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Reviewed September 3, 2019

What a great day in the middle of winter! We were picked up by our driver Sam in his luxurious van early on a Saturday morning and we headed for Mangawhai where we completed the 9 km loop walk. That was not before home made muffins,coffee and fruit were generously handed out.The scenary was amazing throughout the whole walk and Sam provided the photos (at no extra cost) to prove this. In the afternoon we had lunch in nearby Matakan at Rothko restaurant which had beautiful wine, food and ambience. The Sculpterum after lunch was another hightlight. I totally recommend this tour with SoleVentures as all aspects were stunning. A great day out in winter. Thank you SoleVentures

Date of experience: August 2019
1  Thank Trek50132295725
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Samtravels21, Owner at Sole Ventures, responded to this reviewResponded September 4, 2019

Hi Toni,

Thanks for the incredible review. We had a great time and very much look forward to the next tour we can share with you again!

All the best

Sam & Cole - Sole Ventures

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Reviewed August 13, 2019

I had just three days on the North Island and wanted to see Hobbiton and hike the Tongariro Crossing. Within a few weeks of my arrival, I messaged Sole Ventures and quickly heard back from Cole. He immediately put together a detailed itinerary that included my sights, along with the Waitomo caves and a couple of interesting pit-stops. I was traveling solo, so that had an overall impact on costs, but as a first-time visitor, I decided to roll with it and am grateful for it.

On the first day, Cole and I explored the glow worm-lit Waitomo caves and drove to the national park. Along the way, we knew the forecast wasn't looking favorable for the Tongariro Crossing (scheduled for the next day). So when we got the final no-go, Cole already had several back-up options planned.

We were still able to hike in the park at lower elevation and enjoyed some light snowfall; I couldn't miss out on hiking in Mordor, after all. We saw a couple of natural waterfalls and took a plethora of terrific photos. We then explored another hiking trail about 30 minutes away; it was cool checking out a lake that had formed from a crater, along with the surrounding plant + bird life.

From there, we drove over to Lake Taupo and checked out Huka Falls nearby. We also tried out the nearby geothermal pools, which felt great in some fairly cold conditions. The last day, we first visited a local spring before touring Hobbiton. As a LotR fan, I would have done anything to go there, so checking this off my list is certainly special. Cole then drove me to the airport, arriving with plenty of time to get through security, etc.

Cole is an outstanding guide in every sense. The level of detail he goes to in his planning and execution stands out consistently. But the whole time I always felt like we could make small adjustments to the itinerary if I wanted. I was also impressed by the accommodations and restaurants he booked. Usually I will skim my costs for these when I travel alone, but I'm glad to have experienced some solid New Zealand hospitality on this trip. Also, I didn't know I'd get to ride in a comfortable Volvo SUV, so Cole and Sam don't leave any stone unturned when considering the guest's experience.

I could go on about how much fun our adventure was. To end things though, I will mention that Cole immediately provided me with over 100 high-quality photos from our tour. All my friends/coworkers/family have been begging to see the best of the best from my trip, so I'll be sure to use these photos as proof points.

Anyway, I can't give 6 or 7 stars out of 5, but if I could, I would. Highly recommended!

Date of experience: July 2019
Thank norcalnick87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColeJ87, Owner at Sole Ventures, responded to this reviewResponded August 14, 2019

Hi Nick,

Thanks so much for the fantastic review! It was great to have you along and glad we still had an amazing tour with you regardless of the weather not playing ball. We hope to see you back one day!

All the best,
Cole, Sam and the Sole Ventures Team

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Reviewed July 7, 2019

We booked a private charter with Sole Ventures for a staff social event to and from Snow Planet, Auckland.

The coach was impressive and very comfortable, there was excellent communication and flexibility throughout the booking process and Sam was a delightful driver, friendly and professional.

Refreshing to have such amazing service after we have been let down with bus charters in the past at the last minute.

Wouldn't hesitate to book with Sole Ventures again.

Date of experience: July 2019
1  Thank rcandrews95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Samtravels21, Owner at Sole Ventures, responded to this reviewResponded July 8, 2019

Thank you Ruth! It was a pleasure meeting the team and look forward to seeing you all again in the near future!
Sam & Cole

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Reviewed July 6, 2019

Along with my partner and a close group of friends, we decided to take a guided tour for our first crossing. Sole ventures impressed us with their youth and modern appearance. However their service exceeded what I would expect from a young operator. Utterly professional in how they looked after us which was confidence inspiring when undertaking the crossing. Sam and Cole are awesome guys who provide a great package, can't wait to enjoy their service again in the winter.
I highly recommend Sole Ventures to anyone wanting to have a safe, comfortable and enjoyable outdoor experience.
Thanks!

Date of experience: July 2019
1  Thank thornton_scott2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Samtravels21, Owner at Sole Ventures, responded to this reviewResponded July 8, 2019

Thanks for the great review Thornton! It was our pleasure we look forward to the winter adventures coming up soon.
Sam & Cole

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Reviewed March 4, 2019

From start to finish both Sam & Cole looked after us. Great service, great guys and highly recommend if your looking for a first class tour company. There knowledge of the area and amenities was bar none and I would definitely use them for my next Kiwi adventure!

Date of experience: February 2019
1  Thank Joeboui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColeJ87, Owner at Sole Ventures, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Thanks so much for your feedback! We absolutely loved the tour, really looking forward to the next tour!

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