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A stylish South Island itinerary which is leisurely paced to ensure you enjoy the accommodation, the physical beauty, the actiivities and of course the food and wine. With boutique bed and breakfast accommodation in Motueka, Blenheim, Kaikoura and Queenstown you'll be able to relax or head off and seek adventure, perhaps sea kayaking, cycle the vineyards, swim with the dolphins or a scenic flight and cruise at Milford Sound

Inclusions:

  • Economy air round trip from Los Angeles to Auckland
  • Add-on airfares available from other cities
  • 8 days car rental
  • 13 nights deluxe boutique accommodation - 4 Nights at The Resurgence (Motueka), Two Nights at The Marlborough Lodge (Blenheim), 2 Nights at The Hapuku Lodge (Kaikoura), 5 Nights at the Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel (Queenstown)
  • Breakfast Daily
  • All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
  • All hotel, local and VAT (Goods & services taxes)
  • Additional sightseeing options available

Itinerary

Customize this itinerary - Contact Us

Day 1 - Depart US
Ask about our options with Premium Economy and Business class airfare.

Day 2 - Cross International Date line

Day 3 - Arrive Nelson
Collect your rental car to begin your self drive to Motueka.

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Nelson to Motueka
145 km (92 miles) Approximately 1.75 hours

The drive to Nelson first takes you to the town of Havelock, which is known as the Green Shell Mussel Capital of the World. Nearby Canvastown is a place to explore old gold mining fields – thousands tried to get rich here in the 1860s. At Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve you can enjoy a bush walk or a swim, depending on the time of the year. And if you’d like a glimpse of local life in 1890, Rai Valley has a beautifully preserved cottage museum.

ACCOMMODATION -  The Resurgence, which is located on the doorstep of Abel Tasman and Kahurangi National Parks, this Nelson accommodation is nestled in 50 acres of bush close to the source of the Riwaka river.

Let the birds come to you as you have a leisurely breakfast on the verandah then explore the bush tracks in our 50 acres of grounds and amble down to the magical source of the Riwaka River with a picnic. In the afternoon, take a dip in the pool, pamper yourself with a massage or relax in a hammock and enjoy a cold beer. Your hosts, Clare and Peter, are well travelled and passionate about the New Zealand outdoors. They offer friendly advice and will help you plan and book tomorrow's activities - from kayaking, walks and horse treks to art and wine trails. To round off a perfect day, soak in the spa under the stars. Ideal for couple. The Deluxe and Superior Lodge Rooms are for those clients wanting the full hosted Boutique Lodge experience. These ensuite rooms are upstairs in the main Lodge building and include full cooked breakfasts, aperitifs at sunset and 4-course table d'hote dinner.

Days 4 - 6 The Resurgence and Abel Tasman National Park
Enjoy all the Resurgence has to offer at your leisure or consider adding a tour in the national park:

  • Kayak, Seals & Walk day tour - Abel Tasman National Park
    Morning 'Split Apple Paddle' guided half day kayak trip, explore the spectacular Kaiteriteri coastline. Stop on a golden sand beach for a short break. In the afternoon swap the kayak for walking shoes, and cruise to the golden sands of Onetahuti, visiting the fascinating seal colony at Tonga Island on the way.
  • Abel Tasman National Park - Beach Walk
    Calling in at Kaiteriteri before departing for Anchorage, relax on the beach with a picnic or enjoy a one hour return walk to Te Pukatea Bay, a 1 1/2 hour return walk to Pitt Head to view the lighthouse and panoramic views, or from Anchorage walk to Cleopatra's Pool.
  • Wine Tour - full or half day
    Enjoy a truly exclusive tour of the Nelson Wine Region. Visit wineries both on the plains and the hills where you can meet the owners and winemakers. You’ll also sample wine from the ten classic grapes grown in New Zealand. Taking in pristine scenery will ensure a memorable day – this tour is both fun and informative
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Day 7 - Motueka to Blenheim

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Motueka to Nelson
145 km (92 miles) Approximately 1.75 hours

The drive to Nelson first takes you to the town of Havelock, which is known as the Green Shell Mussel Capital of the World. Nearby Canvastown is a place to explore old gold mining fields – thousands tried to get rich here in the 1860s. At Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve you can enjoy a bush walk or a swim, depending on the time of the year. And if you’d like a glimpse of local life in 1890, Rai Valley has a beautifully preserved cottage museum.

