Plan your journey
Let's start planning your journey along the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail. We recommend taking it slow and savoring every sip of the journey.
Driving from north to south:
From Auckland follow the Thermal Explorer Highway or the Pacific Coast Highway to Napier, joining the Wine Trail in Hawke’s Bay.
Starting in the South Island:
From Christchurch jump on the scenic rail journey known as the Coastal Pacific which links to Blenheim to begin the Wine Trail in Marlborough.
Travelling between the North and South Islands:
Interislander ferries travel between the North and South Islands of New Zealand and the trip is one of the most spectacular cruises in the world. With 92 km of breathtaking views, the three-hour journey between Wellington and Picton really is one of New Zealand's most iconic tourism activities.
Taking a vehicle on the Interislander is as easy as parking in a building - simply drive on and drive off. Travel in style and upgrade to the Premium Plus lounges on-board which include free wifi, a hot meal, and beverages.
Alternatively, fly 30 minutes between Wellington and Picton.
How many days
Four to six days is recommended so you can visit each region and only have to drive for around three hours a day. You could easily spend longer though - if you don’t want to rush good food and wine try and give yourself a minimum of two days in each region.
Allow plenty of time for tastings, picnics and soaking up the scenery. Along this route traffic is generally light, and the roads and highways are high quality so driving is stress free.
Look for a sign
The Classic New Zealand Wine Trail is well sign-posted the entire journey. The brown grape signs start from Napier and are dotted along State Highway 2, through Tararua and Wairarapa to Wellington’s ferry terminals and airport.
Once you’ve crossed Cook Strait and arrived on the South Island, the brown grape signs will be there to guide you through Marlborough.
On two wheels
How about experiencing the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail by bicycle? There's a variety of scenery, terrain and routes to suit all abilities. Bike hire is easy with plenty of options available, from self-guided cycling the vines to mountain biking in the capital or, for those seeking more adventure, riding the entire Wine Trail.