Private Guided Tours

South Island Wonders: A Grand Loop of the Mainland

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This South Island loop example itinerary gives an idea of what can be seen and done on New Zealand’s remarkably picturesque mainland in two weeks

During your travels you can expect to see snow-capped mountains, bright turquoise coloured lakes, golden sandy shores, waterfalls, glaciers surrounded by rainforest and rugged beaches. Highlights include a whale watching tour off the coast of Kaikōura, stunning Lake Tekapo, Queenstown; ‘The Adventure Capital of the World’, Franz Josef Glacier, Lake Wānaka and the jewel in the South Island’s crown: Milford Sound!

This tour can be easily Self-driven with our comprehensive travel guides, complete with all our favourite off the beaten path (and popular) spots to enjoy on the way. This allows you the freedom to explore at your own pace. Don’t feel like driving? we can provide a guide too! Remember, you are in control! Rest assured, all our offerings are fully customisable and tailored to meet your specific preferences. Feel free to ask us to modify this itinerary to create the journey of your dreams!

Build your own tour
The activities listed above are just a glimpse of what’s possible! We pride ourselves on creating bespoke experiences tailored to your interests and desires. If you have specific activities or destinations in mind, let us know, and we’ll craft a personalised itinerary just for you. Every journey is unique, and we’re here to make yours perfect. Dream big – your adventure is waiting to be customised!
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Whale watch Kaikoura

Top attractions in this tour

Your 14-day road trip itinerary

14-day journey exploring key destinations across New Zealand's diverse landscapes.
DAY 1
DAY 2
DAY 3
DAY 4
DAY 5
DAY 6
DAY 7
DAY 8
DAY 9
DAY 10
DAY 11
DAY 12
DAY 13
DAY 14
DAY 1
Christchurch Arrival

Guided: Upon arrival at Christchurch Airport, a private shuttle driver will take you to your accommodation in the city. The day and night are free to spend at your leisure and your guide will meet you tomorrow morning.

Self Drive: Upon arrival at Christchurch Airport you will collect your rental vehicle within the airport terminal. Make your way to your inner city accommodation where the day and night are free to spend at your leisure and prepare for the adventure ahead.

Full Itinerary
DAY 2
Christchurch to Kaikōura

Today you will head north through the wine growing area of Waipara to Kaikōura. Kaikōura is a sea life paradise which boasts whales, seals, albatross and dolphins. There are over 17 species of whale to be found in Kaikōura all within 8 km of the coastline. Early afternoon you will take a whale watching boat tour. Keep a look out for Sperm Whales, Humpback Whales and Orcas as well as many species of Dolphin. Spend the night in the seaside village of Kaikōura.

Full Itinerary
DAY 3
Kaikōura to Abel Tasman National Park

This morning further up the coast, stop North of Kaikōura to see some New Zealand fur seals in their natural environment. From here, your tour then heads through Marlborough wine growing country where you may wish to explore some of the area’s fantastic wineries (we will note some of our favourites in your travel guides). From here you will be driving through the Whangamoa Ranges and Nelson. En route from Nelson to Abel Tasman National Park you may wish to stop at some orchards and a chance to try fresh seasonal fruit. From here you will reach your destination of Abel Tasman National Park.

Full Itinerary
DAY 4
Abel Tasman National Park – Cruise/Walk/Kayak

Today you’ll board a cruise to Medlands Beach where you can relax, swim and explore then cruise back to Kaiteriteri to kayak in the shelter of one of of New Zealand’s most popular bays. You’ll also walk a section of the Abel Tasman Coastal Track – NZ’s most popular. this trip includes 1 hour kayaking, up to 1.5 hours walking + a 2 hour cruise. Abel Tasman is New Zealand’s smallest National Park and is famous for its golden beaches, turquoise waters, native bush and spectacular scenery. Observe Abel Tasman’s playful inhabitants – dolphins, fur seals, penguins and sea birds.