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Nelson to Blenheim
115 km (72 miles) Approximately 1.5 hours

The drive to Blenheim is both beautiful and interesting. Rai Valley has a delightful cottage museum, and at Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve you can enjoy a bush walk or a swim. Nearby Canvastown gives you the chance to explore old gold mining fields and thousands tried to get rich here in the 1860s. Havelock is the place for a seafood meal, known as the Green Shell Mussel Capital of the World. When you reach Renwick, which is surrounded by vineyards, it will be clear that you've arrived in wine country.

ACCOMMODATION - The Marlborough Lodge - Located in the heart of the famous Marlborough wine region, our grand country estate is nestled within 16 acres of secluded parklands, providing the ultimate retreat to indulge in New Zealand’s gourmet province. Our ten contemporary suites are elegantly designed to ensure your every comfort is met. Whether you’ve spent your day relaxing at the lodge or exploring further afield, finish each day with a peaceful wander through our parklands or mingle at the bar with tantalising canapes before dining on fresh local cuisine in our private dining room.

Day 8 - Blenheim 
Today explore Blenheim and the vineyards. Some tour suggestions:

  • Marlborough Icons
    our tour guide will show you through the fabulous Marlborough wine region stopping to enjoy two fine wine experiences including Marlborough's Iconic winery, Cloudy Bay. After two wonderful wine visits the tour then departs the wine region through to the Marlborough Sounds for a lunch on the waterfront (lunch is at own cost). Depart the marina on the Malrborough Tour Company launch for a unique Seafood Cruise through the Marlborough Sounds. Take in the natural beauty of the native bush and the tranquility of the Sounds. Learn from your experienced Skipper the history of the Malrborough Sounds and the history of the pioneering families who have settled in the Sounds over 6 generations. Visit a marine farm and learn why seafood grows so well in the Marlborough Sounds. Enjoy a seafood tasting matched to a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. On arrival back in Havelock re-board the coach for the transfer back to Blenheim
  • Deluxe Half Day Guided Biking Wine Tour
    This guided half day tour bikes to three of Marlborough's premium wineries. You will ride along country roads, river stop-banks and through vineyards. The tour guide provides commentary throughout the tour on the wines and wineries and also the history and geography of New Zealand's largest wine region. Tour concludes approximately 3.5 hours after commencement,
  • Half Day Wine Tour
    Commence a half day Marlborough Wine Tour. The 4-5 hour tour will give you a great insight to the Marlborough Wine area. Tasting wines along the way and wandering amongst the vines. Tour concludes approximately 4-5 hours after commencement at which time hotel drop offs will commence.
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Day 9 - Blenheim to Kaikoura
129 km (81 miles) Approximately 1.75 hours

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Blenheim to Kaikoura
129 km (81 miles) Approximately 1.75 hours

State Highway 1 takes you through the coastal foothills, and then out into the picturesque Awatere Valley. Kaikoura is a base for wildlife experiences of all kinds and also a great place to eat crayfish. A whale watch tour can take you to see Minke, Humpback and Southern Right whales mixing it with dolphins and orcas. You can also walk to see fur seal colonies and spy on big seabirds such as mollymawks, albatross and petrels.

ACCOMMODATION - Hapuku Lodge. This contemporary country lodge offers suites, luxury tree houses built in the canopy of a native Manuka grove, one spacious stand alone apartment, and multiple meeting and event venues. All rooms have bath and shower, tree houses and apartment have cooking facilities.Located 12kms north of the world renowned eco-marine town of Kaikoura, on New Zealand's South Island, the lodge shares the land with a deer stud and olive grove, nestled between the Kaikoura Seaward Mountain Range and famed Mangamaunu Bay. The lodge was built to give our guests a great night's sleep in one of the most beautiful places in the world. A sculpture garden and wilderness walk to a picnic terrace on Hapuku River are available for guests to enjoy.

Day 10 - Kaikoura 
Today explore Kaikoura. Some tour suggestions:

  • Whale Watching
    The vessel is a modern catamaran designed especially for whale watching. The main passenger cabin is enclosed, air-conditioned and fitted with comfortable seating, while large outside decks offer great viewing and photo opportunities. Prepare for exciting up-close encounters with Giant Sperm Whales. Clients may also see migratory humpback whales (June-July), Hector's and Dusky Dolphins, Orcas (December-March) and NZ Fur Seals, as well as plenty of bird species including Royal Albatross, Petrels and Shearwaters. Cruise concludes approximately 3 hours 30 minutes after commencement
  • Dolphin Encounter Swim
    Enjoy a tour that enables you to swim or watch the dusky dolphins in their natural habitat. A complete guided commentary is given throughout the trip. There is the opportunity to swim with the dolphins (wetsuits and snorkelling equipment will be provided) during the tour for those that have booked this option. Tour concludes approximately 3.5 hours after commencement.
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Day 11 - Kaikoura to Christchurch & flight to Queenstown
184 km (115 miles) Approximately 2.25 hours

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Kaikoura to Christchurch
184 km (115 miles) Approximately 2.25 hours

The trip south takes you along the edge of the rugged coastal ranges. From Cheviot you can detour to Gore Bay to see the fascinating cliff formations. The landscape becomes more gentle as you approach Waipara, a region known for its vineyards and olive groves. The last leg of your journey takes you past the surf beaches of Amberley, Leithfield, Waikuku and Woodend.

