Itinerary Highlights

  • Enjoy locally produced specialty foods, succulent fresh New Zealand oysters, and award-winning olive oil on Waiheke Island
  • Discover the different wine varieties in each of New Zealand's wine growing regions
  • Cycle through the vineyards of the south island's Marlborough wine region
  • Take a tour through New Zealand’s largest underground wine cave and enjoy a gourmet wine barrel-cooked lunch with matching wines
  • Best time to travel November to April

What's Included

  • Accommodation Throughout
  • Car Hire
  • Domestic Flights
  • International Flights
16 nights from £7,755 per person

Jackie

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect Australasia holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.

On this wonderful fifteen-night self-drive tour, take a journey through regions that account for more than 80% of New Zealand’s world-famous wine production! You will encounter award-winning wineries, eateries, farmer’s markets and artisan food producers, collecting incredible memories along the way.

Discover tranquil Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gulf, a haven of beautiful boutique vineyards, beaches and producers of delicious artisan cheeses and specialty foods. Drive through New Zealand's many wine producing regions including Te Kauwhata, Hawkes Bay, Martinborough, Marlborough and Waipara. Take in the stunning scenery along the way, anything from rolling countryside, volcanic landscapes, geothermal parks, towering mountain peaks and wild surf beaches.

 

Itinerary

On your arrival at Auckland Airport, you will be met and transported to your city centre hotel. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore the city and the waterfront. Head to the observation deck on the 51st floor of Sky Tower for panoramic views of Auckland and the harbour or take a ferry across to the harbourside suburb of Devonport with its upscale cafes and seafood restaurants.
Hop on a ferry across to the delightful Waiheke Island where you will join a small group food & wine tour. Enjoy locally produced specialty foods, succulent fresh New Zealand oysters, and award-winning olive, accompanied by wines from some of the Island’s top boutique vineyards. Treats may include artisan cheeses, oysters straight from Te Matuku Bay & wild honey. A lunch platter at one of the area's top vineyard restaurants is also included.
Staying at   QT Auckland
Upgrade to   Park Hyatt Auckland
This morning leave Auckland in your rental vehicle, suburban scenery soon gives way to green countryside. You may wish to stop at the wine growing area of Te Kauwhata. You will follow the Waikato River for much of the journey and pass-through Hamilton where you can enjoy attractions such as river cruises, gardens, and museums. For those that are fans of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy, you can stop off for a guided tour of Hobbiton™.
Enjoy a free day to explore the attractions of Rotorua before this evening’s cultural experience. Enjoy drama, performance and divine seasonal kai (food) shared against a backdrop of blazing bonfires, towering Tawa trees, and a natural forest amphitheatre. Forest shared delicacies like crispy pork, caramelised apple wrapped in kawakawa, paua, pikopiko fronds, smoked eel and charred hangi kumara are followed by a four course hakari (feast). Designed by award winning Maori chefs, staple favourite like hangi share the table with fusion kai like Wagyu Pincanha, watercress chimichurri and pickled Pikopiko, BBQ Split Koura rangi (scampi) and puha kimchi.
Staying at   On the Point
Hawke's Bay
Depart Rotorua on the road to Taupo where you will pass geothermal parks and drive through large tracts of plantation pine forest. Just before you enter Taupo stop at Huka Falls, an impressive sight from the riverside or for the adventurous book Hukafalls Jet for an exhilarating 30-minute jet boating experience on the Waikato River to the base of the falls. The drive from Taupo to Napier is beautiful, offering varied scenery from gentle plains and huge vistas to rugged hills and beautiful valleys. The cities of Hastings and Napier were devastated in 1931 by a huge earthquake, as a result both cities have a great deal of Art Deco architecture.
Hawke's Bay
Discover the world's 12th 'great wine capital' on our full day panoramic country with a taste of wine tour that aims to show you a cross-section of Hawkes’s Bay wineries. You will visit 3 - 5 winery cellar doors, some maybe household names you may recognise, and others are boutique producers. Lunch will be organise at one of the winery restaurants (at your own expense) before your final destination of Te Mata Peak where you will have 260 degree views of the entire region.
Martinborough
