14 Day New Zealand Vista

14 Day New Zealand Vista

Visit the must-see sights of New Zealand with AAT Kings on the low cost New Zealand Vista coach tour. See Christchurch, Queenstown, Franz Josef, Rotorua, Auckland and more.

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Tour Info

Tour Type: Low Cost Coach Tour
From: Auckland to Christchurch
Departures: Jun 2018 to Sep 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $3775 per person
Tour Operator: AAT Kings Tours
Pace: Comfortable
Duration: 14 Days
Tour Code: LAAC

Inclusions

13 nights accommodation in comfortable hotels
13 fully cooked breakfasts (B) and 10 dinners (D)
Tour the Glowworm Grotto at the Waitomo Caves
Enjoy a hāngī feast at Tamaki Māori Village
Discover the arts and traditions of New Zealand's Māori culture
View the mighty Huka Falls
Visit Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand
Cruise through Queen Charlotte Sound from Wellington to Picton
Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo
Full day at leisure in Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure capital
Cruise on breathtaking Milford Sound
Cruise Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw for a unique highlight dinner
Visit historic Arrowtown
Stay at spectacular Franz Josef Glacier
Visit a pounamu studio and watch artists at work
Journey on the TranzAlpine train
Explore Wellington, New Zealand's capital city
See spectacular Lake Tekapo and Te Anau
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation and activity vouchers, and local travel guides

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

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Day 1
Arrive Auckland

Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand’s ‘City of Sails’. Flights can arrive any time prior to 4.00pm and you will be transferred from the airport to your Auckland hotel. After you check in, you can head out and explore Auckland. Take a walk down Queen Street, to the main shopping precinct, or catch an inner city bus (from outside the hotel) down to Viaduct Harbour and the Auckland Waterfront region. This recently developed area of central Auckland has cafes and restaurants galore. Take a seat in the sunshine, enjoy a glass of one of New Zealand’s famous sauvignon blancs, and watch the maritime activity on Waitemata Harbour.

This evening, meet your fellow passengers and your AAT Kings Travel Director at dinner at your hotel.

Stay: VR Queen Street, Auckland. (D)

Day 2
Auckland - Waitomo Caves - Rotorua

A city sights tour will start your morning in Auckland. Travel around the waterfront from the central city out to Mission Bay. Prepare your camera for the stop at Bastion Point and the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, as you will get stunning shots of Auckland, the North Shore and Waitemata Harbour. After leaving Auckland you will follow the meandering trail of the Waikato River to Waitomo Caves. Tour the amazing limestone caverns and sail through the still waters of the sparkling Glowworm Grotto. From Waitomo to Rotorua you will venture through the King Country region, which was at the centre of the New Zealand Wars in the 1860s. On arrival in Rotorua an orientation tour takes in views of Lake Rotorua.

Stay: Hotel Ibis Rotorua (2 nights) (B)

Day 3
Rotorua Sightseeing

Today is your chance to experience the scenic wonders of the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua. This morning you will head to the Agrodome Farm Show, a hilarious, interactive way to gain an insight into New Zealand’s biggest industry – agriculture. After the Agrodome you may wish to travel back to the Rotorua township and relax lakeside, or you may prefer to choose from one of the varied optional experiences on offer. Take a scenic flight out over Lake Rotorua for a bird’s-eye view of the region. You may even want to stop at the top of Mt Tarawera, the site of the largest eruption in New Zealand’s living memory!

Tonight an evening of culture, history and scrumptious food awaits you at Tamaki Māori Village. Wander through the ancient forest village and learn about Māori art forms and traditions, followed by a concert featuring local performers. Experience an authentic hāngī meal, steamed underground in the traditional way. (B, D)

Day 4
Rotorua - Wellington

Say “haere ra!” (goodbye) to Rotorua this morning and journey out through pine forests and farmland to a little hidden spot, the turquoise torrent of rapids known as Huka Falls. The road ahead unfolds to a broad panorama of Lake Taupō, New Zealand’s largest lake. The stunningly blue fresh water of Lake Taupō is home to some of the best trout fishing in the world. You will then journey south over the Central Plateau, New Zealand’s main volcanic area. In a country of contrasts, perhaps nothing is more striking than the three peaks of Tongariro National Park rising starkly from the surrounding plateau of tussock and near-desert.

Pass through a number of small towns along the road to Wellington, each with their own personality and quirks. Probably the quirkiest of all would have to be Taihape, the self-proclaimed gumboot capital of the world. Travel along the Kapiti Coast, the traditional summer playground of the inhabitants of Wellington city. And as you follow the state highway, the Kapiti Coast becomes New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. Tonight dinner is included at your hotel.

Stay: Travelodge, Wellington (B, D)

Day 5
Wellington - Picton

This morning enjoy a tour of Wellington, including panoramic views from the summit of Mt Victoria. See the Parliament buildings and the Beehive, home to New Zealand’s government, and explore Te Papa, where you’ll have time to explore New Zealand’s nature, art, history and cultural heritage. Then cruise across the Cook Strait and meander down the maze of inlets of Queen Charlotte Sound on your way to Picton.

Stay: Beachcomber Inn, Picton (B, D)

Day 6
Picton - Christchurch

This morning you will begin your adventure in the South Island. Today you will get the opportunity to spend some time observing some pretty special wildlife. Get up close and personal with New Zealand fur seals at Ohau Point, and watch as they frolic and play in the tidal currents and sun themselves on the rocks. Or take a helicopter flight out of Kaikōura (optional – at own expense) and coast out over the Pacific Ocean for whale and dolphin viewing. If a helicopter flight is not your style, why not wander down the main street, stop in at one of many local eateries and sample a Kiwi seafood delight – crayfish. There is no way to avoid these sea creatures, even the town’s name reflects an abundance of crustaceans – ‘kai’ in Maori means food and ‘kōura’ means crayfish.

