DAY 1 – QUEENSTOWN
Arrive Queenstown. You will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel – the QT Queenstown where we will spend the next seven nights. Jemma will be at the hotel to greet you. Check-in, rest and relax.
This evening we will meet for a pre-dinner drink before enjoying our Welcome Dinner (at the hotel).
Overnight: QT Boutique Hotel (Welcome Dinner)
Day 2 – Queenstown & Surrounds Tour
Queenstown & surrounds touring.
Today we have a Private Tour discovering the amazing surrounds of Queenstown.
We get picked up at the hotel, then make our way to historic Arrowtown, which was swarmed firstly by European gold prospectors in the 1860’s, then by 5,000 Chinese who were invited to try their luck among the leftovers. We will walk among the tiny restored cottages of their settlement and wander down the main street of this exquisite little town with its charming historic buildings. Arrowtown’s shops are owned and operated by local people and between them, Buckingham Street and Ramshaw Lane are home to fashion stores, art galleries selling local and international art, jewellery made of gold taken from the Arrow River or a pounamu pendant carved in-store. You’ll also find handmade confectionery, local cheese, and New Zealand wines.
After a wander, we will make a stop at a local Artists’ Studio. Jenny Mehrtens is an Arrowtown based artist, primarily a painter. Her journey into the art she has been producing in recent years has come from an interest in the history of Aotearoa/New Zealand. This has led her on an exploration of artefacts and archival photos and learning Te Reo Maori.
From here, we visit the fabulous Wet Jacket for a tasting, and there certainly isn’t a more unique Central Otago wine experience in the region. Placed right at the beginning of the Gibbston Wine Trail, just after Lake Hayes, there are very few places you can actually see Wet Jacket in its natural habitat as it is only being available for purchase or consumption at the Cellar Door or in an elite handful of New Zealand’s best restaurants. A special stop…
And now to fabulous Amisfield Restaurant for a lingering ‘Trust The Chef’ 3-course lunch. *Chef
Vaughan Mabee was awarded Chef of The Year at the 2019 Cuisine Good Food Awards. Everything about Amisfield reflects Central Otago, including the dramatic stone building that houses the acclaimed Bistro and Cellar Door. The three-hatted restaurant experience takes you on a culinary journey through the tastes of a place that has become an essential destination for gourmands and vinophiles.
En-route back to Queenstown, we will stop off for a final late afternoon tipple at the gorgeous Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan, where we can enjoy the beautiful garden setting and the historic cottage they have lovingly restored
We return to Queenstown and your evening is free. You can wander into town and have a drink at Eichardt’s Bar lounge, open since 1867, serving cocktails, tapas & champagne in a chic, cozy atmosphere.
Overnight: QT Boutique Hotel (B / L / Wine Tastings)
Day 3 – Queenstown – Free Day
Today is your day to indulge. It is your free time to do as much, or as little as you please.
We will be on hand to help you organise whatever you would like to do today, but here are a few suggestions:
– The Queenstown Hill walk
– The Tiki Trail walk
– Moke Lake walk
– Gibbston Valley Bike Wine Tour
– Queenstown to Arrowtown Bike Tour
– Bike The Bridges
– The Basin Explorer
**all these can be Guided or Self-Guided, and can be on E-Bikes also.
– Yoga at Nadi Wellness
– Salt Float Spa
– Forme Day Spa
Overnight QT Hotel. (B)
Day 4 – Queenstown – Bannockburn Wine Touring
Private Wine Tour to Bannockburn – showcasing the best in fine wines made at top wineries and vineyards.
Central Otago is one of the Southern-most grape growing regions in the world and is arguably the world’s most spectacular setting for vineyards. The first wine-grapes were planted here back in 1864, and today is best known for its rich, mineral laden Pinot Noir and its’ dramatic landscape.
Bannockburn is a surprising oasis of vineyards, heritage sites and fantastic vistas. The surrounding area offers a
chance to discover the unique tastes of Central Otago and gold mining heritage.
Our first stop will be Chard Farm, in the Gibbston area. Chard Farm is a family-owned winery located on a spectacular terrace above the Kawarau River Gorge. The winery channels the classic cool climate varietals championed in great wine-producing regions like Burgundy and Alsace to create some of Central Otago’s finest drops.
We then visit Terra Sancta, which means special place. Terra Sancta Estate on Felton Road is home to the first vines planted in Bannockburn.
From here we visit the stunning Te Kano Estate Cellar Door, which cantilevers out into the landscape, gifting you dramatic views of the Kawarau River, Cromwell Basin and the mountains beyond. Te Kano (Maori for seed), celebrates the lone surviving Kowhai tree affectionately known as ‘Old Man Kowhai’ on the Northburn slopes above Lake Dunstan.
