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Home6-10 Day Independent Tours from Christchurch › 9 Day Abel Tasman, Whales and Wildlife Tour

9 Day Abel Tasman, Whales and Wildlife Tour

The great outdoors rules! With wine, water, woodlands & walks, who could ask for anything more? Ever wanted to see a split apple rock? Here is your opportunity. Prefer to sit quietly on a perfectly golden sand beach looking into equally perfect azure blue water? Now you can. Join us on this nature lovers 9 day South Island tour visiting the Abel Tasman National Park, naming just one amazing area you'll visit. This really is paradise, going strong.

9 Day Abel Tasman, Whales and Wildlife Tour

A fabulous 9 day tour of the South Island. You’ll watch whales in Kaikoura, visit sunny Nelson, enjoy a day out in Abel Tasman National Park, travel the beautiful northern reaches of the West Coast along with visiting Christchurch, Dunedin, Te Anau, Milford Sound, Queenstown and Mt Cook.

Tour Type: Independent Tours
From: Christchurch to Christchurch
Departs: Daily
Duration: 9 Days
Tour Code: 9A

Regions Visited

Click on the region name to view more information about the region

Christchurch, Greymouth, Punakaiki, Nelson, Abel Tasman National Park, Kaikoura, Dunedin, Te Anau, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Mt Cook

Tour Inclusions

  • All transport
  • 8 nights accommodation
  • Visit Punakaiki - Pancake Rocks
  • Abel Tasman National Park Day Tour
  • Kaikoura Whalewatch Tour
  • Milford Sound Cruise & picnic lunch
  • Queenstown Gondola
  • Mt Cook National Park

Day By Day Itinerary


Board the world renowned TranzAlpine train bound for Greymouth via the Arthur’s Pass National Park. Cross the Canterbury Plains, travel over viaducts and through tunnels and into the lush rainforests of the West Coast. On arrival in Greymouth board your coach for your journey North to Nelson.  An afternoon stop is made at Punakaiki where you can view the Pancake Rocks.

Stay: Nelson


Your full day tour to the Abel Tasman National Park commences with a morning pick up from your accommodation. Drive through horticultural areas to Motueka and on to beautiful Kaiteriteri beach where you board your launch. You have various cruise/walking options in the National Park during the day before returning to Nelson.

Stay: Nelson


Travel through the Nelson state forests to Blenheim before heading south to the seaside resort of Kaikoura. Enjoy spectacular views of the Kaikoura coastline and the seaward Kaikoura mountain range. Afternoon at leisure in Kaikoura.

Stay: Kaikoura


This morning enjoy a 3 hour cruise with Kaikoura Whale Watch to marvel at the giant sperm whale and the dusky dolphins. Kaikoura Whale Watch has won many international awards for tourism excellence and marine conservation. In the afternoon sit back and relax aboard the Coastal Pacific train*. Enjoy the stunning scenery as you travel south to Christchurch.

Stay: Christchurch

* Travel may be by coach if the Coastal Pacific train is not operating


Travel south over the Canterbury Plains to the cities of Timaru and Oamaru. Follow the coastline to Palmerston and then its over the Kilmog Hill and Mt Cargill to Dunedin – the Edinburgh of the south. Afternoon at leisure in Dunedin.  Ask us at time of booking if you wish to do a tour to see the penguins/seals on Otago peninsula.

Stay: Dunedin


Morning at leisure in Dunedin, perhaps a stroll around this beautiful city taking in some of the remarkable architecture. In the afternoon travel through the lush pastures of Otago and Southland to the lakeside resort of Te Anau.

Stay: Te Anau


Regarded as one of the World’s most scenic journeys into Fiordland National Park – a world heritage area. Enjoy a one and a half hour cruise of Milford Sound viewing spectacular waterfalls and famous Mitre Peaks before heading to Queenstown.

Stay: Queenstown


A full day for you to enjoy this fabulous resort. We have included the Skyline Gondola in your tour. There are dozens of activities including white water rafting, jetboating, sky diving, bungy jumping, lake cruises, high country sheep station tours and excellent walking trails. Something for everyone. Our team is happy to book any additional activities for you, please ask us at time of booking.

Stay: Queenstown


We leave Queenstown and travel through the rugged Kawarau Gorge to Cromwell and then up over the Lindis Pass to Mt Cook National Park. Time is available for lunch (own expense) before continuing to Lake Tekapo. After a brief stop at the Church of the Good Shepherd before our journey continues across the Canterbury Plains to the “Garden City” of Christchurch.

Average Score: 5 (1 rating)
1 - 5
I wanted to follow up from our last communication and let you know that our trip to your beautiful country was the memory of a lifetime.

The logistics, co-ordination and planning was outstanding. The variety and beauty of the country was amazing, and we felt we got to see so many of the beautiful, natural sights of the South Island. I just wanted to say thank you. I was a magical experience.

Prices for period 1st October 2018 to 30th September 2020

Accommodation Tourist (Motel) Quality (Hotel)  
Twin/Double $2,985 NZD $3,525 NZD Enquire / Book
Triple $2,745 NZD $3,125 NZD Enquire / Book
Single $4,215 NZD $5,245 NZD Enquire / Book

Prices are per person and in New Zealand Dollars.

Expenses of a personal nature such as meals (except where stated in the itinerary), beverages, travel insurance, laundry and optional sightseeing are not included in the tour cost.



Independent Tours are not escorted group tours - they are for independent travellers. What this means is that it is not the same group of people travelling on their own coach with a tour leader/escort looking after you. You are travelling independently. However, you are picked up and dropped off at your accommodation each morning and evening and interesting commentary is provided on many sectors.

