Fine Tours New Zealand
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Similar itineraries

Auckland to Wellington food & wine trail

11 days starting in Auckland, finishing in Wellington
Accommodation style: Hotel 4 star

9 day South Island Wine Adventure

9 days starting in Christchurch, finishing in Christchurch
Accommodation style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Christchurch to Queenstown Food and Wine Tour

6 days starting in Christchurch, finishing in Queenstown
Accommodation style: Hotel 4 star

 

Vistas and Vines South Island tour

Christchurch to Queenstown, 13 days 12 nights self drive tour, staying in Boutique lodges & hotels

Vistas and Vines South Island tour
Vistas and Vines South Island tour
Vistas and Vines South Island tour
Vistas and Vines South Island tour

Tour map

The best accompaniments to a great wine are good company and beautiful scenery. You will find both in abundance on this 13 day Vistas and Vines tour across the South Island. Visit 4 of the south's finest wine regions, the Waipara Valley, Marlborough, Wanaka and Queenstown, while touring through spectacular alpine scenery, driving along coastal highways, visiting glaciers, rainforests and more! Throw in some fine dining experiences along with a range of must-do activities and you have the makings of an unforgettable vacation.

The approximate total driving distance and time for this itinerary is: 1144 kms / 709 miles, 14.0 hours

You can expect to spend around NZ$165 in fuel cost on this itinerary based on an intermediate sized car.

 

Day 1

Arrive Christchurch City, transfer to your hotel and rest of day at leisure. This evening enjoy dinner at the famous Pescatore Restaurant

Private transfer Christchurch airport to your accommodation

On arrival you will be met by a private driver and delivered to your Christchurch accommodation.

Your tour documentation pack and support

Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support

Once you touch down in New Zealand your detailed tour pack will be hand delivered by one of our trusted representatives. The pack contains everything you need for the duration of your stay. It will include a comprehensive, printed and bound version of your itinerary as well as clear driving instructions and maps for each leg of your journey. It also contains all the reservation details for your accommodation and activities - along with relevant brochures and information. While in New Zealand we offer 24 hour support - details on how to contact us at any time will be well documented.

Welcome to Christchurch City

Welcome to Christchurch City
Welcome to Christchurch City
Welcome to Christchurch City
Welcome to Christchurch City

Christchurch, New Zealand's garden city is steadily being transformed into a vibrant urban destination. Encompassing a large green belt, it is known for its wide tree lined avenues and lush gardens. Take the double decker hop on/hop off bus for an easy way to see the sights - or ride a historic tram across town to the renowned botanic gardens and the unique cardboard Transitional Cathedral.

Dinner - Pescatore Restaurant at the George Hotel

Dinner - Pescatore Restaurant at the George Hotel
Dinner - Pescatore Restaurant at the George Hotel
Dinner - Pescatore Restaurant at the George Hotel
Dinner - Pescatore Restaurant at the George Hotel

With its long-standing reputation, and panoramic views over Hagley Park, Pescatore continues to earn its position as one of New Zealand's best contemporary dining experiences. Pescatore offers an exciting new dining concept, enhanced by its stunning interior, which is sure to turn heads and rejuvenate guests longstanding love affair with this iconic Christchurch restaurant. The space is luxurious and modern, offering a minimalist approach to formal dining that is thoughtfully comfortable and uncluttered. For the very best in intimate dining, Pescatore's stunning private room is an ideal choice for an exceptional, exclusive dining experience.

Chef de Cuisine Reon Hobson and his team have created a unique, fresh conceptual approach to the cuisine, which at its core has a passionate respect for ingredients. From the origins of classical cuisine to the very latest food techniques, the menu has been designed to engage the senses and build an emotionally rich experience triggering long held food memories from the past. Seasonal menus are matched with top vintages from Pescatore's comprehensive wine list, honoured by Wine Spectator magazine as being one of the most outstanding restaurant lists in the world.

See the current menu here.