The rest of the afternoon is free to spend at leisure.

Full Itinerary
DAY 5
Abel Tasman National Park to Punakaiki

This morning you farewell the sunny North Coast and head southwest to the lush rainforest of the West Coast. En route you can explore Westport and Mangatini Falls on the Charming Creek Walkway (small detour). Next perhaps check out Cape Foulwind. Upon arrival in Punakaiki, you can explore the pancake rocks and blowholes situated right next to the village; a bizarre, rugged, rocky landscape which impresses thousands of visitors each year with its powerful forces of nature!

Full Itinerary
DAY 6
Punakaiki to Franz Josef Glacier + Underworld Adventures Caving

This morning you will detour 30 minutes North to Underworld Adventures in Charleston. Here they will kit you up for the trip of a lifetime through their glowworm caves. The journey starts with a trip on their rainforest train, a walk through the rainforest and a journey into their large limestone cave. Following this you will lie on a tube and drift under the light of thousands upon thousands of glow worms on the cave ceiling. This particular cave has more glowworms than any other cave in NZ and the experience is truly cathartic. Driving South down the coast from Punakaiki, check out the stunning Hokitika Gorge with its beautiful bright blue waters and surrounding native forest. Arrive in Franz Josef Glacier this afternoon/evening, a beautiful village nestled at the base of the mighty Southern Alps.

Please note there is the option to do a glow worm cave tour (without any rafting or getting wet!) if you would prefer.

 

Full Itinerary
DAY 7
Franz Josef Glacier to Lake Wānaka

This morning you will have the opportunity to enjoy a short scenic helicopter flight with snow landing on Franz Josef Glacier, or a 3 hour guided heli-hike on the ice of glacier itself (optional). Franz Josef Glacier is one of only three glaciers in the world that is surrounded by rainforest! Alternatively, walk along the Waiho River into the colossal Franz Josef Glacier valley and get closer to the base of the glacier.

One of the most dramatic journeys in the country is what you can experience on your drive over the Haast Pass through to Wānaka. En route you will visit Lake Matheson, otherwise known as ‘Mirror Lakes’ where on a clear day it is possible to see the reflection of New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki/Mt Cook (3754m/12,316ft). The walking possibilities are endless today around Haast and Haast Pass and you can choose from several nature walks, some of which feature spectacular waterfalls and deep blue coloured pools where it is possible to see trout swimming. One of our favourite spots at The Road Trip is Ship Creek, an isolated beach featuring native totara trees hugging rugged coastline. Tonight you stay in the pictiresque lakeside town of Wānaka.

Full Itinerary
DAY 8
Wānaka to Te Anau

This morning your South Island tour takes you to the beautiful town of Arrowtown via The Crown Range, New Zealand’s highest highway. Arrowtown was an important location in the gold rush of Central Otago in the 1860s and is now a historic town with a very special vibe. Perhaps browse the preserved Chinese gold mining village or wander the boutique shops the town has on offer.

Following this, perhaps enjoy a wine tasting at Amisfield Bistro & Cellar Door, overlooking the stunning Lake Hayes.

This afternoon you will drive a further 2 hours to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland National Park.

Full Itinerary
DAY 9
Milford Sound (Piopiotahi) Day Trip

Be prepared for one of the jewels of the New Zealand landscape! The drive from Te Anau to Milford Sound is one of the most spectacular in the world and certainly a highlight on any New Zealand tour. En route you will see spectacular valleys, breath taking mountains and hopefully spot the cheeky Kea (New Zealand’s mountain parrot).

Upon arrival in Milford Sound you will experience all that the fiord has to offer with a 1.5 hour boat cruise featuring pristine waterfalls and towering mountains plunging into the Tasman Sea. Keep a look out for dolphins, seals and the Fiordland crested Penguin.

On your trip back to Te Anau there is the opportunity to enjoy several short walks in the Fiordland National Park.

