The connection to the tour in Christchurch was very disappointing. Linda was happy & fine. We expected to have our backpacks early to divide our baggage. Eventually discovered ours behind the reception desk. All very awkward on the first morning with driver Ross trying to sort some missing baggage .
Ross is a very safe & knowledgeable driver. We didn't enjoy the train trip in Dunedin very ordinary. Would have preferred walking around to view the architecture.
Some hotels could have been better choice. Same breakfast every day, not much choice for vegetarian meals were disappointed. Only couple of hotel went out of their way to make vegetarian meals one was in Christchurch .
Ross our coach driver was fantastic very informative and really made the trip so enjoyable. His local knowledge and funny stories were great. We only did a tour of the South Island this time but will definitely be back to do the North Island also. We had a great mix of like minded people which was really good as we haven't done a group tour before. All in all a very memorable holiday that we would recommend to anyone. We were greeted at the airport and made to feel very welcome from the first minute. Kirra transfers were great. The gift also came in very handy as we didn't have a backpack or umbrella - you guys thought of everything. Thanks again Marie and Kirra.
The tour exceeded our expectations. Kirra Tours did a fantastic job from picking us up at the airport, busing us around both islands to bringing us back to the airport safely. The fact that David was both driver, guide and our sole contact during the trip, made our sightseeing and excursions easy and very informative. He was an excellent driver, very knowledgeable, funny, calm, and at the same time let us sit back and enjoy the surroundings.
Whilst overall the tour with Kirra was excellent and all the hotels and food very good, it was extremely disappointing to have all three rail journeys cancelled due to acts of Mother Nature. The coach driver did his best to compensate but it meant spending more days in the coach than we had anticipated and some of the days were very long and tiring leaving no time to explore new areas. It also meant that some of the promised activities were impossible due to time restrictions, i.e. the vineyard visit in Marlborough. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Kirra Tours but would hope that Mother Nature behaved herself better!
At the beginning I was afraid if I have chosen the right tourist company for my trip in New Zealand I have dreamed two years long about. But short time after we have started to communicate together I was sure you are a seriously company. The trip through South and North Islands in New Zealand was very, very well organised and everything was on a good level. Hotels are ok in good places, coach (captain) attended to everybody on the group, every day was full with visiting new interesting sightseeing. The atmosphere between us in the group was very friendly. I want to express my thanks to you and I could say that New Zealand I will keep in my heart as a treasure memory in my life. You have to be proud to live in one wonderful country kissed by god. I have already visited 52 countries and I tell you really, New Zealand is a jewel of the world. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!
We so enjoyed our tour, the scenery was stunning, every day a new experience, on the whole the accommodation was very good, our driver was informative which enhanced the enjoyment of the scenery. The highlights would be Milford Sound, Queenstown and so much more, everywhere we went the people were friendly and helpful. My only problem was the early rising but understand the need for this so we could pack in so much. The motel in Omarama tired and in need of modernisation.
I was very happy with the planned places to visit. I took in an overall picture of New Zealand with the terrain, sights, people and history. Our Coach driver, Trevor, was organized, polite, patient, knowledgeable and a good story teller. The accommodation varied but overall was excellent. We had a couple of drizzly days but then it was NZ! (Ed. Ouch! Lol)
A great holiday, enabling us to see the sights of South Island, without having to drive ourselves over a vaste area. The coach driver's skills were excellent I thought, as I can suffer from travel sickness, particularly towards the back of a coach, but I had no problems whatsoever. Suitcases were collected/delivered without trouble. It would have been nice to have had more time in the various locations, to look about us more, but I suppose the number of kilometres to be covered preclude this. South Island is such a big area to cover.
We had a great time with Kirra Tours. The driver was so good and very knowledgeable. Our first hotel in Christchurch (Sudima) was way out by the Airport, so a little hard to access downtown. The hotel is under renovations, our first night there was not real pleasant, no air conditioning, the bed was not very comfortable, and the carpets were filthy. Our second stay there was much better. Newly renovated room. I think Kirra has to make sure they get the best available rooms for the group, not necessarily accepting second best. Our hotel in Auckland had great rooms, but the food services were very slow. Fore the most part it was a great tour with lots of great included activities.
