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Top of the South Island Discovery

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Embark on an exceptional 9 day discovery through the northern region of New Zealand’s picturesque South Island. Enjoy relaxing moments whilst exploring the unique heritage and majestic surroundings New Zealand has to offer.
New Zealand
Active
Nature
Self-Drive
Wellness
Independent Holiday Packages

Highlights

Discover the top of New Zealand's South Island by Car

Spa Pass at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa

Whale Watching Experience

Gondola Ride up Mount Cavendish

Turn dreams into reality as you embark on this remarkable 9 day journey.

In Christchurch, start with a Gondola ride up Mt Cavendish and enjoy the spectacular views then take time to explore the city visiting charming boutique shops down laneways and savouring the many fabulous cafes and restaurants city wide – including the now famous Riverside Market. 

Discover the gorgeous Alpine village of Hamner Springs and the coastal town of Kaikoura, appreciating their natural beauty through the many walking options available.

Choose between the 30 minute Wings Over Whale scenic flight for a unique perspective viewing whales from above or get up close and personal to these magnificent creatures on the Whale Watch cruise.

Wine lovers may choose to take a full day wine tour to appreciate the delectable wineries of the region or alternatively enjoy a morning wine tour and spend the afternoon on the Greenshell mussel cruise.

At Nelson, take the opportunity to explore and relish in the array of art, food, wine & beer.
Decide between exploring the natural beauty of Abel Tasman Park with a cruise and walk tour or try a self-guided cycle tour around the region.    

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Included

1 night at The Classic Villa in Christchurch
1 night at Braemar Lodge & Spa in Hanmer Springs
2 nights at Bendamere House B&B in Kaikoura
2 nights at St Leonards Vineyard Cottages in Blenheim
2 nights at Kershaw House in Nelson
9 Days Car Hire with Hertz
Daily breakfast
Christchurch Gondola pass
Spa Pass at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa
Choice of 1 of 2 'Freedom of Choice Activities' on Day 4
Choice of 1 of 2 'Freedom of Choice Activities' on Day 6
Choice of 1 of 2 'Freedom of Choice Activities' on Day 8

Freedom of Choice Activities

Choose 1 of 2 Freedom of Choice activities on each of the following days:

Day 4:

  1. Whale Watch Cruise
  2. 30-minute Wings Over Whale scenic flight

Day 6:

  1. Full day wine tour experience by Bubble grape with a focus on Sauvigon Blanc.
  2. A morning wine tour and an afternoon Greenshell mussel cruise on the Marlborough Sounds 

Day 8

  1. Abel Tasman National Park with a cruise and walk tour
  2. Self guided cycle tour around Nelson

 

Itinerary

Expand Collapse  all days
Day 1
Christchurch Airport

Arrive into Christchurch, collect your Hertz car hire and head to the hotel. Start exploring the new vibrant city that is Christchurch straight away. Take a Gondola ride up Mount Cavendish and enjoy the spectacular 360 degree views over the Lyttleton Harbour, out towards Sunmer and back over the Christchurch city.  

Overnight stay at the Classic Villa in a Corporate Room.

Christchurch Airport
Christchurch
Day 2
Christchurch → Hanmer Springs

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before checking out.

Spend the morning exploring all Christchurch city has to offer from the boutique shops down laneways to fabulous cafes and restaurants city wide. A visit to the now famous Riverside Market is a must. The newest buzzy indoor market features retailers selling locally sourced food, plus an array of restaurants, cafes’ and bars.

Tip: if you are staying a Friday night, make sure you check out the Friday street food market in Cathedral Square.

Just under a 2 hour drive from Christchurch is Hanmer Springs. This alpine village with it’s enchanting atmosphere, nestled on the edge of the Hanmer Forest features numerous trails and seasonal ski slopes within easy reach. Once you’ve check into your hotel make your way over to the famous Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools. The mineral waters will certainly relax and rejuvenate while you unwind and have a soak before an indulgent massage.

Overnight stay at Braemar Lodge & Spa in a Superior Spa Suite

Breakfast
Christchurch → Hanmer Springs
Hanmer Springs
Day 3
Hanmer Springs → Kaikoura

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before checking out.

After a leisurely morning, drive towards the coastline and the town of Kaikoura. Explore the geography of the coastline with the many walks that are on offer here.  Get an insight on how much the devastaing 2016 earthquake changed the landscape of this beautiful seaside village.

Overnight stay at Bendamere House B&B in a Harrington Room

Breakfast
Hanmer Springs → Kaikoura
Kaikoura
Day 4
Kaikoura

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.

Select 1 activity from our Freedom of Choice Activities

  • Whale Watching cruise
  • 30 minute Wings Over Whale scenic flight

Experience the excitement of watching whales from above. Whale watching by aeroplane offers a unique perspective and the opportunity to view whales and dolphins in their natural environment without experiencing sea sickness.  Alternatively, you can chose the whale watching cruise and get up close & personal with these majestic mammals. 

