Touring New Zealand on an 'Escorted' Group Tour
Travel New Zealand by coach with a guide who will ensure you don't miss a thing.
A popular way to enjoy New Zealand, escorted coach touring offers a stress-free holiday. Everything is arranged for you, allowing you to simply sit back in a comfortable coach, and let your knowledgeable hosts show you around New Zealand. If this sounds like you're style of travel, then an escorted coach tour is the way to go!
The escorted coach tour experience – typically your escorted tour will include:
- Travel with the same group of people for the duration of your tour - meet like-minded travelers and make new friends.
- Proven itineraries designed to make the most of your time, including must-see destinations experiences.
- Accommodations chosen based on location, service and value. Group check ins saving you time and hassle.
- Luggage handled for you at each hotel - porterage costs included.
- All breakfasts and most dinners. Occasionally some nights are left open for you to explore the local offerings.
- Lunches are at your expense (unless otherwise stated). The coach usually has preferred stops where a range of tastes can be catered to.
- Coaches are modern, air conditioned vehicles with on-board bathrooms. A seat rotation policy is the norm, allowing everyone to experience different viewing perspectives (and allowing you to make new friends).
- On touring sections, frequent comfort stops are made along with stops at different points of interest, some you may not have heard of - an advantage of an escorted tour.
- Your driver/guide, coach captain or host offers excellent insightful commentary from a knowledgeable locals point of view. Most guests describe the drivers and hosts as a high-point of their tour.
Escorted touring facts
- Escorted tours have a specific departure date calendar - you will need to travel on scheduled tour dates.
- Not all tours are guaranteed departures - check the dates and prices page on the tours to see which tours have guaranteed departures, or contact us to get the best advice.
- Start and finish points are usually Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Longer tours may start in Auckland and finish Christchurch or vice versa. We can help with your plans to connect back to your departure point.
- Most visitors usually arrive a few days early, or stay a few days after the tour. We can also make these arrangements for you, just talk to us about your options.
- Tours range in length from 3 to 24 days long - the most popular country-wide tours are between 14 and 18 days. A south island tour would typically be 9 or 10 days long.
- Coaches typically seat around 48 passengers (when full).
- Extra costs - you will need to budget for lunches, drinks with dinner, and any additional purchases you wish to make. Porterage and tipping etc. are not necessary.
Who are the leading escorted coach tour operators? We represent only the top companies. Between them the 3 operators we list have over 150 years experience in New Zealand touring:
- Grand Pacific Tours - All 'GP' tours are guaranteed to depart on the scheduled date. Their tours range from 8 to 19 days. GP also have a small group (maximum 20 guests) range of tours on their 'business class coaches'. Check out their Ultimate range here.
- AAT Kings Tours - AAT Kings have the largest range of escorted touring options. A mixture of guaranteed and scheduled departures (scheduled departures often become guaranteed once minimum numbers reached). They offer a Best Buys range focusing on superb value, First Choice tours boast more inclusions along with the next level of accommodations. AAT Kings also offers small group tours with their Inspiring Journeys range.
- Kirra Tours - Kirra have been operating classic touring packages for over 40 years. With a great range of itineraries, Kirra also have their own small group range of Platinum tours. A mixture of guaranteed and scheduled departures (scheduled departures often become guaranteed once minimum numbers reached)
- Contiki - this iconic brand has been showing visitors around the world since 1962 and have a superb range of New Zealand itineraries designed for the 18-35 year old traveler.