New Zealand Highlights: Scenery, Adventure, and Wine Package

Enjoy the highlights of New Zealand: gorgeous mountains, glacial lakes, sunny vineyards, and sweeping coastal views!

We designed this New Zealand Highlights: Scenery, Adventure, and Wine Package for 2 couples traveling together from Wisconsin. They wanted scenic adventures and luxury lodges, which New Zealand offers in abundance. They also loved wine and were delighted to hear that New Zealand has several great wine regions!

They flew Air New Zealand direct from Chicago to Auckland and connected to beautiful Queenstown to begin their journey. They stayed at The Rees, a gorgeous hotel looking out over pristine Lake Wakatipu. While in Queenstown, they had an epic helicopter flight over the mountains and glaciers of Fiordland National Park, and cruised Milford Sound.

Continuing their New Zealand Highlights: Scenery, Adventure, and Wine Package, they flew to Nelson and drove to the fabulous Te Koi lodge. This relaxing getaway takes full advantage of the natural beauty in Abel Tasman National Park. They spent a day cruising, hiking, and kayaking in the national park, taking in golden sandy beaches and bright blue waters. The next day, they took a self-guided bicycle journey along the scenic Tasman Bay and Rabbit Island.

Then it was on to wine country! They flew to Hawke’s Bay, one of New Zealand’s most indulgent wine regions. They spent 3 nights at Millar Road in a luxury villa set amongst the vineyards, with picturesque views of the vines rolling out of sight into the coast. During their stay, they had a private, full-day tour of the bay. They visited boutique wineries, explored the Art Deco architecture of Napier, and had a one-on-one cultural encounter with a local Maori elder. They also had plenty of leisure time to visit the farmer’s markets and simply soak up their beautiful surroundings.

From start to finish, their journey to New Zealand was a fabulous feast for the senses. They had never seen so many beautiful places and met so many charming people! They returned to Auckland to catch an Air New Zealand flight direct to Chicago, recounting their favorite memories from this trip of a lifetime.

  • 3 Nights The Rees Hotel
  • 3 Nights Te Koi
  • 3 Nights Millar Road
  • All private airport transfers
  • 7 days rental car
  • Milford Sound Nature Cruise with Helicopter
  • Small Group Abel Tasman Excursion
  • Bicylce Tour in Tasman Bay with Lunch
  • Prvatet Food and Culture Tour Hawkes Bay

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1
Welcome to New Zealand! Fly Air New Zealand direct from Chicago to Auckland, where you’ll connect to Queenstown. This alpine town on the South Island is stunningly beautiful, and the adventure capital of New Zealand! Enjoy a private transfer from the airport to your luxurious hotel, The Rees, which features absolutely stunning views over Lake Wakatipu. The award-winning wine list at The Rees provides an excellent sampling of New Zealand’s incredible wines.
The Rees Hotel

Day 2
Today, you will explore some of the most pristine wilderness of New Zealand. Your epic journey begins with a scenic helicopter flight from Queenstown to Milford Sound over the untouched wilderness of the UNESCO World Heritage Fiordland National Park. Once you land, sail on the remote fiord with Mitre Peak Cruises, bringing you up close to native forests, waterfalls, and the marine wildlife of Milford Sound, including seals, penguins, and dolphins. Your helicopter flight home take you over forests, glaciers, and picturesque lakes and streams. If conditions allow, you may even touch down on a remote glacier for a quick snowball fight!
The Rees Hotel

Day 3
Today is your day to explore the wonders of Queenstown. Take a ride on the Skyline Gondola and view the beautiful Remarkables, walk around Lake Wakatipu, enjoy a fabulous lunch at Amisfeld or pick up a kayak and explore the area.
The Rees Hotel

Day 4
Say goodbye to Queenstown today and fly to Nelson, where you’ll pick up your rental car and drive to Bronte, where your luxurious home-away-from-home awaits. Te Koi the Lodge offers the ultimate escape for the seasoned traveler—a luxury lodge filled with charm and basking in natural beauty. Set amidst luscious gardens on a secluded point overlooking the stunning waters of the Waimea Estuary, Te Koi plays to all the senses. Seasoned chef Ali and sommelier Ian Metcalfe are at your service for specially prepared dinners featuring local delicacies, matched with delicious wines from the region. Specially chartered helicopter and boat trips can be arranged to explore the local surrounds in style.
Te Koi the Lodge at Bronte

Day 5
Board a comfortable catamaran for an unhurried day cruising the coast of Abel Tasman National Park. You choose whether to kayak the lagoons, hike the iconic bush tracks, swim, snorkel or simply stay on board and enjoy the sights and surrounds of New Zealand’s most enchanting national park. Each boat is limited to 11 passengers with your skipper as your guide to the wildlife, flora, and history of this unique coast.
Te Koi the Lodge at Bronte

Day 6
Join Wheelie Fantastic tours for a self-guided bicycle adventure! Using sections of The Great Taste Trail, explore Tasman’s Ruby Coast, with trails that take you to striking vistas of Tasman Bay. You’ll be transferred from the base at Mapua to a lovely start point at the top of a hill. Spend the morning cycling along the trail, making your way back to Mapua.

Stop for lunch (included in the tour price) at Mapua Wharf, after which you could either explore the village by bike or catch the ferry for a 10-minute ride to Rabbit Island, where you can cycle along forest trails and beside golden beaches. Finish the day with a browse around the studios and galleries in Mapua before being dropped back at the lodge.
Te Koi the Lodge at Bronte

Day 7
Today, you will leave the South Island behind as you fly to Hawke’s Bay, one of New Zealand’s most indulgent wine regions. Pick up your rental car at the Napier airport and drive to Millar Road and your luxurious villa overlooking the vines. This is the perfect place to relax, unwind, and feel like a local in this gorgeous, fertile corner of New Zealand. Visit the local farmer’s markets to pick up delicious local produce and fabulous wines. A gourmet breakfast hamper is provided in your villa daily.
Millar Road

Day 8
Enjoy a private tour of Hawke’s Bay and its many delights. Of course, you’ll visit local wineries and sample local foods, but you’ll also have a chance to discover the Art Deco architecture and history of Napier, meet with a Maori elder to learn about their traditions and modern-day culture, take in scenic vistas, and much more. The activities of the day are completely tailored to you!
Millar Road

Day 9
Enjoy a day of leisure in Hawke’s Bay. Golfers shouldn’t miss the chance to play the legendary Cape Kidnappers, or you may wish to simply lounge in your beautiful villa indulging in food, wine, and breathtaking views.
Millar Road

Day 10
It’s time to say goodbye to New Zealand and begin the journey home. Drop off your rental car in Napier, take a short flight to Auckland, and enjoy a comfortable flight to Chicago on Air New Zealand.

About this vacation
Cost Per Person

Does not include the cost of airfare

Based on
10 day stay
2 travelers

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