13 Day New Zealand Wine, Food & Art
For the foodies, wino’s & art lovers among us!
Indulge in a sensational 13 day self-drive itinerary. This tour offers a variety of unspoiled landscapes and welcoming people. Combined with great New Zealand wine and food, accommodations and activities to enhance your experience of New Zealand.
Explore the delightful seaside towns of Kaikoura and Picton with ample opportunity to sample Marlborough's crisp Sauvignon Blanc and seafood from the ‘Sounds’. The vibrant arts capital of Wellington is just a ferry ride over the Cook Strait. Travel to pristine Northland, explore the views and cultural heritage. Food & Wine Cruise Marlborough Sounds, Gourmet Walking Tour Wellington, Exclusive Hawke’s Bay Wine Experience, Waiheke Island Wine and Art Tour, Brick Bay Vineyard Sculpture Trail, Classic Day Sailing Bay of Islands.
Day 1 - Arrive in Christchurch 'The Garden City'
Christchurch – ‘A city rebuilding’. The gateway to the South Island, is recovering from devastating earthquakes. Witness as the city creates its future – combining restoration of damaged historic icons; today’s highly praised temporary 'cardboard cathedral' and 'Re:Start' shipping container shopping precinct; understand the vision of how the new vibrant city will be more of a joy to visit than ever before. Christchurch is an ideal base for day excursions to view Kaikoura’s whales, scenic French settlement Akaroa or the mountain scenery at Arthur’s Pass.
Travel 4 hrs 30 mins to Blenheim – The Heart of Marlborough’s Wine making district
Blenheim – heart of the wine region. Vineyards embrace Marlborough’s central town of Blenheim with rows of changing colours through the seasons. Enjoy the vineyards and gourmet food, museum and a short drive to the beautiful Marlborough Sounds for cruising, hiking or cycling.
Day 2 - Icon ½ Day Wine Tour & ½ Day Mussel Cruise
Today experience the three icons of Marlborough – Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, the Marlborough Sounds and Marlborough Mussels
Visit two of Marlborough’s icon wineries in the morning to sample the award winning wines of Marlborough. Then depart the wine region for the short drive (30 minutes) through to the Havelock Marina. Enjoy a nice lunch right on the waterfront at the Slip Inn Café (lunch at own cost). Depart Havelock on the Marlborough Travel launch for a cruise through the Marlborough Sounds. Take in the natural beauty of the native bush and the tranquility of the Sounds. Learn from your experienced skipper the history of the Marlborough Sounds and the history of the pioneering families who have settled in the Sounds over 6 generations. Visit a Greenshell™ Mussel farm and learn the intricacies of growing this delicacy in the Sounds. Taste a personal favourite – freshly steamed mussels matched perfectly to a complimentary glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Day 3 - Cook Strait Ferry Crossing – Picton to Wellington
The three hour journey across Cook Strait which connects New Zealand’s North and South Islands is one of the most scenic in the world. For one third of the crossing you cruise through the majestic Marlborough Sounds a haven of sheltered inlets, coves and crystal clear waters. For visitors and locals alike cruising into the Sounds is breathtaking.
Wellington – Arts Capital
Nestled between a dramatic harbour and bush clad hills, Wellington was recently dubbed as ‘the coolest little capital city in the world’. The city is the country's centre for culture, politics, and home to the National Museum, Te Papa. Wellington’s thriving cafe scene is globally recognised by coffee cognoscenti, and of course is a centre for movie production with Lord or the Rings taking centre stage.
Day 4 - Walking Gourmet Tour of Wellington
Explore Wellington's favourite food places in this compact city. Known as New Zealand's café capital, Wellington is ideal for our Walking Gourmet tour. Visit a boutique coffee roaster and café. Enjoy tastings at Wellington's best specialist gourmet food stores. Meet owners, baristas, coffee roasters and chefs. Savour a delicious, light, three course tasting lunch with matched New Zealand wines at a top Wellington restaurant or café.
