Wine on High
Make sure you don't drive past Kaikoura Winery, 140 St. Hwy. 1 (tel. 03/319-7966; www.kaikourawinery.co.nz), perched high above the ocean on limestone cliffs, to the south of the town. It's worth a stop for some of the most scenic wine tasting you'll ever experience. The ocean views are wonderful and they have a very impressive underground cellar and a cafe. You're welcome to have a picnic there, and they have gourmet food available. It's open daily from 10am until 5:30pm and tours are held on the hour for NZ$15 per person. Wine tasting costs NZ$5.
En Route to the West Coast & the Glaciers
From Christchurch, take State Highway 73 through the magnificent landscape of Arthur's Pass National Park. In 2 hours, you'll get to the village of Arthur's Pass, your halfway point to the West Coast. You'll then pass over the new Otira Viaduct, which takes care of the worst and most dangerous part of the journey. Continue to proceed with caution, though, especially when it's snowing. From Otira, it's another 1 to 1 1/2 hours to Greymouth on the West Coast. If you're traveling straight down to Franz Josef and Fox glaciers, follow State Highway 6 all the way. You can expect the drive to the glaciers to take another 3 to 5 hours, depending on how often you stop.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.