Enjoyed most of it, especially Rotorua. Fabulous countryside. Vale and Monica were great - love that NZ dry sense of humour! Hotels were mainly great (Travelodge Wellington room was minuscule, but fine for one).
We really enjoyed the tour. Our tour director, Phil, was excellent. He was a walking encyclopedia about New Zealand, very kind and helpful. The only suggestion I have is to get some different name tags. The little safety pin was very hard to put on and it was always crooked. A lanyard would be much better.
We had very good time touring New Zealand with AAT Kings. The tour was very organized by the tour director, Sarah and an excellent driver Monica to make the road trip fun and exciting. We also lucky that we had good weather and a fantastic group of companions to travel with. The itinerary and hotels met our expectation, but some excursions were expensive. We did only couple excursions and tour the cities on foot by ourselves. We enjoyed every minutes of the tour and have lots of pictures to show for (approximate 6000 pictures.)
We were very happy with AAT Kings the holiday was fabulous. Did not have to do anything. The tour guides Susie and Monica were excellent. I was very happy with Toni and excellent communication from the onset of inquiry to booking through the process. Certainly will travel again with you guys and would recommend you. The only thing was I forgot that I was staying the first night in Christchurch post tour and fronted the first evening at drinks to be told we were starting on the next night/days tour. That was my mistake.
Everything was GREAT !! Toni with Relaxing Journeys did a great job in helping us put things together. She kept us informed of everything we needed to know from our initial inquiry in late July '17 until our departure from Texas to New Zealand on March 10th. The AAT Kings tour was great in selection of what it covered, in the selection of lodging and meals, and most of all in the selection and training of our Tour Director, Susie Ferkins and our coach driver Monica Bonji. They both were very knowledgeable and were great at handling all things related all activities relater to daily activities.
Some hotels need air conditioning installed as it was too hot to sleep. The evening food was monotonous for the first few evenings and was never served hot. N.Z. is not a tipping culture so we were surprised that the guide and driver expected tips and gave a suggested amount we would have tipped without being told but were offended by this attitude. However the guide and driver were both excellent at their jobs and were good representatives for the company.
Unfortunately the weather was not so kind and we didn't get to see some of the main attractions, but that's not your fault. Thought the 2 day trip from Dunedin to Christchurch via Omarama was a waist of time and that it would be better to do Dunedin to Christchurch direct and use the extra time to include Bay of Islands as part of the trip.
It was easy to arrange a tour for my mom. I am glad I contacted the right company. Having another stay in the same room for one day after the tour for free including breakfast was very comfortable for me as mom required some time to rest after the trip. Many thanks.
Both the tour director and the driver were incredibly knowledgable and so helpful. They both went above and beyond to make sure everyone had a great holiday. This is definitely a good trip if you want a snap shot of both islands so that you can come back and explore further areas later. We saw a lot of NZ, but didn't get the chance to stay in many areas we'd have liked to for long. However, it was a brilliant way to find the areas that I did like so when I come back I know where to go! Some of the hotels were brilliant and some could do with a little improvement, but you need to remember that this is the cheapest way to tour around NZ and for the price I can not complain! Booking this holiday could not have been made more easy and the whole way through, everything was very clear and everyone went out of their way to make sure your journey was as easy as possible. There are some early starts and some days you spend a lot of time on the coach, so just be prepared for that. Overall, it was a great holiday and i'd recommend NZ to everyone. Amazing place and brilliant people!
Really enjoyed our holiday, hotels central and comfortable. Breakfasts plenty of choice for everyone. Evening meals variable, good mixture of ages and nationalities. Driver really helpful and stored all our luggage and good rapport. Guide really informative about all the places we visited. Packed a lot in a short time.
