Overview

Follow a fascinating route through some of New Zealand's acclaimed wine regions on this 16-day discovery tour. Explore the Hawkes Bay area in the north, and the renowned Marlborough, Waipara and Central Otago wine regions in the south. Marvel at the alpine landscape below on a scenic flight over Queenstown, and enjoy a private picnic lunch. Learn from the local experts as they show you around, and have fun with some of the must-do activities that the regions offer. At night, retire to comfortable hotels and boutique lodges, looking back on each day’s wonderful journey.

Itineraries

All itineraries can be amended or combined with other itineraries. Please advise amendments when requesting a quote.

Queenstown - Wanaka - Franz Josef Glacier - Christchurch - Picton - Wellington - Hawke's Bay - Taupo - Auckland

Map of 16 Day Wine Region Explorer Self Drive
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Welcome to Queenstown
Ultimate Paradise Picnic Scenic Helicopter Flight
Queenstown to Wanaka
Wanaka Full Day Classic Wine Tour
Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier
Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch
Waipara region and Akaroa
Christchurch to Picton via Murchison
Marlborough Gourmet Wine Tour
Interislander ferry Picton to Wellington
Wellington to Napier
Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay
Napier to Taupo
Taupo to Auckland

Day 1

Welcome to Queenstown

Day 2

Ultimate Paradise Picnic Scenic Helicopter Flight

Day 3

Queenstown to Wanaka

Travel Time: 1 hr

Distance: 60 kms

Day 4

Wanaka Full Day Classic Wine Tour

Day 5

Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier

Travel Time: 3 hrs 25 mins

Distance: 282 kms

Day 6

Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch

Travel Time: 2 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 170 kms

Day 7

Waipara region and Akaroa

Day 8

Christchurch to Picton via Murchison

Travel Time: 5 hrs 50 mins

Distance: 480 kms

Day 9

Marlborough Gourmet Wine Tour

Day 10

Interislander ferry Picton to Wellington

Day 11

Wellington to Napier

Travel Time: 4 hrs

Distance: 320 kms

Day 12

Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay

Day 13

Napier to Taupo

Travel Time: 1 hr 30 mins

Distance: 130 kms

Day 14

Taupo to Auckland

Travel Time: 3 hrs 15 mins

Distance: 274 kms

 

Renowned for its adrenaline inducing activities 'Queenstown' is synonymous with adventure. Parked on the shores of Lake Wakatipu this small alpine town is nestled below soaring vistas of The Remarkables Mountain Range. While arguably the brightest gem in New Zealand’s crown, Queenstown offers far more than an action-packed getaway. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Appellation Central Boutique Wine Tour

Stay 2 nights Queenstown

Relax and enjoy the beauty of Queenstown, as you are flown to a beautiful location on Cecil Peak for a gourmet picnic accompanied by wine or bubbles. The perfect opportunity to indulge!

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Shotover Canyon River Jet Boat Adventure

Leaving Queenstown you'll drive over New Zealand's highest sealed road, the Crown Range before arriving into the resort town of Wanaka.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Vintage Tiger Moth flight - Freedom of Romance with Classic Flights

Stay 2 nights Wanaka

The Classic Full Day Wine Tour is a small group tour (maximum 8) that explores the scenery, history, food and wines of Central Otago.  Enjoy an unhurried amble through six of the region's finest wineries, pausing only to admire the ever-present views. Savour the unique atmosphere of the arts, crafts and history of Old Cromwell Town and share the unforgettable indulgence of a gourmet platter lunch.

The route follows the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea before you enter the village of Makarora, the gateway to Mt. Aspiring National Park. The Blue Pools, just outside Makarora, are a wonderful 30 minute walk through pristine native beech forest. Descending into Mt. Aspiring National Park and towards the Haast Pass, crashing rivers and waterfalls are around every corner. Crossing the Haast River you are now truly on the wild West Coast, a 600 kilometre stretch of bush, rainforest and podocarp forest. First Fox Glacier welcomes you to the glacier region and Franz Josef township is just a further 45 minutes.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Franz Josef Glacier Helihike

Stay 1 night Franz Josef

Today you’ll head north through the historic gold mining region of Hokitika. Continue on to Greymouth, the largest town on the West Coast and the starting point for the next leg of your journey - the Tranz Alpine Scenic Train. 

Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch

Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island through the Arthur's Pass National Park from the west coast to the east.

Stay 2 nights Christchurch

Waipara region

The Waipara Valley is situated only 40 minutes drive north of Christchurch City. The fastest growing wine region in New Zealand, it is home to around 80 vineyards covering more than 1,200 hectares of plantings. 

Akaroa

Formed by ancient volcanic eruptions the regions first settlers were Maori who recognised its potential for shelter and food. The sealers and whalers followed them and European colonists founded and settled Akaroa, Little River and Lyttelton and many of the Peninsula's other bays. Abounding with wildlife and history it's a great place to spend the day exploring.

The drive north from Christchurch takes you through some fine rolling farmland and North Canterbury's major wine region, the Waipara Valley. You then head inland and over the Lewis Pass where the landscape changes to a sub alpine zone with large forests of red and silver beech. Further along this route you follow the Buller River and reach the town of Murchison. 

Shortly after Murchison you will take State Highway 63, through the picturesque Wiarau Valley. Skirt the edges of Blenhiem and continue on to Picton. 

Stay 2 nights Picton

The ultimate food and wine experience, the Sounds Connection Gourmet Wine Tour offers a behind-the-scenes look at several renowned Marlborough wineries including Hans Herzog Estate, Wither Hills, Cloudy Bay and Johanneshof Cellars, as well as a stop at the Makana Chocolate Factory. Meet the makers behind these world-renowned wines and gain fascinating insight into the wine-making process.

The 92 km journey between Picton and Wellington takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'. 

Stay 1 night Wellington 

Leaving Welllington today you will first pass the Wairarapa on the eastern side of the Rimutaka Ranges. A significant contrast to the hills of Wellington, it's rich pastures and boutique vineyards of Martinborough give way to grassy plains and rugged coastal shores. Go through Greytown, home to the largest number of wooden buildings in the country then stop in Masterton, a small farming town known for its Golden Shears competition - where shearers compete for the title of fastest shearer. Continue on to Hawkes Bay and Havelock North before arriving in Napier, the art deco capital of New Zealand.

Stay 2 nights Napier

With is mediterranean climate and Art Deco style, Hawke's Bay is an attractive holiday prospect. As the nation's first winemaking region, a visit to one of its 30 wineries is a must. Those into architecture can hop aboard a 1930’s car and take in the city’s prominent Art Deco landmarks.

Twilight Odyssey Progressive Wine and Dinner Tour

Take a scenic drive through the wine growing district, participate in an interactive wine tasting, indulge in gourmet platters with top local produce, champagne sunset on Te Mata Peak, main meal at Vidal Estate, Sileni Estate or Craggy Range wineries, visit New Zealand's oldest winery, the Mission Estate, for dessert and coffee, finish with being dropped off at a location of your choice - perhaps some of Napier's top waterfront nightspots. A night full of entertainment and fun.

Crossing the Ahimanawa Ranges you arrive into the town of Taupo sitting on New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo - a gigantic volcanic caldera formed during one of the world’s largest ever eruptions. Taupo is a lively place with many shops, bars and cafes all catering for the traveller and visitor. A whole host of activities can be undertaken here such as bungy jumping, sky diving, fishing for trout in the lake and rivers, kayaking, sailing, horse riding and walking and hiking to name but a few.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Maori Rock Carving Cruise 

Stay 1 night Taupo

The drive from Taupo to Auckland takes you through the heart of the Waikato and its rich agricultural land. New Zealand's longest river, the Waikato River, guides you through the art and craft stores of Tirau and the township of Cambridge.

One of the world's great cities Auckland is full of life and opportunities to explore are endless.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Harbour Dinner Cruise Sailing Experience

Stay 2 nights Auckland

Day 1, Welcome to Queenstown

Welcome to Queenstown

 

Renowned for its adrenaline inducing activities 'Queenstown' is synonymous with adventure. Parked on the shores of Lake Wakatipu this small alpine town is nestled below soaring vistas of The Remarkables Mountain Range. While arguably the brightest gem in New Zealand’s crown, Queenstown offers far more than an action-packed getaway. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Appellation Central Boutique Wine Tour

Stay 2 nights Queenstown

Day 2, Ultimate Paradise Picnic Scenic Helicopter Flight

Ultimate Paradise Picnic Scenic Helicopter Flight

Relax and enjoy the beauty of Queenstown, as you are flown to a beautiful location on Cecil Peak for a gourmet picnic accompanied by wine or bubbles. The perfect opportunity to indulge!