Frequently Asked Questions – Independent Tours

What is an Independent Tour?
Independent Tours are not escorted group tours - they are for independent travellers. What this means is that it is not the same group of people traveling on their own coach with a tour leader/escort looking after you. You are traveling independently.  However, you are picked up and dropped off at your accommodation each morning and evening and interesting commentary is provided on many sectors.

What dates do your tours depart?
The Pacific Travel Independent Iour programme operates on a daily basis (with daily departures) using the services of Great Sights, InterCity, Interislander and KiwiRail. All tours are subject to availability at time of booking.

What is included in the tour cost?
All tours 2+ days in length include coach travel, transfers, accommodation and sightseeing activities where specified. A detailed travel wallet with your travel vouchers and comprehensive itinerary will be sent to your agent prior to your departure or delivered to your pre tour accommodation for you to collect on check in.

I am travelling alone – can I pay the triple or twin share rate and be linked with other travellers?
No, unfortunately. You must pay the single room – per person cost.

I am travelling with children, what price will I pay?
Please contact us for information on child fares, as these vary based on the specific product you require. Some sightseeing activities are unsuitable for children.

Are any meals included in the tour cost?
Our Independent Tours do not include meals. There are exceptions where a picnic lunch is included on particular sectors. The coach does make various refreshment / comfort stops throughout the day where food can be purchased. Each evening you are free to relax and dine at you choice of restaurant either on site if you choose quality class, or just a short walk into town with tourist class. Many accommodation providers offer a breakfast service which can be arranged directly.

Is Halal food available in New Zealand?
Along with a small population of Muslims, New Zealand has an increasing number of Muslim visitors. Halal food and restaurants are now found in many areas of the country.

Do Independent Tours have a tour escort?
As these tours are Independent, you do not have an escort traveling with you. However all coach drivers are experienced professionals. They will share their vast knowledge of our country with you by providing an informative commentary on most routes.

Can I add in additional nights to a tour?
Yes you can. All tours are very flexible. Please ask one of our Travel Consultants for extra nightly rates.

What is the difference between quality and tourist class accommodation? 
Quality class:
 Hotel style accommodation with a restaurant on site, 4 star standard. At times 4 star motor lodges are also used. 
Tourist class: Self contained style accommodation with ensuite bathrooms and kitchenette facilities, 3.5 – 4 star standard. Breakfast provisions can be purchased from these properties but you will need to go to the town centre to purchase your evening meal. We endeavour where possible to book accommodation that is within easy walking distance of the centre of town.

What if I cannot find exactly what I am looking for on the website?
Let us know what is on your wish list to see and do and we are more than happy to help you plan a customised tour.

How much luggage can I take on my tour?
Each passenger may take 2 pieces of luggage (max 25kg each). For safety reasons, each passenger is limited to one carry on item (max 5kg). We also advise you check the maximum baggage allowance with your chosen airline.

How do I make a payment for a tour?
For bookings made more than 30 days prior to travel, Pacific Travel require a NZ$500 per person or 10% of the value of the package price (whichever is greater). This is a non-refundable deposit. Balance of payment is due 30 days prior to travel. For bookings made 30 days or less prior to travel, full payment is required at the time of booking. Visa & MasterCard are accepted forms of payment. All prices advertised are in New Zealand dollars and are GST inclusive.

What is your cancellation policy?
If after your booking has been confirmed you wish to cancel, the following cancellation fees will apply:
Cancellations 31 or more days prior to travel: Your deposit plus a further 10% of the total package price.
Cancellations 15 – 30 days prior to travel: Deposit + a further 20% of the total package price.
Cancellations 0-14 days prior to travel: 100% of total fare (no refund).
Booking amendments made by you: an amendment fee of 10% of total package price will be charged to cover our administration and communication costs. We may also need to pass on any amendment/cancellation fees imposed by our suppliers.

Conditions of travel
Pacific Travel reserves the right to alter fares, amend itineraries, book alternative accommodation or to cancel tours. Pacific Travel Ltd shall not be held responsible for any loss or damage to luggage or personal effects and/or damage resulting in death or personal injury, which may arise whilst travelling with Pacific Travel Ltd or its nominated suppliers. All transportation, both land and sea, is subject to the terms and conditions of the company providing the transport, some of which limit or exclude liability. These are available from the carriers concerned on request.

Will I need travel insurance?
We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance. Factors may arise that require you to cancel or amend your holiday, so it is essential you are covered for any costs that may be incurred. We recommend purchasing your travel insurance locally at the same time as you book your tour and flights. Unfortunately Pacific Travel does not sell travel insurance.

Do I need to tip in New Zealand?
If you wish to reward someone for a job well done it is always much appreciated.

Do I need a visa to visit New Zealand?
Most visitors to New Zealand do not require a visa to enter for the purpose of a holiday or vacation under the visa waiver program. If you do need a visa to visit New Zealand then you should contact the New Zealand consulate in your home country well before your departure date. We recommend you also check with your local travel agent or airline for any visa requirements to New Zealand particularly if you are passing through Australia.

What currency is used in New Zealand?
The New Zealand dollar is the only legal tender in New Zealand. View a guide between your local currency and the New Zealand dollar. Please note: Your tour and all purchases using a credit card in New Zealand will be charged in New Zealand Dollars (NZD) at the current exchange rate at the time of purchase. The above currency conversion page is to be used as a guide only.