Sip, slurp and sample your way through three of New Zealand’s most outstanding wine regions. Start in beautiful Hawke’s Bay on the east coast of the North Island before heading south to Martinborough and Pinot Noir country. From here hop on the ferry to Marlborough, producer of some of the finest Sauvignon Blanc in the world. Days 1-2 Hawke’s Bay Begin your wine adventure in Hawke’s Bay. This is Art Deco central and showcases some of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture to be found anywhere. Blessed with fertile soil and a warm, sunny climate Hawkes Bay produces a superb range of wine, reds most notably, along with some exceptional Chardonnay’s. Leave the car behind and travel on two wheels, many of the region’s 30-plus cellar doors and artisan food producers are connected by the flat, easy to ride cycling trails. Bird lovers should head to Cape Kidnappers, home the world’s largest mainland colony of gannets and for panoramic views to Te Mata Peak, which stands nearly 400m above sea level. On a clear day Mt Ruapehu, in the heart of the Tongariro National Park, can be seen. Days 3-4 Martinborough (251 kms) Head south to Martinborough, which sits in a region known as the Wairarapa. The area is filled with boutique vineyards, eclectic country towns and miles of rugged, deserted beaches. As you travel south pay a visit to the Pukaha Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre, here you’ll see the only white kiwi in the world and a host of other native wildlife. This rural area has an off-the-beaten track charm and offers more than just wine experiences. For memorable hiking head for the Waiohine Gorge at the foot of the Tararuas Ranges and for dramatic coastal scenery the road to Cape Palliser is a must. The wine village of Martinborough is the epi-centre of the region’s wine production and over 20 wineries are within walking or cycling distance of the village square. This is where you’ll find some of New Zealand’s finest Pinot Noirs. Days 4-6 Blenheim (251 kms) The port in Wellington is just an hour’s drive away where you’ll board the Interislander ferry for the 3 hour crossing to Picton on the South Island. Highlights on the crossing include the Red Rocks seal colony, Tory Channel, Cook’s Lookout and the beautiful coves of Marlborough Sounds. On arrival in Picton the drive to Blenheim is a short one, across the Wairau Plains. This region is home to New Zealand’s famed Sauvignon Blanc, where the climate and grape growing conditions meet in perfect harmony. Surrounded by neat rows of vineyards, there are more than 20 wineries within easy reach of Blenheim and you’re also within striking distance of the watery labyrinth that is the Marlborough Sounds. Swap four wheels for a rudder and enjoy a boat cruise to the Green-lipped mussel beds or hire a kayak and explore at your own pace. Day 7 - Departure Today your tour comes to an end. Return to Picton or continue your journey through the South Island.
Classic New Zealand Wine Trail
- Accommodation as detailed or similar on a room only basis unless otherwise shown
- Car rental