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11 Day Signature Top of the South Island

Map Image for 11 Day Signature Top of the South Island

Unveiling a picturesque landscape of wilderness, wildlife and unique attractions


DURATION: 11 days

STARTS: Christchurch

FINISHES: Christchurch

STYLE: Signature Mid-Size Group Tours

COACH: 32 seat Premium Economy






No hidden extras

Prepaid Attractions

  • Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise i
  • TranzAlpine Rail Journey i
  • Wilderness Gallery Hokitika i
  • Monteith's Brewing Co. Tasting i
  • Nelson Classic Car Museum i
  • Abel Tasman Guided Walk and Barbecue Cruise i
  • Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre i
  • Cloudy Bay Estate Wine Tasting i
  • Queen Charlotte Sound Cruise to Furneaux Lodge i
  • Kaikõura Museum i
  • International Antarctic Centre i
  • Christchurch City Sights Tour i
  • Nelson City Sights Tour i

Coach Features

  • 32 Premium Economy Comfort seats on a full-size coach
  • 2 door access; seat back tray table; cup holder
  • Restroom; daily onboard Wi-Fi allowance


  • Personalised Meet and Greet on arrival
  • Return airport transfers in New Zealand
  • Professional Coach Captain
  • Tour Leader
  • 10 nights 4 star accommodation
  • 3 two night stays
  • Hotel porterage
  • 1 rail journey
  • 3 cruises
  • All sightseeing and prepaid attractions
  • Optional Activities
  • Classic Documentation Pack


  • 10 cooked breakfasts
  • 7 sumptuous dinners including complimentary pre-dinner drink at the Welcome Dinner and 1 specialty dinner: Farewell Dinner including pre-dinner drink, Christchurch
  • 5 specialty lunches: Kingfisher Restaurant, Lake Brunner; Monteith’s Brewing Co., Greymouth; Abel Tasman BBQ lunch, Abel Tasman National Park; Dodson Street Beer Garden; Blenheim; Furneaux Lodge, Queen Charlotte Sound
  • Enjoy GPT Hotel Wine Time (discounted drinks)
Day 1: Dinner not included for anyone arriving later than 8pm.

Scenic Highlights and Walks

  • Historic French Village of Akaroa
  • Lake Brunner
  • Brunner Mine Site
  • Hokitika Gorge 
  • Punakaiki Pancake Rocks  
  • Cape Foulwind walkway 
  • Buller Gorge
  • Seaside town of Kaiteriteri
  • Abel Tasman National Park 
  • Marlborough Wine Region
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Coastal town of Kaikōura

Tour includes a number of short walks of up to 1 hour that require a moderate level of fitness. The walks are scenic and not excessive but can include slight inclines and uneven surfaces. Ensure you feel comfortable with this level of fitness before booking.

Visit our NewzRoom to read more about this extensive itinerary:
> Wine, wildlife and wilderness article

Day-by-day Itinerary

(B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (SL) Specialty Lunch (D) Dinner (SD) Specialty Dinner


Arrive Christchurch (D)

On arrival into Christchurch you will be met by a Grand Pacific Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. This evening enjoy a complimentary pre-dinner drink when you meet your Tour Leader and travelling companions for dinner.

Hotel Distinction Christchurch Hotel (2 nights) i


Christchurch - Akaroa - Christchurch (B)

After an introductory city sights tour, enjoy a scenic drive to the historic French village of Akaroa, with time to wander through the charming galleries and craft stores. This afternoon set off on a Nature Cruise in the hope of spotting the rare Hector’s Dolphin and keep an eye out for penguins and other sea birds. Following your cruise, return to Christchurch where the evening is free to dine at one of the city’s many restaurants.

Hotel Distinction Christchurch Hotel i


Christchurch - Moana - Hokitika (B,SL,D)

This morning board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. Travel over massive viaducts, river valleys and spectacular gorges before descending through the Otira Tunnel to Moana, on the banks of picturesque Lake Brunner. Enjoy lunch at Kingfisher Restaurant, before travelling to the Brunner Mine Site, the location of the 1896 mine explosion. This afternoon in the coastal town of Hokitika, visit a local gallery, for the opportunity to pick up a gift or souvenir.

Hotel Beachfront Hotel Hokitika (Ocean View Room) i


Hokitika - Punakaiki (B,SL,D)

Today, take in the natural beauty of the Hokitika Gorge on a short walk descending through the hardwood forest that will lead you to a swing bridge which crosses the Hokitika River. Continue north to Greymouth, home of Monteith’s Brewing Co. where you will sample locally brewed beers over lunch. This afternoon travel along the Great Coast Road to the world-famous Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.

