Documents and 24/7 Support: We've got you covered!
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|
|Full 24 Hour Support||50 Page Essential New Zealand Guide|
COASTAL DRIVE FROM CHRISTCHURCH TO BLENHEIM
Start your New Zealand Wine and Food Tour by traveling along the coastal highway to the top of the South Island. The route has impressive coastal views, roaring surf, rocky bays dotted with fur seals sunbathing on rocks.
The township of Kaikoura is a great place for lunch, Take the opportunity to join an excursion to get up close and personal with dolphins, seals, whales, and other sea creatures.
Afterward, continue on to Blenheim.
Suggested Wildlife Encounters in Kaikoura
|Whale Watching Cruise||Swim with the Seals in Kaikoura|
|Whale Watching Flight Kaikoura||Dusky Dolphin Viewing or Swimming|
|Kayaking with Fur Seals|
Approximate Distance: 310 km | 192 miles Total Driving Time: 4 hours 16 mins
Accommodation Blenheim - 2 nights.
THE FAMOUS MARLBOROUGH MUSSEL AND WINE CRUISE
A short day-trip to Havelock will have you at the entrance to Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds - the Greenshell Mussel Capital of the World. Enjoy a waterfront lunch before departing on your Mussel and Wine Cruise heading into the tranquil Marlborough Sounds.
Your Skipper will tell fascinating stories of the ancient Maori tribes of the region and the history of the pioneering families who settled over 6 generations ago. Visit a Greenshell Mussel farm and taste this local treat – freshly steamed mussels matched perfectly to a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Dinner: There are several well regarded local restaurants we will recommend.
Approximate Distance: 85 km | 53 miles Total Driving Time: 1 hour 10 mins
FERRY SAILING FROM SOUTH TO NORTH ISLAND
A three-hour cruise on the InterIsland Ferry from Picton, across Cook Strait, 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.
Wellington is our capital city and 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. If you are a 'Lord of the Rings fan then a visit to the Weta Workshop is highly recommended.
Approximate Distance: 28 kms | 17 miles Total Driving Time: 25 mins
Accommodation Wellington - 2 nights
GOURMET WALKING TOUR OF VIBRANT WELLINGTON
This is Wellingtons flagship foodie tour, and is a mouth-watering culinary experience. A relaxed walking gourmet tour around Wellington's best food places is a popular way to experience compact capital city, your personal guide will introduce you to new and favourite flavours, so tour content is adjusted seasonally to ensure the best available produce is on your plate.
You will also be introduced to iconic city architecture, sculptures and fantastic places to shop and eat. Visit a boutique coffee roaster and a very stylish cafe, renowned specialist fresh produce and gourmet food stores, and a unique contemporary chocolatier - And all this concludes with a delicious, light, three course tasting lunch with matched New Zealand wines at a top Wellington restaurant.
WAIRARAPA WINE REGION TO 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 on to Napier gateway to Hawkes Bay Wine Country.
Some activities and sightseeing options available:
|Vineyard Tasting Tour||Golf at Cape Kidnappers||Farmers Markets|
|Art Deco Walking Tour||Visit the Gannet Colony||Cycling Winery Tour|
Approximate Distance: 309 kms | 192 miles Total Driving Time: 4 hours
Accommodation Napier - 2 nights
BEHIND THE SCENES - PRIVATE WINE TOUR
We believe there is only one way to experience wine and food in this region and that is by taking a private tour with a passionate local expert. You will visit a selection of wineries from the iconic to the boutique, under-the-radar vineyards, where you’ll be able to meet the winemakers, be treated to behind-the-scenes winemaking including barrel tastings. A popular option is lunch at one of the award-winning winery restaurants where your guide will answer any questions you might have about the region, its wines, food and its people. By the close of the day, you’ll have sampled some of the best wines in the New World under the expert tutelage of your guide and winemakers themselves.
