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21583
New Zealand

The Gardens and Vineyards of New Zealand

Learn the story behind New Zealand’s budding culinary reputation as you explore vineyards and distinctive cuisine. Plus, discover stunning botanical gardens and visit historic homes.
Rating (5)
Program No. 21583RJ
Length
16 days
Starts at
5,749
New Zealand

The Gardens and Vineyards of New Zealand

Learn the story behind New Zealand’s budding culinary reputation as you explore vineyards and distinctive cuisine. Plus, discover stunning botanical gardens and visit historic homes.
Length
16 days
Starts at
5,749
Program No. 21583 RJ
climate
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At a Glance

With its maritime climate and rich alluvial soils, New Zealand has grown into a paradise for wine enthusiasts, garden experts and other connoisseurs. Journey from the coastal headlands of the North Island to the mountains of the South Island to experience the acclaimed vineyards, gardens and homes of New Zealand. Along the way, enjoy privileged access, meet the people behind the vine, and savor the flavor of distinctive Kiwi wines and cuisine.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Taste some of the best wine in the world and meet the people who make it at a hand-picked selection of vineyards and wineries.
  • Enjoy exclusive access to spectacular botanical and country gardens and homes.
  • Explore the historic French settlement of Akaroa with a local expert, and marvel at the dramatic beauty of Milford Sound.
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16 days
15 nights
33 meals
13 B 10 L 10 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
International Flight
In Flight
DAY
3
Arrive Napier / Mission Winery Lunch / Rose Garden Visit
Napier
L,D
Expressotel

Morning: After arrival and check-in to the hotel, the coach will take us to the historic Mission Estate Winery, New Zealand’s oldest, established in 1851 by the Marist Brothers. There we will have a wine tasting and discussion on wine styles.

Lunch: Welcome Lunch at the Mission Restaurant, generally regarded as the best in the Bay. We will have a two-course, pre-ordered plated meal, with a choice of wines provided at this meal.

Afternoon: Visit by Coach to Napier City Rose Gardens, with hundreds of bushes, hybrid tea, floribunda and David Austin varieties, in both bush and climber styles. On returning to the hotel, there will be a rest period before the evening meal.

Dinner: Light meal; we will have local gourmet pizza and salad with tea, filter coffee and water included; other beverages available for purchase.at the Hotel Restaurant.

DAY
4
Visit Art Deco House & Garden / New Zealand Wine Lecture
Napier
B,L
Expressotel

Breakfast: At hotel, we will have a pre-ordered plated meal of your choice of egg with bacon/sausage/salmon dishes or fruit/muesli/yogurt or pancakes or toast and spreads, with water, coffee, tea.

Morning: Embark on a field trip to the Art Deco home & garden of Diane Dobson.. Then to the country home & garden of Roger & Diane Alexander at Puketapu.

Lunch: Lunch will be provided at the Puketapu Pub in Puketapu. We will have a two-course, pre-ordered plated meal. A glass of local wine will be served with meal.

Afternoon: Return to the hotel to enjoy free time in the afternoon. Attend a lecture on history of wine production in NZ, by Senior Lecturer from Eastern Institute of Technology with outline of principal wine districts and particularly Hawkes Bay.

Dinner: Own choice to sample local fare. There are numerous cafes and restaurants close at hand.

DAY
5
Art Deco Walk / Clearview Winery Lunch / Cooking Class
Napier
B,L,D
Expressotel

Breakfast: At hotel, we will have a pre-ordered plated meal of your choice of egg with bacon/sausage/salmon dishes or fruit/muesli/yogurt or pancakes or toast and spreads, with water, coffee, tea.

Morning: Napier City is widely-known to be the best example of the Art Deco style and people come from far and wide (including many from overseas) to view its downtown area. The group will take a guided tour of the area with local experts.

Lunch: We will travel by coach to Clearview Winery, delightfully located on the Pacific Coast. Here, lunch will be taken (al fresco if weather permits) and there will be a wine tasting.

Afternoon: The viticulturist will guide us on a tour of the Clearview Vineyard and Winery and explain the various processes and procedures. We will then travel by coach to Havelock North and Birdwood Gallery.

Dinner: Board coach to Farmhouse Kitchen in the country for our dinner, during which there will be an expert cooking demonstration. A glass of wine will be served with meal.

DAY
6
Coach to Wellington / View Forest Reserve Park
Wellington
B,L,D
West Plaza Hotel

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel. The breakfast buffet offers choices such as a hot egg dish, breakfast meats, fruit, cheese, yogurt, fresh-baked croissants, bread, cereals, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Depart the hotel for Wellington. We will travel through the Wairarapa district en route. A stop will be made at Dannevirke for morning tea and at Puhaka Mt. Bruce Nature Reserve for a guided walk in the forest.

