Small Group tour of New Zealand; Wine, Food and landscapes
Welcome to the Land of the Long White Cloud, Aoteroa or New Zealand. A country's gastronomy is a window on it's soul. High up in the Atlas mountains with the berbers it's one thing. In one of Paris's superb Brassieries, it's another. In New Zealand, it is so new and subject to so many influences, that the food scene is intensely exciting, vibrant, different. High quality food inNew Zealand has in the last 20 years exploded into existence as new Zealander's have brought home things discovered in extensive travel overseas and as talented immigrants have brought their own perspectives to our very fresh and unsullied local produce. For a small group tour, this is the finest gastronomic journey, collectively we can develop and offer right now, filled with wonderful warm people, landscapes and influences from every part of the globe. Limited only by the duration of this particular small group tour. We begin this escorted small group tour for mature and senior travellers in Auckland.
Jean-Michel is Odyssey's program leader for this 18 day journey through the New Zealand landscape. This program takes in some stunning landscapes and amazing places but is not a regular tour of tourist stop after tourist stop. Whilst Odyssey Traveller small group tours of New Zealand and all around the world have a significant historical, cultural and environmental learning base this program is about wine, food, and landscapes and some excerpts from the New Zealand art movement.
On this program we start in Auckland and finish the tour in Queenstown. Visiting and exploring Auckland and surrounds to the west and the east and the harbour with a tour of Waiheke island. South it is Taupo, the Hawkes bay, Martinborough and Wellington. Cross Cook strait and onto Kaikoura, Oamaru Pigroot and Queenstown for the finale.
The days itineraries have been thought out to allow you to enjoy, and saviour New Zealand. This is a country you may have visited once or many times, you have a curiosity about the certain feeling New Zealand offers. And this tour is one to allow you and your travelling companions as this program works well for that special celebration with a small group of friends. The program, a collection of well balanced days avoiding excessive eating and drinking but you and a chance to travel the length of New Zealand with some special experiences and learning as part of your journey.
Spiritual Concepts of the Maori and Food
The Maori conception of the spiritual nature of man is a matter of considerable interest. The Maori has ever recognized an immortal element in man, which styles the wairua. Indeed, Maori may be said to have held the theory of the tripartite nature of man—body, soul, and spirit being his tinana, mauri, and wairua. Within the Marae structure each member has an assigned speciality which gets called upon for special occasions.
Tom Loughlin and his family have long specialised in food gathering and preparation. A leading chef, search and rescue tracker, sika deer manager and hunting guide. Tom is your host for one of these days. The focus will be on the preparation and eating of a Hangi- a traditional meal cooked underground on hot rocks, but can include other aspects.
Tom writes "My philosophy at Kai Waho is a simple one, deliver the experience in a natural manner that is not normally for sale. The response is reflected in the positive reaction of the Manuhiri ‘Visitors’ the appetite for real ‘IS REAL’ ‘This is just what we have been looking for’ is a common reflection. All of my personal experiences have been exactly this, creating an emotion, a memory that is still in me years after experience". Odyssey regards this an integral part of the experiences on this touring program.
Local guides in Food, Wine and Landscapes share their knowledge.
This small group tour will be accompanied by an Odyssey tour guide and are joined by expert local guides who will impart their knowledge about the places we will visit. Odyssey conducts educational tours designed for small groups of mature and senior travellers, focusing on history, culture, wildlife and other areas of particular interest where the trip is taking place. A small group tour is typically between 6 to 15 people. The cost of an Odyssey Traveller guided tour is inclusive of all entrances (unless otherwise indicated), tipping, and majority of the meals throughout the trip.
This particular tour has periods of free time built into the itinerary, allowing you explore some destinations at your own pace, and choose from a variety of available activities. This way, we make sure that there is something to enjoy for every kind of traveller.
New Zealand is well known for its network of boutique lodges and small charming hotels as well as traditional hotel style accommodation types. For this program we have selected accommodation that represents good value, is close to where we need to be, has some but not many amenities that the group need and has a good reputation for looking after travellers who are visiting and finally has rooms with terrific beds to sleep in after a day in the open air. We trust you enjoy the choices we have made that are above our usual choice of hotel to stay in.
Articles about the New Zealand published by Odyssey Traveller:
- Questions about New Zealand
- Foundations for democracy in New Zealand: 900s - 1945
- Preparing for a walking holiday
For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.
External articles to assist you on your visit to New Zealand:
Haere mai ki Aotearoa – welcome to the Land of the Long White Cloud. Upon at arrival at Auckland International Airport you will meet your guide and transfer to your inner city hotel. New Zealand’s largest and most multicultural city. Auckland is an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen of islands. Auckland’s vast harbour, quiet islands and vibrant cityscape offer an exciting and accessible mix of urban, water and wildlife activities.
Stay four nights at the Heritage Hotel. Heritage Auckland is set within one of the city’s most recognisable historic landmark buildings, the iconic Farmers department store building.
Overview: Today we have a tour of the Waitakere ranges and a west coast Auckland beach. We stop at a food producer on the way back to the city.
This afternoon we have a talk on Contemporary New Zealand art at the Auckland Art gallery.
This evening we visit 3 restaurants for 3 starters…
Accommodation: Heritage hotel or equivalent.
Accommodation: Heritage hotel or equivalent
Depart Auckland and travel South towards the beating heart of the North Island (Taupo).
The group travel onto Mount Titiraupenga for a powhiri followed by a traditional picnic lunch.
Accommodation: Hilton Taupo or equivalent.
We’ve been working with Tom Loughlin for over ten years. In that time he has managed this 5,000 acre block of Maori land with conservation principles uppermost in his thinking. The local sika deer population has been managed together with leading conservationists resulting in one of the healthiest groupings of that deer in the world. Ditto with the barely touched trophy trout stream. The eel population (a long-time Maori staple) has always been healthy.
Prolonged time here will incorporate a Maori-centric view on best practice for managing land. It will include authentic Maori cuisine. It will include exploration of this special part of the world. And it can but does not necessarily need to include some of the best Sika deer hunting and trout fishing in the world.
Over the years, Tom has used this land to mentor youth as to the importance of Maori principles in conservation. And with our clients that has transferred naturally to teaching. We can use this backdrop to teach tracking; trapping; shooting; meat preparation; fishing; and cooking. On request we can of course extend this line-up.
And from Tom himself:
My philosophy at Kai Waho is a simple one, deliver the experience in a natural manner that is not normally for sale. The response is reflected in the positive reaction of the Manuhiri ‘Visitors’ the appetite for real ‘IS REAL’ ‘This is just what we have been looking for’ is a common reflection. All of my personal experiences have been exactly this, creating an emotion, a memory that is still in me years after experience.
The Awakari Expedition as an opportunity to explore how important relationships and life’s values are. All key ingredients in ‘Te Ao Maori’ The Maori world. The Awakari Expedition is not only the tented camp where you will eventually arrive, but also the journey you take to get there, the range of activities as you make your way across Ngati Tuwharetoa tribal land, makes the whole journey itself the destination. A destination realised only when you join us and become one of us according to our tradition.
Accommodation: Tented accommodation at Awakiri.
Overview: Located at the foot of Te Mata Peak, the architecturally designed Giants Craggy range winery complex, offers a second-to-none visitor experience. Here the Cellar Door offers relaxed and intimate seated tastings, while our restaurant serves the best local and seasonal produce prepared.
We travel up onto Te Mata peak to enjoy a walk of up to an hour taking in the view, before travelling onto our accommodation for the night.
Accommodation: Stay one night at the Masonic Hotel, Hawkes Bay or equivalent.
Overview: Today we travel through the Wairapa to Martinborough. The journey is broken with the landscape that we travel through being broken up with some short walks and exploring of the region as we travel South.
In the afternoon there is local tasting of the wines and a talk on the history of the region. Group evening meal.
Accommodation: Martinborough Hotel or equivalent.
Tonight the group visits Hiakai for dinner.
