Top of the South – New Zealand Eco Getaway
Duration: 7 days – 6 nights
Itinerary: Nelson to Nelson
Tour type: Private driver/guide
Visit the Top of the South and stay at intimate and charming small lodges, marvel at high mountain peaks, golden beaches, sunsets and waterfalls… We’ll get you immersed in a pristine Nature with a walk and hike combo in Abel Tasman National Park before exploring Nelson and Golden Bay backcountry.
- Explore Abel Tasman National Park on a multiday kayak and walk tour
- Hike the Kahurangi National Park
- Venture off the beaten track with a stay in Golden bay
- Visit one of New Zealand’s most remote and pristine beach
- 6 nights in beachfront lodges and 2 eco-lodges
- Meals as per itinerary
- All transfers as per itinerary with a private driver/guide
- Tour inclusions as per itinerary (small group and private)
- New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST)
- E-documentation from Greenz Travel
- 24/7 assistance in the country
Day 1 – Arrival Nelson – Abel Tasman National Park
Upon arrival in Nelson airport, you will meet your driver for a private transfer to Kaiteriteri.
3 days / 2 nights kayak and walk combo (small group – private accommodation)
From Totaranui, walk through mature native forest and along secluded beaches to the breathtaking expanse of Awaroa Inlet where you’ll reach Meadowbank Homestead – a faithful recreation of the Wilson family’s original home on the ‘finest site in the bay’.
Depending on your arrival time in Nelson, join your walking group in Kaiteriteri (departs 1pm) or hop on a private water taxi ride for a direct transfer to your lodge, nestled in the Abel Tasman National Park. Accommodation: Meadowbank Homestay – 1 night
Includes breakfast and dinner
**Trip departs Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays – if you arrive any other day, we may need to switch the days of the trip around.
Sustainable practices: The Wilsons family business evolved as a model for sustainable tourism, including boats, lodges, walking and sea kayaking, leading to John Wilson being honoured in 2008 with a Queen’s Service Medal for services to tourism. Recognising that environmental responsibility means much more than planting trees and recycling, Wilsons Abel Tasman participates in long-term strategies to ensure the sustainability of tourism as one of the region’s most important industries.
Guests are hosted in genuinely eco-friendly Lodges: Meadowbank Homestead at Awaroa and Torrent Bay Lodge. Solar hot water, bio-active sewerage systems, locally sourced produce, organic cleaning systems and extensive recycling reduces the environmental impact of these lodges.
Day 2 – Abel Tasman National Park
Wake-up to breakfast overlooking Meadowbank’s gardens and the waters of Abel Tasman’s largest tidal estuary.
Walk over a forested saddle to Onetahuti where your guide will settle you into your stable, double kayak with full instructions and safety briefing. You’ll then kayak through Tonga Island Marine Reserve and explore hidden inlets on the way to Torrent Bay.
Accommodation: Torrent Bay lodge – 1 night
Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 3 – Abel Tasman National Park – Motueka – Takaka Hill
This morning you will launch your kayak from Torrent Bay and paddle southwards along the coast while your guide shares stories of early explorers, shows you bays and beaches, and introduces you to the predator-free wildlife sanctuary of Adele Island. If the wind is with you, you may get to hoist a specially designed sail to ride the sea breeze. Stop for lunch and a rest at a sheltered beach, then continue your journey through azure waters to the famous Kaiteriteri beach.
Upon arrival in Kaiteriteri you will be privately transferred to your accommodation.
Accommodation: The Resurgence Eco Lodge – 2 nights
Includes daily full breakfasts, aperitifs & table d’hôte dining
The Resurgence is a destination in its own right. Set in the delightful Riwaka Valley, in 20 hectares of bush, there are 3 km of walking tracks. You are surrounded by native birds and tranquillity. There is no road noise and no other buildings in sight. In the evening, soak up the Lodge atmosphere and experience the local cuisine with refined dining in a convivial atmosphere or self-cater and enjoy a peaceful evening accompanied by the sounds of nature.
Day 4 – Takaka Hill – Kahurangi National Park – Takaka Hill
Alpine Splendour – guided walk (private– full day)
The access road to Mount Arthur – the second highest mountain in Kahurangi National Park – climbs to almost 1,000 metres and is an awesome activity on its own, affording marvellous views and hinting at what is to follow.
The walk starts with a moderate tramp through towering beech forest to reach the alpine region. During the morning an ever improving and diverse birdlife becomes apparent with Kea, Weka often as low as the carpark then bellbird, the tiny rifleman, tomtit and the fearless bush robin entertain all thanks to the volunteer group Friends of Flora and their trapping programme.
Mid-way up the forest dramatically changes perhaps due to a mineral belt, into predominantly dragon trees or mountain neinei. This is a hugely interesting forest and quite from another world, before returning to beech forest prior to emerging into the alpine region. Within minutes giant granite slabs are reached offering spectacular 360 degree views and hidden amongst these and in crevices is the biggest selection of alpine plants to be found in one area in New Zealand.
This part of Kahurangi National Park is one of New Zealand’s most interesting for visitors, with its impressive mountain and bush scenery, remarkable botany and geology and interesting human stories.
Includes pick up and drop from your lodge
Day 5 – Takaka Hill – Golden Bay
Today you will be collected from your accommodation by your private driver.
Board your Tesla X for a private sightseeing tour en-route to your lodge.
Leaving Nelson region behind, you head into the Takaka Hills and towards the remote Golden Bay.
Veer off and head off to Wharariki Beach and Cape Farewell, just a few kilometres from Farewell Spit and the northern-most tip of the South Island.
The sandy beach is accessible via a 30-minute walking track from the end of Wharariki Road Car Park. Cape Farewell is only just a few minutes ahead of the Wharariki Beach Car Park. A short 5 minutes’ walk takes you to a beautiful viewpoint of exposed cliffs and stunning views, a landmark of the most northerly point of the South Island.
After your visit to Wharariki Beach & Cape Farewell head back and continue to your lodge.
Driving time from here to Westhaven Retreat is 1 hour 10 minutes.
Accommodation: Westhaven Retreat – 2 nights
Includes Full buffet breakfast, picnic lunch, afternoon tea with home-made cake or pastries, four course dinner.
Westhaven Lodge was the lifelong dream of a local family that evolved over ten years. It’s a hideaway dream. The lodge is wonderfully remote yet comfortable and beautifully appointed.
Day 6 – Golden Bay
Today is at leisure at your lodge.
Westhaven Retreat Lodge, an extraordinary building designed, not only to harmonise with its environment, but also offering 5-star luxury accommodation. Make the most of the lodge’s facilities and relax in the pool, spa, sauna or indulge in an in-house massage.
If you feel like exploring further afield, the lodge is located on 404.6 hectare (1000 acre) on a private peninsula in a natural wilderness sanctuary, bordering a protected Marine and Wildlife Reserve as well as the Kahurangi National Park.
Explore on the property’s wide and easy walking tracks, ranging from 15 minutes to 3 hours along one of New Zealand’s most dramatic coastlines, where you will find secluded private beaches, incredible rock formations and the largest Nikau Palm forest.
Also available from the lodge are wellness (massage & spa), guided kayaking, coastal fishing, mountain biking, Farm and Safari tour.
Day 7 – Golden Bay – Nelson – Departure
Today you farewell this corner of paradise as you head back to Nelson airport with your private transfer (Tesla X) to meet your homebound flight.