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

New Zealand
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.
View Tours

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.
View Tours

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.
View Tours

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!
View Tours

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
22/04/2018
Hotels were outstanding. Eric was our favorite Great Sights tour guide. We didn't have any issues and appreciated how well put together the itinerary was.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
4
Independent Coach Tour
22/04/2018
We had such an wonderful time on our trip. Thank you, Relaxing Journeys, for making it possible. We are returning customers. This is our second tour with Relaxing Journeys, both times on Independent Coach tours and we loved every bit of it. Everything was so easy and smooth-going, and arranged right down to airport transfers. All we had to do was to show up on time to be picked up, and off we went for another great tour. I would definitely recommend Relaxing Journeys for you next trip to New Zealand. Their tour consultants (in our case it was Toni, for our earlier trip Marie, for this later trip) were always responsive, patient and helpful. Thanks, guys.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
Independent Coach Tour
10/04/2018
I'm not a big fan of bus tours, have had some bad experiences in the past. I was not very convinced about this but me and my wife decided to take a tour over the South Island for a couple of reasons, one the time we had and two, we drive on a different side. What a nice surprise it turn out to be. The hotels they choose for us were nice and relaxing, the bus drivers were friendly and very informative and knowledgeable of every stop we were heading to. They were always right on time. The place we visited were amazing, Queensland, Christchurch, Milford Sounds were just breath taking. We which we had more time in New Zealand, but with the amount of day we had we are sure we took advantage of all that these places had to offer.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
4
Independent Coach Tour
09/04/2018
It was a little more bus time than I originally expected. Wished there was a bit more time in Franz Josef. All in all it was a great trip though. Really enjoyed the train. Mt. Cook and accommodations were excellent.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
4
Coach & Fly Tour
04/04/2018
The booking process is quite smooth, especially with the help of Toni Harris. There were 12 of us traveling as a group with different arrival and departure times from various part of the world. Toni worked with me to get everything organized. There was no "bad" surprises throughout the 14 days. All the arrangements are well through out and hotel accommodations met our expectations.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
All New Zealand Independent Tours Reviews