8 Day North & South Highlights

8 Day North & South Highlights

Want to see some of the North Island and some of the South Island but don't have a lot of time? This is the tour for you. Highlights include a Maori cultural evening, entry to the Te Puia geothermal region and a cruise on New Zealand's majestic Milford Sound.

Book your self drive tour this month and receive a discount of 7.5%. If you pay by 30 September 2018.

Tour Info

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours
From: Auckland to Christchurch
Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $1525 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Pace: Comfortable
Duration: 8 Days
Tour Code: GNNSH

Inclusions

7 nights accommodation
Rental vehicle of your choice
Entry to Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Te Po - Maori cultural experience with traditional hangi
Admission to the Te Puia geothermal region
Milford Sound Scenic Coach & Cruise
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation & activity vouchers and local travel guides

Book your self drive tour this month and receive a discount of 7.5%. If you pay by 30 September 2018.

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Auckland

Welcome to Auckland! On arrival at Auckland airport, please collect your rental car and make your way to your accommodation. New Zealand’s largest city has an idyllic setting, overlooking the forested Waitakere Ranges, sheltered Manukau Harbour and the island studded Hauraki Gulf to the north.

No wonder over a million people choose to live there and enjoy the benefits of nature on the doorstep. Beautiful beaches and dreamy offshore islands are just half an hour from the city. In fact the sea is so much a part of the place that an unusually high number of people own their own boat giving the city its name of ‘City of Sails’.

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 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 - Queenstown

Today please return your rental car to the depot at Rotorua airport prior to your flight to Queenstown. On arrival in Queenstown collect your new rental car and make your way to your accommodation.

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. (3 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 5
Milford Sound Day Tour

Today we’ve included the Milford Sound Nature Cruise. Travel by luxury coach on an unforgettable journey from Queenstown into Milford Sound.

Upon arrival at Milford Sound, board our vessels, the Milford Mariner or Milford Wanderer which are designed along the lines of traditional trading scows; purpose built to operate in the fiords and offering a laid back, extended, 2.5 hour cruise.

Explore dramatic, moody Milford Sound, New Zealand’s most famous waterway. Throughout your cruise, our nature guide provides an engaging commentary about the magnificent scenery and wildlife (English only). Keep a look out for dolphins, seals and penguins.

Return by coach to Queenstown.

Your choice of accommodation

Day UP
Milford Sound Return Flight Upgrade (NZ$395 PP)

Upgrade your itinerary to include a return to Queenstown via a scenic flight. Take in the magnificent views of the alps, glaciers, lakes and forests of Fiordland National Park – a quick and convenient way to return to Queenstown. (Duration 35mins)

The flight shaves off approximately 4 hours off a return by coach. It is however very weather dependent, so if the weather doesn’t play ball, then you will need to return by coach and we will refund the upgrade price.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 6
Queenstown

Although Queenstown is known for its adventure activities you don’t have to be an adrenaline junkie to appreciate Queenstown’s appeal. There is also much available 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 7
Queenstown - Mt Cook - Christchurch

Today journey through the centre of the South Island through the vast rolling landscapes of Mackenzie Country and across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, arriving late afternoon.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 8
Depart Christchurch

Sadly, your holiday is at an end, please return your rental car to the depot at Christchurch airport prior to boarding your onward flight. We bid you a fond farewell and hope you leave with many happy memories of your stay in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Your choice of accommodation

4.5/5.0

There are 25 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.5 out of 5.

