10 Day Alpine Explorer

10 Day Alpine Explorer

Discover the north of the South! Whale watching, thermal springs and experience for yourself the legendary Abel Tasman Maritime Park, an outdoor enthusiasts paradise.

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) $3550 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Pace: Relaxing
Duration: 10 Days
Tour Code: GNAE

Inclusions

9 nights accommodation
Rental vehicle of your choice
2 night stopovers in the Marlborough Sounds, Nelson, Kaikoura and Christchurch
Coast to coast TranzAlpine Train journey through the Southern Alps
Admission to Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve
Kaikoura Whalewatch Excursion
Greenshell Mussel Cruise. Enjoy an informative and relaxing afternoon cruising the inner Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds.
Stunning Kenepuru Sound
'The Best Abel Tasman Day Trip'
Punakaiki Pancake Rocks
Admissions outlined in the Itinerary
Airport transfers to/from your accommodation
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation and 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. You will be personally met by our representative at the airport and transferred in an executive sedan to your accommodation. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore what Christchurch has to offer. Why not sit back and relax as you pass the trailing willows and leafy banks of the stunning Christchurch Botanic Gardens while punting down the river Avon?

Your choice of accommodation

Day 2
Christchurch - Hanmer Springs - Kaikoura

Take delivery of your rental car this morning. Leaving Christchurch, travel inland to the naturally picturesque and tranquil alpine village of Hanmer Springs, nestled in a valley surrounded by a superb expanse of mountains and forest clad hills.

Relax in the hot thermal pools of the Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve before continuing on to Kaikoura, located in a narrow strip of stunning coastline that lies between mountain peaks and the Pacific Ocean. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 3
Kaikoura Whale Watch

This morning, board your boat and enjoy the awesome experience of a 3-hour whale-watch excursion. This is a unique experience and sightings may vary from day to day. Giant sperm whales are the star of the show and are year-round residents.

A typical Whale Watch tour may encounter fur seals, pods of Dusky dolphins and the endangered Wandering Albatross. Depending on the season, you may also see migrating Hump Back whales, Pilot whales, Blue whales and Southern Right whales. Kaikoura also attracts the largest concentration and variety of seabirds on mainland New Zealand including 13 species of Albatross, 14 varieties of Petrel as well as 7 types of Shearwater.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 4
Kaikoura - Marlborough Sounds

Drive north to the picturesque village of Havelock where you leave your vehicle and join your scenic Greenshell Mussel cruise. Take in the natural beauty of this tranquil environment, learn about the history of the Marlborough Sounds and the pioneering families who have settled here. Visit a Greenshell Mussel farm and enjoy freshly steamed mussels with a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, a wonderful wine and food match, in a beautiful part of Marlborough. At the end of your cruise disembark at your resort.

For those choosing the Boutique level of accommodation, drive to Picton and join your Seafood Odyssea Cruise to the Bay of Many Coves. Enjoy the natural beauty of the Queen Charlotte Sound, visit a Marlborough salmon farm, learn about aquaculture in the Marlborough Sounds and take in the picturesque scenery. Enjoy tasting of Regal salmon and Tio Point oysters with Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc for the definitive wine/food match before disembarking at your resort. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 5
Kenepuru Sound

A day to relax and marvel at the magic that is the Marlborough Sounds. Resort staff will share their love of the Sounds with you through the range of water and nature based experiences they put at your fingertips. The wide beach access is great for fishing, boating, sailing, swimming and sea-kayaking. There is a wealth of walks and meanderings in the immediate vicinity or you could relax with a massage or spa treatment.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 6
Kenepuru Sound - Picton - Nelson

Return to Picton or Havelock by water taxi and drive on to Nelson, a city of charm based on a harbour that is home to the busiest fishing port in New Zealand. The region also enjoys the greatest number of sunshine hours in New Zealand and boasts many award-winning wineries, arts and crafts centres. (2 nights)

 

Your choice of accommodation

Day 7
The Best Abel Tasman Day Trip

Join the the boat Taranuiat Stephens Bay for “The Best Abel Tasman Day Trip”. Explore the Abel Tasman National Park’s coastline; past Split Apple Rock, Kaiteriteri, Marahau, round golden sandy bays, Adele and Fishermans Islands, then on to the Tonga Island seal colony.

Taranui’s cruise itinerary is flexible so if there is something to see on the day trip, like dolphins riding the bow wave or New Zealand fur seals fishing, then we’ll go take a look. Similarly if there’s a particular bay you want to visit or park feature you want to see, then please let the skipper know and he’ll try to accommodate your wishes.

