Journey Snapshot

Marvel at the scenic splendour of the South Island on this journey through mighty fiords, tranquil bays and rolling hills of the countryside, and discover why New Zealand is a world-renowned wine making region.

The natural wonders of the South Island are waiting to be discovered on this epic seven-day journey. Cruise the majestic waters of Queen Charlotte Sound, get close to marine life at Kaikoura, and discover beautiful Nelson. Experience a culinary discovery through Marlborough and relax in Hanmer Springs’ famous hot pools.

  • Top of the South Island
  • New Zealand
  • 7 Days

Prices from:

Per person, in USD

  • Adult Twin

  • Single

Journey Overview

  • Start
  • End
  • Overnight Stays
  • Sightseeing

Your Journey Itinerary

Day Activity
1 Welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand

Welcome to Christchurch, the South Island’s largest city, rimmed by mountains and known for its English heritage, gardens and green expanses. After meeting your Journey Director and fellow travellers, join a local specialist to hear stories of its rebuild after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Over 900 buildings were demolished in the CBD after the quakes. This afternoon, make your travel matter with a native tree planting experience at Christchurch Adventure Park as part of the flora re-generation on the Port Hills after the wildfires of 2017. This evening, join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Dinner.     

  • Welcome Dinner
  • Distinction Christchurch Hotel
2 Christchurch – Blenheim

Today we board the world famous Coastal Pacific rail journey to Kaikoura. With the Pacific Ocean lapping on one side and the Kaikoura ranges rising majestically on the other, the Coastal Pacific is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque rail journeys in the world. Sit back and relax in comfort as you watch the stunning scenery unfold in front of you. We take some time to explore Kaikoura before heading out to find the world’s largest toothed predator, the Giant Sperm Whale, for which the region is renowned.  After the unforgettable cruise we continue our journey up the East Coast to the wine making region of Marlborough. Tonight, join your fellow travellers for dinner at your hotel.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Chateau Marlborough, Blenheim
3 Blenheim Wine Tasting Tour

World famous for its Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough is New Zealand’s largest winegrowing region and is a must-visit for wine and food lovers alike. Discovering the diverse landscapes of the valleys of vines to sheltered waterways of the Marlborough Sounds, the fresh seafood sought by the world’s finest chefs, and the farm to plate dining experiences are what today is all about. This morning, we explore this picturesque and fertile region, visiting several vineyards along the way. Tonight, indulge in an incredible dining experience at the famous Hans Herzog restaurant. 

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Chateau Marlborough, Blenheim
4 Blenheim – Nelson

At the Arapawa Seafarms, our hosts Mike and Antonia Radon await. Take in the untouched beauty of your surrounds as you cruise through the myriad waterways and tranquil bays of the Queen Charlotte Sound on our way to Whekenui Bay on Arapawa Island.  Flanked by Queen Charlotte Sound, Tory Channel and the Cook Strait, Arapawa Island was a whaling base in the Marlborough Sounds from the late 1820’s until the mid-1960’s.  The whaling industry long since abandoned, and has given way to salmon, mussel and oyster farms which we will be lucky enough to spot as we travel to Whekenui Bay.  On arrival you will be greeted by Mike and Antonia who will personally guide you on a tour of the farm which is not only a place of work but their beautiful home. Discover how the stunning Blue Pearl came to be and see how they are produced. Enjoy morning tea at the Radon Homestead, where you will have a chance to take in the spectacular views before we cruise back to Picton.  This afternoon travel through the Marlborough Region along the Pelorus River and through the Rai Valley on your way to Nelson.  Enjoy a relaxing afternoon before joining your fellow travellers for Dinner at Oceano Restaurant. 

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Rutherford Hotel, Nelson
5 Nelson

Today is yours to explore the vibrant city of Nelson and surrounds, known for its vibrant arts scene and beautiful reserves and national parks. Set amongst stunning landscapes, beaches, lakes and mountains, take a trip to the natural paradise of Abel Tasman National Park, or for a more relaxing day, choose an Art and Wine tour. 

  • Breakfast
  • Rutherford Hotel, Nelson
6 Nelson – Hanmer Springs

Travel through the centre of New Zealand’s scenic South Island, through Murchison and into the Lewis Pass region to Hanmer Springs. This is the dream New Zealand holiday destination, bursting with opportunities for unforgettable adventure, as well being the ideal spot for relaxation and indulgence. Surrounded by dramatic mountains and towering forests, this charming town has a main street filled with boutique shops, cafes and eateries. Famous for its natural hot springs, you may wish to treat yourself to the ultimate rejuvenation or a spa treatment. Tonight is yours to relax and enjoy this beautiful alpine village at your leisure.

  • Breakfast
  • Clear Ridge, Hanmer Springs
7 Hanmer Springs – Christchurch

Enjoy a leisurely start today before we head to Waipara for our Celebration lunch. Waipara is a picturesque valley just 45 minutes north of Christchurch, and is one of New Zealand’s premier wine regions, famous for pinot noir and riesling grapes. After enjoying lunch at a local winery, we continue to Christchurch and bid farewell to our fellow travellers and Journey Director.

  • Breakfast, Lunch

Unique Highlights

See and Do

  • Indulge
    Top of the South INDULGE


    • Enjoy private tastings at some of the Marlborough region’s best vineyards
    • Delight in an incredible dining experience at the famous Hans Herzog restaurant
  • Explore
    Top of the South EXPLORE


    • Experience an unforgettable whale watching cruise in Kaikoura
    • Enjoy one of the world’s most picturesque rail journeys, the Coastal Pacific to Kaikoura
  • Immerse
    Top of the South IMMERSE


    • Make your travel matter with locals at a native tree planting experience in Christchurch
    • Meet Mike & Antonia who share stories of Queen Charlotte Sound on an exclusive cruise
  • Relax
    Top of the South RELAX


    • Relax and rejuvenate in the famous Hanmer Springs thermal hot pools

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Additional Information

What's Included
  • Hand-picked accommodation, selected to immerse you in your destination
  • Most meals, including Local Dining Experiences. See Dining tab below
  • Complimentary refreshments throughout the journey
  • Travel by bespoke vehicle with reclining seats, WiFi and air-conditioning
  • A maximum of 22 guests to share your journey
  • Expert Driver Guide escort
  • All entrance and National Park fees
  • Sustainable Travel Kit, including refillable water bottle and backpack
  • Exclusive immersive activities and interaction with local communities
  • Built-in leisure time, to explore destinations as you wish
  • Airport transfers (see Flight Information below)
What to Bring
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat
  • Warm layers in cooler months
  • Camera
  • A sense of adventure
Fitness Requirements
  • Low level of fitness required
  • 6 Full buffet breakfasts
  • 1 Celebration Lunch
  • 2 Dinners with wine
  • 2 Local Dining Experiences
Flight Information

Flights are not included in holiday price.

  • Day 1: Flights to arrive prior to 8am into Christchurch Airport (Pre-accommodation available at Distinction Hotel)
  • Day 7: Flights to depart after 6:30pm from Christchurch Airport

Enjoy Your Stay