Gourmet Secrets of New Zealand – A Small Group Journey (2022-23)

Embark on an indulgent journey of New Zealand as you’re wined and dined in some of the most picturesque locations across the country.

Journey Overview

Embark on an indulgent journey of New Zealand as you’re wined and dined in some of the most picturesque locations across the country. From cultural capital, Wellington to the scenic South Island, where you can indulge in the freshest seafood straight from the waters of the Marlborough region. Renowned for its wines, experience blending your own signature bottle of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc before travelling south to the quaint coastal town of Kaikoura. Immerse yourself in nature’s playground with a memorable stay in Hapuku Lodge and enjoy a unique farm-to-table cooking experience with a New Zealand MasterChef finalist. Close-up encounters with New Zealand’s diverse marine-life and a decadent progressive dinner in Queenstown round off this journey of the senses.

Journey Highlights

  • Learn the art of winemaking on a behind the scenes tour of a Marlborough winery before creating your very own bottle of Sauvignon Blanc
  • Be whisked away on a breathtaking helicopter ride for a picnic atop Mt Fyffe, whilst admiring 360-degree views of the surrounding mountain range, Kaikoura Peninsula and Pacific Ocean
  • Stay in a luxury tree house nestled in the canopy of a Manuka Grove in Kaikoura, a world renowned eco-marine area
  • Forage for fresh produce in nature’s larder and learn to cook a delicious spread at the hand of renowned chef and former MasterChef finalist Fiona Read
  • Enjoy a breath-taking, up-close encounter with the Giant Sperm Whale on a whale watching cruise in Kaikoura from the comfort of the Captain’s Cabin
  • Indulge in a progressive dinner at three iconic and hidden gems around Queenstown showcasing fine wine and delectable food perfectly complimented with Kiwi hospitality
  • Cruise privately through Lake Wakatipu’s secluded coves, towering mountain ranges and vibrant inner harbour aboard the Pacific Jemm
  • Typically features a small group size of 6–8 guests
Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Wellington, New Zealand

Arrive into Wellington, where a warm A&K welcome awaits. You will have the afternoon to explore the city at leisure after settling into your harbour view room at QT Wellington. Enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow travellers at Hot Sauce, QT’s signature restaurant.

QT Wellington | Meals: D

Day 2: Wellington – Picton – Blenheim | Seafood Indulgence

After breakfast, enjoy VIP lounge access on the Interislander ferry ride through to Picton on the tip on the South Island. Marvel at the beauty of the Marlborough Sounds and the dramatic Cook Strait on this picturesque trip.

The quaint seaside town of Picton is built around a sheltered harbour with an attractive seafront dotted with cafés, restaurants, and galleries.

Upon arrival in Picton enjoy a private seafood cruise through the stunning Marlborough Sounds as you admire the ever-changing scenery. Keep an eye out for a rich variety of birdlife and wildlife that flourish in this natural paradise. Visiting salmon, oyster and mussel farms, you’ll gain a fascinating insight into local aquaculture as you sample fresh seafood including Regal salmon, Cloudy Bay clams and greenshell mussels, paired with a refreshing glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

Arriving back at Picton Wharf, continue on to Blenheim where you have an evening at leisure.

Hotel d’Urville | Meals: BL

Day 3: Blenheim | Winemaker for a Day

With over 100 wineries in the region and a host of primary food producers, cafés, and restaurants, Marlborough is an epicurean delight. After breakfast, take a behind the scenes look at life as a winemaker, commencing with a tour of a select vineyard and inside a working winery where you’ll learn about the winemaking process from vineyard to bottle. You’ll then be guided through a wine blending session where you can create your very own signature bottle of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, perfectly blended to suit your palate.

Following your winemaking experience, enjoy a gourmet platter lunch and a guided wine tasting.

You’ll have the remainder of the afternoon at leisure before dining at a local restaurant for your evening meal.

Hotel d’Urville | Meals: BLD

Day 4: Blenheim – Kaikoura | Immersion in Nature

After a leisurely breakfast, depart Blenheim and continue your journey south to Kaikoura. This quaint coastal town is the perfect place for marine-life encounters, coastal walks, and indulging in a mouth-watering plate of crayfish, set in a picturesque location between the rugged Seaward Kaikoura Range and the Pacific Ocean.

On arrival, experience an unforgettable heli-picnic on top of Mt Fyffe. Wash down your locally prepared picnic hamper with a bottle of Marlborough wine as you soak up the breathtaking 360-degree views of the mountain ranges, Kaikoura Peninsula and the surrounding ocean.

Back on land, transfer to Hapuku Lodge, your luxury accommodation for the next two nights.

