Awesome Tours New Zealand - Testimonials


Great dash around Central Otago

My wife and best mate just had a fantastic tour of Central Otago with Mark Dixon. We were all in Dunedin for our daughter’s 21st birthday party and had a couple of day’s spare afterwards. My wife found Awesome Tours and made contact to see if a winery tour could be organised.

Mark was brilliant, and organised a wonderful time for us – including great accommodation. He even had a winery that was closed for winter, open up to allow us a tasting!! Mark’s local knowledge and measured commentary (never intrusive or overdone), was greatly appreciated, as he safely drove us through the magnificent landscape of Central Otago.

We will definitely go straight to Awesome Tours for our next South Island adventure – thanks Mark!!

Best tour I never took….

Mark was a pleasure to work with. He adapted to changes in our tour group graciously. We were looking forward to a wonderful day, and I am sure it would have been.

Unfortunately, although our guide was there waiting, our cruise ship was unable to dock due to fog. Mark was on top of the situation and kept us posted. He would have done the tour later but the port was canceled. We received better communication from him than from our ship. He even sent pictures.

I felt he really empathized with us, and he not only refunded our money but sought out people whose credit card was no longer working so he could refund their money as well. Makes me even sadder that we didn’t get to tour with him. Such a great itinerary and agency.

Private Shore Excursion Tour

Our group of 4 went on a shore excursion day trip with Mark in January 2018. We were very lucky that day, even though we didn’t book a private tour, we ended up having Mark all to ourselves.

We had a lovely day in Dunedin and the Otago Penisula where we saw some rare wildlife. He was an amazing guide. Would recommend him to anyone…

“A truly, awesome, memorable tour of Queenstown & Dunedin!”

Thank you Mark for showing us the beauty of the South Island! What a trip.
We visited and toured the area of Queenstown and Dunedin, as well as visiting the stunning and unspoiled Otago Peninsula.
Key call outs would be the steam boat trip on Lake Wakatipu, a visit to nearby Arrowtown, exploring Dunedin city, the Speights Brewery tour, and our day tour down to the Otago Peninsula. Breathtaking scenery.
Mark has a wealth of knowledge and is keen to share all that he knows about his motherland. Most accommodating and passionate about what he does. There was no stone unturned. I would definitely recommend Awesome Tours for anyone keen to not just see the South Island but gain an insight into its heritage and its make-up.
Thank you Mark!
I hope I get to take another Awesome Tour in the future.

Cheers Ruth

Thanks for a excellent tour

Thanks for a excellent tour, although weather was rough it didn’t damper the wildlife viewing, your service or the thrills! Such friendly knowledgeable staff.As New Zealanders our expectations are high,we will recommend your trip to anyone heading to the Peninsula.

Tailor-made Private Tour

In English: great private tour in a 6 seater van. Mark was a great guide, perfectly planned our day, and made sure we got everywhere ahead of the crowds of tourists in the big buses. Recommended for a private tour in Dunedin and surrounding areas. Just call or email Mark to set up your customized tour day.

En español: muy buen tour privado en una van de 6 pasajeros. Mark fue un muy buen guía, planeo nuestro día a la perfección, y se aseguró de planificar todo de forma que llegáramos a todos los sitios antes de que llegaran los buses turísticos grandes con cientos de turistas y así poder estar tranquilos sin mucha gente durante las visitas. Recomendado para tour privado en Dunedin y sus alrededores. Solo llamen o manden un email a Mark para planificar un tour personalizado.

Awesome Day in Dunedin

My family and extended family recently spent the day with Mark touring Natures Wonders and the Albatross colony. We all had a fantastic day, it was truly one of the highlights of our cruise.
Marks knowledge and his overall service to us was great, Mark went the extra mile showing us other highlights of this lovely city as well.
I wish you all the best Mark, you really do have Awesome Tours.

Suzanne Britt

An “Awesome” Surprise

A lifetime experience! I had not booked this tour prior to my trip but our tour guide highly recommended Mark. I was not disappointed. His love for what he does and his country was contagious.

This tour turned a dreary day into a fun bright sunny one. Since the day was gray (to say the least), Mark said: “if we reach out to him he would send us pictures”. The pictures I received from Mark were far better than any I would have taken. His quick response time and customer service skills are a rare find. I highly recommend “Awesome Tours”, you will not be disappointed.

