Beaches, Bays, Birds…and Gin

Our Walking with Spirits gin tour combines a splash of Nelson urban sophistication with the sun-soaked beaches and botanicals of the Abel Tasman National Park and finishes with the distinct floral characters of Golden Bay. Few trips pack such variety into such a short break: natural beauty, world-famous walks, award-winning distilleries, colourful characters, warm hospitality and a doting Black Sheep Gin Keeper that does all the driving and looks after you so you can feel relaxed and at home, and yet a world away. Cheers to that!


Thurs 29 Oct 2020
Thurs 12 Nov 2020

Psst! This trip is perfect as a private tour for you and your ginmates (think tennis buddies, girls’ weekend, we-deserve-a-break team getaway). Contact us and we’ll customise this trip around your dates and needs.

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All payment is in NZD. Pricing in other currencies is indicative based on the current exchange rate. Final payment amount is determined by your bank based on the latest conversion.

Single supplement from: NZ$600
Minimum numbers apply. Price based on double occupancy. Single supplement is a surcharge for single occupancy. Prices may vary depending on season.

Length4 days | 3 nights
DestinationNelson to Nelson

Classic Stays
Modern, well-appointed properties that provide a comfortable, convenient base from which to explore. Perfect for the region, they’re typically within easy access to cafes and other amenities.

Premier Stays
Quality lodgings in superb settings, from stylish lakeside lodges to restful alpine retreats. Note that in a few cases, Classic Stays are used on a trip classified overall as Premier to allow access to stunning, remote locations where Premier Stays are not available.

Luxe Stays
Exclusive, indulgent hideaways with exceptional facilities and service. The best in New Zealand (and perhaps the world). Note that in a few cases, Premier Stays are used on a trip classified overall as Luxe to allow access to stunning, remote locations where Luxe Stays are not available.

Special Stays
Some tours feature overnight cruises and multiple-day hikes, with stays in private lodges or Department of Conservation huts, for special wilderness experiences.


You’re comfortable on tracks with gently undulating terrain and can move comfortably and freely. Suitable for families with young children. Note, activity add-ons may change rating.

You enjoy walking/light hiking, can handle a hill or two, and appreciate life-affirming soft adventures that dip a toe outside your comfort zone.

You’ve got a bit of Kiwi in you and are ready to hit the hills and push yourself a little. Some of these trips include multi-day hikes that get you further into the wild. It’s not all Bear Grylls, though. You’re happy to enjoy a rewarding glass of pinot at day’s end.

This is an overall guide. Our trips include a range of activities across the spectrum. Request a Detailed Itinerary for more details on fitness levels needed for individual activities.

StyleSmall Group

Small Group
Scheduled, guided adventures with just the right number of like-minded travellers to share in the laughs and make new friends.

Guided, professionally crafted trips with your own group and your choice of travel dates.

Self Drive
Self-guided, stress-free road trips with all the elements sorted for you. Our professionally crafted itineraries and booking team, your dates and travel companions.

Guided or self-guided, this is your personal New Zealand dream made manifest. A fully customized experience based on your passions, finessed with our professional planning.

Craft Spirits,
Walking & Hiking,

Daily Brief

Click on the orange icons to read about lodging along the way (not available on mobile). C=Classic, P=Premier, L=Luxe, S=Special Stays. Note accommodation may vary based on departure date. For hotel links and more information, Request a Detailed Itinerary above.

Gintroductions. Your tour starts in Nelson, the sunny little city that punches well above its weight when it comes to urban sophistication. On arrival, you’ll be transferred to your central-city hotel, with shops, galleries, cafes and nature walks at your doorstep. This evening, we head to the home of New Zealand’s largest gin collection (324 and counting!) to toast our impending adventure. Enjoy the theatre of mixology as you watch masters at their art and, better still, taste the results. We'll reserve a table for you at Nelson’s top restaurant if you want to continue mixing whilst enjoying exquisite cuisine. Alternatively, strike out on your own to explore the city’s culinary scene armed with suggestions on our favourite eateries and post-dinner haunts, relaxed in the knowledge your hotel is just a wee (perhaps slightly wobbly) walk away.

