16 Day Highlights of New Zealand Tour

16 Day Highlights of New Zealand Tour

Beginning in Christchurch, discover the delights of the South Island such as Dunedin, Milford Sound and Queenstown. Spend 8 days touring the North Island, visiting cultural Rotorua, the stunning Bay of Islands and finishing the tour in Auckland, the City of Sails.

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Tour Info

Tour Type: Low Cost Coach Tour
From: Christchurch to Auckland
Departures: Sep 2018 to May 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $4829 per person
Tour Operator: Grand Pacific Tours
Pace: Comfortable
Duration: 16 Days
Tour Code: GPNZ16

Inclusions

15 nights quality hotel accommodation
12 sumptuous dinners including 4 specialty dinners: Haggis Ceremony - Dunedin, Walter Peak Homestead - Queenstown, Maori Hangi & Concert - Rotorua, Farewell Dinner - Auckland
Haggis Ceremony & Gift
Guided tour of Larnach Castle
Milford Sound Cruise & Lunch
Cruise Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw
Lakes District Museum
Coast to coast TranzAlpine Train journey through the Southern Alps
Skyline Gondola & Luge Ride
Guided tour of the thermal mud pools and geysers
Dolphin & Hole in the Rock Cruise
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation & activity vouchers and local travel guides

Day by Day Tour Itinerary

View Tour PDF
Day 1
Arrive Christchurch

Fly from your homeport to Christchurch where you will be met by a tour representative and transferred to your hotel (flight not included).

Stay: Heartland Hotel Cotswold (D)

Day 2
Christchurch - Omarama

After an introductory city sights tour depart Christchurch and travel through the southern Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo. See the brilliant turquoise water, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and view the Sheep Dog Statue. Marvel at the spectacular mountain ranges including Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. The opportunity is available (time and weather permitting) to enjoy a scenic flight (optional) over the Southern Alps before travelling to Omarama.

Stay: Heritage Gateway Hotel (B, D)

Day 3
Omarama - Dunedin

Depart Omarama and see Lake Benmore, before following the Waitaki River to Oamaru, famous for its limestone. Continue south to Dunedin and enjoy a city sights tour followed by some free time. Tonight a Scottish evening will be presented comprising of bagpipes, great food, special Haggis Ceremony and gift.

Stay: Mercure Leisure Lodge (B, SD)

Day 4
Dunedin - Te Anau

This morning travel out along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle where you will hear of the tragic and scandalous history on a guided tour. Enjoy time to wander around this Garden of International Significance followed by a delicious Devonshire Tea. Farewell Dunedin and travel through Balclutha and Gore to Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland your overnight stay. Tonight you may like to visit the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves (optional).

Stay: Distinction Luxmore Hotel (Superior Rooms) (B, D)

Day 5
Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown

Depart Te Anau for a fascinating drive to Milford Sound where you board your launch for a cruise on this magnificent fiord. See the spectacular Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak as you enjoy a picnic lunch. This afternoon travel to Queenstown, overlooking magical Lake Wakatipu. Spend the next two nights at this year round resort which offers a wide range of activities and attractions. This evening is free and you may choose to dine at one of the many fine restaurants.

Stay: Mercure Queenstown Resort (2 nights) (B, L)

Day 6
Queenstown at Leisure

Today is a free day for you to explore Queenstown at leisure. Your Coach Captain is available to assist with the many sightseeing options available, whether it be the thrill of a jet boat ride, a heritage tour to Skippers Canyon or getting up close to a Kiwi bird. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. On arrival sit back, relax and enjoy a gourmet barbecue dinner which the chef will prepare in front of you at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour then reboard the TSS Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano as you cruise back to Queenstown. (B, SD)

Day 7
Queenstown - Arrowntown - Fox Glacier

Travel to Arrowtown, an old gold mining village and visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue via the Haast Pass to the mighty West Coast, an area of stunning beauty. See the snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel to Fox Glacier. Time is available (weather permitting) to experience a scenic flight (optional) over the spectacular glaciers.