Hotel The Ocean View Retreat – Punakaiki i


Punakaiki - Nelson (B,D)

Journey north along the coast to Tauranga Bay and Cape Foulwind, named by Captain Cook in 1770 when he encountered nasty weather. A short walk along the rocky headland will showcase the rugged coastline and sea life often on show amongst the rocks. Travel inland via the Buller Gorge and Murchison to Nelson, one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand. This afternoon enjoy an orientation tour of the city followed by a visit to the Nelson Classic Car Museum where you will marvel at an incredible collection of iconic cars.

Hotel Rutherford Hotel (Premium Room) (2 nights) i


Nelson - Abel Tasman National Park - Nelson (B,SL)

Travel to Kaiteriteri, gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park and join a cruise along the parks’ picturesque coastline. At Anchorage Bay a barbeque lunch will be served. Re-join your coach and depart for Nelson via the vineyards. This evening is free for you to dine at one of the local restaurants in town.

Hotel Rutherford Hotel (Premium Room) i


Nelson - Blenheim (B,SL,D)

Today travel via Havelock and the winegrowing region of Marlborough. Visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, home to one of the largest private collections of WW1 Aircraft, brought to life in sets created by the internationally acclaimed WingNut Films and Weta Workshop. Head back into town where you will enjoy lunch at a local Blenheim beer garden before a short drive to Cloudy Bay Estate. Established in 1985, Cloudy Bay was one of the original wineries in the region. Enjoy a personalised tasting experience followed by time to wander through the superb, manicured grounds and towering gum trees, which will surely be a highlight.

Hotel Scenic Hotel Marlborough (2 nights) i


Blenheim - Marlborough Sounds - Blenheim (B,SL)

Enjoy a leisurely start to the day before travelling to Picton where time is available to explore this picturesque port. Board a luxury vessel at Picton Marina and cruise the spectacular Queen Charlotte Sound to Furneaux Lodge whilst enjoying the informative commentary on this stunning region. At Furneaux Lodge a delicious lunch will be served followed by time to enjoy the peaceful surroundings. There is access to kayaks and short walks around the property. On the return cruise to Picton a cheese platter featuring local produce is served accompanied by a glass of Marlborough wine, the perfect end to your Marlborough Sounds adventure. Board the coach for the short journey back to Blenheim where the evening is free to dine at one of the local restaurants.

Hotel Scenic Hotel Marlborough i


Blenheim - Kaikõura (B,D)

Farewell the Marlborough region and journey to Kaikõura. Visit the Kaikõura Museum, which features an exhibition depicting the impact of the 2016 earthquake. This afternoon you may like to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the coastline to see the many species of whales that migrate through this area.

Hotel Sudima Kaikõura i


Kaikõura - Christchurch (B,SD)

Depart Kaikõura and head to Christchurch to visit the International Antarctic Centre, designed to provide an informative account of life in Antarctica. This evening enjoy a pre-dinner drink and reminisce on memories shared with your new friends at the farewell dinner.

Hotel Distinction Christchurch Hotel i


Depart Christchurch (B)

Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.

Pricing and Departure Dates

All Fare Types

Pre & Post Stays

Christchurch$140 pp, twin share$280 single

Optional Activities

Whilst your tour package includes an extensive range of pre-paid attractions and sightseeing, the Optional Activities outlined are available to enjoy during your free time. They will provide the ‘icing on the cake’ experience that will hold memories for a lifetime. Optional Activities will be booked with your Crew once on tour.

> VIEW ALL   Optional Activities for this tour.

Traveller Reviews > VIEW ALL

February 2023

The whole package was great! The Signature coach was immmaculate, super comfortable and spacious. It was a pleasure to travel in with great viewing windows. We had a skilled Coach Captain, brilliant Tour Leader, varied itinerary and a fantastic tour group. 

G.L. Australia

February 2023

This was our first coach trip as a couple and we found it to be a rewarding experience. The coach was very comfortable, clean and we were able to move around freely. Our Coach Captain was very informative, friendly and obliging and we always felt safe with his driving. Our Tour Leader was professional, friendly and helpful, she made the tour very enjoyable. 

L.H. & G.H. Australia

February 2023

This has been a fabulous tour. Thanks so much GPT for putting this tour together. The coach was so clean, it looked brand new every morning. It was a pleasure to travel with both our Coach Captain and Tour Leader. 

J.P. & N.S. Australia

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Port of Departure

To enable us to present you with the best Tour Pricing and Bonus Offers please select your intended Port of Departure and Accommodation Room Type. If you do not require an air inclusive package, please select LAND ONLY.

All prices are in Australian Dollars. For air inclusive package pricing, airline taxes are subject to change. Exact amounts will be confirmed by your Travel Agent at the time of booking.