Top of the South Wanderer

From $4,710 per person

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Tuesday 07 – Sunday 12 March 2023 (6 Days)

The top of the South Island is known for its spectacular scenery but there are also plenty of walks, cruises, water activities and much more to keep us busy. With the opportunity to cater this tour to your fitness level, there is something for everyone to enjoy! We also have the chance to sample many regional delights from wines to local foods.

Day 1             Tuesday 07 March 2023
ARRIVE NELSON          (D)
Our tour begins today with our flight from Auckland to Nelson. On arrival into Nelson, we enjoy a brief orientation tour of the city. Nelson is a truly beautiful city that should not be missed by any visitor who loves nature, adventure, art, crafts, wineries and good food.  Situated close to several national parks, including the Abel Tasman, Nelson Lakes and Kahurangi, the region offers great hiking trails, beaches and rivers. After our orientation tour, we check in to our hotel for the night and then enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel restaurant.
Accommodation:             Rutherford Hotel, Nelson – 1 night

Day 2             Wednesday 08 March 2023    
This morning after breakfast we visit Pic’s Peanut Butter World and hear Pic’s story. Learn all about the peanuts and watch what happens on the factory floor finishing the tour with a tasting of the product itself – a delicious highlight! There is time here to purchase lunch (own cost) before we depart Nelson. We travel out through Richmond and Motueka to Kaiteriteri, the gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park. As New Zealand's only coastal national park, with golden sandy beaches and clear turquoise water, it’s not hard to see why it’s one of the most popular and accessible of all New Zealand’s national parks.
On arrival in Kaiteriteri, we check into our accommodation for the next two nights. Kaiteriteri Reserve Apartments are in the reserve next to golden sandy beaches. This is a safe water spot for swimming and water sports with a few walking tracks nearby.
Remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to explore the area and tonight we join back together for dinner as a group.
Accommodation:  Kaiteriteri Reserve Apartments, Kaiteriteri - 2 nights

Day 3             Thursday 09 March 2023    
Today we depart Kaiteriteri for a day trip, starting with a scenic cruise to Medlands Beach. Once we reach this beautiful beach take the opportunity to either relax in the sun or shade, swim in crystal clear waters or take a forest walk. A picnic lunch is included today.

Walking options from Medlands Beach
Bark Bay Falls: A 1- hr return trip (4-km, 2.5-miles) exploring the forested track around Bark Bay Inlet to see Bark Bay Falls and Suspension Bridge (5-metres high).
Falls River: A 1- hr 30 min walk (5-km, 3 -miles) to the impressively high swing bridge over Falls River (15-20m depending on the tide), returning to Medlands Beach.
Anchorage: A 4 -hr walk (10.6-km/6.5-miles, maximum elevation 150m/500ft) on a well-formed track weaving through groves of fragrant Manuka and ferns between breath-taking views of the granite coast, lush gullies of mature forest, tranquil forest pools and long golden-sand beaches.
Later this afternoon we return to Kaiteriteri via a scenic cruise and enjoy dinner as a group.

Day 4              Friday 10 March 2023    
After a leisurely start to the morning, we say goodbye to the sunny Abel Tasman National Park and retrace our steps back through Nelson and onto Havelock. We board a comfortable vessel for a Greenshell Mussel Scenic Cruise up the inner Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds.  Take in the natural beauty of this tranquil environment, learn about the history of the Marlborough Sounds and the pioneering families who have settled here. Visit a Greenshell Mussel farm where our launch captain will explain the intricacies of growing this delicacy in the Sounds. While at the mussel farm enjoy freshly steamed mussels with a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, a wonderful wine and food match in a beautiful part of Marlborough. Afterwards we continue our journey through to the portside town of Picton.

Tonight, we dine together in the hotel restaurant.
Accommodation:  Picton Beachcomber Inn, Picton - 2 nights

Day 5             Saturday 11 March 2023    
PICTON          (BD)
Today we have a range of options to choose from to fill our day. At the time of booking, please advise the office which option you would like to do on this day.
Today’s adventure is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the beauty and magic of the Queen Charlotte Sound and Queen Charlotte Track. Before departing on our chosen activity, there is time to purchase lunch (own cost).
From a full day of walking to a relaxed shorter walk taking in the beautiful surroundings at a slower pace, there are a number of options suited to your walking ability.  Please note walks are unguided. Water taxi transfer is included from Picton to the start of your chosen walk, and from the end of your chosen walk back to Picton.

