NOTE: From 3rd Dec 2021 all guests will require COVID-19 Vaccine Passports. Find out more here.

Appellation Wine Tours Policies

COVID-19 Policy

Last updated 3rd December 2021

Appellation Wine Tours is OPEN and operating in accordance with the COVID-19 Protection Framework.

From 3rd December 2021, following government guidelines, all guests require a COVID-19 Vaccine Passport in order to take part in our wine tours. These will be viewed at the beginning of each tour; this includes those with temporary vaccination exceptions. This decision was made by the vineyards as they fall under the hospitality sector and therefore requiring visitors to be fully vaccinated in order to open under the current traffic light system.

If you have not been vaccinated and do not have an exemption, we regret that for the safety of all our guests, our staff, and our communities, you will not be able to tour with us at this time. In this case, a member of our team will help you reschedule your visit to a later date (once you are fully vaccinated), or we will provide you with a full refund if your booking was made with us prior to 3 December 2021. If your booking was not made directly with us, please talk to your point of purchase to seek a full refund.

Traffic Lights – Important Traveller Information

What to expect at Green:

  • You will need to have downloaded your My Vaccine Pass before being collected from your collection point (hotel etc.) and have it ready to present before boarding our vehicles (digital or paper versions may be used).

What to expect at Orange:

  • You will need to have downloaded your My Vaccine Pass before being collected from your collection point (hotel etc.) and have it ready to present before boarding our vehicles (digital or paper versions may be used).
  • Face coverings will be required onboard our vehicles
  • Other protocols such as 1m social distancing and seated tastings may be incorporated by the vineyards

What to expect at Red:

  • You will need to have downloaded your My Vaccine Pass before being collected from your collection point (hotel etc) and have it ready to present before boarding our vehicles (digital or paper versions may be used).
  • Face coverings will be required onboard our vehicles
  • Other protocols such as 1m social distancing and seated tastings may be incorporated by the vineyards
  • There may be limited capacity at some of the vineyards we visit and this may affect where we visit


Health & Safety Measures


Increased Cleaning Practices

We have increased our daily cleaning practices, including sanitising high touch surfaces in our vehicles multiple times a day and sanitising our buses between each tour.

Contact Tracing

We have the NZ COVID Tracer App QR code on display in our vehicles and all vineyards that we visit are displaying NZ COVID Tracer QR codes at entrances to assist with contact tracing. Please download the NZ COVID Tracer App and check-in on arrival to each vineyard/venue.

Hand Sanitiser

We have hand sanitiser available onboard our vehicles for use throughout the day.


Face coverings are optional on our tours due to contact tracing being possible through administration.

Social Distancing

Our staff may choose not to have physical contact with our guests while on tour; this includes shaking hands, high fives and any handling of visitor’s personal belongings (e.g cameras, phones) during tours.

Bookings can be made instantly via our website and any enquiries to re-book or reschedule bookings can be emailed to

Cancellation / Refund / Reissue Policy

Outside of 48 hours before departure:

– Booking dates can be reissued or changed to a different date or time at no extra cost, subject to availability.

– Bookings can be refunded less a $10 (per transaction) penalty if booked through our Real Time Booking System. This will be refunded back onto the card payment was made with. Please allow upto 10 working days for this to clear.

– Any booking paid by a NEW ZEALAND bank account can be fully refunded less a $10 (per transaction) penalty. This will be refunded back into the nominated bank account and will appear within 3-5 days.

– Any booking paid by INTERNATIONAL direct deposit can be fully refunded less a $15 (per transaction) penalty and the amount will depend on the conversion rate on the day the refund is processed. This should appear with 5-10 days.

Inside 48 hours before departure:

– Bookings can not be reissued and no refund will be issued.

Transfers or cancellations can be phoned  through on +643 442 6920 between the hours of 8am-8pm NZD time, or emailed through to 

Refund Policy due to an announcement of Lockdown / Sudden Change of Levels


  • Our standard refund policy applies, with bookings being fully refundable up to 48 hours prior to departure (minus a $10 transaction fee).
  • If there are any sudden changes to alert levels inside 48 hours notice, please notify as soon as possible that your travel has been affected. We will work with you to either refund, hold or adjust the date. Any change of booking will be subject to availability.
  • Proof of flight cancellations may be requested at the time of cancellation before refunds are issued.

Operating with a Conscience

As a long-standing Queenstown tourism operator, we are extremely grateful to have had many years of showcasing Queenstown and the many wine regions of Central Otago and we are committed to delivering a world-class visitor experience for many years to come.

However, we are mindful that having a clean, beautiful and pristine landscape in which to operate in is not to be taken for granted and as such we recognise that it is our responsibility to operate our business in a mindful and sustainable manner.

Environmental Stability

Appellation Wine Tours is fully committed to making a positive impact in all aspects of our business, from positive visitor experiences to positive impacts on the environment that we work in.

We are committed to the environment and not only take active steps to minimise the impact of our operation ourselves but also enable our customers to be environmental stewards themselves by encouraging a reduction of collective impact. Our little piece of paradise will be preserved for the many generations of visitors, locals and businesses to come.

Some of our environmental efforts include:

Our current environmental initiatives are as follows:

  • We have a 5-star Operator Rating which is the highest level of safety rating, given by the New Zealand Transport Agency.
  • All vehicles use Michelin tyres which contribute to fuel efficiency, longevity, and a quieter ride for the enjoyment of passengers.
  • Vehicles are serviced at manufacturers recommended intervals to reduce fuel usage and emissions.
  • All cleaning detergents used are bio-degradable.
  • The majority of the vineyards visited are Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand accredited vineyards.
  • Our key restaurants use locally sourced produce supporting the local economy.
  • All paper used in the office and brochures produced are made from either recycled or sustainably managed forests and controlled sources.
  • Mixed and glass recycling is available at our vehicle base and office.
  • Guests are not required to print vouchers (we operate as voucherless).
  • Our printer is defaulted to double sided printing, with a draft level of printing, and ink cartridges are refilled locally.
  • All single-side printed paper that comes into the office is reused.
  • All equipment is turned off at the end of the day to reduce power usage.
  • All lights in the office are energy saver lights.
  • We only use rechargeable batteries.
  • Appellation Wine Tours are proud sponsors of the Wakatipu Wildlife Trust and are involved with re-setting traps within the region.
  • We are strong supporters of Predator Free NZ and strongly recommend others to assist with predator control work.

Sustainable Proof

Each year our business takes part in an independent assessment governed by Qualmark, which takes an in-depth look into all aspects of the business – Economics, Health & Safety, Environment and Social / People. Our business works hard to ensure a quality experience in all areas and we are proud to have received a Gold Status award from 2017 – 2021.

We also take pride in being part of the Tourism Sustainability Commitment in which our Sustainability Plan addresses the twelve business commitments in which we have achieved or are working towards achieving. The commitments outline three goals under four key aspects; Economic, Visitor, Community and Environment.

Supporting Local

In the interests of giving back, we support a local environment group, Whakatipu Wildlife Trust.

As a non-profit organisation they rely heavily on financial support from the public to continue and expand their wildlife restoration and conservation work. Our annual contributions towards the purchase of predator traps will help to realise the vision of a predator-free Whakatipu and protect bird’s eggs, chicks and other native species.  For the sake of social causes, we also make annual donations to local charities and support local events.

We’re continually improving the sustainability of our operations by assessing the impact of existing practices, identifying new opportunities and evaluating our sustainability goals.