South Island trips

Top of the South Journey

5 Days


Christchurch to Christchurch


  • Marine Wildlife
  • Wine Tasting
  • Abel Tasman NP

Best time of year

All year

Discover the diversity of Christchurch, just a 3 hour flight from the Australian eastern coast. Then take an easy 2.5-hour drive along the scenic coastline to Kaikoura for some dolphin and whale watching. Next stop, wine country. Linger in the picturesque Marlborough region, enjoy a sauvignon blanc or two, and relax in the Marlborough Sounds waterways. Explore the artisan haven of Nelson and the world-famous Abel Tasman National Park. On the way back to Christchurch unwind in the spas of Hanmer Springs.

Day 1

Christchurch to Kaikoura

2 hrs

23 mins

181 km

113 mi

Christchurch - Canterbury

Driving north from Christchurch you will be surrounded by the rolling hills of Canterbury’s wine region, the Waipara Valley. As the country’s fastest growing wine region there are plenty of places to stop and enjoy a long lunch.

Further up the stunning coastline you’ll arrive at New Zealand's leading eco-tourism destination, Kaikoura.  Wander the spectacular Coastal walkway and see Sperm whales, dusky dolphins, fur seals and albatross play in the waters off shore. Don’t forget to stop at Nin’s Bin for crayfish and mussels picked straight from the sea. 

Explore the surrounds of Christchurch, Canterbury.

Start in Christchurch

Christchurch city promises an eclectic mix of historic elegance and contemporary culture. As the gateway to the South Island, it's a must on any itinerary.

Get up close to huge whales with a boat cruise in Kaikoura.

End in Kaikoura

The picturesque coastal town of Kaikoura is the perfect place for marine life encounters, coastal walks, and tucking into a plate of crayfish.

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