14 Day New Zealand Escape

14 Day New Zealand Escape

A combination of unique activities and leisure time makes up this extensive tour. We've made it easy with a return flight from Christchurch for those travelling into and out of Auckland who still want to experience all New Zealand has to offer.

Tour Info

Tour Type: Coach & Fly Tour
From: Auckland to Auckland
Departures: Feb 2018 to May 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $3819 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Pace: Comfortable
Duration: 14 Days
Tour Code: RJ320

Inclusions

13 nights accommodation
All Coach, Ferry & Rail Transport & Transfers
Optional Breakfasts
Daily Departures
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Maori Village Experience, Hangi & Concert
Te Puia Geothermal Experience
Rainbow Springs Nature Park
Agrodome Farm Show
Wellington City Sights Tour
Milford Sound Day Tour & Cruise (including lunch)
TranzAlpine Train Journey
Internal flight from Wellington to Christchurch
Internal flight from Christchurch to Auckland

* 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. Enjoy the opportunity to explore this fascinating city. Auckland has so much to offer, from deserted islands to lush native bush, sheltered inshore waters to the wild Tasman Sea, and sophisticated city streets to backroad rural charm. Perhaps explore the vibrant waterfront and ride Auckland’s Dockline Tram.

Day 2
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) (2 nights)

Day 3
Rotorua

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. The afternoon is at leisure.

Day 4
Rotorua - Wellington

Drive south to Wairakei – wreathed by steam, then to Taupo. Skirt Lake Taupo, and cross the volcanic landscape of the Desert Road past the majestic peaks of Tongariro, Ngaruahoe and Ruapehu. Continue across the fertile plains of the Manawatu and along the rugged Kapiti coastline to Wellington. Arrive late afternoon for a 2 night stay. (2 nights)

Day 5
Wellington

This morning a half day tour of the city will take in the Parliament Buildings and ‘Beehive’, Old St Paul’s Cathedral, panoramic views of the harbour and city from Mt Victoria and a ride on the cable car (optional). This afternoon is free, perhaps to visit Te Papa Museum or the Museum of City and Sea.

Day 6
Wellington - Christchurch

This morning you’ll be transferred to the airport to board your domestic flight (included in your tour cost) which will take you across the Cook Strait and down the East Coast of the South Island to Christchurch. On arrival in Christchurch you’ll be transferred to your accommodation.

Day 7
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.

Day 8
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 9
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. (L) (2 nights)

Day 10
Queenstown

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 11
Queenstown - Franz Josef

Depart Queenstown this morning, travel along the shores of Wanaka and Lake Hawea to the Haast Pass, gateway to World Heritage Westland National Park. Then continue up the West Coast past spectacular mountain ranges, native forests and lakes to Franz Josef Glacier. (2 nights)

Day 12
Franz Josef

Today you have a whole day at leisure. Perhaps enjoy a guided walk, a heli-hike or a scenic flight from the Franz Josef township. If you’d prefer a relaxing day, head to the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools that are nestled amongst the lush rainforest of the glacier country or meander through the village where you will find a wonderful selection of gifts, artwork, merchandise and cafes.

Day UP
Glaciers Upgrade Package

Treat yourself and upgrade your accommodation in Franz Josef to the 5 star Te Waonui Forest Retreat, a luxury lodge hotel nestled amongst native West Coast rainforest. Our upgrade package includes luxurious accommodation, dinner on the first night – an indulgent 5 course degustation menu in The Canopy Restaurant, and a la carte breakfast both mornings. We’ve also included a stunning Franz Josef Heli Hike to help you make the most of your time in the region. Ask us for a price!

Day 13
Franz Josef - TranzAlpine - Christchurch

Board your coach and head north through Hokitika and into the small town of Greymouth where you will stop to stretch your legs before boarding the renowned TranzAlpine Train for one of the world’s great scenic train trips to Christchurch. Experience the beautiful Lake Brunner, spectacular viaducts, 8.6kms in the lengthy Otira Tunnel, ice – fed rivers, patchwork farmland and the tussock landscape of the Canterbury Plains. Arrive at approximately 6:05pm in Christchurch.