MORNING OF LEISURE - FLY TO AUCKLAND
For travellers, Hawke’s Bay is an eclectic mix of visual and taste experiences. The region is our leading producer of red wines and has the greatest concentration of Art Deco architecture in New Zealand. Known for its artisan foods and glorious beaches, better still the region is blessed with one of New Zealand’s warmest, driest climates, a perfect place to spent the day relaxing or exploring. Later in the afternoon fly to Auckland.
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 Available are:
|Island Kayaking Adventure||America’s Cup Sailing|
|Relax on the Beach||Rangitoto Island Cruise & Walk|
|Whale and Dolphin Safari||Muriwai Surf Beach|
Accommodation Auckland - 2 nights
EXCLUSIVE WINE AND ART TOUR - 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 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.
Evening Entertainment: Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city has many entertaining spots to while the night away.
THE BRICK BAY VINEYARD AND SCULPTURE TRAIL
A short drive along the beautiful Hibiscus Coast highway is the vibrant country town of Matakana. Spend the morning viewing art along the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail located at a Winery Cellar Door featuring works by renowned sculptors, perfectly framed beside a lake, fringed with palms, trees and green meadows.
An afternoon walk and relax on Omaha beach is in order, perhaps you may take the ferry to the peaceful Kawau Island, both the afternoon and evening are yours to explore. The beauty of this self drive New Zealand wine and food tour is we can direct you to those little gems that only locals know - away from the maddening tour busses.
Approximate Distance: 78 kms | 48 miles Total Driving Time: 1 hour 10 mins
Accommodation Matakana - 1 night
WAIPOUA FOREST WALK / KARIKARI PENINSULA
Further north is the Waipoua Forest, the largest remaining tract of native Kauri forest in Northland, including the Giant Kauri Trees labelled as New Zealand's national treasures. Walk among these ancient Kauri, admire the beauty of the forest, its unique character and significance, which are awe inspiring. Continue north to the Karikari Peninsula and Carrington Resort, an unusual-shaped peninsula that boasts numerous beaches that remain unspoilt. Explore the fabulous white sand coastline, play a round of golf and dine in a luxurious restaurant, enjoying the fresh products grown in this region.
Approximate Distance: 336 kms | 209 miles Total Driving Time: 5 hours
Accommodation Karikari Peninsula - 1 night
Your next stop is the Bay of Islands, heading south along this picturesque stretch of road - stop for fish and chips at the village of Manganui. The car ferry leaves from Opua - just a short 10 min trip before arriving at Russell; a favorite destination for holidaying New Zealanders, with outstanding beaches and opportunities for boating. Settle in and enjoy while indulging in a fine dining experience at one of the seafront restaurants in Russell.
Excursions available from Russell if you want to get 'Out and About' are:
|Historical Island Cruise||Diving Rainbow Warrior||4WD Adventure Cape Reinga|
|Sailing the Islands||Dolphin Swimming||Giant Kauri Forest Walk|
|Cultural Tour of Waitangi||Golf at Kauri Cliffs||Sea Kayaking the Bay|
Approximate Distance: 127kms | 79 miles Total Driving Time: 2 hours 10 mins
Accommodation Russell - 2 nights
SAILING IN THE BAY OF ISLANDS
Set sail from Russell on a Classic Sailing Boat and explore the enchanting islands and bays in this aptly named region. Swim or snorkel, kayak or just bask in the sun. The Pacific's crystal-clear waters are home to dolphins, whom nearly always make them-selves known.
Your skipper is very experienced and will share with you his knowledge of the bay of Islands, the emerald jewel in the crown of fabulous Northland - and if you wish this a great place to learn to sail, all you need do is ask...
"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!
We know you will enjoys this New Zealand Wine and Food Tour - so many of our guests have. 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.
Approximate Distance: 90 kms | 56 miles Total Driving Time: 1 hour 10 mins
Ready to find out more? Talk to us here in New Zealand about the 'New Zealand Wine and Food Tour' - We Guarantee it will be the Holiday of a Lifetime!