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Cultural Upper South Island


The Journey

A feast of Maori culture awaits you. From whale watching in Kaikoura to a Maori Uncut guided tour in Abel Tasman, all your experiences along the way will gain you indepth insight into the historical past of Aotearoa New Zealand.

To follow this campervan driving itinerary, pick up and return your vehicle at our Christchurch branch. Visit maui campervan hire Christchurch for more details.


5 days


Christchurch to Christchurch


Best Time of the Year

Anytime of the year


  • Kaikoura
  • Lewis Pass
  • Marlborough
  • Abel Tasman
  • Rugged West Coast
  • Arthurs Pass

The Journey


1 2 3 4 5

Day 1
Christchurch to Kaikoura

Distance 178km - Driving Time 2.5 hours

Pick up your maui motorhome. Prior to departing Christchurch, you might consider exploring the heart of Christchurch, to blow out those travel cobwebs! Drive to Kaikoura, best known for whalewatching. En route visit the Pegasus Winery in Amberley, Waipara (approximately 30 minutes North of Christchurch) for a taste of local food and wine. Enjoy the hospitality of the Miharotia B&B or Dusky Lodge in Kaikoura. Don’t forget to book your half day tour with Maori Tours Kaikoura for the next day.

Day 2
Kaikoura to Nelson

Distance 413km - Driving Time 5.75 hours

After your half day outing, enjoy a good meal at the Beach House Café. Drive North to Nelson via Lewis Pass or the wine country of Marlborough. Make sure you drop into the Koata Krafts Gallery, located next to the i-SITE in central Nelson.

Day 3
Nelson to Motueka

Distance 47km - Driving Time 45 mins

Spend today at the Abel Tasman National Park on a sea kayak with Abel Tasman Kayaks, or perhaps take their special Abel Tasman Maori Uncut guided tour. Either way, you’ll have a memorable experience in Motueka.

Day 4
Motueka to Hokitika

Distance 328km - Driving Time 4.5 hours

Head South towards the West Coast for the extraordinarily scenic drive down the West Coast. There are many sights of interest along the way. Splash out for a night of luxury and hospitality at the Awatuna Homestead in Hokitika. You’ll love the evening story telling session with your hosts that brings this whole region to life in a very special way.

Day 5
Hokitika to Christchurch

Distance 238km - Driving Time 3.5 hours

Drive back to Christchurch over Arthurs Pass. Back in Christchurch this evening, you could take in a special cultural experience at either Tamaki Heritage Village in Ferrymead, or at Ko Tane, located at the Willowbank Park. Both experiences offer insights into either our historical past or the native wildlife of Aotearoa New Zealand.

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