5 Day Explore Wellington and Marlborough Tour
5 day North & South Island Self Drive, from Wellington to Wellington
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New Zealand tour itinerary name and information

5 Day Explore Wellington and Marlborough Tour

Experience Wellington's unique cosmopolitan vibe with a highlights tour of the city. Get your fantasy on when you visit Weta Workshop, home of Lord of the Rings, and see native New Zealand birds at Zealandia. Cruise the Marlborough Sounds before taking in this stunning region over a glass of world renowned wine. 

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Itinerary details at a glance

North & South Island Self Drive

This suggested tour costs from NZD$2,592 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Wellington, finishes in Wellington

5 days/4 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Rental car insurance included: Fully inclusive with variable excess/deductible

 Rental car inclusions: GPS navigation, unlimited kms, airport/ferry terminal fees, additional drivers

 Viewed 22 times in the last 7 days

Tour at a glance
Quick itinerary overview - 5 Day Explore Wellington and Marlborough Tour

Day 1: Arrive into Wellington tonight enjoy a tour of Weta Studios and a 3 course dinner
Accommodation: Bolton Hotel Wellington

Day 2: A morning tour of Wellington and then visit Zelandia
Accommodation: Bolton Hotel Wellington

Day 3: A morning cruise across Cook Straight before heading into the Marlborough Sounds
Accommodation: Bay of Many Coves Resort

Day 4: Discover the delightful wines of Marlborough on a half day wine tour
Accommodation: Chateau Marlborough
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 25 kms / 16 miles : 0.3 hours

Day 5: Depart Blenheim today for your onward travel to Wellington and beyond

Detailed itinerary
See a day by day description including activities & accommodation suggestions for this itinerary example
Tour full itinerary
Day 1 - Arrive into Wellington tonight enjoy a tour of Weta Studios and a 3 course dinner
5 Day Explore Wellington and Marlborough Tour - Day 1
Private transfer Wellington airport to your accommodation

You will be met on arrival at Wellington airport and transferred to your accommodation.

An Evening with Weta and Coco

Movie magic and fine food awaits. You will journey from the Wellington CBD to Weta Studio Tours for an extended Weta Cave Workshop Tour. Afterwards, you'll head to CoCo at the Roxy for a delicious three-course meal, concluding with a night drive back to central Wellington. Bring your appetite for film and food!

Your accommodation: Bolton Hotel Wellington

The Bolton Hotel offers contemporary apartment-style accommodation in the heart of Wellington. Just steps from the Parliament buildings and central business district, Bolton Hotel is conveniently close to the best of the city's shops, cafes and restaurants and is within walking distance of Wellington's vibrant waterfront.
Day 2 - A morning tour of Wellington and then visit Zelandia
5 Day Explore Wellington and Marlborough Tour - Day 2
City Highlights Inspiration Half Day Tour

Enjoy an intimate small group tour looking at the unique aspects of the World's Coolest Little Capital. Drive through Courtenay Place and Oriental Parade and head up Mt Victoria for spectacular views of the City and Harbour. Then travel the stunning rugged coastline, now a marine reserve, stopping along the way to taste some famous Wellington coffee. Return to the central city for a drive through the quirky Cuba Street district and along Lambton Quay, the main shopping street for a chance to ride the famous Wellington Cable Car.

Zealandia Karori Sanctuary

Welcome to the world's first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary - a conservation success and safe haven for some of New Zealand's rarest native animals. Remarkable species of birds, reptiles, insects and more are living wild within a beautiful 225ha (one square mile) valley - just 10 minutes from central Wellington. Around 40 native and endemic species of birds can be found at Zealandia. Kākā - the playful forest parrots - have made an impressive comeback to the area and are lots of fun to watch at their feeder stations. Endangered hihi (stitchbird), tīeke (saddleback), kākāriki and kiwi are flourishing here and the pair of critically threatened takahē are often seen at the wetlands. Zealandia provides easy walking routes for everyone. You can choose from various fascinating feeding talks (all free with admission), or simply roam at your leisure to find the valley's remarkable native wildlife living free. The scenic cafe Rata, is a great place refreshments before or after your adventure. You can catch the free shuttle from various Wellington locations including outside the i-SITE and Te Papa.