Continue your journey south towards Masterton, points of interest include the antique shops of Woodville and a wildlife sanctuary at Mt Bruce. From Masterton to Martinborough you will pass through friendly Wairarapa townships including Featherston where you can stop to visit the locomotive museum. Martinborough offers more than 25 boutique vineyards and several fabulous restaurants.
Martinborough
Hosted by a local expert guide, this is a highly personalised experience. You will meet local people and see behind the scenes of premium wine brands and artisan food producers, tasting your way through the region. Savour a delicious lunch matched with premium local wines. Explore the historic township of Greytown which has beautiful examples of Victorian Architecture and discover the regions award-winning pinot noir.
Nelson
Drive to New Zealand's capital city where you drop your rental vehicle and take a short flight across the Cook Strait to Nelson, on New Zealand's south island. Known for its local arts and crafts, art galleries and the gateway to Abel Tasman, Nelson is one of New Zealand's most popular holiday destinations. Make sure you sample the seafood here, we recommend lunch at the Boat Shed Cafe on Nelson's waterfront, especially the Baked Mills Bay mussels.
Nelson
Join this full day small group Wine & Art Tour of Nelson where you will visit galleries and meet artists and into galleries exhibiting art forms of all persuasions. Boutique winemakers will share their world class wine as the host prepares matching food and refreshments which showcase the huge variety of produce from this food bowl in the sunniest part of New Zealand.
Blenheim
Today your journey takes along one of the country's most scenic drives, the Marlborough Sounds Queen Charlotte Drive. Stop in Havelock for fresh greenshell mussels and continue to Picton along the scenic Queen Charlotte Drive. Continue south to New Zealand's premier wine-growing region, Marlborough, accounting three quarters of the country's wine production. Those interested in WW1 & WW2 history should stop off at the world-class Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre supported by Sir Peter Jackson.
Blenheim
Wind along bike paths and quiet country roads on this guided bicycle tour of the vineyards of Marlborough. You will stop at least 3 select wineries with your knowledgeable guide and have the chance to try the delicious cool climate wine varieties of Marlborough. Enjoy the incredible views of the Richmond Range, Wither Hills, and Wairau Valley as you cycle from one vineyard to another. The pace is leisurely, and the terrain is gentle, ensuring easy riding no matter what your skill level.
Staying at   The Marlborough
Take State Highway 1 through the coastal foothills and Awatare Valley. The road then reaches the Pacific Coast where you will have the ocean to one side and the dramatic Kaikoura Range to the other. Kaikoura is renowned for its wildlife experiences including kayaking with dolphins and whale watching cruises to spot Minke, Humpback and Southern Right Whales. You can also hike to see fur seal colonies. Continue south to Christchurch, taking time to stop at the vineyards and olive groves of the Waipara region and the surf beaches of Amberley and Waikuku. Stay at: Mayfair Hotel
Upgrade accommodation to   Otahuna Lodge
Lake Pukaki
Today drive through the Canterbury Plains, stop at Fairlie for one of the famous pies at Fairlie Bakehouse. Take in breathtaking views of Lake Tekapo and The Church of the Good Shepherd. If time permits take a private 4WD backcountry tour to Braemar Station. Continue to your overnight stop at Lake Pukaki, as dramatic as Lake Tekapo and on a clear day you will enjoy views of Mt Cook in the distance. Stay at: Lakestone Lodge
Today you continue your drive to Queenstown, a spectacular drive with views of the Southern Alps and crossing the dramatic Lindis Pass. You will pass the wine-growing regions of Bannockburn, Cromwell and Gibbston before arriving at Queenstown, known as the Adventure Capital of the World. Enjoy exploring the pedestrianised town centre and waterfront, and if time permits, we recommend the TSS Earnslaw Lake Wakatipu Cruise with BBQ Lunch or Dinner. Stay at: Hulbert House
Join a small group tour to experience an indulgent and diverse full day showcasing the very best sights and tastes from the Central Otago region. Your guide will lead you on a tasting journey through three contrasting Central Otago wine sub-regions; Gibbston, Bannockburn and Cromwell. Included are a guided tour through New Zealand’s largest underground wine cave, a gourmet wine barrel-cooked lunch with matching wines, a lovely cheeseboard, and take-home chocolates. Hotel - Hulbert House
Check-out of your hotel and make your way to Queenstown airport for your departure flight.

Jackie

Travel Specialist

Not sure where to stay in Australasia? I'm here to help. Give me a call and I'll share my first-hand insights to find your perfect spot.

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16 nights from £7,755 per person

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