9 Day – Exclusive Private Guided Wine/Food and Nature Tour – Wellington, Upper South Island
Discover our food capital Wellington, and taste our country’s wine and food at some of our top wineries in Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough, while exploring this vibrant region with its stunning natural landscapes.
Your Guide - Veronika Vermeulen
Aroha Luxury New Zealand Tours is owned and operated by Veronika Vermeulen, the person you can expect to greet you upon arrival in this country. Whether in the company of Veronika or one of her hand-selected guides you will feel personally assured you are in the best hands this country has to offer. This European born "Kiwi" has earned her tour business an exceptional reputation as a leader in NZ's tourism trade, both here and abroad. She says she found an inner rapport with New Zealand’s abundant water, flora, fauna, and last, but not least, its people - especially the native Māori and the richness of their culture. "The traditions of the Māori are intensely intriguing, their lifestyle, their relationship with nature and family orientation all appeal to me", Veronika reflects, finally adding…"Here, I can truly be myself." Her love and passion for elite travel in New Zealand are infectious. “I listen to my clients’ requests carefully to develop an understanding of their wishes. And, in the end, they trust me to design their personal holiday", she says with a smile.
Situated at the southern end of the North Island, Wellington, New Zealand, was recently named "the coolest little capital in the world" by Lonely Planet. Surrounded by nature and fuelled by creative energy, Wellington is a compact city with a powerful mix of culture, history, nature and cuisine. Fuel your visit with strong coffee and world-class craft beer – Wellingtonians are masters of casual dining, with plenty of great restaurants, night markets and food trucks.Relax at Oriental Bay, Wellington’s golden-sand inner-city beach and delve into the many museums, art galleries and theatre shows that make up the city’s pulsing cultural scene.
Bolton Hotel (2 nights)
Aroha New Zealand Tours LTD (6 days)
Aroha’s guides aren’t just drivers. They are cultured, educated experts who are on hand to provide their advice and expertise and ensure that the people in their care are looked after and have the best holiday possible. They act as both private concierge and personal guide, invested in crafting memorable experiences and showing guests the true New Zealand through authentic experiences. They excel at unobtrusive, intuitive service – quick to jump in when needed, they also know when to slow down and step back and give guests time and space to themselves to relax, take a deep breath, and really soak up their surroundings.Private Guided Tour
Wellington - Hannahs Laneway
Hannahs Laneway is home to the Fix & Fogg shop window which offers peanut butter tastings and gourmet toast. Leeds Street Bakery in Hannahs Laneway is one of the celebrated artisan producers in this culinary hotspot. As well as those famous cookies (which come in regular and gluten-free versions), the bakery produces delicious bread and other baked goods which are supplied to cafés around Wellington. With the dream of creating a better-tasting world, the Wellington Chocolate Factory sets itself apart with their meticulous process. This labour of love beings with the team sourcing beans from around the world, whose origins influence the very distinct flavour characteristics of every bar this original Wonka factory produces. And as they craft each flavour, they tell a uniquely Kiwi story. After years of working at some of London’s five-star hotels and high-end restaurants, British pastry chef Jackie Morrison moved to Wellington and saw an opportunity to really start creating the food she wanted to feed people. Morrison opened her brownie bar in the Hannahs Laneway culinary precinct where she makes brownie using laneway products including Fix & Fogg peanut butter and Wellington Chocolate Factory chocolate. The vegemite brownie is a must-try.
Golden Bay - Tasman
Before you lay eyes on Golden Bay, you'll enjoy an amazingly scenic road journey over the Takaka Hill, known also as 'marble mountain'. There are signposted lookouts along the way and the subterranean marvels of Harwoods Hole (176 metres deep) and the Ngarua Caves shouldn't be missed. Te Waikoropupū Springs (also known as Pupu Springs) are the largest freshwater springs in New Zealand and the largest coldwater springs in the southern hemisphere, with a clarity rating of 75m, meaning they also contain some of the clearest water ever measured. The springs are located on the other side of the hill, near the town of Takaka, and are a 'wahi tapu' - sacred place - to the local Maori tribe. You can take a leisurely stroll around the walkways and read the interpretive panels along the way.
