Relaxed Wine Touring Self Drive Itinerary


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When you touch down in New Zealand your detailed documentation pack will be hand-delivered by one of our trusted representatives. You'll find everything you need in one handy place: your personalised itinerary, clear instructions and maps, and reservation details for your accommodation and activities.

24 Hour Assistance: We’re just a free phone call away if you encounter any issues while you're on the road - at any time of day or night. Don’t waste your precious vacation time stressing - First Light Travel are here to help you quickly when every second counts.

What's also included?

Dedicated Travel Consultant                 Detailed Daily Itinerary and Vouchers        

144 Page A4 NZ Touring Atlas  

Full 24 Hour Support50 Page Essential New Zealand Guide 
First Light Travel Documentation Pack


Welcome to Queenstown!

Relax you are on holiday and everything has been taken care of. Collect your car from the airport, turn on your GPS and drive to your hotel. Your Wine Touring of New Zealand has started and it is going to be fun!

Queenstown is the perfect place to go Wine Touring in New Zealand. take this day to relax and unwind and orientate yourselves. Most have heard the endless hype about Queenstown being the adventure capital of the world, and there are certainly enough crazy activities here to challenge the strongest, but Queenstown offers much more besides. Take the day to relax in this scenic lake side mountain resort or get out and about and make the most of your time.

Accommodation Queenstown - 3 nights

Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu.

Your European styled boutique hotel is awaiting you in Queenstown, situated in a quiet yet central location with an easy 3 minute walk to local shops and restaurants. Take in the stunning views of the town, lakes and mountains as you enjoy a delicious cooked or continental breakfast on your private outdoor patio. In the winter months cuddle up with an open fire as you take in the gorgeous alpine backdrop. 

Browns Boutique Hotel - Queenstown


Boutique Wine Tour of Central Otago

Central Otago wine is so much more than a taste experience. You’ll see the real drama in the scenery, hear the pristine silence of the high country, savour the scent of pure clean air and feel the pulse of the heart of Central Otago. Taste wines at four of the best vineyards in the Gibbston, Bannockburn and Cromwell regions whilst enjoying the Scenery of Kawarau Gorge, the Otago Goldfields, Historic Old Cromwell Town and Lake Dunstan and then enjoy a delightful gourmet platter lunch at the award winning Carrick Winery Restaurant. 

Wine Tasting Tour in Queenstown


Queenstown at Leisure

This alpine resort town sits on the shore of the crystal clear waters of Lake Wakatipu set against the dramatic Southern Alps. The surrounding area is known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards and the natural landscape with wild rivers, high peaks and deep canyons has allowed Queenstown to developed an exciting array of outdoor adventure activities.

Recommended excursions in Queenstown:

Routeburn Day Walk

   Highest Bungey Jump   Explore Arrowtown

Wine Tasting Central Otago      

   Biking Skippers Canyon         Round at Millbrook Golf Resort
Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise     Dart River Jetboat Safari      

   Gibbston Valley Wine Trail

Dart River Jet


Fly to Christchurch

Fly to New Zealand’s second-largest city and the gateway to the South Island, Christchurch sits on the very edge of the Canterbury Plains and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean. The city itself has bounced back after a series of major earthquakes, and has shown its resiliency with a number of new and exciting developments popping up everywhere.

Some suggested activities to help you to get to know the region

Easygoing Cycling Tour    Punting the Avon River   Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise
Māori Cultural EveningFrench Akaroa TourSouthern Alps Ballooning
Christchurch GondolaClearwater GolfArthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike

Accommodation Christchurch - 1 night

Punting on the Avon River
Rydges Latimer Square in Christchurch overlooks scenic Latimer Square, an iconic New Zealand green space with ample room for travellers to roam and enjoy the shade of lush, broad-leaved trees. This contemporarily kiwi designed rooms & suites are spread over four levels, with the piece de resistance being the fifth level penthouse suite which boasts views stretching from the Port Hills to the Southern Alps.
Rydges Latimer Square Christchurch


Travel to Marlborough - Wine Country

Collect your rental car and travel north to the wild rocky coast until you get to Kaikoura, a great to visit as it is home to fur seals, dolphins, whales and pelagic birds such as the Albatross.

