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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$3490 pp twin
$3990 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 - Wallace Garden - Arrowtown - Chantecler

Chantecler Garden - Otago Gardens Tour

We visit two gardens of National Significance, Janet Blair's at Lake Hayes and 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.

We also visit Penny and David Wallace's lovely garden and lunch nearby in Arrowtown at Provisions and browse the shops.

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 - Ranfurly

Maniototo Valley views from McNalley's Garden in Poolburn

We bid farewell to Queenstown and visit Tilly Grant's garden on the way to the big skies of the Maniototo Plain. We visit 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.

We visit Rayleen McNally’s garden at Poolburn, a real treasure trove surrounding an original stone homestead. We visit the Vulcan Hotel, St Bathans before continuing to Ranfurly and Hawkdun Lodge.

What you'll love today
  • Enjoy a drink at the Vulcan Hotel in the old gold rush town of St Bathans
  • See the Blue Lake at St Bathans, a small lake formed during gold-sluicing, which gives it a distinctive turquoise colour
Accommodation

Day 4: Ranfurly - Naseby - Patearoa - sightseeing and gardens

Big sky views in the Maniototo Valley, Clachanburn Gardens

Our special garden visits today are Mary and Mac Wright’s hillside garden on the way to Naseby and Glenis and David Crutchley’s Shortlands Station garden up at Danseys Pass.

We visit Fay–Ann and Kelvin Thompson’s Glen Eden Station and lunch with Jane Falconer in her garden of National Significance at Clachanburn Station. There’s time to wander Ranfurly on our return.

What you'll love today
  • Enjoy a private lunch at Clachanburn Garden with Jane Falconer
  • One of New Zealand's iconic roads, the Danseys Pass
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. Take in the sights and sounds - traditional craft demonstrations, market stalls, live music, dance, street theatre, penny farthings and locals dressed in Victorian finery. We dine out at Riverstone Kitchen this evening.

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. Thank you for travelling with MoaTours.

What you'll love today
  • Special lunch at a private garden at Te Timata
  • You'll be dropped off right at your door back in Auckland

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