8 Day North and South Highlights

8 Day North and South Highlights

You’re on the edge of adventure with this 8 day itinerary. From Auckland and Rotorua to the magnificent Milford Sound and adrenaline-packed Queenstown, you’ll be delighted at every turn, trading your everyday for an unforgettable holiday.

Tour Info

Tour Type: Coach & Fly Tour
From: Auckland to Christchurch
Departures: Jan 2019 - March 2020
Price: From (NZD) $2552 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Duration: 8 Days
Tour Code: RJ304

Inclusions

7 nights accommodation
All coach, ferry and rail transport and transfers
Optional breakfasts
Daily departures
Internal flight from Rotorua to Queenstown
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Māori cultural experience, hāngī and concert in Rotorua
Te Puia geothermal experience
Rainbow Springs Nature Park
Agrodome farm show
Milford Sound day tour and cruise (including lunch)

Conditions

Prices are per person based on twin-share, and are subject to availability. Prices are correct at the time of submission but are subject to change without notice. Valid for travel January 2019 – March 2020. Blackout periods may apply. A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person is required at time of booking.

Click here for our full terms and conditions.

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Auckland

Welcome to Auckland! Pass through customs, collect any baggage, and be met by one of our friendly representatives, ready to whisk you away to your city accommodation. After checking in and getting yourself settled, turn your roving eye outside and enjoy a free afternoon in the ‘City of Sails’. Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, with plenty of sights, shopping and street appeal for even the pickiest of travellers.

Day 2
Auckland - Waitomo Caves - Rotorua

With an early morning departure from Auckland you will be travelling southbound to reach the market garden area of Pukekohe. Continue through Hamilton, New Zealand’s fourth largest city, and the fertile Waikato region to arrive at Waitomo. For over 100 years, Waitomo Glowworm Caves have attracted millions of people from all over the world. The moment you enter this subterranean wonderland, you’ll discover an ancient underground labyrinth of limestone caves and grottos. You will experience a boat trip like no other, journeying through the starry expanse of the cave while your way is lit by a multitude of tiny glowworm lights.

On completion of this tour, continue over the forested Mamaku Ranges to reach the geothermal city of Rotorua. Tonight you’ll be treated to a Māori feast, as Te Pō’s cultural experience promises hours of fun, thought and kai (indigenous food). After a formal Māori welcome, relax and enjoy a captivating performance by the local people, including traditional songs and the renowned haka. Following a truly delectable dinner, you will be transported by people movers to enjoy the spectacular lighting of the geothermal Te Whakarewarewa Valley and an essential hot chocolate. (D) (2 nights)

Day 3
Rotorua

This morning you will experience more Māori culture and the amazing thermal wonderland at Te Puia. Te Puia is also home to the Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, where the ancient teachings of Māori 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.

The afternoon is at leisure to explore some of Rotorua’s natural wonders and scenic highlights. Make your way to the internationally-renowned Whirinaki Forest, fringing Te Urewera National Park. Here you can follow a pristine river path through towering rimu, tōtara and kahikatea trees, to an impressive waterfall and breathtaking canyon.

Day 4
Rotorua - Internal Flight - Queenstown

This morning you will be transferred from your accommodation to Rotorua Airport for your southbound flight to Queenstown. Your flight is included in the tour price. Be sure not to miss the stunning scenery as you descend into Queenstown, it really will take your breath away. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your accommodation. Your afternoon is at leisure.

We would suggest that you lace up your trainers and enjoy the Lakeshore Forest and Bird guided walk, a meandering trail for those who like relaxed walks. You will be taken through majestic native beech forests, combining the best of flora and fauna with breathtaking mountain views. (3 nights)

Day 5
Milford Sound Cruise

It’s an early departure today as your coach follows the southern arm of Lake Wakitipu to Lumsden, and onward to Lake Te Anau. The scenery changes dramatically from tussock covered grasslands to glacier-hewn valleys as you enter the Eglington Valley and travel through the breathtaking man-made Homer Tunnel before reaching Milford Sound.

