13 Day Brief Encounter

13 Day Brief Encounter

When you are short on time, but wish to discover as much of this beautiful country as possible then this is the self drive tour for you! Highlights include a traditional Maori cultural experience, and Tasman Glacier excursion.

Book and pay your deposit by 30 November 2018 to receive a 5% discount off your tour price for this month

Tour Info

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours
From: Auckland to Christchurch
Departures: May 2018 to April 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $2468 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Duration: 13 Days
Tour Code: GNBE

Inclusions

12 nights accommodation
Rental vehicle of your choice including airport and ferry port collection charges
Entry to Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Admission to the Te Puia geothermal region
Te Po - Maori cultural experience with traditional hangi
Scenic Interislander Ferry Cruise
Tasman Glacier Explorer Boat Excursion
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation & activity vouchers and local travel guides

Conditions

Prices are per person based on twin-share, and are subject to availability. Prices are correct at the time of submission but are subject to change without notice. Valid for travel May 2018 – March 2019. Blackout periods may apply. A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person is required at time of booking.

Click here for our full terms and conditions.

Book and pay your deposit by 30 November 2018 to receive a 5% discount off your tour price for this month

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Auckland

Welcome to Auckland! After clearing customs and immigration you will be transferred from the Auckland Airport to your hotel in the central city. After checking in and getting yourself settled, turn your roving eye outside and enjoy a free afternoon in the City of Sails.

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, with plenty of sights, shopping and street appeal for even the pickiest of travellers.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 2
Auckland - Waitomo - Rotorua

Today make your way south through the lush Waikato farmlands south of Auckland to Waitomo, where entrance to the caves is included. Continue on to Rotorua, set in a tranquil lake studded basin among forested hills, the town is centre for a region where one surprise follows another.

Geysers spout 15 metres into the air, bubbling cauldrons spit out mud and steam vents hiss to an all-prevailing odour of sulphur. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 3
Rotorua

Free time to explore Rotorua this today. You may like to visit the Agrodome or take a gondola ride to the top of Mt Ngongotaha for spectacular views of Rotorua. Later this afternoon visit Te Puia geothermal area to view the boiling mudpools and cascading Pohutu geyser that make Rotorua famous as New Zealand’s thermal city.

This evening experience Te Po, Te Puia’s cultural experience. It is a feast of cultural storytelling, entertainment and Maori kai (indigenous food). After a formal Maori welcome, relax and enjoy a performance including the beautiful songs, haka and poi dance. After dinner you will be transported by people movers to enjoy the spectacular lighting of the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley and hot chocolate. (D)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 4
Rotorua - Wellington

Today make your way south to New Zealand’s capital city Wellington. Nestled between a stunning natural harbour on the southern coast of the North Island and the forested hills of the Rimutaka and Tararua Ranges, Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city and proud of it. The population is considerably smaller than that of Auckland, but it certainly matches the larger city for amenities.

The city’s cheerful wooden homes are spread over its hilly surrounds, providing some of its residents with superb views over the sheltered harbour and an easily accessible venue for a whole host of outdoor leisure activities. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 5
Wellington

Good views of the city and harbour are available from the lookout at the top of Mt Victoria, or from the top cable car terminal. Very much part of the character of the city, the cable car is a must do attraction and links nicely with the Botanic Gardens and the Carter Observatory.

The interactive museum, Te Papa is a major feature of the city and is located on the waterfront – itself pleasant to stroll along whilst pondering any number of dining experiences. The museum is a testament to the country’s very proud heritage, both Maori and European.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 6
Wellington - Christchurch

Please return your rental car to the depot at the Wellington ferry terminal prior to boarding the Interislander ferry and crossing the Cook Strait to Picton. On arrival in Picton collect a new rental car and journey south along the west coast to Christchurch. With its international airport, Christchurch is the gateway to the South Island and the country’s second largest city.

It is the hub of the Canterbury region and offers an environment that is both laid-back and action-packed. Possessing a stable sunny climate, the city’s parks and gardens are a key attraction year round and are renowned for their beauty, especially in spring.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 7
Christchurch - Mt Cook

Today journey to Mt Cook, known to the Maori as Aoraki. Mt Cook is the highest peak in New Zealand and standing at an imposing 3754m dominates the Southern Alps that separate Christchurch from Queenstown. Certainly an icon of New Zealand, Mt Cook has long attracted climbers and mountaineers, wishing to scale its heights.

