This is a question I am often asked. What sets us apart from most tourism providers? Last week, on tour with our Brazilian clients, I answered it this way:
Others send their clients on day trips which can be found in websites, can be purchased by anyone. Many of these are excellent, but they are trips designed specifically to fit as many tourists as possible.
Our special days are often designed as "one-offs". We have as much fun developing and running them as clients do enjoying them. We spent one day with the Brazilians doing our West Coast experience, which we put together with the very able support, connections and touch of Mike Yates of Silver Pine Lodge. Quite apart from owning a beautiful lodge in an unsurpassable location and having a wife who hosts and cooks like a dream, Mike is a talented people-person with superb contacts among the real characters who make up a lot of the colour of the wild West Coast of South Westland. We have dreamed this one up over a number of drinks, have run it once before and now have further refined it. It runs like a dream.
Imagine a one-hour helicopter flight through the peaks of Mount Aspiring National Park, flying close to wild Tahr and Deer with a pilot who knows where to find them, transferring to jetboats, belting down a river, being joined by divers (who were supported by the helicopters) with a bagful of crayfish, together with fresh whitebait cooked by the people who caught it on the river where we are sitting. And then the same in reverse.
I can honestly say I have not heard of anyone in the country doing anything remotely similar. This grouping of special characters, places and food is something even the hardened West Coasters enjoy too rarely. They are very keen to do this one again, and so am I!
The South Island of New Zealand is known as a motorcycle mecca. Several of the roads we travelled are in the world's top 10 in terms of riding and views. These were all very much enjoyed. The Brazilians favourite day? This one. No motorbikes. Just style. :)