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10 Days North Island Wines & Sights

North Island

10 Days North Island Wines & Sights

10 Days | North Island

Starting in our cool little Capital City of Wellington, this relaxing itinerary meanders the wine regions of Martinborough, Napier and Tauranga as well as geothermal Rotorua.

Indicative Price

01 October 2019 -
30 September 2020

NZ$1,247 per person

Price Includes:

  • 9 nights accommodation
  • 9 days small rental car hire
  • welcome voucher wallet & driving maps
  • expert itinerary planning & booking service
  • 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • Prices are per person, share twin/double room and in NZ$

Trip Details

A relaxing one-way North Island holiday starting in the sparking harbour city of Wellington, encompassing the tranquil wine region of Martinborough, the art deco architecture and stunning coastline of Napier, Rotorua's Maori culture and the magic of Tauranga's food and wine vibe.

A Magical Meandering Holiday!

Day 1 - Arrive Wellington, pick up rental car on arrival. 

Kia ora, welcome to Wellington, New Zealand's Capital City and home to creators, thinkers, dreamers, doers and lovers of life.  Discover New Zealand's stories in interactive museums, be inspired in the theatres and galleries and fulfill your retail dreams with new wares and tasty treats from the boutiques and markets.  The vibrant waterfront, Mt Victoria, Te Papa, Weta Workshop, the Cable Car and weekend markets all combine to make Wellington an unmissable experience.

Day 2 - Drive Wellington -  Martinborough (approx 1 hour 10 min) 

From Wellington, you’ll wind through the picturesque Hutt Valley before climbing over the Rimutaka Ranges and descending into the tranquility of the Wairarapa region. Drive through the township of Featherston, which has an interesting locomotive museum, before arriving in the wine village of Martinborough, at the heart of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail. Bring your appetite to Martinborough, where Pinot Noir and excellent restaurants promise to ease you into a very happy state of mind. From Martinborough’s village centre you can stroll or cycle to any or all of the 30 local vineyards, making for a unique walking-wine-tour experience. Pick up a map from the visitors centre. If you can’t find the time or energy to wander from vineyard to vineyard, there’s a wine centre where you can sample many wines under one roof.

Day 3 - Drive Martinborough -  Napier (approx 3 hours 45 min) 

Enjoy charming Greytown (famous for its chocolate shop!) and the Scandinavian-settled towns of Dannevirke and Norsewood.  Napier's trademark is its art deco and Spanish mission style buildings, an architectural style it adopted after the devastating earthquake of 1931.  Pick up a walking map of the Art Deco Historic Precinct.  The norfolk pine tree-lined waterfront along Marine Parade meets the turquoise-coloured sea. Rich arts culture and vast surrounding vineyards boasting world-renowned wine labels make Napier a popular destination.

Day 4 - In Napier at leisure 

Embrace Napier's art deco heritage with a selection of guided walks and tours or pick up a local walking map to take in some of Napier's superb architecture, parks and gardens. A drive up to Bluff Hill  allows for truly commanding views, the local art guide map takes you around city galleries to home studios to get a taste of the thriving artistic community or to relax and unwind, try the open air hot pools.

Day 5 - Drive Napier -  Rotorua (approx 2 hours 55 min) 

Pass pockets of farmland and vineyards as you leave the Hawke's Bay region.  The Kaimanawa Forest Park and several conservation areas provide for a tree-lined drive for much of the way until you reach Taupo on the shores of New Zealand's largest lake.  Take time for a scenic lake cruise to view the Maori rock carvings or perhaps a river jetboat ride to the Huka Falls.  The geothermal reserves of Orakei Korako, Waiotapu and Waimangu Thermal Valley provide sightseeing options before reaching the geothermal city of Rotorua.

Day 6 - In Rotorua at leisure 

Make the most of Rotorua's many activities and attractions. Adventurous mountain bike trails and cycle ways, thrilling river jet boating, 4WD outback trips, take to the forest canopy by zip line, scenic helicopter flights over Mt Tarawera and neighbouring lakes. The cultural side of Rotorua offers you traditional and modern Maori performances, hangi feasts and insights into genuine Maori maraes (meeting houses). Self guided and guided tours of geothermal reserves including Te Puia, Waiotapu and Waimangu Valley. The award winning Polynesian Spa is one of the many offerings of spa therapies, so make the most of Rotorua's geo thermal region.

Day 7 - Drive Rotorua -  Tauranga (approx 55 mins) 

A short drive today to the city of Tauranga, the prosperous harbourside city, which together with its sister resort of Mount Maunganui are two of New Zealand's best loved holiday destinations.  With its relaxed beachy atmosphere, Tauranga's downtown heart is a lively waterfront area centred around "The Strand". 

Day 8 - In Tauranga at leisure 

A day in the beautiful Bay of Plenty offers a myriad of activities.  Food & wine tours featuring the abundant local produce, glowworm kayaking through a bush fringed canyon, deep sea fishing for king fish, local beach and bush hiking, mineral springs to ease away aches and rejuvenate tired muscles.  Perhaps a day trip to the beautiful beaches of the Coromandel Peninsula or excursion to a live marine volcano.

Day 9 - Drive Tauranga - Auckland (approx 2 hours 35 mins) 

Follow the sparkling waters of Tauranga Harbour to Katikati with its main street alive with colour and artistic talent on display, then on to the small gold-mining village of Waihi featuring the Gold Discovery Centre and Martha gold mine. Perhaps take time to walk the 4km Pit Rim Walkway for amazing views over the town. Green fields, sheep and dairy farms follow you through to fertile Pukekohe, New Zealand's vegetable growing mecca. Auckland city's location, spanning the narrow isthmus between the Manukau and Waitemata harbours hails its well deserved title of City of Sails. The remainder of the day is free to explore the beautiful Auckland waterfront, Viaduct Harbour, Wynyard Quarter, take an optional ride to the top of the SkyTower or browse the fashions at the Britomart precinct.

Day 10 - Depart Auckland, drop off rental car at airport. 

You have the day at leisure until you make your way to Auckland International Airport for your departure flight.  

This North Island KiwiCombo road trip itinerary can be travelled in reverse and can be modified to suit your individual requirements. Suggested activities are a guideline to some of the special and unique experiences offered in each region but are optional and not included in the KiwiCombo Pass. However we can make reservations for you, just ask!

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