Whales, Wine & Hot Springs
Duration: 4 nights self-drive tour
Price from: £475pp
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 eateries. This afternoon, you may wish to take a boat trip to search for 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, there are plenty of opportunities for tasting 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. Or, if you prefer something stronger, there is also a distillery on the outskirts of Blenheim producing liqueurs, schnapps and brandies.
Day 4 Blenheim/Hanmer Springs: Travel back down the coast, and head inland to Hanmer Springs, the South Island‘s main thermal resort. Don’t miss the chance to sit back and relax in a hot pool or two (approx 3½ hours).
Day 5 Hanmer Springs/Christchurch: This morning enjoy this scenic area by going on a forest walk, fishing or, for something to get the pulse racing, try jet-boating. Later, head 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.