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“Wonderful tailored group tour”

Private Discovery Day Tours
Book In Advance
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$129.99*
and up
High Country Discovery Tour from Queenstown
Ranked #6 of 15 things to do in Glenorchy
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Discover the Paradise Valley dwarfed by Mount Earnslaw, in the heart of Middle Earth 4WD to 1680 feet above sea level on Mount Alfred and soak in the views over Diamond Lake and the Dart River Valley. Mount Earnslaw Station is an Organic Certified sheep and beef cattle farm set in this unique scenic environment. Small groups experience this unique property with exclusive excess, LOTR movie location sights included.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Wonderful tailored group tour”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 6, 2013

I arranged a 4 hour tour for 20 friends with RD Tours around Queenstown, Coronet Peak, Lake Hayes and kawarau Bridge. I felt the weight of responsibility but did not need to be concerned at all. Charles and I worked out an itinerary using his suggestions and matching with what we wanted to see and it was just great. Everyone on the group enjoyed it, Charles was a delight as a tour guide, and the morning tea we had scrumptious.

I would not hesitate to recommend a tour with RD

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank Donna421_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rdthound, General Manager at Private Discovery Day Tours, responded to this review, March 16, 2013
Hi Donna,
You were such a wonderful group to work with, great to be able to organise your tour with local sights around the Wakatipu basin and lakeside walks. Keep up the golf......... hope to see you back here again some time.
Charles
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82 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“off the beaten path glenorchy”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2013

Private discovery tours in Glenorchy is the perfect day trip for someone who wants to go off the beaten path and go down rural backroads with a very small group. The tour operator was very knowledgeable about the area and extremely flexible about letting the clients decide where they wanted to linger for great photo opportunities. we found the most idyllic spots for a picnic lunch and coffee breaks. I could not have asked for a better way to see the Glenorchy region.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank maneesha m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rdthound, Owner at Private Discovery Day Tours, responded to this review, February 14, 2013
Hi Maneesha
It was great to meet you and for you to experience our Paradise Discovery Tour into the heart of Middle Earth country for those photography moments I am sure you will never forget.
Hope you enjoyed the rest of your time in Queenstown, thanks.
Charlie
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Palmerston North, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand
Level Contributor
24 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Extended Day Tour”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 4, 2012

Excellent guide, lots of different sights to see, lots of contrasts - high country, mountains, rivers, farmland. Great views of Dart River and Paradise Valley. Good 4wd tracks, not too scary. Short walks reveal more views or give a taste of typical NZ beech forest environment. Great photo opportunities. Recommend for those who want to see a cross section of the Queenstown and surrounding scenery, without the "scary" adrenalin rush. Very enjoyable day out, no crowds, no rushing around. And a decent picnic lunch was provided.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Jenny E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rdthound, Owner at Private Discovery Day Tours, responded to this review, December 13, 2012
Thanks for your comments Jenny , I enjoyed being able to share a special part of the Glenorchy region with you. We have now called this tour our Middle Earth Discovery Tour as it covers so many aspects, landscape, heritage, photography, LOTR sights and hiking.
Hope to see you again some time.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
292 reviews
180 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 177 helpful votes
“Off the Beaten Track...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 11, 2012

I have heard of the Catlins and wanted to see the remote ruggedness of this region without the worry of my husband driving, jet-lagged, in unfamiliar territory with patchy mobile coverage. Private Discovery Tours with Charles was the perfect answer! On our three day private tour with Charles, we visited stunning coastlines, pristine beaches, beautiful waterfalls and of course the famous fossilised forest at Curio Bay. We could never forget the picnic in Glenorchy, with sweeping views over Diamond Lake. My sister (who visited NZ in August 12) had told me that she found Glenorchy lacklustre. That is absolute nonsense! She must have signed up with the wrong tour operator... Charles has exclusive access to Mount Earnslaw Station, and this is probably the key reason why we were able to enjoy breathtaking scenary away from the crowds. If you sign up for the Mount Earnslaw tour, be sure to request for the picnic lunch prepared by Charles wife. My kids are picky eaters and I usually have trouble coaxing them to eat, but not this time...

