Login
Call us FREE in NZ on 1855 638 2709
|

Thrifty Tours5 Day Top of the South Island Tour from Christchurch

Tour around the top of the South Island, starting and finishing in Christchurch, with this 5 day Thrifty Tours independent coach touring itinerary. Journey from coast to coast on board the TranzAlpine scenic train, spend some time walking and cruising through the Abel Tasman National Park and enjoy a few special hours spotting whales off the coast of Kaikoura.

 New Zealand independent tour
 Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Christchurch
 5 days/ 4 nights
 Hotel 4 star
  Customisable? YES Enquire Enquire
 Viewed 4 times in the last 7 days

Included in this tour package

Tour map
Coach tours New Zealand
New Zealand Coach Tours

At a glance - 5 Day Top of the South Island Tour from Christchurch

Day 1: Christchurch to Kaikoura inc Whale Watch Cruise. Accommodation: The White Morph, Kaikoura

Day 2: Kaikoura to Nelson via Blenheim. Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel Nelson

Day 3: Day to explore the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park. Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel Nelson

Day 4: Nelson to Greymouth by Newmans coach. Accommodation: Kingsgate Hotel Greymouth

Day 5: Greymouth to Christchurch by Tranz Alpne train.

Back to top

5 Day Top of the South Island Tour from Christchurch - Detailed Itinerary  

Day 1: Christchurch to Kaikoura inc Whale Watch Cruise

5 Day Top of the South Island Tour from Christchurch - Day 1

Christchurch to Kaikoura by Intercity Coach

The drive north from Christchurch to Kaikoura first takes you through some fine rolling farmland and North Canterbury's major wine region, the Waipara Valley. Crossing the Hawkswood Range you descend towards the spectacular Kaikoura coastline and the road hugs the ocean as it winds its way the remaining 15 kilometres to the township. Kaikoura Township is a bustling little place with many cafes, restaurants and shops but the main reason for visiting here is the wildlife.

Check-in from Train/Coach depot to Kaikoura Whale Watch Cruise

Upon arrival in Kaikoura please collect your luggage and make your way to the Kaikoura Whale Watch reception. The Kaikoura Whale Watch reception is located within the Kaikoura Railway Station.

Please present your itinerary with your reservation number to the check in staff and request that they store your luggage until the end of the Whale Watch Tour.

Whale Watch Kaikoura

New Zealand's only marine based whale watching company, Whale Watch Kaikoura offer visitors a once-in-a-lifetime up close encounter with the giant sperm Whale. You are also likely to encounter New Zealand fur seals, dusky dolphins and albatross. Depending on the season you may also see pilot, blue and southern right whales as well as migrating humpbacks. Often orcas can be spotted here and the world's smallest dolphin, the Hectors, is sometimes seen.
You'll be taken out in modern catamarans specifically designed for whale watching - featuring large passenger cabins and outside viewing decks. Passenger numbers for each tour are kept below the vessel carrying capacity to ensure your tour experience remains a personal one.

Whale Watch Kaikoura to your accommodation

Following your Whale Watch cruise, you will be met by a representative of Kaikoura Shuttles and transferred to your Kaikoura accommodation.

Your Accommodation: The White Morph, Kaikoura

The White Morph sits on the sea front close to restaurants and shops. A great range of accommodation from Superior Studios to Luxury Spa rooms all very well equipped including kitchenettes.

The White Morph, Kaikoura

Day 2: Kaikoura to Nelson via Blenheim

5 Day Top of the South Island Tour from Christchurch - Day 2

Kaikoura accommodation to Kaikoura Railway Station

Today you will be met at your accommodation by a representative from Kaikoura Shuttles and transported to your point of departure.

Kaikoura to Nelson via Blenheim by Intercity Coach

Heading north from Kaikoura, the road hugs the shore for approximately 50 kilometres and offers many opportunities to view the native wildlife such as seabirds and New Zealand fur seals. As you drive you will have turquoise waters of the South Pacific Ocean to your east and to the west the towering Kaikoura Ranges. Crossing the 'dry hills' of the Marlborough ranges you head towards Marlborough, New Zealand's largest wine producing region and the town of Blenheim where you'll transfer to the coach that will take you to Nelson. Leaving Blenheim you'll pass the vast grape growing areas as you head west towards Renwick. Through the fertile valleys and onto the picturesque port town of Havelock. Continue through the Rai Valley and over the ranges before dropping to the coast and Tasman Bay. Follow the shore into the city of Nelson.

