I want to express my appreciation to Jane Turner of Active Downunder for assisting with my son & daughter-in-law’s honeymoon plans to New Zealand in mid-March 2020. She arranged a wonderful 2-week itinerary to meet their requirements. They wanted to cover as much as possible on both islands within this time frame. Jane booked all the air, hotels, tours, rental car, and meals to fit their budget.
However, and the MOST IMPORTANT REASON FOR USING AN EXPERIENCED TRAVEL AGENT, was the trip had to be cut short after their first week traveling due the COVID 19, as it was beginning to affect NZ. The US State Department urged all Americans traveling overseas to return home. The honeymooners did not want to leave but with Jane’s guidance and her Air NZ connections she was able to rearrange their flights home without an exorbitant fee. (There was no getting through to Air NZ phone lines at this time because everyone was scrambling.)
Although trip insurance was purchased with a reputable company- it did not cover pandemics. I was concerned they had lost half their money. But Jane worked with her suppliers and was able to get the unused portion refunded! She sent them a check within 7 days of their return. I believe, if they had booked this trip independently in a piecemeal fashion, they would STILL be making phone calls to try to recoup their losses of which there was no guarantee they could have. Thank you, Jane! I was more than impressed with the service they received. Perhaps one day they can finish their honeymoon. I have your number!
J. Taylor, NY - April 2020
One of our best vacations ever. Would not have been possible without Jane's knowledge, contacts, and support. We toured NZ for over three weeks and having never been there before, we didn't understand the logistics and issues with travelling on such unique and charming "roads". We stayed in amazing accommodations. We had the best guides and activities. She quickly responded to all of our questions and requests even while we were in NZ. We will definitely use her again and highly recommend her services.
E. Angelo, IN - March 2020
There's no way to articulate just how happy I am that I decided to work with Jane to plan my honeymoon - smartest decision ever! She was quick to respond, knowledgeable about the cities and activities, honest about what was/was not realistic to accomplish with the time we had, and truly helped tailor the itinerary so it fit us. This was a dream vacation for so many reasons but the biggest being that Jane booked us at the most incredible accommodations with insane views. We were truly wowed, as were our friends. As I posted pictures of our trip on Facebook, many commented that they wanted to do our exact trip. It was the adventure of a lifetime!
J. Tajii, CA - Jan 2020
This is the second time we have used Active Downunder and in both instances, they have scored a five out of five rating. The itineraries have been customized to our interests and have met and exceeded our expectations on both occasions. We have recommended them to our friends and they have provided us with the same feed back regarding their experiences. Jane appears to have visited many of the accommodations and tours, and the majority of the owners and operators know Jane personally.
B. Haberman, CA - Oct 2019
Excellent service and amazing easiness to plan your trip. Amazing and unforgettable experience and trip. Would recommend highly to everyone. Should be a priority in your bucket list.
Dr. O. Almanza, FL - April 2019
Absolutely wonderful vacation. Everything was scheduled like clockwork. Everyone was nice and helpful. Highly recommended.
Dr. A. Dangond, FL - April 2019
Jane Turner is an excellent Travel Agent....she has stayed at all the places we visited and has a GREAT repoire with everyone. Her timely planning to manage all the details and then follow-thru with that plan works so smoothly. The places she recommends are always the highlight of every location...the staff everywhere just seems to get such pleasure in sharing their love of their country. Kindness and helpful hints make for such easy travel. This is the 3rd trip Jane has planned for us and each was different and unique and all were FANTASTIC! We highly recommend Active Downunder for anyone who wants to visit New Zealand, Australia or the Cook Islands.
R & J. Lilac, CA - March 2019
My daughter and I had a long conversation by phone with Jane to start. She made suggestions, based on that conversation, we picked and chose what we were interested in. We ended up with an amazing trip with lots of different activities on both islands. The boutique inns were amazing! I'm a picky eater, and everywhere we went special diets had been set up for me. We started by taking a ferry and hiking a volcano our first morning off the plane. We then went to Cathedral Cove and swam and went to Hot Water Beach to dig our hot tub. From there we headed south, hiking in multiple national parks and near multiple glaciers. We ended up with an overnight cruise on Milford Sound. Awesome trip, well planned by Jane and staff!
S. Pike, CA - Feb 2019
Active Downunder did an incredible job of organizing an extraordinary trip for us to New Zealand. As is obvious, New Zealand is a large country with plenty of options and we needed advice and suggestions, Active Downunder did an excellent job of listening to what we wanted to see and do and then suggest an itinerary.
J. Bywaters,TX - Feb 2019
Jane and Active Downunder arranged a trip of a lifetime for us to NZ. I wanted to combine aspects of several of their itineraries and she put together a perfect custom trip. All of our accommodations were special and well located for our desired activities. Most importantly, Active Downunder clearly uses the very best outfitters at every location. Thank you so much for your fantastic advice and totally professional arrangements.
S. Burke, TX - Feb 2019
Active Downunder listened to what we wanted, thoughtfully constructed an itinerary; gave us options to chose from based on their knowledge of some of the best activities offered in New Zealand. We did and saw things that we never would have found on our own. It was a well paced and carefully constructed trip, with intermingling active and restful days.
F. Blanchard, CO - Jan 2019
My husband and I were very happy with our recent trip to NZ arranged by Active Downunder. After sharing our interests with Jane via thorough phone call, the custom itinerary went very smoothly. It was a perfect way to experience such a remarkable country - we did not want a "packaged tour" with herds of people. Instead, we received a well thought out dream vacation with details in place so no hassles.Thank you.
S. Deal, CA - Jan 2019
Jane was very easy to work with on planning our self drive active oriented trip to New Zealand. We are active seniors that like to hike, bike etc in natural settings. Active Downunder did a fabulous job of arranging quality lodging and setting an even paced active agenda that fit our needs. Location of lodging was perfect in every town or city. Jane is extremely knowledgeable on where to go and what to do in New Zealand. I would definitely recommend using Active Downunder.
R. Williams, CA - Dec 2018
We began planning a trip to celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary and Judy's Birthday in the Fall of 2017 for June 2018. Despite it being early winter and off-season, our longtime dream holiday was a driving tour of New Zealand. A contact in New Zealand put us in contact with Jane Turner of Active Downunder. After written and phone interviews, Jane planned and scheduled a tour that made our dream come true. We flew from Las Angeles to Auckland and spent a week driving and touring the North Island, ferried to the South Island and spent two weeks there. The timing and driving distances were ideal for us. Our accommodations were consistently some the best in each area, the food and drink were also very good even in small towns, the locals were delightful and very helpful, and the scenery was breathtaking. Mother Nature did not give us three weeks of perfect skies, so, to our surprise, we are already talking about going back during a New Zealand spring. And we will certainly contact Jane to assist with the planning and scheduling. We made some incredible memories in New Zealand and will be eternally grateful to Jane for helping make this happen.
Bill & Judy McIntire, CA - June 2018
"Mega-thanks” for the superior land/sea/rail tour of New Zealand’s beautiful South Island. The 24 folks (a subset of The Cruising Club of America) who you planned this tour for seek the best of the best. You didn’t let us down! From the moment we landed in Christchurch to our departure 11 days later, our needs weren’t simply met, but were anticipated at every turn. Our guides were the best – so tuned into each of us, highly intuitive and personable. They became our friends and part of our group’s fabric. The tour itself was exceptional, from the trans-Alps train ride, a jet-boat ride on the Dart River, a helicopter ride to a Mt. Cook glacier, a tour of the Yellow-Eyed Penguins of Dunedin, and even the copious quantities of NZ’s signature Pinot Noirs. You packed it all in with unsurpassed attention to detail. This was a trip of a lifetime, thank you!
Peter C. Pallette (& Harriet) – March 2018
Rear Commodore | The Cruising Club of America
Care-free organization which exceeded our expectations in all matters. The planning for the trip, car rental, hotels, activities ... was done with no effort from our side. Everything turned out as expected with no surprises. I am definitely using Acrive Downunder for a repeat visit to that great nation and its lovely and accommodating people.