After you’ve said goodbye to the seals the skipper will find a sheltered bay for a light lunch. You can swim, sea kayak, go ashore for a bush walk, or just relax onboard Taranui. There is plenty of snorkeling equipment if you are keen to work up an appetite and kayaks on board for your enjoyment. (L)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 8
Nelson - Punakaiki

Travel south through the Nelson Lakes region before arriving on the West Coast. Marvel at the bizarre limestone landscapes that is the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowhole. The track has many lookouts and areas for fantastic photos to be taken of the Pancake Rocks, Blowholes and the beautiful mountain views.

The best time to visit the blowholes is at high tide when they are at their most powerful. The Truman Track is a short walk worth doing while you’re here – nearing the coast it passes through typical West Coast flax flats before emerging onto a sprawling headland with stunning views up and down the local shoreline.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 9
Punakaiki - Greymouth - Christchurch

The West Coast is home to towering rainforests, mountains and glaciers, tranquil lakes and rushing rivers. It is steeped in history dating back to the gold rush era of the 1860’s. On arrival in Greymouth return your rental car to the Greymouth depot before checking in for your train journey to Christchurch.

The TranzAlpine Train is described as “The Great New Zealand Rail Adventure” and is rated as one of the top six scenic train journeys in the world. Ascend through lush beech forests past the beautiful Lake Brunner via the alpine village of Arthur’s Pass situated 737 metres above sea level, before crossing the spectacular Southern Alps. The TranzAlpine then winds its way over massive viaducts, through spectacular river gorges and the stunning Waimakariri River valley and across the Canterbury Plains before arriving in Christchurch.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 10
Depart Christchurch

Sadly, your holiday is at an end and you will be transferred to Christchurch airport today for your onward flight. Here, we bid you a fond farewell and hope you leave with many happy memories of your stay in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Your choice of accommodation

4.7/5.0

There are 9 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.7 out of 5.

