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Autumn Colours Tour

Otago Peninsula & Central Otago, 23-28 April 2018
6 Day tour



Christchurch – Oamaru – Dunedin (MT, L, D)
An early start to commence our journey, stopping at Riverstone Castle Oamaru to meet with the “Queen of the Castle” Dot Smith for a guided tour. As a little girl growing up on an impoverished dairy farm north of Auckland, Dot knew absolutely that she would live in a castle one day. Our castle tour will be followed by lunch at the Riverstone Kitchen and a tour of the vegetable gardens and gift shop before continuing to Dunedin.

Otago Peninsula Gardens (B, MT, L, D)
Our first garden visit of the day is at Larnach Castle where we enjoy a guided tour of the Castle Gardens with creator Margaret Barker, followed by morning tea in the ballroom before travelling onto Hereweka. This 4 hectares in a “hidden valley” on the lower slope of Harbour Cone, with 200 rhododendrons, interesting and rare trees, shrubs, ponds, paths with herbaceous borders, old fashioned roses, perennials, a large hellebore collection and bulbs. The garden is situated in a valley surrounded by the largest area of native forest on the Otago Peninsula including mature rimu trees. We enjoy a boxed picnic lunch before a short visit to the small cottage and garden created by Elizabeth Jenkins the artist who made the move to the Peninsula four years ago, before our guided tour of Glenfalloch. Glenfalloch, Gaelic for “hidden valley” is an historical garden established in 1871. The garden covers 30 acres and was saved by Otago Peninsula Trust in 1969 for everyone to enjoy.

Maniototo – Cromwell (B, MT, L, AT, D)
Anzac Day – those who wish to are welcome to attend the Dawn Parade in the Octagon. After breakfast we head off to our 3-night base in Cromwell, on the way taking in the scenery of the ever-changing landscape travelling through the Maniototo, visiting Jane Falconer of Clachanburn Garden. You will be welcomed to her rambling country garden, set in the stark beauty of the Maniototo. The lawns and borders roll gracefully away from ponds with rugged hills to one side and the distant mountains beyond, giving an impression of a lush oasis in the heat and dry of Central Otago. Enjoy morning tea, before departing for Oturehua with a visit to Gilchrist’s Store and the original workshops, homestead and garden of Ernest Hayes Engineering. Boxed picnic lunch included to enjoy enroute this day. Continuing our journey we will visit St Bathans and the Blue Lakes before travelling through to Ophir for a late afternoon refreshment at the historic “Pitches Café” then onto Cromwell to check into our hotel and enjoy dinner.

Central Otago (B, MT, D)
This morning we travel to Lawrence to meet with octagenarian Frieda Betman at her B&B “The Ark” for a chat and morning tea before joining local historian Barbara Kerr for a guided tour to Gabriel’s Gully on the coach, followed by a “walk and talk” of the historic precinct. We will take in as many of the historic buildings as time and weather permit before travelling to Clyde for a late lunch and a walk around this very quaint historic town, returning to Cromwell late afternoon before heading to Bannockburn to the historic hotel for a dining experience with a difference.

Lake Hayes – Arrowtown – Queenstown (B, MT, D)
After breakfast today we travel to Chantecler a Garden of National Significance. This 12 acre garden is situated between Queenstown and Arrowtown and is part of Mike and Maureen Henry’s forty acre property which they purchased in 2003. They have created a themed garden with specific aspects based on plants and garden styles from around the world. Chatecler ‘s gardens are complimented by mature Redwood, Oak, Beech, Ash, Rowan, Maple, Willow, Birch and many other trees including exotic conifers, truly a garden for all seasons. After our visit we travel to Arrowtown with free time to enjoy a leisurely lunch or a stroll through this unique town renowned for scenes of Autumn Splendour. This afternoon we visit Blair Garden in the Lake Hayes area which was established 34 years ago. This imaginative and innovative country garden is the reflection of the passion and vision of its owner, Janet Blair. Much thought has gone into ensuring there is seasonal colour to reflect the surrounding landscape. A New Zealand Gardens Trust garden. We conclude our garden visits at Stoneridge Estate with a walk around Da`Vella Gore’s garden before travelling to Queenstown. After some free time the TSS Earnslaw ferries us to Walter Peak Station for our farewell dinner.

Cromwell – Christchurch (B, MT, L)
This morning we farewell Cromwell and travel homeward via the inland road – Omarama, Tekapo, Fairlie and Geraldine.

This six day tour has something to offer everyone, scenery, history and stunning gardens and generous hospitality.



What’s Included

  • 4* Hotel Accommodation
  • 6 days fully guided tour
  • Quality coach touring with Clarks Coachlines
  • 5 Breakfasts
  • 6 Morning Teas
  • 4 Lunches
  • 1 Afternoon Tea
  • 5 Dinners

Tour Costs

$1,799 per person
$375 Single supplement per person

A deposit of $400 is required for registration and to confirm your place by mid March 2018. Please complete the booking form and return with your deposit payment as soon as possible. Limited numbers, please register early to secure your place. Final payment due 6 April 2018 The CHS reserves the right to change the itinerary at any time due to circumstances beyond our control, eg weather or suppliers.

Register via the CHS office. Download the Brochure & Booking Form