Thanks again Mark for a wonderful day…

Thanks again Mark for a wonderful day. We were on the Radiance of the sea and we were just a small group. We enjoyed the facts and stories that Mark told us while driving around Dunedin and to and from the ship. We really enjoyed the Albatros center and Natures Wonder trip. If we ever come to New Zealand again, we will look you up and in the meantime we tell everyone that goes there to call you and use your tour. Thanks Mark, you were great!!!

Margarete Scow

Shore excursion day trip

Our family went on a shore excursion day trip with Mark in December 2013. We were very lucky that day, even though we didn’t book a private tour, we ended up having Mark all to ourselves.
We had a lovely day in Dunedin and the Otago Penisula where we saw some rare wildlife including the yellow-eyed penguins and were able to visit many attractions in the City including the Olveston house, Baldwin Street, Dunedin University and the city centre.

Mark was a very informative tour guide and really gave us lots of insight into all the attractions we visited. He was especially friendly to our 8-year-old boy. Mark also had a very impressive knowledge of the wildlife and took the chance to point out the native birds while we were driving down the peninsula.
He was very accommodating to all our little requests – we were able to visit Olveston House because of it, it really made for a very fulfilling day in Dunedin.

The vehicle used for the tour was very comfortable- our 8-year-old even took the chance to have a nap in it!

We loved spending the day with Mark, and when we go back again, we will be sure to book another tour with him.


Private Tour for Ten!

Dear Mark

Thank you so much for looking after our family when we were in Dunedin December 2011 aboard The Radiance of the Seas. Tour was AWESOME and we covered all the sites without feeling rushed. Your well thought out itinerary and interesting commentary made it a day to remember. You were also flexible enough to incorporate some special requests such as the University. We will be certainly recommending your company – in fact you have already looked after some other family members since.

Jenny Henderson

Judy Ahto

We have to let you, Mark, and everyone else know what a wonderful time we had with you on our excursion. It was a highlight of our trip! Mark went above and beyond the trip’s description to provide us with a day we won’t forget. He was energetic, enthusiastic, and very knowledgeable about his city’s and country’s history, regaling us with informative and amusing stories. He changed the order of the itinerary to make it more convenient for us, and included places not even mentioned as a part of the tour. I gave his contact information to a woman I met in Aust. since she plans to be in Dunedin soon.

Judy Ahto

Jane Beecher

Our tour around Dunedin and the Otago peninsula was fantastic!!!! The peninsula itself is totally unspoilt and beautiful. The Nature’s Wonders tour was breathtaking and the inquisitive seal colonies are stunning. Mark is a well of knowledge about his home town, Dunedin and delighted us with many stories during our tour. We were given the warmest of welcomes and can’t thank him enough!!! The Mild Red clothing workshop is fantastic and I was made very welcome by Donna, Martine, Lynette and co. The show room is beautiful and the clothes are so unique and of fabulous quality. A+++++++++

Chantal Kluiters

Hi Mark,

wanted to thank you for a great day at the Peninsula! Wonderful sight-seeing with a personal guide. What else do you need more 🙂
Had a great experience with the seals and the penquins. We were so lucky to see 7 of these rare penquins. I showed all my pictures to my friend and she couldn’t believe how close the encounter was with the seals.
So many thanks for the lovely day!

greetz Chantal Kluiters

Shirley Smith

Hi Mark,

Your tour was the highlight of our trip to New Zealand….better than any tour the cruise ship offered.The scenery in Dunedin is breathtaking. I have the most beautiful pictures because of your tour. Thank you so very much. “

Shirley Smith

Ann Garson

Hi Mark,

We are finally home after our three-month marathon trip. I wanted to express my appreciation for all of your assistance in setting up the Otago Peninsula tour we took in February. The tour was great and I received many compliments from the others who participated in your tour. I would highly recommend your services.

Ann Garson

Sandra Fox

Thanks for an “Awesome” – “Experience a Taste of Dunedin” tour Mark on Monday 7th March. We were lucky enough to have both you and Bruce as our guides and we had so much fun with you. We have friends who will be on a cruise in November and we have recommend you to them. On behalf of the six of us in our group Cheers. Regards Sandra Fox “

Sandra Fox

Kanako Hayashi

Hi Mark

We could enjoy South Island tour for 8 days with you, and my nephew who is 10 years old and my niece who is 6 years old were very happy this tour with you. You showed us very beautiful places and we could have great experiences. Also, our accommodations which were motels were very nice, because it was like an apartment, so we could cook and wash clothes. We never forget this great tour. Thank you so much.

