20 Day New Zealand End to End

20 Day New Zealand End to End

Comprehensive coach tour from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand ending in Queenstown. Set at a comfortable pace we've included some fantastic sightseeing activities and scenic highlights showcasing the best of New Zealand.

Tour Info

Tour Type: Independent Coach Tour
From: Auckland to Queenstown
Departures: Feb 2018 to May 2019
From (NZD) $5056 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Pace: Comfortable
Duration: 20 Days
Tour Code: RJ303


19 nights accommodation
All Coach, Ferry & Rail Transport & Transfers
Optional Breakfasts
Daily Departures
Entrance to Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Cape Reinga Day Tour (including lunch)
Cape Brett Hole in the Rock Cruise
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Maori Hangi (feast) and Concert
Te Puia Geothermal Experience
Rainbow Springs Nature Park
Agrodome Farm Show
Afternoon Hawkes Bay Wine Tour
Half day sightseeing tour of Wellington
Scenic Interislander Cruise
TranzAlpine Train Journey
Half day Otago Peninsula Wildlife Cruise and tour
Milford Sound Cruise including lunch

* Note: Prices shown are per person (based on two people travelling). Prices are valid for travel until September 2018

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Auckland

Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city and a hub for shopping and dining. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your accommodation. Spend the remainder of your day relaxing or take time to explore the city. Perhaps a visit to Auckland’s vibrant waterfront and a ride on the Dockline Tram. All within walking distance from your accommodation.

Day 2
Auckland - Bay of Islands

From Auckland travel north over the Harbour Bridge to Whangarei and Paihia. The afternoon is at your leisure for optional activities, such as a visit to the quaint township of Russell. Your tour includes entry to Waitangi Treaty Grounds where the founding document of New Zealand was signed between the Maori & Europeans. Stay 2 nights in Paihia. (2 nights)

Day 3
Cape Reigna Day Tour - Bay of Islands

Depart Paihia on your journey to Cape Reinga, the most northern point of New Zealand. Maori legend states spirits depart from this point on their journey to their final resting place. Enjoy a stroll along the boardwalk past the 1,000 year old Kauri trees in the Puketi Kauri forest and an amazing drive along Ninety Mile Beach. If you are feeling adventurous you might like to participate in sandboarding down the sand dunes at Te Paki Stream. Return to Paihia in the evening. Lunch is included. (L)

Day 4
Cape Brett Hole in the Rock Cruise - Bay of Islands - Auckland

Enjoy the view on board your cruise past the Cape Brett Lighthouse en-route to the stunning Hole in the Rock. Common and bottlenose dolphins, whales and other marine life are frequently sighted from the outdoor viewing decks. This afternoon rejoin your coach for your journey back to Auckland, crossing over the Harbour Bridge into the city for an evening arrival.

Day 5
Auckland - Waitomo Caves - Rotorua

With an early morning departure from Auckland you will be travelling southbound towards the Waitomo Caves via the city of Hamilton which sits on the banks of the Waikato River. Enjoy a guided tour of the caves with a silent boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto – a subterranean cavern lit up by the lights of thousands of tiny glowworms. Arrival at your Rotorua accommodation will be in the early afternoon. Tonight you will attend a hangi (feast) and concert, an authentic and intimate Maori experience. (D)

Day 6
Rotorua - Taupo

This morning you will experience Maori culture and the amazing thermal wonderland at Te Puia. Te Puia is also home to the Arts and Crafts Institute where the ancient teachings of Maori ancestors have been preserved and continue to thrive. Continue on to the Rainbow Springs Nature Park, an attraction like no other. Set in 22 acres of beautiful native trees and streams you will see a huge variety of New Zealand’s most precious inhabitants including the Kiwi Conservation Centre. New Zealand’s thriving agricultural industry is on show at the Agrodome, where you will witness a sheep shearing display and sheep dog trials. This afternoon drive south through exotic forests until you reach the steam fields of Wairakei and Lake Taupo in the centre of the North Island. Overnight at Lake Taupo.