Stay: Hearland Hotel Glacier Country (B, D)

Day 8
Fox Glacier - Arthur's Pass - Christchurch

Travel to Hokitika and visit the Greenstone Factory. Continue into Arthur’s Pass and board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. View rivers and valleys as you travel through the Waimakariri Basin, over massive viaducts and through the patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains to the elegant city of Christchurch. On arrival your coach will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.

Stay: Heartland Hotel Cotswold (B, D)

Day 9
Christchurch - Picton - Wellington

Travel through the Lewis Pass and enjoy the spectacular scenery as you continue to the Marlborough Country, famous for its food & wine. Continue to Picton, where you board the Interislander Ferry for your journey through the Marlborough Sounds and across Cook Strait to Wellington.

Stay: Ibis Wellington (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 10
Wellington

A highlight this morning will be time to explore Gallipoli: A Scale of War exhibition at Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum. (Exhibition will run until April 2018, Departures in May will receive a Guided Tour as alternative). Other Cutting edge technology brings these stories to life through the eyes of New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Reboard your coach for an extensive city tour which showcases the history and culture on show. Enjoy free time this afternoon and this evening is also free to choose your own dining arrangements. (B)

Day 11
Wellington - Taupo - Rotorua

Depart Wellington and view the snow capped peaks of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro as you travel to Lake Taupo. Visit the spectacular Huka Falls, then travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua.

Stay: Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 12
Rotorua

Today begins with a Gondola ride and breakfast at the Skyline Rotorua where spectacular views are on offer. There is also time for a luge ride! Travel to the Agrodome for an action packed hour of farming entertainment and education that’s unlike anything you’ve seen before. Visit Te Puia to see the boiling mud pools and the awesome geysers that Rotorua is famous for. Enjoy some free time this afternoon, then this evening you will experience an entertaining Maori Hangi and Concert. (B, SD)

Day 13
Rotorua - Auckland - Bay of Islands

This morning depart Rotorua and travel north via Auckland. Continue via Whangarei to Paihia, situated in the heart of the beautiful Bay of Islands. Enjoy an introduction to the Bay of Islands, location of the signing of the treaty between the Maori tribes and the British.

Stay: Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 14
Bay of Islands

This morning cruise through the beautiful Bay of Islands on board a luxury catamaran to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock. Keep an eye out for bottlenose and common dolphins before returning via Russell to Paihia for a free afternoon. A range of optional activities are available or you may choose to relax and enjoy the pleasant atmosphere of the waterfront. (B)

Day 15
Bay of Islands - Auckland

Depart the Bay of Islands this morning and travel via Whangarei and Dargaville to Matakohe. Enjoy a visit and informative talk at the Kauri Museum before continuing to Auckland for a city sights tour. This evening you will be treated to a special farewell dinner with your new friends.

Stay: Rydges Auckland (B, SD)

Day 16
Depart Auckland

Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday. (B)

4.7/5.0

There are 48 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.7 out of 5.

