23 Day Scenic New Zealand

23 Day Scenic New Zealand

What would you do if you had 23 days dedicated to pursuing the wonderful, beautiful and unmissable? The Land of the Long White Cloud is a spectacular destination, from coast to coast and island to island, prepare your senses and camera memory for an unforgettable getaway.

Book your self drive tour this month and receive an Earlybird Discount of 10%. Make full payment by 31 July 2018 to qualify or 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) $3962 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Pace: Relaxing
Duration: 23 Days
Tour Code: GNSNZ

Inclusions

22 nights accommodation
Rental vehicle of your choice including airport and ferry port collection charges
Scenic Interislander Ferry
Milford Sound Nature Cruise
Coast to coast TranzAlpine Train journey through the Southern Alps
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation & activity vouchers and local travel guides
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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Auckland

Welcome to Auckland! Pass through customs, collect any baggage and join your shuttle transfer to your inner city accommodation. 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. (2 nights)

Day 2
Auckland at Leisure

Take delivery of your rental car this morning. The day is free to relax and explore what Auckland has to offer. Perhaps visit Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World and Antarctic Encounter, take a cruise on Auckland Harbour or make your way to the top of the Sky Tower for spectacular views of Auckland city.

Day 3
Auckland - Bay of Islands

After a day of exploration in Auckland, it’s time to depart the city and head north to the Bay of Islands. If you’re something of an arts, crafts or history buff, a visit to Kerikeri is certainly worth it, as one of the oldest buildings in the country still stands solid – aptly named the stone store. (2 nights)

Day 4
Bay of Islands at Leisure

Today is at leisure to enjoy the many activities the Bay of Islands has to offer. With the most scenic coastal scenery in New Zealand, the Bay of Islands provides the setting for activities including sailing, big game fishing and swimming with wild dolphins.

It is also one of New Zealand’s most historically significant areas, most notably for the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 between the Maori chiefs and the British. The reserve also houses the Whare Runanga, a Maori meeting house and the 100ft long war canoe or waka.

You may like to take a trip to Cape Reinga – the northernmost point of New Zealand, where the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea meet; take a cruise to Cape Brett and the famous “Hole in the Rock” or explore the historic areas of Russell.

Day 5
Bay of Islands - Matakana

Today head south where you’ll be staying in Snells Beach near Matakana. You will be close to many stunning surf beaches and fabulous regional parks, secluded bays, vineyards, the Matakana Farmers’ Markets, the famous Kawau Island ferry and Goat Island Marine Reserve. New Zealand’s first with prolific fish life – so close you can reach out and touch them… almost!

Day 6
Matakana - Waitomo Caves - Rotorua

Today make your way south through the lush Waikato farmlands to Rotorua. On the way you may wish to stop at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. For over 100 years, Waitomo Glowworm Caves have attracted millions of people from all over the world.

We recommend that you include a stop here. The moment you enter this subterranean wonderland, you’ll discover an ancient underground labyrinth of limestone caves and grottos. Experience a boat trip like no other, journeying through the starry expanse of the Glowworm cave while your way is lit by a multitude of tiny glow worm lights.

Continue over the forested Mamaku Ranges to reach the “thermal city” of Rotorua. (2 nights)

Day 7
Rotorua at Leisure

Enjoy a full day exploring some of Rotorua’s natural wonders and scenic highlights on a day trek through the internationally renowned Whirinaki Forest, fringing the Te Urewera National Park. Or you may like to visit Te Puia, where you can experience the raw power of Rotorua’s main geothermal valley including bubbling mud pools, steaming vents and the world famous Pohutu Geyser.

Perhaps visit the Agrodome to see a display featuring New Zealand’s various sheep breeds and sheep shearing. Or Rainbow Springs to see rainbow and brown trout as well as native birds including the Kiwi. Another option is the spectacular Skyline Gondola offering superb views over the city, Lake Rotorua and the surrounding mountains.

Day 8
Rotorua - Wellington

Drive south through steam clad Wairakei, to Taupo. Skirt Lake Taupo, across the volcanic plateau past the cones of Tongariro, Ngaruahoe and Ruapehu. Cross the Manawatu plains then along the rugged Kapiti coastline to New Zealand’s capital city, sprawled over the hills surrounding Wellington Harbour. Overnight in Wellington.

