New Zealand Wine & City Tours
Tailor a wine tour to New Zealand to suit your needs:
New Zealand offers an impressive selection of wine regions on both the North and South islands where once there were only sheep and cattle. Winemaking is a relatively young industry. Although vines were planted in in the 1860s and more in the early 1900s, New Zealand was mostly a beer drinking country until a surge of young Kiwis returned from Europe in the late 60s/early 70s. It was found that soil not particularly well suited to other crops was perfect for vineyards – and the rest is history. With New Zealand’s mix of crisp, fresh wines, wonderful cuisine and glorious scenery, you’ll soon find you can’t get enough!
Choose either island, or stay long enough to visit both! In the North Island you’ll find the warmer wine regions – West Auckland, Waiheke Island, Hawkes Bay, Martinborough and Wairarapa wine regions. Close to these areas are some excellent sightseeing opportunities including the Bay of Islands, Waitomo, Rotorua for Maori culture, Napier and Wellington.
Take the ferry or fly across scenic Cook Strait to some of the marvelous wine regions in the South Island: Marlborough, Nelson, Waimea Plains, Waipara, Canterbury and Central Otago. In between winery visits, take in some of the extraordinary sights of the South Island, including Christchurch, Blenheim, Nelson, Abel Tasman National Park, whale watching, Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables, Queenstown and Arrowtown, Mt. Cook and Franz Josef glacier.
Many of the tour hosts/drivers leading you on these adventures are wine lovers or experts whose knowledge of the wines and wine regions is both first-hand and anecdotal. They are happy to share their insights into the places you will see and the delights you will taste. They are also empowered to color outside the lines on occasion, when changes come up and to tailor the tour to your comfort and desires. Just ask!
A Wine Tours Australia & New Zealand itinerary may include private transfers, private or small group tours, wine tasting at selected wineries (which may include wineries you suggest), outdoor adventure activities, scheduled boat tours or rail services, meals on tours and accommodations ranging from first class and deluxe hotels to upscale lodges and B&Bs. Special arrangements will be made for groups.
Accommodations come in all price ranges. In proposing the right property to suit your needs, we often suggest New Zealand-owned properties for a little extra local flavor! We’ll explain the differences between various accommodation types so you can make an informed decision, whether in an urban setting or in the wine regions.
Seasonality – The best time to visit New Zealand is spring (October through November) or fall (March through May) for the best weather and the greatest availability. If visiting New Zealand and Australia in spring, we suggest you stop in New Zealand first and Australia second. If traveling in fall, then the reverse. The Antipodean summer (December through February/March) is peak season, with higher prices and tight availability due to the touristic impact of Christmas/New Year and their long summer school vacation.
The itinerary selections offered are simply suggestions. Use them singly, string them together or ask us to design a tour tailored for you! Whether you’re looking to dabble in wine or have an in-depth technical tour, we can turn your ideas into actual, do-able experiences, well-paced and logically combined for your time frame and budget.