Published: 07/24/2012 by Classic New Zealand Wine Trail
Let the journey begin
The Classic New Zealand Wine Trail serves up unforgettable wine and food experiences along the signposted 380km (240 mile) route.
The journey takes you on a drive through regions accounting for more than 80% of New Zealand’s wine production. Combined with the farmers’ markets, eateries and artisan food producers you’ll encounter along the way, the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail offers New Zealand’s most memorable wine and food experiences.
Luxury Indulgence & Romance
Day 1. Hawke's Bay
Start your day with an early morning Balloon ride for sweeping sunrise views of the region before feasting on a delicious morning picnic once you land www.hotair.co.nz
Head to the tip of Cape Kidnappers to see up close the largest, most accessibke mainland gannet colony in the world, taking in spectacular cliff top views along the journey www.gannetsafaris.co.nz
Take to the skies with Skyline Aviation for a scenic helicopter flight over the region, a fly fishing expedition or a romantic picnic. Charter a helicopter to go golfing or visit wineries www.skylineaviation.co.nzTreat yourself to a Thalgo beauty treatment or massage at Mangapapa Petit Hotel's SPA
Day 2. Hawke’s Bay
Step back in time on a guided vintage car tour of Art Deco Napier. Learn about the 1931 earthquake and subsequent stunning art deco architecture www.artdeconapier.com
Go to cooking school at Breckenridge Lodge with renowened chef Malcolm Redmond. Prepare a 3 course meal using fresh, local ingredients, then enjoy it matched with wine www.breckenridgelodge.co.nz
Play a round of golf at world renowned Cape Kidnappers International Golf Course, on a course situated atop dramatic cliff tops www.capekidnappers.com
Tantalise your taste buds exploring farm-gate and artisan food producers along the Hawke's Bay Food Trail. Collect a copy of the Food Trail map from any i-SITE visitor centre or visit www.savourhawkesbay.co.nzZoom over Cape Kidnappers through river gulleys and working farmland on a 4 wheel motorbike with Adventures Inc. www.adventuresinc.co.nz
Fashion boutiques, art galleries and gourmet food stores.
The weekend Farmers’ Markets to mix with the locals and taste the delicious array of Hawke’s Bay produce and gourmet foods www.foodhawkesbay.co.nz
Soak in the hot pools overlooking the Pacific Ocean at the Ocean Spa complex www.oceanspa.co.nz
Day 3. Hawke's Bay to Wairarapa via the Tararua District
Drive South today along State Highway 2 through the Tararua District following the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail signs into the Wairarapa region.
Explore the colonial village of Greytown, browse the antique, homeware and fashion shops and
Give in to your sweet tooth at Schoc, an artisan chocolate studio located on the main street
of Greytown. www.schoc.co.nz
Indulge in authentic French breads and pastries handcrafted at The French Baker.
Take a scenic helicopter flight to Wharekauhau Country Estate for lunch, enjoying breathtaking views of magnificent Palliser Bay before being set down outside one of New Zealand’s most exclusive lodges. Enjoy a gourmet dinner and some of the finest local wines, better still, stay
the night. www.wharekauhau.co.nz
Day 4. Wairarapa
Drive South along State Highway 2 through the Tararua District following the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail signs.
Martinborough town square for a coffee and to browse the stores and Martinborough Wine Centre.Day 5. Wairarapa to Wellington
A brief drive to the coolest little capital in the world, Wellington.
Walk around downtown and harbour-side, visit galleries and shopping in Lambton Quay and the national museum of Te Papa Tongarewa on the harbour waterfront. Follow the Writers Walk around the waterfront with the best ice-cream ever from Kaffe Eis.
Because the best way to discover a new place is through its food, set out on a Zest Walking Gourmet tour
Meet designers and explore Wellington’s best luxury products on a Wild About Wellington City of Style tour.
Enjoy a pre theatre dinner followed by live theatre, or performances of the national orchestra or ballet. Wellington has live shows almost every evening of the year.
For four out of the last five years, Wellington has been home to New Zealand's Restaurant of the Year 'Logan Brown'.Leave the diet at home. Wellington is New Zealand's culinary capital and diners are spoilt for choice when it comes to award-winning restaurants.
Kura, Ora and Te Papa's Museum store for stunning mementos of your holiday.
Day 6. Wellington to Marlboough
If you take the Interislander ferry between Wellington and Picton, make sure you upgrade to the onboard Premium Plus lounges www.interislander.co.nzHelicopter or fly over Cook Strait to Marlborough.
Day 7. Marlborough
Tour the wineries of New Zealand’s largest wine growing region, sample New Zealand’s internationally-acclaimed Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.Relax and unwind over a leisurely lunch at one of the many award winning winery restaurants. www.lovemarlborough.co.nz
For the ultimate indulgence take a heliwine tour of the region or fly along the Kaikoura coastline to Kekerengu for lunch at “The Store”. www.windhawkhelicopters.comAt Herzog, join their Michelin star practiced chefs for the ultimate “behind the scenes” experience to observe how they run their kitchen in preparation for the evening service. Then head out to the restaurant for some serious pampering www.herzog.co.nz
Makana chocolate factory on Rapaura Road and watch the confectionery masters at work.
Staying on track
The Classic New Zealand Wine Trail is marked with brown road signs displaying grapes. Even if you decide to do a whirlwind five-day itinerary, you’ll only drive for around three hours a day on high quality roads and highways. Traffic is generally light in New Zealand, so driving is relatively stress-free.