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

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. 

Currency selector
All prices are in
Tour summary and feature
Itinerary details at a glance

North & South Island Self Drive

This suggested tour costs from NZD$3,210 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Wellington, finishes in Wellington

6 days/5 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Rental car included

 Viewed 30 times in the last 7 days

Tour at a glance

Day 1: Arrive into Wellington tonight enjoy an evening at Zealandia
Accommodation: Naumi Hotel Wellington

Day 2: A morning tour of Wellington and then visit the Weta Workshop
Accommodation: Naumi Hotel Wellington

Day 3: A morning cruise across Cook Straight before heading into the Marlborough Sounds
Accommodation: Chateau Marlborough
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 25 kms / 16 miles : 0.3 hours

Day 4: Explore the sights of Marlborough Sounds
Accommodation: Chateau Marlborough

Day 5: Discover delightful wines on a biking wine tour
Accommodation: Chateau Marlborough

Day 6: Depart Blenheim today for your onward travel to Wellington and beyond

Detailed itinerary - day by day
Tour full itinerary
Explore Wellington and Marlborough Tour - Day 1
Welcome to Wellington

Wellington City is New Zealand's capital. It sits on a wonderful deep natural harbour and is surrounded by bush clad hills. The city centre itself is quite compact (only around 1 square kilometre) and so exploring on foot is relatively easy. From your city centre accommodation you can easily stroll the cafes and restaurants around Courtenay Place and if you arrive early enough New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa, is also close by.

Private transfer Wellington airport to your accommodation

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

Zealandia By Night Wildlife Sanctuary Tour

Taking a night tour of Zealandia wildlife eco-sanctuary is an unforgettable experience and one that comes highly recommended. A conservation success and safe haven for some of New Zealand's rarest native animals, Zealandia is home to many remarkable species of birds, reptiles and insects living wild within a beautiful 225 hectare (one square mile) valley, just 10 minutes from the central city.
Your tour begins with an interactive exhibition before you walk through the gates of Zealandia predator-exclusion fence into the sanctuary. Your guide will then lead you on a torch-light walk through the native New Zealand bush. Possible sights include Kiwi foraging on the forest floor, tuatara hunting for food, glowworms shining, tiny Maud Island frogs in their enclosure, pateke (brown teal) ducks feeding at night and kaka (parrots) coming in to roost. Zealandia is one of the best places to see kiwi in the wild. Over 100 of these nocturnal birds live freely in their natural environment inside the safety of the sanctuary valley, so your chances of seeing one are high!

Your accommodation: Naumi Hotel Wellington

Naumi Studio Wellington, an iconic heritage landmark in the heart of the Cuba Street precinct. After an extensive renovation, this 116-room property has transformed into visual feast for the senses, enthralling guests with eclectic spaces inspired from seafaring, the library world and enduring love.

Back to top

Explore Wellington and Marlborough Tour - Day 2
Taste of Wellington Foodie Delights Tour

Enjoy a 7 hour private guided tour where you savour the best tastes Wellington has to offer. From Coffee, Chocolate, Peanut butter, a Craft beer brewery, Gin Distillery, lunch, and a scenic drive to Mt Victoria, Eastern and Southern Bays.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Wētā Workshop Experience

The Weta Cave mini-museum brings you face to face with some of the characters, props and displays from your favourite movies, including The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies. Visit Weta Cave Workshop and get up close to the props, weapons and costumes created for The Lord of the Rings, Power Rangers, The Great Wall, Avatar, District 9, and more. See artists at work on the tour stage and peek through windows that look directly into the Workshop. Hear stories from the Weta Workshop crew. Many have worked on the films themselves!
Weta Workshop is also known for its extraordinary miniatures and bigatures created for films like The Lord of the Rings, Furious 7, The Legend of Zorro, and Master and Commander and discover Weta Workshop's latest jaw-dropping creations.