Lunch: Lunch will be taken at a cafe in a Masterton. Continuing our journey, we will pass through attractive farming country before crossing a range of hills, skirting the Wellington Harbour and arriving at the capital City of Wellington.

Dinner: Wellington is set on the hillside surrounding a magnificent harbour (often compared to San Francisco - on a different scale). We will check into our hotel, in a very central location, and enjoy our dinner in the spacious restaurant. We will have a plated meal of your choice. A glass of wine will be served with the meal.

DAY
7
Visit Botanical Gardens / Free Time in Afternoon
Wellington
B
West Plaza Hotel

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel. The breakfast buffet offers choices such as a hot egg dish, breakfast meats, fruit, cheese, yogurt, fresh-baked croissants, bread, cereals, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Board coach to the Cable Car station in Lambton Quay. Ride the Cable Car to the top station. Enjoy panoramic views of the City and Harbour. Walk down through well-established Botanic Gardens to Lady Norwood Rose Garden where the coach picks up those who wish to see noted Te Papa Museum of New Zealand (10 minutes walk from Hotel accommodation)

Lunch: Lunch- own choice (excellent facilities at Te Papa or at adjacent restaurants.)

Afternoon: FREE TIME to view museum and galleries. Te Papa Museum is highly regarded for its Maori Culture Section and features concerning early settlement with many interactive displays. Return to hotel to attend a lecture on NZ Parliamentary System by Prof. Nigel Roberts (Hotel Conference Room)

Dinner: Own choice to enable sampling of local fare. There are numerous restaurants and cafes within easy distance as Wellington is regarded as the "Gourmet Capital of N.Z."

DAY
8
South Island Ferry Trip / Marlborough Wine District
Blenheim
B,L,D
Quality Hotel Marlborough

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel. The breakfast buffet offers choices such as a hot egg dish, breakfast meats, fruit, cheese, yogurt, fresh-baked croissants, bread, cereals, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Board ferry for scheduled 3-hour voyage to Picton in the South Island. After leaving Wellington Harbour, where many coastal suburbs are visible, the ferry crosses Cook Strait between the two islands before entering the sheltered waters of scenic Marlborough Sounds, the setting for numerous holiday homes as well as aquaculture projects. Upon arrival on the South Island, board the coach for the drive to Blenheim.

Lunch: At Wairau River Winery Restaurant at Blenheim (wine tasting and lecture included). We will have a two-course plated meal, with one glass of wine included. This is one of the favourites out of the 45 wineries in the District.

Afternoon: Board coach for field trip to the beautiful Hortensia House garden of Huguette Michel, with French influence and streamside setting.

Dinner: At Hotel; we will have a two-course, plated meal, with a glass of wine included.

DAY
9
Upton Oaks Gardens / Brancott Estate Winery / Woodend Garden
Blenheim
B,L,D
Quality Hotel Marlborough

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel. The breakfast buffet offers choices such as a hot egg dish, breakfast meats, fruit, cheese, yogurt, fresh-baked croissants, bread, cereals, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Board coach to Upton Oaks Garden with many unusual and interesting features. Morning tea will be served before the guided tour of the garden.

Lunch: At Rock Ferry Winery & Cafe, located where the Marlborough Wine Industry had its beginning some 40 years ago. Panoramic views of the valley are gained from here. We will have a two-course, plated meal, with a glass of wine included. A wine tasting precedes the meal. Marlborough is known for its punchy, stabbingly acidic sauvignon blanc wine, enthralling Northern Hemisphere drinkers with a new wine flavour. Chardonnay, riesling and other aromatic varietals also flourish in the region's cool climate, and high-end pinot noirs now get serious attention. Wine is now a substantial proportion of NZ's total exports, with over a billion $NZ going in 2012, a high proportion going to U.S.A. About a third of that figure came from Marlborough District.

Afternoon: Field trip to Woodend garden featuring many different zones all with unique elements and hidden sanctuaries.

Dinner: Board coach to a local Blenheim home to enjoy a delicious home cooked meal, made from the best available fresh ingredients from the local area. We will have a three course plated meal served with local wines.

DAY
10
Botanical Gardens / Witherhills Winery / Aviation Museum
Blenheim
B,L,D
Quality Hotel Marlborough

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel. The breakfast buffet offers choices such as a hot egg dish, breakfast meats, fruit, cheese, yogurt, fresh-baked croissants, bread, cereals, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Field trip to Blenheim Botanical gardens (of national significance) with guided tour by curator. View both indigenous and exotic plants. Then onto the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre excursion, with display of many historic aircraft.

Lunch: At Witherhills Winery and Restaurant. Taking its name from the Witherhills mountain ranges, panoramic views of the ranges and vineyards are gained from here. We will have a two-course, plated meal, with a glass of wine included. A wine tasting precedes the meal.

Afternoon: Free time to explore the area.