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Tour Reviews

5
07/03/2018
Overall the tour, drivers,accommodation and food, all exceeded my expectations
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4
12/02/2018
We very much enjoyed the tour. The glow worm caves, Mt. Cook, barbeque and sheep shearing, Kuari forest museum, Agrodome, Maori concert, Bay of Islands, to name a few, were all excellent choices. Train ride was an excellent choice even though our day was somewhat foggy. I do not like city tours. Only half the people on the bus get to see anything at any one time, i.e. I did not see the cardboard cathedral. And these city tours are mostly looking at buildings i.e. universities, town halls etc. So I would eliminate them. If something is worth seeing stop the bus and let people off. Also, this is the first time in our travels where the tour guide and bus driver were the same person. I realize it is a cost saving measure but we had no opportunity to ask questions as it was not safe to distract the driver with questions while we were en route and when we arrived we either forgot or the driver was busy with unloading and getting us our rooms. Overall a great tour. I will certainly recommend it to anyone who asks.
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5
02/02/2018
Wonderful trip. Excellent value. So much included. Highly recommend this trip.
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5
13/04/2017
The tour is wonderful. I enjoyed it very much. Both of our drivers (Steve) are great. It would be better if some of the accommodations can be improved, such as the Heritage Gateway Hotel.
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4
31/03/2017
We enjoyed the tour but would have liked a smaller group, say about 24, as it was in the last part. Did not think too much of the hotel in Christchurch, large but empty rooms. Liked the availability of laundry facilities at most to the places we stayed. Impressed with the IBIS in Wellington.
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5
01/01/2017
Drivers were excellent. Accommodation averaged very good. Meals averaged very good.
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4
27/10/2016
Overall good. Will recommend to friends.
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5
31/03/2016
Wonderful! Excellent overall experience of NZ. Packed a lot into a few days. Drivers were about the best we have seen on our worldwide travels. Food was good in all hotels except one. If the flight was shorter from USA we would come back. Thanks for all your help.
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5
26/03/2016
What a great tour! It exceeded our expectations and we are delighted that we decided to go. The tour pace was hectic with some early starts and a few long drives, but is soon became apparent that you have to do that in order to see everything. If we were to do a self drive tour it would have taken us probably twice as long. Touring on a coach also meant the we could see all of the beautiful scenery, something that would not have happened if we drove. The coach captains were both professionals who gave some great commentary and insights about the culture, landscapes and history of New Zealand. For the most, the accommodation was more than we expected and the food was of high quality and plentiful. There was a good mix of people on the tour as well and everyone seemed to mix very well. This really was a set and forget tour, we only needed to book the tour and flights and everything else was taken care for us.
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4
18/01/2016
A very well organized tour, comfortable coaches especially the North Island one. However I think it is better to have a separate person giving information about what we are seeing and let the driver do his job of driving. Both drivers we had were excellent in this regard as well as being helpful in any way they could with the luggage etc. In particular the South Island driver drove too fast as far as I am concerned (as if he had a train to catch) and very often what he was pointing out we missed because of it. In several places it would have been nice if he had slowed down to allow us to take photos from the inside the coach if the schedule didn't permit a couple of photo shots outside. I think a separate guide would also have been able to give us more historical information. We got very little of this. I was in NZ a few days before Waitangi Day and all the discussion about letting the PM on the Marae. So why didn't we get any information about the relationships between the population descended from the original settlers and the Maoris. After all NZ has the wonderful heritage of having given the Maoris citizenship over 160 years ago the first nation to do such a thing. The only information about Maoris we got was at the Te Papa, a fantastic museum and at Rotorua. Perhaps this info Australians know about but people from Europe, and there were several Europeans on the tour, know very little about the relationship with the Maoris. You don't have historical monuments as we do in Europe but you have a wonderful landscape which on several occasions just raced by due to the speed of the coach and this interesting relationship with the Maoris. Sorry to be so long winded but I strongly feel Grand Pac should provide a proper guide not just a driver who has read some facts in a book.
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5
19/09/2015
This was a fabulous trip. We never had to worry about anything. We just got on the tour at the start and everything was handled for us from the minute we arrived. NEver had to handle our luggage and we were on the go from day 1. Could not have seen all that we saw without this tour company. Itinerary was very varied and something for everyone to love. The group was fabulous and we all got along famously. Accommodations were mostly excellent. Just one or two that were slighly off but nothing that concerning. Not all hotels gave free Wi-Fi and in today's world most people find this important.
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5
19/09/2015
All four of us enjoyed the tour. It was very well organised and I felt it covered the main sights of New Zealand better than we could have done if we had organised it ourselves. Food was plentiful and good to excellent in quality. Accommodation was comfortable and I found the hotel staff I met friendly and helpful. A special word of praise for our two drivers - Chris (South Island) and John (North Island). Besides their driving skills on often narrow, winding and mountainous roads, both gave detailed (and often humourous) commentaries on our route and places we stopped.
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5
13/04/2015
Excellent tour, excellent drivers, great fun, nice people although the average age was very late 60's, fast paced whistle stop tours in places, not enough time in some places but we covered a lot of ground. Hotels most very good although let down by a couple. Food excellent. New Zealand was amazing!
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5
04/04/2015
I loved this tour!! It surpassed my expectations! The accommadations were very nice and clean. Some didn't have complimentary wifi which was a bummer at times. The tour was at a great pace, early mornings but worth it for the amount we were able to see and do. I loved the little pit stops along the way that were little hidden treasures!! I liked both Alex and Russell but I must say Russell was my favorite and grew a soft spot for him. He was the best! Genuine, honest, knowledgeable, and thoughtful, doesn't get much better than that! I also loved that the luggage was taken to and from the rooms that was a nice touch, especially for those on the tour where it was hard to get around let alone to carry luggage around. Everything was so well organized and planned. There was a never time where we were just sitting around confused about what's next. I really love this tour and tour company. I really think this company should expand to Australia and worldwide. I can tell the way this company is run is well thought out and really wants the passenger to be happiest. It's great ethics to run a company by. Please do more tours in other countries and let me know when you do! Thanks again! It was wonderful!
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5
08/03/2015
This was my husband's bucket list trip but ended up my favorite trip ever. I am so happy we choose this company to fulfill his dream. What a great deal price wise with cost of most meals and so many of best of NZ activities included. The food at all the locations were above and beyond what we expected! All kinds of healthy and delicious choices including desserts were available . Buying these meals would have been very expensive. The pace was perfect for us and we were thrilled to discover New Zealand along with so many friendly people on our tour.