Day 14
Christchurch - Auckland

Today you will be met at your Christchurch accommodation and transferred to the airport for your included domestic flight to Auckland. From Auckland you may choose to stay an extra night at one of the airport hotels, or you can organise your flight home to link up with your arrival back in Auckland. Have a safe trip home!

4.8/5.0

There are 17 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.8 out of 5.

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Tour Reviews

4
29/03/2018
Relaxing Journeys itself warrants the best possible rating for this tour. The number of connections for lodging, transportation, tours, etc. came off without a single missed, or even delayed, connection. So the planning and logistics were, in our view, flawless. Two factors contribute to an overall rating of less than excellent for the tour: (1) weather had a significant impact on the last four days of our tour and resulted in the cancellation of two of the most anticipated events: the helicopter ride at Franz Josef Glacier and the train ride over the Southern Alps; (2) The Air New Zealand folks in Auckland were impossibly unhelpful. Because of TSA computer issues with the US DHS, check-in was delayed even though we had arrived 3 hours early. A general announcement was made of an indefinite delay for the flight, but there was absolutely no communication about what was happening or going to happen from Air New Zealand. It took us the full three hours to check in, get boarding passes and then check luggage. Then, without warning, boarding for the flight was "closed". We had to rush through endless high end retail to get to the gate as they were closing the doors. Auckland airport's layout is a mess, and Air New Zealand's reputation in our eyes will be severely tarnished! I would never hesitate to use Relaxing Journeys in the future, though our travel "bucket list" has many other destinations before we return to New Zealand. I have, however, already recommended Relaxing Journeys to several prospective New Zealand visitors, one of whom is actively planning a Christmas 2018 tour.
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5
01/02/2018
Outstanding itinerary from Marie! The logistics to work out were many but she did it and we hit all the high notes of this beautiful spectacular country in two weeks. The people were kind, friendly and welcoming.They clearly love and embrace their country and are very respectful of the Maori indigenous people that were the first settlers. So much history in this small country to learn and how the people have adapted to this land of many volcanoes. Highly recommend this company for very good prompt service and value.
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5
19/01/2017
Everything was well-organized.
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5
20/04/2016
Our tour consultant, Mani, was spot on with how organized and efficient he was as he helped us to plan an 18 day trip of a lifetime! Once we arrived in NZ, we smiled throughout each and every day as we traveled from Auckland to Queenstown and back again. We had no stress throughout our vacation, since everything was clearly listed and explained in the itinerary, vouchers were provided in advance, and all of our transportation was efficient and on time. Trains, buses, shuttles, planes, and boats amazingly ran on time! Every hotel was expecting us when we arrived, and the management provided friendly service upon arrival everywhere we went. We saw so many things, learned a great deal, and tried all kinds of fun and adventurous activities. Everyone in my group was happy from the first day until the last. The natural beauty in New Zealand is breathtaking, but the friendly people everywhere we went really made our trip special. We hated to leave New Zealand! Queenstown and Wellington were highlights! We were especially blown away by the knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides and even the bus drivers who were so proud of their region and loved sharing what they knew about the geography, landforms and colorful history. Our group ranged in age from 18 to 61, and there was something to make everyone happy each day. Zip trekking in Queenstown was exhilarating! I came home saying, \"no worries,\" since I heard this many times as concierges, tour operators, guides, and waitstaff worked with a smile to meet any needs we had along the way. I highly recommend Relaxing Journeys. Their service is well worth it and should be commended!
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5
12/03/2014
If you have limited time and a limited budget this is a great independent tour of New Zealand. My friends in Auckland commented that I had seen more of their country than they have. I purchased the budget choice of hotels/motels/lodges and they were all better than what you would get in the U.S. All were within walking distance to activities and provided friendly, helpful service. Every connection and transfer arranged by Relaxing Journeys was on time and without problems. Every bus and train ride had great drivers who gave comprehensive info about the sights. This was by far the best trip of my life and would love to go back. Thanks Relaxing Journeys!
