A group of four of us used the "Hop on Hop off" tour which i understand is a relatively new addition to the area. We caught the initial bus from the Picton i-site having arrived at Picton on a cruise ship.
Well, to say the whole set-up was a debacle would be kind. At the outset, after being sold the tickets on the basis that the busses run on two interchangeable loops (a wine loop and a tour loop - museums etc.) we were then told upon getting on the bus that only one loop would operate stopping at all stops. Alarm bells immediately.
We were all herded onto a large (80 odd seat) bus to Blenhiem i-Site. Well surprise - upon arriving here only a 40 odd seat bus was present to then take people on the hour loop - luckily we got a seat.
The bus was late leaving Blenhiem and the schedule was all but lost. We got off at Highfield winery now some 15 minutes later than indicated on the schedule so we had what we thought was 45 minutes (an hour scheduled at each stop) so that we could get on the next bus.
We waited in the pick-up spot for the next bus at the scheduled time... and waited and waited and waited. The bus that eventually arrived was some 40 minutes later than schedule and by this time we were very nervous about getting back to the port on time.
To top the day off - whilst everyone on the bus simply wanted to get back to the drop off - remember, this bus is a "hop on / hop off" tour, the bus driver stopped at the chocolate factory and refused to leave until we all got off.
I made a formal complaint to the owner but all i got was excuses, and implicit allegation that i was lying about the delays, and a very insincere apology.
Given the track history in complaint management, I don't expect to get anything back even though we paid $69.90 each ($280) for four of us to sit on a bus and visit one stop - not much hop on hop off occurred.
It is a real shame, because Picton is gorgeous - all this is is an exorbitantly priced tourist trap.
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