9 Day Top Of The South

9 Day Top Of The South

Explore the wilderness and coast of the top of the South Island of New Zealand. Whale watch in Kaikoura, explore the Abel Tasman National Park and wonder at the Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki.

Book your self drive tour this month and receive a discount of 7.5%. If you pay by 30 September 2018.

Tour Info

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours
From: Christchurch to Christchurch
Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $1777 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Duration: 9 Days
Tour Code: GNTS

Inclusions

8 nights accommodation
Rental vehicle of your choice
Kaikoura Whale Watch Cruise
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation & activity vouchers and local travel guides

Book your self drive tour this month and receive a discount of 7.5%. If you pay by 30 September 2018.

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.

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Christchurch

“Haere Mai” Welcome to Christchurch – the Garden City! Disembark, pass through customs and collect your luggage – it’s time to start your holiday. Your rental car is ready to whisk you away to your centrally located accommodation. What should you do with the rest of the day? Take it slow, sit back and relax, punting down the River Avon through the stunning Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 2
Christchurch - Kaikoura

Morning
Head north out of Christchurch. It’s a two hour direct drive to Kaikoura or you may like to take a more scenic inland route via Hanmer Springs to bathe in the mineral pools in their alpine setting.

Afternoon
Board your boat and prepare your camera finger – you’re about to meet New Zealand’s resident sperm whales on a 3-hour whale watching excursion, sure to inspire awe, affection and a touch of giddiness. Spot cheeky fur seals, pods of Dusky dolphins and the endangered Wandering Albatross among the waves, and if you’re lucky (and it’s the right season) migrating humpback whales, pilot whales, blue whales and southern right whales may appear!

Your choice of accommodation

Day 3
Kaikoura - Nelson

The journey then takes you to Blenheim and on to Nelson – the sunniest location in New Zealand and gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park.

Nelson’s diverse geography captures everything from the long golden beaches to untouched forests and rugged mountains. The diverse geography and sunny climate, make Nelson a favoured spot for artists and Nelson is currently home to more than 300 working artists and craftspeople, traditional, contemporary and Maori. Visit their studios and find a unique piece to take home with you. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 4
Nelson & Abel Tasman Area at Leisure

Today is yours for relaxing or exploring this lovely area. There are the arts and crafts of the Motueka and Takaka areas, or you may like to choose one of the activities available in the Abel Tasman National Park. There are guided or independent kayak trips available which can include a mix of kayaking and walking.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 5
Nelson - Punakaiki

Head south down SH 6 through Murchison and the Buller Gorge to make your way to the West Coast. Stay the night at Punakaiki, best known for its Pancake Rocks and Blowholes – both of which are spectacular and a must-see when visiting the West Coast.

Other activities include canoe adventures, horse trekking, caving and guided tours to name just a few. Spend the afternoon winding through Punakaiki’s colourful local craft shops – jewellers, carvers, painters and potters.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 6
Punakaiki - Franz Josef

After a morning of sightseeing head south today down the West Coast. There are some neat old towns to visit. Make sure to stop at the many great places to that photographs of  the scenery and the dramatic coastline. Continue south to Franz Josef Glacier. The terminal face of the glacier is a mere 19 kilometres from the sea and just 5 kilometres from the township. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 7
Franz Josef at Leisure

There’s lots to explore in this area – you can take your own time walking up to the glacier, going to the Okarito Lagoon; or join a guided walk on the glacier, take a heli-hike adventure, or a scenic flight over both glaciers. You’ll enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains with plenty of snap-happy opportunities and the chance to learn more about this magnificent glacier.

End your day of exploration and bathe under a rainforest canopy at the Franz Josef Glacier hot pools for some warm R&R.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 8
Franz Josef - Christchurch

This morning you head to Greymouth then turn inland to travel over beautiful Arthur’s Pass. Along the way you’ll see the awesome engineering feats of the Otira Viaduct and Tunnel. You’ll have time to stop and look around before descending through some fantastic alpine scenery and on down to the Canterbury Plains and Christchurch.

Your choice of accommodation

Day UP
TranzAlpine Train Upgrade Package

Upgrade your itinerary and join one of the world’s great train journeys, the TranzAlpine Train at Greymouth for your journey across the Alps. On arrival in Christchurch we’ll arrange transfers to your accommodation and transfers the next day to the airport for your onward flight.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 9
Depart Christchurch

Sadly your holiday is at an end. After breakfast this morning, please make your way to the airport where you will return your car in time for your onward flight.

Your choice of accommodation

5/5.0

There are 5 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 5 out of 5.

Overall Tour Rating
Value For Money
Accommodation
Tour Pace
Relaxing Journeys Experience

Tour Reviews

5
21/10/2017
Overall a great trip. Shame that SH1 is still closed north of Kaikoura though. Missed out on Blenheim & Picton so will have to do it next time. Great Hotel room in Kaikoura. Really nice hotel both times in Christchurch. Awesome room in Franz Josef. The hire car was great again (RAV4) and the accommodation coupons made life simple just like last time. Punakaiki pissed down rain just like the last time, but we stayed in and drank wine and read books. We ended up swapping room due to the wet weather to get closer parking, not a big deal. Had a great day with a fishing guide out of Nelson. Will be going back in another 2 years so probably better do the North Island at that time. Looking at trips already. Thanks again Mani, it was a great trip in a beautiful place. The southern alps were spectacular again, plenty of snow, and generally clear blue skies. Especially at Franz Josef.
Overall Tour Rating

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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
28/12/2016
We had a great time touring the South Island.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
13/03/2014
The trip was well planned, Mani (our Tour Consultant) was extremely helpful and helped make many amendments upon our many requests. He is quick to respond to our queries. The self-drive was well timed and not tiring, leaving us room for further exploration of interesting place of interest along the drive. The recommendations of possible stops/place of interests were appreciated. However, it would be helpful if we can include the timing or locations of the possible stops along the drive as we were unable to locate some of the recommended places which we may wish to explore further. The accommodation were situated at good locations with great service.
Overall Tour Rating

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Accommodation

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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
19/12/2008
We thoroughly enjoyed our tour and everything went very smoothly. We love New Zealand! The places that you arranged for us were excellent choices and have left us with long lasting memories. The accommodation was of a very high standard. Our favourites were; The Poplars at Christchurch and The Monaco Apartments at Nelson. Directions were really helpful and the roads a treat compared to the UK! It took us 2 1/2 hours to get to Kaikoura whale watch without stops which made us miss the check in time of 12.45, but fortunately they let us check in at 1.00pm. We would recommend this change for future travellers, but all other times were very accurate. We were glad to be warned about needing travel sickness tablets for this and the dolphin watch as several people around us were very sick whilst we were lucky enough not to be affected! The vouchers were accepted without a problem everywhere we went and this made things very straightforward for us. Thank you for organising such a wonderful tour for us. It was 'sweet as...'! We have already recommended your company to another family. Thanks again, Gill, Mark, Molly and Tom Westlake.
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5
24/11/2008
Accommodation - excellent - all worked out OK. Car ran very well and comfortable. Weather was good with only 1 day of soft rain. Scenery was wonderful! I would like to come back again one day and would recommend Relaxing Journeys to anyone.
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Optionals

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).

Enquire about our 9 Day Top Of The South

9 Day Top Of The South
Self Drive Tours
Tour Code: GNTS
From (NZD) $1777 per person
Save (NZD) $177 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Rating:
5 reviews (5/5)

Explore the wilderness and coast of the top of the South Island of New Zealand. Whale watch in Kaikoura, explore the Abel Tasman National Park and won... Read More

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9 Day Top Of The South
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