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“Incompetently run, yet still a great tour”

GreatSights New Zealand Day Tours
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Full-day Bay of Islands, Hole in the Rock and...
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Founded in 1987, GreatSights New Zealand operates the most comprehensive range of premium day sightseeing tours in New Zealand. Our nationwide network provides luxury sightseeing tours to destinations throughout New Zealand. Day tours from Auckland include the Bay of Islands, Waitomo Caves, Rotorua and the Hobbiton Movie Set. Everything is taken care of when you travel with GreatSights. Entrance fees are included within the tour price and optional extras like lunches can be added if required. Complimentary hotel transfers are provided on most tours and our experienced local driver guides will keep you entertained with informative commentary throughout the tour.
Reviewed 22 May 2014

We took the Waitomo Glow Worm Cave / Hobbiton combination day tour out of Auckland. As we stayed at Sky Tower Hotel, we had the option of being the first on with hotel pickup, or the last on with metro station pickup on the back side of the hotel. We chose the first pick up so we could get good seats to view the countryside on the way. It rained that day and we stood in the rain waiting for the bus that never came. We walked over to the metro side and boarded last and we were all told by the surly driver, "I went by and no one was there", We were all out there early and knew this wasn't true. We were provided a nice fruit salad to eat on the way out. Everyone on the bus was not on the same tour. Some were doing the caves and then on to Rorutan, others like us would go on to Hobbiton and a working sheep farm was another destination for some as well. Great Sights run the tours in legs. We changed busses four times on our tour.Auckland through the caves and on to the farm where we met the Hobbiton bus, After Hobbiton we were left at the gift shop for another bus to a nearby town where we waited again in the rain for the original bus. There was always a lot of confusion about who should get on which bus at every stop. They need a color coding system or something to organize this better. Lunch was provided on our tour but not for others. When we reboarded at the caves we found that our lunch had been given to others who weren't supposed to get one and the driver had to run back out to get us lunch.

Bus troubles aside this was a great tour, the lunch was really tasty and locations were much better than expected. Both the Waitomo caves and Hobbiton were highlights of the trip,

Thank DugRau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"great sights"
in 98 reviews
"waitomo caves"
in 164 reviews
"glow worms"
in 68 reviews
"bus driver"
in 51 reviews
"hobbiton movie set"
in 37 reviews
"driver damien"
in 15 reviews
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"milford sound"
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"long drives"
in 7 reviews
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in 19 reviews
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528 - 532 of 634 reviews

Reviewed 18 May 2014

We took this bus line down from Queenstown to Milford Sound and back to Queenstown. What a great way to see NZ! Bruce our bus driver was just fantastic!!! He narrated all the way down and back about the scenery, history etc. Stopped many times for picture opportunities, bathroom breaks, rain forests walks, lunch etc.We really enjoyed Bruce and the whole trip!!

1  Thank Bobby31225
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2014

Nice bus ride, but the driver is in the wrong profession. We started the day at our pick up point and knew we were all going in the same direction, but there was no mention about who was going where, and what to expect other than the coffee/loo stop along the way. No lunch was provided which is fine, but we were ferried from the ferry stop to the waitangi treaty grounds tour with no explanation as to where to grab a sandwich, nor what our next stop was going to be. We get picked up and rushed to the shops and told that we were going on a boat trip, but no directions forthcoming. We got back late from that and I started to ask the tour desk about sandwiches or lunch or something, as nothing was communicated. How dare I seek out a cheese scone and hold up the bus for 10 minutes!!!! Mind you, the bus driver didn't even tell us what time we were expected to return on the bus. Did I mention the italian couple who barely spoke english, with no computer on board to translate the commentary, and no help to get them to the boat dock. Shame on you Reece, shame. A beautiful tour otherwise, but guys, get this driver trained!!!

Thank ChrisM132014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2014

One of the best coach tours on my trip. Brian picked us up right on time and proved to be a great guide with witty commentary and patience. He kept us all on track without us feeling hassled, great job :o)
The whole journey consisted of breathtaking views of the Canterbury Plains, Mackenzie country with good stops at Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki. We decided to take the helicopter tour at Mt Cook which Brian organised in a heart beat. Had plenty of time after to get lunch before we headed back onto the coach for the last leg of the tour. Continued on through Tasman Valley, Lake Dunstan and onto Queenstown.
Arrived in the early evening and although it was a long tour was worth every minute and the price of the trip was extremely reasonable

1  Thank NIKKI86206
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 May 2014

A long day but was well prepared- a combination package to visit the Waitomo Caves, the cultural show at Rotorua the Geysers , farm show, with 2 snacks and lunch/drinks included. Package price was pretty steep. Our fare to NZ cost less . No discount for seniors, though 10% is offered, if you present a coupon located in some of the guide books. Improvement can be made on the snacks/lunch. A bun, with small pieces of chicken 'slapped' onto it, with a few Mesulin. The best part of the journey was the bus driver -Christian - who entertained us with local history.

Thank lmhomes1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GreatSightsNZ, Marketing specialist at GreatSights New Zealand Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 15 May 2014

Thanks for your review! The Waitomo and Rotorua sights day tour from Auckland is a comprehensive full-day tour of the Central North Island region, taking in three top visitor attractions and travelling over 600km through New Zealand's scenic countryside. We have received many compliments about the quality of our lunch offerings but will pass your feedback on. It's great that you enjoyed your driver's commentary - we're proud of the entertaining information they provide along the way.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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