32 Day Month in Paradise

32 Day Month in Paradise

Need we say more? The tour name says it all. If you have time on your hands and you want a relaxing tour of New Zealand then this is the self drive tour for you.

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) $5455 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Pace: Relaxing
Duration: 32 Days
Tour Code: GNMP

Inclusions

24 nights accommodation
Rental vehicle of your choice
Twilight Encounter, an evening tour of the Waipoua Forest guided by local Maori guides
Cape Reinga & 90 Mile Beach Trip
Hole in the Rock & Cape Brett cruise
Maori Mitai Cultural Evening with traditional Feast
Admission to Te Puia's Geothermal Valley
Admission to Skyline Skyrides
Relax at the Polynesian Spa
Grape Escape Wine Tour in Napier
Pukaha Mount Bruce Nature and Wildlife Reserve
Scenic Interislander Ferry Cruise
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation & activity vouchers and local travel guides
Chat Request Callback Enquire

Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Auckland

After clearing customs and immigration you will pick up your rental car from Auckland Airport and then make your way to your hotel in the central City. Auckland – the “City of Sails” is New Zealand’s largest city and surrounded by two harbours.

Day 2
Auckland - Hokianga

This morning head north out of Auckland for an hour and a half before turning west and taking a step back in time. You’ll find a stop at the Matakohe Kauri Museum gives you some great insight to the area you are traveling through. Continue north through Dargaville and the Waipoua Forest before arriving at Hokianga Harbour. Tonight you have the Twilight Encounter – a magical evening tour of the Waipoua Forest guided by local Maori guides.

Day 3
Hokianga - Bay of Islands

A relaxing day today. Sleep in and take your time heading east over to the Bay of Islands. Take some time to visit Kerikeri on the way for arts, crafts, antiques and see one of the oldest buildings in the country – the Stone Store. Then you can make your way to Paihia, holiday resort of the North and gateway to the beautiful Bay of Islands. (3 nights)

Day 4
Cape Reinga and 90 Mile Beach

We’ve arranged a coach tour for you today to Cape Reinga, the northernmost tip of New Zealand. There are numerous stops for you to take in the scenic highlights and activities. They start with the easy twenty minute boardwalk through the Puketi Kauri Forest. Then thunder along Ninety Mile Beach and sledge down the sand dunes there. Take a swim and dig for shellfish. See the picturesque village of Mangonui. Your Coach Captain’s local knowledge and informative commentary will make this trip one to remember. (L)

Day 5
Cape Brett and the Bay of Islands

You can relax today and enjoy the Bay of Islands in a number of ways. We’ve included a cruise to the famous Hole in the Rock & Cape Brett for you this morning. Board the luxury catamaran which will whisk you on a comfortable journey out through game fishing waters to the Cape Brett Lighthouse. Next is Motukokako Island and the famous “Hole in the Rock” where we make a passage through the Hole and on to the Grand Cathedral Cave. On the return journey the cruise takes its time and meanders through the inner islands. View sandy beaches, beautiful bays and marine wildlife as your skipper gives an informative commentary. Included is an island stopover on beautiful Urupukapuka Island. As your catamaran docks at the Historic Otehei Bay, enjoy the white sandy beach, picturesque views and its rich archaeological landscape. On the way back you might like to stop off at Russell (New Zealand’s first capital) which was also known as the “Hell Hole of the Pacific” It’s now a quaint seaside village where you can take some time to wander around and enjoy.

Day 6
Bay of Islands - Auckland

It’s a good day for exploring today as there are many possibilities for stops on the way down south. At Waipu turn left to Waipu Cove and follow that road down through Langs Bach and Mangawhai. Waipu Cove is the local surf beach in the area. Further on, at the old Bohemian settlement of Puhoi have a drink and sample some local cheese. A little further south is Waiwera where there are mineral hot pools to bathe and have fun in. Stay in Auckland tonight.

Day 7
Auckland - Coromandel

Head south out of Auckland, then take the turnoff to the east to the Coromandel Peninsula. There were a number of gold rushes in this fairly remote area in the 1800’s but now it is well known for its light sandy beaches, great fishing and surfing Stop at Tairua tonight. This centrally located seaside town is a great place from which to explore the Peninsula. (2 nights)

Day 8
Coromandel

With sparkling azure waters, white sandy beaches, tree lined coastal roads and secluded bays just waiting to be explored, The Coromandel, is one of those special places – breathtaking and unforgettable. The protected forest and marine parks are easily accessed so you can go and discover their delights. Dramatic landmarks and a unique thermal beach with hot water bubbling up from deep in the earth are just some of the many surprises that await on this coastline of contrasts. Enjoy the day.

