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New Zealand's Food & Wine Trail self-drive

18 days from $10,535pp

What is tailor made? 100% custom | Exceptional experiences | Hand-picked guides | Lodging with character | Designed to your schedule, budget & interests

Itinerary 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
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  • Auckland
  • Dunedin
  • Queenstown
  • Lake Wanaka
  • Lake Tekapo
  • Christchurch
  • Blenheim
  • Picton
  • Wellington
  • Martinborough
  • Napier
  • Auckland
  • Waiheke Island
  • Auckland

Itinerary idea in detail

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

Day 1 Dunedin

Auckland , Dunedin

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. You hosts will be happy to recommend somewhere for you to eat.

Day 2 Dunedin


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 cafe culture here and some great eating options around the city centre. Perhaps just a bit of people watching today!

Day 3 Queenstown

Dunedin , Queenstown

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.

Day 4 Lake Wanaka

Queenstown , Lake Wanaka

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.

Day 5 Lake Wanaka

Lake Wanaka

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 4WD 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.

Day 6 Lake Tekapo

Lake Wanaka , Lake Tekapo

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.

Day 7 Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo

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.

Day 8 Christchurch

Lake Tekapo , Christchurch

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.

Day 9 Blenheim

Christchurch , Blenheim

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 amongst stunning gardens and vineyards and has a superb restaurant on site.

Day 10 Blenheim


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.

Day 11 Martinborough

Blenheim , Picton , Wellington , Martinborough

You leave your car in 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.

Day 12 Martinborough


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 pinot's.

Day 13 Napier

Martinborough , Napier

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.

Day 14 Napier


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 favourite in all of New Zealand and comes very highly recommended.

Day 15 Waiheke Island

Napier , Auckland , Waiheke Island

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.

Day 16 Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island

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.

Day 17

Waiheke Island

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.

Day 18 Return home

Waiheke Island , Auckland

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

Audley Travel specialist Haley
Audley Travel Specialist Jessie

Contact a 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. Your dedicated specialist will take the time to understand your preferences and build them into an itinerary to match, working to your budget. He or she will keep perfecting it until you’re completely happy and ready to book.

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When to go

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Lake Wanaka
Lake Tekapo
Waiheke Island

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