This afternoon’s journey follows the Pacific Ocean coastline where roaring sea meets enormous bush-clad mountains. As the mountains turn to rolling hills and lush river flats, you will travel across the Northern Canterbury Plains and into Christchurch. Tonight, speak with your Travel Director about dining recommendations in Christchurch’s inner city.

Stay: Ibis Hotel, Christchurch (B)

Day 7
Christchurch - Ōmarama

This morning you may wish to take a brief walk around the city centre and Cathedral Square before departure. See how Christchurch is rebuilding after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, and pop into the Transitional Cathedral in Latimer Square, the temporary home of the Christchurch Cathedral. It is the world’s only cathedral made substantially of cardboard! After a Christchurch city sights tour, you will head out over the patchwork countryside of the Canterbury Plains to soak up some spectacular sightseeing.

Sweeping views across the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo framed by a backdrop of rugged hills and snow-capped mountains provide stunning alpine photography opportunities. You will visit the little stone-hewn Church of the Good Shepherd, and stop for a quick photo with the bronze statue of a collie dog, the touching tribute to the sheepdogs which helped develop the Mackenzie high country. You may want to take in Aoraki Mt Cook National Park from the air this afternoon, on a scenic flight out over New Zealand’s highest peak, the Southern Alps and on to Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers (optional experience – at own expense). Your day finishes in the heart of the Mackenzie region at Ōmarama. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Stay: Heritage Gateway Hotel, Ōmarama (B, D)

Day 8
Ōmarama - Dunedin

Your day starts with a journey along the Waitaki River, and a photo stop at the Waitaki hydro scheme and Benmore Dam. The Waitaki River marks the boundary between the regions of Canterbury and Otago, and with its large catchment it is an ideal source of hydro-electric power. The Benmore Dam holds back New Zealand’s largest artificial lake, and when the Benmore Power Station was opened in 1965 it was the largest power station in New Zealand. Even today it is still the second-largest, and generates enough electricity each year for about 298,000 average New Zealand homes.

From the Waitaki Valley you will then travel through to the township of Ōamaru, with its stately tree-lined streets and famous white limestone buildings. As well as shipping limestone to the bigger cities of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin for construction of their Town Halls and various churches, Ōamaru locals made sure their own town represented the best in limestone building the mid- to late-1800s had to offer.

This afternoon you will make your way down to Dunedin. With the rest of your free afternoon you may wish to take part in an optional excursion to see more of the region. Take a wildlife cruise out to Otago Peninsula, visit the Speight’s Brewery, or ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Stay: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City, Dunedin (B, D)

Day 9
Dunedin - Te Anau

This morning you have some free time in Dunedin. You may want to visit Cadbury World, or journey out to the gorgeous Larnach Castle – New Zealand’s only castle. Or you may simply wish to roam around the beautiful grounds of New Zealand’s first university, Otago University. Dunedin, also known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’, has strong connections to its northern hemisphere sister city, even down to sharing many of the same street names, so take a wander down George Street, noting Dunedin’s Scottish ancestry.

This afternoon travel through lush green pastures, crossing sheep-filled farming land. New Zealand is internationally known for its sheep farming, and these are sights many visitors to this country recognise as typically ‘New Zealand’. You are sure to find the perfect sheep photo here! As your excursion continues, the rolling, grassy hills once again turn back into heavily forested, rugged mountains, and you meander your way up into Fiordland National Park to the South Island’s biggest lake and the town of Te Anau. This evening you have the opportunity to head out across the lake to the Te Anau Glowworm Caves for a tour (optional – at own expense). Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Stay: Distinction Luxmore Hotel, Te Anau (B, D)

Day 10
Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown

Today is one of those days where you will want to have your camera battery charged and ready to go, and you will probably want to have a spare battery or two on hand… just in case. After leaving Te Anau you will journey 119km through the Fiordland National Park and out to Milford Sound on one of the most scenic roads you could hope for. Travel through native rainforests, beech forests, alluvial flats and meadows. You will stop at Mirror Lakes where, as the name suggests, you can see the stunning mountain scenery perfectly reflected in the waters of the lakes.

Then on to the Homer Tunnel, man’s attempt to master the sheer rocky ranges, still left rough-hewn around the edges. As you emerge out the other side of the tunnel you are presented with one of the world’s most dramatic alpine drives, down through the Cleddau Valley. You will have a stop at the Chasm, where the roaring Cleddau River has carved its way through solid rock, and then it’s on to Milford Sound, where you will cruise on the waters of this natural wonder.

Your cruise meanders down the sound, taking in the Bowen and Stirling Falls as these plummet sharply from glacial hanging valleys into the sea, and the sheer pinnacle of Mitre Peak, rising from the deep waters of the fiord. From the spectacular scenes of Milford Sound, you will travel on to the beautiful sights of Queenstown. An orientation tour skirting around the shores of Lake Wakatipu takes you into the town centre. Tonight you may want to take a gondola up Bob’s Peak and dine at Stratosfare Restaurant (own expense) overlooking Queenstown – the ultimate way to end a highlight day!

Stay: Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Queenstown (2 nights) (B)

Day 11
Queenstown

Explore exciting Queenstown your way! Why not soar through the trees on a Ziptrek Ecotour, or raft the mighty white water rapids of the Kawarau River? Take the opportunity to encounter a Queenstown legend and ride the Shotover Jet or venture out onto the Dart River for a longer jet safari. If laid-back and relaxed is more your idea of fun then join a Queenstown Original Wine Tour and sample some of Central Otago’s award-winning wines, or play a round of golf at one of the spectacular alpine courses around Queenstown. Your AAT Kings Travel Director will assist you in booking all of your chosen optional experiences.

