New Zealand Grape Escape Self-Drive 

Spend two weeks exploring the country’s best wine regions.

Taste the wines of New Zealand

Your north-to-south self-drive takes you via New Zealand’s finest vineyards, including Hawke’s Bay, Martinborough, Marlborough, and the world’s southernmost wine region, Central Otago. You’ll stay in gorgeous lodges and hotels along the way, sipping on the country’s Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noirs, Syrah, and Merlot as you roam.

Read more
14 nights
Auckland, Rotorua, Napier, Martinborough, Wellington, Blenheim, Christchurch, Lake Tekapo, Queenstown

Wine enthusiasts, or simply those who would love to try different tipples in extraordinary locations across the North and South Islands.

Recommended itinerary

Days 1-2


On arrival in Auckland, you’ll head to one of the city’s favourite districts and check into Hotel Britomart. You’ll have two nights to relax and explore Auckland at your own pace while you adjust to your new time zone. Of course, you’ll probably want to make time for your first sip of New Zealand wine on home soil – you’ll find an excellent selection at the hotel’s Kingi restaurant, paired with local and sustainably caught seafood.

Day 3


You’ll collect a hire car from Auckland and drive three hours to Rotorua, arriving at Regent of Rotorua, a luxury hotel. On the way, you could visit Hobbiton Village to tour The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies movie sets.

Days 4-5


Napier's beautiful art deco town is next, and you’ll drive south for three hours to reach The Crown Hotel, which gazes out over the waterfront. You’ll stay for two nights, giving you time to explore the vineyards of Hawke’s Bay, a sunny wine region where Merlot, Syrah, and Pinot Noir grapes through in the gravelly soils and those oaky Sauvignon Blancs and Chardonnays are produced.

Day 6-7


Onwards to the Martinborough Hotel, a three-and-a-half journey south. Staying in the heart of Martinborough wine village puts award-winning vineyards within touching distance, many of them family-run, small-scale operations.

Day 8


A comparatively quick journey brings you to Wellington, where you’ll spend the night in the nation’s capital at QT Wellington before crossing to South Island.

Days 9-10


After arriving in Picton on the South Island, you’ll drive to Blenheim in the heart of New Zealand’s most famous wine region – Marlborough. Your base at Scenic Hotel Marlborough locates you within easy distance of the vineyards and tasting distance of those world-famous Sauvignon Blancs.

Day 11


Your journey south continues, stopping overnight in Christchurch to break up your journey and have some time to explore the city's creative side.

Day 12

Lake Tekapo

Stay on the shores of Lake Tekapo in Mackenzie Country and be dazzled by the starry nights – this region is part of an international Dark Sky Reserve.

Days 13-14


The final leg of your journey brings you to Central Otago – the world’s southernmost wine region and home of New Zealand’s renowned Pinot Noirs. You’ll spend two nights at Kinross, which grows its own wine. It’s a fitting finale to an incredible wine journey across New Zealand.