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ROVING TOP OF THE SOUTH

DURATION: 15 Days
FROM: $5,560 per person

DATES & AVAILABILITY

Departure Dates:
02 April 2022

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Christchurch
  • Hanmer Springs
  • Reefton historical tour
  • Charleston & Nile River Rainforest train
  • Kaiteriteri Beach
  • Abel Tasman National Park
  • Farewell Spit
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Winery Tour
  • Helicopter to Mt Fyffe
  • Kaikoura Whale Watch
  • Farm Stay & jetboat ride

PRICING

02 April 22 Twin/Double Share: $5,560 per person
Upgrade to 4 berth Camper:
$350

Deposit due at time of booking: $500 per person
Balance due 60 days prior

For this South Island tour, we highly recommend the 3 berth Motorhome, it is smaller and easier to manoeuvre on the country roads. This van allows you to leave the bed made up the entire time, rather than having to make it up each night.

Please note: Payments by Credit Card will incur a 2% surcharge.* Subject to a minimum of 10 passengers

ENQUIRE ABOUT THIS TOUR

Our unique Top of the South Island motorhome tour has been carefully crafted to get you off the beaten track while experiencing local hospitality. Experience the road less travelled, heading to Reefton and the West Coast for an “off the beaten track” journey. Historical and nature tours along the way, showcase the diversity of this picturesque region.

You’ll meet some local legends like Johnny Currie, who carved out a life off the grid in the Westland bush. Wander the golden sand beaches of the Abel Tasman National Park, discover our beautiful Marlborogh Sounds and wine region and stay in picturesque camp sites and a regenerative farm.

This tour is limited to only eight motorhomes.

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN YOUR TOP OF THE SOUTH TOUR:

  • First night in Christchurch hotel
  • 14 days 3 berth motor home hire
  • Unlimited kms
  • Fully inclusive vehicle insurance, zero excess
  • Camping chairs & table
  • All utensils, linen & full gas bottle
  • Goodie starter pack with essentials
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Iron Ridge Sculpture Park forge demonstration
  • Reefton Historical Tour
  • Johnnys Journey in Charleston
  • Nile River rainforest train
  • Indian food demo & dine
  • Abel Tasman National Park half day tour
  • Farewell Spit tour
  • Full day Marborough Sounds & Wineries tour
  • Heli flight to Mt Fyffe in Kaikoura
  • Kaikoura Wings Ovder Whales
  • Tawanui Farmstay, tour and jetboat ride
  • Sharon Earl’s wire sculpture gallery
  • Tour host so you get the best out of your trip
  • 15% GST

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:

  • Transport to/from Christchurch
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not listed
  • Pre and post trip accommodation

Armed with your comprehensive trip dossier detailing your South Island tour, each day will hold a new adventure. We’ll brief you the evening before to make sure that you don’t miss anything. Then you’re free to stop as you please, choosing how active or relaxed you’d like to be on any given day.

DAY 1 – ARRIVAL IN CHRISTCHURCH

On arrival at Christchurch Airport, you’ll be transferred to your accommodation in Papanui. Firstly, meet your fellow travellers and tour hosts at your welcome dinner this evening. You will receive your comprehensive tour notes, along with a briefing on the exciting days ahead. If you would like more time to discover Christchurch, we are more than happy to book extra nights for you.

ACCOMMODATION: Quality Elms Hotel, Papanui
MEALS: Dinner
KMS TRAVELLED: 0

DAY 2 – CHRISTCHURCH TO HANMER SPRINGS

After breakfast, we’ll head off to pick up our roving accommodation for the next 14 days. At the depot you’ll receive comprehensive information on your motorhome. Your tour hosts will also be on hand throughout the trip if you need assistance.

The first and most important stop is at a supermarket to stock your pantry. We’ll meet around 30 minutes out of Christchurch, at Amberley at the Countdown, just to make sure everyone is comfortable in their motorhomes. The idea is not to travel in convoy but to stop at the sights that interest you along the way. A daily planner with all the points of interest will be in the extended trip dossier you’ll receive at the trip briefing. Our travels today take us from the Canterbury plains, through the Waipara wine region, to the picturesque Iron Ridge Sculptor Park. You’ll see a forge demonstration, have time for lunch at a winery if you wish, before heading to Hanmer Springs. The thermal pools are sure to be a highlight, along with a beautiful walk in the Hanmer Forest with the wood sculptures.

