New Zealand Independent Tour Reviews

Kirra Tour Bus

361 New Zealand Independent Tour Reviews

4.7/5.0

4.7 out of 5 based on 361 user reviews.

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

Reviews

4
Independent Coach Tour
01/04/2019
Great tours and guides, good punctuality and services, fine hotels.
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5
Independent Coach Tour
01/04/2019
Nicole made the process of booking this trip so easy. I was given lots of options and plenty of support in making decisions about activities. It was a wonderful trip.
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5
Independent Coach Tour
16/03/2019
Excellent itinerary and communication from Georgia. We had lots of fun at the Franz Josef Glacier, Milford Sound. Our family particularly enjoyed the 16km guided hike at Routeburn Track. Thanks! The only negative is the wifi at Blue Peaks Apartments was really slow and spotty.
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5
Independent Coach Tour
16/03/2019
Our agent Marie Sarmon's meticulous planning ensured we had a wonderful holiday around South Island. Due to a few unforeseen circumstances (ie health issues before leaving for New Zealand and also unfavourable weather conditions while in New Zealand), our plans had to be rejigged a few times - including at the 11th hour. But Marie gave us really good options/alternatives to ensure that we could still complete the holiday as planned. The age range of our group was late 30s to mid 70s and the trip was suitable for all as Marie gave us pointers before and during our holiday so that excursions could be chosen accordingly. Relaxing Journeys really lives up to its name as it completely took the stress out of organizing a tour that involves moving from place-to-place every couple of days.
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5
Independent Coach Tour
05/03/2019
Except for the car the bookings and instructions were first rate.
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5
Independent Coach Tour
22/02/2019
I have been waiting until I finished unpacking to write you about our adventure on the South Island. Annie and I both thank you profoundly for putting together such a perfect package that allowed us to enjoy our trip with very little stress and maximum enjoyment. Everything went perfectly -- really, perfectly! I will elaborate below, but here are some general points: 1. We were able to immerse ourselves in nature, which is exactly what we wanted. 2. The lodgings were great -- quite a range of styles, which we liked. Some were quirky, some elegant, some over-the-top hospitable. 3. The tours were well-chosen. (My favorite was the jet-boat; Annie's was definitely the blue penguins in Oamaru.) 4. The pace of our itinerary was fast, but necessarily so for us to see as much as we did in three short weeks. We didn't feel rushed because we were so excited to get to our next location. 5. The overall cost was very reasonable, given the quality of the accommodations and level of service. Thank you for helping to make us comfortable within our budget. Some specific feedback: The wilderness lodges at Arthur's Pass (my favorite place in the whole trip) and Lake Moeraki were highlights. We were pleased to meet the family who owns and runs the lodges and hear about the incredible conservation work they have done on the West Coast. The lodges were beautifully designed and extremely comfortable. The meals were excellent, and we enjoyed the optional activities provided each day. Five star, all around!! The trip on the Alpine Train was beautiful, but if we were to do it again, we would probably drive as the train was crowded and noisy the first day, and on the second day, we went through, rather than over the pass, which we would have liked to experience. Better perhaps for those who don't want to drive. Annie had an excellent birthday dinner at Rata in Queenstown, and enjoyed our tour to the Aspiring Wilderness. The Luxury Dairy B&B was very convenient, the host was gracious and the breakfast good. In general, Queenstown was a bit too busy and touristy for our taste, but we're glad we had some time to be there. And the dinner at Rata was excellent :) The trip to Doubtful Sound out of Te Anau was a highlight. A long day, but worth every minute. We're sorry we didn't see Milford, but given our preference for the road less travelled, I think we made the right choice. The Cosy Kiwi B&B was our least favorite of the lodgings. I know you didn't have many choices at the late booking date, and it was perfectly fine -- just not quite as cosy or friendly as all the others. Dunedin was another highlight -- the all day trip on the Otago Peninsula was spectacular, including the family of orcas that put on a show for us! We had a rather noisy but fun dinner in a restaurant near the university. The Camp Estate was a hoot -- such a beautiful setting and so elegant! We felt a little scruffy in our travel clothes, but were welcomed warmly regardless. The Pen-y-Bryn in Oamaru was another unique experience! Amazing art collection and a Paris-trained chef! The blue penguins were wonderful. And finally, although our three last nights in Christchurch were unplanned, we fell in love with this beautiful, but damaged city. We mostly just walked around and took pictures of the old, the new, and the under repair. The Heritage was excellent! We had a lovely suite that allowed us to regroup before heading home. We loved the building, especially the bar. The staff was incredibly friendly. So, all in all, an excellent trip! Thank you again, Georgina, for planning so thoughtfully for us. We have passed along your name to several people we met along the way who will be returning to NZ, as we hope to do in the future.
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4
Independent Coach Tour
20/02/2019