Dennis was an excellent driver/tour guide. He had obviously researched many locations along our tour and was able to tell us so much about the territory we were passing through. He went over and above what one would expect. He also handled an emergency health issue experienced by one of our travellers exceptionally well. I believe that all were more than happy with his efforts. Some accommodation was a little lower standard than others. The room my cousin and I occupied at Rydges Hotel, Queenstown was close to some equipment that sounded during the night so we had disturbed sleep. It sounded like the TSS Earnslaw! (RJ. Maybe it was! :)
Thank you for your email. And the opportunity to give feedback. I have to admit that we were rather nervous about booking a coach tour so far away, but with Kirra Tours I think we made the right choice! The tour was well planned & the pace comfortable as stated! The tour 'captain' 'Andrew' was very professional & made sure that we had the best time! He simply was a 'tonic' he came across as a person who cared for & truly loves his country! And we feel privileged that we were there to be part of it. He is a source of information. We thoroughly loved New Zealand & we definitely will be back hopefully. Thank you again Mani & Kirra tours.
A good way to see everything in New Zealand, but not really enough spare time for us to do things. Guess you cannot have everything. All hotels clean but some very tired and more like 1960's motels. Some were great eg Auckland. Food good in some places but only adequate in others. Wifi was a real pain in some hotels - even if you could get access, it was flaky or some things didn't work. Rydges hotels very good for wifi. Hotels in NZ really need to join the 21st century. Included tours generally very good and interesting, and Kirra don't try to charge commission on the optional items. Driver very knowledgable about NZ culture and history, but Kirra expect him to drive and organise - this did lead to some confusion at times as it was too much for one person. Would visit NZ again but would probably do our own thing, focusing on the places we liked on this trip. At least you drive on the correct side of the road.
Thanks to relaxing Journeys and Kirra tours for a thoroughly enjoyable and well organised tour. Our brilliant coach captain Ross who is one of Kirra's gems kept us entertained and well informed. If there was any question he could not answer he did his best to find out. My wife and I would definitely use Relaxing Journeys and Kirra again.
This tour is ideal for seniors. Our coach captain, Trevor, was excellent, having great knowledge and patience. He added his own personal touch to the tour making the experience most entertaining. All accommodation was very good at all locations, and the meals were top class! We felt pampered! We were disappointed to miss out on Haast Pass, the Fox glacier and the Trans-Alpine train due to a land slip.
This was a well organised, well thought out tour. The 'Coach Captain' Trevor was a great source of local knowledge and extremely capable at the unassuming management of any issues as they arose. It was disappointing that Hasst Pass was closed, precluding the trip through it to Fox Glacier, the glacier tour and especially missing out on the Transalpine Rail trip - but we have to accept being subject to matters out of our hands. The touring group was a nice mix of people with no 'problem' characters - leading to a pleasant time on the coach and at other times. Thank you for a very satisfactory and reasonably priced experience.
Excellent tour overall. Had a great tour guide as well as a good set of people. Highlights Queenstown; Te Anau, Milford Sound, Ferry from Wellington to Picton. Would have like more time at Wanaka rather than having to go to Puzzle world which if staying there would be a good use of time but not on a limited tour. Also too much time at Rotourua - could have spent more time at Taupo. Accommodation was mostly really good and the seamless arrangements by Kirra was also a highlight. Overall good value for money and tailored appropriately for the diversity of participants.
We had a wonderful holiday with Kirra Tours. We can't believe the value of the holiday which included so many excursions such as boat trips, special dinners, visits to super attractions - too many to list. The organisation was tip top right from our internet booking to the everyday planning. New Zealand stole our hearts. Thank you so much.
Fabulous time. Only 9 on tour. The small coach on the North Island was very uncomfortable and ended up buying something from the Opshop to sit on! Trevor the coach driver didn't seem to know the North Island very well as we understand this is a new concept of one driver for the tour. The commentary was lacking and we were left to find our own way back from the geysers in Rotorua. Things improved on South Island, a big Kirra bus was waiting and so comfortable! The commentary improved and obviously Trevor was much more comfortable on home ground. His organisation of the options was excellent here. We were dropped at Sudima in Christchurch and did not have the welcome we received everywhere else. The holiday ended abruptly!
As it was my first tour, I found the organized days a wonderful experience. The tour was to both the North and South Islands. The driver and leader of the tour was excellent - Ross Bridgeman. His knowledge of history of both islands was superb. He respected the uniqueness of each person, and his directions were always clear. The occasions when extra activities were on the timetable, he arranged for the tickets, and collected them for us. You are very lucky to have Ross in the team.
