Itinerary

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NEW ZEALAND BOTTOMS UP TOUR

with Byron & Dana Dooley

South and North Islands
Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Cabernet

QUEENSTOWN / BLENHEIM / WELLINGTON / NAPIER / ROTORUA / AUCKLAND

Depart USA:
Saturday, April 11, 2020


Arrive Queenstown NZ:
Monday, April 13, 2020


Return USA:
Saturday, April 25, 2020

14 Days/12 Nights – $5,895 p/p double occupancy land only (airfare not included)
Single Traveling Alone Add: $1,230
Program includes 12 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 6 Dinners

MEALS CODE: B=Breakfast L=Lunch D=Dinner
 

This carefully designed itinerary marries the best of New Zealand wine production, culture and culinary experiences with “must do” sightseeing, experiential tours and adventure activities. Private tours and tastings at New Zealand’s finest wineries included for Seven of Hearts.

DEPART USA: Saturday, April 11th

This evening, board your wide-body transpacific flight to Auckland, New Zealand. Tonight April 12th “disappears” as we cross the International Date Line in-flight. Arrive Auckland early in the morning on April 13th connecting to your Queenstown flight. (Inflight meals)

Day 1: Monday, April 13th

Arrive Queenstown

Tour begins. You will be met upon arrival at Queenstown International Airport and transferred to our hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner at the Botswana Butchery, a popular local restaurant. (D)

OVERNIGHT: Sofitel Queenstown Hotel(4 nights)

Day 2: Tuesday, April 14th

Queenstown / Otago Pinot Noir Wineries

Depart hotel 11 am for a private tour, tasting, and lunch at Gibbston Valley Winery, site of New Zealand’s largest wine cave. This afternoon, visit Kinross and Mount Rosa Winery, with its cliffside vineyards perched along the river gorge. End the day with a stop for optional bunjy jumping with A.J. Hackett over (and even into) the Kawarau River. This is a wonderful to experience in which to participate and/or photograph. (B,L)

VIDEO LINK

Day 3: Wednesday, April 15th

Queenstown Adventure Day

Today is at leisure to participate in the myriad of adventure experiences accessible from Queenstown. A cruise on Milford Sound is by far the most popular. Other options include a full day thrill-packed jetboat safari along the Dart River or a tour of the various settings used in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. (B)

Day 4: Thursday, April 16th

Otago Wineries & Best of Queenstown Sightseeing

After breakfast, board the Skyline Gondola to a hilltop overlooking Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. Then hop into your custom-built luge and descend the mountain along a ½ mile track with banks, turns, dips and tunnels. This is a gas experience for all ages! We visit two wineries today. At Waitiri Creek, a tasting is organized in their unique facility converted from a country church. Later at Chard Farm, taste 7 limited release wines in this extraordinary location. Conclude the day with a stop in scenic Arrowtown, followed by an adrenaline-rush jetboat ride on the Shotover River. This evening, cross Lake Wakatipu aboard the venerable steamship TSS Earnslaw. Enjoy a BBQ dinner and experience country living at Walter Peak Station, arguably New Zealand’s most iconic sheep farm. (B,D)

Day 5: Friday, April 17th

Queenstown to Blenheim

This morning, depart very early for a 7am flight to Blenheim, located on the northeast tip of the South Island. The coastline here is stunning! Sightseeing today includes Pollard Park Gardens, Rarangi Bay and Monkey Beach. Arrive at our hotel mid-afternoon. (B)

OVERNIGHT: Chateau Marlborough (2 nights)

Day 6: Saturday, April 18th

Sauvignon Blanc Wineries & Hans Herzog Dinner

New Zealand’s citrusy Sauvignon Blanc is the country’s most successful varietal, enormously popular worldwide. Today is a massive immersion into the best of NZ Sauvignon Blanc and wine production. This morning, visit award-winning Giesen Brothers Winery for a tasting, followed by a private tour and barrel tasting at Cloudy Bay, New Zealand’s most iconic and renowned Sauvignon Blanc producer. Lunch is at St. Clair Family Estate, whose 2014 Pioneer Block was ranked in the top ten chardonnays in the world. Tonight, enjoy a dinner at Hans Herzog Winery, paired with his extraordinary organic artisan wines. (B,D)

Day 7: Sunday, April 19th

Wellington

After breakfast depart for Picton. Board the interisland ferry to Wellington, capital of New Zealand. See and visit Wellington’s key sights including the New Zealand Parliament (called “The Beehive”), Old St. Paul’s Cathedral, Mount Victoria and an optional cable car ride, before arriving hotel mid-afternoon. Tonight is at leisure.