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5
11/03/2013
The help before my tour was first class! The tour itself was excellent! Every detail was covered. The coaches were always punctual and the drivers very helpful. Most drivers also gave commentaries and allowed for photo stops. The hotels were all good value and comfortable. (There was a slight hitch in Welllington, but this was resolved in a couple of hours. Also the taxi driver in Dunedin had not realised that the coach station had moved, but when I phoned International coaches the manager, Graham rescued 7 of us!) I would definitely use Relaxing Journeys again, and am very happy to recommend you.
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5
06/02/2013
Our custom tour through New Zealand was quite perfect. There were even a few items added that we hadn't asked for, and these enhanced our experience even more. Relaxing Journeys made it very easy to customize our wishes; everything worked perfectly and efficiently.
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5
08/04/2012
This was our first tour that we have ever done, and our first time out of our country of US in about 15 years. This trip, which for us included New Zealand, Australia and Fiji, has been a bucket list dream trip for us 8 years in the planning. So of course we had high expectations for it. There were many details to have in place to make this 3 country trip work. I put a lot of faith in Relaxing Journeys that they would make the New Zealand trip enjoyable and easy. We really didn't have many specific things we wanted to do, but we did have a few. We put ourselves at the mercy of your tour consultants to put together a great package for us, and I am very happy to say, we were not disappointed. We originally worked with Toni, who was great to work with. She had great communications with me during the planning process, was very responsive to my questions, and was very helpful. Just before the start of our trip, our tour was taken over by Michelle, who we also found to be very helpful and easy to work with. We also had a few financial communications with Frances who we found very helpful and easy to work with. So Kudos to your staff. They were all great. As for the trip, we absolutely were very impressed with the whole thing, beginning to end. All of the transfers, pick ups, and transportation arrangements were flawless, on time and all of the drivers were very friendly and nice. We really found all of the people in New Zealand to be extraordianarily friendly, which was very refreshing for us, because it's not always that way in the US. You would expect to have one or two little glitches in transportation, but we had none. It was great. For the most part, most of our hotel accomodations were very nice. There were probably 2-3 hotels that were not so great. But the people were friendly. The Kingsgate hotel in Wellington was old and not so great, the Kingsgate in Rotorura was just OK. All the rest of the hotels were very good. We loved the excursions that were part of our tour package, and we liked the flexibility and free time built in to do our own thing. I think for us, doing the independent tour was a good choice, because on the organized excursions that we did have, the tour guides were very informative. But we also like doing some things of our interest on our own. And some of these things we discovered once we got to the particular city. The highlights of your tour for us were the Tamaki Maori village trip with Hangi feast and concert in Rotorua, the Waitomo Caves and Glowworm Grotto excursion, the TranzAlpine train trip across Arthur Pass, the Skyline gondola ride in Queenstown, and the Milford Sound cruise. While we did enjoy all the the excursions included in your tour, the above listed ones were our favorites. We came away from the trip feeling like we had really seen the best of New Zealand both on the North and South islands. We have many great memories and pictures to share with family and friends and we owe you a great deal of thanks for making our dream vacation as great as we hoped it would be. Despite many long bus rides, I can't really think of too many things I would change. We are very happy customers and would highly recommend your tour and your company to others. It was an overall great experience beginning to end. Thank you all so much.
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5
26/03/2012