ACCOMMODATION: Hanmer Top 10 Motorcamp
POWERED SITE: Yes
MEALS: Breakfast
KMS TRAVELLED: 131km, approximately 1hr 40mins driving time

DAY 3 – HANMER SPRINGS TO REEFTON

Enjoy the thermal springs this morning if you didn’t get a chance to go yet. Then its off to Reefton over the beautiful Lewis Pass. There are some unique short bush walks along the way and the historic settlement of Blacks Point just before Reefton. There is much to explore and walks along the river offer an interesting history about the power station.

Today you be taken on an insightful tour of Reefton, the “town of light”. The quartz and gold mining history will come to life along with it’s story of being the first town in New Zealand to have a public supply of electricity. Meet the Bearded Miners and hear their stories over a cup of billy tea. Then we’ll finish off the day at the historic Wilsons Hotel for dinner.

ACCOMMODATION: Reefton Motorcamp
POWERED SITE: Yes
MEALS: Pub Dinner
KMS TRAVELLED: 136km, approximately 1hr 45mins driving time

DAY 4 – REEFTON TO CHARLESTON

There’s so much to see and do today! The galleries and boutique shops are a great start, then drive on to the historic site of New Zealand’s worst mining disaster. The Brunner Mine site is a must see, with informative panels and some of the old buildings still in place.

The West Coast is known for local brews and what better place to stop for lunch than the Monteiths Brewery in Greymouth. The food is to die for and the you can have a tasting of their brews as well.

After Greymouth, one of the West Coast’s most scenic spots awaits you. Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks is a destination not to be missed rain or shine. In fact stormy days offer a feast for the eyes, with spouting blowholes and churning cauldrons of seawater.

Driving along the scenic coast, you’ll come to the tiny settlement of Charleston, our camp for the next two nights. The two picturesque coves are a prefect place for watching the sunset with a couple of sundowner drinks in hand.

ACCOMMODATION: Charleston Motorcamp
POWERED SITE: Yes
MEALS: None
KMS TRAVELLED: 146km, approximately 2hrs 10mins driving time

DAY 5 – CHARLESTON

We have a very special day planned for you as we head out in a Unimog to the Awakari Valley. Meeting Johnny Currie and hearing his stories is sure to be a highlight. His ancestors came to the Charleston area during the gold rush days around 150 years ago, and Johnny has been a farmer, logger, deerstalker, goldminer, caver and tour guide during his working life.

Many years ago Johnny decided to go back to basics and live off the grid surrounded by nature and purchased the Awakari Valley from a logging company. He has created a paradise he now shares with the outside world and loves telling visitors of the history of the area and his many amazing experiences. His knowledge of bushlore has to be heard to be believed.

Red deer imported from Scotland over 100 year ago can often be seen wandering freely around his shelter. We’ll enjoy a sausage sizzle and billy tea, as Johnny recounts his fascinating life story.

ACCOMMODATION: Charleston Motorcamp
POWERED SITE: Yes
MEALS: Pub Dinner
KMS TRAVELLED: None

DAY 6 – CHARLESTON TO KAITERITERI

Another adventure awaits us this morning as we board the Nile River Rain Forest Train. Completed in December 2002, ‘The Nile River Rainforest Train’ recreates a bygone era where bush trams once prevailed. The Train provides visitors with a fantastic way to experience the spectacular wilderness landscapes of the Nile River Canyon in the South Island’s Paparoa National Park.

On our return it’s time to undertake the longest drive of our journey. All the way to Kaiteriteri Beach in the Tasman Region. There are a couple of cafes and a sculpture garden to stop at along the way. You might also have time for a wander around Motueka and to stock up on some supplies before heading to the golden sands of Kaiteriteri beach.

ACCOMMODATION: Kaiteriteri Beach Motorcamp
POWERED SITE: Yes
MEALS: None
KMS TRAVELLED: 248km, approximately 3hrs 30mins driving time

DAY 7 – KAITERITERI AND ABEL TASMAN

Discover the Abel Tasman National Park by boat and on foot. The half day “Walk and Relax” tour will take you to beautiful Anchorage Bay. There you have time to relax, or enjoy one of several short walks to Te Pukatea Bay, Watering Cove or Cleopatra Falls.