After a day of activity, sit back and enjoy a peaceful evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealand’s oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak Station. Launched in 1912, the TSS Earnslaw is the largest and grandest vessel ever to ply Lake Wakatipu. Today, the TSS Earnslaw is believed to be the only coal-fired passenger carrying vessel still operating in the southern hemisphere. Partake in a gourmet BBQ highlight dinner at Walter Peaks’ Colonel’s Homestead and then enjoy an entertaining after-dinner farm show providing a glimpse into high country farm life. On the cruise back to Queenstown, join in a vintage singalong or grab your partner for a dance across the polished wooden floors of the Earnslaw. (B, D)

Day 12
Queenstown - Franz Josef

This morning you will leave the alpine wonderland of Queenstown behind and begin the passage through Central Otago and out to Westland. On the way out of the Queenstown region you will stop and visit the faithfully restored gold mining settlement of Arrowtown. As you amble down the beautiful tree-lined avenues and past the 19th century wooden buildings, you will feel like you have stepped into a movie set.

From here you will travel over to Cromwell, situated next to the sparkling pristine waters of Lake Dunstan, where you will stop in at a local orchard for a taste of some of the town’s delicious stone fruit. It is a day of gorgeous lakes, as after Dunstan you will travel further into Central Otago and view the vivid blue waters of Lake Hawea, followed by Lake Wanaka, where the shoreline is charmingly lined by poplars and willows. Following an ancient greenstone trail you will travel over Haast Pass, marking a change from the alpine scenery of the Southern Lakes to the rainforest marvel of the wild West Coast. View the sheer drop of Thunder Creek Falls and the grand sight of Mt Hooker, flanked on three sides by extensive glaciers.

Our final destination for today is the extraordinary rivers of ice that make up Franz Josef Glacier. You may want to get up close and personal with the glaciers on a helicopter flight. Your flight will hover over the snow face, and may land high up in the valley so that you can walk across the ice fall – subject to weather conditions (optional – at own expense). Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Stay: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (Graham Wing), Franz Josef (B, D)

Day 13
Franz Josef - Christchurch

If weather conditions are unfavourable on Day 12, you will get another chance to fly up to the glaciers this morning or you might want to take a stroll through the small but lively Franz Josef village. Then you head off to the driftwood-strewn beaches of Hokitika. As well as being one of the few West Coast communities to embrace its coastal landscape, Hokitika struck it rich in the resources stakes. Here you will visit a pounamu (jade) studio for the chance to see master carvers at work creating intricate pieces of jewellery and art. Māori tradition says it is bad luck to buy pounamu for yourself, so if you fancy a trinket of your own, make sure you have someone there to purchase it for you.

From Hokitika, you will travel inland to the small settlement of Arthur’s Pass. Here you will board the TranzAlpine train to Christchurch. This spectacular train journey dates back to 1914 and is rated as one of the world’s most scenic train trips. The train forges through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges and river valleys. This evening join your AAT Kings Travel Director and Driver, and your newfound friends, for a farewell dinner.

Stay: Ibis Hotel, Christchurch (B, D)

Day 14
Depart Christchurch

Your holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. You will be transferred to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight. (B)

4.6/5.0

There are 69 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.6 out of 5.

