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NZ Capital to the Coast

13 March 2022

11 Day | 10 Night

Indulge in the beauty of one of New Zealand’s most scenic coastal regions, the north of the south.

From the nation’s bustling capital, Wellington through to the heritage city of Christchurch. We’ll take you along the northern coastline of the South Island. An area famous for its incredible landscapes and stunning national parks. With pristine beaches, amazing wildlife and spectacular wineries.

This 11-day immersive journey provides longer stays and flexible days. Join us on a hike, a bike ride, or relax aboard a stunning seafood cruise. The choice is yours with a wide range of included activities to choose from. Finishing with one of New Zealand’s most beautiful rail journeys, the Coastal Pacific. On this unique itinerary you’ll travel some of New Zealand’s most stunning landscapes.

Day 1

Welcome to Wellington

A private transfer will escort you from the airport. This evening is a chance to meet your fellow travellers. We’ll visit New Zealand’s Parliament, otherwise known as “the Beehive”. Following a short tour we will have our welcome dinner at Bellamys. Once exclusive use by parliamentarians, Bellamys is now open. You’ll experience the legacy of Logan Brown and the amazing food New Zealand has to offer.

Overnight: Rydges Wellington

Wellington

Day 2

Wellington to Punga Cove Resort

This morning you’ll cruise the Cook Strait aboard the Interislander ferry. Often described as ‘one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world’. You’ll enjoy spectacular views of the Kaikoura Ranges on the South Island. And have your camera ready as you head through the spectacular Marlborough Sounds. Included in your sailing is access to the Premium Plus lounge. It’s the most comfortable lounge with complimentary beverages, light meals, and internet access.

You’ll transfer to a water taxi in Picton and transfer to Punga Cove. A great way to see the beautiful sounds where you will spend the next 3-nights.

Kaitaki Reflections
Kiwi Rail
Punga Cove Resort, Marlborough Sounds (3 nights)

Set amongst stunning scenery in the magnificent waterways of New Zealand’s Marlborough Sounds, Punga Cove Resort is the perfect retreat to relax in style. The restaurant offers breathtaking views of the entire Endeavour Inlet. Guest studio with breakfast and dinner included daily.

Punga Cove Resort
Cougar Line Punga Cove Boat

Days 3 & 4

Queen Charlotte Sound 

The Marlborough region is one of the most diverse in New Zealand. Comprising many sunken river valleys known as ‘Sounds’.
An area of over 4000sqm, it lies on South Island’s north-easternmost point. Located between Tasman Bay and Cloudy Bay. With isolated houses and resorts only accessible by boats. It makes the ideal getaway destination with countless adventure and relaxation opportunities. Marlborough is home to an array of marine life and seabirds. You may see dolphins, seals, penguins, the fantail, bellbird and woodpigeon.

Located on Queen Charlotte Sound is one of the most popular walking trails in New Zealand. The Queen Charlotte Track is a 71 km walk through native bush and secluded coves. It’s a haven for wildlife, a treat for landscape-lovers, and an area steeped in history.

The Marlborough Sounds make the perfect setting for some awesome activities.

Cougar Line
Punga Cove Weka Grass

How would you like to explore?

Choose your own adventure! One activity per day is included from the list below. The choice is yours!

Seafood Odyssea Cruise

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Queen Charlotte Sound with endless bays and coves to explore. You’ll discover different scenery around every corner. This Seafood Odyssea Cruise offers a unique range of sightseeing, birdlife and wildlife. You’ll learn about the Marlborough Sounds area and the local seafoods grown. Onboard is a fabulous seafood tasting matched to stunning Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

Tour duration: approximately 3.5 hours

Kaipupu Point Cruise and Walk 

Sit back and relax as Cougar Line cruises to the beautiful and secluded Kaipupu Point Mainland Sanctuary that is only accessible by boat.

Blumine Island Bird Watching Tour

Experience the beautiful Queen Charlotte Track by bike. Views, bush, beaches – today’s ride has it all. You’ll take a water taxi from Picton to Torea Bay, and return exhilarated from Anakiwa at the end of your day. This morning from Torea Bay to the main Queen Charlotte Track is challenging. It’s a tough climb and you’ll need to push your bike. Your reward is the view into the Kenepuru and Queen Charlotte Sound as you head for the Te Mahia Saddle. With the hardest section behind you, the track from Te Mahia Saddle is much easier. With a long, gradual and exhilarating descent to Anakiwa. Grab an ice-cream or cold drink from The Green Caravan as you await your return water taxi.

 

Queen Charlotte Track Mountain Bike Ride 

Experience the beautiful Queen Charlotte Track by bike. Views, bush, beaches – today’s ride has it all. If you fancy a challenge this is provided by the Torea Bay section, but easier riding awaits this afternoon in the leg to Anakiwa. Take a water taxi from Picton to Torea Bay and return exhilarated from Anakiwa at the end of your day. From Torea Bay, ride up a short road section to join the main Queen Charlotte Track. A tough climb awaits and you will need to push your bike but the reward is stunning views into the Kenepuru and Queen Charlotte Sound as you head for the Te Mahia Saddle. The hardest section of the day is now behind you and from Te Mahia Saddle the track is easier, undulating at first with a long, gradual and exhilarating descent to Anakiwa with glimpses into the glistening waters of Queen Charlotte Sound. Time to rest at Anakiwa where you can purchase an ice cream or cold drink from The Green Caravan (summer time only) and reflect on a fantastic day while you await your water taxi pick up. 