Day 5 - Travel 2 hrs to Martinborough (The capital of the Wairarapa wine region)
Martinborough is just over an hour drive north of Wellington (New Zealand’s capital and centre of government) is the heart of the Wairarapa wine region. The Wairarapa region is characterised by rolling hill country sandwiched between rugged coastlines and bush-clad mountains. As you drive through the region you will see grazing sheep, sheltered river valleys and lots of grapes and olives. It is by no means a large wine producing region, but what it lacks in size it makes up in quality. Some of New Zealand’s best and most expensive wines come from this region. The key attraction of Martinborough (apart from its high number of sunshine hours and low rainfall) is wine and all that goes with wine - tastings, buying, talking with winemakers, walking through vineyards and generally absorbing the atmosphere. But It's scale is perhaps it's greatest advantage - everything is boutique, the big wine producers are absent so park your car in the Square and stroll to the vineyards, the nearest is only five minutes away with more than twenty vineyards to choose from.
Continue a further 2hrs 30 mins to Napier - Art Deco City set in a Coastal Wine Region
The Pacific Ocean provides a stunning backdrop to the Hawke’s Bay, framed to the south by the dramatic Cape Kidnappers and the Tukituki hills. From natural disaster was born a celebration of early twentieth century architecture - Art Deco, Spanish Mission and Stripped Classical buildings pepper Napier, Hastings and the region’s small towns. Explore celebrated vineyards, the supreme Cape Kidnappers golf course, architecture, birdlife and Maori culture.
Day 6 - An Exclusive Hawkes Bay Wine Experience
There is only one way to experience Hawkes Bay wine and that is by taking a private tour with local wine expert in the luxury of a top-of-the-range 4wd vehicle. On your half day Wine Tour you’ll be taken to a selection of the most well known wineries such as The Mission, Church Road, Brookfields, Craggy Range, Kim Crawford and Te Mata Estates as well as visiting some of the boutique, under-the-radar vineyards such as Black Barn, Unison, Zepelin Estates and Sileni. You’ll be able to meet the winemakers, be treated to behind-the-scenes tours, and barrel tastings that are normally off-limits to the general public. A popular option is lunch at one of the award- winning winery restaurants where your guide will answer any questions you might have about the region, its wines, its food and its people. By the close of the day, you’ll have sampled some of the best wines in the New World under the expert tutelage of our staff and winemakers themselves.
Day 7 - Fly to Auckland “The City of Sails”, transfer to hotel
Auckland – ‘City of Sails’ is regularly voted one of the best lifestyle cities in the world. Set on the shores of the Waitemata Harbour (meaning ‘sparkling waters’ in the Maori language), New Zealand’s largest city boasts a diverse Pacific Rim and European cultural mix with opportunities to sample outstanding restaurants, shopping and nightlife. Explore cultural experiences at museums, galleries and Waiheke Island’s idyllic food, wine and scenery tours; through to adventurous excursions such as sailing an Americas Cup yacht or exploring its rugged west coast for mountain biking, hiking trails or surfing at black sand beaches.
Day 8 - Waiheke Island - A Quiet Tropical Paradise in the Hauraki Gulf
Waiheke Island is an eclectic mix of cultures, activities, vineyards, cafes, restaurants, art galleries, beautiful beaches, scenic walking tracks and much, much more. It’s a perfect relaxing, romantic escape; family holiday at the beach or weekend away. There are many outdoor activities and plenty to see and do, no matter what your interests or energy levels.
Just 35 minutes by ferry from Auckland, across the beautiful Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke Island seems a million miles away in pace and beauty. Waiheke has a special charm and seaside holiday atmosphere. The laid-back, independent island lifestyle epitomises the traditional Kiwi way of life. There is a great range of activities on Waiheke. Options include sightseeing, mountain biking, sea kayaking, a relaxed vineyard tour and much more. The delectable cuisine on offer is complemented by a range of award-winning wines produced at the island's many wineries.
Waiheke's Combined Wine and Art Tour
Since the late 1970's Waiheke's benign Mediterranean climate has seen the growth of a flourishing wine industry. A "small is beautiful" philosophy yields low quantities of extremely high quality fruit, which is made into international award-winning wines. The big Bordeaux-style reds of Stony Ridge, Goldwater Estate and Peninsula Estate are now appreciated by wine lovers all over the world, and more than 30 vineyards have followed in the footsteps of the original three.
Visit up to 4 premium vineyards on a 5.5 hour exclusive tour. We’ll tailor this tour to suit your needs and timeframe. There is also an option to replaced one of the vineyards with an olive oil tasting and/or an artist studio on request. May include sculpture gardens or Zipline tour for an additional cost.