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Tour Reviews

5
03/04/2018
We really enjoyed the tour. Our tour director, Phil, was excellent. He was a walking encyclopedia about New Zealand, very kind and helpful. The only suggestion I have is to get some different name tags. The little safety pin was very hard to put on and it was always crooked. A lanyard would be much better.
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4
27/02/2018
Some hotels need air conditioning installed as it was too hot to sleep. The evening food was monotonous for the first few evenings and was never served hot. N.Z. is not a tipping culture so we were surprised that the guide and driver expected tips and gave a suggested amount we would have tipped without being told but were offended by this attitude. However the guide and driver were both excellent at their jobs and were good representatives for the company.
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5
21/11/2017
Absolutely a wonderful journey of the scenery and culture of New Zealand. The tour booked with Relaxing Journeys was so well organized. All of the hotel stays and guided coach tours through both the North and the South Islands were set up for us so we could, as the name of the company implies, relax!!! The hotels were clean and comfortable and the food was fabulous. It was fun to taste the New Zealand cuisines in the hotels. The staff at each hotel was welcoming, friendly and helpful. The daily coach rides on our fourteen day tour were fun and informative! Our Tour Director Sarah was delightful and informative. She was well organized and made sure we were comfortable as we traveled through the townships and scenery. She made surprising stops that were not on the schedule way to show us New Zealand's hidden jewels,
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4
31/10/2017
Sarah, the tour guide was excellent in all areas as she has several years of experience. Mark, our bus driver, had full command of the vehicle at all times, his driving was excellent.
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5
12/09/2017
Tania was the best tour guide we have ever had (and we've had a few)...She really knew her stuff and seemed to really care about all of us...New Zealand was beautiful and even though the pace was quick (we knew it would be before we booked), we got to see most of New Zealand...Highly recommend this tour and this tour guide and driver, Monica, who was friendly and safe.
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5
06/06/2017
We enjoyed the scenery. Being from the USA, we enjoyed learning about the differences between the two countries - foods, farm animals, wild animal species, etc.
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5
25/04/2017
We had a wonderful time in New Zealand the tour was well organised and i would recommend it to anyone.
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4
24/04/2017
Hotel and food was good. Except a dinner buffet at Queenstown on the TSS Earnslaw was too late and unable to see the view at night for the cruise.
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4
31/01/2017
The group got too large with 49 people on the bus after Christchurch. The trips from Queenstown to Franz Josef to Christchurch were too long and monotonous with excessive time spent on the bus. There is got to be a way to optimize.
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5
10/01/2017
Dexter was an excellent guide and Nathan was an extremely competent, safe driver. The locations on the tour were excellent and all of the hotels were very good for location, cleanliness, comfort and food. Overall the tour was fantastic and enjoyable and we would certainly recommend AAT Kings / Relaxing Journeys to family, friends and colleagues.
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4
01/01/2017
New Zealand is a wonderful country made up of a rich history and breathtaking scenery. For the most part, the hotels were good, the food was good, the activities both included in the package and optional were fun and exciting. The coach was clean and pleasant. However the tour guide, Katie, was exceptional...friendly, helpful, with a wonderful command of the history of the cities and areas we visited. Paul, our coach driver was also terrific. If I had one suggestion it would be to visit one or two cities for 2 days rather than one, and cut down the time spent on the coach.
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5
26/12/2016
Fantastic tour. Will definitely recommend to all. Huge thank you to director Isabel who was so informative and made it so much fun. Thank you driver Craig who kept us safe. Also all the other passengers. You were a wonderful and fun group. We have great memories of our very first coach tour.
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4
21/11/2016
Toni's response to my mails were quick and satisfying. AAT Kings organised the tour very well. Sarah's guidance was good and inputs were very relevant and interesting. On hindsight we feel that the shopping / luncheon interval at Franz Josef could be reduced. Time and guidance could have been provided for a walk up to the glacier.
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5
08/03/2016
The tour was everything I expected it to be. NZ is absolutely stunning. Katie had so much knowledge about everything, she was a fantastic courier, always very pleasant and helpful.Enjoyed every minute of our trip, saddest part was leaving New Zealand.we had a brilliant time,the food was excellent, the hotels were perfect. And thanks to Stu,for our safe journey. Would recommend your company to anyone. Thank you too, for being so helpful to me, over these past months. Holiday of a lifetime. Thank you Mani, Andrea
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5
16/02/2016
The tour was excellent. Our tour guide, Marti was really well organised. The coach driver, Craig was really good as well. There were many highlights on the tour - Hobbiton, The Maori village visit & hangi, the hot springs of Rotorua, the farm stay, the helicopter rides over the whales & Franz Josef Glacier, the 4WD tour of the gold mining gorge in Queenstown, the Lanarch Castle in Dunedin, Milford Sound, the Christchurch Art gallery & Botanic Gardens. We found the whole country beautiful with it's many mountains, lakes & waterfalls. Overall a well worthwhile visit.
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5
05/01/2016
It was a smooth coach tour in a beautiful country. Thank to you in helping us to have the tour. AAT Kings has done a wonderful job. People of New Zealand are very nice.
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4
29/12/2015
Tour was great however, the pace was quite hectic, but still enjoyable. The tour guide and driver were also very informative considerate and worked well together as a team. We had a great bunch of travellers in the group who all mixed very well making it a truly memorable experience. some of the Ibis hotels were a little cramped with no air conditioning or fans, making the room very stuffy, in particular the Wellington hotel and Christchurch hotels had no ventilation or fans. Hotel in Queenstown did not have light curtains only heavy curtains making the room very dark during the day time. Food however was very good all the way through.
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5
17/11/2015
The whole tour went swimmingly well. The weather gods were kind to us and the group(s) on the coach were a great lot of people. The AAT driver and tour director were absolutely fabulous (wouldn't be the same without a great pair like this). The coach was immaculate every morning and departure times were always on time. What we got to see and do along the way was paced perfectly for the age profile on the coach. The inclusions were excellent and optional things well explained and reasonably priced. Most meals were good but the meal on the first and last nights were the poorest. The accommodation was comfortable and well located for the wanderers in the group. All in all a great experience. Thanks you to the team at Relaxing Journeys and the people at AAT Kings.
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5
03/11/2015
Prior to going to Australia we had never taken a touring holiday. This trip was absolutely OUTSTANDING. Vale and Paul made everyday a very special experience. We are still on such a 'post holiday high' almost 3 weeks out! We will (actually already have) recommended this tour and our Tour Consultant Mani! Every aspect of our trip - planning, booking, the tour, the meals, the excursions all exceeded our expectations! Mani processed our reservations and answered every question - some numerous times (my apologies to Mani) - in a timely, courteous and professional manner. Vale and Paul each contributed to making this a trip of a lifetime! Absolutely a special thanks to Vale! He is everything a tour guide can be! The one thing we will look for in the future tours. We prefer smaller groups. All worked well and we enjoyed each of our companions, but in the future we will look for smaller tours! Thank you!
