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New Zealand | Culinary Escape through the North and South Islands

Sample Itinerary


New Zealand, Auckland, Queenstown, Christchurch

Trip Duration

9 nights / 10 days

From intimate dining cottages and chic, celebrated restaurants to garden brasseries, waterfront bistros, and award-winning wineries and breweries, New Zealand features exceptional international gastronomy experiences in each region of the country. Indulge your taste buds with savory Pacific Rim seafood, signature lamb dishes and a bevy of cultural feasts. Delighting travelers with gracious Kiwi hospitality, your New Zealand culinary adventure awaits.

Below is just a sample of the immersive itineraries our Destination Specialists can create. Click on the experiences links in the itinerary to see other curated excursion choices offered by Journese. Our Destination Specialists are happy to book our hotels and excursions highlighted in the itinerary below or let them know if you would like something customized. And, feel free to offer our non-hyperlinked suggestions to your clients to further explore the destination.


Day 1: USA / New Zealand, Auckland |

After a comfortable 12 hour flight from Los Angeles to Auckland, relax in your private transfer as you take in the sights. Arrive at French-inspired Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour and settle into your Luxury marina view guestroom for four nights with club lounge access and benefits. Revel in spectacular views of Waitemata Harbor, and relax with a casual waterside lunch, freshly ground espresso or juice smoothie at 21 Viaduct Cafe.

Day 2: Auckland |

Discover New Zealand's culture on full-day Auckland Maori Excursion. An interactive experience delving into the unique cultural heritage with an indigenous Maori guide. Share the stories of the Maori people, learn about the language (te reo) and their culture (tikanga), including lunch. After a day of exploration, visit Clooneys, one of Auckland's chic and sophisticated fine dining restaurants, located in the heart of Freeman Bay. Delight in classical cuisine with evolutionary inspiration from Chef Desmond Harris including smoked duck ham, flash-cured venison and fresh fish dishes.

Day 3: Auckland |

Climb aboard a 50-foot sailing yacht in Auckland's magnificent harbor on the Auckland Harbour Dinner Cruise. Experience the beautiful shore and incredible skyline as you delight in a four-course seafood meal, including dessert. After an evening on the water, relish the remarkable views from high in Sky Tower or relax with a cocktail in the Sky Lounge Cafe and Bar.

Day 4:  Auckland |

Begin the day with the Taste of Auckland Experience. After a morning tour of the city, head out to Kumeu Wine Counry with your first stop at the award-winning Soljans Vineyard for a tasting and lunch. Delight in Mediterranean-style fare with a New Zealand twist. Continue on to Coppers Creek for an extensive tasting of a wide variety of wines, then take in the views and a few more sips at West Brook Winery.

Celebrate your final day with an extraordinary dining experience at The French Cafe. Savor a sophisticated blend of succulent French and classical cuisine and premium wines, starting with a delectable snapper ceviche and creme fraiche, followed by caramelized pork belly and scallops, and a sweet ending of poached rhubarb.

Days 5 - 6: Auckland / Queenstown |

After a short flight of less than two hours to the South Island, relax in your private transfer on the scenic drive to Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa for three nights in a luxurious superior suite with marble baths, French amenities and superb hospitality. The following day, enjoy the Gondola Ride and Dinner ... board an exciting gondola ride high above Queenstown on Bob's Peak. Enjoy picturesque vistas from the Coronet Peaks to The Remarkables, followed by a luscious Taste of New Zealand buffet dinner, featuring seasonal seafood, fresh salads and an array of desserts at the Skyline Restaurant.

Day 7: Queenstown |

Embark on an indulgent Gourmet Food & Wine Experience. Showcasing the best of the Central Otago region, savor a tasting journey of three contrasting wine sub-regions, Gibbston, Bannockburn and Cromwell. Then, enjoy a tour of New Zealand's largest wine cave with tastings of four premium blends, a cheeseboard with locally produced cheeses and a gourmet barrel-cooked lunch paired with matching wines.

Following a day of pure scenic inspiration, unwind with a hearty dinner at acclaimed Jervois Steak House, showcasing carefully selected meats and seafood dishes plus an array of wine varietals. Indulge in grain fed Black Angus cuts, including signature prime rib and Waygu sirloin, lamb rump, red king crab, bluff oysters and their legendary onion rings, and enjoy an after dinner cognac, mouth-watering desserts and cheeses.

Day 8: Queenstown / Christchurch |

With flight time under one hour from Queenstown to Christchurch, journey in your private transfer to The George for a two night stay in a One-bedroom residence at this exclusive boutique hotel with views of Hagley Park and Avon River. Stroll the many beautiful parks, and discover a range of sports and recreational activities. In the evening, reawaken your palette in the hotel's renowned restaurant, Pescatore, with its modern, minimalist approach to dining. Chef Reon Hobson and his team prepare a unique, rich engagement of flavors, textures and aromas, creating gastronomical masterpieces including Silere lamb, poached Little River beef and smoked short-finned eel.

Day 9: Christchurch |

Enjoy an exciting experience on the Akaroa and Banks Peninsula Eco Cruise. Savor incredible views of Akaroa Harbour, the Canterbury Plains, Southern Alps and a plethera of remote bays and farmlands. Enjoy a stop at Barry's Bay Cheese Factory for tastings after exploring the charming village of Akaroa and relaxing on a cruise aboard the Canterbury Cat. For your finale dinner, relish the elegant and cozy St. Germain for an authentic French gastronomic experience. Nestled on the ground floor of a tudor-style hotel, choose from classic dishes including foie gras and quail, venison tartare, or traditional cassoulet, followed by scrumptious crepe suzette.

Day 10: Christchurch, New Zealand | USA

After a scrumptious breakfast, relax in your private transfer to the airport. Board your homeward flight and begin planning your next exquisite vacation enhanced with more delightful culinary surprises.

9 nights / 10 days  from $4,781 per person

Pricing includes: Four nights at Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour in a Luxury marina view guestroom with club level access; Auckland Maori Excursion; Auckland Harbour Dinner Cruise; Taste of Auckland Experience; Three nights at Sofitel Queenstown Resort & Spa in a Luxury guestroom with spa; Gondola Ride and Dinner; Gourmet Food & Wine Experience; Two nights at The George in a One-bedroom residence; Akaroa and Banks Peninsula Eco Cruise; and private hotel/airport transfers throughout.

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