Wineries, Wildlife and Adventure!
Welcome to the ultimate 11-day adventure from Christchurch to Nelson! This action-packed return loop from Christchurch to Nelson is perfect for anyone looking to explore (and indulge) in some of the best locations and experiences New Zealand has to offer.
Christchurch to Nelson Road Trip: 11 Days & Approx. 1400 km
Day 1: Explore Christchurch
Kickstart your journey in the Garden City of Christchurch. Join a guided half-day tour or rent a bike to explore the inner city cycle paths. Take a punt ride on the Avon River and hop on the Christchurch Gondola for panoramic views. Don’t miss the International Antarctic Centre or the Orana Wildlife Park for a unique wildlife adventure.
Day 2: Akaroa – A Slice of France
Travel 90 minutes to the charming French-style coastal settlement of Akaroa. Immerse yourself in its galleries and boutique stores. Cruise through the stunning Akaroa Harbour and spot penguins, fur seals, and the endangered Hector’s dolphins! While here, why not enjoy some French-inspired cuisine at local eateries.
Day 3: Christchurch to Kaikōura – Marine Encounters
Head north to Kaikōura for whale watching, albatross encounters, and dolphin tours. Take to the mountain bike trails or indulge in delicious seafood at Nins Bin.
Day 4: Kaikōura to Blenheim – Marlborough Wine Paradise
On Day 4, you can expect to reach Blenheim, the heart of Marlborough wine region! Wine-not embark on a guided wine tour and enjoy a glass (or 3) of the region’s famous Sauvignon Blanc!
Day 5: Blenheim to Nelson – Vibrant Nelson
Today, continue onwards to Nelson, a vibrant town perfect for outdoor enthusiasts! Choose from walks, bike tours, or meet local artists on a gallery tour. Savour the flavours of craft breweries and wineries.
Day 6: Abel Tasman National Park – Coastal Paradise
This road trip isn’t complete without a visit to Abel Tasman National Park. With its golden sand beaches and native bush, this is the perfect place to opt for a guided walk, some kayaking or even skydiving and canyoning!
Day 7: Nelson to Murchison – Natural Wonders
For the adrenaline junkies, head to Murchison, the white-water capital of New Zealand. Here, you can try jetboating, fly fishing, river rafting, mountain biking and more!
Day 8: Murchison to Punakaiki – West Coast Beauty
Travel through Buller Gorge and explore Paparoa National Park, where you can marvel at the Pancake Rocks and enjoy cave rafting or hiking. Stay at Punakaiki Beach Camp and experience the glow worms at Punakaiki Cavern.
Day 9: Punakaiki to Lewis Pass – Historical Adventure
Stop at Greymouth for a brewery tour and visit Shanty Town, a 1900s pioneer town. Reach Reefton, tour the award-winning Reefton Distilling Co., and then relax at Maruia Hot Springs in Lewis Pass.
Day 10: Lewis Pass to Hanmer Springs – Alpine Bliss
Day 11: Hanmer Springs to Christchurch – Waipara Valley Wineries
On Day 11, the drive back to Christchurch awaits. While here, why not enjoy the beautiful Botanic Gardens. Sit back and take in the stunning sights of the various sections of the gardens as a driver expertly navigates guests around the 21-hectares on board an all-weather electric shuttle. It really is the perfect end to the perfect trip!