Day 9
Wellington - Interislander Ferry Crossing - Blenheim

You’ll have very little time behind the wheel this morning, as you drop the car at the Interislander Ferry Terminal, ready to cross the Cook Strait to the South Island. Where will you sit? Inside or outside? Try to vary your experience if you can, as some of the sights are better seen without the barrier of a window – watch as boats bob on Wellington harbour, disappearing in the distance as you head into the majestic Marlborough Sounds, chugging away to Picton.

On arrival collect your new rental car and make your way to Blenheim. Blenheim is the main town in the Marlborough region. Its lovely sunny climate makes Blenheim an ideal wine growing region.

Day 10
Blenheim - Kaikoura

Today you travel from Blenheim to Kaikoura. The road is dominated by the awesome beauty of the Pacific Coast. In the township of Seddon you’ll find authentic New Zealand crafts. Before the small town of Ward you’ll come to the Lake Grassmere saltworks – an interesting stop, particularly in late summer when the ponds turn coral pink.

Quinnat salmon are known to run in the Clarence River and just north of the Ure River is a road that leads to the walking trails of the Sawcut Gorge. Kaikoura, located in a narrow strip of stunning coastline between mountain peaks and the Pacific Ocean, is a place of unparalleled wildlife experiences.

Day 11
Kaikoura - Christchurch

This morning is your chance to go on a Whale Watch Cruise to see the giant sperm whales, dolphins, fur seals and depending on the season, you may also see migrating Humpback Whales, Pilot Whales, Blue Whales and Southern Right Whales.

From Kaikoura it’s two hours direct to Christchurch or you may like to take a more scenic inland route via Hanmer Springs to bathe in the mineral pools in their alpine setting. (2 nights)

Day 12
Christchurch at Leisure

Following the 2011 earthquake, Christchurch has re-emerged as a vibrant, ever-changing city. Today, relax and explore this most English of New Zealand cities. We suggest punting down the River Avon through the stunning Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Alternatively you could take a day tour and visit the beautiful unspoilt old French whaling depot of Akaroa.

Lunch in the naturally picturesque setting of Akaroa Village at the popular Bully Hayes. The day’s activities can include your choice of the Akaroa Harbour Cruise, swimming with the dolphins, a game of golf on the picturesque Akaroa Golf Course with beautiful sea views, or simply explore and enjoy the charm and serenity of Akaroa.

Day 13
Christchurch - Mt Cook

Head south today across the Canterbury Plains, through the picturesque town of Geraldine. Be sure you make a photo stop at Lake Tekapo, a beautiful turquoise coloured lake and visit the Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores. This is one of the most photographed churches in the world made of stone and sand from around the lake.

You are now in Mackenzie Country and the scenery is fantastic as you drive to Lake Pukaki. Turn towards the Southern Alps and Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain. Follow the glacier-fed Lake Tekapo and the Tasman River all the way up to the alpine village of Aoraki-Mt Cook.

Day 14
Mt Cook - Dunedin

Time to enjoy some of the nearby bush walks in the park before heading west to the coastal town of Oamaru, famous for its white limestone buildings. Be sure to stop at Moeraki Beach with its mysterious, spherical, 60 million year old boulders. Continue on to Dunedin, the ‘Edinburgh of the South’. (2 nights)

Day 15
Dunedin at Leisure

Take the opportunity to enjoy the city’s cultural riches and its abundant nature and wildlife. If you wish, visit New Zealand’s oldest brewery for an entertaining and enlightening heritage tour. Enjoy guided tours of Larnach Castle and the stately home of Olveston House. Play a round of golf at Balmacewan, the oldest course in New Zealand and enjoyed by many of the sport’s greats, both past and present. You could also make the short journey to Portobello Peninsula to enjoy seals, the Albatross Colony and visit the Yellow-eyed Penguin Conservation Reserve.

Day 16
Dunedin - Te Anau

Drive through the rolling hill country of South Otago and Southland. After the farming community of Gore, cross the Waimea plains towards Fiordland. Overnight in Te Anau. (2 nights)

Day 17
Te Anau - Milford Sound Cruise - Te Anau

The road from Te Anau to Milford is one of New Zealand’s most scenic drives.

The first part is relatively mild farmland, then you’ll ease into beech forest near the entrance to the Fiordland National Park. Look for the ‘Avenue of the Disappearing Mountain’ and the Mirror Lakes. Then the rough hewn Homer Tunnel brings you into Milford Sound, an amazing 22km-long fiord dominated by Mitre Peak.

