Box 153 GORE 9740 
Ph 03 2087704 or 0274 324068
Email: abexplorertours@xtra.co.nz 
Tour Director- Allan Boyer


Box 153 GORE 9740  Ph 03 2087704 or 0274 324068


Tour Director – Allan Boyer

Member New Zealand Professional Guides Association  &  Travel Agents Association New Zealand


Bulletin – November 2018:


Once again time to look back on what has been achieved in the last 6 months and what is ahead in the planning stages. As indicated in the May edition we did go to Vietnam & Cambodia with a group from Wellington. This in fact turned out to be a really interesting holiday for us but still there was lots to see and take in during the journey. It is not hard to imagine what happened there in the 1960-70 war period as it is still evident to this day. Despite all that each day was full of interest with amazing people and sights to see. Highlight was the Mekong River cruise for 7 nights with only 34 people on the ship. Each day there were shore excursions to partake in which gave us a glimpse into the suffering and the daily life of the people who live there. A highlight for Pat was our time at Angkor Wat, an amazing site of an earlier civilization and something that has been on her dream list for years. On the river it was evident as to how it is being destroyed by the removal of millions of tons of sand for construction and reclamation in China and Singapore as well as locally. More sea water is coming upstream than is normal which is affecting crops and other food sources. All in all an amazing and sobering experience to travel in this part of Asia.

A small band of travellers joined us for the Top of the South Explorer in August. We did have some wet and cold days on this one but everything we set out to do was accomplished. The highlight being of course the trip out to Farewell Spit with Paddy. For me seeing the increasing population of Gannets was inspiring. Everybody even slid down one of the huge sand banks as well. The day out at Whanganui Inlet was enjoyed especially the time that my friend Harry spent with us as we travelled down the coast from his farm at Paturau to the end of the road on the bus to the Anatori River. All the other places visited including Totaranui Beach, Collingwood, Abel Tasman cruise and the Lewis Pass were highlights and new places for some of the group to visit. Coming down the coast to Kaikoura was a real eye opener for most with all the earthquake damage and rebuild going on for both rail and road in the area. This will be ongoing for a long time yet. Great to see the progress so far.

In October we set off to Tasmania again with a group of 19. We circumnavigated the State and it was good to have my old friend Tony out of retirement to drive the coach and to guide us on the journey. It was busy days for sure but all were able to appreciate what the island has to offer. Will this have been the last departure there for us? Perhaps we could do another if enough interest was to be shown. We are feeling we could still do that.

Already the first cruise ships have been into Dunedin which signals the start of a very busy season for me.


Future Departures:
While thinking about winding down a little more it seems that people still want to travel with us which is really great but being “teenage pensioners” it is perhaps time to look at retirement a little more. With this being the case we are looking towards that goal over the next few years! The offerings are not so numerous but those being put in place will still be of interest.
Read over the page to check out what is on offer.
If you are interested in any of these please contact us to ensure your name is on the list for the detail.

Norfolk Island: Still looking at this as there is now a distinct possibility that Air Chathams might be in the position to offer regular flights from Auckland early next year. Already they are doing charter flights up there so that is a good sign indeed. Some people have done the Sydney or Brisbane overnight connection to Norfolk and were not impressed with having to do that and bear the extra expense and time involved. Those of you with names on our list will be kept up to date with progress should we be able to offer that departure again.
McKenzie Country Explorer: Still trying to fit this 4 night departure in but it is still proving difficult to source the accommodation for the nights so it is still a work in progress.

Top of the South: If there is enough interest we will run this again. Overnight in Ashburton, Hanmer Springs, Motueka, Takaka, Farewell Spit, Havelock and Kaikoura. Lots to see and do on this interesting part of the Main Land. It is an amazing part of the country to see.

Kaikoura Explorer: This proved very popular earlier this year. Once again should it depart it will  have over nights in Ashburton, Hanmer Springs, Kaikoura and Blenheim. Included will be 2 days in Kaikoura to see all that is happening with the rebuilds and to see how much the coast line has changed. Also the cruise on Queen Charlotte Sound to Cook's Landing Place is a highlight.

Top of the North Island: This will depart Wellington on the 7th August. Connections there the day(s) before will be arranged to suit. It will involve travel to Hamilton by train then coach for the rest of the journey. Visiting the International section of Hamilton Gardens then to overnight at Whitianga in Mercury Bay then 2 nights in Coromandel Town and a vist to the Driving Creek Railway & Pottery. Through Auckland for 2 nights in the Snell’s Beach area and a visit to Kawau Island and Morris and James pottery at Matakana. Next to Paihia for 3 nights and while there take in the Hole in the Rock Cruise, Russell, Waitangi Treaty Grounds and plenty of free time. After a morning in Kerikeri and the Stone Store it is on to a stay in the Kaitaia area and the amazing trip along 90 Mile Beach to Cape Reinga. Next day to Rawene on the Hokianga Harbour and overnight in Opononi. Next day through the Kauri Forest to the Kauri Museum at Matakohe and on to our last night in Takapuna prior to flying home the next day. A 14 day Explorer full of interest. Interest in this departure is high so please ring to have your name included for tour information when it is finalised. There will be a waiting list, such is the interest so far.

Rarotonga Cook Islands: A new destination for us to introduce you to. An associate in Dunedin has indicated that she would like to lead a tour there in conjunction with us. Cathy has been there several times in recent years and is familiar with its happenings. We envisage a 12+ day departure to include not only the main settlement of Rarotonga but also a few days on remote Aitutaki for a complete contrast. One advantage is that the Cook Islands use New Zealand currency but a passport is still required. Should you decide to join Cathy then you will not be disappointed as you experience the usual style of Explorer Tour that we operate. There is interest to date for this winter departure so  please ensure your name is recorded so as to receive the information when formulated.

Darwin and the Top End: On recent departures people have expressed an interest in travelling in this unique part of Australia with us. If you are interested in the idea to do that please let us know. If enough interest is shown then we can arrange this exciting tour once again. We would start in Darwin and then do a circumnavigation to take in Lichfield National Park (with an Aboriginal guide), Northern Territory Wildlife Park which is amazing. Down to Adelaide River and the WW2 War Cemetery, Pine Creek, Katherine and the spectacular gorge river trip. We will go further south to Matakana and the hot pools before heading north again to spend 4 days in the Kakadu National Park. Here we can expect to see billabongs and associated wildlife. A highlight is the sunset cruise on Yellow Waters Billabong. Back to Darwin for 4 nights to take in all that this city can offer that is closer to Asia than the East Coast cities of Australia. You will learn of the bombing of the area in February 1942 and its after effects. The night markets at Mindil Beach with its sunset beach setting is spectacular and all the other things we will do are impressive. It may be possible to travel from Adelaide on the Ghan Train for 2 nights to arrive into Darwin (or the other direction at the end) as well, for those that would like to undertake that must do journey.
This can run in the Spring next year should there be enough interest. Now is the time to record your interest with us so as you are kept up to date with progress. Remember we have run many tours to this area in the past and our experience of travelling here can only add to yours.

That's it for another year. Trusting all goes well for you in 2019 and any travelling you do is an enjoyable and rewarding experience.


Pat & Allan