Hawkes Bay and the Wairarapa   - a 6   day New Zealand Tour

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Hawkes Bay and the Wairarapa

Join us as we visit two of New Zealand's great wine regions, the Hawkes Bay and the Wairarapa, to sample some amazing wine and food plus many other sights....

Our springtime tour includes great wineries, a farmers market, museums, glass art tour, a chocolate factory, a gannet colony tour, a brewery tour, a wildlife centre, historic homesteads and gardens, and much more. We dine at great restaurants and stay at the best hotels. We see amazing scenery as we navigate south from Tauranga, through Taupo to Napier, our location for three nights and then continue on to the Wairarapa for 2 nights in Martinborough. On our last day we continue to Wellington and then fly back.

25th Sep 2021
$2495 pp Twin share

Day 1 - Leaving Tauranga we head south and make our first stop at Rotorua. Time for a cuppa and cake at a local cafe and a chance for us to get know our travelling buddies.  Suitably refreshed we continue towards Taupo, where our lunch destination is the Lava Glass cafe. We take a behind the scenes factory and studio tour to see and learn how these amazing creations are made. (lunch here is at your cost). Our route east to Napier will offer a variety of landscapes, from plantation forests, deep gorges and native forests, until we arrive in the Hawkes Bay. Our waterfront central city hotel, is ideally situated if you want to explore this interesting city - our base for the next three nights and where we will dine tonight.

Day 2 - After a buffet breakfast at the hotel, we make an early start and head to the Hawkes Bay Farmers Market in Hastings - one of the largest and longest running year round markets in New Zealand. Time to check out the stalls before we head to Havelock North and Te Mata Peak. The views are stunning with a carpet of vineyards far below and mountains in the distance - so make sure to have a camera handy.  

Heading down from the peak our next destination is a leading Hawkes Bay winery - luckily we are spoilt for choice with well known wineries such as Te Mata, Black Barn, Craggy Range and Clearview plus some lesser known boutique wineries.

After tasting some great wines we continue out to Awanga - our lunch today  (your cost) is at the Hygge Cafe, previously known as the Clifton Cafe, is a rustic woolshed style building next to the sea, offering delicious food and exceptional service.

After lunch we join a tour to see the world’s largest accessible gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers - see these birds soar, swoop and dive as we travel through New Zealand’s largest privately-owned nature reserve. Travelling on modern 4x4 coaches, no walking is needed to see this untouched paradise for wildlife.

Tonight we dine out at the famous Mission Estate Winery. Established in 1851 by pioneering French missionaries, it is New Zealand’s oldest winery and the birthplace of New Zealand wine. Chance for us to try some of their famous wines with dinner.

Day 3 - Napier is renowned for its art deco architecture and we start today with a visit to the Art Deco Centre - beginning with a film which tells of the devastation caused by the 1931 earthquake. A professional Art Deco Trust guide will then take us on a 1 hour walk to see the best of the amazing architecture and give us some history of this event.

Our next visit is to the newly re-opened and award winning MTG Hawkes Bay Museum - home to the region's taonga and other treasures. The museums wide range of displays will have something of interest for everyone.

What's Included:

  • 6 days on tour

  • 5 nights quality accommodation

  • Door to door service (Tauranga area)

  • Quality air-conditioned vehicle

  • Full commentary by your guide 

  • Lava Glass Art factory tour

  • Wine tastings and winery tours

  • Art Deco guided walking tour

  • Gannet Colony tour

  • Napier MTG Museum visit

  • Hastings Farmers Market

  • Tui Brewery tour and tasting

  • Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre

  • Dinner at The Mission Estate

  • Wairarapa historic homestead tour

  • Featherston Fell Museum

  • Two winery lunches

  • Lunch at historic Wellington pub

  • Four evening dinners

  • Breakfasts each day

  • Plenty of time to relax

  • Air NZ flight back from Wellington

Not included:

  • Any lunches unless specified* 

  • Cost of morning/afternoon tea stops*

  • Any alcoholic beverages with meals

 

If you do not wish to taste the wines or beers during our visits, then alternative beverages will be offered instead.