Hiakai began in 2016 as a pop up series devoted to the exploration and development of Māori cooking techniques and ingredients. Māori were great innovators of food and land, developing their own style of earth cookery (hāngi) and successfully adapting plants and vegetables brought with them from Hawaiki to the much colder environment of Aotearoa. Over several centuries, these methods have been passed down, refined and still feed the hiakai people of Aotearoa today.
Since launching in 2016, Hiakai has established itself as a leading innovator in the New Zealand food scene. The sophisticated boundary-pushing menus created by Chef Monique Fiso are challenging the status quo of Māori food in New Zealand, while playing a leading role in keeping Māori food culture alive.
Hiakai has now opened as a bricks-and-mortar restaurant in Te Whanganui a Tara, the capital of Aotearoa.
Accommodation: QT or equivalent.
This small group departs Wellington early on the inter islander ferry for Kaikoura. Arriving in the afternoon there is a walk of the township and its history given.
Accommodation: Stay one night at the White Morph. The White Morph offers great accommodation in Kaikoura. Set on the Esplanade in iconic Kaikoura, The White Morph enjoys commanding views of the ocean right to the distant horizon and mountains, and gives you access to all of the region’s many experiences.
Overview: Today is a travel day with breaks as we go South from Kaikoura to Oamaru. Key places of interest and explored on our journey.
Tonight we stay and eat at Pen Y Bryn Lodge. Chef, is a master of any food style, so a custom food experience is offered.
Accommodation: Pen Y Bryn Lodge or equivalent.
Through the Pigroot – traditional high country merino hogget roast at Lauderdale on the way through to Queenstown.
Affectionately called ‘Central’ by those that know it well, Central Otago is New Zealand’s most inland region, located in the southern half of the South Island. Discover Central Otago, a region where you will find a stunning countryside, lakes, rivers and rolling farmland, vivid seasons and rocky, mountainous landscapes; friendly townships; a well-preserved gold heritage; award-winning wineries, recreational opportunities from fishing, mountain biking and the Central Otago Rail Trail to winter sports like curling and ice skating; and so much more…
This evening the group explore Queenstown including the Blue Kanu and rum bars.
Accommodation: Stay three nights at the Novotel Queenstown. Novotel Queenstown Lakeside is the most centrally located 4-star hotel on Queenstown’s lakefront. Step outside your door and into the heart of Queenstown with easy access to all that this premier four season lake and alpine resort has to offer.
Overview: Today the group has a jetboat picnic up on the Makarora.
Jetboats were invented in New Zealand as a clever way of navigating the very shallow water we get on our South Island braided rivers. It is smooth, fast and very manoueverable. The boat takes you and your companions down the Makarora and up the Wilkin, showcasing some of the best jetboating terrain in the country – gravel banks, fast flowing rivers against a backdrop of Southern Alps, gin-clear water.
Accommodation: Novotel or equivalent.
Overview: Today we travel up to Amisfield for lunch.
Amisfield was established in 1988 and is a Central Otago based specialist producer of Pinot Noir and aromatic white wines, sourced from fruit grown on their Single Vineyard Estate, situated beneath the glacially sculptured Pisa mountain range. Vineyards are managed holistically through organic practices focused around nurturing Amisfield’s unique soils, vines and habitats – this combined with a rugged inland location and an extreme semi-continental climate, yields wines of remarkable purity, intensity and vibrancy. A state-of-the-art purpose built winery is the focal point of the vineyard and is designed to enable winemakers to craft wines with minimal intervention and as naturally as possible
This evening we enjoy an evening at the Botswana Butchery for dinner.
Accommodation: Novotel or equivalent.
Overview: Tour concludes after breakfast.
What’s included in our Tour
- 16 nights accommodation.
- 16 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 14 dinners.
- Transport by modern and comfortable coach.
- Entrances and sightseeing as specified.
- Services of Tour Leader for the duration of tour
- Detailed Preparatory Information
What’s not included in our Tour
- Return international airfare and departure taxes.
- Comprehensive travel insurance.
- Items of a personal nature, such as telephone calls and laundry