New Zealand Independent Tours

Choose from a selection of Independent New Zealand tours designed to meet the needs of the traveller who is seeking the flexibility of an independent holiday, daily departures and the assurance of a well planned, pre-booked itinerary. Relaxing Journeys are New Zealand’s top selling touring specialists, due in part to our guaranteed lowest pricing and dedicated customer service.

NEW ZEALAND INDEPENDENT COACH TOURS

All New Zealand
Independent Tours

View all Independent Tours we offer, designed to meet the needs of the traveller who is seeking the flexibility of an independent holiday.
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Both Islands
Independent Tours

Choose from over 20 different independent Tours travelling the length of New Zealand which include rail, coach, cruising and ferry trips combined with the assurances of a well planned, pre-booked itinerary at a very reasonable cost.
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North Island
Independent Tours

A completely different experience from the South Island, read through our itineraries, and you are sure to find the perfect North Island holiday experience. And remember, we can add and take off days in the middle, start or end of your tour to suit your requirements.
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South Island
Independent Tours

Discover the majesty of New Zealand's South Island on one of our independent coach and rail tours. This is 'Lord of the Rings' country, awe inspiring landscapes, glaciers, rivers and fiords that you will not find anywhere else in the world.
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Independent
Fly & Coach Tours

If you are short on time but still wish to see as much of New Zealand as possible, why not try a New Zealand tour that combines coach transport with a domestic flight. We have a selection of coach & fly tours that start and finish in Auckland or Christchurch!
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FAQ - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The Relaxing Journeys team (based in Auckland) will organise your entire indepdendent coach holiday. We pre-book all your travel arrangements including coach, rail and ferry transport, accommodation, transfers between your transport and accommodation as well as key sightseeing activities. We provide you with a full detailed itinerary and arrival instructions by email, then on arrival in New Zealand you’ll receive a comprehensive copy of your itinerary, travel vouchers and documentation pack. Our team is also on call, so if you run into trouble while travelling around our country – we are only a local call away!

Tour Departures
Independent Coach Tours: Depart Daily
Escorted Coach Tours: Start on scheduled departure dates

Tour Itinerary
Independent Coach Tours: Can be customised to suit your travel plans and requirements
Escorted Coach Tours: Itineraries are fixed, but often with ‘extra’ touring options available

Tour Cost
Independent Coach Tours: Slightly more expensive depending on inclusions & accommodation
Escorted Coach Tours: Generally cheaper depending on inclusions & accommodation

Group
Independent Coach Tours: Fellow travellers join and leave each day
Escorted Coach Tours: You travel as group – some travellers may join or leave at certain points on the itinerary

Stay
Independent Coach Tours: Fellow travellers stay in different accommodations
Escorted Coach Tours: Your group stays at the same accommodation

Driver / Tour Guide
Independent Coach Tours: Your driver provides commentary (on most legs), but your driver changes at each stage of your trip
Escorted Coach Tours: You normally have a driver & a dedicated tour guide who travels with you

Transport
Independent Coach Tours: You travel on Great Sights, Newmans and Intercity coaches, KiwiRail & Taieri Gorge trains and the Interislander ferry along with local sightseeing operators
Escorted Coach Tours: You either travel on the same coach throughout your journey, or a different coach on each island. Escorted tours also utilise train journeys on KiwiRail & Taieri Gorge trains and the Interislander ferry.

Guaranteed Departures
Independent Coach Tours: Independent coach tours always depart
Escorted Coach Tours: Set departures are guaranteed to depart. More guaranteed dates available as year progresses

Age Group
Independent Coach Tours: Ages groups are open and vary from depature to departure
Escorted Coach Tours: Ages groups are open and vary from depature to departure

Relaxing Journeys independent coach tours operate using daily departing coach, train and ferry services. Coaching is on state-of-the-art Great Sights luxury coaches. Most coaches providing air-conditioning, reclining seats, wash room facilities, onboard video and multi lingual commentary. Where Great Sights is not available, transport will be on modern, air conditioned Intercity or Newmans Coaches.

Independent coach tours use superior coaches that can hold up to 49 people. Onboard features include air conditioning, reclining seats, on board bathrooms and intercom systems. However during some of the travel legs Intercity coaches are used and bathrooms may not be on board. Tours can fill up quickly so don’t leave it too late to secure your place on board!

