Zephyr’s New Zealand Multisport & Wine Adventure is an epic adventure combining hiking the world-renowned Queen Charlotte Track on the north coast of the South Island followed by several days of wine tasting, vineyard hikes, a bit of biking, and multi-course dinners featuring locally sourced produce, seafood, and game. Are you jealous yet?
The Queen Charlotte Track is much more than a hike…it’s an experience. The 70-kilometer trail is a partnership between governmental bodies and private landowners who have all worked together to provide a hiking paradise for the public (that’s us!). The Track takes visitors through verdant, coastal forests, up and over ridges along the waterfront, and from one panorama to the next.
The temperate climate of the north coast of the South Island allows for year-round hiking on the undulating trail. There aren’t a lot of steep inclines on the Queen Charlotte track but the total distance (approximately 45 miles) does mean hikers cover quite a bit of ground each day, on the 4 days we tramp along (as they say in New Zealand).
Our New Zealand Adventure stretches your palate as well as your legs. Hiking 45 miles in four days translates into a very well-deserved rest of the trip savoring the wines in the Marlborough wine region, where the remainder of our trip is centered. Many wine cultures in the world were started by religious missionaries (some hike for wine, some pray for wine…) and New Zealand was no exception.
New Zealand’s oldest existing vineyard was established by French Roman Catholic missionaries. While New Zealand’s wine history is considered young by European standards, its reputation has progressed at a rapid pace. The racy, pungent style of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand set the wine world on fire in the ‘90s. (There is a winery in Marlborough named Zephyr that produces an award-winning Sauvignon Blanc! If that isn’t a good omen, we don’t know what is!) Pinot Noir from this island country is stylistically unique and vibrant. I personally love the “pop” you get on your palate from many Pinots from New Zealand and look forward to seeing more of these wines on the retail shelves in the US.
In a country where sheep outnumber people ten to one, you will see more of these white-flocked animals on our adventure than humans. To the travelers already booked on this trip, enjoy the uncrowded hike, the expansive vistas, and the boutique wine industry. To those not signed up on our New Zealand Multisport & Wine Adventure, keep the dream alive, there’s always next year!