The Top of the South Island has the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure, in every season.
Travel from alpine peaks to the Marlborough Sounds, sampling gourmet food and world class wine from luxurious resorts to rustic vineyard restaurants.
Here in the top of the South Island, you’ll discover a place to experience life beyond the ordinary. A place where all the best parts of New Zealand are distilled into a single destination, with a palpable energy, vibrant culture and arts scene, and an array of stunning natural landscapes to explore. A place where it's easy to connect, but where disconnecting is valued too, with beaches, rivers, lakes and mountains located just a stone’s throw away.
If departing from Whanganui, meet at the Whanganui Racecourse for an 8am departure, and travel south to Levin for some home baked morning tea.
From here, it's straight into the Interislander Ferry terminal in plenty of time to board our 1pm sailing over to Picton.
For those departing from another destination, you will fly into Wellington and be transferred to the Interislander Ferry Terminal to meet up with the group. All tickets and details will be provided in your personal information pack, sent prior to travel.
Once we hit the mainland, it is a short drive around to the small town of Havelock at the head of Pelorus Sound. Tonight, we dine at a great restaurant before resting our heads for the night.
Accommodation: Havelock Motel
After a relaxed start to the day, we head down to the marina to join one of the last remaining ‘genuine’ Mail Boats left in the world, still delivering mail and groceries as it has been for almost a century. We cruise the majestic Pelorus Sound, delivering goods to isolated homesteads nestled in quiet secluded bays.
A picnic style lunch is organised for today, and we visit a mussel farm and see how this area got the name of the green lipped mussel capital of the world! We carry on delivering the last of the mail and return to Havelock between 3pm and 4pm.
We then continue over to Nelson to the beach suburb of Tahunanui to our great accommodation for the next two nights. Once settled in we meet for dinner sharing stories of the day and getting to know our new friends.
Accommodation: The Beachcomber Hotel
Feel free to start your day with a relaxing stroll down the beach before boarding the coach to head out to explore the highlights of this wonderful city.
Our first stop will be in town where you have the chance to experience the exceptional Nelson markets. There will also be time to wander around town and visit such attractions as the Nelson Cathedral, Suter Art Gallery, and the Queens Gardens just to name a few. For those who are keen to stretch their legs, you can walk to the Centre of New Zealand.
Then, as a group, we head to Founders Heritage Park, where we will enjoy the charms of days gone by at this great attraction including a train ride around the park. We will also have lunch here at the wonderful cafe before carrying on our day.
The first visit this afternoon, sees us arrive at the new iconic Nelson attraction, Pics Peanut Butter World. Their world-famous Peanut Butter World tours have been designed so all can share in the wonder of how NewZealand’s most loved peanut butter came to be and has made its mark on the world.
From here, we start making our way back to our accommodation but not before a visit to the Nelson Classic Cars Museum, which is the best place to see more than 150 cars in immaculate condition.
We aim to get back to give you some R&R time before meeting again for another delicious dinner.
Accommodation: The Beachcomber Hotel
After breakfast, it’s time to depart Nelson and head to one of New Zealand’s most beautiful coastal areas. Before we arrive at Abel Tasman National Park, we will stop at the charming seaside village of Mapua. Situated by the stunning Waimea Estuary, Mapua Wharf is a beautiful location to wander the shops or to get yourself some morning tea.
We then drive the scenic Ruby Bay coastal road and head over to the turquoise water and golden sand beach of Kaiteriteri. This is the launching place for our Scenic Abel Tasman Cruise where we travel the full length of the spectacular coast in style. Lunch today is a classic kiwi BBQ on board as we call into picturesque coves, pausing for photographs at famous Split Apple Rock, and cruising by the seal colonies on Tonga and Adele Islands.
Upon returning to Kaiteriteri, we hop back on the coach and travel over the Takaka Hill, into one of the country’s most diverse and appealing holiday destinations, Golden Bay.
We arrive at Takaka, the main centre of the region, to our fantastic accommodation for the next few nights. Tonight, we head out to one of the highly rated restaurants for dinner.
Accommodation: Mohua Motels
A relaxed start to the day before we hit the road and explore the region's highlights. Also, this morning you have the option of a Scenic Flight (at your own expense, see activity folder) over this amazing region and beyond.