This was my first coach tour. Kirby was really helpful and patient overcoming any difficulties and answering any of my questions. The Coach Driver/Captain Trevor was great - also helpful and patient. The quality of hotels in some places was very disappointing given the cost of the tour - of the hotels, 50% were disappointing, 50% were great. The tour pace was fine - although at times too many stops at cafes/gift shops and not enough time at other scenic places during the day (I felt a bit exploited money-wise in that sense) As for the tour itself - South Island is spectacular; it's definitely long enough; there are heaps of things to see; it really is a breathtaking country. Overall, Kirra did a good job, and Relaxing Journeys were good, too. We had a great group of people to tour round with which also made for a great trip. Unfortunately my schedule did not allow time to have done the North Island trip beforehand - which most of our party had undertaken - but in retrospect it didn't matter as South Island was enough - still processing all that beauty! I have seen the NI before (independently) and would have been happy to see it again but just the SI certainly sufficed. If you're looking to book a trip you could do a lot worse than book with Kirra/Relaxing Journeys and overall our party deemed it a successful trip and I would consider using Kirra/Relaxing Journeys again. It's good if you're single or a couple, too.
The 16 Day Classic Vista tour of both islands was excellent. The tour was extremely organised. The driver/guide was very knowledgeable, extremely helpful and approachable. The hotels were very comfortable and well situated. The activities which were included in the tour were excellent. Some of my tour highlights were the visit to the Tamaki Maori Village, Milford Sound and the tour to the Larnach Castle in Dunedin. I will definitely recommend this tour to anyone wanting to see as much as possible of both islands in a small space of time. This was definitely one of my best holiday experiences.
This was the most incredible trip I have ever been on! Accomodation was excellent throughout our time. Trevor our coach driver was brilliant - extremely informative, good sense of humour but had a real thing about 'yet another squashed possum'! I met some lovely people, saw amazing, breathtaking scenery and even got the chance to fly up to a glacier in a helicopter! The service from the moment I first found the Relaxing Journeys' website was second to none and Kirby my tour consultant left me feeling like a personal friend by the time everything was sorted. I'm not normally easily satisfied but I seriously can't fault a single thing to do with this trip - even the weather behaved itself :-) Thank you, thank you, thank you.
We found the tour really great. Made many new friends. Coach Captain (Reece) was very informative giving running commentaries and assistance. This was a first for us and are willing to do again. Kind of felt that because the group was small, it made the trip even more memerable.
We both had a really wonderful time in New Zealand and Kirra looked after us very, very well. We would recommend it to everyone. Everything went very smoothly. Food and accommodation were very nice. Lovely country - but didn't see any of the thousands of rabbits we were told by Hugh, our south island tour driver and honest Kelvin, our driver in the north. Loved Queenstown, Dunedin, Wellington, Milford Sound, Russell and the Bay of Islands. Bus tripping (for us novices) was great.
Thank you Georgie - you are amazing - you performed a miracle getting Tony and I on that tour at a days notice - haven't stopped telling people how you managed. We paid for the trip on Monday afternoon, our plane was leaving first thing Tuesday! Thank you, thank you. Our trip was just great - we had lots of fun and the people on the tour were most congenial.
What a great trip - hotels, staff and all the places we stopped at were of great interest. Rhys the coach driver was informative funny and very efficient. It was a most enjoyable 6 day journey with lots of good people, good food, fantastic scenery & good fun. Thank you to all concerned.
It was a great tour but NZ didn't turn on the best of weather for us. We never got to see the top of Mt Cook, and it rained in Milford Sound - the waterfalls were great to experience and we took about 45 snaps of them - they don't have the same impression when seen on our computer screen. We couldn't hear them thundering down the cliff face into the Sound in our photos! We have to say that the courtesy and service we received was second to none, from the suited cab driver who collected us at Christchurch airport to the humour, knowledge and skill of our tour driver. On the whole the hotels were very comfortable and the meals great. Our only disappointment was being put out into an annexe at Fox Glacier where the hotel room lacked several basic comforts. We would have liked to have spent more time in Christchurch, arriving there at 3pm the day before the tour didn't allow us the time to take advantage of the $99 deal the city has to offer to explore more thoroughly. Perhaps Christchurch could have a day of its own? At Shanty Town in Greymouth, how did you organise a wedding in the Chapel? Well done!! The wine tasting at Blenheim didn't live up to my expectations. I had visions of a greater variety on offer - maybe I'm just greedy. I had visions of people giving us the opportunity to sample many of the wines on sale. On the whole, John and I thoroughly enjoyed it, although we were both pretty exhausted on our return to day to day life. Perhaps we're getting a bit long in the tooth and our age needed a more sedate itinerary.
We had a fabulous time on this great tour, what a lovely country New Zealand is. We met lots of nice people on our coach from different countries and got on really well. In fact it was quite sad to say goodbye to all of them at the end. Are you doing any tours of Canada? Thank you for being there to help and answer our questions .Take care till the next time. (RJ - Yes, we will be doing tours of Canada - watch this space!)
