Green Gourmet North
Our North Island Green Gourmet Journey provides an opportunity to explore and indulge in New Zealand’s best food and wine regions, whilst enjoying local fare and a high standard of cuisine at specially chosen accommodations along the way. Several lodges are hosted by professional chefs who will cook for you personally and offer an insider’s guide to their local wine and food providers. Green Gourmet Journeys also allow you insights into our history and Maori culture. On this itinerary you start from Auckland, catching the short ferry ride out to the glorious and relaxing haven of Waiheke Island for your first two nights. Visit Taupo, Hawkes Bay wineries and orchards and end your journey in vibrant Wellington.
Day 1 - Waiheke Island, Auckland
- The Boatshed
From Auckland, catch the ferry out to the nearby haven of Waiheke Island for your first two nights. The Boatshed has the perfect setting just 5 minutes' stroll to the eclectic Oneroa village with galleries and cafes and 3 minutes to the beach and walks.
Day 2 - Waiheke Island, Auckland
- The Boatshed
Waiheke has a laid back atmosphere but offers sophisticated attractions. Visit a local olive oil mill and several boutique vineyards, offering gourmet tastes to accompany their wines, such as succulent oysters straight from Te Matuku Bay, wild honey, vincotta and herb pestos. Have lunch at a beachside cafe or, for a more memorable gourmet experience, eat at a fine vineyard restaurant.
Day 3 - Taupo, Central Plateau
Return to Auckland by plane, car or foot ferry. Then allow another 3 1/2 hours to drive to Taupo. Acacia Bay Lodge on Lake Taupo must have one of the best views anywhere. Dinner must be booked in advance and it is a special experience.
Day 4 - Taupo, Central Plateau
Catch a float plane from Lake Taupo to Orakei Korako. This is one of the best thermal areas, a world of gushing geysers, hot springs, caves, bubbling mud pools and some of the largest and most amazing silica terraces in the world.
If it is a warm evening, The Barbary's film cruise is fun and a bit different. Sit on the bean bags with a glass of wine and watch a movie projected onto the sails!
Day 5 - Napier, Hawke's Bay
This morning join the crew on The Barbary for a scenic cruise on Lake Taupo. Relax on the big bean-bags or jump in for a swim.
It is only a short 2 hour drive to Napier from Taupo. Ask your host for recommendations of the best winery cafes or restaurants in town.
Day 6 - Napier, Hawke's Bay
A complete action packed day highlighting the best Hawkes Bay has to offer including behind the scene tours, a winery lunch and the opportunity to taste award winning wines throughout the day.
Day 7 - Napier, Hawke's Bay
Led by a Maori elder from Waimarama who tells the stories, tales and legends of this area. A unique opportunity to gain insight into modern day Maori lives and culture and their local history.
Day 8 - Wellington
Allow 4 1/4 hours to drive to Wellington from Napier on SH2. The Martinborough wine region is just over an hour before Wellington and a nice area to pause for coffee or late lunch. Greytown, on the main highway, is a pretty small town, or turn off the highway to explore Martinborough itself with its vineyards and olive groves.
Day 9 - Wellington
Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand, and has a real vibrancy. You can happily spend half a day strolling the waterfront and visiting Te Papa, the natural history and heritage museum. Take the Lambton Key Cable Car to Kelburn and combine a visit to the Carter Observatory with a stroll through the Botanical Gardens. The Zealandia Reserve allows easy viewing of New Zealand wildlife and the Weta Cave in Miramar showcases our film industry. Flat Earth Tours offer excellent full or half day city tours. Ohtel is perfectly located on the waterfront beside Te Papa museum.
Day 10 - Journey's End
You can fly out of Wellington Airport or cross on the Cook Strait Ferry to Picton on the South Island by the Inter Island ferry. Your hotel is centrally located so you may like to return your rental car when you arrive in the city at the end of Day 10.
At a glance
Duration: 10 days, 9 nights
Wellington airport or Inter Islander ferry
Activity level: easy
Best season: year round
Auckland - Waiheke 40 mins by ferry
Waiheke - Taupo 4 hours
Taupo - Napier 2 hours
Napier - Wellington 4 1/4 hours
Indicative Price from $6,346
GREEN GOURMET NORTH