Auckland to Christchurch food & wine trail
Auckland to Christchurch
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Auckland to Christchurch food & wine trail

Travel from Auckland to Christchurch over 15 days exploring wineries and gourmet food producers as you go. Enjoy guided trips that allow you to see and taste New Zealand's best produce, with plenty of free time to enjoy the wonderful scenery and hospitality. A combination of hotels in great locations and unique boutique properties on the South Island will you with one thought - when can I come back!

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Quick Itinerary Details

North & South Island Self Drive

This suggested tour costs from NZD$6,633 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Christchurch

15 days/14 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Rental car included

 Viewed 11 times in the last 7 days

Tour at a glance

Day 1: Welcome to Auckland, transfer to your accommodation, relax or explore. This evening enjoy a relaxed dinner cruise on the harbour
Accommodation: Fable Auckland

Day 2: Today explore Auckland and its food and wine producers on a half day tour
Accommodation: Fable Auckland

Day 3: Take a cruise for a taste of Waiheke Island Tour
Accommodation: Fable Auckland

Day 4: Collect your rental car and drive south through Waikato farmland via Hobbiton Village before continuing to Rotorua
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 239 kms / 148 miles : 2.9 hours

Day 5: Continue your journey south through Lake Taupo and onto the Art Deco city of Napier and the Hawke's Bay
Accommodation: Art Deco Masonic Hotel
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 210 kms / 131 miles : 2.4 hours

Day 6: A free day to enjoy the city
Accommodation: Art Deco Masonic Hotel

Day 7: Journey south to the Wairarapa region and Martinborough's boutique wineries
Accommodation: The Martinborough Hotel
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 271 kms / 168 miles : 3.3 hours

Day 8: Sip your way through some of Martinborough's best wines
Accommodation: The Martinborough Hotel

Day 9: A short drive over the Rimutaka Ranges to the capital city of Wellington. Explore the city and this evening visit Zealandia on a night tour
Accommodation: QT Wellington
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 73 kms / 45 miles : 1.0 hours

Day 10: This morning depart an a tour of Wellington's gourmet hot spots. Time for shopping or relaxing this afternoon
Accommodation: QT Wellington

Day 11: Today cross the Cook Strait to the south Island and the famous Marlborugh wine region
Accommodation: The Peppertree
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 25 kms / 16 miles : 0.3 hours

Day 12: Embark on a full day gourmet tour of Marlboroughs wineries
Accommodation: The Peppertree

Day 13: Drive to the seaside town of Kaikoura today. Tonight enjoy dinner at the wonderful Hapuku Lodge
Accommodation: Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 110 kms / 68 miles : 1.3 hours

Day 14: Travel south through the Waipara Valley wine region and onto Christchurch.
Accommodation: The George Hotel
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 178 kms / 111 miles : 2.5 hours

Day 15: More time to explore the city before you continue your journey before you depart

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 7 kms / 5 miles : 0.2 hours

Tour full itinerary

Detailed itinerary: 15 day tour starting in Auckland

Day 1 - Welcome to Auckland, transfer to your accommodation, relax or explore. This evening enjoy a relaxed dinner cruise on the harbour
Auckland to Christchurch food & wine trail - Day 1
Private Transfer Auckland Airport to Auckland Accommodation

You will be met at the Auckland airport by the driver and transferred to your Auckland accommodation.

Welcome to Auckland

Auckland, New Zealand's self-proclaimed "City of Sails" is the country's largest metro area. Resting between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, this urban paradise has something for everyone. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests, and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure. Explore the central museums and galleries on foot, or get out onto the water to experience the best views of the city.

Harbour Dinner Cruise with Explore

This unique on-water dining experience is not to be missed while you're in Auckland. Enjoy smooth sailing on the Waitemata Harbour - then watch this photogenic city come alive with twinkling lights. Enjoy your meal as you sail around the beautiful Auckland Harbour taking in the view as the sun slowly sets. You'll be treated to canapes and a drink as you set off towards Westhaven Marina. Choose between dining in the downstairs cabin or on deck to take in the iconic sights of the Auckland Harbour. To finish the evening off, savour your dessert course as you leisurely sail back to Auckland's vibrant Viaduct Harbour.