Option 1: Ship Cove/Meretoto – Resolution Bay
2 hr walk / 6.5km / some hills
Cruise to the starting point of the Queen Charlotte Track, historic Ship Cove/Meretoto, for this short but spectacular walk. Explore Captain James Cook’s favourite anchorage, steeped in Māori history, before heading uphill through native tree ferns then tall beech forest, to a spectacular lookout. Take in the panoramic views across Queen Charlotte Sound/Tōtaranui to Cook Strait, before going downhill to beautiful Resolution Bay.

Option 2: Resolution Bay – Furneaux Lodge
3 hr walk / 10.5km / some hills
Cruise to Resolution Bay to walk this beautiful section of the northern Queen Charlotte Track. Skipping the first hill from Ship Cove/Meretoto, this walk is a gentle grade. From Resolution Bay, follow the track uphill into lush native forest and onto an old bridle path towards Endeavour Inlet. Reward your efforts with a break at the seats overlooking the inlet, a great spot for lunch. From here, the track gradually descends to the shoreline for the easy, scenic stretch to Furneaux Lodge. If there’s time, enjoy a well-deserved snack and a drink at the lodge (own cost) before meeting at the jetty at 3pm for the boat ride back to Picton.

Option 3: Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary Cruise 
Cruise from Picton out to the stunning Motuara Island, enjoy a 1-hour cruise with native birdlife and immerse yourself in the natural surroundings and stunning views. On arrival at this magnificent island, you will hear a chorus of songs from the local inhabitants. Sit and enjoy the bird viewing station, an approx 5-minute walk from the jetty, before following the moderate gradient track approx. 800-m one way around the hill with several lookout points along the way before reaching the highest point of the island (128-m) where there awaits fantastic views across to Ship Cove. There is also a spectacular view to the North Island from the Cook Strait Lookout. Lift the lid on one of many wooden nestling boxes along the track and a sleepy Little Blue Penguin may just glance up to see who is watching over him. Afterwards you are returned to Picton by water taxi.

Tonight, we will regroup and enjoy a final dinner together.

Day 6              Sunday 12 March 2023    
DEPART PICTON          (B)
After breakfast today we make our way to Blenheim. Our tour concludes with our flight from Blenheim to Auckland.

The Rutherford Hotel, Nelson exterior car port

Rutherford Hotel

Rutherford Hotel Nelson is within easy walking distance of the central city and close to many of the attractions the area has to offer, boasting a unique blend of local charm and cosmopolitan sophistication. Guest facilities at the hotel include restaurants, a bar, cafe, gym, sauna and outdoor swimming pool. Many of the 113 guest rooms have been recently refurbished and offer a range of in-room amenities as well as access to the hotel's facilities.

Kaiteriteri Reserve Apartments

Kaiteriteri Reserve Apartments

With golden sands, idyllic climate and four season recreation opportunities, Kaiteriteri Reserve is a unique destination. The premium beachfront apartments were built in 2016 and are positioned to ensure guests get the most out of everything on offer. Kaiteriteri is the perfect place to visit throughout the year offering world class walking tracks, boat trips, sailing, kayaking, mountain biking or for those just wanting to relax on the beach. Dine in the summer sun or fireside in winter at Shoreline restaurant right alongside the Apartments and you will have spectacular views of the sea, beach, natural forests and alpine backdrop.

Beachcomber Picton

Picton Beachcomber Inn

The Beachcomber Inn Hotel is situated on the waterfront of Picton, just a 2 minute walk from the main street, 800 metres from the Ferry Terminal, 400 metres from the train station. The Restaurant boasts spectacular views of the marina and is open from 6pm using locally-produced ingredients and always with a gluten free option available. Please note, during the winter months the restaurant may be closed. Cooked and continental breakfasts available as room-service.

Tour Inclusions

  • Door to door home collection & drop off service available from select areas – refer to flyer for further information
  • Auckland – Nelson & Blenheim - Auckland return flights with Air New Zealand - other ports on application / price on application
  • 5 nights accommodation - twin/double rooms, all with private facilities (single rooms available with surcharge)
  • Tour admissions as per itinerary
  • Touring in modern air-conditioned vehicle
  • Breakfasts (B), Lunches (L), Dinners (D) where indicated on your daily itinerary – 5x breakfasts, 1x lunch, 5x dinners
  • Roadside Morning Teas – where possible
  • Pics Peanut Butter Tour
  • Wilsons Abel Tasman day tour to Medlands Beach
  • Greenshell Mussel Cruise
  • Water Taxi

Tour Payments Per Person ($NZD)

Share Twin Cost: $4,710.00
Single Supplement: $730.00
Non-refundable deposit due at time of booking $200.00

Discounts available for Travel Club Members - Please Enquire

Full balance of tour payment due by Tuesday 24 January 2023

Book and pay in full by Monday 07 November 2022 and receive $150.00 discount per person. 


