Taste of the North Island

    enquire now 8 Days From NZD $4,550 pp twinshare
    Small group
    Terms & Conditions apply

    Your picturesque North Island journey is specially designed to connect you exclusively with locals, as you sample regional produce and visit three world-renowned wineries. Travel local and feel like a VIP with food and wine experiences in Martinborough that are designed just for Insight guests, including visits to Olivo, Palliser Estate & a cooking school at Union Square.

    This trip is part of Insight Vacations’ Local Escapes, a selection of local journeys that feature a max of 22 guests, staggered seating on the coach and the potential to have a double seat if travelling solo. Insight Vacations has new measures in place to allow for comfortable physical distancing all while guests explore close to home.


    DAY 1 Welcome To Wellington
    Your Private Driver meets you at Wellington Airport and transfers you to your hotel. Spend some time to relax or perhaps go for a stroll and see the nearby iconic Beehive Parliament Building. Meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers at 11:00 to kick off your culinary adventure across the North Island. Get to know New Zealand’s cool capital with a Local Expert as you discover the waterfront, the bohemian Cuba St precinct and hear about the buzzing food and drinks scene. Once dimly lit back alleys, these newly rejuvenated laneways are now home to some of the country’s funkiest bars, boutiques and breweries. Experience a private tasting of a premium batch of peanut butter made by an artisan supplier and sample Wellington’s very own chocolate. Tonight, get to know your fellow travellers at your Welcome Dinner. (Dinner with Wine)

    DAY 2 Relaxed Start – Cheese And Wine Of Wairarapa
    Leave the city after a relaxed start to the day and travel to nearby Featherston at the foothills of the Remutaka Range. Sample a selection of delicious cheeses presented by the passionate people behind the C’est Cheese artisan deli, housed in the historic 19th Century Anderson Building. Then, visit nearby Greytown, one of New Zealand’s prettiest small towns. Stroll among independent boutiques and cafes, cute colonial cottages and art galleries. In Martinborough, learn about the boutique Wairarapa Wine Country at your visit to the Palliser Estate. Hear about the uniqueness of the area, the types of wines produced and experience a tasting straight from the barrels. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel’s own Union Square Bistro & Bar, a modern restaurant with French influence. (Breakfast, Dinner with Wine)

    DAY 3 Relaxed Start – Martinborough Delights
    This morning meet Helen and John, the couple behind Olivo, the oldest commercial olive grove of the area with the mission to produce oils that are boutique, artisan and gorgeous. Follow the olives’ journey from tree to table as you learn about production, tasting as professionals, and recipes. Return to the Union Square Bistro and get hands-on in a private, group cooking lesson with the chef as you prepare lunch then dine with the restaurant team. Take the rest of the day to relax or perhaps visit the Wine Bank housing, Martinborough’s most comprehensive range of locally produced wine. (Breakfast, Lunch with Wine)

    DAY 4 On The Classic Wine Trail To Hawke’s Bay
    Today’s journey takes you through the lush farmlands of the Tararua district, once known as the Seventy Mile Bush. The area was cleared for farming by Scandinavians in the 19th Century and the mark of these early settlers is visible in local townships. Arrive to Havelock North in Hawke’s Bay, the country’s oldest wine growing region. This evening set out for your dining and wine pairing experience to Craggy Range at the foot of the towering Te Mata Peak. The winery is run by the passionate Peabody family who purchased the empty plot nearly 30 years ago, starting from scratch to focus on quality right from the beginning. (Breakfast, Dinner with Wine)

    DAY 5 Hawke’s Bay Exploration

    During the 1931 earthquake, Napier was severely affected as its commercial centre was completely destroyed. It was swiftly rebuilt in primarily Art Deco style, the fashionable choice at the time and became known for its high concentration of 1930’s buildings worldwide. Explore Hawke’s Bay with Insight Choice. Step back in time by taking a tour in a vintage car and visiting the majestic Municipal Theatre. Alternatively, get on two wheels and take a relaxing bike ride from the city centre on the Ahuriri Estuary Trail to the Taradale Wineries. Later, come together and indulge in an included lunch at a local award-winning winery. Return to Havelock North and enjoy the rest of your day at leisure. (Breakfast, Lunch with Wine)

    DAY 6 Relaxed Start – On The Way To Rotorua
    After your Relaxed Start, join the Thermal Explorer Highway and cross the Ruahine Range as you approach New Zealand’s largest freshwater lake at Taupo. Pass the ‘Sleeping Lady’ Mt Tauhara and admire the roaring Huka Falls on the Waikato, the country’s longest river. Visit the Waimangu Volcanic Valley and join a guided tour to connect with the beating heart of the world’s youngest geothermal valley, followed by a relaxing cruise around the tranquil waters of Lake Rotomahana. Later, arrive at Rotorua. (B)

    DAY 7 Redwoods And Celebrations
    This morning, marvel at the 118-year-old giant redwood trees sitting in Whakarewarewa Forest, one of the oldest exotic forests in New Zealand. Ascending to the breath-taking Redwoods Treewalk, enjoy a unique birds’ eye perspective of the forest below and treetops above. Toast new memories with your fellow travellers at your Celebration Dinner at the interactive Eight Restaurant, offering eight international cuisines. (Breakfast, Dinner with Wine)

    DAY 8 Farewell Auckland
    After breakfast, your North Island adventure comes to an end. Take your complimentary transfer to Auckland airport for your onward journey. (Breakfast)