Central Otago Food and Wine Tour
South Island Self Drive from Queenstown to Queenstown
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Central Otago Food and Wine Tour

Excite your tastebuds on this 6-day tour of Central Otago with a highlight stay at the stunning Gibbston Valley Winery. Starting in Queenstown you'll loop round to Wanaka and back, be guided through multiple wine tours all with a great story and breathtaking views, stay in luxury and take the time to enjoy Central Otago in splendour.

Tour summary and feature

South Island Self Drive

This suggested tour costs from NZD$2,650 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Queenstown, finishes in Queenstown

6 days/5 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Rental car insurance included: Fully inclusive with variable excess/deductible

 Rental car inclusions: GPS navigation, unlimited kms, airport/ferry terminal fees, additional drivers

 Viewed 9 times in the last 7 days

1 dinner

All breakfasts

Private airport transfers

Tour at a glance

At a glance - Central Otago Food and Wine Tour

Day 1: Welcome to Queenstown you'll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 2: Explore the vineyards on a boutique wine tour. Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 3: Collect your rental car and head to Wanaka. Accommodation: Lakeside Apartments Wanaka
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 60 kms / 38 miles : 0.9 hours

Day 4: Enjoy a Wanaka winery tour. Accommodation: Lakeside Apartments Wanaka

Day 5: Stay on a vineyard in the Gibbston Valley. Accommodation: Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 60 kms / 38 miles : 0.9 hours

Day 6: Depart Queenstown today.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 31 kms / 19 miles : 0.6 hours

Tour full itinerary

Detailed itinerary: 6 day tour starting in Queenstown

Day 1 - Welcome to Queenstown you'll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel

Central Otago Food and Wine Tour - Day 1
Private Transfer Queenstown Airport to your Accommodation

On arrival you will be met by a private driver and delivered to your Queenstown accommodation.

Itinerary information by APP & in country support

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Skyline Gondola Queenstown and Buffet Dinner

With breathtaking views across Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, the Skyline Complex is a must-do. Catch the fully enclosed gondola to the summit for a remarkable panorama of the city surrounds. Wander the outdoor viewing decks then enjoy a gourmet buffet meal in the Stratosphere Restaurant.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Right in the heart of the action, the Millennium Hotel is just minutes from Queenstown's central shopping and entertainment district. Outdoor activities such as bungy jumping, white water rafting and jet boating are just some of the easily accessible activities nearby in New Zealand's adventure capital.

Meals included: Dinner

Day 2 - Explore the vineyards on a boutique wine tour

Central Otago Food and Wine Tour - Day 2
Appellation Boutique Wine Tour

Experience a tasting journey through three of Central Otago’s incredibly scenic and varying wine sub-regions; Gibbston, Bannockburn and Cromwell. Visit three boutique vineyards, tasting their unique cool climate wines and discover why the Central Otago region has become world-renowned in its own right.
Indulge at a fourth vineyard restaurant for a platter-style lunch, savouring the finest and freshest produce, accompanied with a glass of premium wine of your choice.
There will also be an opportunity to retrace history when you stroll through the charming historical settlement of Old Cromwell.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Right in the heart of the action, the Millennium Hotel is just minutes from Queenstown's central shopping and entertainment district. Outdoor activities such as bungy jumping, white water rafting and jet boating are just some of the easily accessible activities nearby in New Zealand's adventure capital.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3 - Collect your rental car and head to Wanaka

Central Otago Food and Wine Tour - Day 3
Collect your rental car

This tour can be priced with any of the rental cars available in our fantastic range, from economy hatchbacks to prestige saloons and SUV's.

GPS navigation system

Use the latest GPS technology as you tour New Zealand. Your portable GPS features a simple touch screen interface with automatic route calculation and turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions including street name announcement. The automotive-grade GPS unit is easy to use and has multiple language options.

Queenstown to Wanaka

Leaving Queenstown you'll drive over New Zealand's highest sealed road, the Crown Range before arriving into the resort town of Wanaka.

Walking tracks in and around Wanaka

There are some excellent walks in and around Wanaka. The information below is provided by the Department of Conservation. Located in Wanaka is a Department of Conservation information centre and you can get updates on track conditions and suitability plus you can learn about the area, its natural history and its people. Listed below are a selection of short walks but check with the Department of Conservation information centre for weather conditions, track suitability and conditions first.

Outlet Track
This is a local favourite as it is an easy walk suitable for all ages and abilities. It begins from Wanaka town centre and takes you around picturesque Lake Wanaka to the outlet to the Clutha River and on to Albert Town. This track can also be explored by bike.
Distance: 3 km one way. Completion Time: 1 hour one way.

Mount Iron Track
This very popular, close-to-Wanaka-town loop walk suits all ages and abilities and offers great views from the summit.
Distance: 4.5 km. Completion Time: 1.5 hour.

Diamond Lake and Rocky Mountain walks
These two excellent walks in the Diamond Lake Conservation Area give wonderful views of the surrounding alps and Lake Wanaka.
Distance: 2km - 7 km depending on trail. Completion Time: 45 minutes - 3 hours depending on trail.

Rob Roy Glacier Track
Rob Roy Valley is a good entry point to an area of spectacular alpine scenery, snowfields, glaciers, sheer rock cliffs and waterfalls. The road to this track is unsealed and unsuitable for rental cars, but transportation to the beginning of the walk can be arranged.
Distance: 10 km.  Completion Time: 3 - 4 hours return. There is avalanche danger during winter and spring (June-November) on the Rob Roy Track.

