The Alpine Pacific Touring Coast -The Coast With The Most, Kaikoura
Door to Door pickups, Flights when Applicable, Coastal Pacific Train Journey, Whale Watching, Transport, Accommodation, Tours, all entries, Meals as listed
DAY ONE D
Pickups complete. We arrive at the Tauranga Airport and take the short flight to Christchurch and make our way to the hotel. We will have lunch, then drive around Christchurch to see how the city is progressing on its rebuild. We are staying at the Rydges Latimer, and this evening we will dine in the on-site restaurant a great time to invite a friend or relative to join us.
DAY TWO B, D
** Please note that we have an Alternate day if the train is not operating due to Level Changes.
Train Operating Itinerary
We are up early this morning, with a short trip down the road to catch the reinstated Coastal Pacific Train. Once settled into our seats and underway, we can enjoy breakfast with an ever-changing view. Our Coastal train Journey north will run from Christchurch through Kaikoura, then on to Picton, where we will turn around and travel back to Kaikoura. You will see some of New Zealand’s most incredible scenery. It’s the perfect way to travel and with the added wonder of witnessing the quake damage. We will pass through the Canterbury Plains’ patchwork farmlands and journey over magnificent, braided rivers. The Coastal Pacific train is rated one of New Zealand’s best scenic train trips; with an on-board licensed café, GPS triggered (at-seat) commentary and open air-viewing, it’s an unforgettable experience and a relaxing journey for all. Once we reach the coastal town of Picton, at the head of the Marlborough’s sounds, we will hop off the train, stretch the legs for half an hour, then return to the train to cruise the rails again along the rugged coastline to our final destination Kaikoura. Arriving mid-afternoon, we will bus the short distance to our seaside accommodation then out for tea.
Alternate Day, if Train not Operating.
Today we'll take our time to journey to Kaikoura, stopping along the way. Our first stop is Amberley House, and this idyllic rural estate offers a unique slice of the very best of the New Zealand lifestyle. We'll learn about the history of this property. First established in 1870, Amberley House occupies a special place in the history of North Canterbury. Today we'll have the opportunity to view this stunning location through a tour of the property and introduction to the boutique horse stud. After an informative visit, we'll stop for morning tea at the delightful Waipara Springs Winery & Estate, a family-owned business in its 3rd generation. From here, we'll take our time heading to the coastline, making our way to Manuka Bay and continuing through to Gore Bay Beach, passing St Ann Lagoon enjoying some beautiful coastal views. This afternoon we will be stopping at Fyffe Country Lodge for a delicious catered lunch. This is a beautifully constructed handmade earth block building with hand-split Canadian cedar shake roof tiles. It has been architecturally designed as Kaikoura accommodation and is surrounded by manicured gardens with stunning alpine views to Mt Fyffe and the Kaikoura Seaward Range. Immerse yourself in the tranquil surroundings and panoramic vista from a place that captures the gracious lifestyle of a bygone era. From here, we will continue through to our night's accommodation situation in the heart of Kaikoura.
DAY THREE B, L, D
Just after midnight on 14th November 2016, most of central New Zealand woke following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake 60km south-west of the coastal town of Kaikōura. Generating the most intense ground acceleration ever recorded in New Zealand and caused widespread damage throughout the districts of Hurunui, Marlborough and Kaikōura. With close to a million cubic meters of rock and material falling onto the coastal transport corridor, Kaikōura and the surrounding rural communities were isolated. All roads and the rail network in and out of the area were damaged and closed by the slips. This major event disrupted the lives of many: homes were damaged, businesses were closed, farms left with damaged land and no access to markets for their goods, and communities devastated by the loss of trade from passing traffic and tourists. Today we will be joined on the bus by a local resident, who will explain first-hand events of that day; they will point out significant geological changes and provide an insight into living post-quake around the region. Along the way, we will stop for lunch and return mid-afternoon to our accommodation.
DAY FOUR B, D
We have an exciting day in-store; we will be armed with sonar rather than the cold steel harpoon of centuries gone by. Kaikoura’s whale watching is one of New Zealand’s deservedly famous attractions. Whale Watch is the original guided cruise company to take trips out along the Kaikoura coast and view these magnificent whales and other amazing marine life. Just offshore from Kaikoura, a deep undersea canyon attracts an extraordinary abundance of marine life, the most famous being the Sperm Whale. As the Whale watching capital of New Zealand, every Whale Watch tour is unique, and the sightings vary. Giant Sperm Whales are the stars of the show and year-round residents. A typical Whale Watch tour may encounter New Zealand Fur Seals, pods of Dusky Dolphins and the endangered Wandering Albatross. Depending on the season, you may also see migrating Humpback Whales, Pilot Whales, Blue Whales and Southern Right Whales. Kaikoura often hosts the world’s largest dolphin, the Orca and is home to the world’s smallest and rarest marine dolphin, the Hectors. Our expedition will take 3.5hrs and will be cancelled if the weather is not suitable. We have a plan B up our sleeve if this is the case. Once we return from a great few hours on the water, we will replace and spend a relaxing afternoon exploring around Kaikoura and walking some of the easy coastal walks available.
DAY FIVE B, MT, L, D
After breakfast, we travel from Kaikoura up the coast, watching the many seals dotted along this rugged coastline. Crossing the Hapuku River, we will make our way inland up the stunning Puhi Puhi River Valley; the Seaward Kaikoura Mountains will stand above us as we make our way up the valley to Puhi Peaks Station. We will spend our day with our Host Nicky McArthur. Nicky will provide a Tour and informative talk on this important reserve as well. Nicky has a harrowing story to tell of the earthquake and significant property loss and damage to the station. Puhi Peaks Station is also home to one of the two remaining colonies in the world of the endangered Hutton’s shearwater, which nest in burrows high in the mountains. The establishment of a charitable trust for the protection of this endangered seabird set in motion the process to have the entire upper area protected, in perpetuity, under a QE. Nicky is a member of this trust and convenor of the Friends of the Hutton’s Shearwater, formed to ensure the future of this endangered species. This will be a fabulous day, and we will head back to our accommodation in Kaikoura for our last evening in this lovely location.
DAY SIX B, MT
This morning we travel back to Christchurch then home. We are travelling via the very picturesque Inland Road, stopping at a lovely local café for morning tea. From here, we will make our way through beautiful mountain scenery on to Christchurch airport and home.
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