This is a wonderful journey for my husband and I. The most impressive thing was the flawless transportation arrangements - all pickup & drop offs of the shuttles were on time, and so was the coach. We did not have to call any of them to re-check, they just came when they were due. We selected 'Gold' accommodation - while most of them are well worth the money in terms of conveninent location and top class service, a couple of them are below our expectations as the premises are aging and certainly need a touch up. Prior to the trip we compared the tours with a few other companies but none of them can provide a package as tailored as we want, except Relaxing Journey. Our travel consultant, Toni, had patiently answered all my queries and gave great suggestions. Just right before I'm about to confirm the itinerary and make the payment, I was recommended by a friend to insert a couple activities into the already-packed schedule. We had to keep at the originally planned number of days as I had to report back to work right after the trip. Toni had no hesitation & immediately found out the possibilities and amended the itinerary in the next day or so. I have highly recommended Relaxing Journey to a few colleagues, on the day I returned to work from our holiday.
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4
24/02/2012
We have completed a wonderful journey in your country. The people were wonderful and the scenery absolutely fabulous, as promised when we spoke over the phone, I am writing to you to give you our feedback of the overall journey. The logistics worked superbly, all transfers and tour were on time or ahead of time (two exceptions I will cover later). The coach drivers commentary about the country were very instructive and helpful. Our favorite attraction was Milford Sound and the Fox Glacier helicopter tour - both were stunning and we will remember them all our lives. Best accommodation - Wellington and Napier (at both we had ocean views from our room). Accommodation to improve - Christchurch, good to take a plane the next day but otherwise nothing to do around but being stuck in the hotel and the facilities are average. Areas for improvement. A small point, to cross on the ferry in Wellington and connect with the train you receive one combined voucher that is kept by the ferry operator, when you get to the train station they require a voucher that you no longer have. The solution would be to issue a separate voucher for each. If I had to redesign the tour I would stop in Dunedin spend an extra day and fly from there to Auckland rather than spend a day by bus to go to Christchurch to take a plane for Auckland. The handling of suitcases by the bus driver, train and ferry is tough on the luggages. I had a fairly new luggage that had both handled cut and broken to a point where it became unusable and I had to buy a new one in Dunedin. We had two small incidents that had no lasting consequences. The first was on our way to Waitomo, the bus luggage compartment openned while running and the suitcases went out flying. Our luggage were not impacted but were delayed 45 minutes. The second was an accident with the bus ( minor ) and we needed to have the bus replace ( in a small town before Queenstown ), lost 2 hours . Overall we had a great time and I want to thank you again for the great work you did for us in working together to set it up.
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5
08/02/2012
The entire trip was fantastic. This was my first time in New Zealand, and I didn't have time to plan my own trip, so this tour was perfect for me. The independent tour gave me everything I wanted - all of the transportation and accomodation was all set up, even some local tours in different cities, and I also had free time to explore each city on my own, do things that I wanted to do. All of the transportation was on time, we never had any problems, all the hotels except one was right in the middle of the city, perfect location to get to all the main town events. It was totally stress-free.
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5
17/01/2012
I was going to write to you anyway to thank you for an excellent tour. Everything worked very smoothly and I was always met at every place for transfers. Hotels were very comfortable and well run. Breakfasts really good. (I had a fantastic room in Queenstown). Buses were on time and the drivers gave just about the right information as we travelled along. Very interesting usually. I did enjoy the tours and Maori evening and feasts very much in Rotorua. A small criticism would be that we felt we were rather rushed from one tour to another - it would have been nice to have had a bit longer at the Agridome and Rainbow Springs. The whole trip absolutely suited me and I'd love to do it all over again! I liked the flexibility of putting in extra days when required. I had a great time with a friend in Dunedin and seeing the Otago Peninsula.
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5
19/10/2011
Apart from Relaxing Journeys having been recommended to us by a friend, we felt we were in for a good time because of all the careful and friendly 'handling' prior to the trip. We weren't disappointed, in fact, we were overwhelmed by how well everything went and how good a time we had. NZ is such a beautiful and friendly country, your choice of hotels and excursions showed the country off at its best. We have already passed on your details to two groups of friends who are planning a visit and if we are ever lucky enough to go back to NZ, we shall definitely be contacting you.
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4
30/12/2010