Your accommodation: Fable Auckland

Located right on Queen Street the Fable Auckland is boutique and stylish property with an ideal location to enjoy and explore the vibrant heart of the 'City of Sails'.
Meals included: Dinner
Day 2 - Today explore Auckland and its food and wine producers on a half day tour
Auckland to Christchurch food & wine trail - Day 2
Great Tastes Half Day Kumeu Wine Country Tour with Lunch

Today you'll be leaving the city and heading north-west to Kumeu Wine Country, Auckland's Heritage Wine Region. Enjoy lunch at a contemporary vineyard, sample world-renowned wines and marvel at the rugged surf-fringed coastline nearby. Your first stop is award-winning Soljans Estate Winery. Utilising both traditional and modern techniques, Soljans produce varied and richly flavoured wines. Built with sunshine in mind and a distinct Mediterranean-style, the onsite restaurant showcases fresh seasonal produce from around the region.
Continuing on, you'll visit the Muriwai Gannet Colony - one of the few mainland nesting sites in the world. Situated on the cliffs overlooking the Tasman sea you'll have breathtaking views of the beach and ocean beyond. Your final tasting is at West Brook Winery, one of New Zealand's oldest. These wines reflect true varietal character and their unique regional origins.

Your accommodation: Fable Auckland

Located right on Queen Street the Fable Auckland is boutique and stylish property with an ideal location to enjoy and explore the vibrant heart of the 'City of Sails'.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3 - Take a cruise for a taste of Waiheke Island Tour
Auckland to Christchurch food & wine trail - Day 3
Fullers Ferry Auckland to Waiheke Island

Take a scenic approximately 40-minute cruise through the Hauraki Gulf between the Auckland down town ferry terminal and Matiatia Wharf on Waiheke Island.

The Essence of Waiheke Wine Tour

Known as ‘New Zealand’s Island of Wine’, Waiheke has become home to a dedicated group of award-winning wine producers. With a unique micro-climate and the winemakers’ philosophy of “small is beautiful”, Waiheke has produced some of New Zealand’s most prestigious wines.
On this tour, you will visit three of Waiheke’s top vineyards and sample a range of their wines. Along the way enjoy a commentated scenic drive, learning about the Island’s history, geography, people and culture from your knowledgeable local guide.
After your wine tasting experience sit back, relax and finish the day with a lunch and a glass of Waiheke wine or beer at a local favourite.

Fullers Ferry Waiheke Island to Auckland

Take a scenic approximately 40-minute cruise through the Hauraki Gulf between Matiatia Wharf on Waiheke Island and the Auckland downtown ferry terminal.

Your accommodation: Fable Auckland

Located right on Queen Street the Fable Auckland is boutique and stylish property with an ideal location to enjoy and explore the vibrant heart of the 'City of Sails'.
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 4 - Collect your rental car and drive south through Waikato farmland via Hobbiton Village before continuing to Rotorua
Auckland to Christchurch food & wine trail - Day 4
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

Navigating New Zealand can be done easily in two ways. If you have a smartphone, you will be able to connect it to the USB of your rental car and your maps and other apps will display on the screen in the centre console of your vehicle, with the sound coming through the car speakers.
If you don't have a smartphone, chat to us to ensure we book you a car with a portable GPS system. Your portable GPS features a simple touch screen interface, with automatic route calculation and turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions, which announces street names. The automotive-grade GPS unit is easy to use and has multiple language options.

Auckland to Matamata and Hobbiton

Head southbound on State Highway one through the lush farmland and dairy pastures of the Waikato region. The Bombay Hills mark the outer boundary of the greater Auckland area and its here you turn inland towards Matamata. This is the real Middle Earth, and you'll see many locations used in the filming of The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit, as well as visiting the actual set of Hobbiton.

Hobbiton Movie Set tour from Shires Rest

Become immersed in the The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films when you visit the actual Hobbiton movie set. Located just outside of Matamata in the heart of the lush Waikato farming region, your tour will begin with a drive through a picturesque sheep farm. You'll then be taken through Hobbit Holes, the Green Dragon Inn, the Mill and the Party Tree while your guide shares behind-the-scenes tales and insight into the making of the films.

