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.
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.
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!!!
Was top notch. All the pickups were right on schedule and the hotels fine. Great scenery.
This was a great way to see the highlights of the South Island and the free day in Queenstown was perfect for people wanting to try the various adventure sports The trip was very well organised and would be suitable for all types of traveller.
Because our original flight from Sydney was cancelled we had to ask that our travel arrangements be modified by 24 hours .and this was done swiftly and efficiently . Well done !.On each leg of our trip we found the Driver/couriers to be courteous and knowledgable .We particularly enjoyed our free day in Queenstown....a shangri la hidden in the mountains.Atruly memorable trip..
David R Australia
Had a wonderful time. Buses were very comfortable. drivers were friendly and informative. We learned a lot about New Zealand and were very well looked after.All the hotels we stayed at were well maintained and in central locations. People's needs were well looked after. Once again thank you for a great trip.
Jyothirmayi ... Australia
Everything was so well organized by Viator. Overall the trip was fantastic. We had a great time in NZ.
Enjoyed the 5 day south island tour. The schedule was adhered to and timing was good. The commentaries were pretty good by the bus drivers. However the last 1 1/2 day to and from Franz Josef Glacier the commentary was weak. The bus on day 4/5 was less comfortable and airy than the previous days.
Everything went off without a hitch. Accommodation was very good.
Well organized tour provided through several local providers. Good inclusion of highlights of South Island. First hotel below expectations, second hotel above expectations. Timing for Glacier visit too tight.
Everything went to plan as whole event well organised from the start
Most of it was very good/excellent. I do prefer smaller group tours, and the scenic train ride wasn't very scenic.
We can't imagine a more efficient way to see major South Island sites. The tour was unbelievably well organized and ran exceedingly close to schedule. Accommodations, comfort and location were very good. Tour staff, drivers and guides were a real pleasure. That said, it was a whirl wind tour designed to give you the highlights... perhaps encouraging you to come back and spend more time. If that's what you want, this is an excellent choice. If you want a less hurried pace, then maybe look for something else. This options clearly suited our needs and time constraints. But boy we wish we had had a bit more time at some of the beautiful sites that we visited.
Everything was great except we only had about half hour to see Franz Josef Glacier before it got dark (end of June), so we had to walk briskly from the parking lot through the hiking trail to catch a glimpse of the glacier, and then walk back in semi-darkness. Also note that this is actually an "independent coach tour", which means they book you on the various day tours and intercity buses and you need to be able to follow an itinerary sheet yourself; might be obvious for Europeans and Aussies/Kiwis who have a strong backpacking culture, but it would not be clear from the tour descriptions to Americans and Asians.
The tour was OK, but why 5 days' tour is only 4 days with one free day? Heidi and Uolevi
Everything was great and perfectly arranged. Prior info and opt ins for additional components (e.g. The helicopter rides) would have made it better.
Really great way of seeing the S Island with so much beautiful scenery. I just wish it had been longer, or there was an easy way of making it longer. For an adrenaline junkie like me, one free day in Queenstown wasn't enough. Also, the drive to the Franz Josef glacier is a long one, so if you go in winter, you don't end up with much time there, which was a shame.
Overall a fantastic trip which is worth the considerable time spent travelling by coach. Amazing scenery and great hotels. Would have liked a little more time at Fran Josef .Thanks for a great holiday.
I did your 5 day tour with my grand daughter recently, and enjoyed it all thoroughly. The weather was a bit wet, so we missed seeing Mitre Peak and Mt Cook. However, mircaculously it was fine at Franz Josef, and that was great. Having the extra free day at Queenstown was great. We really used that! The coaches were comfortable, and all the drivers friendly. The motels were fine too. having meals not included was a bit of a shame, but I guess that is the nature of the trip Regards Loved NZ Judy
Jeff B Canada
Queenstown hotel could have been a little nicer, but it was close walking to anything in town. The driver fron Christchurch to Queenstown was great...he had great knowledge and was fun and nice to everyone.
Main features of tour (Milford Sound Cruise, TransAlpine train ride,etc) were very enjoyable and impressive. Guides were mostly very informative and sometimes funny. Free day in Queenstown was great. But...I guess we are not really guided tour people. We enjoyed not having to drive ourselves but we would have liked the flexibility of doing our own thing.. I guess we should have kept the rental car after all. For example it was pouring as we headed for Mt. Cook.. Could not see mountain at all and could not go walking as we had planned. If we were on our own we would have skipped Mt. Cook and just headed for Queenstown. That would have gotten us in much earlier.
That reminds me: One of my biggest complaints was that the first 2 days were really long driving days - about 12 hours on the road. Maybe you should consider having people stay in Te Anu as a starting point for Milford Sound. It is lots closer,