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Napier to Blenheim: The Classic New Zealand Wine Trail
The Classic New Zealand Wine Trail covers more than 400 kilometres and over 70 per cent of New Zealand’s wine producing regions, making it the perfect self-drive journey for any wine aficionado.
Not only does the 400-kilometre long Classic New Zealand Wine Trail cover some of the most magnificent sights in the country, but according to Tourism New Zealand it encompasses over 70 per cent of the country's wine producing regions, making it the quintessential self-drive holiday for any dyed-in-the-wool oenophile (and if you know what that word means then this trip is definitely for you!).
The route goes from Napier, in the North Island, all the way to Blenheim in the South Island and will take you through three of New Zealand's major wine regions. Give yourself at least six days to do the trail justice.
Your journey starts in Napier, where you can spend your day exploring the Art Deco and Spanish Mission architecture and touring the vineyards to sample the exquisite chardonnays the Hawke's Bay wine region has become known for. Once you're ready to hit the road, head south towards Martinborough. Be sure to stop and take in the fabulous Victorian architecture in Greytown along the way.
Your next destination is Martinborough in the Wairarapa region. Pinot noir and pinot gris are this region's wines of choice and once you've savoured some fine glasses you can head on to Wellington and indulge yourself in the cities many restaurants, bars, cafes, cinemas and theatres. Wellington is a melting pot of art and culture and it'll be hard to say goodbye, but knowing that the jaw-dropping beautiful scenery on the Interislander ferry between Wellington and Picton awaits you should ease the pain.
Your arrival in Picton brings you to your third and final wine region – Marlborough. Here you'll sample your share of fruity sauvignon blanc, served alongside the local delicacy of scallops and green-lipped mussels. Blenheim is your final destination. It's one of New Zealand's sunniest spots, just perfect for an evening glass of wine on a terrace to unwind after your long journey.
In six short days you'll have had your pick of over 100 cellar doors and hundreds of New Zealand's finest eateries, making this a true gourmet holiday!