South Island West Coast and Nelson - 6    day New Zealand Tour

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South Island West Coast and Nelson

Christchurch, Banks Peninsula, Akaroa, Arthurs Pass, Greymouth, Punakaiki, Murchison, St Arnaud, Nelson, Kaiteriteri & more…

Join us as we explore the top half of the South Island on our new 6 day program.  From Christchurch to Nelson, we take in as many highlights as possible. With 2 nights in Christchurch we will explore the city, Banks Peninsula and Akaroa. Then head to Greymouth for one night, before heading north to Nelson for two days, seeing all the great sights along the way such as the Punakaiki Rocks, Cape Foulwind, Murchison, the Buller River, St Arnaud and more. In Nelson we cruise the coastline along the Abel Tasman National Park from Kaiteriteri followed by lunch at Mapua. We then fly back to Tauranga.

Day 1 After pick up at the door (all part of the Hinterland service) we take a direct flight from Tauranga to Christchurch and then its just a short transfer to our city hotel. Time here to relax or perhaps take a walk before we enjoy dinner together at the hotel.

Day 2 It's out to Banks Peninsula. Our first stop is at Little River for a cuppa and to check out the local arts and crafts, before continuing on to the French influenced town of Akaroa. Here we visit the eclectic gardens of the Giants House - now rated as a Garden of International Significance and owned by renowned artist Josie Martin. Then you have some free time to explore the township and buy a light lunch if needed. On our return route to Christchurch we visit a sheep farm for a shearing and sheep dog show followed by homemade afternoon tea and cakes, (so don't eat too much lunch!).

Day 3 We are off to traverse the Southern Alps by road. Departing Christchurch, we first cross the Canterbury Plains before climbing steeply up to Arthurs Pass. Time here for a snack before heading west to Greymouth taking the scenic route past Lake Brunner. After checking in to our hotel, time to relax before we head to Monteiths award winning brewery for our evening meal, tasting some of their famous beers if you wish. 

 

You have the option to ride the world famous TranzAlpine train to Greymouth for an additional charge instead of the road trip ( if the train timetable allows ).

Whats Included:

  • 6 days of touring

  • 5 nights quality accommodation

  • Door to door service [home pickups]

  • Quality air-conditioned vehicle

  • Full commentary by your guide

  • All breakfasts and 4 dinners

  • Air New Zealand flights

  • Day trip to Akaroa & Banks Peninsula

  • Visit to the Giants House Art Garden

  • Sheep farm visit with afternoon tea

  • Dinner and tasting at Monteiths Brewery

  • Boat cruise from Kaiteriteri

  • Lunch at Mapua Wharf

  • Plenty of stops along the way

Day 4 We drive north from Greymouth, first stopping at the Punakaiki rock formations. A short boardwalk takes you to the viewpoints where columns of water shoot skyward from rocks that resemble giant stacks of hotcakes. These rock formations started forming about 30 million years ago. Over thousands of years, alternating layers of small marine creatures and sand became buried and compressed on the ocean floor.

 

This created areas with multiple layers of hard limestone and softer sandstone. Earthquake activity then lifted the ocean floor high and dry, and those slow motion artists - the rain and the wind - began to erode the softer sandstone. The outcome is cliffs and ravines with hundreds of horizontal slices along their vertical faces, like huge stacks of pancakes, a remarkable sight.

We continue north to the aptly named Cape Foulwind, this prominent headland is located ten kilometres west of the town of Westport, a still significant working port. Cape Foulwind was named by English explorer James Cook after his ship The Endeavour was blown quite a distance offshore from this point. A short walk leads to the viewing platform from which you may see some of the resident fur seals from the nearby colony.

Passing through Westport we then head inland and and follow the Buller River through to Murchison, for our lunch break. The Buller Gorge has some very narrow sections where the road has literally been cut into the rock face and is also famous for having New Zealand's longest swing bridge at 110m length.

After lunch we continue on to Nelson making a stop to take in the stunning scenery and views across Lake Rotoiti at St Arnaud.  It's then any easy drive north to our next destination for our two night stay in Nelson.

You will see:

  • The Southern Alps

  • Akaroa and Banks Peninsula

  • Christchurch City & Lyttelton

  • The Canterbury Plains

  • Arthurs Pass and Greymouth

  • Punakaiki pancake rocks

  • Cape Foulwind and Westport

  • Buller Gorge

  • Murchison

  • St Arnaud and Lake Rotoiti

  • Nelson

  • Kaiteriteri

  • Mapua 

Nelson City New Zealand

Day 5 Our first destination today is to the golden sand beach of Kaiteriteri where we board our cruise for a 2 hour trip along the picturesque Abel Tasman National Park coastline, passing by famous sights such as the Split Apple Rock. 

 

Returning to Kaiteriteri it's then just a short drive along the coast road to Mapua Wharf, our venue for our included lunch at a stunning harbourside location. Your last evening in Nelson is free for you to dine as you wish, our central city location has plenty of options nearby, or you can dine in the hotel if you prefer.

Day 6 Is our last on what will have been a memorable trip. After a short Nelson city sights tour we head to the airport for our midday flight back to Tauranga.

Not included unless specified:

  • Any lunches or morning/afternoon tea

  • Any alcoholic beverages with meals

 

This tour can be added onto the 14 day South Island Ultimate Highlights tour.