SUMMER BLAST (Christchurch – Christchurch)
When starting/finishing in Christchurch you have 2 nights at your own cost to spend in either Nelson or Picton. This is because you leave the group you have been travelling with as they carry onto the North Island and you join another group travelling south towards Christchurch 2 days later.
Optional hires such as sleeping bags and single tents can be used during this time for an additional cost. Bike hire is not available during your 2 day stopover. If you have hired a bike there will be another bike for you when you re-join for the last 2 days of your tour.
Please note when re-joining your Flying Kiwi group in Nelson after your 2 day stopover the complimentary wine tasting is not available. You can only do this if spending your 2 days in Picton.
Here are a few suggestions on what to do and where to stay….
Abel Tasman National Park & Nelson
Spend an additional night at the entrance of the Abel Tasman National Park, Marahau. You already spend 3 nights here with your tour, adding the extra night means you can include a multi-day hike option into your Abel Tasman stay.
You can choose to stay in huts or campsites provided by the Department of Conservation (DOC) as you explore the Coast Track. The track hugs the coast, offering spectacular views as you reach the top of a ridge, then it’s back down to a sheltered swimming and picnic spot.
You have the choice to walk sections of the Abel Tasman Track and also travel by water taxi.
Stay 2 nights in Nelson city, we recommend staying Tasman Bay Backpackers – Located within walking distance of the main city centre, this is a great place to base yourself while in Nelson. Take advantage of the FREE bikes and unlimited wifi and relax and enjoy the company of fellow travellers. Private rooms from $76 and dorm beds (6 share) $28 per night.
If you feel like some ‘city time’ after the Wild West coast then staying in Nelson is a must. Nelson Tasman is blessed with a mild Mediterranean climate, and boasts the highest sunshine hours in New Zealand. This vibrant coastal town is full of bustling cafes, charming boutiques and funky art galleries, waiting to be leisurely explored.
- Nelson City Market - If there on a Saturday, check out New Zealand's best local market in the middle of Nelson at Montgomery Square carpark, with over 200 stalls, filled with culinary delights, arts and crafts plus much more.
- Wine Tours - Nelson Tasman is home to twenty five boutique wineries, dotted across the picturesque hills and plains of the region's wine growing country. Many offer cellar door tastings and an opportunity to meet the personalities behind some of the region’s internationally acclaimed wines.
- Tahunanui Beach - A great beach for doing almost anything, kitesurfing, paddleboarding, swimming or just relax and enjoy the most sunshine hours in NZ!
- Nelson Walks - there are plenty of options to choose from and the Centre of NZ or Maitai Valley Walk are great places to start.
- Founders Heritage Park - Learn a little about Nelson’s history and explore displays of Heritage buildings, topped off with a craft beer tasting at the award winning Founders Brewery Café & Bar.
- NZCM & WOW – If you are a bit of a petrol head, then you must visit the New Zealand Classic Motorcycles Museum (yes, it really is a private collection!) and the World of Wearable Art & Classic Cars Museum.
- Nelson Nightlife - Nelson enjoys a vibrant and varied nightlife, with a range of nightlife activities with great atmosphere. Whether you like to party, or just enjoy a casual drink, there is something to suit everyone.
- Heli MTB – if you are a MTB enthusiast, then you might want to check-out one of the regions numerous fantastic bike trails with Heli Bike Nelson . All the fun without (too much of) the uphill grind. (tracks offered vary depending on the time of year and minimum number of 2 people applies)
Stay 2 nights in Picton, we recommend staying Piwaka Lodge - Newly renovated, warm, friendly, family-run hostel. Located in the centre of Picton. Private rooms from $75 and dorm beds from $30 per night. This is also where we stay while on tour.
Nestled at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds, Picton is possibly New Zealand’s prettiest seaside town.
Picton is all about the Marlborough Sounds with its relaxed island feel, secluded bays and crystal clear waters. The waterfront has one of the world’s best water views known for its ever changing colours and its marinas are a stunning testament to the importance of boats to this charming waterside village. Regular boat trips from Picton’s waterfront jetties take you to stunning locations throughout Queen Charlotte Sound.
- Scenic Cruises - travel along the length of the Queen Charlotte Sounds with Cougar Line as they deliver passengers and supplies to resorts, homes and hideaways along the way. Their fast, modern catamaran covers over 80 kms in approximately 3 hours during which time you can experience the charm of remote New Zealand. These are some of the options:
- Sea Kayaking – With 1500 kilometres of breath taking coastline the Marlborough Sounds are a magical place for exploring by sea kayak. The Marlborough Sounds Adventure Company (MSAC) offers guided trips as well as Kayak Rental (minimum of 2 people required for safety reasons).
- Mountain Biking – Hire a MTB from MSAC and explore Picton and surrounds or book a daytrip to the Queen Charlotte Track including water taxi, bike hire and track permit.
- Local Walks – Picton has a great range of beautiful walks with something for everyone from shorter 20 minute strolls to 4-5 hour walks. You can find out more here or ask your friendly hostel staff.