• Airport transfer
• Welcome and care by your Gin Keeper
• Mixology event with artisan cocktails
• Accommodation (Premier-level)
• Treats & surprises throughout


Gin-Abeling. Nature is the best tonic and this morning, it’s a scenic drive around Taman Bay to board your cruise into the world-renowned Abel Tasman National Park. Learn its history and watch for marine life as you travel into the heart of the park. Landing at a pristine beach, begin your 2-hour self-guided walk along one of the most stunning sections of the track, surrounded by native botanicals you may have tasted in last night’s glass. We reunite at the top of the park, the less-travelled gateway to Golden Bay. To celebrate our arrival, we nip off to award-winning gin and whisky producer Kiwi Spirit Distillery, the only tequila agave distiller outside of Mexico. Talk to master distiller Terry Knight and visit the agave nursery before settling into your seaside haven. Tonight, lap up Golden Bay's laid back vibe at a private ‘Seven Deadly Gins & Tapas’ evening.

• Breakfast
• Transport and care by your Gin Keeper
• Abel Tasman scenic cruise & walk
• Picnic lunch
• Distillery visit with tastings and agave nursery tour
• Gin event, including ‘Deadly’ gin cocktails and tapas dinner
• Accommodation (Premier-level)


Ginspiration. Enjoy a morning beach stroll and a leisurely breakfast before a peaceful walk to Te Waikoropupū Springs, one of the clearest freshwater springs in the world, a wāhi tapu (sacred place) to Māori, and a source of inspiration for the region’s distillers. Free time in Tākaka gives you a chance to explore this mecca for artists and art lovers, hippies and holidaymakers. Galleries and co-ops abound and colourful murals and crafty signage lure you down alleyways to hidden gems. Lunch is on your own so you can enjoy your own funky finds. Afterwards, we meet at New Zealand’s most-awarded gin, rum, and vodka distillery, Dancing Sands, for a private tour, tastings, and the chance to label and take away your own wee bottle. Relax at the lodge before a pre-dinner walk through a stunning forest glade. Tonight we celebrate with our farewell dinner.

• Breakfast
• Transport and care by your Gin Keeper
• Te Waikoropupū Springs visit
• Tākaka township visit
• Distillery visit with interactive tour, tastings and souvenir bottle
• Farewell dinner with bubbles
• Accommodation (Premier-level)


Ginvigorated. A visit to Golden Bay is not complete without meeting its gatekeeper, the mighty Takaka Hill. After breakfast and a leisurely morning, we make our winding way over the hill, aka marble mountain, with a pause to take in its spectacular views (and relieve anyone still a little gin-ebriated). On route to Nelson, we deviate to the seaside jewel of Mapua—a favourite weekend destination for Nelsonians. Here we cut you loose: visit the great galleries and shops, have a glass at the craft brewery or wine bar, and pick and choose amongst the waterfront cafes. This is our stomping ground, so we can help you decide. After lunch, we roll on to Nelson Airport, where we say fond farewells and make plans for our next spirited adventure!

• Breakfast
• Transport and care by your Gin Keeper
• Mapua Wharf visit

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Trip Inclusions

While Black Sheep prides itself on the intangibles that make our Small Group trips special, our packages are known for being stuffed with features. Check out what’s included in your Black Sheep adventure below.


All accommodation during your tour

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Mixology event, incl 2 artisan cocktails and bar snacks
Abel Tasman cruise & hike
Private distillery tours and tastings
Te Waikoropupū Springs visit
Seven Deadly Gins & Tapas event, incl 2 cocktails and tapas meal
Additional walks, gallery and artisan visits, and more

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All breakfasts
1 lunch
2 dinners

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Tour vehicle with professional driver/guide
Airport transfers within tour dates
All baggage transport within tour

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Services of a doting Black Sheep guide
Background support from Black Sheep HQ
Flight assistance available

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Gear & Amenities

Use of hiking poles, onboard library, and more
Lots of treats and surprises

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Walking with Spirits
Small Group