Wharariki Beach NZ
A easy walk along the most spectacular coastline in the region, passing through farmland and forest. The track to Wharariki Beach travels over farm paddocks and through a section of coastal forest, before arriving a the beautiful windswept coast. The best time to visit is at low tide, when you can walk the length of the beach and take in spectacular coastlines, caverns, islands, and enormous sand dunes along the way.
Westhaven Luxury Lodge (2 nights)
Westhaven Lodge is a dream that evolved over ten years. It’s a hideaway dream we want to share with you. To make your stay even more memorable every detail has been considered. From the remote, peaceful location, to accommodation in luxurious suites and rooms. Accommodation is provided in one of five luxurious Lodge Rooms overlooking a wilderness setting. All rooms enjoy a private terrace providing panoramic views over the Westhaven Bay and Kahurangi National Park. Each room has their own private terrace, comfortable super king sized beds, stylish sitting area and walk-in wardrobe. All of the en suite bathrooms feature granite topped vanities and hydro-jet shower.
Westhaven Retreat Safari Tour
Private guided Eco Tour
Westhaven Luxury Lodge Hikes and activties
The 404.6 hectare (1000 acre) private peninsula is a natural wilderness sanctuary. Bordering as it does, the protected Marine and Wildlife Reserve as well as the Kahurangi National Park. Hiking in this, one of New Zealand’s most dramatic coastlines, you will find secluded private beaches, incredible rock formations and the largest Nikau Palm forest. Or, if you prefer, you can join our guide on a hiking tour for an introduction to New Zealand’s plants, animals and Maori traditions. Explore more than seven wide and easy walking tracks, ranging from 15 minutes to 3 hours walking. Also available are guided tours such as kayaking, coastal fishing, mountain biking, Farm and Safari tour.
Golden Bay and the South Island's northwest coast are renowned for their diverse and ancient landforms, endemic plants, abundant birdlife and outstanding scenery. Westhaven (Whanganui Inlet) is part of this paradise. It is one of the largest and least modified estuaries in the country. An uninterrupted sequence of plant life, from forest to salt marsh, helps to maintain the estuary's overall health and supports a great diversity of life. Much of the inlet is bordered by coastal forest, including kahikatea, pukatea, rata, beech, rimu and nikau palm. Eelgrass beds, salt marshes, tidal wetlands, dunes, cliffs, islands, rock platforms and underwater reefs are all found at Westhaven and are important habitats for a variety of species. Approximately 30 species of marine fish use the inlet at some stage of their life history. It is an important breeding and nursery area for snapper, flatfish, kahawai and whitebait. Many fish enter the estuary to take advantage of the rich food supply found in the eelgrass beds and intertidal sandflats.
Just 30 minutes from Nelson City, the charming seaside villages of Mapua & Ruby Coast are increasingly becoming favourite holiday spots for tourists and locals alike. With a lively cluster of restaurants, art galleries, wine bars and a craft brewery, Mapua is the perfect place to relax and unwind for a long weekend away. Hire a bike and cycle Tasman's Great Taste Trail, which stretches from central Nelson through to Motueka. Just offshore, Rabbit Island offers a treat for mountain bikers with a network of trails just waiting to be explored. A little ferry departs Mapua Wharf regularly for the Island, with room for passengers and their bikes.
One of the sunniest cities in New Zealand, Nelson buzzes with creative energy and has a vast array of activities, both indoors and outdoors. Nelson is an entertaining city in many ways. From the city centre it is an easy walk to the geographical centre of New Zealand, where you can enjoy stunning views of the city, port, Tasman Bay and surrounding mountains. The base of the Centre of New Zealand, Botanic Gardens, are a great place from which to begin a cycle ride, taking you on a journey along the Maitai River and past numerous local sculptures. Or, for the mountain-bike enthusiasts, Dun Mountain and Codgers are a must-do during your visit. During the week, the Wednesday Farmers Market is the place to go to try local artisan products and fresh produce, or for weekend visitors, Nelson's Saturday Market offers a range of prepared and raw foods, flowers, clothing, art and atmosphere.
Luxury Escapes Nelson | Te Koi - The Lodge at Bronte (2 nights)
Immerse yourself in pure luxury at this secluded retreat looking out to the stunning waters of the Waimea Estuary. Te Koi the Lodge offers the ultimate escape for the seasoned traveler - a luxury lodge filled with charm and basking in natural beauty. Set amidst luscious gardens on a secluded point overlooking the stunning waters of the Waimea Estuary, Te Koi plays to all the senses. Seasoned Chef, Ali, and Sommelier, Ian Metcalfe are at your service for specially prepared dinners featuring local delicacies, matched with delicious wines from the region. Specially chartered helicopter and boat trips can be arranged to explore the local surrounds in style.