Day 9
Coromandel - Rotorua

Head south today along the East Coast of the North Island. You can stop at the less populous beach of Whiritoa before visiting the gold mining town of Waihi. Continue past Tauranga through some great gorges and old native forests before arriving in the tourist city of Rotorua. This evening you will be picked up and taken to the Mitai Village for a unique and unforgettable cultural experience. Be enthralled by the natural bush setting, see warriors in traditional dress paddle an ancient warrior canoe (waka) down the Wai-o-whiro stream and see glow worms in their natural habitat. See your traditionally cooked hangi meal being lifted from the ground. During the cultural performance, you’ll learn about our past, carvings and ta moko (tattoo art). (2 nights)

Day 10
Rotorua

Rotorua has been known for its geothermal activity for over 150 years now and today you are able to see, feel, smell and hear some of this wonder of nature. At Te Puia, experience the raw power of Te Whakarewarewa geothermal valley with bubbling mud pools, steaming vents and the world famous Pohutu Geyser. Take a journey into the heart of Maori culture, arts and crafts. Then take a ride on the 8 seater gondola which climbs up the side of Mt Ngongotaha and experience Rotorua’s most spectacular views with Skyline Skyrides. This is a fun, all age, all weather attraction with views of the City and Lake Rotorua. You can have lunch here at the café or restaurant, and enjoy the fresh air a little more if you decide to ride a cart down the Luge. At the end of the day you can relax at the Polynesian Spa where you have the choice of 7 hot mineral spring pools – or upgrade to some wonderful treatments from the Spa such as the Aix Massage.

Day 11
Rotorua - Taupo

It’s only a short drive inland today to Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, so you can stop and explore along the way. Start at the Aratiatia Rapids – a unique feature of the power generation system on the Waikato River. Continue onwards and you can stop to visit the mighty Huka Falls on the Waikato River before reaching Taupo on the shores of Lake Taupo. Here you can relax in a thermal hot pool, take a cruise on the lake or simply explore the area further. This is a trout fishing area.

Day 12
Taupo - Hawkes Bay

You can visit the Taupo Hot Springs Spa if you’d like another hot swim on the way to Napier. From here you have quite a variety of scenery as you ascend to the volcanic plateau then across mountains and valleys to Hawke’s Bay. Make your way to Napier city which was destroyed by an earthquake and fire in 1931. Napier was rebuilt in the Art Deco style and is known as one of the best Art Deco cities of the world. Art Deco tours are available, and you can also take a walk along Marine Parade or up Bluff Hill to enjoy the fabulous vista from there. Alternatively you can leave Taupo early and get to Napier in time to go on one of the tours to the Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony. (2 nights)

Day 13
Hawkes Bay

You have the morning to relax or explore Napier at your leisure. Hawke’s Bay has also become well known as a leading food and wine region in New Zealand, so we have booked you in for a wine tour this afternoon. Meet like- minded people and share an appreciation of Hawke’s Bay’s fantastic wines.

Day 14
Hawkes Bay - Wairarapa

Today’s route has you driving through some of New Zealand’s rural heartland with a mixture of sheep, dairy and crop farming. Make your way south to Pukaha Mount Bruce Nature and Wildlife Reserve. Experience some of New Zealand’s endangered wildlife up close and in the wild. Learn about what is being done to save kiwi, tuatara, kokako, kaka and return them to our forests. Make your way down the Wairarapa through the farming towns of Masterton, Carterton and Greytown before staying in Martinborough for the night.

Day 15
Wairarapa - Wellington

You may like to have a wander around the village which has become well known for its wineries before heading over the Rimutaka Ranges in to New Zealand’s Capital – the harbour city of Wellington. Take a drive up Mount Victoria or a ride up the Cable Car to get some magnificent views of this pretty city. You may also like to have a walk around Oriental Bay, visit Te Papa the Museum of New Zealand, or spend some time shopping or dining in one of the many fine restaurants down town.

