Playing host to some of New Zealand's premier wineries, the South Island is the perfect place to embark on a wine tour with a maui campervan.
There are five award-winning wine regions in the South Island that will tempt and tingle your taste buds. Whether it is sampling a full-bodied pinot noir in Marlborough, or a crisp dry-white in Nelson, connoisseurs of a quality drop will not be disappointed at the range and flavours produced in New Zealand's South Island.
Maui campervans have combined the experience of luxury campervanning with a quality tour of some of New Zealand's best wines. We call it maui Winery Havens. We want you to experience the joy of life on the road, watching the sun set over the vineyards with a delicious glass of red in hand.
For the perfect South Island wine tour with a campervan, check out our winery tour itinerary below.
Picton to Queenstown
Best Time of the Year
- Forrest Wines
- Central Otago
- Carrick Wines
Picton to Blenheim
Distance 28km - Driving Time 30 mins
Starting your journey in the beautiful Picton, the South Island will greet you with some of the most stunning landscapes you've ever laid eyes on.
Arriving at Forrest Wines, you'll quickly realise just how unique this winery is. Focusing on making premium wines reflecting the local landscape, The owners work hard to give the wines 'soul' and an individual expression of style.
Their trademark wines - rich aromatic white wine, and powerfully scented reds are all impeccably structured and a joy to drink.
Blenheim to Kaikoura
Distance 121km - Driving Time 30 mins
With some of the most incredible landscapes you'll have ever laid eyes on, you'll fall in love with Kaikoura. The idyllic sea-side town is nestled beneath the mountains.
Most famous for its prolific marine life, there is more to do in Kaikoura than whale watch! Why not try your hand at flying, at the Kaikoura aero club? If you prefer land-based activities, you can hike the Kaikoura ranges, horse trekking, walking along the shore or in some of local bush-reserve.
If you have an extra couple of days, it's worth adding an extra leg onto your trip here, and visiting the incredible Hamner Springs.
Kaikoura to Christchurch
Distance 181km - Driving Time 2.5 hours
The New York Times ranked Christchurch as the second best place to visit in the world, once you get there it's easy to see how Christchurch has brought its city back to life and re-emerged as a vibrant, ever-changing city. Be sure to take in the Cardboard Cathedral, an architectural and engineering masterpiece.
If you have an extra few days to spare in Christchurch – it's well worth taking a few day trips to places like Akaroa, Mount Cook National Park, or fit in a day of golfing at Methven.
Canterbury/Wairarapa and Central Otago are both famous wine regions in New Zealand. With major successes with Reisling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Unique wines are produced in these areas due to their unusual valleys and being the most southerly wine regions in the world.
Christchurch to Lake Tekapo
Distance 226km - Driving Time 3 hours
Located in the heart of the South Island, Lake Tekapo is not only famous for its stunning dramatic landscapes and quite possibly the most well-known church in New Zealand (the Church of the Good Shepherd), but also its dazzling night skies. What better way to sleep amongst the stars?
While you're there, why not indulge in a relaxing soak at the hot springs with Tekapo Springs? At the foot of Mount John, the springs overlook Lake Tekapo and the mountains beyond. The best way to revive yourself after a day of exploring.
New Zealand's highest vineyards can be found in Central Otago and this is also New Zealand's most in-land winery region, with Pinot Noir proving to be perfect for this climate and is now famed in this area.
Lake Tekapo to Wanaka
Distance 220km - Driving Time 3 hours
Wanaka, a food and wine lovers paradise, has a host of vineyards regularly winning awards on the international circuit. Farmer's markets will allow you to stock up your camper, as well as have you stopping as you walk down the street. Even the takeaways here are amazing!
Wanaka has a range of activities for the whole family, puzzle world is a must-see to unleash the kid-within. Lose yourself in the maze, check out the tilted house, and have fun with the crazy architecture.
Wanaka to Cromwell
Distance 65km - Driving Time 1 hour
Nestled at the southern end of one of the broad glacial river valleys surrounded by the Cairnmuir and Carrick mountain ranges, Bannockburn enjoys a continental climate with low rainfall and high sunshine hours. Here you'll get to enjoy our final vineyard, Carrick wines.
Carrick wines are farmed using only organic practices, producing exceptional wines whereby pruning, shoot positioning, shoot and fruit thinning, leaf plucking and picking are carried out by hand.
Carrick believes there is magic in drinking a wine (and eating food) where it is made. Carrick winery incorporates a cellar door and restaurant overlooking the spectacular Bannockburn Inlet. Since the restaurant opened in 2002 it has received many accolades. The menus are created around fresh seasonal local produce and we are fortunate that we have access to some of New Zealand's best game; exceptional fish and shell fish from our cold water southern seas; summer fruit, and local organic vegetables.
With a large summer garden for you to wander around and explore, and free-range hens roaming around the vineyard, the food is guaranteed to be some of the tastiest and freshest you'll eat.
Cromwell to Queenstown
Distance 60km - Driving Time 1 hour
While there is something magical about visiting Queenstown in the winter when this city really comes alive, there is something to do in every season. Surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown's stunning scenery will inspire you.
Take an unforgettable journey through the Milford Sound. Be captivated by its steep cliffs and dense rainforest and its spell-binding stillness. With an intriguing and unique underwater environment, pristine landscapes and a fascinating cultural history, you'll learn all about it on a cruise through the sound.