Day 1: Arrival at Auckland airport - Half Day Vineyard Tour
Meet & greet at Auckland Airport. During the following sightseeing
tour you will make acquaintance with the "City of Sails", as Auckland is
often called. We drive to the extinct volcanic cone of Mt Eden, from
where you have a beautiful view over the city. We continue to the
elegant suburb of Parnell and to Auckland Harbour.
You'll also enjoy a half day visiting the vineyards and wineries of West
Auckland. These vineyards have been established originally by
immigrants from Europe to make wines for New Zealand’s largest city. The
Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc wines are noticeably
different in flavour from more southerly areas and the region produces
stylish reds - Cabernet Sauvignon or blended with Merlot and Cabernet
Our first visit will be at Matua Valley Wines, where lunch can be taken
at The Hunting Lodge (optional, group bookings essential). Here we will
find an impressive sales cellar, petanque, croquet and picnic facilities
in an attractive garden setting, Auckland’s best winery restaurant and
of course, excellent wines.
Our second vineyard visit for today is at Coopers Creek, which claims to
have won more medals and trophies than any small to medium sized winery
After travelling back to Auckland, you have the option to enjoy a
dinner of excellent New Zealand cuisine. Alternatively, enjoy dinner at a
top seafood restaurant in Auckland or at the new Orbit Restaurant in
the Skytower (optional).
Day 2: Auckland - Waikato - Bay of Plenty - Rotorua (B)
After breakfast, we travel to the Bay of Plenty. On the way to
Tauranga, we travel through the Waikato and stop for a vineyard visit at
Rongopai Wines, where botrytised dessert wines are made.
Around midday, we reach Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty. We have optional
lunch at Mills Reef Winery's very attractive restaurant. The developed
winery is a spectacular piece of Art Deco design, complete with a
sweeping driveway and palm trees.
In the late afternoon we reach Rotorua. The first thing you will notice
in Rotorua is the omnipresent smell of Sulfur that escapes through many
cracks in the underground. Here the Geysers are awaiting you, steaming
pools and brooks, blubbering mud holes and hot mineral pools. We explore
the Whakarewarewa thermal area and visit a Maori village in the city
centre before we check in to our hotel.
Day 3: Rotorua (B,D)
Rotorua is one of New Zealand's centres of Maori culture. At
night we participate in a Hangi, a traditional Maori meal cooked under
the ground. After the feast, the Maori performers sing, play and dance,
including everyone in their lively musical culture. Experience the
challenge of the famous Maori Haka. The skill of the participants is
tested in Maori stick games. See the swinging of the poi, symbolising
the flight of the bird. All actions, games and dances are accompanied by
Day 4: Rotorua - Hawkes Bay (B)
After breakfast we travel towards the wine region of the Hawke’s Bay for a day enjoying wine.
Tour selected wineries on the Heretaunga Plains. Taste and purchase
award-winning wines. This region is at the forefront of New Zealand’s
wine industry, exploring new varieties, producing a greater range of
high quality wines and extending the New Zealand wine experience. Try
some of the Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnays, and Riesling wines the
region is particularly well known for.
We will visit three-four vineyards in the region. We suggest a visit at
Alpha Domus, Esk Valley Estate, Cross Roads Winery and Corbans Hawke’s
Bay Winery. If time allows, we suggest a visit of NZ’s first major
winemaking museum, which puts McDonald Winery high on the must-visit
list. Housed in underground storage vats, the exhibits recreate
winemaking conditions as they existed at the turn of the century.
End the day with dinner at one of the excellent winery restaurants (optional).
Day 5: Hawke’s Bay - Martinborough - Wellington (B)
Today we travel towards Wellington via Martinborough. En route,
enjoy wine tasting and lunch (optional) at a Wairarapa winery. We
suggest a lunch at Gladstone Vineyard, established 11 years ago. The
Gladstone Platter is the specialty and features local products including
award-winning cheeses. If time allows we visit another two-three
vineyards in the Wairarapa region.
In the early evening we arrive in Wellington. The capital boasts a
veritable smorgasbord of restaurants, with more restaurants per head of
population than New York. The city has the widest range of international
cuisine to be found anywhere in the country.
Day 6: Wellington (B)
Another day in Wellington for your own leisure.
