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Grand Pacific 11 Day Signature Top of the South Island

11 days 10 nights
Christchurch to Christchurch
from NZD$5,275pp
was NZD$5,799pp
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Tour summary and feature with map

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.

This Tour Also Features

  • Complimentary pre-dinner welcome drink
  • Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise
  • TranzAlpine Train from Arthur's Pass to Lake Brunner (Moana)
  • Monteiths Brewing Co. Tasting
  • Punakaiki Rocks
  • Nelson Classic Car Museum
  • Abel Tasman Guided Walk and BBQ Cruise
  • Cloudy Bay Estate wine tasting
  • Queen Charlotte Sound Cruise to Furneaux Lodge
  • Visit Kaikõura Museum
  • Meals included: 10 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners, 1 special dinner
Tour full itinerary
Itinerary
Day One - Arrive into Christchurch
Tour day 1
Grand Pacific 11 Day Signature Top of the South Island - Day 1
Grand Pacific 11 Day Top of the South Island Tour

Explore the top of the South Island on this unique 11-day tour. Enjoy short walks to really explore the areas of natural beauty.  Benefit from 3 two-night stays, 7 sumptuous dinners, daily breakfast and luxury transport included.

Arrive into 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 as you meet your Tour Leader and travelling companions for dinner.

Accommodation: Distinction Christchurch Hotel
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Dinner
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.

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Day Two - Take a day trip to the historic French Village of Akaroa
Tour day 2
Grand Pacific 11 Day Signature Top of the South Island - 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. This afternoon set off on a 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.

Accommodation: Distinction Christchurch Hotel
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
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.

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Day Three - Christchurch to Moana to Hokitika
Tour day 3
Grand Pacific 11 Day Signature Top of the South Island - Day 3
Christchurch to Hokitika via Moana and the TranzAlpine Train

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 opportunity to pick up a gift or souvenir.
*Please be aware, there are some departure dates where the train may not be available due to covid-related schedule changes outside of Grand Pacific's control. If this occurs, your journey through the incredible Arthur's Pass will continue onboard your coach. Chat to a consultant to check the current schedule for your preferred departure.

Accommodation: Beachfront Hotel Hokitika (or similar)
Accommodation type: Hotel 3 star
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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.

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Day Four - Check out the Pancake Rocks
Tour day 4
Grand Pacific 11 Day Signature Top of the South Island - Day 4
Hokitika to Punakaiki

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.

Accommodation: The Ocean View Retreat (or similar)
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
The The Ocean View Retreat 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.

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Day Five - The most northern point of your tour, Nelson. Home to beautiful clothes and vintage cars
Tour day 5
Grand Pacific 11 Day Signature Top of the South Island - 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 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.

Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel Nelson (or similar)
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
The Rutherford Hotel Nelson offers luxurious accommodation situated at the doorstep of three national parks and an unmatched range of sandy beaches, blue seas and mountain wilderness.

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Day Six - Barbeque lunch in Anchorage Bay
Tour day 6
Grand Pacific 11 Day Signature Top of the South Island - Day 6
Adventure in the Abel Tasman National Park

Travel along the scenic Coastal Highway to Kaiteriteri, 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 local restaurants in town.

Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel Nelson (or similar)
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
The Rutherford Hotel Nelson offers luxurious accommodation situated at the doorstep of three national parks and an unmatched range of sandy beaches, blue seas and mountain wilderness.

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Day Seven - Soak up the spectacular Marlborough region
Tour day 7
Grand Pacific 11 Day Signature Top of the South Island - Day 7
Nelson to 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 followed by time to wander through the superb manicured grounds and towering gum trees, which will surely be a highlight of your day. 

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Marlborough (or similar)
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Scenic Hotel Marlborough is centrally located in Blenheim, in the heart of Marlborough's wine growing region. Just minutes walk from the city centre.

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Day Eight - Explore Blenheim before a luxury lunch cruise in the Queen Charlotte Sound
Tour day 8
Grand Pacific 11 Day Signature Top of the South Island - Day 8
Blenheim Sightseeing

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.

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Marlborough (or similar)
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Scenic Hotel Marlborough is centrally located in Blenheim, in the heart of Marlborough's wine growing region. Just minutes walk from the city centre.

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Day Nine - Perhaps you'll spot a whale today in Kaikoura
Tour day 9
Grand Pacific 11 Day Signature Top of the South Island - Day 9
Blenheim to Kaikõura

Farewell, the Marlborough region and journey to Kaikōura. Visit the Kaikōura Museum, which features an exhibition depicting 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.

Accommodation: Sudima Kaikoura (or similar)
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
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 or sea.

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Day Ten - Kaikoura to Christchurch
Tour day 10
Grand Pacific 11 Day Signature Top of the South Island - Day 10
Kaikoura to Christchurch

Depart Kaikōura and head to Christchurch to visit the International Antarctic Centre, designed to provide an informative account of life in Antarctica. This evening enjoy a pre-dinner drink and reminisce on memories shared with your new friends at the farewell dinner.

Accommodation: Distinction Christchurch Hotel (or similar)
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner
This 4 star hotel is centrally located in the revitalised Cathedral Square. Ideally positioned, only a few minutes walk from the brand new Christchurch Convention Centre.

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Day Eleven - Time to say goodbye
Tour day 11
Depart Christchurch

Time to say goodbye.  After breakfast (included) you will be transferred to the airport for your onward journey after a memorable New Zealand holiday.

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Tour departure list
Departure dates and prices
This tour has 6 departure dates.
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Starts Status Twin/Double (2 people sharing) Single occupancy You save  
Feb 2, 2023
(Thursday)
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was NZD$5,799
now NZD$5,275
was NZD$7,349
now NZD$6,825
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NZD$524pp
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Mar 21, 2023
(Tuesday)
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was NZD$5,799
now NZD$5,275
was NZD$7,349
now NZD$6,825
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NZD$524pp
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Oct 25, 2023
(Wednesday)
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was NZD$6,349
now NZD$5,949
was NZD$8,019
now NZD$7,619
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NZD$400pp
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Nov 10, 2023
(Friday)
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was NZD$8,019
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NZD$400pp
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Feb 2, 2024
(Friday)
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now NZD$7,619
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NZD$400pp
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Mar 21, 2024
(Thursday)
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departure date
was NZD$6,349
now NZD$5,949
was NZD$8,019
now NZD$7,619
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NZD$400pp
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