Discover New Zealand – by rail and road! This independent itinerary will showcase the iconic TranzAlpine – one of the world’s great scenic train trips from Christchurch to Greymouth, with self-drive independence from Greymouth to Punakaiki along the spectacular West Coast through Marlborough wine country to Blenheim. Help deliver the mail on the Queen Charlotte Sounds, and spot whales in Kaikoura. Packages can be customised for longer stays, email our team at email@example.com
Day 1 Christchurch / Greymouth / Punakaiki
Depart Christchurch on the TranzAlpine train for a scenic rail journey through the splendour of the Southern Alps to the West Coast. Travel over gorges on viaducts that were an engineering feat of their time then after a short stop at Arthur’s Pass, pass through the 8kms Otira Tunnel continuing on to the gold and coal mining town of Greymouth (approx. 4 and 1/2 hours). On arrival collect your rental car and travel north up the west coast to Punakaiki. Punakaiki Resort is a modern accommodation complex located on Punakaiki Beach near the world famous Pancake Rocks and Blow Holes on the West Coast of the South Island. The resort has been designed to maximize the surrounding environment with beautiful ocean and rainforest views of the Paparoa National Park. Punakaiki Resort provides spacious modern studio units which have either ocean or garden views and situated on both sides of the road.
Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort (1 Night) Standard Room. Includes: Full Breakfast
Day 2 Punakaiki / Blenheim (B)
Today travel north through the spectacular Buller Gorge following the Buller River. Travel past the Nelson Lakes and through the Wairau Valley to Marlborough. Located at the top of the South Island, Marlborough is New Zealand’s largest wine producing region and internationally renowned for its distinctive, herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc. With a temperate climate and high sunshine hours, the region is diverse – from the flat plains home to many vineyards, to the sunken valleys and bush-clad mountain sides of the spectacular Marlborough Sounds. Visit one of Marlborough's premier wineries for a tasting of their wines. Wither Hills is renowned for producing award-winning Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Chateau Marlborough Hotel offers premier boutique accommodation and provides a high level of comfort and attention to detail, along with modern amenities. Located just two-minute easy walk from Blenheim's town centre, the hotel overlooks Seymour Square Gardens.
Accommodation: Chateau Marlborough (2 Nights) Superior Studio. Includes: Full Breakfast daily
Day 3 Blenheim / Picton / Blenheim (B)
Travel to Picton, enjoy some time at leisure in the picturesque town before this afternoon’s included excursion on the Marlborough Sounds. Best explored by water, the Sounds offer kayaking and cruising or perhaps take a walk on the Queen Charlotte Track as it winds through native bush. Join the Mail Boat Cruise and share the excitement of Mail Day as the skipper delivers the New Zealand Rural post bags, groceries and freight to the residents that call the Queen Charlotte Sound waterways home. Sit back and relax, take in our skippers amazing wealth of knowledge as they provide an interesting and informative commentary. The Mail Boat vessel Matua presents excellent viewing areas and is the most comfortable way of cruising and taking in the vista of the waterways of the Queen Charlotte Sounds. Keep your camera handy for any wildlife encounters!
Day 4 Blenheim / Kaikoura (B)
Depart Marlborough Wine Country and travel along the thin ledge of land pinned between the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean and the rugged ranges to Kaikoura, where the mountains meet the sea. This afternoon enjoy a 30 minute flight by light aircraft over the Bay, with an experienced pilot giving an authoritative inflight commentary, where you may see the majestic Sperm Whale preparing for his next dive and up to 500 Dusky Dolphins cavorting with each other. On occasion sightings also include Southern Right, Humpback, Fin, Sei, Brydes, Pilot, Southern Bottlenose and the mighty Blue Whales, and also Common, Hectors, Risso's and Southern Right Whale Dolphins and of course, Orca, although these are all less frequent visitors to the area. You may also fly over Kaikoura Peninsula and see evidence of Maori fortifications (Pa sites), New Zealand Fur Seals resting and the Kaikoura township itself. Set on the Esplanade in Kaikoura, The White Morph Kaikoura enjoys views of the ocean and mountains and is only a 10 minute walk to the Kaikoura town centre. The Premium Spa rooms command full views of the ocean and mountains, delight at the breath-taking views and enjoy the sounds of the ocean.
Accommodation: The White Morph (1 Night) Premium Studio. Includes: Full Breakfast
Day 5: Kaikoura / Christchurch (B)
The road south follows the wild coastline affording constantly changing seascapes and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean before turning inland and climbing the Hundalee Ranges. Then descend into the rolling farmland of North Canterbury passing through a number of small country towns before entering the city of Christchurch. Return your rental vehicle on arrival in Christchurch. Own arrangements begin.
Travel reservations made within 4 days of departure time cannot be guaranteed. Price and itinerary are subject to change and availability. Please refer to your booking confirmation for final details. Package fares are NZD, per person, share twin, based on current promotional fares which are subject to change without notice. Package fare is made up of individual components from multiple suppliers and each component is subject to availability at the time of booking. Reservation, payment and cancellation conditions apply.
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