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Shotover Canyon River Jet Boat Adventure

Day 3, Queenstown to Wanaka

Queenstown to Wanaka

Travel Time: 1 hr

Distance: 60 kms

Leaving Queenstown you'll drive over New Zealand's highest sealed road, the Crown Range before arriving into the resort town of Wanaka.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Vintage Tiger Moth flight - Freedom of Romance with Classic Flights

Stay 2 nights Wanaka

Day 4, Wanaka Full Day Classic Wine Tour

Wanaka Full Day Classic Wine Tour

The Classic Full Day Wine Tour is a small group tour (maximum 8) that explores the scenery, history, food and wines of Central Otago.  Enjoy an unhurried amble through six of the region's finest wineries, pausing only to admire the ever-present views. Savour the unique atmosphere of the arts, crafts and history of Old Cromwell Town and share the unforgettable indulgence of a gourmet platter lunch.

Day 5, Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier

Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier

Travel Time: 3 hrs 25 mins

Distance: 282 kms

The route follows the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea before you enter the village of Makarora, the gateway to Mt. Aspiring National Park. The Blue Pools, just outside Makarora, are a wonderful 30 minute walk through pristine native beech forest. Descending into Mt. Aspiring National Park and towards the Haast Pass, crashing rivers and waterfalls are around every corner. Crossing the Haast River you are now truly on the wild West Coast, a 600 kilometre stretch of bush, rainforest and podocarp forest. First Fox Glacier welcomes you to the glacier region and Franz Josef township is just a further 45 minutes.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Franz Josef Glacier Helihike

Stay 1 night Franz Josef

Day 6, Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch

Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch

Travel Time: 2 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 170 kms

Today you’ll head north through the historic gold mining region of Hokitika. Continue on to Greymouth, the largest town on the West Coast and the starting point for the next leg of your journey - the Tranz Alpine Scenic Train. 

Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch

Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island through the Arthur's Pass National Park from the west coast to the east.

Stay 2 nights Christchurch

Day 7, Waipara region and Akaroa

Waipara region and Akaroa

Waipara region

The Waipara Valley is situated only 40 minutes drive north of Christchurch City. The fastest growing wine region in New Zealand, it is home to around 80 vineyards covering more than 1,200 hectares of plantings. 

Akaroa

Formed by ancient volcanic eruptions the regions first settlers were Maori who recognised its potential for shelter and food. The sealers and whalers followed them and European colonists founded and settled Akaroa, Little River and Lyttelton and many of the Peninsula's other bays. Abounding with wildlife and history it's a great place to spend the day exploring.

Day 8, Christchurch to Picton via Murchison

Christchurch to Picton via Murchison

Travel Time: 5 hrs 50 mins

Distance: 480 kms

The drive north from Christchurch takes you through some fine rolling farmland and North Canterbury's major wine region, the Waipara Valley. You then head inland and over the Lewis Pass where the landscape changes to a sub alpine zone with large forests of red and silver beech. Further along this route you follow the Buller River and reach the town of Murchison. 

Shortly after Murchison you will take State Highway 63, through the picturesque Wiarau Valley. Skirt the edges of Blenhiem and continue on to Picton. 

Stay 2 nights Picton

Day 9, Marlborough Gourmet Wine Tour

Marlborough Gourmet Wine Tour

The ultimate food and wine experience, the Sounds Connection Gourmet Wine Tour offers a behind-the-scenes look at several renowned Marlborough wineries including Hans Herzog Estate, Wither Hills, Cloudy Bay and Johanneshof Cellars, as well as a stop at the Makana Chocolate Factory. Meet the makers behind these world-renowned wines and gain fascinating insight into the wine-making process.

