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Grand Pacific ToursGrand Pacific 11 Day Top of the South Island Tour

This escorted coach tour is one of a kind.  Looping the South Island north of Christchurch you will travel along the beautiful coastline, through impressive gorges exploring by coach and on foot. Visit the famous wine-growing Marlborough region, experience the popular TranzAlpine Scenic Railway and cruise in the awe-inspiring Abel Tasman National Park.
Please be aware this 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. Please ensure you feel comfortable with this level of fitness before making a booking.

 New Zealand escorted tour
 Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Christchurch
 11 days/ 10 nights
 Hotel 4 star
  Pre and post tour options? YES Enquire Enquire
 Viewed 13 times in the last 7 days

Included in this tour package

Tour map
Christchurch Cardboard Cathedral
Lunch on the Vineyard

At a glance - Grand Pacific 11 Day Top of the South Island Tour

Day 1: Arrive into Christchurch. Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch

Day 2: Take a day trip to the historic French Village of Akaroa. Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch

Day 3: Journey the TranzAlpine across the country and on to the coastal town of Hokitika. Accommodation: Beachfront Hotel Hokitika

Day 4: Ever seen a Pancake Rock?. Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort

Day 5: The most northern point of your tour, Nelson. Home to beautiful clothes and vintage cars. Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel Nelson

Day 6: Barbeque lunch in Anchorage Bay. Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel Nelson

Day 7: Soak up the spectacular Marlborough region. Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Marlborough

Day 8: Explore Blenheim before a luxury dinner cruise in the Queen Charlotte Sound. Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Marlborough

Day 9: Perhaps you'll spot a whale today in Kaikoura. Accommodation: Sudima Kaikoura

Day 10: Kaikoura to Christchurch. Accommodation: Sudima Christchurch Airport

Day 11: Time to say goodbye.

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

Day 1: Arrive into Christchurch

Grand Pacific 11 Day Top of the South Island Tour - Day 1

Grand Pacific 11 Day Top of the South Island Tour

Explore the top of the South Island New Zealand on this unique 11-day tour. Enjoy short walks to really explore the areas of natural beauty.  Benefit from 3 two-night stays, 8 sumptuous dinners with all your accommodation, breakfast and transport included.

Arrive into Christchurch

Arrive into Christchurch where you will be met by a Grand Pacific Tours representative and transferred to your hotel.

Your Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch

This 4.5 star hotel is centrally located in the revitalised Cathedral Square and ideally positioned only a few minutes' walk from the brand new Christchurch Convention Centre.

Meals included: Dinner

Distinction Hotel Christchurch

Day 2: Take a day trip to the historic French Village of Akaroa

Grand Pacific 11 Day Top of the South Island Tour - Day 2

Christchurch to Akaroa

After an introductory city sights tour, enjoy a scenic drive to the historic French Village of Akaroa, nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano. There will be time to wander through Akaroa’s galleries and craft stores before boarding your modern catamaran and setting off on your Nature Cruise in the hope of spotting the rare Hector’s Dolphin, native to New Zealand. Keep an eye out for penguins and other sea birds as you glide past giant volcanic sea cliffs and hear about the history of Akaroa from your skipper. Following your cruise, return to Christchurch where the evening is free to dine at one of the city’s many restaurants.

Your Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch

This 4.5 star hotel is centrally located in the revitalised Cathedral Square and ideally positioned only a few minutes' walk from the brand new Christchurch Convention Centre.

Meals included: Breakfast

Distinction Hotel Christchurch

Day 3: Journey the TranzAlpine across the country and on to the coastal town of Hokitika

Grand Pacific 11 Day Top of the South Island Tour - Day 3

Franz Josef to Arthur's Pass, Tranz Alpine train to Greymouth

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 8.5km long Otira Tunnel and finishing your journey in Moana, located on the banks of picturesque Lake Brunner. Enjoy lunch at Kingfisher Restaurant, sampling some local Kiwi dishes before travelling to the Brunner Mine Site, the location of the 1896 mine explosion, killing sixty-five men. This afternoon upon arrival in the coastal town of Hokitika, you will have the opportunity to visit a local gallery, the perfect chance to pick up a gift or souvenir.

Your Accommodation: Beachfront Hotel Hokitika

The unique location of the Beachfront Hotel Hokitika on the shores of the Tasman Sea and in the heart of Hokitika allows you to beachcomb and shop local artisans' galleries right from your doorstep.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Beachfront Hotel Hokitika

Day 4: Ever seen a Pancake Rock?

Grand Pacific 11 Day Top of the South Island Tour - Day 4

Hokitika to Punakaiki

Today, take in the natural beauty of the Hokitika Gorge, a glacial river turquoise in colour surrounded by dramatic rock formations. A short walk descending through the hardwood forest will lead you to a swing bridge which crosses the Hokitika River and provides a postcard-worthy photo opportunity. Once back on the coach, continue North to Greymouth, home of Monteith's Brewing Co. where you will have the chance to sample one of their locally brewed and award-winning beers over lunch. This afternoon travel along the Great Coast Road to the world-famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes, part of the Paparoa National Park in Punakaiki. Wander along the paved walkway through native forest and coastal scrub, leading to large cliff faces with horizontal slices resembling stacks of pancakes.