Returning to Kaiteriteri early afternoon, you’ll have the rest of the afternoon free to soak up the sun, head into Motueka if you’d like to explore the town or take a short walk to Little Kaiteriteri or Breaker Bay.

Tonight we have a special evening of Indian cooking planned for you. Your host Kalpana will demonstrate cooking all the dishes on the menu for the evening. Guests are welcome to ask questions, touch, feel and taste while the demonstration is in progress.

Once the demonstration is over, guests will sit down to enjoy the meal together. Recipes from the evening will be emailed so that you can re-create these dishes later.

ACCOMMODATION: Kaiteriteri Beach Motorcamp
POWERED SITE: Yes
MEALS: Indian Demo & Dine
KMS TRAVELLED: None

DAY 8 – KAITERITERI TO GOLDEN BAY

Today you’ll head over Takaka Hill, off the beaten track to beautiful Golden Bay. There is a lot to see and do along the way. There is the source of the Riwaka River, that comes directly out of a cave in the hillside, Harwoods Lookout is a short 15 minute return walk near the top of Takaka Hill and gives you beautiful views over the Motueka and Tasman region. A very unique and tasty lunch stop is at Anatoki Salmon, where you can catch you own fish and they will hot smoke it for you in a variety of flavours. You can enjoy a picturesque setting to eat your lunch right by the ponds.

The township of Takaka is interesting to explore, with many boutique shops and cafes. You may also like to wander the natural maze at the Labyrinth Rocks.

On the way out to Collingwood are the crystal clear Waikoropupu Springs and short walks, art gallerys and the famous pub the Mussel Inn, where you can sample a range of their own brews, with unique names such as the Captain Cooker Manuka Beer, or Whale Pale Ale IPA.

ACCOMMODATION: Collingwood Holiday Park
POWERED SITE: Yes
MEALS: None
KMS TRAVELLED: 89km, approximately 1hr 45mins driving time

DAY 9 – FAREWELL SPIT TOUR

Today you’ll embark on a unique Farewell Spit Tour which, as well as exploring the spit, stops in Puponga and at the most northern point on the South island, Cape Farewell. From the cliff tops, seals and their pups can be seen all year basking on the rocks below. These dramatic coastal cliffs are sliced through with fault-lines (vertically walled slashes) where streams strangely run inland rather than to sea.

Driving thirty kms along the ocean beach in a purpose built bus, we stop at the Lighthouse reserve, where you’ll enjoy refreshments in the lighthouse keepers’ cottage and soak up some local history.

Returning from the lighthouse, you’ll climb a sand dune for panoramic views of the beach. It’s a spectacular sight, gazing over the dunes along the centre of the spit and out to the inter-tidal plain where the migrant waders from the arctic circle feed. The wind-blown sand creates beautiful designs along the dunes, their colours changing as the sun rises and sets.

ACCOMMODATION: Collingwood Holiday Park
POWERED SITE: Yes
MEALS: Local Cafe Dinner
KMS TRAVELLED: None

DAY 10 – GOLDEN BAY TO NELSON

As you head back over Takaka hill, you have the chance to visit anything you may have missed on the way over.

Nelson is a beautiful town to explore, with riverside walks and even a short walk up to a look out called the Centre of New Zealand. There is a historic district with many stately homes in beautiful tree lined streets, that you can walk at your leisure. If you’re there on a Saturday, the Nelson Market is a must see.

Nelson provincial Museum gives a great history of the area, as it was an important early settlement for New Zealand.

Your campsite is at Nelson’s main beach Tahunanui, where you can go for a dip, watch the kite boarders, or enjoy relaxing at a cafe

ACCOMMODATION: Tahunanui Holiday Park
POWERED SITE: Yes
MEALS: None
KMS TRAVELLED: 128km, approximately 2hrs 25mins driving time

DAY 11 – NELSON TO PICTON

You’ll have further time today to explore Nelson, before heading to Picton. A beautiful stop along the way is at the Pelorus Bridge and cafe, then maybe stop for lunch at the quaint settlement of Havelock. The Greenlip Mussel capital of New Zealand! You can try these tasty morsels done in a variety of ways, fresh from the ocean.

