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 - Stoneridge Estate - Gibbston Valley - Queenstown

Views of Lake Hayes from Stoneridge Estate Queenstown

We fly into Queenstown and visit picturesque Stoneridge Estate Garden above Lake Hayes. 

We 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. We check into Hotel Novotel Queenstown Lakeside for two nights and dine in this evening. Our hotel is adjacent to the Botanic Gardens.

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

Day 2: Queenstown - Blair Garden - Arrowtown - Chantecler

Chantecler Garden - Otago Gardens Tour

We visit two gardens of National Significance, Janet Blair's at Lake Hayes and lunch nearby at Arrowtown at Provisions. There's plenty of time to check out the shops in Arrowtown and stroll along the riverbank.

In the afternoon we meet Mike Henry who has developed his eight acre garden at Chantecler to include themed gardens from France, Italy, England, Japan and New Zealand as well as mass plantings of bulbs, rhododendrons, lavenders, azaleas, camellias and peonies. 

 

What you'll love today
  • Two Gardens of National Significance, Janet Blair's and Chantecler
  • 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 real treasure trove surrounding an original stone homestead. We call in for refreshments at the Vulcan Hotel, St Bathans and visit Naseby before continuing 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

We call into Mary and Mac Wright’s hillside garden and Fay-Ann and Kelvin Thompson's Glen Eden Station before enjoying a tour and tasting at John and Susie Elliott's Lammermoor Station distillery and garden,

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

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 - Papakaiko - Carew - Christchurch - Auckland

Gardens and homestead at Willow Park Gardens

We visit Gloria and Ian Hurst’s Willowpark with its lush plantings, ponds, lawns and trees in Papakaio and lunch at Te Timata, Boo and Hamish Woodhouse’s Canterbury farmhouse.

In the mid afternoon we continue north up the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch internationally famed as ‘The Garden City’ due to its well-established expansive parks and public gardens. Our flight departs for Auckland in the early evening. 

What you'll love today
  • Visit Gloria and Ian Hurst's Willowpark at Papakaio north of Oamaru
  • Special farmhouse lunch at Te Timata with Boo and Hamish Woodhouse

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