Itinerary in brief:
- 1 night Auckland
- 1 night Rotorua
- 2 nights Napier
- 1 night Martinborough
- 2 nights Blenheim
- 1 night Christchurch
Day 1: Auckland
Arrive at any time today where you will take a private transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the city. You could take a walk up Mount Eden or a ferry across to the quaint suburb of Devonport for great views across Auckland.
Day 2: Auckland to Rotorua
Collect your car rental today from the city centre and head towards Rotorua. The town is a hub of activities and most renowned for its geothermal activity and Maori culture. The best way to experience this is via the Skyline Rotorua adventure where you take a gondola ride uphill 487 metres for spectacular vistas from Mount Ngongotaha down towards the lake and geothermal areas surrounding the town. Once you have finished taking in the view head towards a wine tasting at the top of the gondola before a decadent dining experience in the Skyline restaurant with 180-degree views of Rotorua below.
Day 3: Napier
It’s less than a 3-hour drive today to the coastal city of Napier set in the famous wine-producing region of Hawke’s Bay. On arrival check into your hotel for 2 nights before heading out to explore the city in your own time. Napier is well known for its 1930’s art-deco style architecture so either explore at your own leisure or we can organise a walking tour with a knowledgeable guide to give you insight into the city that you’d never know!
Day 4: Napier
We have included a tour in today’s itinerary to an iconic winery- the Tom McDonald Cellar and New Zealand’s only wine museum. Here you will learn about the wine production process in this region and have the chance to buy gifts on site. Following the tour, you will be presented with a platter showcasing an array of the finest produce in the Hawkes Bay region.
Day 5: Martinborough
Enjoy the rolling green countryside as you head south towards New Zealand’s capital today where you will overnight in the wine village of Martinborough. The area has around 25 boutique wineries, most of which you could walk or cycle to from your hotel. The Pinot Noir, in particular, is highly recommended here! The area also has a variety of boutique stores, a local brewery and gourmet treats such as homegrown olives from the many artisan food producers of the area.
Day 6: Blenheim
Head through Wellington today, drop off your rental car and catch the Interislander ferry across to Picton. This trip is one of the most scenic ferry journeys in the world with little coves home to seal colonies and dolphins gliding by. Pick up your new car rental and continue the onward drive to Blenheim which takes you past yet more wineries as you have reached the Marlborough region, known for its universally acclaimed Sauvignon Blanc. You will stay here for 2 nights so have plenty of time to wander around the cafes, shops and sample some of the fantastic seafood in this part of the country.
Day 7: Blenheim
This morning we’ve included a tour to two wineries in the Marlborough region including the iconic Cloudy Bay. Following the tastings, you will be taken through to the Marlborough Sounds waterfront for a lunch at your own expense. Leave the marina on a sumptuous seafood cruise allowing you to take in the natural beauty of the sounds while tasting seafood and yet more wine. You will learn the history of the area and visit a marine farm before being dropped off back at your hotel in Blenheim.
Day 8: Christchurch
After breakfast, it's your final drive today to Christchurch. With no touring included today, you have time to meander around the city's many pop-up bars, cafes and shops or go punting along the River Avon past the Botanic gardens.
Day 9: Depart Christchurch
After breakfast, enjoy your morning at leisure before dropping off your rental car and departing to your next destination.