WHY YOU SHOULD GOLook forward to sampling top notch vino at New Zealand’s most exclusive wineries; meeting experts and admiring dramatic landscapes as you go. After nearly two weeks of sublime wine tasting head off to the picturesque Abel Tasman National Park and flop on its white powdery beaches.
Wine and food lovers: you’re in for a treat. This trip takes you to some of New Zealand’s most exclusive wineries in stunning destinations. Meet the experts, taste rare vintages and admire dramatic landscapes before ending up on curved white sand beaches for a final finale. Bottoms up…
Waiheke Island of wine
Stepping off the plane at Auckland Airport, you’ll be whisked away by helicopter to Waiheke Island (pronounced Y-heckie). Here, you’ll soon find yourself being warped into the slow-paced island life, and quickly transforming into the ultimate beachcomber while nestling in the luxury surroundings of the Boatshed. The Island lies on the same relative latitude as the southern tip of Italy, not only making it the perfect getaway for those escaping the winter chill, but it also means Waiheke benefits from ideal conditions to produce fantastic wine.
Never heard of, or tasted, the mouth-watering reds of Waiheke? That’s because most of Waiheke’s wine is only available for purchase on the island or at selected fine dining restaurants around the world. Quelle treat. Our expert wine guide will escort you to the most reputable vineyards and restaurants of Stoney Ridge (fine Cabernet blends, anyone?), internationally renowned Gold Water Estate and many more. Better pack light and leave room in the suitcase for a couple of bottles to bring home.
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World-famous Hawke’s Bay
Next up, fly into Hawke’s Bay. Made up of acres of farmland, surf beaches, mountainous ranges and wild forests, Hawkes Bay is home to more of New Zealand’s delectable wines. And to help you with your tasting excursion we’ll team you up with an experienced wine connoisseur who’ll make sure you’ll only taste the best from Elephant Hill, Blackbarn and Clearview Vineyard.
Stay at a 6,000 acre working sheep and cattlefarm at Cape Kidnappers, where revving around on a quad bike is just one activity to try out (when you’re off the vino, of course). Golfers can tee off on the Farm’s challenging golf course designed by the legendary golf architect Tom Doak. Why not let us arrange for a wilderness fly fishing experience where you will literally fly in by helicopter to the most remote and inaccessible rivers populated with schools of trout, too?
Blenheim and the Marlborough wine region
And now to the South Island, and the mecca of wine regions: Marlborough. The best base for your wine tasting extravaganza is at Blenheim (pronounced ‘Blenum’), the commercial hub of Marlborough, but also the focal point of the Marlborough Wine Region with more than 65 wineries close by.
Surrounded by lush gardens, tranquil lakes and breathtaking scenery you’re ideally positioned so you’re only a hop, skip and jump away from your next vineyard, Spy Valley Winery. Enjoy a private guided tour of some of the more famous labels such as Cloudy Bay and Daniel le Brun before tantalising your taste buds at the award winning Herzog Restaurant.
Sip the good stuff in Nelson
Next make your way to Nelson. This vibrant city is famous for its alternative-lifestyle, strong artistic culture. Check into the elegant Edenhouse, meet up with your local guide and head off on a scenic Coastal highway drive, past rolling farmland of vineyards, olive groves and orchards and stopping off at the small quaint townships of Mapua and Motueka sprinkled with great art studios, galleries and cafes before reaching Neudorf Vineyards.
After nearly two weeks tasting wine and eating New Zealand’s finest food, take it easy on your last day on a cruise of the picturesque Abel Tasman National Park. The park is a truly breathtaking place, so it’s a good thing you’ll be seated when you’re admiring the blue azure waters, white powdery beaches and abundance of rainforests… with a glass of wine, naturally.
One of New Zealand’s most scenic routes, the Haast Pass takes you down the rugged West Coast past temperate rainforests to Queenstown your last stop. Renowned for its first class ski-fields and world-heritage parks, those in search of a wintery adrenalin rush canyon swinging and river rafting are popular past times. Film buffs will delight in the dramatic landscapes of the Central Otago region – the location of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which lies just beyond the township. A littler closer to home the chic cafe and restaurant quarter on the edge of the lake is home to the Eichardt’s hotel. Surrounded by alpines and the majestic Lake Wakatipu the Eichardt’s collection know a thing or twelve about pampering and their magnificent Queenstown hotel is the ideal place to lay back and reminisce about your trip.