Matamata to Rotorua

Just south of Matamata is the township of Tirau, home to the largest tin sheep and sheepdog, but it also offers a surprising number of bric a brac, art, craft and antique stores if you feel like browsing.
Arriving into the City of Rotorua the regions geothermal activity becomes evident as you see steam rising from the roadside and surrounding hills.
Considered the cultural centre for the Maori people, Rotorua is the ideal place to gain an insight into the history and culture. Nearby Ohinemutu Village is the original site of the first Maori settlers in the area and despite its now modern surroundings and buildings you can still gain a sense of what the original village was like. The magnificent meeting house and historic carvings along with the unique 'Tudor-style' St Faiths Church feature in many visitors photo albums.
One of the most popular introductions to the Maori Culture is through an evening at Mitai Maori Village where you can enjoy performances and demonstrations followed by a traditionally cooked hangi meal.
Of course Rotorua is also a great place to enjoy many other activities including, fishing, 4WD trips, relaxing spa treatments, mountain biking, walking and hiking plus helicopter and float plane trips.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Millennium Hotel is Rotorua's largest 4-star deluxe hotel. Perfectly situated in the heart of the city overlooking Lake Rotorua. Five levels of accommodation offer guests a wide variety of scenic views.
Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 239 kms / 148 miles : 2.9 hours

Day 5 - Continue your journey south through Lake Taupo and onto the Art Deco city of Napier and the Hawke's Bay
Auckland to Christchurch food & wine trail - Day 5
Rotorua to Napier

This drive will take you through the thermal region just south of Rotorua. Home to a plethora of unique geothermal attractions including boiling mud pits, natural hot springs and steaming geysers, this area is a must do before you move on to Napier. Notable attractions are Wai-O-Tapu, Waimangu and Craters of the Moon.
Continue on to Taupo and marvel at the lake, a giant crater formed following a volcanic eruption in the year 180 CE. As you approach the city, be sure to stop at Huka Falls to view the spectacular sight of hundreds of cubic metres of water spilling every second down the narrow 11 metre drop.
For an extra thrill take a jet-boat ride to the base of the falls. Leaving Taupo, follow the road as it climbs the rugged Ahimanawa Range before descending back down the Pacific Coast to art deco Napier.

Your accommodation: Art Deco Masonic Hotel

The Art Deco Masonic Hotel occupies a significant historic building on Napier’s waterfront and has been richly refurbished in keeping with the Art Deco architecture. With its central location and decadent décor, this is the best place to experience what Napier is famous for.
Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 210 kms / 131 miles : 2.4 hours

Day 6 - A free day to enjoy the city
Auckland to Christchurch food & wine trail - Day 6
Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay

With its Mediterranean climate and Art Deco style, Hawke's Bay is an attractive holiday prospect. As the nation's first winemaking region, a visit to one of its 30 wineries is a must. A trip to Mission Estate touted as the birthplace of NZ wine can't be missed. For the truly enthused head out on a tour of the vines. Those into Gatsby will enjoy the chance to view prominent Art Deco landmarks on a 1930s Vintage Car Tour. Passengers will spend just over an hour learning about the history of the city's architecture including the Napier Municipal Theatre, one of the top ten Art Deco Buildings in the world. If you're after some fresh air, hire a bike and take your pick of one of over 200km of cycling trails or head on down to one of the many beaches that ring the area. Ocean or Waimarama beach are good choices and both are patrolled by surf lifeguards during the summer. Indulge in some local produce and head out on a cheese, chocolate, honey or orchard tour. End on a high with another ride, this time in a comfortable trailer pulled by a tractor en-route to Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony, the largest of its kind in the world.

Walking tracks in and around Hawkes Bay

There are some excellent walks in and around the Hawkes Bay region. The information below is provided by the Department of Conservation. 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.

Tangoio Falls Scenic Reserve Tracks
Discover Te Ana or Tangoio Falls on a short, easy walk suitable for kids, or take a longer walk through native bush on the Tangoio Walkway. .
Distance: 2 - 4.4 km one way. Completion Time: 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on which track you choose.

White Pine Bush Scenic Reserve
Experience New Zealand's remaining coastal forest on these short, easy walks that are good for children.
Distance: 1.6 km loop. Completion Time: 40 minutes.

