Customized NZ tour

I spent two wonderful weeks on the South Island of New Zealand in March ’05.

On the Internet, I found South Sea Mermaids, Ltd. (55A Townsend Rd., Miramar, Wellington, North Island, New Zealand; phone [from the U.S.] 01164 973 0675, e-mail or visit, which advertises tours for women.

Liz Sullivan designed a custom trip for my friend Rita and me. Liz needed a couple more people so advertised on the Internet. We ended up with four women plus Liz as a guide. She drove us all over the South Island in her van. The trip included half-day walks and an overnight trip on a boat in Doubtful Sound. Highlights included Mt. Cook, hiking on the Routeburn Track, the Franz Josef Glacier, Abel Tasman National Park and the Queen Charlotte Track.

For her personal attention and the reasonable price, I highly recommend Liz. My cost for the 12-night land portion was US$2,534 (which was put on my credit card in N.Z. dollars and then converted to U.S. dollars by MasterCard). The price included two meals a day, travel by van, the overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound and admission fees such as that for the Maori welcome and concert. It also included a single supplement for every night except on the overnight cruise, when I shared a room with Rita.

Liz provides travel services and tours, including a deluxe “Royal Pounamu Tour,” which is what we took. On this tour, guests stay in apartments or motels and get the extras. There is a cheaper version where meals are not included and guests can stay in hostels.

Liz was at the airport in Christchurch at 1:30 a.m. to pick me up when I arrived from Sydney — and pickup wasn’t even included in the tour. I would go with her again.

Point Pleasant, NJ