Top of the South Island Guided Tour • Itinerary & Departure Dates
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Christchurch Tramway Restaurant, Exterior
Akaroa scenic views
TranzAlpine Alongside Waimakariri River
Hokitika Gorge
Punakaiki
National Park, Abel Tasman Lodge
Marlborough Vineyard wine tour with Friends
Marlborough Sounds
Dolphins, Kaikoura
Husky
Fable hotel, Christchurch

Top of the South Island

11 day Escorted Tour – from £6899 £6699

With flights from £7999

Unveil the picturesque landscapes, wildlife and unique attractions of the South Islands northern destinations.

Highlights:
  • Sample the fine wines at Cloudy Bay
  • Cruise the Queens Charlotte Sound to Furneaux Lodge
  • Enjoy a BBQ lunch cruise in the Abel Tasman National Park
  • Gaze at the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks
  • Set off on a Akaroa Harbour nature cruise

Your Itinerary

Expand All

You can customise your holiday by adding extra nights or activities before or after your Top of the South Island escorted tour. Just let us know what you would like to do.

Christchurch Tramway Restaurant, Exterior

Day 1 – Welcome to Christchurch

On arrival into Christchurch you will be met by a Grand Pacific Tours representative and transferred…

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

    Dinner
Christchurch Tramway Restaurant, Exterior
Akaroa scenic views

Day 2 – Christchurch – Akaroa – Christchurch

After an introductory city sights tour, enjoy a scenic drive to the historic French village of…

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

    Breakfast
Akaroa scenic views
TranzAlpine Alongside Waimakariri River

Day 3 – Christchurch – Moana – Hokitika

This morning board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world….

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, visit a local gallery, for the opportunity to pick up a gift or souvenir.

    Beachfront Hotel Hokitika (Ocean View Room)

    Breakfast, Specialty Lunch, Dinner
TranzAlpine Alongside Waimakariri River
Hokitika Gorge

Day 4 – Hokitika – Punakaiki

Today, take in the natural beauty of the Hokitika Gorge on a short walk descending through…

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 (Superior Room)

    Breakfast, Specialty Lunch, Dinner
Hokitika Gorge
Punakaiki

Day 5 – Punakaiki – Nelson

Journey north along the coast to Tauranga Bay and Cape Foulwind, named by Captain Cook in…

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 (Premium Room)

    Breakfast, Dinner
Punakaiki
National Park, Abel Tasman Lodge

Day 6 – Nelson – Abel Tasman National Park – Nelson

Travel to Kaiteriteri, gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park and join a cruise along the…

Travel to Kaiteriteri, gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park and join a cruise along the parks’ picturesque coastline. At Anchorage Bay, lunch will be served. 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 (Premium Room)

    Breakfast, Specialty Lunch
National Park, Abel Tasman Lodge
Marlborough Vineyard wine tour with Friends

Day 7 – Nelson – Blenheim

Today travel via Havelock and the winegrowing region of Marlborough. Visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre,…

Today travel via Havelock and the winegrowing 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

    Breakfast, Specialty Lunch, Dinner
Marlborough Vineyard wine tour with Friends
Marlborough Sounds

Day 8 – Blenheim – Marlborough Sounds – Blenheim

Enjoy a leisurely start to the day before travelling to Picton where time is available to…

Enjoy a leisurely start to the day before travelling to Picton where time is available to explore this picturesque port. Board a luxury vessel at Picton Marina and cruise the spectacular Queen Charlotte Sound to Furneaux Lodge whilst enjoying the informative commentary on this stunning region. 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

    Breakfast, Specialty Lunch
Marlborough Sounds
Dolphins, Kaikoura

Day 9 – Blenheim – Kaikōura

Farewell the Marlborough region and journey to Kaikōura. Visit the Kaikōura Museum, which features an exhibition…

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 Kaikōura

    Breakfast, Dinner
Dolphins, Kaikoura
Husky

Day 10 – Kaikōura – Christchurch

Depart Kaikōura and head to Christchurch to visit the International Antarctic Centre, designed to provide an…

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

    Breakfast, Specialty Dinner
Husky
Fable hotel, Christchurch

Day 11 – Depart Christchurch

Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after…

Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.

    Breakfast
Fable hotel, Christchurch

Your Itinerary

You can customise your holiday by adding extra nights or activities before or after your Top of the South Island escorted tour. Just let us know what you would like to do.

Day 1

|

Welcome to Christchurch

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

    Dinner
Christchurch Tramway Restaurant, Exterior

Day 2

|

Christchurch – Akaroa – Christchurch

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

    Breakfast
Akaroa scenic views

Day 3

|

Christchurch – Moana – Hokitika

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, visit a local gallery, for the opportunity to pick up a gift or souvenir.

    Beachfront Hotel Hokitika (Ocean View Room)

    Breakfast, Specialty Lunch, Dinner
TranzAlpine Alongside Waimakariri River

Day 4

|

Hokitika – Punakaiki

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 (Superior Room)

    Breakfast, Specialty Lunch, Dinner
Hokitika Gorge

Day 5

|

Punakaiki – Nelson

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 (Premium Room)

    Breakfast, Dinner
Punakaiki

Day 6

|

Nelson – Abel Tasman National Park – Nelson

Travel to Kaiteriteri, gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park and join a cruise along the parks’ picturesque coastline. At Anchorage Bay, lunch will be served. 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 (Premium Room)

    Breakfast, Specialty Lunch
National Park, Abel Tasman Lodge

Day 7

|

Nelson – Blenheim

Today travel via Havelock and the winegrowing 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

    Breakfast, Specialty Lunch, Dinner
Marlborough Vineyard wine tour with Friends

Day 8

|

Blenheim – Marlborough Sounds – Blenheim

Enjoy a leisurely start to the day before travelling to Picton where time is available to explore this picturesque port. Board a luxury vessel at Picton Marina and cruise the spectacular Queen Charlotte Sound to Furneaux Lodge whilst enjoying the informative commentary on this stunning region. 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

    Breakfast, Specialty Lunch
Marlborough Sounds

Day 9

|

Blenheim – Kaikōura

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 Kaikōura

    Breakfast, Dinner
Dolphins, Kaikoura

Day 10

|

Kaikōura – 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

    Breakfast, Specialty Dinner
Husky

Day 11

|

Depart Christchurch

Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.

    Breakfast
Fable hotel, Christchurch

Your Tour Includes

10 nights’ hotel accommodation
10 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 7 dinners
Travel by luxury, air conditioned 32 seater coach
Activities and experiences as detailed in the itinerary

Departure Dates

Check for departure dates that suit you:

2024-10-19

2025-02-02

To confirm availability call 0333 234 3209

Flights & More

With FREEDOM, you can book your Top of the South Island escorted tour and flights together, as an ATOL protected package. Our Travel Experts can find the best priced Economy, Premium or Business Class flights for you.

You can also personalise your holiday. Why not add:

  • Extra nights in Christchurch before or after your tour
  • A stopover to New Zealand in Singapore, Dubai or another destination

Next Steps

Please get in touch with our New Zealand Experts to start planning your holiday. You’ll have a single point of contact from your first enquiry through booking.

Top of the South Island

11 day Escorted Tour – from £6899 £6699

With flights from £7999

All prices are per person, based on two people sharing a double or twin room and include meals shown. Seasonal supplements may apply. Please call Freedom Destinations to confirm departure dates and availability.

No children under the age of 16 are permitted on this tour

Map

Top of the South Island, Route Map