M. Balaa, CA - March 2018
We had a wonderful month in NZ. We adored all the wonderful small places you put us in. The hospitality, locations and venues were lovely. All in all, we really loved everything you set up for us. You've changed my mind about the value of using an area (destination) specialist....I've always just spent hours and hours planning in the past. One of the best parts was that everything was paid for in one flat fee....we really had no idea what each thing cost.....so we couldn't walk away from something great just because we might have thought it was too expensive. Thank you so much for a job really well done!
P. Bacich, CA - March 2018
Active Downunder was recommended to us by a couple recently returned from New Zealand and they couldn't say enough good things about the lodges that Active Downunder had found for them......and they were right. We didn't stay in any hotels but rather first rate, comfortable, luxurious, accommodating, friendly and intimate lodges. These lodges greatly enhanced the overall experience of touring this beautiful county. We altered our itinerary a number of times during the planning stage and Jane went beyond the call of duty to satisfy our needs with wonderful recommendations.
R. Randall, CA - Feb 2018
We wanted to let you know how much we truly enjoyed our New Zealand adventure you planned out for us. Everything worked out perfectly, from our upgraded flights with Air New Zealand, to the most comfortable accommodations and the wonderful people who hosted them, as well as the professional and knowledgeable guides who introduced us to the many treasures of New Zealand. If we ever get a chance to return to New Zealand or venture to Australia, we would definitely hope you’d once again be our guide.
Our sincere thanks,
D & R Maidlow, ME - Jan 2018
This is a great organization that provides superior service to its clients. Very responsive and a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend Active Downunder to anyone desiring to experience the best New Zealand has to offer.
P. Befanis, FL - Jan 2018
A thousand thanks from Anne and me on a FABULOUSLY well planned trip! We had a perfect vacation. Everything went like clockwork, the accommodations were wonderful, transportation seamless, scenery breathtaking, food delicious, people warm and friendly. You did a great job setting everything up for us, and our memories of our time in Australia and New Zealand will be the topic of fun conversations and ear-to-ear smiles for years to come. Thank you for all you did for us, it really was a superb effort.
M. Margulies, MA - Jan 2018
I travel frequently all over the world and decided this time to take my honeymoon in New Zealand. I picked Jane at Active Downunder as I thought she might provide a little more insight vs the travel agent I typically use or me putting something together. Well, I was correct. She listened to what we wanted from this trip, type of accommodations and activities and put something together that really worked for us. There were no surprises or let down and by the time we were finished it exactly what I wanted. I would most definitely recommend her to others. If you have an opportunity to work with Jane, she won’t let you down.
C. Singer, CA - March 17
We took a leap of faith by booking this trip without first doing our own research into New Zealand and what we'd want to do and see. However, after talking to Jane, we were astonished to have this fabulous trip, where we felt that we got to see all the highlights and then some. Jane listened to us and booked us at just the kind of places we like to stay in: small luxurious boutique hotels and B & B's. The activities suggested were amazing, with just the right amount of hiking and free time and relaxation. Everything worked perfectly smoothly, without any glitches. I can't recommend Jane and Active Downunder highly enough - as a matter of fact on our return flight we already handed Jane's card to a fellow passenger.
K & J. Stanigar, CA - Mar 2017
Hands down best Travel Agent ever is Jane Turner. We decided to travel to Australia and New Zealand and gave Jane 2 weeks notice! Not only did Jane provide a perfect itinerary but she listened to everything we wanted to do for our 30 day vacation. She maximized our time in both countries, our activities were amazing and the places we stayed were perfect! I would highly recommend anyone looking to travel in this part of the world to use Jane. She is so knowledgeable, experienced and executes flawlessly. She was so much fun to work with and oh...BTW everyone we met complimented her endlessly. She is well liked by all those who work and know her. Thank you Jane!
Shannon and Rod, CA - Nov 2016
We took a bigger than usual trip (3 weeks with two countries) and the flight research alone would have been a nightmare. The best thing we did was leave it to Jane at Active Downunder. Everything was taken care of, from booking flights, to tours, to transportation, to lodging. We had a wonderful time. Thank you Jane!
D. Duong, CA - Nov 2016
We are travelers who usually plan our own trips based on research. But we could not have done this without Active Downunder. From first contact and getting the questionnaire to begin the process. All through the planning Jane responded quickly and answered all questions well. During the trip, Jane notified us of changes via email about weather related cancellations. Her knowledge and contacts were exemplary. The best thing we can say is we will call Jane for our next trip to New Zealand and/or Australia. All of the innkeepers and other service providers during the trip also spoke quite highly of Jane. Any individual, couple or family will have the trip of a lifetime.
V. Gaskins, CA – Mar 2016
What a unbelievable trip you planned for Debbie and I. This trip was on our "bucket list". Something we had wanted to do all our lives and Jane and her staff made it absolutely perfect! We had a vacation of a lifetime without any glitches. Going in their late summer was a perfect time. Less crowded and the temperature was perfect. Once again, thanks for planning our trip of a lifetime.
M. Baird, CO - Mar 2016
Every day on our trip I have mentioned how I wanted to email you. Now that we are in Melbourne, I am finally sending you that email. I want to tell you how much Hank & I have so thoroughly enjoyed our trip to New Zealand. Every day brought a new adventure for us. We loved spending so much time outdoors, walking the wonderful tracks, kayaking through peaceful waters, and experiencing as much of the beautiful landscape and scenery this country has to offer. We met some wonderful people and were hosted by many genuinely warm and helpful Individuals who added more interesting twists and turns to our journey. I especially want to commend Lisa from Camp Estates in Dunedin, Ian & Sandy at Queenstown Country Lodge, Jan at the Breakers, Kerri at Radford's (she was amazing!) and Wayne & Val at Shelbourne villas. Everywhere we lodged was unique and charming in its own way. All of our excursions went well and we particularly enjoyed our day with Willy, our Maori guide, while staying in Lake Taupo. I really can't say enough about this trip. We are so appreciative for your help and expertise in creating a lifetime of amazing memories for us in New Zealand. Warm regards,
Maryann & Hank, OH - Feb 2016
We were very impressed with Active Downunder. They were very easy to work with to plan our trip. Jane was right on with how many days to stay in each location. The rental car company did a great job of setting us up and helping us on our way with a reliable car that fit our needs. The New Zealand people are happy and friendly, helpful people. The country is very clean and we always felt safe. We had a wonderful trip that couldn't have gone any smoother. We would recommend it to anyone.
B. Purdy, AL - Feb 2016
Lou Reed has a great song called Perfect Day. Every day of our trip was a Perfect Day.
S. Wehrenberg, MN - Dec 2015
Jane did a wonderful job of fitting all our wishes into an excellent 18 days in New Zealand. She worked with us to design a personalized itinerary that made the most of our time in this stunningly beautiful country. The activities she booked for us were well run and well worth our time and money. During our trip I found myself repeatedly saying, "Jane was right on, again!"
S. Wehrenberg, MN - Dec 2015
Active Downunder created a fantastic itinerary for us. They removed all of the stress of planning the trip and picked great places for us to visit and stay. We'd love to do it again!
J. Myers, CA - Dec 2015
Our itinerary was terrific and was competitively priced. People we met from New Zealand said that we were well advised. We appreciated that you arranged a good trip to New Zealand, with all the right highlights, and did the leg work of finding our accommodations and arranging activities with the best guides. It was a terrific trip!
S. Keydel, CA - Nov 2015
Our greatly anticipated trip to New Zealand far surpassed our expectations largely due to Jane at Active Downunder. Initially she inquired about our wishes/priorities and she produced an itinerary that was truly perfect. She knew what we would enjoy better than we knew ourselves!! She coordinated amazing accommodations with breathtaking views and amicable NZ hosts, truly exciting and memorable adventures with terrific guides, and plenty of suggestions for excursions, meals, and places to stop along the way. Our car rental was easy, as were our internal flights.We are ever so grateful to Jane for making this trip so enjoyable.We thought this was a 'trip of a lifetime', but now we are thinking---with Jane's help---we may want to visit New Zealand again! We saw a lot in three weeks, but I'm sure we didn't see it all.
The Townsends in Delaware – Nov 2015
Active Downunder planned the perfect trip! The activities, accommodations, and pacing were seamless! Our wants and wishes were listened to, and the attention to detail was impeccable...it was a trip to remember!