Your accommodation - The George Hotel, Christchurch

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Dinner

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 5-10 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Room service available
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • Laundry facilities: Drycleaning service available
  • Gym/fitness centre
  • All rooms non smoking
The George Hotel, Christchurch
The George Hotel, Christchurch
The George Hotel, Christchurch
The George Hotel, Christchurch
 

Day 2

Explore the Waipara Wine region

Waipara Valley Wine Trail with Lunch

Waipara Valley Wine Trail with Lunch
Waipara Valley Wine Trail with Lunch
Waipara Valley Wine Trail with Lunch
Waipara Valley Wine Trail with Lunch

This tour explores 4 of North Canterbury’s boutique vineyards. Travel 45 minutes north of Christchurch through the New Zealand countryside to the Waipara Valley, well known for its warm, dry climate and rich alluvial soils, ideal for superior wine production. Over 40 vineyards and wineries pepper the landscape of the valley, with Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominating local plantings. You will stop for tastings at Pegasus Bay, Waipara Springs, Greystone Winery and Waipara Hills Winery. If for any reason one of these wineries is closed on the day or your tour an alternative winery in the Waipara Valley will be included. This activity also includes lunch at Waipara Springs Winery. The platter lunch includes tastes of both a regional and New Zealand flavour and is the perfect accompaniment to some of these wineries fine wines.

Your accommodation - The George Hotel, Christchurch

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 3

Travel to Blenheim today. This evening embark on a culinary delight at Herzog restaurant

Driving distance and time: 292 kms / 181 miles : 3.6 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday

Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday

Collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday.  You can choose from an extensive range of late model cars and 4WD vehicles, from Europcar, Budget or Hertz.

GPS navigation system

Use the latest GPS technology as you tour New Zealand. Your portable GPS features a simple touch screen interface with automatic route calculation and turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions including street name announcement. The automotive-grade GPS unit is easy to use and has multiple language options.

Christchurch to Blenheim

Christchurch to Blenheim
Christchurch to Blenheim
Christchurch to Blenheim
Christchurch to Blenheim

The drive north from Christchurch to Kaikoura takes you through some fine rolling farmland and North Canterbury's major wine region, the Waipara Valley. A great detour to take is to head inland and visit Hanmer Springs for a dip in the natural hot pools. Crossing the Hawkswood Range you descend towards the spectacular Kaikoura coastline and the road hugs the ocean as it winds its way the remaining 15 kilometres to the township. Kaikoura Township is a bustling little place with many cafes, restaurants and shops but the main reason for visiting here is the wildlife. Continuing The road hugs the shore for around 50 kilometres and offers many chances to view the native wildlife such as seabirds and New Zealand fur seals. To the east is the turquoise of the South Pacific Ocean and to the west the towering Kaikoura Ranges. Crossing the dry hills of the Marlborough ranges you head towards one of the most spectacular coastlines of the South Island, the Kaikoura Coast. Blenheim sits right at the heart of the New Zealand's largest wine producing region, Marlborough, and is ideally located to enjoy an afternoon sampling the local produce. A great way to do this is to take a guided wine tour with Sounds Connection Wine Tours.

Herzog Kitchen Confidential

Herzog Kitchen Confidential
Herzog Kitchen Confidential
Herzog Kitchen Confidential
Herzog Kitchen Confidential

This is the ultimate “behind the scenes” experience for a total insight into the live kitchen world! Join the Herzog Gourmet Restaurant,  Michelin star practised chefs, anytime from 5pm to observe how they run their mise en place and prepare for the coming service.  Our chefs are keen to explain everything to you while they work. Watch them creating the gourmet menu’s many components, from breads and appetisers to friandises, and witness the first orders going out. Then it’s your turn to head out to the restaurant for some serious pampering, where you'll enjoy the full 'Herzog experience': including aperitif with appetisers, 5 course degustation dinner with matching wines, coffee/tea and petit fours as well as a private tour of the boutique on-site winery.

