Very smooth journey. Thanks for the support with bookings and changes. Usual excellent service, much appreciated.
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Good communication and helpful.
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Once again over the moon with the service from Shane and his colleagues at DialAFlight. Have been using the company for over 20 years and would have no hesitation in recommending them
Roger was excellent. He planned our flight itinerary to New Zealand via Singapore and return via Dunedin and Singapore. Roger response quickly to all our questions, as did the staff when he was away. Would definitely recommend DialAFlight to friends/family and use next time we travel.
Liam has provided a service that exceeded our highest expectations
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Everything went well and both hotels were suitable. Rydges especially as it's more a business hotel with good breakfast and cheaper drinks during happy hour! At Auckland airport it took over three hours to get airside. So the flight missed most people's connections. Qatar ground staff in Doha were very efficient and provided a superb service for two weary travellers. The
Elizabeth did a great job in supporting us on our year long journey to New Zealand and Australia. Things didn't go quite as planned but Elizabeth managed to sort everything out for us. We had an amazing time, we can highly recommend Australia and don't believe all you see and hear - the most dangerous thing we found were the kangaroos.
Trip of a lifetime expertly planned by Thomas.
To help an aged person like myself you could emphasise the need for visas to enter some countries!
Simply the best
Everything worked well, the trip landed by your team fitted together perfectly. Always pleased with DialAFlight advice and will continue to use you for future trips.
It was a last minute trip needed to visit an elderly relative in NZ. Gareth pulled out all the stops to get me a quick and cost effective solution. Very happy with the outcome
Won't hesitate to come back to you to book my next trip. Great itinerary. Excellent communication and service.
Have used DialAFlight many times and they never fail to deliver. Have recommended them to my family and they are happy
You made it easy. Again, thank you Gavin.
Great trip and very helpful staff. I will use DialAFlight again.
Leo was an absolute star he helped me and my fiancé with everything - couldn't have asked for a better travel agent
First class service as usual
So impressed with DialAFlight and in particular Ralph Summers. So helpful and I love the itinerary you get which is very useful to refer to. Have used them 3 times now and been brilliant each time even when I had to cancel one trip. Wouldn't use anyone else now
Once again and at short notice Russell arranged a great itinerary. I have recommended DialAFlight to several friends and could not be happier with their service.
So reassuring! Particularly being a sole traveller. A long haul flight with minimum stopover times and security of knowing there is always help and advice is excellent. Thank you so much!
You send all the information needed as soon as flight is booked and give a call a few days prior to flight to check that everything is ok. Always there to answer any questions that might arise and always answered promptly.
All went smoothly, as usual. Many thanks to Jarvis and his team.
Good recommendations from Helen and Cathay Pacific performed well
Always a helpful and reliable company to use.
Thanks for everything
The breathtaking Mount Ngauruhoe looms over a wilderness of desolation.
Offset against the cerulean sky, this active stratovolcano has a dark, conical shape and clouds bubbling around its blood-red crater like dry ice in a lab experiment. It's the sort of volcano my son Edward would draw.
Also known as a composite volcano, a stratovolcano is one built up by many layers of hardened lava, pumice stone and volcanic ash - and known for periodic explosive eruptions, with the lava flowing from it cooling and hardening before spreading far due to its high viscosity.
Edward clambers on to the bus that will escort us to the start of our trek with a spring in his step. 'That's Mount Doom,' he says to the bus driver, just in case he didn't already know.
Edward has only just turned seven, but he has already watched Peter Jackson's The Lord Of The Rings trilogy and its prequel, The Hobbit. His bedtime reading is Tolkien's The Hobbit - illustrated but unabridged.
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at his literary preferences, given that his father is both a movie buff and a voracious reader.
We are about to attempt the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in New Zealand's North Island. Apparently the best one-day hike in the country, it's a 12-mile adventure across the Tongariro National Park.
This is the setting for Mordor in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, and Mount Ngauruhoe stars as Mount Doom, where Frodo, the hobbit entrusted as the ring-bearer, is tasked with destroying the ring.
The driver pulls Edward back by the hood of his waterproof. 'Hobbits aren't allowed on board,' he says, gruffly.
Edward gasps. 'I'm not a hobbit. I'm a child.' 'You know this isn't a child-friendly hike?' says the driver, concerned. This time, he's addressing us, not Edward. 'If it were easy-peasy-lemonsqueezy, it wouldn't be called Mordor,' pipes up Edward, before we can articulate an adequate reply.
I prefer glamorous heels to hiking boots any day of the week, so I harbour a secret wish that poor weather might mean the trek being called off. But I'm a little miffed to find that even a cyclone won't put daddy and Edward off visiting Mordor.
However, a delay while waiting for the weather to improve buys us time to explore the fascinating caves at Waitomo, where the luminous bottoms of glow worms create stellar constellations in the darkness. Also demanding our attention were the bubbling muds and jewel-coloured geothermal pools at Waiotapu as well as the bird sanctuaries inhabited by threatened species of fluffy, nocturnal kiwi birds in Otorohanga Kiwi House.
We cruised the Lake Taupo caldera (a caldera is a deep collapsed volcanic crater, which in this case has formed a lake) aboard a Romancing The Stone sailboat.
But a highlight for Edward, after a stay in a homely, picturesque farm, was a visit to Hobbiton, the film set of The Hobbit. He was totally at home among its undulating hills, enchanting vegetable patches, flowering gardens and quaint houses with hobbit-sized doors.
North Island is often skipped in favour of South Island, but it it needn't be. The Tongariro crossing averages eight hours and comprises steep, rope-assisted climbs to the 6,200ft summit.
It's not a trek for the faint-hearted, but the gritty volcanic landscapes, scorched crater ridges, gem-coloured sulphurous lakes and tussock grasslands merging into forests of mountain beech and kaikawaka are spectacular.
Never mind that I'll be stiff tomorrow. Even after the trek, Edward was still tingling with excitement and daddy was completely in his element.
'Even the hobbit made it?' says the driver, congratulating us at the end of our adventure.
Perhaps hobbits and children are not so dissimilar, after all.
First published in the Mail on Sunday - March 2018
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