And now we stop for lunch. Be prepared to lose the afternoon dining on an amazing Tapas share meal at The Bannockburn Hotel, who are privileged to look out over some of the finest vineyards, landscapes and mountain scenery in the world. Take in the views and the history; this hotel was granted the first liquor license in Central Otago.
We return to Queenstown and our evening is free.
Overnight: QT Boutique Hotel (B / Tapas Lunch / Wine Tastings)
Day 5 – Queenstown – Picnic on a Peak
Today is an AMAZING day!
We start our day with a transfer from the hotel to our private helicopter, which will take us on a breath-taking journey through dramatic mountains and glaciers. We will finally settle atop a picturesque peak – a location with 180-degree views of the Wakatipu Basin and overlooking Queenstown – where we will be served a gourmet picnic, complete with Champagne/Wine and a spectacular backdrop.
Queenstown has some of the most breath-taking scenery in New Zealand and there could be no better way to enjoy the remarkable views of Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps, than enjoying a champagne gourmet picnic perched high up on one of the peaks.
We will enjoy our champagne picnic of meats, cheeses, salad, fruit, and a selection of beverages for as long as we desire. The helicopter will return to collect us when we are ready – and provide us with a bird’s-eye view of Queenstown before heading back to the heli base.
This is a stunning combination of the tranquility of the remote mountain location, together with the excitement of a helicopter flight over beautiful surroundings and accompanied with local food & beverage delights.
We return to our hotel in the afternoon. Our evening is free. But you will need your rest for tomorrows big day…
*NOTE: We understand that helicopters may not be to everyone’s liking. We want this to be an absolutely magical experience, so we do not want anyone coming along that would not feel they would be able to fully appreciate it. And yes, it is a Big Ticket experience. If this is something you know you would struggle with and prefer not to do, please let us know upon Booking as we will deduct this excursion from your Tour Cost. This means you have another Free Day to do exactly as you please. This is the ONLY excursion we can deduct from the tour individually. Your Insurance Policy must cover an activity such as this
Overnight: QT Boutique Hotel (B / Gourmet Picnic Lunch with Wine / Champagne)
Day 6 – Queenstown – Milford Sound
A big day! Approx 12 hours in total. We will be leaving Queenstown at 7.30am.
Today we have a full day tour to Milford Sound where we will experience a stunning two-hour small boat nature cruise on the fjord – see waterfalls, fur seals and occasionally dolphins. We will be travelling in comfort and style in a van fully equipped with panoramic windows for superior viewing with complimentary Wi-Fi, bottled water, and videos onboard so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the stunning scenery.
We will travel through Fiordland National Park, driving through stunning scenery along the Milford Road into Fiordland, where our cruise boat awaits us. Visiting Milford Sound’s pristine natural environment is an incredibly special experience. You will get up close to nature and experience the fiord in all its glory, while learning about the fragile ecosystem in the surrounding forests and in the waters below.
Enjoy a delicious picnic lunch as well as enjoying plenty of off the beaten track visits away from the crowds.
After our cruise, we will return by road back to Queenstown.
*We are offering a Coach/Cruise/Fly option for this excursion. Travel to Milford Sound by coach, take a cruise on the fiord, and then return home by air. Seeing Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park from the air is an exhilarating experience and you will see all the amazing landscapes you travelled through in the morning from high above: fly above ancient glaciers, rugged mountaintops and dense native rainforest on your way back to Queenstown Airport. Flights from Milford Sound to Queenstown take approximately 45 minutes. This is an added cost and needs to be booked when you book on this tour. The flight is weather dependent of course.
You arrive back in Queenstown and are transferred back to the hotel.
There will be canapes waiting for us at the hotel when we arrive.
Overnight QT. (B, Picnic Lunch / Canapes at the hotel)
Day 7 – Queenstown – Pamper Day
This morning is a well-earned sleep in!
This afternoon we visit the Onsen Hot Pools and delight in an Ultimate Relaxation Experience. The Onsen Hot Pools experience is all about unwinding and soaking-up Queenstown’s spectacular scenery. Your divine experience begins with a 45-minute soak in one of the classic, original cedar-lined hot tubs while you enjoy a complimentary drink and snack and soak up the incredible views of the southern landscape.
Once relaxed, calm and warm, we will then transfer out to Millbrook Spa and be treated to a Signature Massage in the peaceful day spa room; a truly aromatic journey for the mind, body and soul.
We return to the hotel and prepare for our final evening together.
This evening we will dine at RATA, one of our favourite local restaurants.
Overnight QT Hotel. (B, Farewell Dinner)
Day 8 – Departure
Today is our final day.
After breakfast, or at your requested time, you will be transferred to the Queenstown airport for your departure flight.