Upon arrival at Milford Sound, board your launch for a spectacular cruise where you will see the wonders of Mitre Peak, glacier-scarred rock walls that rise 1,200m vertically from the sea, and waterfalls that tumble from hanging valleys to crash into the sound far below. Milford Sound is nothing short of heart-stopping, inducing subconscious smiles in the hard to please and easily bored almost instantly; it’s simply magnificent. Keep an eye out for dolphins, seals and penguins!

On completion of your cruise you will return to Queenstown by coach, arriving in the evening. (L)

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

Upgrade your itinerary to include a return scenic flight to Queenstown, taking in the magnificent views of the alps, glaciers, lakes and forests of Fiordland National Park – a quick and convenient way to return to Queenstown. (Duration 35 mins.)

The flight shaves 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 6
Queenstown

It’s time to make memories in Queenstown. Pick and choose from a long list of adventures – from thrilling funyak tours along the Dart River and horse riding in Glenorchy, to panning for gold in Arrowtown or taking a tour of Lake Wakatipu via the TSS Earnslaw, there is certainly something for every speed.

If you’re not ready to break the spell of the last few days a scenic walk may do the trick, exploring the diverse range of stunning trails the region delivers in troves.

Day 7
Queenstown - Aoraki Mount Cook - Christchurch

Depart Queenstown this morning and travel north through the historic gold mining region of the Kawarau Gorge, passing through the dramatic Lindis Pass into the Mackenzie Basin. Hug the shores of Lake Pukaki before arriving at Aoraki Mount Cook Village. This region is breathtaking and full of opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast. Enjoy an optional scenic helicopter or ski-plane flight (own expense), explore the treasures of New Zealand’s mountaineering history at the Sir Edmund Hillary Centre, or relax over a three-course lunch at the famous Hermitage Hotel (not included).

This afternoon you will continue north to the glacial-fed, turquoise Lake Tekapo, where you can take the opportunity to appreciate the majestic scenery of the Southern Alps and view the solitary Church of the Good Shepherd. Continue your journey north through the vast patchwork of the Canterbury Plains before arriving at your final destination, Christchurch.

Day 8
Depart Christchurch

Sadly your trip has come to an end. We hope that you have thoroughly enjoyed your experiences in New Zealand. Today you will be met at your accommodation and transferred to the airport for your onward journey. Haere rā! Have a safe trip home.

4.7/5.0

There are 12 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.7 out of 5.

Overall Tour Rating
Value For Money
Accommodation
Tour Pace
Relaxing Journeys Experience