Your accommodation: Naumi Hotel Wellington

Naumi Studio Wellington, an iconic heritage landmark in the heart of the Cuba Street precinct. After an extensive renovation, this 116-room property has transformed into visual feast for the senses, enthralling guests with eclectic spaces inspired from seafaring, the library world and enduring love.
Meals included: Breakfast

Back to top

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.

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.

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.

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, Dinner

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

Back to top

Explore Wellington and Marlborough Tour - Day 4
Marlborough Icons Tour with Marlborough Tour Company - Lunch Included

Marlborough has become world famous for two iconic areas, the Marlborough wine region and the Marlborough Sounds. Enjoy the perfect combo tour through both areas on the Marlborough Icons Tour. This tour starts in the heart of the Marlborough wine region with two fine wine experiences including Cloudy Bay winery, then in the afternoon enjoy a totally unique Seafood Cruise in the Marlborough Sounds. Learn about seafood farming, take in the stunning scenery and enjoy fresh local seafood with a glass of award winning Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre

Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre houses a display like no other and you don't have to be an aviation buff to enjoy it! Human stories from the Great War come to life in a theatrical treatment, which is innovative and visually stunning. Assisted by mannequins from Peter Jackson's Weta Workshop, captivating scenes depict the aircraft in context, some recreating actual incidents. The rare memorabilia is worthy of any national collection and ranges from beautifully crafted 'trench art' through to personal items belonging to the famous Red Baron himself.

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, Lunch

Back to top

Explore Wellington and Marlborough Tour - Day 5
Deluxe Private Biking Wine Tour Full Day with Explore Marlborough

This private biking wine tour will allow you taste incredible local wine while enjoying Marlborough's stunning scenery. Ride past country roads, river stop-banks and through vineyards as your guide provides historical and geographical commentary throughout. The premium Marlborough wine tour experience is tailored to your individual tastes, with a personalised tour of at least five of Marlborough’s boutique and iconic wineries. Wine experiences may include a private tasting, blind tasting, winery tour or food and wine match. Lunch is a delicious a la carte lunch at a beautiful vineyard restaurant (at your own cost).

Centennial Rose Gardens

The Centennial Rose Gardens are located in Pollard Park in Blenheim and were developed for the centenary of the Marlborough in 1957. Around 800 roses are featured of all types in 27 beds.

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

Back to top

Return your vehicle to Blenheim Airport

Explore more of Blenheim today before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Air New Zealand flight Blenheim to Wellington

Back to top

Tour quick quote rework
Get an Instant Quote or Book this Tour
Explore Wellington and Marlborough Tour
Step 1:
Step 2: Select preferred car type or size
No pricing loaded - please make sure you have selected a car type or contact us
Step 3: Select number of passengers and room configuration
Step 4: Add these options

Enter phone number to get a call from a travel planning expert within in 24 hours

Enter email address to receive your instant quote

Tick this box if you do not wish to receive emails about special offers
No pricing loaded - please choose another date or contact us
Your quote for this tour:
Start date:
End date:
Guests:
Rooms:
Car type:
Total cost for ALL guests on this tour package is:
NZD$0
or
This quote is based on vehicles to accommodate your party in the vehicle type. We suggest changing the car type or contacting us for the best options.
The package cost above excludes rental vehicle hire as you are requesting a price for a vehicle outside of our designated season. Please reach out direct for rental vehicle rates.

NOTE: Quotes are subject to the availability of specific accommodations and other inclusions. Our NZ touring experts will contact you if any changes are needed. Costs quoted in currencies other than New Zealand dollars (NZ$) are based on today's exchange rate and are subject to change. Terms and Conditions apply.
If you have chosen to hire a Budget rental car, you may incur a one-way fee if a portion of your hire is under 7 days. Your sales consultant can confirm this on booking.

Remember: we can create this itinerary with any accommodation style or customise it to suit your interests and timeframe.

Contact form
Enquire about this tour

Fields marked * are mandatory

Your contact information
Subscribe to our Regular Newsletter for Inspiring Holiday Ideas
Currency selector
All prices are in