what our clients are saying
Tongariro crossingChirstine D|9th February 2019
Perfect from start to finish. Great weather for the crossing. An amazing experience with Sole Ventures - punctual, professional, quick to respond, prepared for anything, and truly wonderful people. An added bonus was learning a lot about NZ through Sam and Danni. I’m an avid hiker who’s traveled the world, and this company is honestly the best. Highly recommend Sole Ventures and will definitely book with them again.
Tongariro CrossingTrip173166|7th March 2019
I have travelled extensively and used multiple tour companies and guides around the globe... nothing comes close to the service we were offered by Sole Ventures. Sam and Cole Johnston were hands down one of the best tour guides I’ve ever had. My whole team were well looked after and they paid attention to every detail from pickup to drop off. They looked after all our needs and walked alongside us throughout the crossing. Check ins and check outs at the hotels were a breeze as they took care of everything. The meals and cafe stops along the way and at the destinations were fantastic. They are both very knowledgeable and most importantly they are fun to hang with. I would recommend them to anyone at anytime. Looking forward to a few more exciting adventures with them in future.
It's all about you!Sheryl r|8th March 2019
I’ve traveled to New Zealand many times and have had the privilege of visiting many of their wonderful sights with various tour companies . However I decided to go outside the box and book with Sole Ventures because I wanted the best version that New Zealand has to offer and I wasn’t disappointed.
The tour was about what I wanted to experience and if I wasn’t sure suggestions were made
based on my likes and activity level. (So for me no ice climbing ! ) However I got to see places,waterfalls volcanoes ,birds,forests and yes beaches that take your breath away and I wasn’t in a crowded noisy bus with a bunch of people who were interested more I their next dining experience than what was right in front of them ;a beautiful vista
complete with forest and beach.
There was no keeping track of where to stay or how much a meal cost because it’s all included.
This tour is owned and run by 2 bothers who grew up playing and wandering the land so their history adds to their credit and experience.
They give back to the land as well by planting trees to match or decrease their carbon imprint caused by the van they use.
I would highly recommend this company for families,
friends and anyone who wants the personal tour experience with top notch service.
Good People, Great TimesJish3087|17th November 2018
We were a group of (4) 30-year-old friends on vacation from the US looking for a tour of the North Island. Cole was very responsive, detailed, and flexible to our ideas and provided us a custom itinerary. No detail or question was left unanswered.
Danni and Sam (basically the loveliest people) joined us on our 3 day tour and took care of every detail. We were transported in a nice luxury van the entire trip, and they picked/dropped us @ our Auckland airbnb. They loaded it with extra snacks, drinks, gear, and towels for us. Nice touch! Also, the van transportation, admission tickets, hotels, and most of the meals are included in the price they quote (no hidden fees) and they handle all the logistics. Another nice touch!
Their service was perfect - they never go without asking you how you are doing throughout. Another thing I noticed was that at different points of our time together, someone in our group would casually mention something they needed/wanted, and Sam/Danni would notice and accommodate immediately.
Hobbiton and the Glow worms were beautiful, and a must see. We didn't get to finish the Tongariro hike because of weather, but instead we soaked in hot springs for a few hours chatting it up, which was fun & relaxing.
Basically if you want to go with a company that is luxury, reliable/professional, trustworthy, detail oriented, and hospitality focused then you must go with this company. Also, Sam is pretty adventurous, so if you want to go that route, they could easily accommodate.
Extra: Sam takes pictures with his professional camera throughout your trip and sends them to you FOR FREE. This was a huge plus for us!
Thanks for the memories Sam & Danni!
If you want a trip with energetic, competent, fun guides I thoroughly recommend SoleVentures.Toni K|Reviewed 16 October 2017
In April, we organised a group of friends and family (9 of us) ages ranging from 16 to 62 to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Sam and Cole, from SoleVentures were our tour guides. Everything about our experience was fantastic, from booking, accommodation, transport, food and the actual tour. Sam and Cole's enthusiasm was evident for the whole tour which was contagious even at 5.30 am.
Sam and Cole were attentive to details, for example our warmth, water intake, and suggestions like using tramping poles. Along the trek, Sam and Cole motivated and gave us interesting and informative information about the area.We stopped at Emerald Lakes for lunch and it was fabulous. We were given a choice of fresh wraps, fresh fruit and a cheese board - yum! The trek was spectacular - stunning views and a great challenge.
At the end of the crossing we had the van waiting with very welcomed cool drinks.
If you want a trip with energetic, competent, fun guides I thoroughly recommend SoleVentures.
Tongariro Alpine CrossingSharonkamo Whangarei, New Zealand|Reviewed 19 November 2017
WOW, what a fantastic adventure we had with family & friends doing the crossing! We had spectacular weather, spectacular views and an outstanding set of guides who catered to our every need & every level, being the least fit in the group, I had my concerns of holding everyone up but never at any stage did I feel that way, at every turn our guides Sam or Cole were either beside me or just in front making sure no one felt under pressure, they gave great info along the walk & provided a sumptuous lunch at the lakes midway through the walk, to top off the day they organized to finish up with a well deserved soak in hot pools back in taupo. In short, it was an awesome experience not to be forgotten, thanks Sam & Cole we will definitely be signing up for more.