Make sure you allow for plenty of time to stop at the numerous viewing points or short walking opportunities en route. At Milford Sound, board your boat for a spectacular cruise on New Zealand’s most famous waterway, carved by glaciers during the last ice age.

After your cruise make your way back to Te Anau.

Day 18
Te Anau - Queenstown

Trout fishing rivers and high country scenery are features of the drive to Queenstown. The small towns of Mossburn and Lumsden can be explored for unique shopping opportunities – a farm tour is another possibility.

Leave time to take a break in Kingston, the home of a remarkable vintage steam train. From here, the rest of your journey clings scenically to the edge of Lake Wakatipu. (2 nights)

Day 19
Queenstown at Leisure

Today is at your leisure to explore Queenstown and the surrounding areas. It has a well earned reputation for offering adrenaline fuelled activities and will not disappoint even the most fearless visitor, from bungy jumping to white water surfing, jet-boating, canyoning and luging.

Added to that the more traditional pursuits of rafting, wind-surfing, horse riding, mountain biking and skiing in winter and the only problem is finding the time to fit it all in.

Day 20
Queenstown - Franz Josef

Put Queenstown in your rearview mirror and travel along the banks of the Hawea and Wanaka lakes, before stopping in Makarora for an essential, short walk along the Blue Pools Track nearby. Refreshed by the brisk mountain weather, continue your climb over the Haast Pass, reaching the West Coast – where ancient rainforests tower above you. Continue north to the village of Franz Josef Glacier. (2 nights)

Day 21
Franz Josef at Leisure

A full day to explore this remote and beautiful area. You can take your own time walking up to the glacier, going to the Okarito Lagoon; or join a guided walk on the glacier, take a heli-hike adventure, or a scenic flight over both glaciers. We also recommend a visit to the colony of the beautiful white heron (Kotuku).

Make sue your last stop is at the Franz Josef Glacier hot pools where you will be able to enjoy a hot bathe amongst the rainforest.

Day 22
Franz Josef - Christchurch

Travel north along the narrow, bush clad, coastal plain past Hokitika, to Greymouth and return your rental car to the depot at the rail station. Join the famous TranzAlpine train to journey through the Southern Alps to Christchurch, where on arrival you will be transferred to your accommodation.

Day 23
Depart Christchurch

Today is at your leisure until your departure when you will be transferred from your accommodation to Christchurch airport for your onward flight.

4.7/5.0

There are 34 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.7 out of 5.