Day 16
Wellington - Picton - Blenheim

Today you will travel across Cook Strait, the stretch of water that separates the North and South Islands of New Zealand. The journey across Cook Strait has a dramatic beauty all of its own. Both islands can be viewed, including the magnificent Kaikoura ranges and there is often the chance to see wildlife such as seabirds, dolphins, seals, whales and orca. On arrival in Picton, collect your rental car and make your way past vineyards and wineries to Blenheim. (2 nights)

Day 17
Marlborough

Today is at leisure to explore Blenheim and the wine area of Marlborough. There are more than 20 wineries within driving distance of the town – explore them with a guided tour or bike tour. Visit the Marlborough Sounds, take a wine tour or a Greenshell Mussel cruise or experience all three with the Icons of Marlborough tour. A visit to Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre is highly recommended. A magnificent collection of World War planes set in scenes put together by Weta Workshops with the assistance of Peter Jackson who owns a majority of what you see on exhibit.

Day 18
Blenheim - Kaikoura

Today is another day of dramatic scenery as you drive through vineyards, rolling hillsides and along the Kaikoura Coast. Take some time to stop along the coast where you can see seals and other wildlife before heading in to the whale watching capital of New Zealand – Kaikoura.

Day 19
Kaikoura - Christchurch

This morning is your chance to go on a Whale Watch Cruise or a Wings Over Whales flight 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. Make your way south to Christchurch – the Garden City, and the largest in the South Island. (2 nights)

Day 20
Christchurch

Today you can choose to relax and explore this most English of New Zealand cities. Take a punt on the Avon River, a ride on the tram, or drive up the Port Hills for a great vista over the Canterbury Plains. 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 21
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. Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of the lake. 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 and turn towards the Southern Alps and Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain. Follow this glacier-fed lake and the Tasman River all the way up to the alpine village of Aoraki-Mount Cook. (2 nights)

Day 22
Mt Cook

There are many tracks for walking and tramping in this area – you can find the most suitable for you by going to the Visitor Centre. There are scenic flights available by helicopter or fixed wing aircraft, and if you wish to have a glacial adventure there is the Glacier Explorers excursion on Lake Tasman at the base of the Tasman Glacier.

Day 23
Mt Cook - Queenstown

Leave New Zealand’s highest mountain behind today as you drive through Twizel and Omarama before heading up over the Lindis Pass – this is the area where gold was first discovered in the Central Otago region in 1861. Central Otago has a harsh but beautiful landscape due to its summer heat and winter cold. A lot of gold was discovered in the area in the late 1800’s. More recently in the late 1900’s it’s been discovered as a great place for growing grapes so there are some good reasons for exploring this area. Continue on through the Kawarau gorge to get to the alpine town of Queenstown where you are staying for three nights. (3 nights)

Day 24
Queenstown

There are a huge number of activities to choose from here in Queenstown – for the adventurous there is bungy jumping, jet boating, skiing, 4WD Safaris snow boarding, rafting and skydiving to name a few. There are also some less adrenaline producing activities such as a cruise on Lake Wakatipu, a ride up the Skyline Gondola, or even a great day out on the Dart River Wilderness Safari.

Day 25
Queenstown - Milford Sound Cruise - Queenstown

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. (L)

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

Return to Queenstown on a scenic flight taking in 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.

Day 26
Queenstown - Wanaka

Take the high road of the Crown Range to Wanaka today and you can make a stop at the famous Cardrona Hotel for a hot or cold drink along the way. Cruise down the Cardrona Valley and into the peaceful and picturesque lakeside town of Wanaka. On the waterfront is the Log Cabin which is a great place for a light lunch. You can also get more information about the area here at the information centre. There are lakeside and mountain walks here, great drives into the mountains and around the lake. (2 nights)

Day 27
Wanaka

There are many more things to do here in Wanaka as well as relaxing – get your mind working at Puzzling World, go for a scenic flight around Mount Aspiring, cruise on Lake Wanaka and the Clutha River with Clutha River Jet, take a fishing charter or visit the Fighter Pilots Museum at Wanaka Airport.

Day 28
Wanaka - Franz Josef

Another day of stunning scenery as you drive north now alongside lakes Hawea and Wanaka to reach Makarora – a little stop in the wilderness. It is here you may like to go on the Siberia Experience – a 4 hour wilderness adventure in Mount Aspiring World Heritage National Park. This allows you to enjoy some of New Zealand’s untouched scenery from the air, on land and from the water. From here you climb up over the Haast Pass and over to the West Coast – where ancient rainforests tower above you. Continue north through the village of Fox Glacier to Franz Josef Glacier. (2 nights)

Day 29
Franz Josef

There’s lots to explore in this 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.