However, many of the people visiting Mt Cook have less lofty ambitions, choosing simply to enjoy the impressive views on clear days or on scenic flights, which are a great way to appreciate the grandeur of the place.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 8
Mount Cook - Queenstown

This morning enjoy a glacier tour from the terminal lake of the Tasman Glacier, afterwards journey onwards to Queenstown. Some might say the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown is the place where just about everything is possible and anything is likely.

Boasting an incredible location on the edge of Lake Wakatipu, in front of the impressive Remarkables mountain range, nature has purpose built this area for adventure. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 9
Queenstown

Today is at leisure to explore Queenstown and the surrounding areas. Although there is a wide variety of adrenaline fuelled activities that will not disappoint even the most fearless visitor, such as bungy jumping, white water surfing, jet-boating, canyoning, luging and parapenting there is also plenty for those wanting indulgence and relaxation, from the fine wines of the region to the many shops.

The best mountain views are to be had from the Skyline Gondola, which has a panoramic restaurant, overlooking the town and Lake Wakatipu, where scenic cruises on a historic steamboat are on offer.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 10
Queenstown - Glaciers

Today make your way through Wanaka and up the West Coast to the Glaciers, the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers are without doubt the greatest lure of this region. Nestled on the edge of the rainforest and descending 2500m over 13kms, these great cascading frozen rivers are only 6kms from the Tasman Sea and in this respect are unique.

They are also amongst the fastest moving glaciers in the world with Franz Josef known to move up to 5m per day on occasions. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 11
Glaciers

Day at leisure to explore the surrounding areas. Time permitting, both glaciers are worth seeing, but understandably with only two nights time is a bit limited. Both are remarkably accessible and can be explored on guided walks, heli-hikes and scenic flights. One of the ‘must do’s’ of the area is a visit to the iconic Lake Matheson.

Lying just west of the Fox Glacier township, this lake is famous for offering idyllic views of the surrounding mountains, almost perfectly reflected in the mirror-smooth waters.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 12
Glaciers - Christchurch

Depart the Glaciers region and travel further north along the rugged West Coast to Christchurch. Journey through the Southern Alps to Christchurch, on arrival in Christchurch, check into your accommodation for your final night in New Zealand.

Your choice of accommodation

Day UP
TranzAlpine Train Upgrade Package

Upgrade your itinerary so that you drop your vehicle off in Greymouth and then join the TranzAlpine Train for your journey across the Alps.

The TranzAlpine is described as “The Great New Zealand Rail Adventure” and is rated as one of the top six scenic train journeys in the world – with accolades like those, you know it will be good.

Ascend through lush beech forests past the beautiful Lake Brunner via the alpine village of Arthur’s Pass situated 737 metres above sea level, before crossing the spectacular Southern Alps. The TranzAlpine then winds its way over massive viaducts, through spectacular river gorges and the stunning Waimakariri River valley before arriving in Christchurch.

On arrival in Christchurch we’ll arrange transfers to your accommodation and transfers the next day to the airport for your onward flight.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 13
Depart Christchurch

Today is at your leisure until you are ready for checkout. Please make your way to the airport where you will return your car in time for your onward flight.

Your choice of accommodation

4.8/5.0

There are 40 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.8 out of 5.

