Although atrocious weather conditions greeted the White Heron tour group in Whataroa, spirits could not be dampened! A quick shuffle of the programme due to river flooding meant we started the tour with the stunning Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers where we were delighted to see the green orchid in flower.

By day two the river had returned to normal levels and we made our way via jet boat and boardwalk to the only breeding place of the White Heron (Kotuku) in New Zealand. The seclusion and peacefulness of the area made viewing the nesting birds a wonder to behold. Our trip included a visit to Helen Love’s beautiful ‘Seaforth’ garden atop the hill in Hokitika and to Denise and Robin Illingworth’s ‘Ribblesdale’ in Oxford. Both gardens featured rhododendrons (and weren’t they glorious) and other spring gems. It was a pleasure to visit these two beautiful gardens. The owners are passionate gardeners and wonderful hostesses too. Laden with plants, whitebait and happy memories we returned to Christchurch.

Thank you Freda for another wonderful tour!

Tour Photos