Nelson and West Coast Short Walks Tour

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Nelson & West Coast Short Walks Tour

Nelson & West Coast Short Walks Tour

8 day / 7 nights. Visit the beautiful top of the South Island enhanced by short walks of around an hour or less.
 
This is a Tours Direct escorted Tour. Tour Leader – Helen Tait

Helen is one of our regular tour leaders, who particularly enjoys leading some of our more active walking and cycling tours.   While we are unable to take our travellers to exciting destinations overseas, she is keen to share some of her favourite South Island walks.

The focus of the trip is on short walks which give access to highlight features of each area.   All are on well made paths.  Almost all are around an hour or less, and, if you find you have had enough on any of the days, all have the option of allowing you to stay with the bus (or boat) to meet the group at the end of the walk, or just having time off for another activity.

Tour at a Glance

Price:

$2,540 per person, share twin

$750 single supplement

Tour Dates:

11- 18 March, 2021

 

Fitness Level

Able to walk 1 -2 hours

All paths are well-made

Tour Leader:

Helen Tait

INCLUSIONS

• Accommodation in 4-star hotels & motels
• 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches & 3 dinners
• Transport in a Luxury Mercedes sprinter Coach
• Services of your knowledgeable Tour Leader/Driver Helen Tait

VARIATIONS

• Domestic airfares
• Travel insurance

Tour Itinerary

For full details please request a Free Information Pack (Form to the right).

Thu 11 MarchArrive Christchurch

Arrive Christchurch and check into accommodation.
2pm: Meet tour leader Helen Tait for an optional walk through the centre of Christchurch. The tour will cover post earthquake plans and developments, and will include Turanga, the award-winning central library, the new Convention Centre, Margaret Mahy Playground, the dramatic architecture of the city’s new retail area, including the Riverside Markets, earthquake memorials, the restored Arts Centre, “Quake City”, the earthquake museum, and will conclude at the Botanical gardens, close to your accommodation.
This evening we will gather for a welcome dinner at the beautiful Curator’s House in the Botanical gardens.
Accommodation at Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square

Fri 12 Christchurch – Kaikoura – Nelson

We make an early start this morning to head North to Kaikoura for a coastal walk around the rugged coastline, where we might be lucky enough to come across seals and even see a dolphin or two frolicking nearby.
We then head on to the world famous Marlborough wine region, where we stop for lunch and a wine tasting at Wither Hills, before we head on to Nelson, making a short stop for a native bush walk at Pelorus Bridge.
You may be ready for a refreshing dip in the swimming pool when we arrive at our hotel.
Choose this evening between the excellent Flames Restaurant at our hotel, or one of many nearby restaurants and cafes.
Accommodation at Hotel Nelson

Sat 13 Nelson

We’ll head for the famous Nelson Market in the morning, followed by the chance to explore Nelson’s great range of interesting cafes and galleries, before our walk for today – a path up to the “Centre of New Zealand” for splendid views out over Tasman Bay.
On the way we will pass through the tranquil Queen’s Gardens, and make a brief stop at the Suter Art Gallery.
There will be time in the afternoon for riverside walks or just to relax at a riverside café.
Accommodation at Hotel Nelson

Sun 14Nelson – Golden Bay – Motueka

Today we travel via Takaka Hill to arrive in Golden Bay, a less visited part of the region where our sightseeing will include a morning tea stop and stroll in Takaka, followed by a walk in the Te Waikoropupu Springs (Pupu) Springs area. These are probably Golden Bay’s most famous attraction, and its story and mysteries are still a fascinating one. The springs are best known for the clarity of the water, and the volume of water discharged. The horizontal visibility of the water in the springs has been measured at an average of 63 metres, second only to sub-glacial water in the Antarctic. The springs are also spiritually significant to the Māori people.
We will enjoy lunch at the much loved Mussel Inn, before heading up towards the Northern tip of the South Island at Farewell Spit. Our walk here will take us out over rolling farm-land to Wharariki Beach, with its amazing sand dunes, caves and off-shore islands.
Keep an eye peeled for seals sunning themselves on the rocks! From here energetic group members can extend their walk over a hilltop track to the Farewell Spit. This afternoon we will leave Golden Bay to travel back over the hill to Motueka, our stop for the next two nights. This evening we have a choice of one of Motueka’s restaurants or cafes, or Helen will take those who are interested to the picturesque port area of Mapua, where there are several interesting restaurants to choose from.
Accommodation at Nautilus Lodge Motel, Motueka

Mon 15Abel Tasman National Park

Today we try something a little different, as well as enjoying a National Park walk. After a short drive to Kaiteriteri, we meet our specialist guide for full instructions and safety briefing for our morning on the water in easy to paddle double kayaks – no prior experience needed! Our local guide knows all the best spots for some gentle paddling before returning to Kaiteriteri around midday where we swap kayak gear for walking shoes.
After a picnic lunch we join a Vista Cruise at Kaiteriteri to cruise into the marine reserve in the heart of the Abel Tasman National Park, pausing to check out the antics at the resident seal colony, before disembarking at one of the park’s many sheltered coves, to take an guided walk along the well-marked coastal track shaded by lush native forest, past panoramic coastal views, to re-join the cruise for a relaxing return to Kaiteriteri. Late this afternoon, transfer from Kaiteriteri back to Motueka.
Accommodation at Nautilus Lodge Motel, Motueka

Tue 16Motueka – West Coast (Punakaiki)

An early start, to head for the West Coast, stopping at Murchison for morning tea, then on to Cape Foulwind, for a dramatic walk along the rugged coastline to Tauranga Bay, where there is a close-up view of a seal colony.
We have a lunch stop at a remote country café where we enjoy pizza and an optional beer or wine, before heading to Helen’s favourite walking track anywhere in NZ – Truman Track – down to a spectacular bay through native bush, then on to the final stop for the day at the famous Pancake Rocks.
Our luxury accommodation for the night is immediately adjacent to the rocks, giving us the chance for a return visit to enjoy the sunset after a meal in the hotel restaurant (or a dawn walk for the early risers in the group!)
Accommodation at Punakaiki Hotel

Wed 17Punakaiki – Hokitika

The day starts with an easy return walk through native bush to an impressive waterfall before we head inland to the dramatic Hokitika Gorge for a short walk.
Our next stop is a walk through the treetops, where some amazing engineering gives us the opportunity to view a range of native forest from the heights of walkways and a viewing tower. A pleasant café at the treetop site is a good spot for lunch while we are there.
Back in Hokitika at the end of the day a beach walk will give us a chance to admire the creativity of some of the local driftwood sculptors.
We will round off our walking tour with a farewell dinner at our motel.
Accommodation at Stopforths Motel, Hokitika

Thu 18Hokitika – Christchurch

Our final day takes us through the dramatic scenery of the Otira Gorge to Arthur’s Pass, where we can stop for a short nature walk, before continuing to the Castle Hill reserve, where we will explore its strange rock formations.
We’ll make a stop for a lunch choice of pub or café at Springfield, before heading to Christchurch, where we can make a drop off at the airport on the way into town.
Arrive Christchurch mid afternoon. Tour concludes.