New Zealand - "Slipping into Paradise"
Your Confidante now offers for your consideration,
a tour of his favourite country in the entire world.
New Zealand! On this exclusive tour, experience the best of New Zealand: romantic lodges serving gourmet cuisine and regional wines, stunning coasts, majestic glaciers and rolling farmland, and opportunities for exhilarating soft-adventure activities. Let us guide you to an enchanting land of unparalleled sea, sun, and sky vistas. You may even see a Hobbit!
Luxury Tour of New Zealand
Day 1: Arrive Auckland
On arrival at Auckland airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your city hotel. The 'City of Sails' is New Zealand's largest and most vibrant, offering an exciting array of cosmopolitan experiences.
Stay: Hilton Auckland (3 nights)
Day 2: Waiheke Island Excursion
Board your helicopter for your flight over the city skyline and the Hauraki Gulf before setting down at the Mudbrick Vineyard & restaurant on Waiheke Island. Waiheke is the glamour destination for wine buffs and as you fly over it, you will notice that it is dotted with tiny olive groves and vineyards. Enjoy a superb lunch in a spectacular vineyard setting boasting stunning views of the harbour. Later, take a private guided tour of some of the islands vineyards, tasting some of the claret-style reds for which it has become well known. Return to Auckland by catamaran later in the afternoon.
Day 3: Auckland at Leisure
Auckland's blend of islands, rainforest, Polynesian culture, glistening harbours and modern city environment creates an unbelievable lifestyle that is ranked amongst the highest in the world. Auckland provides visitors with so many wonderful experiences, plenty within easy reach of the downtown city centre.
Day 4: Auckland - Napier, Vineyard tour
Transfer to Auckland airport to join your aircraft for the short flight to Napier, one of the world's finest cities for Art Deco architecture, the result of a thorough rebuilding after a massive earthquake flattened the region in 1931. The region is home to some of New Zealand's oldest and best wineries. The warm, sunny climate has encouraged a diverse range of horticultural activities including the growing of Olives, adding substance to its description as being the ' Tuscany of the South Pacific'. The vineyards of the Bay make many of the country's best chardonnays, merlot-based reds and syrahs. You'll visit many of the regions leading wineries including Craggy Range, Sileni Estate & Ngatarawa and savour a superb luncheon at Terroir, a French country-style restaurant recently voted by Conde Nast magazine as one of the world's 75 hot new restaurants.
Stay: Mangapapa Lodge (2 nights)
Day 5: At Leisure
A free day to relax & explore the area. There are many optional leisure, sightseeing & adventure activities to choose from and your tour host will be pleased to offer advice and suggestions.
Day 6: Martinborough, Wellington
Flight to Wellington. The Wairarapa is a rural retreat in the very heart of New Zealand, yet is only one hours drive from Wellington. Martinborough has become a unique wine village and a stop is made to enjoy lunch in the boutique Martinborough Hotel. An opportunity to taste some of the regions famous pinot noirs including Palliser Estate, Dry River & Ata Rangi. On arrival in Wellington, there is time for a brief city sightseeing & orientation tour before checking into our hotel. Stay: Hotel Intercontinental
Day 7: Picton & the Marlborough Sounds
Free time this morning to explore Wellington at leisure and a visit to Te Papa National Museum is highly recommended. This afternoon, we board the Inter-lslander ferry for the leisurely and scenic crossing of Cook Strait to Picton, via the stunning Marlborough Sounds. A short drive brings us to Blenheim and our rural retreat. Tonight, enjoy a Degustation dinner with wine at Herzog's.
Stay: The Vintners Retreat (2 nights)
Day 8: Vineyards of the Marlborough Region
A leisurely breakfast followed by some time to relax before undertaking a tour of the local wineries. Some 45% of the countries vineyards are planted here and the region has a unique combination of climate & stony soils that has proven to be perfect for the sauvignon blanc grape. Other successful varieties and styles include Riesling, pinot noir, pinot gris, chardonnay, gewürztraminer and some distinguished sparkling wines produced by Daniel Le Brun and Cloudy Bay. Visit the wineries & vineyards of the stunning Wairau valley including a traditional vineyard platter lunch.
Day 9: Kaikoura Coast, Christchurch
This morning, travel to Kaikoura, world renowned as the whale-watching centre of New Zealand. Optional excursions include the opportunity to view giant sperm whales by boat or air; see dolphins, fur seals & Royal Albatross at close range in their natural habitat; or swim with pools of Dusky Dolphins … wetsuits provided! Later, we continue south to the "Garden City" of Christchurch, thought of as the most English of New Zealand cities.
Stay: The George Hotel (2 nights)
Day 10: Early Morning Hot-Air Balloon Ride
As the sun rises, our hot-air balloon takes us over a checker-board of farmland laced with rivers, with the Southern Alps dominating the horizon to the west and the endless blue of the ocean to the east. After landing in a farmer's field, relax and enjoy a glass of chilled Methode Champenois. Christchurch is the nation’s second largest city. It is a city alive with colour, atmosphere and world class attractions and the rest of today is free to follow your own pursuits.
Day 11: Lake Tekapo, Mt Cook National Park
Cross the vast Canterbury Plains to beautiful Lake Tekapo to view the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd, built of local stone and oak in 1935. A short drive brings us to the world-heritage listed Mt Cook National Park. The park covers over 70,000 hectares of breathtaking alpine scenery and boasts Australasia's highest mountain, Aoraki or Mt Cook, at 3,764 metres. There are a further 140 peaks over 2000 metres high and the Tasman Glacier, the longest in the southern hemisphere. Optional ski-plane and helicopter flights are available subject to weather conditions.
Stay: Mt Cook Hermitage Hotel
Day 12: Queenstown
After a leisurely breakfast, journey south over the Lindis Pass to Lake Wanaka. Time to wander and explore this popular lakeside settlement before travelling over the stunning Crown range to Arrowtown and your resort, nestled in a spectacular setting of snow capped mountains and breathtaking views.
Stay: Millbrook Resort (3 nights)
Days 13: Afternoon Vineyard Tour
Time to relax & enjoy your surrounds this morning before commencing your tour of the world's most southernmost vineyards with a luncheon at Gibbston Valley. Visit the wine cave, a tunnel burrowed 50m into the Cliffside to store barrels of maturing pinot noir and chardonnay. Other well known labels in the area include Felton Road, Two Paddocks and Sleeping Dogs.
Day 14: Explore Queenstown & Its Surrounds
Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and with a stunning backdrop of The Remarkables mountain range, the alpine village of Queenstown boasts adventure & leisure activities in all forms, from extreme to relaxed exploration. It is also a great base from which to explore the Fiordland National Park, home to the awesome Milford & Doubtful Sounds. There are numerous activities from which to choose.
Day 15: Depart Queenstown
Sadly, your holiday is at an end and you will be transferred to Queenstown airport today for your onward flight. Here, we bid you a fond farewell to your homeland and hope you leave with many happy memories of your stay in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Per person Land portion is $6499. International flights extra.
This tour is an example of many tours we can do that are all custom-made.
In fact, most special interests and any pre- and post-trip requirements can be accommodated. Just ask!
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