Lunch today is included at the well known Church Road Winery. Founded in 1897, Church Road is one of Hawkes Bay's oldest and most awarded wineries. After lunch we will immerse ourselves in the past, present and future of Church Road with their Legacy and Winery Experience, as we learn about their winemaking philosophy and sample great wine. We then head back to our hotel - time to relax or explore the city further, perhaps try the open air hot pools opposite the hotel. Dinner tonight is not included so you are free to dine as you please (there are many restaurants within easy walking distance).

Day 4 - Today we leave Napier, travelling through orchards, vineyards and extensive farming areas to the Wairarapa. Our first stop is the famous Tui Brewery at Mangatainoka - our visit includes a guided tour through the state of the art brewery, a walk through the historic grounds and of course a sample of the famous brew.

Next it's the Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre at Mt Bruce - this is an unfenced sanctuary for native wildlife covering 942 hectares, home to wild kōkako and kākā.  On a guided tour through the aviaries and forest areas, we will see many native species of bird. Time here for lunch (at your cost) at the cafe alongside the reserve. Just an hours drive south through the Wairarapa brings us to our hotel in Martinborough, where we dine tonight.

Day 5 - We explore the region today, beginning with the impressive Brancepeth Homestead, one of Wairarapa's grandest and most treasured historic sites. Established in 1856, Brancepeth was one of the largest sheep stations in New Zealand and we will be given a guided tour of the property and chance to explore the garden and grounds.

Heading back to Martinborough our next destination is one of the many local wineries. We will taste some premium wines at one of the smaller boutique wineries - which today will include a lovely lunch platter to accompany the wines. The afternoon is free for you to explore Martinborough or join an optional trip to explore Greytown. 

This evening we will dine out at a top local restaurant, which has been named in Cuisine Magazines Top 100 Restaurants in New Zealand, one of only two hotels in New Zealand to earn this accolade. What a great way to spend our last evening together.

Day 6 - For our final day we still have a couple of interesting places to visit before we fly home from Wellington in the afternoon. Part of New Zealand railway history is to be found at the The Fell Locomotive Museum at Featherston. The museum houses engine number H199, the only locomotive of its type in the world. This now unique engine was one of just six engines designed for use on the famous Rimutaka Incline, a masterpiece of good old kiwi ingenuity. 

The fascinating history of the Rimutaka Incline and its Fell locomotives is recalled with photographs, models, memorabilia, films and the spectacular audio-visual presentation “Rimutaka 1949”. So step back in time and experience a unique aspect of New Zealand’s railway heritage! Our visit includes morning tea, before we depart to tackle the Rimutaka road, not by rail today but by road, still with great views along the way.

Our final meal together is at one of New Zealand's most historic pubs. The Thistle Inn is one of New Zealand's oldest public houses, originally built in 1840 by Scotsman William Couper, and standing only a few metres from the original shoreline. Patrons often arrived by boat, including, according to legend, the Ngati Toa warrior chief Te Rauparaha. This "Category One" historic building is just a stones throw from the Parliament precinct and is often a watering hole for our politicians.

Following lunch it's just a short drive through the Wellington CBD and around the waterfront of Oriental Bay to the airport, checking in for our late afternoon direct flight to Tauranga where the Hinterland team will be ready to drop you back to your home.

  • If you do not wish to taste the wines or beers during our visits, then alternative beverages will be offered instead.

All Hinterland multi-day tours can be taken by clients from any region of New Zealand or Australia. Please contact us for details. Additional charges may apply.

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You will see:

  • Stunning scenery throughout

  • Amazing wineries 

  • Te Mata Peak

  • Cape Kidnappers

  • Napier - the Art Deco Capital of NZ

  • The Mission Estate Winery

  • Church Road Winery

  • The Gimblett Gravels

  • Hawkes Bay & Wairarapa Winery's

  • The Wairarapa

  • Martinborough and Greytown

 

* Please note, that unless specified in the itinerary we do not usually include the cost of lunches or morning and afternoon tea stops in the tour cost, but we always make stops where there are a range of options available so you can choose what you want, and have flexibility to do things on your own if you wish.