15 - 20 Day Tour Itinerary: Auckland to Queenstown Food & Wine
from USD $20k
Fun Packed Auckland to Queenstown Food and Wine Tour
Day 1: Begin in Auckland
Begin in Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, home of the Americas Cup and built around 48 volcanic hills overlooking two scenic harbours. Stay in the city’s luxury Sofitel hotel (what was the Dennis Connor America’s Cup base). Its right in the heart of the Viaduct basin and within walking distance of the soul of Auckland with plenty of top dining establishments such as Simon Gault’s Giraffe Restaurant.
Day 2: Ferry to Waiheke Island
The following day you will enjoy a trip to Waiheke Island and experience the relaxing lifestyle that has a unique blend of kiwi culture, vineyards, villages and beaches. This is a holiday spot high on the agenda of those that love to relax with a unique kiwi wine.
Days 3 – 5: Explore the Geothermal Wonderland of Rotorua
We then head south through the lush green countryside of the Waikato to Rotorua with the option to stop at the Waitomo Caves and or Sir Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Movie set. Reaching Rotorua (Roto = Lake & Rua = two). We experience Maori culture in an active geothermal landscape where native New Zealand people have lived for well over 100 years among the hot water pools – it’s where the local iwi families have traditionally cooked and bathed. You’ll relish the live active Maori village where British royalty have been visiting since 1901.
Highlights include Rotorua Museum and the government garden, the natural steam vents skating the grounds of Soupher Point, colourful hot pools and mineral-encrusted terraces at the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland.
Other site seeing options include a private Hobbiton tour, traditional Maori Hangi lunch, kayaking or sailing on local lakes, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, hiking in Tongariro National Park and an exclusive helicopter excursion to White Island (an active marine volcano) as well as Zealong Tea – a premium tea grower in the southern hemisphere.
Days 6 – 7: Experience Taupo
We head to Taupo to first the roaring Huka Falls and on to Poronui Lodge, an acclaimed lodge in a valley park-like setting bordering the mighty Mohaka River surrounded by native forests and its abundance of deer and Rainbow & Brown trout. You can enjoy a privately guided hunt or fly fishing on the estate, or just take in the relaxing views. Heli tours are on the doorstep, Clay bird shooting, Archery, Guided walks, Horse Trekking, Mountain Biking, Maori culture, finest wine to an international standard are on-hand as well as great dining options.
Days 8 – 9: Wine Tasting in Hawke’s Bay
The following day we head to Hawke’s Bay, a beautiful region full of vineyards, orchards, rolling farmlands hills and blue stone and white sand beaches. Hawke’s Bay wines are best known for Merlot, Syrah, and equally impressive Chardonnay.
We stay at either Craigy Range Winery or Cape Kidnappers, luxury exclusive lodges next to the sea with one of the best golf courses in the world.
During private touring with your expert local guide, visit top local wineries and artisanal food shops, learn about Maori culture, visit to a marae (Maori village), tour Napier and experience the Art Deco architecture, Gannet colony and seabirds, farm tours of Cape Kidnappers sheep and cattle station, kiwi habitat (New Zealand’s famous flightless bird).
Upon request, Artisans of Leisure can arrange additional activities such as playing golf, biking through the vineyards and fly fishing on local streams.
Day 10: Excite your Tasted Buds in Martinborough
Next, we head south to Martinborough in the Wairarapa wine area just north of Wellington to treat your taste buds with wine and food known as one of the New World Wine areas of the world.
Options are many
- Weta workshops
- Mt Victoria Coastline
- Kiwi Bird park
Day 11: Explore Wellington then Ferry to Blenheim
Next, we jump over the hill to Wellington and spend the following day exploring the city and the National museum Te Papa before taking a ferry to Picton to spend the night in Blenheim (with an option to stay) on the top of the south island and New Zealand center of Sauvignon Blanc wine region and seafood.
Days 12 – 13: Journey to Kaikoura and Explore Christchurch
Leaving Blenheim we head to Kaikoura to meet the kings of the sea in their own world as we whale watch. Kaikoura was recently hit with a major earthquake and their story of survival and reinvention is a compelling one. We have an additional option to stay in Christchurch.
Day 14: Trans-Alpine Train Journey to Greymouth
From there we take the train to explore one of the country’s most famous and beautiful railroad rides – the Christchurch Trans-Alpine train to Greymouth Hokitika where we spend the night.
Days 15 – 20: Explore the Alpine Wonderland of Queenstown
Next up is the jewel of the southern alps – Queenstown, arguably our most famous and visited lakeside resort town that is the gateway to some of the most exciting and dramatic attractions in New Zealand.
Enjoy private tours of the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown and or Skippers Canon, as well as the region’s highly regarded wine country. Take in panoramas of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range en route to Matakauri Lodge, one of the best luxury lodges in the area with outstanding views of the lake and the majestic Southern Alps.
We take a private helicopter flight to Milford Sound, stopping on a mountains glacier.
Go on Dart River jetboat adventure into Middle Earth where they filmed Lord of The Rings and many other movies.
Option For horse riding, bungy jumping, visiting filming locations used in Water Horse, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies, hiking in the High country, visiting a sheep station as well as hunting and fly fishing on local streams.
Hotels 4.5 & 5 star
Hawke’s Bay: The Farm at Cape Kidnappers or Craggy Range Winery
Queenstown: Matakauri Lodge
This tour is an example itinerary and may be customised with additional days, activities or destinations to create the best possible experience for you.
Starting from $20,000USD Per person (double occupancy)