Your tour begins! Today you will head north through the wine-growing area of Waipara to Kaikoura. Kaikoura is a sea life paradise which boasts whales, seals, albatross and dolphins. There are over 17 species of whale to be found in Kaikoura all within 8 km of the coastline. Early afternoon you will take a whale-watching boat tour. Keep a lookout for Sperm Whales, Humpback Whales and Orcas as well as many species of Dolphin. Spend the night in the seaside village of Kaikoura.
This morning you drive north to the gorgeous Northern coast of the South Island. There is a possibility today of having lunch at a vineyard in the wine-growing region of Marlborough (optional – extra cost). Perhaps venture into the gorgeous Marlborough Sounds, where for those of us feeling energised in the afternoon it is possible to talk a walk up a section of the Queen Charlotte Track to reach a saddle where the views of both Kenepuru and Queen Charlotte Sound surround us in true panoramic fashion.
Today you will take a wine tour and discover a range of both the small and bigger wineries, and highlight what they strive to achieve with their wines. All the wineries are different and make their own styles. Find out what makes each winery stand out on its own. In the middle of this tour, we will have lunch at a beautiful winery. You will be dropped back at your hotel at the end of the tour.
This morning you depart Blenheim and pass through Havelock, a major gateway to the Marlborough Sounds and also known as ‘The Green Lipped Mussel Capital of the World’. There is the opportunity today to head out on the water and take a cruise where you will get the chance to sample local seafood paired with local wine (optional- additional cost). From here you pass over the Whangamoa Ranges and through the seaside city of Nelson. Continue northwest around the Tasman bay through picturesque resort towns to reach Kaiteriteri.
Today you will have the opportunity to explore the best that the National Park has to offer with a full day kayak trip around the coastline, half-day kayak trip or sailing trip. Discover seals in their natural environment and learn all about New Zealand’s smallest but certainly one of its most spectacular National Parks. There is also the option for walking in the national park and catching a water taxi from different pickup points. In the evening you may wish to enjoy the sunset from one of the area’s picturesque beaches (all activities mentioned are optional and at an extra cost).
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 seal colony and lighthouse, where you have the chance to spot penguins! Upon arrival in Punakaiki, check out the beautiful Truman Track down to the beach, or a section of the stunning Pororari River Track. You have the option of enjoying a true blue New Zealand pub meal this evening before calling it a night.
In Punakaiki this morning 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. Following this, you will drive South to Greymouth where you will ride the magnificent Tranz-Alpine Train through the Southern Alps to Christchurch. This was voted one of the most scenic train journeys in the world. Keep a lookout for the Bealey River with the towering Alps above and try to spot our native parrot; the Kea, along the way. The scenery is truly breath-taking. Upon arrival in Christchurch, you will conclude your tour, we hope you’ve had a fantastic time at the top of the South!