22 October 2016
It makes you hungry just thinking about it . . . a wonderful mouth watering two week self drive tour of New Zealand enjoying the best food and wines in all the areas you visit. Starting in Auckland, in the North Island, your journey takes you to Rotorua, the Art Deco city of Napier, the Hawkes Bay wine region, Wellington, Blenheim in the Marlborough wine growing area, and ends in the beautiful relaxed city of Christchurch on South Island. As well as enjoying the food and drink, you will drive through lots of the spectacular scenery for which New Zealand is famous.
After arrival in Auckland you will collect your Budget Rental Car or United Motorhome. Depending on your arrival time in the city the rest of the day is at your leisure. Time to explore this vibrant waterside playground and dine at one of the many fine restaurants in the harbour area.
Enjoy a scenic cruise to Waiheke Island. Throughout your tour you will learn about the island’s history and culture.You’ll see Waiheke’s most stunning coastal vistas, pass beautiful hillside vineyards and get a real insider view of island life. Then take advantage of the complimentary All Day Bus Pass allowing you to further explore the island.
Today you leave Auckland and head south to the remarkable geothermal area of Rotorua. An option on the way is to travel via Waitomo for a visit to the famous glow worm caves. This evening enjoy a Maori Hangi and Concert at Tamaki Village. The driving distance is around 130 miles and you should allow about 3 hours for the journey to Rotorua.
A full day to explore Rotorua’s many attractions and see the Maori Culture. Visit the Whirinaki Rainforest walk or Rainbow springs for the opportunity to spot a Kiwi. While in Rotorua don’t miss the chance to indulge your senses at the Polynesian Spa and soak in the healing waters of the hot pools. An option this evening is to take the Skyline Gondola and experience the amazing views over the lake while enjoying dinner.
A 200 mile drive today to Napier through pine forests and past Wairakei power station to Lake Taupo where you can stop to view the powerful Huka Falls. Enjoy the incredible scenery and native forests on the road to Napier, once devastated by an earthquake in 1931 and now famous for its art deco architecture.
Today you can put away your car keys and see the best of Napier on an Art Deco Tour by vintage Buick. This short tour includes all of the major Art Deco highlights and your local guide will provide in-depth information on the history and architecture of the city
Spend the morning in Napier before travelling through Hastings and the rural landscape of Hawkes Bay on to Dannevirke. Then head on to Mangatainoka & stop for lunch before continuing south to Martinborough. Driving distance today is around 250 miles and you should allow about three and a half hours for the trip.
Today is a free day so get in your car and go exploring in the stunning Wairarapa region, famous for its wineries and beautiful vineyards. Call in at some of the vineyards, sample the wines, and treat yourself to lunch. Return to Martinborough where you stay for another night.
This morning drive the short distance to New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, a vibrant city filled with great cafes, restaurants and bars. In your spare time don’t miss out on visiting Te Papa- Museum of New Zealand and take a cable car for great views over the city and harbour.
Today you have the time to get an in depth locals view of New Zealand’s capital city with a Zest Walking Gourmet Tour, which gives you an insight into Wellington’s food and coffee culture, followed up with an afternoon free to explore or do some shopping.
An early start this morning as you check in for your ferry crossing. Cruise from the North to the South Island aboard the Interislander travelling out of Wellington harbour across Cook Strait and into the Marlborough Sounds arriving at Picton just after noon. Then drive south to Blenheim in Marlborough. This afternoon you drive through some of the regions wineries as you immerse yourself in the heart of the Marlborough vineyards famous for Sauvignon Blanc.
This afternoon you will be collected from your hotel to join your memorable Marlborough Wine Tour. Home to more than 50 wineries, the region is the best place to explore the world of wine and your guide will incorporate up to five in your itinerary including tastings.
Allow five hours to drive the 300 miles south along Kaikoura Coast and be sure to stop at Kaikoura for lunch, renowned for its whale and dolphin watching. Further south are the Canterbury Plains and the Waipara Wine Region with cellar doors open for tastings, before arriving into Christchurch.
Your tour comes to an end today but there is still time to explore the lovely city of Christchurch . Later drive yourself around the area and enjoy a final meal on your gourmet tour before returning your hire car and beginning your journey home.
Standard Rate fr £1801pp
Superior Rate fr £1970pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated