St Clair Vineyard - Destination Marlborough  Destination Marlborough

Top of the South Wine Trail

The Top of the South Wine Trail showcases the best of both South Island wine and scenery. Beginning in the jewel of the North Canterbury wine region – Waipara – the trail heads north to Hanmer Springs, then east to Kaikoura, before finishing in the acclaimed Marlborough wine region. With either end of the trail a short drive from Christchurch or Picton, the Top of the South Wine Trail is a great route for anyone planning on travelling down the eastern side of the upper South Island.


Waipara is situated approximately 65kms north of Christchurch. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are the preferred local plantings in this burgeoning region. Many Waipara wineries have open-cellar policies, and a handful provide café and restaurant facilities. Enjoy wine tasting or join an organised tour.

Hanmer Springs

The alpine town of Hanmer Springs is a popular tourist destination – and the naturally heated thermal hot pools are the perfect accompaniment to your wine tasting experience. Indulge your senses with a relaxing dip in the thermal pools, or enjoy a local wine in the poolside restaurant.


The ecotourism capital of NZ, stunning Kaikoura is a magical location where the mountains meet the sea. World-renowned for eco-activities – particularly whale watching & dolphin swimming, Kaikoura is also forging a name for itself as a gourmet destination. Many excellent restaurants & the local Kaikoura Winery will indulge your love of fine wine & food.


Marlborough is New Zealand’s largest and most internationally recognised wine region.  Over 60 wineries occupy over 5000 hectares of former farm land, producing a number of varieties including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.


 The picturesque Omihi Hills Vineyard, run by Daniel Schuster Wines, Waipara, New Zealand  Daniel Schuster Wines



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 Dolphins below the water, Kaikoura, New Zealand.  Kaikoura Tourism



  A vineyard in Marlborough, New Zealand.  Destination Marlborough

Route Map

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Route Facts

  • Approx. 359km long
  • One way
  • Start: Waipara or Renwick
  • End: Renwick or Waipara
  • Wine & food, scenery, luxury, nature, walks

Other Touring Routes