On this 9 day privately guided or self drive tour of the stunning top of the South Island, you will see some of the most gorgeous scenery the country has to offer – from untouched forests to endless oceans and everything between! In these serene surroundings, you will have the opportunity to truly connect with nature – and yourself. The choice is yours, whether you want an action-packed adventure to feel exhilarated, or a zen and relaxing escape from reality. Either way, this holiday will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
The best part is that this is your holiday without any of the hassle. Unwind, relax and recharge while exploring the real New Zealand through the eyes of your own local tour guide or personally curated route notes. Welcome to The Road Trip, where your journey to wellness begins.
You will be met at the airport by one of our friendly guides (Privately Guided Option), or one of our great company representatives who will hand over your route notes and assist you to your rental car (Self Drive Option) and your journey to wellness begins! The afternoon is free to explore The Garden City. You could take a Christchurch city tour, including a stroll in the botanic gardens and a drive around the bays of Christchurch. Visit the quaint suburb of Lyttleton which was the gateway for Christchurch and Canterbury’s early settlers. Cathedral Square and the remains of the Christchurch Cathedral are well worth a visit, as well as the revitalised central shopping area. From here you head to your luxurious accommodation for the night – Peppers Clearwater – a resort just north of the city. The serene surrounds overlooking Lake Kaikainui will help you begin to relax and enjoy your upcoming holiday as you adjust to the New Zealand climate! Take the evening to refresh and prepare for the exciting journey ahead.
Meals: Dinner included today
This morning you begin your journey north, departing Christchurch and heading up the east coast through the wine growing region 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 kilometres of the coastline. Early afternoon you will embark on a magnificent whale watching cruise – keep an eye out for Sperm Whales, Humpback Whales and Orca as well as many species of Dolphin!
From here head to your fantastic accommodation for the night – the Hapuku Treehouses! This luxury accommodation will help you to recharge and feel connected with the unique and beautiful flora and fauna of the upper east coast. Kaikoura is known for its wildlife and this tranquil escape offers the chance to revitalize and rejuvenate but also see seals, dolphins and whales – a truly awe-inspiring experience! There is an onsite restaurant and the cuisine champions the food to table movement with delicious locally sourced seafood, free-range meat and vegetarian options.
Meals: Breakfast and dinner included today
This morning you continue your drive north along the east coast of the South Island. En route, you’ll have the opportunity to stop and visit a seal colony to see New Zealand native fur seals up close. After lunch, you’ll arrive in the beautiful wine growing region of Marlborough and through to the glorious Marlborough Sounds! For those feeling energised, take 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 you in true panoramic fashion.
Your accommodation for the next two nights is the amazing The Sounds Retreat, in serene tranquillity. You’ll be able to relax at this fantastic luxury lodge in your own private cabana. With all the work done for you, this is the ultimate opportunity to relax while enclosed by gorgeous native bush.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch included today
Today is a free day to explore the Marlborough Region. For wine lovers, we suggest a private winery tour to experience some of the best wineries in New Zealand. Your options include Rock Ferry, Hanz Herzog Estate, Cloudy Bay and Brancott Estate. If you’re looking for something different, today is the perfect day to head out onto the water with a cruise among the magnificent Marlborough Sounds.
Meals: Breakfast and dinner included today
Today you make your way from one spot of beauty to another! Head through the vibrant city of Nelson and perhaps check out the walking track that takes you to the centre of New Zealand! Following this, drive through Motueka, past hops orchards and breweries to the gorgeous golden sandy beaches of Kaiteriteri and the Abel Tasman National Park. Perhaps walk a section of New Zealand’s most popular walk; the Abel Tasman Track. Enjoy lush native forests and golden beaches side by side.
Late afternoon you arrive at your stunning accommodation for the next two nights of your wellness retreat; The Split Apple Lodge. This luxury accommodation in the heart of Abel Tasman offers the ultimate in serenity and relaxation. They have a number of wellness options for you to treat your body and mind – from Massage, to Yoga, Meditation and Holistic Cooking. Recharge in the lap of luxury.
Meals: Breakfast included today
Today is a free day to relax and recharge in this beautiful part of the world. Perhaps take advantage of one or more of the fabulous holistic health treatments on offer at the Lodge – we highly suggest starting the day with a sunrise yoga or meditation session to see in the day! You’ll be feeling energetic and ready for the world, so take the day to explore the gorgeous national park. There are so many options available – from hiking to sea kayaking, sailing, a cruise, paddle boarding – you’re spoilt for choice!
End the day with a delicious and restorative meal at your luxury lodge.
Please note, for the guided option today is a legally required day off.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included today.
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. Next, perhaps visit Cape Foulwind. Upon arrival in Punakaiki, you can explore the pancake rocks and blowholes saturated right next to the village; a bizarre, rugged, rocky landscape which leave you awed by the raw power of nature.
You’ll spend the night at the gorgeous Birds Ferry Lodge, a luxury B&B escape with spectacular views over the Punakaiki wilderness.
This morning on The West Coast you can visit the beautiful Truman Track down to the beach, or walk a section of the Porarri River Track. Following this, you will drive South to Greymouth where you will rise 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 look out 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 breathtaking! Arrive in Christchurch in the early evening where you return to your luxury Christchurch accommodation.
Today your wellness tour comes to an end and you are transferred to your onward travel arrangements. We trust you have had a wonderful and healing experience, uplifting your body and spirit on this tranquil pilgrimage to our beautiful country. We wish you safe travels to your next destination.