Pre-order Lunch and Walk Options

Please contact Abel Tasman Wilson’s Experience on (03) 528 2027 with your booking number to pre book your day excursion walk for tomorrow. If you do not wish to pre-book lunch then please remember to take some food and something to drink with you.

Private transfer Nelson Intercity depot to Nelson Accommodation

You will be collected from Nelson Intercity bus stop and transferred to your accommodation.

Your Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel Nelson

The Rutherford Hotel Nelson offers luxurious accommodation with a full complement of features designed to help you achieve the most from your stay. Situated at the doorstep of three national parks and an unmatched range of sandy beaches, blue seas and mountain wilderness.

Rutherford Hotel Nelson

Day 3: Day to explore the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park

5 Day Top of the South Island Tour from Christchurch - Day 3

Your Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel Nelson

The Rutherford Hotel Nelson offers luxurious accommodation with a full complement of features designed to help you achieve the most from your stay. Situated at the doorstep of three national parks and an unmatched range of sandy beaches, blue seas and mountain wilderness.

Rutherford Hotel Nelson

Day 4: Nelson to Greymouth by Newmans coach

5 Day Top of the South Island Tour from Christchurch - Day 4

Private transfer Nelson Accommodation to Nelson Intercity Depot

You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to Intercity bus stop.

Nelson to Greymouth by Intercity Coach

Head south west through the Nelson Lakes and Kahurangi National Park region. Trees, rivers and valleys accompany you now as you head towards the town of Murchison.  Heading South towards Westport you will drive along the Buller Gorge, enjoy some wonderful scenery as you follow this magnificent river.  Continuing on your journey the first major town (by this regions standard) is Inangahua and a small museum tells of the earthquake that hit the region in 1968 leaving 70% of the buildings damaged or inhabitable. Continuing south on the road to Punakaiki you will pass through Paparoa National Park. The west coast is very rugged, mountains meet sea and the coast is covered with beautiful fauna and flora including Nikau Palms, which makes for a scenic trip back along the coast to Greymouth.

Make own way Greymouth Coach Depot to Greymouth Accommodation

Getting to your Greymouth Accommodation is very straightforward.

You can walk the short distance to your accommodation. Or if you would like assistance with your luggage taxis are also readily available, at your own cost.

Your Accommodation: Kingsgate Hotel Greymouth

The hotel is only minutes walk from shops, cafes, bars and art galleries. The reception, bar and restaurant areas of the hotel form part of the original hotel built in 1906 and have a wonderful heritage feeling. The decor has been maintained to capture this historic ambience.

Kingsgate Hotel Greymouth

Day 5: Greymouth to Christchurch by Tranz Alpne train

5 Day Top of the South Island Tour from Christchurch - Day 5

Make own way Greymouth Accommodation to Greymouth Railway Station

Getting to the Greymouth Railway Station is very straightforward.

You can walk the short distance to your accommodation. Or if you would like assistance with your luggage, taxis are available at your own cost, please ask your hotel reception to book this for you.  

TranzAlpine Scenic Train: Greymouth to Christchurch

Your transport from Greymouth to Christchurch, the Tranz Alpine scenic train, offers a chance to take in one of the world's great train journeys. The train -- with carriages specially designed to allow you to take in all the amazing views on offer -- will carry you from the Tasman Sea up into the Southern Alps and through Arthur's Pass National Park to the Pacific Ocean.

The train offers a comfortable and relaxing way to cross Arthurs Pass from the South Island's wild West Coast to the more tamed east coast and its biggest city. Leaving Greymouth Station, you will travel through lush West Coast rain forest before climbing into to the spectacular mountains of the Southern Alps. And, after a stop in Arthur's Pass for a breath of mountain air, you'll travel dramatic gorges and the beautiful Waimakariri river valley to emerge on the farmland of the Canterbury Plains. From here the train crosses the plains for an early evening arrival in Christchurch city.

Back to top

Departure Dates & Prices  

Filter Tour Departures by Month (This tour departs daily)
All prices are in
Back to top

Here are some similar NZ Coach tour packages

Back to top

Travel with our teammates

The original NZ self-drive touring company
Prefer to self-drive? Search over 200 NZ tours
nzsidekick - New Zealand's leading travel agent partner
Travel agents - book NZ itineraries here