Cruise on an eco-tour along the spectacular coastline in Abel Tasman National Park; learn about our wildlife at East Bay (Outer Queen Charlotte Sounds) through the eyes of Native and discover the amazing sea life along the coast of Kaikoura.
The Abel Tasman National Park, the Coast Track winds over beaches and across ridges through a spectacular wilderness region. Home to native seals, dolphins, and sea birds, it's the perfect place for an exclusive eco-cruise. Encounter the wildlife in the bays and inlets of the beautiful Marlborough Sounds through our manakitanga (Maori hospitality)! Enjoy a relaxing lunch of fresh mussels accompanied by New Zealand’s finest Sauvignon Blanc. Next, discover the picturesque coastal town of Kaikōura, the perfect place for marine life encounters, coastal walks, and tucking into a plate of crayfish.
Small-Group Tour with max 12 people with a professional local tour guide
Private guided tour 6 nights
Location: South Island
Departing/Finishing: Nelson - Christchurch
Accommodation: 4* or 5* quality stays
Next Departure: 22nd November 2021, 21st March 2022
BOOK NOW, PAY LATER
Price inclusive of GST:
NZ$3590pp (around 3290AUS$) per person in double/twin share
NZ$4390pp (around 3990AUS$) per person in a single room
Terms & Conditions
Our hand-selected hotels for this journey
Nelson - The Sails Nelson
Marlborough - Vintners Retreat Villas
Kaikoura - The White Morph Kaikoura
Inclusions and Highlights:
Day 1: Arrival Nelson - 2 nights (including dinner)
Nelson is a stunning, unique city in New Zealand, so whether it’s your first time in Nelson or you’re a seasoned visitor (or local!), our City Center walking will bring this beautiful and diverse city to life. Your tour guide knows all the hidden gems, and with a unique insight, gives you a true flavour of the real Nelson. First, discover Trafalgar Street, Christ Church Cathedral, Queen’s Gardens, Suter Art Gallery. Then, we take you to Mapua & Ruby Coast for the afternoon and dinner, with its lively cluster of restaurants, art galleries, wine bars, and a craft brewery.
Day 2: Nelson - Day trip to Abel Tasman
One of the sunniest cities in New Zealand, Nelson is the perfect spot to base yourself while you spend some time exploring the Abel Tasman National Park. Make treasured memories on a signature Golden Future Boat Tour, a fun and relaxing journey through the Abel Tasman National Park ecosystem. Explore the coastal zones, islands, beaches, forests, and streams with plenty of time for relaxing, walking, and swimming on an exclusive tour. Enjoy natural discovery, bird watching, sightseeing, photography, relaxing, and learning with your knowledgeable and friendly local guide. (for the more active one we can arrange a Kayak experience, extra charges)
Day 3: Nelson - Marlborough
Located at the meeting point of the Pelorus and Kaituna Rivers on the coast northwest of Blenheim, Havelock calls itself the "Greenshell Mussel capital of the world." Between Havelock and Picton, a 40-kilometer winding road fringed with native forest offers one of the most scenic drives you're likely to encounter. We make sure we leave enough time to make plenty of stops along the way. Marlborough is always out to impress. With its high sunshine hours and world-renowned sauvignon blanc, it’s hard to turn down. Relax with us at winery lunch to enjoy some of the local fresh produce. Afterward, a visit to some of the most awarded winery cellar doors is a must to sample the vibrant, fruit, crisp, herbaceous characters wine from the region is known for.
Day 4: Marlborough Sounds - Eco Cruise to East Bay
One-fifth of New Zealand's coastline weaves its way around the waterways of the Sounds, making the area a haven for boaties. It's also a natural habitat for many New Zealand native animals, including the Rowi kiwi, Stephens Island tuatara, fur seal, the rare King Cormorant, little blue penguin, and up to five species of dolphin. We take you on a private cruise to East Bay, which is for Maori is the spiritual heartland of the Sounds. There you'll find Arapawa Sheep that Maori say were left behind by Portuguese sailors, generations before Captain Cook. There are also Feral Goats. (old English milch goats left behind by Captain Cook). We visit a Marine Protected Area to feed the magnificent Blue Cod, learn about the history of the whaling era, we can steam down Tory Channel, and visit NZ's very first shore-based whaling station in a bay called Te Awai it.
Day 5: Marlborough - Kaikoura
Kaikōura's environment is truly spectacular – the village is caught between the rugged Seaward Kaikōura Range and the Pacific Ocean. In winter, the mountains are covered with snow, adding to the drama of the landscape. Just outside Kaikoura township, we will stop at the Karaka Lobster Cafe to indulge in some local fresh-caught Crayfish. Kaikōura’s special talent is marine mammal encounters – whales, fur seals, and dolphins live permanently in the coastal waters. Walk with us the Kaikōura Peninsula Walkway. Observe seals and seabirds, explore historic pā and whaling sites and enjoy clifftop views of the sea and mountains. Suitable for families, the whole walkway takes three hours, but you can also explore a range of shorter tracks. The local seal colony is always entertaining. There are plenty of cafés, restaurants, and shops to explore.
Day 6: Kaikoura - Explore the coast.
Kaikoura, world-famous for whales and dolphins, also provides a wonderful opportunity for viewing an impressive array of seabirds, including the mighty albatross. The Albatross Encounter tour is regarded as the best short pelagic tour in the world. Kaikoura has a greater variety of seabird species within a small area than anywhere along the New Zealand coastline. Kaikoura's proximity to the deep ocean canyon systems is largely responsible for providing abundant wildlife, which has led to Kaikoura becoming a "must visit" destination. A large array of seabirds, including albatross, can be found within easy reach of our shores. Instead of the Bird viewing trip, we can also place you with the whale watch cruise or Wings over Whales flight option. (for the more active one we can arrange swimming with seals experience, extra charges)
Day 7: Kaikoura - Hamner Springs - Christchurch
Our last day ends with a journey on The Alpine Pacific Touring Route, which is New Zealand's newest touring route. A 450km journey that runs between Christchurch and the beautiful hubs of Kaikōura, Hanmer Springs, and the Waipara Valley. For a relaxing spa, we stop at New Zealand’s alpine spa village. For more than a century, visitors have sought the rejuvenating tonic of this beautiful village with its fresh mountain air and therapeutic hot pools. We end our journey later afternoon in Christchurch. It is one of the world's most unique destinations, combining urban regeneration with heritage, culture, and exhilarating activity. (for the people who like to stay one, we can arrange accommodation in the city for you, extra charges)