6 Day South Island Itinerary

Christchurch - Kaikoura - Blenheim - St Arnaud - Punakaiki - Ashburton - Christchurch

Day 1


Begin in Christchurch, the South Island's largest city, situated on the sunny east coast of the Island, come and enjoy with the Garden City has to offer.

Some Christchurch Highlights:

  • Christchurch Cathedral Square
  • International Antarctic Centre
  • Orana Wildlife Park & Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
  • Christchurch Art Gallery
  • Christchurch Botanical Gardens

 Places to stay:

  • The Ashley Hotel
  • Christchurch Motel
  • Christchurch City Park Motel


Christchurch City has a vibrant and lively arts and entertainment scene, it is also full of award-winning restaurants, cafes, fashion precincts, heritage architecture and of course it's beautiful gardens.

Day 2

Kaikoura - Blenheim

The seaside settlement of Kaikoura is located on a rocky peninsula midway between Christchurch and Picton. This unique combination of ocean and mountains offers stunning coastal alpine scenery and fantastic activities including Whale watching and Dolphin swimming.

Some Kaikoura Highlights:

  • Whale Watching
  • Dolphin swimming
  • Wilderness Walks


Places to stay:

  • Kaikoura Gateway Motor Lodge

Whether you are looking for relaxation, nature or excitement, Kaikoura has something for everyone. Drive just under 2 hours to Blenheim.

Day 3

Blenheim - St Arnaud

Blenheim is situated in the Marlborough region of New Zealand and is a host to stunning valleys, soaring mountains, vineyards, idyllic waterways in a scenic and landscape, award-winning wine and produce, and superb regional cuisine.

Some Blenheim Highlights:

  • Winery Tours
  • The Millennium Art Gallery
  • Gourmet Wine & Food Tours

 Places to stay:

  • Commodore Court Motel
  • Colonial Motel


Continue on 1.5 hours to St Arnaud.

Day 4

St Arnaud - Punakaiki

St Arnaud is situated at the edge of the Nelson Lakes National Park, enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the lakeside area.

Some St Arnaud Highlights:

  • Water Skiing & other water sports
  • Lake Cruises
  • Mountain Gold Course
  • Guided Treks
  • Scenic Flights

Places to stay:

  • Alpine Lodge


The wide variation of terrain in this area makes it attractive for hikers and there is an extensive network of tracks and huts. Travel 2.5 hours to Punakaiki.

Day 5

Punakaiki - Ashburton

Punakaiki is best known for the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes, both of which are spectacular and a must see when visiting the West Coast.

Some Punakaiki Highlights

  • Pancake Rocks
  • Blowholes
  • Horse Treks
  • Rainforest and coastal tracks
  • Paparoa National Park


Places to stay:

  • Punakaiki Resort 

Punakaiki also has many colourful local crafts people – jewellers, carvers, painters and potters, drive on 5.5 hours to Ashburton.

Day 6

Ashburton - Christchurch

Ashburton is located on the east coast of the South Island, surrounded by braiding rivers and surrounding foothills. Ashburton is the perfect place for hot air ballooning, skydiving, heli-flights and nature hikes.

Some Ashburton Highlights:

  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • White Water Rafting
  • 4WD Adventures
  • Heli-flights

 Places to stay:

  • Hotel Ashburton


 Drive 1 hour back to the garden city of Christchurch.

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