While independent coach tours do not have dedicated tour leaders, the multi-talented coach drivers provide excellent onboard commentary on many of the legs during your journey. On each leg of your journey you’ll have a different driver/guide. As we offer daily departures, you do not travel with a set group of people or with a tour leader, giving you more day to day independence.

Independent coach tours are officially “open age” tours and visitors come from all over the world. There is often a real mix of travellers on these tours.

Relaxing Journeys provide 3 levels of accommodation on each independent coach tour itinerary – 4-5 star hotels, 3-4 star hotels and self catering motel as well as apartment accommodation. You choose the type of accommodation that suits you! The accommodation featured on all our independent holidays have been carefully chosen for their superior level of comfort, exceptional amenities, friendly staff as well as service and their convenient location.

All of of our New Zealand independent tours are flexible. We can add days to the itinerary, we can remove days and we can add pre or post tour accommodation if required. We’ll amend our itineraries to suit your travel plans, and provide you with ‘local knowledge’ to ensure your independent holiday is a relaxing one.

Your tour deposit is always paid by credit card and the balance is paid 45 days out from the start of the tour. To read more regarding how you book your holiday click here.

We have a comprehensive weather section that explains the best times to visit New Zealand. Please click here to read more.

Yes. After we receive your final balance you’ll receive your full itinerary detailing tour times, pick up and arrival information etc. We will send this to you by email around 30 days out from your tour, then on your arrival in New Zealand you’ll receive another copy of your itinerary with your travel pack. If you prefer to travel light the emailed copy of your itinerary can be stored on your smart device and is all you need!

There are a few tours where we handle the domestic flights to and from certain destinations within New Zealand, however we do not book international flights to and from New Zealand. If you’d like more information on flights to and from New Zealand – click here.

All visitors to New Zealand must carry a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date you intend to leave the country. Currently travellers from more than 50 countries do not require a Visitor’s Visa for stays less than three months. Read more here.

We do not sell travel insurance, however we do have information on a few select providers if you are looking for a recommendation. We recommend purchasing your travel insurance locally at the same time you book your flight. This will make dealing with your claim, should this be necessary, that much easier when you return home.

NEW ZEALAND INDEPENDENT TOUR REVIEWS

Relaxing Journeys past independent coach touring clients have sent us their feedback on their return home. Their comments and insights can help you decide on the itinerary best suited to your travel plans. We’ve listed the most recent reviews below.

5
Independent Coach Tour
01/09/2018
Excellent independent tour with some activities included. Accommodations were comfortable, transportation around the South Island was prompt, comfortable, and informative . The included excursions such as the trip to Milford Sound and the TranzAlpine train ride were wonderful. I would highly recommend this tour if you want transport and accommodation around New Zealand but don't want a guided tour. This tour is pretty inclusive for the independent traveler such as myself.
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5
Independent Coach Tour
20/07/2018
Marie Sarmon did an excellent job in organising this custom tour for us. My wife and I really enjoyed ourselves. Everything was perfectly timed and never once did we have to call anyone for assistance (being free and easy). The view from our hotels was ... no words can describe. Some rides was cancelled due to weather but that we can understand. If we could do this again, we definitely will. Thanks so much for the great time.
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5
Coach & Fly Tour
25/06/2018
This was my first solo trip,and I was nervous about organising and traveling alone. Relaxing Journeys organised my trip swiftly and thoroughly. I had a wonderful time traveling independently on tour. Now that I have had a 'taste' I am looking forward to returning and spending more time in the places I enjoyed but didn't have enough time in due to the shortness of the trip. Would highly recommend using this tour company and visiting New Zealand.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
Independent Coach Tour
19/05/2018
We definitely enjoy our trip with Relaxing Journeys. They provided a detailed itinerary for our trip. As long long as we read thru it, generally it will be a smooth sailing. We will definitely recommend Relaxing Journey to friends.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
3
Independent Coach Tour
14/05/2018
A good overall trip and feel like i saw quite a bit of NZ. It ran smoothly re shuttle connections etc.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
All New Zealand Independent Tours Reviews