We chose the 20 day independent tour 'New Zealand End to End' that covers both Islands. This met our needs well as we were able to add some extra nights in various places and make an adjustment to the itinerary when we thought there was too much to do in one day. Our consultant Teresa always replied quickly and was able to book alternative accommodation if we weren't keen on some of the hotels on the original itinerary. Overall, we had a wonderful time on our tour. The coach travel went smoothly although we sometimes arrived later than scheduled. On the longer trips the drivers had to have a half hour break which enabled us to have a coffee and snack and go to the bathroom. We usually found it easy to catch a taxi to our hotel from the coach stop or to walk if it wasn't too far. Our tour covered a wide variety of places from cities and seaside towns to areas with beautiful mountains and lakes. Our tour of the Fjordland National Park was one of the big highlights as it was a rare chance to see pristine forest and rivers (we were surprised at how much deforestation there is). We loved the scenery and the various day tours we went on were excellent. Our guides were all knowledgeable and friendly and we even received some commentary from our coach drivers at times. We appreciated having a Maori guide in some places and the opportunity to learn more about Maori people and culture in places such as Rotorua in particular. Our accommodation was very good in the main and it was very handy to have some kitchen facilities when we had an early morning start and needed to make our own breakfast. Some hotels were quite high class while others were more basic. All were very clean and well maintained. There were a few little glitches, mainly around information on our itinerary being different to the info on the vouchers, and incorrect information about a tour being provided prior to our trip, but we sorted things out OK. I highly recommend Relaxing Journeys to organise your trip to New Zealand.
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5
Independent Coach Tour
17/02/2019
Our 21-day Custom Road and Rail Excursion of both the North and South islands was outstanding. Thanks to the detailed preparations and suggestions by our agent Marie Sarmon and her staff, we were able to enjoy a variety of sights and experiences found only in New Zealand. The scheduling of Intercity buses, interisland ferry, Trans Alpine train, local tours, shuttles and hotel accommodations occurred without a hitch, allowing us the opportunity to experience a really "Relaxing Journey." We highly recommend the Custom Road and Rail package offered by Relaxing Journeys. Thanks again for a great trip.
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4
Independent Coach Tour
11/02/2019
The only friction point in the process, I would say it's the transfers (for our type of trip). You should take into consideration that some buses, trains, etc. could be delayed, so you have to be sure that the company provinding the transfer to the hotel waits for the clients. In our case, we would have preferred not to book the tranfers in advance and just pay a taxi when we get to the place. Same thing for the pick ups in the hotels, it's a little bit stressful to be waiting, thinking you may lose your connection (they were all long distances and you could really mess it up if you miss it). That's my feedback for you to take it into account but I have to say that everything was almost perfect and the trip amazing. We really enjoyed our time in New Zealand, and that was possible thanks to you.
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4
Independent Coach Tour
08/02/2019
A few issues with pick up times. Itinerary and vouchers would have different times and pick up spots for a few activities. Good to call shuttle or bus company day before to confirm. Relaxing Journeys did a great job of getting the most out of our time in New Zealand. Worked well to accommodate us with the activities we wanted to participate in. Very helpful when we needed something.
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5
Independent Coach Tour
02/02/2019
The best I could have got! Thanks for assisting me patiently throughout the trip. Everyone should just use this company to enjoy New Zealand
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5
Coach & Fly Tour
01/02/2019
Overall, Relaxing Journeys assisted us in setting up a wonderful vacation in New Zealand. We would definitely recommend their services to others. hotel accommodations were top notch with great service and located centrally in each city, within convenient walking distances to eateries, downtown, and things to do. Travel arrangements gave just enough time to connect without wasting time waiting. Tours set up were very enjoyable and varied. Lots of options and ability to customize. We had 1 tour bus pickup issue on a weekend and it was difficult to reach RJ's in time for them to assist with alternate arrangements, but luckily the hotel concierge was very helpful and got us set up on a private tour to see the same things that day. However, RJ's was very responsive once they replied and took appropriate steps to make up for the issue, so we have no complaints about how the matter was handled. Very professional and good service once they got involved. Only "I wish" we had was that the tour for Mt. Cook gave you more time to explore the area. Spent about 4+ hours on the bus to have approximately 90 mins at Mt. Cook. If you chose to do the lunch there was not any time to really explore any of the walking trails or the area. Also, would have liked more time to swim at Piha Beach; just had enough time to get in the water for a few minutes. But, those are concerns for the operating tour companies and not RJ's. Very satisfied and happy with our interactions and vacation planning we received from Relaxing Journeys. We experienced none of the communication or other horror stories we heard from people we talked to utilizing other companies. Very pleased with RJ's and think anyone else would be, too.
