We definitely enjoy our trip with Relaxing Journeys. They provided a detailed itinerary for our trip. As long long as we read thru it, generally it will be a smooth sailing. We will definitely recommend Relaxing Journey to friends.
The trip went very smoothly, thanks to Relaxing Journeys who made all the arrangements. I had multiple transfers starting from Auckland to Rotorua to Taupo then Wellington, all pick-ups & transfers were on time, also the hotels arranged by Relaxing Journeys were v good & comfortable esp the Bolton Hotel in Wellington which had a kitchen & living room, plus 2 large double beds. I highly recommend using Relaxing Journeys when planning for NZ trip.
We had such an wonderful time on our trip. Thank you, Relaxing Journeys, for making it possible. We are returning customers. This is our second tour with Relaxing Journeys, both times on Independent Coach tours and we loved every bit of it. Everything was so easy and smooth-going, and arranged right down to airport transfers. All we had to do was to show up on time to be picked up, and off we went for another great tour. I would definitely recommend Relaxing Journeys for you next trip to New Zealand. Their tour consultants (in our case it was Toni, for our earlier trip Marie, for this later trip) were always responsive, patient and helpful. Thanks, guys.
I'm not a big fan of bus tours, have had some bad experiences in the past. I was not very convinced about this but me and my wife decided to take a tour over the South Island for a couple of reasons, one the time we had and two, we drive on a different side. What a nice surprise it turn out to be. The hotels they choose for us were nice and relaxing, the bus drivers were friendly and very informative and knowledgeable of every stop we were heading to. They were always right on time. The place we visited were amazing, Queensland, Christchurch, Milford Sounds were just breath taking. We which we had more time in New Zealand, but with the amount of day we had we are sure we took advantage of all that these places had to offer.
It was a little more bus time than I originally expected. Wished there was a bit more time in Franz Josef. All in all it was a great trip though. Really enjoyed the train. Mt. Cook and accommodations were excellent.
The booking process is quite smooth, especially with the help of Toni Harris. There were 12 of us traveling as a group with different arrival and departure times from various part of the world. Toni worked with me to get everything organized. There was no "bad" surprises throughout the 14 days. All the arrangements are well through out and hotel accommodations met our expectations.
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.
We LOVED our trip! Marie did a fabulous job, and would HIGHLY recommend you all to others. The only recommendations would be, to warn travelers that in Greymouth the transfer to the Franz Josef bus was very confusing. It was an Intercity bus not marked Franz Josef (only Fox); and the bus driver was not helpful (unlike all other New Zealanders we met who were wonderful). Also, if we were to do it again. We would choose our day " off" between the two days of very long bus rides. We LOVED Milford Sound, had gorgeous weather, and our time in Queenstown was beautiful. All in all, we loved the South Island, and are hopeful to return one day.
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to New Zealand. We loved the country and loved the people. Relaxing Journeys helped us choose a tour that ended up being perfect for us. Originally, I wanted to see as much of the country as possible, but Toni convinced me that it would be a hectic trip based on the time we had available, because we wanted time to relax as well. We had several days when we were on our own, and we enjoyed those days as much as the days that were planned out for us. Overall, it was a great trip!
We thoroughly enjoyed this tour & were very impressed with the degree of organisation & efficiency. One point though - In Nelson we had a 15min walk with luggage to our motel, which we had to locate & would have loved a 'shuttle'. Conversely, we had a shuttle at the Quest, Christchurch for a 2min. ride to bus-stop, could have walked & a longer sleep-in ! Thank you.
Mani's advice not to try to visit too many places in the limited time was most helpful. even then, another 5 days or so for an extra night in each place would have been even better - but given the limited time, we thought the balance was just right. I can't imagine how it could have been done any better.
The shuttle transfers were excellent, the east to west train journey and Milford Sound both magnificent. My only complaint - not a complaint about your service at all - was the prices in Queenstown. As one local resident observed in a newspaper letter, those prices really are an immense rip-off that could harm tourism in the long run. That said, we came home with a very high regard for the hoteliers and transport services, and for New Zealanders. Also, I was most impressed with the quality of the newspapers - they seem to have maintained quality better than Australian publishers. We would like to come again some day - particularly to the South Island; if we do we will certainly be contacting you again. We could not speak too highly of Mani.
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.
A great introduction to the South Island. Perfect tour if you're looking for a reasonably priced and well organized travel agenda. Coach drivers provided invaluable information and wonderful stories, both facts and legends of the South Island. You can opt to plan your own time in the two cities. Milford Sound cruise was spectacular.