Overnight stay at Bendamere House B&B in a Harrington Room

Breakfast
Kaikoura
Dolphins around Kaikoura
Day 5
Kaikoura → Blenheim

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before checking out.

This morning depart Kaikoura and head north to wine country and the town of Blenheim. The coastal road provides stunning scenery and some great photo opportunities. 

Overnight stay at St Leonards Vineyard Cottages ​in the Stables

Breakfast
Kaikoura → Blenheim
Blenheim Vineyards
Day 6
Blenheim

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.

Select 1 activity from our Freedom of Choice Activities

  • Full day experience by Bubbly grape with a focus on Sauvigon Blanc
  • A morning wine tour and an afternoon Greenshell mussel cruise on the Marlborough Sounds 

Bubble grape offers a full day experience with a focus on Sauvigon Blanc.  Alternatively connect with the team at Marlborough Tours Company for a morning wine tour and an afternoon Greenshell mussel cruise on the Marlborough Sounds.  

Overnight stay at St Leonards Vineyard Cottages ​in the Stables

Breakfast
Blenheim
Marlborough Sounds
Day 7
Blenheim → Nelson

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before checking out.

From Kaikoura venture over to Nelson. Your last stop for the next 2 nights gives you the opportunity to explore the town and relish in the array of art, food, wine & beer on offer.

Overnight stay at Kershaw House in the Kaiteriteri Room

Breakfast
Blenheim → Nelson
Nelson
Day 8
Nelson

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.

Select 1 activity from our Freedom of Choice Activities

  • Abel Tasman National Park with a cruise and walk tour
  • Self guided cycle tour around Nelson

Explore the stunning nature and beauty that is the Abel Tasman National Park with a cruise and walk tour. Alternatively, enjoy a self-guided cycling tour around the region with Kiwi Journeys through swing bridges and tunnels, past vineyards, wineries and local farmland. 

Overnight stay at Kershaw House in the Kaiteriteri Room

Breakfast
Nelson
Abel Tasman National Park
Day 9
Nelson → Nelson Airport

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before checking out.

Make your way back to the airport to return your car hire with Hertz. 

Breakfast

Additional information

Official language
English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language
Currency
New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
2021 Packages - Book Now
2021 Packages - Book Now
8 nights
from AUD2,665
per person, twin share
New Zealand
Christchurch
Nelson
Active, Nature, Self-Drive, Wellness
Independent Holiday Packages
01 October 2020 - 31 March 2021

Hotel options

The Classic Villa
The Classic Villa

Christchurch 
Gracious hospitality in charming surrounds! The Classic Villa is a warm and welcoming haven in the heart of Christchurch city. Five star boutique hotel accommodation delivered with warmth and genuine hospitality, enjoy this beautifully appointed historic villa with luxury comfort and quality amenities, steps away from Christchurch city’s new and heritage attractions.

Braemar Lodge & Spa
Braemar Lodge & Spa

Hanmer Springs
An Oasis of peace, tranquillity, comfort and luxury in beautiful Hanmer Springs. Offering the largest suites in Hanmer Springs and only a 10 minute drive from the village, the Lodge boasts outstanding views across the valley towards the mountains and alpine forests. Perfect for those wanting to be close to the numerous activities and visitor experiences in and around the township, but far enough away for peace and tranquillity.

Bendamere House
Bendamere House

Kaikoura
Host's Kerry and Julie Howden, extend a warm welcome to all guests at Bendamere House Bed & Breakfast in beautiful Kaikoura. Superb views from your balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Seaward Kaikoura mountain range. Set among half an acre of rose gardens and lawns with ample garden furniture to relax on, and a viewing platform - a true photographer's dream! At certain times of the year the dolphins will perform for you in the bay! All within a minute's walk to the Kaikoura Township and all local sightseeing attractions.

St Leonards Vineyard Cottages
St Leonards Vineyard Cottages

Blenheim
Michele and Marcus welcome you to St Leonards Vineyard Cottages in the heart of Marlborough. The homestead is a classic New Zealand farm house built in the 1880s and was once the focal point of a large sheep farm complex. The homestead and self-catering boutique cottage accommodation now form a unique collection of traditional buildings that have retained their original charm and yet provide up-to-date facilities. The views are wonderful and the settings private.       

Kershaw House
Kershaw House

Nelson
Welcome to Kershaw House one of the highest rated luxury Private Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, historic homes in the Nelson Tasman Region. Here at Kershaw you are just a few minutes walk into the heart of Richmond Town Centre. Your Host Phill Groom boasts over 27 years of Hospitality Experience in hosting the discerning International, Domestic and Corporate Client, providing personal professional service within this 1920's Historic English Styled Villa, set amongst established gardens in a quiet tranquil setting for that relaxed quality experience to make your stay a memerable one.

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