11 Day Signature Top of the South Island

Starting From NZD $5,519
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We Tour NZ > Tours > 11 Day Signature Top of the South Island

Experience the beauty of the top of New Zealand’s South Island in the Premium Economy Comfort of a full-size coach, touring with a mid-size group of up to 32 travellers, fully escorted. The Signature coaches are beautifully crafted, designed for New Zealand touring with delivering excellence in mind.

Tour Highlights

  • Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise
  • TranzAlpine Rail Journey
  • Monteith’s Brewing Co. Tasting
  • Nelson Classic Car Museum
  • Abel Tasman Guided Walk and Cruise
  • Marlborough Winery and Tasting
  • Queen Charlotte Sound Cruise to Furneaux Lodge
  • Professional Coach Captain and Tour Leader
  • 1 specialty dinner: Farewell Dinner including pre-dinner drink, Christchurch
  • 5 specialty lunches: Kingfisher Restaurant, Lake Brunner; Monteith’s Brewing Co., Greymouth; Abel Tasman Barbecue lunch, Abel Tasman National Park; Dodson Street Beer Garden; Blenheim; Furneaux Lodge, Queen Charlotte Sound.

Tour Itinerary

(B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner (SD) Specialty Dinner

1
Arrive Christchurch (D)
Day 1
Arrive Christchurch (D)
On arrival into Christchurch you will be met by a Grand Pacific Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. This evening enjoy a complimentary pre-dinner drink when you meet your Tour Leader and travelling companions for dinner.
Distinction Christchurch Hotel
Situated right in the centre of Christchurch overlooking Cathedral Square.
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2
Christchurch - Akaroa - Christchurch (B)
Day 2
Christchurch - Akaroa - Christchurch (B)
After an introductory city sights tour, enjoy a scenic drive to the historic French Village of Akaroa, with time to wander through the charming galleries and craft stores. This afternoon set off on a Nature Cruise in the hope of spotting the rare Hector’s Dolphin and keep an eye out for penguins and other sea birds. Following your cruise, return to Christchurch where the evening is free to dine at one of the city’s many restaurants.
Distinction Christchurch Hotel
Situated right in the centre of Christchurch overlooking Cathedral Square.
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3
Christchurch - Moana - Hokitika (B, SL, D)
Day 3
Christchurch - Moana - Hokitika (B, SL, D)
This morning board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. Travel over massive viaducts, river valleys and spectacular gorges before descending through the Otira Tunnel to Moana, on the banks of picturesque Lake Brunner. Enjoy lunch at Kingfisher Restaurant, before travelling to the Brunner Mine Site, the location of the 1896 mine explosion. This afternoon in the coastal town of Hokitika, you will visit a local gallery, the perfect opportunity to pick up a gift or souvenir.
Beachfront Hotel Hokitika
Located right on the beach, the stunning Beachfront Hotel is located in central Hokitika.
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4
Hokitika - Punakaiki (B, SL, D)
Day 4
Hokitika - Punakaiki (B, SL, D)
Today, take in the natural beauty of the Hokitika Gorge on a short walk descending through the hardwood forest that will lead you to a swing bridge which crosses the Hokitika River. Continue north to Greymouth, home of Monteith’s Brewing Co. where you will sample locally brewed beers over lunch. This afternoon travel along the Great Coast Road to the world-famous Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.
Scenic Hotel Punakaiki
Perfectly positioned for you to enjoy everything this region is famous for, close to the famous Pancake Rocks and overlooking the Tasman Sea.
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5
Punakaiki - Nelson (B, D)
Day 5
Punakaiki - Nelson (B, D)
Journey north along the coast to Tauranga Bay and Cape Foulwind, named by Captain Cook in 1770 when he encountered nasty weather. A short walk along the rocky headland will showcase the rugged coastline and sea life often on show amongst the rocks. Travel inland via the Buller Gorge and Murchison to Nelson, one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand. This afternoon enjoy a visit to the Nelson Classic Car Museum where you will marvel at an incredible collection of iconic cars This is followed by an orientation tour of the city.
Rutherford Hotel Nelson
A great location right in the heart of Nelson and only a short walk from shops, restaurants and cafes.
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6
Nelson - Abel Tasman National Park - Nelson (B, L)
Day 6
Nelson - Abel Tasman National Park - Nelson (B, L)
Travel to Kaiteriteri, gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park and join a cruise along the parks’ picturesque coastline. At Anchorage Bay, a picnic lunch will be provided. Re-join your coach and depart for Nelson via the vineyards. This evening is free for you to dine at one of the local restaurants in town.
Rutherford Hotel Nelson
A great location right in the heart of Nelson and only a short walk from shops, restaurants and cafes.
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7
Nelson - Blenheim (B, SL, D)
Day 7
Nelson - Blenheim (B, SL, D)
Today travel via Havelock and the wine-growing region of Marlborough. Visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, home to one of the largest private collections of WW1 Aircraft, brought to life in sets created by the internationally acclaimed WingNut Films and Weta Workshop. Head back into town where you will enjoy lunch at a local Blenheim beer garden before a short drive to an iconic Marlborough Winery where you will experience a personalised wine tasting. You will taste award-winning wines and enjoy exploring the beautiful Marlborough vineyards.
Scenic Hotel Marlborough
Just a few minutes walk from the centre of Blenheim and in the heart of Marlborough Wine Country.
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8
Blenheim - Marlborough Sounds - Blenheim (B, SL)
Day 8
Blenheim - Marlborough Sounds - Blenheim (B, SL)
Enjoy a leisurely start to the day before travelling to Picton where time is available to explore this picturesque port. Cruise from Picton Marina to the stunning Queen Charlotte Sound, while enjoying informative commentary on this remarkable region, enroute to Furneaux Lodge. At Furneaux Lodge a delicious lunch will be served followed by time to enjoy the peaceful surroundings. There is access to kayaks and short walks around the property. On the return cruise to Picton a cheese platter featuring local produce is served accompanied by a glass of Marlborough wine, the perfect end to your Marlborough Sounds adventure. Board the coach for the short journey back to Blenheim where the evening is free to dine at one of the local restaurants.
Scenic Hotel Marlborough
Just a few minutes walk from the centre of Blenheim and in the heart of Marlborough Wine Country.
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9
Blenheim - Kaikoura (B, D)
Day 9
Blenheim - Kaikoura (B, D)
Farewell the Marlborough region and journey to Kaikōura. Visit the Kaikōura Museum, which features an exhibition depicting the impact of the 2016 earthquake. This afternoon you may like to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the coastline to see the many species of whales that migrate through this area.
Sudima Kaikoura
A great location, across the road from the ocean and close to the centre of town.
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10
Kaikoura - Christchurch
Day 10
Kaikoura - Christchurch
Depart Kaikōura and head to Christchurch to visit the International Antarctic Centre, designed to provide an informative account of life in Antarctica. This evening enjoy a pre-dinner drink and reminisce on memories shared with your new friends at the farewell dinner.
Distinction Christchurch Hotel
Situated right in the centre of Christchurch overlooking Cathedral Square.
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11
Depart Christchurch (B)
Day 11
Depart Christchurch (B)
Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.