The trip was awesome - everything we hoped it would be. Magnificent scenery and friendly people. All transfers, coach and train rides, and activities went smoothly and were just as had been described. Working with Toni Harris at Relaxing Journeys was a pleasure. She was patient, accommodating, and quick to respond to my questions and concerns. While many of the New Zealand tour companies offered similar trips, I chose Relaxing Journeys because of the experience I had planning our adventure with Toni. I'd be happy to share my experience with others interested in similar trips. It was hard to leave this beautiful country. Thank you for making this trip so 'relaxing'.
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4
05/12/2010
We would first like to commend the efficiency of the voucher system, and how smoothly all connections were made. The coach drivers, excursion guides, and hotel staff we met everywhere were courteous and very helpful in offering suggestions on sights we should see during our free days. The only potential mishap was on our last day on our way from Dunedin to Christchurch when a vehicle accident (not involving us) delayed our arrival to the airport for the flight to Auckland; however, we did arrive with about five minutes to spare so everything worked out. As for the Independent Coach Tour itself, we would have to rate it in the top two overseas vacations we have yet taken. The itineray was perfect in giving us a good overview of your spectacular country. We only wish we had at least one more day to spend at each destination. The excursions were all fun and educational, including the ones we added to those that were included in the Tour package. One thing that especially caught our attention was the extreme cleanliness just about everywhere we visited, from clean public bathrooms which seemed to be everywhere to the total lack of litter on the roadsides. The only litter we can recall seeing was a minor amount on the plaza in front of the famed Cathedral in Christchurch following the take down of the Farmers Market the day we were there. Yours is a very tidy, clean and well managed country. As for food, we had the best chicken and veggie penne we ever tasted in a small restaurant just two blocks from the New Zealand Capitol Building in Wellington, and some of the best fish and chips at Fox Glacier. It is curious though that New Zealand (and Aussie) wines are cheaper in the States than in the area closer to their origin. Finally, we do want to commend the weather man who delivered us fair weather 80 to 85 percent of the time on the tour. Overall it was a glorious visit and we would advise anyone to make the same independent coach tour of New Zealand, only that they double the time. We will likely be back to visit within a few years.
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5
27/11/2010
Your travel arrangements were perfect. Each step of the travel process - i.e. each voucher that we came to - was executed flawlessly. We are extremely grateful for the precision with which your planning and scheduling worked for us. It relieved us of all concerns as we made our way through your beautiful country. We were particularly impressed with the people involved in your hospitality industry -bus and taxi drivers, hotel staff, all others were kind and friendly to us. The drivers for both Great Sights NZ and Intercity/Newman were well-informed and very willing to share with us relevant information about the areas through which we were traveling. We recognize the 'touristy' nature of Rotorua, but particularly enjoyed the Agrodome Show and the Tamaki Village hangi and concert. Our driver for Tamaki Tours - Natta, we believe - is absolutely brilliant! He learnt and remembered the names and nationalities of all 45 or so passengers on the trips to and from the village and used this memory to amuse and entertain us along the way. He made it a fun 'international' experience. Thanks to you, Toni and Relaxing Journeys, for your good work. We would hope to come again (and use your service again) some time in the future.
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5
08/11/2008
I meant to write you after our trip to New Zealand last fall that you arranged for us. You were so helpful every step of the way, with all our individual changes and requests, AND the trip itself was perfect. There was not a single snafu. Everything was perfect, every transfer on time, ever hotel expecting us, and so forth. Anyway many, many thanks!! We had a wonderful time and hope to return some day.
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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 14 Day New Zealand Escape

14 Day New Zealand Escape
Coach & Fly Tour
Tour Code: RJ320
From (NZD) $3819 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: Feb 2018 to May 2019
Rating:
17 reviews (4.8/5)

A combination of unique activities and leisure time makes up this extensive tour. We've made it easy with a return flight from Christchurch for those ... Read More

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New Zealand Escape | 14 Day New Zealand Coach & Fly Tour
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