Ahuriri Estuary
View a community of wading birds, fish, mud dwellers and aquatic plant life from the estuary track and boardwalk. Over 70 species of resident and migratory waterbirds use the estuary as a feeding and resting area.
Distance: 2.8 km one way. Completion Time: 1 hour.

Te Mata Park
Te Mata Park has a rich human and geological history, and is home to a range of unique plants and native birds. The park has five different walking options varying in difficulty and distance.
Distance: 1.3 km - 5.4 km. Completion Time: 40 minutes - 1 hours 15 minutes.

Lake Tūtira
There are two main walks at Lake Tūtira, a short walk along the edge of the lake or a longer loop through the reserve. Both offer great views of the lake as well as native and introduced plant species.
Distance: 1.3 km - 5.4 km. Completion Time: 40 minutes - 1 hours 15 minutes.

Cape Kidnappers/Te Kauwae-a-Māui Walking Track
Follow the beach from Clifton to Cape Kidnappers/Te Kauwae-a-Māui alongside cliffs that show fragmented fault and tilt lines, recording the gradual rise of New Zealand. Black Reef is the first gannet nesting site, 7.5 km from Clifton. A 1 km climb takes you from the shelter on the beach to a benched area on the hill where you can view the second colony, and spectacular views of Hawke's Bay.
Distance: 19 km loop. Completion Time: 5 hour return.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Silky Oak Triple Chocolate Temptation Tour

The Silky Oak Chocolate Co Ltd is a 100% New Zealand owned family business, with a proud reputation for producing exquisite handmade couverture (real)...

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The Silky Oak Chocolate Co Ltd is a 100% New Zealand owned family business, with a proud reputation for producing exquisite handmade couverture (real) chocolates, using traditional methods. Silky Oak's handcrafted chocolate range has something for everyone and the Triple Chocolate Temptation tour is the best way to fully experience and appreciated these delights. Your guide will first explain chocolate making process at the factory, before accompanying you through the Chocolate Museum covering 3,000 years of chocolate history.  The museum tells the story of a food whose past is as rich as its flavour, bought to life with colourfully illustrated texts, life sized tableaux, and a huge collection of chocolate paraphernalia, including a 2,500 year old Mayan Chocolate pot.  You then get to sample the fabulous chocolate being produced here, including a chocolate drink (or tea/coffee), chocolate muffin/ slice, served with liquid chocolate and cream at our Café, you'll also enjoy a take home gift, chocolate of course.

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SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Grape Escape half day Hawke's Bay Wine tour

This wine tasting tour is designed for casual imbibers and wine aficionados. Meet like-minded people and share an appreciation of Hawke's Bay's fantas...

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This wine tasting tour is designed for casual imbibers and wine aficionados. Meet like-minded people and share an appreciation of Hawke's Bay's fantastic wines. Taste great wines made with passion and learn of the areas unique growing conditions. Take home outstanding wines and wonderful memories. Join a fun filled wine tasting afternoon in the sun driving through absolutely stunning scenery. Meet like-minded people and share an appreciation of this region's fantastic wine. Visit four to five wineries and enjoy a cheese platter on the grounds of the Ngatarawa Vineyard beside the lily pond.

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Your accommodation: Art Deco Masonic Hotel

The Art Deco Masonic Hotel occupies a significant historic building on Napier’s waterfront and has been richly refurbished in keeping with the Art Deco architecture. With its central location and decadent décor, this is the best place to experience what Napier is famous for.
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 7 - Journey south to the Wairarapa region and Martinborough's boutique wineries
Auckland to Christchurch food & wine trail - Day 7
Napier to Martinborough

As you leave the rolling countryside of the Hawke's Bay you'll be greeted with some of the country's richest dairy farmland in the Manawatu Gorge. Continue on through the Wairarapa region and stop in the Pukaha Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre, where you can see some of New Zealand native animals. Take another break in Masterson, and visit the interactive Woolshed Museum to learn about sheep farming in New Zealand. As you drive south, a visit to historic Greytown is a must-do. Take in the restored Victorian buildings and make time for a cup of tea at one of its quaint cafes. Leaving state highway 2 you will cross over the Ruamahanga River into Martinborough wine country your destination for the day.