Sitting snuggly at the base of the spectacular Kaikoura Seaward Mountains with views across Kaikoura Coast and Mangamanu Bay, beautiful Hapuku Lodge is located on a deer breeding farm and provides a luxurious base from which to explore this stunning area.

Your stay here will be in one of the Lodge’s luxury Tree Houses, nested 10-metres above the ground in the canopy of a native Manuka Grove, designed to complement the natural environment with large windows bringing the tree canopies into the bedroom and providing impressive views of Kaikoura’s dramatic mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

Spend the remainder of the afternoon at leisure soaking up the breathtaking views from your elevated bedroom or by the fire with a glass of wine. For something more active, walk to the nearby beach or bike ride along a Hapuku trail.

Join your group early evening for sundowner drinks and canapes on the grounds of the Lodge before enjoying a delicious dinner, made with produce sourced from the lodge’s own garden, free-range chickens and olive grove.

Hapuku Lodge | Meals: BLD

Day 5: Kaikoura | Reconnecting with Land and Sea

This morning, enjoy a hands-on farm-to-table cooking class at Hapuku Kitchen on a culinary adventure designed to reconnect the kitchen to the land and sea whilst taking inspiration from the wild Kaikoura landscape.

Hapuku Kitchen owner, renowned chef and former MasterChef finalist, Fiona Read will discuss your menu for the day then take you on tour around the property, foraging in the garden for fruit, vegetables and herbs along the way.

Return to the kitchen with your harvest to prepare the dishes under Fiona’s guidance in this relaxing space as you reconnect with nature and the very food you prepare.

Your morning concludes after dining on your creations, washed down with wine and beer from some of Fiona’s favourite Canterbury and Marlborough winemakers and brewers.

This afternoon, experience an unforgettable up-close encounter with Kaikoura’s abundant marine life.

With around 80% of the world’s whale and dolphin species migrating past the Kaikoura coastline, you may also see a rich variety of whale species including giant sperm whales, orca’s, humpback's and southern right whales as well as bottlenose dolphins, New Zealand's tiny Hector’s dolphins, New Zealand fur seals and royal albatross.

Enjoy your cruise from the comfort of the Captain’s Cabin, situated on the upper deck in the wheelhouse. With premium views, the Captain’s Cabin provides exclusive access to the Captain and a dedicated tour host for the duration of your cruise.

Return to your lodge this evening for dinner.

Hapuku Lodge | BLD

Day 6: Kaikoura - Christchurch | From Coast to Garden City

After breakfast, travel by road to scenic Christchurch, known as the "Garden City" for its expansive parks and well-tended gardens.

En route stop for lunch and a wine tasting at Black Estate, an organic winery making natural wines by hand from fruit grown organically and biodynamically in their three small vineyards.

Arrive into Christchurch with some time at leisure, before an afternoon visit to the Riverside Market, a vibrant indoor farmers market overlooking the Avon River in the heart of the city. A chef will take you on a guided tour of the market, where you can sample local delights as you go before a delicious dinner in a nearby restaurant.

The George | Meals: BD

Day 7: Christchurch | Touch of France in Akaroa

Today enjoy a full day tour to Akaroa, the only town in New Zealand settled by the French. Travel over the breathtaking Banks Peninsula, one of New Zealand’s most unique landforms which affords glorious views of sprawling farmland, Akaroa and Lyttelton Harbours, the Canterbury Plains, set against a backdrop of the distant Southern Alps. The region was formed following violent eruptions of volcanoes over 6 million years ago while the picturesque town of Akaroa itself sits in an ancient volcanic crater.

You’ll have the opportunity to wander around the charming 175-year-old French harbourside village of Akaroa with its museums, art and craft shops and studios before enjoying lunch at an award-winning cafe.

On the journey back to Christchurch, visit the cheese factory at Barry's Bay, the Little River Art Gallery and, if time permits, Vince's Gemstone Museum.

The George | Meals: BL

Day 8: Christchurch – Queenstown | Journey for the Tastebuds

Continue your journey south today with a short flight to Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. A picturesque resort town, Queenstown is built on inlet around majestic Lake Wakatipu and set against the dramatic southern alps.

Drive through downtown Queenstown before visiting Zenkuro Sake, New Zealand’s first and only Sake brewery. Using highly polished Sake rice from Japan and water sourced from New Zealand’s Southern Alps, Zenkuro produces a premium grade, unique style of Sake with well-balanced flavours. Learn the process of Sake making, followed by a tasting of their award-winning range.

Continue to The Rees, located on the shores of beautiful Lake Wakatipu and your base for the next three nights in a lake view room.

This evening, take part in an indulgent progressive dinner hosted at a selection of iconic and hidden gems around Queenstown on a gastronomic feast. With each venue comes a specially prepared course showcasing fine wine and delectable food perfectly complimented with Kiwi hospitality.