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Tour Reviews

5
09/11/2017
A truly excellent holiday, very well planned and fulfilled all our requirements.
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5
15/08/2017
We were were very happy with our itinerary and the amount of information and attention to detail in the instructions. It saved us a good deal of time and was so much less stressful than our last overseas trip booked by a travel agent. Just a couple of comments, though: Our room at Quest Auckland had a terrible smell, which we have reported to Quest in our review form. As you are aware, the road from Blenheim to Kaikoura via the coast is closed until at least November due to last year's earthquake. The drive via the alternative route took us over 8 hours, not 6 1/2 hours (per itinerary). This was due to numerous roadworks where we had to stop for up to 5 mins each time and speed limits of 30 kmh in those areas. The road was pretty bad in a lot of places, especially between Hanmer Springs and Kaikoura, where there were constant detours and areas of rough road. Kaikoura is pretty much still in disarray e.g. the whale watching tours are only going on average once or maybe twice a day, depending on tides due to damage to the marina. The road south to Christchurch was only open 3 days a week at the time, so we were lucky that our travel day was one of those. A caution in the itinerary about the roads wouldn't go astray. In our opinion, it would be better to spend a day at Wellington and skip Kaikoura altogether until the coast road is open again. We got to Wellington too late to do anything on our day of arrival and had to depart the next morning so another day would have been handy. Overall, we had a wonderful time. The weather was fantastic and we got to do the helihike to the Franz Josef Glacier, which was the one thing I was worried about being cancelled. Thank you for your assistance and planning. We would have no hesitation in booking with you again.
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5
19/03/2017
We probably should have had extra days at a few places. Overall it was a trip of a lifetime. We learned so much about the ecology, birds, and history of New Zealand. Several motels gave us upgrades which was great. I didn't realize every room has a kitchen. That was a pleasant surprise. I would suggest giving the option to skip Kaikoura and maybe stay at Hanmer Springs.
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5
03/01/2017
Only positive thoughts: fantastic organisation, no hassle, voucher system for accommodation, rental cars, extra excursions etc worked seamlessly. Motels/hotels were excellent quality and just what we wanted. My only wish would have been to spend more time in Wellington as the itinerary only allowed us one short evening there. Fantastic trip.
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5
10/02/2016
Our self-drive tour was fabulous. Because of the thorough preparation and organisation by Relaxing Journeys, the trip went according to plan without a hitch. The trip was so well organised - I couldn't believe how detailed our itinerary was (with lots of information and suggestions). The Kruse was marvellous (although 'she' go confused sometimes!) but following the detailed map, that was provided for us, ensured we didn't get lost! The commentary on the Kruse on New Zealand's history, vegetation, native animals, exports, imports, Maori culture and folklore, volcanic activity, earthquakes, as well as information about towns that are passed through or stopped at along the way. It was like having our own personal guide. What a great idea! My only change to the itinerary would be to allow another night at Mt Cook or delete it completely. We found that we got there late afternoon and had to leave early the next morning, with long drives on both days. We were lucky that we could see Mt Cook in the distance as it wasn't covered in cloud. But we had a better view when we took the helicopter ride at Franz Josef. Thank you so much for our wonderful trip. Loved New Zealand!
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4
09/02/2016
This was our first visit to New Zealand, undertaking a circa 25-day Budget self drive tour of both the North & South Islands, and one which we will remember for many years to come.The stunning views/spectacular scenery around every corner of the road, nice weather, bright sun shine, snow/ice on the top of the mountains and lakes/water falls of stunning turquois blue. The complete ease of getting around the islands. Our accommodation was generally of a very acceptable standard, some even being considered as excellent, with only a couple of motels that could be considered below par, i.e. in some need of attention/refurbishment; namely Casa Bella Motel Paihia & the Union Victoria Motel In Rotorua, perhaps alternatives should be considered for visitors in the future. The Quest managed apartments particularly stood out, given the facilities that they include within the serviced apartments; washing machines/dryers. Our full sized hire vehicle (Toyota Prado) was definitely the correct choice for our family, capable of accepting four/five adults and a considerable amount of luggage, plus being diesel fuelled with the big price differential between diesel & unleaded petrol. We covered almost 4000km over both islands, and were not constantly re-fuelling. The only issue we had was in collecting the car in Auckland city instead of the airport, as I had to chase the rental company on several occasions, as they advised that a taxi had been sent to collect us from the hotel and indeed had actually arrived at the hotel. This was completely untrue. Eventually I had to arrange our own taxi to their office. It was then very evident that this was a common occurrence, with numerous other people complaining to the reception/sales staff of similar issues. I would recommend Relaxing Journeys, with the exception of collecting the car, everything ran very smoothly. Many Thanks.
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5
07/02/2016