Inclusions

Attractions Included

  • Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise
  • TranzAlpine Rail Journey
  • Wilderness Gallery Hokitika
  • Monteith’s Brewing Co. Tasting
  • Nelson Classic Car Museum
  • Abel Tasman Guided Walk and Cruise*
  • Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre*
  • Marlborough Winery and Tasting
  • Queen Charlotte Sound Cruise to Furneaux Lodge
  • Kaikōura Museum
  • International Antarctic Centre
  • City sights tour of Nelson and Christchurch
    *Guided tour is included with 1 guide per 24 travellers.

Scenic Highlights & Walks

  • Historic French Village of Akaroa
  • Lake Brunner
  • Brunner Mine Site
  • Hokitika Gorge
  • Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes
  • Cape Foulwind walkway
  • Buller Gorge
  • Seaside town of Kaiteriteri
  • Abel Tasman National Park
  • Marlborough Wine Region
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Coastal town of Kaikōura

Coach Features

  • 32 Premium Economy Comfort seats on a full-size coach
  • 2 door access; seat back tray table; cup holder
  • Restroom; daily onboard Wi-Fi allowance

Experiences Included

  • Professional Coach Captain and Tour Leader
  • Personalised Meet and Greet on arrival
  • Return airport transfers in New Zealand
  • 10 nights 4 star accommodation
  • 3 two night stays
  • Hotel porterage
  • 1 rail journey
  • 3 cruises
  • All sightseeing and prepaid attractions
  • Extensive Optional Tours Programme
  • Classic Documentation Pack

Meals Included

  • 10 cooked breakfasts
  • 7 sumptuous dinners including Complimentary pre-dinner drink at the Welcome Dinner and 1 specialty dinner: Farewell Dinner including pre-dinner drink, Christchurch
  • 5 specialty lunches: Kingfisher Restaurant, Lake Brunner; Monteith’s Brewing Co., Greymouth; Abel Tasman lunch, Abel Tasman National Park; Dodson Street Beer Garden; Blenheim; Furneaux Lodge, Queen Charlotte Sound
  • Enjoy GPT Hotel Wine Time (discounted drinks)
    Dinner on Day 1 not included for anyone arriving later than 8pm.