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Tour Reviews

5
29/07/2018
We put together a custom tour, as we wanted to visit the Coromandel region as well as some inland scenery and Lord of the Rings filming locations. While browsing the online options, Relaxing Journeys popped up with a "can we help you" window, and it went from there. Relaxing Journeys proved to be the most helpful and quickest to respond of the tour companies that we checked out. Georgina was our coordinator and she was extremely prompt and helpful throughout, and very patient with all my chopping and changing. I'd mentioned the types of things we wanted to see, and she suggested tours and visits that I would never have even known about. I could never have arranged such an enjoyable and eventful holiday by just doing it all on my own. Upon arriving at our Auckland hotel, our package from Relaxing Journeys was there waiting for us, and included a detailed itinerary, book of vouchers for our tours and events, lots of brochures, and a generous road atlas. I spent a fair bit of time mapping out our routes and reminders for when we needed to phone ahead to confirm bookings. I didn't need to bother as it was all presented for us in our package. The vouchers were immediately recognised and accepted by all the tour/event operators and we never had any dramas. Our only out of pocket costs were for extras like food, fuel, and merchandise. Driving in New Zealand is a pleasure. New Zealanders are courteous drivers and are generally lovely people. We did struggle to find anywhere to park in Wellington, and anyone driving there in a camper or larger vehicle may wish to research this in advance. Our hotel (Distinction Century) let us leave our car there after checking out and before we drove to the airport, for a small additional fee, while we toured Wellington. This was a great help and much appreciated. Special highlights that we most enjoyed included: the glass bottom boat at Whitianga; the Te Puia cultural evening at Rotorua; the Hobbiton tour from Rotorua; Ohakune - everything about Ohakune but especially our drive out to Tawhai Falls and the Tongariro region; and Weta Studios and a Lord of the Rings filming locations tour at Wellington; and the tour to Edoras with Hassle Free Tours, which alone was worth flying to Christchurch for. Anyone visiting Wellington should also set aside half a day to visit the national museum, Te Papa, which was recommended to us by several locals. If we had more time, I would have included the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, and finish our trip in Queenstown, but those will have to wait until next time. I'm already thinking of next time! Thank you to Georgina and Relaxing Journeys for an excellent, well organised tour, and to New Zealand for your fantastic scenery, food, wine, culture, and people.
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4
21/05/2018
We rejigged this tour a bit to add some activities: we included a drive to Paihia for the day to visit the "Hole in the Rock", and a segway tour in Christchurch. The accommodation was a bit uneven...better in Auckland and Queenstown (but it wasn't bad anywhere.) Overall, although more expensive than an Asian type holiday, it was a good experience!
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5
05/04/2018
We had the most amazing time in New Zealand thanks to the fabulous organisation of Toni. We couldn't have been happier with every aspect of trip.
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5
06/04/2017
Needed a bigger car, things went very good, like the voucher on my phone, saw beautiful country, got everything we ask for, Thanks!!!
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4
26/12/2016
All was very good.
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4
30/11/2016
I was being served by Mani. Very satisfied with the service and what you have prepared for us in the itinerary. The hotels/motels that were recommended by you are just awesome. Especially the motel in Mount Cook where we stayed for one night and our view was directly mountain facing - thank you for that! The pick up of the rental cars and drop off was also hassle free and convenient. Overall, we are very, very happy with the outcome. Thank you to you and Relaxing journeys for planning out such a well thought out itinerary for me and my family. Will definitely recommend you and Relaxing journey services to my friends and family! Well done and keep up the good work!
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5
03/03/2016
Our current trip to NZ was partially arranged by the agency and our selves. Finally, Mani put them together and created a thorough package for our \"Self Drives\" tour. The rental pick up, drop off and the transition was very smooth. Highly recommended! The hotel/apartment in Christchurch was not good. Otherwise, we had a wonderful time in NZ. Thank you very much!
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4
24/06/2015
My family and I enjoyed the itinerary. The itinerary was well thought out as it covers the highlights if a traveller is constrained for time. A suggestion would be to include come up with another itinerary for a 10 or a 11 days self-drive and including other attractions such as Bays of Island as some travellers may prefer something longer than 8 days but shorter than 13 days self-drive. It would also provide some time for travellers to explore North Island. Thanks. (Ed. Thanks Siew - we'll look at that, but remember we can do anything, and everyone want's something different :)