Absolutely a wonderful journey of the scenery and culture of New Zealand. The tour booked with Relaxing Journeys was so well organized. All of the hotel stays and guided coach tours through both the North and the South Islands were set up for us so we could, as the name of the company implies, relax!!! The hotels were clean and comfortable and the food was fabulous. It was fun to taste the New Zealand cuisines in the hotels. The staff at each hotel was welcoming, friendly and helpful. The daily coach rides on our fourteen day tour were fun and informative! Our Tour Director Sarah was delightful and informative. She was well organized and made sure we were comfortable as we traveled through the townships and scenery. She made surprising stops that were not on the schedule way to show us New Zealand's hidden jewels,
Some hotels were very good while others were just about average. As for vegetarian food, much improvement is needed. The sit-down dinner at the hotel in Blenheim was excellent even for vegetarians. The quality of the meals at Cordis were also very good, and a wide selection was available for vegetarians.
Every thing went well, the tour was well planned and accommodation very good. Some small issues with the after tour accommodation with having to change rooms or pay upgrade and some minor errors with names on the hotel doc's. Other than that all good, met interesting people and enjoyed ourselves.
We enjoyed the itinerary that you set out for us. Katie Lupton did a very good job and well organised. She has a good personality and always taking good care of us. We were impressed with her knowledge and tour guide. Our coach driver, Mark also was a good driver and took good care of elderly people every time they stepping off the bus. We really had a wonderful time.
The journey was long and landscape becomes somewhat monotonous after a while, although still lovely to look at. Tour director's voice becomes monotonous when he speaks at great lengths and dulls the tired mind. There are too many optional tours that one would have thought some of them should have been included in the tour package. The Tour director was thoughtful about planning path to be accessible by wheelchair on and off boats and events to participate in activities.
The tour guide and driver were incredible. They both were very knowledgeable about the locations and just general information about New Zealand. And of course they were both also very helpful and friendly and good sense of humor. I really enjoyed meeting all the new people in our tour. I enjoyed the majority of the tour options especially the Maori dinner. It would've been nice to have a little more prior information about the towns we were visiting in case we wanted to do a different activity than those that were shared with us. I know providing too much of information can be overwhelming but maybe just a website to the town's visitor center or chamber of commerce would be nice for those who want to look through it and get other ideas to plan ahead. I could've skipped the sheep ranch included activity and would've preferred to spend that time at the Maori center in Rotorua. The bus was great transportation, plenty of legroom, great views out the window, I appreciated the free Wi-Fi, comfortable ride. All the hotel rooms were very nice. The food is what I expected for both the dinner and breakfast.
The overall coach trip was really good. The tour director and driver were excellent. The hotel rooms were impressive but in some instances lacked a bath. I felt that it would be relaxing after a long day to have a bath.
Tania was the best tour guide we have ever had (and we've had a few)...She really knew her stuff and seemed to really care about all of us...New Zealand was beautiful and even though the pace was quick (we knew it would be before we booked), we got to see most of New Zealand...Highly recommend this tour and this tour guide and driver, Monica, who was friendly and safe.
This tour was a great introductory tour to New Zealand. It allowed us to see a huge amount of the country and get a taste of almost everywhere. We got the opportunity to do some things I know we'd not have done if we planned the trip all on our own. It was also great having someone else drive us around on those unfamiliar roads. Cons: It was a lot of time on the bus, and there were quite a few places we'd have liked to have more time at. We also arrived later in the day to almost every city, so the shops and stores where closed. But, we did the tour in winter, so it might not be the case in summer.
Had a great time with the 46 others on the South Island tour and the 20+ on the North Island. Travel Director Kevin (and driver Geoff) soon had us all gelling well as a group. It was great to see so much and get a lot of information as well but some of the starts were very early and some of the days had very long journeys.
I rate this tour 'excellent' because: it was very well organised at all times, the arrangements were very reliable, I felt safe and secure, plus the tour manager was very very good at his job. As a lone woman traveller, I felt included and welcome. I chose this tour because it went to all the places I wanted to go and fitted in with my travel dates - that all worked out very well. Lastly, my group of 30 was very friendly.