Furneaux Lodge biking
Punga Cave

Full Day Guided Walk in Queen Charlotte Sound with Wilderness Guides 

You’ll start the day with a water taxi from Picton to Ship Cove past salmon farms and sea birds. This scenic reserve is a significant historical site of early Māori occupation. Your guided walk along the Queen Charlotte Track begins at Ship Cove and ends at Endeavour Inlet. The bush is a mixture of stunning podocarp and beech forest. With punga ferns and other New Zealand native foliage. This is the premier section of the Queen Charlotte Track. The views across the sound are beautiful. Your informative local guide will talk about the European and Māori history of the area. You’ll also learn about the plentiful birds and plants you encounter along the way. You’ll enjoy a fresh packed lunch with coffee or tea along your way. At the end of the walk, you’ll stop at the historic Furneaux Lodge while you await collection by water taxi. A great way to toast a fantastic day out walking the Queen Charlotte Track in the Marlborough Sounds.

Day 5

Return to Picton and continue to Kaiteriteri

This morning you’ll return to Picton by water taxi. You’ll then travel the Marlborough sounds coastline between Picton and Havelock. This drive offers spectacular views of the sounds so be sure to have your camera ready. There will be time to explore the secluded sandy coves along the narrow road to Portage. Stopping in Havelock for lunch as this portside town has a great variety of cafes and restaurants to eat at. After lunch you’ll visit the Pelorus Bridge, stopping for a forest walk. The most popular option is a 30 minute loop through beech, rimu and totara forest. Continue on over the Bryant Range to arrive into Tasman Bay and the city of Nelson. Motueka is a further 45 minutes along the coast and a short drive to Kaiteriteri and Marahau. These are ideal spots from which to explore the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park.

Kimi Ora Eco Resort (3 nights)

Kimi Ora Eco Resort offers panoramic views of Kaiteriteri beach and estuary. Surrounded by beautiful native bush, these chalets offer peace and seclusion.

Guest studio with breakfast and dinner included daily.

Havlock Town

Day 6

Abel Tasman National Park

Today the choice is yours! Explore the Abel Tasman National Park how you wish. Choose from one of the following included activities:

View of Anchorage from the Abel Tasman Coast Track – credit abeltasman.com

Promised Land Guided Walk

Discover the beauty of Abel Tasman National Park during this tour. Take a breathtaking ride up the Takaka hill to Ca-naan Downs. Walk through the ancient Gondwanan beech forest of the Wainui valley. Experience a hotspot of avian diversity, incredible views, stunning forest and fascinating history. The Inland Track has superb bush and is far less busy than the coastal track. Learn about the history, flora and fauna of this stunning corner of New Zealand. And hear the story of how Project Janszoon is working hard to restore the park to its former glory. Your day starts and ends with a 45 min van ride to Canaan Downs car park.

Includes complimentary morning hot drink and a snack

The Two Gods Self Guided Nature Walk & Kayak

Two Gods – two islands, sandy beaches and a fascinating stretch of coastline. The Two Gods tour highlights the best of the Abel Tasman in a day. You will explore the realm of Tangaroa, the god of the sea and Tane Mahuta, god of the forest. Learn about the life that lives in each space. Both by land and sea, this is a trip you will remember, as you live and breathe the soul of the Abel Tasman. You can kayak the length of the Tonga Island Marine Reserve from Awaroa to Onehahuti. Then spend the afternoon walking unguided from Onetahuti to Bark Bay. Includes lunch.

 

 

Aeriel View of Fishermans Island
Te Puketea Bay

Abel Tasman National Park Vista Barbecue Cruise

Travel in style along the golden granite coast. Discover Split Apple Rock, Tonga Island Marine Reserve and Adele Island Wildlife Reserve. View seabirds and seals and watch out for Little Blue Penguins. Including is a classic Kiwi Barbecue Lunch. You may choose to eat on board, or take your lunch ashore. With time to relax on a golden-sand cove before returning aboard the Vista Cruise.

Sailing Adventures, Abel Tasman National Park

The Abel Tasman National Park coastline offers some of the best sailing in New Zealand. Peaceful relaxing sailing early in the day is the ideal time to cruise North. Exploring the native bush clad coastline and golden beaches. The afternoon offers the thrill and excitement of fast sailing. A great opportunity to ride the waves back down the coast. Shelter and calm water is still available in most bays when the breeze is up. Offering a great balance for cruising sailors. All the yachts Sailing Adventures operate are modern, safe and very well equipped. Skippers are MSA qualified, with years of experience sailing the Abel Tasman coastline. You’ll learn about the history of the National Park and how to sail. Or you can sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery.