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Tour Reviews

5
05/01/2017
Very happy with the tour structure and extremely happy with the professional coordination and communication from Toni of the Relaxing Journeys consulting team. Overall the accommodation was excellent, however the standards at the Rutherford Hotel, Nelson was significantly lower than the others. The hotel was dated and reception service was very ordinary. WiFi was flakey and I would prefer a less complicated car parking arrangement. Other than that thank you for a well coordinated, excellent holiday package.
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5
09/06/2016
The trip was relaxing, well organised, enjoyably and everything happened as planned and booked. Thank you very much for the concise organising, the travel pack, the instructions and the vouchers were great, it certainly made the holiday very easy. We would recommend your service to anyone wanting to travel to NZ and certainly use your services again.
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5
01/03/2016
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip. Everything was excellent and very well organised. We found the Fyffe Country Lodge was on too busy a road for us and was rather disappointed with that accommodation but couldn't fault anything else. All the trips were excellent and taxis always on time and very nice drivers.
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5
08/06/2014
We loved our time in New Zealand and felt assured knowing that Mani was just an e-mail or phone call away to resolve any potential issues. Our accommodations were comfortable, clean, and safe. We did upgrade a couple of our stays and they were fantastic! The only thing we would have changed would have been to add more time to our trip and slow down our pace just a tad. There is so very much to see in New Zealand!
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5
02/01/2011
We had an absolutely fantastic time in New Zealand. The tour was very well organized. NZ has so many things to see and do, we couldn't do it all. Every one of the places that we stayed in was fantastic. All of us loved Hapuku Tree Lodge. The George, Cambria House and Punakaiki resort were all great. The only problem was with the Thrifty car rental. The guy who dropped off the car seemed to be in a hurry. The car did not come clean on the outside & the GPS was broken. As far as the itinerary goes, the kids and I got seasick on both the whale watching and swimming with the dolphins. That tired us out completely and we couldn't do Hanmer Springs on Tuesday. We went there instead on Wednesday and drove to Nelson via Murchison instead of the Blenheim route. Nelson was rainy and we were all pretty wiped out from Hanmer Springs (did bungee jumping and jet boating) and the drive to Nelson. Before leaving Nelson, we made a quick 20 minute trip to something called Skywire (Flying fox) ride. It was a very fun thing to do and we all highly recommend it. The drive to Punakaiki was very nice and scenic but we missed the high tide so couldn't see the blowholes. Wish we had known about that. Greymouth, train journey back and the evening in Christchurch was all great. Overall, we had a really good time in NZ, very relaxing and fun. We are now looking forward to our next trip when we can explore the Northern Island and the southern half of South Island. Thanks.
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4
22/03/2010
It was our best holiday of our married lives. The tour was perfect, with a great selection of sights, accomodation and transport. We experienced a vast range of what New Zealand had to offer and were stunned with the way the package was put together, despite having booked it over the internet and email from the other side of the world. Our organiser Jarrod did a great job, coordinating our varied and often conflicting requests and managed to make sense of the vast range of requests for our tour, Relaxing Journeys did an awesome job, I would not hesitate recommending them to anyone thinking of touring New Zealand.
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4
01/01/2010
We had an amazing amazing time! We found the route guidance and info pack really useful and were delighted with how well our tour had been planned. We had worried that there would be too much driving but in fact the driving was really good as the scenery was fantastic and there were always lots of places to stop at on route. Cheltenham House - We really like this place the hosts had everyone in for drinks in the evening and breakfast in your room was a nice touch. 4/5. Hanmer Springs - we loved the Springs and found a great Indian place to eat. Kincaid - This was our favourite Jessica and Greig have made a really nice home from home with lots of little touches such as home made cookies and port in your room. They booked dinner for us making sure we had a table with a view, told us where to go for cheap cray fish, sorted out a helicopter ride to see the whales when the weather was too bad for our boat trip and even let us borrow their mobile phone. One hint though can you put their address as Parson's road as the route guidance couldn't find the road that was listed. 5/5 Our whalewatch boat ride was cancelled due to bad weather but a helicopter ride was a great alternative. The swim with Dolphins was pure genius - we swam with a group of 700 to 1000 and had loads of interaction. Bay of Many Coves - Wow what an amazing location and really beautiful facilities. I think the one thing it lacked was some atmosphere in the evenings it needed a cracking cocktail bar and perhaps alternative bar food then it would have been perfect. 4/5 Warwick - we didn't like this one any near as much. The hosts weren't really interested in operating a B&B and were more interested in telling us about the history of a house that to European's was actually quite new. We weren't allowed to check in before 4 pm and couldn't even leave our luggage there securely. We needed to get up early for our trip to Abel Tasman and they wouldn't give us a cooked breakfast before 8.30 so we had to make do with some muesli and cold stuff left on a tray outside our room the night before. 2/5 We did however love our hike through Abel Tasmin. Not to be missed! Punacatti - The hotel was quite basic but had a good view. It also lacked any night time action but we were glad we stopped here as the rocks and blow holes were fantastic to see. 3/5 Holly Homestead - great hosts and good breakfasts but being as we had terrible weather we didn't enjoy this section of the trip as much as we had hoped. 3/5. The train ride was slightly marred by rain but we did get to see some amazing rainbows. Airport hotel - we were surprised that this was actually very good 4/5.
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5
10/12/2009
This was our first visit to New Zealand and it was perfect! Every detail had been considered during the planning of our tour. We only had 6 nights in which to taste the South Island, and from the word go Jarrod was so helpful. The pack we received was full of useful information and left no need for guess work. Our whale watching boat trip was cancelled due to bad weather, but we took the helicopter trip later in the day, so didn't miss out. Everything, from the hotels Jarrod chose for us to the car hire, were top class. Everyone we met was so friendly and helpful. New Zealand is a beautiful country, and there is no doubt we will visit again. When we do return, we will have no hesitation in asking Relaxing Journeys to arrange our holiday again.
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4
20/03/2008
Dave and I have returned from our self drive holiday in your beautiful country! We had a wonderful time and thanks to relaxing journeys, all went smoothly. The itinerary worked very well, with enough variety to keep us looking forward to the next little part of our journey. The accommodation was excellent and the timing of each part of the journey was well thought out. The finale of the trip- the trans alpine train crossing was a great way to sit back and enjoy some more spectacular scenery! People often commented about why we were visiting NZ in winter? It was very cold, but we had warm clothing, and we found getting around very easy, because of reduced numbers of people. Thank you for your input and I would recommend this holiday to anyone. We are contemplating doing the North Island at some stage and will certainly 'look you up' again.
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Enquire about our 10 Day Alpine Explorer

10 Day Alpine Explorer
Self Drive Tours
Tour Code: GNAE
From (NZD) $3550 per person
Save (NZD) $355 per person
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Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Rating:
9 reviews (4.7/5)

Discover the north of the South! Whale watching, thermal springs and experience for yourself the legendary Abel Tasman Maritime Park, an outdoor enthu... Read More

Itinerary Map

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10 Day Alpine Explorer
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