NZ Wine and Food, Art and Sculpture Tour Itinerary

Artist shows a couple his work in Wellington.

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

   Albatross & Pelagic Bird Watching Kaikoura

Approximate Distance: 310 km | 192 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours 16 mins

Accommodation Blenheim - 2 nights.

The tail of a whale.
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


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

Mussels and Wine Cruise.


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

Cruise through Marlborough Sounds to Wellington.
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


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.

Wellington Food and Wine Walking Tour.


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 ColonyCycling Winery Tour


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

Accommodation Napier - 2 nights

Hawkes Bay Vineyard.

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


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.

A person filling a glass of wine.

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


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:

Explore Waiheke Island    

   Island Kayaking Adventure       America’s Cup Sailing

Auckland's Sky Tower

   Relax on the Beach   Rangitoto Island Cruise & Walk

West Coast Wine Tour

   Whale and Dolphin Safari   Muriwai Surf Beach

Accommodation Auckland - 2 nights

Art Deco Napier
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


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.


Waiheke Island Exclusive Wine Tour


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

Brick Bay Vineyard Sculpture Park

This 4 star luxury self contained bed and breakfast is situated in the heart of the Matakana countryside, with vineyards, restaurants, olive groves and stunning beaches within close proximity. Named for the rolling hills of Sugarloaf, and surrounded by sheep, cattle and various fruit trees with exquisite views out to the Hauraki Gulf. Enjoy a home made fully cooked or continental breakfast over looking the rural setting. 

Sugar Loaf Lodge, Matakana


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

Giant Kauri in the Beautiful Waipoua Forest.

Situated at the heart of a luxury 3000-acre estate is Peppers Carrington Resort, featuring secluded white sand coastline, an oceanside 18-hole championship golf course and close to the Karikari Estate, New Zealand’s northernmost winery and vineyard. Peppers offers 5 star accommodation with 10 spacious lodge rooms and 13 three bedroom villas to choose from. 

Peppers Carrington Resort, Karikari


Historic Russell

​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

Historic Russell
The Duke of Marlborough Hotel is New Zealand's first licensed hotel, bar, and restaurant and is beautifully located on the waterfront in the historic village of Russell. There are three levels of accommodation each increasing in comfort and style. Available to all is the use of two excellent restaurants and a sundeck lounge from which to take a rest and enjoy the activity on the waterfront in the Bay. This truly historic establishment is a favorite amongst the locals and holidaymakers in the know.


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...

A boat sailing through Bay of Islands.


Homeward Bound

Leave the “Far North” departing from Kerikeri and fly back to Auckland to connect with your international flight.

"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!

Bon Voyage New Zealand

Profile picture for user Elizabeth
What Elizabeth says about this tour: A delicious mixture of walking tours, winery tours, forest and sculpture walks, sailing and art tours. For discerning lovers of the finer things on offer in New Zealand. Sure to impress.
Enquire Now

Want Your Very Own Custom Itinerary?

We can customise any of our online itineraries or create your own from start to finish

Pricing terms

The price is based on current exchange rates but is only an approximation. Please contact us for a final price