Your accommodation: The Martinborough Hotel

At the Martinborough Hotel, indulge in the elegant surroundings of this 1882 building. There are nine Verandah Rooms, at the top of the grand flight of stairs and seven spacious Garden Rooms finished in a restful simple country style.
Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 271 kms / 168 miles : 3.3 hours

Day 8 - Sip your way through some of Martinborough's best wines
Auckland to Christchurch food & wine trail - Day 8
Martinborough in a Day Personal Wine Tour

This tour gets you behind the scenes at some of the region’s top wineries and an olive grove. It includes meeting and talking with a winemaker, a walk in the vines, and an olive grove tour and olive oil tasting at a local producer which specialises in flavour-infused olive oils. Cheese tasting, chocolate tasting, a morning coffee stop, gin and beer tastings are also options as part of this tour.

Your accommodation: The Martinborough Hotel

At the Martinborough Hotel, indulge in the elegant surroundings of this 1882 building. There are nine Verandah Rooms, at the top of the grand flight of stairs and seven spacious Garden Rooms finished in a restful simple country style.
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 9 - A short drive over the Rimutaka Ranges to the capital city of Wellington. Explore the city and this evening visit Zealandia on a night tour
Auckland to Christchurch food & wine trail - Day 9
Martinborough to Wellington City

Today you will cross the Rimutaka Ranges as you make your way to New Zealand's capital city, Wellington. Often compared to Melbourne, Wellington is vibrant cultural hub.Home to the nation’s centre of government. Legislation happens in the aptly named ‘Beehive,’ an executive wing attached to the Houses of Parliament. At one kilometre squared, the city centre (easily traversed on foot) has an international feel and is peppered with underground art shows, alleyway cafes and New York style delis. Take in the boardwalk view as you stroll to Te Papa Museum or indulge your cinematic side exploring Weta Workshop, the Oscar Award winning design studio for Lord Of The Rings. For a taste of vintage fashion, spend some time (and dollars!) on Cuba Street browsing the boutiques. Work off last night’s dinner with a cycling tour of Oriental Bay and undo your good work with a Hokey Pokey ice-cream in the sun. For those heading further down, the capital is where you board the ferry crossing the Cook Strait to the South Island.

Wellington's museums - suggested activity

Te Papa
Te Papa means 'our place' and is considered to be the 'museum of New Zealand'. The building opened in 1998 and since then has shown millions of visitors it's fascinating and unique collection of New Zealand's art, history, memorabilia, natural wonders, treasures and stories as well as hosting many international displays.
One of the finest collections of Maori artefacts can be found here as well as displays dedicated to the many different cultures that make up New Zealand's current population. Make sure you allow enough time to explore museums many floors. The museum is open 10am to 6pm and is free to visit. A small fee may be applicable to some short term visiting displays.

Wellington Museum
Housed in the iconic Bond Store on Wellington’s waterfront, the Museum of Wellington is dedicated to the preservation and study of Wellington’s rich social and cultural history. It provides a backdrop for the permanent display of the people and events that have made Wellington what it is today. The Museum’s atmosphere is thick with history. The Bond Store dates back to 1892, when it was a cargo warehouse and head office of the Harbour Board. Careful restoration has preserved the building’s striking facade, as well as solid timber beams and the original flooring inside. The latest technology is used to further stimulate your senses. Traditional displays sit alongside interactive exhibits, holographs and a giant cinema screen that stretches the length and breadth of an entire wall, a feature unique in Australasia. The collection includes over 95,000 items. Open 10am to 5pm entry is free. 

New Zealand Portrait Gallery
The New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata is a small gallery which tells the stories of New Zealanders through the art of portraiture. The Gallery is located in Shed 11 on Wellington’s waterfront.
Open 10:30am to 4:30pm daily, entry is free.

City Gallery Wellington
Showing art that is sometimes challenging and always captivating from some of the world’s leading artists, City Gallery Wellington is known for world-class exhibitions of contemporary New Zealand and international art. It is located in Te Ngākau Civic Square and is open daily, 11am to 5pm.

