Top Of The South Touring Route

Discover rare and beautiful wildlife, dramatic coastal landscapes, fresh seafood and artisanal food, beer and wine.

The Top of the South Island of New Zealand is known for its mild climate, relaxed pace, untouched vistas and some of the most picturesque coastal drives in the world. Whether you’re keen to get amongst the greatest of the outdoors, or want to connect with the artists, farmers, food producers, brewers and winemakers who call this beautiful corner of the world home, the Top of the South is the perfect spot to create some idyllic New Zealand memories.

Opportunities abound for hikers and cyclists of all levels, with several well established and easily accessible walking and cycling trails.

The top of the south is a mecca for watersports. Cruise or sail the pristine coves and bays of the Marlborough Sounds, kayak and paddleboard the calm, warm waters of Golden Bay and Tasman, surf the breaks or get up close to some of the rare and beautiful marine mammals along the stunning Kaikōura coastline, take a white-knuckled water rafting trip along the stunning gorges of the West Coast or a thrilling jet boat ride along the braided rivers in the Hurunui.


7 Day Itinerary

If you’re looking for a romantic escape with your No 1 person, the top of the south is hard to beat. Soak in the alpine ambience of Hanmer and Maruia, get up close with some cute and playful marine mammals in Kaikōura, immerse yourself in delicious wine and food in Marlborough, sail away in stunning Tasman and let your hearts soar on the wild West Coast.

For information about the Top Of The South Touring Route and more itinerary suggestions, visit the website!

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Ōtautahi Christchurch to Hanmer Springs

Day One

What better way to start a seven day getaway with your other half, than with a wine tasting and lunch in the beautiful North Canterbury wine country, Waipara. Explore a hidden gem of Hurunui and end your day with a relaxing soak at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa.

Dolphins Kaikoura

Hanmer Springs to Kaikōura

Day Two

Perfectly positioned with the lapping waves of the Pacific Ocean to one side and the towering mountains of the Kaikōura Seaward Ranges to the other; Kaikōura is the perfect place to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most rare, playful and magnificent sea birds and mammals.

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Kaikōura to Blenheim to Marlborough Sounds

Day Three

From its award-winning wines and delicious culinary experiences heroing locally produced ingredients, Marlborough is a true haven for wine aficionados and foodies. And no trip to the region is complete without exploring the endless coves and bays of the Marlborough Sounds, where you’ll discover hidden luxury, amazing views and dreamy sunsets.

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Marlborough Sounds to Nelson / Abel Tasman

Day Four

Home to three incredible national parks, Nelson Tasman is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, whether you want to stroll along a secluded beach, hike a more challenging track or kayak or sail the pristine coastline. Perhaps inspired by its natural beauty, you’ll find a plethora of boutique food producers, artists and craftspeople, all well worth checking out.

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Abel Tasman to Punakaiki

Day Five

Get amongst the greatest of the outdoors on the wild West Coast, where you’ll find rugged coastlines for miles, untamed native bush teeming with birdlife and hardly a soul in sight. Marvel at the Coast’s ancient limestone formations and walk, cycle or paddle through untouched wilderness.

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Punakaiki to Reefton to Maruia Springs

Day Six

Wave goodbye to the rugged West Coast and head inland through pristine native forest, until you reach the charming heritage town of Reefton. Explore its extensive gold rush history, beautifully restored heritage buildings and retail and art shops and cafes, before continuing on to Maruia Hot Springs for the ultimate in relaxation.

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Maruia Springs to Christchurch

Day Seven

After a relaxing time at Maruia Springs enjoy the beauty of the Lewis Pass as you make your way back to Christchurch.

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42 Amuri Avenue
Hanmer Springs
New Zealand

Phone: +64 3 315 0000
Free phone : 0800 442 663 (NZ only)