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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.