Return rental vehicle at Christchurch airport. Fly to Queenstown and on arrival make your way to accommodation, Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel.

 

ACCOMMODATION - In a prime central location nestled between two parks with expansive views of Queenstown and the surrounding mountains. The interior design will delight the conssoisseur and excite the most critical traveller. The seventeen luxury rooms are spacious and luxurious, with the latest technology. The ground floor features 8 interconnecting rooms all with views to the Gondola and their own private courtyard.  A further 3 ground floor rooms have stunning views to the Remarkables and Cecil Peak as well as looking over the park. This park is a landing place for paragliders who have just jumped off the top of the gondola hill.  Gondola Double Rooms and Tower Suites feature showers only while the Remarkables Room and Tower Suites also include a video/DVD player. All rooms are non smoking, however, guests may smoke outside.

Days 12-15 - Queenstown
Explore Queenstown at your leisure or consider adding one of our tour options - Some of our favorites:

  • Milford Fly Cruise Fly/Dart River Safaris Combo
    Join your Milford Sound Scenic Flights crew at Queenstown Airport, Sir Henly Wigley Dr, Frankton, to commence a full day Milford Fly Cruise Fly/Dart River Safaris Combo tour. Fly from Queenstown to magnificent Milford to enjoy a launch cruise travelling the full length of Milford Sound. Return by scenic flight landing at Glenorchy to join Dart River Safaris to journey into the untouched wilderness of a World Heritage Area before coaching back to Queenstown. Tour concludes approximately 10 hours after commencement, at Queenstown Airport.
  • Milford Sound Nature Cruise
    An on board nature guide with specialist knowledge of the region's history, flora and fauna provides detailed interpretation in English with a roving microphone. There is plenty of time available to explore points of interest and view the spectacular alpine scenery including waterfalls, rainforest and the towering peaks; and keep a lookout for wildlife including seals, dolphins and penguins when in season. Coach or flight transfers available.
  • Appellation Central Wine Tours
    Appellation Central offers guided tours showcasing Central Otago's fine wine and cuisine. These tours venture into the heartland of Central Otago visiting vineyards in Gibbston, Bannockburn and Cromwell. Small groups and custom fit minibuses ensure a relaxed and interactive day out from Queenstown and a great way to experience Central Otago.
  • Nomad Safari - Skippers Canyon
    A half-day heritage tour that follows the rugged and once treacherous Skippers Road. Hacked by hand into the sheer cliff sides of the Shotover River Valley. Navigate this awe-inspiring canyon and visit many historic sites such as the Skippers Suspension Bridge, township of Skippers, and the restored school house - gain a real insight into the local heritage through photos and histories of life in this tough environment.
  • Queenstown Rafting Triple Challenge - Shotover Jet,Helicopter & WhiteWater Rafting
    The Ultimate Adventure. Begin with the shotover jet, speed through rocky canyons and experience the Hamilton 360 spins. Climb aboard a helicopter for a spectacular flight into Skippers Canyon. Land at Deep Creek and meet your rafting guide, peaceful waters at first before hearing the roar of the"mother" section.
  • Zipline Ecotour
    Commence an ecotour on Queenstown's original zipline course and the perfect starter to your adventure experience. Comprised of four ziplines, starting and finishing at the top of the Skyline gondola, the tour is designed to start low and slow and gradually build your confidence as it gets progressively longer, higher and faster. All ages love the interaction this guided aerial tour has to offer.
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Day 16 - Depart for US

 

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Conditions

From pricing is valid for departures until 31 March 2017 for purchase by 31 March 2017. Prices are per person based on double occupancy departures from Los Angeles. Add-on fares are available from other cities. Certain black out dates apply on the accommodation and tour value add offers - check with your Aspire consultant. Seats are limited and may not be available on every flight. Hotels are subject to availability. All prices reflect a discount for purchases made by cash/wire transfer/check, please see terms and conditions for credit card payments. There are no discounts for payment made by credit cards. Cancellation penalties and other restrictions apply.