From the North to Martinborough on the East Coast, across the Rimutaka ranges to Wellington, up the West Coast and through the Central North Island there is much to see and do on the Wandering Martinborough Tour. With a focus to the Wairapapa and surrounding areas.
Within the regional towns is a quaint village atmosphere. You can peruse the Art Deco renaissance that is Napier, visit antique shops, enjoy lunch at the Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre (Bird Sanctuary), drive out to the remote Cape Palliser Lighthouse and see the seal colony nearby, take lunch at the popular Lake Ferry Hotel with its all encompassing views, and finish with a sampling of the wares of the Margrain Vineyard.
Through farmland and over the Rimutakas to Wellington we will visit the renowned Te Papa Museum and take a jaunt around greater Wellington.
Travelling on through the Kapiti Coast and up the Desert Road to arrive on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu where we will stay at the Chateau Tongariro.
Our final leg takes us to lunch at the Huhu cafe at Waitomo, with an optional visit to the glowworm caves, and then on to Auckland.
Experiences not included in your tour cost
Auckland - Taupo - Napier (L, D) - Napier - Martinborough (B, L, D) - Wairarapa sightseeing - Cape Palliser (B, L, D) - Wairarapa sightseeing - Greytown, Carterton (B, L, D) - Martinborough - Wellington (B, L, D) - Wellington - The Chateau Tongariro (B, L, D) - The Chateau Tongariro - Waitomo Caves - Auckland (B, L)
We depart Auckland driving into the heart of the Waikato farmland, we stop in Tirau to browse the antique shops. We lunch at Lava Glass Cafe near Taupo then travel over the ranges to Napier where we sightsee along the Art Deco trail. We check into Te Pania on the waterfront and dine in the hotel restaurant.
Hawkes Bay is New Zealand’s food basket – orchards, vineyards and market gardens abound. We visit the pretty English style village of Havelock North before heading south to the farming towns of Waipukurau, Norsewood and Dannevirke. We stop for lunch at Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre, a renowned bird sanctuary. In the late afternoon we reach the pretty village of Martinborough. We dine in The Square in Martinborough at the highly regarded Est Wine Bar & Eatery.
We drive out to dramatic Cape Palliser Lighthouse, stopping for photos at Ngawi, a quaint fishing village. At this southernmost tip of the North Island we are able to get close-up to the breeding seal colony lounging around on the rocks and frolicing in the sea. We return along the coastal road to Lake Ferry Hotel in time for lunch at this popular country pub with its great water and landscape views. After lunch we visit a museum where the only Fell Engine in the world has been restored to its former glory. We visit Te Kairanga Wines and end the afternoon with a private wine tasting at Margrain Vineyard.
Exploring the country towns and heritage trails. We visit arty Greytown’s picturesque main street lined with antique, craft and gift shops ~ great for wandering. We wend our way through the pretty country roads of Grafton and Carterton to Awaiti Gardens for lunch with Jeanette and Allan Gates, creators of this beautiful garden. We visit Stonehenge Aotearoa. Rising out of the farm paddocks, it has to be seen to be believed! Melanie Greenwood shows us around Richmond, her renowned topiary
We head over the winding Rimutaka Ranges road to explore Wellington. We drive the Thorndon Heritage trail passing Parliament Buildings and Katherine Mansfield’s family home. We visit Te Papa Museum and admire the views from the top of Mt Victoria, continuing around the outer bays of the harbour. Returning to the city in time for shopping. We dine in at the Intercontinental Hotel.
There are lovely views along the Kapiti Coast before the highway heads into the farmlands. We lunch with Sue and David Sweet at Mairenui Farm, near Mangaweka and enjoy their warm country hospitality. Leaving Mairenui we reach the dramatic landscape of the Desert Road and drive around the slopes of Mount Ruapehu. We arrive at the Chateau Tongariro in time to relax before dining in this classic, landmark hotel.
We stop in Taumarunui for morning tea, continuing on through the rugged farming landscape for lunch at Waitomo’s Huhu Café and an optional visit ($39) to the breathtaking beauty of the glowworm cave. After lunch we drive northwards through the Waikato farmlands to reach Auckland in the late afternoon.
Tour Prices 2015/16
|Single Supplement ( extra ) NZ$600|
Departure Dates 2016
|Jan 11th 2016 - Jan 17th 2016 A|
A: Available G: Guaranteed Departure C: Closed