Our coach drivers were exceptional and informative - especially Paul. My only recommendation for improvement would be that all the hotels offer free wifi because a few did not. Before the tour we had to contact Toni at Relaxing Journeys and she was always quick to respond and very helpful. Most of our traveling in past has been on our own and not with tours. But, we would have missed out on so much doing this on our own. I highly recommend this tour!
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5
31/03/2014
I thoroughly enjoyed my tour organised by Relaxing Journeys. The coach captains were very friendly and informative and the coach was comfortable and clean. The panoramic windows meant that I had a superb view at all times. The tour was very well organised and jam packed with sight seeing adventures which I thoroughly enjoyed,the early starts were worth it. There was a good mix of people on the coach and we all had a fantastic time. I would definately recommend using Relaxing Journeys again.Thanks to Toni for doing a fantastic job of arranging my amazing trip.
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5
14/03/2014
Very professional, informational and enjoyable.
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5
14/11/2013
Thank you for such a wonderful holiday, and I have enjoyed so much the astonishing beauty of New Zealand. Our Coach Captains took very good care of us and was very informative. And the tour consultants, Kirby and Leanne, were both helpful.
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4
27/10/2013
The tour went well , without any serious incident except for the encounter with the Land Transport and Police who meant well when they refused to allow our bus to go on with a cracked tyre. The coach is well and is a good vehicle for such a long distance tour. The practice of seat changing is commendable except I suggest you alternate between the right and left sides when one changings seats. The arrangement of the tour was a) relaxing b) orderly c) professionally carried out. The places we visited were all excellent and worth every penny. The accommodations were all very good, with very friendly, polite, helpful hotel staff. However, this being a wirelsess, world, I feel every hotel on your panel of hotels should provide free wireless facilities, and not just 10 min - 20 mins. The food ? Yummy ! And plentiful, but the farewell dinner was not up to expectations. Would expect something more lavish than what we had before the tour ended. The tour guides? Well, a little bit of a drawback . Alex and Cole spoke with an accent and with too much break after every sentence. The best guide was the Captain of the ship \"Dolphin Searcher\" at Bay of Islands . He was clear and loud and continuous. I can't give you a perfect score, (as nothing is perfect, except God) ... something very close to it will suffice. Thank you and regards.
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5
27/10/2013
This tour provides a great overview of NZ. Although you are on the go you do get time to relax on the coach. The scenery on the South Island is beautiful but I do know now that I would like to spend more time in Picton and Nelson. On the North Island the Bay of Islands is another place I would like to return to. The company on the coach was great and we have some new friends from OZ. Mani was very helpful in arranging the connections and thanks to him there were no problems. We did have one adventure leaving Wellington when the DoT found that our coach was not in compliance with their road conditions but Grand Pacific had us back on the road in 2 hours.
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5
06/09/2013
Simply great! We gad a great group and everything was organised perfectly!!
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4
26/03/2013
This was to be part of a once in a lifetime holiday covering Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia. On our arrival at Christchurch we were met at the airport and driven to our hotel. This was efficient and pleasant, the driver talked to us on the journey pointing out places of interest, a situation that was repeated through the whole of our tour. The drivers/couriers were very informative, helpful and good company. The accommodation varied somewhat, but we accepted that the hotels out in the countryside are never going to be as sophisticated as those in the cities. We had no complaints there. The content of the tour itself was in general good and in places excellent. I had never thought that we would be taking photos from near the top of a glacier or that I would fly to the point where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific in a single engined plane. There were a few places where we would have appreciated more time to look around with one or two places where less time would have sufficed but since this was a general interest tour in a group, this is to be expected. The extra outings were of a high quality with the guides flexible in their approach and willing to fit changes to the agenda if necessary. An example of this was that when we arrived at the Fox Glacier the cloud base was too low for the helicopters to take off, however due to phoning ahead we were able to make the trip early the next morning. We were expecting a minimum of two guides/drivers on the coaches. Had either of the excellent ones we had with us been incapacitated at any time this review would have been very different. However, all went well, we had a very enjoyable time, the company was excellent and it was a good introduction to New Zealand, we would like to return.