Your accommodation: Bolton Hotel Wellington

The Bolton Hotel offers contemporary apartment-style accommodation in the heart of Wellington. Just steps from the Parliament buildings and central business district, Bolton Hotel is conveniently close to the best of the city's shops, cafes and restaurants and is within walking distance of Wellington's vibrant waterfront.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3 - A morning cruise across Cook Straight before heading into the Marlborough Sounds
5 Day Explore Wellington and Marlborough Tour - Day 3
Interislander Ferry Wellington to Picton with exclusive access to the Premium Plus Lounge

The 92 km journey between Wellington and Picton takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'. Leaving Wellington Harbour you pass many interesting points such as Pencarrow Head on top of which is New Zealand's oldest lighthouse (1859). Red Rocks is home to a seal colony and Oterangi Bay is the site which recorded the country's highest ever wind speed of 268 kph (167 mph). From the Cook Strait, spectacular views of the Kaikoura Ranges on the South Island can be enjoyed and dolphins and many sea birds are often seen.
Around one hour of the cruise takes you through the Marlborough Sounds - and this region of bush covered mountains, small islands, crystal clear waters and secluded bays is a remarkable photographic opportunity. At the end of Queen Charlotte Sound the cruise comes to an end in the picturesque town of Picton.
When you're not out on the deck enjoying the amazing views, you can retreat to the exclusive Premium Plus lounge which is the most comfortable and relaxing way to travel across the Cook Strait. You'll enjoy complimentary beverages, light snacks, lunch or breakfast, internet access, magazines and newspapers and the most comfortable seating, so you can sit back and enjoy the journey.

Seafood Odyssea Cruise

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Queen Charlotte Sound with seemingly endless bays and coves to explore and different scenery around each corner. Seafood Odyssea Cruise offers a unique range of sightseeing, birdlife and wildlife. Learn about the Marlborough Sounds area, the local seafoods grown and enjoy a fabulous seafood tasting on board matched to stunning Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

Your accommodation: Bay of Many Coves Resort

Bay of Many Coves Resort offers spacious hillside apartments with uninterrupted views from private balconies to the blue waters and native bush-clad hills.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4 - Discover the delightful wines of Marlborough on a half day wine tour
5 Day Explore Wellington and Marlborough Tour - Day 4
Cougar Line Shared Transfer - Marlborough Sounds to Picton

Return to Picton by Cougar Line scheduled water taxi today via the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. Stop at a number of pick up/drop off points en route.

Choose from our great range of late model rental cars for your driving holiday

Today you’ll take to the road for your New Zealand Self Drive holiday, so take a look through the great selection of late model vehicles available and take your pick.  To help you on your way GPS is included with all rentals.

GPS navigation system

Use the latest GPS technology as you tour New Zealand. Your portable GPS features a simple touch screen interface with automatic route calculation and turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions including street name announcement. The automotive-grade GPS unit is easy to use and has multiple language options.

Picton to Blenheim

Only short 30 minute drive, you’ll follow the valley south to arrive in Blenheim, located in the heart of Marlborough - New Zealand’s largest wine producing region. Go through acres of leafy green vines and marvel at the magnificent ‘dry hills’ of Marlborough in the distance.

Sounds Connection Half Day Wine Tour

An afternoon among the vines! Be immersed in the Marlborough wine country with the Sounds Connection half day wine tour. You'll be collected from your accommodation and taken through three or four hand-picked wineries to taste the award-winning produce this region is known for. You'll also hear about the history of winemaking in Marlborough as well as learning the unique processes each winery goes through. A lunch stop is not included in this tour so we do advise you have something to eat prior to this activity. 

Your accommodation: Chateau Marlborough

Chateau Marlborough offers luxury accommodation in the heart of Blenheim, one of New Zealand's most famous wine regions. This boutique hotel prides itself on offering guests luxury accommodation with enviable attention to detail, overlooking Seymour Square Gardens and is just a short walk from Blenheim's town centre.

Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 25 kms / 16 miles : 0.3 hours

Day 5 - Depart Blenheim today for your onward travel to Wellington and beyond
5 Day Explore Wellington and Marlborough Tour - Day 5
Rental Car drop off Blenheim Airport

Drop your vehicle at the Blenheim airport depot today.

Air New Zealand flight Blenheim to Wellington
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