Reviewed by: Lori S, June 2016
I was in NZ on business and wanted to get a feel for the South Island in as little time as possible. This was the perfect tour! I hate to call it a tour because it is not your typical bus tour where you are with the same people the entire 5 days. You will be on 4 different buses. Don't let that throw you off! The tour company is well organised and provides all the details you need to get where you are going. I even had pre-booked taxis, all of which arrived on time, to take me to two of the bus pick-ups. On the final leg, the tour operator met me at the rail station and took me to my hotel. I felt like I had personalised treatment and enjoyed that I wasn't with the same people all 5 days. Make sure you call to confirm in advance. When I arrived at my Christchurch hotel, a packet was waiting for me at the desk with the detailed itinerary with times, hotels, etc.
Now about the itinerary. Perfect! The views! The bus drivers are as good as tour guides. They are knowledgeable on the area, the history and keep a running commentary throughout. There are scheduled comfort breaks and photo opportunities. The first day the main stop was Mount Cook. Wow! Don't doze off on the drive at any point in the 5 days or you will miss breathtaking views! The day ends in Queenstown which is your base for the next 3 nights. A taxi picks you up the next morning to catch the bus to Milford Sound. This is a long day, but amazing. Of course, it helped that the weather was incredible. I almost didn't get off the bus at Mirror Lake because there were so many people BUT DO IT! The mountains reflect into the water. Your photos will look like postcards! The hotels chosen by the tour company were great. Heritage in Queenstown pay the extra for breakfast and Scenic Hotel at Franz Josef where I was upgraded to their spa hotel. The scenic ride on the train was also amazing. I highly recommend this tour!
Reviewed by: Ann H, February 2016
Excellent driver/guides with interesting and informative commentaries. Always on time and to schedule. Well organised and supported by the Tours staff. Lots of time on coach but worth it for incredible scenery. Lovely hotels with helpful staff.
Reviewed by: RICHARD S, February 2016
Reviewed by: Heather S, June 2015
This is an excellent way to see a good deal of sights in a short time. It fairly packs them in too! The timetabling works out well and all of the bus journeys are enjoyable and include commentary and photo stops when time allows too. The train journey was a highlight for me as were the Mount Cook / Lake Tekapo views. Hotel meals aren't included so be aware of that one.
Reviewed by: Olivia W, April 2015
Excellent trip, all pick-ups on time. Excellent hotels. A lot of hours on the bus - 8 hours there and back for a two-hour boat ride. Scenery and stops for lunch and tea made bus travel good. Sometimes drivers a little cranky, but usually because people late returning from stops. Overall trip went very smoothly, and scenery was truly amazing.
Reviewed by: Daniel C, March 2015
The trip was everything we hoped it would be. However, it was different from what we expected. It was not a set tour with a constant group of people. Rather, it was a series of 4 1-day tours with different people joining and exiting. In addition, it was really a 4 days of touring with a day off in the middle. That's OK because we were exhausted after the second day. The tour guide from "Great Sights" was fantastic. The others were good, but not as good as he was. We especially appreciated the attention to details - that we were picked up and taken from location to location (drivers were waiting for us with our names on a sign.) The hotels were fine. In general, our expectations/hopes were met. This was an excellent introduction to the South Island of New Zealand. I feel comfortable considering Viator for our next adventure. THANKS!!!
Reviewed by: William W, May 2014
Was top notch. All the pickups were right on schedule and the hotels fine. Great scenery.