Are door to door collections included on this tour? YES

Yes. Leisure Time Tours offers a free home collection and drop off service from selected Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua and most Auckland City areas. Our complimentary collections are based on your individual post code, other home collection locations available at an additional cost. Alternatively you may wish to meet us at our Hamilton depot in which case you can park your car in our secure yard free of charge for the duration of your holiday. For all tours that have a flight component, we can also offer door to door collections from Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin city areas.

Please refer to our Home Collection flyer for further information about this service.

Is the Guaranteed twin Share Price available on this tour? YES

Yes. Our Guaranteed Twin Share price is available for those passengers willing to share with another single traveller of the same gender. If there isn’t another passenger of the same gender to share with we GUARANTEE our twin share price. Leisure Times Tours accepts no responsibility for the compatibility of passengers travelling under this arrangement. If someone is not compatible with the person they have been matched up with, all additional costs incurred to assist with changing their shared room type to two single rooms will be at the expense of both travellers and will be subject to availability. Acceptance of a guaranteed twin share room is subject to the individual’s medical condition being suitable for this type of arrangement.

Please note that the guaranteed twin share pricing is not available to pre & post tour accommodation arrangements.

What fitness level is required for this tour? MODERATE LEVEL

To ensure that you select the right tour for you, we’ve developed a very clear set of fitness recommendations for our tours. These physical ratings clearly explain how much physical exertion is required to participate on each tour.

Level 1 – Easy

  • Relaxed paced tour
  • Be able to participate in guided or unguided small walking tours at a relaxed pace.
  • Walk on mostly level ground
  • Tackle an occasional flight of stairs
  • Occasionally need to stand for up to 10 minutes
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided

Level 2 – Moderate

  • Be able to participate in walking tours with time to rest at least every 10 minutes
  • Stand for 15 minutes without needing to sit down
  • Tackle a flight of stairs or incline
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided
  • Walk confidently on bush tracks

 Level 3 – Active

  • Participate in walking tours without having to rest for up to 20 minutes
  • Walk up an incline equal to a flight of stairs without stopping
  • Stand for 30 minutes without needing to sit down
  • Walk over uneven ground and walk through soft sand
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided
Will there be a daily seat rotation on this tour? YES

Passengers rotate seats in the coach daily so that all passengers have the opportunity to enjoy forward and window seating. All passengers are expected to participate as a booking condition.

Can you assist with pre & post tour accommodation? YES

Yes we can. Should you wish to arrive earlier or stay longer we can book in some pre and post tour accommodation for you. Please ask at the time of booking if you require this.

Is this tour a guaranteed departure? NO

This tour will be guaranteed once there are 10 passengers booked on the tour.

Are roadside morning teas included on our tours? YES

Yes. A point of difference is that wherever possible we offer our passengers roadside refreshments served from the coach. This gives all passengers the chance to mix and mingle over a hot cuppa allowing us to share our experiences as we journey together.

Do I need travel insurance?

Leisure Time Tours strongly advises all passengers to purchase a travel insurance policy. A comprehensive travel insurance policy may prevent you from spending extra money in case of an emergency and will help you feel protected during your holiday. We are agents for Cover More Travel Insurance. Ask us for a no obligation insurance quote today. 

How much luggage can I bring?

Luggage is restricted to one suitcase and one small item of hand luggage per person. Baggage handling of one suitcase per person, at each hotel, is included in the trip price. Carry-on/hand luggage handling is the responsibility of each guest and all personal items must be taken off the coach by you each day of the trip.

What clothing should I pack?

When on tour, dress is generally relaxed and casual with an informal dress standard on most occasions. Casual wear is recommended for travelling with something a little more formal for evening dining. If taking part in outdoor activities, make sure you have a waterproof coat, comfortable footwear and dress in layers to help you adjust to any sudden changes in climate. Be prepared for New Zealand’s powerful sun, even on cold windy days, bringing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

Top of the South Wanderer
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