Your accommodation - The Peppertree

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Swimming pool
  • Gym/fitness centre
The Peppertree
The Peppertree
The Peppertree
The Peppertree
 

Day 4

Sample some of Marlboroughs finest on this comprehensive tour of the wine region

Sounds Connection Gourmet Wine Tour

Sounds Connection Gourmet Wine Tour
Sounds Connection Gourmet Wine Tour
Sounds Connection Gourmet Wine Tour
Sounds Connection Gourmet Wine Tour

The ultimate food and wine experience, the Sounds Connection Gourmet Wine Tour offers a behind-the-scenes look at several renowned Marlborough wineries including Hans Herzog Estate, Wither Hills, Cloudy Bay and Johanneshof Cellars, as well as a stop at the Makana Chocolate Factory (Wineries visited on this tour can vary due to availability). Meet the makers behind these world-renowned wines and gain a fascinating insight into the wine-making process.

Your accommodation - The Peppertree

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 5

Head across country and through the fascinating Buller Gorge to the West Coast. Your destination is the famous Pancake Rocks

Driving distance and time: 291 kms / 181 miles : 3.4 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Blenheim to Punakaiki

Blenheim to Punakaiki
Blenheim to Punakaiki
Blenheim to Punakaiki
Blenheim to Punakaiki

The drive today takes you along the Buller Gorge and offers some wonderful scenery as you follow this magnificent river. The town of Murchison is a quiet place and a great lunch stop. Underneath its sleepy farming facade is an adventurers paradise with white water rafting, kayaking, 4WD trips and some great trout fishing. The first major town (by this regions standard) is Inangahua and a small museum tells of the earthquake that hit the region in 1968 leaving 70% of the buildings damaged or inhabitable. Further along the river one of the must stop places is Whites Creek and New Zealand's longest swing bridge. Crossing the river you get magnificent views of the gorge and once on the other side there are short bush walks, jet boat rides and some of the historic gold mining remnants. The port town of Westport is the largest on the Northern West Coast. A history of gold mining, logging, fishing coal mining gives the town a hard working feeling. And to reward the hard workers the town has an extraordinary amount of pubs. There are plenty of activities here such as caving, bush walks and surfing but one of the most popular is to take a trip to Tauranga bay and the seal colony. Just 15 kilometres south at Cape Foulwind (named by Captain Cook for the difficult sailing conditions and not the smell of the seals!), you will find a breeding colony of New Zealand fur seals. A well marked and easy 10 minute walking track takes you to colony where you can see the creatures lazing around or swimming in the ocean. Continuing along the spectacular West Coast Road towards Punakaiki you are rewarded with dramatic scenery of sheer cliffs, bush clad hillsides, and windswept beaches. Punakaiki is most famous for the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Visitors are often less aware of the great many other experiences available. Located in the heart of the Paparoa National Park, the area offers guided beach, forest and mountain walks, canoeing, wildlife, horse trekking, surfing, gemstone hunting, caving and climbing, heritage sites. There are taverns, cafes and restaurants, and a great range of accommodation. The area also boasts a vibrant arts and crafts community and a cooperative gallery. Exploring the famous pancake rocks is best at high tide with the incoming ocean waves sending sea water up the blow holes to create spectacular plumes.

Your accommodation - Punakaiki Resort

Style: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 10-15 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: On site paid access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Room service available
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • All rooms non smoking
Punakaiki Resort
Punakaiki Resort
Punakaiki Resort
Punakaiki Resort
 

Day 6

Journey south along the Wild West coast and into Glacier Ciuntry. This evening indulge in the famous degustation menu at your hotel

Driving distance and time: 212 kms / 131 miles : 2.6 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Punakaiki to Franz Josef Glacier

Punakaiki to Franz Josef Glacier
Punakaiki to Franz Josef Glacier
Punakaiki to Franz Josef Glacier
Punakaiki to Franz Josef Glacier

