New Zealand Coach Tours - which one for you?To self drive or join a New Zealand coach tour - that is the question!
We are often asked whether holidaying in New Zealand is better by self driving a rental car or by joining an escorted coach tour. Of course, there are pro’s and con’s that need to be considered and it largely depends on the style of vacation that suits you best.
Guided coach tours certainly offer relaxing days when you can ease back into your comfortable coach seat and enjoy New Zealand’s spectacular scenery through wide panoramic windows. Being more elevated in the coach means you’ll see everything!
Having a professional driver, and often a tour director as well, means all the daily logistics and details are taken care of. You’ll depart each morning on time so that there is no rushing during the day. Refreshment and photo stops are synchronised and any activities planned for the day are carefully scheduled. It might sound a little “organised”, but it works and you don’t have to think about anything. Each day will roll out beautifully. Your luggage will be magically delivered to your room each night, you’ll always have a seat in the hotel restaurant for dining and you’ll always arrive at sightseeing and activities right on time.
When selecting an escorted coach tour, take into account the number of days you have available for your New Zealand tour, the standard and style of accommodation you prefer and the meals & sightseeing included. Some people prefer all meals to be included, others like to have more options to dine out independently. For excellent value for your holiday dollar, low cost escorted tours that stay in good quality 3-3.5 star tourist hotels will be the way to go. If you prefer a little more luxury with a premium guided tour, then look for tours staying at 4 star hotels and resorts.
You’ll be travelling with other people and this can be a wonderful opportunity to socialise and make new friends from all around the world. Even some silly ones!
Typically the maximum coach capacity will be 48 people, travelling in comfort with onboard bathroom and dual doors for easy entry and exit. Although the coach capacity might be 48, often some departures will have fewer people. If you prefer a more intimate experience, a “small group” tour might be more suitable. These tend to travel in smaller coaches, typically without onboard bathroom, and can visit gorgeous places just a little off the beaten track.
If the choices seem a little mind-boggling, free free to contact us for some good, sound advice on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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All the arrangements for accommodation and travel worked without a hitch. The only confusion we had was finding the Thrifty reception at Picton, as we initially went to the wrong ferry terminal!
We were kindly redirected by a receptionist to the correct terminal and all fell into place.
There were numerous highlights, but for June and I, the Helicopter flight and landing on the glacier was a unique and memorable event.
Driving between destinations was also a pleasure as the traffic density in general is far less than in the UK, the uniqueness of the roads and the scenery made it enjoyable to drive. June (who is far better disciplined than I), created a log of the places visited and experiences encountered.
This, along with the photographs taken will provide material to deliver a presentation of our tour to fellow Rotary members here at Helensburgh.
From June and I, a big THANK YOU for creating a very interesting and memorable itinerary that gave insight to some of the outstanding landscape and history of New Zealand.
N & J, Scotland - Jan 2017
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