Day 1: Bay of Islands
Today you will arrive in Bay of Islands. After collecting your rental car, you'll have a short drive to your accommodation and the afternoon at leisure.
Your luxury lodge accommodation boasts stunning views of the pristine Bay of Islands. Enjoyment of food, wine and congenial company are an integral part of your stay. You will enjoy a gourmet dinner at the lodge tonight.
Day 2: Bay of Islands Day at Leisure or Golf Kauri Cliffs
Enjoy a free day to explore this stunning region. Visit the romantic and charming township of Russell, tour the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, swim with dolphins, charter a boat for a sail around the islands, find a secluded beach for a picnic, explore the arts, crafts, lifestyle and food stores in Kerikeri, or walk in the gorgeous Puketi Forest.
Ranked among the World’s Top 100 golf courses, Kauri Cliffs’ 18 holes provide stunning views in all directions. Set against a stunning backdrop of the Cavalli Islands and Cape Brett, fifteen holes boast breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, while six play alongside cliffs that plunge down to the sea. The course was designed by David Harman. Golf at Kauri Cliffs is at an addtional cost.
Day 3: Helicopter Island Cruise
Today you'll experience a spectacular cruise escape in the Bay of Islands, departing Paihia on a scenic helicopter ride, then boarding a sea shuttle to an island of your choice for a day of hiking, fishing, snorkeling or just relaxing.
Day 4: Bay of Islands - Auckland
Departing the Bay of Islands, it’s a scenic 3 ½ hour drive to Auckland, where you will spend the night. Your accommodation in Auckland is centrally located, within walking distance of restaurants, the waterfront, and viaduct basin. Time permitting, there are a range of activities: enjoy a sail on an America's Cup boat, ride the ferry to Waiheke Island for lunch at a vineyard or to Rangitoto Island where you can walk to the top for fabulous views back across the harbour to Auckland city, visit SkyTower, wander in quaint Devonport, or visit the Auckland Museum.
Day 5: Auckland – Napier
Today you’ll journey through the centre of the North Island on the Thermal Explorer Highway. Time permitting, you may make several stops along the way. You’ll pass through: Hamilton, a city known for its gardens, riverboat cruising and free flight aviary; the antique town of Tirau; Rotorua, where you can explore geothermal attractions and discover the unique culture of New Zealand’s Maori people; and Taupo, a trout fishing mecca that sits on the edge of New Zealand’s largest lake. Your final destination is Napier, a place to enjoy Art Deco architecture and fine wine. The Thermal Explorer Highway is part of the Great New Zealand Touring Route.
Day 6: Napier – Art Deco architecture / Vineyard Dining
Hawke’s Bay is the country’s oldest winemaking region and is New Zealand’s leading producer of award winning red wines, including Bordeaux-style Cabernet Sauvignon and blends. Hawke’s Bay is also home to a world-class concentration of Art Deco architecture, fresh local produce and artisan food producers, complemented by a vibrant arts scene and a rich Maori culture. With over 40 wineries and wonderful weekend farmers' markets to visit, discover why Hawke's Bay Wine Country is the leading food and wine destination in New Zealand. Spend some time today enjoying the architecture of Napier, which was redesigned in Art Deco style after the devastating Hawke’s Bay earthquake in 1931. Nowhere else can you see such a variety and concentration of buildings in Art Deco style. Tonight we recommend dining at Terroir Restaurant, set in a unique circular building, with breathtaking views of Te Mata Peak. Terroir has a rustic and casual approach, specializing in rotisserie and wood-fired cuisine. Fine glassware, cutlery and crockery set the scene for an exciting country experience.
Day 7: Napier – Free Day or Golf Cape Kidnappers
You may decide to take a day of leisure and explore the wineries, or golf Cape Kidnappers. Cape Kidnappers is an 18 hole course designed by world-renowned architect Tom Doak. The course sits atop dramatic cliffs, boasting stunning sea views. This layout has been hailed as one of golf’s modern marvels. The course has received numerous accolades and awards, including a Top 50 World ranking. Cost to golf at Cape Kidnappers is at an additional cost.
Day 8: Napier - Blenheim
Today you will fly from Napier to Blenheim, where you will relax for two nights in the Marlborough Wine Region. Upon arrival in Blenheim, you will pick up a fresh rental car and make the short drive to your boutique luxury accommodation. You may decide to explore the stunning Marlborough Sounds, popular for walking and kayaking.
Day 9: Marlborough Icons Tour
The three icons of Marlborough - Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, the Marlborough Sounds and Marlborough Greenshell Mussels. Experience all three in a single day with the fine wines of Marlborough in the morning and the stunning Marlborough Sounds in the afternoon. Departing by coach each day over the summer season from Picton and from Blenheim this "Icons" tour takes in the very best that Marlborough has to offer with a visit to some superb Marlborough wineries in the morning then through to the Havelock Marina for lunch and the afternoon Greenshell Mussel Cruise.
Day 10: Blenheim - Queenstown
Today you'll fly from Blenheim to Queenstown. So much beauty, so many opportunities for adventure. Queenstown’s fabled alpine scenery is absolutely for real. Your accommodation in Queenstown will be a hotel or high-end bed and breakfast.
Queenstown offers a range of activities. Time permitting, you may like to rent a bike and ride the Queenstown Bike Trail, take the Queenstown Gondola for stunning views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, walk along the lake to Queenstown Gardens, take a thrilling jetboat ride or enjoy a winery lunch.
Day 11: Milford Sound - Fly, Cruise, Helicopter
Today’s guided tour will have you fly from Queenstown to Milford Sound by plane, enjoying the spectacular views of mountains, lakes and fiords of Fiordland National Park. You’ll connect with Mitre Peak Cruises for your relaxing cruise before returning to Queenstown by helicopter with an alpine landing for the ultimate experience.
Day 12: Golf & Wine Tour or Spa Treatment & Wine Tour
Experience the sights, smells and tastes of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and Central Otago with you local guides today. The day starts with nine holes of golf at one of Queenstown's idyllic country golf courses followed by wine touring through the boutique vineyards of Central Otago. One of the most scenic golf courses in the world, Millbrook is simply an unforgettable Queenstown golfing experience. Your afternoon is spent discovering some of our favourite boutique vineyards, tasting some of the region's fine wines and enjoying a gourmet platter-style lunch in a vineyard.
Non-golfers may decide to have a spa treatment, instead of golfing.
Day 13: Depart New Zealand