Like old friends
Coming off a two month Australian camper-van trip I was having trouble planning a trip to New Zealand with the time and money I had left, so I decided I would email Mike to get some advice. What started as me hoping to get a little guidance soon turned into amazement with how quick Mike turned a few answers to some simple questions into a full trip itinerary. It didn't take me long to decide to utilize his itinerary and also ask him to be my guide for the north island.
He never felt like just a guide, but more like an old friend with whom I reconnected with and was now showing me around. The first full day left me wondering how he could possibly match the excitement and epicness with the remaining days. Luckily each and every day was as good or better than the last. He was also able to recommend and book my tours for the south island after flying out of Wellington.
My wife and I took two half day tours of Lord of the Rings locations in and around Queenstown in 2009 (we are from San Diego, California), and Mike was our tour guide for both half days. He did a spectacular job, both in his knowledge of the locations and the scenery, but also by not ditching us in a couple of rivers...Excellent driving skills! The trip was our honeymoon, and this was one of the most memorable days of our entire three week trip, and THAT is saying something! Mike, thanks again for the great memories, we cherish them! We will be back someday, and he will be one of the first contacts we make. So, bottom line, take a tour with Mike, you won't be disappointed!
Mike did a terrific tour for my wife and I. You cant miss with him. Well planned, knowledgeable, friendly and FUN. Mike is a real kiwi treasure. We look forward to our next New Zealand excursion.
Simply the best!!
Mike was our main guide on the Long Expected Journey Nov/Dec 2012. From the first meeting in Auckland he was welcoming and friendly, really enthusiastic about showing us all the wonderful sights in New Zealand.
Our tour was a Lord of the Rings/Narnia film location tour, so with his trusty IPAD and brilliant guiding skills he made even the simplest location come alive!
Both he and Scotty (our bus driver) made even the longest drive interesting, with many a local tale, film quotes and even a Tolkien quiz or two 🙂
Mike was great, including every member of the group, making sure no one got left out and by a week into the tour felt like a member of our geeky group and by the end I think we all considered him a friend.
I would recommend Mike the Guide to anyone visiting NZ, I am planning to head back to New Zealand in the future (hopefully soon) for a another road trip and will be including Mike somewhere in the planning or as a guide.
Thanks Mike.... BEST Tour guide EVER
if you want to spend time with good companion in extraordinary landscape. This is it.
15 days. It was a little like unexpected journey. Every day was different but as good as day before. It was really hard to went out. Mike was in the mood for doing jokes on the hour in every hour. Fortunately that we slept separately. After first 2 days we felt ourselves as we know each other ten years or even more.
Thanks a lot Mike
and hope to meet again
as soon as possible
Best Guide Ever
I was very hesitant about my trip to New Zealand during Nov/Dec 2012 for The Long Expected Journey. Having a chronic illness, and two weeks before the trip having so badly blistered my feet I’d been on crutches for a month, I was rather anxious about how I was going too kept up with my fellow travelling companions on our epic quest to conquer the filming sites of Lord of the Rings and Narnia.
I need not have truly worried as much as I had—because Mike was our guide and Mike was awesome.
From the moment our group met Mike was fabulous, including everyone in on the tales and sights of New Zealand and his local knowledge to do with the films we so dearly loved and the stunning country around us.
While I could not climb mountains (Mordor defeated me so easily) with my friends, nor run around taking goofy photos, Mike was perfectly understanding of my situation and I was incredibly grateful.
During our stay in Wellington we took a trip to Weta Workshop, a place I had been so excited about. Since I could not climb my mountains, I could, at least, buy something right? Well, the place was packed and so I rushed in and out as quickly as I could—thus forgetting that I could get a free Gandalf Hat like everyone else. I must have looked overly sad about missing out on a Gandalf Hat, because just before our bus was set to leave, there Mike was presenting me with my very own Gandalf Hat. He had quickly rushed in to get me one.
I have never forgotten that special little moment—because Mike is the guide that understands what true holidays are about, sometimes they aren’t all about climbing mountains, they’re also about special moments and special things…
And I was the most grateful traveler to have a guide who understood that.
And thanks for the Gandalf Hat.
My day spent with Mike was a wonderful experience and by the end of the day I felt as if we were, and will be, lifelong friends. Mike's enthusiasm and dedication to making sure your tour was a personal experience was beyond compare. Mike's sense of humor and expertise with various cameras was a great benefit as well! I only wish we would have had more time to spend with Mike and experienced even more of the wonderful sites and tales! I cannot recommend Mike's services highly enough. I will definitely be utilizing Mike's services again with our next trip to New Zealand!
Absolutely the "BEST"
My wife & I were recently in New Zealand for 3 weeks (20 Dec. 2015 to 8 Jan. 2016), and did numerous private or small group (6-8 people) tours from the Bay of Islands in the North to Milford Sound in the South. The two tours we had with Mike [a private, day-long tour--"Wild Wellington"--and a small group, day-long tour--"Middle Earth"--were simply the BEST of all that we did throughout NZ. Actually, our "Wild Wellington" tour with Mike was so good and so enjoyable that we insisted that we be allowed to join his small group "Middle Earth" for the next day--it was as great as the previous day. In retrospect, I wish that we had had Mike for ALL of our tours on the trip throughout New Zealand. Our "Thanks" for making "Middle Earth" so great!
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