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.
KaikōuraKaikōura, 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 DistrictMarlborough District, 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.
NelsonNelson, 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 ParkSouth Island 7183, 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 SpringsHanmer 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.
ChristchurchChristchurch, New Zealand
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