D. Blackney, CA - Oct 2015
Active Downunder provided us with a perfect mix of detailed planning and free time, so we were able to customize our vacation just as we liked it. We appreciated the high degree of expertise on Jane's part, and her patience and guidance throughout. We worked cooperatively with her to hit everything on our wish list, within our time constraints. Without the help of Active Downunder we would never have come up with such an interesting and fun itinerary.
M. Brewer, MD - Mar 2015
Our group did not have any idea about what to do in New Zealand. I called Jane and WOW. She sure knows the best of the best in New Zealand. All I had to do was call and email! It was so easy and we had the best time ever!! Every hotel was perfect. Every guide was on time and eager to share this wonderful country with us. They took us to out-of-the-way places that were just wonderful. They got to know us as a family and made the effort to cater to our wants and needs. All the planned activities were beyond expectations. We saw and did as much as we possibly could. I LOVE NEW ZEALAND! When I go back I will call Jane with Active Downunder. I also heard from others that everyone wants to get on Jane's list! Thank you Jane.
K. Harris, CO - Mar 2015
We had an excellent experience working with this company, and would recommend Active Downunder without hesitation to anyone. Jane Turner was fantastic to work with and even though we had given her limited notice at a busy time of the year she was able to accommodate all our needs and book a fantastic and memorable trip for us!
L. Spens, WA - Feb 2015
To locate a website that 1)met our needs for a trip involving enjoyment of activities, 2) provided multiple options and locations for such a trip, then 3) provided personal and consistent contact with Jane to tailor the specific trip to our personal desires was exceptional to start with. Then, to have each accommodation provide exceptional comfort and support from host and staff, each activity conducted by personal and professional organizations made this one of our most memorable trips. I can't recommend Active Downunder any more highly.
M. Conlon, CA - Feb 2015
Jane provided us with a trip of a lifetime, although I truly hope we return to New Zealand again using her expertise. The trip that she arranged provided wonderful attention to detail, the activities that we desired, spectacular accommodations, and at what I feel was a great value for the cost. We loved the Kiwi's and everything their beautiful country provided us the opportunity to experience. As said by one of our hosts, "good on ya mate" to Jane for her service!
J. Berg, MN - Jan 2015
Active Downunder was very easy to work with and created a custom itinerary for us. For anyone not familiar with the country or who does not want to have to research every part of their vacation themselves, I recommend booking through Active Downunder. We had a great time and felt that our itinerary matched what we requested. New Zealand itself was a beautiful and friendly country. It was easy to get around. The most amazing thing to us what that the country was not crowded at all compared to other types of vacations we had been on. Even when doing the most touristy of activities, it was not over crowded. This made experiencing the amazing sites and the nature more even more enjoyable and intimate for us.
M. Machado, MD - Jan 2015
When we decided to go to New Zealand for a long vacation, it was overwhelming to start researching all of the places to go and things to do. Finding Jane at Active Downunder was definitely a lifesaver. She answered all of our questions and came up with an itinerary that fit in all of the things we wanted to do and left time for some spontaneous activities as well. Everything was well timed so we were never rushed to get from one city or activity to the other. Jane was also helpful during the trip when the rental car company had an issue with our reservation and she ensured that we would have a car when we arrived in the south island. This was by far the best trip we have been on and that was due to all of the help and information provided by Jane. We would definitely recommend using Active Downunder and wouldn't hesitate to use them the next time we are looking to go to Australia or New Zealand. Thank You!
Scott & Rebecca Duttry, VA - Dec 2014
My husband and I are very thankful to Active Downunder (Jane Turner) for putting together a trip of a lifetime! They took the stress out of alot of planning.
Not only did they help with planning of adventure trips, but also with suggestions for recuperation we were planning in Fiji. We had no idea where to stay, only knew our budget and what we wanted to accomplish with our funds. Active Downunder took that info and immediately gave us several places that met our criteria. We chose 'Lomani Resort' and could not have been happier. It was exactly as we envisioned. I am confident with all of the choices online I could have never made this one! It met all our needs and did not disappoint in the least!
If you are thinking of making NZ a vacation destination, I am here to tell you to stop thinking and just do it! You will not regret the decision, the only regret will be in returning home.
P. Murphy, CA - Oct 2014
Starting with Jane Turner, everything was a vacationer's dream. Her knowledge of the country and ability to tailor an itinerary based on her understanding of our preferences was flawless. New Zealand is truly a world treasure and cannot be missed. The beauty of the entire country and friendliness of Kiwi's makes a return visit a must. There is more than enough to experience for more than one trip, and that alone makes the long plane flight worth while.
M. Ingler, CA - Oct 2014
We found it very difficult to leave New Zealand when our trip was over. Everything was so lush and beautiful. The people are so friendly and gracious. We are so glad that we worked with Active Downunder because they booked us the perfect activities. We really appreciated that we were not on giant tour buses with lots of other tourists. We were really able to immerse ourselves in the culture and we learned a lot of interesting information about the country. We have already started recommending to our friends that they travel to New Zealand and we are considering planning another trip through Active Downunder.
J. Knight, CA – Oct 2014
We can't say enough about Active Downunder. Jane and her team really listened to what kind of vacation we wanted. From accommodations to activities every thing was carefully selected and more than met our expectations. We will definitely be using Active Downunder in the future!
Cynthia and Darlyn, CA - Sept 2014
Active Downunder represents travel agencies with the highest degree of professionalism and service. We highly recommend this company to others that are thinking of taking a trip to Australia and New Zealand.
Giacobassi, CA - Sept 2014
Jane Turner and Active Downunder provided us with the ultimate in customer service. You designed a trip that included everything we had in mind while visiting the South Island and even more! Your suggestions were very helpful while the properties you placed us in were 5 star all the way. I have never experienced a more professional travel planner and wouldn't hesitate to recommend you to my friends wishing to visit New Zealand. Thank you for a very memorable entry to my "bucket list".
Dennis & Kevin Wollenzien, WI - May 2014
Jane and the entire staff at Active Downunder provided us with a great experience that resulted in the trip of a lifetime! They were quick to respond to both phone calls and e-mails regarding the questions we had. Everyone worked with us to create a unique itinerary that included all the things we wanted to do. So glad we had the opportunity to go on this trip, couldn't have done it without Active Downunder.
J. Cones, OH - May 2014
Active Downunder provided an adventure filled, hassle free vacation that we will never forget. We will use them again and will happily refer others!!
M Cones, OH - May 2014
My wife and I had a wonderful 3 week trip to New Zealand in March, 2014. Jane Turner at Active Downunder provided a wonderful itinerary after consulting us about our interests. The combination of lodges, bed and breakfasts, and hotels fit our needs. Our helicopter trips in the Bay of Islands and up to Franz Josef Glacier were wonderful. Our stay at Arthurs Pass, fly fishing near Taupo and the overnight boat trip on Doubtful Sound were also highlights. Jane is a fountain of knowledge about New Zealand and I highly recommend her services.
C. Wilson, TX - Mar 2014
We had a great experience with Jane at Active Downunder. It started with her taking time to understand us and our travel interests. She didn't try to impose her biases on us but was a great resource for us in understanding and evaluating our various options. The one problem we had was the fault of a US airline that caused us to miss our LA to Auckland flight. Jane came to our rescue during the weekend and solved it for us. And finally, the proof is in the pudding, we had an excellent trip! Thank you, Jane.
P. Coleman, AZ - Mar 2014
Our New Zealand trip, planned by Active Down Under, far exceeded our expectations. Working with Active Downunder was simple and easy, and through several communications with Jane, she was able to recommend activities and accommodations that perfectly fit our interests and our budget. Her extensive knowledge of New Zealand ensured that we experienced the best that New Zealand had to offer. Thanks, Jane, for a fantastic trip.
L. Wheeler, TX - Mar 2014
We have traveled extensively both domestic and international. This is the first time we used a travel agency due to the nature of a last minute decision. The overall experience was very positive, we will certainly book with Active Downunder again. Jane did a fabulous job in planning our trip all based on a short conversation. The information provided to us pre-trip was most impressive which allowed us to avoid the usual anxiety of the unknown. It felt like Jane had known us for a long time to plan such a itinerary to the level to our likings. The pace of the trip, the lodgings, activities, down to the detailed airport and hotel transportations, everything executed flawlessly. Excellent job Jane, we will certainly endorse your service and recommend to our friends.