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5
17/03/2013
The trip was fantastic, so much stuff packed into every day meant there were no dull moments. The coach drivers were friendly and very knowledgable about the areas, and their jokes were very humourous :)
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4
14/03/2013
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the trip as did most of the individuals on the coach trip. Both drivers were very helpful and informative in a large variety of subjects making the tour much more enjoyable. There was the odd hotel that was a bit tired and in need of some updating, but it was a place to put a tired head down after a decent evening meal. Would definitely recommend the tour to anyone travelling to NZ. Many thanks.
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5
13/03/2013
I had only not long retired from my own Coach Company in Australia after 8 years and travelled on every tour. I had withdrawal symptoms and needed to go on a coach holiday. I enjoyed every moment of the holiday. It was very busy but very interesting and we had a great bunch of people. The drivers were excellent. New Zealand is a wonderful place and I have recommended your tours to a few people already. Thanks again.
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5
05/02/2013
We had a marvellous holiday. There was so much to see and do. The fact that so many of our visits and outings were already included in the tour price was an added surprise and bonus. The value for money on this tour was exceptional.
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4
17/01/2013
I enjoyed the tour. I would have liked an hour to walk to the base of the glacier, 45 minutes was not long enough. It would have been good to have spent more time in Arrowtown. I asked the Coach driver and he said not to bother to go by myself, as the coach was going there the next day - we did not have long enough. It would have been good to have had a free drink before dinner. The food, on the whole was edible.
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5
23/11/2012
Great tour that showed us as much of New Zealand as possible in as short a time as possible. Lots of early mornings but realise that this was necessary to fit everything in! Left me wanting to go back to some destinations at another time at my own pace.
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4
06/03/2012
Grand Pacific Tours is well organized and value for money. Our experience with Kirby through Relaxing Journeys was excellent. So helpful and prompt. This tour came recommended by my friend who was on the tour in 1998 and thought it terrific! It was all she had said it was. The drivers were good and most helpful during the journey and would explain added excursions on one's own. Because of bad weather on the North Island the refund was appreciated and very unexpected. Thank You.
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5
06/03/2012
We enjoyed all parts of the tour and both islands. We found the tour covered most aspects of both islands. Our only disappointment was that it poured on the day that we were to cruise around the Bay of Islands but you can't control the weather. Overall we thought it was an excellent tour and we had a good mixture of Australians, English and a few others who all got on well together. We were also given $50 NZ in compensation for the cruise at Auckland.
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5
09/02/2012
I was very happy with the tour. We covered far more of New Zealand than we could ever have done on our own (because all the driving and hard work was done for us!). We saw and learned so much about this beautiful country. Moreover, I think the tour worked out significantly cheaper than if we'd done it independently. The hotels were more than adequate and the meals were good. Our first 'Coach Captain', Alex, was outstanding in his knowledge of the places we visited and his ability to meet our needs. We also enjoyed the company of the delightful group of people who were touring with us. The pace of the tour was, at times, exhausting but we understood the need for this if we were to see and do all that we covered in the 16 days. My thanks for a great tour. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in doing a tour of New Zealand.
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5
06/02/2012
Very well cared for from booking through to our departure. The tour was everything we could have asked for, it is very difficult to find fault with any of it. The mix of Australian and English travellers made for an enjoyable and interesting tour.
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5
21/11/2011