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5
03/11/2015
We enjoyed every minute of our trip to NZ with AAT Kings. Very organised, great variety of landscapes, excellent hotels and food; our guide Vale, was very helpful and full of interesting information about places we visited and NZ culture. We also enjoyed the company of our fellow travelers - mostly of a similar age to ourselves. We would highly recommend this trip to anyone who would like a relaxing and interesting journey through NZ.
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5
06/10/2015
The tour was great well planed great sights. Great accommodation. The coach was comfortable . The driver and tour director very informative. I highly recommend this tour.
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5
22/09/2015
Enjoyed the tour New Zealand is a beautiful country and the tour manager was very knowledgeable. The driver was excellent and also knowledgeable . There was a great variety in hotels some were better than others. Some places we would have liked to stay another day. We were lucky and had a very friendly international group.
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4
15/09/2015
We enjoyed the tour very much and would recommend to friends and family members. It exceeded our expectations and it was handled very well, especially checking into hotels, no waiting at reception area at all. We would like to thank Mark, our tour director for his concern when we arrived late on the night of orientation. He had the hotel standby our supper in case we were hungry. It was very thoughtful of him and we really appreciate it. Paul, a very good driver. We felt very safe in his hands. Good job guys!
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5
15/09/2015
The pace of the tour, the accommodation and meals, the knowledgeable tour leader (Lu) and safe and friendly coach driver (Mark) and the amazing beauty of New Zealand all contributed to a fantastic holiday for us.
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5
05/05/2015
Tour was very well organised & covered the highlights in both islands very well. We enjoyed it thoroughly & it has been a very memorable Kiwi experience for us. Scenes have been breathtaking. Beautiful country. It would not have been possible with out your expertise Mani & thank you. Tour director & driver was a superb duo, with knowledge, patience, humour & skilled driving. We will certainly be recommending it.
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5
05/05/2015
It was a well planned and well executed sightseeing tour which covered all the important parts of New Zealand on both Islands, and special efforts were taken by the Tour Director Kevin to make the group feel comfortable. The Driver of the coach, Nathan, was very good, with excellent driving skills and also had knowledge of the many areas we visited - along with Kevin. The accommodation provided and the breakfast and dinners provided were very good. Toni our Tour Consultant provided excellent insights which helped us in finalizing the booking of 11 people through Relaxing Journeys. The payment options provided also helped in paying the cost of the tour within the time prescribed. Kia Ora!
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4
28/04/2015
Your AAT Kings guided tour is indeed worth going on compared to our local agents here going to the same destination (New Zealand). The duration of the tour of 14 days really cover many places in New Zealand unlike our local agents here in Malaysia cover less places within a short period of time (that is always rushing here and there within the same day). The most important point is almost for the same amount of monies (with certain variations on the currency conversion). If there is a chance, I would join AAT Kings again. By the way, do you all cover Europe like Italy, Spain etc.... Even though we two are the only Asians in our Tour group of 48, we truly enjoy and learned to like the culture and food of the white people. We were able to communicate without any problem. Thanks again to Sonia Thompson and Trent for assisting us throughout our tour.
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4
03/03/2015
Just 2 suggestions (not complaints). My wife has a few joint problems and the last step off the coach created problems for her. Many coaches have a mobile step which is placed outside and effectively makes this last step into 2 - suggest this be implemented on AAT Kings coaches. Evenings were often fairly dead after dinner. Queenstown where we had evening events was great and I would suggest more evening events of this sort. We don't really want to go to bed at 9.00 pm but that was often the only choice. Please note these are only suggestions.
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5
27/01/2015
We had a wonderful holiday covering all the highlights we wanted to see in NZ. This was further enhanced by our excellent driver Monica and our fantastic tour guide Mark who made sure we were looked after so well. Their knowledge of your country was incredible and was a great addition to the naturally wonderful environment which we were fortunate to experience. Our thanks go to our consultant Mani who not only catered for our tour but also arranged for our additional requirements. Bloody marvelous!!!
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4
20/01/2015
Thanks Toni for your help, we had a very good time and enjoyed your beautiful country very much. We were glad though we started the tour the way we did and left, unintentionally, the best for last. The dinners were very good with some being excellent. The breakfasts were plentiful but the way you scramble the eggs over there leaves something to be desired. We found you Kiwis are very nice people. There is a woman driver who took us to the Maori village in Rotorua (unfortunately I do not remember her name) that we will remember her with fondness for her humor and warmth. There are a couple things that we would had done differently but overall a great experience, you cannot please everybody.
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5
16/12/2014
Absolutely fantastic!! What an amazing way to get introduced to such a fantastic country! The service both provided pre tour by Relaxing Journeys, and on tour by AAT Kings was very detailed, to the point, and allowed me to get the most out of my time in New Zealand. The tour pace was perfect, allowing a good balance of the guided schedule and also free time to explore on your own. Good value for money, and the meals / accommodation where very good. On top of the standard tour information you would expect, AAT Kings provided great little gems of useful information about the places you were visiting to get to experience the must see things. One thing to note is that some of the optional extra tours are an absolute must to experience everything New Zealand has to offer. It would be good if Relaxing Journeys and AAT Kings together could make suggestions of what not to miss. ie. I wasn't going to do the light aircraft flight over Mount Cook just by looking at the pre tour information, but the AAT Kings Tour Director suggested this was one to go on which I did and it was totally amazing, the views were out of this world! Great memories!
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25/11/2014
We had a marvelous time on the NZ Vista tour. Our Tour Consultant at Relaxing Journeys was Toni and she was great. Our tour guide was Tania Simpson and she is very knowledgeable plus is extremely outgoing and personable. This gal never meets a stranger! She was great and more than willing to share Maori lore plus all aspects of the history of the Islands. Our coach driver was Murray Soar and he was wonderful. Such a careful driver! We were very comfortable in our bus everywhere we went as long as Murray was driving. He was also very personable and willing to answer questions and share his knowledge of the areas we visited. Tania and Murray made us feel a special attachment to and respect for New Zealand. They also assisted me with some mobility issues I had along the way and for that I am especially thankful. Even though my mobility issues limited some of my activities I was able to experience almost everything I had hoped for.

