Luxury New Zealand Wine Trail

For lovers of fine wine and gourmet dining

A 21-day tour following the wine regions of New Zealand from the North to the South.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Auckland’s west coast beaches and oldest wine region
  • Waiheke Island
  • Geothermal wonders of Rotorua
  • Hawkes Bay and Art Deco Napier
  • Wellington and Wairarapa wine country
  • Marlborough – home to sauvignon blanc
  • Get close to wildlife in Kaikoura
  • Mt  Cook splendour
  • Laid back Lake Wanaka
  • Pinot Noir from near Queenstown
  • Majestic Milford Sound

DETAILED ITINERARY

day:

DAY 1: Auckland

On arrival at Auckland’s international airport, transfer to your hotel in the heart of Auckland. Take today to recover from your international flight; take a stroll along the redeveloped waterfront, visit the Sky Tower for a view over the city, or enjoy a harbour cruise over to Devonport for a unique perspective of the city.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Sky Tower
  • Harbour Cruise
  • Americas Cup Yacht Experience
  • Beaches at Mission Bay & North Shore
  • Wander through Devonport
  • Redeveloped waterfront dining

DAY 2: Auckland

At leisure in Auckland. Time to sample some of the local wines, either on a tour to the west of Auckland, taking in the vineyards around Kumeu as well as the black beaches. Or head over to Waiheke Island for lunch amongst the vines.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Rangitoto Island tour
  • West coast beaches and vineyards
  • Auckland Museum
  • Dolphin Watch Tour
  • Vineyards on Waiheke Island
  • Art Gallery

DAY 3: Rotorua

Pick up your rental car this morning and head south out of Auckland in the direction of Rotorua. On the way, make sure you take time for a tour of Hobbiton, and relive scenes from the Hobbit & Lord of the Rings movies.  Enjoy the open road through the lush, green countryside. On arrival in Rotorua visit Rainbow Springs and the famous Kiwi Encounter, then relax in the Polynesian Spa thermal pools.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Hobbiton Tour
  • Rainbow Springs & Kiwi Encounter
  • Polynesian Spa

Driving time: 3 – 4 hours

DAY 4: Rotorua

Rotorua has so much to offer the visitor. Take a once in a lifetime scenic helicopter flight to the active volcano White Island, enjoy a leisurely lake cruise, or cycle/hike in the forest of giant redwoods.  You can’t leave Rotorua without exploring some of the great geothermal wonders and Maori culture at Te Puia, and enjoying a Maori hangi (feast).

Suggested Experiences:

  • Scenic helicopter flights
  • White Island
  • Paradise Valley Springs
  • The Buried Village
  • Te Puia
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Redwood forest
  • Maori Hangi

DAY 5: Taupo and Napier

In the morning drive to Taupo and visit the Huka Falls, maybe taking in a jetboat, or visit more geothermal attractions along the way. Continue on to Napier in the afternoon. Destroyed by an earthquake in 1931 the city was rebuilt in this architectural style of the time. It is one of the best examples of Art Deco in the world.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Geothermal wonders – Wai-o-tapu, Waimangu, Orakei Valley
  • Craters of the Moon
  • Huka Falls Jetboat
  • Maori Carvings

Driving time: 3 hours

DAY 6: Napier

All day in Napier to explore.  In the morning take a half day tour to the see the famous gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers, then follow this with a personalized wine tour or lunch at one of New Zealand’s top vineyards.  If you’ve still time, take a drive up Te Mata Peak for spectacular views.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Personalized wine tour
  • Gannet Colony at Cape Kidnappers
  • Art Deco History Walk
  • National Aquarium of NZ
Beehive Wellington NZ

DAY 7: Wellington

Drive south through rural farmland, eventually reaching the coast and to Wellington, arriving in the afternoon in New Zealand’s capital city. Wellington is compact, so you’ll still have plenty of time for a stroll along the waterfront or to visit the National Museum of Te Papa.  Nightlife in Wellington is lively or sophisticated, you’ll be spoilt for choice in places to dine

Suggested Experiences:

  • Te Papa Museum

Driving time: 4-5 hours

DAY 8: Wellington

Wellington will keep you busy all day. Home to Peter Jackson’s Weta Studios you might want to take a tour and find out all the secrets of the Lord of the Rings films.  Return to Te Papa for the latest exciting exhibitions, or visit Zeelandia, a haven for wildlife in the heart of the city. Ride the famous red cable car past the University for views over the city, then stroll down through the Botanical Gardens just in time for a tour at Parliament.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Weta Workshop Tours
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Zeelandia
  • Parliament Tours
  • Seal Colony
  • Wellington Cable Car
Martinborough (Photo: Scott Venning)

DAY 9: Wellington

Today is all about wine. Take a wine tour to the Wairarapa wine region, just north of Wellington.  Make a day of it and have lunch as well, or enjoy just a half day and spend the remainder catching up on the rest that Wellington has to offer.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Personalized wine tour

 

 

 

DAY 10: Ferry to Marlborough

Take the morning ferry across the Cook Strait to the South Island, arriving in Picton where you will pick up a new rental vehicle. Your accommodation is in the heart of the Marlborough wine region, with vineyards as far as the eye can see.