Zealandia By Night Wildlife Sanctuary Tour

Taking a night tour of Zealandia wildlife eco-sanctuary is an unforgettable experience and one that comes highly recommended. A conservation success and safe haven for some of New Zealand's rarest native animals, Zealandia is home to many remarkable species of birds, reptiles and insects living wild within a beautiful 225 hectare (one square mile) valley, just 10 minutes from the central city.
Your tour begins with an interactive exhibition before you walk through the gates of Zealandia predator-exclusion fence into the sanctuary. Your guide will then lead you on a torch-light walk through the native New Zealand bush. Possible sights include Kiwi foraging on the forest floor, tuatara hunting for food, glowworms shining, tiny Maud Island frogs in their enclosure, pateke (brown teal) ducks feeding at night and kaka (parrots) coming in to roost. Zealandia is one of the best places to see kiwi in the wild. Over 100 of these nocturnal birds live freely in their natural environment inside the safety of the sanctuary valley, so your chances of seeing one are high!

Your accommodation: QT Wellington

The QT Wellington is superbly situated opposite Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand and Wellington's waterfront. The luxury rooms are just a few minutes walk from the cafes restaurants, theatres, galleries and shopping of the vibrant Courtenay Quarter.
Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 73 kms / 45 miles : 1.0 hours

Day 10 - This morning depart an a tour of Wellington's gourmet hot spots. Time for shopping or relaxing this afternoon
Auckland to Christchurch food & wine trail - Day 10
Taste Buds for Foodies Tour

Take a trip through rural countryside to a choice of over 20 wineries. Where you can sample some award-winning wines, including the Pinot Noirs that the region is famous for. This will be a day to remember full of good food, wine and plenty of laughs. 

Your accommodation: QT Wellington

The QT Wellington is superbly situated opposite Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand and Wellington's waterfront. The luxury rooms are just a few minutes walk from the cafes restaurants, theatres, galleries and shopping of the vibrant Courtenay Quarter.
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 11 - Today cross the Cook Strait to the south Island and the famous Marlborugh wine region
Auckland to Christchurch food & wine trail - Day 11
Interislander Ferry Wellington to Picton

The 92 km journey between Wellington and Picton takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'. Leaving Wellington Harbour you pass many interesting points such as Pencarrow Head on top of which is New Zealand's oldest lighthouse (1859). Red Rocks is home to a seal colony and Oterangi Bay is the site which recorded the country's highest ever wind speed of 268 kph (167 mph).
From the Cook Strait spectacular views of the Kaikoura Ranges on the South Island can be enjoyed and dolphins and many sea birds are often seen. Around one hour of the cruise takes you through the Marlborough Sounds and this region of bush covered mountains, small islands, crystal clear waters and secluded bays offer remarkable photographic opportunities. The final leg of your cruise travels through Queen Charlotte Sound before coming to an end in the picturesque town of Picton.

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.

Picton to Blenheim

Only short 30 minute drive, you’ll follow the valley south to arrive in Blenheim, located in the heart of Marlborough - New Zealand’s largest wine producing region. Go through acres of leafy green vines and marvel at the magnificent ‘dry hills’ of Marlborough in the distance.

Your accommodation: The Peppertree

The Peppertree is situated in the midst of an extensive country garden a boutique vineyard and an olive grove. Choose from one of the five spacious suites, each of which reflects a different character. Days at The Peppertree begin with a delicious breakfast, served in the Dining Room or on the verandah.
Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 25 kms / 16 miles : 0.3 hours

Day 12 - Embark on a full day gourmet tour of Marlboroughs wineries
Auckland to Christchurch food & wine trail - Day 12
Gourmet Wine Tour

The ultimate food and wine experience, the Sounds Connection Gourmet Wine Tour offers a behind-the-scenes look at several renowned Marlborough wineries including Hans Herzog Estate, Wither Hills, Cloudy Bay and Johanneshof Cellars, as well as a stop at the Makana Chocolate Factory (Wineries visited on this tour can vary due to availability). Meet the makers behind these world-renowned wines and gain a fascinating insight into the wine-making process.

