Christchurch, Marlborough, Nelson and the West Coast
Driving North from Christchurch takes you to the wilds of Kaikoura,
the vineyards of Marlborough and the solitude of the
Abel Tasman National Park before discovering
the wonders of the West Coast.
Whales, seals and Savs with a twist.
Day 1 Arrive Christchurch and collect your rental car.
Day 2 Depart Christchurch north to Kaikoura, the home of Whalewatch
There is time in the day to visit Waipara and then to the alpine
village of Hanmer Springs for a soak in the thermal pools which
were famous amongst early Maori for their restorative powers.
Finally ending the day in Kaikoura.
Day 3 Early this morning depart on an excursion with the award
winning crew at Whalewatch Kaikoura.
The afternoon is free to explore Kaikoura and discover its other
inhabitants, the seals which loll about on the seafront and in
Kaikoura is famous for its seafood and especially their crayfish.
Dinner could very well be another of those unique experiences.
Day 4 Depart Kaikoura along the rugged east coast to Blenheim and
the Marlborough Region, world famous for its Sauvignon Blanc
Enroute to Blenheim make a detour to Picton to view the
Edwin Fox, with its history as a Crimea War troop carrier but
more famously as the last surviving ship that transported
convicts from Britain to Australia.
Day 5 Depart to Omaka for your tour of the Aviation Heritage Centre
with its fleet of WW1 and WW2 fighter planes and see the actual
Iron Cross painted on canvas and retrieved from the Red
Baron's downed tri-plane.
Afternoon free to enjoy a vineyard lunch (own cost) and visit a
vineyard or two.
Day 6 Departure to Nelson via the impossibly beautiful Queen
Charlotte Drive. This winds its way around the shore of the Sound
where there are opportunities for a cruise on the Sound to enjoy
some fresh mussels or visit one of the many artisan jewellery and
The drive takes you past some film locations of the Lord of the
Day 7 Departure by water taxi into one of NZ's picturesque marine parks,
the Abel Tasman National Park. Options in the park include either a
leisurely Beach and Seals walk or get out onto the water to do some
easy kayak paddling and possibly be greeted by some seal pups in
Late afternoon return to Nelson.
Day 8 Depart Nelson for a day of discovery as you enter the world of
the West Coast. We will suggest some interesting diversions
and walks to make this drive to Punakaiki memorable.
Day 9 Depart Punakaiki to Greymouth, the greenstone capital of the
The Booker prize winning novel and BBC TV series The
Luminaries was set on the Coast. If you enjoyed the book let us
know as we have options to offer which will create your own
Day 10 Depart the rugged West Coast and traverse the Tranz Alpine
Highway to Christchurch. Options to stop along this famous
route will be offered.
Day 11 After breakfast depart to drive across Banks Peninsula to the
charming French influenced village of Akaroa. The town is
known for its rare Hectors Dolphins which can usually be seen
on a cruise of the harbour (not included).
Return to overnight in Christchurch.
Day 12 Your circumnavigation of the north of the South Island is now
After breakfast take the time to enjoy the city prior to your
departure for the airport where you will return your car
prior to check in for your return flight home.