Tēnā koutou e ngā manuhiri o te ao whānui. Greetings to you, our visitors. Wherever you travel in New Zealand, you’ll find we have rich tales to share; of our history, our legends and our future.
On arrival at Auckland Airport, proceed to rental car counter to collect your rental vehicle. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Travel north over Auckland’s Harbour Bridge and along the Hibiscus Coast. The journey continues, travelling through Whangarei, Northland’s only major city and port, before arriving in the beautiful Bay of Islands. Enjoy a ‘Hole in the Rock and Cape Brett’ cruise in the afternoon. After the cruise, depart Paihia and return to Auckland ‘the City of Sails’. (B)
Travel along the Southern Motorway, turning onto SH2 joining with the Pacific Coastal Highway through rich pastureland towards Matamata. The town’s main attraction comes from the film industry after the Alexander brothers farm became the Shire in Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. Discover Middle-earth on a picturesque private farmland. Visit the Hobbiton Movie Set from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogy in a two-hour guided tour. After the tour, farewell Middle-earth territory and head north on SH27 through pasture land before continuing on SH2 and joining the Pacific Coastal Highway. Continue passing small rural towns before turning North onto SH 1. See the market garden area of Pukekohe and the Bombay Hills finally reaching Auckland, the ‘City of Sails’. Alternatively take the Pacific Coast Highway to the city. (B)
Depart on your domestic flight from Auckland to Wellington today. (Airfare is not included). (B)
Today you travel north to the wine growing area of the Wairarapa, using State Highway 2. Martinborough is packed with colonial charm, with over 20 vineyards within walking or cycling distance of the quaint village square. Some of New Zealand’s best pinot noir comes from the friendly family-owned vineyards. The small vineyards and olive groves are so close to each other: cycling-the-vines is a popular thing to do. It’s flat and easy biking.
Greytown is on State Highway 2 (and is just 15 minutes drive from Martinborough). This country village oozes metropolitan style and there’s a sophisticated mix of boutiques, galleries, antique stores and cafes. Beautifully restored Victorian wooden buildings line the Main Street. Sit in the sun at the elegant White Swan Hotel and enjoy a local wine, beer or a NZ flat white coffee! Don’t miss the gourmet chocolate studio, Schoc-chocolates.
The lighthouse at Cape-palliser is near a large fur seal colony. At Pukaha Mount Bruce, you’ll see incredible wildlife including Manukura, our white kiwi.
(No admission included today) (B)
Journey across Cook Strait and into the Marlborough Sounds with its sparkling clear waters and lush forests, before arriving in Picton. Travel south to Blenheim. (B)
Enjoy Medium Wine tour (4hours) today. The tours includes 4 cellar doors and driver will be happy to hear your preference and interests at the time of reservation. (B)
Depart Blenheim and travel south across the Awatere River, with its farms and vineyards flanked by rugged mountains. Rural townships along the route include Seddon and Ward, both great places to seek out authentic local crafts. Maybe stop for a coffee on the beach at Kekerengu to visit the seals at Ohau Point. This journey is a scenic feast of New Zealand, with the Kaikoura mountain ranges on one side and the rugged Pacific Ocean coastline on the other. It is a short time before arriving in the village of Kaikoura, a town steeped in Maori history and legend and famous for its whales.
Leave Kaikoura behind as you turn inland and travel south through the rolling hill country of North Canterbury. This region encompasses rugged coastal ranges and thundering seas, fascinating cliff formations, and extensive vineyards and olive groves. Enjoy the beauty of its rural pastoral scenes, before reaching the ‘ Garden City’ of Christchurch. (B)
Depart Christchurch in the morning to drive for harbour Cruise in Akaroa today. Visit the beautiful unspoilt old French whaling village of Akaroa. In the afternoon enjoy the Akaroa Harbour Cruise.
The cruise around the extinct volcanic crater of Akaroa Harbour often captures views of dolphins, seals and penguins. After the cruise, return journey to Christchurch. (B)
Drive to Christchurch Airport and drop off your rental vehicle before check-in for your departure flight. (B)