If indulging in local food and wine is a must-do for you then this is the journey for you. If gastronomy and the odd tipple are high on your agenda, New Zealand won't disappoint you.
Whether you’re a wine aficionado or a food connoisseur, New Zealand’s range of flavours are sure to delight you. Enjoy an exquisite winery lunch at one of the many vineyards stretching throughout every region. Fresh, diverse and delicious, Kiwis love their food and our chefs put playful local twists on fine cuisine.Plan Your Tour
Private guided tour – 13 nights
Day 1: Auckland arrival - Ferry to Waiheke Island (Private airport transfer, Day for relaxing)
Day 2: Waiheke Island (White sand beaches, Private gourmet and wine tour) Auckland - Bay of Plenty/Rotorua (Maori show, Pohuto Geyser, geothermal areas)
Day 3: Auckland - Bay of Plenty/Rotorua (Maori show, Pohuto Geyser, geothermal areas)
Day 4: Rotorua – Lake Taupo – Hawkes Bay (Art deco Town)
Day 5: Hawkes Bay (Private wine tour/tasting, Gannet colonies)
Day 6: Hawkes Bay – Martinborough - Wellington (Food and Wine Producers Tour)
Day 7: Wellington – /South Island (Walking food tour of Capital city)
Day 8: Wellington – Domestic flight to Blenheim (Full day private winery tour by bike)
Day 9: Marlborough Sounds – Canterbury (Seal colonies, Whale-watch)
Day 10: Kaikoura – Lake Tekapo (Grand Traverse scenic flight over glaciers and Mt Cook)
Day 11: Mt Cook area – Queenstown (Private wine tour/tasting Central Otago)
Day 12: Queenstown - trip to Fiordland National Park (Scenic flight/ cruise to/in Milford Sounds, Glenorchy)
Day 13: Queenstown (Day for relaxing)
Day 14: Queenstown departure (Private airport transfer)
Prices: We recommend the following guidelines for customized tour packages, excluding international flights:
4* (3* internationally) to 5*: From around NZ$ $400 - $1150+ per person per day. The customized package will include accommodation, airport transfers and other transportation within New Zealand, guided tours or activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24X7 support during your trip. Please enquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final accommodation choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.
You will be met on arrival at Auckland International Airport by your Aroha NZ Tours Representative, and transferred to the harbour, where you will take a ferry to Waiheke Island, once there your host will collect you to take you to your accommodation. The Island is renowned for its diversions from city life. Island life means beaches, arts and crafts shops, cafés/restaurants, world-renowned vineyards and olive-groves.
Accommodation: Waiheke Island
We have organized today a private wine-tour to the Island's most respected vineyards. A “small is beautiful” philosophy” yields low quantities of extremely high-quality fruit, which is made into internationally award-winning wines. With tastings at our best boutique wineries, the secrets of Waiheke's stunning worldwide success in fine red wines will be revealed to the interested visitor. You'll come away with a deep appreciation of the vintner’s art and an understanding of the terrier, the weather and the tides of tradition which make up this art. You'll learn which are the vintages to look out for and be able to purchase the best for your cellar direct from the vineyards. A natural complement to the fine wines you can taste on your tour is the range of hand-made speciality foods and locally grown produce. As well as the many international award-winning olive oils, you can sample island delights such as succulent oysters straight from Te Matuku Bay, freshly roasted island coffee, wild honey and the famous local green herb spread. On Saturdays, your tour could include a visit to the Waiheke Market, where you can purchase sun-ripened local produce, freshly squeezed juices, warm French pastries and crêpes, just-baked artisan bread, organic cheeses and a huge variety of locally made dukkah, fruit chutneys, jams and pickles. A typical tour would include a visit to 3 vineyards followed with lunch at a fourth vineyard.