Dinner: Coach to Saveur Restaurant for light meal. We will have two course plated meal with tea, coffee and water included: Other beverages available for purchase.

DAY
11
Christchurch / Winterhome Garden / Pegasus Bay Winery
Christchurch
B,L,D
Commodore Airport Hotel Christchurch

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel. The breakfast buffet offers choices such as a hot egg dish, breakfast meats, fruit, cheese, yogurt, fresh-baked croissants, bread, cereals, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Board coach for scenic coastal drive to Christchurch. En route the group will have a field trip and lecture at outstanding Winterhome Garden.

Lunch: Lunch will be taken at cafe en route.

Afternoon: Pegasus Bay Winery for a tasting. The grounds and gardens at this site are quite outstanding. Continue journey to Christchurch, which has always been known as "The Garden City". The recent earthquake has damaged many buildings, but the stunning Botanic Gardens and Parks are regarded as the best in New Zealand.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant, we will have a two-course, plated meal, with a glass of wine included.

DAY
12
Akaroa Settlement / Mosaic Garden
Christchurch
B,D
Commodore Airport Hotel Christchurch

Activity note: Coach to Akaroa, and return

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel. The breakfast buffet offers choices such as a hot egg dish, breakfast meats, fruit, cheese, yogurt, fresh-baked croissants, bread, cereals, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: All-day field trip by coach to Akaroa, a popular resort town with its own harbour. It was first settled by the French, giving the area a strong French flavour, which endures to this day. En route, we call in at the charming village of Little River to view exhibits at the excellent local art gallery.

Lunch: Own choice to sample fare.

Afternoon: Field trip to celebrated mosaic garden and historic house of Josie Martin. There are surprises everywhere in this glorious garden. After the return journey to Christchurch (time permitting) time will be spent viewing the rebuilt areas of the City after the 2010 earthquake.

Dinner: Return to Christchurch. Dinner at the hotel restaurant, we will have a two-course, plated meal, with a glass of wine included.

DAY
13
Antarctic Centre / Flight Queenstown, coach Te Anau
Te Anau
B,L
Kingsgate Hotel Te Anau

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel. The breakfast buffet offers choices such as a hot egg dish, breakfast meats, fruit, cheese, yogurt, fresh-baked croissants, bread, cereals, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: At the International Antarctic Centre attend a lecture about Antarctica and explore a range of experiences guaranteed to entertain.

Lunch: At the Antarctic Centre, we will have a packed lunch with a pre-ordered sandwich, roll or wrap, muffin, and piece of fruit.

Afternoon: Coach to Christchurch Airport for flight to Queenstown. Arrive in Queenstown and board coach to Te Anau. Settle in at Hotel

Dinner: Dinner - Own Choice

DAY
14
All-day Excursion to famed Milford Sound.
Queenstown
B,L,D
Earnslaw Lodge

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel. The breakfast buffet offers choices such as a hot egg dish, breakfast meats, fruit, cheese, yogurt, fresh-baked croissants, bread, cereals, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Board coach for excursion to famed Milford Sound with scheduled scenic Launch trip on the Sound. En route we traverse the lovely Eglinton Valley, view the Mirror Lakes and cross the Divide before descending to sea level and boarding our launch.

Lunch: Lunch at Milford Sound. Packed lunches with a pre-ordered sandwich, roll or wrap, muffin, and piece of fruit, and juice will be provided on board our scenic vessel.

Afternoon: Board coach for transport to Queenstown

Dinner: Dinner en route to accommodation at a local restaurant, we will have a two-course, pre-ordered plated meal, with water included; other beverages available for purchase.

DAY
15
Chanticler Garden / Farewell Dinner
Queenstown
B,D
Earnslaw Lodge

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel. The breakfast buffet offers choices such as a hot egg dish, breakfast meats, fruit, cheese, yogurt, fresh-baked croissants, bread, cereals, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Board coach for Field trip to beautiful Chanticleer Gardens set against the stunning "Remarkables" in Queenstown.

Lunch: Board coach to Gibbston Valley for lecture and wine tasting. Lunch own choice at Gibbston Valley cafe or restaurant.

Afternoon: Coach to Gondola Station to ascend to the Skyline Building, with panoramic views of the city and Lake.

Dinner: Farewell Dinner. This will be a celebratory At a local restaurant. We will have a two-course, plated meal, with a selection of wines.

DAY
16
Return Flight to U.S.
In Flight
B

Activity note: Coach to Queenstown Airport for flights to USA

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel. The breakfast buffet offers choices such as a hot egg dish, breakfast meats, fruit, cheese, yogurt, fresh-baked croissants, bread, cereals, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Depart by coach to field trip to old gold mining town of Arrowtown and on to Queenstown Airport.

Lunch: At Airport cafe; own choice.

Afternoon: Program ends. (Board flight to Auckland and USA).






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