Day 30
Franz Josef - Punakaiki

There are some neat old towns to visit on the way north today as well as some great places to photograph the scenery and take a look at the dramatic coastline. Our experience tells us that it really is worth the drive north of Greymouth to stay the night at Punakaiki, best known for its Pancake Rocks and Blowholes – both of which are spectacular and a must-see when visiting the West Coast. Other activities include canoe adventures, horse trekking, caving and guided tours to name just a few. Punakaiki has many colourful local crafts people – jewellers, carvers, painters and potters.

Day 31
Punakaiki - Greymouth - Christchurch

Once you’ve finished your morning exploration of this area make your way back to Greymouth then turn inland to travel over the beautiful Arthur’s Pass. Along the way you’ll see the awesome engineering feats of the Otira Viaduct and Tunnel. You’ll have time to stop and look around before descending through some fantastic alpine scenery and on down to the Canterbury Plains and Christchurch.

Day UP
TranzAlpine Train Upgrade Package

For a small cost we can amend your itinerary so that you drop your vehicle off in Greymouth and then join the TranzAlpine Train for your journey across the Alps. On arrival in Christchurch we’ll arrange transfers to your accommodation and transfers the next day to the airport for your onward flight.

Day 32
Christchurch

After breakfast this morning, please make your way to the airport where you will return your car in time for your onward flight.

4.6/5.0

There are 24 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.6 out of 5.