Fitness Level Required

Tour includes a number of short walks of up to 1 hour that require a moderate level of fitness. The walks are scenic and not excessive but can include slight inclines and uneven surfaces. Ensure you feel comfortable with this level of fitness before booking.

Visited Locations

  • Christchurch
    Christchurch is an fascinating city to explore. It was once a historic garden city. Since the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes it has turned into a fascinating city of regeneration and growth.
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  • Akaroa
    The ‘most French town in New Zealand’, Akaroa is a quaint seaside village. It boasts beautiful historic buildings, a magnificent harbour, and a passion for fine food, reflecting its French flavour.
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  • Hokitika
    Hokitika is a historic town in the West Coast region of NZ's South Island. Close to the mouth of the Hokitika River, this character-filled town is 40 kilometres south of Greymouth.H
    Read more
  • Punakaiki Pancake Rocks & Blowholes
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  • Nelson
    Nelson is the main centre of the Tasman region. This is an extraordinary, vibrant region where art and businesses thrive together among a stunning natural landscape.
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  • Abel Tasman National Park
    Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand's smallest national park. But it's one of the most easily accessible and is unmatched for beautiful coastal settings and beaches.
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  • Blenheim
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  • Marlborough Sounds
    With 1500km of coastline, the Marlborough Sounds is a collection of ancient sunken river valleys now filled by Pacific Ocean waters right at the top of the South Island. Access them from the seaside townships of Picton and Havelock.
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  • Kaikoura
    There are few places on earth like Kaikōura. A small coastal village, with a relaxed beachside vibe, it has some stunning views of both mountains and sea. And it offers to enjoy the bounty of the sea whether eating local kai moana or encountering local sale sea life off the coast.
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Attractions

  • City sights tour of Nelson and Christchurch
  • Nelson Classic Car Museum
  • Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise
    The award winning Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise has many highlights. The harbour, an hour and 20 mins from Christchurch, is home to a rich variety of wildlife. And you’ll also see giant volcanic sea cliffs and hear about Akaroa’s fascinating past.
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  • Tranzalpine Rail Journey
    Enjoy a very special view of the South Island’s striking natural landscape. Take the Tranz Alpine train between Christchurch and Greymouth. See epic vistas, travel the edges of the ice-fed Waimakariri River, traverse the Southern Alps, and see miles of native beech forest.
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  • Wilderness Gallery Hokitika
    Hokitika's Wilderness Gallery is a Travellers Choice and award-winning Art Gallery situated on the West Coast of New Zealand. All the goods are made right here in New Zealand.
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  • Monteiths Brewing Company Tour
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  • Abel Tasman Guided Walk & Cruise
    Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand's smallest national park. But it is one of the most easily accessible and beautiful coastal paradise settings. And you'll see all the highlights along the coast on board this cruise.
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  • Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
    Near Blenheim Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre offers a fascinating insight into the history of war in the air. It features one of the world’s largest private collections of Great War aircraft and artifacts in dramatic displays created by Sir Peter Jackson's Wingnut Films, with mannequins by Weta Workshop. A second exhibition opened in 2016 and features stories and aircraft from World War II.
    Read more
  • Cloudy Bay Estate
    Established in 1985, Cloudy Bay was one of the first five wine makers to venture into Marlborough’s wine region. At the time, it was an almost unimaginable place to set-up a vineyard. But Cloudy Bay’s founder — David Hohnen — saw its potential to produce great wine and invested in the best land of the region.
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  • Queen Charlotte to Ship Cove Cruise
    Cruise from Picton, up through the beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound to historical Ship Cove. Along the way your skipper will provide a commentary on the Marlborough Sound's history and the wildlife, be it bird, fish or mammal. 
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  • Kaikoura Museum
    Kaikoura museum is located in the landmark “craypot” building, in Kaikoura’s West End. The museum provides a modern and relaxed environment. It offers a contemporary and fun approach to telling the stories of Kaikoura’s natural, social and cultural journey.
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  • International Antarctic Centre
    The International Antarctic Centre transports a slice of this astounding continent to Christchurch. A range of immersive experiences allow everyday visitors to see, touch, feel and fall in love with Antarctica.
    Read more

Available Dates

Dates Price per person
Available
19 Oct 2024 - 29 Oct 2024 Guaranteed Departure $5,519.20$6,951.20
Available
02 Feb 2025 - 12 Feb 2025 Guaranteed Departure $5,519.20$6,951.20
11 Day Signature Top of the South Island
Days
11
Price from
NZD $5,519 per person twin share
Save up to NZ$750 per person twin share on selected departures!