Come and explore the back roads from Canterbury to Central Otago visiting historic sheep stations and meeting the gardeners. From Aoraki/Mt Cook we head down the Waitaki Valley to Danseys Pass following the old route taken by stockmen and miners over to the Maniototo and the goldfields.
What Ena loves about this tour:
Some farms we’re visiting have stayed in the same family with buildings and gardens dating back to the pioneers. At Erewhon Erin and Colin are passionate about horses and their magnificent Clydesdales plough the fields at the foot of the Southern Alps.
7 day / 6 night tour departing Auckland with stays in Mt Somers, Geraldine, Mt Cook, Ranfurly and Lawrence.
Day 2: Mt Somers - Erewhon Station - Peel Forest - Geraldine
Erewhon Station is at the top of the Rangitata Gorge in Lord of the Rings scenery. Colin Drummond and Erin Cassie use horses for a lot of their station work and they will hitch up their team of Clydesdales to take us for a wagon ride in this stunning landscape. We have lunch in their wool shed before returning back down the road.
Later we visit Victoria and Evan Thatcher’s farm garden at Peel Forest and stay two nights at Geraldine’s Scenic Route Motor Lodge.
Day 3: Geraldine - Orari Gorge Station - Orari Estate Station - Geraldine
At Woodbury Rhododendrons we meet Bernie and Joy O’Keefe and wander their garden and nursery. At Rosa Peacock’s Orari Gorge Station there are historic farm buildings and an expansive garden to enjoy.
We lunch with Rosie Morten at Orari Estate Station, a lovely garden set around a pond, and return to Geraldine in time to stroll around the artisan shops specialising in cheeses, preserves and woodworking to name a few.
Travel the Waitaki Valley to Kurow and on to lunch with the Pavletich family at Station Peak homestead, Hakataramea.
At Duntroon we visit Vanished World Heritage Centre then drive up the gravel road to Danseys Pass and refresh at Danseys Pass Coach Inn, once at the hub of a thriving goldfield, before reaching Hawkdun Lodge in Ranfurly.
Day 6: Ranfurly - Macraes Flat - Hyde - Middlemarch - Lawrence
Macraes Flat vast opencast gold mine is an astonishing sight. We lunch nearby at Stanley’s Hotel built in 1882 and drive the golden tussocks of the Rock and Pillar range to Middlemarch and onto Lawrence to stay the night.
We meet the locals who are getting together to restore their pretty, historic town which was the gateway to the goldfields.
What you'll love today
The iconic Maniototo Valley
Meet the hard working heritage volunteers in Lawrence
Day 7: Lawrence - Gabriel's Gully - Dunedin - Auckland
With a local guide we hear about Lawrence’s history, driving out to Gabriel’s Gully where in 1861 Gabriel Read discovered gold and the gold rush years began. The Chinese Camp is an historic reserve with stables, a hotel and the Joss House being restored.
We drive to Dunedin airport in time for your return flight.