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.

7 day / 6 night tour departing Auckland with stays in Mt Somers, Geraldine, Mt Cook, Ranfurly and Lawrence.

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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 - Christchurch - Homebush Station, Darfield - Mt Somers

Historic buildings at Homebush Station Canterbury

From Christchurch we drive to Louise Deans’ Homebush Station, Darfield for lunch and visit their museum, heritage farm buildings and garden developed by the family since the 1850s.

We continue on to the Rakaia River Gorge and stay in Mt Somers village at Stronechrubie and nearby B&Bs. We dine at Stronechrubie this evening.

What you'll love today
  • Meet one of the original Cantebury settler families at Homebush Station
  • The best high country dining at Stonechrubie

Day 2: Mt Somers - Erewhon Station - Peel Forest - Geraldine

Gateway to Erewhon Station, Canterbury High Country

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.

What you'll love today
  • A ride on the Clydesdale wagon at Erewhon
  • The stunning Rangitata Gorge

Day 3: Geraldine - Orari Gorge Station - Orari Estate Station - Geraldine

Homestead and Garden at Orari Gorge Station Canterbury

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.

What you'll love today
  • The best Canterbury historic gardens
  • The artisan producers of Geraldine

Day 4: Geraldine - Burkes Pass - Lake Tekapo - Mt Cook

Views of Mt Cook

We visit David and Lois Attwood’s collector’s garden of rare and unusual plants and Bob and Libby Hall’s and Don and Margaret Campbell’s beautiful Geraldine gardens.

At Burkes Pass we enter the Mackenzie Country and stop to enjoy the views at Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki. We stay at The Hermitage and dine in the Panorama Room.

What you'll love today
  • The views up Lake Pukaki all the way to Mt Cook
  • Stay and dine in the iconic Hermitage Hotel

Day 5: Mt Cook - Hakataramea - Duntroon - Danseys Pass - Ranfurly

Views from the Danseys Pass road in Central Otago

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.

What you'll love today
  • Lunch with the Paveletich family at Station Peak
  • Remote Danseys Pass

Day 6: Ranfurly - Macraes Flat - Hyde - Middlemarch - Lawrence

Historic Stanleys Hotel Macraes Flat Central Otago

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

Gabriels Gully Museum

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.

What you'll love today
  • Guided historical tour in Lawrence
  • Fly home and get dropped off right at your door

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