Full Itinerary
DAY 10
Te Anau to Queenstown

This morning you will head to Queenstown, ‘New Zealand’s adventure capital of the world’. Skirting your way around Lake Wakatipu makes for some stunning photography and you will be amazed by the Remarkables Mountain Range, one of the most famous back drops for Lord of the Rings.

The afternoon is free to spend as you wish in Queenstown, and there is plenty to see and do! Perhaps enjoy a walk around the botanic gardens on the lake, enjoy a drop of Central Otago pinot noir at a nearby winery, or sample some fresh local cuisine on offer on the lakefront.

Full Itinerary
DAY 11
Queenstown

Today is free to explore Queenstown at leisure and take part in some of the fantastic activities that this ‘Adventure Capital of the World’ has to offer. Options for the adventurous include: Skydiving, Bungy Jumping, Jet Boating, Canyon Swings, White Water Rafting, Flyboarding and Paragliding. If you feel like taking a more relaxed approach to the day, a cruise on the TSS Earnslaw 100 year old steam ship or a walk through Queenstown’s Botanic Gardens are not to be missed. Perhaps drive out to the head of Lake Wakatipu and experience the breath-taking scenery of the Glenorchy area.

 

Full Itinerary
DAY 12
Queenstown to Lake Tekapo (Takapō) via Aoraki/Mount Cook Village

You leave Central Otago today through the Kawarau Gorge and Cromwell where you can make a stop en route at a local fruit shop to try real fruit ice cream and perhaps sample New Zealand famous manuka honey products.

From there, cross the Lindis Pass to the Mackenzie Country and travel alongside the stunning turquoise Lake Pukaki towards Aoraki/Mt Cook Village. Weather permitting you can take a short walk at the foot of Mt Cook – New Zealand’s highest mountain. Our favourite walk ventures into the Hooker Valley and takes in some of the most impressive views in the country.

En route to Lake Tekapo, perhaps take a trip to the top of Mt John to experience the feeling of being on top of the world. The cafe at the top boasts stunning 360 degree views of the Mountains and turquoise coloured lakes in the area.

Tonight you will enjoy a stargazing tour atop Mt John with Dark Sky Project. At 1,029m high, Mt John offers unrivalled 360-degree views across the largest accredited International Dark Sky Reserve in the world. Their expert astronomy guides bring the night sky to life, sharing the science and the stories of our Southern skies. Take in the incredible Milky Way, far off planets, star clusters, solar systems, and even distant galaxies; every night sky beholds something different.

Full Itinerary
DAY 13
Lake Tekapo to Christchurch

This morning you depart Lake Tekapo and continue on to Christchurch. The afternoon is free to explore The Garden City of Christchurch. You could enjoy a stroll in the botanic gardens and a drive around the bays of Banks Peninsula, taking in Lyttelton which was the gateway for many of Christchurch and the Canterbury region’s first European settlers. Cathedral Square and the remains of the Christchurch Cathedral are well worth a visit, as well as the revitalised central shopping area and Riverside Market.

Full Itinerary
DAY 14
Christchurch Departure Day

Today you will transfer to your onward travel arrangements. We trust you have had a fantastic time in our beautiful country and wish you safe travels to your next destination.

Onward flight is not included.

Full Itinerary
What’s included?
Your choice of accommodation. Silver (4 star), gold (5 star) or platinum (luxury lodge) options available
Most breakfasts, select lunches and dinners
A choice of self-drive and privately guided transport
In-depth and detailed custom travel guide
Listed activities (the list is fully customisable)
Full insurance coverage on rented vehicles
Overnight parking where necessary
Custom tour creation with one of our travel experts
What’s not included?
Return international flights
Personal travel insurance
Some lunches and dinners
Individual shopping and souvenirs
Extra, optional activities