Day 10, Interislander ferry Picton to Wellington

Interislander ferry Picton to Wellington

The 92 km journey between Picton and Wellington takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'. 

Stay 1 night Wellington 

Day 11, Wellington to Napier

Wellington to Napier

Travel Time: 4 hrs

Distance: 320 kms

Leaving Welllington today you will first pass the Wairarapa on the eastern side of the Rimutaka Ranges. A significant contrast to the hills of Wellington, it's rich pastures and boutique vineyards of Martinborough give way to grassy plains and rugged coastal shores. Go through Greytown, home to the largest number of wooden buildings in the country then stop in Masterton, a small farming town known for its Golden Shears competition - where shearers compete for the title of fastest shearer. Continue on to Hawkes Bay and Havelock North before arriving in Napier, the art deco capital of New Zealand.

Stay 2 nights Napier

Day 12, Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay

Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay

With is mediterranean climate and Art Deco style, Hawke's Bay is an attractive holiday prospect. As the nation's first winemaking region, a visit to one of its 30 wineries is a must. Those into architecture can hop aboard a 1930’s car and take in the city’s prominent Art Deco landmarks.

Twilight Odyssey Progressive Wine and Dinner Tour

Take a scenic drive through the wine growing district, participate in an interactive wine tasting, indulge in gourmet platters with top local produce, champagne sunset on Te Mata Peak, main meal at Vidal Estate, Sileni Estate or Craggy Range wineries, visit New Zealand's oldest winery, the Mission Estate, for dessert and coffee, finish with being dropped off at a location of your choice - perhaps some of Napier's top waterfront nightspots. A night full of entertainment and fun.

Day 13, Napier to Taupo

Napier to Taupo

Travel Time: 1 hr 30 mins

Distance: 130 kms

Crossing the Ahimanawa Ranges you arrive into the town of Taupo sitting on New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo - a gigantic volcanic caldera formed during one of the world’s largest ever eruptions. Taupo is a lively place with many shops, bars and cafes all catering for the traveller and visitor. A whole host of activities can be undertaken here such as bungy jumping, sky diving, fishing for trout in the lake and rivers, kayaking, sailing, horse riding and walking and hiking to name but a few.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Maori Rock Carving Cruise 

Stay 1 night Taupo

Day 14, Taupo to Auckland

Taupo to Auckland

Travel Time: 3 hrs 15 mins

Distance: 274 kms

The drive from Taupo to Auckland takes you through the heart of the Waikato and its rich agricultural land. New Zealand's longest river, the Waikato River, guides you through the art and craft stores of Tirau and the township of Cambridge.

One of the world's great cities Auckland is full of life and opportunities to explore are endless.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Harbour Dinner Cruise Sailing Experience

Stay 2 nights Auckland

Additional Information

Pricing

Cost per Person

 Twin/Double
Botique Lodges and Hotels from NZ$7,595* per person

* PLEASE NOTE

Price is based on two adults sharing a rental car and accommodation (twin/double-share).

Prices are estimates only, and are subject to availability and exchange rates when booking, seasonal or holiday price surcharges (such as Christmas/New Year and Easter); as well as special events that may be on. Please forward a request and we will be happy to forward a quote.

Payment

  • Deposit: 20% of the package cost or NZ$250 per person (whichever is the greater) at time of booking
  • Full Payment: 45 Days before travel
  • Airfares (if applicable): Paid in full at the time of booking

Cancellation Charges

  • Cancellation Fees up to 100% can apply after booking. Extra deposits or full payment may be requested to cover these charges prior to booking
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Includes

Includes:

15 nights accommodation

  • 2 nights Queenstown
  • 2 nights Wanaka
  • 1 night Franz Josef
  • 2 nights Christchurch
  • 2 nights Picton
  • 1 night Wellington
  • 2 nights Napier
  • 1 night Taupo
  • 2 nights Auckland

Rental Car Hire

  • Rental car insurance included: Fully inclusive with variable excess/deductible.
  • Rental car inclusions: GPS navigation. unlimited kms,airport/ferry terminal fees, additional drivers.