Accommodation: Waiheke Island
Driving distance 3h
By midday, we reach the geothermal Capital of Rotorua. Visit Te Puia is the premier Māori cultural centre in New Zealand - a place of gushing waters, steaming vents, boiling mud pools and spectacular geysers. The Māori tradition lives on at Te Whakarewarewa, our Māori culture, and our National Carving and Weaving Schools of New Zealand. The environment alone is of enormous geological significance, with thermal activity ranging from boiling mud to the world famous 30-metre (100-foot) Pohutu geyser, erupting up to 20 times each day. The Kiwi Conservation Centre is a valuable part of a national Kiwi breeding programme. Here you can see our New Zealand native flightless bird and national icon in a specially lit purpose-built nocturnal house, with expert guides and information at hand. Following on from this you take another journey through a world of unique thermal formations at Waitapu Thermal Wonderland. View the fascinating 'Champagne Pool' and experience the panorama of vividly colourful hot and cold pools, steaming fumaroles and hot boiling mud pools.
Driving distance 3h
We continue through the Waikato region, one of New Zealand's greenest places, and richest agricultural regions. You will pass land with lush grass for raising cattle, thoroughbred horses and vast stands of exotic timber. Today we stay at Lake Taupo, the largest Lake in this country on the way we stop at the Huka Falls - these spectacular falls roar through a 15-m wide chasm before plunging a further 11-m. Continue on along the coastal East Cape to the twin-city of Napier. Napier today is known for the inner city’s Art Deco Architecture, which was created after a devastating earthquake in 1931. Napier has 140 original Art Deco buildings and the care and protection of these buildings are managed by the Art Deco Trust. You will find many examples on Emerson, Tennyson and Hastings streets in Napier, including the Daily Telegraph building and Municipal Theatre. One of New Zealand’s most photographed buildings, the Louis Hay-designed National Tobacco Company offices, is in Bridge Street, Ahuriri. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon exploring a region that hosts some of the finest wine growing areas in the world. Hawke’s Bay has been making wine for over 100 years, making it New Zealand’s oldest wine region. Over 80 percent of the country’s plantings of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah grapes are grown here, earning the region an established reputation for producing high-quality red wines. No doubt you will be tempted to sample just some of the world-renowned New Zealand wine brands exported from the Hawkes Bay each year.
Accommodation: Hawkes Bay
Hawkes Bay is fast gaining prominence as a region producing premium wines. The region has a fascinating spread of microclimates and soil types idea for selected grape varieties. Grape growing began in Hawkes Bay in 1851 and perhaps only now are the unique qualities of this region's wines achieving worldwide recognition. New Zealand’s second largest wine region, Hawkes Bay has been producing wines for 100 years. The climate in Hawkes Bay varies considerably as do the soils. This provides the opportunity to grow a range of varietals and in doing so produce a stunning range of wines. Enjoy a relaxing lunch at one of the famous wineries. In the afternoon join others on a 4WD Safari to Gannet Colonies. Cape Kidnappers, a half hour drive from the cities of Hastings and Napier, is a craggy peninsula named to commemorate an incident during Captain Cook’s 1769 voyage. Maori traders seized Cook’s Tahitian cabin boy who they thought was being held against his will. When Cook’s men fired on the Maori canoe, the cabin boy escaped and returned to the ship. Visitors can get within a few feet of the world’s largest, most accessible mainland gannet colony which is at the top of the Cape’s sheer and barren cliffs.
Accommodation: Hawkes Bay
Driving distance 4h
As you depart the Hawkes Bay your tour takes you through the Norwegian and Danish settlements of Norsewood and Dannevirke into the rural regions of the Manawatu and stop in Martinborough and the winery region of Wairarapa. The peacefully rural Wairarapa region - just over an hour from Wellington - is a world away in style. Wairarapa is the Maori word for Glistening Waters. The climate and soils are ideal for growing fine foods and beverages, and Zest food and wine tours discover them. We meet people dedicated to the good things of life in this lively gourmet destination. Premium boutique wines from the Martinborough Wine Village are internationally known, echoing Burgundy with its small-scale vineyards and acclaimed Pinot Noir. A Zest gourmet Martinborough Food and Wine Producers Tour takes you to meet owners of these typically personal businesses, producing high-quality olive oil, fruit and specialist culinary products, as well as wines from Martinborough. The historic town of Greytown is appealing with its boutique stores amid pretty colonial buildings and lovely mature trees. By late afternoon reach Wellington. In Wellington, you’ll discover an amazing range of cafes, art galleries, theatres, attractions and a humming night. From your stay ride the historic Wellington Cable Car to the Botanic Garden. Or head to Cuba Street for a slice of Bohemia, boutique shopping and some of the best coffee in town. Your B&B is located in the heart of the City, and this evening you can walk to some of the best restaurants in Wellington.
