Christchurch to Wellington, east coast highway
This fascinating 7-day coastal adventure takes you from Christchurch to Wellington on the east coast of the South Island. Explore Christchurch's bustling metropolis, Kaikoura's magnificent marine life, and Marlborough's world-class wine. You'll take in the gorgeous Queen Charlotte Sounds before catching a ferry across Cook Strait to Wellington, where you'll learn about the city's unique culture and cu
Day 1: Spend the day in Christchurch
Take the time to learn more about what makes this ever-changing city so special. Christchurch is bursting at the seams with creativity and ingenuity. The city is home to a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, bars, and nightclubs. The characteristic activities of Christchurch remain popular favorites. Visit the beautiful botanic gardens, take a leisurely punt down the Avon River, and ride a historic tram. Take a trip to Akaroa, bike bicycling in the Port Hills, or take the TranzAlpine railway to Arthur's Pass for a breathtaking day trip into the Southern Alps.
ChristchurchChristchurch, New Zealand
Day 2 - 3: Christchurch to Kaikoura
You'll pass through the undulating hills of Canterbury's wine area, the Waipara Valley, on your way north to Kaikoura today. There are lots of locations to stop and enjoy a lengthy lunch in the country's fastest growing wine area; local specialties include Pinot Noir and Riesling.
Kaikoura is a region where eco-tourism and Maori culture collide; the ocean here provides a haven for marine creatures and seabirds, and local Maori give culturally-themed guided excursions. Whale watching, swimming with dolphins or seals, albatross spotting, and sea kayaking are all great ways to get close to the activity.
KaikōuraKaikōura, New Zealand
Day 4: Kaikoura to Blenheim
Take a scenic coastal journey all the way to the top of the South Island. Enjoy a bottle of world-class Sauvignon Blanc with Greenshell mussels, another local speciality, to toast your arrival in the Marlborough wine area. A tour of the many vineyards is the ideal way to spend the day. Alternatively, there are numerous lovely hiking and mountain biking paths in this area. The Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre will appeal to aviation aficionados.
BlenheimBlenheim, New Zealand
Day 5: Explore Queen Charlotte Sounds
The iconic Queen Charlotte Track, which gives breathtaking views of the Queen Charlotte Sounds, can now be walked, cycled, or kayaked. The entire trail can take up to 5 days to walk, but you can get a taste of it in just one day. You'll need to arrange for a water taxi to drop you down and pick you up from Picton. A boat tour around the Sounds, if you choose a less busy day, will provide you with some of the same breathtaking sights. Spend the night in Picton, a charming coastal village.
Queen Charlotte Sound / TōtaranuiQueen Charlotte Sound / Tōtaranui, Marlborough, New Zealand
Day 6 - 7: Picton to Wellington
Today you'll board a ferry from Wellington, at the bottom of the North Island, through the Marlborough Sounds and across the Cook Strait. Wellington is a compact, cultured city with a lot of personality. The downtown area, which is nestled between the harbour and the hills, is great for walking tours. Cafes, restaurants, museums, and a variety of stores are all available.
Wellington is known for its dance, theatrical, and musical acts. This city, being New Zealand's capital, is steeped in political history. While you're here, don't forget to pay a visit to Te Papa, New Zealand's national museum. The Wellington Cable Car, the Houses of Parliament, Zealandia, and the waterfront are among the city's other well-known attractions.