The ultimate wine lovers'
North Island road trips

Craggy Range Vineyard, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Experience the Central North Island with freedom and style.

In a world of fast travel, being on the road gives you the freedom to explore at a more leisurely pace and to enjoy more spontaneous experiences.

Whether you’re a wine lover, foodie or history buff there is no better way to experience it all than road-tripping.

See below our 2 best road trips for the central North Island – all trips have the luxury to be tailormade for your interests and preferences.

"Thanks so much for unforgettable moments, your expertise from Maori culture and history to fine wines, and for your friendship"
laurie & melinda, london, uk
Black Barn Vineyard, Hawke's Bay
The Farm, Hawke's Bay
Te Mata Coleraine Vineyard, Hawkes Bay
Tony Bish Wines, Urban Winery, Hawkes Bay

ITINERARIES

All tours are private.

1 to 8 guests.

Luxury, unbranded vehicles.

Choose from the options listed or let us know your interests and we will create a special itinerary for you. 

Would you like to see a variation of the following tour options? Please ask!

OVERVIEW

All road trip tours depart from Auckland, heading south on highway one.

Journey by vehicle one way, fly back, continue on, or fly home – you have the ultimate flexibility for this trip.

Tour options and details

While the destination is fabulous, so is the getting there.

Nestled on the North Island’s sunny East Coast, Hawke’s Bay is 265 miles south of Auckland.

New Zealand’s second largest wine growing region, with its fertile soils and a warm maritime climate, Hawke’s Bay is the heart of New Zealand’s wine country. The oldest established wine-growing region (1851), Hawke’s Bay has earned itself an international reputation for producing high-quality Cabernet and Merlot blends, Syrah – and stunning Chardonnay’s.

DAY ONE | The adventure begins with a comfortable 6-hour journey, including fun stops along the way, down the middle of the North Island, running through lush farmland, small towns and the geothermal landscapes of Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. On arrival to Hawke’s Bay you’ll visit Napier, with its beautifully-restored Art Deco buildings which have made Napier famous as one of the most complete collections of Art Deco buildings in the world. Following a massive earthquake 1931, virtually the whole town was rebuilt in the Stripped Classical, Spanish Mission and Art Deco architectural styles of the times.

DAY TWO & THREE | Explore this culinary and wine lovers paradise. Experience private wine tastings with winemakers at Bill’s favourite wineries, hidden foodie gems and spectacular scenery.  This page’s cover photo features the renowned Craggy Range Vineyard which has just been named 2021’s Best Vineyard in Australasia, by ‘World’s Best Vineyards Top 50’- a perfect luxury location to stay and a must-visit to dine.

DAY FOUR | Your final day of this Hawke’s Bay adventure. Either return to Auckland by a 1 hour Air New Zealand flight or continue with your New Zealand journey. 

ACCOMMODATION | Accommodation options range from luxury vineyard cottages to secluded lodge.

PRICE | From $NZ4,250/per person twin share.

YOUR DETAILS | Please use the Enquiry button below to tell us about your travel plans, including the style of accommodation required so that we can provide an accurate quotation for your tour.

All of Tour A but with an additional 3 days and 3 nights journey to New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, experiencing both the wine country of Hawke’s Bay and the Wairarapa (including Martinborough). Martinborough, 155 miles (250 km) south, is the perfect wine combo with Hawke’s Bay. While Hawke’s Bay is predominately about Bordeaux reds, Syrah and Chardonnay, Martinborough is home to some of the country’s finest Pinot Noir along with some fine examples of Chardonnay and Riesling. Next it’s a short scenic drive to the harbour city of Wellington. Renowned for its creative and cultural heart, New Zealand’s cool capital is known for its huge food scene, the national museum Te Papa Tongarewa, a love of coffee and craft beer.

DAY ONE | The adventure begins with a comfortable 6 hour journey, including fun stops along the way, down the middle of the North Island, running through lush farmland, small towns and the geothermal landscapes of Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. On arrival to Hawke’s Bay you’ll visit Napier, with its beautifully-restored Art Deco buildings which have made Napier famous as one of the most complete collections of Art Deco buildings in the world. Following a massive earthquake 1931, virtually the whole town was rebuilt in the Stripped Classical, Spanish Mission and Art Deco architectural styles of the times.

DAY TWO & THREE | Explore this culinary and wine lovers’ paradise. Experience private wine tastings with winemakers at Bill’s favourite wineries, hidden foodie gems and spectacular scenery.  This page’s cover photo features the renowned Craggy Range Vineyard which has just been named 2021’s Best Vineyard in Australasia, by ‘World’s Best Vineyards Top 50’- a perfect luxury location to stay and a must-visit to dine.

DAY FOUR | It’s back to the road for a 3 hour scenic journey to Martinborough for lunch and a private winemaker tasting before settling into your accommodation.

DAY FIVE | With a climate and soil profile similar to that of Burgundy, Martinborough boasts some of New Zealand’s most acclaimed Pinot Noir with labels such as Ata Rangi, Martinborough Vineyards, Dry River and Escarpment. Spend the whole day in the vineyards or mix it up with a morning or afternoon trip to the Cape Palliser lighthouse only 1 hour away. The cape is the North Island’s most southern coastline, where it’s rugged, wild and home to a large fur seal colony. The 1897 cast-iron lighthouse, ranked by Lonely Planet in the top 10 flashiest lighthouses in the world, can be viewed from the road or up close by climbing the 253 steps where the reward is also the most unforgettable sea views extending to the South Island.

DAY SIX | Wellington is just over 1 hours’ drive south, that is if you don’t stop at C’est Cheese in Featherston for their comprehensive range of New Zealand’s handmade cheeses. Lunch in Wellington before a bespoke tour based on your interests.

DAY SEVEN | Your final day of this wonderful road trip with the morning free to continue exploring Wellington, then either return to Auckland by a 1 hour Air New Zealand flight, continue with your New Zealand journey, or fly internationally to Australia.

ACCOMMODATION | Accommodation options range from hotel and luxury vineyard cottages to secluded lodges.

PRICE | From $NZ7,250/per person/twin share. 

YOUR DETAILS | Please use the Enquiry button below to tell us about your travel plans, including the style of accommodation required so that we can provide an accurate quotation for your tour.

Would you like to see a variation of the tour options? Please ask!

YOUR HOST

Kia ora, welcome! I’m a 5th generation kiwi, a New Zealand wine judge and foodie who wants to share my passion for New Zealand; its sights, history, culture, and lifestyle.

We’ll take you to the special places of New Zealand; the places that nudge your sense of wonder and curiosity.

I am an experienced guide, travel advisor and planner, with wide knowledge and passion for NZ wine and food, culture, history and lifestyle, and am a member of the New Zealand Sommelier & Wine Professionals Association.

I’ve travelled just about every road and visited almost every town and village in New Zealand. I have fun every day. Our guests have fun. What more could anyone want.

I look forward to planning and making your journey in New Zealand unique and wonderful.

Bill Hird, Landmarks Founder & Guide

Te Mata Peak, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Let the adventure begin