This is Vintage New Zealand. The best way to explore South Island's sunny Marlborough province is on a bicycle taking in the majestic view of the surrounding landscape. Vineyards stretch on for miles to the base of the nearby mountains — not to mention the local wines. Order a glass of the Nautilus Estate Cuvée Marlborough NV Brut and you will be cycling around in cuckooland. Pedal across to Cloudy Bay, one of the first wineries in Marlborough to export Sauvignon Blanc. Now owned by Moët Hennessy, Cloudy Bay is increasingly known for its extraordinary cellar-aged Sauvignon Blanc called Te Koko. In Nelson, the tip of the south, and the veritable ghetto of artists, there is probably a pot of ‘cultural revolution’ on the boil. There seem to be artists, musicians, painters, potters, jewellers, glass-blowers, sculptors everywhere you turn. Moving west, discover coastal Abel Tasman National Park and the Cape Farewell Spit. Intersperse your itinerary with hiking, swimming, sunbathing and luxury lodges like the Awaroa Lodge.
From mystical waterfalls to tranquil lakes, you’ll love a cheeky paddle at these watering holes.
Forget fairy tales, real life is where it’s at with these swoon-worthy sites on the agenda.
Accessible only by boat or strenuous hike, these hostels fall far beyond the typical tourist's radar.