Suggested wildlife encounters if you wish to stop in Kaikoura

Whale Watching Cruise      Swim with the Seals
Whale Watching Flight     Dusky Dolphin Viewing 
Kayaking with Fur SealsPelagic Bird Watching 


Once through the Awatere Valley follow the grapevines to reach Blenheim right in the heart of the Marlborough wine growing district. Not surprisingly, it’s a great base from which to cycle the local vineyards and enjoy the artisanal food offerings. Don’t miss tasting a glass of the Sauvignon Blanc – the vineyards surrounding Blenheim are known for producing some of the world’s best. A must visit when wine touring New Zealand.

One of the towns popular attractions is the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre - This museum is not far from the Blenheim town centre.This fascinating historic collection features WW1 aircraft and artifacts. There are some very rare planes on display and even some genuine personal memorabilia from the famous Red Baron - the top scoring ace from the war.

Approximate Distance: 310 kms | 193 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours 

Accommodation - Blenheim - 2 nights

Whale in Kaikoura
Situated in the famous Marlborough wine region, Walnut Block Cottages offer premium quality, cottage-style vineyard accommodation set among beautiful trees and the vines of Walnut Block vineyard. Modern and comfortable decor coupled with the vineyards peaceful, serene surroundings means that your stay at the cottages is a truly unique experience.
Walnut Block Cottages


Marlborough Sounds Cruise & Tasting

Enjoy the very best of Marlborough with the Marlborough Icons Tour. Indulge in Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, the Marlborough Sounds and fresh local seafood with this full-day tour. A Marlborough wine tour in the morning is followed by a delicious Marlborough Sounds waterfront lunch, then a relaxing seafood cruise for the afternoon, accompanied by fresh local seafood and Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc while cruising the stunning Marlborough Sounds.

Marlborough Sounds Mussel Cruise


Interisland Cruise to Wellington

Board the Interisland Ferry, for a three-hour cruise from Picton, across the Cook Strait that connects New Zealand’s North and South Islands. This challenging stretch of water connects the Tasman Sea to the Southern Pacific Ocean, for one third of the crossing the ferry navigates through the majestic Marlborough Sounds, a haven of sheltered inlets, coves and crystal clear waters.

The capital city Wellington is set between a magnificent harbor and rolling green hills situated at the southern tip of the North Island. It is also a compact city where funky shops, exciting galleries and great restaurants are within easy walking distance - not to mention the National Museum, National Theater and Gallery.

Approximate Distance: 28 kms | 17 miles  Total Driving Time: 25 mins

Accommodation Wellington - 2 nights

InterIslander Cruise.
The Bolton is an independent hotel that provides the discerning traveller with a high degree of comfort and privacy. Located at the junction of Wellingtons central business district and political heart, the 5 star Bolton Hotel is elegant, welcoming and well equipped to make the most of your time in the Capital city.
The Bolton Hotel - Wellington


Wellington at Leisure

The capital city of New Zealand Wellington is a picture perfect city. It is compact, cultured and full of character. Nestled between the harbour and the hills, the downtown area is ideal for explorations on foot. The city has long been recognized as the cultural and arts capital of New Zealand (with festivals almost every month), and is home to the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, opera companies, theater and a large number of art galleries.

The cosmopolitan nature of Wellington is reflected in the 350 restaurants and cafes serving innovative New Zealand and ethnic cuisine. 

Here are some suggested excursions to enjoy time in Wellington:

National Museum - Te Papa Visit Cuba StreetWeta Workshop Tour
Zealandia Wildlife Reserve     

 Wellington Cable Car    

Carter Observatory 
Wellington City


Art Deco Napier

Journey through the Wairarapa, a region traditionally devoted to farming before heading to Greytown. Settled in 1854, Greytown’s Victorian main street now houses chic cafés, boutiques, galleries and many antique shops. The town offers up market shopping - from antiques to designer fashion, art, jewellery, home wares and shoes.

Continue to Hawkes Bay Wine Country, before getting to the remarkable Art Deco city of Napier.