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5
03/06/2015
Mani was very helpful in the planning of our trip and catered it to our needs. When we got there we were give a very nice document holder with an atlas, vouchers, itinerary, and everything we needed for driving in New Zealand. Everything on our trip went smoothly and everyone at the places we stayed were very friendly and helpful. We especially liked the Acapulco Motor Inn in Taupo. We hope to come back and do the Heli-hike sometime. Thank you for everything!
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4
02/01/2015
Just got back from our New Zealand holiday. We had a fantastic time!! Thanks for all your help, great planning, everything when smooth and it was an amazing experience for us. We will certainly recommend Relaxing Journeys to all our friends and colleagues and next time we'll try for a lengthier trip. Thanks again for everything!
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5
11/12/2014
Kia Ora! This was the best kind of journey for us. After looking at the New Zealand book, we were overwhelmed by wanting to see it all! Toni made excellent selections for us and all the bookings to make it happen. We felt like we saw the best highlights of New Zealand and got to experience both islands. We appreciated being able to drive and take it in our own time. Everything went so smoothly. Every voucher worked. Every accommodation was clean and comfortable. And we met the most hospitable people! We would do this again and have recommended it to several friends. We loved New Zealand. Using Relaxing Journeys was a big part of a successful adventure. We got useful information, prompt answers to questions and a great atlas! We felt prepared to be successful. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
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4
30/09/2014
Amazing trip organised by Leanne at Relaxing Journeys! All tours were fantastic espceially the Milford Sound one and to my surprise the motels were all great! Really good! Only negative - our GPS wasnt working when we got it and we were told to ring Kruger (which we didn't as we didn't want the hassle!) But the maps provided were great so all was perfect! Thank you!
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5
10/05/2014
Thanks Toni for all you help. My daughter and I had a great time. All worked out beautifully!
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5
08/03/2014
A very well planned journey by Relaxing Journeys which took care of much of the self planning whch we did not have time or knolwedge to do. We particularly like the high touch customer service provided to us and also the fact that small high quality hotels were selected for our stay.
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4
14/02/2014
We had never been to New Zealand before so we enjoyed having your tour to follow, with excellent highlights. The reservations worked out perfectly, the cars, motels and activities, very professional. But the motels where a bit simple, clean but not inviting and without any charm at all. The first motel in Christchurch was in the wrong direction so we had to do a long trip when we arrived and then a second time the next day leaving the town. We liked best the Quest in Auckland in the complete center and close to the highway, so was good for the ride to the airport the next morning. We enjoyed our trip, especially the south island which we found so extremely beautiful, the trip to Milford Sound will stay a memory for life. Thank you for helping us organizing this journey.
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4
03/01/2014
Thanks - we had a perfect holiday - plenty to do without feeling like we didn't have time to relax as well. Favourite tourist site - Hobbiton. I was not expecting this - thought it would just be really touristy and like disneyland but it really was such a beautiful place. Least favourite - Waitomo Caves. Such a big build up to nothing special (not helped that we had a squalling baby on our trip which somewhat ruined the tranquillity of the caves). I would recommend that if you visit here you do something more adventurous than the standard tour - which frankly is not worth the money.
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5
28/12/2013
Mani did an excellent job taking a standard self-drive tour and customizing it to meet our needs. We are not sure what else we could have packed into our 13 days. The tour of Hobbiton was an add on that was definitely a highlight for us LOTR fans. The lodgings were roomy and comfortable and having a kitchen in the room and laundry facilities available was definitely a plus. The vouchers for the lodgings, tours, and car worked great. Definitely recommend including a GPS with the car. We fell in love with the country and people. Highly recommend Relaxing Journeys for a worry-free trip!
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4
29/05/2013
We had an amazing road trip holiday and great thanks to Mani for his effort in working out a fantastic itinerary as per our needs. I am happy to have done this NZ trip with Relaxing Journeys.
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4
26/04/2013
Your service is the deciding factor that brings visitors to New Zealand. Great value for money, a safe environment, generally helpful and polite native people everywhere. Only rudeness I experienced was from China tourists - makes me ashamed to be a Chinese.