What an amazing journey we have just experienced. We cannot thank Relaxing Journeys enough for all their organisation in our 23 day Holiday of both the North and South Island of New Zealand. From day 1 our holiday went like clockwork from scenic spots to pure adventure all was experienced. Taking the option of a self drive tour and have all the arrangements made for us took all the hassle away from the holiday and let us sit back and enjoy our time in New Zealand. Once again thank you and the people and places of New Zealand for giving us the holiday of a lifetime.
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5
16/01/2016
From the planning stage to the very end of our fantastic holiday everything went extremely well. We are recommending Relaxing Journeys and a holiday to New Zealand to all our friends and family. A beautiful country with amazing people, especially in Christchurch. Thank you.
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5
01/01/2016
For many years I have researched and booked my holidays independently. However, having read reviews of relaxingjourneys.co.nz I thought I'd give them a try. Well I must say they were brilliant. From the very start of my enquiry it was a very pleasant experience and I would recommend them to everyone who is intending to have a break in New Zealand. There were no issues whatsoever. If I could rate them higher than 5 star then I would.
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5
30/11/2015
Thanks Relaxing Journeys - our trip to NZ was fantastic! Everything arranged by yourselves went smoothly and I did not have to worry about transport and accommodations at all. As I was travelling with my three (non-driving) teenagers, this took the stress right out of managing where we were going and where we were going to stay when we got there. It also gave us the freedom to do what we wanted when we reached a new destination. The highlight for the kids and myself were definitely Mount Cook/Aoraki and the Glaicer excursion, as well as Milford Sound. Will definitely need to plan a return trip to see some more!! Thanks again.
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5
22/11/2015
We finished our country tour it was amazing! Believe me this is not a country - this is paradise. First sorry my english is not very well. You to much help me for everything. One day if you come to Istanbul please let me know and be my guest. Thank you very very much for everything. Ä° hope see you in Istanbul. Best best regards Erkan, Fatma and Sude.
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5
29/10/2015
Really good trip. Highlights were the Milford Sound trip, penguins and fur seal pups practicing their swimming at our feet. The places we stayed were all well located and welcoming, although we felt poor Christchurch was really too damaged to justify a two night stay at present when you are trying to cover a whole country.
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5
12/10/2015
We chose to do a self-drive tour of both the North and South Islands over twenty-two days and have just returned after a wonderful holiday and great experience. Relaxing Journeys organised the car, accommodation, transfers, vouchers and the itinerary. Our Tour Consultant Mani was extremely helpful and nothing was too much trouble. We requested a couple of changes and these were attended to immediately. The itinerary provided was very helpful and GPS and commentary excellent. Only slight hic-cup was that at Gilmer Apartment Hotel in Wellington and The Quest Christchurch we were required to advise them ahead of time that we needed parking reserved, of which we were unaware. However, we sorted this out in Wellington and rang ahead to Christchurch. This was only a very minor thing. We would certainly use Relaxing Journeys again.
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4
02/04/2015
The whole trip went well as planned by Relaxing Journeys. Only minor issues related to the lengths of car travel on some days. Driving 5 or 6 hours seems too long when it occurs more than once a week. The Wellington accommodation used, while close to the ferry departure point was difficult to find when arriving late in the evening. The accommodation in Franz Josef was also not easy to find as it required driving past Franz Josef for another 5 minutes and the motel had no building number. On a more positive note the 'Kruse commentary and GPS unit' is a must for 1st time visitors and was both informative and entertaining at times.
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4
12/11/2014
The tour was very good. Knowing what we do now, we would have changed the itinerary a bit more to suit our preferences. We don't like cities that much, and would have left Auckland out. On the other hand, Christchurch was great. The Botanical gardens were perfect for the last afternoon. The gondola was a don't miss. Roads were better than expected. Petrol was more than expected. Food was more than expected. but that's research we should have done ahead of time. GPS was a must when finding hotels in bigger town. Weather could have been better, but you never know what your going to get anywhere. Whangerie Falls was great, found out at tourist info about it. Suggest that everyone stop at info centers. Scenery was great everywhere we went. Hotels had kitchens which was handy for cooking our own meals. If I were to do it again, I would probably do only one island at a time. Lots of stuff to see. Thanks for the help.
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5
09/03/2014
We were very pleased with the design of the tour and the arrangements. Relaxing Journeys were very responsive to our requests during the planning stage and designed a tour that met our criteria precisely. The information supplied was comprehensive and helpful. The accommodation throughout met our requirements and we were particularly pleased with the Breakers B&B, which was outstanding and also the Harbourview Lodge in Tairua. The view from the Edgewater Resort in Wanaka was wonderful. Overall an excellent holiday, well planned and executed with a very helpful and friendly response from the Relaxing Journeys staff. I would thoroughly recommend Relaxing Journeys and will certainly use you again if we are lucky enough to revisit New Zealand.
