3 day Kaikoura and Christchurch Tour
3 days from Auckland to Christchurch
New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
Thrifty Tours

3 day Kaikoura and Christchurch Tour

The perfect 2 day tour of the South Island - begin in Wellington before travelling across the Cook Strait to journey down the east coast. Stop in Kaikoura and head out for a magical whale-watching tour before continuing south. Finish up your exciting 2 days in the beautiful garden city of Christchurch.

Tour summary and feature

Tour overview

Departs every day - flexible independent travel

This suggested tour costs from NZD$1,435 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Christchurch

3 days/2 nights


 Customisable? YES

 Viewed 22 times in the last 7 days

This tour also includes
- Kaikoura Railway Station to Kaikoura Accommodation
- Kaikoura accommodation to Railway Station
price pp from
twin share/double
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Auckland City

As New Zealand's largest city, Auckland offers an abundance of activities and hidden gems suited for everyone. Keep the kids entertained at the lively Kiwi playground of Rainbows End or dive into the fascinating marine world at Kelly Tarlton's aquarium. For a serene escape, venture to the award-winning wineries scattered across Waiheke Island; simply hop on a ferry and enjoy a leisurely day in the coastal breeze. Immerse yourself in nature's beauty at the expansive Auckland Botanic Gardens, sprawled across 156 acres of lush land and native forest on Hil Road. Pack a picnic, soak up the sunshine, and delight in the melodious birdsong during a peaceful lunch. As evening falls, explore the vibrant Auckland night markets, offering an array of local produce, delectable treats, and artisanal creations at various locations throughout the week. Experience the great outdoors by visiting iconic landmarks such as One Tree Hill or the renowned ex-volcano, Mt Eden. Alternatively, hop on a quick ferry from the CBD to Devonport and discover this charming seaside suburb. Shopaholics will be delighted to explore Auckland's main shopping district, Newmarket, boasting an array of local boutiques and luxury labels nestled within the Newmarket Westfield Mall. Indulge in a unique shopping experience along Ponsonby Road, featuring New Zealand designers, quaint boutiques, and exceptional dining options. Explore the eclectic mix of bars, thrift shops, and culinary delights along Karangahape Road, affectionately known as "K Road" by locals. Once Auckland's red-light district in the 1960s, it's now recognized as the world's 6th coolest street. Auckland's diverse cultural landscape has inspired an array of tantalizing cuisines and dining experiences scattered across the city. From Chinese-inspired delicacies at The Nightcar to European-style cuisine at Gilt Brasserie, there's something to satisfy every palate. For a culinary adventure, head to Commercial Bay Harbour Eats, offering a rich tapestry of cuisines from beloved local vendors. Complete your evening with a visit to the bustling Long Room bar, a favorite haunt among Ponsonby residents. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and savor the diverse array of beverages on offer.

The Northern Explorer Scenic Train: Auckland to Wellington Scenic Plus

Great Journeys New Zealand's Scenic Plus carriage provides comfort and vast panoramic views as you journey through the heart of the North Island, travelling between Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, to Wellington, New Zealand's arts and culture capital. Along the way, you pass the Central North Island ski towns of National Park and Ohakune. You also see fantastic views of New Zealand farmland, the volcanic plateau, Mount Ruapehu, the world-famous Raurimu Spiral, and stunning river gorges - all from panoramic windows or open-air viewing decks. Scenic Plus offers an all-inclusive experience and the dedicated Scenic Plus carriage features large panoramic windows giving sweeping views of the magnificent North Island. The Observation Carriage includes a mix of seating including lounge-style seating. The lounge-style seating is arranged at the very rear of this glass-backed carriage enabling you to enjoy a totally unique Northern Explorer experience.

Your accommodation: Quest On Lambton

Quest on Lambton hotel rooms offer a relaxed and comfortable Wellington accommodation experience. Located within walking distance of the Wellington Cable Car, Queens Wharf Events Centre and Victoria University, and minutes from Te Papa Museum of New Zealand, Westpac Trust Stadium and the Botanical Gardens.

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Interislander Ferry Wellington to Picton

The 92 km journey between Wellington and Picton takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'. Leaving Wellington Harbour you pass many interesting points such as Pencarrow Head on top of which is New Zealand's oldest lighthouse (1859). Red Rocks is home to a seal colony and Oterangi Bay is the site which recorded the country's highest ever wind speed of 268 kph (167 mph).
From the Cook Strait spectacular views of the Kaikoura Ranges on the South Island can be enjoyed and dolphins and many sea birds are often seen. Around one hour of the cruise takes you through the Marlborough Sounds and this region of bush covered mountains, small islands, crystal clear waters and secluded bays offer remarkable photographic opportunities. The final leg of your cruise travels through Queen Charlotte Sound before coming to an end in the picturesque town of Picton.

Picton to Kaikoura by Intercity Coach

From Picton you head south on state Highway 1 towards Blenheim which sits right at the heart of the New Zealand's largest wine producing region, Marlborough. Crossing the 'dry hills' of the Marlborough ranges you head towards one of the most spectacular coastlines of the South Island, the Kaikoura Coast. The road hugs the shore for around 50 kilometres and offers many chances to view the native wildlife such as seabirds and New Zealand fur seals.

Kaikoura Railway Station to Kaikoura Accommodation

Today you will be met at Kaikoura railway station and transferred to your accommodation.

Your accommodation: The White Morph, Kaikoura

Set on the Esplanade in KaikĊura, The White Morph enjoys commanding views of the ocean and mountains. Just a 10-minute walk into town, The White Morph has been beautifully placed so that you can take in the spectacular scenery of Kaikoura while enjoying the variety of attractions on offer.

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Ocean's Cabin with Whale Watch Kaikoura

Experience New Zealand's only marine based whale watching company. Whale Watch Kaikoura offer a once-in-a-lifetime, up close encounter with the giant Sperm Whale. You are also likely to encounter New Zealand fur seals, dusky dolphins and albatross. Depending on the season you may also see pilot, blue and southern right whales as well as migrating humpbacks. Often orcas can be spotted here and the world's smallest dolphin, the Hectors, occasionally make an appearance.
Cruise in style on modern catamarans, specifically designed for whale watching, featuring large passenger cabins and outside viewing decks. Passenger numbers for each tour are kept below the vessel carrying capacity to ensure your tour experience remains a personal one.

Kaikoura accommodation to Kaikoura Railway Station

You will be met at your accommodation by a representative from Kaikoura Shuttles and transported to your point of departure.

Kaikoura to Christchurch by Intercity Coach

The drive from Kaikoura to Christchurch continues to follow the spectacular coastline before heading inland and through North Canterbury's major wine region, the Waipara Valley. You are also introduced to the South Island's most numerous inhabitant, the sheep. Arriving into Christchurch City puts you close to the airport and the International Antarctic Centre and a visit is highly recommended.

Your accommodation: Bella Vista Christchurch

Bella Vista Motel Christchurch offers a great range of comfortable modern units with excellent facilities. Enjoy the convenience of being located in close proximity to the Christchurch CBD, shops, entertainment and other activities.

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3 day Kaikoura and Christchurch Tour
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