I don't think anyone expected all of Auckland (+ parts of the Waikato) to be locked down all of Spring! But here we are at the end of another season already, with Christmas coming up fast!
But before we break out the Christmas Tree and the Carols (+ Mariah Carey, the Pogues, Wham!) we bring you our second edition of Departures + Arrivals - a seasonal recap of amazing traveller photos and an inside look at where we have been sending adventurers over the months of September, October and November - New Zealand's Spring season.
These travellers differ in where they come from, what their interests are, and where they want to stay, but are connected by their love of adventure.
Despite lockdowns, while the rest of NZ was in Level 2, we had travellers fly, road trip, and discover lots of fun corners of Aotearoa - and much of the time even the weather played ball!
“Thanks again for a great break. The Moss Spa was our highlight, and the accommodation was so cute! Such a fun way to have a holiday and I love the hassle free booking and communication. And also that it's all organised for you - just have to turn up!”
Travellers: G + A Trip Type: Completely Surprise Me! Surprise Destination: Christchurch opting to Fly + Ride but from different places. They were surprised in two parts - firstly at their departure airport they found out they were bound for Christchurch, then once re-united at Christchurch Airport they sent us a selfie and we revealed the rest of their itinerary!
"Thanks so much for another fabulous holiday. The surprise adventures really takes the stress out of planning a holiday and this means we can both 100% enjoy our time away. It was so good to have stops and places to visit along the way, as this is not something we would usually plan into a trip.
Our highlight was Te Puia - the tour and guide were amazing. Would recommend to anyone travelling in the area."
Travellers: Anna + Hamish Trip Type: Surprise Me in Rotorua opting to Road Trip Second trip: We surprised them on honeymoon last year, and surprised them on their 1st anniversary too!
We asked what their highlight was: "Weta Workshop Tour was a 10 out of 10 - so interesting both for a 6 year old interacting with him on target, and to an 11 year old asking questions. All of us were so involved. Inspiration for us all! Very comfortable in our suite - nice and close to all we wanted to do - great shuttle driver good info, helpful and on time - and a very appropriate interesting itinerary considering our ages ranged from 6 years to 70 years!"
Travellers: Esther, James, Jade, Levi + Pamela Trip Type: Surprise Me in Wellington City opting to Fly + Ride
"The highlight of our Surprise Trip was having you do all the planning and organising. And finding a quiet spot in the grounds of an amazing gothic church to sit in the sun and enjoy the moment.
Perfect activities for my trip and great additions suggestions in the itinerary. Coffee class was great - that was such a bonus for the trip. And to have a massage on my final day was perfect. I came home more rested than ever."
Solo Traveller: Gladys
"This trip has been totally wonderful. We found all of the activities were right up our alley, biking, walking, cafes, accommodation, everything. There was not one item on our itinerary we didn't enjoy! It was really thoughtfully planned with the right amount of activity and downtime and built to an amazing finale. We were so surprised to see what was on offer in off the beaten track in areas we thought we knew well. This was quite indulgent for us but we loved every minute of it. There were plenty of activities and though we didn't get to all of them, we know where they are for another time. Little Savanna is definitely going to be our go to restaurant in Palmerston North. Superb."
"This has been such an amazing experience and we would definitely do it again. It was even fun dropping hints to our three adult children asking them to guess where we were. Who needs overseas travel!? We are not on social media but be sure everyone we know, will know about it. Thanks again so much for a fabulous week!!"
We saved the best for last, with their last night staying at Whitimanuka Retreat
Travellers: Pamela + Ian