We will visit Te Waikoropupu Springs (Pupu Springs) which are known for the clarity of the water and are the largest freshwater springs in New Zealand. From here, we head out to the Anitoki Salmon Farm where you have the chance to catch your own lunch! If fishing is not your thing, then the guide will help you out then we all sit down together and enjoy a variety of freshly smoked Salmon meals (alternative meals can be arranged).
From here, we head out to what will surely be a highlight as we embark on the amazing eco tour of Farewell Spit. From Collingwood, we will board the purpose-built coach for this is a great afternoon of exploring.
We travel right out to the historic lighthouse located about 27 km along the beach, and this is where we will have our picnic style dinner. Our journey also includes a stop in Puponga and at the most northern point on the South Island, Cape Farewell. The knowledge of the guides will amaze you and after this great day we make our way back to Takaka to rest our heads for the evening.
Accommodation: Mohua Motels
Today, we bid farewell to Golden Bay and retrace our path over the hill and then travel the Motuweka Valley road south to the Alpine Village of Saint Arnaud. We first visit the beautiful Lake Rotoiti with amazing photo opportunities then have a great lunch at a local café.
Heading east, we then travel SH63 alongside Mt Richmond Forest Park into the wine country of Marlborough. This afternoon, we have some great activities organised as we head out to Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre.
You, of course, have the chance to visit the outstanding Sir Peter Jackson's exhibitions of the WW1 'Knights of the Sky' and the new WW2 'Dangerous Skies'. Also on offer, is your chance to experience a joy flight in one of the vintage aircraft (at your own expense, see activity folder). Before departing, we head next door to Omaka Classic Cars for a look at this outstanding collection which totals well over 100 cars with more than half on display at any one time.
We also have a special treat lined up but we are going to keep that under our hats for now! Afterwards, you will be given some time in town to explore or visit the impressive Wine Station where you can sample from a selection of 80 premium Marlborough wines by the glass, hand-picked from across the region.
After another amazing day, we head to our accommodation for the final night. We enjoy our last group dinner, while raising a glass to the top of the South Island!
Accommodation: Quality Hotel Marlborough
A relaxed start to the day before we make our way to Picton to catch our 11am ferry back to Wellington. There will be plenty of time to get yourself some lunch as we head over the strait.
When arriving into Wellington, those flying out will be transported to the airport and the others will make their way back to Whanganui.
*If you are travelling to another destination, your travel arrangements will be made for you in your customised itinerary.
After years in the broadcasting industry, Jase hung up his headphones to run Take It Easy Tours. This has meant he can still pick up the microphone to inform travellers and encourage friendly banter while on tour.
Jimmy has a wealth of experience and uses this to ensure all trips with Take It Easy Tours are well organised, informative, diverse and a whole heap of fun.
There is limited availability for this tour. Please contact us to find out more.
Having a good night's rest after a day out touring is very important so we personally choose all of our accommodation. Generally, four star accommodation when available - with all the comforts you need for a relaxed night.
Please just let us know in advance and we will sort everything for you. Chefs are used to all sorts now when it comes to diet so as long as we know - we’ll have you covered.
We strongly recommend taking out travel insurance as soon as you book your trip. It just puts your mind at ease. Remember to make sure you are covered for and loss of personal possessions, sickness, accidents or travel delays. Feel free to ask us for any tips to make this quick and easy for you.
Yes, it would be our pleasure. We can arrange for you to be picked up and returned to your front door at the conclusion of any tour.
Our buses are quality touring coaches that are very comfortable and fully air conditioned. They range in size from 19-28 seats ensuring that we can easily access all those secret spots off the beaten track. All vehicles are regularly serviced as your safety is our priority.
Coaches and luggage trailers are always locked and secure but we recommended you take any valuables with you when staying overnight.
Cancellation charges do apply so again we recommend travel insurance. Our cancellation policy is clearly outlined for each tour so make sure you cast your eye over it and please feel free to ask any questions.
We are called Take it Easy for a reason as we like to do just that. Do as much or as little as you like - after all it's your holiday! However, there is walking and various activities on each tour that require various levels of fitness. Please check with us if you are unsure about anything and relax knowing that there's always another option for you if you would rather miss out on any activity. We always have a back up plan.
Yes, you can earn airpoints with Take It Easy Tours when we are using Air New Zealand flights. All you need to do is get in contact with us and let us know your airpoints number for each time you wish to earn points.
Get in touch with our friendly staff