Kanako Hayashi

私 たちは8日間南島ツアーをマークと一緒に楽しむことができました。10歳の甥と6歳の姪もマークと楽しくこの旅行ができたと私に話していました。マークは 私たちにとても素敵な場所を見せてくれ私たちは貴重な体験をすることができました。宿泊施設(モーテル)もとても素敵なところでアパートメントのようで自 炊、洗濯が自分たちでできました。私たちはこの貴重なツアーを忘れることはないでしょう。本当にありがとうございました。

Don Pray

Debbie, Gil, Marion, Sam, Penny and Don from the Crystal Serenity at Dunedin on Feb. 19, 2011 enjoying a great day trip from Mark Dixon and Awesome Tours NZ of the city and the beautiful Otago peninsula.

Regards, Don

John Thiele Clarkson

Bruce thanks very much for taking our group on the ‘Experience a Taste of Dunedin’ tour on Wednesday 22nd December 2010. We were from the Volendam Cruise Ship and we met you at the Dunedin Info Centre. We have kept your Buisness Card and next time we are in Dunedin we would not hesitate to contact you again for another tour. We would also reccomend you to our friends and club members who may be travelling over to NZ. Once again thankyou, could you pass on our thanks to the Cabury Choc Fac and Speights Brewery for there terrific tours

best regards John Thiele Clarkson Western Australia.

Donna & Karl Capello

Thanks for a great day last week we all had a ball.Have given your details to a friend Glenn who is coming over in March on the Dawn Princess he is interested in doing the tour.One of the best tours we have done

Thanks again -Donna, Karl & Sarah Capello.

Brad Hedgman

Hi Mark

Just wanted to thank you again for such a fantastic tour. Our whole group thought it one of the highlights of our time in New Zealand. We can thoroughly recommend your tour to anyone seeking awesome natural scenery & wildlife, amazing urban & architectural sights, (the nice cosy pub lunch was a bonus!) and all accompanied by the friendliest tour guide in NZ ! An extremely well-run & flexible tour.


Brad Hedgman

John Daprossi

It has now been a few weeks since our Sun Pricess cruize and our wonderful awesome tour of Dunedin. This was without doubt the best tour of our trip and our greatest photgraphic memory a photo with sheep by the cabbage tree over looking the Picturesque Dunedin. I never thought i would be so excited to have a photo taken with sheep. Mark instilled that excitment in us.

Thanks for the great memories Mark. John and Linda.

Kathy and Joel Kaplan

As I sit in this internet cafe, I am still thinkging of our trip that we took with Mark from Awesome Tours. This was the best tour of our trip. From the momement I emailed him to our hug good bye Mark was a true professional through and through. We went to see the Seals, Pequins and ride the amazing Argos. The scenery is breathtaking. We also visited the Royal Albratross colony and got quite an airshow. Many thanks to Mark for making this excursions as our most memorable.

Kathy and Joel Kaplan

Lester Moller

Mark, Coral & I would like to publicly thank you for our tour of Lanark castle & Natures Wonders.We were both most impressed with your knowledge & guidance & would not hesitate to recommend your company Awesome Tours for anybody wanting a great time while in Dunedin.

Cheers,all the best & many thanks once again Lester & Coral Moller

Robin Hollingsworth

A few months have passed since our February cruise to New Zealand on the Sun Princess and it has been remiss of us not to have posted our testimonial earlier than this, but it is certainly not to say that we did’nt enjoy our day with Mark on a tour of Dunedin and Natures Wonders, in fact this tour was probably the highlight of our visit to NZ. Mark met us at the ship and proceeded into Dunedin Visitor Informaation Centre where we picked up a couple from America off our ship. Mark took us to numerous places of interest around Dunedin and we found him to be an excellent guide with a good personality, good sense of humour(but he knew exactly when to get us back on track) and extremely knowledgable about Dunedin and NZ.He then took us out to the Otago Penninsular passed some spectacular scenery to Natures Wonders, where we went for a ride on an Argo 8 wheel vehicle out to see the penguins and seals, this was definetly the highlight of the tour the ride in the Argo was great fun and the wildlife and surrounding scenery spectacular. The size of our group(there was only 6 of us) made for a very personal experience and you did’nt feel like just of of the crowd.We then stopped at a local Pub for lunch (Mark phoned our order ahead for us)where we tried our first lot of NZ Fush and Chups and a NZ beer all good.! Mark then took us to a few more sights of Dunedin, and then dropped us off at the ship after a very full and extremely enjoyable day. We would not hesitate to reccomend Mark and Awesome tours to anyone. We have already told friends who are travelling later this year about Awesome Tours and have also reccomended them on Cruise Critic. Thankyou again Mark for a great day.

