Today some of the best wines in the world come from New Zealand and on this eight day tour of the country's North and South Islands you will get to sample lots of them. Wine buffs will be in their element as they travel from Auckland to Christchurch sampling those vintages along the way. But the tour is also great for those wanting to see the stunning scenery of Lord of the Rings country and it can also be combined with other tours or a longer stay in the Land of the Long White Feather.
You will be met at Auckland airport by one of our tour representatives and transferred to your Auckalnd hotel .
Auckland to Rotorua
Today drive through farmland, lakeland and forest until the distinctive smell of sulphur and constant steam drifts let you know you are in tempestuous, geothermal Rotorua. On arrival, jump on board the Skyline Gondola for the ride up Mt Ngongotaha for the most spectacular views in town. Sample handcrafted wines from New Zealand’s most recognised and respected wine regions in the Volcanic Hills wine tasting room while enjoying the 180° panoramic views over Lake Rotorua. Then enjoy a buffet lunch in the Skyline Restaurant.
Rotorua to Napier
Enjoy the scenery as the road changes from forest to rugged mountain ranges and then to fertile vineyards as you continue on to the Hawke’s Bay, known for its Art Deco architecture, gourmet food and world-class wineries. Hawke’s Bay history abounds with early winemaking successes and continues today with both classic wine styles and experimental varieties new to the region. Red wine production is centred on merlot, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, cabernet franc and malbec. Chardonnay and sauvignon blanc are the main white varieties
Today you will discover the passion behind Church Road wines on a guided tour through one of New Zealand’s oldest wineries. Your 'Behind the Scenes’ tour includes the Church Road Winery, a fascinating underground museum, cellar door wine tasting and a sumptuous lunch platter. Later take a trip around town and marvel at the unique architecture.
Napier to Martinborough
Today you will enjoy the clean, green Wairarapa scenery as you drive south for around 250 miles to Martinborough and a new wine area.The Wairarpa wine region is packed with charm. The three sub regions of Martinborough, Gladstone and Masterton include select boutique wineries, mostly family-owned and the focus is always on quality rather than volume.
Martinborough – Wellington - Picton - Blenheim
A short drive to New Zealand’s capital city, set between a sparkling harbour and rolling green hills. Wellington buzzes with delicatessens, cafes and restaurants – it’s a city that enjoys gourmet food and fine wine. Known as the culinary capital of New Zealand, it is famous for its tucked-away bars, quirky cafes, and award-winning restaurants. Drop off your car at the Ferry Terminal depot and board the Interislander Ferry for one of the world’s most scenic ferry journey’s across the Cook Strait to the South Island. Pick up another car in Picton and drive to Blenheim, the heart of the wine growing Marlborough region.
Today’s tour includes the three icons of Marlborough - Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, the Marlborough Sounds and Marlborough Greenshell Mussels. After a morning of wine tastings enjoy an informative and relaxing afternoon cruising the inner Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds on a Greenshell Mussel Cruise. Take in the natural beauty of this tranquil environment, learn about the history of the Marlborough Sounds and the pioneering families who have settled here.
Blenheim to Christchurch
Travel down the ruggedly beautiful coastline between the surging Pacific Ocean and the steeply rising Kaikoura Ranges, across
broad rivers and the rich patchwork farming landscape of the Canterbury region to Christchurch. Today you can take a Kaikoura Whale Watching Cruise. Every Whale Watch tour is a unique experience and the sightings vary. Giant Sperm Whales are the stars of the show and year-round residents. A typical tour may also encounter New Zealand Fur Seals, pods of Dusky Dolphins and the endangered Wandering Albatross.
Today your wonderful New Zealand wine tour comes to an end. Possibly time for some more sightseeing and last minute shopping in Christchurch before you drop off your car at the airport and catch your flight home. This tour can be combined with any other longer New Zealand trip and is a real must for all wine lovers.