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Tour Reviews

4
01/03/2018
Mani's itinerary and hotel choices were great and he was quick to respond to any questions. Our trip went seamlessly and we hope to visit again soon. What a beautiful country!
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5
03/03/2017
Rethink the routing to Kaikoura, we stopped at Hanmer Springs which made the travel time more acceptable. We suggest you break at Hanmer if possible, and then time in Kaikoura, then Christchurch. We understand the coastal route closure, this will remain a problem for at least another season. Also would be good to warn of the ongoing roadworks on this route, and frequent prolonged stops. Kaikoura worth it, and they need the business, but the full drive, including photos, views etc is a risky proposition for inexperienced long distance drivers. First choice accommodation excellent, some of the others were good to very good. None bad. Pace was busy but with sufficient stability built in to deal with domestic issues, washing etc. The only issue as noted was the Kaikoura section.
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5
29/01/2017
Could not have been bettered, great tour, perfect hotels and well organised. Thanks a million.
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5
11/01/2017
We would like to thank Marie and Christine of Relaxing Journeys for making our 32 day driving holiday around New Zealand one we will never forget. It was fantastic! We got to travel around both islands and Relaxing Journeys had arranged all our accommodation and transportation for every stop. Our accommodations were all centered nicely at each stop, so all we had to do was walk to restaurants or shopping or sight seeing. Relaxing Journeys also prearranged some amazing sight seeing attractions also. The bus trip up to Cape Reinga and drive on the 90 mile beach, the fun catamaran trip to see the famous Hole in the Rock, the scenic train ride from Christchurch over to Greymouth, and also our trip to Milford Sound. We were so amazed with our trip, always something new to see everyday. From driving through farm land, rain forest, mountains past the oceans, through the vineyards orchards and wineries. Thanks again Marie and Christine for taking the stress out of our holiday. We were very impressed with your expertise and service.
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5
30/12/2016
We had a wonderful time and your planning was excellent. One minor thing: we wondered why the long trip from Queenstown to Milford Sound and why perhaps we were not sent to Te Anua instead. Not a big deal - just a question.
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5
22/10/2015
We had ongoing and immediate feedback from Marie as we planned our trip, a customized trip to meet our needs, excellent suggestions for itineraries and stops along the way, invaluable road maps and distance/time estimations and lovely accommodations. I would recommend Relaxing Journeys to anyone planning a driving trip to New Zealand.
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5
27/01/2015
We thoroughly enjoyed our experiences in New Zealand and the services and itinerary you provided were extremely well thought out and went without a hitch. Your organisation was brilliant. Hotels in cities were centrally located for easy access to main sights and activities. Overall accommodation was very good. However, where breakfast was continental the quantity and quality of the food provided was disappointing for the price that was being charged. We could have got a cooked breakfast at a local cafe for the same price or less in some cases. This needs to be made clear to clients when cooked breakfasts are not available so an informed choice can be made. Also clients staying at the Portage Resort in Queen Charlotte Sound need to be made aware that there is nowhere to buy water or snacks at the resort and therefore need to buy provisions in Picton before boarding the water taxi. To call the hotel a resort is a bit of a misnomer because although the room and restaurant were very good the facilities advertised ie tennis courts, swimming pool, shop etc were no longer in use. These comments are not an expression of displeasure but comments you may take on board in order to enhance the experiences of other travellers. Whilst travelling in New Zealand we recommended your company to other travellers and also passed on our recommendations to our relatives in Australia. Thank you for all your hard work in making our holiday so memorable.
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5
07/02/2014
Had a great holiday. our help in planning and then organising our perfect New Zealand getaway was invaluable. We were able to completely relax and enjoy ourselves knowing that everything had been taken care of. Did not have a single hiccup along the way, the voucher system was so easy and everyone was very helpful and friendly. Loved every part of New Zealand and hope to revisit one day. Thanks Mani!
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5
29/01/2014
Fabulous place to go on holiday. Scenery wonderful. Everyone very friendly. Food and hotels/motels all different but either good or stunning. Organisation by Relaxing Journeys exceeded every expectation and was superb. Will go back one day and certainly use you again.
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5
27/01/2014
A truly excellent holiday, very well organised, everything went to plan. We were impressed with the amount of planning that had been done with regards to trips organised, length of daily journeys and hotel bookings. Our only concern with the first hotel was quickly and efficiently dealt with. Hotels were mainly very good although not all the same type and it would perhaps be an advantage to know which came with suites and or self catering facilities. The car provided was a perfect size for the 4 of us and made the considerable distance that we covered, stress free. Well done.
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5
08/02/2013
We both have fallen in love with NZ what a beautiful country. The tour that we chose was the right one for us along with the extra trips that we wanted. Around every corner was a delight and a surprise, but around the corner we were never disappointed. We were very lucky with the weather only a few wet patches going into Wellington. Every location and accommodation we stayed in was excellent and could not be faulted. We did have a problem with the Ibis in Wellington and I think that we should have spoken up earlier, but we arrived and given a room on the top floor, no problem with that but I did notice that the AC in the corridors was a little loud but thought no more of it. We just dropped our bags and went off to explore. We came back late and we were dead tired so went to bed but the AC was still loud but we decided that at this late hour we didn't want to change rooms as we were leaving the next morning, having said that we didn't sleep that well. We mentioned this at reception and they said they would inform engineering. Also we eat in the restaurant but had to wait nearly an hour for our meal to come, they did give us a 50% discount. In hindsight we both felt the the stopover in Martinborough wasn't necessary being so close to Wellington and maybe an extra night in Wellington or an extra night at Peppers Portage which we found delightful. These are just personal observations so not to everyone preferences. So all in all we really enjoyed our stay in wonderful NZ and if younger we could come to live there! Thank you all for giving us a wonderful trip, one which we will never forget. I have about 4hrs of video and about 2000 photos which Maddalena took so we shall have fun reliving our experiences and probably wishing we were back in NZ if only to leave all this snow we have. We left in snow and arrived back in snow. Many thanks.
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5
05/02/2013
We had a wonderful trip that was organized very well by Relaxing Journeys. We had almost no 'glitches' for which all credit must go to Michelle and Relaxing Journeys. This was our first trip to New Zealand and we wanted to do it thoroughly. By the time we left, we felt we had achieved that goal. (Ed. Click here to read the Wilson's full 6,000+ word tour review).
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5
05/03/2012
Thanks to Jarrod and the team for our 6 week self drive holiday in New Zealand - it was an unforgettable experience. The 4x4 we picked up in Auckland was not brilliant and the Navigation System packed in half way round North Island. But that did not spoil our enjoyment of your beautiful country. Hotels & lodges were good and of course the scenery was fabulous. March/April was a great time to visit as the weather was settled (just as Jarrod predicted). In fact out of the 6 weeks we only had 6 days of rain! Thank you Relaxing Journeys.
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5
09/01/2012
We have wanted to go to NZ for many years and by chance we happened upon the Relaxing Journeys website - we read the many positive feedback reports and thought it made absolute sense for someone on the ground in NZ, rather than someone in the UK, to help us arrange this once in a lifetime trip. Our consultant was Jarrod and I have to say that we were delighted with his knowledge and attention to detail - when we had queries his responses were fast, and his advice sound, and he constructed an absolutely fantastic trip for us. Every single leg of the 8 week extensive trip went smoothly and where additional input was needed, say because of bad weather, he was there to help sort things out, which we greatly appreciated! All in all, I would have no hesitation in recommending their services to anyone thinking of visiting the wonderful country of NZ - we will certainly do so next time we go!
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5
09/11/2011
We have had a wonderful time in New Zealand - our experience of Relaxing Journeys has been very positive and Toni was excellent in providing help and suggestions and in her speed of response when we were making the arrangements. We also feel that we had good value for money. We will certainly be recommending you to anyone we know who is traveling to NZ. We liked the tour and felt it was well balanced and gave us a very good experience of what NZ has to offer given the time available. The tour notes were accurate and gave good suggestions for things we might want to do. As we only have one driver the relatively short driving days were appreciated and gave us plenty of time to explore and do things on route. We liked the cheerful efficiency that we came across pretty much everywhere and the help and information that was freely given by hotel receptionists, transfer drivers etc. We felt that people were sincere in wanting to make things work properly and us to have the best experience we could and the smiles were not just on the surface, there was a genuine desire to show NZ off to its best advantage. We did many things that we have not done before including swimming with dolphins, Segway riding, black water rafting, jet boat riding and a glacier walk. These were all great experiences although I would admit some were a little more challenging than others. We have also done more walking and appreciating of the outdoors than we have done for many years - NZ just seems to be so beautiful that you want to get out there and see it. Thank you for helping make our trip so memorable and such a positive experience.
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4
14/04/2011
Relaxing Journeys helped us put together a customised 30-day tour of New Zealand that let us see all the major sights we had on our list. They were very responsive whenever we had questions and needed to contact them. Our contact was Toni Harris and she was a delight and easy to work with. She found time to provide great customer service even while scrambling to help others affected by the Christchurch earthquake. We loved New Zealand - what's not to love, it's a wonderful country with great people - and had a blast. We stayed mostly at motels (except for hotels in the big cities) which ranged from OK/good to super with one exception, the Hobbit motel in Waitomo, whose whimsy we did not appreciate and would have gladly traded for conventional accommodations. The NZ road atlas they provided was quite adequate for most of the trip, although we did get lost in the big cities (and obviously eventually found our way, primarily with the help of a rented phone, which we would recommend to all visitors). The itinerary provided by Relaxing Journeys was quite detailed and suggested attractions along the way from one destination to the next. We highly recommend Relaxing Journeys to anyone traveling to NZ, and would use them again.
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4
05/02/2011
The tour is well named. We both loved New Zealand and everything about it. We enjoyed every minute of the tour and could easily have stayed longer. We were slighly disappointed not to have seen the extreme south of the South Island (Dunedin, Invergargill etc). That area is listed by the BBC as 'one of the top places to see before you die', but I suppose you can't fit everything into a month. Everything on the tour went without a hitch and we were impressed by the service we received everywhere we went. We can't think of anything negative to say except that a month wasn't long enough for us. Perhaps we'll have to come back some time!
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4
04/02/2011
