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Today, Norm Goldman, Editor of Sketchandtravel.com is pleased to have as our guest Geoff Dobbs, representative of Adventure Junkies of New Zealand.

Good day Geoff and that you for participating in our interview.

Norm:

Geoff, please tell our readers where is New Zealand and something about its topography and climate?

Geoff:

Situated in the southwest Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is roughly a three-hour flight East of Sydney or Melbourne in Australia. It extends from around Sydney in the North to a little below Tasmania in the South.

New Zealand is home to the stunning Southern Alps; these are a result of the country sitting on the border of the Indo/Australian Continental Plate and the Pacific Plate. The highest mountain, Mt. Cook reaches 3,754m or nearly 12,500 feet above sea level

Being a long narrow country surrounded by the ocean, New Zealand's climate can be unpredictable at times. During October to April when we conduct our trips the maximum temperatures are generally 25-30 degree Celsius or 75-85 degree Fahrenheit. During the peak of summer (December to January), we have long days, sunrise can be as early as 5am and sunset at around 10pm. Because of the clear, unpolluted atmosphere and relatively low latitudes sunlight is stronger than much of Europe or North America, as a result people generally burn quicker than at home.

Norm:

I understand you are connected with Adventure Junkies New Zealand. What is Adventure Junkies and what exactly are your responsibilities with the company?

Geoff:

Adventure Junkies is a partnership of myself and business partner Russ Johnston, we both share a passion for New Zealand adrenalin, adventure and the outdoors. As a young energetic company with a passion for the outdoors, we believe that our adventure tours have the best collection of activities and locations available in the south island of New Zealand, many of which are only offered by Adventure Junkies.

Norm:

Please tell our readers something about the various adventure tours you offer?

Geoff:

We currently have two 10-day tours available that start in Christchurch and finish in Queenstown. NZ Adrenalin is a non-stop adventure tour that fits in most of the activities that has given New Zealand's South Island the well deserved reputation as the adventure playground of the world. This is an adrenalin fuelled adventure trip!

NZ Adventure has been designed to allow more freedom than the NZ Adrenalin trip. You'll still go to all the same stunning New Zealand adventure locations and all meals, accommodation and guest services will be amazing. The main difference is this trip allows for several free days in the itinerary where you can take it easy (something there isn't much of in the NZ Adrenalin trip!), or you can choose additional adventure activities as you go.

Both NZ Adventure and NZ Adrenalin trips are small in number and include expert local guides, as well as quality food, transport and accommodation for your comfort. Our product can be an unforgettable two week holiday in New Zealand, or part of a larger adventure travel experience

Norm:

Would you recommend one of your tours as a romantic getaway? As a follow up, if you were to choose six of the most romantic venues in New Zealand, which ones would you opt for and why?

Geoff:

New Zealand is indeed quite popular as a honeymoon destination for those of us who like a more active holiday then tropical beaches tend to offer. Queenstown and Wanaka would probably have to be my ideal pick for romantic venues due to the breathtaking scenery.

Here are six possibilities:

***Cathedral Cove, Hahei. With its natural rock cathedral, wave carved rock formations and pristine beach, Cathedral Cove is a romantic venue second to none.

***Situated up the beautiful and warm Coromandel Peninsula Maramaratotara Bay or Front Beach, is a lovely beach with easy access close to Whitianga

***Tekapo, with it's lovely aqua blue water is also a stunning destination. The Good Shepard's Church on it's banks is also a popular spot for couples to tie the knot.

***Remote and Beautiful Doubtful Sound is a stunning and romantic destination you would be hard pressed to top around the world.

***Te Anau, situated at the base of the Southern Alps and built around the second biggest lake in New Zealand is also a must for those wanting romantic destinations.

Norm:

How safe are these trips and could you give us an idea of the accommodations one can expect?

Geoff:

Our trips although challenging are safe. Every operator we use on these trips has an impeccable safety record and all our guides are expertly to deal with foreseen and unforeseen event that may occur during the tours.

High quality accommodation with modern furnishings will be provided and with en-suites where available. Exceptions to this will be where the accommodation has been chosen for it's historical value. Single travelers will be twinned with same sex travelers for the advertised price unless paying the single surcharge.

Norm:

Can you give us an idea of a typical day on one of your tours?

Geoff:

A typical day in Queenstown would include pampering bungy jumping and sky diving while a day later you will be doing in a little tougher at Doubtful Sound. On this trip you will paddle down Deep Cove saying hi to any New Zealand fur seals on the way, and to Rolla Island, nesting place for Fiordland crested penguins. Into Hall Arm with lunch on a small beach, then to Mt Danae at the head of the Arm in the afternoon. We camp in a small clearing in the ancient podocarp forest, some evenings exploring the valley, listening for kiwi, morepork, weka. Time to experience the remoteness, the being alone in this raw wilderness.

Norm:

How does one travel to the starting point of your tours from North America or Europe?

Geoff:

We've found the best airlines to get a direct flight to Auckland or Christchurch are:

Air New Zealand: Qantas: British Airways: Cathay Pacific: Singapore Airlines: Japan Airlines: Emirates

We do also provide a service source the best price flights for our customers to get to the starting point of our trips.

Norm:

What is the average cost of these tours?

Geoff:

Both NZ Adventure and NZ adrenalin are fully inclusive tours. The only difference between the two tours is the number of activities included. Breakfast and lunch is included every day, and three dinners will be provided in the more remote locations. NZ Adventure is priced at NZ$3295 while NZ Adrenalin NZ$4195.

Norm:

What is the usual age group of your participants?

Geoff:

Group age usually varies from 25 to 50. We keep the group sizes in single figures to provide the best customer service possible.

Norm:

How should one prepare for one of your tours?

Geoff:

It's a good idea to work on your fitness prior to our trips. NZ Adrenalin has some quite challenging segments such as the full day rock climbing trip and overnight sea kayaking. NZ Adventure is a little slower pace an enthusiastic attitude and go it a go aproach is still a must.

Norm:

Norm Is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered?

Geoff:

Thanks for your time Norm, Hope to see you down here sometime! Check out the WEB SITE for full trip details and bookings. Cheers!

Thanks once again and good luck with your tours.

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