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip. Everything was very well organised and the drivers very helpful and informative. The food was great and we stacked on some kilos unfortunately. Thanks to Kirby for her efficiency in arranging the tour for me.
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4
08/11/2011
We are really glad that we chose this tour of NZ. Everything about it was up to are hopes and we thought that Grand Pac were terific. Super coach & drivers , good hotels, good food , and all the arrangements went smoothly & were well planned. The hotels in Wellington & Auckland were not quite so good & the farewell dinner on the last night was poor. Some of the stops along the tour were unnecessary, whilst others were not long enough. Generally it was pretty good. All in all we thought we had good value for money and would recommend it to our friends. Thanks for your help in the arrangments Kirby.
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5
05/11/2011
David and I thoroughly enjoyed our Grand Pacific tour of New Zealand. Only problem was it went too fast. We certainly couldn't complain about the comfort of the coaches or accommodation and the food was delicious. Our two coach drivers were excellent and we felt very safe and that's saying something particularly on the moutainous and winding roads. We were really well looked after and fortunate in that our group was fairly small, we could spread out on the coach and got to know each other and mix well with everyone. We all got on very well and looked out for each other. There we no laggers in fact we were so well organised, we were all early rather than late when leaving. The closeness of the group was certainly a very important factor in the enjoyment of the tour. We were very lucky to have such lovely people along with us. November was an excellent time of year to be visiting New Zealand. There was still snow on the mountains and everything was so green and fresh. New Zealand is such a pretty country and also clean. The tour was very well organised. We have no complaints.
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5
16/10/2011
Well, we are back from dreamworld to reality. We all enjoyed the tour thoroughly. Grand Pacific performed meticulous planning and service throughout our tour. We've already conveyed our feelings to our friends and relatives who look forward to visiting New Zealand and Australia. It was really a different experience. Only thing of concern - vegetarian food. There were not many options for vegetarians, so travellers from India may find it difficult. Otherwise for those who can adapt their taste buds, this tour is superb. Our coach captain Ross was also superb.
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5
01/04/2011
The tour was wonderful. New Zealand is the most beautiful place I have ever been. Our driver was great and it was nice to have him for both parts of our trip. The food was good and my only complaint was too many roast buffets. Overall I would give the tour a 10/10.
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4
08/03/2011
I had the most wonderful time on the 16 day tour of South and North Islands. I would certainly reccommend it to any of my friends and family. Thankyou for the wonderful organisation of it all.
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5
18/01/2011
My husband & I, together with my brother & sister in law (from New South Wales) and two friends from Melbourne, decided to do the tour together, we joined the rest of the group in Christchurch. We had the best tour ever, well planned, the food was lovely. Craig, our driver/guide, on the South Island, did a great job keeping us informed of all places of interest we went to and during the journey as well. In the North Island, we met Eric, our driver/guide, who did an excellent job as well. The only disappointment was at the Ibis Hotel in Wellington which did not compare to any other hotels we stayed. We did inform the Manager at the Farewell dinner, otherwise we had a great time and will recommend the tour to our friends and relatives.
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5
16/10/2010
We had a great holiday and would recommend this to others as every detail was well organised so you can simply relax, sit back and enjoy. We thought the optional tours offered a good variety and we particularly liked the way there was no pressure on us to partake these if we didn't want to. The Hotel at Fox Glacier was the only Hotel that wasn't really up to the standard we expected, both in accommodation and the food we chose. The staff were very nice however. It would have been good if the coach had taken us to the specific viewing point for Mount Cook as up to that point the weather prevented us from actually seeing Mount Cook - I was able to walk to the viewing point but it was quite a way - some people of course took the helicopter excursion but many did not ever get to see Mount Cook. We were so lucky in that everybody on our tour was so friendly and the coach drivers, particularly Craig in the South Island were wonderful. An absolutely brilliant experience thank you.
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5
25/04/2010