Why book a privately guided road trip

Bespoke Itineraries
Bespoke Itineraries
Personalised tours tailored to your preferences
Authentic Kiwi Experiences
Authentic Kiwi Experiences
Genuine insights into New Zealand's culture
Flexible Bookings
Flexible Bookings
Secure and adaptable travel arrangements
Private Travel Safety
Private Travel Safety
Safe, crowd-free, intimate exploration
Local Expertise
Local Expertise
In-depth knowledge from a Kiwi-owned business
Community Support
Community Support
Contributions to local businesses and communities
This South Island Loop tour is a great tour to start with to experience the best of the South Island. When I guide groups on this tour, I love finding secluded beaches and scenic spots where there are no other tourists around. This tour can easily be extended, to see spots like Stewart Island and Dunedin, for those wanting to see penguins in the wild!
Alex
General Manager

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I see farm animals and Flower blossoms (lupins) on this tour?
Yes, we can customise this tour to be at the right time of year to see flower blossoms (November - February) and let you know where to see them! Farm stays and visits are easily added!
I land in Auckland. How do I get to the South Island?
There are many flights between Auckland and Christchurch, where we recommend you start this tour. We can include these flights if you wish, just let us know. Otherwise there are some direct flights from Singapore, China and North America to Christchurch. Furthermore, it is easy to change the start and finish of this tour to Queenstown also, which has great connections to Australia!