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5
09/02/2014
We had so much fun! It was a load off knowing that everything was booked and we didn't have to worry about anything. Although the itinerary was made for us, there was still plenty of time to stop and do our own thing. If there was anything bad to say, it would just be that a lot of the motels we stayed at had very expensive wi-fi. But even then, it's not that big a deal. The country and people were beautiful, and our consultant was extremely helpful!
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4
16/01/2014
The tour was very good and we saw some fantastic places. Suggestions for change would be in the selection of one or two of the towns where we stayed. Blenheim is/was not a great site. In retrospect, we could have driven from Kaikoura straight through to the ferry at Picton (or stayed overnight in the Picton area) and had an additional day on the North Island at Wellington, Napier, Coromandel, or other town in the Northlands.
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5
02/01/2014
This was a holiday of a lifetime to us and from the time we picked up our hire car everything went faultlessly. All accommodation was very good. The atlas & brochures provided were very good also, along with advice on places to visit en-route. Tours which we had booked were what we expected - loved Hobbiton! We would certainly recommend using Relaxing Journeys to anyone who is going to NZ (in fact already have). Appreciated the flexibility which we required as I am sure we went places where other people would not have otherwise selected.
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5
11/11/2013
We had a wonderful time and it really was the trip of a lifetime. Everything worked like clockwork and we enjoyed all the excursions we had booked through you and we were able to make the most of our time in New Zealand. On the whole we had just the right amount of time in each venue although would have liked another day in Wellington. The accommodation was very good on the whole but we thought the Hotel Grand Chancellor was shabby and down at heel and not the best introduction to your lovely country! It was well situated though for getting to the harbour area. The hire car through Thrifty was very good and I enjoyed the driving on your amazingly empty roads!
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5
29/10/2013
We absolutely loved our self-drive tour in New Zealand. It was the right balance of things being booked in advance and flexibility to do what we felt like doing each day. The pace was also just right and the support we go from the tour consultants were just excellent. We would highly recommend this trip!
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5
27/10/2013
I wanted to write a few words about the wonderful time we had in New Zealand. Your itinerary worked smoothly and flawlessly and allowed us to see the country wonderfully. I caught nice fish in Rotorua, we saw a sperm whale for the first time in Kaikoura, learned about the Maori culture in the Bay of Islands where the Treaty was signed, enjoyed Huka Falls on the way to Wellington and the fantastic Te Papa Museum. We enjoyed our stay in Christchurch and met our friends both nights. We loved Speight's Ale House, the museum and the botanic gardens. And then Aoraki Mount Cook! The Hermitage was fantastic and our room had a view of the mountain that was unbelievable. We took a ride on the glacier lake and learned a lot about glaciers and the ice floes. We had a memorable meal in the Panarama room, and marveled at how good the weather had been for us. Two close friends and former teacher colleagues were in the motel next to us in Te Anau and had booked the same cruise of Milford Sound as ours! We enjoyed the scenery and the company. On the way back into the Sound, the clouds lifted and the view was stunning! As we were winding down our holiday, we decided to do a Glacier Escape at Frans Josef Glacier. First time in a helicopter and the glacier hike was strenuous but totally beautiful. Probably the highlight of the trip even though we were pretty tired afterward, but the hot springs relaxed us and we had a great meal at '88', a new restaurant in town. Wow! Over all, this trip was the best ever! Many of the motel/hotels upgraded our room, or put chocolates or flowers in our room for our anniversary. Everybody was very helpful and eager to make us enjoy the stay. Driving went smoothly and we totally enjoyed the scenery. The weakest motel was the Aden in Te Anau. It was old, a bit shabby, not as clean, the shower didn't drain, and we found dead bugs in the drawers. The people were nice and helpful, but the standard was a bit low. We thought you should know. We will recommend you to anyone thinking of going to your country. We had no problems and were impressed with the excursions you picked for us to do. Thank you all so much!
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5
14/10/2013
A well organised trip. To mention a few, the visit to the Whangarei refinery centre was amazing. Bay of Islands was wonderful, the cruise around the bay very relaxing and scenic. Did ziplining in Rotorua and Orakei Korako was brilliant. East coast south Island great walks, and saw the baby seals playing at waterfall up at Ohau stream walk was cute. Peter Jacksons WW1 plane museum at Blenheim brilliant. We woke to crisp fresh snow at Mount Cook. Larnach Castle was great at Dunedin. Going through Homer tunnel and Milford sound cruise was amazing. Saw Kiwi wildlife centre Queenstown, plus trip to top of mountain. Trans Alpine trip was very relaxing experience. The final 1/2 day tour of Christchurch was excellent (apart from sad sights of the earthquake issues). Thanks for a great holiday.
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5
05/10/2013
Everything went very smoothly - very well organised. A couple of times the days driving was long but overall sensational.
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5
03/09/2013