Day 7: Wellington – Queenstown (B)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Queenstown (flight cost not included).
Central Otago is NZ’s fastest growing wine region and its reputation has
been built on Pint Noir. Wines from the unique cool, continental
climate provide styles that are distinctively different from those of
other NZ regions.
Queenstown was the site of the largest goldrush in the country back in
the 1860's, and now it has an international reputation as the adventure
capital of the world. The combination of a unique alpine setting located
next to a freshwater lake, a range of 75 different activities and
attractions for visitors to experience and a compact town centre
covering just one square kilomtre are just some of Queenstown features.
Day 8: Queenstown (B)
Dubbed as the “adventure capital of the world”, young and old
flock to Queenstown to experience its famous bungy jumps, white water
rafting, tandem parapenting, hang gliding and jet boating. The day today
is at your own leisure to explore some of these attractions.
We visit Felon Road Wines, which boasts a very smart and efficient
winery, that has produced some of the country’s more exciting wines.
If time allows, we visit Olssen’s Garden Vineyard which is more than a
wine producer - it is a destination. Around midday we approach
Queenstown and visit Gibbston Valley Wines for an optional lunch. This
vineyard was the first commercial winery in Central Otago and remains
the area’s largest winery. It also has the highest profile and must
certainly attract the most visitors, thanks not only to its sizable wine
production, but also to a very popular restaurant and an impressive
70-metre cave tunnelled into the rock hillside.
After lunch we will visit Arrowtown, the former Goldmining township and
discover how the settlers in New Zealand lived in the days of the
Day 9: Queenstown - Dunedin (B)
We travel inland, away from the rugged coast, and discover the flat lush farmland that Southland is renowned for. Although
sheep farming is still the predominate method of farming, the wide diversity includes dairy, beef and deer farming.
We reach Dunedin at early afternoon. Dunedin is the main centre of
Otago, a region recognised for its spectacular scenery. The sheer
physical beauty of Dunedin - dramatic bush covered hills and valleys at
the head of a long natural harbour - attracted Maori settlers to the
site over four centuries ago.
Dunedin’s composition is a blend of history and modernity, possessing a
unique combination of cultural riches, fine architecture, and
world-famous wildlife reserves. We will take you on a brief sightseeing
tour before we travel to Otago Peninsula. This peninsula has
internationally renowned wildlife reserves including the Royal Albatross
breeding colony and rare Yellow-eyed Penguin colonies which we visit in
the later afternoon. You will be taken on a guided tour at the
Albatross reserve and travel further to the Penguin reserve, where you
will get close-up views to the nests without disturbing these animals.
In the evening we return to Dunedin and check in at the hotel.
Day 10: Dunedin - Christchurch (B,L)
Today we travel along the East Coast towards Christchurch. We stop at
the Moeraki boulders, curious rock formations lying on the beach. We
pass several small farm towns and have a lunch break at a farm in
Ashburton, where the farmers invite you for a farm tour. Experience a
sheep shearing demonstration on a working farm and share a home-made
lunch with the farmer family.
We reach Christchurch in the afternoon. The rest of the day is yours to
punt on the Avon River, to visit the cafes or just to relax in the
Day 11: Christchurch (B)
Another day in Christchurch for your own leisure.
Day 12: Christchurch – Departure (B)
After breakfast we visit the International Antarctic Centre, which
provides visitors with an impression of this icy continent and our human
activities there using full-scale models. At midday, we transfer you to
the Christchurch Airport, from where you start your flight back home.
- Driver to provide full commentary
- Transfer from/to Airports
- Sightseeing tours in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch
- 11 nights accommodation in mid range hotels
- All breakfasts from day 2-12
- one lunch and farm tour
- Admission to TE PUIA
- Hangi & Concert
- Inter Island Ferry crossing
- Visit of albatross and penguin colony on Otago Peninsula
- Visit of International Antarctic Centre
- Visits of wineries and vineyards as indicated in itinerary
- Winetasting fees
- G.S.T at 15%
- Optional Sightseeing
- Domestic and International flights
- Insurance or Airport taxes
Wine & Food in New Zealand
New Zealand’s abundance of fresh meats, seafood, vegetables,
fruits and cheeses along with wines, all produced in our clean and
natural environment, make New Zealand a gourmet’s paradise.
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