Real and Independent
Traveller Feedback

Read reviews on Tripadvisor
Fantastic Road Trip in the South Island
Just had 21days in NZ south island. The Road Trip crew organised everything and it was faultless! The tour was tailored to our wants and what we were into. The App was just great so we were never concerned about if we were on time or what to see on the way.Cannot recommend this crew enough! The month of May is perfect for what we wanted to do. Again thanks to the Road Trip crew for a great holiday. There is not enough room here to write about all the great things we saw and did. The Kiwis are great!
Ian S
Jun 2024
Wonderful time touring the South Island of New Zealand. Highly recommend The Road Trip Tour Company!!!
A little late in posting this review, but it was such a wonderful experience I wanted to make sure I let Alex and our guide Constance know what a great time we had. Kudos to Alex for putting together a fantastic itinerary on such short notice and to Constance for her knowledge, wit, and patience with the four of us spry 60+ year olds. She was an amazing host who loves her country and loves to share its history, she was a fantastic driver as well, she knew when we needed to get on the road and knew so many short cuts during rush hour traffic, she made us so happy we weren’t driving. As a side note, being from the States, I would highly recommend not driving, we’ve driven NZ and Australia before and having a driver is sooo much more enjoyable. We highly recommend The Road Trip!!! Thank you again Alex for making our vacation amazing!!!
AliT-SoCal
May 2024
The Road Trip is the best way to organize a great trip to New Zealand
The Road Trip team did an outstanding job organizing and scheduling our recent visit to New Zealand. There were no issues communicating with them from the States and they made it easy to schedule a video call and discuss what would best match our interests and priorities. Alex and the team then sent us a first draft itinerary to review .They had excellent suggestions and many great options. Lastly, they sent a final itinerary and an app to use throughout our trip. Communication throughout the process and the trip was easy and the app was fantastic --it had all the information we needed each day – hotel reservations, activities, meals etc. and we appreciated the many suggestions in the app for places to visit and activities so we could tailor each day to our liking. Because our trip was so successful, we’re planning to use The Road Trip to return to New Zealand in 2025. It’s by far the best way to organize a great trip to New Zealand that is tailored for you.
Janet S
May 2024
Amazing NZ vacation with The Road Trip New Zealand company.
The Road Trip New Zealand organized a 12 day road trip in the South Island for us! Alex and his team were focused on making the best arrangements to meet our goals for this trip. The team began by finding out what our interests were and then matched a road trip itinerary designed to meet our goals. The pace of activity in each day was good ( Though New Zealand is very very big and we could have spent easily a month exploring the country....or more). We will have to return! Highlights in the South Island are many including the helicopter ride to the top of Franz Josef Glacier, tramping through the rainforest, the Amisfield Winery wine pairing lunch, and our walks around Auckland to discover restaurants and see the sights. Dealing with the Road Trip New Zealand team was easy, they took the time to listen to us, pay attention to our budget and put together a great trip. Communicating with them from the other side of the world was easy and we found the team responsive to our emails. Many thanks for all your help in making this trip memorable!!
RB L
May 2024
Wonderful trip
I had a great trip with my friends. New Zealand is beautiful. This time I experienced it. The views and scenery were spectacular. I hope I can comeback to NZ again.
Tiến H
Apr 2024
Wonderful, custom made New Zealand road trip with "The Road Trip"
If you are looking for a bespoke tour of New Zealand's South Island, I would recommend going with the Road Trip. Other than for day trips, my wife and I avoid bus trip tours. We want my own agenda and dislike waiting for a large group of people to assemble and don't like being part of herd following a flag around and having to be rushed to the next place. After doing extensive research about the places we wished to visit and after looking at several companies, We decided to go with the Road Trip. We were able to talk directly with Matt about our interests and he put together a two week tour agenda. After reviewing, I added some things and changed others to get exactly the route and agenda we wanted. Chris M. was our guide and excellent driver and quickly learned what we liked and the types of things we wanted to do and see. We were able to make changes on the fly and spend as much or little time at each place as we wanted and arrive at our next lodging spot early - or later if we wanted more time someplace. When our whale-watch tour was cancelled, Chris suggested a steamboat tour and BBQ lunch as an alternative which was an excellent choice. He also knows interesting local and out of the way places to stop for views, walks, breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks, many which we likely would not have discovered on our own or at a convenient time. Chris was very personable, accommodating and polite and had a great sense of humor. He is well versed in NZ flora and fauna and can identify native birds and plants and provide a lot of info about them. He is also quite knowledgeable about Maori culture, history and lore. He is well travelled and has many interesting life experiences and stories to relate. We spent many hours in the car so I believe we got to know one another quite well. Thanks again to the Road Trip and to Matt and Chris for taking good care of us and giving us a truly memorable experience!
