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Top of the South itinerary

Go New Zealand Go New Zealand 10 months ago
Top of the South itinerary

Discover Christchurch's diversity, which is only a 3-hour flight from Australia's eastern coast. Then travel north to Kaikoura to see dolphins and whales. Then it's on to wine country. Relax with a glass of sauvignon blanc and take in the spectacular views of the Marlborough Sounds. Explore Nelson's artisan sanctuary and the world-renowned Abel Tasman National Park. On the way back to Christchurch, stop at Murchison for an exciting jet boat ride and relax in Hanmer Springs' natural thermal pools and spas.

Day 1: Christchurch to Kaikoura

Before driving north to Kaikoura, begin your tour by enjoying the beautiful gardens and parks of New Zealand's "garden city." Few places on the planet can compare to the natural wonders that Kaikoura has to offer. Take the opportunity to get up close and personal with huge whales, playful dolphins, and seabirds.

Kaikōura
Kaikōura, New Zealand

Day 2: Kaikoura to Marlborough

Travel to Marlborough, New Zealand's largest wine-growing region and the birthplace of sauvignon blanc. This is the ideal location to sample the world-famous wine and feast on fresh seafood from the ocean. Explore the Marlborough Sounds on a walk or bike ride through natural forest, or take a boat trip to see the local wildlife.

Marlborough
Marlborough, New Zealand

Day 3: Blenheim to Nelson

Nelson is a community that thrives on innovation. Visit local artist studios and the World of Wearable Art Museum, where art and fashion collide. In the afternoon, try some of Nelson's local artisan brewers or hop on a bike and ride through the region's wineries on the Great Taste Cycle Trail.

Nelson
Nelson, New Zealand

Day 4: Spend the day in Abel Tasman National Park

Enjoy the scenic trip from Nelson to the Abel Tasman National Park's remote golden sand beaches. Explore the beautiful landscapes on foot, via bike, kayak, or boat and relax in this inviting setting.

Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park, South Island, New Zealand

Day 5: Nelson to Hanmer Springs

Take your time driving from Nelson, stopping in the lovely town of Murchison for a break. A Buller Canyon jetboat ride or a crossing of the country's biggest swingbridge to watch the rushing water from above will get your adrenaline pounding. Continue on to Hanmer Springs, a relaxing and refreshing place. Before returning to Christchurch, about 2 hours away, soak in the natural hot springs or try out some outdoor activities like woodland treks, mountain biking, horse trekking, and trout fishing.

Hanmer Springs
Hanmer Springs, New Zealand

Day 6: Hanmer Springs to Christchurch

Returning to the exciting metropolis of Christchurch by driving south from Hanmer Springs. Take a leisurely punt along the Avon river, passing by the famous botanic gardens that have earned this city the nickname "Garden City" in New Zealand.

Christchurch
Christchurch, New Zealand

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