Now that we've returned, caught our breath, and had a chance to recuperate, here are our thoughts on the trip: General Comments: Overall, the trip was a spectacular adventure for us. The travel materials provided were very helpful, particularly the atlas, which was invaluable. The voucher system was well-organized and worked flawlessly. In planning the trip, we found working with you to be a pleasure, and we were very pleased with your willingness and ability to accommodate our requests for changes. Thanks so much for your help in making this one of our most memorable vacations. We have many fond memories (and 597 pictures!) of New Zealand. (RJ - Edited for brevity)
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4
05/02/2010
We had a marvellous holiday in your fabulous country and we both send our thanks to you and the team at Relaxing Journeys for setting up such a splendid itinerary for us. In short, everything when exactly as planned and we were able to include just about all the suggestions you made plus a number of our own. The car hire and hotels arrangements worked perfectly and the included trips etc were a great bonus. On top of all this the weather was brilliant with only 3 days on which it rained for part of the time (Milford Sound, of course!). I have many digital images to edit so I shall be fully occupied for the next couple of months. I shall write to you in a week or so with some more detailed observations which may be of help to you when arranging similar holidays in the future. These are certainly not criticisms, we have none of those. We shall return!!
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4
04/02/2010
We had a fantastic time in your beautiful country and found the itinerary to be well planned and organised. The time it saved us in bookings and research was immense. You requested useful comments so I include some observations, which I feel may be nit-picking as we really did have an incredible time with wonderful weather. We had an extra day in Christchurch to get over jeg-lag before taking to the road. Because of this we didn't need to return there. We're not city lovers and we drove to Akaroa from Christchurch on that day. We loved Doubtful Sound which we added to your itinerary. We were quite happy to also go to Milford Sound which you include, as that seems to be the 'Sound' most talked about. Doubtful Sound was definitely our favourite and we noted that the most photographed parts of Milford could be done on foot. Having said that, even if you'd told us that, we would probably have still wanted the experience. It might be worth looking at the Rotorua part of the itinerary. I realise the 5 star pass is not your own programme, but there were aspects of it where we would have preferred to substitute other things in the area. eg. We visited Wai-o-Tapu (much better than Te Puia) enroute from Taupo and the Buried Village. Instead of the Spa and Paradise Valley (more a children's place we felt and the lions weren't well kept) we could maybe have visited Waimangu and/or Hell's Gate. Please don't take this as criticism, more a constructive critique, which I hope you will find useful. Every single thing can't be everyone's 'cup-o'-tea' We really did have a great trip and 'adventure' and nothing to complain about. Thank you very much.
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4
13/01/2010
We had an amazing time! Everything went very smoothly, picking up the rental car, checking into the hotels. Everything was ready and taken care of! The only thing we would suggest is more specific directions to the hotels. A couple of times we had to do some guess work. Especially in the small towns that we didn't have a map for. We want to thank Craig for all the help and getting us the additional days and staying in the places we wanted to. We truly felt that our vacation was made just for us! Stewart Island was wonderful. Thanks again for the vacation of a life time!
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4
11/01/2009
I just wanted to thank you for all your hard work on our behalf; the organisation was just perfect - all the hotels were expecting us, the car hire was simplicity, and the trips out were just right for us. And New Zealand was just great - a fascinating country with such a variety of geography - from mountains and glaciers to golden beaches and verdant pastures. We loved it all!! And the fine weather was a real bonus too. All in all, a wonderful 35 days. I will certainly recommend your company to any other Brits who want to see what NZ has to offer.
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4
13/10/2008
Right from the start, when we got you, we felt all would go well. We had done a lot of research & chose the tour nearest to what we wanted. New Zealand is fantastic. Everyone is so friendly and polite; even the smallest town has local pride and organises tourist attractions. the scenery, the birds, the thermal and Maori stuff, museums, architecture, wine, motels, gardens - all top notch. We want to go again. All the arrangements for our tour went perfectly, so we had no worries at all. I would only change a few things - our visit to Ulva Island - I think the trip with Ulva Goodwillie, whom I met, would have been better than the one with Real Journeys, which was a bit perfunctory. The way to Nugget Point was rough, and when we got there the path was too steep for us old folk. Also next time we'll spend more time in fewer places. Norm says he really liked Norsewood Norwegian settlement, on the way to Mount Bruce. Thanks for everything. Delay in replying due to the horrors of Christmas.
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4
12/10/2008
Well we are home now in the UK after a super holiday. One which we will long remember and treasure. NZ really does sell itself as a beautiful country. We really did enjoy our holiday and want to thank you so much for your excellent organisation. We did many of your recommendations, and thoroughly enjoyed them. They were a good balance and interesting diversity. In addition, the prebooked trips were all excellent, interesting and well organised. We particularly enjoyed the Maori hosted walk in the forest at Hokianga and the superbly hosted, and informative, coach trip to Cape Reinga, although it was a long day. Grape Escape were also excellent. So to sum up, we had a wonderful holiday and will certainly recommend you to a number of friends who are interested in visiting NZ in the next year or two.
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32 Day Month in Paradise
Self Drive Tours
Tour Code: GNMP
From (NZD) $5455 per person
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Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Rating:
24 reviews (4.6/5)

Need we say more? The tour name says it all. If you have time on your hands and you want a relaxing tour of New Zealand then this is the self drive to... Read More

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32 Day Month in Paradise
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