I booked this tour because I had a limited window in which to explore the North Island (not enough time for both islands) and wanted a tour that would take me to the main sights without having to waste time finding them myself and sorting out my own accomodation. I was NOT disappointed. The small group (17 for most of the trip) were all friendly - although I was lucky that there was one other single traveller in my age group so I didn't feel isolated at all. The coach captain, Ross, was fantastic! His extensive knowledge and almost continuous commentary, along with the frequent sight-seeing and comfort stops, made the long journeys pass in no time. The hotels were all of a high standard, and the food very nice and plentiful - especially in the Paihia and Rotorua hotels. The highlight for me was the Bay of Islands. Stunning weather and scenery, and I thoroughly recommend the optional half-day plane flight to Cape Reinga through Salt Air. That experience will stay with me forever. Well worth the extra money. Of course there are a couple of things that could've improved the tour. The visit to Rainbow Springs in Rotorua was boring and a complete waste of time (nothing of interest to see, very contrived) and instead of having a free afternoon in Rotorua, which doesn't have much to offer as a city, we all agreed we would prefer to have spent more time in Taupo, where we only spent two hours as a lunch stop. An overnight stay there would've given us time to explore the town and area more. But thats my only complaint; otherwise it was a fantastic tour. I booked my tour through Relaxing Journeys. They (especially Georgina Walpole) were helpful, patient and thorough throughout the booking process, answering all my questions to help me find the tour that suited me best. Overall, a fantastic way of seeing the North Island if you are limited for time.
We enjoyed the tour - everything was well organised and accommodation was good (both in quality and locations). We appreciated the wealth of knowledge of the coach captain - that makes travel by this method so rewarding. We had a great time thank you. At one stage (the trip from Auckland to Bay of Is.) we had to use a replacement 20-seat bus while the coach was in for repair. The 20-seat bus was not very comfortable and should be avoided for longish trips if possible. It was partly for this reason that we declined an optional trip further north - did not want another day in a small bus.
Overall a reasonably good tour. However we wish the optional excursions had been better explained byt he driver/guide, as some proved to be costly and with hindsight we would not have taken up. For example we paid for the TranzAlpine train journey but having also been persuaded to take the Taiperi Gorge train trip too - felt it was inappropriate. They were similar and expensive in our opinion. Most people were keen to take a longer time at some places and perhaps include some guided walking. The trip was too sedentary; some walking with guides could have been included instead of the 'optional trips'. The driver Trevor was careful and drove well. The hotels were good as were the meals.
Thomas & Josephine Cantwell & Florance Martin (Ireland)
Thank you so much Relaxing Journeys for an amazing time. We thought the tour was fantastic from the first moment being collected from the airport to the end. The driver in the South island made us all feel really welcome and comfortable and made it easy to integrate with others on the tour. The changing of seats was particularly helpful I felt. We thought the South island in particular was amazing, scenery, activities, helicopter ride to glazier, hiking in Queenstown, Haggis in Dunedin & scenery up the East coast. All hotels were really nice and friendly, dinners and breakfasts were top of the range we thought. Activities at night were fun and varied! We thought the North island was great also, very different! We lost touch with a few people we had shared the tour with up until that point (including the bus driver!) so it was like starting again - a second holiday! Rotorua amazed us with its uniqueness - smell and volcanoes! Auckland was nice, lots to do, shopping etc, Bay of islands was a contrast to Auckland, really nice! You've treated us great, I would recommend you to anyone. You in particular Georgie were really helpful at the start answering all our questions. We were worried about handing over so much money over the internet as this is the first time we've done something like this - but you made us feel at ease from the start and we knew we could trust you. Thank you also for reducing the cost of our trip as we were traveling in a group of 3 and didn't want our friend to have to pay the single person hotel supplement - you sorted this out for us and she only shared for 1 week of the 15 days which was great! Thanks Goergie for everything, you, your company and your country for a trip of a lifetime - and not an overly expensive trip of a lifetime either! Thank you.
Wonderful tour. No complaints whatsoever. Both tour guides were great offering excellent commentary throughout mixed in with jokes here and there and lots of laughter. Food was very good, excellent breakfasts throughout - of course we both put on a little weight! New Zealand is a beautiful country and going on a bus tour was an excellent way of seeing the countryside with superb commentary. Georgie was an excellent representative of Relaxing Journeys, always answering my emails promptly with whatever concerns I had. If we ever get to Australia or New Zealand again we will certainly contact Relaxing Journeys and I will recommend them if any of our friends visit these two countries. Thank you all.
