South Island Wonders
Watch for whales and swim with dolphins in Kaikoura and cruise the calm waters of Milford Sound before cranking it up a notch with an adrenaline-fuelled ride in the Shotover Jet.
Some of the highlights included are:
- Take to the waves and look out for sperm whales in Kaikoura
- Put on your wetsuit for a close encounter with wild dusky dolphins
- Watch the scenery change from the dramatic to the spectacular on the TranzAlpine train
- Hike up to the terminal face of the impressive Franz Josef Glacier
- Spot seals and penguins among the gorgeous scenery of Milford Sound
- Hold on tight for a rollercoaster ride on the Shotover Jet
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- International flights
- 14 nights 4–5* hotels
- 14 days car hire
- TranzAlpine Train from Christchurch to Greymouth
- Dolphin Encounter in Kaikoura
- Whale-watching tour in Kaikoura
- Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk
- Milford Sound Cruise
- Shotover Jet & Arrow River 4WD tour
Need to know
- Arrives: Nelson Airport (NSN)
- Time difference: GMT+13
- Visa requirements: British passport holders do not require a visa
- Language: English and Maori
- Currency: New Zealand dollar (NZD)
- Flying time from UK: around 27 hours
- Plug type: 3-prong flat blade plug
- Voltage: 240 volts/50 cycles
Fly from UK to Nelson
Pick up your car and spend the day exploring the lush landscapes around Nelson, on the shores of pretty Tasman Bay, keeping a look out for seals.
4.5* Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco
Sip on a glass or two of New Zealand’s finest wine in Blenheim, part of the Marlborough wine region. The sauvignon blanc is especially good, and don’t forget to try the locally-produced artisan foods too.
4.5* Scenic Hotel Marlborough
Look out for whales off the coast of Kaikoura, then watch the dusky dolphins frolic in the waves. Grab your snorkel and wetsuit and swim with them for a once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounter.
5* Manakau Lodge
Includes a whale watching tour and a Dolphin Encounter swim
Drive on to Christchurch, one of New Zealand’s most picturesque cities. Drop off your car and perhaps hire a bike to explore the Botanic Gardens, or relax on a punting trip down the Avon River.
4.5* Peppers Clearwater Resort
Board the scenic TranzAlpine train to Greymouth, passing through dramatic snow-capped mountains and gorges. Pick up your car and head on to Franz Josef, where you’ll take a walk up to the face of the glacier.
4* Franz Alpine Retreat
TranzAlpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth Glacier Valley Walk
Admire the magnificent mountain scenery at Wanaka, set on the glacial waters of the lake that shares its name. Perhaps solve the conundrums at Puzzling World, or hike the trails in Mount Aspiring National Park.
4.5* Mercure Oakridge
Soak up Queenstown’s mountain views with a 4WD tour before taking to the fast-flowing waters of the Shotover River in a jet boat, traveling at speeds of over 50mph, with a few 360° spins thrown in too.
5* Peppers Beacon
Includes a 4WD tour of the Arrow River and a ride on the Shotover Jet
Drive on to Te Anau and set sail on a cruise past the towering cliffs and cascading waterfalls of Milford Sound, looking out for seals, penguins and dolphins.
4* Distinction Luxmore Hotel
Includes a Milford Sound Cruise
Arrive in Dunedin, the ‘Edinburgh of the South’, where it’s not uncommon to find haggis on the menu. Explore the rugged coastline of the Otago Peninsula, home to penguins and albatrosses.
4* Larnach Castle
Stop off at the unusual Moeraki Boulders on your way to picturesque Lake Tekapo, or perhaps visit the penguins at Oamaru. Take a gentle walk to the Church of the Good Shepherd and admire the stunning views.
4.5* Peppers Bluewater Resort
Return to Christchurch for your final night. Perhaps take a walk to the Cardboard Cathedral, or browse the Re:START Mall, a collection of shops and cafes housed in reclaimed shipping containers.
4.5* Peppers Clearwater Resort
Depart Christchurch and return to the UK
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