The hotels are located good, in two from seven hotels we had Rooms with a bad view, bad beds and not quiet. The organisation and planning by Relaxing Journeys was good. We have seen everything we wanted.
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.
The experiences were rushed. Only one little hiccup with the itinerary where the time for the Intercity bus made us feel we had missed it. Our itinerary said 10:10 am, when the bus left at 11:00 am. Tamaki experience was amazing! Fantastic that everything was booked for us, it made everything more convenient. We will arrange our travel with your company again!
The tour that was put together was varied and gave me a great picture of the diversity of the country. The travelling was long but comfortable. The trip from Queenstown to Milford sound in one day was particularly long but worth it as I loved that area. The hotels were all very comfortable and the staff very helpful. The airport pickups were really good apart from the last one from my hotel in Auckland to the airport. Due to people not being ready at hotels, road works and taking people to collect a camper van I was quite late getting to the airport and had to do some queue jumping to get to the gate on time but I did make it.
Relaxing Journey had everything planned down to the smallest detail. It was so nice not having to worry about driving and enjoying the countryside. The people were so nice and it was so easy using the vouchers and having everything done. We appreciate all the hard work you did for our wonderful trip. I would gladly recommend Relaxing Journeys for your trip to New Zealand!
Thank you Marie for putting this tour together for us. We had an amazing time with lots to see and do. The independent tour worked well for us as less restrictive. All transfers and coach pickups ran smoothly. The only downside of an independent tour being that other travellers are picked up and set down en route which was particularly noticeable travelling between Dunedin and Christchurch causing us to arrive over an hour later than expected. Hotels were clean with friendly and helpful staff. The optionals that we booked we thoroughly enjoyed and were good value for money. A great way to see the South Island in a short time and would definitely recommend.
Everything ran smoothly and according to plan. All the motels were very nice, however we found the Bella Vista in Queenstown was out of the way. If we had more time to spend in New Zealand we would have added stopovers in other cities because some of the bus rides were really long. All bus drivers were fabulous and knowledgeable and we learned so much from them. That was exactly what we were hoping for. All in all, our trip was one of a lifetime and we will definitely contact Relaxing Journeys in the future when we decide to go back. New Zealand should be on everyone's bucket list and we were so happy to have such an enjoyable vacation.
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.
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!
Our trip was perfectly planned and perfectly executed. All of the hotels, bus trips. train rides, excursions and shuttle transfers were arranged, on time and very pleasant; We were two days late getting into Auckland to start our vacation due to airline and ATC issues. We emailed Toni from San Francisco and she and Sally made all of the necessary changes on the fly. Well done! We would certainly use Relaxing Journeys again. Oh, and New Zealand was AMAZING!
Great arrangement. All the selected motels are located in the city central. Good transport arrangement. Save more time and no need to wait and find the destination. If I have more time than will be great, I love the places in the South Island.
Everything with a few exceptions worked out great. All transfers were smooth and hotel standard/service was very good except for Travelodge in Wellington. However in most hotels wi-fi did not work 100% or I needed assistance to connect (resetting of routers). The mishap when I was not picked up in Roturoa for the Hobbiton tour has been communicated to you earlier. If I would wish for something more it would be that when you go on tours the guide would tell you at the start of a tour what to expect for stops and meals. Generally the options for healthier snacks or meals while on the road were limited or non-existent (especially on the Cape Reinga trip and getting to/from Paihia). As I am not a native English speaker, some dialects/accents are hard to understand. Our driver guide to Cape Reinga was very difficult to understand. But the sand-boarding was one of the highlights of my trip. And if the dune had not been so high to climb I would have done it again! The Capital Tastes tours in Wellington was another highlight and I would not have been able to do a tasting menu after the walk.
The Sales Manager (Toni) was very patient with us when we kept changing details of our tour and asking questions. As far as the original inclusions of the package are concerned, it was organized and was to our satisfaction. However, when it came to the package add-on, we were very disappointed because the pick up service never came. Waldorf accommodation is very good. Fenton is not bad.
We had an amazing time. The tour was quick enough to fit in our busy work schedules and allowed us to see the top sights. The days were packed full but gave us the opportunity to see many different areas. The glacier upgrade in Franz Josef was definitely worth it. We were impressed by the accommodations. All of the people were welcoming and friendly. We would love to return in the future!
