Grand Pacific Tours - 11 Day Signature Top of the South Island Tour Itinerary

 
1

Welcome to Christchurch

On arrival into Christchurch you will be met by a Grand Pacific Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. This evening enjoy a complimentary pre-dinner drink when you meet your Tour Leader and travelling companions for dinner.


Some suggested activities if you have some free time after the sightseeing tour

Easygoing Cycling Tour   Punting the Avon River   Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise
Māori Cultural Evening French Akaroa Tour Southern Alps Ballooning
Christchurch Gondola Clearwater Golf Arthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike


Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Christchurch - 2 Nights

The Distinction Hotel is a brand new hotel opening in 2019 in the revitalised heart of Christchurch and Cathedral Square. Centrally located and a short stroll to the Botanical Gardens, New Regent Street, the Arts Centre, and Avon River. This luxury Christchurch hotel offers 179 elegant, air-conditioned hotel rooms including 3 floors of brand new Superior Rooms and Suites.
Distinction Hotel Christchurch

2

French Settlement of Akaroa

After an introductory city sights tour, enjoy a scenic drive to the historic French Village of Akaroa, with time to wander through the charming galleries and craft stores. This afternoon set off on your Nature Cruise in the hope of spotting the rare Hector’s Dolphin and keep an eye out for penguins and other sea birds.

Following your cruise, return to Christchurch where the evening is free to dine at one of the city’s many restaurants.

Meals: Breakfast 


3

TranzAlpine Train to Hokitika

This morning board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. Travel over massive viaducts, river valleys and spectacular gorges before descending through the Otira Tunnel to Moana, on the banks of picturesque Lake Brunner.

Enjoy lunch at Kingfisher Restaurant, before travelling to the Brunner Mine Site, the location of the 1896 mine explosion. This afternoon in the coastal town of Hokitika, you will visit a local gallery, the perfect chance to pick up a gift or souvenir.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Hokitika - 1 Night

Accommodation:
Located right on the beach, Hokitika Beachfront Hotel offers rooms with cable TV and en suite bathrooms. It features an on-site restaurant and a bar. Guests enjoy free WiFi. All rooms at the Beachfront Hotel include a work desk and tea and coffee making facilities. Many rooms have a private balcony or courtyard with ocean views.
Beachfront Hotel Hokitika

4

Hokitika - Punakaiki Pancake Rocks

Today, take in the natural beauty of the Hokitika Gorge on a short walk descending through the hardwood forest that will lead you to a swing bridge which crosses the Hokitika River.

Continue north to Greymouth, home of Monteith’s Brewing Co. where you will sample locally brewed beers over lunch. This afternoon travel along the Great Coast Road to the world-famous Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.

Meals: Breakfast, Special Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Punakaiki - 1 Night

Surrounded by the Paparoa National Park and with stunning views of the Tasman Sea, The Ocean View Retreat – Punakaiki is in a great location. The resort is situated only 300m from the famous Punakaiki Blowholes and has been designed in harmony with the local environment.  Evenings are spent relaxing in a standard resort room with views of the sea or an Eco Suite with rainforest and distant seaviews.

 
The Ocean View Retreat – Punakaiki

5

Punakaiki - Nelson

Journey north along the coast to Tauranga Bay and Cape Foulwind, named by Captain Cook in 1770 when he encountered nasty weather. A short walkalong the rocky headland will showcase the rugged coastline and sea life often on show amongst the rocks. Travel inland via the Buller Gorge and Murchison to Nelson, one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand. This afternoon enjoy an orientation tour of the city followed by a visit to the Nelson Classic Car Museum where you will marvel at an incredible collection of iconic cars.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Nelson - 2 Nights

Accommodation:

The Rutherford Hotel  is an icon of the region standing next to the Cathedral steps and an easy stroll into the city of Nelson.  Nelson is a haven for art enthusiasts, and has a reputation for excellent produce, craft beer and fine wines. The Rutherford Hotel features restaurants and bars and caters for all room categories from studios, interconnecting rooms and suites.

Rutherford Hotel Nelson

6

Abel Tasman - BBQ in Anchorage Bay

Travel to Kaiteriteri, the gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park, and join a cruise along the parks’ picturesque coastline. At Anchorage Bay, a barbeque lunch will be served. Re-join your coach and depart for Nelson via the vineyards.

This evening is free for you to dine at one of the many local restaurants in town.

Meals: Breakfast, Special Lunch


7

Havelock and Blenheim

Today travel via Havelock and the wine-growing region of Marlborough. Visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, home to one of the largest private collections of WW1 Aircraft, brought to life in sets created by the internationally acclaimed WingNut Films and Weta Workshop.

Head back into town where you will enjoy lunch at a local Blenheim beer garden before a short drive to Cloudy Bay Estate. Established in 1985, Cloudy Bay was one of the original wineries in the region.

Enjoy a personalised tasting experience in the Barrell Room followed by time to wander through the superb manicured grounds and towering gum trees, which will surely be a highlight of your day.

Meals: Breakfast, Special Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Blenheim - 2 Nights 

The Scenic Hotel Marlborough is only a few minutes walk from the centre of Blenheim. It offers guests the ultimate in modern comfort and service and puts some of New Zealand's finest food and wine virtually on the doorstep. 

Scenic Hotel Marlborough

8

Blenheim – Marlborough Sounds - Blenheim

Enjoy a leisurely start to the day before travelling to Picton where time is available to explore this picturesque port. Board a luxury vessel at Picton Marina and cruise the spectacular Queen Charlotte Sound to Furneaux Lodge whilst enjoying the informative commentary on this stunning region.

