Christchurch and Kaikoura (Point H and B on Map)
You arrive in the stunning garden city of Christchurch to collect your campervan, motorhome or rental car. Christchurch city offers much for the eager traveller to explore. Its tree lined streets and river banks provide tranquil relaxation, while the cosmopolitan shopping and dining districts are alive with energy. Spend time interacting with the friendly locals at the many markets and regular city events, before heading north along the rugged but beautiful coastline to your next destination.
The picturesque coastal town of Kaikoura is full of wildlife. If adventure and close encounters with sea creatures are your thing, Kaikoura offers an abundance of wildlife experiences which will leave you awe struck. Watch whales by sea or air or dive deep into the magnificent ocean to swim with dolphins or snorkel with seals. If you prefer to keep your feet on solid ground, don’t miss out on the opportunity to dive into a plate of succulent sea food at one of the many eateries in the township. Kaikoura is nestled in between dramatic snowy peaked mountains and the glorious Pacific Ocean, providing a feast for the eyes at every glance.
Day Two and Three
Blenheim (Point C)
A journey to the magnificent city of Blenheim takes you north along the dramatic coastline of the South Island. As you enter the Marlborough region, you will notice the climate and environment change. The high sunshine hours and warm weather provides the perfect setting for the growing of wine and as a result Blenheim, and the wider Marlborough region is New Zealand’s largest wine growing area and is home to world renowned and highly sought after wines. Take advantage of this fruitful location by exploring the vineyards in a wine tour. You will marvel at the ingenuity of the people and the breath taking scenery in which the vines are grown.
Nelson (Point D)
The divine city of Nelson, at the top of the South Island, is a tranquil retreat for travellers and locals alike. From the long golden swimming beaches to pristine forest and rugged mountain peaks, Nelson is a haven for relaxation. Dream away the hours while lying on the golden sands or tantalise your taste buds in one of Nelson’s many contemporary eateries. Nelson is also home to many local artists whose inspiring and imaginative works are on display throughout the township and in many local galleries. Artists can be seen working alongside the shoreline and local craftspeople welcome you into their workshops, to take a unique masterpiece home with you which will forever set Nelson as a place of fond memories in your heart.
Day Five and Six
Abel Tasman (Point E)
The Abel Tasman National Park is world famous for its perfect coastline. Crystal clear deeply turquoise water, soft golden sand, thriving forest, and an abundance of fascinating wildlife, make this area a coastal wonderland. You can explore this paradise by foot on one of the many hiking tracks, the length of which is purely up to you. These tracks will take you into the depths of lush native bush and allow you to explore this untouched world at your own pace. There are also a range of tourist operators which will allow you to embark on an adventure of a lifetime in a cruise boat or catamaran. For the more adventurous, sea kayaking offers an exciting and up close encounter experience with some of the inquisitive wildlife.
Westport (point F)
Westport is a charming township which is immersed in a rich gold mining history. Goldmining relics and old gold towns give the visitor a chance to step back in time and learn about how life was for those miners of the past. Westport also acts as a gateway to a range of adventure tours, including underground rafting, caving and jet boating. The dramatic scenery of the area adds to the thrill as you tumble down one of the town’s impressive rivers and waterways. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to get up close and personal with one of the areas many fur seals at the impressive seal colony nearby.
Day Eight and Nine
Hanmer Springs (Point G)
Heading inland from your Westland adventure will take you to the thermal wonderland which is Hanmer Springs. Nestled in dense native forest and framed by an impressive mountainous range, the sweet township has a hidden secret! Bubbling up from beneath the rocky core of the land below are a multitude of geothermal hot springs to explore. The award wining Hanmer Springs thermal pool complex offers fun for the whole family – unwind and relax in one of their specially designed rocky pools or splash your way through some serious waterslide fun. Along with the thermal paradise, Hanmer Springs offer visitors an opportunity to trek through the native bush, ski down one of the nearby slops, or bungy into the rocky gorge! It truly is a natural play land.
Christchurch and Akaroa (Point H)
A trip to the Christchurch region is not complete without a journey to the Peninsula. The stunning rocky hills hide secluded bays, areas of rich native bush, and walks which will take the visitor on a spectacular visual adventure. One of the bays of the Peninsula which is well worth a visit is Akaroa. Situated on the edge of a striking harbour, inside an extinct volcano, Akaora is the most French town in New Zealand. Settled by French settlers in 1840, the town is elegantly set amongst historic buildings and restaurants with a focus on French cuisine. Enjoy the harbour on board a boat cruise where you may spot dolphins, penguins and seals.