Top of the South Island Tour (5 Days / 4 nights) LT44


(per adult)

A 5-day independent tour exploring the best of the Northern South Island. Board the TranzAlpine Train from Christchurch to Greymouth, voted one of the top train journeys in the world, and see the world famous pancake rocks at Punakaiki. Travel by road up to Nelson and spend a full day in the breathtaking Abel Tasman National Park. Move onto the port town of Picton and travel down the east coast on the TranzCoastal train offering tranquil views of the Canterbury coastline. Spend an evening in Kaikoura, where mountains meet sea, and enjoy a day of Whale Watching and visiting a Seal Colony before heading back to Christchurch where your tour concludes.


  • TranzAlpine Train Journey
  • Punakaiki Rocks
  • Nelson
  • Abel Tasman National Park with Cruise
  • Wine tasting in Marlborough/Kaikoura
  • Picton
  • TranzCoastal Train Journey (season permitting)
  • Kaikoura Whale Watch

Day One – Christchurch – Greymouth – Punakaiki

Travel by train on the world renown Tranzalpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth via the stunning Arthurs Pass National Park. View alpine scenery and lush rainforest through panoramic windows on a train journey voted one of the best in the world. From Greymouth, travel by road to Punakaiki for your evening accommodation.

Accomodation: Punakaiki Resort or similar

Day Two: Punakaiki – Nelson

Spend the morning free at your leisure with time to explore the famous Punakaiki pancake rock formation and blowholes, which is situated just a short walk from your accommodation. In the afternoon, travel up the rugged, lush forests of the west coast to Nelson on the eastern shores of Tasman Bay and enjoy a free evening in this beautiful town.

Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel Nelson or similar

Day Three: Nelson – Abel Tasman National Park – Nelson

A full day tour from Nelson to Abel Tasman National Park. From Nelson, travel by road to the golden beach of Kaiteriteri. Enjoy a 45 minute cruise along the coastline of the national park to The Anchorage, opposite Torrent Bay. Upon arrival there will be time for a bush walk on part of the Abel Tasman track or simply relax and swim in this stunning setting. Following your return cruise, you will visit wineries with tastings of some fine New Zealand wines and, time permitting, a stop will be made on-route at Mapua Wharf which now houses a collection of some of the region’s best boutique stores on your return journey to Nelson.

Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel Nelson or similar

Day Four: Nelson – Picton – Kaikoura

Depart from Nelson by road travelling through the beautiful and world famous Marlborough Wine Region via Blenheim to the port town of Picton. There is time to explore this picture-esque town and get some lunch (at own expense) before boarding the TranzCoastal train to Kaikoura, which offers stunning views of Marlborough and Northern Canterbury coastline (note the TranzCoastal train is not available from May – September). Enjoy a free evening in the coastal township of Kaikoura, where mountains meets sea.

Accomodation: White Morph or similar

Day Five: Kaikoura – Christchurch

Enjoy a morning in Kaikoura, world renowned for the variety of marine mammals which can be seen. This morning you will join a whale watch tour where you will see the Giant Sperm Whales and acrobatic Dusky Dolphins, which reside off the coast of Kaikoura year round. In the afternoon, following the whale watch tour, you will visit a seal colony where New Zealand fur seals may be viewed at close quarters and provide fantastic photo opportunities. On departing Kaikoura you will travel by road through the rolling hill country of North Canterbury, enjoying the beauty of its rural pastoral scenes, to Christchurch. On route a stop will be made at winery where you will have the opportunity to taste some of New Zealand’s delightful wines. Finally continue onwards to your accommodation in Christchurch where your tour will conclude.

Note: For solo travellers, please select the single supplement option. This tour can be operated in reverse. If you require a triple share room for 3 people, please select the 2 persons option and add the Triple Room supplement before proceeding. Quad room types and pricing are also available on request – email:

Some elements of this tour are subject to favourable weather conditions (e.g. Abel Tasman Day Tour, Kaikoura Whale Watching). If any tours are cancelled due to inclement weather conditions, then we will offer a refund for the tour that is cancelled or an alternative tour.

The TranzCoastal train from Picton to Kaikoura is not available from May to September. If you have booked for this period, your train journey will be replaced by coach.

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Tour type: Daily Tour
Duration: 5 Days/ 4 Nights
Maximum number of people: Unlimited
Location: Christchurch / Canterbury, New Zealand – South Island