Fred & Robin Hollingsworth and Bob & Judy McIlwrath. N.S.W Australia

Doug and Donna Breithaupt

Awesome is an appropriate name for the tour. Best day we had in New Zealand, we loved the Natures Wonders and Albatross Center. We enjoyed the smaller tour group than the cruise ship offered and you were the perfect tour guide. Great to be able to hear everything you said from the back of the bus and we enjoyed your stories. We would highly recommend your tour to anyone going to New Zealand. Thanks for a memorable day.

Doug and Donna Breithaupt
GE Aircraft Engines

Kitty Wong

很高興也很樂意為Mark Dixon (Awesome Tour) 以中文寫出這次紐西蘭南島旅行的感受。讓更多中國朋友認識這位親切、友善而經驗豐富的導遊。

從策劃這次旅程開始,得到Mark 提供很多寶貴的意見,省卻了我很多搜集資料的時間,從而可以定出一個大家都喜歡的行程;到這七天南島之旅,Mark孜孜不倦地沿途為我們講解,充份表現出他的專業精神和對工作的熱誠。只有一個喜愛旅遊、熱愛大自然、享受旅遊樂趣的導遊,才能讓我們真正享受到旅遊的樂趣,真正欣賞到紐西蘭的大自然風光。

我們一行十一人,每人都會有不同的要求,要令每一個人都滿意和愉快,是十分不容易的,但Mark做到了。我們十分享受這次旅程,回到香港後也樂此不疲地與我們的朋友分享這次旅程的樂趣,也藉着這個機會讓大家認識這位難得的導遊� Mark Dixon.

Kitty Wong

Hong Kong

Aug 2008

George & Kitty

Dear Mark,

First of all, I must say that we (our three families of ten , young and old (that’s me !) did have a great time. The 7-day trip you planned for us in southern New Zealand was simply marvellous. We enjoyed the small group tour in Awesome’s cosy coach. The trip down from Christchurch to Queenstown, through the wide open space of central plain, through the pictureque Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki was refreshing. Definitely a complete contrast to the hectic and noisy environment in Hong Kong.

We had a nice time in Queenstown, with the jetboat ride, horse-riding, TSS Earnslaw cruise and the gondola ride to the mountain top for the scrumptious dinner buffet. And of course the surprise birthday cake you prepared for our beautiful ‘princess’. Great arrangement !

The Milford Sound cruise was magnificent. I am sure I’ll remember it for a long long time. It was a pity though that we could not visit the Glowworm Caves. Well, can’t have it all, right ?

For the tour in Dunedin, we all love the exciting 8-wheel drive at Natures Wonders to see the world’s rarest penguins, the fur seals and the Royal Albatross. I didn’t see the Cormorants though (Bad luck !). The visit to the steepest street in the world (Baldwin Street ?), the visit to the Cadbury chocolate factory and the Taieri Gorge Railway train ride were all interesting and eye-opening.

This is the first time we did a small group tour. It was really different from those package tours we had in the past. The experience was great, with the naming of places we wanted to visit and then with you planning the detailed route for us. We do hope to try it again when we have a long holiday.

Once again, a big THANK YOU. Wishing you and Awesome all the best.

George & Kitty

Brian Wong

Mr Mark was the best tour guide that I have ever seen. He never let his customers feel boring or disappointed during his trip. He always bring us happiness and a sense of security. He is a good planner too. We had visited lots of places and we still have spare time to do things we wanted. He was a responsible person. I like him, I knew more about New Zealand because of him. He is a good tour guide.

Phyllis Glaser

It took me 3 days to put my 200 photo album together- with our day in Dunedin as the highlight- your brochure and Nature’s wonders are also in the pockets, so I take them out to show the entire experience.As Carol said, that day on the Otago Peninsula was the highlight tour and the beauty of the area will remain with us forever.