Family day trip for six people to Rotoruacraig t|Reviewed 23 December 2017
Full day trip from Auckland to Rotorua and back to Auckland harbor.
Our driver Sam could not have been more helpful, more responsible-extremely careful driver. He joined us in Rotorua on part of the tour and drove us all the way back to Auckland. The van which was a very large Mercedes van, Was clean and brand new for a comfortable ride. We hire soul ventures anytime again highly recommend them.
Northlands Cycle TrailHeidiMorwenna|10th March 2019
Sole Ventures is an awesome tour company, I would highly recommend them for any Kiwi adventure. I have been on two of their trips now and each time everything was so professionally executed and well planned. The Northlands Cycle Trail was highly enjoyable, one of the best weekends I have had in New Zealand so far. Sam and Cole’s attention to detail is amazing; from the luxury bus and their extensive local knowledge, to the superb hotels, first class food and brilliant photography. I can’t wait until the next trip!
Super tour guides!rairmac San Francisco, California|Reviewed 6 Feburary 2018
I'm an experienced traveler, until now almost entirely in Europe. As usual when visiting a country for the first time, in this case New Zealand, I looked for a local guide for an introduction. Absolutely could not be more satisfied about the service I received from Cole and his brother Sam.
As I'm sure all Trip Advisor readers do, I put out a number of inquiries for assistance, including the highly touted, large companies. Cole's responses were by far the most impressive: super fast, comprehensive, flexible, and friendly. And Sam was a terrific guide: knowledgeable, courteous, friendly, and a fine sense of humor.
I've been fortunate to have met some excellent tour guides over the years....I can tell you unequivocally, you'll be more than satisfied spending your day(s) with Cole and Sam. Hire these folks....you will not be disappointed!
Private CharterGG123456|20th November 2018
Tongariro Crossing TripMGray2014|25th February 2018
Had an awesome trip with Sole Ventures this weekend doing the Tongariro Crossing - one of the best 1 day walks in NZ. Sam and Cole were AWESOME and I would highly recommend doing your trip or any trip with these guys. The service was amazing and everything was organised wonderfully from super hotels to even our packed lunches during the big walk. Wonderful trip thanks guys and would definitely recommend you put this tour on your bucket list - its a must!!
Poor Knights Islands Day trip.leahjfletcher|30th November 2018
Excellent Private ChartermichelleQ6527WV|5th November 2018
Sole Ventures was a great choice as our private charter for a vineyard tour in Northland recently. Excellent communication, very accommodating and welcoming, as well as a modern, clean and comfortable van to ride in. Would highly recommend to anyone who needs customised transport for a group of friends, family or colleagues.
The Tongariro Alpine CrossingTim K|Reviewed 9 October 2017
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing was an awesome experience from the great views and scenery to the self motivation and the achievement gained from the stunning trek. I myself am not a huge fan of walks and hiking however the team at Soleventures made it easy and enjoyable while also preparing a nice lunch with a beautiful view and providing us with awesome facts and information. I would highly recommend taking part in this crossing as you will not regret it. Thanks to the team over at Soleventures!
Dolphins, kiwis and two awesome guides!!!dannijo7 Whangarei, New Zealand|Reviewed 12 December 2017
What an amazing adventure! Massive thanks to Cole and Sam at Sole Ventures for guiding me through some of New Zealand's wonderful treasures on their Voyager Tour. It was four days of breathtaking scenary, inquisitive dolphins, cute kiwis (birds, not people) and cultural activities. This tour took us to the stunning Lake Kaiiwi on the west coast to the Bay of Islands on the East and some wonderful places in-between. The Voyager is suitable for all ages and all levels of fitness, all you need is a love of the outdoors. Cole and Sam leave nothing to be desired. Transport, accomodation and food are all taken care of, plus they capture all your experiences in beautiful photographs. An awesome tour spent with two fantastic guides who have a passion for showing the wonders of New Zealand. If you're coming to New Zealand, or you're already here and would love to experience what this country truely has to offer, check out Cole and Sam at Sole Ventures immediately! You'll love it :)
Private Customized North Island Adventurejoshandye|17th November 2018
We had an awesome time with Sam and Danni during our 3 day tour in New Zealand from beginning to end. We (group of 4) were initially picked up in Auckland in their high end Mercedes Van, where they took us to Hobbiton, Waitomo Caves, Tongariro Crossing, Lake Taupo, and Huka falls, then dropped us back in Auckland on the final day.
Everything was well organized and they clearly put a lot of thought and planning in to everything they do. Accommodations and food locations were also fantastic. We had a 3 course dinner and brunch at the Chateau Tongariro Hotel, as well as delicious food from other local restaurants throughout the journey.