Overall the tour was amazing. As I haven't done a coach tour before I found the pace tiring but the extra days in one place kept it all in balance. I wanted to see as much as possible in the time I had and it certainly delivered. The organisation was great, accommodation ranged from good to just ok (ibis not good especially in Rotorua). Boat trip on Milford Sound was amazing only disappointment was sharing 4 to cabin (not made clear on booking) when had opted for twin share. Inclusive visits all good. Extra excursions great but more info on what is available if you don't partake would be useful.
Over all this was a very good tour. There were times when we as, New Zealanders, felt a little more time in some places and less in others would have given more balance to the tour for the overseas visitors. However I realise this is very difficult as there is only so much one can show in a short time. Meals and hotels were excellent we've been on five bus tours before in Europe and UK and meals and hotels did not come up to the same standard of this New Zealand Tour.
The group got too large with 49 people on the bus after Christchurch. The trips from Queenstown to Franz Josef to Christchurch were too long and monotonous with excessive time spent on the bus. There is got to be a way to optimize.
Dexter was an excellent guide and Nathan was an extremely competent, safe driver. The locations on the tour were excellent and all of the hotels were very good for location, cleanliness, comfort and food. Overall the tour was fantastic and enjoyable and we would certainly recommend AAT Kings / Relaxing Journeys to family, friends and colleagues.
Shame about the rain in Milford Sound and not seeing the Franz Josef glacier due to bad weather but the rest of the tour was very good. The drive into and out of Milford Sound and then on to Queenstown made for a rather long day sitting down all day. I would have liked to go back to Te Anau and spent another night there. The tour guide and driver were superb at their jobs. Very knowledgeable and organised.
We had a great trip to New Zealand with a good travel director Sarah and Dexter. Driver was Nathan and he was great. Thank you to AAT Kings and Relaxing Journeys (Maria) for making a good trip in New Zealand.
The tour was well organised, accommodation great. The driver, Nathan (aka Pumbaa), and tour guide, Dexter, were brilliant. Nathan's driving was second to none and Dexter's knowledge on New Zealand was amazing. Nothing was too much trouble and there was a great atmosphere on the coach.
Good hotels and meals. Excellent new coach and superb driver. Tour guide very knowledgeable and helpful. Very well organised arrangements. Well planned stops and outings. Nice to have baggage handling done. Perfect.
Our tour guide and driver were a little quiet the first 2-3 days and some of us discussed whether to complain as there was no \"personality\" from our hosts at front of the bus, however, we decided to give it time as we learned they didn't know each other. As the tour went along things improved and all was well. The tour itself e.g. hotels, meals, bus & driver, tour guide and commentary, scenery, meals, lunch stops and the like were mostly very good. Many of us said there wasn't enough time in the small towns to look around, sometimes just grab a quick lunch and get back on the bus as we had much mileage to cover, understandable. Much of the South Island was cold, rainy and covered in fog during our trip so flights booked didn't happen, but the scenery was absolutely amazing everywhere we went and included tours were all great. My fellow travellers were a fabulous group of people from the world over and everyone got on well and spent time with each other, no matter who they were, so that made the trip very enjoyable as well. I would certainly recommend everyone should take an AAT Kings Tour at least once in their lifetime!
New Zealand is a wonderful country made up of a rich history and breathtaking scenery. For the most part, the hotels were good, the food was good, the activities both included in the package and optional were fun and exciting. The coach was clean and pleasant. However the tour guide, Katie, was exceptional...friendly, helpful, with a wonderful command of the history of the cities and areas we visited. Paul, our coach driver was also terrific. If I had one suggestion it would be to visit one or two cities for 2 days rather than one, and cut down the time spent on the coach.
Excellent tour director and driver. Itinerary well thought out. Would prefer less buffet meals, more fixed menu type meals. Optional extras were unexpectedly high and not accurate pricing on the handed out sheets. We would have liked to know these prices in advance but had a fabulous time anyway.
Fantastic tour. Will definitely recommend to all. Huge thank you to director Isabel who was so informative and made it so much fun. Thank you driver Craig who kept us safe. Also all the other passengers. You were a wonderful and fun group. We have great memories of our very first coach tour.