From Havelock you have two options for your drive to Picton, the very scenic, but also very windy Queen Charlotte drive, or the longer and straighter road via Renwick and the Marlborough wine region.

Picton links the South and North Island with the Cook Straight Ferries and also has a beautiful marina. There are short walks to explore the area or you can simply relax at a waterfront cafe and take in the view.

ACCOMMODATION: Picton Top 10 Holiday Park
POWERED SITE: Yes
MEALS: Pub Dinner
KMS TRAVELLED: 139km, approximately 2hrs 5mins driving time

DAY 12 – MARLBOROUGH SOUNDS & WINE TOUR

We’ll take you on a full day tour today, starting with a morning cruise of the beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound. If you’re lucky, you may even see the rare Hector’s Dolphins. The highlight of this tour is a 30 minute stopover at Ship Cove. Named by Captain James Cook in 1770 when his ship The Endeavour anchored here to replenish supplies of food, water and wood. It became a favourite anchorage of Captain Cook and he returned here a futher four times between 1770 and 1777.

Upon re-joining your vessel cruise via Endeavour Inlet to view Furneaux Lodge and Punga Cove Resort before returning to Picton at 12.30pm.

You’ll be taken for a delicious winery lunch before starting your winetour. After lunch you’ll visit some of the best Marlborough vineyards, famous for their Sauvignon Blanc and of course get to taste the wines as well. The last stop will be Makana hand made chocolates, for a sweet treat to finish off the day.

ACCOMMODATION: Picton Top 10 Holiday Park
POWERED SITE: Yes
MEALS: Winery lunch
KMS TRAVELLED: None

DAY 13 – PICTON TO KAIKOURA

Leaving Picton today, you’ll have another chance to drive through the wine country and maybe make an small detour through Blenheim to the fascinating Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, featuring both WW1 Knights of the Sky, and WW2 Dangerous Skies exhibitions.

As you drive south along the coast, there are many scenic stops along the way where you can admire the coast and see the New Zealand furseal.

This afternoon we have a very special experience planned for you. We’ll meet at the Kaikoura airport and from there will fly up to Mount Fyffe in helicopters, for drinks and nibbles and a spectacular view over the Kaikoura caast line and township. This is a unique experience in a very scenic area that is best appreciated from the air.

Dinner tonight is in the historic Kaikoura Pier hotel.

ACCOMMODATION: Kaikoura top 10 Holiday Park
POWERED SITE: Yes
MEALS: Dinner
KMS TRAVELLED: 156km, approximately 2hrs 5mins driving time

DAY 14 – KAIKOURA TO DOMETT

This morning we’ll take a boat to see Kaikoura’s most famous residents, the local Sperm Whales that inhabit the waters just off shore. Whale Watch is New Zealand’s only vessel based whale watching company offering an exciting up-close encounter with the worlds largest toothed predator the Giant Sperm Whale in their natural environment at all times of the year, with a 95% success rate of seeing 1 or 2 whales.

After the tour, head down to Domett for a fun Jetboat ride on the Hurinui River and a farm tour of this unique regenerative farm. This evening we’ll enjoy our final dinner together. A homestyle BBQ on the farm, with genuine local hospitality.

ACCOMMODATION: Tawanui Farmstay
POWERED SITE: No
MEALS: BBQ Dinner
KMS TRAVELLED: 82km, approximately 1hr 20mins driving time

DAY 15 – DOMETT TO CHRISTCHURCH

Our last day has one more unique stop along the way. Sharon Earl is renowned wire sculptor, who lives in the oldest house in Amberley. She will tell you about her fascinating life story and how she makes her amazing creations. You’ll get a special insight to her home and self sufficient lifestyle.

As you return your motorhomes to the depot, we’re sure you’ll reflect upon the amazing country we live in and the new friends you’ve made. Safe travels.

ACCOMMODATION: None
POWERED SITE: NA
MEALS: None
KMS TRAVELLED: 104km, approximately 1hr 30mins driving time

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