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4
21/03/2013
We had a great time, and can not thank Michelle enough for her help and suggestions. This being our first trip to NZ, we wanted an 'overall tour', which is what we did. We think we spent just the right amount of time at each location. When we return, we will want to do more specific things (hikes, stay in 1 place longer), but for this first trip, we feel like we saw everything we needed to see as an 'overview'. The one thing I would do next time is specify that all the hotels we stay at to be closer to town - walking distance. The hotels in Rotorua and Queenstown required driving for meals and all shopping. (I did not specify this to Michelle when booking, so this is NOT a complaint!) But I would suggest this, as not driving is especially helpful if you have a cocktail or wine with dinner. To do it over again, we would probably spend more each night on accommodations if they were in the middle of town. (Ed. Far comment - except for Rotorua as pretty much all hotel accommodation is out of the city centre). The Shotover Boat trip was great fun; a favorite of Jim's. The Waitomo glowworm caves were fascinating. (Next time, I would probably go for the float trip in tubes; more of an adventure!) The Maori cultural dinner although rather 'touristy' was so informative, and very well presented; dinner was great. Our trip to Milford Sound was done in the rain (darn it!) but we appreciated the bus ride. We still saw some beautiful and interesting spots along the way, and it was nice that Jim didn't have to drive. We really can't think of any actual complaints we have regarding our New Zealand experience. I think that Michelle did a great job; especially considering the fact that she does not know us personally. Everything worked out well, and all the paperwork was perfectly prepared. I would definitely recommend your company to anyone traveling to New Zealand. Thanks so much for all your help. New Zealand is a wonderful place!
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5
11/02/2013
Fell in love with New Zealand! cannot believe we left it so long to check it out. I recommend the Auckland SkyTower dinner, the Waitomo Glowworm caves and the Rotorua Cultural Dinner & Show - and Queenstown...mindblowing. Milford Sound cruise a highlight. We paid a bit extra in the end to fly there and back - highly recommend it! We are planning a return trip to Queenstown hopefully next summer. Thank you to Michelle from Relaxing Journeys!
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5
04/11/2012
Michell and Kirby were very patient with me as I was coming in from Kuwait and going on to USA. I was also traveling alone. They made all the connections for me which helped me avoid confusion and go right to the locations using GPS (a must). I only had one accomodation with a room near a noisy highway. I found things to be a good value and the recommendations to be spot on. Only the third day from The Bay Islands was long with maybe too many options but I had limited time (1 week each island) so we packed as much in as possible.
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5
23/09/2012
The planning and assistance was excellent. We had no problems. The hotels chosen were perfect for our group of 9. Highly recommend this tour for anyone interested in seeing the highlights while having the flexibility to do your own thing. Wish we could've stayed longer! It was a lot to work in to 8 days. The free days helped, though. If we ever get to go back, we will use Relaxing Journeys again. I would also recommend you get the GPS option with the rental car. We gave ours a workout!
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5
21/12/2011
Everything was well taken care of by Relaxing Journeys. The itinerary was very helpful and considered 'our bible' on our trip as many tips were on it to see and do along the way. Voucher system made it that much easier and stress free checking in..out..getting tickets, etc. Jarrod was very helpful and planned our family a great vacation of New Zealand.
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4
07/03/2009
We had a wonderful time in NZ. In fact, the trip surpassed our expectations. The motel accommodations were comfortable and within easy access to everything. The itinerary with planned stops and free time were exactly what we were looking for. We especially loved the South island, our favorite stop being Queenstown. We decided to include a GPS with our car rental, which really made getting around worry free. You might like to offer a GPS option as part of your car rental service. The people were friendly and welcoming. The sites were awesome! Thank you for making our trip truly amazing. We will definitely recommend Relaxing Journeys to our friends.
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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 8 Day North & South Highlights

8 Day North & South Highlights
Self Drive Tours
Tour Code: GNNSH
From (NZD) $1525 per person
Save (NZD) $153 per person
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Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Rating:
25 reviews (4.5/5)

Want to see some of the North Island and some of the South Island but don't have a lot of time? This is the tour for you. Highlights include a Maori c... Read More

Itinerary Map

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8 Day North & South Highlights
Regions Visited

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