Sam and Danni made us feel very welcome, were easy to talk to, and very knowledgeable about the area. We particularly appreciated their enthusiasm for talking about the history and culture of New Zealand as well as their interest in hearing about our experiences and sharing theirs. They went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable - ie making pit stops along the way and bringing snacks in case we were hungry. Sam took group photos of us throughout the trip and sent them right to us. They made sure we were well equipped and safe during our trip, providing rain coats for the crossing.
Service was top-notch. I would recommend them to anyone! We look forward to seeing them again on our next trip to New Zealand.
Tongariro crossingChas3228|1st March 2018
Amazing trip!kenish7|18th November 2018
Our visit to New Zealand was brief but packed with great sights and activities all thanks to Sole Ventures! I really appreciated that Cole took the time to customize our own 3 day adventure and made it more than affordable. The Mercedes van that we traveled in made long drives comfortable. The hospitality that Sam and Danni provided was top notch. It was great that they even provided extra gear for our Tongariro crossing which was cold and rainy. Restaurants were delicious and accommodations chosen were cozy. Aside from the weather not being the best, I couldn’t complain about a thing when it came to Sole Ventures. I would absolutely recommend them for any tour/adventure seekers traveling to New Zealand!
Amazing dayMarla B|25th February 2018
One day private tourSarah H|20th August 2018
Although these guys specialize in multi day adventurous tours, they were able to work with my husband and my schedule to squeeze in an awesome one day excursion. Really, that is what made me choose to book with them originally. I had reached out to a variety of different private tour companies and felt Cole was the most friendly, prompt, and willing to work with me on our itinerary! All communication leading up to the tour was clear and informative.
On the day of, Sam picked us up right on time from our AirBnB in Auckland and we headed off to the Waitomo area. He showed us a beautiful waterfall and a big natural bridge/cavern area, which involved a light amount of hiking that we enjoyed. One unexpected surprise was that he had a nice camera and took some photos of us at each place, which we appreciated! We then had a yummy picnic lunch and then headed off to the main event of the day: abseiling into and then hiking out of a massive cave. It was incredible! The caving experience was about 4 hours and then Sam dropped us off in Matamata at our next AirBnB. Door to door, the overall experience was perfect and we have nothing but praise for how the day went! Would definitely recommend this company and would love to book a longer adventure next time we’re in NZ!
Tongario crossingjustgazing|25th February 2018
Marsden seafood festivalExcursion68604659494|20 November 2018
Twin Coast Cycle Trail - work Christmas functionfraserhurrell|12th December 2018
Sole Ventures took care of the Elevate CA team Christmas function for the second year running.
Cole was a fantastic host - and from start to finish, nothing was too much trouble. It was a big day - we cycled from Kaikohe to Opua where Cole was waiting to pick us up, then on to Paihia for drinks on the beach and a meal in a local restaurant before heading back to Whangarei.
The booking process was efficient and hassle free, everything went like clockwork - and as a bonus, their state of the art Mercedes coach is a real nice touch!
I couldn't recommend Sole Ventures highly enough, and whatever we do for our Christmas function next year they will surely be involved.
Tongariro Crossingjoeboui|7th March 2019
Private CharterDayTrip30305686630|16th November 2018
We have used Sole Ventures 4 times now and they represent excellent value.
From the pristine condition of their Mercedes Coach to their punctuality, professionalism and reliability ..This is a service hard to fault..always with a smile and helpful attitude.
We would highly recommend using Sole Ventures in any capacity...whether by private charter or an exciting adventure tour
What a Blast!!!Ros1802 Whangarei, New Zealand|Reviewed 03 December 2017
Thoroughly recommend the Taranaki Tour...my wife and I are in our 60's and have extensively travelled New Zealand...yet, unbelievably, the only repeat for us for the whole week was the Tamaki Brothers Cultural Experience...and we thought we'd seen the country!!...I have done many of the New Zealand Great Walks but Tongariro Crossing was the best single day of hiking of them all. Appreciate the advice and training with the poles, Sam.
Sam and Cole were so attentive to our needs...the best hosts you could wish for..and they even cooked for us a couple of times!!!....the accommodation was superb...including the iconic Chateau Tongariro where I had never stayed before...
Great experience...Good value for money all round...Looking forward to the Northland tour...
Thanks Sam and Cole
Tongariro Crossing and more!MitchHolden|5th December 2018
The absolute best. Sam and Cole are the most fantastic hosts, guides and all round good guys. Their professionalism stands out - from their Sole Ventures coach to their expert knowledge on all things NZ. We started with our pick up in Auckland and managed to squeeze in a quick look around Waitomo caves which was outstanding! Sam and Cole made us feel like we were always at home, and always had the information for our never-ending questions! So full of insight. Their accommodation and food selections were outstanding. From the Chateau, to brunch, we always felt like royalty.
We had an outstanding day on the crossing, with sun and smiles, and even a swim to cool off in Lake Taupo!
Thanks so much Sam and Cole for an epic trip - I highly recommend Sole Ventures to everyone!! Will have to book a longer trip next time!
Private charterJuileS6841|12th January 2019