Kaikoura & Hanmer Springs Day Safari

Whales, hotpools, forests & wine

with the Whale Watch flights & hot pools


On this amazing day, you will experience the Alpine Pacific Triangle™ touring route, one of New Zealand’s great scenic drives. You’ll discover an excellent balance of eco-adventure and indulgence on this experience.

This route combines some of New Zealand’s premier tourist attractions. The Alpine Pacific Triangle heads along the coast to the eco-tourism destination of Kaikoura, inland to South Island’s leading thermal resort - Hanmer Springs, and then through the Waipara Wine Region back to Christchurch.

View the Waimakariri River and its unique braided riverbed system. Recognised as an outstanding natural landscape feature, the Waimakariri River’s headwaters are in the heart of the main divide of Southern Alps.

Depart Christchurch and travel through the beautiful rural pastoral scenes of North Canterbury to Kaikoura where the mountains meet sea. A stop can be made to see NZ Fur Seals basking on rocks alongside the highway.

Kaikoura, with snow-capped mountains rising almost straight from the Pacific Ocean, has deep ocean canyons that provide a home to an exciting array of sea animals.

At Kaikoura, a whale watch flight with Wings over Whales is made. On your 30 minute flight, sightings can be made of Sperm Whales and Dusky Dolphins. Sightings can also include Southern Right, Humpback, and Pilot whales.

Enjoy spectacular views from the Kaikoura Peninsula and then travel from Kaikoura to Hanmer Springs on the very scenic “inland road” with its farmland, river and alpine vistas. Enjoy a wine tasting at a North Canterbury winery and then arrive at Hanmer Springs, situated in a high country basin.

Sit back and relax in natural thermal waters at Hanmer’s outdoor Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa complex. Surrounded by towering trees and a superb mountain backdrop, the soothing mineral waters have been attracting visitors for more than 125 years as they seek to relax and unwind.

Highlights of your day

  • The coastal town of Kaikoura, sandwiched between soaring forest-clad mountains and the Pacific Ocean. A deep underwater trench off the coast of Kaikoura makes this the perfect habitat for whales.
  • The picturesque alpine resort of Hanmer Springs is a popular destination and famous for its thermal hot pools.
  • Wine tasting in the Waipara Valley. The Waipara Valley enjoys a microclimate that’s perfect for growing grapes, making this Canterbury’s foremost wine-producing region.

Tour inclusions

  • Travel by deluxe 4WD minicoach
  • Fully guided and hosted with informative commentary
  • Delicious picnic morning and afternoon teas
  • Kaikoura whale watch flight with Wings over Whales 
  • Cafe lunch in Hanmer
  • Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa
  • Wine tasting at a local winery
  • Courtesy city accommodation pickup and dropoff.
  • Depart Christchurch at 7.15am and return approximately 6.30pm

Please note there is no hurry on this trip!

Download the Kaikoura & Hanmer Springs Day Safari brochure.