Meet the farmers, wander their beautiful gardens and enjoy the charm of quaint gold rush towns on this small group garden tour of the Otago region. Art Deco elements, Ranfurly, Fleur's famous café at Moeraki and Oamaru's Victorian Fete are special highlights.

7 Day / 6 Night tour departing Auckland with visits to Queenstown, Central Otago's best gardens and the Oamaru Victorian Fete

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Tour Price

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$3790 pp twin
$4390 pp single
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Tour Map

Day 1: Auckland - Gibbston Valley - Queenstown

Views of Lake Hayes from Stoneridge Estate Queenstown

We fly into Queenstown and drive to Annabel and Bruce Russell’s home for a relaxed lunch in the Gibbston Valley where the first commercial vineyard was planted in the 1980s.

Later in the day we check into Hotel Novotel Queenstown Lakeside for two nights and dine in this evening.

This afternoon is an ideal time to wander the Botanic Gardens adjacent to the hotel and the local shops.

What you'll love today
  • Lunch in the stunning Gibbston Valley
  • Wander the lakeside Botanic Gardens in Queenstown

Day 2: Queenstown - Stoneridge Estate - Arrowtown - Chantecler

Chantecler Garden - Otago Gardens Tour

We visit Stoneridge Estate garden near Lake Hayes and lunch nearby at Provisions Cafe in Arrowtown. Stroll this pretty town's main street and visit the historic Chinese goldminers' settlement along the riverbank.
In the afternoon we wander in Mike Henry’s Chantecler, an eight acre garden of National Significance where
 themed gardens from France, Italy, England, Japan and New Zealand are featured as well as mass plantings of bulbs, rhododendrons, lavenders, azaleas, camellias and peonies. We dine in our hotel this evening.

 

What you'll love today
  • Chantecler, a garden of National Significance
  • Lunch and time to discover historic Arrowtown

Day 3: Queenstown - Clyde - Ophir - St Bathans - Naseby - Ranfurly

Maniototo Valley views from McNalley's Garden in Poolburn

We bid farewell to Queenstown and call into Clyde, once claimed to be the most populous town in New Zealand during the height of gold fever and then on to the historic settlement of Ophir for lunch at Pitches Store.

Out in the big skies of the Maniototo Plain we visit Rayleen McNally’s garden at Poolburn, a treasure trove surrounding an original stone homestead. We meet Bob L de Berry at his Cambrian Common Forest and call in for refreshments at the Vulcan Hotel, St Bathans, visit Naseby then continue to Ranfurly and Hawkdun Lodge.

What you'll love today
  • Visit Rayleen McNally's garden of treasures in Poolburn on the Maniototo
  • Enjoy a drink at the Vulcan Hotel in the old gold rush town of St Bathans
Accommodation

Day 4: Ranfurly - farmhouse gardens - Clachanburn - Patearoa

Big sky views in the Maniototo Valley, Clachanburn Gardens

Today we explore the Maniototo, visiting farmhouse gardens. First, we call into Mary and Mac Wright’s hillside garden and then Fay-Ann and Kelvin Thompson's garden at Glen Eden Station.

At John and Susie Elliott's Lammermoor Station distillery there's a garden tour and a tasting to enjoy.

We lunch with Jane Falconer in her garden of National Significance at Clachanburn Station at Patearoa and visit the Art Deco Gallery in Ranfurly on our return. We dine in at Hawkdun Lodge.

What you'll love today
  • Enjoy a private lunch at Clachanburn Garden with Jane Falconer
  • Visit the garden and enjoy a tasting at Lammermoor Station distillery
Accommodation

Day 5: Ranfurly - Fleur’s Place - Victorian Fete, Oamaru

Oamaru Victorian Fete - Otago Gardens Tour

Leaving Ranfurly we drive to the coast and stop for brunch at the famous seafood restaurant, Fleur’s Place in Moeraki, a favourite of British television chef Rick SteIn.  

We arrive in Oamaru where the Victorian Fete, each year with a different theme, is in full swing. The fete celebrates the town’s heritage amid streets of Oamaru Stone buildings, fine examples of 19th century architecture - live music, dance, street theatre and penny farthings and locals dressed in Victorian finery. 

What you'll love today
  • Brunch at the famous seafood restaurant, Fleur’s Place in Moeraki
  • Join in the fun at the Victorian Fete in Oamaru
Accommodation

Day 6: Oamaru Sightseeing - Totara Estate - Elderslie Estate - Brookfield House

Tour group enjoying tea at Totara Park Estate

This morning we drive out of town to the Historic Places Trust Totara Estate for a step back in time. Totara is where lamb was first frozen and shipped to Britain in 1882. Hear the stories while you sit on hay bales as the billy tea brews to accompany your morning tea of scones, jam and cream.  

We lunch with Peter and Bev Rodwell at historic Elderslie Estate and visit Jen Rendell's painstakingly restored Brookfield House and Garden. 

We dine out at the Star and Garter in the old precinct. 

What you'll love today
  • Learn about Totara Estate - the birthplace of our lamb export industry
  • Peter and Bev Rodwell bring the colourful history of Elderslie Estate to life
Accommodation

Day 7: Oamaru - Rockvale Gardens - Carew - Christchurch - Auckland

Gardens and homestead at Willow Park Gardens

We visit Oamaru's botanic gardens and have morning tea with Linda Wilson at Rockvale Gardens with its colourful plantings and pond with sculptures of Oamaru stone from the nearby quarry.

Heading north we call into Geraldine to check out the artisan shops and lunch with Boo and Hamish Woodhouse at Te Timata, their Canterbury farmhouse.

In the mid afternoon we continue up the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. Our flight departs for Auckland in the early evening. 

What you'll love today
  • Visit Linda and Bob Wilson's Rockvale Gardens in Oamaru
  • Special farmhouse lunch at Te Timata with Boo and Hamish Woodhouse

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