Your accommodation: The Peppertree

The Peppertree is situated in the midst of an extensive country garden a boutique vineyard and an olive grove. Choose from one of the five spacious suites, each of which reflects a different character. Days at The Peppertree begin with a delicious breakfast, served in the Dining Room or on the verandah.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 13 - Drive to the seaside town of Kaikoura today. Tonight enjoy dinner at the wonderful Hapuku Lodge
Auckland to Christchurch food & wine trail - Day 13
Blenheim to Kaikoura

Cross the 'dry hills' of Marlborough and head towards one of the most spectacular coastlines of the South Island, the Kaikoura Coast. The road hugs the shore for around 50 kilometres and offers many chances to view native wildlife. To the east is the South Pacific Ocean and to the west the towering Kaikoura Ranges. Kaikoura Township is a bustling little place with many cafes, restaurants and shops, but the main reason for visiting here is the wildlife and it's one of the only places in New Zealand you can see whales year round.

Walking tracks in and around Kaikoura

The breath-taking scenery of Kaikōura is best explored on foot with a great variety of coastal walks. Enjoy the rugged landscape whilst spotting marine life.

Kaikōura Peninsula Walkway
Time: 5 mins - 3hrs
Start from the car-park at South Bay or Point Kean. The track crosses the peninsula’s clifftop, with excellent views of the Seaward Kaikōura Range, ocean and coastline, to South Bay. It returns to the township via South Bay and Toms Track. Alternatively, during low tide, some of the walk can be completed along the shoreline. Observe seals and seabirds, explore historic pā and whaling sites and enjoy clifftop views of the sea and mountains. Suitable for families, the whole walkway takes three hours but you can also explore a range of shorter tracks.

Hinau Track
Time: 45 mins return
Start location: 10 minutes drive from Kaikōura township starts at the base of Mt Fyffe carpark.
An interesting loop through an unusual forest with a number of large hinau trees. There are also many mahoe, putaputaweta, broadleaf, tree fuchsia, and pigeonwood. For a contrast in vegetation, the track passes through a stand of kanuka. Classified as a 'walking track', the Hinau Track is well-formed and suitable for families, however, there is an unbridged stream that in normal conditions is easy to navigate.

Mt Fyffe
Time: 1-8 hours return
Superb views over the Kaikōura plains and peninsula reward those who climb Mt Fyffe. On a clear day, the view at higher levels includes the Banks Peninsula and the North Island. From Mt Fyffe carpark follow the 4WD road up the mountain's long south-west ridge. The road goes right to the summit; a return journey of about 8 hours.
Those wanting a shorter journey could go as far as Mt Fyffe Hut (5 hours return) or the lookout point near a firepond, which is just an hour above the carpark. The Spaniard Spur Route offers a steeper alternative route to the upper mountain via the Kowhai River.

Your accommodation: Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses

Hapuku Lodge was built to give guests a great night's sleep in one the most beautiful places in the world. The Lodge sits tight between the mountains and the ocean, on a deer stud and olive farm.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 110 kms / 68 miles : 1.3 hours

Day 14 - Travel south through the Waipara Valley wine region and onto Christchurch.
Auckland to Christchurch food & wine trail - Day 14
Kaikoura to Christchurch

Today you travel down the coast before heading inland through the North Canterbury wine region - the Waipara Valley. As you drive through this area you’ll be greeted by one of New Zealand's most notorious animals, the sheep. If you’ve time on your hands we recommend taking a detour to Hanmer Springs for relaxing dip in its thermal pools. Arriving into Christchurch you'll see a new and improved city, steadily rising from the ruins of the 2011 earthquake.

Your accommodation: The George Hotel

The George is the essence of supreme comfort. The award-winning 5 star hotel is opposite Hagley Park and just a few minutes stroll from the Botanic Gardens. It also has an award-winning restaurant, 50 Bistro onsite.
Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 178 kms / 111 miles : 2.5 hours

Day 15 - More time to explore the city before you continue your journey before you depart
Auckland to Christchurch food & wine trail - Day 15
Return your vehicle to Christchurch Airport

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

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 7 kms / 5 miles : 0.2 hours

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Auckland to Christchurch food & wine trail

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Step 2: Choose a preferred car type for travelling New Zealand
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Step 3: Select number of guests and room configuration
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NOTE: Instant quotes are subject to availability of specific accommodation and other inclusions. Our NZ touring experts will be in touch with you regarding this. Costs quoted in currencies other than New Zealand dollars (NZ$) are based on todays exchange rate and are  subject to change. Refer to our terms and conditions.

Remember - we can create this itinerary with any style of accommodation or customise to suit your interests and timeframe. Just contact us here.

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