Wonderful trip! Well planned and scheduled tours were timely with minimal wasted time. Accommodations were outstanding, although the Novotel at Queenstown could use a little updating in the bathroom and the carpets definitely needed cleaned. Tour bus guides were knowledgeable and very accommodating. Intercity bus drivers could use some customer service training, but I'm sure they are not expected to provide commentary to passengers. One in particular was lacking in social skills, but that is no fault of your company. Supershuttle drivers were very friendly, but not always on time, making for some stressful moments arriving at our destinations in a timely manner. Arrival time for the train was probably not adequate. Our group of 4 (two couples) were not scheduled as a group traveling together in several instances, so possibly better coordination with the reservation staff would be helpful.
The trip was beautiful and everything was well organized and no worries at all with our bookings or travels. Each room and bus and excursion was ready for us and easy to get to. I do wish we had known there was no store in Mt Cook though and no breakfast, lunch or free WiFi at our hotel there (Mt Cook Lodge and Motels). Since I booked through the agency I didn't really review the hotel site thoroughly so you might mention that in the itinerary you provide to future guest. But the room itself was lovely! Best room of our trip. Doubtful sound was breathtaking. Our room in Queenstown was perfect. Our room at Bella Vista the last two nights in Christchurch was small and dingy and not very conveniently located. I would not recommend that hotel. The people were nice though and it was clean, just really small for us and our luggage. We would definitely recommend Toni and book through her again when we return. It would not have been as pleasant had we tried to this all ourselves! Thank for you for helping us enjoy the trip of a lifetime!
I was very impressed that all arrangements made by Relaxing Journeys ran smoothly, coaches and pickups arrived as detailed by the itinerary and the accommodation suited me perfectly. I have not always experienced such efficiency and care in previous travels overseas. My trip was a great success and the detailed information provided with the itinerary was very useful, as were the helpful and pleasant people involved in the organising and on the actual trip. The South Island itself was beautiful and I hope to return soon. Thank you Relaxing Journeys for a wonderful NZ experience.
The tour was thoroughly enjoyable, some of the scenery and places visited were awe inspiring and truly breathtaking! Pace was pretty good and allowed us the time we wanted in each place visited. My only constructive feedback would be that we thought a day and a half in Dunedin was a bit too much especially without hiring a car to go and find things to do, which we did for the full day there to go and visit Otago Peninsula. It seemed a bit of a strange place and didn't really seem to fit in with the rest of the trip, although the train journey was pretty amazing. Personally, I would wonder if there is any way to incorporate the train journey without the additional time spent in Dunedin and spent elsewhere. Overall, the trip was fantastic and we both had a thoroughly great time.
We enjoyed our first time visit to NZ. Though the time we spent is short - we have a real great time enjoying ourselves visiting places that have being arranged for us by our tour consultant, Marie Sarmon.
We booked this tour because we wanted to start and end in Queenstown as we then wanted to spend a few days in Wanaka. The trip was well organized and the motel rooms were all above expectations. The coaches were very comfortable with plenty of comfort stops along the way. There was one hiccup with the shuttle collecting us from the railway station in Christchurch but this was through no fault of Relaxing Journeys. We also booked a few optional excursions through them and these all went beautifully except for bad weather in Mt Cook which meant the Glacier adventure had to be cancelled. Looking back we should have arranged to spend more time in Christchurch as we arrived at 7pm and left at 7am the next morning. I would certainly recommend this company for any sort of tours you may wish to do in beautiful New Zealand.
Travelled with mum and two young kids (<5yo). Pace is pretty ok, there were a couple of occasions where time for lunch is pretty short so you do need to plan ahead, pack lunch or be more flexible. There was a slight hiccup with my tour vouchers on the first day but was dealt with pretty quickly and Marie has been helpful. Path along Hobbiton was pretty slippery after rain and some parts a little steep, so have to be careful. Overall satisfied with the service and tour arrangements.
Our trip to New Zealand is by far one of our best trips. I believe that we could largely contribute that to the fact that we had chosen to book with Relaxing Journey. The booking procedure is fuss-free with lots of helpful advice given by Toni. We are able to fully customize our itinerary and yet we can skip all those tedious booking process with all the individuals such as coaches, accommodation and tours etc. We are amazed that the trip went by without a single hiccup, every booking was in place and the coach almost reached on the dot. It was a fantastic experience and we will definitely be back soon, and of course, with Relaxing Journey again. Thank you Toni!