The Rees | Meals: BD

Day 9: Queenstown | Whisky and Wine

This morning, witness the spectacular vistas of the Wakatipu Basin on a scenic drive from Queenstown to Cardrona driving on the Crown Range, the highest main road in New Zealand and undoubtedly one of the most picturesque. Visit the Cardrona Distillery and learn the whisky-making process from grain to glass before a stop at the iconic Cardrona Pub. From there, descend into the charming Gibbston Valley, a world class Pinot Noir region. Enjoy wine tasting and a lunch at some of the region’s top local wineries.

The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore Queenstown’s eclectic shops and diverse range of dining options.

The Rees | Meals: BL

Day 10: Queenstown | Design Your Day

Continue your exploration of Queenstown and Design Your Day with your choice of activities:

Dart River Wilderness Jet
Experience an exhilarating and spectacular jet boating journey deep into the heart of the world-renowned Mt Aspiring National Park. Skim across the glacier-fed waters of the Dart River, witnessing the breathtaking scenery as you go. Back on land, learn about the area's history, the Greenstone trail and countless Maori legends from your highly informative guide as you walk amongst an ancient beech forest, unchanged for 80 million years, and view the epic scenery – a backdrop for many Middle Earth scenes in the Lord of the Rings movies.

Bike the Bridges
After a transfer to the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown, enjoy a half-day cycling tour of Queenstown’s trails by electric bike. Begin on the beautiful Arrow River Trail, following the river downstream to where it meets the Kawarau River. Experience a spectacular ride across two spectacular suspension bridges before joining the original miners trail across the famous Kawarau suspension bridge, home to the world's first bungy jump. Conclude your ride in Gibbston Valley where you’ll stop for a wine tasting before transferring back to Queenstown.

Thomas Brown Artist Visit
Visit the Thomas L Brown Gallery, a former cheese factory originally built in 1912 and converted into a studio and gallery by Thomas Brown in 1992. Enjoy a visit from the artist himself, a delightful and highly educated man who studied art as a copyist at the Louvre Museum in Paris. From Paris he travelled to Switzerland where he captured the beauty of the Swiss Alps in his oil paintings. During his travels he’s held exhibitions in the United States, Peru and New Zealand.

The perfect end to a memorable day, enjoy a cruise aboard private charter, Pacific Jemm as you explore Lake Wakatipu’s secluded coves and towering mountain ranges, private beaches, and a vibrant inner harbour. Soak up the stunning sunset views with drinks and canapés before dining on a gourmet BBQ prepared by the Head Chef.

The Rees | Meals: BD

Day 11: Depart Queenstown

After breakfast, transfer to Queenstown Airport where your gastronomic adventure comes to an end.

Meals: B

Journey Details

Internal air included

Note: November departure Days 8 and 10 dinners have been reversed. February departure the Day 6 winery may differ. Please contact A&K for details.

Inclusions:

All accommodation as detailed on a double/twin share basis with private facilities; Flights as specified in the itinerary; Meals as specified; Bottled water during transfers and touring; Wine and beer with all included dinners; Airport welcome; Assistance with luggage and group transportation by private air-conditioned vehicle; Services of local guide(s) in select locations; All entrance fees, planning, handling, operational and communication charges.

Note: Proof of COVID-19 full vaccination is required for this program.

Show Full Itinerary
Preferred Accommodation

Preferred Accommodation

This journey features the following Preferred Accommodations:

QT Wellington

Gourmet Secrets of New Zealand – A Small Group Journey (2022-23)

Checking-in at QT Wellington is a bit like venturing down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. Get ready for a dose of the absurd and ... Read more

Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses

Gourmet Secrets of New Zealand – A Small Group Journey (2022-23)

Framed by the beautiful Kaikoura Mountains and just one kilometre from the spectacular Kaikoura coast, Hapuku Lodge has a unique country ... Read more

The George, Christchurch

Gourmet Secrets of New Zealand – A Small Group Journey (2022-23)

Located in the heart of Christchurch, The George Hotel is a small luxury boutique hotel just minutes from the city centre and main attrac... Read more

The Rees, Queenstown

Gourmet Secrets of New Zealand – A Small Group Journey (2022-23)

Quiet, private and sophisticated, The Rees Hotel Queenstown epitomises southern hospitality at its finest and an authentic New Zealand ex... Read more

Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Nov 13, 2022 - Nov 23, 2022
Price AU$11,280pp Single Supplement AU$3,365 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Available Enquire
Feb 16, 2023 - Feb 26, 2023
Price AU$11,280pp Single Supplement AU$3,365 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Available Enquire
Mar 21, 2023 - Mar 31, 2023
Price AU$11,280pp Single Supplement AU$3,365 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Available Enquire
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