G & M. O'Hoyt, CA - Feb 2014
We were looking for an amazing vacation where we could experience the best of New Zealand within a designated time and budget. We didn't have the time to research all the options or the expertise on the country so after finding Active Downunder's website and connecting with Jane we knew we were on the right track. Her local knowledge, attention to detail, and personal connections allowed us to experience a New Zealand trip of a lifetime. Thank you!
J. Kyle, MN - Mar 2013
We have traveled with the help of travel agents before and Jane Turner is a step above them all. We had the perfect amount of activity and down time between. Amazing time!
D. Roman, MI (Family of 8) - Mar 2013
Our trip to New Zealand was perfect in every way. Jane's recommendations for our itinerary were well-informed and accurate in every detail, and the accommodations she suggested suited us very well. We could not have been in better hands, and look forward to returning to New Zealand with Jane's guidance.
Margaret and Alan Lilly, CA - Feb 2013
If you are planning a trip to New Zealand, we highly recommend that you contact Active Downunder and Jane Turner. Jane is skilled at finding out clients’ interests and then, plans a customized trip you will never forget. She is a native New Zealander and a wonderful representative of the friendly people in that country. We travel a lot and this has to be one of the best trips we have taken, not only because of the physical beauty of the country, but also because of the accommodations selected for us. In particular we had the opportunity to get to know several B&B owners and those personal connections made the experiences even more worthwhile. These accommodations were all incredible, and made even more magnificent because their outstanding hosts treated us like close friends. Active Downunder and Jane Turner made these special experiences possible and we will treasure our memories.
A & B Reiland, IL - Feb 2013
Jane Turner did an outstanding job of arranging our month long trip to NZ. The country's scenery, tourist infrastructure, & friendly people lived up to all the hype. Rather than checking NZ off of our list, we plan on returning one day for further exploration. All of the logistics of travel went off without a hitch thanks to the impeccable organization of Active Downunder. I will highly recommend Active Downunder to anyone wishing to travel to NZ. Thanks for the great work!
C. Trice, FL - Feb 2013
Active Downunder (in the person of Jane Turner) has provided one of the highest quality and most enjoyable travel experiences we have ever had. Her detailed knowledge of NZ, meticulous planning and and timely follow-up resulted in our having a wonderful and stress free month long experience with the Kiwis.
J. Brown, CA - Feb 2013
"Thank you for an unbelievable trip of a lifetime! Everything you planned was perfect and exactly what Andrea and I were looking for. The pacing was great with just the right amounts of activity, rest, driving etc. Your attention to detail and knowledge of New Zealand really sets you apart from anyone else I believe. I can't tell you how often we heard the innkeepers/managers/owners say " Jane booked your trip, she is a absolutely the best, I'm sure you will love all your activities and accommodations!" Some highlights: the incredible overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound where we saw blue penguins, the gorgeous setting and hosts at the Riverrun, the thrill of jet boating, walking on the ice at Fox Glacier, Wilderness Lodge Arthur's Pass (the hosts and property were amazing), beautiful Kaikoura bay, kayaking in the Marlborough Sounds, walking on the Queen Charlotte Track and Wellington. It was a great trip, and I wouldn't have changed a thing!"
J. Moore, CA - Dec 2012
New Zealand is a magnificent country... a little of Hawaii, a little of Vancouver B.C., a little of Switzerland, a little of Tuscany, and the beautiful waters of the Caribbean! The people are delightful! A true hidden treasure in this world. Active Downunder is the very best group to plan a personalized trip that captures all of the very best of this special place.
D. McGaughey, NC - Nov 2012
Jane's approach of working with me to find out my interests (and non-interests) and then pulling together an itinerary and accommodations tailored to my specific wishes worked exceptionally well. I had a chance to sample quite a few bits of the South Island without feeling either rushed or bored. The accommodations were outstanding and the time spent with some of the hosts of the B&Bs/Lodge were among the highlights of the trip.
T. Luedtke, VA - Oct 2012
Working with Active Downunder was a joy. They were knowledgeable, helpful, patient and professional. We are not "world travelers" and they answered all of our questions, put us at ease and suggested things we would never have thought of. I thought planning an adventure half-way around the world was going to be difficult and the contrary was true they made it easy and fun. New Zealand is fabulous -- the scenery, the range of things to see and do, and the friendliness of the people.
R. Roller, MA - July 2012
We had a fabulous trip to New Zealand. Working with Jane and Active Downunder could not have been easier. The lodges we stayed in and the personalized activities she booked for us made this a trip of a lifetime. With great attention to ensuring all our trip desires were met, Active Downunder will be our choice for coordinating a future trip to New Zealand.
D. Adkins, CA - Mar 2012
New Zealand was breath taking in its beauty and our adventures were fantastic. Jane helped customize our trip to help us experience the Maori culture, beautiful beaches and majestic forests of the North Island. On the South Island, we hiked on Fox Glacier, flew over the Southern Alps to Milford Sound, visited a working sheep farm and saw the Albatros and penguins on the Otago Peninsula. Wow!
D. Heller, CA - Mar 2012
A terrific vacation experience organized and planned by the professionals at Active Downunder. We never could have found the high quality BNB's they recommended. These special local accommodations were a very big part of our wonderful New Zealand experience by getting to know the people. Thank you Jane for a great itinerary and a memorable experience.
D. Glass, SC - Feb 2012
Words cannot describe how much we enjoyed our trip to New Zealand planned by Jane. Our itinerary was exactly what we had dreamed of! Upon arrival in New Zealand we were not disappointed. Our accommodations were luxurious and in amazing locations. When staying at B&Bs our hosts were extraordinary, attentive and helpful and assisted us in making the most of each area. We cannot wait to return to New Zealand to see more of the country, and we will definitely be seeking the help of Jane again!
R. Wilson, AZ - Feb 2012
I've been wanting to see New Zealand for a long time, but I didn't expect to fall in love with it the way I have! It's magical! Highlights: Abel Tasman, Wilderness Lodges at both Arthur's Pass & Lake Moeraki , Doubtful Sound and Stewart Island. Jane from Active Downunder did a fabulous job in selecting our hotels and organizing our trip. Their pacing is perfect and we were pampered all the way!
V. Thomas, CA – Jan 2012
Jane Turner at Active Downunder did a great job in planning and booking our trip to New Zealand's South Island. It was a very memorable and enjoyable trip. New Zealand is beautiful and the New Zealanders are very nice people. Now I'm ready to visit the North Island.
S. Rollins, CA – Jan 2012
Active Downunder planned an outstanding trip for us, congruent with our interests and so intelligently plotted out to do it all without exhausting ourselves. We were able to see everything we had hoped to see in a reasonable sequence, as well as engage in challenging and enjoyable activities. Virtually all of our guides were knowledgeable, and all of our hosts friendly and helpful. Most accomodations were comfortable, well-appointed and conveniently located. Jane put the entire trip together in a minimum amount of time. We felt she was looking out for us during the entire trip.
C. Coleman, MI – Dec 2012
We struggled to find someone who could speak to us with authority about travel options for Australia and New Zealand. We talked to a number of agents who said they could give us a brochure or a web site or tell us what others had told them. It was so refreshing to find someone who could speak first-hand about what to expect there. Jane Turner is a Kiwi and she personally knows the people, the destinations, and the properties where we ultimately stayed during our 28-day trip. We were always comfortable that Jane was the unquestioned authority about the options from which we selected our itinerary. As a result of our own personal research, we had an interest in seeing one location that was not on one of Jane's itineraries, but she took care of every detail for that, too. We decided to concentrate on New Zealand. For the Australian portion of our trip, Jane used known, well- established, and reliable associates to manage our arrangements.