Good luck to you in all of your future endeavors. You can be sure that I will refer you to all future clients of this agency.

Phyllis Glaser

Carol Miller


Remember Phyllis Glaser and Carol Miller from the Sapphire Princess? Mom and I just loved our tour with you.

I know that it has been a while since our tour, but wanted to drop you an email to let you know that….

Our day in Dunedin and on the Otago Peninsula with Awesome Tours was truly amazing..actually, it was AWESOME!. I would have to say that it was our best shore excursion of the cruise and by far, the highlight of the trip. You run an excellent operation. It’s evident that you love your job and know the area & the people. It is clear that your are customer focused and want to make sure that everyone has an awesome experience. The name of your company is perfect. Everything about our day was awesome!

Thank you so very much Mark,

Carol Miller & Phyllis Glaser

Parkland, Fl


Kultida Earkasem

Dear Mark
I had travelledl along the south island many times . Nevertheless travelling with awesome tour is the great experience and the most enjoyable time for me and my group. Natural scences and wildlife are always there and these are the same every time. But Mark , you really make the difference. Your knowledge and understanding for international tourists is very extensive. Especially our group members who are very young and a little bit unconcern of many many things..Thanks for your patience with us and we are very happy …..

Denise Walsh

Dear Mark,

Do you miss us yet? We are back on board the Sapphire Princess and I just wanted to tell you how much Marc and I enjoyed you, your country and our tour today. Of all the vacations, of all the continents we have travelled this has been one of the most memorable experiences ever. Thank you for showing us your home.

Denise Walsh and Marc Lotz

Allen and Diane Moore


Diane and I had a great time in Dunedin with your terrific service. Your company certainly lived up to its name.


Allen and Diane Moore

Lori Lynch


Just wanted to drop you a line to thank you for our tour. Your pride, honesty and knowledge of your country made it really informative and special. It wass the best tour we took on our visit to New Zealand. I will recommend Awesome tours to anyone who will listen.

Thanks again,

Lori and Lonnie Minnesota

Jim Connell


Jim here, Mary is at her Mom’s and she asked me to run the test you wanted from this site. As she mentioned she had trouble getting it to go thru on AOL the internet connection we use. Hope all is well and thanks again for a great trip.

Jim Connell

Connie Lipman


We didn’t forget you. We just arrived home after a very long trip. Awesome Tours was awesome! Our tour with you on 1/29/08 was one of the highlights of our vacation. We loved the camaraderie, commentary and personal touches, including tasting hokey pokey. You covered everything. We enjoyed our stops at Natures Wonders in the 8×8 and the Albatross Center. Your van was most comfortable and I am enclosing a picture of it with Elliot.

Wishing you the best of luck in your endeavor,


Connie Lipman

Nikki & Craig

Hi Mark,

Just a quick note to say thank you for helping me organising a great day out for our group of advisors last week. We all had a wonderful day and Craig and I would like to thank you for joining in and being part of the success it was.

The small township of Naseby is a lovely place to visit. We thoroughly enjoyed our lunches at the Royal Hotel and Curling at the new indoor rink was even more fun than we imagined! I think our group was a little disappointed when our time was up and we had to head home.

Thanks again for your recommendations, a great day was had by all and we look forward to next time.

Best wishes

Nikki & Craig
The Equitable Group

Tracey & Maureen


Thank you so much for a great day visiting Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula! You’re enthusiasm for the area is infectious and your knowledge is nothing short of amazing!! I would definitely recommend you and Awesome Tours to anyone wanting a fun, educational and totally enjoyable time in the South Island!!

Thanks again
Tracey & Maureen

Tatyana and Bob

Hi Mark,

We returned home a couple days ago and I would like to thank you very much for the wonderful tour we had with you in Dunedin. We loved Nature Wonders experience and all other places we saw with you help. It was a great day in New Zealand. And we loved your country so much.

Thanks again.

Tatyana and Bob.

Storozuk Family

Thank you Mark for our AWESOME tour!!!! Our family had the best day of our trip with you as our host. If you are reading these testimonials to see if this is worthwhile, I can honestly say you will get more than your money’s worth! Mark is FANTASTIC!!!!

Storozuk Family CANADA