OVERNIGHT: Sofitel Wellington (1 night)

Day 8: Monday, April 20th

Greytown & Martinborough to Napier

One hour north of Wellington is Martinborough, the commercial center of New Zealand’s Wairarapa wine region, a geologic area of high alluvial terraces with deep stony free draining soils. Small colonial-era towns, many with 19th century buildings, are set amid a vivid backdrop of green fields, sheep pastures, olive groves and vineyards, below panoramic mountains. Boutique wineries and tasting rooms surround the Martinborough town square. Enjoy a gourmet platter lunch at beautiful Palliser Estate, before continuing to Napier. This entire city was rebuilt in 1930’s art deco style, after the terrible Hawke’s Bay earthquake of 1931. This evening, enjoy a guided Art Deco walking tour of central Napier. (B,L)

OVERNIGHT: ART DECO MASONIC HOTEL (2 nights)

Day 9: Tuesday, April 21st

Napier and Hawke’s Bay Wineries

The Hawke’s Bay appellation is New Zealand’s oldest and second largest wine region. The maritime climate here is similar to Bordeaux. Not surprisingly this is the primary source of the country’s red wine production, producing highly rated Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah wines. A local expert joins us today. Put on your wine goggles! Visit two premier wineries this morning, a private tour and tasting at acclaimed Craggy Range, followed by lunch at Church Road, whose acclaimed red wines are aged in huge French oak cuves. Tonight, dine at exclusive Mission Estate Winery, the birthplace of New Zealand’s wine industry, founded in 1851 by French Marist priests. (B,L,D)

Day 10: Wednesday, April 22nd

Lake Taupo and Huka Falls to Rotorua

Depart Napier and travel to Rotorua, via Lake Taupo and stunning Huka Falls. Enjoy a gondola ride to the peak of Mt. Ngongotaha. Enjoy a buffet lunch at the Stratosphere Restaurant. This afternoon, visit one of New Zealand’s tourism icons, the Te Puia Thermal Reserve. Stroll the bridges and walkways of this remarkable geothermal wonderland in the company of a Maori guide. Tonight, enjoy a Maori Hangi dinner, where the food is cooked entirely in the ground, heated by the geothermal steam and boiling water. (B,L,D)

OVERNIGHT: Millennium Hotel (Club Rooms)

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Day 11: Thursday, April 23rd

Matamata & Waitomo to Auckland

Depart Rotorua this morning for Auckland. En route, spend 90 minutes in Matamata touring the Hobbiton Movie Set, where much of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed. Continue to Waitomo for a 45 minute boat ride through the world-renowned Glow Worm Caves. The glow worm (Arachnocampa luminosa) is unique to New Zealand. Thousands of these tiny radiating luminescent creatures create surreal overhead lighting on the cave ceilings and walls as we cruise in small boats along the underground river. Arrive in Auckland late afternoon. Tonight, dine at the O’Connell Street Bistro, one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed restaurants, an intimate setting with just 12 tables. Chef Mark Southon here trained in Europe at several Michelin Star restaurants. (B,D)

OVERNIGHT: Stamford Plaza Hotel (2 nights, Superior Rooms)

Day 12: Friday, April 24th

Waiheke Island Wineries & Lunch

Board a Fuller’s Ferry this morning for Waiheke Island, visiting two wineries with lunch included. The island’s Mediterranean microclimate has made it a popular playground for affluent Kiwis. Just 35 minutes from Auckland, today Waiheke Island has 2,000 permanent residents. Vineyards, olive groves and picturesque anchorages are in abundance. Tonight is at leisure to enjoy Auckland city, which should come alive on this Friday of the ANZAC holiday weekend. (B,L)

Day 13: Saturday, April 25th

ANZAC DAY IN AUCKLAND – FLY HOME

Check out of our hotel by 11am, leaving luggage in storage. Today is ANZAC Day, New Zealand’s equivalent of Veteran’s Day and a major national holiday. Events will be going on around Auckland. Your escort will have a complete list of activities. Ladies, this is the day for last minute shopping. Anything and everything made in New Zealand can be found in Auckland shops. Late this afternoon, transfer by coach to Auckland International Airport for onward flights as we say Haere Ra (“farewell”) to New Zealand.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a private, invitation-only tour solely for the guests of Seven of Hearts Winery, booked through our tour operator, Expanding Horizons of Tustin, CA.