Accommodation: Wellington City
Today join others at Zest Wellington tour introduces you personally to this compact cosmopolitan city, called New Zealand's 'culinary, cafe and coffee capital'. Did you know that Wellington is said to have more cafes and restaurants per capita than New York? Our flagship tour, this mouth-watering culinary experience concludes with a delicious, light, two-course tasting lunch with matched New Zealand wines at a top Wellington restaurant. Over a relaxed walking gourmet tour around Wellington's best food places, your personal guide will introduce you to new and favourite flavours. Tour content can vary seasonally, and you may visit a boutique coffee roaster or stylish cafe, renowned specialist fresh produce and gourmet food stores, and a unique contemporary chocolatier. And during the day, your guide can also introduce you to many other aspects of the Capital, ranging from iconic city architecture, sculptures and fantastic places to shop and eat. At the end of your tour, we give you a list of our favourite cafes, bars, restaurants, food stores and coffee roasters, to enjoy during the rest of your time in the capital.
Accommodation: Wellington City
In the morning take a domestic flight to Marlborough, at the airport you will be collected for a winery tour. Blenheim is at the entrance of the Marlborough Sounds and is the main town in the region. Its lovely sunny climate makes this area an ideal wine growing region. Take a gentle wine tour by bike through Marlborough vineyards, learning from our expert guides about the how our landscape, climate and people forge the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc, along with stunning Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Gris. What better way to see the beautiful Marlborough wine region than from a bike. Imagine leisurely cycling along quiet rural roads through superb countryside on a stunning Marlborough day exploring many of the 40 wineries by bike all within a 10km (6 miles) radius of Blenheim. Marlborough is New Zealand's most important and largest wine area and is world famous for its Sauvignon Blanc.
Accommodation: Marlborough Sounds
Driving distance 2h
Canterbury is a marriage of mountains and sea, linked by snow-fed rivers that cut braided courses across the plain. Towns, small and large are scattered across this very fertile region. The plain is the largest area of flat land in New Zealand. Canterbury lamb, bred for mead and wool is regarded as the country’s best. The province also encompasses New Zealand’s highest mountains. Before midday, we reach the small seaside town of Kaikoura which is nestled on a rugged peninsula on the East Coast and is backed by the breathtaking Seaward Kaikoura Ranges. A spectacular marine playground exists off the coast of Kaikoura; - living in this environment is the mighty Sperm Whale. Join a whale -watch tour and encounter the “Giant Sperm whale” in their natural environment. Giant Sperm Whales are the biggest of the toothed whales and the world's largest predator. They are equivalent in size to four elephants. This deep-diving whale (up to 3 km) may stay submerged for over two hours while hunting prey such as the Giant Squid. Many of Kaikoura's Sperm Whales wear battle scars from close encounters with this monster of the deep. Sperm Whales have the largest head, proportionally, of any animal. This giant head contains a fibrous tank full of white waxy oil early whalers thought was sperm. It is believed the oil tank amplifies the whale's powerful acoustic clicks used for echolocation and hunting. Kaikoura is one of the few places in the world where Sperm Whales can be seen year-round and close to shore. They congregate here because the 3km deep Kaikoura Canyon runs right up against the coast creating a rare system of sea currents that sustain an incredibly rich marine food chain. Sperm Whales are at the top of this food chain and the abundance of fish ensures they make the waters of Kaikoura their home.
Driving distance 5h
Speckled with small agricultural outposts, the Canterbury Plains are an area of serene, rural beauty. To the east lie the coastal climes of Timaru while, to the west, Mackenzie Country accounts for a large percent of New Zealand’s sheep population. We travel into deep into the heart of the Southern Alps and to the southern slopes of Mt Cook National Park. On arrival we have booked you on the flight of a lifetime, the "Grand Traverse" is a spectacular scenic flight that explores the Mount Cook and Westland National Parks. The Grand Traverse is recognised as the premier Aoraki Mount Cook flight-seeing experience; this magnificent flight encompasses two World Heritage National Parks and 200 km of New Zealand’s most memorable and breathtaking scenery. The highlights of the Grand Traverse include: Beautiful turquoise glacial lakes, golden tussock lands, and the braided river systems of the Mackenzie basin and the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park – a magical world of permanent ice and snow with New Zealand’s highest mountains and largest glaciers – including Aoraki Mount Cook and the Tasman Glacier. We overnight in the small township of Lake Tekapo. The Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki shine all year round in beautiful turquoise colours, and reflect the surrounding mountains. Relax at this mystical, tranquil place and take a stroll along the lake’s shores.