usclapps
Mar 2024
An amazing service! Highly recommend!
Having never been to New Zealand before we wanted to self drive and asked the Road Trip to suggest an itinerary. We spoke to Matt via Zoom and discussed our interests, time lines and budget. Within a short period of time Matt sent us a suggested itinerary. We met again via Zoom and discussed the plan. Each day we looked forward to opening the App and following the suggested route as we explored NZ. Points of interests, suggested cafes and rest stops along the route did not disappoint. All of the accommodation and activities were excellent. Wonderful to arrive in a city and look at the suggested restaurants, etc. we followed the the Road Trips suggestions most evenings for dinner and were delighted we did! On a couple of occasions, timings for activities were altered by the provider and our App was immediately updated and a email was also sent to us. We loved New Zealand, we thoroughly enjoyed The Road Trip’s staff and services. This is the way to travel!! Highly recommend! 10/10!!!
Vacationer588794
Mar 2024
Had the trip of a lifetime thanks to The Road Trip!
Highly highly HIGHLY recommend The Road Trip to plan your New Zealand adventure. Everything was planned perfectly between the hotels and the adventures. Their recommendations were spot on and we had the trip of a lifetime. There were 8 of us ranging from teens to late 60s and the adventures we had were perfect from climbing to jet boating to staying on the Milford Sound. We didn’t have any hiccups, everything was booked perfectly and made to be so easy! We just showed up and everything was good to go! We will be back one day and have The Road Trip team plan another vacation for us! Well done team and THANK YOU SO MUCH!
KCaissey
Mar 2024
Great trip planning !
Our itinerary was planned so well. There were 4 of us (2 couples) and the activities were just as we wanted which was a mixture of adventures, leisure time, variety of lodging including off the beaten path ones. They were accommodating and receptive to our wishes.
teeseeann
Feb 2024
Definitely use The Road Trip to plan your journey in New Zealand
We used The Road Trip to plan out our 18 day "Road Trip" in New Zealand and it was one of the best things that we did. We talked to them about what we wanted to see, where we wanted to go and they took care of everything. We spent 13 days in the South Island and 5 days in the North Island and it was basically "turn key" for us. We showed up at the airport in Christchurch and they took care of the car rental, all of our hotels / motels, the excursions that we wanted to go on, provided us points of interest along our drive including suggested hikes, things to do in the cities that we visited as well as restaurant recommendations. All of these I have typically done myself on other trips, but having them do it on this trip was worth every penny and made things much more enjoyable and significantly less stressful. Even after we started our journey they were very responsive to some changes that we made on the fly (because of weather). I would highly recommend them - in fact we asked if they provide these services in other countries because if they did we would definitely use them!
Jim H
Feb 2024
Use the Road Trip team for your trip to NZ
I highly recommend using The Road Trip team to plan your NZ trip. We booked our trip in March 2020 and due to the pandemic, we obviously had to cancel. The Road Trip team helped us to rebooked when NZ opened its borders without having to forfeit any of our deposit moneys. We ultimately took a self-guided tour in 2024 where the Road Trip team helped us to plan an itinerary that met our specific needs and timeline. The final itinerary was perfect and we followed it to a tee, including the GPS recommendations. All our hotel, car rental, flight and excursion confirmations were booked as outlined in our detailed itinerary. In other words, we didn't have any problems when we arrived at hotels, to pick up cars, catch flights or do excursions such as gondolas, boats, trains, helicopters, etc....They also helped us to book some excursions at the last minute. We loved all the hotels they booked. And finally our helicopter excursion was cancelled due to weather and the Road Team transferred the booking with the same helicopter company to a different city and tour so we wouldn't miss out. It was also nice knowing that the Road Trip team was there to support us during our stay. Again, I highly recommend The Road Trip team. They stuck with us for four years! I am soooooo glad we used them. You should too.
Marco C
Feb 2024
New Zealand Trip of a Lifetime