The tour was absolutely terrifc. My friend and I were the only relatively young ones (we are in our early 30s) but the comradery and good nature of everyone on board was fantastic. The tour itself was all that we could ask for - it went to all the places we had wanted to see on both islands and the planned activities were unbelievable. The tour-guide/coach drivers were very informative and very approachable. Both of them (North and South Island) went out of their way to organise optional extra activities for us and often had a laugh with us over meals. It was also very well organised - the timings and day-plans were comfortable and we never felt that we were rushing from one place to another, at all. I also appreciated that all our bags were shuffled to our rooms each day, on our behalf. I would say confidently that there is nothing I could complain about, except that I wished I could have stayed longer.
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4
08/03/2010
I have been meaning to drop you a line just to let you know the tour was fantastic. We had a great time and had a really great bunch of people. People we have been in touch with since our return and people we will remain friends with for life. Everything ran very smoothly - all very professional but at the same time personal. New Zealand was beautiful beyond our expectations. The people were friendly and always willing to help. We would definately recommend this tour. We would love to do it again one day. The Coach drivers were so knowledgeable and really nice people. Everything about the trip was great. Plenty of good food, great wine and great company, with breathtaking scenery. How could a person not enjoy themselves!!
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5
18/01/2010
Really enjoyed this trip and found it excellent value for money. Extremely well organised from the moment we arrived very jet-lagged at Christchurch! The hotels varied but were all at least adequate overall and very good in at least one aspect (either food or rooms or service). The coach captains, Warren and Cole (one for South Island and one for north) were both very good, though totally different in their approach to the job. The other passengers were almost entirely Australian, which added another aspect to the trip, as we had two new cultures to take on rather than just one! But we got on very well, making lots of new friends. The number (and quality) of meals, the amount of included activities and discounts on other options for free days set this well ahead of other trips we considered in terms of value and we loved most of the options, particularly the Rotorua Gondola breakfast trip with luge ride, the houses and gardens in Dunedin, Mount Cook, Fox Glacier, Milford Sound, Hole in the Rock boat trip and, particularly, the Maori cultural experience, thermal activity, concert and hangi in Rotorua. We were very lucky with the weather, with fantastic visibility on days where it was important. The only thing we would have liked to see more of was wildlife, and were disappointed that the unique albatross and yellow-eyed penguin colonies were not offered, even as an optional, when we were very close by at Dunedin. Very tiring trip with lots of long journeys and early starts, but we loved it and would do it again if NZ weren't so far away! Even so we might consider it for the future and would certainly use your services and those of Grand Pacific again. Thank you. (RJ - These comments have been edited for length).
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4
12/11/2009
Thank you so much for the ease in booking this tour. I admit to some apprehension in booking online with a company that I had not heard of before. I did some research on the travel websites and any time that Relaxing Journeys was mentioned it was in a positive light. So I took the chance and now that I have had a great tour in New Zealand I am so glad I did. Craig was my point of contact and any questions I had he replied promptly making my experience in booking so much more pleasant. It was good to know that someone was available to contact should I have any problems (which I didn't). As for the tour itself, it was perfect. New Zealand is a beautiful country, and I liked that the driver/tour captains on both islands where local and had a first hand knowledge of the country. Dennis and Rob made the trip the best so much more enjoyable. Thank you Relaxing Journeys and Grand Pacific Tours. If I am lucky enough to get to New Zealand again in the future I will have no hesitation in using you again.
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4
03/11/2009