At Furneaux Lodge a delicious lunch will be served followed by time to enjoy the peaceful surroundings. There is access to kayaks and short walks around the property. On the return cruise to Picton a cheese platter featuring local produce is served accompanied by a glass of Marlborough wine, which is the perfect end to your Marlborough Sounds adventure.

Board the coach for the short journey back to Blenheim where the evening is free to dine at one of the local restaurants.

Meals: Breakfast, Special Lunch


9

Kaikoura - Serengeti of the Sea

Farewell, the Marlborough region, and journey to Kaikoura to visit the Kaikoura Museum, featuring a dedicated exhibition on the impact of the 2016 earthquake. This afternoon you may like to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the coastline to see the many species of whales that migrate through this area.

Alternative Wildlife Encounters in Kaikoura
 

Whale Watching Cruise    Swim with the Seals
Whale Watching Flight        Dusky Dolphin Viewing
Kayaking with Fur Seals    Pelagic Bird Watching


Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Kaikoura - 1 Night 

Accommodation:
With its superb location on the shoreline close to town, Sudima Kaikoura is blessed with stunning views of both the mountains and sea. It also puts the hotel within easy walking distance of Kaikoura’s activities, shops, restaurants, and bars. This state-of-the-art waterfront hotel has a 4.5 star rating with an outstanding in-house restaurant, a bar and conference facilities. As always, you can expect that special Sudima service. We take care of the little things, so you’re all ready for a big day – of business, sightseeing, or nature watching.
Sudima Kaikoura

10

Christchurch - Garden City

Depart Kaikoura and head to Christchurch to visit the International Antarctic Centre, designed to provide an informative account of life in Antarctica. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner with your new friends.

Meals: Breakfast, Special Dinner

Accommodation: Christchurch - 1 Night 

The Distinction Hotel is a brand new hotel opening in 2019 in the revitalised heart of Christchurch and Cathedral Square. Centrally located and a short stroll to the Botanical Gardens, New Regent Street, the Arts Centre, and Avon River. This luxury Christchurch hotel offers 179 elegant, air-conditioned hotel rooms including 3 floors of brand new Superior Rooms and Suites.
Distinction Hotel Christchurch

11

Bon Voyage

Haere rā and Bon Voyage!

We are sure you will enjoy this tour and our promise is to make your travels through New Zealand as hassle-free and hospitable as possible - ensuring that today you leave with a memory card full of photos, and huge smiles on your faces when recalling your time in New Zealand! Have a great homeward journey, farewell and hope to see you again soon in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Meals: Breakfast


Further Information

11 Day Signature Top of the South Island

Unveiling a picturesque landscape of wilderness, wildlife and unique attractions

STYLE Signature Mid-Size Group

COACH 32 seat Premium Economy

ACCOMMODATION 4 star

STARTS Christchurch

FINISHES Christchurch

NO HIDDEN EXTRAS

Prepaid Attractions

  • Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise 
  • TranzAlpine Rail Journey 
  • Wilderness Gallery Hokitika 
  • Monteith's Brewing Co. Tasting 
  • Nelson Classic Car Museum 
  • Abel Tasman Guided Walk and Barbecue Cruise 
  • Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre 
  • Cloudy Bay Estate Wine Tasting 
  • Queen Charlotte Sound Cruise to Furneaux Lodge 
  • Kaikõura Museum 
  • International Antarctic Centre 
  • Christchurch City Sights Tour 
  • Nelson City Sights Tour 

*Guided tour is included with 1 guide per 24 travellers.

Scenic Highlights and Walks

  • Historic French Village of Akaroa
  • Lake Brunner
  • Brunner Mine Site
  • Hokitika Gorge 
  • Punakaiki Pancake Rocks  
  • Cape Foulwind walkway 
  • Buller Gorge
  • Seaside town of Kaiteriteri
  • Abel Tasman National Park 
  • Marlborough Wine Region
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Coastal town of Kaikōura

 

COACH FEATURES

  • 32 Premium Economy Comfort seats on a full-size coach
  • 2 door access; seat back tray table; cup holder

• Restroom; daily onboard Wi-Fi allowance

 

EXPERIENCE

  • Professional Coach Captain and Tour Leader
  • Personalised Meet and Greet on arrival
  • Return airport transfers in New Zealand
  • 10 nights 4 star accommodation
  • 3 two night stays
  • Hotel porterage
  • 1 rail journey
  • 3 cruises
  • All sightseeing and prepaid attractions
  • Classic Documentation Pack

MEALS

  • 10 cooked breakfasts
  • 7 sumptuous dinners including Complimentary pre-dinner drink at the Welcome Dinner and 1 specialty dinner: Farewell Dinner including pre-dinner drink, Christchurch
  • 5 specialty lunches: Kingfisher Restaurant, Lake Brunner; Monteith’s Brewing Co., Greymouth; Abel Tasman Barbecue lunch, Abel Tasman National Park; Dodson Street Beer Garden; Blenheim; Furneaux Lodge, Queen Charlotte Sound

Dinner on Day 1 not included for anyone arriving later than 8pm.

FITNESS LEVEL REQUIRED

Tour includes a number of short walks of up to 1 hour that require a moderate level of fitness. The walks are scenic and not excessive but can include slight inclines and uneven surfaces. Ensure you feel comfortable with this level of fitness before booking.


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What Michelle says about this tour: This trip has so many special excursions that dont appear on many other touring options. You will love spending time in Akaroa and the Abel Tasman National Park. The TranzAlpine train journey is spectacular as is the driving from Hokitika north through Punakaiki and the Buller Gorge on route to the beautiful Tasman region. The Marlborough Sounds and Kaikoura are a spectacular return route to Christchurch. This trip is a major winner!
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