How Thrifty Tours work

And why it's a great way to travel around New Zealand

Thousands of visitors to New Zealand choose to take a Thrifty Tour each year. Why? Because Thrifty Tours offer the flexibility of starting your itinerary on any date, choosing to stay in accommodation that suits your tastes and budget and enjoy activities that you are most interested in. And of course you relax in the knowledge that a team of New Zealand based experts have created and booked your NZ experience and also provide superb in-country support. Learn all about what makes Thrifty the first choice for flexible coach touring in New Zealand below.

Comfortable seats on a Real Journeys sightseeing coach
Getting around is easy

Your Thrifty Tour combines coach, bus, train, ferry & sightseeing providers from around the country into one seamless itinerary. We work with Great Sights, intercity, Real Journeys, Kiwi Rail, Interislander plus many more great kiwi companies who deliver excellent experiences for our visitors. Where applicable your Thrifty Tours itinerary will include:

  • Commentary on longer travel sectors
  • Air-conditioned vehicles
  • Wi-fi available on some sectors
  • Toilets on board longer sectors
  • Frequent sightseeing and comfort stops
  • Pick up & drop off at accommodation
  • Airport, train station and ferry transfers
View of Fox Glacier accommodation in New Zealand
So many choices

We have hundreds of accommodation options to suit every budget, family or holiday style. From a wide range of motels and apartments with self contained facilities to full service hotels, quality lodges and bed and breakfasts we have something to suit. The tour ideas on our site suggest popular accommodations but we can customise to suit you.

  • Motels - convenient value
  • Apartments - ideal for families
  • 3 star, 4 star & luxury hotels
  • Meals can be included in hotels
  • Boutique bed & breakfasts
  • Incorporate overnight cruises
  • Mix it up to get great value
Visitors exploring icebergs on glacier lake in Mt Cook National Park
You name it, you can do it

New Zealand is world famous for it's adventure and adrenaline packed activities. But it also has something to suit every interest from exploring museums, wine tasting, horse-back tours, kayak safaris and some of the finest walking trails on earth. the tours listed include a popular variety or we can tailor-make to suit your interests.

  • City sightseeing tours
  • Lord of the Rings & Hobbit tours
  • Nature & wildlife tours
  • Overnight & scenic cruises
  • Scenic helicopter & plane tours
  • Wine & food experiences
  • Or just sit back and relax
Real Journeys Coach travelling on the road to Milford Sound
That's easy. Every day!

Because Thrifty Tours combines a huge range of options to create your individual experience you can choose when you travel. Some included items may have limitations on some dates but because we take care of the planning we know how to re-arrange or suggest alternatives. Putting it simply - you decide the dates, we design the travel.
Our popular tour itineraries can be booked on our website exactly as they are but you can also contact us to customise them to fit you perfectly. So if you want to spend longer in some locations, add on a train journey or take a Thrifty Tour on the North Island and then have us arrange a self drive tour for you on the South Island - we can do that - any day! If you have designed your own schedule and location wish listy send it to us and we can turn it into a great itinerary managed by expert consultants.
Thats the Thrifty Tours flexibility.

Family taking a photograph next to a tour coach in New Zealand
Secure online processing

Booking a holiday shouldn't be a complicated process. If you like one of our popular suggestions simply click the book now button and follow the easy steps to complete your details. We then send you an email to verify its you and you sign in to our secure site to finalise and make payment via credit card.
Initially we request a deposit payment of 20% or NZ$250 per person plus any instant purchase items we may have arranged such as domestic airfares. This will be clearly displayed. The balance payment is due 45 days prior to travel or if booked inside 45 days is payable upon receiving the confirmation of your Thrifty Tour arrangements from us. Tour prices can be displayed in a range of currencies and you can choose to pay in whichever currency suits you.
Payments will appear on your statement as New Zealand Fine Touring - our parent company. Alternatively if you prefer to make a payment into our bank account we can arrange that.

Couple hiking in New Zealand's South Island
Changes & cancellations

We know that plans can change and not always for good reasons. The first piece of advice we give here is to make sure you have travel insurance that will cover any costs you might incur if you need to cancel your Thrifty Tour and just as importantly will also cover you should your itinerary be affected by events such as severe weather etc. Luckily we can also help with securing insurance to cover this so talk to your Thrifty Tour consultant. If you wish to modify a booked itinerary (i.e. you might like to stay longer in a location) all you need to do is talk to your consultant. In most cases we can easily do that for you but beware if you are inside a cancellation period for a specific item there may be charges. We can talk you through those at the time. if you need to cancel your tour completely then please make yourself familiar with our booking terms and conditions and our cancellation fees.
See booking terms and conditions here.

Church sitting on shores of Lake Tekapo under blue sky
We have got you covered

As you travel around New Zealand you might need our help with something and we are more than happy to help. Our Wanaka based office is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year. In the evenings or early mornings you can contact us if you need urgent help simply by calling our free in-country support telephone number from anywhere in NZ.
Our own custom App will be available to you upon booking and your detailed itinerary along with all your booking details, maps, tips, suggestions plus much more. So you can relax knowing we have got you covered.

New Zealand Kiwi chick in the hands of a carer
We won't (and can't) be beaten

We know that price is important but we also know that getting great value is much more important. And delivering great advice, a great range and great value si what we strive to do every day. Of course there are other companies that might offer similar tours to Thrifty but no-one has been doing this as long as we have and so we are prepared to put our money where our value is. If you find a similar tour at a better price then just send us the details and we will beat the price - by a long way.That's the Thrifty Tours price, value, quality and service guarantee. 

Old car parked outside historic Cardrona Tavern near Wanaka NZ
We have all the answers

Everyone is different and what's important to someone is less important to someone else. To cover off a few of the more common questions you can visit our Frequent Questions page. For anything else though we have the best technology available to mankind - people! There isn't much our team don't know about New Zealand and if they can't answer your question immediately they do the research for you. So all you need to do get the best answers is to contact the best team.