Tour Reviews

5
01/02/2019
Overall, Relaxing Journeys assisted us in setting up a wonderful vacation in New Zealand. We would definitely recommend their services to others. hotel accommodations were top notch with great service and located centrally in each city, within convenient walking distances to eateries, downtown, and things to do. Travel arrangements gave just enough time to connect without wasting time waiting. Tours set up were very enjoyable and varied. Lots of options and ability to customize. We had 1 tour bus pickup issue on a weekend and it was difficult to reach RJ's in time for them to assist with alternate arrangements, but luckily the hotel concierge was very helpful and got us set up on a private tour to see the same things that day. However, RJ's was very responsive once they replied and took appropriate steps to make up for the issue, so we have no complaints about how the matter was handled. Very professional and good service once they got involved. Only "I wish" we had was that the tour for Mt. Cook gave you more time to explore the area. Spent about 4+ hours on the bus to have approximately 90 mins at Mt. Cook. If you chose to do the lunch there was not any time to really explore any of the walking trails or the area. Also, would have liked more time to swim at Piha Beach; just had enough time to get in the water for a few minutes. But, those are concerns for the operating tour companies and not RJ's. Very satisfied and happy with our interactions and vacation planning we received from Relaxing Journeys. We experienced none of the communication or other horror stories we heard from people we talked to utilizing other companies. Very pleased with RJ's and think anyone else would be, too.
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5
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
4
14/02/2018
Good coverage of major attractions in both North and South Islands in a limited time. Accommodation was a bit disappointing at both Rotorua and Christchurch but the transportation vehicles and drivers were both very good.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
05/12/2017
We went on a tour of Auckland to Bay of Islands and then flew to Queenstown and went to Te Anau. All arrangements made by Toni went without a hitch (only a couple of times I was worried but this probably is because I am used to being in control and making my own plans) You really only have to follow the itinerary and it is stress free! It was a wonderful trip, we chose to have bus transfers so we did a lot of bus travelling but how else do you see beautiful New Zealand if you don't travel! The accommodation in Bay of Islands and Queenstown was the absolute best! In Te Anau the receptionist was a bit unwelcoming, the weather was bad on a couple of tours but these things are not something anyone can control. Relaxing Journeys thank you so much for making our family trip to New Zealand so memorable and for all the fantastic experiences we had!
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5
26/07/2017
Marie was fantastic! Our 10-day honeymoon through the "long white cloud" was the trip of a lifetime. Everything along the way was so well organized and the accommodations were top-notch. Being able to pick up our booklet with our itinerary and activities at our first hotel made everything so easy. We truly got to experience some wonderful kiwi hospitality. We will gladly refer anyone to check out Relaxing Journeys when they go to NZ.
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5
08/09/2016
I'm glad I booked with Relaxing Journeys! Friendly, patient and very informative staff, Thanks Marie! We were looking for a short tour and this ticked all the boxes. Accommodation was great overall and just what we were expecting. Tour pace was a bit quick but that was to be expected. The tours itself were all on time and staff were great. Definitely booking with Relaxing Journeys again in the future. Keep it up guys!
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4
27/07/2014
The activities selected was great and gave us a good opportunity (although quick) to sample both islands within a short space of one week. The timing between the activities and transfers between cities was very good. There were a couple of cancellations due to weather but this was promptly rectified. Our coach driver at Auckland taking us to Rotorura didn't come on time and did not come to the designated pickup point, but he was pleasant enough throughout the drive and made it enjoyable. As our first impression, it was a bit of concern. The Milford Sound trip was enjoyable although the cruise had to be cancelled. The coach driver could have been a bit more friendly. We were not dropped off at our hotel as the itinerary had indicated, the 5 minute walk back was pleasant though. The brochures also indicated there were toilets on board the coach but the driver did not mention this and no one used the toilet or there wasn't any on board. Overall my family and I enjoyed the trip and we have fond memories of the holidays and NZ, and will consider returning to your services. As mentioned Toni had selected great activities for us and was always prompt and detailed in replying. Sally helped out a lot during when our flight had to return back to Christchurch due to bad weather in Queenstown. Thank you.
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4
16/02/2014
Relaxing Journeys, specifically Leanne, delivered what we asked for. We had no surprises (okay well the nearby tornadoes were a little surprise) and the accomodations were as promised. The only comment would be to let people know that if they are going to Franz Josef that there is little chance for exchanging money so to do so before getting there. Weather was great, people were friendly.
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5
15/04/2012
I would like to express my gratitude for your assistance in arranging for me and my husband a smooth and comfortable holiday in New Zealand from 15 to 20 April 2012. We are now back home, safe and sound with fond memories of your country. The independent tours you recommended have given us the flexibility we wanted, introduced us to the highlights for tourists in various cities while at the same time saved us the trouble of having to sort out hotels, transportation and so forth. I was particularly impressed by the professionalism of the coach drivers. I would definitely like to recommend your agency to my friends and relatives.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
04/01/2012
This tour was part of a longer six week break covering Hong Kong, NZ, Australia and Singapore. Very well organised at all times, removed all of the stress of organsing hotels, transport and hotel transfers in NZ. It enabled us to sit back, relax and enjoy the scenes and sights of your lovely country. The coach drivers were extremely helpful and informative. The hotels were all well located with the exception of the Copthorne in Rotorua which was a bit far out from the centre of town. We would recommend RJ's to our friends.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience

Upgrades

Optionals

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 8 Day North and South Highlights

8 Day North and South Highlights
Coach & Fly Tour
Tour Code: RJ304
From (NZD) $2552 per person
Save (NZD) $255 per person
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Terms and conditions apply. Please see tour overview for more information.

Rating:
12 reviews (4.7/5)

You’re on the edge of adventure with this 8 day itinerary. From Auckland and Rotorua to the magnificent Milford Sound and adrenaline-packed Queensto... Read More

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8 Day North & South Highlights
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