Day 7
Taupo - Napier

Travel today to the Art Deco city of Napier for a 2 night stay. The city of Napier was rebuilt into a place of Art Deco splendour following a massive earthquake in 1931 The Art Deco walk or guided tour (own expense) is an exceptional way to experience the city’s elegance. (2 nights)

Day 8
Wine Tour - Napier

Hawke’s Bay has also become well known as a leading food and wine region in New Zealand, so we’ve booked you in for a wine tasting tour this afternoon. Meet like-minded people and share an appreciation of Hawke’s Bay’s fantastic wines. Taste great wines made with passion and learn of the area’s unique growing conditions. Cheese boards are provided on all tours. Take home great tasting wines and memories.

Day 9
Napier - Wellington

Depart Napier and travel to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city located on the Southern tip of the North Island. Arriving early afternoon the rest of the day at leisure. (2 nights)

Day 10

Visit many of Wellington’s best known sights, landmarks and icons this morning including the Beehive and Parliament Buildings, Old Saint Paul’s Cathedral and the historic cable car. Enjoy breathtaking 360 degree views of Wellington City, hills and harbour from the summit of Mount Victoria and drive around the rugged scenic bays of Wellington Harbour. The afternoon is free to explore Wellington. A visit to Te Papa or the Museum of City and Sea is highly recommended.

Day 11
Wellington - Interislander Cruise - Nelson

This morning you will board the Interislander which will ferry you across Cook Strait and through the spectacular Marlborough Sounds to Picton. Make the short journey to Nelson where you will enjoy two wonderful nights in this tranquil destination. (2 nights)

Day 12

Today is at your leisure and there are lots of options including beaches to explore, harbour cruises, walks or adventure activities. Nelson is also the gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park, the smallest of New Zealand’s national parks, with glittering beaches, turquoise water and spectacular ocean views. Perhaps enjoy a cruise in this spectacular park.

Day 13
Nelson - Punakaiki

Travel through Murchison, the scene of a massive earthquake in 1929, and on through the Buller Gorge to Westport on the West Coast. The road to Punakaiki hugs the coast, providing spectacular views of wild beaches and the tempestuous Tasman Sea. Overnight at Punakaiki, famous for its pancake rocks and magnificent blowholes.

Day 14
Punakaiki - TranzAlpine - Christchurch

The morning is at your leisure. We recommend a walk around the stunning Pancake Rocks and blowholes – fantastic in all weather! This afternoon enjoy the views of the wild west coast as you travel to Greymouth and join the TranzAlpine Train for your scenic train journey to Christchurch. Climb through lush beech forests past the beautiful Lake Brunner and through the alpine village of Arthur’s Pass situated 737 metres above sea level, before crossing the spectacular Southern Alps. The TranzAlpine then winds its way over massive viaducts, through spectacular river gorges and the stunning Waimakariri River valley before arriving in Christchurch early evening.

Day 15
Christchurch - Dunedin

Depart Christchurch and head south through the vibrant seaside town of Timaru and onto Oamaru known for their creamy limestone buildings. Pass Moeraki Beach where perfectly rounded boulders are embedded in the sand. Arrive early afternoon. (2 nights)

Day 16

Today you have some time to explore the charming city of Dunedin. Sitting in the Otago Harbour, Dunedin is a fantastic “small city” and an important centre for learning, heritage, arts and culture in New Zealand. The Harbour is the gateway to the Otago Peninsula and today we have included the excellent ½ day Peninsula Cruise. Explore the length of the beautiful Otago Peninsula and a wildlife cruise of spectacular Taiaroa Head where you’ll experience Albatross, Fur Seals, Yellow Eyed Penguins, and Dolphins just to name a few.

Day 17
Dunedin - Te Anau

This morning is at leisure to explore Dunedin. This afternoon, travel by coach across fertile farming land and pass by spectacular mountains to the beautiful shores of Lake Te Anau. You will arrive into the township of Te Anau, the hub of the Fiordland region in the late afternoon.

Day 18
Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown

Travel through the breathtaking Fiordland National Park to Milford Sound. Journey through majestic forests, past immense waterfalls and through towering snow – capped mountains. Great photo opportunities abound enroute. On arrival in Milford Sound experience an unforgettable cruise through a unique and pristine environment. Board the coach for Queenstown, arriving in the evening. If the weather is suitable take a scenic flight back over the Southern Alps (own expense). (L) (2 nights)

Day UP
Milford Sound Return Flight Upgrade Package (From NZ$395pp)

Return to Queenstown on a scenic flight taking in magnificent views of the alps, glaciers, lakes and forests of Fiordland National Park – a quick and convenient way to return to Queenstown. (Duration 35mins) The flight shaves off approximately 4 hours off a return by coach. It is however very weather dependent, so if the weather doesn’t play ball, then you will need to return by coach and we will refund the upgrade price.