Approximate Distance: 309 km | 192 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours 

Accommodation Napier - 2 nights

Art Deco City Napier

One of Hawke’s Bay’s newest accommodations, situated in Ahuriri in Napier. This colourful seaside village offers art galleries, funky fun shops, boutique cinema and a plethora of cafes and eateries. Across the road is a sandy beach suitable for swimming. The rooms are comfortable, contemporary and chic with lots of light and space to move.

Navigate Seaside Hotel - Napier


Explore the Bay

Hawkes Bay - Wine Country
Situated as the capital of the Hawkes Bay region, Napier is renowned for a beautiful coastline, stately Norfolk pines, a multitude of nearby wineries and 1930's art deco architecture. Since the mid nineteenth century, Hawkes Bay has been recognised as a premium wine-growing centre. Today eighteen wine producers produce one third of the national grape harvest and many are open for winetastings and lunch. Venture out to Te Mata Peak and take in the fantastic views of the area, walk through an olive grove and the opportunity to taste local olives and oils. Dine at Clearview Estate and have the opportunity of tasting their range of hand crafted single vineyard wines. Visit the largest mainland Gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers.

Some activities and sightseeing options available:

Vineyard Tasting Tour   Golf at Cape Kidnappers  Farmers Markets  
Art Deco Walking Tour  Visit the Gannet ColonyCycling Winery Tour
Hawke's Bay Wine Tour


Fly to Auckland

Welcome to Auckland, situated amongst a cluster of extinct volcanic cones, next to a large harbour that bustles with life, both on water and on land. The Auckland isthmus straddles a slim piece of land with coastline facing both the Pacific Ocean, and, on the wild West Coast, the Tasman Sea.

After checking into your hotel,relax, take a stroll around our beautiful city, explore the highly acclaimed Waterfront Restaurant Quarter or choose one of the many activities available to give a more in depth understanding of Auckland and the surrounding area.

Some Activities and sightseeing options if you have time:

Explore Waiheke Island    Island Kayaking Adventure    America’s Cup Sailing
Auckland's Sky TowerRelax on the BeachRangitoto Island Cruise & Walk
West Coast Wine TourWhale and Dolphin SafariMuriwai Surf Beach

Accommodation Auckland - 2 nights

Auckland Viaduct
This hotel is a standout for location, comfort and style. The rooms offer either views of the Viaduct Harbour or the cityscape, enjoying a central position amongst the best restaurants, theatres, shopping and harbour-side attractions that Auckland has to offer.Accommodation options include luxury suites and apartments that include an LCD TV and a furnished balcony offering views of the harbour or the city.
Sebel Suites Auckland Waterfront


A Gourmet Food and Wine Tour on Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island is to Auckland as the Hamptons are to New York – the former being on a much smaller scale. Home to beautiful beaches and holiday homes, Waiheke Island produces some outstanding wines. Just a thirty-minute boat ride away the island lends itself nicely to relaxing and sampling to fine fine food and wine. A natural complement to the fine wines you will taste on Waiheke is a range of hand-made specialty foods all locally-grown produce.

Your visit to the Island includes the local olive oil mill, followed by two vineyards offering a range of gourmet food to accompany the tasting. Succulent Waiheke oysters, wild honey, vincotta, (famous local herb spread) and a variety of local cheese are all on the menu.


Waiheke Island wine Tour


Homeward Bound

"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!

We know you will enjoy Wine Touring in New Zealand and our promise is to make your travels through New Zealand as hassle-free and hospitable as possible - ensuring that today you leave with a memory card full of photos, and huge smiles on your faces when recalling your time in New Zealand! Have a great homeward journey, farewell and hope to see you again soon in Aotearoa, New Zealand. 

So what are you waiting for? Contact First Light Travel and book our Wine Touring Holiday in New Zealand - We Gaurentee you it will be the Experience of a Lifetime!

Good Bye New Zealand

Profile picture for user Tracy
What Tracy says about this tour: New Zealand is the master of cool climate winemaking - pair that with sublimely stunning vineyard and cellar door settings - and you will be in epicurean nirvana! If you don't already have a must-try list of winemakers - we can help you make the short list! I look forward to helping you plan your trip.
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