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New Zealand - Christchurch to Kaikoura

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Going to NZ in Feb. and after North Island are flying into CHC arriving at 16:00 so my question is would it be too ambitious to pick up rental car then drive to Kaikoura before dark ? Just not sure if this road is slow going or not, as well for other roads in NZ.

Ultimately we want to get up to Blenheim and Marlborough Sound for a few days before heading south/west .
Other question is re. driving time & best route from Te Anau to Christchurch as we will only have 1 1/2 days to get there after an overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound with Fiordland.

Thanks.

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