Get a real taste of New Zealand.

Wine touring makes a perfect date for two, but can also be the perfect gift for wine aficionados. And if you’re ever in New Zealand, we consider it a must-do. Nothing beats the subtleties of New Zealand wine; whether it’s from Marlborough, Martinborough or the fresh, secret wine region of Waitaki. And, of course, there are more regions than that to choose from. To help narrow down the winding list for you, we’ve chosen the top five wine tours in New Zealand. Cheers, everyone!

Discover the secret region of Waitaki 

River T Estate vineyard. Image: River T Estate

Waitaki is New Zealand’s newest wine region and it is already quietly making some of New Zealand’s best drops. The best way to get around the Waitaki Valley and its wineries is with Oamaru local Sue Mansworth who runs Waitaki Wine Tours. Sue warmly welcomes her guests and takes them on an intimate tour of the Waitaki wine region. Departing from Oamaru, the tour will take a maximum of six guests to some of the region’s best wineries. The boutique vineyards are a fantastic opportunity to get up close with the people behind the labels and hear them share their passion and stories.

$160pp // Book a tour

Take a walking wine experience in Central Otago

Wooing Tree tasting room. Image: Wooing Tree

In Central Otago, New Zealand’s pinot noir heartland, you can stroll throughout the region on a free walking wine tour that visits four premium wine tasting rooms. As well as tasting Central Otago’s famous pinot noir, wine selections include pinot gris, rosé, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, gewürztraminer, riesling, sparkling and even a beer option at one of the tasting rooms. The eight-kilometre tour takes three to four hours to complete, including stops at Misha’s VineyardAurum WinesScott Base and Wooing Tree Vineyard. Be sure to keep that camera handy as you wander through the vineyards and along the serene Lake Dunstan.

Free to walk // Book a tour

Bike the vines in Marlborough

Bike riders, Marlborough. Image: Mike Heydon

The Marlborough region is New Zealand’s largest wine-growing area, producing 77% of New Zealand’s total wine production. Marlborough’s unique terroir of free-draining, alluvial loams over gravel and sheltered climate, provide the ideal conditions for producing world-acclaimed wines. In this tour, simply hop on a bike and ride through Marlborough’s Golden Mile via Rapaura and Renwick. The six-kilometre ride features nine wineries with dining, art and cold drink stops along the way. On the way, sample some world-renowned sauvignon blanc, rising star pinot noir, chardonnay, cuvee, riesling, pinot gris, Montepulciano and much more.

$35 // Book a tour

Traverse Waiheke Island’s views, vines and wines

Tantalus Estate. Image: Mona Masoumi

The intimate and interactive tours on Waiheke Island show off the distinct, artisan taste of the area, which includes the stunning scenic backdrop. You won’t get on a big bus with these guys, just a small shuttle fitting no more than nine people. Visit three of the 21 vineyards on Waiheke and meet the passionate experts behind them, tasting at least 15 wines which can be bought and shipped at your request. The fee does not include lunch, but they are more than happy to transfer you to one of their recommended lunch spots, especially in peak season and on winter weekends.

$130pp // Book a tour

Experience the complete beauty of Martinborough 

Palliser Estate. Image: Facebook

Experience the complete beauty of Martinborough with the ultimate food and wine tour. Get picked up in a luxury vehicle and taken around the stunning village. First stop is Palliser Estate, with a specialised wine and cheese pairing, before having lunch at a boutique cellar door. Then journey down the ‘Golden Mile’ road of vineyards to Te Kairanga Estate, before a Tree-to-Table tour at the award-winning Olivo Olive Grove known for daring infusions like smoked paprika, cumin and saffron. Finally, top it all off with one last wine tasting and a vineyard platter to complement. Fun fact: Martinborough has a similar climate to Burgundy in France.

$395pp // Book a tour