New Zealand – Explore the Top of the South Island

Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise

New Zealand’s South Island hosts the purest and most picturesque landscapes you will ever experience. 

From wildlife to wineries, glacial valleys to star-filled skies, New Zealand’s beauty flourishes against a palette of dramatic scenes. Grand Pacific Tours, the New Zealand Coach Holiday Specialist, has developed an exciting new holiday experience that has never been offered before as a group touring itinerary. 

The 11 Day Top of the South Island Tour will visit several iconic regions in the top part of New Zealand’s South Island – each offering something different and unveiling a picturesque landscape of wilderness, wildlife and unique attractions. 

The itinerary is designed for travellers who enjoy the outdoors, love food and wine and are keen to get off the main roads, including a number of short walks that will allow travellers to experience some of New Zealand’s native wildlife and natural beauty.

Start your trip at the quaint fishing village of Akaroa, where you will set off on a nature cruise for the chance to see the rare Hector’s Dolphins and other marine life. Experience the natural beauty of the scenic West Coast that hosts an abundance of wildlife and stunning scenery including the Hokitika Gorge – a vivid, turquoise glacial river, surrounded by lush bush. Travel along the Great Coast Road to the world-famous Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes where columns of water shoot skyward from rocks that resemble giant stacks of pancakes.

Punakaiki Pancake Rocks

Cruise along the shore of the Abel Tasman National Park, a hidden gem with crystal clear water and sandy beaches all combined with New Zealand’s native flora and fauna followed by a delicious barbecue lunch. Taste the crisp and delightful wines of the Marlborough region as you experience exceptional vineyards including sampling some of Marlborough’s finest wine amongst the barrels at Cloudy Bay Estate. Take in the natural beauty of the Queen Charlotte Sound to Furneaux Lodge where you will consume fresh, local, seasonal cuisine and local Marlborough wine followed by the opportunity for a peaceful walk around the tranquil grounds enjoying picturesque views. 

Other highlights include Monteith’s Brewery Co. where you will sample locally brewed beers over lunch; Nelson Classic Car Museum where you will marvel at an incredible collection of iconic cars; and the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, home to one of the largest private collections of WW1 Aircraft. 

Grand Pacific Tours are delighted to be conducting this Top of the South Island itinerary on both the Ultimate Small Group Touring coach and Signature Mid-Size Group Touring coach.

Travellers will enjoy a VIP experience on the coach commonly referred to as “business class on wheels”. Grand Pacific Tour’s Ultimate coaches cater for a maximum of 20 guests on a purpose-built full-size coach with luxury leather seats, complete with additional amenities. Indulge in premium 4.5 star hotel accommodation, personal service and value-added experiences.

Ultimate Coach, maximum 20 seats


Travellers will experience the Premium Economy Comfort of a full-size coach, touring with a mid-size group of up to 32 travellers, fully escorted. Stay in 4 star hotel accommodation, all stylish, centrally located and offering deluxe service. 

The Top of the South Island itineraries include airfares and taxes, return airport transfers in New Zealand, modern coach travel, hotel accommodation, most meals, sightseeing and attractions; meaning travellers do not have to worry about any hidden extras. 

To find out more contact RAC Travel on 1300 655 179, visit or see your local RAC Travel & Cruise centre.