Charles was easy to talk to, and willing to accomodate "strange" requests such as stopping at the Telecom store in Balclutha, something you would not get from large group tours. We were impressed by how careful he is with the kids. We were at Nugget Point and there was a strip of unfenced gravel road. Worried for the safety of my children, I clapsed their hands tightly and didn't have time to enjoy the beauty surrounding me. Charles told me to relax, he would watch over them. And he did! He made sure he walked on the side nearest to the cliffs...it looked pretty dangerous to me but hey, my kids loved him for it. No more hand-holding by paranoid mum. Charles entertained the kids at Purakanui Falls and the trio looked for hobbits in strange looking trees. At my daughter's request, he rounded up a few sheep at Mount Earnslaw Station so that she can touch one.

We had a great tour with Charles despite the drizzles and howling winds in the Catlins.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank nlaykhim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rdthound, Owner at Private Discovery Day Tours, responded to this review, November 12, 2012
Great to hear from you Khim you certainly took some wonderful photos through the Catlins region.
Pleased to hear you enjoyed your travels with us, it is always great to get to know a family and experience special places around NZ together and get to places others seldom visit.
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Singapore
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A memorable experience...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2012

We were in NZ (for the 1st time) for our pre-10th year Wedding Anniversary trip & had brought our 2 young princess, aged 2 & 8 along with us. Queenstown was our 2nd last stop before we head to Auckland then fly back to SG. As my 2 year old is too small for a horse-riding trip up the mountain in Glenorchy,  we had decided to engage Charles for a 4WD High Country tour to Glenorchy instead. We were glad that we had used him. He picked us up from our motel stay in Alexis Motor Lodge (a highly recommended stay with a view to kill) & drove us to Glenorchy making several stops along the way to show us the beautiful side of NZ, that we still reminisce its beauty every single day till today. We were enthralled by the beauty of the terrain, the lake & the snowy mountains. Spell bounded by the peace, serene and the fresh air that we breathed in. We gawked at every single place that we stopped at. The beauty of each place is postcard picturesque. 

We also thank Charles for driving us halfway up the mountain for a good view of the Diamond Lake & Glenorchy. He made us each a hot cup of hot chocolate & coffee to go with some delicious biscuits that his kind wife had prepared. That was a very nice & half-romantic experience for me & my Hubby, I would say. Half-romantic cause it's just not me & hubby in presence. Hehehe :-)  Charles knowledge on Glenorchy was astounding. Everything was like on his fingertips. He even went out of the way to include an itinerary for my 2 girls for a good horseback riding experience at Dart Stables and they truly enjoyed it.

The snow trip up to Coronet Peak was the highlight of the day. There wasn't any snow on the ground & ski fields aren't open yet. And the thought of leaving NZ without having a feel of the snow would be devastating, especially for the kids. So, Charles had kindly offered to take us up to Coronet Peak for the experience. True enough, the kids were overjoyed. We had lots of fun that we didn't even realised 2hrs had past pretty fast. We had good fun with hilarious moments & Charles was amazingly patient and tolerant with the girls antics. They even had snow-fights together. Can you imagine going down on your back so the girls could throw snowballs after snowballs at him? It felt like we have all known each other long before. We thank Charles for the wonderful memoirs & he definitely comes highly recommended to anyone. He personalises his service to your requirements and he is also a very nice guy and very accomodating. Once again, thank you Charles for making our trip memorable & we look forward to the day we all meet you again... 

Helpful?
1 Thank IdaMarz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Private Discovery Day Tours, responded to this review, June 23, 2012
Good to hear from you Ida and thank you for the great photos.
We did have fun together your daughters were a delight, fun to be with and we were happy to share with you some of our awesome scenery and especially the snow..... we now have a lot more and the ski field is operational.
Come back again one day.....Charles
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