This self-guided New Zealand itinerary takes in the amazing scenery of both the North and South Islands, and visits many of New Zealand’s world-renowned gourmet food and wine tours.
New Zealand has a fantastic selection of wine tours located throughout the country. We will visit some of the best, where you are able to sample and purchase some of the finest wines produced in New Zealand.
Self-Drive package for two includes:
The following information is a highlights view of what is possible.
We are able to customise the program to make it the perfect vacation for you.
Queenstown is part of a breathtaking landscape encompassing green valleys, pure alpine water and snow capped mountain peaks. This alpine township offers a staggering range of experiences and adventures.
Visit the Big Picture in Cromwell – this is a wine adventure that will take you on a journey of discovery. Here you can uncover the fine wines of Central Otago, meet the winemakers and view the stunning scenery that makes this region so geographically unique. Enjoy the local and Mediterranean flavours of the restaurant, the awe inspiring aromas of the Aroma Room, the interactive wine film and tasting in the Auditorium.
The Aroma Room, whether experienced in wine tasting or not, you can let loose your senses here and discover the aromas that are used to describe wine varieties and styles. This purpose built room presents over 200 aromas including 20 fine perfumes to instruct on ‘aroma memory’.
The Flight, a wine tasting auditorium, seating 45, takes the viewer on an 18 minute ‘virtual flight’ across the spectacular landscape and vineyards that are unique to Central Otago. During this interactive film presentation the viewer gains aspects of local history, spatial awareness and a short wine tasting lesson. Their respective winemakers explain the five wines tasted during this ‘flight’ when the viewer ‘lands’ at each vineyard.
Fly to Milford Sound by fixed wing aircraft. During the flight you will have panoramic views of spectacular alpine scenery, lush rainforest and finally Milford Sound. Once on the ground at Milford Airport a coach transfers you to the Visitor Centre where you board a luxury vessel for a cruise the full length of Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea. The vessel provides excellent viewing and there is plenty of time available to enjoy the waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife together with majestic Mitre Peak.
On returning to Milford Wharf you are transferred back to Milford Airport for your return sightseeing flight to Queenstown passing the stunning Sutherland Falls and over the McKinnon Pass.
Known as the ‘Garden City’, enjoy its huge central city park, English architecture and nearby Banks Peninsula.
Enjoy a half day Gourmet Food and Wine Tour personally escorted by award-winning food writer Mavis Airey. Subject to availability, your visit may include a selection from De Spa Chocolatier, Isaac Salmon Farm, Victorian morning tea at Berryfields, St Helena Wine Estate, Canterbury Brewery Heritage Centre, Artabria Vale Emu Farm, Rossendale wines and beef and Raspberry Café at Otahuna Berries.
Drive north via the Waipara Valley, we recommend lunch at Pegasus Bay Winery – an absolute must-visit family winery with an excellent range of fine wines and delicious lunches. Continue north via the Greta Valley and Kaikoura to Blenheim.
Spend the day cooking with your hostess, Maria’s cooking courses evolved almost accidentally over a period of time when guests would wander into her kitchen, perch on a seat with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and watch her cook, the most frequently asked question was ‘may I try that?’
There can be few better ways to celebrate the richness of regional and ethnic cuisine than hands on learning, producing a delicious meal, then sitting down to eat in an ambient setting with new found friends and a glass or two of exceptional wine.
The aim is to be flexible enough to provide the kind of cooking experience you desire – whether it is cooking for serious non cooks, perfecting a few signature dishes, dinner party food, regional (classic French, Italian and Mediterranean), ethnic (Thai, Indian, Burmese, Malaysian and Vietnamese) vegetarian or diet oriented food.
As part of the cooking class, you may also enjoy visiting some of the local producers and farmers in the area with Maria.
New Zealand’s cosmopolitan capital city is characterised by the surrounding dramatic steep hills and spectacular harbour.
Te Papa National MuseumWidely held to be New Zealand’s Cultural Capital, Wellington is a stronghold for the arts and home to the Royal New Zealand Ballet and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. The jewel of Wellington’s attractions is Te Papa, the national museum of New Zealand, taking pride of place on the majestic Wellington waterfront, Te Papa celebrates the stories of New Zealand in an informative yet uniquely fun and interactive way.
Take a cruise in Milford Sound, described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. Milford Sound was carved by glaciers during the ice ages and is breathtaking in any weather. The fiord’s cliffs rise vertically from the dark waters, mountain peaks scrape the sky and waterfalls cascade downwards, some as high as 3000 feet. When it rains in Milford Sound, and it often does, those waterfalls multiply with magnificent effect.
In Hawkes Bay the sparkling Pacific Ocean forms a stunning backdrop to internationally renowned vineyards that produce award-winning wines. Hawkes Bay wineries are among the oldest in New Zealand and have a proud tradition.
In 1931 a two and a half-minute earthquake hit the region, destroying most of Napier’s inner city. The majority of rebuilding that followed adopted the Art Deco style. As a result, Napier features a large concentration of working Art Deco buildings and is regarded as an ‘Art Deco City’.
Hawkes Bay’s fertile plains, high country pasture, abundant coastline and rivers accentuated by a Mediterranean climate helps growers produce a delicious array of foods.
Local producers have joined forces to establish the Hawkes Bay Food Group and its members are dedicated to raising the profile of Hawkes Bay produce through activities within the region and around the country.
A great way to explore and taste the regions products is the Wine Country Food Trail, a collection of artisan food producers and food destination outlets. The food trail features 85 stops and provides food-lovers with a complete gourmet experience.
We suggest a bicycle winery tour, this fantastic experience is on flat scenic terrain – past olive groves, farmland and orchards, with some off-road cycling through vineyards. Bikes are 21 speed mountain bikes or tandems, helmets, water pump and a delicious packed lunch are provided, plus a cell phone to arrange wine collection, or if you run out of puff. There are six wineries to visit; Sileni, Te Awa, Ngatarawa, Trinity Hill, Huthlee and Alpha Domus.
A delightful 10 room Bed & Breakfast. In the centre of Queenstown and yet private and quiet. Not just a Bed and Breakfast, the property is renowned for its excellent service from the minute that you walk through the door.
This beautifully preserved heritage house is furnished in classic Victorian style, complete with a superb collection of fine art and antiques, but at the same time offers guests every modern convenience, including complimentary in-room wireless and broadband internet.
Purpose-built in 2001 in French country style, to accommodate four guestrooms, The Bell Tower comprises a main lodge and separate Barn adjacent. A bell tower mounted on the roof holds a replica of the East India Company’s bell high above the walled garden on the 5-hectare (12-acre) property.
The Bolton Hotel’s 142 guest rooms and suites are furnished in a contemporary style and most rooms enjoy serene views of the adjacent park or downtown Wellington.
Cardoness Lodge is situated on the edge of the Gimblett Gravel/Ngatarawa Triangle. Close to five world renowned wineries and within easy reach of Hawke’s Bay/Bridge Pa, Hastings, Napier and Cape Kidnappers golf courses. We offer luxury accommodation, privacy and a friendly haven in which to unwind and enjoy this spectacular, yet unspoiled area.