The tour itself was quite comprehensive and combined elements from the large cities along with visits to smaller towns stops and some rural spots where we had very interesting rest stops. I would have enjoyed more free time at the end of each day just for resting and/or walking and sightseeing. Our tour began in Auckland then went southward. Especially enjoyed the scenery and the glorious mountains to be found on the South Island. We loved the huge rolling green hills and gorgeous lakes found on both islands. Had heard of them but you just have to see them to believe them. The hills just go on and on. All in all, we had a grand time.
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5
18/11/2014
My fourth trip to New Zealand, the coolest and windiest, yet least wettest (previous trips March '73 and '78, December 06). 'JP' was the perfect host, who went out of his way to assist one tourist in hospital on the last day, whilst coach driver Eric ensured comfort and safety right throughout the trip. I only slightly mark down the accommodation as I would like to see at least one safety bar on all separate shower recesses. Overall, I would rate the organisation and service of this tour at least the equal of any others I've been on in the past.
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4
04/11/2014
Great tour with highlights such as trip to Millford Sound, Walter Peak Station, cruise from Wellington to Picton, train ride to Christchurch via Kiwi Railway.
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16/09/2014
My partner and I thoroughly enjoyed our holiday seeing sights and places that we might not have seen had we travelled independently. The tour director of AAT Kings was excellent being both knowledgeable and entertaining as was the coach driver. We will certainly consider another visit to your beautiful country.
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5
02/09/2014
The tour was excellent. Really well organized & well paced with lot of time to explore things on our own too. Tour director was extremely warm & knowledgeable. Proper arrangements were made for vegetarian food as requested on all the days. Accommodation was perfect too. It couldn't have been better than this.
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11/03/2014
We both thoroughly enjoyed our trip and feel it was great value for the money. The tour guide and driver were excellent giving us a lot of information along the way that we would have never known and gave us a better appreciation of NZ.The hotels were very nice and gave good service and great food although the vegetarian/ non meat options were limited. We found NZ expensive compared to our home country especially the limited internet services. We met lots of interesting people from many countries which also added to our trip. I would certainly recommend this trip if you want to experience the sights of NZ in just two weeks. Prior to this our holidays have mostly been cruises and I was not sure two weeks on a coach would be enjoyable. However, although it was not as relaxing as a cruise, we saw much more than we would have on a cruise and feel it is a great alternative.
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04/03/2014
We had a wonderful time. The driver and guide from AAT Kings were very accommodating. We thoroughly enjoyed touring New Zealand.
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5
28/01/2014
Gary and I (Judy) had a wonderful trip. I don't think Briget or Paul left any stone unturned in showing us every notable sight or experience in New Zealand. The hotels were good with the Mercure in Queenstown being a long way from the center of town and activities, however the bus to town was very convenient at the front door. Food was also good and plentiful each day. Our bus became very crowded when the additional people were added half way through. The middle seat in the back became a problem with single people sitting there who paid a supplement on their fare and then feeling they should relieve part of a couple who was separated to sit there. AAT Kings should not sell the middle seat!
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10/12/2013
I thoroughly enjoyed all the sights and experiencing the Maori culture. Thank you for making New Zealand is my favourite country in the world! Queenstown is my new favourite city! I will definitely recommend travelling to New Zealand to my family/friends and make sure they book via Relaxing Journeys and travel with AAT Kings.
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4
19/11/2013
Great trip to see both islands in New Zealand. Relaxing Journeys was incredible to work with. I would work with them again in the future. Started with a US travel agent and then saved so much money by working with a NZ company because of the exchange rate. The premium hotel tour seemed to follow us throughout the trip. I can't imagine their hotels were too much better so save your money, take this tour because you're really not in your hotel that much. The tour was great - the guide and driver were very knowledgable and helpful, I appreciated the guides honesty about optional tours and the costs. he bus was full and the group very prompt. Liked the rotation of seats. The hotels were fine and located in central locations (except Queenstown - had to take public bus to the city). Omarama was a wasted stop, arriving at 3:30 to a town that has two stores and nothing else. They should make it a longer travel day and spend two nights in Dunedin or even a night in a town like Oamara. I'm still trying to figure out the logic of that stop. The food was okay, mostly buffet style. New Zealand is a beautiful country. I would definitely recommend this trip.
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5
12/11/2013
Excellent tour director and coach driver focused on making our tour the best experience in NZ. It was amazing that Kevin was able to keep a group of 40 plus from various countires in good spirits and friends until the end of the journey. In spite of delays in the ferry, sites not open, etc., Kevin made it a priority for us to see all and more and enjoy every moment. Trent's expertise in driving, keeping us on schedule and the compatability of the duo made the road trip very comfortable for all. It was a surprise that not all hotels have air conditioned rooms but most were able to provide a fan. We extended our stay in Christchurch for a day but the room and shuttle service to the airport by AAT Kings went smoothly. I would highly recommend this tour to my friends!
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5
22/10/2013
Had a very enjoyable holiday, amazing country. Everything was great, the service, accommodation through ATT Kings, would highly recommend them.
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5
30/04/2013
Absolutely loved the tour! The tour director (Mark) and coach driver (Paul) were great! It was amazing how much we learned and how much of the beautiful country we got to see during the 14 days.
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4
05/02/2013
Overall, the tour package had very good/high standards as this is our first guided coach tour to New Zealand. We would not hesitate to recommend this tour to our friend & relatives. Thank you very much.
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4
27/11/2012
I had a great holiday. We managed to visit lots of places and do a lot of things as well as see the fantastic scenery and countryside within the two weeks. The accommodation and food varied in standard from place to place but on the whole was very good. Overall, the holiday was fantastic and value for money.
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4
21/02/2012
