Travel up the Kaikoura Coast and cruise on Queen Charlotte Sound. Lunch in a Marlborough vineyard and visit Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. Celebrate Christmas in Picton, touch the Southern Alps at St Arnaud and stay at Punakaiki on the edge of the Tasman Sea.

6 Day / 5 Night Tour departing Auckland, spending Christmas in Marlborough, with stays in Kaikoura, Picton, St Arnaud and Punakaiki

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Tour Price

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$3490 pp twin
$3990 pp single
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Tour Map

Day 1: Fly to Christchurch – Waipara - Kaikoura

Views of the Kaikoura Ranges in Snow and the Pacific Ocean

See Christchurch’s inner city rebuild before driving north to lunch at Waipara Estate winery. We drive over the Hunderlee Hills to Kaikoura where we visit Fyffe House, Kaikoura’s oldest house dating back to the whaling days of the 1840s and the seal colony.

At the new museum the “New Normal, the Kaikoura Earthquake Exhibition” looks at the quake’s impact on the community. 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

Queen Charlotte Sound

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 Kippilaw House - Grove Track - Picton

Lunch at Kippilaw House

We breakfast at our hotel and start our Christmas celebrations early at our private lunch with Bill and Margaret McHugh in their Picton lodge.

Later we drive the Grove Track, a longtime  favourite spot for holidaymakers. Baches are dotted through the bush and there are lots of small bays. We call into Havelock  and Anakiwa where Outbound Bound is located before returning to Picton and dining in at the hotel this evening.

What you'll love today
  • Enjoy a relaxed Christmas lunch at a private residence in Picton
  • Visit Anakiwa and the Grove Track

Day 4: Picton – ”Edwin Fox” – Lochmara Lodge – Picton – St Arnaud, Lake Rotoiti

Lochmara Eco Lodge Marlborough Sounds

This morning we find out the history of the old sailing ship “Edwin Fox” at the exhibit on the Picton waterfront - from troop carrier to immigrant ship, even convict transporter. 

Then we take the launch to Lochmara Lodge Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre  in a beautiful setting on the sound’s edge. Kakariki parakeets fly in for feeding and blue cod swim off the jetty. In the mid afternoon we drive to St Arnaud close to Lake Rotoiti to stay this evening in the Nelson Lakes National Park. 

What you'll love today
  • Cruise across the Sound to Lochmara Lodge, Wildlife Recovery and Art Centre
  • End the day up in the mountains at St Arnaud close to Lake Rotoiti
Accommodation

Day 5: Lake Rotoiti – Buller Gorge – Punakaiki

Riding the rainforest railway in Paparoa National Park

We drive through the stunning scenery of the lower Buller Gorge and on to visit the seal colony at Cape Foulwind. At Charleston we stop for lunch and take a short ride on the rainforest train into the stunning landscape 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 coastals views are fantastic. 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 – Arthur’s Pass – Christchurch – Fly to Auckland

Punakaiki Pancake Rocks

Leaving the coast we stop at secluded Lake Brunner before driving up the Otira Viaduct stopping to photograph the cheeky keas at the lookout.

From Arthur’s Pass we continue through magnificent alpine scenery to the Canterbury Plains and 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

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