Private airport and train station transfers

Interislander ferry crossing

Tranz Alpine Train from Greymouth to Christchurch

Waiheke Wine Tour

Twilight Odyssey Progressive Dinner and Winery Tour

Marlborough gourmet wine tour

Ultimate Paradise Picnic Scenic Helicopter Flight

Full Day Wanaka Wine Tour

Huka Falls Jet Tour

Options

Travel Insurance

If you are going overseas, then travel insurance is a necssity. Compare rates and polices online and get a free travel insurance quote.

Accommodation

There is a choice of accommodation available on all packages, which depending on locations, includes motels, 3 star hotels, 4 star hotels, boutique lodges & hotels and luxury lodges and hotels. We are happy to quote on alternate accommodation requests.

Airfares

International flights can be included from Australia for all Australian residents.

Highlights

Interislander ferry crossing

The 92 km journey between Picton and Wellington or vice versa takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'. Around one hour of the cruise takes you through the Marlborough Sounds. This region of bush covered mountains, small islands, crystal clear waters and secluded bays is a true photographic opportunity. From the Cook Strait spectacular views of the Kaikoura Ranges on the South Island can be enjoyed and dolphins and many sea birds are often seen. Wellington Harbour sees you pass many interesting points such as Pencarrow Head on top of which is New Zealand's oldest lighthouse (1859). Red Rocks is home to a seal colony and Oterangi Bay is the site which recorded the countries highest ever wind speed of 268 kph (167 mph).

Tranz Alpine Train from Greymouth to Christchurch

Considered one of the worlds great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train trip operates between Christchurch and Greymouth and vice versa. Crossing from the Tasman Sea through to Arthur's Pass National Park. From your carriage enjoy views of the lush rain forest of the West Coast to the spectacular mountains of the Southern Alps. Travel through gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River.

Waiheke Wine Tour

Enjoy the stunning scenery of Waiheke Island as you are entertained by the commentary of your experienced local guides. Visit 3 of the islands top wineries for tastings and an olive oil tasting may also be included if you wish. The tour normally includes a two-hour lunch stop at a village or beachside cafe or, for a memorable gourmet experience, at one of our top vineyard restaurants. Lunch is an additional cost, but your guides can reserve a table for you in advance.

Twilight Odyssey Progressive Dinner and Winery Tour

Take a scenic drive through the wine growing district, participate in an interactive wine tasting at Sileni Estate or Vidal Estate, indulge in gourmet platters with top local produce, champagne sunset on Te Mata Peak (sunset in summer and overlooking the glimmering lights of the twin cities in winter), main meal at Vidal Estate, Sileni Estate or Craggy Range wineries, visit New Zealand's oldest winery, the Mission Estate, for dessert and coffee, finish with being dropped off at a location of your choice - perhaps some of Napier's top waterfront nightspots. A night full of entertainment and fun.

Marlborough gourmet wine tour

The ultimate food and wine experience, the Sounds Connection Gourmet Wine Tour offers a behind-the-scenes look at several renowned Marlborough wineries including Hans Herzog Estate, Wither Hills, Cloudy Bay and Johanneshof Cellars, as well as a stop at the Makana Chocolate Factory. Meet the makers behind these world-renowned wines and gain fascinating insight into the wine-making process.

Ultimate Paradise Picnic Scenic Helicopter Flight

Relax and enjoy the beauty of Queenstown, as you are flown to a beautiful location on Cecil Peak for a gourmet picnic accompanied by wine or bubbles. The perfect opportunity to indulge!

Full Day Wanaka Wine Tour

The Classic Full Day Wine Tour is a small group tour (maximum 8) that explores the scenery, history, food and wines of Central Otago. Enjoy an unhurried amble through six of the region's finest wineries, pausing only to admire the ever-present views. Savour the unique atmosphere of the arts, crafts and history of Old Cromwell Town and share the unforgettable indulgence of a gourmet platter lunch.

Huka Falls Jet Tour

The Huka Jet is 30 minutes of pure fun and exhilaration, skimming close to cliffs, sliding past trees, feeling the adrenalin of our full 360 degree spins. The excitement continues right up to the base of the foaming Huka Falls, where you get a spectacular water level view to New Zealand's most visited natural attraction. Nothing compares to watching 220,000 litres per second tumbling over the cliff face towards you.

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16 Day Wine Region Explorer Self Drive

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