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

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 home.

Day 1 - After pick up at the door (all part of the Hinterland service) we take a direct flight 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 Monteith's 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).

What's Included:

  • 6 days of touring

  • 5 nights quality accommodation

  • Door to door service (Tauranga area)

  • 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

  • Pic's Peanut Butter World

  • Nelson Classic Car Museum

Christchurch City Tram
Akaroa waterfront
Nelson City New Zealand
Kaiteriteri Around The Headlands.jpg

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, when 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 Nelson for our final two nights.

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 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.

Day 6 - Is our last on what will have been a memorable trip but we still have plenty to see.

As today is a Saturday we have the opportunity to visit the famous Nelson Market - recognized throughout New Zealand for its fine produce and quality artistry. For over 40 years, Nelson Market has welcomed visitors to discover a unique creative showcase with fresh produce, gourmet foods and some amazing arts and crafts -lets go shopping!

Another Nelson icon is Pic's Peanut butter, so we include a visit to Pic’s Peanut Butter World, the home of all things Pic’s Peanut Butter! The tour has been designed so young and old alike, can share in the wonder of how we make NZ’s most loved peanut butter.

Our final visit today is to an impressive private collection of over 150 cars, all in immaculate condition. From a little 1908 Renault AX, to classics of the 1950's including Vauxhalls, Triumphs and Cadillacs, through to the exquisite mastery of Jaguar and Ferrari. Relive your own memories of your father's or grandad’s car, your first car and maybe even spot your own dream car!  Time for lunch at the cafe before we head to the airport for our mid-afternoon flight back home. 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 flight. 

All Hinterland multi-day tours can be taken by clients from any region of New Zealand or Australia. Please contact us for details. Additional charges may apply.

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

  • Nelson farmers market (if operating)

  • Kaiteriteri

  • Mapua ​


Not included unless specified:

  • Any lunches or morning/afternoon tea

  • Any alcoholic beverages with meals

* Please note, that unless specified in the itinerary we do not usually include the cost of lunches or morning and afternoon tea stops in the tour cost, but we always make stops where there are a range of options available so you can choose what you want, and have flexibility to do things on your own if you wish.

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

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