We wish that we could say that everything went without a hitch. In fact, it did as it relates to Jane's advice, arrangements, and preparations. Her work was thorough and comprehensive and we were well prepared for a month-long stay in other countries. Unfortunately, we were overseas during a category 5 cyclone (Yasi) and the Christchurch earthquake. This is precisely when the value of working with Jane Turner was demonstrated. Anybody can make reservations and take your check. However, we had a portion of our planned agenda wiped out. Cyclone Yasi was almost the same breadth and intensity as Hurricnae Katrina in the U.S. The airline phone lines were jammed and airports were closed. We had reached the end of our stay in one location and had no room and no place to go the following day. We had purchased travel insurance, but when we called the 1-800 international number, no one could help us. To our great pleasure, Jane and her associates jumped in and worked everything out for us. All we had to do was mix a drink and wait for the phone to ring. In spite of these great tragedies (and our personal sorrow for the victims), adjustments were made to our schedule and we were redirected to an alternate destination which turned out to be a real highlight for us. Most importantly, we were not alone. Jane was an ally who stood by us when the chips were down. We found Jane to be a resource who values excellence and who pays attention to every detail. Most of all, we believe that anybody can do a good job when everything goes perfectly. It's when the unexpected happens that true excellence can be manifested. We cannot recommend Jane Turner and Active Downunder more highly.
F & L. Blackwell, AL - Feb 2011
The best trip we've ever taken. This was a fantastic trip. The South Island of New Zealand is gorgeous and offers anything you could possibly want in a vacation; friendly people, amazing scenery, a multitude of outdoor and cultural activities, shopping, wineries, and fine wine and dining. Jane Turner is obviously on excellent terms with the establishments she recommends as more than one commented on their pleasure working with her. I found Jane to be knowledgeable, helpful, timely, and a pleasure to work with. Thank you.
K. Harrell, OR - May 2011
My whole experience with Active Downunder has been amazing! I am a member of the military, and I had planned an Active Downunder vacation during my R&R from Afghanistan. Unfortunately, I found out days before my travel that I would not be able to make the trip. My girlfriend immediately contacted Jane, and she helped us reschedule our vacation three months later at no additional cost. We went on the Wilderness Lodges tour in March, and it was fantastic. Thank you so much!
C. Brown, WV - March 2011
New Zealand had been our “Bucket List” for quite some time, but our online research left us perplexed on just how to best plan a trip to a place as large and diverse as New Zealand. During our online research, we discovered Active Downunder’s web site and made our initial contact with Jane Turner. After completing their questionnaire and having a discussion with Jane, she put together an itinerary based upon our preferences and the types of activities that we most enjoy. We made no alterations to our initial itinerary and she was “spot-on” for the entire trip. The only thing we would change, would be to stay even longer. If you love the outdoors, pristine scenery, great people, great food and lovely places to stay, New Zealand would be hard to beat! It is one of our most memorable trips we have ever taken and we are sure to return and use Jane as our agent.
B & J Haberman, CA - March 2011
Glaciers, Beaches, Rainforests & Fiords - South Island
This was our best vacation ever! We felt it was just the right pace. We had great accommodations and itinerary. We feel we experienced all the highlights of The South Island, and we will use Active Downunder again and recommend to friends.
Leyendecker Family of 4, NC - March 2011
How can we say thanks? You and your team provided for us a once in a lifetime experience in New Zealand. Especially in light of the fact of the earthquakes in that region. Everything went off without a hitch. Your travel tips, advise and arrangements were excellent. Everything about the trip was on time and well coordinated. You and your company will be highly recommended at each opportunity.
I & M. Hall, MI - February 2011
New Zealand is an amazingly rugged and beautiful country and the folks at Active Downunder know it best. Jane was excellent and her knowledge inspired confidence that that trip would be excellent. While in NZ, every lodge talked about how Jane did her homework and visited every place/activity she recommends--something not every travel company does. Not sure we've seen more beautiful, rugged land than that at Milford Sound. The pilot was informative and because the weather was good, spent a bit more time in the air. The cruise of Milford completed the perfect day--bringing nature close up and personal after the flight. Our tour in Dunedin with Classic Jaguar Limo and our wonderful guide was so much fun. I'm sure we wouldn't have seen nearly enough of Dunedin without our guide: Lanarch Castle and its story was fun; the albatross and penguins won our hearts. This was a trip to remember!
W. Smoski, IL - February 2011
Jane Turner organized an absolutely wonderful trip that my nephew and I will never forget. We saw so many beautiful areas of NZ. The excursions were excellent and hotels great. Everything scheduled went perfect and the itinerary was easy to follow with instructions of confirmations, times to be ready, etc. The Routeburn Track day hike was my favorite activity, along with horseback riding and kayaking. For hotels, Wanaka Springs was great-due to the people, spacious room and a lovely setting with a spring running through the back yard. Absolutely wonderful! The trip wouldn't have been anywhere close to what it was without Jane's assistance and Active Downunder.
T. Schoeneman, CA - Dec 2010
We cannot stop extolling the wonders of New Zealand (the very air smelled good!), its people and, of course Jane's expertise in creating a most memorable itinerary for us. The combination of cars and domestic flights worked wonderfully. The actual paper itinerary was so precise with times to return cars, board planes arrive and leave. Only her actual presence taking us by the hand could have improved the execution. We were so enamored of NZ we said had we been younger (without children and grandchildren in the US) we would have considered emigrating to NZ. Our accommodations were wonderful and exceeded our expectations - we felt pampered and very much welcomed. Just one question: Can we become honorary Kiwis?
D. Steele, NY - Nov 2010
Jane provided exceptional service in assessing our ideal itinerary requirements and executing a customized plan for our trip. The moves within the islands were well spaced and thought out and the driving turned out to be a pleasure, not a burden. All activity providers were exceptional and there were no "hitches" in the trip whatsoever.
D. Simpson, NJ - Sept 10
We had never been to New Zealand, but wanted to see all the highlights (whatever they were); Active Downunder planned and booked a 21 day adventure that fulfilled all of our desires and more. Superior planning of timing at each location and between locations and flight scheduling. Not one single issue on the trip from flights, rental car, all bookings and all adventures. Not one hidden cost, nor any problems for the entire trip. We highly recommend Active Downunder for a trip, with a touch of class.
R & J Lilac, CA - March 10
We have greatly enjoyed our two trips to New Zealand. Jane Turner from Active Downunder has organized both trips for us (we called her to arrange our second trip after she did such a great job on our first trip). We have had wonderful accommodations and Jane booked many ACTIVE adventures for us. New Zealand is a spectacular country that we cannot wait to visit again - stunningly beautiful and full of things to do for all levels of physical ability. On the second trip we took our sons and they it loved too.
M & D Mitchell, IL - March 10
A visit to New Zealand is a must for any traveler. There is a wonderful "pace" to the country. It is impeccably clean, friendly, and full of surprises around every corner. We delighted in being able to tour the country "on our own" at our own pace. Active Downunder(Jane)listened carefully to our preferences and created a tour that met our expectations and our budget. We want to go back and will look to Jane for assistance when we do.
H & J Weber, AZ - March 10
After our third trip with Active Downunder, Jane continues to impress us with her ability to find excellent accommodations and activities. The planning is meticulous - step off a plane and a car is waiting - drop off the car and the shuttle is ready. The self-drive touring has provided for some excellent photo opportunities, and the guided tours have taken us to places we would never have found by ourselves. Our trip started in Auckland, then Lake Taupo (by way of Hobbiton), with geothermal sights and awesome mountain vistas. In Wellington we stayed at the Museum Hotel across from the waterfront - a great location for walking around much of the city. In Dunedin, we enjoyed the Taieri gorge train trip, Larnach castle and Otago pennisula. Stewart Island is not to be missed, and Fiordland always provides for some great photos with dramatic sights on the drive from Te Anau to Milford. Queenstown is still our favorite - the view of Lake Wakitipu from our room is the photo we use to make our friends envious. We are counting the days to our next trip with over 10,000 photos already. Thanks again, Jane.
L & S Hanchin, CA - Feb 2010
Jane Turner at Active Downunder planned a stupendous 3 week trip covering every aspect of our New Zealand active vacation. Both the country and the people were beautiful and welcoming, through and through. Experiencing all the outdoor adventures that both islands have to offer was a dream trip and we highly recommend it for any outdoor enthusiast. Hiking, kayaking, abseiling, climbing, whitewater rafting, jetboating, swimming with dolphins, sailing, mountain biking, they have it all!
