South Island Wildlife & Wine
Hike the breath-taking Abel Tasman Coast Track and uncover the golden beaches and blue lagoons of the Marlborough Sounds, washing it all down with a glass or two of New Zealand’s finest wine.
Some of the highlights included are:
- Check out Christchurch’s innovative Re:START shipping containers mall
- See if you can spot the dolphins leaping in the waves in Kaikoura
- Sample New Zealand’s finest wines in Blenheim
- Hike along the glorious coastline of Abel Tasman National Park
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- International flights
- 10 nights in 4–5* hotels
- 8 days' car hire
- Dolphin encounter in Kaikoura
- Whale-watching tour in Kaikoura
- Marlborough Wine tour
- 2 night Abel Tasman Walk (in 4* Lodges)
- Airport transfers
Need to know
- Arrives: Christchurch International Airport (CHC)
- 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
Explore the pretty city of Christchurch, reminiscent of a middle England town. Perhaps go punting on the Avon or take a look at the innovative Cardboard Cathedral, a symbol of the city’s resilience after the tragic earthquake of 2011. In the same vein, be sure to browse the Re:START Mall, a collection of shops and cafes housed in reclaimed shipping containers, helping businesses to recover. Take a wander around the flowerbeds and fountains of the pretty Botanic Gardens and learn about traditional Maori culture in the Canterbury Museum.
4.5* Peppers Clearwater Resort
Kaikoura is home to an abundance of marine life including fur seals, penguins and albatrosses. See if you can spot them all as you head out to sea on a whale and dolphin watching adventure. Depending on when you visit it’s possible to see sperm whales, humpback whales, southern right whales and even blue whales, as well as orcas and dolphins. Well-known for its seafood, it would be a shame to visit Kaikoura without sampling the deliciously fresh crayfish.
4* The White Morph
Includes a Dolphin encounter experience; a whale watching tour
Taste the locally grown wines among the sun-drenched vineyards and pretty wineries of Blenheim. The region is well known for its Sauvignon Blanc, but also produces excellent Riesling and Pinot Noir. Visit a number of wineries, soak up the scenery and find your favourite from among the vintages. Once you’ve had your fill of wine, there are a number of art galleries and museums worth exploring too. Blenheim often claims to be New Zealand’s sunniest town, but there is a bit of friendly rivalry with nearby Nelson.
4.5* Scenic Hotel Marlborough
Includes a full-day wine tour
Bay of Many Coves
Discover the beautiful Marlborough Sounds from the Bay of Many Coves. This collection of coves and inlets, peaks and beaches was created during the last ice age, and is a spectacular area, dotted with tranquil islands and filled with wildlife. Fishing, biking and hiking are popular activities here, as well as scuba diving. For something a bit different, try diving the wreck of the Mikhail Lermontov, a sunken Russian cruise ship. Walking is also a popular pastime, soaking up the scenery from the comfort of a deck chair.
5* Bay of Many Coves Resort
Another claimant of the sunniest town in New Zealand title, Nelson is a place to enjoy the good things in life. Named after Lord Nelson, a British Admiral, Nelson is a compact city surrounded by stunning scenery, nature trails, parks and beaches, and a great place to get outdoors and explore. The forests and mountains draw artists and craftsmen from all over and you can visit their galleries and studios while you are here. The imaginative costume designs in the World of Wearable Art and Classic Cars Museum (WOW) particularly stand out. Other pursuits include exploring the coastline by sea kayak or just relaxing in the sun with a glass of wine and feasting on the local scallops.
4.5* Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco Resort
Abel Tasman National Park
Walk from bay to cove, delve into lush forests, cross golden sands, and paddle in crystal clear lagoons on the gorgeous Abel Tasman Coast Track. First, take a cruise along the Abel Tasman National Park coastline to Totaranui, where you can choose to explore the rainforest or flop on the beach. Then, walk south to Meadowbank Homestead Awaroa where you’ll spend the night by the bay. The next day, view the gorgeous headlands and estuaries and cross a swing bridge to Torrent Bay beachfront, where you’ll spend your second night. On the third and final day follow the beaches and bays to Marahau before returning to Nelson.
4* Meadowbank Homestead Awaroa & 4* Torrent Bay Lodge
Your trip comes to end back in Nelson, where you’ll have one final night to look back on your fabulous adventure.
4.5* Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco Resort
Depart Nelson and return to the UK
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