Reviewed 20 March 2014

We took their all-day Paradise Valley off-road tour. There were only three guests. Private Discovery has exclusive access to many places on this tour. Our guide, John, was delightful! He customized the adventure to our needs, including a lot of photo stops. Drawing from his expertise as a South Island farm owner, John provided facinating commentary on raising sheep, shearing wool, how wool is graded and processed, etc and how land use has changed over the years. We also enjoyed a lovely picnic on the shores of Diamond Lake, with snow covered mountains in the distance. It was a very special trip. You'll visit places you can't see any other way and see some of the wonderful "real" New Zealand.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank diannecarol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rdthound, Owner at Private Discovery Day Tours, responded to this review, 28 March 2014
Hi Dianne,
Many thanks for your review of your Paradise Discovery Tour. So pleased you enjoyed the location it is a special area especially around Diamond Lake for your picnic lunch and the insight John shared with you about farming and high country life.
You will no doubt have great photos and wonderful memories of this region, come back again someday......thanks Charles
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful Experience”
Reviewed 1 March 2014

We let our guide, Charles (who is also the owner) select our full-day tour itinerary, which included a Jet Boat trip down the Dart River, in late December. Charles was an excellent companion and skilled driver, maneuvering his Land Rover up mountains and over rough farmland to see the gorgeous vistas and beautiful landscape that surrounds Queenstown. Charles took us high into the hills and down by the river, so that we got a real feel for the countryside. His "customer first" approach enabled us to select several spots
to hike around while he provided his knowledgeable insights with his keen sense of humor. In addition to the spectacular surroundings, we saw the smallest library in the world, historic homes, a vast sheep and cattle farm and a couple of Lord of the Rings film sites. A thoroughly enjoyable, worthwhile and highly recommended way to explore the beauty of Queenstown.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank David L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rdthound, Manager at Private Discovery Day Tours, responded to this review, 3 March 2014
Hi David,
Thank you for your review, our Paradise Discovery Tour does cover numerous sights, LOTR movie locations and the opportunity to take special walks over privately accessed areas on Mt Earnslaw Station. Hope you can make it back here again some day. Thanks Charles.
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Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Unusual and amazing tour”
Reviewed 20 February 2014 via mobile

We took the Glenorchy Paradise road tour about a week ago with Charles. It was certainly one of the more unusual tours we have taken and for that reason alone was most interesting and exciting. It was a 4 wheel drive trip up to See views of the river basin plus a visit to a sheep farm. Both were great and again a most unexpected treat. Charles is also a great "host" and assured that everything went smoothly for us. We recommend it for everyone.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Martha378
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rdthound, Owner at Private Discovery Day Tours, responded to this review, 21 February 2014
Hi Martha, thank you for taking the time to write a review. Yes our Paradise Discovery Tour is somewhat different from most tours taking you off road and onto private property that we have exclusive access to. That is what makes it all special.......enjoyed meeting you both hope you come back to NZ again some day. Thanks Charles.
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Hong Kong, China
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Catlins, a region deserves repeated visit”
Reviewed 10 February 2014

We were just back from our Catlins two-day tour arranged by Private Discovery Tours and I started missing the tour when I was still in New Zealand.

The Catlins region has all we are longed for: the extreme point of the south continent of NZ, marvellous beaches that, for most of times, still belong to your own, breath taking falls and tropical forest. What's more, it is the home for seals, sea lions, beautiful birds, and the rare yellow-eyed penguins. With the accompany of Mr. Frazer, the guide full of local knowledge, considerate, patient, and with a sharp eye for wild animals, our Catlins trip is far beyond our expectation.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank shania_ws_mo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rdthound, General Manager at Private Discovery Day Tours, responded to this review, 14 February 2014
Hi Sophie , thank you for your comments about our Catlins Discovery tour.
The Catlins area truly is a unique area where you can walk down a deserted beach! view sealions, hike through east coast with ancient podocarp rainforest and see yellow eyed penguins in the evening all this in pristine untouched wilderness.
I am so glad you appreciated what we have to share in NZ and that you were able to take a 2 day tour and immerse yourselves in that environment.
Thank you
Charles
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