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Suggested Wine & Food Lovers Tour of New Zealand

Wine and Food Lovers Tour of New Zealand

New Zealand’s world class vineyards are nestled within spectacular landscapes and amongst diverse geographical features.

New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc is globally acclaimed as the benchmark for this varietal.  Although 86% of New Zealand’s wine exports are Sauvignon Blanc, increasingly New Zealand varietals of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Syrah, and Merlot are fast gaining pace.

New Zealand is home to almost 700 vineyards….here are just a few.

DAY ONE – Arrival Auckland

Arrive into Auckland International Airport.  Transfer to downtown Auckland accommodation and settle into your new time zone.

Depending on arrival time enjoy an Auckland highlights tour (half day) with Time Unlimited Tours.

Overnight Auckland

DAY TWO – Auckland-Waiheke Island – Auckland

Depart from Auckland’s downtown ferry terminal for Waiheke Island.  This ride across the Hauraki Gulf will take around 40 minutes. On arrival at Waiheke Island choose either a rental car (available at the Waiheke Island Ferry terminal) and explore the island’s nooks and crannies, or alternatively choose a guided day trip.

Whatever mode you choose make sure that you include Te Whau Vineyard and Restaurant, Mudbrick Vineyard, Poderi Crisci (restaurant/winery), and Man O War vineyards.

Tip: visit Azzuro Olive Growers (enroute to Te Whau Vineyard) award winners at the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil competition.   
After a day on Waiheke Island, take the ferry back to downtown Auckland.   Ferries run frequently between 5.35am – 10.30pm.

Overnight Auckland.

Regional Site: Visit Auckland

DAY THREE – Auckland-Napier

Fly from Auckland city to Napier (flight time 1 hour).  Alternatively a drive from Auckland city to Napier directly takes approximately six hours through the heart of the North Island.  Consider a stop off in Matamata to see Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Tours, the geothermal wonders of Rotorua or picturesque Taupo (allow extra time).

Napier is home to New Zealand’s finest display of Art Deco architecture as the town was rebuilt in this style of the day, following the catastrophic earthquake of 1931. 

Tip:  Take the guided walking tour of the city hosted by the Art Deco Trust.  Twice daily (except Christmas Day), departing from the i-SITE Visitor Information Centre. (

Explore the vineyards of the Hawkes Bay region and sample the renowned Chardonnay varietals, amongst others! Be sure to visit Mission Estate, Craggy Range and Trinity Hill.

Regional Website:  Hawkes Bay New Zealand

Overnight Napier.

DAY FOUR – Napier

Second day exploring the vineyards and sights of Napier.   Today: perhaps a round of golf at nearly Cape Kidnappers Golf Course?

Overnight Napier.

DAY FIVE – Napier to Blenheim

Fly from Napier to Blenheim.  Blenheim is surrounded by the famous vineyards of Marlborough region, home to New Zealand’s most well-known varietal – Sauvignon Blanc.

Over 64% of New Zealand’s vineyards – as measured by total hectares devoted to grape growing – are located in this region.

Stay in Blenheim.

Regional Website: Marlborough - Brilliant Every Day

DAY SIX - Blenheim

Cycle the vineyards with Wine Tours by Bike.   The flat sealed/paved roads of the region, plus the short distances between vineyards make biking an ideal way of exploring the many vineyards in the area.    There are four tours, all self-guided, taking around six hours to enjoy.

Stay Blenheim.

DAY SEVEN - Blenheim

Cruise the gorgeous Marlborough Sounds on the Greenshell Mussel Cruise. Enjoy the history of the area before visiting a Greenshell™ Mussel farm before sampling freshly steamed mussels, matched with a complimentary glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

Return to Havelock Marina.  Note:  Tours daily from October to mid- April.

Stay Blenheim.

DAY EIGHT – Blenheim – Queenstown- Wānaka

Fly from Blenheim to Queenstown. On arrival in Queenstown transfer directly to Wānaka via the picturesque Crown Range road (1 hour drive time).

Stay at Edgewater hotel on the shores of Lake Wānaka.

With 104 rooms at the hotel, there are three guest room styles you can choose from.   All guest rooms are lake-facing with views of the spectacular mountains beyond.  They all feature either a balcony or patio, providing direct access outside to enjoy the pristine environment.

Guest services include Sargoods Restaurant and the Wineglass Café. The spacious location allows guests to enjoy all-weather tennis, spa and beauty services, sauna and free parking near to guest rooms.   

Edgewater is privately owned and independently managed. The hotel holds a four star hotel grade from Qualmark New Zealand.

DAY NINE – Wānaka and Surrounds

Join Funny French Cars for your personalised tour of the regions artisan producers and boutique vineyards and breweries.

Travel in style in their classic 2CV Citroen car for the Wine & Food Lovers Boutique Tour.  Visit four wineries, and enjoy gourmet cuisine at two of the wineries.   Late lunch at Wild Earth Kitchen for their Oak Stave platter, with wine flight.

Stay at Edgewater.

DAY TEN – Wānaka and Surrounds

Take a customised Private Wine Tour with Wānaka Wine Tours.   We recommend the ‘Trust the Chef’ menu at Amisfield (near Queenstown).   Amisfield hosted the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their New Zealand tour of April 2014.

After lunch at Amisfield continue through the Kawarau Gorge and onto Bannockburn, home to Mt Difficulty and much loved Akarua vineyard.

Overnight at Edgewater.

DAY ELEVEN – Wānaka and Surrounds

Personalised day trip to enjoy the inspiring Wānaka landscape.  Travel deep into the heart of the Matukituki Valley by jetboat with Wānaka River Journeys before exploring the natural beauty found at the expansive high country stations (ranches) with Ridgeline Adventures.

Stay at Edgewater.

DAY TWELVE – Wānaka-Queenstown-Auckland – Depart

Depart Edgewater for Queenstown airport for your domestic flight to Auckland and then back home.


Most vineyards will package and send wines to visitors’ home countries.  When exported goods and services tax – GST (currently 15%) doesn’t apply, though freight charges will apply.

Further Information:

This itinerary has been developed by Edgewater – Lake Wānaka, as a suggestion and to highlight key wine and food offerings around New Zealand.

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