Come with us and explore the Coolest Little Capital in the World! To kick things off we will drive up to the Wellington Botanic Gardens to see a great view of Wellington City and the Wellington Harbour and take the historic cable car down to Lambton Quay. Next up, Zealandia! This is the world’s first full-fenced urban ecosanctuary with an extraordinary 500-year vision to restore a Wellington Valley’s forest and freshwater ecosystems as closely as possible to their pre-human state. The 225-hectare ecosanctuary is a groundbreaking conservation project that has reintroduced 18 species of native wildlife back into the area, 6 of which were previously absent from mainland New Zealand for over 100 years!
Following this, we will check out some awesome exhibitions at Te Papa – New Zealand’s National Museum, as well as take a stroll about the wonderful Wellington waterfront. Weta Cave is next, which includes a guided tour behind the scenes at Weta Workshop where you can learn about the digital effects and creation of props used in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. Finish off a great day with dinner at the famous Logan Brown, on Wellington’s vibrant and exciting Cuba Street.
Today you will take the beautiful drive out to the Putangirua Pinnacles; a stunning yet unusual canyon-like landscape surrounded by tall, thin pinnacle rock formations. Walk straight through the Pinnacles or take the walk up to the lookout and view this bizarre but beautiful landscape from above. On the way back to Wellington you will stop in Martinborough and enjoy a wine tasting and lunch, as well as a tasting at one or many wineries – including Palliser Estate, Tirohana Estate, Luna Estate or Schubert Wines. Following this, you will return to Wellington where you will spend a further night.
Today you say farewell to the North Island and take a 3.5-hour ferry crossing through the Marlborough Sounds to the South Island of New Zealand, also known as New Zealand’s mainland. Upon arrival in the South Island, the first place that you sight is Picton, known as the gateway to the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. Driving South you will head through the wine-growing region of Marlborough – New Zealand’s largest and producer of 76% of all wine in New Zealand! Here you will stop for lunch at our favourite spot; Rock Ferry Winery – a boutique certified organic winery that serves delicious locally sourced and interesting dishes.
Following this, you will visit Cloudy Bay Winery where you can enjoy a wine tasting from a well-known wine producer and laze about on their bean bags in the garden, or hang from an egg chair in a tree overlooking their expansive vines. Next up visit Villa Maria, The Vines Village, or both! Tonight you will stay at a Marlborough Vineyard.
Today you’ll drive south down State Highway 1, eventually reaching the Pacific Coast. Down this beautiful rugged coastline, you will spot Kaikōura, where you will stay tonight. First, you will enjoy a 3-hour whale watching tour. Keep a lookout for Sperm Whales, Humpback Whales and Orcas as well as many species of Dolphin! Next up, visit some New Zealand fur seals in their natural environment. We also recommend venturing to our number one Kaikōura lookout spot where you will experience the stunning beauty of the mountains meeting the Pacific Ocean. Stop by the Kaikōura Seafood BBQ Kiosk for an alfresco dinner tonight by the sea.
This morning you will head South over the Hundalee Hills and through the Greta Valley to another large New Zealand wine growing region – Waipara. Here you will enjoy an exquisite lunch at Black Estate Wines and a tasting at Pegasus Bay Winery to follow. Following this you will continue South towards Terrace Downs, nestled against the glorious Southern Alps, first popping into the glorious Washpen Falls for a tramp through a mixture of native and exotic forest, stunning waterfalls and excellent views over the Canterbury Plains. Enjoy dinner at your resort tonight.
Today you will make your journey south-west to Lake Wanaka, by initially following Canterbury’s inland scenic route. Along the way, you will pass through high country sheep farming territory. Why not stop in the quaint little town of Geraldine and sample some of their New Zealand-famous jam. Arriving on the shores of the bright blue Lake Tekapo, stop and take a photo at the beautiful Church of the Good Shepherd and then head further up the road to one of our favourite scenic spots in the country; Mt. John. At the summit of Mt. John, one feels like they are on top of the world with 360-degree views of the snow-capped Southern Alps, high country farmland and surrounding blue lakes.
Further down the road on a clear day, you can view New Zealand’s highest Mountain; Mount Cook across the turquoise Lake Pukaki. Perhaps visit a local salmon farm where you can feed the salmon and sample different varieties. This afternoon you will arrive on the shores of Lake Wanaka, a peaceful holiday town set on a stunning glacial lake.
This morning you can take a walk up one of our favourite lookout spots featuring 360-degree views of Lake Wanaka, Aspiring National Park and the Clutha River. After further exploring Wanaka, your South Island tour takes you along Lake Dunstan towards Cromwell where you will enjoy lunch at Mt Difficulty Winery in Bannockburn, overlooking Central Otago vineyards. Following this, you have the option to enjoy a tasting at Carrick, Quartz Reef or any of the other fabulous wineries in the area. Next, you could enjoy a guided tour through a stone fruit orchard, check out Cromwell’s historic precinct or do some hot laps around the world-class tracks of Highlands Motorsport Park! Following this, you will make your way to Queenstown – The Adventure Capital of the World!
Today you will explore wineries of the Queenstown, Lake Hayes and Gibbston Valley areas. You will enjoy a stunning three-course lunch with wine pairing at Amisfield Winery. Following this, perhaps enjoy a wine tasting at Akarua, Two Paddocks, Wet Jacket Wines and Peregrine. Return to Queenstown in the afternoon/evening to conclude your tour.