11 Day Top of the South Island Tour

11 Day Top of the South Island Tour

This tour offers unbeatable value and excellent coverage of the top of the South Island of New Zealand. It includes an excellent range of accommodation, coach travel, cooked breakfasts and dinners, plus a comprehensive range of prepaid activities.

Walking Info - Fitness level required –

This tour includes a number of short walks of up to 1 hour that require a moderate level of fitness. The walks are scenic and not excessive but can include slight inclines and uneven surfaces. Please ensure you feel comfortable with this level of fitness before making a booking.

EXCLUSIVE SAVINGS! – Save up to 5%
Book a Grand Pacific tour with Relaxing Journeys this month and SAVE!

Tour Info

Tour Type: Premium Coach Tour
From: Christchurch to Christchurch
Departures: Oct 2020 to Apr 2021
Price: From (NZD) $5414 per person
Tour Operator: Grand Pacific Tours
Duration: 11 Days
Tour Code: GPSI11T


10 nights 4 star accommodation
10 cooked breakfasts (B), 8 sumptuous dinners (D) including 2 specialty dinners (SD): Queen Charlotte Sound Dinner Cruise, Picton; Special Farewell Dinner, Christchurch
4 lunches: (L) Kingfisher Restaurant, Lake Brunner; Monteith’s Brewing Co., Greymouth; Abel Tasman Barbecue lunch, Abel Tasman National Park; Dodson Street Beer Garden; Blenheim
Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise
TranzAlpine Rail Journey
Wilderness Gallery Hokitika
Monteith’s Brewing Co. Tasting
World of WearableArt and Classic Cars Museum
Abel Tasman Guided Walk and Barbecue Cruise
Yealands Estate White Road Tour and Tasting
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
Cloudy Bay Estate Wine Tasting
Queen Charlotte Sound Dinner Cruise
Kaikoura Museum
International Antarctic Centre
City sights tour of Christchurch
Walking Highlights include, Hokitika Gorge, Punakaiki Pancake Rocks, Cape Foulwind Walkway & Abel Tasman National Park
Note: Dinner on Day 1 not included for anyone arriving later than 8pm.

EXCLUSIVE SAVINGS! – Save up to 15%
Book a Grand Pacific tour with Relaxing Journeys this month & SAVE!

* Single pricing also available with Exclusive Specials. Please enquire for Prices.

= Guaranteed Departures

Chat Request Callback

Day by Day Tour Itinerary

View Tour PDF
Day 1
Arrive Christchurch

On arrival into Christchurch you will be met by a Grand Pacific Tours representative and transferred to your hotel.

Stay: Hotel Distinction Christchurch (D) (2 nights)

Day 2
Christchurch - Akaroa - Christchurch

After an introductory city sights tour, enjoy a scenic drive to the historic French Village of Akaroa, nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano. There will be time to wander through Akaroa’s galleries and craft stores before boarding your modern catamaran and setting off on your Nature Cruise in the hope of spotting the rare Hector’s Dolphin, native to New Zealand.

Keep an eye out for penguins and other sea birds as you glide past giant volcanic sea cliffs and hear about the history of Akaroa from your skipper. Following your cruise, return to Christchurch where the evening is free to dine at one of the city’s many restaurants. (B)

Day 3
Christchurch - Moana - Hokitika

This morning board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. Travel over massive viaducts, river valleys and spectacular gorges before descending through the 8.5km long Otira Tunnel and finishing your journey in Moana, located on the banks of picturesque Lake Brunner. Enjoy lunch at Kingfisher Restaurant, sampling some local Kiwi dishes before travelling to the Brunner Mine Site, the location of the 1896 mine explosion, killing sixty-five men. This afternoon upon arrival in the coastal town of Hokitika, you will have the opportunity to visit a local gallery, the perfect chance to pick up a gift or souvenir.

Stay: Beachfront Hotel Hokitika (Ocean View) (B,L,D)

Day 4
Hokitika - Punakaiki

Today, take in the natural beauty of the Hokitika Gorge, a glacial river turquoise in colour surrounded by dramatic rock formations. A short walk descending through the hardwood forest will lead you to a swing bridge which crosses the Hokitika River and provides a postcard worthy photo opportunity. Once back on the coach, continue North to Greymouth, home of Monteith’s Brewing Co. where you will have the chance to sample one of their locally brewed and award-winning beers over lunch.

This afternoon travel along the Great Coast Road to the world-famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes, part of the Paparoa National Park in Punakaiki. Wander along the paved walkway through native forest and coastal scrub, leading to large cliff faces with horizontal slices resembling stacks of pancakes.