I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Both drivers were very knowledgeable and helpful, and everything ran smoothly. I appreciated being welcomed at the airport by Barbara, who also was at Rydges on morning 1 to make sure our pickup went well. The buses were very comfortable, and it was great having enough room to spread out, and having 2 doors made entry and egress quicker. The accommodation was largely excellent, although Fox Glacier Hotel was rather run down and views from some rooms were very ordinary. The hotel at Fiordland National Park was first class, with excellent views, but the buffet food, two nights running was just average. On the other nights I felt the food was most enjoyable and generous. The excursions were first class. I particularly enjoyed the Earnslaw steamer trip, and Walter Peak station was first class, with delicious food and fun entertainment. I would definitely recommend your company and trip to others. Thank you for offering such a quality product.
Our 15 day tour of New Zealand as provided by your company through Kirra tours was excellent. We enjoyed the sceneries, company, food, accommodations of our trip. The itinerary was very, very excellent and we couldn't ask for more. Our experiences make us breathless and in awe on the beauty of your country. We love both the South and the North. We will definitely recommend your company to my friends for their trip to New Zealand and Australia. We are already looking forward for an Australian tour somewhere where the Uluru or Ayers Rock is located. And of course we will definitely take your company to arrange our tour. Thank you so much and we wish you and your company more business. Keep up the good work.
I have been planning to visit New Zealand ever since my migration to Sydney. And my dream was to bring along my parents as part of our family reunion after being separated from them for some time (because they are still residing in Indonesia). Relaxing Journeys and Kirra Tours have definitely fulfilled my dream. The staff were professional, their choice of hotels were excellent, and the coach driver was very experienced & made the whole journey and our family reunion nothing but memorable.
I enjoyed the trip and driver was very informative and professional. Coach was comfortable and most of the hotels were good especially the Sudima. However the Angus was absolutely horrible! I also would have preferred that we stay in Napier and have some extra time to wander around. I was also disappointed when we arrived in Paihai to be offered another bus trip to go to the top of the North Island (the tour to take when you are already on tour). I did not think that on only the second day of tour we needed a whole day break, and would have liked a few more hours in Rotorua. Thought the itinerary was good and gave a good introduction to the North Island.
It was an excellent tour - right from where we were met by Barbara at Auckland Airport. Rydges Hotel excellent - in fact all accommodation and meals were very good. It all went very smoothly and we thoroughly enjoyed the whole tour - only complaint - not long enough. Will have to return.
It was an excellent holiday in all respects, wonderful scenery, good quality accommodation and food in every hotel on the tour in both North and South Islands. The excursions and additional events in the tour were all a great experience for us, Milford Sound cruise, Fox Glacier, Steam Train Ride , Rotorua and the Maori evening were just a few examples of the many memorable events. The whole holiday was very well organised and certainly lived up to our expectations. Our sincere thanks to you Georgie and your company for making it happen, it will be a holiday we will always remember.
We had a great time, coach was very comfortable and good commentary from Trevor. All accommodation and meals were very acceptable and met some very nice people. Over all a 9 out of 10. The only complaint we had was at Dunedin, the day tour we booked, the Nature tour where we supposed to have seen the castle gardens, Albatross and seals colony, we only got to see the seals as the bus left early, not at 2.30 as scheduled, so by the time they got other transport was getting late. We would have asked for a refund but time did not allow. We would recommend your tour to other people.
I am finally home and thought I would send an email to say how much I enjoyed the trip to the South Island of New Zealand. The driver - Trevor ? was excellent. I think he definitely added to the enjoyment as his knowledge of the area and people was outstanding, not to mention his driving skills on the narrow winding roads. (Particularly near Milford Sound) Everything was well organised and the timings were perfect, it could not have been better. If possible will you let Trevor know how much I enjoyed it, even though I was on my own and a little apprehensive at first, to say the least.
I just want to say thank you. The trip was wonderful, all the transfers went easily and I was amazed when they had the car ready for me to take from the train station. The trip was spectacular and the coach driver great at what he did during the tour. It was a very relaxing holiday and I have you to say thank you for that. So again thank you.
The tour was well planned, seat rotation very good as I get to see the scenery on both sides of the bus. John, our tour driver was very humorous and experienced and it was very enjoyable having him! There was enough time for us to visit the places and Kirra tours was great with the planning and package of pamphlets etc. Great lodgings and food too. Thanks!
Had a wonderful holiday saw everything I wanted to apart from Milford Sound due to bad weather. Great views spectacular. Gordon Purvis our driver and his accomplice Graeme were full of good humour and worked very hard. Made the trip for me as Gordon would point out amazing bits of interesting info as we were going along.