We had a fantastic time. Apart from the initial pick up at Christchurch when no one was there to meet us! Our driver was Daryl who was a fountain of knowledge and made our South Island part of the tour exceptional. The hotel in Christchurch was a bit drab, the food good the staff friendly but the manager was quite rude. All the hotels were clean and comfortable, some with slightly more facilities than others but for the short time we were there it didn't matter. The food was great and the scenery was great. We also took a few optional excursions in the South Island. Skippers Canyon was well worth seeing, helicoptor and landing on one of the glaciers was great and the Haast River boat ride was great and we would recommend any of these. Lance the North Island driver was very pleasant but we had been spoilt by Daryl. We would have liked more information. Our time in the North Island was more relaxed which was nice as we were quite exausted by the South Island. Our time there was very good.The hotels there were all good and the food good. All in all the whole trip was wonderful and the only thing we would change would be an extra day in Queenstown because there was so much to see and do there. Last but not least were our fellow pasangers, 24 Australians who made our trip the best, we all got on so well and had such a laugh. Just a quick word about the coach itself. Comfortable and because there were only 26 of us very roomy. I would definitely reccommend this trip to anyone and would like to thank you for everything running smoothly.
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5
23/02/2009
I would like to say that the tour was very well organised and planned, right from the beginning when I emailed for information about the tours. Craig Harris was very helpful and we always got a quick response (even with the time difference) and all questions were answered. The tour was very good value and we saw some wonderful sights. I would also like to say that the bus driver we had Michael Andrews was wonderful, he really knew his stuff and was always cheerful thanks for a wonderful holiday.
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5
25/01/2009
Wonderful trip, which started with the care and efficiency of Relaxing Journeys staff. Grand Pacific were an excellent company to travel with, highly organized, great drivers and great value for money. I have never been on a coach tour and would not hesitate to use them (or yourselves) again. From the minute we arrived in Christchurch till the minute we flew out of Auckland our every need was taken care of, and both coach captains really added to the whole flavour of the trip. Nothing was too much trouble for them. One thing in particular I would like to praise was the quality of our (included ) excursions. Very varied, all high quality, and every one carefully thought out and particularly well organized. Downsides were very few, but two hotels were not to be recommended and certainly not of the standard of the others. The Elms hotel in Christchurch could be classed as OK but the Tanoa Paihia in Paihia had nothing to commend it all. I'm sure most of our group would have left the coach company in no doubt about how we felt about it. In no way did it detract from a superb holiday, and though I probably wont be back in New Zealand again, I have such good and happy memories of the time I was there. I also thank you and Relaxing journeys for the way everything was put together for us and have been singing your praises far and wide. There was another couple on the trip who had booked through you and they were as highly delighted as we were, so thank you very much indeed for your part in making my holiday so special.
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5
25/01/2009
Apologies for not getting back sooner, but life has been pretty hectic since our return to the UK. We both thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. We thought it was very well organised. Both drivers were excellent. Very helpful and courteous and absolute encyclopaedias on their country. The variety of places we stayed, visited and activities offered were very good. The hotels on the whole were very good. We would have liked a hotel with slightly more space in Wellington, but realise this is not always possible if you are staying in a large city and the advantages of being in the middle of a large city have to be weighed up against this. Also we felt the hotel in Paihia did not come up to the standard offered on the rest of the tour. In fact the room we were given on arrival felt like we had been put in a prison cell, as it was very dark and we had to ask for a different room. The lounge was not particularly inviting and the dining area reminded us of a school canteen, complete with Formica tables. We were both so pleased with the holiday, that we would recommend your company to our family and friends and if we decide to take another holiday in the Southern Hemisphere your company will be our first port of call. We would also like to say how helpful Craig was to us with regards to booking and making the holiday arrangements. This as you can imagine is not so easy when you are living on the opposite side of the world!
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16 Day Highlights of New Zealand Tour
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Tour Code: GPNZ16
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Departures: Sep 2018 to May 2019
Rating:
48 reviews (4.7/5)

Beginning in Christchurch, discover the delights of the South Island such as Dunedin, Milford Sound and Queenstown. Spend 8 days touring the North Isl... Read More

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16 Day Highlights of New Zealand Tour
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