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Kaikoura, New Zealand

New Zealand's East Coast

Kaikoura, Christchurch & Akaroa

New Zealand tailor-made holidays

Introduction

New Zealand's east coast is centred on two main areas – the whale watching town of Kaikoura and, to the south, Christchurch and the Banks Peninsula. In between are attractive country towns and hot-spring spas, as well as mountains and rivers that provide an often-breathtaking backdrop for a range of outdoor pursuits. This stretch of coastline is also well suited to a self-drive, with easy-to-navigate roads following the coast all the way from north to south. And, if you feel like catching the train instead, the Coastal Pacific railway provides a scenic alternative.

Kaikoura

The coastal town of Kaikoura is is one of the best places in the world for watching whales and dolphins. Sightings vary, but close encounters with giant sperm whales can be enjoyed year-round. Migratory humpbacks, pilot whales and orcas can also be seen depending on the season. Other species to watch out for include Hector's dolphins and vast pods of their bottlenose cousins, sometimes thousands strong. It's all set to a backdrop of snow-dusted coastal mountains, creating a truly special setting. 


Breaching humpback whale, Kaikoura

Christchurch

The 'Garden City' of Christchurch is the second largest city in New Zealand and the gateway to the Canterbury region. It has long been regarded as the country's most 'English' city, mostly due to its neo-Gothic architecture and the winding River Avon, complete with punting students and weeping willows. When an earthquake struck the city in 2011, several buildings were destroyed. But now, after an extensive rebuilding project, the city is back to its vibrant best. 


Downtown Christchurch

Akaroa

The sleepy settlement of Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula is around an hour's drive from Christchurch along the scenic Summit Road. It's something of local's secret, drawing far more locals than overseas tourists, but it's well worth a detour. Expect fine food, some wonderful walks, pretty gardens and craft shops, all set in a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere. There are some interesting wildlife-viewing possibilities in the region, too, from catching sight of fur seals to swimming with dolphins.


Akaroa, New Zealand

 

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Special offers in New Zealand's East Coast

Lake Wakatipi, Queenstown, New Zealand

Ultimate New Zealand

22-day escorted tour from £6,850 pp incl. flights

Special
offer

Low season touring offer – Save up to £165 pp
Book by: 31 August 2019

A spectacular escorted tour combining luxury coach and railway journeys, lake and fjord cruises, taking in everything from city slicking and quaint township sophistication to New Zealand’s stunning natural world.

Top itineraries in New Zealand's East Coast

Queenstown, New Zealand

Highlights of New Zealand

19-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,085 pp incl. flights

With boutique hotel stays and car hire included throughout, this curated road trip perfectly showcases the unique cultures and natural wonders of New Zealand's North and South islands.

Fiordland Navigator, Doubtful Sound

Best of the South Island

13-day tailor-made self-drive & rail journey from £3,125 pp incl. flights

Discover New Zealand's South Island, bringing all to life with an included glacier heli-hike, an overnight Doubtful Sound cruise and a journey on the iconic TranzAlpine train.

Port Douglas beach, Queensland, Australia

Australia and New Zealand Discoverer

21-day tailor-made journey from £4,380 pp incl. flights

This tailor-made holiday combines the best that Australia and New Zealand have to offer. You'll explore New Zealand's world-famous glaciers and remote fjords with a self-drive before discovering Australia's sacred Ayers Rock, stunning beaches and delightful waterside cities.

Rotorua, New Zealand

Cultural Highlights of New Zealand

19-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,345 pp incl. flights

A tip-to-toe tour of New Zealand, taking in the best of its landscapes and culture, and calling into filming locations from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

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Top places to stay in New Zealand's East Coast

Gardens at Otahuna Lodge, Christchurch

Otahuna Lodge, Christchurch

Small & intimate lodge

Built in 1895 for Sir Heaton Rhodes, Otahuna Lodge is a stylish and elegant Victorian mansion set with beautiful manicured gardens on the outskirts of Christchurch on New Zealand's stunning South Island.

Annandale, Akaroa

Annandale, Akaroa

Accommodation

This ultra luxurious lodge sets the highest possible standards and in service, facilities, location and cuisine; four individual villas located on a working farm in a remote region of coastal beauty around an hours’ drive from Christchurch.

The George executive room, New Zealand

The George, Christchurch

Small & intimate hotel

This member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World is best known for its innovative dining experiences and contemporary style.

The Classic Villa double room, New Zealand

The Classic Villa, Christchurch

Small & intimate b&b

This is a New Zealand welcome complemented by city-centre Italian style that dates back to the turn of the century.

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When to go to New Zealand's East Coast

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Meet our New Zealand's East Coast experts

Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0614

Meet the team

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0614 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

Expert advice & support

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Let our travel specialists curate the perfect holiday:

  • Inspirational ideas based on experience
  • Established for over 45 years
  • Tailor a holiday to your precise requirements
  • Personalised quotes and documentation
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Every step of the way

Every step of the way

Our services are with you from start to finish:

  • Dedicated personal consultants
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  • Free airport lounges on qualifying bookings
  • Care and guidance pre, post and during holiday
  • Full financial security: ABTA & ATOL protected