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

Tour Reviews

4
22/08/2018
Marie was very helpful. She gave us a lot of tips and good customer service. Her suggestions was great especially those long drives where she gave us several detours which turned out to be awesome!
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
08/04/2018
Jointly planning this trip with Relaxing Journeys gave us the best of both worlds -- an independent tour with the benefit of the experience and connections of helpful professional tour planners.
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4
28/03/2018
Every thing went according to plan. All cars, motels and activities were as requested smooth no hassle.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
13/02/2018
We really enjoyed our tour of beautiful New Zealand. The bookings of accommodation, car hire, ferry tickets and tours all went to plan. There was one problem with a nights accommodation, it was sorted out very quickly by Relaxing Journeys. (We were upgraded and given free breakfast and parking for the inconvenience) On a couple of days there are long drive times, but we actually enjoyed them, the scenery is so stunning. In summing up, we have no problem with recommending Relaxing Journeys. Thank you to Toni for all her help and communication.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
14/03/2017
Great tour!!! All the accommodations, attractions, car rental, transfers, etc. came off just as promised. In general, all the accommodations were very nice. No reserved parking at the Ibis in Wellington was an issue. Not having free internet in this day and age is also a disappointment. The itinerary was very detailed and we tried to experience as many sites along the way as possible. We loved Queenstown. An attraction we did there, which was not mentioned, that we think at the least should be mentioned, if not set up in advance with a voucher, was the Walter Peak Farm Tour. We took the cruise over, which was beautiful, and then experienced the sheep shearing and sheep herding demonstration. We loved it!! On top of that, the BBQ was great and well worth the extra cost based on how expensive food typically is in NZ. Toni did a great job for us, especially with how the issues of the earthquake and forest fires affected our tour.
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4
07/03/2017
Well planned. Regarding the accommodation we would definitely not recommend Adrian Motel or Edgewater. We could not even shower at Edgewater and both motels are only suitable for mum, dad and very small children. Glacier View is a budget motel but quite comfortable. I would really like to thank Marie Sarmon for her outstanding service regarding the whole trip. We always received a quick response from her and was a pleasure to deal with. She is an outstanding member of your team.
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5
13/02/2017
We were three couples from India & wanted to have a self-drive tour in New Zealand. After reading reviews of Relaxing Journeys, I contacted them & were fortunate to have Mani as our guide. First of all, on behalf of all 3 families, I shall like to express our gratitude to Mani & Relaxing Journeys for the immaculate planning of our tour & the perfect execution of all our requirements. The accommodation & both the vehicles - one in North Island & second in South Island, were good and there were no major hitches, barring a few minor ones. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in New Zealand & were fortunate not to miss any planned activity due to bad weather. The helicopter ride to Franz Joseph glacier & Whale and Dolphin tour in Auckland were highlights of our tour! We even did skydiving from 15000 ft. at Queenstown - a lifetime experience & we would recommend it - even though one feels scared at the thought of it. A small suggestion - even if 4 people are sharing a double bedroom accommodation, please see to it that there are separate bathrooms for both & if not, at least there should be privacy in the form of locks from inside for the common toilet unit - which caused a lot of inconvenience to us at most of the places! All in all, we again thank Mani for his prompt help throughout our planning phase & perfect tour for us - I shall definitely recommend Relaxing Journeys to all my friends in the future wholeheartedly.
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5
24/12/2016
We thought our trip was amazing! Mani was great to work with and made planning the trip very easy. All of the transfers/hotels/cars were ready and waiting for us. All the sights we saw were incredible. The pace of our trip was fast, but that was due to our time constraints rather than any planning issues. We are already looking forward to our next trip to New Zealand and would definitely use Relaxing Journeys.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
23/12/2016
It's been 3 weeks since my family came back from our trip to New Zealand from 22 Dec'15 to 7 Jan'16. Thank you for your excellent travel arrangementS, everything went on smoothly on the trip and we thoroughly enjoyed our holiday in your beautiful country. Everything from the collection of the car to the checking in at the various accommodations and the pre-booked activities were hassle-free. The choice of accommodations was very good. The detailed itinerary prepared for us was also very helpful. Thanks Mani and Relaxing Journeys for the reliable and excellent service.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
19/12/2016
We had the time of our lives and New Zealand is an incredible place. Marie did an awesome job with making all the arrangements. I wouldn't recommend the Queenstown accommodations but overall they were perfect for our needs.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience

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 13 Day Brief Encounter

13 Day Brief Encounter
Self Drive Tours
Tour Code: GNBE
From (NZD) $2468 per person
Save (NZD) $247 per person
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Terms and conditions apply. Please see tour overview for more information.

Rating:
40 reviews (4.8/5)

When you are short on time, but wish to discover as much of this beautiful country as possible then this is the self drive tour for you! Highlights in... Read More

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13 Day Brief Encounter
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