This little beauty was snapped in a magical inlet in the Abel Tasman National Park in October of this year. They are only there at certain times of the year and you can only get into the inlet at low tide. We were lucky to see one this late in the season and our day was organised around getting here first thing in the morning. Which brings up the point of this article. Timing.
If a visit to a particular place is mistimed, an otherwise idyllic interlude can be transformed into something pedestrian. A beautiful vista can disappear under a crowd of uncool coach tourists. Milford Sound can look like the English channel. Kayaks can be queued nose to tail. Mountain bikes too. Rooms can disappear, as can patience. It's all pretty awful if you get it wrong.
From another angle, our single biggest constraint in serving up New Zealand to our clients is timing. People who can only travel during the New Year peak. People who can only travel for 10 days. People who don't want to move around the country much whilst experiencing everything worthwhile (I go cross-eyed at these). etc etc
Now just imagine if someone can help you avoid timing mistakes? Wow. That would be cool. And guess what - it isn't all those bandwagonning websites offering everything for nothing. I use those myself when I need something convenient on a business trip and it doesn't matter much if I get it wrong. For a trip to the other side of the world where I'm investing heavily in what I hope will be some life-long memories, I look for a human being who knows what they're talking about. And then I ask them to invest time into my trip.