Roy's Peak Track
The most famous walk in the Wanaka area, this steep walk climbs 1,500m on a well-formed track with the most spectacular views of Lake Wanaka, its islands, bays, and the mighty snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps, including Mount Aspiring.
Distance: 16 km return via the same track. Completion Time: 5 - 6 hour return. This track is closed from the 1st of October - 10th November each year. In winter alpine equipment (such as crampons) are required.

Isthmus Peak Track
A long, steady climb that rewards walkers with spectacular, panoramic views of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea as well as the mountains of the Southern Alps.
Distance: 16 km return via the same track. Completion Time: 5 - 6 hour return. This track is closed from the 20th of November - 20th December each year. This track is not recommended in winter due to snow and ice build up on the track.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Cardrona Distillery Classic Tour

The tour includes a journey through the working distillery and barrelhouse and finishes with a tutored tasting of Cardrona Distillery's artisan spirits.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Wanaka River Journeys Jet Boat and Wilderness Walk

The Matukituki River is one of New Zealand's great jet boating rivers. Powerful and braided, the Matukituki flows from the glaciers and mountains of the Mount Aspiring National Park, part of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage area.  Travel past Lord of The Rings film locations beneath stunning views of Mount Aspiring and Glaciers on this half day, glacier focused jet boat journey. During several photo stops on the river, learn from your guide how this amazing landscape was carved by ice and of Maori heritage special to this area. Deep in the mountains, disembark for a 50 minute wilderness walk into native beech forest, beneath the towering mountains and waterfalls of the Matukituki Valley. This is a great introduction to the New Zealand wilderness while walking easy terrain suitable for people of all ages.

Your accommodation: Lakeside Apartments Wanaka

Located in the heart of picturesque Wanaka, and a stones throw from the lake edge, these spacious apartments have full kitchen and laundry facilities and private balconies with lake and mountain views.

Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 60 kms / 38 miles : 0.9 hours

Day 4 - Enjoy a Wanaka winery tour

Central Otago Food and Wine Tour - Day 4
Wanaka Wine Tours Classic Wine Tour

The Classic Full Day Wine Tour is a small group tour (maximum 8) that explores the scenery, history, food and wines of Central Otago. Enjoy an unhurried amble through six of the region's finest wineries, pausing only to admire the ever-present views. Savour the unique atmosphere of the arts, crafts and history of Old Cromwell Town and share the unforgettable indulgence of a gourmet platter lunch.

Your accommodation: Lakeside Apartments Wanaka

Located in the heart of picturesque Wanaka, and a stones throw from the lake edge, these spacious apartments have full kitchen and laundry facilities and private balconies with lake and mountain views.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5 - Stay on a vineyard in the Gibbston Valley

Central Otago Food and Wine Tour - Day 5
Wanaka to Gibbston Valley

Leaving Wanaka you will head over the Crown Range Road - New Zealand's highest sealed road. At the bottom of the Crown Range turn left onto State Highway 6 (following the signs to Cromwell/Route 6) for about 11km until you are in the wine growing Gibbston Valley.

Gibbston Valley

To the east of Queenstown, tucked inside the Kawarau Gorge is the Gibbston Valley. Stretching to Lake Hayes in Arrowtown, Gibbston is known for its wineries.

Bordering the road on both sides the land is extensively planted with grapes, and there are many opportunities to taste the pinot noir, a variety the region is famous for. Some of its notable wineries include Peregrine, Chard Farm, Gibbston Valley and Two Paddocks.

An ideal spot for lunch is Amisfield Winery and Bistro - a must for any foodie - located at Lake Hayes, just a 10 minute drive from central Queenstown. The Gibbston Valley isn't just about wine. Opposite Chard Farm is the Kawarau Suspension Bridge built in 1880 to provide access to the goldfields in the region. 108 years later it became the location of the world’s first commercial bungy jumping operation and you can still take the 43 metre leap today.

Gibbston Valley Wine Cave Tour

Gibbston Valley Winery is home of New Zealand's largest wine cave. They offer daily wine cave and tasting tours to the region's oldest vineyard - their very own Home Block. You will experience wine tasting in the wine cave and catch a glimpse of the winemakers in action. The tour includes a tasting of three varietals in the cave and a visit to the Home Block Vineyard, originally planted by the founder and wine pioneer Allan Brady in 1983.

Your accommodation: Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa

Stylish Central Otago accommodation, uniquely situated in our organic and historic Pinot Noir vineyard and historic winery. With personal service, culinary adventure, and luxurious 'vinotherapy' spa treatments, you can easily disconnect from the mundanities of everyday life and connect with this enchanting landscape.

Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 60 kms / 38 miles : 0.9 hours

Day 6 - Depart Queenstown today

Central Otago Food and Wine Tour - Day 6
Gibbston Valley to Queenstown

Leaving the Gibbston Valley you will head towards Queenstown on State Highway 6, this will take you past the Kawarau Bridge Bungy centre, over the Shotover River and into Queenstown.  One optional detour worth considering is a visit to historic Arrowtown en-route, a great place to stop for a bite to eat.

Depart Queenstown today

Explore more of Queenstown before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 31 kms / 19 miles : 0.6 hours

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