Ferry time: 3.5 hours

Driving time: 30 mins

 

 

 

(Photo: Canterbury Tourism)

DAY 11: Marlborough

Indulge yourself with a personalized wine tour today, visiting numerous vineyards and having lunch surrounded by vines.  If you’ve time there is also the option of visiting the Marlborough Sounds, or save it for tomorrow.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Dolphin Tours
  • Queen Charlotte Track
  • Air Force Museum
  • Wine Tours
  • Eco Tours
  • Molesworth Tours

DAY 12: Marlborough

Another full day in the region to explore further afield. Head out on a cruise in the Marlborough Sounds, or a visit to the high country station of Molesworth.  Enjoy some heli-fishing or a luxury helicopter flight over to Nelson.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Dolphin Tours
  • Queen Charlotte Track
  • Air Force Museum
  • Wine Tours
  • Heli-fishing
  • Molesworth Tours

DAY 13: Kaikoura

Take a leisurely drive south, eventually reaching the spectacular coastline south of Kaikoura.  Stop off at Ohau Point to marvel at the seals on the rocks, and if it’s the right season take a short walk up the Ohau Creek to see dozens of seal pups in their very own crèche.  And if you’re feeling hungry, stop off at the famous Nin’s Bin caravan for some freshly caught crayfish.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Whale watching
  • Swim with Dolphins
  • Swim with Seals
  • Albatross Encounter
  • Nin’s Bin for fresh crayfish

Driving time: 2 hours

Couple Wine Tasting (Photo: Canterbury Tourism)

DAY 14: Drive to Christchurch

Enjoy a great morning searching out whales on your whalewatching trip, before heading south to Christchurch. Make sure to stop off at the Waipara Hills vineyard on the way. Arriving in Christchurch in time for a stroll in the Botanical Gardens and a wander around the city that is starting to rebuild.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Waipara Hills Vineyard
  • Botanical Gardens

Driving time: 2-3 hours

DAY 15: Mt Cook

Drive out on the Inland Scenic Route through Fairlie and Geraldine,  to Tekapo.  Take time to visit the Church of our Good Shepherd, and perhaps a quick soak in the thermal pools, before carrying on to Mount Cook Village.  Enjoy short walks around the village, or visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Museum.  If the weather is clear it’s perfect for a scenic flight with a fixed-wing aeroplane or helicopter, including a snow landing. Kayaking and boat tours are also a popular alternative to getting up close to the glacier.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Scenic Helicopter Flight
  • Scenic Airplane Flight
  • Horseriding
  • Glacier Tour by boat

Driving time: 4 hours

Rippon Vineyard, Wanaka (Photo: Julian Apse)

DAY 16: Wanaka

Drive past glacial lakes and up over the Lindis Pass, before reaching laid-back Wanaka in time for lunch. Relax in one of the many cafes, take a scenic flight, or if it’s raining visit the famous Cardrona Pub or the quirky and unique Paradiso Cinema.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Cinema Paradiso
  • Cardrona Pub
  • Lakeside walks

Driving time: 2-3 hours

DAY 17: Wanaka

All day at leisure in Wanaka.  Take a wine tour in a Funny French Car, or take to the hills for one of the many hikes in this region – Rob Roy Glacier is to be recommended.  Mountain biking is a dream – hire a bike and take yourself off around the many trails around the lake. Alternatively, enjoy a spot of fly fishing in the lake and many rivers, or take an all-day multi-activity trip of a scenic flight, hike and a jetboat.

SuggestedExperiencies:

  • Funny French Cars
  • Siberia Trip
  • Wilderness Journeys
  • Canyoning
  • Fishing
Arrowtown Historic Cottage (Photo: Destination Queenstown)

DAY 18: Queenstown

Drive to Queenstown via the Crown Range Road and marvel at the views from the top.  Take the turning to Arrowtown to learn about the Chinese settlers and gold history. Browse the boutique shops, then stop for lunch at the famous Amisfield vineyard on the way.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Arrowtown
  • Amisfield Winery

Driving time: 1 hour

DAY 19: Milford Sound

Today you visit the world famous Milford Sound.  Hand over the driving to the experts, who will give you a guided tour, stopping at points of interest on the way.  At Milford Sound enjoy a nature cruise out to the Tasman Sea, and a visit to the underwater observatory.  Return via helicopter or fixed wing plane for a fantastic view over the mountains.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Milford Sound Nature Cruise
  • Scenic Helicopter Flights

DAY 20: Queenstown

Your final day to enjoy the beauty of Queenstown. Make the most of the many vineyards in the region for a personalized tour, or alternatively opt for the other many activities on offer.

Suggested Experiences:

  • Dart River Adventures
  • Helibiking
  • Whitewater rafting
  • Canyon Swing
  • Horseriding
  • Arrowtown trip
  • Wine tasting tour
(Photo: Destination Queenstown)

DAY 21: Depart Queenstown

Say goodbye reluctantly to Queenstown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Greenstone Travel we offer total flexibility. All our vacations are tailored to include accommodation and experiences that appeal to you. This sample itinerary is a great starting point, so please contact us so we can customize it according to your individual preferences.

Let’s Plan My Vacation