The drive South on State Highway 6 takes you through many West Coast towns. The first is Greymouth, the commercial centre for the West Coast. Just south of the town is Shantytown a replica gold rush town with lots of great displays from yesteryear. The next town is Hokitika and this is a great place to explore the craft and gift stores. The Jade or Greenstone on offer in Hokitika is probably some of the best you will see in the country. The Hokitika Gorge, off the beaten track and inland a little is a spectacular detour. Turquoise waters flowing through a narrow gorge. A great short walk will deliver you to this piece of paradise. Ross is the site of an old gold mining town and some of the old buildings and workings remain. In fact Ross is still home to one of the few working gold mines left in New Zealand and the local information centre offers you the chance to pan for gold. Continuing south Hari Hari is the township that Guy Menzies decided to land in (or rather crash land) as he became the first person to fly solo across the Tasman. Whataroa, a small township on the main road is where you would head off to see one of the worlds rarest birds. The entire population (somewhere between 150 and 200 birds) of the New Zealand white heron or kotuku nest at the Waitangi Roto Nature Reserve and guided tours from October to March will take you there. Arriving in to the Glacier region you catch your first glimpse of Franz Josef Glacier from a few kilometres out as it flows from the Southern Alps. Franz Josef township is a lively place with a great atmosphere, plenty of choice to dine out and some wonderful activities to enjoy.

Glacier Hot Pools

Glacier Hot Pools
Glacier Hot Pools
Glacier Hot Pools
Glacier Hot Pools

Nestled within the lush rainforest surrounds, the Glacier Hot Pools is a haven of tranquility. Unwind in one of the three main pools. Temperatures range from 36 to 40 degrees and the water comes directly from a glacial stream. Wash off the day and rejuvenate in this unique forest paradise.

Your accommodation - Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 1-2 mins
  • Parking: valet free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Includes dinner
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • Gym/fitness centre
  • All rooms non smoking
Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Te Waonui Forest Retreat
 

Day 7

There is only one way to experience a glacier, land on it by helicopter and take a guided walk!

Franz Josef Glacier Helihike with The Helicopter Line

Franz Josef Glacier Helihike with The Helicopter Line
Franz Josef Glacier Helihike with The Helicopter Line
Franz Josef Glacier Helihike with The Helicopter Line
Franz Josef Glacier Helihike with The Helicopter Line

Take a scenic flight over all three Franz Josef glacier icefalls. Landing high on the glacier take a two hour guided trip through some of the most beautiful terrain in the country. Your guide will choose the route as you go through a wonderland of blue ice and frozen pinnacles. You'll have endless views of the surrounding mountains and rainforest as well as plenty of opportunities to take photographs. Sure to be one of the most memorable experiences you have while you are in New Zealand. Should weather not be suitable to take this flight you are able to transfer your booking onto a similar tour on any of the Helicopter Line operations in Queenstown or Mt Cook.

Your accommodation - Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 8

Leave the West Coast and head into Central Otago and the lakeside township of Wanaka. Soak in the magnificent mountain views

Driving distance and time: 283 kms / 176 miles : 3.3 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Franz Josef to Wanaka

Franz Josef to Wanaka
Franz Josef to Wanaka
Franz Josef to Wanaka
Franz Josef to Wanaka

Heading south you pass through the small town of Fox Glacier. A short side trip to view the glacier is recommended before heading along the coast and through more classic West Coast bush scenery. At Knights Point Lookout, elephant seals can often be seen basking on the sandy beaches at the far end of the point. Crossing the Haast River you’ll turn inland and through the mountainous valley littered with waterfalls. Continue on past lakes Hawea and Wanaka into the alpine township of Wanaka.

Your accommodation - Lime Tree Lodge

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 3 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 30 mins +
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: On site free access
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • All rooms non smoking
Lime Tree Lodge
Lime Tree Lodge
Lime Tree Lodge
Lime Tree Lodge
 

Day 9

A day of adventure. Take a scenic flight to Milford Sound and then this afternoon a tour of the local wineries

Milford Sound Glacier Flight and Cruise

Milford Sound Glacier Flight and Cruise
Milford Sound Glacier Flight and Cruise
Milford Sound Glacier Flight and Cruise
Milford Sound Glacier Flight and Cruise

Fly to Milford Sound through two of New Zealand's most picturesque national parks. View alpine lakes nestled amongst soaring snowcapped mountain peaks and pristine glaciers, with vast rainforest and cascading waterfalls visible from every seat!