Day 7

Golden Bay and Farewell Spit Tour

The summit of Takaka Hill sits 791 metres above sea level with spectacular views of Golden Bay. There are short walks on either side of the summit (time permitting). At the valley floor you’ll find the small village of Takaka. Takaka has a thriving arts and crafts community which is worth exploring. Continuing along the coast you’ll pass the historic settlement of Onekaka. Once a thriving industrial town, it’s now home to craftspeople and producers of artesian products.

Choco Loco
Farewell Spit Tour Bus

Farewell Spit Nature Reserve is a bird sanctuary and wetland of international importance. It’s around 35km long with public access restricted to the first 4km. More protected than other national parks, vehicle access is only for supervised tours. Onetahua is the Maori name for Farewell Spit and translated means “heaped up sand”. As well as exploring the spit, stops in Puponga and at the most northern point on the South island, Cape Farewell.
From the cliff top, you’ll see seals and their pups all year round basking on the rocks below. Along the beach you have stunning views of the Tasman coastline. You can climb the sand dune at Mullet Channel where you’ll have panoramic views of the inter- tidal plain. Plus, a stop at Fossil Point. Where fossilised shells and wormcasts emerge from blocks of mudstone cliffs.

Day 8

Blenheim and Brancott Estate

Brancott Estate Table
Today’s drive takes you through the city of Nelson, along the coast of Tasman Bay towards the Bryant Range. The highway between Nelson and Havelock also crosses the Pelorus River. The small settlement of Havelock, known as the Greenshell Mussel capital of the world. Making it the perfect spot to try these delicious seafood delicacies. From Havelock you’ll follow the valley south towards Blenheim. The town of Blenheim sits right at the heart of the Marlborough region. New Zealand’s largest wine producing region. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy an afternoon sampling the local produce.

This evening you’ll visit the Brancott Estate Heritage Centre. The home of Brancott Estate wines. Located at Brancott Vineyard, the site of the first Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough. The Brancott Estate Showcase is an exclusive and intimate dining experience. It presents the best of Brancott Estate and the Marlborough region in a stunning setting. With a tailored menu featuring the best local produce and Brancott paired wines.

Chateau Marlborough

Chateau Marlborough offers luxury accommodation in the heart of Blenheim. This boutique hotel prides itself on offering guest’s luxury accommodation. Overlooking Seymour Square Gardens and only a short walk from Blenheim’s town centre.

Chateau studio includes breakfast

Chateau Marlborough

Day 9

Coastal Pacific Train to Christchurch

You will have this morning at leisure before enjoying the scenic Coastal Pacific train journey to Christchurch. The scenery is breath-taking. With the Kaikoura mountain ranges one side and the Pacific Ocean coastline on the other. It travels through 22 tunnels and crosses 175 bridges. One of them being New Zealand’s only road-rail bridge. You’ll travel through some of New Zealand’s finest horticultural and farmland areas. Seeing amazing wildlife such as dolphins, seals and penguins. The Coastal Pacific includes an open air viewing carriage. Allowing you to awaken all your senses with the clean, fresh, sea air.

The Classic Villa ( 2 nights)

The Classic Villa is a beautifully restored Italian-style villa in the heart of Christchurch city. Located a short walk from the large open expanse of Hagley Park and the Botanic Gardens, yet close to all the inner city attractions and dining.

Guest room includes breakfast

Coastal Pacific Mountains

Day 10

Christchurch

Adobe Stock
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Image Stock 109444007
Today you can explore Christchurch at leisure with a Christchurch Trams ticket included. The tram operates daily from 9:00 – 18:00. Board at any of the 17 Tram stops, with trams running every 15-20 minutes. With onboard commentary and the freedom to hop on and off as you wish. It’s a great way to explore the main city centre attractions.

Trams played an important role in transporting the people of Christchurch until 1954. In 1995, the Tramway historical society reintroduced the beautiful trams. Travel from the top of New Regent Street near the junction with Armagh Street. You’ll venture through the quaint arcade with Spanish style buildings and sunny cafes. Continuing through Cathedral Junction, home to several of the city’s restored hotels. Turning right at Worcester Street, heads west through Cathedral Square. As you cross the Avon River, you’ll discover the Arts centre and Botanic Gardens.

All good things must come to an end. Say farewell to new friends with dinner at Fiddlesticks, in the heart of the Arts Precinct.

Day 11

Farewell

Following breakfast, a private transfer will collect you from your accommodation and transfer you to Christchurch Airport.
Wellington Map
Sheep
Mountain
Signs

Price and Inclusions:

$9375 Single rooms for all guests

  • Min: 8 | Max: 16 guests
  • Solo Luxe hosted tour
  • Return airport transfers
  • 10 nights Superior accommodation with private room
  • Breakfast daily
  • 9 dinners (including 3 signature experiences)
  • New Zealand Parliament tour
  • Interislander Ferry with Premium Plus Lounge
  • Coastal Pacific train
  • 3 free choice activities as listed
  • Christchurch trams tour
  • Farewell Eco Spit tour
  • All transportation as listed
Active
Signature Dining