Christmas in Marlborough
6 Day / 5 Night Tour spending Christmas in Marlborough, with stays in Kaikoura, Picton, Nelson and Punakaiki

Travel up the Kaikoura Coast to lunch in a Marlborough vineyard and visit Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. Celebrate Christmas on Endeavour Inlet at Furneaux Lodge, reached only by water from Picton. Check out the sights and stay a night in Nelson and a final night in Punakaiki on the edge of the Tasman Sea.

What Tracy loves about this tour:
Christmas in Marlborough
$3190.00 pp twin
$3590.00 pp single
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Day 1: Fly to Christchurch – Waipara - Kaikoura

Views of the Kaikoura Ranges in Snow and the Pacific Ocean

Your Kiwi Guide will meet you off your flight at Christchurch airport, then we'll all head northwards to stop for lunch and wine tasting at Waipara Hills winery. Continuing over the Hunderlee Hills to Kaikoura we visit Fyffe House, Kaikoura’s oldest building dating back to the 1840s and the nearby seal colony.

At the museum the “New Normal, the Kaikoura Earthquake Exhibition” looks at the quake’s impact. No visit to Kaikoura is complete without the stunning views and wildlife of the Peninsula lookout. We stay at the White Morph Inn.

What you'll love today
  • Kaikoura's dramatic stories, both old and new
  • Stunning views of the Kaikoura ranges and Pacific ocean

Day 2: Kaikoura – Kekerengu – Blenheim - Queen Charlotte Sound – Picton

Dangerous Skies exhibition at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centremaka

We drive the perimeter of Yealands vineyard to enjoy the views. In Blenheim we lunch and wine taste at Brancott Estate vineyard and visit the outstanding Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre which features a large collection of First and Second World War flying memorabilia.

This evening we take a relaxed, private dinner cruise to explore the bays and stunning beauty of Queen Charlotte Sound. We return to Picton to stay two nights at the Picton Yacht Club Hotel.

What you'll love today
  • Visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre 
  • See Queen Charlotte Sound's beauty close-up on on a private dinner cruise

Day 3: Picton – Christmas lunch at Furneaux Lodge, Endeavour Inlet - Picton

Pohutakawa in flower in the Marlborough Sounds

We breakfast at our hotel and start the day on the Picton waterfront where we board our launch to cruise down beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound to Endeavour Inlet where we celebrate Christmas with lunch at Furneaux Lodge, only reached by water or walking or biking the Queen Charlotte Track. Stroll the lawns and enjoy the views out to the Inlet.

In the mid afternoon we return back down the Sound to Picton. Tonight Margaret and Bill McHugh host us for dinner at Kippilaw House in Picton. 

What you'll love today
  • Christmas lunch at Furneaux Lodge on Endeavour Inlet
  • Christmas dinner at Kippilaw House in Picton

Day 4: Picton – ”Edwin Fox” – Havelock – Nelson

Visiting the Edwin Fox Museum in Picton

This morning we find out the history of the old sailing ship “Edwin Fox”  n the Picton waterfront - from troop carrier to immigrant ship, even convict transporter. Built in 1853, today it is a massive restoration project and gives a fascinating insight into life on board a sailing ship.

We drive to Havelock for a short stroll and lunch at the Slip Inn on the edge of Pelorus Sound.

Continuing to Nelson we check out the city's sights before checking into the Trailways Hotel where we dine this evening.  

What you'll love today
  • Get an idea of life on board a sailing ship when we visit "Edwin Fox"
  • Lunch in Havelock and end the day up in Nelson
Accommodation

Day 5: Nelson – Buller Gorge – Rainforest train, Charleston – Punakaiki

Riding the rainforest railway in Paparoa National Park

We drive through the stunning scenery of the Buller Gorge and on to visit the seal colony at Cape Foulwind. At Charleston we stop for lunch and take a ride on the rainforest train to see the stunning limestone formations of the Nile River Valley in the Paparoa National Park.

It's just a short walk out to see the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and the coastal views are fantastic. If the tide is right the blowholes will be spreading clouds of spray. We stay nearby at the Punakaiki Resort Hotel on the edge of the Tasman Sea and dine in this evening.

What you'll love today
  • Discover the lost world of the Nile Valley in Paparoa National Park
  • Stroll out to the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes

Day 6: Punakaiki – Lake Brunner – Arthur’s Pass – Christchurch – Fly to Auckland

Punakaiki Pancake Rocks

Leaving the coast we stop for lunch at secluded and beautiful Lake Brunner before driving up the Otira Viaduct, a spectacular, cantilevered road. The cheeky keas at the lookout at the top of the Pass never let us down -  they are worth a photograph every time.

From Arthur’s Pass we continue through beech forests and magnificent alpine scenery beside the Waimakariri River and down  Porter's Pass to the Canterbury Plains and on to Christchurch airport.

What you'll love today
  • Wake up by the beach and cross the mountains to Christchurch
  • The Otira Viaduct, a spectacular cantilevered road