7 Days


  • Abel Tasman National Park
  • Local food and wine
  • Whale watching


  • By plane: Start your journey in Nelson
  • By car: Total trip distance: 425km

From golden beaches to whale watching, the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island is just waiting to be discovered.

Explore the sun kissed coastline of Abel Tasman National Park by kayak and on foot. Journey to nearby Nelson to treat your taste buds with a day of indulgence on the Great Taste Cycle Trail.  Spend a day discovering the work of talented local artists before visiting Kaikoura. Don’t forget your camera – getting up close to the whales and dolphins that frequent these waters on a boat cruise promises to be a highlight of your time in New Zealand. Afterwards, continue down the coast to finish up in Christchurch.  


Day 1-2, Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson

By Gareth Eyres

Explore the golden beaches and crystal-clear bays of Abel Tasman National Park on a guided kayak tour.


  • Golden beaches
  • Fur seals & penguins
  • Regenerating forest


  • By car: 1.5 hour from Nelson

Spend a couple of days exploring Abel Tasman National Park, a coastal wonderland where sun-kissed beaches dot the seaside while fur seals, orca and dolphins are often spotted just offshore. Spend a relaxing day kayaking the bays – a guided kayak tour is a great option. The well-formed Abel Tasman Coast Track – a New Zealand Great Walk – through beech forest and along glistening beaches is also highly recommended.  

Day 3, Nelson

Great Taste Cycle Trail, Nelson

By Dean McKenzie

A tailored ride, the Great Taste Trail is a great way to take in the picturesque Tasman countryside, cafes, boutique breweries and vineyards.


  • Coastal and rural scenery
  • Art, food & wine


Tour art galleries, wineries, local craft breweries and fruit stalls by pedal power with a day spent cycling the Great Taste Trail in and around Nelson. Suitable for riders of all abilities, the trail threads its way through charming countryside and picture-perfect coastline. Cycling is a great way to soak up the views - this region is famous for its blue skies, sunshine hours and local arts.

Day 4-5, Blenheim/ Marlborough Sounds

Wine and food haven, Marlborough

By Mike Heydon

If you love good food and wine, Marlborough is a destination made in heaven. It is renowned for its sauvignon blanc and fresh seafood.


  • World-famous sauvignon blanc
  • Delicious local produce
  • Queen Charlotte Track


  • By car: 1.5 hours from Nelson

More than 140 years ago, early pioneers recognised something special in the earth surrounding Blenheim and Marlborough, choosing to plant the region’s very first vineyards. Today, Marlborough is a winemaking mecca, world-famous for its sauvignon blanc. From Blenheim, spend a day visiting a selection of the region’s most impressive vineyards. Choose to self-drive, take a guided tour by car or mix in your daily exercise with a winery cycle tour.

Just north of Blenheim, near Picton, spend a day hiking or biking the spectacular Queen Charlotte Track through Marlborough Sounds. Taking a cruise is another fabulous way to enjoy the beauty of this region - the Greenshell Mussel cruise is highly recommended. 

Day 6, Blenheim - Kaikoura

Christchurch - Canterbury
Whale watching in Kaikoura, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Sara Orme

The coastal town of Kaikoura is perfect for marine life encounters, including whale watching and swimming with dolphins.

Christchurch - Canterbury

Christchurch - Canterbury

Kaikoura accommodation


  • Coastal views
  • Whale watching


Begin your day by heading south down the coast to Kaikoura. Spectacular ocean scenery awaits – soak up the huge views of the Pacific Ocean to your left en route. Arriving in Kaikoura late morning, dine on a lunch of fresh crayfish – the town’s delicacy – before taking a whale watching boat cruise in the afternoon. Kaikoura is a marinelife mecca, and whales, dolphins, seals and penguins call these waters home. It’s one of the few places in the world where you can see sperm whales up close. Don’t forget the camera! 

Day 7, Kaikoura - Christchurch

Christchurch - Canterbury
Re:Start Shopping Mall, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Christchurch Canterbury Tourism

Built out of shipping containers, Christchurch's Re:Start Mall is an innovative village project that features an exciting mix of retailers and cafes.

Christchurch - Canterbury

Christchurch - Canterbury

Christchurch accommodation


  • Vibrant Christchurch City
  • World-famous botanic gardens


Enjoy breakfast in Kaikoura before heading further down the coast to Christchurch. If it’s a nice day, put together a quick gourmet picnic and head to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens for a leisurely lunch in the fresh air. Formed more than 150 years ago, meander through more than 10 different gardens framed by mature trees and expansive lawns. Or enjoy a relaxed punt on the river Avon

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