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 nearby. 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 in a vineyard and visit the outstanding Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre which features a large collection of First World War flying memorabilia before driving to Picton.

This evening we take a relaxed dinner cruise with wine included to explore the many bays and stunning beauty of Queen Charlotte Sound on a specially chartered boat. We return to Picton in the evening to stay two nights at the Picton Yacht Club Hotel.

What you'll love today
  • Take a guided tour of the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre 
  • Take a dinner cruise on Queen Charlotte Sound

Day 3: Picton – Christmas lunch at Kippilaw House

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 favourite spot for holidaymakers to Anakiwa where Outbound Bound is located before returning to Picton and dining in at the hotel.

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 – 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 Art Centre in a beautiful setting on the sound’s edge. Kakariki parakeets fly in for feeding and blue cod swim off the jetty. We stay at Lake Rotoiti this evening.

What you'll love today
  • Learn all about the Edwin Fox and her chequered history
  • Cruise across the Sound to Lochmara Lodge, Wildlife Recovery and Art Centre
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 take a short ride on the rainforest train into the Nile River Valley. It is just a short walk out to Punakaiki Pancake Rocks sculpted limestone stacks. We stay 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
  • Plenty of time to discover the 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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