D. DeSantis, FL - Jan 10
Jane and Active Downunder turned our confusion about where and how to travel in New Zealand into order and clarity. Jane took our personal desires and intentions into account and created a diverse itinerary for us that met and exceeded them. This trip was a wonderful introduction to a very beautiful and special country. I look forward to a return trip.
K.Hearn, CA - Dec 09
Rob and I love traveling and are used to planning our own vacations, spending hours and hours selecting flights, accommodations and places to visit. Every year it gets a little harder to find the time to do the research needed to really make a good vacation. As soon as we started working with Jane at Active Downunder it was clear that this was going to be, not only the trip of a lifetime, but also the easiest vacation we had ever taken. Every detail of the trip was taken care of, and the week before we left we couldn’t quite believe that there wasn’t more to do - just the packing and getting to the airport! Jane was meticulous in planning every detail and ensuring we had all the information we needed, as well as keeping within our budget.
Our two week holiday on the south island was truly the trip of a lifetime. Every minute we spent in New Zealand was incredible, thanks to the attention to detail and care Jane took in planning our itinerary. The accommodations were outstanding; all of our hosts went out of their way to ensure we had everything we needed and that we always ate at the best place in town!
All the individualized day trips Jane arranged for us were perfectly suited to us, and still left us time to do some exploring on our own. Our overnight cruise on the Doubtful Sound was indescribably serene and peaceful; it is hard to do justice to such an incredible place. Jet boating down the Wilkins River after a fixed-wing flight through mountain peaks, and hanging glaciers, was such fun and so exhilarating! Jane made every aspect of our trip special -- our memories are going to stay with us for a very long time!
Dr. S Fincham-Gray, CA - May 09
I have always made my own travel arrangements in Europe and the United States, but realized that doing this for New Zealand was out of my realm. I found Jane Turner through a recommendation in the magazine Conde Nast and the Active Downunder website. Lucky for us! We consulted with Jane about the places we wanted to visit in the North and South Island - a seemingly impossible set of destinations - and she designed a custom itinerary for us. She took care of airline schedules and reservations, car rentals, the interisland ferry, an overnight to Doubtful Sound, and accommodations. She also suggested a mix of self-catering, B&B and resort hotels, which worked out wonderfully. We spent almost a month in New Zealand, having a wonderful time without any concerns about travel arrangements or bookings. Thank you Jane!!
K. Kirigin and C. Warren, CA – March 09
We have just returned from our fabulous trip to New Zealand. Our self-drive tour of the South Island was beautifully planned. Highlights included the overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound, a jet boat trip with a Maori decendent guide in Wanaka, hikes and kayaking in Arthur's Pass, and cruising on Queen Charlotte Sound.
What made the trip really special was staying at the wonderful small properties you chose for us, and getting to know the owners. Lime Tree Lodge in Wanaka and Maison Grange in Blenheim are gorgeous properties. The owners at each place provided us with information about activities and dining that only a local would know, and were gracious hosts from the wonderful breakfasts to great cocktails. At Lime Tree Lodge the staff even hung clothes I had hand washed out on the clothes line! The Wilderness Lodge in Arthur's Pass is also a very special place. The location and the accomodations are great, and we will long remember our hikes and kayaking with the owner/naturalist. Toward the end of our trip, after a long drive from Arthur's Pass to Blenheim, we relaxed in the pool at Maison Grange, and my husband said, "Bless Jane Turner". We thank you.
L. Aeschliman, NH - Jan 09
Our trip as planned for us by Active Downunder was absolutely stellar. Every nuance and detail was fully attended to. We were told by some of the B&B owners that you don't recommend a lodging unless you have first-hand knowledge from having stayed there. Your intimate knowledge of New Zealand was obvious to us as the trip unfolded. We had a great time! Thank you.
R Steele, GA - Jan 09
"The best single destination trip I have taken"
It is difficult to capture with words the amazing landscapes, seascapes, vistas, flora and fauna, hikes, and gracious hosting we were served up during the last many days. We have been fortunate to see a lot of the world but I cannot think of a "one destination" vacation that has matched the people and places of New Zealand. The land has a "wow" around every corner and the people are straightforward friendly without affectation.
The owner-operated boutique properties on our itinerary were terrific, gracious, welcoming and comfortable. The owners at the Wilderness Lodge provided a lifetime memory with their Christmas morning hike and marshmallow roast up on the mountain. Maison Grange is right out of Architectural Digest and John and Robyn are as a welcoming duo as one will find. Peter at Cliff Edge produced two virtuoso dinners and the setting on the inland passage is very interesting viewing. Huntley House and the library/bar is very elegant. The other brilliant choice was Brian, as our guide for the five day west coast trip. He is the finest guide I have ever experienced. He is totally knoweledgeable on the NZ culture, history, topography, flora & fauna, wildlife and the hidden scenic treasures. On top of that he is very service focused. Just an outstanding selection. The White Island and Fox Glacier heli trips are life experiences!
Active Downunder provided the kind of unique personal travel experience that is only possible from consultants who know their destinations intimately. We found your NZ suppliers have respect for Active Downunder and are dedicated to providing your guests with a great experience. The trip was a wonderful total introduction to the New Zealand land, culture and hospitality.
L Shobe, AZ - Jan 09
Active Downunder planned our honeymoon to perfection. The itinerary allowed us to see much of New Zealand with great ease. The accommodations were great. This was the trip of a lifetime! It was by far the best trip I have ever taken.
B Rutledge, TX - Jan 09
Our trip to New Zealand absolutely exceeded our wildest expectations. There are truly not enough superlatives to describe what a wonderful experience it was, all thanks to the efforts of Jane Turner and her staff at Active Downunder. Jane's attention to detail is extraordinary and made a complicated international travel plan easier than planning a 3-day getaway to San Francisco. We were amazed at the caliber of accommodations that she arranged and very pleased with the pace of the trip. Her plan allowed us plenty of time for fun activities and allowed us to see a majority of the South Island in two weeks without feeling like we spent the whole time in the car. The activities arranged were fantastic – from spectacular sea-kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park to hiking on Fox Glacier. She also provided suggestions for side trips that allowed us to see some of New Zealand’s most breathtaking scenery that we might otherwise have missed out on. Our trip was completely customized to our desires and constraints. There is no way we could possibly have had the wonderful time we did without Active Downunder. New Zealand’s awe-inspiring natural scenery and friendly, outgoing people have made it a vacation destination to which we are now certain we will return just as soon as we can, and the outstanding service provided by Jane Turner has made it equally certain that we won’t be doing so without her help.
S Soltis, CA - Nov 08
Without a doubt we would recommend the Naturally New Zealand trip to anyone. It was so well organized, so many tours/activities that we would not have known about if we had traveled on our own. The itinerary allowed us so much freedom to have our own schedule and do everything at our own pace. The variety of lodgings made it special. This was probably the best trip we have ever taken - it was just wonderful!
C & J Englehorn, ID - Oct 08
We had a fabulous trip and every bit of our logistics went off without a hitch. We especially enjoyed the local rugby game that Active Downunder arranged for us to attend. Treetops was fantastic – the staff did a great job for us, food was excellent, and the lodge and surroundings are surreal. The services provided by Active Downunder are top notch and I would gladly recommend them to any experienced or novice travelers.
G Carter, TX - Aug 08
Our trip to New Zealand was all we imagined it would be and more due to the preparatory work of Active Downunder. We enjoyed each day, filled with anticipation of the known and exciting when we found pearls to remember. The meals at the lodges were exquisite. And each lodge owner was professional and you felt like you were the only people there. Onto the South Island!
K Yamanaka, CA - May 08
Active Downunder does an amazing job. With this being our first big trip out of the country, we were pretty clueless. Jane held our hand and patiently worked through the haze for us. She targeted perfectly the right places & accommodations. The ease of using a detailed itinerary for each place that we went made a huge difference in our stress level for a 26 day trip. We would use her again in a heartbeat and strongly recommend anyone putting their trust in her & Active Downunder.
T & D Erbstoesser, CA - Mar 08
We were delighted with the scheduling of our trip, the quality and the variety of activities and accommodation. All of our lodging and locations were special. Our hosts were gracious and very helpful in providing information that we needed to make the most of our stay. They were also all proud of their association with Active Downunder. You have a great knowledge and a keen sense of your customers' interests and needs. The trip was most memorable - thanks very much!
