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New Zealand's food & wine trail self-drive tour

18 days from CAD13,970pp

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Tour highlights

  • Explore the less famous wineries of the Central Otago region.

  • Visit Hawke's Bay, where you are sure to find an excellent Merlot, Cabernet or Syrah.

  • Spend time in Martinborough meeting some of the local producers.

  • Take a bike ride through the vines of Blenheim.

  • Relax on Waiheke Island, surrounded by beautiful beaches and simply excellent food and wine.

Price includes:

  • Fully insured vehicle rental
  • All accommodations
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

Ask us if you would also like us to arrange your international flights at our preferred rates.

  • You will be met upon arrival in Auckland and privately transferred to the domestic terminal for your flight to Dunedin on the South Island. Once here you collect your car and make the short journey to your accommodation. Settle in to the Kiwi relaxed way of life as you explore Dunedin this evening. Your hosts will be happy to recommend somewhere for you to eat.

  • Enjoy a day at leisure in Dunedin to recover from any jet lag. You may enjoy a trip out to the Otago Peninsula to view some wildlife, but there is also a fantastic café culture here and some great eating options around the city center. Perhaps just a bit of people watching today!

  • You make your way inland today to the beautiful mountain and lake town of Queenstown. Stay two nights in Queenstown at a small lodge that looks over Lake Wakatipu.

  • Drive from Queenstown to Lake Wanaka and pass by Gibbston Valley to try the different wineries. Then head over the Crown Range to Wanaka where you will stay for the next two nights.

  • Today will be all about taking in the stunning scenery in the Wanaka area. Your guide will pick you up and take you in a 4x4 vehicle through a fully working station as well as some of the best places to enjoy a 360 degree view of the area. Over the course of your tour you will see many of the station's farm animals grazing about ranging from red deer, alpaca, and of course sheep.

  • You make your way up the eastern edge of the Southern Alps today, first driving through the spectacular Lindis Pass before reaching the rolling hills around Lake Tekapo. Your hosts for the next two nights are food and wine experts, Alistair is a post-grad winemaker and viticulturist and both have run their own restaurants. They are able to offer you a four-course dinner if pre-booked.

  • Spend today exploring stunning Lake Tekapo, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and perhaps visit the Mount St John Observatory tonight to partake in some of the best stargazing in the world. If you are feeling adventurous you might like to drive into Mount Cook and take a scenic flight over Mount Cook and the glaciers.

  • Continue your journey today across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. Spend some time exploring, perhaps visit Hagley Park, the Cathedral and the Re-Start container city shopping mall. This evening enjoy dinner in one of the city's award-winning restaurants — Pescatore, located within your hotel.

  • Today you travel to Blenheim, in the heart of the Marlborough wine producing region. This is a long drive as you must take the inland route via Hanmer Springs and Murchison so be sure to leave early. There are some lovely spots to stop along the way for coffee and lunch, perhaps even a dip in some hot springs! Your accommodation this evening is a beautiful old convent set in among stunning gardens and vineyards and has a superb restaurant on site.

  • Take a guided cycling half day wine tour today and visit several of the region's best wineries, sampling some of the produce along the way. Then enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, perhaps enjoying dinner at one of the award-winning local vineyards such as Herzogs.

  • You leave your car on the South Island and take the ferry to the North Island today. On arrival you collect another car and head out of Wellington to nearby Martinborough. We suggest stopping in at the local winery 'Poppies' on arrival, owner and winemaker will dazzle you with her delicious wine and tasting platters. We advise pre-booking here as it is very popular.

  • Enjoy a private, personalized food and wine tour around Martinborough today. There are a number of vineyards close to each other, between them producing some fine pinots.

  • Continue to Hawke's Bay today, and Napier. Your accommodation tonight is owned and run by a chef who takes great pride in cooking evening meals in front of the guests, explaining the ingredients and process as he goes, and then serving it all with appropriately matched wines.

  • Today is at leisure to explore the Hawke's Bay region and Napier town — you might like to stroll around the Art Deco buildings or visit the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers. This evening you will experience a progressive dinner and winery tour, this is one of our favourites in all of New Zealand and comes very highly recommended.

  • Return your car at the airport as you fly to Auckland. From here you have a private transfer to the ferry terminal and travel by boat over to Waiheke Island. Dinner is included here tonight so you needn't worry about finding somewhere after your journey. Waiheke is famous for its golden beaches and vineyards. Here you can really enjoy a couple of days relaxing and indulging in some simply excellent food and wine.

  • A full day wine tour of Waiheke Island awaits you today, exploring the nooks and crannies of this beautiful Island and the best wine it has to offer.

  • A last day at leisure to do as you please, you might like to relax on the beach or pop over to Auckland or Devonport on the ferry for some last minute sightseeing. Dinner is not included tonight so that you can go out somewhere special for your last dinner in New Zealand.

  • Return to Auckland by ferry where you will be met and transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodations, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

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Contact a New Zealand specialist

The specialist who designs your trip to New Zealand will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip.

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When to go

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Place Daily max temperature (°C) Monthly rainfall (mm)
Auckland
 
Dunedin
 
Queenstown
 
Lake Wanaka
 
Lake Tekapo
 
Christchurch
 
Blenheim
 
Picton
 
Wellington
 
Martinborough
 
Napier
 
Waiheke Island
 

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