A photo of The Best Wine Tasting Tours in New Zealand

New Zealand
wine tasting tours and winery visits

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Why Visit New Zealand?

Gorgeous New Zealand is quite simply the ultimate destination for any wine traveller, adventurer, foodie or travel lover. This unique and beautiful pair of islands set in the Pacific Ocean is home to some of the most ancient and incredible landscapes to be found anywhere on earth, from majestic glaciers and vast, undulating plains to awe-inspiring mountains and tranquil sounds (the amazing ocean inlets which punctuate much of the Kiwi coastline) - throw into the mix excellent hospitality, outstanding food and wine, and an outdoors activity for every occasion, and you've got yourself the trip of a lifetime!

The North Island is home to the cities of Auckland and Wellington (the nation's capital) and major regions including Northland and the Bay of Islands, Waiheke Island, Waikato, Hawke's Bay, Martinborough and Wairarapa. Rolling plains and dramatic coastlines are in abundance here, and there is so much to see and do that the biggest problem can be knowing where to start! Spend a leisurely night or two strolling the marinas and restaurants in Auckland, the City of Sails, before heading south for a wine tasting or two in Hawke's Bay and Martinborough. The accommodation options are endless and varied, with something to suit every taste and budget - it's a particular treat to spend a night amongst the vines in one of the many vineyard hotels - although many visitors to New Zealand choose to hire a motorhome and explore at their own place. Stop off for some cool culture and outstanding food in Wellington, one of the best places in New Zealand to find excellent local cuisine, before hopping on a boat or plane to the South Island.

Awaiting you on the South Island are many of New Zealand's most iconic landmarks. From the legendary wine regions of Marlborough and Central Otago to the magnificent Franz Josef Glacier, many see this as one of the most naturally beautiful places on earth. It's therefore no surprise that activities which make the most of the great outdoors are in abundance - from cycling, hiking and whale watching to a great snow sports scene in the winter months, the South Island offers a dream combination of wine experiences, excellent food, and outdoor activities. Intrepid travellers who find their way to the southern tip will be rewarded with a glimpse of the glorious Milford Sound, an amazing inland fjord which was once described by Rudyard Kipling as the 'eighth wonder of the world'. Get out on the water and soak in the scenery with an overnight boat cruise or kayak hire.

New Zealand is a country like nowhere else on earth, and weary-long haul travellers will find themselves well rewarded with the plethora of wine and food experiences and outdoor adventures taking place against the backdrop of quite simply one of the most gloriously beautiful nations in the world. Be prepared to fall hopelessly in love!



Plan Your Visit

Best Known Grapes

Despite the relative youthfulness of New Zealand's wine industry (wine production only kicked off here in earnest in the 1980s), a lot has happened in a short time and New Zealand has made a name for itself in several areas. The most common white grapes here are, of course, Sauvignon Blanc (grown in both the iconic Marlborough region and elsewhere on both islands) Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Gris - whilst red  Pinot Noir thrives in the cool Kiwi climate alongside Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
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Best time to visit

New Zealand enjoys a mild climate year-round, with its unique position in the Pacific Ocean creating a huge range of sub-climates - from subtropical at the tip of the North Island to a snowy winter wonderland in the South. As such, most of New Zealand is open for business all year round. Temperatures at the height of summer range from 21C to 30C, whilst the winter months bring snowy weather in some regions as average temperatures dip down to 1.5C to 15.5C. Wine lovers are advised to visit in the spring and summer growing season between September and April , when the weather is at its warmest and the vines are in full bloom - February to April sees the grape harvest in full swing, a time of great excitement for visitors and locals alike! This is also the best time for lovers of the great outdoors, with the temperate weather creating perfect conditions for swimming, diving, cycling, hiking, horseback riding, hang gliding ... to name but a few. However, New Zealand is also one of the best-kept secrets of the winter sports world. The thick covering of snow which blankets parts of the country over the winter creates the perfect conditions for snow sports - ski and snowboard enthusiasts should plan their trip between June and August for the best snow.
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How long to stay

No matter where you are in the world, it's a long haul to reach New Zealand, and so it's only right that you should make the most of your time here. There is so much to see and do here that visitors are always spoilt for choice. A minimum of  two weeks  allows visitors to  immerse themselves in a particular area, perhaps focusing on either the North or South Island. However, many indulge in a longer, once-in-a-lifetime adventure covering both North and South Islands and all their amazing destinations - if this is your plan, you are well advised to take 3 or 4 weeks to enjoy New Zealand at your own pace.  
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How to get there

Despite its remote Pacific Ocean location, New Zealand is very well connected with most other major international destinations. Make no mistake, the flight times are long; it is a 24-hour trip from European destinations, with many tending to layover in South East Asia at the halfway point, or a minimum of 12 hours from most North and South American destinations. However, never was a long flight more worth it in terms of the treasures that await when you touch down.  The main airports are Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin - although Auckland is by far the biggest international travel hub and it is more than likely you will start your Kiwi adventure here. The airport is well served by most big international air carriers, including Air New Zealand, Qantas, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Virgin, so flight choices are numerous and often very reasonably priced. On arrival at Auckland, it's a quick 40-minute hop into the city centre, or there are numerous daily internal flights available to whisk you onwards to your final destination. 
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Top Wine Regions in New Zealand

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