Wanaka Wine Tours Boutique Central Otago Wine Trail

Wanaka Wine Tours Boutique Central Otago Wine Trail
Wanaka Wine Tours Boutique Central Otago Wine Trail
Wanaka Wine Tours Boutique Central Otago Wine Trail
Wanaka Wine Tours Boutique Central Otago Wine Trail

This small group wine tour (maximum 8) offers a relaxed and personal introduction to the wines and scenery of the Central Otago region. This tour is a great way to explore award-winning vineyards hidden amongst the rugged landscape of Central Otago. Visit and enjoy tastings at 4 Central Otago vineyards including a gourmet canape matched tasting.  You'll also discover the history of the region with a visit to Old Cromwell Town, a charming heritage precinct that has been revitalised into a boutique arts and crafts village.

Your accommodation - Lime Tree Lodge

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 10

A short drive over the Crown Range today to the adventure capital of Queenstown

Driving distance and time: 60 kms / 38 miles : 0.9 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Wanaka to Queenstown

Wanaka  to Queenstown
Wanaka  to Queenstown
Wanaka  to Queenstown
Wanaka  to Queenstown

Leaving Wanaka you head over New Zealand's highest sealed road, Crown Range Road before dropping into Queenstown. This drive should be planned as a whole day to really enjoy the scenery and to allow time to explore the walks, and many stops en route.

Your accommodation - Azur Lodge

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 30 mins +
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • All rooms non smoking
Azur Lodge
Azur Lodge
Azur Lodge
Azur Lodge
 

Day 11

Today venture into Paradise with a Dart River Safari

Dart River Wilderness Jet

Dart River Wilderness Jet
Dart River Wilderness Jet
Dart River Wilderness Jet
Dart River Wilderness Jet

An hour and a half of thrilling high-speed wilderness jet boating skimming across the clear waters of the Dart River into the Te Waipounamu World Heritage Area. Hear about flora, fauna and history on a 30-minute rolling forest walk with your friendly guide. On a backroad tour of Paradise immerse yourself in scenes and backdrops from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. Learn about the Pounamu (Greenstone) that made the Dart River a key trading route for early Māori. Tales of early settlers who carved rich farms from the rugged landscape.

Your accommodation - Azur Lodge

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 12

Your penultimate day and following a morning of free time to explore you sample the wines of the Gibbston Valley this afternoon

Appellation Boutique Wine Tour

Appellation Boutique Wine Tour
Appellation Boutique Wine Tour
Appellation Boutique Wine Tour
Appellation Boutique Wine Tour

Go off-the-beaten-track with this unique Central Otago wine tour. Taste wines at four of the best vineyards in the Gibbston, Bannockburn and Cromwell regions. The wineries you'll visit are selected from the following: Peregrine, Chard Farm, Carrick, Mt Difficulty, Felton Road, Akarua and Olssens vineyards. This tour also includes a delightful gourmet platter lunch at the award-winning Carrick Winery Restaurant.Departing Queenstown, you'll go through picturesque valleys, dramatic gorges and rolling vine-covered hills. See the Otago Goldfields, Historic Old Cromwell Town and Lake Dunstan and the Kawarau Gorge.

Your accommodation - Azur Lodge

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 13

Depart Queenstown today

Driving distance and time: 8 kms / 5 miles : 0.2 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Enjoy your final morning in Queenstown before driving to the airport for your onward flight

Take in the sights of Queenstown one more time before returning your car to the airport and catching your onward flight.

 
 
price from
NZ$ 9,485.00 pp (small car, low season - details)

This tour includes