Wairarapa and Hawkes Bay   - a 6   day New Zealand Tour

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Day 1 - After picking you up at your door, we fly on a direct mid morning Air New Zealand flight to Wellington. After meeting our guide and coach at the airport we head first to Weta Cave to see some movie memorabilia at one of New Zealand's great success stories. Then its across town to one of New Zealand's most historic pubs for lunch at The Thistle Inn, originally built in 1840 and located only a few metres from the original shoreline, patrons often arrived by boat, including - according to legend, the Ngati Toa warrior chief Te Rauparaha.

After lunch we head out of the city, along the coast and over the Rimutaka Hills to visit the Fell Locomotive Museum at Featherston. The museum houses engine number H199, the only locomotive of its type in the world and one of just six engines designed for use on the famous Rimutaka Incline. ​The fascinating history of the Rimutaka Incline and its locomotives are recalled with photographs, models, memorabilia and the spectacular audio-visual presentation “Rimutaka 1949”. Step back in time and experience a unique aspect of New Zealand’s railway heritage!  We then depart to our Martinborough hotel.  Tonight we will dine at a top local winery, including a wine tasting before dinner.

Day 2 - After a buffet breakfast at the hotel, we take a short drive to Greytown where you have time to explore it's main street with many boutique shops and cafes. With your 'retail therapy' complete we head to Stonehenge Aotearoa to learn about New Zealand's unique open air astronomical observatory. This was built based on the ancient knowledge of stone circles and has been adapted to the conditions here in New Zealand. Our guide will explain the significance of the stones and how they are still used in modern times.

For lunch today we head back to Martinborough to Luna Estate Winery where you sample their premium wines as we enjoy lunch with wine tasting in this great setting. 

The afternoon is then free for you to relax at our hotel, or head into Martinborough to look around (we provide the transport). This evening we have a light meal at the hotel (after lunch at Luna that is all you will need) or you can do your own thing out in town.

Day 3 - Departing our Martinborough hotel this morning we begin our route north to Napier with a visit to 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 taken a guided tour of the property by the owner. We will also enjoy morning tea here before departing north.

Our next destination is 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. Our guided tour through the aviaries and forest areas will allow us to see many native species of bird. Time here for lunch (at your cost) at the cafe. We then continue to Napier to our hotel for the next three nights. Located on Marine Parade, the Te Pania hotel is ideally situated for you to explore the beautiful seafront gardens and Art Deco town centre. Tonight we will dine at the hotel restaurant.

Day 4 - Following breakfast at the hotel we first head to Havelock North and Te Mata Peak. The views from the 399m high summit are stunning, with a carpet of vineyards and orchards below and mountains in the distance - be sure to have a camera handy. 

​Heading down from the peak our next destination is Arataki Honey - a family business which began when 17-year-old Percy Berry was asked to help a neighbour remove a swarm of bees from a tree. From that single event began the dream of one day becoming a full-time beekeeper and in 1944 Percy Berry bought nine acres in Arataki Road and started a journey that resulted in the Arataki Honey we know and love. Time here to taste their extensive range of honey and related products before departing.

Lunchtime beckons so we head out towards the coast at Te Awanga to the Clearview Estate Winery. Steeped in history, the cellar door and restaurant have become an iconic destination for both locals and visitors from afar. Time here to discover and learn in a relaxed atmosphere, tasting a selection from the Clearview Estate range in a private tutored tasting hosted by the Cellar Door team as we enjoy a included 2 course lunch. 

After lunch we visit 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, location of the luxury Cape Kidnappers Lodge.  Travelling on modern 4x4 coaches, our 2 hour adventure requires no walking to see this untouched paradise for wildlife.

We then head back to our hotel - time to relax or explore the city further. Dinner tonight is not included so you are free to dine as you please (there are many restaurants within easy walking distance).

Day 5 - A visit to Napier would not be complete without taking note of the city's Art Deco heritage - so today we start with a visit to the Art Deco Centre. We begin with viewing a film which shows the devastation of the city after the 1931 earthquake, then embark on a one hour easy walk of central Napier with a professional Art Deco Trust guide. Napier is recognised as the most complete Art Deco city in the world.

Following our walk we have time for morning tea (your cost) before we head out of town to another leading winery set in the heart of the Gimblett Gravels. This distinct wine growing area now has 800 hectares of vineyards but was once regarded as the poorest, least productive land in Hawke’s Bay, needing about three acres to feed one sheep and no hope of growing a decent crop of anything - what a transformation.

Our wine tasting experience at Trinity Hill winery will show you what can be achieved in a relatively short time, after just 20 years they are making world-class wines. Our hosts will take us through a tasting of premium wines in the original barrel hall, now an impressive space with five metre-high ceilings and a great view of the new barrel hall.

A short drive will bring us to another of Hawkes Bay's iconic producers, but this time it's chocolate. The Silky Oaks Chocolate Centre is our lunch venue and the cafe has a range of light lunch options for you to enjoy (your cost). Time here to also taste some of their delicious chocolates at the adjacent factory shop before we depart.

Returning to Napier, the rest of the afternoon is free for you to relax or look around the town before we prepare for our final dinner together this evening at what many say is Napier's jewel in the crown - the Mission Estate Winery. Established in 1851 by pioneering French Missionaries, it is New Zealand’s oldest winery and really is the birthplace of New Zealand wine. Tonight we dine in the elegantly restored historic seminary building - but first we will taste some of their wines, expertly guided by our host through a selection from their exclusive range. Make your choice to enjoy with our wonderful meal this evening.

Day 6 - Our last day on tour - after a relaxing late breakfast we have time to visit the new MTG Museum, just a short walk from the hotel, or get a bit of last minute shopping done before leaving for Taupo, through the stunning scenery of Hawkes Bay. Our route home passes through Taupo where our lunch stop is at Lava Glass where we can see the glass blowing and explore the glass sculpture garden before lunch (lunch is at your cost). Suitably refreshed, we will have you safely home and dropped at your door by late afternoon.

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.

Wairarapa and Hawkes Bay

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

Our tour includes great wineries, restaurants, and museums. We have guided tours at a glass art factory, a gannet colony, a wildlife centre and a historic homestead to name a few. Flying direct to Wellington we have a full day of sights in our capital city before heading to the Wairarapa for 2 nights in Martinborough. Then head north to Napier for 3 nights, allowing us plenty of time to enjoy all the sights of this popular Art Deco City. We do include wine tasting but also offer much more.

3rd Apr 2022
$2595 pp Twin share

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 at 5 wineries

  • Art Deco guided walking tour

  • Gannet Colony tour

  • Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre

  • Dinner at The Mission Estate

  • Wairarapa historic homestead tour

  • Featherston Fell Engine Museum

  • Tour at Stonehenge Aotearoa (new)

  • Two morning teas

  • Lunch at The Thistle Inn Wellington

  • Lunch at Luna Estate winery

  • Lunch at Clearview Estate winery

  • Four evening dinners

  • Breakfasts each day

  • Plenty of time to relax

  • Air NZ flight to 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.

A single room surcharge of $500 applies.

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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 Gimblett Gravels

  • Hawkes Bay & Wairarapa Winery's

  • Wellington and the Wairarapa

  • Rimutaka Hill

  • Martinborough and Greytown

  • Lake Taupo

 

* 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.