Please check out the previous parts of the trip if you haven’t read it yet!
|11/19||Sydney||Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour||Sydney Opera House, Coogee Beach, Sydney Fish Market|
|11/20||Auckland||Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour||Wine Tour, Muriwai Gannet Colony|
|11/21||Queenstown||Rees Hotel and Luxury Apartments||Skyline Gondola, Lunch @ Stratosfare Restaurant|
|11/22||Queenstown||Rees Hotel and Luxury Apartments||Shotover Jet, Whitewater rafting|
|11/23||Dunedin/Oamaru||Bluestone On George||Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony|
|11/24||Queenstown||Villa del Lago||Lake Takepo, Lake Pukaki, Lake Wanaka|
|11/25||Rotorua||Sport of Kings Motel||Hobbiton, Tamaki Maori Village|
|11/26||Auckland||Te Puia, Waikite Valley Thermal Pools|
– Muriwai Gannet Colony
– Sparkling muscat from soljans estate winery
We arrived in Auckland the night before. We stayed at sofitel which was right on the viaduct harbor. i noticed it’s really hard to get two beds in new zealand. every hotel we stayed we were only able to get a king/queen bed.
we grabbed breakfast at the 21 viaduct cafe in sofitel. they had outdoor seatings on the harbor.
i booked a west coast wine day tour with Auckland Wine Trail Tours. originally i wanted to do the coast to coast tour, but they said it’s only west coast tour for that day. John operates Auckland Wine Trail Tours by himself so he can only do one tour a day. i booked the tour on their website. http://winetrailtours.co.nz/ and there is 10% off if you book online, but you will have to pay in advance. it was NZ$255 per person and John picked us up from our hotel. it was a small group tour with only 6 people. we visited Muriwai black sand beach and Gannet Colony, and 4 wineries in total.
the first stop was the black sand beach Muriwai. the view was breathtaking and the sand was super fine.
the 2nd stop was Muriwai Gannet Colony
the 1st winery we stopped was Coopers Creek Vineyard.
the 2nd winery we visited was Soljans Estate Winery. the sparkling muscat was my favorite out of everything i tasted that day and the gewurztraminer was my second favorite. the sparkling muscat was very fruity.
we had lunch here and it was included in the tour.
fish and chips
lamb dish which was really good.
third place we visited was Twin Totara Wines, the smallest vineyard of the day. they had mostly reds which i dont drink usually drink.
the last stop was West Brook Winery.
john was very friendly and knowledgeable. i would recommend Auckland Wine Trail Tours if you are looking for a tour. however, i dont think i would take another tour if i go again. all of these wineries are very accessible and wine tasting was cheap. NZ$255 per person was expensive and i dont know if it’s worth it. i didnt want to drive there myself because it was our first day in new zealand and i had never driven on the left side before so i didnt want to drink while trying to drive on the left side for the 1st time. if you just want to relax and not worrying about drinking and driving, taking a tour was def a good idea. all the wine i tasted that day was ok. i bought 5-6 bottles throughout the day. not a huge fan of auckland wine plus we were able to find most of the wine at local grocery stores after we got back to auckland.
after getting back to hotel, we took a short walk to auckland fish market. after visiting sydney fish market the day before, auckland fish market was def disappointing. there was not much there for us to buy/eat.
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