Your Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort

The Punakaiki Resort is a modern, award-winning hotel complex, architecturally designed to harmonise with the local environment. Nestled in the foothills of Papaproa National Park the resort has spectacular views of the Wild West Coast beaches while all rooms have rainforest and/or ocean views.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Punakaiki Resort

Day 5: The most northern point of your tour, Nelson. Home to beautiful clothes and vintage cars

Grand Pacific 11 Day Top of the South Island Tour - Day 5

Punakaiki to 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 walk along 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 visits the World of WearableArt Museum, where a guided tour will showcase more than 60 award-winning garments from designers located all over the world. Attached is the Classic Cars Museum where you can view the prized collections of over 140 veteran, vintage and classic cars.

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.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Rutherford Hotel Nelson

Day 6: Barbeque lunch in Anchorage Bay

Grand Pacific 11 Day Top of the South Island Tour - Day 6

Adventure in the Abel Tasman National Park

Travel along the scenic Coastal Highway to Kaiteriteri, gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park. Here you will depart on a leisurely cruise along the parks’ picturesque coastline of golden sand beaches and sheltered coves. Disembark at Medlands Bay and set off on a guided walk to the Bark Bay Falls Swing Bridge. Re-board the vessel and cruise to Anchorage Bay where your barbeque lunch will be served on board. There will be time to stroll or relax on the beach before cruising back to Kaiteriteri. Re-join your coach and depart for Nelson via the vineyards of the inland Moutere Highway. This evening is free for you to dine at one of the many local restaurants in town.

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.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Rutherford Hotel Nelson

Day 7: Soak up the spectacular Marlborough region

Grand Pacific 11 Day Top of the South Island Tour - Day 7

Nelson to Blenheim

Depart Nelson and travel via Havelock and the wine-growing region of Marlborough to the spectacular Yealands Estate. World leaders in sustainable wine production, the ‘White Road Tour’, will take you on a journey through this remarkable vineyard, offering breathtaking views all the way to the North Island on a clear day. Enjoy lunch at a local Blenheim Beer Garden before visiting the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, home to one of the largest private collections of WW1 aircraft, brought to life in sets created by internationally acclaimed WingNut Films and Weta Workshop.

Your Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Marlborough

Scenic Hotel Marlborough is centrally located in Blenheim, in the heart of Marlborough's wine growing region. Just minutes walk from the city centre.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Scenic Hotel Marlborough

Day 8: Explore Blenheim before a luxury dinner cruise in the Queen Charlotte Sound

Grand Pacific 11 Day Top of the South Island Tour - Day 8

Blenheim Sightseeing

Enjoy a leisurely start this morning with free time to explore the township of Blenheim. You may like to visit the Wine Station (optional), a renovated 1906 heritage building at Blenheim Railway Station where over 80 premium wines are showcased. This afternoon you will be treated to a unique wine and cheese tasting experience, set amongst the wine barrels at Cloudy Bay Estate. Established in 1985, Cloudy Bay was one of the original wine makers in the Marlborough region. Stroll through the manicured grounds scattered with towering gum trees and find a quiet spot to enjoy your favourite drop. Travel to Picton where your luxury launch awaits to take you on a scenic dinner cruise through the Queen Charlotte Sound. Take in the sights and wildlife this area is renowned for while enjoying a sumptuous meal of local salmon, Greenshell Mussels and Cloudy Bay Clams, all matched with a glass of spectacular Marlborough wine.

Your Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Marlborough

Scenic Hotel Marlborough is centrally located in Blenheim, in the heart of Marlborough's wine growing region. Just minutes walk from the city centre.

Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner

Scenic Hotel Marlborough

Day 9: Perhaps you'll spot a whale today in Kaikoura

Grand Pacific 11 Day Top of the South Island Tour - Day 9

Blenheim to Kaikoura

Farewell, the Marlborough region and journey south along the coast to the seaside village of Kaikoura where you will visit the Kaikoura Museum. This award-winning facility highlights the districts fascinating connection with the sea and also features a dedicated exhibition on the impact of the 2016 earthquake. Enjoy some free time this afternoon to wander through the village or you may like to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the beautiful coastline to see the many species of whales that migrate through this area.  

Your Accommodation: Sudima Kaikoura

Located within easy reach of Kaikoura's restaurants, bars, shops and activities this newly built accommodation will give you walking distance access to everything that's happening in Kaikoura. Every room has fabulous views of either the mountain and sea.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Sudima Kaikoura

Day 10: Kaikoura to Christchurch

Grand Pacific 11 Day Top of the South Island Tour - Day 10

Kaikoura to Christchurch

Depart Kaikoura and head south to the garden city of Christchurch where you will visit the International Antarctic Centre, designed to provide an informative account of life in Antarctica. Feel the chill of the Antarctic storm room, take a ride on the Hagglund all-terrain vehicle or meet the adorable Huskies. See the little blue penguins or be astonished within the immersive 4D theatre. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner with your new-found friends.

Your Accommodation: Sudima Christchurch Airport

Located 2 minutes from the Christchurch International Airport the Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport is just 15 minutes from Christchurch City Centre.

Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner

Sudima Christchurch Airport

Day 11: Time to say goodbye

Depart Christchurch

Time to say goodbye.  You will be transferred to the airport for your onward journey after a memorable New Zealand holiday.

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