One of the best tours we toured in New Zealand. Places toured, seen and the history explained by the Tour Conductor - Phil Wilson was excellent. Phil has a really vast/mega knowledge about the country. I have toured England and Europe but this guy is amazing. He was explaining even what is on on the next one metre of the road. Great tour and thanks to you guys and Phil.
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4
01/11/2011
First and foremost, a word of thanks to your staff (Ms Kirby) for being so helpful and prompt response to our queries. This was our first time booking and going on a tour via the internet. Ms Kirby was very attentive and thorough in attending to us. We are most pleased and happy with the services provided by her. As for the tour, it was really relaxing and not stressful. There was ample time provided to us for sightseeing and resting. We were equally impressed that the hotel rooms (especially the bathrooms) were clean and tidy. As for NZ, it is really a very beautiful country and scenic. Pictures alone do not do justice and one has to personally experience or see it for themselves. Overall, it was really an enjoyable trip and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you Relaxing Journeys and staff for a wonderful job.
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5
12/07/2011
Kerry and I thoroughly enjoyed our tour of New Zealand. Our guide Lu Tyree was excellent and our bus driver Darryl was a very good driver as well as a lovely person to have a conversation with. Our accommodation and our meals were very good. Everything was well organised and there were plenty of comfort stops, even allowing good natured tolerance for any latecomers.
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4
12/04/2011
What can I say... you have beautiful country, great people. We really enjoyed everything. Special thanks to the tour director Niarey and our driver Murray from AAT Kings. And of course we got to meet nice people in the group. And also many thanks to you Georgina.
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5
25/02/2011
Thank you to Relaxing Journeys. My husband and I, along with some friends enjoyed our tour of North and South Islands of New Zealand in Feb/March this year to celebrate my 50th birthday. All the worries of organising everything was taken care of and our trip was enjoyable, but very tiring, Our tour guides were marvelous.
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5
18/02/2011
A very enjoyable experience.We were accompanied by experienced and informative staff (Sue and Eugene) whose expertise was called on as we were due in Christchurch the day after the earthquake! The tour showed off the natural beauty of New Zealand in all its contrast and variety. Hotels were well chosen and comfortable, the driving excellent and the commentary was always interesting. We would have liked more 2 day stops at the same hotel , but realise that may have compromised the range of locations offered. Altogether, though, a wonderful experience!
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4
08/02/2011
This was a good comprehensive introduction to New Zealand. We saw many places of interest on both North & South Island. The tour guide & driver were both very helpful. The hotels were of reasonable standard, and the food was generally fine. Overall we thought it was good value for money.
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4
04/02/2011
We thought New Zealand was delightful. The scenery was wonderful and the people very friendly. We would thoroughly recommend this tour. Generally, we were looked after very well. However, in order to give constructive and honest criticism, we would make the additional comments: 1) The seating rotation should have begun at the start of the tour, even though the bus was not completely full at the start. There are at least three prime viewing seats on the bus, and if the decision is to bypass the rotation as stipulated, then we should move three seats each day rather than one. It would have shared the prime seats more equally. 2) The hotel in Wellington was 'quaint' to say the least. The blankets and linen in room 306 gave the impression of being hurriedly purchased at the local charity shop, and completely mismatched in size and colour. But we slept well and otherwise the hotel was good. 3) At Franz Josef the hotel was good apart from the dining/breakfast arrangements, which were completely inadequate to deal with the number of guests. 4) At Queenstown we found the food plentiful at the Skyline Restuarant, but the quality did not live up the price in our opinion. The imposition of a time limit was also irritating.
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4
01/02/2011
We really enjoyed our tour and thought there was super great organization, hotel we very nice, food was wonderful. No complaints at all.
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4
11/01/2011
We had a wonderful time on our tour last month. Nellie and Megan were absolutely flawless. They looked after us & passed on so much about NZ & the food was good. The only hiccup was the hotels without a/c. There were 2 - apart from that I would recommend this trip. We learnt so much and saw a lot in such a short time . I would do it again. Anyone who complains about the trip is hard to please. Well done!
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4
16/11/2010
My wife and I enjoyed this tour very much. We found it a well planned and executed tour. The itinerary, optional tours, hotel accomodation, meals, coach & other arrangements were very much to our satisfaction. The coach driver Meagan was very skilled at her job and made sure the ride was very comfortable. The tour director Niarey, was very efficient and dedicated to her job and did her best to ensure the tour was enjoyed by everyone. Her knowledge of the areas visited was very impressive. Our sincere thanks to these two hardworking staff members from AAT Kings for a most enjoyable and trouble free coach tour. Thanks also to Georgina from Relaxing Jouneys for the help received with the reservation.
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4
26/10/2010
From the pickup at Auckland airport to the last day, every item on the itinary was taken care of, exactly as it was described. That's a big deal when you are in a new country for the first time. Speaking of the itinerary, I don't think you could have scheduled a better selection of cultural icons, spectacular scenery and balance of free time to do a little discovery on our own. Our tour guide Clarke was knowledgeable and amusing as he talked his, and our, way around this amazing and friendly country. Murray, our driver was professional and helpful. Even better, we never had a moment of fear while he was navigating those cliff-hanging roads. Phew! The only suggestion I might make is that approximate drive times each day be included in the itinary description. There is a lot of coach time on this tour and it would be nice to know how much time is to be spent on the bus. That is a minor quibble and my husband and I were very impressed by the beauty of New Zealands springtime countryside.
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5
04/05/2010
We had an absolutely wonderful tour of New Zealand, the Tour Guide, Marty, and his driver, Julian, were brilliant. We couldn't have asked for anything more. All the hotels we stayed at were fabulous and everything worked like clockwork each time we arrived at the next hotel. A highlight of the trip for us was flying over the Mt Cook area in a helicopter and actually landing on the snow. Also an absolute highlight was Queenstown - what a place. All the side trips we did were terrific also. Couldn't fault a thing, it was all wonderful.
