6 Day / 5 Night Tour spending Christmas in Marlborough, with stays in Kaikoura, Blenheim, Nelson and Punakaiki.
Travel up the Kaikoura Coast to lunch in a Marlborough vineyard and visit Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. Celebrate Christmas on Endeavour Inlet at Furneaux Lodge, reached only by water from Picton. Check out the sights and stay a night in Nelson and a final night in Punakaiki on the edge of the Tasman Sea
$3,590 per person, share twin
$400 single supplement
23 – 28 Dec, 2021
• Return airfares from Auckland (please ask us about flights from other airports – there could be a price adjustment).
• All meals.
• Entrance fees.
• All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
• Services of your knowledgeable guide.
• Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place”.
• Land Only price on application.
• Travel Insurance.
Your Kiwi Guide meets your flight at Christchurch airport, then we head northwards for lunch with Vicki at Coldstream Farm in the Hurunui. Continuing over the Hunderlee Hills to Kaikoura we visit Fyffe House, Kaikoura’s oldest building dating back to the 1840s and the nearby seal colony.
At the museum the “New Normal, the Kaikoura Earthquake Exhibition” looks at the quake’s impact. No visit to Kaikoura is complete without the stunning views and wildlife of the Peninsula lookout. We stay at the White Morph Inn.
We drive the perimeter of Yealands vineyard to enjoy the views. In Blenheim we lunch and wine taste at Wither Hills vineyard and visit the outstanding Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre which features a large collection of First and Second World War flying memorabilia.
This evening we take a relaxed, private dinner cruise to explore the bays and stunning beauty of Queen Charlotte Sound. We return to Blenheim to stay two nights at the Scenic Hotel Marlborough.
We breakfast at our hotel and head to the Picton waterfront where we board our launch to cruise down beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound to Endeavour Inlet where we celebrate Christmas with lunch at Furneaux Lodge, only reached by water or the Queen Charlotte Track. Stroll the lawns and enjoy the views out to the Inlet.
In the mid afternoon we return back down the Sound to Picton. Tonight Margaret and Bill McHugh host us for dinner at Kippilaw House in Picton.
This morning we find out the history of the old sailing ship “Edwin Fox” on the Picton waterfront – from troop carrier to immigrant ship, even convict transporter. Built in 1853, today it is a massive restoration project and gives a fascinating insight into life on board a sailing ship.
We drive to Havelock for a short stroll and lunch near Pelorus Sound.
Continuing to Nelson we check out the city’s sights before checking into the Trailways Hotel where we dine this evening.
We drive through the stunning scenery of the Buller Gorge and on to visit the seal colony at Cape Foulwind. At Charleston we stop for lunch and take a ride on the rainforest train to see the stunning limestone formations of the Nile River Valley in the Paparoa National Park.
It’s just a short walk out to see the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and the coastal views are fantastic. If the tide is right the blowholes will be spreading clouds of spray. We stay nearby at the Punakaiki Resort Hotel on the edge of the Tasman Sea and dine in this evening.
Leaving the coast we stop for lunch at secluded and beautiful Lake Brunner before driving up the Otira Viaduct, a spectacular, cantilevered road. The cheeky keas at the lookout at the top of the Pass never let us down – they are worth a photograph every time.
From Arthur’s Pass we continue through beech forests and magnificent alpine scenery beside the Waimakariri River and down Porter’s Pass to the Canterbury Plains and on to Christchurch airport.
Some great news… while we wait for international borders to re-open, there is no better time to see a bit of our own backyard and help our local communities get back to business.
We’re excited to let you know that we have partnered with MoaTours, one of New Zealand’s leading and most trusted local tour operators since 1971. MoaTours offers a range of small group tours all over New Zealand that we think you’ll love — from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island.
A a family run business just like Tours Direct, MoaTours has great connections and unbeatable local knowledge of New Zealand’s best kept secrets. They also share common values so we know you will be well looked after and have a great experience.
I love this itinerary’s variety of land and seascapes. From the Canterbury farmland giving way to the wild, raw Kaikoura coastline to the Punakaiki Rocks on the West Coast. We make the most of beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound with a private dinner cruise and then on Christmas Day cruising further down the Sound to lunch at Furneaux Lodge on Endeavour Inlet.