Day 19

Today is completely at your leisure to enjoy the many sights of this alpine resort situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown offers something for everyone – you can enjoy the quiet beauty and tranquility of this mountain retreat and enjoy several walking trails in the town area. For sheer excitement there is white-water rafting, helicopter rides, the famous jet boats, bungy jumping to pump your adrenalin, and offroad 4WD tours with plenty of river crossings. There are cruises on the lake and a visit to a high country sheep station, and wine tasting tours. You can visit nearby Arrowtown where the main street has been preserved since the 1860’s gold rush days and you can try your luck and pan for gold in the adjacent Shotover River.

Day 20
Depart Queenstown

“Haere rā” Farewell from Aotearoa. We hope that you have had a memorable journey in New Zealand. Today is at your leisure until you are transferred from your accommodation to the airport for your departure home. We hope that you will visit us again.


There are 6 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.8 out of 5.

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Value For Money
Tour Pace
Relaxing Journeys Experience

Tour Reviews

Everything was well organised and Marie was extremely helpful answering my questions immediately.
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Value For Money


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Relaxing Journeys Experience
Relaxing Journeys did an excellent job; all of our connections went smoothly. The hotels were fine, with a couple of exceptions (Ibis Wellington, Rydges Queenstown). We probably tried to do and see too much, but those were our mistakes, not yours. The day tours were highlights of our trip.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money


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Relaxing Journeys Experience
I loved every minute of it! The highlight was at the end, going from Te Anau to Milford Sound and the flight to Queenstown. Absolutely breathtaking.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money


Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
Awesome.. wanted to stay longer.. so many places to go and so many things to do.. the best part was the kayak at Abel Tasman National Park.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money


Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
I was quite impressed with many aspects of our recent tour of New Zealand. We had a wonderful time, except for a brief medical scare (during which my wife gained an in depth understanding of the NZ medical system), and we found the NZ people to be polite, socially engaging and a pleasure to be around. I prefer the independent type tour and Toni did an excellent job of working with me to tailor our itinerary to maximize our experience. I liked the idea of visiting all sizes of cities to get a feel for the entire country. I was also very impressed with the timeliness of our pickups when arriving or departing a particular destination. I initially called the bus line or carrier to confirm our next pick up, but they were so reliable I quit calling a third of the way into the trip. The activities planned for us were spot on. Being walkers we particularly enjoyed hiking at Abel Talsman, the Milford Track and at Mount Cook. The Silver Level accommodations were very good and the breakfasts were fine although I would probably not get them if I return as the buffet menu was pretty much the same at all of them. In retrospect I think the success of our tour was dependent on the things your company does well - choosing the right hotels, carriers and activities; and also on the upfront work of your consultant (Toni)in designing the trips to be compatible with the our requirements. Thanks for a good time.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money


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Relaxing Journeys Experience
Thank you for a well-organized customised independent coach tour of both North and South Island. Toni incorporated our wish list of sights to see and our desired level of activity into a great itinerary! She was patient and accomodating throughout the planning stages, and always replied promptly to our emails and questions. She was able to quickly get a sense of what type of tour we want and made that happen by appropriately selecting the sites, pre-booked tours, enough free time, transportation and accomodation. The pace of our tour was great with a perfect amount of time at each location. It was great to see the country by Intercity coach. Perhaps in the future I would have done one flight instead of coach plus ferry, but for the first trip, they were a great experience. All the transfers were smooth and throughout the trip we felt that if something was to change in our itinerary we could contact Toni and she would fix it. That was a wonderful country to visit and we highly recommend Relaxing Journeys and Toni to help plan their first trip to New Zealand!
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money


Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience



New Zealand has a great deal of things to see and do, why not add one of our optional sightseeing activities to your trip. Prices are per adult (we'll adjust your quote for any children).

Enquire about our 20 Day New Zealand End to End

20 Day New Zealand End to End
Independent Coach Tour
Tour Code: RJ303
From (NZD) $5056 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: Feb 2018 to May 2019
6 reviews (4.8/5)

Comprehensive coach tour from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand ending in Queenstown. Set at a comfortable ... Read More

Itinerary Map

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20 Day New Zealand End to End
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