It was a great trip. The self-drive gave us an opportunity to explore in some of the nooks and crannies that we wouldn't have seen on a guided tour. The weather was not what we expected, cold and rainy, but we adjusted and didn't let it get us down. NZ is quite expensive which was another surprise. We loved the country. We loved the people and will recommend both NZ and Relaxing Journeys to our friends.
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4
10/04/2013
The voucher system works smoothly on the whole and we basically encountered no problems in going along. The cars, transfer arrangements, activities and accommodation were all up to our expectations.
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5
05/04/2013
We had a super fabulous time in New Zealand! The voucher system worked like a charm and the written itinerary and suggestions were very helpful. Our motels and hotels were well-appointed, quaint and the motel people, in particular, were happy to see us and eager to send us on our way to dinners, attractions and shopping. We had no problems at all with the scheduled activities. It was awesome to be on the glacier and our guides from Fox Glacier were super. Our day kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park was perfect as we were the only people with our guide on a day that was sunny, calm and crystal clear. All that was missing was a bit of New Zealand Pinot Noir at the end of our hike! We would highly recommend the Bay of Islands. It was again warm and sunny and we were able to sail right through the Hole in the Rock. Both Doubtful Sound and Milford were spectacular. We had a bit of rain and overcast but the views are magnificent. People were friendly and helpful. We learned a new 'kiwi' vocabulary and passed your company's name on to anyone who asked. Had we really recognized how much there was to see and do we would have altered our pace a bit and stayed longer in some places or driven a bit less. But now we know for next time. Thanks for your help in the planning. We had a wonderful time and will come back again.
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5
06/03/2012
Thanks Jarrod for a wonderfully planned holiday to your very picturesque country. The trip and connections went like clockwork, the weather was great as well the timing worked out spot on and we never missed a day with bad weather. What a great idea the tour information provided, particularly the Road Atlas included in the package and your recomendations also were spot on. We even happened to be in Christchurch on the last day - access to the cathedral was open prior to being closed for demolition. The only hiccup was in the accomodation in Dunedin where we would have had to move rooms for the second day, but they transferred us to the Alcala Econo Lodge in the city which was great and suited us as well. Thanks again Jarrod we could not have improved on the trip with the time available and will not hesitate to recomend Relaxing Journeys to any of our friends visiting your wonderful country.
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4
15/08/2011
I really enjoyed the holiday. This was our first time doing a self drive and I was a little anxious. But, everything was organised beautifully and I was very impressed by your company and how smoothly changes were made when necessary. For example, our glacier trip was cancelled but you contacted us in good time and gave us other options. The penguin trip was an excellent substitute and for the first leg of the tour, we were the only clients so we had a guide all to ourselves! I think Blenheim was the only stop we didn't enjoy as neither myself or my sister are wine drinkers so there was very little to do here. We did find the chocolate factory (where I ended up spending a small fortune) and the fudge factory but, it is a thought if other guests are not appreciative of wine! Overall the pace of the holiday was good, the travelling distances were fine as they were broken up with many places to stop. I loved New Zealand and thought the roads and the well sign posted stops (mostly with toilet facilities) were a dream to travel on. Most of the motels were well equipped, some were a little tired and dated but all were clean. The big difference I noticed from UK, was that there was no free Wi-fi. Most places either charged or had a PC in reception available to use. I would definitely recommend this holiday to anyone that wanted to go to New Zealand.
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4
06/03/2011
First of all thanks for all the arranging. Everything went to plan and we had a fantastic time. Would have loved longer in New Zealand. Only a couple of comments. The motels were all very good and some more than very good! We did find that the Aberdeen Motel in Dunedin was a little damp and we wouldn't want to stay there again. It may be worth looking at others that are may be near the coast but then maybe that would alter the cost. Also we do realise that Fairlie was a late addition but after visiting it we think we would have preferred to have had an extra night in Hanmer Springs and drive the extra next day. Obviously we were lucky that there was four of us to drive which made a big difference. Other than that it was superb and we would recommend you to anyone. We were really impressed. The tours you arranged for us were excellent too. Anyway thank you again and we hope to go back to NZ and maybe try out Australia too. If we do, we will certainly call on you again.
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4
06/03/2011