Day 9 - Collect rental car and travel 1hr 40 mins to Matakana Village – Farmers Market, Vineyards and Art and Crafts
Just one hour north of Auckland lies an area of remarkable beauty and diversity. Under Mt Tamahanga, nestled in a verdant valley, Matakana grew up around the river which provided trade and access for a range of local industries: orchards, dairying, stone quarries, brick kilns, flax processing, sawmills and shipbuilding. Today, Matakana is undergoing a renaissance. It has become the home of artists, writers, craftspeople and others seeking lifestyle changes. Recent development has given a new face to the locality. On Saturday the vibrant farmer’s market is a focal point for locals and growers to meet. Luscious produce from the area fills the stalls - fruit and vegetables, delicious home baking and Italian-style sausages, divine organic chocolate, fine wines and boutique olive oils, locally-brewed beer, the all-important morning coffee and live music as an accompaniment. Matakana is surrounded by an area of diverse attractions - beautiful white beaches, Goat Island marine reserve, Tawharanui Park bird sanctuary, native forest with Kawau Island and the majestic Little Barrier directly offshore. Slow down and enjoy what Matakana has to offer.
Brick Bay Vineyard Sculpture Trail
Seemingly floating next to the vineyard, the unique Glass House building provides the gateway to the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail, the start of your exploration of the very best of contemporary New Zealand sculpture.The trail map will guide you along a journey of discovery, through a remarkable landscape of towering native trees, majestic palms, along sinuous boardwalks, past lakes and ordered vineyard rows and the farm pasture beyond. Sensitively sited along the trail, around 45 carefully chosen sculptures are given room to breathe in a stimulating interaction between the natural environment and the artistic impulse. Smaller works are to be found in our Shrunk courtyards, a perfect setting for their more intimate scale. All sculptures are for sale and change regularly as works are sold. On your return to the Glass House, ponder the options of a wine tasting, coffee or a shared food platter with a glass of wine as you reflect on your experience of ‘art and wine entwined’ at Brick Bay.
Day 10 - Visit the ‘Lord of the Forest’ Tane Mahuta - Waipoua Forest (2 hour 45 min drive)
Waipoua Forest is one of Northland's great treasures and is one of the best examples of kauri forest in New Zealand. Waipoua is famous for having the two largest living kauris (Tane Mahuta and Te Matua Ngahere). Ring counts confirm that some of the largest existing trees are over 2000 years old and the massive Mercury Bay tree was possibly 4000 plus years old. (Unfortunately the Mercury Bay tree was destroyed by fire) Native forests of New Zealand are among the closest living relatives of the ancient forests of Gondwana. The ancestry of some tree species such as kauri, kahikatea and southern beech has been traced back without discontinuity to the Jurassic period, 100 million or more years ago. The beauty, unique character, and significance of this forest will always inspire those who visit.
Day 11 - The Historic Town of Russell in the Bay of Islands (1 hour 10 mins)
A quick ferry ride across the water from Paihia is Russell. This is a small, historic seaside village on a peninsula in the eastern Bay of Islands. Since the 1700s it has provided a haven for visitors, offering shelter and hospitality. Because of its relatively remote location it retains an island quality and a charm that reflects the tranquillity of earlier times. Despite this, it is a vibrant, cosmopolitan community that attracts visitors from New Zealand and all over the world. Russell was the first capital of New Zealand and one of the first European settlements. The town’s Victorian atmosphere has been carefully preserved, for here you will find two of New Zealand’s oldest buildings, Christ Church (1836) and Pompallier House (1841). The Russell Police Station built in 1870 originally as a Customs House is still in use today. On a more relaxing note there are numerous waterfront cafes and restaurants, making this a great place to soak up the atmosphere and really enjoy a most memorable holiday.
Day 12 - "Vigilant" Classic Day Sailing in the Bay of Islands
Aboard this classic single mast sailing yacht you can get up close and personal with the stunning Bay of Islands. There is nothing quite like the sound of the ocean lapping against the hull and the smell of salt air to make you feel invigorated. Take the day to cruise sparkling waters and discover one of the richest sailing areas in New Zealand. With over 140 islands and bays to choose from disembark to kayak, swim, snorkel, or go for a walk on one of the secluded sandy beaches. Perhaps visit the iconic “Hole in the Rock” or drop anchor and have lunch in historic Russell. We understand that this is your day so we can be completely flexible or offer you a prearranged itinerary to cater to your needs. We meet clients who love to sit back and relax, while others get a real thrill out of taking an active part in the sailing of this beautiful vessel.
Day 13 - Fly back to Auckland and depart New Zealand
COST: Request for pricing
For more information
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