Christchurch to Nelson Road Trip Itinerary

Discover the South Island’s natural playground on this ten day Christchurch to Nelson loop road trip — featuring Kaikōura, The Sounds and Golden Bay.

A road trip to the South Island’s natural playground


Take your front row seat for nature's most colourful performance — where your soundtrack will be the ocean's reassuring repetition of waves crashing on sandy beaches. 


On this ten day Christchurch to Nelson road trip you’ll find calmness and tranquillity amidst a natural playground. You’ll connect with the natural world and the marine and bird life that depend on it.


From abundant sea creatures to golden sand beaches and windswept dunes to secret watering holes — this itinerary features nature at its very best.


Drive north to Kaikōura where the mountains drop steeply into the sea, then explore the incredible Marlborough Sounds and the coastal beauty of Abel Tasman National Park. Reach the end of the road at wild Farewell Spit before returning to Christchurch via the majestic mountains of Nelson Lakes National Park.



  • Kaikōura whale watching
  • Kaikōura Peninsula Walkway
  • Ohau Point Lookout
  • Marlborough wine region
  • Queen Charlotte Track
  • Pelorus Bridge
  • Great Taste Trail
  • Jester House Café
  • Abel Tasman Coast Track
  • Anatoki Salmon
  • Te Waikoropupū Springs
  • Wharariki Beach
  • Farewell Spit
  • Mussel Inn
  • Nelson Lakes National Park
  • Buller Gorge Swingbridge
  • Maruia Hot Springs
  • Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools

Do these exciting highlights give you itchy feet? Simply fill out the form to see your Christchurch to Nelson road trip itinerary.