Accommodation: Mt Cook area
Driving distance 3h
In the morning we pass “The Lord of the Rings” misty mountains plus the Pelennor fields and cross one of New Zealand’s best-kept secrets, the ”Lindis Pass". Our trip will take us through some of the most evocative hill country in New Zealand into our destination in Central Otago. Central Otago is New Zealand’s fastest-growing wine region and also it’s most scenic. Take the time to explore these incredible vineyards set in small microclimates in a landscape dominated by high snow-capped mountains, and tussock clad slopes. Travel to Cromwell and Bannockburn, the heart of Pinot Noir country, and depending on your personal tastes, we will guide you to a selection of boutique wineries. At some stage of the wine tour, we will suggest a stop for a relaxing lunch at a private boutique winery, where you will be joined by one of the local winemakers for expert advice on winemaking. Afterwards, visit the surrounding areas of Arthur's Point it's, and then it's on to Coronet Peak for more spectacular views of Queenstown. Your next stop is in Arrowtown, a historic colonial village that takes you back to the Gold Mining days of the Otago region. The tour concludes with a dinner at the award-winning Amisfield Bistro where you will enjoy their signature style of dining ‘Trust the Chef Menu’, a selection of dishes that are designed to be shared.
Accommodation: Queenstown area
Today you are taking a flight/cruise excursion into Milford Sound. You are heading for the spectacular Milford Sound, described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘eighth wonder of the world” which was carved out during successive ice ages and, at its deepest point off Mitre Peak, plunges to a depth of 265 meters. The awesome splendour of this region is unsurpassed anywhere else in the World, a daring claim in a country which offers extraordinary beauty around every corner. Fly from Queenstown to magnificent Milford Sound and enjoy a spectacular view of the mountains, lakes and fiords of the Fiordland National Park. At Milford Sound, your launch cruise travels the full length of Milford Sound. Return to Queenstown via the famous Sutherland Falls and glaciers of the Fiordland National Park. Only 45m west you find a little Paradise the tiny settlement of Glenorchy. This is one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand and Taupo used for a favourite location in several Hollywood film productions and commercials around the world. Glenorchy is one of the gateways to Mt Aspiring National Park covering a large World Heritage area. Travel further into the Park along a most picturesque river and multiple river arms to a forest glade. The high peak of Mt Earnslaw and its Glacier is powering over this area. Surrounded by awe-inspiring peaks and mysterious hidden valleys shrouded in native Beech forest, your specialist guides will bring to life the variety of landscapes, vegetation and wildlife within this unique area, as well the captivating stories of the original Maori and early pioneers. In Glenorchy take a short walk through the flatlands to the lagoon.
Queenstown, New Zealand, is the Southern Hemisphere’s premier four season lake and alpine resort. Surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown’s stunning scenery is inspiring and revitalising. The region is renowned for incredible adventure activities and spectacular outdoor terrain. You could try skiing, snowboarding, bungy jumping, paragliding, jet boating, skydiving and more! Or, if you want something a little more relaxed, you can choose from numerous family activities, nature experiences, tours and beauty spas. Please talk with us. Our team of experts is very happy to assist you with any further enquiries. Winter sports, nearly all activities can be enjoyed all year round - Queenstown's a four season resort with distinct and beautiful seasons. Queenstown has transformed into a sophisticated cosmopolitan town, tucked into a picturesque bay on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, beneath majestic mountains. There’s a permanent buzz in downtown Queenstown, where you’ll find a fantastic choice of restaurants, a lively bar scene and excellent shopping.
Your driver picks you up from your accommodation and transfers you to your departing flight at the international airport in Queenstown.