Road Trip NZ helped us plan a 15-day independent tour of New Zealand and we can't say enough good things about them. We started with some ideas of what we wanted and they provided suggestions to improve the trip plan. During planning and during the trip itself they were easy to reach and responded quickly. They coordinated a rental car for us on the North and South islands and booked all accommodations and planned activities. For each stop, we chose the "level" of hotel (platinum, gold, silver). No matter what level was selected, the accommodations were excellent for that type of stay (roadside motels to big city hotels). The included meals, and activities were all first-rate and every time we walked into someplace new, they had our information and checked us in quickly. Road Trip NZ provided an easy to use customized phone app that had all of the needed trip information: directions, places to eat, interesting stops along the way, and additional activities at each location. For directions, activities, or food, the app never steered us wrong. Highlights of the trip included a wine tour of Waiheke Island, Heli-hike on Franz Joseph Glacier, Hobbiton, Waimangu Valley, and jet boating. I highly recommend that everyone visit New Zealand and use Road Trip NZ to plan your trip of a lifetime.
Sharon G
Jan 2024
Couldn't be better ......
Responding at very short notice for a trip over the Christmas period, The Road Trip pulled together a well balanced week of sightseeing and activities. Kinloch hotel and Lana Hotel were both first class and our driver/guide, Chris Martin was a good driver, always on time and came with a great sense of humor. Very happy with our week.
globalguy
Jan 2024
December NZ road trip : Spectacular scenery and memorable experiences.
We had a wonderful road trip with my family of 4 along with my mum and uncle. We were surrounded by beautiful scenery while en route, not just at the destinations. The experiences and activities catered to the more active and sedate family members allowing each to experience NZ at their own pace . Several parts of the route were windy, and each day required 2-5 hours of driving either in parts or in a stretch. We were fortuitous to have my husband, who is experienced driving long distances abroad and in NZ to take us from place to place. Even so, the Toyota Hiace was challengeng to manoeuvre around the few hundred kilometres of steep windy bends. The weather was generally kind to us while we were there in NZ in Dec while we were there from 17-30 Dec 2023.
Jacqueline W
Jan 2024
Tasting Menu of New Zealand!
It was a most fabulous three week honeymoon in beautiful New Zealand! Our team at Road Trip (Matt and Denina) put together and booked an incredible itinerary. A true "tasting menu" of New Zealand. We decided on a self-drive option and presented Matt with a challenge (my husband's list was lengthy). After a couple of back and forths via email and a zoom call we ended up with one week on the North Island and two on the South. They booked everything; from the rental cars (Ezi Rentals - excellent), to the lodgings (all comfortable, clean, breakfast included and perfectly located), domestic airline tickets, and several things to do (kayaking, glow worm caving, etc). Except for our lunches and dinners everything was pre-paid which made it sooooo easy. Their detailed itinerary included so many suggestions for side trips, tips for the best photo opportunities, when to top off on gas and restaurant/cafes suggestions. Denina responded so quickly to our on the road requests to change times for certain activities or type of car (we wanted more trunk space). There is NO way we would have been able to enjoy this perfect "tasting menu" of New Zealand without The Road Trip. We wholeheartedly recommend using them for your trip to NZ! Thank you Road Trip team.
Jacalyn Y
Dec 2023
South Island of NZ
First time in New Zealand so hired the road trip to travel the South Island. The views were amazing as expected. The staff were very responsive and tried their best to make our trip smooth. They customized the trip to our budget and it was easy to enjoy each day following the itinerary. Please be more involved in choosing activities to get the maximum benefit
Jongdae L
Dec 2023
The Trip of a Lifetime
We had a phenomenal experience with The Road Trip. The whole team that we worked with (Alex, Shani, Denina, Matt and others who worked behind the scenes) was incredible! I tend to be a demanding customer, because I have high expectations and I'm very detail oriented. There are 6 key things I look for when selecting a travel agency and The Road Trip delivered on all of those things! LOCAL - they are a local agency, and actually have visited the places they are recommending. I don't want a travel agent who is just googling stuff - I can do that myself. I want a recommendation from an EXPERT who truly understands me and the experience I am hoping to create for my trip. The Road Trip team are EXPERTS and I knew I could fully trust that they were speaking from personal experience when they crafted all the details of our trip. I also especially love that they make the drives interesting by giving you information and cool places to stop. They specialize in road trips, obviously, but I loved that touch bc it's a LOT of work to research good hikes along a route on your own. They make it easy! LUXURY - Splurging on travel is my vice. I live for it and if I am not planning a future trip I feel sad! The Road Trip did a great job of delivering on what I was looking for while still sticking to the budget I provided. And I mean it when I say I'm demanding, especially in this regard. CUSTOM - Alex was the main person I worked with in the initial planning stages and he truly listened to what I was looking for: luxury, adventure, and a good use of our time to maximize the 2.5 weeks we had. The first itinerary he set for us showed me that he knew what I wanted and it only took us a few small tweaks here and there to land on the final. TIMELY - Gosh, they work fast! It took only 5 DAYS between the