Stay: Punakaiki Resort (Sea View) (B,L,D)

Day 5
Punakaiki - Nelson

Journey north along the coast to Tauranga Bay and Cape Foulwind, named by Captain Cook in 1770 when he encountered nasty weather. A short walk along the rocky headland will showcase the rugged coastline and sea life often on show amongst the rocks. Travel inland via the Buller Gorge and Murchison to Nelson, one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand.

This afternoon visit the World of WearableArt Museum, where a guided tour will showcase more than 60 award winning garments from designers located all over the world. Attached is the Classic Cars Museum where you can view the prized collections of over 140 veteran, vintage and classis cars.

Stay: Rutherford Hotel (Premium Room) (2 nights) (B,L,D)

Day 6
Nelson - Abel Tasman National Park - Nelson

Travel along the scenic Coastal Highway to Kaiteriteri, gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park. Here you will depart on a leisurely cruise along the parks’ picturesque coastline of golden sand beaches and sheltered coves. Disembark at Medlands Bay and set off on a guided walk to the Bark Bay Falls Swing Bridge.

Re-board the vessel and cruise to Anchorage Bay where your barbeque lunch will be served on board. There will be time to stroll or relax on the beach before cruising back to Kaiteriteri. Re-join your coach and depart for Nelson via the vineyards of the inland Moutere Highway. This evening is free for you to dine at one of the many local restaurants in town. (B,L)

Day 7
Nelson - Blenheim

Depart Nelson and travel via Havelock and the wine-growing region of Marlborough to the spectacular Yealands Estate. World leaders in sustainable wine production, the ‘White Road Tour’, will take you on a journey through this remarkable vineyard, offering breathtaking views all the way to the North Island on a clear day. Enjoy lunch at a local Blenheim Beer Garden before visiting the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, home to one of the largest private collections of WW1 aircraft, brought to life in sets created by internationally acclaimed WingNut Films and Weta Workshop.

Stay: Scenic Hotel Marlborough (2 nights) (B,L,D)

Day 8
Blenheim Sightseeing

Enjoy a leisurely start this morning with free time to explore the township of Blenheim. You may like to visit the Wine Station (optional), a renovated 1906 heritage building at Blenheim Railway Station where over 80 premium wines are showcased. This afternoon you will be treated to a unique wine and cheese tasting experience, set amongst the wine barrels at Cloudy Bay Estate. Established in 1985, Cloudy Bay was one of the original wine makers in the Marlborough region.

Stroll through the manicured grounds scattered with towering gum trees and find a quiet spot to enjoy your favourite drop. Travel to Picton where your luxury launch awaits to take you on a scenic dinner cruise through the Queen Charlotte Sound. Take in the sights and wildlife this area is renowned for while enjoying a sumptuous meal of local salmon, Greenshell Mussels and Cloudy Bay Clams, all matched with a glass of spectacular Marlborough wine. (B,SD)

Day 9
Blenheim - Kaikoura

Farewell the Marlborough region and journey south along the coast to the seaside village of Kaikoura where you will visit the Kaikoura Museum. This award-winning facility highlights the districts fascinating connection with the sea and also features a dedicated exhibition on the impact of the 2016 earthquake. Enjoy some free time this afternoon to wander through the village or you may like to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the beautiful coastline to see the many species of whales that migrate through this area.

Stay: Sudima Hotel Kaikoura (B,D)

Day 10
Kaikoura - Christchurch

Depart Kaikoura and head south to the garden city of Christchurch where you will visit the International Antarctic Centre, designed to provide an informative account of life in Antarctica. Feel the chill of the Antarctic storm room, take a ride on the Hagglund all-terrain vehicle or meet the adorable Huskies. See the little blue penguins or be astonished within the immersive 4D theatre. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner with your new found friends.

Stay: Sudima Airport (B,SD)

Day 11
Depart Christchurch

Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday. (B)

Enquire about our 11 Day Top of the South Island Tour

11 Day Top of the South Island Tour
Premium Coach Tour
Tour Code: GPSI11T
From (NZD) $5414 per person
Save (NZD) $285 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: Oct 2020 to Apr 2021

This tour offers unbeatable value and excellent coverage of the top of the South Island of New Zealand. It includes an excellent range of accommodatio... Read More

Itinerary Map

Click to view a larger image.

Regions Visited

Click on each area to view more information.

Like this tour?

Upgrade this tour by adding one of our carefully selected optional tours & activities or go ahead and request a quote to guarantee your spot.

Custom Itinerary

You can also create your dream holiday by using our custom itinerary planner.
Create your Custom Itinerary