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Top Of the South - Takaka

Top Of the South - Takaka

Tour Date: Fri 21st - Sat 28th Mar 2025

DEPOSIT - $300.00

Single - $4,491.00
Twin Share - $3,891.00

Please note this is a cash or cheque price. Credit cards will incur a 2% fee.

*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment.

Northwest mountain ranges, lush rainforest, marble rock formations, the Nelson Lakes, a bird watching tour on Farewell spit, and scenic boat tours in this special corner of the South Island.

This tour is for those with a sense of adventure who may want to enjoy a range of optional short walks in “off the beaten track” places. We will travel in 9 or 12 seat, high roof vehicles with luggage trailers, which enable us to explore the more remote parts of NZ and discover its hidden gems.

Our groups are small and personalized with spare seats in our vehicles, and we can easily stop for quick photos, or short walks or just to explore this amazing region.

Group Size

Personalized small group tour of 5 to10 people

Location & Duration

Takaka – Golden Bay - St Arnaud - Hanmer Springs. Starts Nelson. Finishes Christchurch. 8 Days - 7 nights.

Highlights Will Include

  • Takaka, Canaan Downs
  • Pupu Springs
  • Farewell Spit eco tour
  • Labyrinth Rocks and the Grove viewpoint
  • Abel Tasman coastal sea shuttle tour
  • Lake Rotoiti scenic boat tour and Lake Rotoroa
  • Maruia Springs ,Maruia Falls
  • Hanmer Forest, and hot springs
  • Waipara Valley winery lunch


  • Eight days transport, 10 or 12 seat vehicles
  • Your own experienced driver / guide for eight days
  • Farewell spit eco tour
  • Abel Tasman Sea shuttle tour
  • Lake Rotoiti boat tour
  • Seven night’s accommodation
  • 5 dinners ,6 lunches ,7 breakfasts


  • Flights - if you would rather, I am happy to book flights and any extra accommodation at the start or finish of the tour. I do not have large enough groups to be able to get travel discounts and some people may be better off using credits or air points. Please let me know if you would like me to book though and I can just add to the tour cost for you.
  • Items of a personal nature

Booking Conditions

A non-refundable deposit of $300 per person is required to secure your place on the tour. Payment can be made to this account number.

Full payment is due one month prior to tour start.

Bookings made after 30 Feb 2023 – full payment at time of booking.


  • Deposit – nonrefundable
  • If this tour is cancelled due to Covid 19 government travel restrictions, a refund is available, or we will endeavour to reschedule. Alps 2 Ocean Ltd reserves the right in addition to any supplier-imposed amendment and cancellation fees, to charge a service and administrative fee of $100 per person.
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Top Of the South - Tour Route

Northwest mountain ranges, lush rainforest, marble rock formations, the Nelson Lakes, a bird watching tour on Farewell spit and scenic boat tours in this special corner of the South Island.

Download Tour Map
  • Day 1


    The tour departs from Nelson at 11 am.
    We head west, pausing in Mapua for lunch and a leisurely walk along the waterfront, followed by the picturesque drive over Takaka Hill. Along the way, there are stunning viewpoints and options for brief walks. You'll encounter the area's distinctive marble rock formations, sculpted by the elements. We'll arrive in Takaka with enough time for a brief exploration of the town before dinner, should you desire. Our accommodation will be at Golden Bay Motels for four nights.

    Dinner at the Mussell Inn

  • Day 2

    Explore Takaka


    We'll be introduced to Neil, a passionate local historian well-versed in Golden Bay's history. He'll guide us through the delightful Takaka Museum, lead us around the Saturday Market, and offer insider tips on the town's numerous gift shops and galleries. Additionally, for those interested, I can lead a scenic 30 to 40-minute walk known as the Groves.

    We dine tonight at the Dangerous Kitchen.

  • Day 3


    We begin our day with a visit to the breathtakingly clear Pupu Springs, accompanied by a short loop walk through the native forest—a true morning treasure. There's time to explore unique rock formations such as the Labyrinth Rocks, dip our toes at the beach in Golden Bay, and experience salmon fishing at Anatoki Salmon.

    Dinner is a free choice tonight

  • Day 4


    We start the day with a trip to the northernmost point of the South Island, known for its breathtaking cliff-top views, intertidal plains, and the historic lighthouse. We'll join the Farewell Spit tour to observe migratory and native New Zealand birds. Any free time will be dedicated to discovering the region's rugged coastline. Additionally, there's an opportunity to walk to the beautiful Whirinaki Beach and spend some time exploring the village of Collingwood.

    Dinner at Mollies in Pohara

  • Day 5


    After a leisurely start, we head out to Totaranui. Here, I'll leave you to embark on the Abel Tasman scenic boat tour, a ninety-minute journey along the coast. You might spot dolphins and seals en route. Later, I'll meet you at Kaiteriteri for lunch before we continue south, passing through the region's abundant hop gardens and fruit orchards, on our way to St Arnaud for a two-night stay..
    Stay for 2 nights at Nelson Lakes Motel

  • Day 6


    St Arnaud is the gateway of the Nelson lakes ,next to lake Rotoiti, and a hub for so many tracks and trails in the area. We can walk part of the Travers Sabine lakeside track in the morning. A chance to spot some birdlife, there has been a lot of work to make this area free of predators. In the afternoon we will be join the boat tour with our local guide who will tell us the history and stories of Lake Rotoiti.

    Dinner at the Alpine Lodge.

  • Day 7


    Travelling Southeast we visit the remote but beautiful Lake Rotoroa , the birdlife and beech forest make this a tranquil stop. Maruia Springs and the stunning Maruia Falls, are places of interest during this journey the Maruia Falls a result of a major earthquake. We will explore the many river valleys that feed the mighty Buller River before staying again for 2 nights at the Alpine Motels at Hanmer Springs.

    There will be some time for a hot soak in the thermal pools if you wish or perhaps a short walk on some of the many tracks nearby.

    Dinner at Fire n Ice

  • Day 8


    Our last day features a leisurely drive through the Waiau River Valley, with brief stops, culminating in a relaxing lunch at a vineyard in the Waipara Valley. For those with flights, we will arrive at Christchurch Airport by 2 pm. Alternatively, if you're staying on in Christchurch, I am happy to drop you at your accommodation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What level of fitness do I need?

No matter what your fitness level, you can choose the activity level you feel appropriate for you, but everyone who has experienced this tour has the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors whether it’s a gentle stroll or a long walk the choice is very much up to the individual. Whatever you choose it is essential to bring suitable footwear and a rain jacket so you can enjoy the environment.

What if I want to change some of the travel plans?

Sometimes our travellers like to visit relatives while on the journey. The multi night stays at each location do allow for you to meet others, or if we are stopping for a walk nearby, Wayne can arrange that you spend your time differently. If you are thinking you would like to visit someplace that is not listed in the itinerary, we can sometimes build this in. It is worth having a chat to Wayne to see what is possible.

What about cancellations or interruptions due to level changes?

We do ask for a small non-refundable deposit to begin the booking process; however, all other expenses are fully refundable if we did need to cancel. In most instances we would look to reschedule and will be in touch with you if this arises. If in the event the level changes were imminent while we were travelling, we would look to get you quickly and safely back to a destination you could travel home from e.g., Queenstown or Christchurch.