As a new award in 2015 we gave Best Destination to Keith Tulloch in the Hunter Valley. It is an amazing vineyard with a great restaurant. It’s around two and a half hours from Sydney by car. Our 2016 Destination of the year takes a little longer to get there but the reward makes it very worthwhile. A short flight from Sydney will take you to one of the most stunning destinations we experienced in 2016. It’s in Auckland, ten minutes drive from the airport and it’s called Villa Maria.

Villa Maria Winery

Featured in our travel guide to Auckland, Villa Maria should be your first stop after landing in beautiful New Zealand. While being extremely close to the airport it feels like you’re miles from anything once you follow their long driveway through the vineyard. The vineyard is not for decoration either, wine from the vines around you can be sampled and bought, as well as plenty of other award winning wines from New Zealand. If the inflight food didn’t meet your needs then lunches served at Villa Maria are absolutely divine, our tip there is to take on the antipasto platter with a flight of different wines.


The customer service, the food, the views, the total escape and stunning wines make Villa Maria, Auckland, the EFTM Destination of 2016.