Incorporating the finest summer destinations of the South Island, this 10-day itinerary features a self-driving experience, commencing and concluding in Christchurch.
Embark on a scenic drive from Christchurch to Kaikoura, immersing yourself in New Zealand’s breathtaking beauty. Along the rugged coastline, marvel at ocean vistas, quaint seaside villages, and the opportunity to spot majestic marine life. Check into your accommodation and savour the diverse dining options Kaikoura has to offer.
Experience an unforgettable day in Kaikoura, where mountains meet the sea. Begin with an exhilarating whale-watching tour or opt for a dolphin swim (optional cost). Immerse yourself in local culture at the Māori Leap Cave or savour fresh seafood at waterfront restaurants. Nature and adventure beckon!
Embark on a picturesque road trip from Kaikoura to Nelson, witnessing the transformation of landscapes. Navigate through lush vineyards, cross rugged mountain ranges, and follow coastal roads with breathtaking ocean views. This journey provides a scenic glimpse of New Zealand’s diverse beauty, turning every mile into a lasting memory.
Depart for a scenic drive from Nelson to Motueka and Kaiteriteri, passing coastal orchards and vineyards. Cruise comfortably with Vista Cruise along the golden Abel Tasman coast from Kaiteriteri to Tōtaranui, relishing the views and refreshments. From Tōtaranui, hike through native forest and secluded beaches to reach Meadowbank Homestead, a faithful recreation of the Wilson family’s original home overlooking Awaroa Inlet.
Wake up to the golden light on Torrent Bay’s sands, perhaps enjoying coffee on the deck before breakfast. Today’s walk covers the easiest stretch of the coastal track to Marahau, offering panoramic views of Tasman Bay to Nelson. Rich in history, your guide shares stories of landmark namings by early explorers.
Return to your Nelson accommodation for your final night in town before heading to your next destination.
Today, journey from Nelson to Punakaiki. Upon your arrival, possibly in the late afternoon, marvel at the spectacular Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Opt to explore the lush Truman Track or unwind with a beachfront sunset picnic, creating an unforgettable arrival experience.
It’s time for the renowned TranzAlpine scenic train journey through the Southern Alps, culminating in your return to Christchurch. This remarkable adventure showcases epic vistas, follows the edges of the Waimakariri River, traverses the Great Divide, and immerses you in ever-changing landscapes.
You’ve arrived at the last day of your journey. Complete your hotel checkout and head to the airport to return your rental car.