Whales, Wine & Hot Springs
Duration: 4 nights self-drive tour
Price from: £429pp
Kaikoura 1 night
Blenheim 2 nights
Hanmer Springs 1 night
Day 1 Christchurch/Kaikoura: Travel north along the coast, until you reach the sleepy fishing town of Kaikoura. Kaikoura means 'to eat crayfish' which you can sample at many of the town's restaurants and cafes. This afternoon take to the water on a boat trip where you are likely to see sperm whales, Hector's dolphin, the dusky dolphin, killer whales (orca), pilot whales and blue penguins. Whilst viewing all of these animals is not guaranteed, it is likely something of interest will be spotted (approx 2½ hours).
Day 2 Kaikoura/Blenheim: Heading in to the Marlborough region, the largest town is Blenheim, which is the main wine producing area in New Zealand. With over 30 cellars, go wine tasting to try the varieties of sauvignon blancs, chardonnays and rieslings (approx 1½ hours).
Day 3 Blenheim: At leisure. Try skiing at Rainbow Valley (in season), white water rafting, horse riding, or sample more of the region's wines. There is also a distillery on the outskirts of Blenheim producing liqueurs, schnapps and brandies.
Day 4 Blenheim/Hanmer Springs: Travelling back down the coast, and heading inland you will arrive at Hanmer Springs, the main thermal resort in the South Island with excellent hot pools to sit back and relax in (approx 3½ hours).
Day 5 Hanmer Springs/Christchurch: This morning enjoy this scenic area by going on a forest walk, river or lake fishing or jet-boating, before heading back to Christchurch to drop off your hire car (approx 2 hours).
Accommodation: 3* The White Morph, Kaikoura; 5* Chateau Marlborough, Blenheim; 4* Heritage Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs.
Meals: Room only.
Tour price: The price shown is based on the best value travel dates in low season and includes 5 days group C compact car hire and accommodation as stated.