first time I spoke to Alex for an introductory call and initial discussion to landing a near final itinerary. I also loved that I was able to schedule a call to start, instead of trading emails. It's just more personal and easier to chat through what you are looking for. Also, I should mention that the whole trip was booked just 3ish months before the trip, because I made a sort of "last minute" decision that we wanted a big fun trip and we had only one window of time where we could easily get away from work for 2.5 weeks. To me, getting everything booked quickly was incredibly important and I really appreciated Alex and the team's urgency. ORGANIZED - The team uses a great tool that lays out every detail of the trip starting from the drafts to the documents provided for the actual trip. Everything was in an app and the level of detail satisfied my insanely Type-A personality that craves information. I could simply pull up the app and I knew everything in store for us that day. I did translate the details to a single page itinerary for my own purposes, but I always do that bc it ensures I am fully aware of the itinerary and all the critical times. TRUTH/TRANSPARENCY - I had asked to add Bay of Islands into the itinerary after the first couple of drafts and specifically asked to stay at specific luxury accommodation. Alex looked into it for us and then informed me that there was a promo (Pay 2 nights, get a 3rd free) that was only open to guests booking directly. It was not available to bookings via travel agency. He openly told me this and recommended we make that booking ourselves to take advantage. This shows that The Road Trip is transparent and dedicated to making sure their customers get the best possible experience. I already trusted Alex, but this made me trust him even more! CUSTOMER SERVICE - (this last one is most important to me). Everything went super smoothly on the trip, until the last 3 days when high winds (despite gorgeous sunny days) caused a couple of things to be canceled, most importantly our Fly-Cruise-Fly to Milford Sound, which I was SO looking forward to. No one to be blamed of course, not The Road Trip, or any of their vendors - sometimes it happens, weather is weather and safety is critical! However, I called the Road Trip team and spoke to Matt and asked if there was ANY WAY we could get rescheduled before we left the country and within LESS THAN AN HOUR he had managed to reschedule all our activities for the last couple of days so we could still go on ALL OF THEM. I was so impressed and SO grateful to him for making this happen for us. Not to mention, after he reorganized everything for us, he gave us his personal cell number just in case we needed to contact him urgently if anything else came up. Thankfully I didn't need to use, I certainly didn't want to bother him, BUT it made me feel like an incredibly valued customer! When I first set out to plan this trip, I contacted 5 agencies with the intent on selecting one after seeing first draft itineraries. I had spoken to Alex personally over a google chat and reviewed 3 drafts of an itinerary with him all before I even heard back from the other travel agents. I told all the rest of them that I had already found an amazing company who was delivering on the white glove customer service experience I expect from travel agents, especially for a luxury vacation. I knew pretty much right after speaking to Alex that I was going to book our trip with The Road Trip and now I've given you many reasons to do the same. You won't regret it, let them plan the trip of a lifetime for you.
Ruchie
Dec 2023
Great, fun and memorable times in New Zealand
Alex and team at the Road trip were great! Attention to details, willingness to make adjustments at the last minute, and planning our whole trip in New Zealand to be a truly enjoyable experience, were all things that we appreciate. The adventures were so fun and the people who took us on our adventures were great! Thank you for making our holiday one of the best ones..
Lisa Sofiar
Dec 2023
Even better the second time around!
We booked a 10 day South Island tour with The Road Trip and we had a wonderful time. Bruce was our guide and he was great. Very knowledgeable and accommodating. Also a great sense of humor. This is my second time booking with them for the same tour/trip but they made this experience different and unique from the last which was refreshing. I highly recommend this to anyone!
Huy N
Nov 2023
One of the best trips we have ever taken!
My spouse and I used The Road Trip to plan a self-drive tour of both islands and we had a wonderful experience. We usually plan all of our vacations ourselves, but we were overwhelmed by how to narrow down all the many fabulous things to see and do in NZ to two weeks. Plus we were confused about what activities were not recommended given the current weather and road conditions. The Road Trip created a great itinerary based on our interests, with the perfect balance of time spent sightseeing and time on the road. Their driving directions listed the highlights of each town we were to pass through, so we could decide in advance whether we wanted to stop, and they also included any scenic overlooks. The Road Trip even booked an amazing activity for us that I had not seen included in any of our guidebooks that became the highlight of our trip! They responded quickly to all of our questions and were always very friendly and helpful. We are already planning our next visit to NZ and look forward to working with them again.
Rachel B
Nov 2023