W & P Burns, MN - Feb 08
Following your itinerary was like following a treasure map with wonderful surprises at every turn! The pace was perfect, one day where it was right then two days interspersed. The owners of the B & B's were incredible - It was hard leaving each place because of their hospitality and attention to our every need. Our guide, Allen, for the Marlborough wine tour & Greenshell Mussel cruise was loaded with personality and jokes and it couldn't have been a better day. We had picture-perfect weather when we took the Heli walk on Fox Glacier, and for our Doubtful Sound excursion (calm waters with playful dolphins and penguins). All in all, you did an outstanding job and were well thought of with each of our owners. The relationships you have developed greatly enhanced our experiences in New Zealand. It was a most amazing, incredible, memorable trip. We wanted to drive from the North to the South & catch as much as we could in the time there--you accomplished this for us and took the stress factor out.
Judy & Ed Hoerster, IL - Feb 08
This was our honeymoon, a trip you want to remember forever. Well, it was that and more. Our agent, Jane Turner was the best!!! She gave us a questionaire about what we wanted to do, what level of accomodations, interests, etc. Well, we wouldn't have changed a thing, it was perfect. In fact we felt everyday was more fun than the last. All of our activities were timed perfectly -- a feat that could only be accomplished by one from New Zealand. A true highlight was the surfing that Jane arranged with a local instructor in Kaikoura. A great experience, and what a location - sapphire blue water and beautiful mountains, who could ask more anything more. It was one of the best days of surf in years! Thanks for all the memories!!!
J. Simandl, NY - Feb 08
New Zealand is an amazing place with wonderful people. Jane Turner and Active Downunder really helped us plan a trip to show us more of New Zealand than we would have hoped to on our own. She really knows how to combine an independent, active vacation with luxury! We loved the small inns that we stayed at where the personal touch was a nice antedote to large hotels. When we had guides, they were genuinely friendly and interested in showing you New Zealand. What a wonderful trip!
J. Law Courter MD - CA - Feb 08
We would like to thank you for the wonderful trip you put together for us. Everything worked seamlessly, the weather was great, the Kiwis great, and we are convinced that your expertise is what brought it all together. Our Queenstown accommodation was a wonderful choice. We loved our room with a view. We did our Routeburn Day walk with Peter, the owner of Guided Nature Walks and we can't say enough good things about him and the day we spent with him. The Miharotia in Kaikoura was perfect - Polly was a great hostess and the accomodations were superb. We did see whales, seals, and dolphins and got to eat Crayfish. It was a great mix of B&B's, lodges, and hotels. Having all the tours booked made everything so simple. We are thinking this was just a "probe" into your beautiful country and we are already planning to make a return visit and see Abel Tasman, Napier, wine country, etc. Thanks again!
R & J Steele, Feb 08
This was our second trip planned with Active Downunder. We loved it! It was just what we wanted -- relaxing, interesting, convivial, and beautiful. We'll be back.
J & E Redish, MD - Feb 08
We wanted this trip to be a special one (to celebrate our 45th anniversary) and it certainly was. Working with Jane and Active Downunder made the planning simple and stress free. She listened to all our wishes and she met and exceeded them. Every place we stayed was thrilled with her professional attitude and attention to detail, as were we. They spoke of her as a friend, and I think we got better service because she had done her job so well. We never could have replicated this on our own. It was the best trip we've ever had - and we've had lots of them. Many, many thanks!
Polly & Fred Watts, VI - Jan 08
This trip was perfect. The Hollyford Track 3 Day Wilderness Journey was the true highlight of our trip - a trampers (hikers) dream, filled with unbelievable beauty! The friendliness and knowledge of our guide added a dimension we would have missed if we'd walked alone. We also cannot say enough about our experience at Wilderness Lodge Arthur's Pass. We participated in their one day guided hike - this was one of our favorite parts of the trip. Rob was outstanding as a host and guide. Our stay at the Wilderness Lodge was the PERFECT way to end our time in New Zealand. This was a trip of a lifetime, and we can't imagine a vacation that could come close to being as perfect for us as this was!
D & S Walker, MI - Dec 07
A wonderful trip and an amazing experience. We loved New Zealand and would love to go back. The White Island Heli-Tour was unbelievable - a real highlight of the trip. Kudos to Jane for planning a fantastic vacation on very little notice--during Christmas week! We would recommend Active Downunder to anyone considering a trip to New Zealand.
Mendelsohn Family, NY - Jan 08
We would highly recommend visiting New Zealand to anyone. Active Downunder truly made it a memorable trip. The small details made it most enjoyable. Our honeymoon was like a fairly tale, filled with beaches and glaciers, wonderful hosts, beautiful rooms, great food, etc. The trip had a nice pace, where we could relax or be busy, whatever mood struck us. We are telling all of our friends to contact Active Downunder if they ever want to see New Zealand!
Newlyweds Bryan & Maria, GA, Nov 07
We had a glorious time in New Zealand. We are so happy we connected with you. So many places we arrived at in New Zealand said 'oh, Jane from Active Downunder sent you'. It was clear you are much appreciated by your fellow Kiwi's. Starting out in Picton at McCormick House was so enjoyable, what lovely hosts. We love Huntley House and swimming with the dolphins at Akaroa was amazing. The Wilderness Lodges were great. The high country sheep muster was a thrill to experience. The day we spent with Gerry McSweeney was so memorable. He is a font of information and enthusiasm. We loved the overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound. The crew members were all so pleasant and genuine. The Stewart Island and Ulva Island experience was amazing. New Zealand is a unique place on the planet. The guides we had throughout the trip really enhanced our appreciation and sense of wonder. The natural beauty in New Zealand is astonishing. We really value the itinerary you prepared - 'Nature Lovers New Zealand' - and the experiences you recommended. Thank you so much.
Florence and Phil Ernzen, MI - Mar 07
I have been meaning to let you know how incredible your country is !!!!!!!! We had the most wonderful time -the country, your people, the great food and wine. We spent 21 days and had only 36 hrs of rain (bit of a drought). And I am particularly grateful for your help in recommending the Wilderness Journey on the Hollyford Track - great guides, huts and 12 fellow Aussie trampers - it was so interesting and beautiful. But I did lose my heart to Doubtful Sound - WOW WOW - the high point of the trip and up there with the great times in my life!!! Thank you for all your help!
E. Quinlan, NY - Feb 07
We are just back from taking your 'Naturally New Zealand' vacation. What a wonderful trip! The areas you sent us were so different from each other and each beautiful. The places we stayed were outstanding (we felt pampered). One of my favorite accommodations was 'Lime Tree Lodge'. We loved the friendly people; breathtaking scenery; deliciously fresh food and the weather (only a few days of rain)! The tours were wonderful. My husband's favorite was the Waipoua Forest Twilight Encounter walk; while mine was the day we toured the Otago Peninsula in a 40 year old jaguar - mostly due to our guide, Bruce, a delightful fellow. We enjoyed the day with him so much (he even invited us to his home for tea at the end of the day). The guided glacier walk and both of the scenic flight tours (and cruise of Milford Sound) were also great experiences. I really can't think of anything that we would change. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This was a trip of a lifetime for us.
S. Bourn, CO - Feb 07
Our trip to New Zealand was our most enjoyable ever! We contacted Active Downunder because we were having trouble deciding upon a plan. Jane took our sketchy ideas and created a very detailed itinerary. Highlights were Dart River Safari & the Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise (something we would not have found without Jane's help). Queenstown was extremely enjoyable and we were glad that we did the self-drive from Queenstown to Fox Glacier that Jane suggested. Not only did we get many photos at the glacier, but also along the way. The Tranz Alpine Train was also good for photos. The morning Salt Air scenic flight from the Bay of Islands to Cape Reinga was impressive, arriving at the cape early enough to pretty much have it to ourselves. After a couple of busy weeks it was very relaxing to lounge by the water in Russell and Paihia. All accommodations were excellent and within walking distance of interesting activities. The only complaint we have is that we couldn’t stay a few weeks longer. We can hardly wait until our next trip. Thanks again, Jane.