We had a fantastic time, you are very lucky to live in such a wonderful country. Your organisation of our tour was exceptional, not withstanding the absence of our intinerary and vouchers on our arrival in Auckland. Albeit this problem was sorted out by Jarrod immediately and we were able to start our journey with time in hand. The voucher system worked exceptionally well, with the exception of one motel, and we were comfortable and well catered for at each stopover. The exception was at the booked motel in Te Anau where we were double booked, by the owner it would seem, but within minutes of arriving the lady on duty managed to get us booked into a motel across the road which was of an equal quality. Our only other gripes, I'm sounding like a right moaner but I'm not really, is why does the town of Fairlie exists? I obviously understand that Jarrod had his work cut out trying to rearrange our 2 night stay in Chistchurch, after the earthquake disaster. In hindsight we could have stood the extra travelling if it meant we could have had 2 nights in Hanmer Springs, instead of only one. Perhaps this was not possible? Secondly, upon exploring Dunedin we felt that a motel on the south side of town, possibly near the beaches with would have been a better option. We thought the motel provided was very dated and basic? We were pleased with the car hire, on both islands, and thankfully we opted for the large 4x4 suv which just had enough room for our luggage. Finally our thanks to Jarrod, whom we found to be exceptional from our very first enquiry about our holiday plans. Relaxing Journeys is very lucky to have such a talented individual in place. Best wishes to you all, needless to say we have already bored all our friends to death about our adventure but we have always sung your company's praises to whomever we have spoken to.
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5
15/02/2011
We were delighted with the planning of our holiday and very grateful for Jennifer's prompt action, when we got stuck in Picton. The motels in the North island were extremely good, particularly Siebel Suite. Those in the South Island were Ok though Te Anau was slightly shabby. We did some wonderful walks. We loved the opportunity to dine at wineries, something we cannot do in our climate. We certainly would use your service again, if we were lucky enough to revisit your beautiful country.
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4
15/02/2011
At first we had some apprehension in using Relaxing Journeys to arrange our holiday in New Zealand as there was little evidence available of their reliability other than statements on their own website. However the website is well presented and comprehensive and following some reassuring dialogue with Jarrod Schavri we decided to go ahead. We can now say that we are very pleased that we did so; we had a fantastic holiday and were very pleased with the service provided by Relaxing Journeys and especially with the support they were able to provide following the Christchurch disaster. In the initial booking stages Jarrod was most helpful in answering our queries and tailoring the holiday to our needs. The original tour did not include the Coromandel area but our change to include this worked very well. Jarrod kept us informed with regular communications while making all the arrangements and the holiday was very soon booked. We were very pleased with the Super Shuttle service in all locations. They were always expecting us and at Christchurch Railway Station they even held up a board with our names. Their friendly door to door service was very good. The Rav 4 car from Thrifty was excellent ? pleased we chose that option. In general the accommodation was up to the standard we expected, some better than others. The worst was in Paihia, a two flight staircase and a kitchen past its best. At all locations the people were exceptionally helpful and kind. The voucher system worked well for all accommodation and excursions. As the dreadful events in Christchurch unfolded we were very pleased with the immediate help provided by Debbie Smith. We were re-routed around the affected area and Debbie provided us with very satisfactory alternative accommodation in difficult circumstances when accommodation was no doubt in relatively short supply. Debbie kept us well informed and quickly provided amended instructions and itinerary. We were very pleased and grateful for her services. The Relaxing Journeys information pack was very good and included a good quality map book. The driving time and distance notes were useful except the time for the journey from Te Anau to Milford Sound at 1h 40m is a little short. Our motelier fortunately advised us to allow 2 hours and we were glad she did. The road is spectacular and morning stops are recommended when the light is best. Without doubt the highlight of our holiday was the overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound. This was very well organised especially by the crew on board and everything including the food and cabin accommodation was to a very high standard. The experience was almost priceless. The heli-hike was also a most enjoyable excursion. We would certainly recommend Relaxing Journeys to others.
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4
05/02/2011
We are now back in dear old blighty and just about over the jet lag, but our memories are still very vivid! What a fabulous trip. The accommodation was very comfortable and every proprietor was friendly and helpful. We probably could have done with two or three more days in the North Island to cover a little more of the southern region. Comparative to the South the North Island seemed a little rushed. That being said we thoroughly enjoyed the holiday, the people, the scenery and the wildlife were amazing. Everything was well organised and ran so smoothly. We appreciated the knowledge that was added into the itinerary about each of the areas we were driving through. The pack we received on arrival was informative, and the communications we received from yourselves when changes were necessary were always received in good time. We found your services from the very start to be extremely efficient and we would not hesitate to recommend them to our friends and family. Thank you Jarrod to you and the team.
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23 Day Scenic New Zealand
Self Drive Tours
Tour Code: GNSNZ
From (NZD) $3962 per person
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Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Rating:
34 reviews (4.7/5)

What would you do if you had 23 days dedicated to pursuing the wonderful, beautiful and unmissable? The Land of the Long White Cloud is a spectacular ... Read More

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23 Day Scenic New Zealand
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