Top of the South Island

9 Days / 8 Nights | Tour includes Christchurch, Kaikoura, Blenheim, Winery Visit, Picton, Nelson, Abel Tasman National Park including Cruise, Punakaiki Pancake Rocks, Greymouth, Akaroa Day Trip | Price is Per Person, Twin Share

From NZD 2490.00 pp


  • Christchurch Airport to City Hotel Transfer
  • Eight nights in excellent centrally located accommodation including Breakfast Daily (B)
  • Modern air conditioned vehicle as per Itinerary outline
  • Meals as stipulated in Itinerary include 4x Dinners (D) & 1x Lunch (L)
  • Sightseeing includes: Kaikoura Coast, Marlborough Day Tour incl winery visits, Abel Tasman National Park including cruise, Pancake Rocks, Shantytown Heritage Park, Akaroa Day tour
  • Christchurch City Hotel to Airport Transfer

Dates, Availability & Printable Version

Click here for a list of departure dates and availability, including our guaranteed departures.

Click here to download your printable PDF version of the Top of the South Island Tour.

9 days/8 nights  Top of the South Island Tour Itinerary

Day 1 | Arrive in Christchurch

On arrival to the largest city in the South Island, you will be transferred to your city hotel for the first night of your tour. Depending on your arrival time you may like to take time to enjoy the exciting redevelopment of central Christchurch surrounding your city hotel.  From stunning new architectural office buildings and shopping centres to the painstaking rebuild of the historic Arts Centre.  

This afternoon meet your local tour representative who will provide a tour briefing and confirm tomorrow’s departure details.

Hotel:  Rendezvous Hotel Christchurch

Day 2 | Christchurch to Blenhiem via Kaikoura | (B,D)

Todays journey will take you north through the Waipara Wine Region, through the rural service town of Cheviot and then over the Hundalee Hills before reaching the coast and Kaikoura – the crayfish capital of New Zealand. Time is given to explore Kaikoura before continuing north to the Marlborough wine region and Blenheim for two nights.

Dinner is included this evening at your hotel.

Hotel:  Scenic Hotel Marlborough

Day 3 | Blenheim | (B,L)

Today you will explore Blenheim and the wider Marlborough region.  Starting with a visit to Picton with time given to enjoy the small town on the edge of Queen Charlotte Sound.  Then a visit to a local winery for tasting.  Lunch will be included at a second winery visit and later in the afternoon the tour will stop at the Makana Confections shop where they offer a wide range of specialty chocolates, toffee, caramel corn, truffles and much more.

Day 4 | Blenheim to Nelson | (B,D)

A leisurely start this morning before travelling to Nelson one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand.  Pass through Havelock, the Pelorus Bridge and the Rai Valley on route.  Your accommodation this evening is located a short walk from Tahunanui Beach – the main beach of Nelson City.

Dinner is included this evening at your hotel.

Hotel:  The Beachcomber Hotel, Tahunanui, Nelson

Day 5 | Abel Tasman Day Tour | (B)

Today you will travel to Kaiteriteri and embark on a cruise in the Abel Tasman National Park.  Although it is New Zealands smallest National Park – it is renowned for its golden beaches, granite cliffs and stunning coastal walks.  You will have time for one of the shorter walks or perhaps you would prefer to spend the time relaxing on one of the golden sand beaches. 

Day 6 | Nelson via Punakaiki and the Pancake Rocks to Greymouth |  (B,D)

Heading south your tour passes through the small township of Murchison before arriving in Westport.  From here it is a short drive to Tauranga Bay where you will have time to visit a seal colony.  Travelling further south you will arrive at Punakaiki where time is provided to walk the path around the spectacular Pancake rocks formed over millions of years from limestone.

From Punakaiki it is a final run through to Greymouth, the largest town on the west coast for tonight's stay.

Dinner is included this evening at your hotel.

Hotel:  Ashley Hotel Greymouth 

Day 7 | Greymouth to Christchurch | (B)

This morning visit Shantytown Heritage Park where you will learn about the history of the once thriving West Coast lifestyle based around gold mining.

After leaving Shantytown it is time to head back towards Christchurch crossing the dominating Southern Alps Mountain range.  There will be a brief stop at Arthurs Pass township before continuing on along the upper reaches of the Waimakariri River and past scenic Lake Pearson.  The road then travels between the Craigieburn Mountain range to the west and Castle Hill Peak towards the east. it then rises to Porters Pass at a height of 939 metres above sea level before descending to the vast Canterbury Plains prior to arriving in Christchurch.

Hotel:  Rendezvous Hotel Christchurch

Day 8 | Christchurch and Akaroa Day Trip | (B,D)

Enjoy a brief sightseeing tour of Christchurch City, exploring the significant steps being made either repairing old historic buildings or the new architecture that has been built since the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.  Then you will head to Banks Peninsula – named after the botanist Joseph Banks who travelled with James Cook when the peninsula was first sighted in 1770.  At Akaroa, a small and delightful French settlement, explore the numerous arts and crafts stores.  Later this afternoon return to Christchurch.

Enjoy a farewell dinner this evening.

Day 9 | Depart Christchurch | (B)

Your tour will conclude today following breakfast and your transfer to the Airport.

Tour Exclusions:

Domestic Air Fares

Additional /Optional Tour Costs

Hotel Mini Bar

Other Sightseeing & Meals not specified in Itinerary

Tour Price:

$2490.00 Per Person on a Share Twin Basis

Single Supplement:

Additional $770.00 per person

Valid for departures between 26 Sep 2020 and 10 Apr 2021

See below for full Terms and Conditions.

Dates, Availability & Printable Version:

Click here for a list of departure dates and availability, including our guaranteed departures.

Click here to download your printable PDF version of the Top of the South Island Tour.

Payment Terms & Conditions

A non-refundable deposit of $200 per person is required at the time of booking.  

The balance of the tour price is required 45 days prior to your travel date. If you book inside 45 days, full payment will be required at the time of booking. Payment can be made by bank transfer. We also accept Visa and Mastercard at an additional fee of 3.1%.

If you cancel between 21 and 45 days 30% of your tour cost will be charged. If you cancel between 8 and 20 days prior to your tour departure you will be charged 50% of your tour cost.  Cancellations within 7 days of departures will incur a 100% cancellation charge.

Inspired New Zealand Tours recommends purchasing  travel insurance, even when travelling within New Zealand.

Full terms and conditions are available here.  

When a booking is made it is accepted that these are agreed to. They include the following:  Itineraries are correct when initially published, however are subject to change due to circumstances outside our control.  Flights are the responsibility of the passenger and Inspired New Zealand Tours takes no responsibility for costs involved for any changes to flights that might be required due to necessary amendments in itineraries.