South Island trips

Alpine Pacific Triangle

4 Days
451km
281mi

Route

Christchurch to Christchurch

Highlights

  • Whales and seals
  • Natural hot springs
  • Waipara wineries

Best time of year

All year

You’ll discover an excellent balance of eco-adventure and indulgence on the Alpine Pacific Triangle. Begin in Christchurch, a city with a strong arts and heritage focus, then head up the coast towards Kaikoura. Unspoilt beaches get you in the right frame of mind to enjoy the whales, seals and dolphins that live in the area – crayfish is the local specialty food.

Waipara’s vineyards and olive groves are a highlight of the drive to Hanmer Springs, where hot pools, massage therapies and great restaurants will rejuvenate you. Stop for a beach picnic on the return trip to Christchurch.

Info

Whale tail, Kaikoura

Photo by Chris McLennan

Day 1

Christchurch - Kaikoura

2 hrs

16 mins

182 km

113 mi

Christchurch - Canterbury

The trip north from Christchurch takes you past the surf beaches, wineries and farmland, finishing with the impressive scenery of the coastal ranges.

Upon arriving in Kaikoura, take the chance to get a rare insight into the spirituality of Maori in a relaxed and friendly environment with Maori Tours Kaikoura. An experience rather than a show, you will be invited and encouraged to participate, while encountering a real cultural exchange.

This afternoon is your choice in way of experiencing Kaikoura’s amazing marinelife. You may like to see the whales from above on a scenic flight or watch them on the water from the comfort of a catamaran. Get up close to the wildlife by swimming with the dusky dolphins.

Enjoy dinner this evening at one of the many seafood inspired restaurants. You don’t get much fresher than this! There’s a wide range of accommodation options from cosy bed and breakfasts to stunning tree-houses nestled in a native Manuka grove.

Cashel Mall Re:Start Project

Start in Christchurch

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

Swimming with dusky dolphins, 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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