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5
12/03/2010
A very well organised sightseeing tour which we both enjoyed. It really was a first class cultural experience which gave us an invaluable insight into the life and times and geography of this interesting country. Lots of useful local and background information presented in a most amusing style by our tour captain. We were fortunate in having some friendly and interesting travelling companions. Hotels, food and service generally very good, some hotels are in really excellant locations. Would love to come back and see some more of this amazing place!
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5
05/02/2010
We thoroughly enjoyed our 14 day tour with AAT Kings who ensured we saw everything of interest on our route. This was largely due to the excellent Tour Director Marty P. and the excellent coach driver Paul L. Marty's informative, entertaining and humorous talks delivered in his clear diction. That together with his fun entertainments while travelling such as quizes and the Speights adverts endeared him to our coach party. He was also in complete control of all aspects of the logistics and kept everyone very well informed. The professional driving skills of Paul on some very difficult bends made for a smooth journey allowing us to relax and enjoy the wonderful scenery. They made a great team but surprisingly had not often worked together before. The quality of the hotels we stayed in was variable. The Mercure in Auckland although providing a great view at the welcoming reception dinner, provided very little protection from the street noise outside in the early hours of the Saturday. They need to provide triple glazing it would seem. Sleep was therefore disrupted on our first night which was not a good start with so much travelling ahead of us. The hotels at Picton and Queenstown were particularly good unlike the Fox Glacier hotel which provided a poor standard of room. Perhaps better is available at Franz Josef Glacier resort? A number of men on the tour were golfers and although we heard a lot about the NZ golf courses we did not have the chance to play any. One of us did however make his own arrangements quite inexpensively to hire clubs and play the 9 hole course near Queenstown airport so consideration could be given to offering transport from the hotel to there as one of the optional events in Queenstown. I should also like to mention Georgie Walpole who provided great assistance during our booking and in answering our subsequent questions. Kia Ora!
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25/01/2010
Thank you very much we had an enjoyable tour.We had a great tour guide who had an exceptional knowledge of the country and an excellent driver. Everything was carried out to time and according to schedule hence we were able to make best use of our time. New Zealand is a beautiful place and we enjoyed the South Island very much. The accomodation provided was great with the exception of Wellington and the food was fantastic. Thank you Georgie for all your help in organising the tour for us and we would gladly recommend to you our friends.
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19/01/2010
This was what you can truly call a dream holiday! Every aspect of it was excellent - sightseeing, accommodation, a very helpful and knowledgeable tour guide with great sense of humour and not to forget - a skillful and professional driver. I would definitely visit the country again!
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5
05/01/2010
An excellent tour. So much was packed into the 2 weeks, and all of it worth seeing-especially the scenery of South Island. The tour leader was excellent-displaying a huge knowledge of the country and the driver and bus were similarly so, which meant that everything went so smoothly. One small complaint is that the visit to the Franz Josef glacier was too short ( 30 mins), and I considered this to be a major attraction of the tour, so I was disappointed.
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4
01/12/2009
Everything was very good. Our tour was excellent. Ted (Tour Director) and Paul (Driver) were exceptional. Your country is extremely beautiful. Most hotels were very good - I think it was the Wellington one that was a little bit 'tired', but service was always good. I loved the location of the one in Christchurch. I would certainly recommend that one. Food was usually very good. I put on weight, so that should answer that question. Lastly, your service was also very good. I will recommend you if I know of anyone looking to do a tour of New Zealand. Many thanks.
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5
22/09/2009
This had to be without a doubt, the best holiday I have ever been on! Our tour director Julie was fantastic, she knew so much about New Zealand and it history I was enthralled by everything we were told. The places we visited were extraordinary and so beautiful that when I look at my photos I am still stunned. The tour was extremely well organised and the extra excursions were extremely good value for money. I cannot thank Relaxing Journeys and AAT Kings tours enough for all their efforts to make this a dream come true. Thank you!
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13/03/2009
It was an absolutely amazing trip. The amount of knowledge and information that our tour guide Campbell provided us made the trip even that much better. I definitely pleased that we decided to travel New Zealand with a bus tour as we felt we learned so much more about the country. I have recommended this trip to everyone I speak to and maybe one day they will have the opportunity to visit New Zealand for themselves.
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25/11/2008
The trip was fantastic!! New Zealand is absolutely stunning. The scenery is beyond description - 'Beautiful' doesn't do it justice. The bus trip was wonderful-no stress, good hotels, and our tour guide JP was very helpful, knowledgeable and very funny. You weren't kidding about the weather! I wore everything from a hat and gloves (got snow!) to shorts on the trip. Very unpredictable...like Canada! Luckily, I was well equipped because of your advice. People I met on the trip were wonderful. Mostly from Australia and England. Very funny. They were older than me (I am 42) and the average age was 70. Regardless, I had more fun with them that I do with people my own age! Absolutely loved Milford Sound and Queenstown. I had a coffee at the Viaduct in Auckland as you advised and 'cheered' you with my cappuccino. I swear. Take care and thanks again for making my trip wonderful. Hard to get back to work. Guess I have to pay for the trip! All the best, Nadine.
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10/01/2007
Firstly to say congratulations for putting on such a great tour. Kerry's wealth of knowledge and stories kept us informed and entertained and well worth the sometimes early starts. It was a great way to see New Zealand for the first time and it certainly lived up to its reputation. Well done all.
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Enquire about our 14 Day New Zealand Vista

14 Day New Zealand Vista
Low Cost Coach Tour
Tour Code: LAAC
From (NZD) $3775 per person
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Departures: Jun 2018 to Sep 2019
Rating:
69 reviews (4.6/5)

Visit the must-see sights of New Zealand with AAT Kings on the low cost New Zealand Vista coach tour. See Christchurch, Queenstown, Franz Josef, Rotor... Read More

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14 Day New Zealand Vista
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