Len and Sue, Irvine, CA – Feb 07
Thank you for a perfectly planned trip Jane. From Wellington to Dunedin, an unforgettable trip. I've never stayed in such elegant places, from the boutique hotels to B & B's, our hosts were all so helpful and hospitable. Huntley House in Christchurch was exceptional and I've never had such succulent lamb as Bryan, the chef, cooked. It was extroadinary. Our 'Lord of the Rings' tours were so much fun and I loved our walk on the Routeburn Track. Our last day with Jeff on the Otago Peninsula with the albatross, sea lions and especially Bob, the penguin, was very special. Thank you so much.
Sincerely, J. Albersheim, CO - Jan 07
Our customized Active Downunder tour of New Zealand was absolutely wonderful. Jane planned our itinerary so well that we never felt rushed. And yet we saw so many incredible places and so much wildlife, we can hardly believe we fit it all into two weeks. Each tour guide was delightful, and so knowledgable about their part of New Zealand. And each lodge was a very special place where we felt pampered and comfortable. And then there was the fabulous food! We especially loved the McCormick House in Picton, RiverRun in Wanaka and the Huntley House in Christchurch. We have to go back to New Zealand because we know there is so much more to see, and the best way is to have Kiwis arrange the trip.
Renee, CO - Jan 07
Hello and thank you Jane Turner,
Our trip to New Zealand was very enjoyable and we would like to thank you for the very thoughtful and thorough itinerary. We found New Zealand and the people to be open and friendly. Your prepared itinerary allowed for us to see and experience the very best that New Zealand and Jane Turner had to offer. The Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise was incredible and very professionally operated. Please know that we would not hesitate recommending you to our friends and/or anyone interested in seeing New Zealand.
Gracias para todos,
Dr. J Wardle, Phd & Dr. J. Baez-Ramos, Phd, WA - Jan 07
Just a quick note to tell you that the trip was perfect!! All the flights were on time, the people friendly and the natural beauty magnificent. The trip kept getting better each day with highlights including the heli-hike at Fox Glacier. The overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound was great - first day sun and then rain just enough for the waterfalls to be in full flow. The 3 Day Wilderness Journey on the Hollyford Track was perfect. The second day it poured but Eileen had the best time of all splashing through the rivers. The flight up Milford Sound on the last day was a perfect climax. Thanks for everything!
Dr. Harold and Eileen Horwitz, RI - Dec 06
Nick and I had an absolutely fantastic time on our trip to New Zealand. The itinerary you prepared for us was planned perfectly, down to the minute, we enjoyed it all so much! All activity guides were professional, knowledgeable and friendly. (We especially enjoyed Peter & Gary while hiking Cape Brett in the Bay of Islands!!) Our accommodations were simply stunning and our hosts delightful. They took care of our every need. Peter from Cliff Edge prepared for us the most exquisite meal during our stay. From digging our hot water spa, hiking Fox Glacier, rafting the Shotover River, to the overnight cruise on the Doubtful Sound, we could not have asked for more. We truly had the trip of a lifetime! We would wholeheartedly recommend you and Active Downunder to anyone interested in planning a trip to New Zealand!
Nick and Emily, NY - Nov 06
We’re back from New Zealand and just wanted to let you know we loved everything you planned for us and had wonderful adventures! We asked you to give us our own ‘Amazing Race’ adventure, and you actually exceeded our expectations! Between Black-water Rafting through caves to Kayaking in the Abel Tasman (with visits from friendly seals included) to taking on The Triple Challenge (a helicopter ride, whitewater rafting and jetboating), to seeing a just-born calf from the window of our B&B, we had the vacation of a lifetime. After all of the things you planned for us, it seemed like the next natural step was skydiving– something I have always wanted to do - it was spectacular! Each of the places you booked for us were great, although one B&B, Country Villa in Rotorua, stood out. The owners Anneke and John went out of their way to make us feel like honored guests in their exquisite home. Anneke is a wonderful cook who indulged us with delicious homemade breakfasts and freshly baked bread every day! What a lovely experience. Thank you for all your great planning! We are so pleased to have worked with you and will be sure to recommend you.
R. Bruce, NY – Aug 06
Our first visit to New Zealand in Nov 2005 was a dream come true, thanks to Jane Turner and her exceptional skills at planning the best vacation we’ve ever experienced. We are so grateful for hearing about her and Active Downunder from friends who enjoyed a similar itinerary – one month spent leisurely and independently exploring the North and South islands. Jane’s attention to details made our 26 days flow seamlessly – from air travel to car rental to exquisite lodgings to kayaking and hiking treks to vineyard excursions to Kauri forest tramps to cruising fiords and boating the bays to fine dining to meeting the most friendly people anywhere – the New Zealanders! We will always treasure the sights and sounds and warmth of this magnificent country. Our most sincere thanks to Jane for making it all possible. We will return!
B and M Kennedy, NH, Nov 05
Thanks for a great trip with memories for a long-time to come! Barbara and I very much enjoyed our recent NZ trip; thanks for your considerable guidance and many arrangements! Your services were excellent, and you obviously enjoy a reputation for quality and service in NZ. We are happy to recommend your services to others wanting to travel to NZ. So, again, thanks for your assistance!
G. Porter, WA, Nov 05
We had the trip of a lifetime in New Zealand! Active Downunder met with us and provided a tailor made experience for our group which not only took in our interests but matched it with the culture and contour of the country. The sights, the sounds and the food were superb. Perhaps our greatest joy was getting to meet Kiwis whose passion for life and their invidividual calling provided us with personal inspiration. The only way to top our trip is to come back!
Fenwick W. English, President, CMSI, Johnston, Iowa - Jan 05
Active Downunder did a spectacular job of anticipating our likes and dislikes and put together an adventure which was beyond our wildest expectations. It was really great to have most of the big decisions about accommodations, transportation and scheduling already made for us so we could concentrate on enjoying our time in New Zealand. Using vouchers instead of cash or credit cards was a real convenience.
We got the impression that Active Downunder was on personal terms or had first-hand knowledge with all the B&B owners and various tour companies, because the accommodations were all top-notch and the activities were refreshing and a lot of fun. Our trip was the perfect combination of light physical activity (hiking and kayaking) plus more leisurely touring (coach tours and walkarounds).
I would definitely recommend Active Downunder to anyone considering a trip to New Zealand, especially if it is their first trip and they are not sure how to best spend the time. Our experience was a trip of a lifetime!
Michael Powers, San Diego, CA, Feb 04
We wanted a trip to New Zealand on our own, fairly active experiencing all the major attractions plus some local attractions. We did not want to drive the whole thing and we had a month. Active Downunder planned all our stays, lodges, hotels and B&Bs. They booked all our activities, hiking, glacier hiking, kayaking and cultural events. It was PERFECT! Our trip was perfectly timed and exactly what we wanted. I recommend Active Downunder and would talk with anyone about our experience.
H. Mason, Hood River, OR, Oct 04
hanks for putting together one of my best vacations ever (and we travel quite a bit)! Everything went well, it was a stress free vacation. We usually stay at hotels but I am really glad Jane picked small B&B, lodge type places. One of the many highlights was meeting many different people from all over the world. Another highlight was the 3 Day Wilderness Journey into one of the most remote areas we have ever been. The rainforest was unreal! It was a very active vacation, which we loved. Thank you very much for the trip of a lifetime!
R. Matsui, Los Angeles, CA, Nov 04
This was an outstanding experience for us. Maybe the best so far. We discovered Active Downunder on the Tourism New Zealand website and were attracted to the name. We called, left a number and time to call. Jane Turner called us right on time! This was a great start. We subsequently talked for an hour or more during which time Jane asked us about our travel interests, likes & dislikes, desires, length of trip and our budget. Two weeks later a first draft of the itinerary arrived. We made only two minor changes. She must have really listened to what we said, the plan was almost perfect! We received all documents on time and the trip went without a hitch. We loved the mix of driving, walking and guided tours. What a great country to see. Staying in small inns enhanced the experience. New Zealanders are wonderful people! There were too many highlights to mention. We plan to return to New Zealand again. We will not go without Janes help!
L Morison, Ipswich, MA, Nov 04