8 Day Nature Trail
8 Day Nature Trail
Discover the top of the South Island on this unique self-drive itinerary, providing you with the opportunity to view Sperm Whales on the Kaikoura coast, and to walk the tracks of the Abel Tasman Nation Park at a leisurely pace. Wind down at the end of your tour at Hanmer Springs.
|Tour Type:||Self Drive Tours|
|From:||Christchurch to Christchurch|
|Departures:||Jan 2019 - March 2020|
|Price:||From (NZD) $2845 per person|
|Tour Operator:||Relaxing Journeys|
|7 nights accommodation|
|Rental vehicle of your choice including airport and ferry port collection charges|
|Abel Tasman Cruise & Walk Open Day Pass|
|Entrance to the Hanmer Thermal Reserve|
Prices are per person based on twin-share, and are subject to availability. Prices are correct at the time of submission but are subject to change without notice. Valid for travel January 2019 – March 2020. Blackout periods may apply. A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person is required at time of booking.
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Click on the prices below to enquire.
* Prices shown are per person (based on two people travelling).
* 2 Bedroom Motel pricing also available with Exclusive Specials. Please request a quote for prices.
Day by Day Tour Itinerary
“Haere Mai” Welcome to Christchurch – the Garden City. On completion of formalities, pick up your rental car and travel onto your centrally located accommodation.
Following the 2011 earthquake, Christchurch has re-emerged as a vibrant, ever-changing city. The remainder of the day is at leisure to get a taste of what the city has to offer.
Today head up the coast to Kaikoura, the area is a base for wildlife experiences of all kinds – it’s also a great place to eat crayfish (in the Maori language kai means food, koura means crayfish). The environment is truly spectacular – the village is caught between the rugged Seaward Kaikoura Range and the Pacific Ocean.
In winter the mountains are covered with snow, adding to the drama of the landscape. Kaikoura’s special talent is marine mammal encounters – whales, fur seals and dolphins live permanently in the coastal waters. Whale watching trips leave the town several times a day and the local seal colony is always entertaining. There are plenty of cafés, restaurants and shops.
Further north lies today’s destination, Picton. The picturesque seaside town is the South Island base for the ferry service that links the main islands of New Zealand. It’s also the gateway to the marine, forest and island attractions of the Marlborough Sounds. (2 nights)
Today is at your leisure to explore Picton and the surrounding areas. Built around a very sheltered harbour, the town has an attractive seafront dotted with cafés, restaurants and various types of galleries.
There’s also a floating maritime museum and an aquarium. Local operators can take you cruising, fishing, dolphin watching or sea kayaking. The Queen Charlotte Track is a major local attraction; you can conquer it on foot or on a mountain bike.
Today takes you to Nelson, from a cultural point of view, it provides the chance to appreciate New Zealand art, both in galleries and in artists’ studios. The district has attracted creative people who work with glass, metal, stone, wood, clay, sand, paper, ink, paint and fabric.
Nelson is also appealing from a lifestyle point of view. There are wineries scattered around the Moutere Hills and the Waimea Plains. In the city, you’ll find a good selection of restaurants – some with huge views of Tasman Bay. Activities include skydiving, rock climbing, 4WD biking, horse treks, sailing charters and water fun at the excellent beaches. (2 nights)
Today enjoy your Abel Tasman Cruise and Walk Open Day Pass. With its above average sunshine record and beautiful sandy beaches the area is a must see for visitors. Lush forest coastal paths lead to delightful bays with gold sand beaches and clear blue water. The park can be explored on a cruise, by kayak or on foot.
Today head southwards to Hanmer Springs. As the name might suggest, the peaceful village of Hanmer Springs is best known for its natural hot springs and forms the main thermal resort of the South Island.
Set amidst a stunning alpine landscape that offers snow-covered peaks in the middle of winter and lush evergreen forest, it is well worth a visit at any time of year. Entrance to the Thermal Reserve is included today and is one of the leading attractions on the South Island and is a retreat that is enjoyed, as much by locals as visitors.
The reserve has been attractively landscaped around the natural features to produce a relaxing and peaceful environment, with an oriental feel.
On your final day of this itinerary make your way back to Christchurch and return your rental car to the depot at Christchurch airport prior to your onward flight.
There are 3 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4 out of 5.
New Zealand has a great deal of things to see and do, why not add one of our optional sightseeing activities to your trip. Prices are per adult (we'll adjust your quote for any children).
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Discover the top of the South Island on this unique self-drive itinerary, providing you with the opportunity to view Sperm Whales on the Kaikoura coas... Read More
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