The South's Dolphin, Whale & Nature Itinerary


Documents and 24/7 Support: We've Got You Covered!

When you touch down in New Zealand your detailed documentation pack will be hand-delivered by one of our trusted representatives. You'll find everything you need in one handy place: your personalised itinerary, clear instructions and maps, and reservation details for your accommodation and activities.

24 Hour Assistance: We’re just a free phone call away if you encounter any issues while you're on the road - at any time of day or night. Don’t waste your precious vacation time stressing - First Light Travel are here to help you quickly when every second counts.

What's also included?

Dedicated Travel Consultant                  Detailed Daily Itinerary and Vouchers        

144 Page A4 NZ Touring Atlas  

Full 24 Hour Support 50 Page Essential New Zealand Guide  


Welcome to Christchurch

‘Haere Mai’ and welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand’s second-largest city and the South Island's capital. A transfer has been arranged from the airport to your hotel.

Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Christchurch is our "Garden City", blessed with beautiful parks and gardens right in the heart of town. English heritage buildings sit side by side with innovative post-earthquake regeneration in this vibrant place.

After settling in, why not relax with a punting trip down the Avon River? Gliding gently along in a flat-bottomed boat, you will take in Christchurch's 'must-see' historic attractions and botanic gardens away from the hustle and bustle of the streets.

Some Suggested Activities Options for Christchurch

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

Accommodation: Christchurch - 2 Nights


Opened in 1913 this Italian High Renaissance Palazzo offers a feeling of grandeur with high ceilings and stunning architecture, the hotel passed the test in the recent earthquakes and remains an icon of the city. Comfort and spacious accommodation with an excellent breakfast available in the onsite restaurant.

Heritage Christchurch


Christchurch to Akaroa: Cruising With Dolphins

Pick up your rental car this morning and take a beautiful scenic drive over the Banks Peninsula to Akaroa: a harbour-side village which counts the world's rarest dolphin among its neighbours.

You'll love wandering around French-settled Akaroa, with its quaint 19th-century cottages housing an array of artisan galleries & boutiques. It's a charming setting, right by the shimmering waters of the Akaroa Harbour.

Akaroa Harbour Cruise 
Cruising this stunning harbour today, you'll marvel at the giant sea cliffs all around you. You're actually sailing through an extinct volcanic crater! Watch for Fur Seals & Little Blue Penguins, Shags (Cormorants) drying their wings in the sun, and graceful petrel soaring above.

The star of the show is the tiny Hector's Dolphin, which you won't find anywhere else in the world. They are a joy to watch, darting and diving around your boat, as playful as puppies! Your knowledgeable skipper will tell you all about them as you cruise through their little corner of paradise.

Approximate Distance: 82 km | 50 miles  Total Driving Time: 1 hour 20 mins (each way)


Christchurch to Kaikoura: A Marine Wonderland

Today you'll journey through North Canterbury's beautiful rural scenery to the town of Kaikoura, a marine wonderland where towering mountains meet the sea.

Kaikoura's most famous residents are the many whales and dolphins who feast on the abundant seafood in its waters. Sperm whales visit year-round, while the mighty humpback is a regular visitor in June and July.

Kaikoura Whale Watching Tour 
This afternoon brings you closer to these magnificent creatures on a whale watching cruise. Enjoy spotting them as they breach the surface, spouting seawater from their blowholes before diving in search of tasty squid.

End your unforgettable day with freshly caught crayfish at one of Kaikoura's cozy eateries, enjoying one of the glorious sunsets this region is famous for.

Approximate Distance: 182 km | 113 miles  Total Driving Time: 1 hour 37 mins

Accommodation: Kaikoura - 1 night

The White Morph Motor Inn is situated on the waterfront with an easy stroll into the township for convenient dining, shops and bars (there is also a restaurant on site). Choose between the deluxe spa rooms with ocean view balcony, or the 4 star studio rooms & family apartments with garden views. 

White Morph Motor Inn - Kaikoura


Kaikoura to Christchurch: Homeward Bound

"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!

As the coast road leads you out of Kaikoura this morning, look closely at the rocks by the ocean. Are any of them moving? If so, they are probably sunbathing seals!

When you arrive back in Christchurch there may be time for last minute sightseeing or shopping before catching your outbound flight.

We know you will love 'The South's Dolphin, Whale & Nature Itinerary' and our promise to you 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 we hope to see you again soon in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Bon Voyage

What Michelle says about this tour: Amazing Akaroa often gets missed - not in this itinerary! This gorgeous harbour in an extinct volcano is popular with our rare native dolphins, and we know you'll love it too. As for Kaikoura, our dolphin and whale-watching capital... the sunsets over the mountains will take your breath away. This 4 day itinerary is ideal for a leisurely long weekend.
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