Help with South Island Wine Region Itinerary

Oct 13th, 2007, 11:24 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 282
Help with South Island Wine Region Itinerary

In February my husband and I will be taking a two week organized motorcycle tour of New Zealand's North and South Islands. Our last stop will be in Christchurch on February 17th and we would like to add a week to 10 days to spend in the South Island's Marlborough Wine Region. For this part of our trip we will be renting a car.

As of now I have booked two nights of lodging in Nelson at The Grampian Villa for February 19th and 20th and we would like to book two nights at The Straw Lodge in Blenheim. Other that those two destinations we have no set plans. We are very interested in the wine regions, hiking and just enjoying this area of the South Island. We will be ending this trip by flying out of Christchurch.

Basically if you had a week to ten days to spend in the South Island's Wine region starting and ending in Christchurch, what would you suggest as to towns and a driving itineary?

As you can see I am a novice to New Zealand and any help with planning this trip will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Chico is offline  
Oct 13th, 2007, 05:05 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,409
You're speaking my language Chico - I love wine, hiking AND the north part of the SI is a personal favorite!

Suggest you consider spending a few nights in the Upper Moutere/Motueka area. This will give you access to both Abel Tasman (for hiking) and the wine region between Nelson and Motueka.

You might also take a look at the Waipara wine region north of Christchurch. You can make day trips from CH or spend a night or two up that way.

www.waiparawine.co.nz/

If wine is your main focus, you might want to add a day to Blenheim - loads of wineries in the area and you might want more than one full day to explore them (I would). There are also some walks - I'll take a look at my notes and post a few if you're interested.

The Marlborough Sounds is also worth a look for some great walking opportunities and it's not far from some wineries as well.

Here's the link to my recent trip to the SI - the first half of the trip was on the north of the SI and centered around walking and wine drinking - it might give you a few ideas.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...3&tid=35062577

Melnq8 is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 04:04 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 282
Melnq8

Thank you so very much for your prompt reply and very helpful information. I had read your fabulous trip report and looked at your photos when you posted them. So nice to place a face to a name.

Yes, as I said for our last part of our three week trip we want to focus on the wine districts. Do you have any suggestions for lodging in the town of Blenheim? We are planning on spending a night or two at The Straw Lodge but would also like to spend a night in the town of Blenheim.

What is your thought on staying a night in Kaikoura on the way back to Christchurch?

Your report was an excellent one with so much helpful information. It sounds like you had a terrific trip.

Your suggestions are greatly appreciated and again, many thanks!
Chico is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 05:26 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,409
Chico -

Glad to help. We stayed at Chateau Marlborough on two separate visits to Blenheim, but it's been several years. We liked the place (more the first time than the second). It's well located, right in town, but the town of Blenheim isn't all that exciting and the sidewalks pretty much roll up at night.

If we return to Blenheim, I'd choose to stay in a cottage near the vines in Renwick - such as Le Grys cottage, a place I've had my eye on for some time.

Straw Lodge looks like an ideal place. Blenheim is small, so I don't understand why you'd want to change locations???

Kaikoura is a good spot for an overnight stay. In seven trips to the SI, I've never stayed in Kaikoura, but many visitors speak highly of it.
Melnq8 is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 07:23 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 282
Melnq8

Thank you again for your useful information. I was able to book three nights at the Straw Lodge in Blenheim.

I would like your thoughts on one more leg of our trip. When we leave Christchurch we would like to travel via the west coast to Nelson, as we will be returning via the east coast to end at Christchurch. Do you have any suggestions as to where to spend a night on the way to Nelson? It looks like Greymouth is about halfway? Again, your help is greatly appreciated.

Oh I did try to book the Le Grys Cottage, but unfortunately it was booked for our dates. It did look like a perfect spot.

Thanks!
Chico is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 05:18 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4
Chico

Stop by for a warm welcome and wine tasting at our vineyard when you are in Nelson - Cheers!

www.rubybayvineyard.co.nz
rubybay is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 05:22 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4
Chico

I would suggest staying at Hokitika. The drive from there to Nelson is absolutely stunning, do stop off at Punakaiki to see the pancake rocks and also make sure to make a short detour to the Bay House Cafe for lunch, the caostal setting is totally unique1
rubybay is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 05:23 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,409
Hi Chico -

I'm not clear on what areas you'll be covering in your motorcycle trip, so this may be repetitive.

From Christchurch you might consider driving over Arthur's Pass towards Greymouth, and then heading north. Greymouth is the biggest town on the West Coast and it's certainly an option for an overnight stay. There's a brewery that offers tours and you'd have no trouble filling part of a day there.

However, if you're looking for something a bit more interesting, I suggest you continue north from Greymouth about 45 minutes and overnight in Punakaiki (Pancake Rocks). Many visitors just pass through this area, but we recently spent three nights here and had a great time exploring the tracks.

Granted, you won't have loads of time to explore with only one night, but I think it's a much more interesting option than Greymouth.

Keep in mind that Punakaiki is basically a spot on the road. Not a huge amount for services, and the closest petrol and groceries are in Greymouth and Westport. There's a variety of lodging options to choose from though.

The following day, you could continue north towards Westport, maybe check out the seal colony before continuing to Nelson via SH6.
Melnq8 is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 05:27 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,409
Looks like Rubybay and I posted at the same time. I love Ruby Bay by the way, and I don't know how I've missed that vineyard.

Chico - If I understood your post correctly, you want to travel north towards Nelson via the West Coast, yes?
Melnq8 is offline  
Oct 27th, 2007, 11:14 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 282
Melnq8
Rubybay

Thank you both for your very useful information.

We have decided to spend the night in Punakaiki as we head towards Nelson.

Our motorcycle tour takes us from Auckland, Rotura, Napier, Wellington, Nelson, Greymouth, Fox Glacier, Wanaka,Queenstown, Oamaru and ending in Christchurch. This is a two week tour with rest days in Wellington and Queenstown. So you see we will get a good overview of New Zeland.

We will definitely stop by the Ruby Bay Winery!

Any other thoughts and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Chico is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
dmct
Australia & the Pacific
6
Jul 23rd, 2015 08:00 AM
cavergirl
Australia & the Pacific
9
Feb 28th, 2012 04:41 PM
firstlake
Australia & the Pacific
6
Dec 1st, 2011 04:52 PM
PJTravels
Australia & the Pacific
10
Aug 10th, 2009 09:01 PM
gms
Australia & the Pacific
6
Apr 18th, 2003 09:32 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:49 PM.