Abel Tasman Eco Tours
Golden Future Nature Cruise
Abel Tasman NZ
The Abel Tasman National Park is an easily-accessible coastal paradise. You can choose to explore the park from land, on the water, or in the air, with tour operators aplenty offering cruises, water taxi services, kayaking options, heli-tours and sailing catamarans. Whilst summer is a popular time to visit, locals believe that the shoulder seasons are actually the best time to explore the park, as crisp mornings, calm waters and quiet beaches allow you to truly enjoy the peace and serenity. Here, inviting sandy beaches fill the spaces between trees and tide line. Crystal clear streams tumble down mossy valleys to join the ocean. Granite and marble formations fringe the headlands, which are cloaked in regenerating native forest. At Te Puketea Bay, a perfect crescent of golden sand, a walking track leads up Pitt Head to an ancient Maori pa (fort) site. Terracing and food pits are still visible, and it's easy to see why the location was chosen as a defensive site - the views are huge. Native wildlife is an essential part of the scenery. Tui and bellbird song fills the forest; shags (cormorants), gannets and little blue penguins dive for their dinner; fur seals lounge on the rocks around the edge of Tonga Island.
The heart of the Marlborough Sounds, this picturesque port town is home to great cafés, restaurants, galleries and specialty shops.
Marlborough Wineries NZ
With robust aromas and crisp flavours of gooseberry and capsicum, sauvignon blanc has been a glittering success for New Zealand. And Marlborough plays a starring role in this success. The region has been producing wines since early pioneers recognised something special in the land and planted the first vineyards more than 140 years ago. Scores of vineyards rub shoulders along the Wairau and Awatere Valleys in Marlborough. In fact local Maori named the Wairau Valley “Kei puta te Wairau” or the place with the hole in the cloud. The vibrancy of flavour and aroma that distinguishes Marlborough's grapes is the result of a unique combination of soils, crisp nights and sun-kissed days across the region's vine-filled valleys, producing wines of unmatched intensity and aroma. Marlborough’s vast flat areas are also ideal for a gentle gourmet cycle tour.
Bay of Many Coves Resort (2 nights)
Bay of Many Coves is a luxury five-star resort, set in the heart of Queen Charlotte Sound, Marlborough. Nestled between stunning native bush and our secluded bay, you will enjoy an unforgettable experience: Whether you are seeking world-class cuisine, breath-taking scenery, adventure, or simply a sense of renewal, you will find it here, whatever the season. Our luxurious retreat is a sanctuary in every sense, surrounded by the timeless beauty of Nature within the Marlborough Sounds. Come summer or winter, it is a place to relax, escape the everyday, and discover the exceptional.
1 Bedroom Suite
Marlborough Sounds NZ
Enjoy long sheltered inlets, clear waters and sandy bays. Hike through the forest or kayak around the headlands to discover a fresh location each day. With 1500km of New Zealand's coastline, Marlborough Sounds is a collection of ancient sunken river valleys filled with the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Forested hills rise steeply from the sea around an intricate coastline of sheltered inlets and sandy bays. The area has three main bodies of water - Queen Charlotte, Kenepuru and Pelorus Sounds. The Department of Conservation manages over 50 reserves in this scenic playground.
Seafood Odyssea Cruise
Relax and enjoy the stunning Marlborough Sounds with the exclusive Seafood Odyssea Cruise, featuring Regal salmon, Cloudy Bay clams and Greenshell mussels with Marlborough sauvignon blanc for the definitive wine/food match. Enjoy the natural beauty of the Queen Charlotte Sound while cruising aboard our luxury launch that departs from Picton 4-5 times a week, all year round. Cruise near an aquaculture farm, learn about this industry in the Marlborough Sounds and take in the picturesque scenery.
Our guides are trained in first aid and hold Passenger Endorsement licences. They are also having a permit to operate guiding activities on Public Conservation Land. All guides are a member of Pro-guides Association and have a permanent resident or citizen of New Zealand. They currently work full or part-time as a Guide for Aroha NZ Tours and have work experience in New Zealand of no less than TWO seasons of guiding.