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5
Independent Coach Tour
01/02/2019
Overall, the choice of places was very good. The glow warms cave was perhaps not so essential. The pace was indeed relaxing and very appropriate for people our age (65-70). The choice of accommodations was generally appropriate, though the places in Punakaiki and Te Anau are somewhat far from the centre. The supershuttle arrangement is very convenient. Overall we had a wonderful experience, and we are grateful to Relaxing Journeys.
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5
Independent Coach Tour
29/01/2019
We had an amazing trip and Georgina was very helpful when we requested to change something. Would highly recommend! The route was perfect and we saw everything we wanted to see.
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4
Independent Coach Tour
14/01/2019
We enjoyed the tour but there were a few things that we wished would have been different. Although Lake Taupe was beautiful our hotel was far away from the lake. If we had just gone on to Wellington we could have had an extra day there. Also although Blenheim was a nice town we would have rather gone to Christchurch and had an extra day. We would have rather had more train rides than bus. Super shuttle was great. We loved traveling in New Zealand.
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5
Independent Coach Tour
12/01/2019
All thanks to Marie. The best holiday of our life.
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5
Independent Coach Tour
04/01/2019
All went well!
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5
Independent Coach Tour
27/12/2018
We really enjoyed our holiday . The trip was well paced and the activities were varied and well structured . I would certainly use this company for our next trip to New Zealand and have already recommended them to friends who were looking to travel next year. Great Service all round thank you.
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5
Independent Coach Tour
26/12/2018
The reason of my rating for the price is due to the fact that i think we paid a bit more than what was worth, but that is because we booked at the very last moment, and then We had to take what was left (especially for the accommodations), and probably that was quite more expensive than what we really needed. In any case, this is to say that this is because of our "fault", all the organization was wonderful for us! Thanks Relaxing Journeys and thanks Georgina for her kind and precise follow up! We will recommend you for sure!
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4
Independent Coach Tour
22/12/2018
Overall we are happy with the tour. What we liked: everything was booked as per our discussions, the hotels were of good standard and located well, the excursions were fun especially the Maori hangi and concert. What was not so good: the dolphin swim was not safe enough so we opted out; however, we did receive a part refund. The kayaking with coastal kayaks had a boring route. But the guides were good. We did not like the public buses to bring us from Paihia to Rotorua. Some people got sick on the bus from the way the bus was driven. What can be approved on: standartise vouchers pickup vs departure times as all vouchers were different. Big thanks to Jo Shanks for organising everything well. We are very happy with the service she has provided.
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5
Independent Coach Tour
10/12/2018
We had an excellent time. Everything went according to plan, no hiccups. We enjoyed all the tours booked for us too. Accommodation was mostly excellent. Our accommodation in Queenstown wasn't as good as the rest. The hotel is in an excellent location but is rather dated and the bed was not at all comfortable, the mattress was old and way too soft. We loved all our other accommodation especially the eco resort in Kaiteriteri.
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5
Independent Coach Tour
16/10/2018
We are very happy and enjoying traveling to New Zealand with Relaxing Journeys. The team of Relaxing Journeys have very good attention so we are very much enjoying this holiday.
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5
Independent Coach Tour
01/09/2018
Excellent independent tour with some activities included. Accommodations were comfortable, transportation around the South Island was prompt, comfortable, and informative . The included excursions such as the trip to Milford Sound and the TranzAlpine train ride were wonderful. I would highly recommend this tour if you want transport and accommodation around New Zealand but don't want a guided tour. This tour is pretty inclusive for the independent traveler such as myself.
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5
Independent Coach Tour
20/07/2018
Marie Sarmon did an excellent job in organising this custom tour for us. My wife and I really enjoyed ourselves. Everything was perfectly timed and never once did we have to call anyone for assistance (being free and easy). The view from our hotels was ... no words can describe. Some rides was cancelled due to weather but that we can understand. If we could do this again, we definitely will. Thanks so much for the great time.
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5
Coach & Fly Tour
25/06/2018
This was my first solo trip,and I was nervous about organising and traveling alone. Relaxing Journeys organised my trip swiftly and thoroughly. I had a wonderful time traveling independently on tour. Now that I have had a 'taste' I am looking forward to returning and spending more time in the places I enjoyed but didn't have enough time in due to the shortness of the trip. Would highly recommend using this tour company and visiting New Zealand.
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