Showing 8 reviews of 62.
My family and I have returned to the USA from the most well organized tour we have ever be on. Aroha tours was a pleasure to work with from day one. Veronika responded to my initial email requesting an itinerary with a 24 hour period. I think this in itself is impressive. We worked together for several weeks and Veronika included everything in the itinerary that my family requested.
Upon our arrival, Dave,our tour guide, was promptly waiting for us. He gathered all our bags and off we went. We traveled from Christchurch to the west coast. Dave was always on time getting us to all our planned activities and also suggesting impromptu stops . He was a great guide and friend. We will miss him.
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Jaime G. del Rosario
We were a party of two senior parents (me and my wife) three adult children and two daughters in-law and we had only eight days to try and see as much of New Zealand as we could. At the minimum, we wanted to see Auckland and Rotorua on the North Island and Christchurch and Queenstown on the South Island. I also wanted our five children and daughter in-laws to experience a jet boat ride, a Maori cultural performance, wine tasting, a Lord of the Rings experience, punting on the Avon, some close ups of glaciers, plus whatever else could be crammed into the short time available. In the end, we settled on Aroha Tours, owned and headed by Veronika Vermeulen, a transplanted German who had fallen in love with the country as a young girl and decided to set up her outfit after having worked for several years in and around NZ’s travel industry.
Veronika was very conscious in making the tour private in the true meaning of the word. She suggested a private dinner cruise on Lake Taupo that turned out to be a great experience. She suggested a glow worm cave that was private and where we could take pictures – unlike the other group tour based glow worm tours – though we saw less glow worms than the more popular places. She also hinted that Maori cultural dinner performances were too touristy and she suggested an actual Maori greeting and dance on historical Mokoia Island.
My wife and I were impressed with Veronika’s quickness to suggest alternatives. It was Veronika’s responsiveness to our comments, questions, and suggestions that tipped the decision in favor of Aroha. She was also the first to come up with a complete first-draft itinerary which impressed me a lot. Looking back, we made a great choice – Veronika delivered on the promises and kept a watchful eye on everyone. I would without hesitation heartily recommend Veronika Vermeulen’s Aroha Tours for couples or families wanting a top-class private NZ tour.
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Bob and Joyce Kroencke, USA
My wife and I along with two other couples thoroughly enjoyed a 16 day tour of both the North and South islands. Excellent accommodations and itinerary with Jurgen being our guide. He is extremely knowledgeable and accommodating to say the least. Met with Veronika and family and was very pleased with all facets of the trip. We would highly recommend using Veronika and Aroha Tours for anyone wanting to visit New Zealand.
Veronika helped us plan an amazing journey through New Zealand. We had twelve days to spend in New Zealand and she organized a wonderful trip to help us get a flavor for what New Zealand is all about. We spent two to four days in four locations and from each spot we took in some great hikes, beautiful scenery, delicious food and great one off adventures. The accommodations were fantastic in all our stops. Andrew, our guide joined us after our initial three days on Waheike Island (where we zip lined, enjoyed a wine tour and took in Auckland for a day). With Andrew we were off to Taupo, Mt. Cook and Queenstown. We hiked, walked on glaciers, bungee jumped, tasted wine and had some great meals. Andrew was a pleasure to be with and he adjusted/added to our itinerary on the fly as options presented themselves or weather did not cooperate. We could not have asked for a better person to spend our time with in New Zealand. Thank you Veronika and Andrew.
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Our experience with Aroha and driver/guide Steve Popperwell was nothing short of exceptional. Kudos to Veronika for customizing a truly remarkable three-week tour of both islands. The diverse accommodation, from five star hotels to a luxury stay at the spectacular Waitomo farm, a night at Okiwa Bay Lodge with its gorgeous views, numerous boutique lodges and historical homes, gave us intimate insights into Kiwi life and these genteel people. From kayaking in Golden Bay, river rafting on the Rangitaiki River, boating on Milford Sound, sandboarding in Hokianga to name some of the standout experiences, it was all-encompassing and highly memorable. Not to forget the food which I would award overall 4 stars and, on a couple of occasions, 5. We were three couples on this once-in-a-lifetime trip and our thanks to Steve for making sure all our needs were met, his flexibility in catering to all our whims and taking us off the beaten track on occasions showing us sights we would unlikely have found on our own, is never to be forgotten and much appreciated.
Our first trip with Aroha Luxury New Zealand Tours turned out to be a most wonderful experience. We were a group of four who spent 11 days exploring both the North and South Islands. We had two guides, Veronika and Stephen, who became more than guides. They felt like traveling companions as we were personally guided throughout NZ. The itinerary we set during our planning of this trip was spot on and the flexibility we had each day to adjust times and locations as needed was a perfect combination of itinerary combined with flexibility. Our experiences were exceptional and both Veronika and Stephens suggestions for dining and unplanned activities really added value to our trip. I will strongly recommend Aroha to my fellow travelers here in the states who may be planning a NZ trip. As for my group, we all hope to get back to NZ and of course we would only use Aroha when we return....highly recommended!!
This was the third time I toured NZ with Aroha Tours. That alone may tell you what wonderful experiences I had with them. My first trip was together with my brother in 2013 (short 7 days tour of parts of the South Island). I posted a review about this trip here in November 2013. The second time my father and I went to the North Island for 10 days in 2014 and the third time we did a two weeks tour of the South Island in February/March 2016. I cannot thank Veronika and her team enough. Everything, from the first contact, to the planning and last but not least to the trip itself are done with expertise and warmth, which is hardly found anywhere. The itineraries and the lodges are planned and selected with the greatest care and are perfectly adjusted to your requirements and wishes. And there is always enough room for flexibility, so that changes are possible also while you are already there. On all our trips Jurgen was our guide. He did an awesome job! To say his knowledge of the country is extensive is actually an understatement. Most of all his friendliness and humor make him a perfect company for such a tour. We consider Jurgen a friend by now. I am convinced that there is no better choice than Aroha Tours when you want to visit New Zealand and make the most of your trip! I cannot recommend them enough.
Our family of three travelled for 14 days in the South Island
with Chris as our guide. We enjoyed everything that Veronica had arranged for us. She planned an action packed trip that included a penguin tour, horseback riding, glow worm caves, hikes, a kayak tour, jet boat ride, Milford Sound and glacier visits. We sampled local wines and cheeses and saw spectacular scenery.
Our trip was very well co-ordinated. Chris knew exactly how long travel time would take and the best places to eat and drink. We did so much more than we ever could have on our own. He was so helpful and kind. Our 11 year old son adored him.
The accommodations were all unique with perfect locations. We really enjoyed Lakeside Villas in Wanaka and the Hapuka Factory. We appreciated the kitchen and laundry facilities available in all of them.
We found Aroha Tours on an internet search and were totally impressed with the honesty and quality of this vendor. Everything was exactly as stated and when one of our plan rides was cancelled due to weather our money was refunded promptly after we got home from New Zealand
We will remember our trip and experience forever. Many thanks!!